Get Challenged. Get Connected. Get a Job.

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Are you unemployed or underemployed? Are you having difficulty getting companies to respond to your resume? Or are you getting the interview but not an offer? If so, you are not alone.

There are over 10.5 million people unemployed in our country and nearly 35,000 just in this surrounding area; maybe competing for the job they want. National surveys report that only 30% are in a rewarding job, meaning 70% looking elsewhere as they continue to receive a paycheck; adding more competition for jobs.

Thankfully, the date is set for the next Career Search Workshop hosted by KnoxWorx, and it is just around the corner.

In the KnoxWorx Career Search Workshop, we’ll teach what most employers are looking for in a resume and why they ask the questions they do.  Go to www.knoxworx.org and sign up for the next KnoxWorx class.  KnoxWorx has found that 86.4 % of the people who have learned from these principles find work in less than 140 days.

Classes will be held on September 9th & 10th; 10:30 am to 5:00 pm each day at 1st Baptist of Concord.  The cost is only $58 to help pay for the materials. Space is limited, so apply today!

Further questions, call  Don Truza, at The Transition Team, Inc. @ 865-693-3193.

KnoxWorx is a partnership of churches, businesses, and individuals working in cooperation to create hope in our community through an innovative approach of providing lasting solutions to the challenges in today’s workplace.

Join Us as We Begin a New Mountain Bike Group, Monday, Arpil 8th at 6:00pm at Concord Park

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Come ride with us Monday, April 8, at 6:00 pm at Concord Park. With spring quickly approaching; the mountain bikers of Faith Promise Church are gearing up to hit the woods!

Every week we will meet at different biking destinations. The most common are Haw Ridge in Oak Ridge, Norris Watershed in Norris, I.C. King Park in South Knoxville, Concord Park in West Knoxville, the Urban Wilderness (commonly known as the “Dirty South”) in South Knoxville. We will ride for about an hour or so and then have fellowship in the parking lot.

We will take several “epic” (long) rides in the warm months. There are several destinations within a couple of hours that are great for traveling to. These would be all day trips that would require meeting at the church and carpooling. We will do these epic rides about once a month.

We will ride in ability groups so that no one is left behind. If there are not enough participants to break up into groups, we will ride based on the pace of the least experienced rider. We can support as many riders as will participate using the ability group method.

Everyone is welcome, even those who have never been off road on a bicycle. We will work together to improve everyone’s skill level.

New Beginnings in 2013

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It’s that time of year again! A new year brings with it another fresh start, flush with the opportunity for resolutions, goal setting and new beginnings. On what will you be focusing as the clock strikes midnight this year? Will you be setting plans in motion to pursue that new career? Perhaps you will be focusing on discovering a new closeness with your family? Or maybe your center of attention will be on developing your relationship with God?

That’s what is so thrilling about this time of year. A new year brings a ‘fresh start’ and everything seems so much more in reach – more realistic than it did last month. The mistakes we made and plans we didn’t follow become lessons learned at the turn of a new year.

Of course nothing has really changed. Our own sense of capability (and perhaps even our faith) may feel a little more accessible than usual, but that possibility lies within us all the time with the help of prayer, community and our Lord. We all crave that new start though, don’t we?

So what will your new beginning entail? Will you choose to move forward in your identity as a Christian, spouse, parent, friend, helper of others? What will this pursuit look like for you?

Fresh eyes on the word of God?

How often do you revisit the chapters and verses that you’re yet to feel a personal connection to? As life teaches us lessons, sculpts and develops us, new revelations can appear overnight, allowing us all to identify with things in a fresh way. Take a moment and delve back into that which you haven’t explored in a while. You may be surprised at what life has taught you since the last time! Sometimes we need to look back to move forward.

Get those goals on paper!

How often do you make a written list? Laying pen to paper helps us to focus on the specifics of our goals and to approach them in a more thoughtful manner than if they were to remain swimming about in the vastness of our brain! In fact, according to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as people who don’t. Ready to try it now?

Share you dreams with a friend.

Dr. Gail Matthews, professor of Psychology at the Dominican University of California, discovered that those sharing their written down goals and aspirations with a friend were “on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.” It just goes to show that we need each other. Why not use some small group time to get those resolutions onto paper and share your goals, however large or small, with those who know you well and can keep you accountable.

With a new year comes new opportunities and new beginnings. I wish you all wonderful discoveries in 2013.

God bless!

Fasting: An Awesome Group Bonding Experience!

So, youʼre thinking about fasting as a small group? Here are a few tips to make the most of this awesome experience in connecting with God and others.

Plan Ahead

This is a great time to discuss how each person may need support during the fast. Chances are, listening to what each other’s concerns will help everyone be creative, consider combative ideas and work out what support they can offer each other!

