Hope EP Release

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On October 14th Flourish will be releasing a collaborative album on behalf of Hope Mommies, an organization whose sole purpose is to come alongside moms and families who have experienced infant loss, bringing comfort, encouragement, companionship, and hope as they continue to walk this side of eternity without their beloved son or daughter.

Flourish is providing 2,500 physical copies to Hope Mommies chapters nationwide at no cost. We would love to see Redeemer support the project/Hope Mommies/Flourish by helping raise $750 through the process to help cover costs and allow for more albums to be sent out to Hope Mommies.

Here are 4 potential ways you can support:

  1. Buy a physical or digital copy of the album
  2. Buy an album for a friend you know has lost a beloved child to support them.
  3. Donate to support Hope Mommies
  4. Pray for this project to be a blessing to Hope Mommies & anyone who might hear it

We will have albums available at our gathering Oct 14th & a donation box set up at our gatherings through the month of October.

Reflection Guide: The Authority of the Word

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Main Idea - The scriptures invite us to receive the Word of God as our authority which will challenge our previous thinking and assumptions. Listen to the sermon audio here.

You can also checkout more resources for this series HERE.

Read through the following passages: 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20

Discuss the questions below with your MC or DNA group.

  1. What are some common beliefs you or the people around you hold? Where did these ideas come from and what is the basis for their authority?
  2. Take a minute to read and consider 1 Thessalonians 2:13. What observations do you have about this verse? What keeps jumping out to you?
  3. What does the Apostle Paul mean when he refers to the “word of God”? How does the word of God challenge each and every person?
  4. What does it mean to have a Gospel-centered understanding of the scriptures? How does it change the way we read the scriptures if we understand it as a larger story with Jesus as the hero? What part of the scriptures are still difficult for you to embrace as “authoritative”?
  5. Reflect on what we have read so far in 1 Thessalonians chapters 1 and 2. How has the scripture challenged you personally? What sin in your heart might need to be confessed? What good news about God’s grace might you need to receive?

Reflection Guide: Rethinking Leadership - Lessons From a Spiritual Father

Main Idea - Leadership is such an important part of healthy Gospel-centered churches but many of us have experienced hurtful leadership. Gospel leadership is a new way of understanding leadership. Gospel leaders suffer so that others may flourish, are motivated by the approval and will of God, and lead through a shared life. Listen to the sermon audio here.

You can also checkout more resources for this series HERE.

Read through the following passages: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Discuss the questions below with your MC or DNA group.

  1. How has the use of power in leadership been a source of pain for you in the past? How might this affect your present view of authority or leadership?
  2. What are some poor motivations for leading or influencing others? How can you relate to this in your unique areas of leadership.
  3. Gospel leadership flows from a shared life which creates the context for connection, instruction, and correction. Consider this statement in light of 1 Thess. 2:7-8. In what ways have you experienced this kind of leadership in your life? What ways do you long to experience this more? How might you apply this to the people God has put in your life to lead?
  4. Why is it important that instruction and correction happen within the context of shared life? What happens when you have shared life but there is no instruction or correction?
  5. How might God be at work to help you rethink leadership? What implications would that have for your life and your MC/DNA life together?

Foster Village

Hi Redeemer Family -

Foster Village has been BUSY ever since we began operating out of Redeemer in January of this year. Rarely has a week gone by where we haven’t fulfilled at least 2 requests! What a joy it has been to serve these foster families! Here are a few events and service opportunities we have coming up in October and November that I want to bring to your attention.

Throughout the month of October – we will have running Socktober! We are heading into a time of high demand for socks, underwear, and warm pajamas. We will also be taking monetary donations to directly serve our community with these needs. Donation drop-off can be located in the foyer of Redeemer starting October 1.

Two more dates to put on your calendar – October 20 and November 10.

  • October 20th we will be switching out our entire inventory of clothing from summer to fall/winter and could use lots of extra hands! We will be up there all day so please feel free to come and go as your time allows.
  • November 10th we will be cleaning out the garage at the office/house next door. Along with putting up some shelving to better organize and store our beds and mattresses. Please bring some tools and brooms and let’s knock it out!

We do also have a Christmas project in the works as well - stay tuned for details!

If you have any questions or would like to know more about how to get involved with Foster Village – please feel free to email me!

Sarah Musgrove
[email protected]

Reflection Guide: A Church to Be Thankful For

Main Idea - Keeping faith in the age of unbelief is challenging and often seems hopeless. Although the church has often contributed to this difficulty, participation in the Gospel-centered church remains the primary means by which God preserves our faith.
Listen to the sermon audio HERE.

