MOMS: 4 THINGS YOUR SON SECRETLY WISHES YOU KNEW ABOUT HIS TEMPTATIONS
As many of you know, we spent a Wednesday evening and a Sunday morning talking about sex and dating in the month of February. My goal was simply to give our kids some things to begin to think about. I hope looking at where they want to be in 10 years helps connect the dots to how their decisions today can impact their dreams for the future. I also challenged them to not think of themselves as pure but as striving for purity. As we know, none of us are without sin. The biggest hang-up I see with teens in this area is when they fail. If they cross the line that they believe God has for their lives, they live with that guilt. That is not from the Lord. I would rather they realize there is grace. They need to pick themselves up, receive forgiveness, and get back after the work of becoming holy.
As you may remember, I posted on Facebook the week of these talks to inform parents of what we would be talking about. My desire was that it would provide an open door for you as parents to be able to have conversations with your children. There are a ton of resources out there for you. One that I have found to be very helpful, especially as a parent of teen boys, has been http://www.xxxchurch.com/. XXXChurch is an organization committed to helping teens and adults navigate sexual temptation and the lure of pornography. They also have a fantastic, albeit often controversial, ministry to porn stars. I don’t agree with everything they have put out, but by and large I believe they are loving people the way Christ would. I found a recent article they posted for moms of teen boys to be particularly interesting. Shaunti Feldhahn states, “Even after years of researching what is in the heart and mind of men and boys, I still wasn’t quite ready when my pre-teen son began struggling with the same visual temptations as everyone else! In honor of all boys who want to do the right thing, here are four things sons secretly wish their moms knew about their struggle: It starts young. It is almost an overwhelming curiosity—and temptation. It is a temptation the honorable boys do not want. It is something they cannot confront well without our help.” You can check out the rest of the article here: http://strongermarriages.com/moms-4-things-your-son-secretly-wishes-you-knew-about-his-temptations/.
Our children, our boys and girls, need our help and our understanding. They live in an over-sexualized culture. Don’t miss the opportunities that come up to engage your young ones in these conversations.
The Cost of Fellowship
At the beginning of each year, Pearce teens traditionally begin to think about our senior retreat. For years we scheduled these weekends in the fall, amidst the busiest time of the year for most teens and families: we were inviting them to come away with us for a weekend of rest, relaxation, and reconnecting with Christ. It was always a double-edged sword, because often those who needed the rest the most were unable to come due to their schedules. About six years ago, we moved the senior teen retreat to the end of January. The Student Ministry team firmly believes that the lives of our students are over-scheduled with sports, musicals, Boy Scouts, Young Life, dance, work, homework, and copious other activities. To speak counter to this, we try to provide a retreat that is exactly that…a retreat. This year, we had three discussion times around the idea of Grabbing the Cup, Lifting the Cup, and Drinking the Cup. Other than these times and our meals, the weekend had very little structure. Kids took naps, watched movies, played board games, and played various sports in the gym. Karen Hopkins cooked snacks with the teens one afternoon, and I fried 20 lbs. of chicken wings on Saturday night. I’m not sure the students came home with any great spiritual revelations, but we do hope they realize that fellowship is important, and in order to really hear the voice of God, sometimes you have to remove the noise of life. Enjoy the photos—it was a fantastic weekend!
Hide the Word of God in your Heart
Psalm 119:11 speaks of David hiding the words of God in his heart that he may not sin. In the interest of transparency, I confess I am not diligent with my scripture memorization. When I speak with those in the Student Ministry who participate in Quizzing, I am often put to shame. I was reminded of this again as Pearce hosted the January conference tournament. Our students have been hard at work studying and memorizing the book Acts. This group of about 18 junior and senior high students is impressive, to say the least. They are not only learning what God’s Word says, but they are learning ways to apply it to their lives, and it shows. If you run into one of the Pearce Quizzers, feel free to ask them to recite Acts to you; or even better, let them know you are praying for them as they prepare to compete in the National Tournament in Seattle this June.
The Cost of Serving
Many see spring break as a time to get away, to go lay on the beaches of Florida or some other exotic vacation destination. As someone who recently returned from a week in Mexico, I can attest to the value of a warm vacation in the midst of harsh Rochester winters. However, there is also a group who has decided to spend $130 to go and serve the people of our city. This year, Flower City Work Camp has enlisted 730 students and over 300 adults throughout the Rochester area as volunteers. They will be going to various homes around Rochester and spending three days doing “construction,” Side Walk Clubs, basketball and soccer camps, and worshiping together in the evenings. This ministry is in its thirty-first year and is one of the best pictures of the body of Christ I have ever witnessed. It includes people from 60 different churches and denominations serving alongside one another and loving the people of our city. Pearce is sending 23 students, six site leaders, two overnight leaders, and four kitchen helpers. As they come to mind, please be praying for their safety, for the witness that is being given to the home owners and the children in the neighborhood, and be praying for the spiritual growth in our students.
