God’s Gift

I heard this week that we are in the midst of a “snow drought.” I’m not sure what that means and why it would be a bad thing, except that farmers who have planted winter wheat are counting on snow cover to insulate their crop from the harsh elements. So maybe we do need a little snow cover before spring arrives.

However, the geese who make The Ridge their home appear to be enjoying the open ground cover and the chilly lake.

I have stated this before, we have a beautiful campus! I encourage you to come out during the week and take it all in. As the weather gets warmer, bring your lunch and enjoy it under the pavilion as the kids expend some energy on the playground. You might also bring a fishing pole and try your skill or spend some time at the prayer garden.

We recognize this campus as a gift from God. Many thanks to all who support what God is doing through The Ridge Church and this campus as you give your tithe, offering, and financial contributions. You help make all this possible.

We Labor Together with God, Wes

An Ode to Super Bowl 2017

‘Twas the night of the Super Bowl and everyone at my house was super excited including my spouse. The Falcons were scoring while their fans in the stands were all roaring. The Patriots haters were grinning because Atlanta was winning.

But while they were gloating and gleaming, the Patriot team was all scheming. Winning is easy when you know you’re the best, but coming back from behind is the ultimate test. So just to play nice and to make it seem fair, New England decided to let Atlanta go on a three quarter tear.

They watched with amazement as they watched them showboat, but when they were ready, they released the GOAT*. I knew it was coming, cause I’ve seen it before, in no time at all they had evened the score.

Many were scratching their heads like it was some kind of mystery, but we were loving each moment as the Patriots made history. They were the best team that day, but I just go to say, regardless of the score, they are the best team ever in any kind of way.

I don’t need recognition I’m only a fan, the team is the best and Brady is the man. The haters will say, I don’t like them now, and I won’t like them ever. You may think that they cheated, but I think they’re just clever. The legacy of Belichick will now live on forever.

Matthew Borlase

*Greatest Of All Time

#TheRidgeWay!

Let me commend the folks of The Ridge for attending the outreach event on Sunday night. “The BFG” was a funny kid’s movie that was appropriate for adults as well. The official count was 83. There were many, many guests. Your attendance made a positive impact on all of them. Many of you went out of your way to introduce yourself and welcome all of our guests. This is the Lord’s calling for all of us at The Ridge as we seek to fulfill our God given mission. #TheRidgeWay!

I enthusiastically commend those who greet, welcome, and usher all who arrive in the morning. Greeting folks as they exit from their vehicles is #TheRidgeWay! This is especially appreciated during inclement weather. Then, to be welcomed and assisted as they enter the building is conducive to a great worship experience.

I was impressed Sunday morning when a couple came in as the service started and one of our ushers “ushered” them to a seat. #TheRidgeWay!

Our “Coffee And …” time is a great way to encourage one another. I encourage you to get here a little earlier and enjoy the fellowship… and the great food. Thank you to all who provide food each week. We need more folks to sign up and at the Hospitality Area to bring food. You may also donate money. #TheRidgeWay!

At The Ridge we expect new folks to attend every week. They may not know our name and we may not know theirs. Thank you for wearing name tags. It puts everyone at ease and allows us to greet one another by name. #TheRidgeWay!

We Labor Together with God, Wes

No Money No Problem

On my way in to The Ridge this morning, I passed a used car dealer and saw this on their lighted sign. “No Money No Problem”. It gave me pause to think what the sign actually meant. I was thinking that perhaps I could purchase a car there with no money. Maybe they were free. Or, maybe there was some other commodity that would be acceptable as a payment?

I’m not interested in another vehicle free or not so I did not research its meaning. However, I did ponder the words of the sign for a bit, concluding that they were incorrect. Without money, there is a problem. I mean a person can get by on their good looks for just so long. Money is a necessity to be successful in today’s society, as well as, in purchasing a vehicle, except if you are really, really good looking!

What if the sign read, “No strength No problem” that would be equally inaccurate as “No Money No problem.” Strength, stamina, and energy are essential to face successfully the challenges of daily life. When they are lacking there is a problem!

In reality, it is when we confess our lack of life’s essentials that God’s unlimited resources are able to fill us up, see us through, and alleviate the problem.

What essentials are you lacking today? Announce it before the Lord and allow God’s unlimited resources to fill you up. “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.” (Isa 40:31 MSG)

We Labor Together with God, Wes

An Incredible Miracle

The devotion for the Wednesday morning men’s prayer and Bible study time (Stand Firm) reminded us how easy it is to forget the great things God has done for us.

After being, freed from Egyptian slavery the Israelites gather at Mt Sinai and pledge complete and total allegiance to Jehovah. However when Moses is with God for 40 days, its back to the idols for the people. They had forgotten the incredible miracle God had done in their behalf as well as their pledged allegiance to Jehovah.

Earlier this week, a guest came by to see me. When he was here before we were just weeks away from moving to The Ridge. There were paint buckets, tools, debris, and big equipment strewn throughout. So, I took him on a tour and began to share with him all that has been accomplished with the building and grounds in the last two and a half years. He was astonished, as was I.

May we never forget how blessed we are with what God has accomplished through each one of us. It has been without doubt an incredible miracle.

As you prepare to give your 5th Sunday offering, remember what God has done with what we have given. And, don’t forget how much more God will do with what we give.

May we remember God’s goodness this day and every day! We Labor Together with God,

We Labor Together with God, Wes

What A Year!

As we come to the end of 2016 we can look back and say “What a year!” Of course the emotion and meaning of that statement is open to personal interpretation based on our own personal experiences. Many end this year as they began last year with a great amount of grief, turmoil, and general unrest.

I think all of us can agree, we are in dire need of help and direction. Many are looking to Politicians, Government and Human Institutions for relief and answers to their problems. So many have lost hope and given up all together. This situation reminds me of a very similar condition in the world when Jesus spoke these words we find in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The Apostle Paul faced many troubling times during his life and encouraged us with these words from 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 “But we have this treasure in fragile clay jars, this makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed — always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

The words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul serve as reminders, that life as we know it is fragile. We are weak and powerless to confront the negative forces that come against us in our own strength or with human institutions. However, if we bring our weakness and uncertainty of life to Jesus Christ in faith, he will give us rest for our souls and the ability to withstand whatever forces that causes us so much unrest.

 We Labor Together with God, Wes

The More or Less of Christmas

Matthew 1:23 “Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” 

We have a certain expectation of Christmas. Whether its gifts, family together, baking, football, snow, or Christmas trees. Perhaps it’s the Christmas tree and decorations. Each year we pull them out set them up and each year we add more to the previous year’s stash.

Our expectation increases each year until we figure out we can’t do all of that or it becomes more of a burden than a delight. THEN, we feel let down or frustrated or cranky.

But Christmas is really more about less. Less of me and my decorations, impressive gift giving, attending parties, or what I want for Christmas, and more about what God has given to the world in Jesus.  Immanuel, God with us, is to be enjoyed, embraced, worshiped, and praised.

Remember Martha and Mary: Jesus came to them and Mary sat down and enjoyed the presence of God.  Martha, was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She complained – somebody’s got to do it, it won’t get done by itself.

To which Jesus replied, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, it will not be taken from her.”

“Immanuel … God with us.” Lord, help us to focus less on Christmas expectations and more on Jesus presence.