Week of 2.16.20

This Week’s Passage: Psalm 127
 
Use this daily guide to help you internalize this week’s passage & message!
 
Sunday [KNOW]:
In a journal, reflect on today’s sermon by finishing any or all of the following:
I never knew…
I was reminded…
A question I still have…
I was challenged…
I was convicted…
A truth I could share is…
 
Monday [KNOW>BE]
Spend some time today doing the following:
  1. Select a portion of this week’s sermon passage to memorize this week.
  2. Write your selected portion and read it to yourself throughout the day today.
 
Tuesday [Be]:
In a journal, spend some time meditating and writing about the following:
  1. Read the sermon passage again.
  2. Write a prayer of response, guided by the sermon passage. (May include adoration, confession/repentance, thanksgiving, petition, etc.).
  3. Write your selected portion of the Scripture several times to aid in memorization.
 
 
Wednesday [BE>DO]:
Think about this week’s questions for group discussion.
  1. How do you see the reality of the warnings from this week’s passage as relevant to our culture today?
  2. How much does the idea of legacy play a role in the way you view your home? How would you want that legacy to be shaped? What would be most important, and are you moving toward those things?
  3. If you attended the marriage retreat this weekend, briefly share with your group your greatest couple of take-always.
 
Thursday [DO]:
In a journal, spend some time considering the following:
  1. What insights have you had while internalizing this week’s passage?
  2. How specifically will you seek to apply its truths in your home/workplace/life in general?

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Marriages Matter

“As go marriages so go families; as go families so go churches; as go churches so go communities; as go communities so go states; as go states so go nations; as go nations so go entire civilizations.” (Gary J. Oliver, Ph.D.)

Several years ago our church members approved and put in place a marriage/wedding policy that states, Marriage is a high and holy relationship in the eyes of God. The church has a tremendous opportunity to minister to couples and families through the process of courtship, pre-martial counseling, wedding preparation and the wedding itself.  This wedding policy is established to recognize the scriptural standards for marriage and uphold them.
 
The document communicates to our members and the community Westwood’s position and policies concerning the institution of marriage and the availability of the Westwood staff and facilities for weddings. It covers several aspects of a Biblical understanding of marriage, what it is, who can be married, and how our church and pastors will be involved in the planning and celebration of Christian marriage. 
 
We want to be certain, as best as we can, that marriages start off in the right way.  But what about after the wedding?  How are we as a church doing in ministering to the couples in our church when it comes to the ongoing, day-to-day work of marriage? (And it is work – as anyone who has been married for a significant period of time will tell you!)
 
The sad reality is that many churches do very little to intentionally strengthen and equip couples to have Christ-centered, satisfying, and long-lasting marriages.   Here at Westwood we don’t want to be one of those churches.  Our deepest desire is that Westwood be a church that comes alongside the marriages within our church, and strives with them to be the kind of marriages that are a testimony to who Christ is and the difference that He can make in a marriage, the kind of marriages that will truly impact this generation for the gospel.
 

During February five Westwood couples will celebrate a combined 221 years of faithful marriage!  Richard and Jan Overguard will celebrate 63 years on Feb 23. Gail & Phyllis Clayton have been married 51 years as of Feb 2. Gene and Pat Roz will celebrate their 50th anniversary on Feb 27. Brinn and Linda Clayton have been newlyweds for 30 years on Feb 17. Jeff and Jill Frisbee celebrate 27 years on Feb. 19. Their are others this month not counted in that total: Earl & Donna Gurtner (6), Josh and Susan Bailey (19). We are thankful for each of these families and pray that there will be many more like them!   As a church we are called to do all we can to see that happen. 

Healthy marriages are absolutely essential for healthy families and help provide a solid foundation for Westwood to be a healthy, vital, and vibrant church that make a generational impact.   Our church’s mission statement of Grounded, Growing and Going applies to the marriages of our church in profound ways. 

 

Grounded: We want to help individuals and married couples continue to develop deeper gospel foundations that allow us to meet each challenge facing our marriages with spiritual wisdom and understanding.

 

Growing: We want to offer opportunities for married couples to intentionally work on areas of a marriage that need vital maintenance. This includes programs like Sunday School electives, as well as special events like our marriage retreat. This also includes our men’s and women’s ministries and urging our men and women to be growing with other men and women within the context of small discipleship/accountability groups.

 

Going: We want to equip married couples to live out the mission that God has called them to, both individually and together, in the various vocations in which they serve (to each other, to their children in parenting, in their workplaces, to their neighbors, etc.).

 

Much of what we do to strengthen marriages is done quietly and privately – in living rooms and counseling sessions; in tear-filled conversations and heart-to-heart accountability meetings; in prayer-filled phone calls and truth-filled emails. 

 

Some of what we do to strengthen marriages is done publicly and corporately, like Sunday School classes and Lifegroups.  One such event is the upcoming marriage conference.  I hope you are registered to attend!  The conference will feature Dr. Tate Cockrell from Southeastern Seminary, and will include a catered meal on Friday evening and a continental breakfast on Saturday morning.  You can get more information and register for the conference here


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February 2020 Newsletter: Maintaining Healthy Marriages

“As go marriages so go families; as go families so go churches; as go churches so go communities; as go communities so go states; as go states so go nations; as go nations so go entire civilizations.” (Gary J. Oliver, Ph.D.)

Several years ago our church members approved and put in place a marriage/wedding policy that states, Marriage is a high and holy relationship in the eyes of God. The church has a tremendous opportunity to minister to couples and families through the process of courtship, pre-martial counseling, wedding preparation and the wedding itself.  This wedding policy is established to recognize the scriptural standards for marriage and uphold them.