You can also check out more resources for this series HERE.

Read through the following passages: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Acts 17

Discuss the questions below with your MC or DNA group.

  1. What is the main story behind Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians? Who is he writing to and what are his primary concerns?
  2. Why is membership in a local and the universal church important? How does understanding Paul’s letters written to churches (rather than individuals) change the way we understand and apply them?
  3. What are some of the ways that the church (locally and universally) has departed from the Gospel and corresponding way of life? How has this contributed to people losing faith? How have you experienced this?
  4. What are the characteristics of a church that Paul thanks God for in 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10? How do these compare with your own metrics for what a church should be? What aspect of Paul’s instructions seem most needed in your life?
  5. Read 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 again slowly. Keeping faith means that we as a church community and individuals have turned from idols to worship the Triune God. This happened when we first believed and we continue to live with ongoing repentance and faith. Share your story of how God led you to turn from idols to worship Him. What are the present idols that God might be leading you to turn away from in repentance and trust in Jesus again? Why is ongoing repentance and faith needed as we await Jesus to return and make all things new?

Keeping Faith in An Age of Unbelief

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This Sunday we will begin a new series in the book of 1 Thessalonians: Keeping Faith in the Age of Unbelief. 1 Thessalonians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul (along with his ministry team) and is one of the earliest documents written in the New Testament. In Acts 17 we learn that Paul preached the Gospel in Thessalonica and some believed. This small group of believers formed the early seeds of the Thessalonian church. Well before he wanted to move on Paul was forced to leave by the intense persecution of the Jewish leaders. As we read 1 Thessalonians, we see how difficult this premature departure was for Paul. He feared that the pressures from both the Jews and idolatrous Greek’s would lead these infant believers to loose faith. It is out of this loving concern for the Thessalonian church that Paul writes this letter. We will see throughout the letter that Paul desires to strengthen and encourage them to keep the faith as they live in the last days. They will encounter persecution, conflict, discouragement, temptations, and alluring idols, but their real hope is to persevere in the faith he delivered to them. They lived in a time when the kingdom has been inaugurated but is yet to be fully realized. The difficulty they faced is the tension of living between the already but not yet.

In our day, we face the same challenges of keeping faith. Just as the Thessalonians face external temptations (both religious and idolatrous), we face the same. Both of us live in what the Bible calls the last days (the tension between the already and not-yet of the Kingdom). In our modern age of technology and progress faith is often seen as antiquated and unneeded. Along with this, many churches have become swept up in this age of unbelief and have lost their distinction from the surrounding culture. The church has often been far from what the scriptures instruct it to be. From corruption in church leadership to crazy charts about end times chaos to questioning the authority of the apostles teaching, there are many compelling reasons to doubt the Christian faith. Because of this and a variety of other reasons, many people have abandoned the Christian faith. Although the temptation is real, we believe the answer is not losing faith but rather a rediscovery of the ancient faith passed on to us through the church and in the scriptures. In this series we will dig into the this ancient letter from Paul as it helps give us clarity and courage to keep faith in Jesus. As we do we will address skeptics, sinners, and saints as we seek God’s help to keep faith in an age of unbelief.

We have several resources to help you engage this sermon series.

ESV Scripture Journal - We recommend purchasing an ESV Scripture journal to take notes, mark up, and take with you for group discussions. You can purchase them from Amazon HERE.

1 Thessalonians Prayer Guide - We want to invite you to join our leaders in praying for our church during this series. Paul’s hope for the Thessalonians to keep faith included both his instruction to them and his prayers on their behalf. This guide contains the three main prayers Paul prays for the Thessalonian church along with instructions on how you can pray for our local church. You can pickup a copy at the resource table or download the PDF HERE.

Reflection Guides - Each week we will post a reflection guide that helps us to reflect on the previous weeks sermon passage. These will typically be posted by Monday and are helpful to use with your DNA group or MC discussion.

Worship Guides - As we do with each series we will have a worship guide available to pickup at the Sunday gathering. This will give you the scriptures we are covering in advance and some of the other elements of liturgy in our gathering. We hope these help you better prepare for our time of worship together.

