Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend at Ridgeview!

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday for what is one of the special Sundays in the life of our church. It is unlike most Sundays we have, so let me fill you in on the plan:
a) All Growth Groups will be cancelled this Sunday.
b) Our morning gathering will begin at normal time (10:30 a.m.).
c) We will have a brunch in the cafetorium from 10:30 a.m. -11:15 a.m. You are encouraged to bring left-overs from Thanksgiving, pastries, etc. You also are encouraged to come even if you do not have any food to bring. We will have plenty of food. Remember, this is a brunch, not a full-fledged meal.
d) We will have the morning worship officially beginning at 11:15 a.m. The preschoolers will then be taken to their classrooms for an abbreviated teaching time.
e) We will have a time for you to share the things you are grateful for in your life (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
f) We will light the Advent candle to usher in the Christmas season.
g) I will share a short message on "Families that show gratitude" and then we will conclude with the Lord's Supper as we reflect on the greatest reason we have to be thankful this season: Jesus Christ.
Ridgeview receives 135 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child!
Thank you Ridgeview Church for your generosity in donating shoe boxes filled with gifts for children that will go literally around the globe. It is a great way for you to be a bridge of God's love to kids who will experience the love of Christ in a practical way and they will have an opportunity to come to know Jesus as their Savior this Christmas. According to our records, we received 135 total shoe boxes! It has been a great lesson for all of us. Christmas isn't about getting, it's about giving! Special thanks go out to Liz Niles and Lainey Lee who made Operation Christmas Child at Ridgeview Church a success. I believe one day we will meet people in heaven who will thank us for the shoe box we sent to them and they were able to hear about the good news of Jesus Christ. That will be a wonderful day!
Ridgeview Christmas Offering
Did you know millions around the world have never heard the name Jesus? Did you know thousands around our community know about Jesus but do not know Him in a personal relationship? This year Ridgeview will receive the annual Christmas offering on Christmas eve at the Red Barn. During the 6:00 p.m. and the 8:00 p.m. services there will be a time for you and your family to come forward and give your offering. Fifty-percent of the offering will go to international missions through the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The other fifty-percent of the offering will go to support local bridge events in our community (i.e. four single mom free oil changes, Good News Club, many servant evangelism projects, benevolence, community Easter egg hunt, mega sports camp, etc.). Please understand the nature of an offering. Many special offerings were held in the Old Testament. They were to be given over and above one's tithe to the Lord. You are asked to begin praying now how much the Lord would have you give this year. One rule of thumb our family keeps is this: we always give our biggest gift to Jesus during Christmas. After all, it's all about Him anyway.
See you Sunday!
Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Health & Wealth Gospel
I am currently reading a great (but long) book by Randy Alcorn entitled, If God is Good: Faith in the midst of evil and suffering. Sooner or later every person who calls himself or herself a Christian will face suffering and adversity. It is not a sign of one's lack of faith in God- it's called life on earth that has been tainted by sin. Randy Alcorn says that prosperity theology teaches that God will bless with material abundance and good health those who obey him and lay claim to his promises. There are an abundance of tv preachers who espouse that theology every day. Just one problem: it wasn't the case in the life of Paul, who was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, prayed 3 times for healing, and eventually was beheaded by emperor Nero. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and nearly all the prophets suffered "because they were righteous." John the Baptist was beheaded. Jesus was crucified.
If you are suffering (and you know it's not due to unconfessed sin in your life) take comfort in that you are in good company. They endured to the end. You can too. Compared to eternity, it will all be over in just a little while. Persevere!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marriage & Family Therapist Jim Harbin To Speak This Sunday

Marriage & Family Therapist Jim Harbin To Speak This Sunday on "Husbands & Wives Who Relate Intimately" 

I am pumped about "The Perfect Family Christmas" message series and this Sunday's guest speaker, Jim Harbin. Jim is a marriage and family therapist at Piedmont Psychiatry. Recently, he has led seminars at Brookwood Church, First Presbyterian Greenville, and Taylors First Baptist. He brings years of expertise to the topic Sunday. I will be in the front row taking good notes. Bring a friend! 

