I Am Going

Tell us about yourself: I was born and raised in Fayetteville, NC by believing parents but I really started following Jesus while in college. I've been married to Stephanie (from Miami, FL) since 2014 and we have two boys, David and Samuel. I’ve been in the Army for 8 years and currently serve as an Electronic Warfare Officer in 2nd Brigade.

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How did you come to FFC? After arriving to Ft. Campbell and “church shopping” for a few months, I found FFC on Google and decided we would check it out. On our first Sunday, Steph and I enjoyed the solid teaching along with the emphasis on discipleship. Two things that made us feel very welcome were Kyle and Sarah inviting us over for dinner and the church giving us a gift basket when Samuel was born. We’ve been going to FFC since August 2017 and officially became members in January 2018.

How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you grow? Every teaching, there are some “nuggets” I take away, usually pertaining to things God had already been teaching me or placing on my heart. A recent example would be the sermon on friendship, from Proverbs and John. That same week, I felt the need for more fellowship and intentionally tried to meet with another guy at FFC who also works on Ft. Campbell. The Sunday teaching reinforced that desire the Holy Spirit had given me, providing more insights into what Christ-centered friendships look like.

What have you been reading recently? I am currently reading through Numbers, John, and Colossians. I am also about halfway through a book called “Get Real: Sharing Your Everyday Faith Every Day” by John Leonard.

What has God been teaching you lately? He’s been reminding and convicting me that following Jesus involves investing in other people. Jesus tells his disciples that He chose and appointed them so that they should go and bear fruit and that their fruit should abide (John 15.16). When I read this verse, the Holy Spirit showed me four generations. Generation one is Jesus. Generation two consists of Jesus’ disciples. Generation three consists of His disciples’ fruit, which would be other disciples. Here’s the kicker… Jesus desires for that fruit in the third generation to abide. We know that those who abide in Him bear much fruit (John 15.5), which is where I see the fourth generation— fruit that abides bears more fruit. Jesus truly wants His disciples to have spiritual generations. It’s humbling to know that if I abide in Him, He will produce that fruit in my life. Investing in other people is rarely fun or easy (Paul says he “toils” and “struggles” in Colossians 1.29) but I certainly know it’s exciting to be part of His mission and have an eternal impact.

The Four Types of Soldiers That Have a Hard Time Coming to Jesus

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I pastor a church plant near Fort Campbell. I've always desired for our church to be a church for skeptics. When thoughtful soldiers come to the claims of Christ they are going to have questions.

Questions like...

  • Aren't there contradictions in the Bible?
  • Isn't Christianity just a psychological crutch?

It's important for the church to address the soldier's internal objections to Christianity with the highest degree of merit—instead of building a weak strawman argument.

Some soldier's objections to Christianity are...

  • "I've tried it before, and it did not work."
  • "I don't see how my life could be the result of the plan of a loving God."
  • "Christianity is a straightjacket."
  • "It can't be wrong if it feels so right."
  • "I could never keep it up."
  • "I don't feel worthy; I am too bad."
  • "I just can't believe."

I have found that there are four types of soldiers that have a hard time coming to Jesus.

 

1. The Patriotic Soldier

"I'm a red-blooded, flag-waving American—just like Jesus!"

Actually, Jesus wasn't an American...or a white man with blue eyes and blond hair...nor was he a black man. He was a Jewish man with brown skin and dark eyes. I tell you this because I believe that once you behold the biblical Jesus, you will find Him irresistible.

The Patriotic Soldier loves his country. He would die for his country. Sometimes, he comes from a long line of military men and women.

However, Jesus does not grant the military access to heaven because of their service. They have to bank their eternity in the empty tomb and the occupied throne just like everyone else.

Here's the hard truth to swallow: You could die on the battlefield and still go to hell.

 

2. The Moral Soldier

"I'm not like the guys in my unit."

"I don't party like them. I don't drink like them. I'm not them; I'm more moral."

The truth is, however, that your morality does nothing to gain the favor of God.

There is no one too bad for Jesus to save, but there are millions who think themselves too good!

God came to seek and to save those who are far away and those who think they are already in—like the moral soldier.

You may have your shirt starched and your dress blues on, but on your best day you are just a dressed-up sinner.

You must repent of your badness and your goodness! One old hymn puts it like this:

Lay your deadly doing down,

Down at Jesus' feet.

Stand in Him and Him alone,

Gloriously Complete.

 

3. The Tough Soldier

"I'm not weak like you. I don't need religion."

Soldiers are programmed for war. You know this. Some of you have to detox when you come back from deployment because you are in strike mode!

You may be like Jack Bauer—you may be one of the most physically and emotionally tough soldiers in your unit—but when you die you will see that there is another type of strength: spiritual strength.

 

4. The Hero Soldier

"I don't need a hero; I am the hero."

Actually, according the Bible, Jesus is the hero. He came on a search-and-rescue mission for you. He invaded time and space to save you—because you were not hero enough to save yourself.

Maybe you've taken a bullet or some shrapnel, but you've never faced anything like the wrath of God.

The Bible presents you with a problem you can't solve. It's a sin problem. You need the help of another. You need a Truer and a Better Hero. You need Jesus!


All four of these soldiers face obstacles they must overcome in coming to Christ. At Faith Family Church, we've seen God save all four of them. It is now such a joy to serve Christ alongside them.

Christianity Explained

 

Christianity Explained is an informative class that explains the basics of Christianity in 6 lessons using the Gospel of Mark.  There is no singing, prayer, or reading out loud.  Christians and non-Christians, seekers and skeptics will all benefit.  All are welcome!  Students receive a workbook and New Testament, free of charge.  If you want to examine the claims of Christ and the gospel in a friendly and low-pressure environment, this class is for you.  Contact christianityexplained.fortcampbell@outlook.com to schedule a class or for more information.  We offer the class at our church and on post at Fort Campbell, and we hope to soon offer it in the local community.

