Virtual Family Scavenger Hunt

Here is what you do…
 
Watch this video…

 
Happy Hunting!
 
 


PAUSED

When I was a kid, I loved playing video games. I could play for hours, but sometimes I would have to pause the game to do something else. I never liked pausing my game because, like I said, I could have played all day — if my parents would have let me (and they didn’t). Whatever I had to leave my game for, whether it was a chore or something else, was just an inconvenience.  My mind was on getting back to my game. Whatever it was that distracted me from playing video games was just that, a distraction. Sometimes, while my game was on pause, I would get pulled into the distraction. Daniel may have wanted to ride bikes or Bart may have been playing with his Masters of the Universe and wanted me to join in. Sometimes I would get so caught up in these distractions and actually enjoyed them more than the game I was playing. When that happened, instead of wanting to get back to my game, I would forget about it.  When I did remember it, I would just turn it off because I was enjoying playing with my brothers more than the game I thought was so important. It is funny how something doesn’t seem nearly as important or consuming when you have to pause it. 

I may not be consumed with video games as an adult, but I still deal with this issue today. I can have my plans all worked out and ready to go, then something will put a kink in them. When this happens, it can have the same effect on me as interrupting my game as a kid. However, in some instances, I have grown to like those times when I have to hit pause on everything I have planned, like when there is a big snow or ice storm. I may have planned on going to work and carrying out the scheduled activities of the day, but instead I spend the day sledding and eating snow cream with Angela and the boys. It turns into a great day with the family, filled with laughs and treasured memories. 

Most all of us have had at least part of our plans put on pause lately with this virus scare.  Instead of focussing on getting back to your plans and life as you know it, enjoy the pause. You might just find yourself enjoying the distraction more than the plans you had. We can choose to enjoy the pause or we can be consumed with being focused on getting past the distraction to “normal life”.  A good thing about distractions is that they can force us to reevaluate what we are doing. I challenge you to look for the good in this pause by looking around and considering what is important and what takes most of your time. If your “important” isn’t getting the majority of your time, maybe you need to consider shifting your focus. The most important things in our life are not things at all, but rather people. Enjoy the pause with your family and loved ones.  This pause may just be a divine interruption.

On a side note, my best memories from my childhood involved my brothers, not the video games.

A Few Examples of Divine Interruptions-

Moses was tending the flock and was distracted by a burning bush. Exodus 3

David was delivering food and was distracted by a giant. 1 Samuel 17

Saul was going to Damascus and was distracted by a bright light. Acts 9:1-22

Elisha was plowing and was distracted by Elijah’s mantle. 1Kings 19:19-21
 
Toby Crymes
Family Pastor


STUCK AT HOME

 
When I was a kid, my brothers and I would ride our bicycles every day.  We would dig holes and then cover them up with sticks, making cattle guards for us to drive across with our bikes.  We would play in brush piles, go out in the woods with hatchets just to cut down trees, and play cops and robbers. We made wooden carts with lawnmower tires on the back and a bicycle tire on the front.  Then we would take them to the top of a hill just to ride them down.  We would then push them back up and do it all over again.  There was never a dull moment around our house.
 
Times have changed since then.  With this fast paced world we live in, it seems that there is not enough time for everything, let alone down time.  Now we are encouraged to stay home, not get out, and not gather with friends.  What do we do with all of this time?  Do we just watch tv and wait until things get back to normal?  I would like to challenge you to use this time to reconnect with your kids. Play games, play catch, have a picnic.  It may just be that a blessing from this “be still moment” is actually being able slow down and consider the most important things in this life, like family.  Let’s make the most of this time.  Spend time with God, check on the elderly, help others when you can, and play with your kids.  If we look for the bad we will find the bad.  If we look for the good, we will find the good.  Look around you.  What do you see? 
 
