What Is Your Next Step?

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by kevin bradford

What’s in a next step?

Do you remember the process you had to go through to graduate high school? You had to take this math class and that science, and don’t forget the electives! The amount of effort you put into each class was determined by what you wanted to do after high school. From there, you worked through a plan set by guidance counselors and teachers, designed to help you know which steps to take next.

The same idea applies to your spiritual growth. Let’s face it. Following Jesus is not an easy thing to understand. I look back on times in my journey where I felt dazed and confused, wondering what I was supposed to do next. Thankfully, God placed the right people at the right time in my life to help me navigate those uncertain seasons of life. I learned how to read the Bible, pray, serve, and live my life by watching those men and women, as well as by asking questions. They were patient as they showed me the next steps I needed to take to grow in my relationship with Jesus.

Jesus constantly invited people to take next steps. He told Peter to toss his fishing nets aside and become a fisher of men. He challenged a guy named Matthew, who was a tax collector (probably the most hated profession at the time) to leave behind his crooked ways and follow him. And don’t forget about the woman Mary he encountered after she discovered the empty tomb. “Go tell my brothers.” Every next step he presented was intentionally designed to help them grow.

At Ridge Church, we want to help you take next steps. Regardless of where you are on the journey, we will help you discover where to go next as you follow Jesus and walk with you along the way. The steps you take are critical to seeing transformation happen in your heart.

Here are some next steps you can take:

* Start a Bible reading plan. It can be hard to know where to start reading or what to read next. Bible plans can guide you so you can spend less time wondering what to read next and more time understanding what you’re reading! Visit http://ridgechurch.cc/next-steps/read-the-bible for some ideas to get you going.

* Join a Life Group. The goal of joining a group is to grow in your walk with Jesus around people that can support you in taking your next steps. We believe life is better when you live in community. Visithttp://www.nowsprouting.com/ridgechurch/form.php?pageID=65&loadDraft=1 to sign up for a group.

* Give to the Dollar Club. Once a month, we do the Dollar Club. It’s an offering we collect to benefit an immediate need in our community. As the title says, we ask that you give $1 (or more if you choose to) on the firstSunday of every month. The church matches the total given and then we help someone who could benefit from it.

* Join a Serving Team. When you serve on a team, you get the benefit of connecting with others and being a part of something bigger than yourself. We have a lot of opportunities to plug in. It’s all about helping you find the right fit for you that will help you continue growing in Christ. Visithttp://ridgechurch.cc/next-steps/serving for more information!

Life Change Is Infectious

by bobby williams

Each Sunday that we have baptisms at Ridge Church, it becomes my new favorite Sunday. I love seeing people take their next step in their journey as a follower of Jesus.

This past Sunday we baptized three people with more this coming Sunday!

Every baptism is a person with a story. And every story is someone’s life being changed forever.

Sunday we heard the story of Evageline who thought she had given her life to Jesus early in life but realized later that she only went through the motions but never truly committed her life to Jesus. After coming to Ridge, she said she repented of her sin, gave her whole life to following Christ and took her next step in baptism this past Sunday.

There was Aiden, who as a young boy, knew Jesus was calling him to be His. Sunday when he was baptized, he shot up out of the water like a man who knew all that he had been forgiven of.

Then there is John. John came to the Ridge reluctantly as all-out atheist. But as John would soon find out, when the Holy Spirit draws you into God, you just can not resist. John gave his life to Christ and baptized.

We had a chance to sit down with John to hear his story. His story is a reminder to us that God can literally save anyone. And when he does, it’s hard to keep that kind of good news to yourself.

“It’s time to take a stand and show the world, my faith has changed and my heart has been opened.”

John Miller Story from Chris Hill on Vimeo.

Stop Following Your Heart | New ebook

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by bobby williams

If you have been around the Ridge any length of time, you have heard me plead with you to, “stop following your heart.”

As writer of a new ebook Jon Bloom says, “your heart is a compass inside of you that will direct you to your own true north if you just have the courage to follow it. It says that your heart is a faithful guide that will lead you to true happiness if you just have the courage to listen and act. The creed says that you are lost and your heart will save you.”

Jon Bloom has written a great ebook called Don’t Follow Your Heart. It will help you heal, as well as avoid spiritual heart disease, by identifying and resisting your heart’s errant predilections and directing it to do all God’s will — to follow Jesus.