 

CHURCH

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We offer Christianity Explained at 9:00am on Sundays at:

Faith Family Church
495 Hugh Hunter Road
Oak Grove, KY  42262

Contact the email above to know when another 6-lesson class starts up.

 

ON POST

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Tuesday nights (beginning May 1)
6:45pm - 7:45pm
USO Conference Room
6145 Desert Storm Ave
Fort Campbell, KY  42223

Contact the email above to schedule another time.

 

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COMMUNITY

We are still looking for venues to provide this class in the community.

Putting God First - Read Diana's "I Am Going" story.

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  1. Tell us about yourself:
    I have been married to my husband Ryan for 5 years and we share a son together and are expecting our first daughter in April. I am a stay at home mom that has felt a strong calling to lead other women and set aside my own plans for my life for what God has for me. I also enjoy helping people to become healthy and confident with who God has created them to be and to live lives bearing the image of Christ.                             

  2. How did you come to FFC?      My husband and I were looking for a church that preached through books of the bible, that wasn't scared to speak the truth of God’s word, that felt like a true family, where worship wasn’t a performance, and where we could grow and serve others. We actually ended up coming after 3 times of exploring the church online and eventually having another pastor suggest it during our search!                 
  3. How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you grow?
    This type of preaching puts the focus on the Lord and learning His heart, therefor allowing His truth to change me and drive me to true repentance and change. It makes my relationship with the Lord so much more intimate because it becomes all about Him and it gives such confidence to know the truth and knowledge of scripture and to stand firm in what the Bible says.                                                                                                       

  4. What have you been reading recently? 
    I have been going through a study on 2 Corinthians by Kelly Minter, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by RC Sproul, What Did You Expect by Paul Tripp, and Ex-Muslim by Naeem Fazal.                                                                                                                             
  5. What are your passions when you aren’t doing your job as a stay at home mom?
    I thoroughly enjoy going to yoga or cycling, or teaching people how to eat healthy or feel confident making fitness a part of their every day lifestyle. I find that my hobbies are always centered around other people, whether it is a group fitness class, a bible study, or even traveling to fun places and exploring with my family. Although, sometimes I do enjoy my quiet times on the road riding my road bike!                                                                  
  6. What has God been teaching you lately?
    God has really been teaching me that it is great to be a person who prepares for things in life, makes plans, and is responsible, but when it comes down to it, I am not in total control of my life. I have to seek Him and listen and trust Him in the moments where I don't understand the complete picture of the situations in my life, or the times where my plans go out the window.                                                                                                         
  7. You put that you are going to “put God’s will above my own.” Tell us what that looks like for you…
    For me, it looks like getting to know the heart of God and always striving to align my every day choices with what He wants for me. It is laying down the plans that I have for my money, life, future, hobbies, habits, time, behaviors, and surrendering to what God is calling me to, even if it doesn’t make sense or it isn’t what I have planned for myself. I will continue to learn and grow in what it means to choose to do what God wills for me versus what I am driven to in my nature. Life is a constant battle between what I want and what I am called to, and when it comes down to it, God’s will is ALWAYS better than mine and when I trust Him and submit to Him, it never ceases to amaze me the grace upon grace that He gives so freely to those who trust in Him. 

12 Ways to Pray for Your Pastors

12 Ways to Pray for Your Pastor

 

1.    Pray they will revel in the Gospel. 

It’s easy for pastors to merely preach the Gospel and not experience it daily. Your pastor is desperately in need of the Gospel. The Gospel isn’t a door you once walked through, but a room you now live in. We never outgrow the Gospel. It’s not the ABCs – it’s the A to Z. 

 

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2.    Pray they will have a shepherd’s heart. 

God calls us sheep. Pastors are to lead like shepherds. Cattle are driven. Sheep are led. Pray your pastor will be a shepherd, not a cowboy (Jeremiah 3:15, John 21:17).

 

3.    Pray they will be encouraged and filled with hope. 

Pray for emotional strength for your pastor—that he would be able to bear the burdens of his congregation in a way that is healthy and reflective of the love of Jesus (Romans 1:12, 2 Corinthians 1:14).

 

4.    Pray they will be rested and healthy. 

Pray for pastors to be able to shut off the ministry engine at night and sleep. Pray for rest.

 

5.    Pray they will go after deep purity and holiness. 

Pray that they will experience a deep, honest cleansing before the Lord—that the Lord would not allow them to go long between repentances and that they would be ruthless with their sin.

 

6.    Pray the enemy will not win in their lives today. 

The devil will do all he can to destroy pastors. Ask God to guard them against Satan’s attacks.  

Pray for your pastor like he may be devoured by Satan at any moment.

 

7.    Pray they will not be distracted in their task. 

There are so many ways a pastor can get distracted – a critic, a messed up audio system, a low attendance . . . . ask God to give him an unflinching focus.

 

8.    Pray for their family. 

Pray that God would protect his family from the snares of the enemy and would comfort them as they do ministry alongside your pastor.

  • Pray for a healthy, joyful, Christ-exalting marriage. 
  • Pray for your pastor’s wife, that God would infuse her with strength (Philippians 4:13).
  • Pray for your pastor’s children, that God would save them at a young age and that they would find our Christ irresistible. 

 

9.    Pray they will have Christ-Centered friendships.

Pastoral ministry can be surprisingly lonely. Pastors need close friends who will encourage them, hold them accountable, and push them toward Christ.

 

10.  Pray they will have wisdom. 

Pray they will only go after projects that God has laid out before them. Pray for visionary, creative energy. Pray they will reject worldly ambition and go hard after Holy Ambitions. 

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Pastors want the church to grow, to reach the lost, to increase the finances, but without manipulation, compromise, or pragmatism. Pray for Biblical, doctrinal, and theological faithfulness (Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 4:16). 

 

11.  Pray they will be Spirit–Empowered. 

Do you want to be impacted by the sermon? Do you desire for God to invade the preaching event? Then pray desperately for your pastor. Pray that the Spirit would take his weak, feeble words, and transform them into a fiery spiritual weapon. 

No human eloquence or rhetoric can convince men dead in sin of the truth of God. The unquickened heart is impenetrable. Pray for the Breath of God. 

 

12.  Pray they will see Jesus as supremely valuable and their greatest treasure.

Preachers often struggle with feelings of failure after they step away from the pulpit. Mondays can be times of doubt and frustration for many ministers. Pray your pastor will go hard after Christ in these moments. Pray his affections will be captured by our Christ. 

 

 

 

Top 13 Things You Should Never Say to a Military Wife

Let's get to know military wives:

  • Military wives typically pack all their things and move every 3 years.
  • Most are very young. The average age of a military wife in our church is 25.
  • On average, they have 2 children under the age of 5.
  • If all the military wives lived in one state, it would have a larger population than Wyoming or Vermont.
  • Over 250,000 will pillow their heads tonight without their husbands next to them.

Being a military wife can be challenging (especially during deployments), but dealing with people's ignorance can be even harder. Here are 13 things you should never say to a military wife, along with how the gospel sustains us when someone does.

1. "Why are you crying? You chose this life!"

Let us vent. We don't need you to remind us that we knew about deployments coming in to this. We need an ear—and a shoulder to cry on.

  • "My husband has not met our newest child."
  • "He missed our oldest's first footsteps."
  • "We will not be together on Christmas."

I don't need you to tell me to "Suck it up, Buttercup." I will do that. I will go into "Single Mom Mode" and do what needs to be done, but right now I need a friend.

The Gospel: I don't always live in Barbie Fairytopia. Sometimes I hurt, I bleed, and I need some help getting through life, but I have found comfort in the healing balm of the gospel.

2. "Has your husband ever killed anyone?"

Our husbands have had to make tough decisions and do some very difficult things to protect our freedom and the freedom of others. Let's just leave it at that.

The Gospel: We believe firmly in the Imago Dei (Latin for "Image of God") and the Augustinian Just War Theory. We don't believe they conflict. We do not believe that "Just War" is an assault on the image of God, but a defense of it!

3. "Aren't you afraid he will get killed?"

Why? Why would you ask this?

Sometimes people lack even more tact and say, "I hope your husband doesn't get blown up."

Of course I know the dangers, but I try not to focus on the worst-case scenarios.

The Gospel: Following Jesus can get you killed. That can happen if you follow Him into a desk job or into a military job. I believe you are not ready to live until you know what you your willing to die for. We are banking our hope in the next life—not this one. Jesus can put "blown up" people back together. We have hope in a resurrection.

4. "I could never be away from my husband that long. I don't know how you do it!"

I know this is intended as a compliment, but it comes off sounding dismissive. I don't have special DNA that makes it easier for me to deal with my husband's absence.

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The Gospel: Jesus promises a grace that is sufficient in my dark days. That grace won't show up before I need it; it shows up when I need it. I'm telling you there is nothing you could imagine that the Lord wouldn't hold you up under.

5. "Don't you get lonely?"

This is probably the most common question. We try to stay in close communication with our husbands through phone calls, texts, and Facetime.

The Gospel: Jesus is a sympathetic High Priest. Jesus knows—and when He sees me battered and banged up, He's sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for me.

6. "My husband just left for a 9-day work trip. I totally know what you are going through. You want to struggle through this together?"

I am not sure if those two are even in the same atmosphere, but I would love to struggle through this with you 😀

The Gospel: I have found that God brings Christ-centered friendships into my life to help sustain me in these times. Gospel friendships are powerful because they have a means by which to deal with conflict—the gospel. Most of these relationships are found through a local church.

7. "I bet you can't wait until he gets out?!?"

Doesn't it sound like my husband is in prison? 😀

Leaving the military has its own set of unknowns, including where to live and what career to pursue post military. It's a little like starting over—at retirement age.

The Gospel: Our family has determined not to find our worth from our occupation. We love the military, but the military does not define us. I am not what I do. I am who I am in Christ. We are human beings, not human doings. When our occupation changes, we will not change.

8. "Why don't you move back home while he's deployed?"

I actually don't enjoy packing up those U-Haul trailers.

I want to keep my children in the current routine: getting up for school, homework after dinner, soccer games on Saturday, ballet on Thursday, and church on Sunday.

The Gospel: My ultimate comfort is not found in a certain city or a certain house—it's found in Christ.

9. "Do you think he is being faithful to you while he is gone?"

"I heard a lot of men cheat with female soldiers while they are deployed. Aren't you worried about that?"

The Gospel: We are ferocious about protecting and improving our marriage. Some marriages are going to be hard!

On a scale of 1 to 10, some marriages, at their best, are a 4. But we lean into grace. We lean into the promise. We lean into what God is displaying in our marriage. We don't punt easily.

10. "Don't worry! This deployment will go by so fast. Can you pass the popcorn?"

After I dump this popcorn on top of your head, I would like to explain that it actually doesn't go by fast. Not faster than strep throat, not faster than morning sickness, not faster than any other thing.

The Gospel: The gospel gives me grace to repent from bad attitudes 😀

11. "Are you planning a vacation to Afghanistan to see him?"

Yes. Next week. Will you come with me? 😀

12. "You must be used to this."

  • At one base, I'm "one of the moms"; at the next one, "I don't know anyone here."
  • My children have met their best friends here. Now, we are leaving.
  • Always resettling is something you never get used to.

13. "How do you go such a long period without having sex?"

Does it seem like this is a question that's a tad too personal? Nevertheless, it keeps rolling out of people's mouths.

The Gospel: Our marriage is bigger than us. It is a shadow to a greater reality. It's just the preview before the main event. Our waiting reflects an even greater waiting—when the bride of Christ is united to her Groom.

