Therefore go and make disciples of all nations (The Great Commission)

Posted by Dr. Drew Shofner on

Our purpose as a church is not to be comfortable. It's not to keep me employed or to make you happy. Our purpose as a church is to creatively reveal something that is world changing and epic-- it is the love of the Father! A love that is the answer to all of the brokenness in this badly broken...

The Importance of the Ball

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In February, The Church at Severn Run hosted a Royal Father Daughter Ball and the results were fantastic. Over two-hundred and fifty golden tickets were sold to church members and members of the surrounding kingdom. On the night of the ball, the young ladies were escorted to the ballroom, entering on a red carpet where they received enchanting tiaras fit for a royal.

From there, each proud king was announced by name while presenting his princess for the entire court to see. Culinary masters (AKA mothers of the young princesses) from all over the realm came together to create a dining experience that none would soon forget.

Dinner was served, lemonade flowed freely and once everyone had had their fill of the main courses, the vast table of cupcakes was unveiled. Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla cupcakes all topped with a rich icing made the evening even more magical. Competitions were held, and the princesses were delighted to see their royal fathers dancing to songs such as Can’t Stop the Feeling! and Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae). There was dancing, there was singing and each of those beautiful young ladies was absolutely beaming.

Dear Dads,

Now, while the ball was a huge success, let’s take a second to talk about the reason things like father/daughter dances are so popular right now.

Dads, you are so SO important in your precious little girls’ eyes. You are her hero. You are her love. You are her Daddy.

Life easily gets busy and chaotic; we as parents get so bogged down dealing with everyday trials that it can be easy to forget how much your daughters need you to invest in them. The relationship between father and daughter is so sweet. I am not saying that other relationships like mother/daughter, father/son are less rewarding or less important, but there is certainly something precious about a daddy and his little girl.

You, as her earthly father, have to opportunity to instill in her how much her Heavenly Father loves and values her. Remind her how very beautiful she is inside and out by pointing out the good you see in her. Turn her towards the scripture of Proverbs 31 and emphasize that the beauty that matters is the beauty that comes when Christ shines through her.

Dads, take you daughter out so you can establish A high expectation for a Godly relationship. Talk to her; ask her questions about her likes and dislikes, open doors for her. Show her how she should be treated as a precious Daughter of the Heavenly King.

Dr. James Dobson wrote a book I highly recommend called “Bringing Up Girls” (there is also “Bringing Up Boys” that I’ve heard great things about). In a chapter called, “Why Daddies Matter” Dobson has this to say: “There is a place in the female soul reserved for Daddy, or a daddy figure, that will always yearn for affirmation. Not every girl or woman is the same, of course, but almost every girl desires a close bond with this most significant man in her life. She will adore him if he loves and protects her and if she finds safety and warmth in his arms. She will tend to see all men through the lens of that relationship.”

He goes on to ask, “Why do girls and women have such intense needs for affirmation from their fathers, and why does the hurt caused by abandonment or rejection often reverberate for a lifetime? As you’ll recall, a primary reason for this inner ache is because a daughter’s sense of self-worth and confidence is linked directly to her relationship with her dad. What he thinks about her and how he expresses his affection is a central source of her perceived value as a human being. It also affects her femininity and teaches her how to relate to boys and men.”

So, in case you didn’t know already, Dads, you have a big job loving those precious daughters of yours.

It is my sincerest prayer that we, as parents, look to our Heavenly Father when guiding the little hearts and minds of the daughters and sons he has given us.

Sincerely,

The mother of three little princesses

Posted by Tara Krause with

To Receive Father's Forgiveness Means That We Must Forgive

Luke 11:4 says, "and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us."

Now, this is a difficult thing to do. It's one of those things that sound easy but is very, very difficult. It's been said that forgiveness is kind of like drinking poison to punish someone else.

We all have people who hurt us. We all have people who have been unjust toward us and in our heart of hearts, we demand justice for them! But we don't want justice for us -and there's the rub. 

Our Father of grace has offered us unimaginable mercy in letting go of our sins. And so when we come to Father, and we come to Him in the name of Jesus, and the blood of the cross is our appeal, we're acknowledging the super high cost that God has paid to provide our forgiveness. 

It is a cost higher than anyone has cost us, and so to receive Father's forgiveness it means that we must forgive!

In Matthew 7:7, the scripture says, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." 

Well, I want then to use a very generous measure of forgiveness toward others, that Father might use that same measure toward me! It is impossible to follow Father, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus with bitterness, with anger, with malice and an inner demand for justice. 

And then there's Mathew 16:15 which kind of seals the deal in terms of the absolute non-negotiable, uncompromised demand of Father -that we forgive if we want to walk in His forgiveness. Jesus said very, very clearly, "But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

So why in the world would we want to carry the poison of hell when we are offered the grace of Heaven? 

Believing that we serve an infinite God means that we can give our deepest wounds and unjust experiences in life to God in Jesus' name and know that He can redeem. That He will redeem and that in all things, He will work for good! Dr. Drew Shofner

Sea Glass - In the Hands Of The Father All Is Made New

Sea Glass

The brokenness of our lives, in the hands of our savior, is sea glass that God shines through to reveal His love, beauty and truth to others. But if we will not yield our lives, if we quit and walk away, then not only do we lose, but others don't get to see the beauty of God's hand on life.