Sermon Schedule:

September 23rd - A Church to Be Thankful For - 1 Thess. 1:1-10

September 30th - Rethinking Leadership: Lessons From A Spiritual Father - 1 Thess. 2:1-12

October 7th - The Authority of the Word - 1 Thess. 2:13-20

October 14th - Pain, Suffering, and the Temptation to Lose Faith - 1 Thess. 3:1-13

October 21st - The Way of Jesus (4:1-2): Sexual Sin - 1 Thess 4:1-8

October 28th - The Way of Jesus (4:1-2): Loving Well & Working Hard - 1 Thess. 4:9-12

November 4th - Death and the Resurrection of the Body - 1 Thess. 4:13-15

November 11th - The Return of Christ - 1 Thess. 4:16-5:11

November 18th - A Community of Counsel and Care - 1 Thess. 5:13-14

November 25th - Final Instructions for Keeping the Faith - 1 Thess. 5:15-18

Reflection Guide: A People of Generosity

Main Idea - This week we considered what it might look like to be a people of generosity in a culture of excess. You can listen to the podcast here.

Read through the following passages: 1 Timothy 6:17-19, James 2:1-17

Discuss the questions below with your MC or DNA group.

  1. What is our suburban cultures predominate view on wealth and material goods? How has living in this culture shaped your own views of “the good life?”
  2. What are some of the dangers Paul talks about in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 facing those who are rich? What part of his warning hits home with you?
  3. How does the Gospel free us from the chains of greed/excess and create in us generous hearts? What Gospel truth do you need to cling to when you’re tempted towards excess or greed?
  4. Take a minute to consider the resources God has given you (Time, Talent, Treasure). What area do you sense the Spirit leading you towards generosity (Community, Church, Needy)
  5. Where might there be needs that your excess resources can serve others? What needs do you have that others might be able to help with?
  6. 1 Timothy 6:19 says, “storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.” Spend some time meditating on this verse. How might this motivate our hearts to increasingly practice generosity?

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Kids Worship Questions

  1. Can you think of something you have that you don’t like to share? Maybe your time, toys, or money? Why do you think it is hard for people to share with others?
  2. When we get a lot of stuff (toys, money, gifts, etc.) we are prone to get proud of our stuff and feel secure because of our stuff. Can you think of an example of this in your life? How does trusting Jesus help us?
  3. The bible tells us that if we are given many riches that we should see this as an opportunity to share with many. What has God given you and your family? What might it look like to share what you have with those in need?

Reflection Guide: A People of Creativity

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Main Idea: This week we considered what it might look like to be a people of creativity in a culture of consumption. You can listen to the podcast here.

Read through the following passages: Genesis 2:4–14, Genesis 1:26–31, Ephesians 3:8–10

Discuss the questions below with your MC or DNA group.

  1. What can we learn about God through these passages in Genesis? What role does God play in creation? What role are humans given?
  2. God gives human beings the task of creating (with the materials God had placed in the creation) for life and beauty. Why are both of these important?
  3. What are some poor motivations for working to create for life and beauty? How do these lead to distorting God’s original purposes? Examples from society? Your life?
  4. How has God gifted you to create? How might your gifts contribute to the churches task of reflecting the creativity of God (creating life and beauty that displays the glory of God)?
  5. As you have considered theses scriptures and listened to the sermon, is there anything you sense the Spirit leading you to confess and turn from? Stop to confess together, encourage one another, and pray for God’s help.

Reflection Guide: A People of Compassion

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KEY POINTS FROM SERMON:

  • By God’s grace, we hope to be a people compassion in a culture of condemnation.
  • Understanding biblical compassion starts with God. The Bible tells us that God, himself, is compassionate. (Psalm 51:1) (Psalm 86:15)
  • The compassion of God is love that enacts mercy. This is why Isaiah says “shout for joy!”, because God is compassionate toward creation. He loves his creation and has acted with mercy toward it.
  • Jesus did not come into this world to condemn the world (John 3:16-19). He says the world is already condemned. The world is already busted up and broken with sin. He didn’t come here to kick us while we are down, we know we’re broken.
  • Jesus came to save the world. Jesus didn’t stay at a safe distance and say, get your act together and then come over here with me. No, he enters in with love. If the way of condemnation is to prescribe a narrative to someone based on an external judgment, then Jesus is going to show us the way of compassion is to withhold judgment until you enter in. Rather than prescribing a narrative from a distance, the way of Jesus is to enter into their story as an agent of love and mercy.
  • He heals the leaper (Mark 1:39-42). He welcomes the sinner at his table (Mark 2:13-17). He is broken-hearted for the proud (Mark 3:1-6). Jesus doesn’t see them first and foremost in light of what they do or fail to do, he sees them all in light of what they suffer. They suffer from the human condition. Broken sinful people in a broken sinful world. There is always something deeper going on with people. Our sin is real. And it leads to real struggles and real shame in our lives. And you know this. Jesus sees us in light of what we suffer.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience - Colossians 3:12 (CSB)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is biblical compassion?
  2. How does Jesus teach us compassion in his life and ministry?
  3. What areas of your life do you struggle with compassion? Who and what are you quick to critic or condemn?
  4. How does the gospel enable us to "put on compassion"?

