Learning to Enjoy God

psalm1611

We enjoy many things in this life. We might enjoy spending time with our family, doing our favorite hobby, eating our favorite meal, or laughing with our friends. We sometimes forget to enjoy the one who made those things for our enjoyment. Sometimes our pursuit of enjoyment peaks at things made for our pleasure, instead of finding our ultimate joy in the creator of joy.

I have recently noticed that I have struggled to enjoy God. That of course is not a reflection on God but rather on my willingness to allow the struggles and distractions of this life to steer me towards finding satisfaction in lesser things. This can happen while we are participating in a church community. We can get caught up doing religious things while neglecting the weightier matters of spending time with God.

We can sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we are enjoying life by basking in things other than God but eventually our souls quietly tell us that we need more.

Our God is a gracious Father who calls us back into deep and intimate communication with Himself. He lovingly brings us out of repetitious dutiful prayer and carries us into Spirit empowered relational prayer. During these times we hear the wonderful voice of our God endorsing His love for us and reminding us of His sovereign purpose for our lives. It is during these times that we become aware in our deepest parts that we have been longing to enjoy God.

It is the joy of the Lord that gives us strength. It is the presence of God the Holy Spirit that brings pure satisfaction into our lives. We were primarily made for a worshipful relationship with God. When we live in the reality of that relationship we are filled with pleasure and peace. We must take time to reflect on His goodness, hear from His word, and hear from the Holy Spirit.

Is your soul thirsty for fellowship with your God? Heed His call and take time to seek Him, hear Him, and learn to enjoy God.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

Posted in Boston, Church Planting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[mercy]

Welcome! Grab a cup of coffee in honor of some 
exciting news! A simple detail like where we
get our daily coffee fix can be a building 
block towards freedom and restoration.

 

[m e r c y] \noun\ : the compassionate treatment of those in distress


We take mercy seriously, well, because Jesus took it seriously. He chose the unpopular, championed the weak, and had meals with the outcasts. He sought out the ones shunned by their communities, and touched the ones that were deemed unclean and unworthy. Our goal is to represent him well, and Jesus was known for his presence, time, and response to the hurting and broken. We extend mercy because not only can we look at the hurting and broken and realize it could be us, but we also look back, knowing that at one time, it WAS us. Jesus specializes in restoration, and we are excited to be a part of something so beautiful and redemptive that glory can only be given to him.

Slavery, long thought of as a sin of the past, continues today fiercer and more oppressive than ever. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry, outranked only by arms and drug dealing. The reality of this crime and the sheer magnitude is overwhelming. The truth is sickening, and the trauma is nauseating. It is tempting to turn away, to close our eyes to the reality. It’s painful to know of women and children being sold like livestock, abused and devalued. But Jesus would look. Not only would he look, but he would act. And so we give ourselves to this fight, longing for freedom and healing for everyone effected by this evil industry.

Sometimes we don’t know where to start. How can we make a difference in something so widespread and devastating? Coffee has become our brick towards building an end to sex slavery. Wipe Every Tear is an organization devoted to freeing women from sex slavery and providing safe homes where restoration and healing can occur. We are excited to be able to purchase our coffee from Sweet Aroma Coffee, which donates 35% of their profits to support women living in the safe houses provided by Wipe Every Tear. We love knowing that something as seemingly trivial as drinking coffee can be used by God. We long for every person to be truly free, and are thrilled to have even a small part in the fight for freedom.

Stop by our coffee bar on Sunday to see updates periodically on news from the safe houses!


“All the commandments are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbor as yourself.” –Jesus

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Restoration Road Kids

images-9

Here is the “Restoration Road Kids” page that has been recently added to our website. As the kid’s ministry continues to grow it is important that there is clarity of vision. We consider it a privilege and high calling to raise our children to know and follow Jesus. Here is an explanation of our goals and the mission of the “RR Kids Ministry” written by our children’s director Alex Lawson.

The Bible makes it clear Jesus has a deep love and strong value of children. Luke 18:16 says “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven”.

At Restoration Road, we also love and value children. We view them as part of the future of Christianity, whether that would be to serve in our local church, in other churches, or in mission fields around the world. This future does not just suddenly appear, but needs to be carefully and graciously cultivated over time.

Restoration Road’s “RR Kid’s” Ministry focuses on pouring and strengthening the foundation of children’s knowledge of God and a relationship with Jesus. We strive to provide an environment focusing on three primary elements; scripturally sound and Gospel based theology, a safe environment, and a fun atmosphere for children between the ages of 0 and 12.

A Scripturally Sound and Gospel Based Theology…

The word “theology” may be intimidating, but essentially means the study of God. The goal of Restoration Road is to ensure that our teaching lines-up with and supports scripture. Bible lessons are simple, and wide ranging, but all display truth from scripture while demonstrated in an age-appropriate context.

A Safe Environment…

Safety is a paramount priority at Restoration Road, especially with children. We want to make sure that the children all feel safe with us, and parents or loved ones also feel comfortable entrusting their children into our care. Each one of the individuals involved the Kid’s Ministry program is CORI checked annually, ensuring that each of the classes are being taught by safe and dependable volunteers. Classrooms are manned by a number of volunteers relative to the number of children, ensuring that children in the classroom are not left unsafe or unsupervised.

