Entitlement And Thanksgiving

Thom Rainer http://tinyurl.com/TRC-tret

If I feel entitled, I complain about my job. If I am thankful, I am grateful to have a job.

If feel entitled, I complain about the meal I’m eating. If I am thankful, I am grateful to have food on the table.

If I feel entitled, I complain that the government does not do enough for me. If I am thankful, I ask what I can first do for others.

If I feel entitled, I complain about my spouse. If am thankful, I express gratitude that someone has put up with me all these years.

If I feel entitled, I complain about living paycheck to paycheck. If I am thankful, I am grateful simply to have a paycheck.

If I feel entitled, I complain about what’s wrong with my church. If I am thankful, I am ever grateful for the freedom to worship.

If I feel entitled, I complain about the deficiencies of different family members. If am thankful, I am grateful that I have a family that loves and cares for me.

If I feel entitled, I complain about the lousy weather we’re having. If I am thankful, I am grateful to be a free person regardless of the weather.

If I feel entitled, I complain to God about why He is treating me so unfairly. If I am thankful, I know that I deserve nothing good, that all gifts are an act of grace.

Dear Lord, forgive me for my sense of entitlement. Remind me to rejoice in all things, and in all things to be thankful. Remind me to count my blessings. And remind me when my heart begins to stray from thanksgiving to entitlement.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Why I find It Easy To Give Through The Ridge

Thank you so much for your generosity. Debbie and I appreciate all of your kind remembrances for Pastor Appreciation month.

I also affirm your generosity as you provided candy for the children in Gorham. We had more than enough! There were 24 Ridge folks passing out candy in the community. What a great way to share the love of Jesus. Remember TeamKID Gorham begins this Tuesday. We already have 10 children enrolled.

This time of year, there are so many needs and good groups asking for some help as they assist the needs of many in our communities. I try to be sensitive to all the requests made. However, it is easiest for me to give through The Ridge Church.

I find it easy to give through The Ridge Church. I’m excited to provide Samaritan Purse shoeboxes, Halloween candy for children, Spirit of Christmas gifts, debt retirement offerings, and financial support for missionaries through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This is in addition to my regular tithe and offerings. I am so blessed by God’s generosity to me how can I not be generous in sharing with others?

Over the years, many have invested their lives to show God’s love and grace to others through this very congregation. I consider it a badge of honor and myself a fellow laborer with God to continue the good work and touch lives for Jesus.

Don’t you?

We Labor Together With God, Wes

It’s A Great Time!

It’s a great time to be a part of the ministry and family of The Ridge Church. Sundays Fall Festival was the best we’ve enjoyed in a very long time. Not even the weather could dampen the spirits of the night. While we were limited in some of our activities, everything was planned and executed well. My Hats Off goes to Jamie Robison for keeping everything on track and A Hats Off to Amy & Betty Wilson for the best games ever!

I want to remind everyone of the 5th Sunday Offering this Sunday that goes to paying off our debt. Please make the best gift possible so we may continue all the building expansion that is going on. Folks, we are out of room!

Please keep our parking lot team in your prayers as they greet everyone on Sunday mornings, assist with parking and strive to keep everyone safe. They are the front line of The Ridge Church. If you would like to assist them, please let them know. The team: Louie Hertter, Dakota Little, Chris Robison, and Josh Dover.

Finally, Tuesday we will head to Gorham for their trick or treat. Your generosity of donated candy is overwhelming, thank you. We will use this opportunity to share information and register children for Gorham TeamKId, which will begin Tuesday, November 7 at 4:30.

It’s a great time to be a part of the ministry and family of The Ridge Church.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

The Positive Aspects of a Slug

A lot going on in October! Well, we can make the same statement about November. Well then, we can make the same statement about December as well!

As I look at The Ridge calendar, I see that it also is filling up. There are only so many hours in a day, and days in a month. Getting everything done that we would like to accomplish is quite impossible. Yet, we are willing to put ourselves through the paces. Perhaps if we survive, we can wear it as a badge of honor. In addition, we look so much better in our own eyes when asked, what we have been doing, by rattling off a list of activities rather than simply suggesting we have been a “slug.” The church is guilty of contributing to the breathless pace of life with all of its activities as well.

I believe God made the days shorter and the weather colder this time of year for a reason. We need time to stay home, refresh, renew, and re-create. Being a “slug” at times is not shameful. In fact, it is wise. If we have hopes of great fetes in the future, we must find the time to recharge the batteries in the present.

How sad it is, to race through the days, the weeks, and the years in order to gain the maximum experiences of life, never stopping and being still long enough for those experiences to make you smile!

Prioritize your time but don’t over book yourself. Stay home, do nothing, watch TV, take a nap, listen to music, read a book, be a slug, and get your rest! Remember we have a big day tomorrow!

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Of What Value Is The Scripture To Our Everyday Life?

I believe that is a foundational question and drives our desire as a congregation to listen, read, and study the scripture. For, we believe without any hesitancy that the scripture is the foundation of every aspect of our life. In fact, who believes the Bible the most, has been a point of contention for years in our Convention.

What I find quite ironic in all of this is that as loud as we shout our allegiance to the scripture almost to the point of idolatry, we fail miserably in memorizing what it contains. And, in this day of Google search it may be a moot point, since we can just “google” what we are hoping to find.

I would agree except for one little point. You see, when Jesus was tempted by the devil he did not “google” his response. Rather, he quickly, confidently responded by quoting scripture. Therefore, if Jesus needed to do that to overcome the beguiling serpent how much more do we, if we plan to resist the “flaming darts of the evil one.” Our lack of desire to memorize scripture is often quite evident.