– Toby Crymes
 
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EVERYDAY COMMUNITY

Hey there church,
 
Typically I like to recap the


FIRST PETER PREACHING SERIES

Hey there Flatwoods,
 
This past Sunday we started a new preaching series.  First Peter is a power book in the Bible for the church.  I hope to pull from First Peter how we can be an everyday church as we live as a diverse family under Christ who gathers and scatters.
 
Peter was an incredible apostle and disciple of Jesus.  The gospels paint a picture of a man who experiences a lot of highs and lows.  The high moments for Peter were extrodinary.  Peter laid down his fishing net to follow in the steps of his rabbi Jesus.  Peter walked on water.  Peter announced that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the living God, when asked who Jesus was.  Peter experience the mount of transfiguration.  Peter also tried to convince Jesus that he didn’t need to go to the cross.  Peter denys Jesus, not once but three times.  Peter takes up fishing again following the resurrection of Jesus.  The highs and lows speak for themselves.
 
However, Jesus shows mercy and calls Peter to allegiance on the otherside of his denial of Jesus.  Jesus delights in showing mercy, and calls us to allegiance.
 
Flatwoods, I pray that you will see the love of Jesus as he shows mercy.  The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus declares mercy and grace for all who call upon him.  I pray you will hear his call on your life for allegiance to King Jesus.
 
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As we finish out this week as a scattered church I want to encourge you to lift up your eyes and look at Stone County.  Where can we serve in a way that showcases the gospel?  Who around needs to encounter love in action?  Who needs to hear the words of Jesus, “Come to me, all who labor and heavy laden and I will give you rest?”
 
If you missed last weeks sermon you can find it here…
 


MOTHER’S DAY RECAP

 
It was so good gathering together this past Sunday.  Taking a moment in our calendar year to celebrate the moms in our life is very special.  The shaping of the next generation is an important and tall task.  Flatwoods is very thankful to have moms who day in and day out pour time into training their children with gospel intentionality. 
 
The pressure in preaching this past week was very healthy.  God chose to declare His words to us through His written word, so communicating His word comes with pressure.  I desired to be sensitive to the women in the room, while communicating a message that was both relevant and applicable.
 
I shared a truth I hope will be a reality in the homes that make up Flatwoods.  Jesus is the hero of the story.  Culture, at times, declares a message that paints mothers as the hero of the story.  This is an unhealthy truth when compared to scripture.  Don’t get me wrong, mothers have a vital role to play in the narrative God is writing for their children.  However, the role isn’t to be the hero.  Scripture admonishes parents to rise up and carry the responsiblity. 
 
Mothers simply point their children to the hero who is Jesus.  Your work is to shape your home in such a way that your children sense Jesus at every turn. A gospel centered mother makes it her aim to trust Jesus, give allegiance to Jesus, and point her children to do the same. 
 
As you live in the everyday stuff of life reflect on the hero of the story.  As you carry the weight of responsiblity you must continuely find ways to remind you of the glorious gospel.  My admonition to you is this…
 
As your identity is rooted in Jesus (not culture) talk about Jesus and his teachings with your family (spouse/children), with a group of close church friends, and with those who don’t know Jesus.  When you begin to make this a purposeful effort, you will find that it is very neccesary for you to be with Jesus often.  Make time to be with Jesus in His word with prayer in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings.  Remember you are not adding something to your already busy schedule, you are taking what you are doing and beginning to do it with gospel intentionality.
 
Mothers, listen to God over culture.  Listen to God through His word where Jesus was and is always the hero of the story.
 
___________________________________________
 
BIG QUESTIONS
 
Who is the hero of your story?
Who is the hero in your home?
In what was are you shaping your home so that it is clear that Jesus is the hero?
 
 
If you missed last weeks sermon you can catch it online…
 
 


CONTENTMENT

 
Well, it has been far too long since I wrote last.  I enjoy this weekly effort of refreshing your memory of the word proclaimed on Sunday.  I too struggle with allowing other things to take priority.  As I type this I am reminded of a question I read years ago.  Are you controlling your calendar or is your calendar controlling you?  What a great question to keep in view.  
 