A Fun Atmosphere…
Providing a fun atmosphere has many benefits. Children often learn more when they feel engaged and are having fun. Lessons are interactive, with children being able to ask questions and be involved in the routine, and crafts or projects often highlight important themes discussed during that week’s lesson.

We extend an always-open invitation to anyone with children to have them experience the Gospel through Restoration Road’s Kid’s Ministry. Any questions can be asked by emailing alex@restorationroadchurch.org.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Creating Space in the Local Church for Those who Battle Addiction

images-2

 Last week I read an article that both broke my heart and made me grateful. The statistics were released revealing the number of overdose deaths due to heroin in 2014. One thousand people lost their lives and their battle with addiction. That is a 33% rise in opioid-related deaths in two years. Although those statistics are startling the number of deaths due to heroin use is probably higher, as many times drug overdoses are not reportedly properly. I was grieved because of the lives lost. I was also thankful because there are people who are part of Restoration Road that are not one of those statistics. The reason they are alive and well today is because of the Gospel and the grace they received from a Gospel centered church.

Someone asked me last week “How do you create space in the local church for those who battle addiction”? I do not claim to be an expert on this subject but we have seen God do some awesome things in the life of those who battle addiction at Restoration Road Church. We are a young church but we aspire to be a community that shows grace to all, and sees God glorified through the liberation of many from the grips of addiction.

Here are some ways the Gospel has shaped us into a community that makes space for those who battle addiction. We are so grateful that God has made many who battle addiction our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Gospel teaches us to come as we are

Many people wrongly believe and teach that you have to clean up your act before you come to Jesus. The reality is we are only made clean by coming to Jesus. Unfortunately, many have mentally labeled those who battle addiction as unclean. Are those who have done or do drugs sinfully dirtier than all of us? Let him who is with out sin make that claim? The Gospel is not believe in Jesus and stop doing heroin and you will be saved! It is believe in Christ and God will transform your heart so you will no longer find your ultimate rest in heroin but in God.

The fist step to creating a culture where those who battle addiction feel welcomed and loved is having a “come as you are” mentality and heart. This should be the culture of every Gospel centered church.

The Gospel takes away the shame of the past

It is common for people to feel ashamed of their past. The truth be told, we all should be ashamed of our past if it was not for the Gospel, which relinquishes shame and guilt. Those who suffer from addiction often are ashamed to share there past. The Gospel causes us to not to judge people according to their past but to revel in the work of the cross that erases the guilt of our pasts.

We should be seeing God’s grace in the fact that a person is seeking God through attending church or showing interest in the things of God.

The Gospel gives hope for a future of sobriety

The ultimate way to see overdose deaths decline and a life of sobriety lived is a relationship with God and His people. People change one day at a time through a grace infused commitment to God and His people. This commitment is reciprocated by the Church in a ferocious devotion to everyone of it members.

I have personally seen friends who have formally been addicts live sober through there dedication to God and His Gospel. This is why all local churches need to create space for everyone to grow in a community fixed on grace.

The Gospel compels us to pray for allies in this war against addiction

Many pastors and those who are part of a church never have struggled with addiction. We need God to sovereignly send people who have a heart for addicts and maybe even have overcome addiction themselves to our local churches.

Pray that God would send former addicts who get the Gospel and want to share it, Men and Women who may run a program for sobriety or own a sober home, and other people who have connections to detoxes and half ways houses. These connections and people are vital to the mission. When people are in need of medical care and emotional care that the church sometimes cannot offer, it is important to   have people and a place to refer them to.

My prayer and hope is that the local church makes the cause of overcoming addiction their own. Let’s create space in the local church for those who battle addiction to find sobriety and life in the Gospel.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Serving Restoration Road Full Time

White-Country-Church-by-Mark-Van-Scyoc-black-and-white-photography

It is a privilege to be able to serve God’s church. In my opinion it is the most important institution on earth. The cross of Christ testifies to the churches value. God’s own Son bled to birth and redeem a church that would glorify Him and proclaim His Gospel in a broken world.

Since the day of my salvation God has placed a passion in my heart to serve Him and His church. I also believe that He has gifted me to encourage, motivate, and care for His people. God put a desire in me to see people follow Jesus and mature in the knowledge of the Gospel. This passion drives me and pushes me to live my life for the advancement of God’s kingdom.

As a young buck I wanted to jump right into full time ministry but God had other plans. I possessed the fire but lacked the knowledge, experience, and maturity needed for vocational ministry. God sanctified me and made me grow up through seventeen years of working a trade and running my own electrical business. I learned how to be patient, deal with adversity, trust God, and persevere.

During my years of bi-vocational ministry my wife and I would have conversations about me going into full time ministry. We would consistently come to place where we didn’t feel it was time yet. So we waited patiently, praying that God would reveal to us the right season to take that next step in commitment to God’s church.

Through much counsel and prayer we believe that now is the time. As of May 1st I will be entering ministry full time and giving myself fully to pastoring Restoration Road.

My focus will be on studying and proclaiming God’s word, caring for the people of Restoration Road, praying for its members, and declaring the Gospel to those who have not heard.

I am excited for this next step in Restoration Road’s life. We will be healthier and continue to grow in God’s grace. The future is bright; it will be filled with God’s glory, His faithfulness, and His love

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment