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(Updated each Friday)

February 16, 2018

Someone recently asked me why I sometimes include the same information in the Newsbrief for multiple weeks.  Great Question.  And there are a couple of answers:  1)- As a reminder of upcoming events or important information, and 2)- because everyone doesn't read the Newsbrief every week!  I often repeat information to make sure it gets out to as wide an audience as possible!  This week, be sure to read to the end to see my Valentine Banquet report!  

LOTTIE MOON Christmas Offering Update:

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is collected across our Southern Baptist Convention each year to support our missionaries around the world.  We just received our official offering totals for 2017 for Ridgecrest Baptist Church from our Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.  In 2017, Ridgecrest members gave $49,811.15 to missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering!  THANK YOU for your generosity and conviction to give of the resources God has entrusted to you to expand His kingdom across the globe.  Now, I'm thinking about 2018!  Could we possibly give more?  Say, at least $52,000?  That would be an average of $1000 per week to international missions!  Prayerfully consider what you should do.  And, why not start now and give consistently throughout the year?  

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A couple of thoughts to enhance our worship experience at Ridgecrest Baptist Church:

Kenny Lamm, worship consultant at our NC Baptist State Convention, offers these resolutions for worship.  I think he’s right on track!  I hope you do to.  Join me in observing each of the resolutions listed below.

Thanks, Kenny!

Resolutions for My Times of Corporate Worship

 January 24|  by Kenny Lamm, consultant for worship &music, Baptist State Convention of NC.  

I find that people often do not have transformational worship because they get caught up in negativity about style issues. We must get beyond our personal preferences in order to truly offer God the worship He deserves. If you find yourself criticizing or scrutinizing the use of old songs, modern worship songs, the instruments used, the clothing worn, the pulpit furniture, or anything else that hinders your worship, consider these resolutions.

You will find that your worship once again can bring renewed life.

Why not resolve to:

o   Worship throughout the week in such a way that my worship at church is an overflow of all God is doing in my life.

o   Pray for those that lead worship at my church that God will empower them and inspire them in their leadership.

o   Arrive at worship on time and ready to engage.

o   Sing every song with an open mind and willing spirit, not requiring the style to be what best suits my own preferences.

o   Embrace the opportunities many people have to exercise their gifts in worship even if I may not like the instrument they are playing.

o   Never complain about the songs that aren’t my preferred style being too emotional, repetitive or not as scriptural when I do not put my own favorite songs through those same filters.

o   Make worship all about God and not about me.

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Recently, Thom Rainer, head of LifeWay Christian resources addressed the issue of member participation in the life and ministry of the church.  In his article, he said to remember: "The more a member is involved and connected to others, the more likely he or she is to remain active within your church."  He then listed 3 steps church leaders should be taking to assist members: 

1- move members to groups (Sunday School Connect Groups). 

2- seek to involve members in ministry, missions, and service

3- encourage members to give as an act of stewardship and discipleship.  

At Ridgecrest, our goal is to "glorify God by leading people to follow Jesus."  That includes you!  Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, participating in a SS Connect group and service activity, and giving to the work of the church, are 3 steps that will take you in the right direction.  

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A Month of Marriage:   This month, I am sharing four messages on the topic of "Marriage Made In Heaven"

February 4 - Communication

February 11 - Romance

February 18 - Conflict

February 25 - Spirituality

These messages are available on our website at  http://www.ridgecrest.cc/sermon-resources.  Several have mentioned how helpful they have been for themselves, and how they are sharing them from our website with others.  This brief series is focusing on Biblical wisdom for our marriages.  Whether you are married, divorced, single, widowed, younger or older, you will glean God's wisdom for your circumstances and to share with others.  AND, what a great time to invite a friend, neighbor, or acquaintance to attend Worship and Connect Group with you!  Check out a brief video advertising the messages on our Facebook page - Ridgecrest Baptist Durham - so that you can like it and share it onto your Facebook page to invite others to attend.  

Beginning in March, I will be sharing messages about Jesus - His identity, Mission, and more.  It will be a great reminder and encouragement for believers, and a great introduction for those who are new to church and the Bible.  I hope that you will be here for these messages so that your faith will grow, and, I hope you will prayerfully consider who you can invite to attend with you! 

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Be sure to "like" and follow our Facebook page, "Ridgecrest Baptist Durham".  You will find posts that you can share on your wall to inform and invite others to attend special and regular services.  We have received positive feedback and have been able to share important messages with members and our community. 

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Another Valentine's Banquet, Another great crowd of close to 400 total, Another great meal, Another Staff Infection!  Please allow me to thank those who made the Valentine Banquet so special - Jean Kehnle and the food crew, our set up and decoration crew, our youth servers, preschool and children workers, and many of you who pitched in to do what needed to be done.  As always, Shay Reyner ran the show and kept us laughing and moving, and, Al Huffman planned and directed our annual Staff Infection.  From what I can tell, "Hee Haw" was a great success, bringing back memories and sparking laughter all around.  One of our teenagers even asked their mom how she knew all the words to the songs! 

This year's Staff Infection will be available on Youtube soon.  We'll keep you posted.

You can also check out past "performances" of Staff Infection at

www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ridgecrest+baptist+staff+infection

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See You Sunday!!    

Pastor Marc