Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Something Supernatural

What is the supernatural? It is that which is beyond our natural world. We don't have the ability to see or hear what is supernaturally around us, but it is truly there. It is the invisible, mostly undetectable part of our existence. People have tried for millennia to get in touch with the supernatural. During the 1800's, people as diverse and rational as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of Sherlock Holmes) and Horace Greely (the famed newspaper editor) both were drawn in by the lure of the supernatural. This picture is the result of a clever double exposure that was used as proof of the supernatural. Of course, with little working knowledge of how pictures could be manipulated while being developed, many took this type of picture as a true representation of what the supernatural was all about.

Maybe today you would like to have access to the supernatural. I mean really get into it...completely and without abandon. I can assure you, that is available to you. There is a great book that has supernatural words on every page. People are so interested in it that it outsold Harry Potter in 2007...2 to 1. As a matter of fact, this book about the supernatural has sold upward of 5 to 6 billion copies. That's a lot of interest in the supernatural. So, are you interested? If you are, this book can do great things for you. It amuses me that people, maybe even you, are searching for something that is supernaturally inferior by using Ouija boards, tarot cards, chicken bones, incantations, and spells. All along, the most powerful force in the world has been so close to most of you that is could have bitten you. It is the supernatural book we know as the Bible.

What can this supernatural book do for you?

First, this book brings with it...
The Promise of New Life
It says, "you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable —through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:23.

Who doesn't want to get a fresh start? That's what we are promised. That's what being "born-again" is all about. That happens the moment we believe and confess the words of the Bible. Romans 10:8-10 tells us:
The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.

Are you ready for new life?

Second, we are promised that...
You Can Trust this Book
Now, why is that? We are told in 1 Peter 1:24-25a, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower drops off, but the word of the Lord endures forever."

That means that every thing else will change. Other things written have not stood the test of time. When we believe this book, it will always be true. It won't be used for the garbage pail of life in a few years. It not only has the supernatural power to change your life, but also the supernatural ability to avoid destruction. It didn't matter if it was an ancient king or religious leaders of the dark ages, or modern day tyrants, this supernatural book has found a way to not only survive, but thrive and multiply. You will never go wrong when you trust is fully.

Third, we are told that this supernatural book should...
Apply to Your Life to Decide
When you use this supernatural book, it is then that it can make the most impact in your life. 1Peter 1:25b says it this way, "This is the word that was preached as the Gospel to you" what does this have to do with decision making? This is no longer the written word, it moves beyond that enduring, written word to the spoken word. It is that word, when spoken that brings about a decision to make the greatest possible, to believe the greatest news ever, the Gospel.

That means that once you believe, something supernatural happens. You are no longer in God's cross-hairs; you have been given the greatest gift ever, forgiveness for all the wrong that you have done. He is no longer your judge, but your Savior. If that's not supernatural power, I don't know what is. While there are many curses that have been used throughout time, there is only one way to have your sin forgiven and that's through Jesus. As Jesus Himself said, "Seeing their faith He said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven you.'” Luke 5:20

Are you prepared to embrace the supernatural for your life? This book, the Bible, is all you need to know. 

If you would like an English copy, let us know and we'll get you your very own copy of the greatest supernatural book ever written. contact@myoceansidechurch.com or twitter @oceansidechurch

Thinkin' Bout Oceanside

  • Wow, what a block party! Well over 100  people were there. This was a win for the Lord, for Oceanside Church, and for the people of the Seagull community. Thanks for all your help as we reached out and shared the Word of God with these precious and searching people. God is going to do a great work in their lives. I'm sure of it. Be praying for every soul. Each matters to our Lord.

  • Sun Stand Still begins in 2.5 weeks. Are you ready for God to do the impossible in your life? Be ready for something supernatural and wonderful to happen. If you want to get ahead, you can purchase your book this Sunday with a check, cash, or debit/credit card. Be ready for God to for you what you never thought possible.

    • Oceanside Saturday Night BETA service begins September 17th at 8:00 p.m. We are offering this time of worship for one of at least three reasons:
    1. You would like to go to church at a different time. The early church worshipped every day. We are extending our times available to worship to another day. Maybe one day soon, we'll have worship every day.
    2. You would like a hard hitting, media driven, free time of worship. The music will be more up beat, the sermon will straight and to the point, and we will use all kinds of media from Twitter to Foursquare to YouTube, and anything else we can think of. I will preach the same message, but much more succinct and hard hitting. 
    3. We need more room. We always plateau in the 40's. With the school not being an option at this point, we want have another worship service that can offer us room on Sunday morning so we can fill that up too.
    Be praying for all that's going on. I can't wait to see all that God wants to do through us.