Over the past few weeks we have looked at different truths I hope are becoming reality for you and your family.  So far, we’ve said….
 
  1. Forgiveness must be stronger than bitterness.
  1. Commitment must be stronger than circumstances.
  2. Worship must be stronger than idolatry
  1. Chastity must be stronger than lust.
  2. Contentment must be stronger than greed.
 
We are prone to allow the sinful vices of greed, lust, and idolatry to be strongholds in our life.  It seems like a daunting task to be stronger in worship, chastity, contentment, and commitment.  However, you know that what you feed often wins the day.  Paul says if you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption, but if you sow to the Spirit you will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  
 
I hope you throw out the seeds of forgiveness, commitment, worship, chastity, and contentment.  The fruit that you will bare for your family and marriage will be sweet rather than bitter.  
 
This past Sunday I preached on contentment, looking at a few different passages that center on wealth and money.  As I mentioned, money is not evil but it is dangerous.  Clearly if we are not careful, money will become something that tears down rather than builds up. 
 
I left you will a small challenge for this week.  Paul stated, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”  Are you living content?  Are you able to stand with your sufficiency in Christ, rather than self-sufficiency?  My challenge was to see what you can go without this week.  Do you really need to buy something new?  I challenge you to buy only what you need this week, rather than what you want.  Be content with what you have, all the while thanking God in Christ for what you do have.  Contentment is not discovered in quantity of things, but rather the quality of your heart.  
 
King David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…”  The Lord is my shepherd, I need nothing else. The Lord is my shepherd, with Him I shall be content.  The Lord is my shepherd, let my find rest in Your pasture Lord.  The Lord is my shepherd, and no pasture culture has to offer will satisfy the cravings of my heart.
 
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Want to catch last week’s sermon?
 
 
 
 
REMINDER
Mission Run  |  March 30
 
Sunday Night Connect Groups  |  March 31
enjoy the evening with your connect group
 
Connect Group Leader Training  |  April 7 @ 5:30
 
 
 
 
 
 


STRONGER

 
Hey Flatwoods family,
 
Mandi and I took an anniversary trip to Mexico about 4 months back.  We absolutely enjoyed our time together  at an excellent resort, beautiful location, and delicious food.  I took time to reflect on our marriage, our family, our new adventure in Mountain View, along with my role as a husband and father.  During that trip I watched as dads played with their daughters, wedding receptions were set up, and couples were enjoying time together.  God impressed on my heart the desire, if not the need to spend some intentional time teaching on marriage and family.
 
Our STRONGER series is not shaping up like I expected back in November, but it is shaping up in a way we need.  You see if we are not careful we will allow those things that should be weak in us to become strong in us.  If we are not careful what should be strong in us becomes weak.  
 
Therefore, we know forgiveness must be stronger than bitterness.  Although I know this to be true, I often feed the monster of bitterness rather than peace giving forgiveness.  We know that commitment must be stronger than circumstances.  However, circumstances tend to drive the pulse of marriage rather than the life giving covenant.  Throw into this mix the current pulse of culture and we can quickly have a mess on our hands.  
 
I am praying through this series you will understand that there is hope for marriage and family as we point to the gospel.  You see in the narrative of scripture God remained faithful to his covenant with Israel and humanity in the middle of the mess they had created.  He sent His Son, Kin Jesus, into the mess of the world to personally handle the mess.  This reminds us that Christ is present in the middle of our mess.  The Holy Spirit is working in our marriage and family as we walk around the piles of mess we have created.  God is bigger than your mess, Christ died for your mess, and the Holy Spirit is working in spite of your mess. 
 