Military Families & Adoption

Rick and Jessica (not their real names) walked into our service for the first time on Orphan Sunday. During that service, I unpacked God's love for the orphan from the scriptures.

To our surprise, and to the surprise of Rick and Jessica, God would lead them that day to begin the process of fostering to adopt. When I see those kids, I immediately remember hearing their parents say that first Sunday, "God is leading us to foster, and He confirmed it today in the service."

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One of the amazing things about our church is the adoption culture that runs throughout it. We have had many military families who have adopted internationally and domestically.

Sarah and I are also on an adoption journey.

When we told our daughter Everly that we were going to adopt, she said, "I want a sister." (She already has two brothers—we feel her pain.) Our son Weston wanted to trade in his little brother for a Korean. We told him it didn't work like that.

With the uncertainty of the military life and the constant moving, why would any military family want to adopt?

That's an excellent question. We have found that many military families are motivated by the same reasons that we are.

Here's why we are choosing to adopt!

1. We are motivated by theology, not biology.

Most people assume that infertility is the chief reason for adoption. We didn't know when we were first married if we would be able to have biological children because Sarah had had leukemia when she was a child. The doctors had warned her that the treatments may have affected whether she could have children. We always knew this, and we kept adoption on the back burner. Fast forward 9.5 years, and we now have three amazing biological children.

Biology is not our motivation; theology is. We are adopting because we were adopted. Spiritually, God adopted us and brought us into His family—not because we were good, but because He is gracious. We had nothing to offer—nothing to bring to the table—and He still said, "I'll make you my child" (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). God is an adoptive Father!

2. We are motivated by the Global Orphan Crisis.

There are 153 million orphans in the world. If orphans made up the population of a country, they would be the 9th largest in the world.

Many of these kids end up aging out of the system. 60% of the girls who age out become prostitutes. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

We can turn our heads, plug our ears, and walk away, but that doesn't change reality. Life can quickly become very indulgent and very narrow. The global orphan crisis bothers us because it bothers our Heavenly Father.

3. We are motivated by exposure.

We met orphans, and it changed us! We have close friends who have adopted internationally from the Congo and from South Korea. Other friends are providing traditional foster care or are adopting domestically. We have family members and friends who have helped to start orphanages in the Philippines and in Cambodia.

My wife has been exposed to orphans since she was young. I did not have that exposure until the past couple of years. I thought I was a pretty spiritual person. I could name famous pastors and theologians and had the privilege of meeting a few of them. I could name all types of theology books—but I could not name an orphan. That bothered me!

God has a plan to care for orphans—His people! When we deserved to be left lying in our sin—spiritual orphans—God Himself came and adopted us.

Are you Ready to Get to the Gospel at your Church?

READY?

Are you ready to get to the gospel with the person on your pew?  Let’s not be surprised that religious people show up at places where the Scriptures are read and preached and where God’s people gather to pray and praise Him [1].  Let’s not assume that the person sitting next to us knows the God whose rules they are trying to keep.  Let’s listen for opportunities at church, whether it is a message that is preached, a prayer that is prayed, or a song that is sung that would give us opportunities to ask gospel questions. Then, let’s be ready with our Bible to get to the gospel with our religious friend.

This is the second of three blogs where we are considering some ways we can get to the gospel with people we know. Becoming familiar with the following passage of Scripture in order to walk through it in a question-and-answer format is one possible way to get set to get to the gospel with someone who is counting on the things that they do or don’t do to make them right with God.

 

SET.

1) Get to know their understanding of the gospel- You are both hearing the same sermons, singing the same songs, participating on some level in similar ways in the life of the church.  It would seem natural that the gospel would be a part of your church conversations.  In other words, if the gospel is being faithfully preached at your church, it should not be difficult to bring it up in conversation.

 

2) Get to know your Bible- Become familiar with some bible passages that demonstrate the error of self-righteousness and the need for Christ’s righteousness. Luke 18:9-14 and Philippians 3:3-9 are good places to start. If it becomes plain through conversation that your friend is counting on their own righteousness, ask if you can share a bible passage that was helpful to you (if it was helpful). Have your friend read Luke 18:9-14. Then, go back and walk through the text as follows:

  • Ask– To whom is Jesus telling this parable? v.9
  • Answer– To those who think they are basically good people
  • Say– We can see the parable contrasts a Pharisee (a very religious person) and a tax collector (a person everyone would know as an obvious sinner).

 

  • Ask– What do you notice about the Pharisee’s prayer? v.11-12
  • Answer– He considers himself a good person.
  1.  He compares himself to other men (wrong standard).
  2. He talks to God about the bad things he does not do.
  3. He talks to God about the good things he does do.
  • Ask– hat do you notice about the tax collector’s prayer? v.13
  • Answer– He knows he is not a good person.
  1. He has a posture of sorrow- eyes down, beating his breast.
  2. He pleads with God for mercy.
  • Ask- What is the result? v.14
  • Answer–
  1. The one who believe he was good went home still in his sins.
  2. The one who knew he was a sinner and cried out to God for mercy, went home right with God.
  3. Get to the gospel!
  • Ask– Where do you see yourself in this text? How come?

If your friend identifies with the Pharisee ask:

Are you willing to humble yourself, admit that you are a sinner, and cry out to God for mercy?

 

  • Say– Jesus lived the righteous life you failed to live, died on the cross to take the punishment you deserved, and rose from grave.
  • Say– If you will turn from your sin and trust Jesus alone to save you, God will forgive all your sins and count Jesus’ righteous life as belonging to you.
  1. If your friend identifies with the tax collector ask him to tell you about it.
  2. Make sure his testimony is one that expresses humble dependence on the mercy of God expressed in repentance of sin and faith in Christ alone.

 

GO!