For those who are motivated and desire to remember scripture but need some assistance (myself included) let me introduce you to a free APP “Scripture-Typer”

Download it and register your account. Then look for our group and logo, “The Ridge”. Join the group. Our first verse from “God’s Plan For Me” is Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Results from our Gorham Outreach Block party

I’m excited to share the results from our Gorham Outreach Block Party. I’ll give you the numbers first and then share a challenge.

We were hoping for about 50 and the Lord blessed with about 175. The day was magnificent. I must brag on the number of folks who participated from The Ridge. Not only were you there but you interacted with the Gorham folks. As Matt Blagg commented, “That is the Church being the Church.”

Speaking of Matt Blagg, he was just the right person for the event. His music was uplifting, encouraging, and he shared the gospel through his music and testimony.

Now the challenge is what to do next. My prayer is that we will act on the momentum and the movement of God’s blessing and become active in the community with a weekly after-school event for the children. It would begin about 4 or 4:30 pm and include an activity, a snack, and a Bible lesson.

Are you up for the challenge? Will you be willing to support this mission opportunity? Let’s pray and move forward.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Gorham Block Party

A big weekend for The Ridge Church as we reach out to our communities 

Saturday is our Outreach to Gorham. I am quite impressed with the number of folks signed up to help. Thank You!

Block party is from 1-3. The concert will start around 2:15-2:30 (last about 45 minutes). We will have a basket give away around 3 pm and Matt Blagg will finish. He will also present a gospel message through his music and words.

Weather forecast is in the low 70’s and no rain. Everyone is invited!

Goal: To share the love of Jesus with the community of Gorham through music, games, food, engaging conversation, fun, and God’s Word.

Expectation of crowd: We would love to have 50 people register. We may only have 20 or we could have 150. Whatever the number we will be happy because they are the ones God has planned for us to encounter. Back to Church Sunday

Back to Church Sunday

Then, Sunday, October 1 is “Back to Church Sunday” A Celebration with Matt Blagg in Concert. We will receive a love offering for Matt during the concert.

Please do me a favor and reach out to your family, friends, and neighbors and invite them to come to worship with you?

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Sunday School A Team Effort

David Francis. LifeWay’s director of Sunday School writes,

When I am speaking to a group of teachers about organizing their classes, someone will invariably say, “We don’t have an outreach leader” or “We don’t have an outreach leader.” I always respond the same way: “Yes, you do!” You see, if you are the leader, and you don’t have someone in those or other positions, you ARE that leader! However, it is too much for any one person. So we need a team.

Time: Developing a high performance team takes time. The ideal is a weekly planning meeting. Also the entire Sunday school team should meet monthly. These meetings need to be well planned and balanced with information and motivation

Encouragement: The fuel that powers effective teams is relationships. Sometimes leaders get so busy they can burnout. Each class needs an inreach leader to encourage the class.

Accountability: Effective teams have clear roles and responsibilities, and hold each other accountable. There is one thing worse than a vacancy: a filled vacancy with one who has the title, but doesn’t do the job. Often, the reason is that the responsibilities were not communicated when they were enlisted for the job.

Mission: High performing teams share a common purpose and goal. For Sunday School teams, a mission that compels is bigger than just showing up on Sunday mornings and going through the motions. It is rather a commitment to utilizing Sunday School as an intentional strategy to help people connect to the church, to Christ, to each other, and to opportunities for ministry. Is your Sunday school/small group team built around a mission to help people invite, discover, and connect?

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Benny’s Is Closing

You are probably thinking I spelled the name wrong and how could the Marion restaurant be closing. Rest assured your Bennies salad with their signature garlic dressing is safe… for now anyway.

Benny’s is a Southern New England chain of 31 stores that has been in business for 93 years, owned by the Bromberg family. The reason given for closure is the monumental changes in the retail industry and desire of this generation of Bromberg’s to retire.

The owners concluded that their business model was no longer viable. Now it wasn’t that they couldn’t compete. The first R.I Walmart opened in Westerly a few years ago right behind a Benny’s. While their business dropped for a time, they figured out how to coexist in the shadow of the box store. The products are always the same but the way to obtain them has changed. However, in order to endure they had to continually innovate and remain fresh and relevant. Ultimately, rather than continue down the road of constant change and innovation the decision to close was made leaving 700 people looking for work elsewhere.

The message of The Ridge Church is always the same, “For God so loved the world he gave his one and only son. Whoever believes in him will not perish but have life everlasting.” However, for The Ridge Church to remain fresh, viable, and relevant we too must continue down the road of constant change and innovation.

The alternative is playing out before us in the business world.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Great Opportunities to Serve

I am passing on to you an email I received from the Trustees this morning. It is a reminder that we are in a season of physical and spiritual growth. The Lord has blessed in so many ways as we have stepped up to receive each blessing.

One facet of spiritual growth is physical involvement in what God provides. That is, “laboring together” with God in the work God is doing. In this busy time of the year and with the busy lives we lead, we may find ourselves too busy to receive what the Lord is ready to provide. Wouldn’t it be a shame to be too busy and miss out?

Here is the email:

The Trustees are diligently working on many projects at this time! There is currently a GREAT need for helpers at The Ridge!

Before we can add on to the Pavilion storage, we need to do some cleaning and organizing. October 7th at 8:00 am has been set for this project. October 13th and 14th are the days scheduled to do the addition.

We NEED your help! Please see a Trustee for more information or call me at 559-4020.

Many exciting things are in the works (parking lot lights, classroom building, landscaping, etc.); stay tuned for more great opportunities to SERVE!

Louie, Trustee Chair

We Labor Together With God, Wes