The document communicates to our members and the community Westwood’s position and policies concerning the institution of marriage and the availability of the Westwood staff and facilities for weddings. It covers several aspects of a Biblical understanding of marriage, what it is, who can be married, and how our church and pastors will be involved in the planning and celebration of Christian marriage. 

We want to be certain, as best as we can, that marriages start off in the right way.  But what about after the wedding?  How are we as a church doing in ministering to the couples in our church when it comes to the ongoing, day-to-day work of marriage? (And it is work – as anyone who has been married for a significant period of time will tell you!)

The sad reality is that many churches do very little to intentionally strengthen and equip couples to have Christ-centered, satisfying, and long-lasting marriages.   Here at Westwood we don’t want to be one of those churches.  Our deepest desire is that Westwood be a church that comes alongside the marriages within our church, and strives with them to be the kind of marriages that are a testimony to who Christ is and the difference that He can make in a marriage, the kind of marriages that will truly impact this generation for the gospel.

Our church is full of marriages like that!   This month three Westwood couples will celebrate a combined 164 years of faithful marriage!  (Richard and Jan Overguard – 63 years, Gail & Phyllis Clayton – 51 years, Gene and Pat Roz – 50 years)     We are thankful for each of these families and pray that there will be many more like them!   As a church we are called to do all we can to see that happen. 

Healthy marriages are absolutely essential for healthy families and help provide a solid foundation for Westwood to be a healthy, vital, and vibrant church that make a generational impact.   Our church’s mission statement of Grounded, Growing and Going applies to the marriages of our church in profound ways. 

Grounded: We want to help individuals and married couples continue to develop deeper gospel foundations that allow us to meet each challenge facing our marriages with spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Growing: We want to offer opportunities for married couples to intentionally work on areas of a marriage that need vital maintenance. This includes programs like Sunday School electives, as well as special events like our marriage retreat. This also includes our men’s and women’s ministries and urging our men and women to be growing with other men and women within the context of small discipleship/accountability groups.

Going: We want to equip married couples to live out the mission that God has called them to, both individually and together, in the various vocations in which they serve (to each other, to their children in parenting, in their workplaces, to their neighbors, etc.).

Much of what we do to strengthen marriages is done quietly and privately – in living rooms and counseling sessions; in tear-filled conversations and heart-to-heart accountability meetings; in prayer-filled phone calls and truth-filled emails. 

Some of what we do to strengthen marriages is done publicly and corporately, like Sunday School classes and Lifegroups.  One such event is the upcoming marriage conference.  I hope you are registered to attend!  The conference will feature Dr. Tate Cockrell from Southeastern Seminary, and will include a catered meal on Friday evening and a continental breakfast on Saturday morning.  You can get more information and register for the conference here
 
 
-Pastor Gerald

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Week of 1.19.20

This week’s Passage: Ephesians 1:1-14
 
Use this daily guide to help you internalize this week’s passage & message!

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2020 Bible Reading Plan

I would love to read through the Scriptures with some of our students and parents during the upcoming year! The guys at the Bible Project have put together a year-long read through the whole Bible, and have even incorporated their videos throughout the plan! That is the plan I will use, and I’d love it if you would consider following along with me. The plan is to begin on January 1st, so this will be a quick commitment! If you plan to read along, just let me know! Perhaps we will find some opportunities along the way to pause and discuss what we are reading together.
 
To follow this plan, you can use a few different tools.
 
First, if you use the YouVersion Bible app, you can simply search for the plan by The Bible Project. They have included each day’s passages, along with any videos included with that day’s reading.
 
Second, I would urge you to download the ReadScripture app! In my opinion, it is the best app that corresponds with this particular reading plan. It has everything you need in a single app. Very cool. Check it out at https://www.readscripture.org!
 
Third, you can follow along using the PDF produced by The Bible Project. You can find that on their website here: https://d1bsmz3sdihplr.cloudfront.net/media/Quarterlies_Other%20Downloads/RS_Reading%20Plan_1YR.pdf
This is great if you prefer to stay away from your phone when reading. You can simply follow the guide, then go to the Bible Project’s website to watch that day’s videos, if there are any for that particular day.
 
So, there you go! Everything you need to participate! But if you do plan to read along, make sure you let me know! I think it would be awesome to read through the Bible with some of you! So, let’s do it!

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Week of 11.10.19

Use this daily guide to help you internalize this week’s passage & message!
 
Sunday [KNOW]:
In a journal, reflect on today’s sermon by finishing any or all of the following:
I never knew…
I was reminded…
A question I still have…
I was challenged…
I was convicted…
A truth I could share is…
 
Monday [KNOW>BE]
Spend some time today doing the following:
  1. Select a portion of this week’s sermon passage to memorize this week.
  2. Write your selected portion and read it to yourself throughout the day today.
 
Tuesday [Be]:
In a journal, spend some time meditating and writing about the following:
  1. Read the sermon passage again.
  2. Write a prayer of response, guided by the sermon passage. (May include adoration, confession/repentance, thanksgiving, petition, etc.).
  3. Write your selected portion of the Scripture several times to aid in memorization.
 
 
Wednesday [BE>DO]:
Think about this week’s questions for group discussion.
  1. Read Philippians 1:12-26 together, in light of Acts 28. What can we learn from Paul’s perspective on his imprisonment in Rome?
  2. Why do you think we are often tempted to doubt the power of the gospel? What does this passage teach about the ultimate triumph of the gospel?
  3. Do you typically view your own life as a part of this same story we have followed through the Book of Acts? How does that perspective change the way we view and live our lives?

 

 
 
Thursday [DO]:
In a journal, spend some time considering the following:
  1. What insights have you had while internalizing this week’s passage?
  2. How specifically will you seek to apply its truths in your home/workplace/life in general?

Read more...