  1. Go to church ready to hear the gospel and speak the gospel.
  2. Go pray for gospel opportunities at church.
  3. Go prepare for those opportunities with your Bible.
  • Memorize the questions and statements that go with Luke 18:9-14 from the above section.
  • Practice walking through these verses with someone until you are comfortable.
  • Consider where your friends might have questions and how you might answer them.

 

[1] Stott, John.  The Spirit, the Church, and the World. IVP, 1990, p. 312. 

Meet Tammie and read her "I Am Going" story.

1.  Tell us about yourself.
I am Tammie and have lived in Kentucky my entire life.  I have been married to the most amazing man, Rob, for 18 years.  We have 6 kids that we are very proud of and 4 grandkids that keep our lives very exciting.


2.  How did you come to Faith Family Church?
God brought us to Faith Family at a time when we were searching for a church to call home.  We had visited churches for about 4 months before walking in FFC and immediately knew this was where we were being led.


3.  How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you grow?
I have learned so much in the brief time that I have been exposed to this type of teaching.  Every teaching is tied back to the Scripture and is presented on a level that everyone understands.


4.  What books have you been reading lately?
Fervent by Priscilla Shirer


5.  When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing?  What are your other passions?
I stay active by refereeing soccer all year long.  Rob and I play volleyball a couple of times a week which I enjoy since we do that together.  We love spending time with our kids and grandkids whenever we can.  Friday night is always date night and we like going out and trying different restaurants.


6.  What has God been teaching you lately?
He is definitely working to teach me to be patient with other people.  I can be somewhat of a perfectionist and I expect that from the other people around me.  I am a work in progress.

 

7.  You put that you are going to "Serve in the Local Church."  What does that look like for you?
To me, serving in the local church is doing what needs to be done to further God's kingdom.  That can mean running the projector on Sunday mornings or making sure the church is cleaned each week.  
 

Are you Ready for Unplanned Time?

Ready?

6,566 looks like an ordinary number. It is not. It is the approximate number of days you will have with your children from birth to age 18. 

6,566 is not an ordinary number. It represents a childhood.

You will not always be setting an agenda for every moment in those 6,566 days, but you will always be setting a tone, a climate, or an environment that says, “This is what it is like to live for Jesus”.  That is a big deal. Because it is a big deal your unplanned time should not be unexamined time.  You should give considerable thought to what your children are “catching” about what it means to be a Christian, and what practical steps you can take to be READY for unplanned time.

 

 

SET.

Here are few ways to get SET for unplanned time with your kids:

1. Have planned time where you intentionally teach the truths of the faith in appropriate child-sized portions.

2. Plan unplanned time. What we have found is that God often graciously uses unplanned time to providentially bring to the forefront something we have been teaching or doing in our planned time.  These can be powerfully impactful moments in the life of your children. They will see that God is indeed real in the lives. So, intentionally set aside time where you are just going to be around.  

3. Get settled on a few  tone-setting, climate-establishing, vision-casting, this-is-what-it-means-to-live-for- Jesus categories that you want your kids to “catch” from you. You might consider the following list as a place to start:

  • In all things I want them to see me Depend on God
  • In all things I want them to see me Delight in God
  • In all things I want them to see me Demonstrate God’s goodness
  • In all things I want them to hear me and see me Declare God’s praises

 

GO!

Here are few steps you can take today no matter where you are in your 6,566 days.

1. Go get yourself prepared to have planned time- In his book Intentional Parenting, Tad Thompson offers the following practical steps

  • Commit to reading the Bible from cover to cover in the next ninety days
  • Commit to reading one book a year from each of the following categories

                                               i.     The Gospel

                                             ii.     The Big Story (Biblical Theology)

                                            iii.     The Big Truths (Systematic Theology)

                                            iv.     The Great Commission

                                              v.     Spiritual Disciplines

                                            vi.     Christian Living

                                           vii.     Worldview

  • Discuss with other Christian parents
  • Commit to a church that values expositional preaching
  • Begin to share and model at home what you are learning

 

2. Go get honest about the tone you are setting in your house. Ask your spouse about it. Listen without defending yourself.  Compare it to the tone you want to set.

3. Go get alone with the Lord after that conversation. Repent where you need to repent. Seek wisdom where you need to seek wisdom. Give thanks where you need to give thanks.

4. Go get your calendar and plan some unplanned time with your kids.  Plan some regular tone checks with your spouse.

 

Each one of the 6,566 days are urgent, and cumulatively they take endurance. Are you ready? Commit to getting yourself set because God has given you the responsibility to protect and prepare your children. Do not neglect to pray fervently and persistently.  God is sovereign.  Not one effort of yours will bring your children to faith in Christ or bear fruit for Christ outside of His saving, sanctifying work in their lives.

Go enjoy the 6,566. They are a gift!

 

Meet Jalen & read his "I Am Going" Story.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I'm Jalen Cruz. I have a loving and beautiful wife named Samantha. We have a daughter named Nailah and a pit bull named Sasha. I am 22 years old and currently a soldier in the United States Army. I was born and raised in New York along with my wife. I enjoy spending quality family time to include walks, running, sports and taking our daughter to the park. We came to Christ for our daughter.

 

2. How did you hear about Faith Family Church?

I came to Faith Family through a really good friend of mine at work. His name is Gavin O'berry. His wife Briana had told my wife about this church in Oak Grove and invited us. When we arrived we were so welcomed. The feeling was like no other. Coming from a military background and being away from home, it felt like home.

 

3. How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you to grow?

Before attending Faith Family, I attended a Catholic Church. I knew I believed in God, but never really understood church or the Gospel. I always thought that by following the ten commandments and going to church every Sunday that I was going to heaven. Clearly, I was a so called "rookie."

Once I attended Faith Family, my knowledge has grown about God and who He really is. I came to Christ while attending Faith Family. From that moment on my life changed. I knew I had to be the head of the household and love my wife as God loved the church. God has done a "good number" on my heart.

