New Web Site, New Feeds!

OBC South has a brand new web site, everyone! And with it more news feeds. Now subscribe individually to:

or to Everything (the other two together). This site and the old news feed will now be fazed out, so be sure to update your subscriptions and bookmarks.

A sermon podcast is forthcoming along with other exciting stuff. So go check out the new site, subscribe to the new feeds, and be sure to tell us what you think!

Specifics on the Picnic this Sunday

South Campus Picnic

Sunday 5.25 2pm through 6pm

Please come join us for fun, fellowship, praise & a message!

What to Bring: A main dish and side or desert

Lawn chairs

What’s Provided: Dishes, cups, and silverware

What’s Happening: Games for the kids (And Adults!)

Bouncy House (need some volunteers)

Questions: Call Randy Whitman @ 291-5050 or 981-8434

Directions: From the North: I-75 South to 370 East. Follow 370 to downtown Bellevue. Take right on Hancock. Becomes Harlan Lewis Rd. Follow south, take left at the sign to base lake, right at “T” and follow around lake till you see the campground. Pavilion #3 on left.

From South: I-75N, take La Platte Rd East, left on Harlan Lewis Rd to Base Lake sign.

Link to Google Maps for more specifics

A Sign for Our Times

Last night I came cruising up my street and there it was, a prominently displayed ‘for sale’ sign in my front yard. Of course I knew this was coming, we have been planning for this for literally months now. However, upon seeing the sign I was a bit overwhelmed.

We are moving from what I consider my ideal home; open floor plan, parquet floors (cf Boston Garden), a nice backyard view, affordable mortgage, centrally located in Omaha, and easy access to the interstate. I really like this house. But at the same time God seems to be making it clear that we are to move so that we can move forward with a church plant some 25 miles south of us. So perhaps some of my emotion comes from an unbalanced earthly attachment to this structure, but I tend to doubt it; I have come to grips with the need to move.

Instead I think there are a couple of other factors at work here. One of which has been the recent push by so many within our church family to help get our house ready to sell. Now I should say that my handyman skills rival a blind camel; I have little to nothing to offer. This does not mean that I don’t work hard, it’s just the effectiveness and success that I have trouble with. As a result we have had a steady stream of people at our house over the last 60 days or so. These folks are doing everything from putting in a new front door, to installing lights, to cleaning windows, to plumbing, to landscaping, to painting, to cutting wood, and on the list goes. The fact of the matter is, I simply could not have done what needed to be done. People with far greater talent and skill are working hard to help us move and be better situated for ministry at the new campus.

To make matters better, so many folks want to talk about how great our Lord is. I love this. They come and work and brag about Christ’s greatness! Christie and I have been repeatedly floored by the effect of God’s grace in the life of so many people. God has been pleased to wed service with a Christ-centered joy that produces in us such sustained rejoicing.

This causes me to think about the effect of preaching and teaching the Word of God. To the extent that we truly serve one another to the glory of Christ we do so by the attendance of the Spirit of God to the Word of God in building up saints of God to serve, ultimately for the glory of God. When people serve it should motivate pastors and teachers to study harder, for God is doing something in these people’s lives.

I think the other emotional extreme is the reality that we are doing this (moving and planting a church). Of course I have not been in denial, but this helps things to become really tangible. I know that I never will know what it really is like to give birth (nor do I desire to) however, the countdown to the first Sunday does seem to parallel the various trimesters. One thing is sure, July 13th is coming fast and will be here before I know it.

The reason for this post is ultimately to brag on Christ. He is doing amazing things both in our lives and the lives of those around us. We are praying that we would truly think like missionaries and pursue the expansion of the gospel into this community. We know this is the right thing to do. At the same time, it is refreshing, convicting, motivating, and worship-provoking to be surrounded by so many who are yelling with their hands of service, prayers, and words of encouragement to work hard and fill that city with Christ’s teaching (Acts 5.28).

Upcoming South Campus Picnic….

As we conclude our study of the ‘I Am’ statements of Jesus and look forward to an exciting season in the next few months with the start of Sunday services, we are going to come together as a large group and enjoy some fun, food and fellowship on May 25th at the Offutt Base Lake (a detailed map forthcoming). The plan is to begin at 2pm. There will be a time of exhortation from the Scriptures as well as some singing.

The plan is to have everyone bring some food to share (a main dish and a side or a dessert). There are also some grills available for us there, but you are welcome to bring your own as well. Paper plates and napkins will be provided along with drinks. There are chairs and benches available there, but feel free to bring outdoor chairs.

We will rent the bouncy house for the kids to play in while also having access to large grassy areas for football or other recreational activities. So come ready to have fun!

>> Please note:: We do need to have a somewhat reliable head count. You may RSVP via your care group or by just leaving a comment here giving us the total number in your party.

This should be a great time, so save the date and let’s have a great time!

Sunday am schedule and a chance to see the place

Things are progressing nicely as we get closer to the launch of South Campus. It is hard to believe that we are within 100 days of our first service on July 13th. There are a couple of items that I wanted to pin up for your information or reference.

OK…First off, we have a great opportunity this weekend after Care Groups to get a tour of the facility at Bellevue West High School. Bruce will have the building opened up at 8:30 and we’ll be able to walk through and get a good idea of what we are looking at in terms of space. You will no doubt be amazed and encouraged as you see the great facility that God has provided us to do ministry. In anticipation of the question, the answer is yes, kids are welcome to come too.  We will meet at the High School West entrance–the door to the left of the Commons sign (nearest US 75).

