First Wednesday & New Sermon Series

Hello FPC Family,

Just a reminder that on Wednesday, June 1, at 6:30 pm, we will have our First Wednesday services at our Pellissippi, Blount, and Internet Campuses.  We look forward to seeing you there as we welcome our newest FPC family members, have an extended time of worship, hear our latest missions report, and share in the Lord’s Supper together.  You won’t want to miss this special evening as we worship our Savior together!

This weekend, June 4-5, we will begin an important two-week series on forgiveness, called, Prison Break – Learn How to Live Free.  Do you think it is harder to give or receive forgiveness?  Do we all want grace for ourselves, but want the law for those whom we think have wronged us?  Come and learn what the Scriptures tell us about how we can have the amazing freedom that comes from giving and accepting forgiveness.

With summer vacations here, don’t forget you can still worship with us online while you are away at faithpromise.org.  Times are Sundays at 9:00, 10:20, and 11:45 am and 9:00 pm.

Love,

Pastor Chris

Courage

(This post was written by Emily Carringer, Worship Programming Director)

Courage…it’s my “word” for 2011.  At the end of last year as I was planning and thinking about personal goals and the things I wanted to focus on for the next year, I wanted a word that would describe an area I needed to improve upon.  So…COURAGE is that word.   However, I realize it’s much more than a word.  It’s a lifestyle. As I reflected on my life, where I have been, where I hope to go, I realized that courage was going to need to be a focused part of my everyday life in order to grow to become the person I believe God created me to be.    See, courage is not the absence of fear; it is the capacity to think and act despite my fears.  It takes courage to change.  It takes courage to do something different or something I have never attempted before.  I have to be willing to give up all I have in order to become all I can.  It takes courage to change the way I think of myself and others.  It takes courage to accept the things I can’t change. It takes courage to realize that I am not fully in control of anything in my life.

The first step for me was to confess to God that I didn’t know if I completely trusted him with my life.  I trust Him but how much?  Will He be there to catch me when I fall and fail?  I believe it for others, but do I truly believe if for myself?  I want to carry it all, hold on and try to control it. God wants to transform me.  But only, if I will have the courage to truly let Him.

I want to have a passionate love affair with God…that takes courage.  I want to live without regrets…that takes courage.   It takes courage to face the truths about myself.  Every day and every moment I have the opportunity to put courage into practice.  So here I am, beginning the sixth month of this year, I can’t say that I have mastered it by any means.  But what I do know is that when I am at a crossroads or when things seem difficult and I am unsure what to do next “courage” always comes to my mind. Small steps of intentional courage every day, propels me to a lifestyle of COURAGE.  I love the book of Joshua and how God encouraged him.  I will finish with this encouragement to you and myself.  Joshua 1:5-6 – “…I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous…”.

Praise in the Desert

(This post was written by Matt Grimes, Middle School Ministry Pastor)

It has finally happened, our little baby girl, Elin has arrived, and we are very proud parents.  We could not ask God for a more healthy and beautiful baby.  She already has both of us wrapped around her finger.  The journey however, has not been easy.  The day after our daughter was born, my wife still had no feeling in her legs and feet leaving her unable to walk.  Immediately following one of  the most joyous days in our lives, we faced the absolute most difficult day ever.  Halfway through the day the doctors arrived and prepped my wife for an MRI to determine if she had sustained any permanent damage that would leave her paralyzed for the rest of her life.  Words cannot describe the emotions we felt in that moment; emotions that I never care to feel again in my life.  Right before they took my wife back, they asked me to step across the street from the hospital to her OBGYN’s office to ask him a quick question.  I had stayed strong for my wife all day, not letting her see my fear or concern.  All I remember was collapsing when I walked in his office…I completely lost it in the middle of his waiting room.  As his he and his staff immediately came to my side all I could think about was my wife who might never be able to walk again.  I remember her doctor coming out, who had a full load that day, and just sitting with me and talking about what we were going through.  He gave me a devotional called “Streams in the Desert”, which was a devotional he has done every day while his wife battled cancer, and every day since she lost her battle with cancer.  He asked me to read it each day, and encouraged me to cling tight to God, and that everything would be okay.

The results of the MRI came back negative for any permanent damage; however something had damaged my wife’s S1, S2, and L5 nerves, making it impossible to walk.  The diagnosis was that she would make a full recovery, but it would take a long time to be back at 100%.  Each day she makes slow progress.  Today she can walk with the help of a brace, and is at 90% full recovery in her left foot, and about 65% full recovery in her right foot.  There are days that it feels like nothing has changed, and we feel as though nothing will get better.  We have friends, who were due the same time we were, and we see them back to normal, and I can’t say with integrity that something inside me does not get angry a little because that is not us.  This morning I was reading, as I promised her doctor, in “Streams in the Desert”, and was blown away by what God spoke to me through the devotion for today.  Listen to these words for today’s devotional:

Spring up, O well!  Sing about it.” Numbers 21:17.  “This was a strange song and a strange well.  The children of Israel had been traveling over the desert’s barren sands, and they were desperate for water, but there was none in sight.  Then God spoke to Moses and said, “Gather the people together and I will give them water. (verse 16)  The people then gathered around with their rods.  As they began to dig deeply into the burning sand, they sang, “Spring up, O Well! Sing About it.”  Soon a gurgling sound was heard, and suddenly a rush of water appeared, filling the well and running along the ground.  As they had dug the well in the desert, they had tapped the stream that ran below and that had been unseen for a very long time.  What a beautiful picture this is!  And it describes for us the river of blessings that flows through our lives.  If only we will respond with faith and praise, we will find our needs supplied even in the most barren desert.

