A Little Risk

I have been encouraged by the people of Chamblee First in the past few weeks. They have been stepping out in faith. Folks have been willing to take a little risk to see what the Holy Spirit would do.

Two groups come to mind immediately. The first is the group that showed up for Disc Golf Church. There were church members who had no disc golf experience, and there were disc golfers who had never been to our church. The second group was a pair of people from the missions committee who served at Malachi’s Storehouse on Wednesday. I challenged everyone on the committee to volunteer once a year. Malachi’s Storehouse is one of our community partners in mission, and I believe both groups are blessed by serving together.

These faithful disciples remind me of the story we read in Matthew 14:25-33. The twelve disciples have gone out to sea and Jesus catches up with them by walking on water. In an attempt to really know Jesus, we read that “Peter got out of the boat, started walking on water, and came toward Jesus.” (Matthew 14:29)

Peter was taking a little risk to see what the Holy Spirit would do. He walked on water. Disc golfers took a little risk. Malachi volunteers took a risk. They saw what the Holy Spirit can do.

Where is God calling Chamblee First to step out in faith? What risk are you going to take to follow Jesus? The Holy Spirit won’t let you down.

God Bless,
Rev. Rogers

Depth of Leadership

I’m so grateful to be serving at Chamblee First UMC where there is a depth of leadership. There is a passage in Acts 6:1-7 where the early church had more tasks to be done than leaders to do them. The twelve disciples got together and found seven more people to lead and serve. Because of the depth of leadership that the early church cultivated, “The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem.” (Acts 6:7)

As we worshipped this past Sunday, I saw people step up to various tasks and glorify God. With our Senior Pastor serving in El Salvador, the Lay Leader stepped up and did a phenomenal job as liturgist. Our organist was out, but the music was fantastic. Our sound engineer was away, but the video & sound ran seamlessly.

I am so grateful for the talented people on staff at Chamblee First. They do an outstanding job week-in and week-out. It was such a blessing, though, to see the church rise to the occasion when they were called upon last week. There are always new tasks and opportunities for the people of God to rise up and respond to.

This Sunday we got a glimpse of “the number of disciples increasing.” We had a baptism. We welcomed a family into the membership of the church. The number of disciples is increasing. That probably means that new tasks will come before us. Will you rise to the occasion?

God Bless,
Rev. Jeff Rogers

Hope from the Small Stuff

Last week I went to a seminar given by a pastor about a book that he has just completed on fear. Among the questions addressed was, “Why a book about fear right now?” A graphic went up on the screen showing that in every age group polled, over 80% of people experience either moderate or regular fear in their life.

As I read through books of the Bible like Judges, I can’t say that I’m too surprised. If you’ve ever read through this book, then you may have been struck by the violence and sheer brokenness in the people. The book ends by saying, “In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

People continue to this day to stray from God’s will of loving Him and loving each other. I think this kind of brokenness leads to the fear that is so prominent in society.

Praise God that in spite of our brokenness, He is working in the hearts of individuals. There are stories of hope everyday. Even in the time when Israel had judges, we have stories of individuals like Ruth, whose story comes in the book immediately following Judges. This is a story of redemption and goodness during difficult times. Despite the fearful ending of Judges, Ruth has a hopeful tone at the end, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel.” (Ruth 4:14)

If you are like most people, then there is some sort of fear in your life. It’s not without reason. There is a lot of brokenness around us. I pray that you feel the Holy Spirit working in your life despite this fear; showing you the redemption and hope that God offers us through Jesus.

God Bless,

Rev. Jeff Rogers

Begin with the End in Mind

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. You may have noticed the lesser-known holiday, Valentine’s Day, coincided with the beginning of Lent this year. I’ve been joking with people that “Nothing says romance like a reminder of our finite nature!” (Admittedly, some find this funnier than others.)

One of the texts that we read in the service yesterday evening was Psalm 51. There are three particular verses in this Psalm that I just love. Listen to verses 10-12:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Reflecting on this, I invite you to ask yourself these three questions.
1) Is there anything you need to confess for God to create a clean heart in you?
2) Where do you consistently feel the presence of God?
3) When was a moment when you realized the joy of your salvation?

Pray over these verses. Think on what needs to be confessed. Think on where you encounter God. Think on the moments of your salvation. May all of these draw you into a deeper relationship with Jesus this Lenten season.

God Bless,
Jeff Rogers

Holy Ground

Holy Ground

The snow outside my window is beautiful. The snow represents a day off of school. The snow causes a temporary pause to activities in the church building. The snow forces me to take pause and interrupts my regular routine.

I find that God loves to take advantage of opportunities when we are not in control of everything to remind us who He is. I love my routine, and when situations occur that put me out of control, I can get frustrated or flustered easily. It is in those moments that God reminds me that no matter what situation is going on around me, He will be with me.

The snow outside my window reminds me how the ground we walk every day can be holy ground. Yesterday morning we read the story of Moses and the burning bush. Moses was going about his routine when God appeared and told him “the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5) Suddenly, Moses was outside of his comfort zone, but God reassured him that in the midst of fear, “I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:12)

I hope this snow has reminded you that the ground we walk is holy ground. I hope it changes up your routine just enough to remind you that God is with you in every situation. 

God Bless,

Jeff Rogers