    Living supernaturally,

    Pastor Trey Rhodes

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    23 Seconds of Horror

    Have you seen the new Volvo auto brake system? It is probably one of the greatest practical inventions of mankind since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Who hasn't driven when there is a sudden stop ahead of you that you don't notice instantly? You hit the brakes and hope for the best. This new system is supposed to take the guesswork out of braking...well, most of the time. The video I've included is the result of asking the automobile magazine writers to watch the test of the system before it was actually ready. It was 23 seconds of horror for the Volvo designers.
    Let's think about our lives, we often place ourselves on "auto-pilot" and think everything is going along fine and then...BLAM! We hit a stopped semi trailer that we should have seen coming. It hurts...really bad. As God's people who have been re-created for His plan and purpose, He has helped us avoid these collisions in life. The problem is, we must choose to live life engaged and not on auto-pilot. When we are feeling unwanted by those around us, we can start to feel sorry for ourselves, but we have nothing to be sorry for. We have actually missed terrible collisions in life that have only one purpose, destruction.

    1 Peter 1:18-22 lets us in on these destroyers (which is one of the names for satan himself, apollyon. I refuse to capitalize his name).

    1. Emptiness (1 Peter 1:18a)
    Having been redeemed, we are filled with God. No longer is there a God shaped vacuum in us. We have Him. "Realize the fulness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without Him." (Colossians 2:9)

    2. Greediness (1 Peter 1:18b-19)
    Our lives are no longer built on stuff; it's "not with perishable things like silver or gold." A life built on that which perishes, "silver and gold" is wasted. There is nothing fun about greed. It is never satisfied. Always hungering for more and never giving back anything in this life. Ever seen American Pickers? Those people they go to see build barns to hold stuff that they could never use. It sits, rots, and collects dust. They even have a hard time selling it to the guys who know people that can use it. Rick Warren recently said this "All my possessions are just tools for fulfilling God's purposes. I either given them away or use them on that sole basis." Can you say that? If not your auto-pilot is set on greed.

    3. Hopelessness (1 Peter 1:20-21)
    We are so tied up in our stuff and our way of doing things that we confuse who and what to place our hope in. Jeremiah understood this when He wrote, "It's hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans" (Jeremiah 18:12).
    Our hope is in a God who loves us so much that He was willing to give His Son to sacrifice His life for us. Doesn't that give you hope? There is a future with Him. He does have a plan for you. That is why we can run to Him for refuge when feeling unwanted and like life is without hope...God is our future.

    Finally, we avoid a collision with...
    4. Lovelessness (1 Peter 1:22)
    We get what is called "sincere love". Love is not love when it is not sincere. When there is real truth, there will be true love. So much of what passes for love today is little more than "like" at best and "lust" at its worst. Love can can only be based on what God says about love. That is true love. It is the kind of love, as MacArthur tells us, "responds to a command." He goes on to say, "Only those who have been purified (saved) have this capacity to love like this. Exhibited by meeting others at the point of their need." (MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 1 Peter 1:22). Sincere love for others will develop a sincere love for you. It's never about what you can get out of a relationship that matters, it's what you put into it that makes it sincere.

    I am so glad God has clearly designed you and me to avoid these kinds of collisions in life. It's time we fill ourselves with God, give ourselves to others, and love as only God can. Then maybe being unwanted won't matter as much any more.

    Thinking 'Bout Oceanside

    • Wasn't it a wonderful thing to hear the air conditioning running and feel the cool air when you walked in Sunday morning? The air might have been cool, but God's presence was warm. Thank you Charlotte for your testimony about God's goodness in your life. Thanks to you who were open and receptive to God's Spirit as you responded to Him. Oceanside is the best place for Sunday morning...hands down! Let's keep inviting people to join us..every single week.
    • Be sure to lend us a hand this Sunday night at Seagull Apartments as we have a block party to demonstrate sincere love for the people in our neighborhood. No matter what you can do, you are needed. Be there at 5:00 p.m. this Sunday night, August 28th. Let's show them Jesus!
    • A new night of worship for the next generation. Beginning in September, Oceanside will begin offering an alternative worship service on Saturday night to open our doors to new people who might not be able to make it on Sunday morning or could even be looking for a different style of worship. The message will be the same, but we will provide a new atmosphere to welcome new people who need to hear the truth and hear the Gospel. Be in prayer as we develop this time of worship for the next generation.
    Collision avoidance on,