Practice - Cultivate compassion this week by learning the story of one person in your life who is different from you.

Reflection Guide: A People of Presence

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KEY POINTS FROM SERMON:

  • By God’s grace, we hope to be a people of Presence in a culture of disconnection.
  • Presence - When we say we want to be a people of presence, we don’t just mean a people who are physically present (just showing up). We mean a people who are wholeheartedly present with others, a people who are lovingly present to God and others. It is this kind of presence that cultivates loving relationships.
  • We often get stuck in Patterns of disconnect. Two ways I see this often playing out: 1) PRIDE - When we share the table with a prideful presence, we often experience their need to control us, correct us, and ultimately pass judgment on us. You can see how this kind of presence leads to a disconnect in our relationships. 2) PREOCCUPATION - There are others who fail to connect due to their preoccupation with work, sports, or something that puts their mind in one place while their body is in another.
  • What are the PRIDEFUL or PREOCCUPIED patterns that keep you from being lovingly and wholeheartedly present to God and others? Consider Colossians 3:5-15. What patterns needing to be put off do you see at work in your relationships? What patterns do you long to put on more often?
  • The good news is that Jesus offers us forgiveness, hope, and shows us a way forward. When our relational connection with God was fractured by sin, God sends his son Jesus to reconnect us to God. Our sin kept us disconnected from God, but God loved us so much that at the cost of his life he dies to bring us back to God.
  • The Apostle Paul was a man who encountered the loving presence of Christ and was now sent to share of this presence and teach churches how to live in this way. In Romans 12:9-18, Paul lays out a treasury of ancient wisdom that lays out a path towards loving presence, of relationally connecting not disconnect. Practically, the table provides a great space for us to practice being lovingly present.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 1 Peter 4:8–9 (CSB)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What kind of presence are you in the life of your spouse, children, co-workers, and friends? What patterns of pride or preoccupation have caused relational disconnect for you (your own patterns not others)?
  2. What people in your life have modeled a loving presence to you? How has this impacted your love for Jesus?
  3. Stop and read Colossians 3:5-15 together. What is one-way area of the relational qualities we are to “put on” that you desire to grow in? What is one negative aspect that you need the Spirit’s help to put away? Confess this to God and pray for one another.
  4. How might the Spirit be leading you to extend the loving presence of Christ through hospitality? Who are the lonely or isolated people whom you could invite to your table?

Practice - Cultivate presence this week by having undistracted meals where you focus on engaging with others in conversation.

Reflection Guide: A People of Gratitude

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KEY POINTS FROM SERMON:

  • By God’s grace, we hope to be a people of Gratitude in a culture of complaint.
  • Israel’s complaining in the wilderness (Exodus 15-17) shows how we as human beings struggle to trust God in difficult circumstances. We are prone towards grumbling and complaining.
  • Complaining is an attitude of grumbling that has given into hopelessness. We grow cynical towards God’s goodness and ability to meet our needs. Complaining doesn’t change our situation nor does it heal our hearts. Complaint keeps us stuck and multiplies our misery. Have you noticed that? The more people complain the more miserable they become. All complaints are ultimately our pointing the cynical finger at God blaming him for our discontentment and misfortune. At the heart of complaining is a belief that God is the one blamed for all the problems in the world rather than the one to be thanked for all its goodness.
  • How do we grow into a people of Gratitude when it seems so easy is to be a people of complaint? To grow into a people of Gratitude we must walk the path of lament and thanksgiving. Lament means taking our pains and needs to God trusting his goodness and power to act on our behalf. Thanksgiving is stopping to give God praise for His love for us in Jesus and the many good gifts he has given us. Both the practices of lament and thanksgiving are enabled by our increasing trust in the Gospel.
  • “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” - Thomas Merton

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. - Psalm 107:1 (CSB)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What are the areas of life you tend to complain about (especially in the last few weeks)? How might these complaints reveal your own frustrations or fears about God?
  2. If we want to grow in Gratitude to God we must learn the prayer language of Lament and Thanksgiving (praise). Why is it important that we embrace both of these?
  3. What are some of the struggles or difficulties you are facing right now? Rather than complaining about them, what might it look like for you to bring them to God in prayer? This might be something that your group needs to pray together or something individually that you need to spend time lamenting to God in private.
  4. Read Ephesians 1. What spiritual blessings do we have in Christ? Stop to give God praise. and thanks together. What everyday gifts has God given you? Stop to give God praise.
  5. How can you help one another continue to turn away from complaining and cultivate Gratitude to God?