Please know that I am actively praying for you all.  May the Father cause you to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height, and depth of His love.  May you come to know Christ’s love that surpasses all knowledge.  I pray you will fix your eyes on Jesus as you navigate the complexities of marriage and family.  Unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…
 
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QUICK ANNOUNCEMENT
 
PRAYING TOGETHER & COMMUNION 
March 3  |  5pm
 
FINGER FOOD FELLOWSHIP
Match 3  |  following Sunday night gathering
 
Check out flatwoodsmbc.com for sermons, calendar, and blog.  


WE GATHER

Hey there Flatwoods family,
 
I pray your week has been filled with the realization that God is in charge no matter the circumstance.  Not only is He in charge, but he is a good Father!  His love is a firm foundation and we can put our trust in Him knowing that he will never be shaken.
 
Last Sunday was so good!  I am thankful for our worship team and Justin Cook who leads our church each week to make high the name of Jesus.  Our worship gatherings are a weekly reminder of who God is, what he has done, and what he has called us to.
 
Continuing in our series WE ARE FLATWOODS, we tackled almost two topics in one sermon.  First, we looked at who we are as Flatwoods.  It is my desire for us to have a statement we can hang our hat on, and live by.  
 
Here is that statement…
 
 
I truly believe Stone County needs Jesus more than any other need.  I truly believe Jesus is the answer to life transformation, and his story reshapes our story.  Pray with me that Stone County will be transformed by Jesus as we gather and scattered for His name and His glory.
 
We then tackled our first essential element, We Gather.  It is my prayer that we will continue to be a really good gathered church.  That means when we gather we must always be Christ-centered.  As Colossians 3:17 makes clear, “And whatever you do, in word or did, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  We are for His name, His glory, and His renown.   
 
May God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine on us, that your way may be known on earth, your salvation among that nations!
 
Grace be with you,
 
Jonathan Johnson
 
 
 
NEXT STEPS
  • Commit to gathering consistently with Flatwoods.
  • Commit to a Christ-centered attitude over entertainment, preference, religion, and culture.
  • Pray the prayer for Flatwoods – Psalm 67:1-2
 
 
 
 


WE ARE FLATWOODS

Flatwoods family,
 
I hope you truly enjoyed being together with the church this past Sunday!  Our weekly worship gatherings are essential, and allow the church to gather in order to remind ourselves that God is in charge, Jesus is King, and the Holy Spirit is sending his church to make disciples who make disciples.  Our time of worship was so rich, so true, and so right!
 
As you may know, last week your church staff tucked away for a 24hr retreat.  I am very thankful to serve with a church that encourages the staff to take time to pray and seek God’s desire for Flatwoods.  It was a rich and rewarding short retreat.
 
Sunday we started a new sermon series we are calling WE ARE FLATWOODS.  It is my desire to effectively look at Scripture to determine who we are, why we are here, and what God is calling us to.  So we will take 5 weeks to unpack this series.
 
This past Sunday I went a direction I wasn’t really expecting.  My question was what is God doing?  My contention is, if we want to decide what we need to be doing, we need to discover what God is doing in the world.  Let’s align our hearts with the heart of God, or said another way, let’s align our values with what God values.
 
One central piece to this sermon was a prayer for this series.  Here is that for Flatwoods…
 
 
Pray this prayer with us as we seek to be the church God has designed.  
 
Here are a few next steps I shared Sunday.  I hope these steps will serve as a practical way to apply this sermon.  If you didn’t catch the sermon Sunday, you will find it below.  
 
NEXT STEPS
  • Add this prayer to your prayer list – Psalm 67:1-2
  • Who/what are you worshiping?  If not God, how can you realign your heart to worship Him?
  • What is God saying through His word?  What am I going to do about it?
 
 
AROUND THE TABLE 
[creating conversation with your family around the breakfast or dinner table] 
  • Read Psalm 67 aloud.  What was your favorite part of what we read?
  • What is God doing in the world?
  • How can our family be a part of what God is doing in the world through Flatwoods BC?