Here's what Hannah Martin wrote about sea glass:

Shattered and broken, unwanted and used
Sharp useless pieces that no one could use
Tossed in the ocean without care or thought
Something that once had value, that someone once bought
Falling down deep to the ocean floor
No hope, no plan, no purpose anymore
For years it would toss through the pull of the waves
Changing in size, color and shape
Dragged through the rocks, the shells and sand
Till one day it washed up onto the land
Shining in the sunlight, a jewel on the ground
What once was unwanted, now a treasure found
Now it is searched for, now people seek it
Because of it's suffering, now people keep it
We all have our "sea glass" that we try to hide
Our broken pieces that we stuff down inside
Our hurts and our sufferings that need time
Time with the Healer so they can sparkle and shine
In the hands of the Father all is made new
Lord let my suffering draw others to you.
 
-Hannah Martin
Posted by Hannah Martin with

God's dreams are not over for your life!

Psalm 18-19

The truth is, most of us believe we're dealing with a disappointed God who's angry instead of a loving father who's forgiving! No matter how old you are or how much you have failed, God's dreams are not over for your life! 

If you could only get a glimpse of how near God is to you, all the pain and loneliness that you may be feeling and carrying in your life would be overwhelmed and overcome by the nearness of the love and joy and peace of Jesus Christ.

He is a God of new beginnings, not only of second chances, but our God is a God of infinite grace for those who dare to believe in His goodness!

As we walk into the future, life doesn't have to get worse. Day by day, things can honestly move forward and get better because of Jesus, and why not experience the very best we can before we see Jesus face to face? - Dr. Drew Shofner

Posted by Dr. Drew Shofner with

Come to me…and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11-28

I want you for just one second to picture yourself as the greatest success that you can imagine. What does that look like? I want to suggest that God has a different picture than whatever your vision is. God has a different picture of what you, at your most successful, looks like. I believe with all of my heart that the greatest success of your adult life is to change and become like a well-loved child, like your Father's child!

Much of what you think is "God" may actually just be religious culture. There is a kingdom right behind the veil from where God is reaching out to us through Jesus and we have to break through the veil of human religion, human legalism and human practice and that's where the kingdom comes!

There is "human religion" and then there is the Kingdom of Heaven. There's what we can see with our physical eyes and there's an eternal reality we cannot see. There's what we think is God and there's what is God. There's what we think is true and there's what is true. I want you to just understand that in the religions of men and women, do not automatically assume that those are the same as the kingdom of God!

The kingdom of God is right here around us yet most of us cannot perceive it. Again it's like this room being filled with AM and FM radio waves, there music of every kind playing at this very moment but we're not tuned in! The most dangerous place to be is getting used to hearing and able to ignore. We're used to hearing about the love of God but then we're able to go about our lives the same old dead adult way and it's wrong, it's dead and it's not the kingdom of God that has come. It may be religion and the culture of what you see all around you, but it is not the Kingdom of Heaven come to earth in Christ!

There is an eternal unseen kingdom that is so close to you that you wouldn't believe it, but God wants you to and here's how you get there:

Jesus said something in Matthew 18:3, and it is the key to the kingdom of God. "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven."

Let that sink in. To all the "religious people" who wear robes, have titles and power and use it against - Jesus would say change! You're not on the right track, you have to change and completely become like a little child. In fact, unless you do, you will never see the kingdom of Heaven. So, what Jesus is doing is reversing the whole course of life in a broken world -He's redeeming it!

All kind of crazy things happen as we grow up and there's a deadening of the soul as we continue to walk this path of adulthood in a broken world. We begin life as a little child but along the way we lose our 'kid' and we lose our wonder. We lose our joy and we become self conscience and self critical. We become power seeking and power reaching. We begin to learn racism and classism. We begin to think about ourselves instead of others. We're so eager to grow up and what happens to us is life sucking. It's deadening and we start to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, but Jesus says I'm going to reverse the whole course of life for you!

In Matthew 11:28, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light." Jesus was speaking to all the adults who were dead in wonder.

"Come to me" - you gotta take the step! You can't sit back and wait for something else to happen! The ball is in your court, stop waiting for God to make a move when He's already moved all of hell out of your way in the cross!

You were never designed to carry the weight of this broken world.

You were never designed to carry the weight of what God died to bear for you!

Guys, we are the children of God if we have become followers of Jesus and fellow brothers and sisters of Jesus who is the Son. Jesus made us sons and Paul says He sent The Spirit of His son into our hearts! This is not a metaphor this is a defining reality. The spirit who calls out "Abba, Father." It is an Aramaic term, it really doesn't mean father, it means "daddy," and The Spirit of the son lives inside of you if you're a follower of Jesus!

According to Galatians 5:22-23, This is what the spirit produces when the spirit is inside of you, "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." --That's what the spirit of God produces!

You and I have to choose whether we're going to listen soul deep to Jesus and live letting the Father carry the burdens of life or whether we're going to listen to ourselves and die carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. You see when we've become broken by God, we become children who humbly and wholeheartedly place themselves under Jesus' Infinite authority and Jesus said "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." -Dr. Drew Shofner

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