Take Turns

Why not divide up the days between each group member to be responsible for ʻgroup encouragementʼ when their day rolls around? Whether itʼs an inspirational Facebook status where you tag each other, a ʻwe can do itʼ mass text or a daily Bible quote you just HAD to share, everyone can benefit from each other’s drive. Get inventive, work out what gets you fired up and share it!

Watch Those Feelings

After a long day, feeling deprived could seem like a little too much to take! How about ʻbuddying upʼ with someone you want to get to know better or even sharing your struggle with the whole group? Whatever support you need to keep you strong, this is exactly where your group can step in. What a great opportunity this is to bond as a group!

Be Still

Lastly, use your quiet moments that fasting brings to offset the busyness of your everyday lifestyle. Now is a great time to focus on the word, on your own peace and on achieving a quiet stillness with God, despite the trials of the day.

Guarding Our Hearts From The New Norm

“Conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected.” This is the definition of normal. Notice that what it doesn’t claim to be is “right, moral, necessary or unchanging.”

So what does normal mean to most of us today? Well, it can mean following the exciting restyles of fashion, admiring up-to-the-minute music or eagerly employing the use of the newest words and expressions being thrown at us through media and acquaintances. Being a part of all this helps us to fit in with the here and how, to conform to an unsteady world and to find a sort of connection with the likeminded people around us. It’s good to be a part of something.

But if we stop, take a breath and really reflect on what it is that we’re actually craving, as well as the ways we’re attempting to satisfy these instinctual needs, it’s not difficult to see why we’re missing the mark. Normal is ever-changing, always adapting to the desires of the majority. God never meant for us to take our place in the mainstream. Through John 2:15-17 God gifts us with total clarity regarding how much sway the norms and trends of this world should have in our lives and what should really charge us up and fuel us forwards.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

It comes down to priorities. Does the sparkle of the latest societal obsession distract you to the point of losing sight of God’s hopes and intentions for you? Or, do you actively work to help your heart stay put, steadfast and faithful against the glisten of so many temporary satisfactions?

St. Augustine, the African born saint, insightfully wrote “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” In a way, we can all sense disquiet within us. A ‘normal’ reaction to this is to lay distraction over it, diverting our attention towards the things that others are pursuing and seemingly experiencing fulfillment from. There’s an impression of safety in numbers. But our intuition tells us this isn’t where peace lives, driving us towards the next interruption. In a way it’s like running interference with God. He’s very much there, present in our lives but the white noise of fresh crazes, of new releases and the latest ‘must-haves’ can drown out the only message really worth hearing.

Certainly we all have our own notions about what’s normal and indeed what’s acceptable according to the societal standards that surround us today. Different factors unique to only us; who spoke into our lives, where and how we grew up, our own human experiences (both good and bad) all feed into the homegrown views that we collect over a lifetime. We need to check back once in a while to make sure that we haven’t overlooked what is true, simply substituting it for what is ‘normal’. For this reason and countless more we need to be sure not to invest our time only in the wonders of fads and trends, but in getting lost in The Word, in fellowship with those who’ve identified their cravings for the Lord and in serving others.

We need to remind ourselves and others alike that there’s something far more enticing in this life than what just appeals to us today and that it can be found, timeless and unchanging, buried deep within the word of God.

Building Your Foundation

By Kerri Karel

I am so grateful that Faith Promise is a “come as you are” kind of church. Just like Jesus meets us where we are, Faith Promise does the same. And just like Jesus, Faith Promise does not want people to stay the same way they were when they came. As our relationship with Christ deepens, we will grow and change to be more like Jesus. This is not an event. It is a process.

My relationship with Christ started 15 years ago. Having spent the first part of my adult life lost and wandering, my life really changed when I began a relationship with Jesus. God placed many loving, spiritual Christ-followers in my path to help me figure out where and how to start building my foundation. Without them, I might have remained stuck without knowing how to move forward and grow. I am truly, eternally grateful to Cindy, Sara and my first small group.

Over time I have spoken with many new believers as well as long-time church goers who ask, “Now what?” Many honestly don’t know where to start as they grow their relationship with Jesus. Having experienced transformation through a relationship with my Creator, I have a heart for helping others begin their relationship with Jesus. Two years ago Faith Promise needed a champion to create a way to help answer “Now what?” At the same time I was receiving a “Holy Spirit nudge” to seek out ways to serve those who needed direction on what to do next. God’s timing is always right on time.

The Foundations group exists to answer the question, “Now what?” It is specifically designed for those who want to grow their relationship with Jesus. This describes people just beginning a relationship with Him and also those who have attended church for a long time but have not ever been intentional in growing their relationship with Jesus.

Are you feeling that “Holy Spirit nudge”? It may be time to begin building your Foundation! Don’t ignore it and miss the greatest blessing you will ever receive – a relationship with Jesus.

To learn more and to signup for a six-week Foundations group on any of Faith Promise’s campuses, check out the list of available groups.