    Pastor Trey Rhodes

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    It's All about What You Have

    Possessions are a good thing. Most of us like to have stuff. The problem comes in when we like stuff more than people and our Lord. Note that Jesus never said that money is the root of all evil. He said the love of money is the root of all evil. So, there is to be a balance in most of our lives. I think one philosopher once said, we are to love people and use things; we should never love things and use people. Whether we are keeping up with the Jones's or keeping up with our mortgage payments, we can all fall into the trap of working to get, so we can work, so we can get, so we can work...and the vicious cycle goes on. I have to ask...is that what life is all about?

    Yet, there are some incredible things that every Christ-follower possesses. Not because we deserve it or worked for it, but because our God gave each of these wonderful, luxurious items that help us make it in a world where we can feel unwanted. What are these incredible gifts? Let's go to 1 Peter 1:8-12.

    The first luxury item
    1. We Are Given the Opportunity to Worship Jesus, 1 Peter 1:8-9
    You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls
    To us, we think of worship as a time and place we go to church. But it is so much more. It is experiencing God. When we worship God, there is a connect that creates in us a passion and pleasure found only in God. It is true love and pure joy.
    We should relish every moment we can spend time worshipping our Lord and God. When you truly worship Him, you will never be the same.

    The second luxury item
    2. We Are Given the Full Understanding of Christ, 1 Peter 1:10-12a
    Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you.
    The prophets longed to know what you can be fully aware of. What they saw in their prophecies were the mountain peaks. We see all of Jesus and know who He is and what He did. That is a gift that so many longed for for so many years. Now that is available to you. We know all that God wanted us to know about His Son, Jesus. We know it because it is in that wonderful, supernatural book, the Bible.

    Are you getting to know the God of the Bible? Take time to study this week. Use a pen or pencil. Jot down what you are learning or what God is saying to you. Some of you use the margins of your Bible. Some of you use a journal. Whatever you use, write it down. Another simple way to study is to use the cross references your Bible has built into it. Study is how we can begin to understand what God is up to. That is something the prophets tried to do, but we never successful at. That kind of knowledge is yours for the reaping.

    The third luxury item
    3. We are Given More Access than the Angels, 1 Peter 1:12a
    These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things.
    Doesn't say that the angels will look into these things...but that they want to. We have access directly to the Father because the Son lives in us. The angels cannot boast that kind of privilege, therefore they cannot have that kind of access. The Psalmist wrote that were created a little lower than the angels. However, that was 1000 years before the resurrection of Jesus. We have more than even the angels have. They long to know and experience what we have been freely given. 1 Corinthians 4:9 tells us, "We have become a spectacle to the world and to angels." They can only experience redemption through what they see in us.

    Our access to God is made possible through the Son living in us. Avail yourself of that kind of incredible access to God as you boldly approach His throne. Pray this week to your heavenly Father. He so wants you to access Him. He is available to you.

    You see, through Jesus Christ, we are not only aware of these things. We possess and are possessed by these things. That's what you as a Christ-follower have. Lay hold of all that God has given you.

    Thinkin' 'Bout Oceanside

    -I am excited about the upcoming block party at Seagull. How can you best be involved? We need greeters, people that will head up games, people that can sign up our guests, chefs, and anyone who has a servant's heart. We want those people to see Jesus flowing through us. That will be Sunday, August 28th at 6:30 p.m.

    -How is your child doing? How are you doing with your child? John Rosemond can help you with "Parenting by the Book". That book is the Bible, and it works. Our child rearing seminar will be Saturday, September 24th. You need this if you have children, toddlers, babies, teens, or grandchildren. Registration is now open. See Kelly Rhodes for more information.

    -Your giving continues to be wonderful. This Sunday, we are making a card reader available for your convenience. Because so many of you use debit cards rather than checks, you have asked about the possibility. All you need do is swipe your card, type in the amount of money you would like to give, and sign your name. No registration necessary. In moments, you will have given to your Lord and His church all using this wonderful technology.