Practice - Cultivate gratitude this week by journaling about one thing you are thankful for each day.

Reflection Guide: A People of Prayer

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KEY POINTS FROM SERMON:

  • We are immersed in a culture of distraction. One prominent example of this is how our smartphones have invaded every area of our life. When the boredom, pain, and stress of life hit, we are quick to escape into our devices. If not our devices, we will find something else to busy our minds. Our entire life can easily drift into a distraction from God’s presence and power.
  • Our vulnerability to distraction is symptomatic of the deeper issues of our heart. We were made to converse and commune with God and yet we sense something is off. Our shame and guilt keep God at a distance. Rather than seeking God, we have all sought to run from him and distract ourselves from this dysfunction.
  • There was a tension, a rift between us and God but the Gospel tells us we don’t have to run away, distract ourselves from our pain and frailty. By faith in Jesus, we freely receive God’s loving presence restored in us. We can trust his loving presence and power to meet our needs, even to raise us from the ultimate enemy, death.
  • Prayer, an ongoing communion, and conversation with God, only makes sense if we trust what the Gospel tells us. Because of Christ work on our behalf, God is now lovingly present and powerful with us. He is near, he is listening, and he has offered his help to his children. Being a people of prayer doesn’t mean we are simply religious and speak impressively to God. It means we are learning to live our lives trusting in that God is intimately near, constantly present and powerful. We are no longer empty but filled, not alone but accompanied in all things, not cast off but brought near, not estranged but beloved, not numb but alive. And when we drift away from home, prayer brings us back into the reality of God’s presence.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you. I thirst for you; my body faints for you in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory. My lips will glorify you because your faithful love is better than life. So I will bless you as long as I live; at your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise you with joyful lips. When I think of you as I lie on my bed, I meditate on you during the night watches 7 because you are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings. I follow close to you; your right hand holds on to me. Psalm 63:1-8 (CSB)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is your current relationship with your smartphone? Are you aware of how your interaction with it is shaping you?
  2. What other distractions can you identify in your life? What are some of the distractions that keep you from spending time in prayer (both praying along the way and set aside times)? How might God be leading you to give focused attention to prayer within the limits of your current stage of life?
  3. Read John 14:18–26. How does the Gospel give us a foundation for a life of prayer?
  4. What areas or scenarios in your life do you find yourself most easily forgetting God’s presence and power? How might the Spirit be inviting you to grow in this?

PRACTICE - Cultivate prayer this week by putting away one distraction (iPhone, Entertainment, CNN, Talk radio, etc.) in order to better listen to God in prayer.

Redeemer is a Gospel-centered missional family learning and living the way of Jesus in the suburbs of Austin. This is the identity, by God’s grace, we hope to live into. Learning and living the way of Jesus together leads us to swim against the stream of our culture for the sake of our culture. We are called by God to live a Kingdom way of life, to embody a Kingdom culture. This means first learning the way of Jesus, and then putting that way into practice as we live. As we begin participating in the Kingdom of God we will find ourselves in conflict with the Kingdom of man. Not in everything, but no doubt each culture has areas that the Kingdom of God opposes.

In our seven culture statements, we have highlighted what we believe are seven important ways that living in a kingdom culture brings us into conflict with our unique suburban culture. All of us have been heavily shaped by the values of our culture, in fact, we often don’t realize we are naturally participating in a certain system because it is like the air we breath. We might even adopt Christian concepts and language but our beliefs are still heavily shaped by our culture. Our hope each week in this series is to expose a bit of the cultural water we are swimming in, show from the scriptures how the Kingdom of God is different, and then invite you to follow Jesus into a new way of living. We are praying that the Holy Spirit would use this to remind us who we are (a Gospel-centered Missional Family) and help us grow in living out the way of Jesus here in the suburbs of Austin. Following each sermon, we will give you a reflection guide to work out what you are learning with your Missional Community/DNA and have a simple practice that helps us begin to live into each value.

August 5 - A people of PRAYER in a culture of distraction.
Psalm 63, John 14:18-25
Practice - Put away one distraction (iPhone, Entertainment, CNN, Talk radio, etc.) this week in hopes that you would grow in awareness of God’s presence and power.