Continuing to Break the Awkward Silence
I’ve been reading Jeffery B. Gibson’s recent book on the Lord’s Prayer, entitled The Disciples’ Prayer: The Prayer Jesus Taught in its Historical Setting. Gibson’s concluding comments include this: “…to follow Jesus and say the Disciples’ Prayer is to pledge oneself to demonstrating and proclaiming a certain way of ‘being’ in the world, a way that mirrors and magnifies the very character of the God of Israel as Jesus made him known.”
This weekend, I’ll continue our consideration of what Gibson calls “the Disciples’ Prayer” as found in Matthew’s gospel. Focusing on verse 11 of chapter 6, I’ve titled this message “Absolute Dependence” and will explore what it means to rely on God for our daily bread.
Communion This Month
It is a long-standing Pearce tradition to offer Communion on the first weekend of each month. Communion this month will be offered instead on Good Friday (March 25) at Pearce’s 7pm service in the main sanctuary. Communion will also be served, resuming our regular schedule, on the first weekend of April.
Looking for an Informative Read?
I’ve just begun making my way through Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, follows the lives of landlords and tenants in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee. While focusing on stories of eviction, the book prompts the reader to consider the bigger issues of poverty and inequality.
Early reviews of the book, which was just published this past Monday, have been quite positive. The Wall Street Journal reviewer noted, “[Desmond’s] argument in this impressive work of scholarship is that eviction is such an exploitative process, so biased in favor of profit-seeking landlords, that it pitches otherwise capable tenants into crisis and thus into poverty.”
I realize, as one who stands in the tradition of B. T. Roberts, that I should have a greater sensitivity to the issues surrounding poverty in our time. Roberts, in his own day, expressed his conviction when he wrote, “My special mission is to preach the gospel to the poor.”
This coming Wednesday evening (March 9) at 6:30pm, Lydia Monroe, Carol Stevenson, and Kristin Coon will discuss their recent visit to Nzige, Rwanda. Educators who are interested in being a part of the team heading to Nzige this August to help train the Nzige staff, or teachers desiring to help prepare materials for that trip, are especially encouraged to attend. Join Lydia and her team in Room 134 of Pearce’s education wing.
Carol Stevenson was recently appointed to lead the team of teachers headed to Nzige in August. Carol has extensive cross-cultural experience and is well qualified to serve in this leadership role.
From Roof to Parking
As I reported last week, plans are being finalized to have the Parmerter roof replaced this summer. A $161,200 bid from Elmer W. Davis Roofing was recently accepted by Pearce’s Property Committee. To date, a total of $115,190.50 has been received and only $46,000 remains to be raised by July 1. To reach this goal, we’ll need to receive a weekly average of $2,900 over the next sixteen weeks.
Already, Pearce’s leadership is anticipating our next project and is investigating the possibility of expanding our parking capacity. Our church’s Orchard Street lot can accommodate 114 vehicles and our parking strip on the east side of Orchard Street can hold an additional 22 cars.
The parking lot owned by the college (known at RWC as Lot A) can handle 154 vehicles and is available for our use on Sundays and on evenings when major events are not being held at the RWC Cultural Life Center. There have been several occasions in the past couple of years, weekday funerals for example, when Lot A is not available to our congregation and, as a result, parking has been challenging. The elimination of the college’s parking lot on the site of the new Crother’s Science and Nursing Center has resulted in a greater demand placed on Lot A.
No decisions have been made regarding parking, but the Property Committee is taking a look at our congregation’s options. Bob DeRoo, a member at Pearce, has suggested that we all begin bicycling to Pearce, but his suggestion has yet to be embraced by the majority of those attending worship services here.
Another Savory Season
Jim Heeks and his crew recently wrapped up another season of Savory Suppers on Wednesday evenings. The average attendance during the seven weeks the suppers were held in January and February was 168, many of them being people from our community who take advantage of good food at a reasonable price!
Jim sent me a photo of Karen Monahan with the potato whisk. The photo reminds me that those who volunteer in the kitchen place their lives at risk. Karen does look a bit “whipped” by the whole experience. (Sorry, bad pun!)
This past Sunday Carol Stevenson, one of the members of the Nzige team that returned home last Friday, shared briefly in the worship service of her experience meeting her sponsored child. The other members of the team, Lydia Monroe and Kristin Coon, were privileged to meet their sponsored children as well. Ashley Carroll, a VISA (Volunteers in Service Abroad) intern in Africa, blogged about her experience of accompanying Pearce’s team in Rwanda. Read her fascinating account at followmetokenya.wordpress.com.
Also, if you haven’t gone to Pearce’s “Linked with Love” Facebook account, take a minute to do so. It is filled with wonderful photos and video clips form the team’s recent visit.
Annual Report Available for Download
If you missed Pearce’s Annual Celebration held earlier this month, you can download the annual report, “Bridges over Troubled Waters,” that was distributed on that evening. The report is available at our website at pearcechurch.org.
Another Saturday Night
Sam Cooke and Cat Stevens may have sung, granted with some grammar issues, about it being “another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody,” but that isn’t the case for Pearce’s Saturday worship service. This past weekend, the service experienced a new high attendance with 104 people attending the 5pm service.