Operation Christmas Child Collection This Sunday 

Last Sunday we addressed the topic "Families Who Serve." I shared with you how important it is to serve one another in your family as well as serving the Lord. I shared the importance of instilling in your children the value of service. Operation Christmas Child is a great way for you to teach your children the value of service and of giving. Last Saturday night my family went out to buy items for our shoeboxes. We sought to teach our boys why we were doing it. Please bring your boxes THIS SUNDAY as we collect them on the stage in the worship center. We will pray over these boxes and ask God to use them to connect many kids to Christ. What an opportunity! 

Thanksgiving Sunday: Brunch, Lord's Supper, No student and adult Growth Groups or Ridgekidz for grade school 

Thanksgiving weekend at Ridgeview is a very special Sunday in the life of our church. Please bring a small dish to share for brunch. We will  meet at 10:30 am- no Growth Groups at 9:30 am or Ridgekidz. Our preschool kids will gather with us at 10:30 am for brunch and then will be dismissed around 11:15 am for the rest of the service. I will share a message entitled "Families that show gratitude." We will also partake of the Lord's Supper. It will be a time for you to share how grateful you are for the Lord's blessings in your life.  

See you Sunday! 

Pastor Tommy 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This Sunday is a Big Day!

This Thursday through Saturday thousands of direct mail pieces from Ridgeview Church will be landing in mailboxes all over northern Greenville County. We are inviting the community to come to our church for what promises to be a great marriage and family message series. I do not have to tell you the trouble families are going through in our community. You see it everywhere and many of you have experienced pain in your own family. I believe God's Word can help! I am burdened by the crisis I see in families and as we go into the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, the problems will only be magnified for many. We have help available through God's Word and through His church like Ridgeview. It's one of many ways we want to bridge people to Jesus and the hope He brings this season.

So, with that in mind, Sunday is a Big Day! Guests will be arriving in our parking lot not knowing where to go. They will walk through the doors of Mountain View Elementary School with the number one emotion of fear. They will be wondering, "Where do I take my kids?" "Where do I go for the worship service?" "What kind of church is this?" "Do they handle snakes here?" "Am I going to be made to look stupid?" "Are they going to put me on the spot and embarrass me?" Many of these questions will be going through the minds of guests Sunday. We must be a bridge of God's love to them and make them feel welcome and comfortable.

How? How do we do that? Well, what if you had dinner guests at your home Friday night? The same principle applies. We need to warmly welcome them as they arrive in the parking lot. We need to have greeters at all entry points showing and walking with them to where they take their kids and the worship center. We must be more concerned in talking and welcoming our guests than our own church friends on Sunday morning. We must pray today, tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, and especially Sunday that God's Holy Spirit would not only bring those who need to be there, but their hearts would be open. We must smile!

I am excited about our message series. I promise you I have worked hard on the message Sunday and the message series to get everyone who walks through our doors the best help possible to improve their marriage and family. God's Word has the answers. Please pray He would use me and our guest speakers to clearly present it to every person present.

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Perfect Family Christmas

I want to give you a heads up about our new message series that begins
Sunday, November 15 entitled, The Perfect Family Christmas. With the
approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays at hand, many families
will be spending more time together. For some families these will be
sweet times of fun, joy, laughter, and wonderful memory making
opportunities. For others, it will be a dreaded nightmare. I am
burdened about marriage and families in our culture today. They are
under attack. The Perfect Family Christmas message series can't
promise to deliver you a perfect family, but I guarantee if you build
your family on the building block principles I will share each Sunday
from the Bible, you will see a dramatic improvement this season!

Here's the schedule. Please make plans to be here each Sunday and
invite those family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to what
promises to be an incredible message series!

November 15 - Families Who Serve
November 22 - Husbands And Wives Who Relate Intimately (Guest speaker:
Jim Harbin, Marriage and Family Therapist, Piedmont Psychiatry)
November 29 - Families That Show Gratitude (Thanksgiving Brunch)
December 6 - Parents Who Guide
December 13 - Children Who Obey And Honor Parents

Got a Refrigerator?

Bridge opportunity in our Community: A family using an ice-chest because of no refrigerator
There is a family that just moved in our community Pastor Tommy met in "Bridging with Bread" visitation night. They have four kids and no refrigerator. They have been using an ice-chest. If you have an old refrigerator you would like to donate or if you would like to buy them one, please contact Pastor Tommy (, 630-9459). Because of the faithful giving of the Ridgeview family, we were able to pay their utility bill.