Habits of Grace Seminar

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We are excited to announce that David Mathis, who is the Executive Editor of Desiring God will be leading a seminar for us on March 20-21 revolving around the various spiritual disciplines God has given to us in His Word. The seminar will be free and we will be giving away a free copy, while supplies last, of David’s book “Habits of Grace” to those who pre-register HERE!

*David will also be preaching at RVC on that Sunday!

Schedule

Friday:

session 1– 7:00-9:00 pm

Saturday:

Breakfast — 9:00-10:00 am

Session 2–10:00-12:00 pm

Lunch—12:00-1:30 pm

*childcare will be available during each session for children ages infant to 5 years old. Space will be limited.

How to be a good small group attender

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As a church we think it is important to be involved in one of our small groups. In small groups we are able to live in a tight knit community with others to help each other grow in our walk with Christ. Because small groups are important and can be a real catalyst for growth it is important for the glory of God and for the joy of the entire group to be the best attenders that we can be. Below is a list of 10 things to set your heart toward as you participate in a small group!

  1. Come on time and be sensitive about when to leave
  2. Help with food and even offer to bring the main dish
  3. Help clean up before you leave
  4. Pray for the small group leader and family
  5. Seek to get to know everyone in your group
  6. Help care for children that might be present
  7. Be committed to coming every time the group meets
  8. Find ways to encourage the leader/host
  9. Be involved in discussion while also letting others be involved
  10. Humbly seek to use your time, treasures, and talents to serve the group 

What other things would you add to this list?

Celebrating 10 Years of RVC–Steve Jacobs

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(This is post is part of a series of blogs we will be doing throughout 2020 as we prepare for our 10 year anniversary at RVC that we will celebrate on 12/5/20. To search under the tag “RVC 10 yearsto read other post in this series)

I started attending Red Village Church in February of 2011.  At that time, I had just moved back to Madison from the Appleton area.  An Appleton area pastor friend named Jon Wells recommended Red Village Church to me.  Pastor Jon and Pastor Aaron Jozwiak knew one another from connections they had while in Green Bay together.

A little background about me: I grew up in Menasha, Wisconsin which is on the north shore of Lake Winnebago and a little bit south of Green Bay.  I was raised Catholic and our family went to church every Sunday.  I served as an altar boy for a while and my Dad served as an usher in the church for many years.  I always believed in God as a Creator; but, for most of my life, I had a very poor understanding of our need for Jesus.  It wasn’t until I was 45 years old when two Texas pastors, Pastor Jon Wells and Pastor Brad Strand, shared the gospel with me that I really began to understand what Christianity is all about.

I think of the first 45 years of my life as having head knowledge about Christianity but it wasn’t something I believed with my heart.  Because of the two Texas pastors sharing the gospel with me on September 13, 2008, the Bible and other Christian literature that I started to read around that time, and the work of the Holy Spirit, Christianity became real to me.  It was no longer just a head knowledge kind of belief.  It was real.

Evangelism is something I would never of thought of doing in a million years prior to the two Texas pastors sharing the gospel with me; but, after Christianity moved that short distance from my head to my heart, I began to think more about how I could share my faith with others.  I believe God gifts each of us in different ways and I’ve always been a better writer than a speaker; so, I began to write.  It’s been amazing to me to watch my own faith grow since 2008 and see myself write things that I could never have imagined writing years ago.  My prayer is that people would be encouraged by the things that I have written and that others too could experience, just as I did, that incredible journey as Christ makes that short yet transformative journey from your head to your heart.

You can read some of the written attempts that I have made in sharing my faith on my Weebly Unknown Evangelist blog.  Late in 2011, I had dinner with a work friend of mine and shared my faith with him that night.  The things I spoke about with him ended up in what I like to call my “Cord of Three Strands” letter that is included on the Weebly blog.  The letter is addressed to my musical friend and encourager, Hugo Kons.  Hugo Kons passed away just this year so I would like to dedicate this little blog post to him if I could.  I also would like to take the time to thank Pastor Jon Wells and Pastor Brad Strand for caring enough about me to share the gospel with me back in September of 2008.  Without those two Texas pastors, Christianity may have never made that journey from my head to my heart.  For those that know me, the name Lily was used in my “Cord of Three Strands” letter because “Marilyn” was concerned about internet security when I shared it online.

Just like two Texas pastors made an incredible impact in my life, never underestimate the difference that you can make in someone else’s life by sharing the gospel with them.  Whether you are a better writer or a better speaker, use the gifts that God has given you to shine the light of Christ into the lives of the people around you.  I’ve been sharing online for well over six years now and it can get discouraging at times; but, don’t give up.  Even if you meet a wall of silence like I did, your efforts are not in vain.  What is the value of even one person’s soul?  As the great bluegrass evangelist Bill Monroe, born on September 13, 1911 in Rosine, Kentucky once put it, “What would you give in exchange for your soul?”