 

4. What books have you been reading lately? 

The Song of Solomon
The book of Romans
Rediscovering Jesus by Matthew Kelly
Awaken Love by Kyle and Desirae Idleman

 

5. When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing? (What are your other passions?) 

I look forward to spending time with my family. The army causes me to be away from them for long periods of time, so I like to enjoy as much time as possible with them.

 

 

6.You put that you are going to "Serve My Country." Tell us what that looks for you.

Because He came to me, I am going to serve my country. That means that I will sacrifice my own well being for the benefit of my country. While doing that, I will spread the Gospel to those who desperately need Him, I will teach it to my fellow battle buddies, and express to them that God cares and loves them.

 

Meet Taylor & read his "I Am Going" story.

1. Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Taylor Carmichael. I was raised in Illinois where I went to college and graduated from Army Reserve Officer Training Program. Now, I am an Army cavalry officer here at Fort Campbell. This last January I married my life love, Rachel, and we continue to establish ourselves here as a new couple. Fun times!

 

2. How did you come to Faith Family Church? 

Rachel and I both believe God has provided us with Faith Family Church and the relationships we’ve had here. Our initial church search was frustrating because we couldn’t find one that met our priorities. It’s sad to know there are churches out there that don’t really pursue the heart of God or try to apply His will in life.

 

3. How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you to grow?

This kind of teaching is CRUCIAL because we have to separate the true God of the Bible from the god of our hearts. The reality of the Gospel is real and the reality of God is real. We have to be true and honest to the text in its proper context to uphold that.

 

4. What have you been reading recently?

  • Platoon Leader (James R. McDonough)
  • Naked Economics (Charles Wheelan)
  • Global Missions Handbook: A Guide for Crosscultural Service (Steve Hoke, Bill Taylor)
  • Team of Rivals (Doris Goodwin)
  • Seven Arrows (Matt Rogers, Donny Mathis)

 

5. When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing? (What are your other passions?)

I love being adventurous, traveling, and having fun with Rachel.  I enjoy reading when I have the brain power for it; video games are a nice break as well. The Army side of me likes shooting at the range, exercising, and hiking.

 

6. What has God been teaching you lately?

God has been teaching me that as Christians, he has a very high expectation of us, as his chosen children. We are holy and precious in his sight, not by our acts, but by the acts of Jesus and what he did to reestablish our broken relationships with God. I’ve been learning that the Holy Spirit leads us and directs us, but the forces from below are also trying to trick us and misguide us. I’ve been learning how to distinguish between the voices of each of them, which enables me to have clarity in seeking the real will of God.

 

7. You put that you are going to "Make Jesus Famous." Tell us what that looks for you.

I have a passion for impacting dark places, because Jesus has impacted me in a dark place. So making Jesus famous means putting myself on the line for others as Jesus did for me, all to God’s credit and fame. What does this look like practically? Well joining the Army has become a part of this mentality and goal—serving others in a dark place. Additionally, Rachel and I are looking at doing international humanitarian missions abroad in broken places after my time in the Army with these goals in mind.

Are you Ready for Sunday?

“READY? SET. GO!”

READY?

 Let’s imagine the perfect pre-church Sunday morning just happened.  All kids are clean. All kids are fed. The one who usually wears the mismatched socks, unprompted asks his fashionable older sister to help him pick out clothes. She decides not to experiment. The keys are in your hand. The kids are in their seats. The gas guage is on “F”. You are off.  

You pull into the church parking lot in enough time that if everyone followed your lead, usher unemployment would hit an all-time high. Here is the question: Even if all of this were to happen---- Are you ready for church? Are your ready to worship the Living God?

1.     Are you ready to Sing praises to Him?

2.     Are you ready to Sit under the preaching of His word?

3.     Are you ready to Stir up His people to love and good works?

There are plenty of things you and I will likely do to get ready for church this Sunday. How many of those things will fall outside the realm of hygiene, food, and fashion? How many of them will happen on a day other than Sunday?  Why should we care?

 

SET

Important things happen when the church meets. We are worshipping an eternal God. We are hearing preaching that God uses to impact the eternities of men and women and boys and girls.   We are helping each other fight the fight of faith. Important things happen when the church meets because things of eternal consequence happen when the church meets. How can we get ourselves set for such a thing as Sunday? Here are some suggestions:

1.     We can get ourselves set for Sunday by pursuing deep knowledge of God in His word Monday through Saturday so that our praise will be the overflow of hearts that have been filled with truth about God (Colossians 3:16). We can avoid being mouth-movers on Sunday by being heart-fillers Monday through Saturday.

2.     We can get ourselves set for Sunday by praying that our pastor will preach in such a way that he helps God’s people think His thoughts after Him. We can pray that the Lord will show us wondrous things in His word that will stir our hearts to joyful obedience (Psalm 119:18, James 1:22).

3.     We can get ourselves set for Sunday by pursuing deeper relationships with people and a wider understanding of God’s word so that our counsel and encouragement will spring from love that is rooted in truth (Colossians 3:16).

Now let’s imagine your Monday through Saturday looked something like the above…and then Sunday morning arrives. This time the fashionable older sister decides she will experiment. You can’t find your keys or the kids...at least initially. It is a hygiene, food, and fashion fiasco.  Even if all of this were to happen--- you are ready to GO. Below are some ways we can put one foot in front of the other when we GO.

 

GO

1.     Go with your heart already as full as possible with the word of God, so that when the unique experience of corporate worship begins you simply cannot hold back your joyful thanksgiving and praise.

2.      Go with the knowledge that when the word is read and preached you are hearing from God.  Let that knowledge impact the attention you give to preaching.  Go home and talk about the sermon with your family. Go find someone in your church of the same gender with whom you can talk about the sermon.  Pray prayers prompted by the passage that was preached. Go be a doer of the word.