Breaking the Awkward Silence
This weekend, I’ll begin a three-week series of messages on the Lord’s Prayer as found in the sixth chapter of Matthew’s gospel. I’ve titled the series “Breaking the Awkward Silence: A Primer on Prayer” and hope it will be helpful to you in your own on-going conversation with God.
It’s About Time!
Have you ever pulled out the most recent version of Pearce’s photo directory to put a name to a face of someone you just met only to find that they aren’t in the directory? It’s easy to see why that happens as the last photo directory was published in the spring of 2012. Think of all the people who have become a part of our family over the past four years.
Sign up for your photo session during the next four weeks. You can sign up on-line at pearcechurch.org, or at a table located in Pearce’s atrium following worship services.
Kicking Off the Moss
I must be in an oldie gold mood this week. I’ve already referred to “Another Saturday Night” and now I’m about to refer to an old Elton John song. (Am I becoming more nostalgic the older I get? How old am I? According to Josh Kelly at this past Sunday’s “Children’s Moments,” I am 100 years old.)
In “Your Song,” Elton speaks of sitting on the roof and kicking off the moss. His lyrics remind me of the Parmerter roof and the need for a new, moss-free roof on that part of our facility.
Recently, Pearce’s Property Committee, under the leadership of Mendal Dick, approved contracting with Elmer W. Davis Roofing to have the new roof installed this summer. Elmer W. Davis’s bid came in at $161,200. One of the reasons their bid was accepted is due to the excellent service they gave us when the new sanctuary roof was installed by them a couple of years ago.
Financial preparation for this important project continues to move forward. As of last weekend, a total of $114,230.50 is now on hand to defray the cost of the new roof.
Elected to Pearce’s Board
I am pleased to announce that Chuck Cockrell, Aimee Lyon, and Terry Taber have been elected to three-year-terms on Pearce’s Official Board. Terry is coming back onto the board after being away from it the past couple of years. Chuck is returning for his second consecutive term and this will be Aimee’s first stint. These new members will assume their responsibilities at the March 10 sitting of the board.
Also elected were three members to the Nominating Committee: Jamie Chalmers, Rob Keim, and Lettie Hursh. These three will begin working with the other members of the Nominating Committee beginning in May.
I am appreciative of the 217 members of our congregation who participated in the election by casting their ballots. Thanks, also, to all those who allowed their names to be placed in nomination for both of these areas of service.
Once again, I am reminded of how blessed we are at Pearce to have so many gifted leaders serving Christ and His Kingdom!
Dr. Timothy Dwyer, professor of Christian Scriptures at Roberts, will be our guest preacher this coming weekend (February 13 & 14). Tim has chosen Psalm 1 as his text, one of my all time favorite passages of God’s Word. He has titled his message “Stable as an Oak Tree.” You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear this gifted teacher help you to better understand God’s Story.
A Rare Opportunity
In last week’s Dangling, I announced a six-week seminar entitled “Islam’s Crisis: Our Opportunity” beginning on Wednesday, February 24, at Pearce. This seminar is taught by Dr. Don Little, Dr. Gail Schlosser, and Dr. Benjamin Hegeman, all of whom are with the Houghton-based Lilias Trotter Center. (Lilias Trotter was a missionary to Algeria in the latter part of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.)
The first session is on the topic “Islam’s Internal Crisis” and will introduce those attending to the theological and ideological divisions that have been a part of Islam from its beginning. This first session will be held at 6:30pm in Room 82 of Pearce’s lower educational wing.
Books to Better Understanding Islam
Dr. Gail Schlosser provided me with a few book recommendations that may be of interest to those of you seeking to better understand Islam. The following books are available on the bookrack in Pearce’s foyer.
Engaging Islam by George Houssney can help alert you to the challenges and opportunities of engaging Muslims in a dialogue regarding the Christian faith. The author was born and raised in Lebanon and has more than forty years of experience in evangelism and church planting among Muslims around the world. Copies of this book are available for a $19.00 donation.
Last year, I had the opportunity to read Nabeel Qureshi’s Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. It is the first-hand account of Nabeel, a young man who grew up in a tight-knit American military family with Pakistani roots. He met David Wood on a trip while in college and, through their friendship, came to faith in Jesus Christ. Copies of this book are available for a $13.00 donation.
Dr. Schlosser also recommended Fresh Vision for the Muslim World by Mike Kuhn. Published by InterVarsity Press, this author challenges readers to love Muslims. Kuhn, a personal friend of Dr. Schlosser, lived for more than two decades in the Middle East, serving as a pastor and a college Arabic instructor. This is available for a $13.00 donation.
Are you looking for safe and reliable transportation to medical appointments or to run other important errands? If so, WestSide Express may be the best option for you! WestSide Express is a not-for-profit, volunteer based transportation service for residents living in the towns of Gates and Chili. This much-needed service is coordinated by Lifespan to help assist friends in the community to fulfill their appointment needs. If you would like to learn more about this wonderful agency or would like to arrange transportation, call WestSide Express at (585) 889-6104. Brochures are available at the atrium Information Kiosk.
WestSide Express also has volunteer opportunities and is in need of volunteer drivers and dispatchers. Many of their volunteers serve once a week or once a month. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Pastor Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robert Jackson at 889-1615 or email@example.com.