August 12 - A people of GRATITUDE in a culture of complaint.
Col. 3:16-17, 1 Thess. 5:18
Practice - Make a list this week of 50 people or things you are thankful for. When a person comes to mind, reach out to them and share why you are thankful for them.

August 19 - A people of PATIENCE in a culture of hurry.
James 5:7-11, 2 Peter 3:8-9 A. Practice - Pick one pleasure or comfort you were planning on buying or enjoying this week and put it off for a week or more.

August 26 - A people of PRESENCE in a culture of disconnection.
1 Peter 4:8-11, James 1:19 Practice - Spend at three nights this week (1-2hours) with your friends, family, spouse, or kids where phones, games, and work is banned (anything that would divert your focus from being together). Play, talk, dine, etc. where you focus on quality time and conversation together.

Sept. 2 - A people of COMPASSION in a culture of condemnation.
Colossians 3:12, 4:2-6 Practice - Think of a person or group you have found yourself judgmental and angry with. Spend a few hours attempting to better understand their perspective and story. Setup a meeting with the person to get to know them better or read something helping explain their perspective.

Sept. 9 - A people of CREATIVITY in a culture of consumption.
Gen 1-2, Rom. 12 Practice - Identify one talent God has given you and consider how you can bless a neighbor or coworker with that talent this week. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith and see where the conversation goes. Share with them why you are doing it and what motivates you to bless others.

Sept. 16 - A people of GENEROSITY in a culture of excess.
1 Tim. 6:17-18 Practice - Identify one expense you can cut from your budget this month or something you can sell. Use that extra money to give to someone or some organization who is in need or will pass it along to someone in need.

Reflection Guide: Our Approach to Mission

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KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:

  • In 1 Peter 2-3, we are called to live confidently for Jesus, believing that he is at work in every circumstance. The primary place God likes to work is in/through our ordinary lives.
  • Peter also makes it clear that he believes the right people are watching. In a majority unbelieving context, people are watching Christians. Peter’s confidence that God is at work around us, and his confidence that the right people are watching leads him to say in verse 15— “honor Christ the Lord as holy [in our hearts], always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”.
  • Our approach to mission at Redeemer is… relational, compassionate, obedience to Jesus. We believe this is what our city needs from God’s people.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, — 1 Peter 3:15 ESV

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. As you consider 1 Peter 2:11 - 3:16, what strikes you?
  2. How would you describe the approach to mission that Peter gives to his churches in this passage?
  3. In the sermon, Jordan explains our approach to mission at Redeemer as relational, compassionate, obedience to Jesus. Reflect on this. What do you think about this approach? What does it look like for you to live this out in your life? In what ways is this challenging to you?
  4. Where has God placed you this week to live on mission (relationally, compassionately, obey Christ)?

Reflection Guide: A Good News People

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KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:

  • We live in a majority unbelieving world. The number of adults in the US who do not attend church has more than doubled since the 1990’s— over 100 Million people in the US have no contact with the church. As of 2016, In Round Rock, with over 165,000 people only 20,000 attend a church. That’s 145,000 people in this city who are not interested in walking in these doors. And we, the church, can no longer assume that if people want to find God, discover meaning, cope with a personal crisis, or find help for their marriage or children that they will “come to church”.
  • What our city needs from us is to see the good news of Jesus embodied and lived in everyday life. This requires that we embrace a life of mission as God’s people— right where he has already placed you.
  • 1 Peter is a perfect blueprint for understanding a Life of Mission. It shows us that a Life of Mission is a life that is aligned with the gospel in every area, lived out in everyday life.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.— 1 Peter 2:9 ESV

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. As you consider 1 Peter 2:4-9, what strikes you?
  2. In what ways is the language that Peter uses to describe the identity of the church significant?
  3. Sit with verses 9-10. Consider who you were before the light of Christ shone into your darkness. Reflect on how he has transformed you. How does keeping the gospel central in our lives help propel us into a life of mission?
  4. Peter closes this section with a warning and an exhortation in verses 11 & 12. Examine your life for ways in which you’ve gotten too comfortable with this world (“the passions of the flesh”)? What might it look like for your life to begin to show the good news of Jesus to those around you?

Reflection Guide: Understanding Spiritual Gifts

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KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:
Confusion and misconceptions that surround the person of the Holy Spirit have also caused confusion about spiritual gifts. Sadly, because of this, we have historically wasted the gifts that the Trinitarian God wants to shower the bride of Christ with. We’ve wasted these gifts by both neglecting the gifts and by also abusing the gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes to a church confused about spiritual gifts and he tells them that they need to “get informed”.