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26 (ESV)

Celebrating 10 Years of RVC—Justin Bond

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(This is post is part of a series of blogs we will be doing throughout 2020 as we prepare for our 10 year anniversary at RVC that we will celebrate on 12/5/20. To search under the tag “RVC 10 yearsto read other post in this series)

Remember that at one time you were separated from Christ. . .having no hope and without God in the world.” Without God in the world, our view of the world becomes bleak. Without a divine creator, we realize that we came from minuscule particles near deep sea vents, and have no significance outside of the significance we bestow on ourselves. Of course, faith in a creator and evolution are not necessarily opposed to one another(many devout Christians hold this tension); however the theory of evolution that works as a worldview, completely independent of divine intervention, leaves one in a bleak world indeed. We are left without the resources to defend or place meaning into those things which we hold most dear: Justice, the strong defending the weak, beauty, moral goodness, righteousness, or love. Since there is no creator, we have to assume that these are social constructs and although we may wish others to also appreciate and follow our beliefs, we mustn’t and cannot force them upon others because, as we know, all truth is relative. You have yours and I have mine, and let us keep that straight! However as we think more about this, we realize that this argument doesn’t hold water; we do want others to hold to our beliefs because we do believe them to actually true.  Again and again we run into an objective moral reality that exists outside of us, that we cannot escape, even through gallons of philosophy and reason. We find ourselves in an age of longing, an age of wondering what the purpose of our lives are, an age where Mumford and Sons say we are “Hopeless Wanderers”. 

Into this secular age, the Gospel continues to trumpet its message. We learn from history that Jesus Christ was a real man that really walked the earth, was really crucified, and according to those closest to him and droves of other Jews and gentiles, rose again from the grave. History peaks into his tomb and we see that it is still empty. We hurl heavy grenades at the Bible, especially at the historicity and accuracy of the New Testament but find it be a sturdy vessel, capable of withstanding much shrapnel. As we continue to peer into Christianity we are surprised to see it is not only intellectually legitimate but carries resources within it that are able to transform individuals and subsequently families and entire societies. 

At the age of 21 I faced a minor(or maybe major) existential crisis, being bombarded with the easily answerable questions of, “What is the purpose of life?”, “What is the reason behind any of my actions?” and “Is there any meaning to any of this?” This led that that 21 year  old to attend Buddhist seminars, transcendental meditation sessions, and led him to dive headfirst into the New Age movement. One of the most compelling authors in this religion was Neal Donald Walsh, with his trilogy called Conversations with God, where he claimed to be speaking with God himself. However, Neal did make some errors, he included Bible verses throughout his books. Like flaming javelins these various verses would leap from the page and lodge themselves in me. Around this time a childhood friend reached out to me and asked, “Hey wanna check out this church with me?” Having thought I couldn’t sink any lower, I said, “Of course.” What I didn’t anticipate was how this decision would shake all the world-views I had previously constructed. There stood the pastor, donned in his newest red, Badger T-shirt, bespectacled and speaking in a way that touched on divine realities but was delivered in such a way where mere mortals could understand.  That morning he defended the biblical sex ethic, sex is to be only within marriage between a man and a women. He may as well been speaking Mandarin because his message collided against the hookup culture(that I had wholeheartedly embraced) and the idea that truth is relative, unique to each individual. Could what he be saying be objectively true? Like true for me and true for you? But could it be true for him too? I knew intrinsically that it was, which was exciting but would later lead to terror. It became clear that if what he taught was objectively true, then other true truths must exist.

This dear friend invited me back to church again and again. I began imbibing all I could, as a dried sponge does when run under fresh water. One week the pastor printed off a copy of Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae and like Gollum who rediscovered his precious, I clutched that wood pulp, stashing it in my top dresser drawer, greedily reading and rereading the ancient texts. After months of exposure to Christianity there came a moment of decision. I had read enough of the Bible to understand the character of this God: He demanded integrity, honesty, love for thy neighbor and enemies, giving away of one’s own hard earned money(!), and ultimately a love for Him. Squinting into my past, I knew I came up short in every area, and actually lived perpendicular to his character, taking advantage of people, always putting the needs of myself above theirs, and having no heart to love Him. I had read that this God also wanted to be in a living, breathing relationship with me. This was too much to fathom. So as I lay in a mosquito infested rundown church, feeling the weight of my wrongs searing upon my conscience I uttered a simple prayer, “God if you are real, you can have my life and use it. I have made a mess of it.” Words do a poor job of portraying the experience that came over me but I will try: The dark cloud that had hovered over me, drenching me with a slow drizzle, lifted, light and life came into my eyes,  the shame and guilt that suffocated me evaporated, and for the next week I spoke very little, delighting in and pondering the treasure that God had given me. I later realized that what occurred that night, was that I was given God’s Spirit,  I had come to trust in an alien righteousness, that from his Son, and that I was adopted into God’s family both now and forevermore. 

“What shall I render the Lord for all his benefits to me?. . . I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praise to my God while I have being. . . Bless the Lord on my soul! Praise the Lord!”

Next Steps Class

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Interested in learning more about RVC? Our church history? Our beliefs? Our goals? How to get more involved? What it means to be a member? If so, join us at our “Next Steps Class” where we will answer all of those questions and more! Our next class is scheduled for January 12th right after the church service. Lunch will be provided.

If you are also in need of childcare please email Aaron@RedVillageChurch.com.

(The class typically last around 2 hours)