Secondly, I want to give you the schedule for what we are looking at for Sunday mornings. We will have Sunday School available for all ages (just like OBC) however, we’ll merge the jr and sr high group. We will also have Fundamentals of the Faith, a Getting Started Class, and a general session class that promises to be an encouraging and edifying time for believers. You will have more details on this shortly.

Here is the schedule:

0900 – 0945 Sunday School (All Ages)

1000 – 1130 Morning Service

I must say, while we are talking about schedule, that the mobility team will be unloading the trailer from 0700 until 0800 and then loading it back up from 1145 or so until it is done. I know that Bob is recruiting many for this endeavor, so please see him to get involved in this crucial ministry.

This is truly and exciting time! Join me in rejoicing in our infinitely worthy and glorious God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And friends, even as I type that word ‘our’ I am again struck by the possessiveness of it. Jesus is our Lord. And the only reason why he is your Lord is because he has died for our sin and he has graciously and powerfully laid a hold of us…and made us his! Let us continue to rejoice in the great God who has glorious truth, even anchored in little words!

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A Request…

I have enjoyed the friendship of many dear folks in the last 10 or so years I have been a Christian. However, my soul has especially enjoyed the friendship of the many believers who have intentionally aimed to serve me in their conversations and relationships.

I am speaking of those dear saints who have made it their practice to come to a meeting, a phone conversation, a meal, an email, or wherever, and instead of just talking about ‘stuff’ they have spoken to me of our Savior, of his cross, of the gospel’s power, of the Scripture’s truthfulness, of God’s character, etc. These dear saints are gusts of gospel breeze into my sails. They are friends indeed.

In light of the immense need for encouragement and the infinite value of Christ himself, here is a charge to fellow believers…

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I need you. I need you to help me. I need you to live your life in such a way that it intends to draw my attention to the glory and greatness of our God. I beg you not to sleep in tomorrow morning but instead to get up and read your Bible. Discover afresh the beauty of God in the sacred text. Dwell upon his faithfulness to his own promises. Muse upon his glorious gift of grace in the salvation of sinners like you and me. Write the Word of God upon your own heart so that it produces reverence for God.

Also, I urge you to spend time on your knees in prayer. And whatever you do, don’t fall asleep, don’t let your mind wander; don’t stop praying until you start praying. Drive yourself into humble submission before the great and infinite reservoir of grace that you might find help in your neediness.

As you leave and go about your day, please preach the glories of the gospel to yourself. Tell yourself afresh of the glorious gift of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, that incarnation of holiness and love; hear again the words of John the Baptist, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1.29) Watch him obey the Law in your place, see his perfection in both speech and in deed. Hear him say afresh, “I always do what is pleasing to my Father” (John 8.29). Watch him march resolutely to the cross to purchase our redemption. See him pray for his executioners, evangelize his fellow cross-bearers, gasp for breath, commission his disciple, proclaim it is finished, and then give up his life. See him here and marvel. But don’t stop here! Run with the disciples to the tomb and stoop with them and see, see ‘the linen cloths by themselves’ and you too come away ‘marveling at what had happened’ (Luke 24.12). Rejoice at the reality of the living Savior who has given his life to vindicate the glory of God and rescue a people for himself.

Now as you leave, sing the doctrinal praise along with Paul “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1.3ff) in tune with Peter with “joy inexpressible” (1 Pet. 1.8).

And now believer, come and talk to a Christian like me and tell me something. Tell me something eternal (Ps. 92.8)! Give me something for my soul (Matt. 4.4)! Tell me what impresses you about Christ (Matt. 8.27)! Tell me of the gospel’s power (Rom. 1.16)! Tell me of Christ’s success as a high priest (Heb. 7.27)! Tell me of his impending return (Matt. 24.30)! Tell me of the divine purpose in trials (Jam 1.3-5)! Tell me the perseverance of the saints (Jude 24)! Tell me of the ultimate success of the church (Matt. 16.18)! Tell me God’s gracious work in your life (2 Cor. 3.18)! Tell me of the purity and power of the word of God (Ps. 19.7ff)! Tell me of how you are praying for me (Col. 1.9ff)! Please…I need you to do this. My heart needs to hear continually of why Christ is so great (2 Pet. 1.12). So please Christian, don’t forget to tell me. Please…be a good friend (Heb. 3.13ff). And by the grace of God, I will return the favor to you.

Your brother in the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Erik Raymond

Drumroll…we have a meeting place!

This is truly exciting! God has provided us with a place to meet on Sunday mornings beginning in July. We have been looking at various options in Sarpy County but had maintained very specific parameters that we felt would accommodate the type of ministry that we are planning to do.

We just finalized our agreement with Bellevue West High School to lease their facility. For those of you familiar with the school you no doubt join me in excitement. For those of you who are unfamiliar, we will utilize the large auditorium (approx. 400 seats), cafeteria (ability to be divided), and commons area. This wide open space really meets our expectations and needs.

So now we can say that, Lord willing, we will begin services on Sunday morning, July 13th at Bellevue West High School.

We are so thankful to God for this obvious answer to the prayers of many. Join me in rejoicing with God-centered anticipation!

Here is a map of the location…

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