3.     Go with some truth written down or memorized from your time in God’s word. Go with a commitment to listen to the people the Lord puts in your path this week. Go with an ear toward encouraging those people toward love and good works. Go early. Stay late. Ask simple questions related to the things of the Lord like:

a.     What did you read in your Bible this week?

b.     Is there anything I can pray about for you?

c.     How are things going in your walk with the Lord?

Are you ready for such a thing as Sunday? Are you ready to gather with your church? Get yourself set. Then---Go!

I Use "My Cancer" to Share "My Christ"

1) Tell us about yourself.

I’m Chadrick Larry Sr. My wife De'Shaundra and I are retired military. Both of us were born and raised in Texas. We have 3 beautiful children. Each day, I enjoy experiencing their individual uniqueness. My hobbies are wide spread, but no water sports. ;)

 

 

2) What have you been reading recently?

  • Experiencing God by Henry T. Blackaby
  • Five Points: Towards A Deeper Experience of God’s Grace by John Piper

 

3) When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing? (What are your other passions?)

I am currently battling cancer. I receive an experimental treatment two times a week. So being strong spiritually, mentally, physically is very important to me. My wife is my best friend and we enjoy every moment with each other.

My hobbies are widespread…being a foodie is one. We love trying new foods. We are always dipping and dabbing into new digs around and out of town.

Reserving my energy for my children is a priority. I love to play with them. Friday through Sundays, I enjoy watching movies with them. We have a small place, but I have attempted to place the Regal Cinema in our living room! :) 

4) You are GOING to "Share Your Testimony"! Tell us what that looks for you.

I use MY CANCER to share MY CHRIST! 

Even when the doctors tell me, “This is impossible. I’m sorry it’s out of our hands.” I know it’s in God’s hand. God is faithful. 

I Am Going to Disciple My Child

1. Tell us about yourself. 

 

I am Samantha Cruz. My husband Jalen and I have a beautiful, outgoing, and precious daughter, Nailah. I am a U.S. Air Force veteran and my husband is an active duty soldier for the U.S. Army. We were both born and raised in New York.  We love spending time with each other by going for walks, wrestling with our daughter, and laughing at each other until we're both in tears. We came to Christ for our daughter.

 

2. How did you come to Faith Family Church? 

 

We came to Faith Family by our good friends, the O’berrys. Jalen and Gavin were in the same unit, so Briana and I became good friends. She sent me a text inviting us to church the Sunday of February 28th. I will never forget the feeling I felt when I walked through those doors. I felt like I was home. Being military, that’s a hard feeling to capture.

 

3. How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you to grow?

 

Before I attended Faith Family, I had only gone to church a couple of times. So, my knowledge of the Bible was slim to none. Once I became a Christian, I did not know what to do next so I joined a couple of growth groups. I was taught how to pray, how to read the Bible, and how to physically live for Christ. Everything I know today about our Lord is because God has placed me in these amazing growth groups.

 

4. What have you been reading recently?

 

      A Little God Time for Mothers by BroadStreet Publishing

      Seamless by Angie Smith

      Book of Philippians

      Book of Genesis

 

5. When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing? (What are your other passions?)

 

I am a homemaker, so I am always home. I really enjoy being a wife and a mom. Seeing my husband come home from a long day at work and get trampled by our daughter and dog is a beautiful sight to see. I love seeing my daughter learn new things and I enjoy watching cartoons with her on the couch while eating cheerios. I also enjoying running outside with my daughter in a jogging stroller.  

 

6. What has God been teaching you lately?

 

Being in the Word a lot more, the Lord has been teaching me how to love like Him. Letting go of past situations and forgiving those who have hurt me because Christ forgives me for all of my sins.

 

7. You put that you are going to "Disciple Nailah." Tell us what that looks for you.

 

Because He came to me I am going to disciple my child. That means I will be teaching my daughter everything I learn about our Lord and Savior so when God calls her to accept him, she will be ready.

Because He Came...We Are Going!

A few months ago, I challenged our church to spend 2% of their lives each year on a foreign mission field. That works out to be about one week a year. Here is what we've found...that 2% of your life will radically transform the other 98%.

 

 

Many churches have a good program to reach the reached – and no program to reach the unreached. Some of our church's opportunities for GOING will be to "reached" areas and some will be to "unreached" areas of the world. We're thrilled to announce that one of these trips will be GOING to the country of Honduras next June.

 

May God wreck our comfortable Christianity and send us to the nations. His Gospel is more important than our comforts. John Falconer would add,

“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.”

 

At Faith Family Church, we have a motto and a vision. It goes like this:

Faith Family Church is a Great Commission church, which means that every ministry is a Great Commission ministry, every growth group is a Great Commission growth group, every nursery a Great Commission nursery, every child's class a Great Commission child’s class, and by God’s grace, every member a Great Commission member. We GO because He CAME!

 

*We are indebted to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for this emphasis and idea. We are also encouraging our people to enroll in the SEBTS Great Commission Certificate Training Program. You will be hearing more about it in the future, but until then check out more details here http://cert.sebts.edu.

Four Ways to Invest in God’s Work

Faith Family Church believes that giving is a biblical principle established by God. We are to give generously (2 Cor. 9:7–8), cheerfully (Matt. 6:1–4), and regularly (1 Cor. 16:2).

We give for two reasons: 1) to obey the command 2) to protect our hearts from the slavery of materialism.

Here are four ways to give: 

1.     Campus Giving

Place your gifts in an offering basket during any worship service. The church at Philippi (a church plant just like us) gave generously, sacrificially, and cheerfully. What moved them to give? They treasured Jesus above all. 

 

2.     Online Giving

There are two ways to give online: a one-time gift or a reoccurring gift. There are many advantages to scheduling your reoccurring gift. Here are few:

 

  • Convenience

When you sign up to give online you are deciding in advance to faithfully give. You can set up a recurring contribution that is scheduled to come out of your account on the day you specify.