A Spirit-filled church is informed about the variety of gifts, service, and activity and values them all equally. That means that there is no idolizing certain gifts, or roles, or positions/activities in the church. But there is a unity and mutual gratitude for different the different roles in the body of Christ. There are a variety of gifts, skills, and abilities that God pours into HIS church, by HIS grace, according to HIS will, for HIS glory. Some gifts are more “everyday gifts” given to build up the body— things like words of wisdom, knowledge, and faith. While other gifts are manifestation gifts that display the power and presence of God, but what we must understand is that they are all given by the SAME spirit, who gives gifts to each of us individually as he wills.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
[10] As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: [11] whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. — 1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Why do you think there is so much confusion about spiritual gifts? What leads to this confusion? Why is it important that we spiritual gifts rightly?

  2. Read 1 Cor. 12:4-11, Romans 12: 8-11. Why does God give spiritual gifts to the church? How does He give spiritual gifts? How does it make you feel to think that God has custom fit each person with unique gifts to use for his glory?

  3. Do you know your unique spiritual gifts? Discuss what you think they might be? Discuss how others in your MC have been blessed by your gifts? Here is a LINK to a free online spiritual gift assessment. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great place to start in identifying your gifts.
  4. In what ways are you using your gifts (either in the church or in the world)? What might be keeping you from using your gifts more fully?
  5. What is God saying to you in light of this sermon/discussion? What “next step” do you need to take to obey what He is stirring in your heart or mind?

Reflection Guide: Understanding the Power of the Holy Spirit

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KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:

  • The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the Triune God. Coequally and coeternally God along with the Father and the Son. He has always existed, and he always will. He is commissioned by the Father to glorify the Son and apply the work of the Son to the lives of believers. And he does this with power! There is a power to the Holy Spirit. A power we need.

  • But we must understand that we do not control him. He is not pixie dust to be sprinkled over our worship services. He is not an experience that we chase— he is the personal, empowering presence of God— with us, in us, and around us. His power is real. His power is something that we experience and have access to. You have the power of the presence of God in your life for all eternity and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing reality for those who trust in Jesus. The power of the Holy Spirit seals you, secures you, and keeps you in Christ every day. This is powerful stuff! In this sermon, Jordan unpacks how the Holy Spirit’s power works in our lives every day.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Why is it so important that we understand who the Holy Spirit is? In what ways have you been confused about him? Which of the two misconceptions about the Holy Spirit (Drunk Uncle of the Trinity or Forgotten God) has been your primary experience?
  2. Read Ephesians 1:3-14. How does the Holy Spirit display his power in the life of a believer every day? By what means does he seal/secure/keep us in Christ.
  3. Think over the last month of your life. What examples of the Holy Spirit’s power can you think of? Share specific examples with one another. A few things to consider: conviction of sin, granting boldness, peace during trial, stirring your heart for Christ, etc.
  4. Why is it so important that we regularly recognize these things as the powerful work of the Spirit in our lives? What happens if we don’t have eyes to see this as the Spirit’s power?

Close with a time of prayer for the Holy Spirit to fill your lives and grant you power to live the way of Jesus as a community.

Reflection Guide: Getting to Know the Person of the Holy Spirit

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KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT: - 1) Not crazy nor is his work to be identified with emotionally charged ecstatic experiences. 2) Not a generic life force or “good vibes” that just hums along like some spiritual hipster making bad things a little better, 3) Not replaced by the Bible.

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is of the same essence as the Father and the Son, but unique in his personhood. The Holy Spirit is fully God and the whole of scripture points us to this conclusion that was affirmed and defended by the early church Fathers. But here is the interesting thing about Trinitarian worship, gaze deeply upon the Spirit and the Spirit is going to lead you into worship of the Son, look upon the Son and find yourself delighting in the love of the Father to give him. Enter into worship of any person of the Godhead and you can’t help but be drawn up into the divine love shared therein. Part of the Spirit’s work is, in fact, to draw us into this loving community of the Father, Son, and Spirit.

We also get to know the Holy Spirit through knowing the actions of the Spirit. These aren’t completely separable from the Father and Son, but the Spirit does have a unique role in God’s redemptive drama. One way we could sum up the Spirit’s unique person among the Trinity is to say the Spirit is a Lover, Liberator, and Leader.