    Living in His luxury,

    Pastor Trey Rhodes

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Survival Gear

    There's not a man alive that doesn't like to watch Bear Grylls on Man vs. Wild. We like seeing him survive in the harshest of environments. There is something about the ability to live off the land even when there is nothing but a knife and a string to use so he can eat and drink for seven days with little or no support.

    But that's not the reason Christ-followers need survival gear. We need gear to help us survive as aliens in an alien world. Here's what I'm talking about, God didn't save us and leave us the fend for ourselves. He gave us survival gear to help us make it through until we go and see Him in eternity. Actually, when we look forward to what Jesus has for us, it gives us the will to survive because we can't wait to see all that Heaven has in store for us.

    So, what is available to help us survive? Looking at 1 Peter 1, we can see great tools custom designed for us.

    Let's take out the first piece of our gear, Hope (1 Peter 1:3)
    I love how the KJV uses the word "lively hope." It is not something in us that just has a pulse; it is moving and jumping around in us. That's lively.

    The word hope is used in the Bible with the distinctive meaning “confident expectation.” It is knowing that God will keep His promises both in the here and the hear-after.

    That is why King David proclaimed to His people and to us, "You are my hope, Lord God, my confidence from my youth." Psalm 71:5

    The second piece of our gear, Salvation (1 Peter 1:4-5)
    When we talk about salvation it is usually about what Jesus did for us when He saved us from our sin. But this is about what He has in store for us as well. No matter what kind of grief we get in what can be a hostile environment, we have the joy and glory of Heaven to look forward to.

    As John the beloved was transported to heaven when writing the book of Revelation, he reported what he saw and experienced accurately and precisely. This is how he described our ultimate salvation:

    Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have now come Revelation 12:10

    Although we are truly saved when we give our life to Jesus Christ, and although we experience the blessings of salvation every day, these are only the pledges of that glorious salvation to which we look forward in the Day of Christ.

    The 3rd piece of Our Gear, Joy (1 Peter 1:6)

    The two words greatly rejoice are one word in the original which conveys the idea of a strong, deep, supporting exultation. We can learn to live more positive, happy, and praise-filled lives in obedience to this commandment if we want to hear His “Well done” on that day. It is what we look forward to no matter how tough the day gets even if we feel unwanted when we're living for God.

    The truth is, life is tough, and people can make it worse. But don't get despondent or in despair, no one can take our joy because we know what's waiting for us. That is why John wrote these memorable words:

    So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will rob you of your joy. John 16:22

    The fourth and final piece of our survival gear is Genuineness (1 Peter 1:7)
    There is nothing more attractive to a watching world than to see genuine believers. There is nothing that is more repulsive than hypocrisy. When we come through the struggles with joy and hope, knowing our salvation is closer now than it has ever been before (Romans 13:11), that we let the world see genuine faith. It is in our new DNA as Christ-followers. It is a beautiful thing when we demonstrate God Himself lives in us...for real. And we are being tested, constantly. Here's what the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 8:8:

    I am testing the genuineness of your love. 2 Corinthians 8:8

    So, with your survival gear, you can get through the most spiritually barren stretches of land with no other believers in sight. That's why God gave us the gear. Use it this week.

    Stayin' alive,
    Pastor Trey Rhodes

    Thinkin' 'bout Oceanside
    • There is nothing better that seeing God's people mature and grow. I have seen so many of you grow up in your faith. Thank you for your faithful attendance and support during what could have been a very dry month. You have made a difference with your enthusiastic attitude and genuine sweet spirit. Staying connected to God in the summer gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to impact you. He has done just that.
    • Are you ready for a Block Party? It's coming to Seagull on the last weekend in August. We want to reach many for Christ as we have done before. Set aside this important weekend. as we prayer walk, visit, and invite those communities to be with us for a great time. Let's show them God's people love them and, we can have a good time too!
    • Ever had trouble raising your children? Who hasn't? That's why Oceanside is gearing up for a parenting seminar. It's called Parenting by the Book and is taught by John Rosemond. 
    How much?  For only $49.95 a couple ($29.95 for an individual), you will get 4 hours of instruction, the hardback book, Parenting by the Book, a free one month subscription to John Rosemond's web resources, and someone will receive a free basket with lots of good parenting stuff in it. As always, there are a few scholarships available. Registration is due September 18th. After that, you can still register, but the cost goes up to $59.95 and $34.95. 
    Where and When? It takes place at Oceanside's ministry center on Saturday afternoon, September 24th.
      See you there!