 

  • Simplicity

You won’t have to remember whether you gave this month or send in an offering by mail when you’re on a trip.

 

  • Transparency

You have the ability to quickly see your online giving history directly through our giving portal instead of having to contact our Finance Department for a personalized report.

 

 

3.     “Matching Gift Campaign” Giving

A matching gift represents a gift that is contingent (dependent on the gifts of other donors) on one or more specific projects.

 

For example: "We have received a matching gift pledge from one of our loyal donors, who has committed to match gifts received by December 31 up to $50,000 for the building fund. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to double your gift to our ministry.”

 

4.     Non-cash Giving

Some of you may be interested in donating assets like: stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, or real property.

Some Christians have committed to making their biggest contribution at the end of their lives. This is possible by naming Faith Family Church as a beneficiary on their life-insurance policy.

 

Meet Rob & read his "I am going" story.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I am originally from Michigan, moved to Kentucky (by way of a 7-year stop in Indiana) through my job. The company I worked for at the time had a plant in Glasgow, KY which I was transferred to. That is where I met my wonderful wife, Tammie, who I have been married to since 1998. We have 6 children between us: Robert, Samantha, Amanda, Jessica, Matthew, and Michael. We also have 4 grandchildren: Mikayla, Jaylyn, Jackson, and Katharina.

 

2. How did you come to Faith Family Church?

TOTAL God thing. We visited many churches. There was nothing WRONG with any of them, we just didn’t feel that any of them were where we were supposed to be. The first time we came to Faith Family was actually a week we originally had planned to visit another church. Miraculously (pun intended!) that church cancelled due to weather. Some friends called and said they were going to visit Faith Family and asked if we wanted to come also. We did, and from that day on, we knew that Faith Family is where God led us to attend.

 

3. How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you to grow?

Theology certainly is important. Bad theology leads to bad decisions.

 

4. When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing? (What are your other passions?)

Seeing my wonderful wife. We have (at minimum) a weekly date night, but we just enjoy being with each other regardless of what we are doing. We also love having the kids/grandkids come by and visit. I like music, both listening to it and playing it.

 

5. What has God been teaching you lately?

God has really reinforced to me that the church is not a country club, and that our relationships with other Christians should be more than sharing a couple hours together on a Sunday morning in the same building. I’ve always known that of course, but it has really been eye-opening recently.

Church is not a Country Club.

6. You put that you are going to “Serve In The Local Church.” Tell us what that looks for you.

For me, part of that is using the musical gifts that God has given me by being a part of leading worship with music. But it is much more than that. Serving means doing what needs to be done if you have the ability to do so. God doesn’t give us abilities to keep them to ourselves. We are to use them for Him. That may mean helping someone in need, that may mean filling in to lead a small group, that may mean sharing your life experience and how God brought you through situations, that may mean repairing a wall, and the list goes on. It also means trying to live as an example for others, mentoring those that may be at a different place in their walk. I hope I am up to the challenge!

"Because He Came...I Am Going to Mentor Woman"

1. Tell us about yourself. 

I'm Karen. I am originally from Hopkinsville although I lived in Houston for nine years, where I met my wonderful husband Doug. We have been married for 28 years. I come from a large, loving family and am the third of six children. I work at a local nursing home, helping residents and their families through the often confusing and difficult process of dealing with insurance and obtaining medical assistance for long-term care. God prepared me for this job while my mother was a resident in this same nursing home. He used a very difficult time in my life to uniquely equip me to help others through this difficult time in their lives.

 

2. How did you come to Faith Family Church?

My husband and I are part of the original group that planted Faith Family with a desire to reach the unchurched military families and equip them to leave us as missionaries as they go to wherever the Army sends them next. I am so grateful for the sweet families I have been able to meet and love, but I hate when they have to leave us.

3. How has the Christ-centered, expositional teaching helped you to grow?

The way that scripture is explained by our elders helps me to better understand how awesome God is and how He wants me to serve. I've come to understand that the culture and historical settings make the Bible come alive.

 

4. What have you been reading recently?

Jesus in the Present Tense: The I AM Statements of Christ by Warren Weirsbe

....A great study of what the I AM statements mean for us.

 

Seven Arrows by Matt Rogers and Donny Mathis

....this teaches you how to study the Bible and apply it to your life.

 

Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer

....a Christian fiction novel set in Copenhagen during the Nazi occupation.

 

5. When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing? (What are your other passions?)

I look forward to spending time with Doug. On the weekends we like to go for a drive in the country and find interesting and beautiful things to take photograph. I also love to can and bake. 

 

6. You put that you are going to Mentor ladies. Tell us what that looks for you.

The Bible says in Titus 2:3-5 that older women should teach younger women to love their husbands and children to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.

I am doing this by leading a women's small group each week.  I love helping them to understand who God is and what He wants from them.

I also work with a lot of younger women and strive to live my life in such a way that points them to Jesus. I use the opportunities God gives me to share my faith with them and give them Godly advice. 

One of my most treasured times of teaching younger women was when I had the opportunity to teach young pastors wives in Honduras what it meant to be a Godly wife. 

"I am Going" to Reach the World

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m Mark! I’m in my 50s, happily married to my lovely wife, Tambra, for 36 years. We have two daughters, Rachel and Brianna. We also have two grandchildren, Melissa and Michael. For fun, I love to hike and be outdoors or on the lakes. I also love to travel. As a hobby, I write fiction. Oh yes, I also play the drums a bit.

 

2. What have you been reading recently?

  • The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist by Andy Bannister
  • Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
  • Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi

 

3. What has God been teaching you lately?

To be aware of both the wonderful, miraculous things He is doing around me every day and the opportunities He is opening for me to share my faith.

God gives me opportunities to share my faith

4. You put that you are going to “Reach the World”. Tell us what that looks for you.

First, it means to reach MY world (locally).

Secondly, it means doing what I can to help reach the unreached.