Grab this FREE EBOOK now at DesiringGod.org 

7 Ways To Invite Someone To Ridge Church Sunday

by bobby williams

This weekend we kickoff and incredible new series called Five Lies of the Devil.  Maybe you’ve seen some of the videos. You can get more info on the series RIGHT HERE.

If you can’t tell, we really believe that this series will greatly impact people in our community and we want to make sure you have all the tools necessary to invite those around you to church this weekend.  I am more fired up about this Sunday than I am the UT game Sunday (and I’m pretty fired up about that.)

Not only do we kickoff a new series, we add a 3rd service time (8:30 – 10:00 – 11:30)…AND….we will have the Dollar Club reveal as well (DO NOT miss this!).

 

This is one of those things that could seriously impact a persons eternity.  That’s HUGE!

We’ve worked really hard to give you great tools & ways you can invite someone to be at Ridge Church with you this Sunday.

Here are a few done-for-you ways you can invite someone to Ridge Church Sunday.

Facebook

Post this on your timeline:

Hey friends! This Sunday I’m going to Ridge Church in Oak Ridge, and I would LOVE for you to come with me! We start a great new teaching series called Five Lies of the Devil. Leave me a comment and let me know if I can tell you more or if you want to come with me!

Share this:

We have THIS event invite made just for you. Share it on your timeline and don’t forget to use the invite your friends option

Use this picture:

New Series Sept 13 - Oct 11

 

Twitter:

Tweet this:

I’m going to Ridge Church tomorrow- which of my friends are coming with me?

Instagram:

Save and post this picture:

New Series Sept 13 - Oct 11

Add this in the comment section of Instagram:

Can’t wait for this series tomorrow at Ridge Church. We have 3 service times- 8:30…10:00…11:30. Let me know what time you want to come and I’ll meet you there!

Text Message

Copy and paste this text to a few friends:

Hey! I’m going to Ridge Church tomorrow. Want to join me?

Email

Send a short email to a few friends, tell them you’re going, what time you’ll be going, and ask them to meet you there.

Regardless of what you do, be bold, be brave and do it.

 

Forgiving Those Who Hurt You

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by bobby williams

There are not many of us who could say that we have NOT been hurt by someone in some way.

Someone said something to us that cut us deeply….

Someone did something to us that has stayed with us for years…

Someone has done something to a family member or close friend….

Someone has repeatedly hurt us verbally, physically or maybe both….

Every time we think about the act, the words, the experience, we find ourselves back in that place we thought we moved on from. We THOUGHT we moved on.

Maybe we forgave someone at some point, or thought that we did. But as Perry Noble explains in one of his blog posts, forgiveness is an on-going process. It’s probably not a one-time event.

Perry says, “I would have told you that I had “moved on” and that what he did didn’t bother me anymore. However, on this day I realized that forgiveness is not a one-time decision but rather a daily process that isn’t always necessarily easy, but is always right. I understood that forgiveness is MUCH DEEPER than a feeling (if we wait until we feel like forgiving we will never actually forgive) but rather a choice I have to make over and over again when the pain from what was done to me hits me out of nowhere. ” 

Later in the article he says, “The right thing to do (not the easy thing to do) is to choose in that moment to forgive. No matter how many times you have done it in the past, you need to learn how to do it over and over again. I’ve even had to say out loud at times, “Right now I choose to forgive BLANK…” 

READ THE REST AND FULL ARTICLE FROM PERRY HERE

Sunday, I gave us this simple yet powerful statement borrowed from my friend Perry; FORGIVEN PEOPLE FORGIVE PEOPLE. In fact, that is one of the core value statements of Newspring Church. It’s powerful.

So yes, forgiven people forgive people….over and over and over and over and over.

Another great link to check out today on forgiveness, John Piper answers the question, How Should We Relate to a Person Who Has Significantly Hurt Us? 

In his post, he explains the difference between forgiveness and trust.

If we can walk with you, help you or pray for you in your journey toward forgiveness, send us an email at prayer@ridgechurchonline.com.

We have already had several stories of people taking a step towards to forgiving someone that has hurt them deeply. God is doing something very powerful in you when you forgive, but also in the person you are forgiving.