Again, how did the children of Israel reach the water of this well?  It was through praise.  While standing on the burning sand and digging the well with their staff of promise, they sang a praise song of faith.

Our praise will bring forth “water…in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:6), while complaining will only bring judgment.  Even prayer by itself may fail to reach the fountain of blessings.

Nothing pleases the Lord as much as praise.  There is no greater evidence of faith than the virtue of genuine thanksgiving.  Are you praising God enough” Are you thanking Him for the countless blessings He has bestowed on you?  Are you boldly praising Him even for the trials in your life, which are actually blessings in disguise?  And have you learned to praise Him in advance for answers yet to come?

So for me, I am learning to praise God, even when I don’t have the answer that I want to have.  Even when I have to patiently wait on the long road to recovery, God deserves and desires my praise.  For you, maybe you are struggling and in the desert with your kids, or in your marriage, and you are waiting for a well to explode soon and hope to be seen on the horizon.  Remember, our praise can be the catalyst for God to move in gigantic ways.  Don’t let your circumstances blind you to the power and reality of who God is.  Get your praise on, and start praising God for all He has been up to.  If you are like me, you will slowly start to see all the blessings you have over looked, but are so thankful that God provided.  Don’t forget to praise, while you are walking in the desert…it is there where you faith is proved.

Buttons

(This post was written by Rob Patrick, Associate Pastor of Groups)

We all have them, use them, push them, and fasten them. Some are small, some are large, some are flat and recessed, and some are tall and stick up. Some are round, some are square, and some are rectangle. Some are big, round and red, and say “that was easy” when we push them. Some open and close windows and doors. Some help keep our clothes on.

What buttons are you pushing or fastening? Are you opening or closing doors in your life that you should or shouldn’t? Or what do you say or do when someone pushes your button? How is it that others can’t visibly see our special buttons, but they know just where and when to push them? You know, the ones that when pushed set into motion a flurry of thoughts or actions that can harm us or others.

This past weekend I was on my way to church and pulled onto Pelladega Parkway from the infamous U-turn ramp in Solway, and a vehicle that I pulled out in front of (which I must say was a good safe distance from me, but traveling about 60mph in a 45mph zone) had to change lanes to pass me. He of course pushed his horn button which pushed my button of “who does he think he is”, and he had a FPC logo in his back window I might add. I immediately began to think about how embarrassed he would be when I pulled in behind him at church wearing my staff badge, no less. I would show him. But I decided that had I not been running late, I would have taken the longer safer route to church. And after all, he might have been one of the very people we are trying to reach every week. So, I did what any “good” Christian person would do–I expressed my sentiment to my wife and any others that would listen.

But not all of our buttons when pushed produce bad results. Some, when pushed, stir up in us a deep feeling of empathy for those in need. Some even push us into action to save others from harm, like the good traveler in the story of the Good Samaritan.

The more we grow to become like Christ, He begins to reprogram our buttons to motivate us to do good when they get pushed. God’s word says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will”. Romans 12:2

Family Life: Marriage Mentoring

(This post was written by Chuck Carringer, Pastor of Family Ministries)

Consider the following questions about your marriage:

Are you new to marriage?

Are you discovering that blending your life with your spouse is not as easy as you imagined?

Would you like to be able to ask someone how to handle “hot topics” with your spouse?

Do you feel like you keep having the same disagreement over and over?

Do you feel like your husband or wife just doesn’t “get” you?

Would you like to know more about being a Godly husband or wife?

If you answered yes to any of these questions consider marriage mentoring. We (Faith Promise Church) recently completed training our first group of marriage mentors. These couples are committed to helping other couples experience the type of marriage God designed. These mentors have faced their own hurdles and want to help other couples work through the challenges that our day-to-day married life brings.

How do you get plugged in? Go to faithpromsie.org, under “care ministries” complete the initial questionnaire and you will be invited to complete a comprehensive couple’s inventory. You will learn about your relationships strength and growth areas – then you and your mentors will spend a year together meeting periodically, learning how to maximize your relationship. If could be the best investment in your marriage you have ever made. Don’t settle for less than God’s best for your marriage.

Could your marriage benefit from marriage mentoring?

Family Vacation Painting

(This post was written by Phil Bledsoe, Technical Director)

If you were at FP this weekend you saw this amazing series painting hanging on stage. Some new tech volunteers, Justin and Erin Simpson, did this painting for us in less than a week. It was a very last minute request of them and I can’t believe they pulled it off and made it look so awesome. It’s rare that I get a chance to share something like this but Justin put together a video of their creation.  Check it out!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGFh6_8HiAI[/youtube]

Make sure you find out who they are and thank them for a great job! I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of their work…