Lover - The Holy Spirit brings us into an intimate experience of God’s love.
Liberator - Flowing from the Spirit’s love for us is his work to liberate us from enslavement to sin.
Leader - The Holy Spirit is leading us to live in the way of Jesus for the good of others.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16–17

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What are some misunderstandings you have had or experienced from others about the Holy Spirit? Consider the three things mentioned above that clarify what the Spirit is NOT.
  2. Why is it important that we understand the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity? Why is the Spirit’s unique role important to fully knowing God?
  3. How have you experienced the Holy Spirit as Lover (Romans 5:5), Liberator (2 Cor. 3:17-18), and Leader (Galatians 5:25)?
  4. What aspect of the Spirit’s personality might God be inviting you to more fully embrace in this season of life? What might this look like practically for you? Stop and pray for one another and ask for the Spirit’s help in this.

Summer MC Rest and Reset

Redeemer Family,

Last summer we encouraged each Missional Community (MC) to take a break from formal meeting nights during June and July. This proved to be a needed time of rest for our groups (especially leaders and host homes). This year we are encouraging our MCs to take a break from formal meeting nights again (although certainly their can be continued shared life and DNA groups). You can check in with your MC leader to see how this will change your MC rhythms.

This season of MC rest will run from June through July and the focus of this time will be rest and reset. We will have two church-wide training events (see more on these below) during the summer that will provide opportunities for people to connect and grow. We hope they also help us with the “reset” aspect of our summer MC break. Here is some info on each of these:

Marriage Workshop - The Posture of Marriage
June 23

First up, on Saturday, June 23rd (8:45AM-12:45PM) we will be hosting a Marriage Workshop led by Rich and Barbie Hart. There will be a lite breakfast and box lunch provided for all who register. Childcare will be available, but we have limited space open so make sure to register early if you need it. We will send out another reminder once registration is live. The cost will be $25 per couple and $5 per child for childcare. Scholarships are available as needed (email [email protected]). Also, if you register before June 9th, the registration cost is only $15 per couple. REGISTER HERE

Missional Community Workshop
July 28

As we close our time of MC summer rest we want to offer a weekend of MC equipping to help strengthen our MCs as they start back up in August. On Saturday, July 28th (8:45-11:45AM) we will have a MC Workshop with one session focused on helping with DNA groups, and another focused on helping MCs consider how God has uniquely called them to serve and love others. We will post registration for this later in the summer on Realm.

Missional communities will resume their regular meeting schedules after Sunday, August 5th. If you have any questions, you can email [email protected]. We are praying for the summer to be a refreshing time for all those in our MCs and a renewed focus when we start back in August!

Reflection Guide: Pentecost Sunday

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KEY POINTS FROM SUNDAY:

  • Pentecost - This past Sunday we celebrated Pentecost which is a celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. Pentecost is a greek word meaning fiftieth, as in a sort of countdown to 50 days after Passover. In the Old Testament, this holiday was known as the feast of weeks (also feast of harvest or first fruits) because it occurs 7 weeks after Passover. It was a feast to celebrate the harvest, a time of great joy for God’s people. In the church, we celebrate this as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as first fruits of the new creation! Read the story again for yourself in Acts 2:1-21.
  • Christians, we are called to live and learn the way of Jesus. This is a life characterized by loving God and others. Each of us has a unique role to play in this, but no matter what our role is we cannot live and love in the way of Jesus in our own power. We need the power of the Holy Spirit just as these first disciples did at Pentecost.

  • At Pentecost, God’s loving presence is poured into the hearts of ordinary people so that empowered by God’s presence they might bear the fruit of the Spirit. Through prayer, they yielded themselves to the Spirit’s leading. As they stepped out in trusting obedience they witnessed the fruit of the Spirit sprouting up in their life together. All of this as a signpost, a witness for the sake of the world pointing towards the coming Kingdom of God that is already breaking through.

Here is a link to this weeks sermon if you missed it - LINK

SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON THIS WEEK:
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” - Acts 2:36–39 (ESV)

MC/DNA DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Why is it important to include the promise and sending of the Holy Spirit in our understanding of the Gospel? How does Pentecost reshape our thinking about how we learn and live the way of Jesus?
  2. Consider Matthew 28:18-20. What is the mission given to the church? How does this mission shape the way we live here in the suburbs of Austin? How does it ask us to consider the globe?
  3. How has God called you to participate in his mission during this season of life and with your unique gifting? What might it look like for you to pursue that mission empowered by the Holy Spirit?
  4. How do you sense a need for the Holy Spirit’s presence and power for the things you are facing right now? Stop, slow down, and pray for one another and ask for the Spirit’s help.