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Nothing brings a family together in close-knit unity like a cross-country road trip, does it? There’s nothing quite like spending hours on end in the car with constant exclamations of “Are we there yet?” and “I need to go potty!” Road trips can test the limits of the most patient among us. Imagine a 250-mile road trip … on foot.

The Book of Exodus in the Old Testament shares the account of the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt to the land that God had given them – the Promised Land – the land of Canaan. Can you imagine an entire nation of people walking down I-95 the 250 miles from Richmond to South of the Border? That was the task before Moses and the Israelites those many years ago. If you remember, though, it ended up being a much longer journey for God’s people. Their disobedience and rebellion caused a journey that should have lasted about two weeks to last 40 years. Talk about a road trip! I wonder how many times Moses was asked, “Are we there yet?”

This summer, the Fairmount family is going to take a road trip through the Book of Exodus. Each summer we take one book of the Bible and travel through it together. If you are on vacation or away one Sunday, you’ll be able to keep up with us as we study this fascinating text together. In its pages we will discover what makes us one as a church body – what brings unity to the church. Some lessons will be gleaned from the positive things that Moses and the Israelites did – some will be gleaned from their many mistakes.

As we continue on our road trip to eternity, traveling it with brothers and sisters in Christ can sometimes be exasperating. But, when we travel in unity, the journey is much more gratifying and much more productive. At the conclusion of a long road trip is a destination that is well worth it - whether it’s a road trip to Disney or the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls. We are on a road trip to the Promised Land – heaven – our eternity with God. Are we there yet? Nope. But we will be soon. Let’s enjoy this trip together!

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He gathered His closest friends together in a special place for a special meal, for special teaching, and for a special time of prayer. In that prayer, Jesus lays out His heart on some of the most important emphases of His ministry. In that prayer, Jesus makes a special plea for the unity of His followers. John records Jesus’ words for us:

“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one …”

Jesus knew that the human heart’s default position is not one of unity. Pride, preservation, greed, and a host of other self-centered motivations erode even the tightest of unities. The one organization we would always hope to be above such self-centeredness would be the Church. Yet, Jesus knew better.

Unity is not the rule of the day in our nation or in our world. We can become cynical and say that it will never happen, or we can take the prayer of Jesus proactively and work daily for the unity He desires. If it doesn’t happen within the Church, it could never happen. In fact, unity must start with the Church.

This January – and throughout 2018 – our preaching team is going to emphasize the unity that Jesus prayed for 2000 years ago. What unifies us? How is our unity best expressed? How can we keep the unity – the one-ness – of the church strong so that we can spread unity and one-ness to a deeply divided community, nation, and world? Ambitious? Perhaps. Godly? Most definitely.

Join us each week as we draw closer together in our unity and as we inspire each other to spread that unity near and far.

In my elementary and early middle school years, I grew up in a Midwest farming community. When the month of November rolled around, two major things happened. First, extended family got together for Thanksgiving. We would eat great food and the kids (all of us boys) would head to the school grounds to play basketball.

The second thing that happened in November in this Midwest farming town was bringing in the remaining harvest. Even though my allergies would be a mess, I enjoyed driving the machinery. I probably began driving the tractors and trucks when I was 10 or 11 years old. So many of my childhood Novembers were filled with family and harvesting.

When thinking about a sermon series for the month of November, the preaching team came up with the idea of talking about family and how, as families, we might harvest some of God’s teachings to help us have and be a part of a stronger family.

When we considered lessons a family might harvest from the Bible, we thought the book of Ruth would be a great place to do our gleaning. So this November, we will spend time together learning about the ups and downs, and the strengths and weaknesses, of the family written about in the book of Ruth. And hopefully we will be healthier families for it.

Do you remember the first time you ever saw a high definition television? Some folks had HD TVs before their programming providers were providing HD signals! But that first time you saw your favorite movie or sporting event or crime drama in HD, your reaction was probably, “Wow!” The stars in “Star Wars”, the grass in Nats park, the wrinkles on Mark Harmon’s face … you could see it all. And there was no going back. Anything less than HD is disappointing.

Thankfully, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have a multifaceted view of Jesus given to us by four Gospel writers – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The first three Gospels are often referred to as the “synoptic” Gospels – “synoptic” indicating “similar”. And they are indeed similar in style and include many of the same accounts in the same sequence. The Gospel of John, though, amps up our view of Jesus into high definition. Written several years after the others, John’s account is truly unique and gives us that added detail that we are deeply blessed to have.

Each summer, Fairmount reads through a book of the Bible together. This year, we will work through the unique Gospel of John together. We will be reintroduced to accounts from Jesus’ life and teachings from His ministry that are simply found nowhere else. Our view of Jesus will become even sharper and better defined.

Be a part of our Sunday sermon series, “Jesus in HD”. When you are in town, be in worship – we have four to choose from! Invite a friend to join you and get to know Jesus even better. When not in town, feel free to catch a message on your computer. Or download the Fairmount app and listen there. There are many ways to stay connected over the summer! This new series begins July 2.

In John 10:10, Jesus profoundly tells His listeners that He came to bring us abundant life. Jesus wasn’t talking about an abundance of possessions or wealth; He was referring to an abundant life filled with the good things of God. Sadly, many times we allow the stress and strife of this world to stand in the way of that abundant life. This stress and strife affects us to the point of poisoning our emotions and our feelings. Those negative emotions should be reversed and can be reversed with Jesus’ help.

In our newest sermon series, “Toxic”, the Fairmount family will delve in the negative, toxic emotions that too many of us harbor – emotions of envy, pride, rage, fear, and bitterness. As we tackle each of these, we will discover the perfect antidotes that Jesus provides us to reverse the poison that they inject into our lives.

If you have a smart phone or are active on social media, you are familiar with emojis. You’ll see an emoji in the graphic for this sermon series. Emojis are those small pictures that can be used to decorate a message that is going to a friend or can be used to accentuate a message on social media. The wide variety of emojis cover the wide variety of emotions that any of us may be experiencing at any time. Just like our emotions, emojis are everywhere. Emojis can be used to express every emotion from joy to anger – confusion to contentment – and many more. We can choose the emoji we use in a text message – with Jesus’ help, we can choose the emotions we express on a daily basis.

Jesus addresses the prevalence of toxic attitudes in Luke 6:45: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Let’s have our hearts overflow with the good that God wants for us. Invite your friends and family members to go on this emoji journey with us.

Solomon proclaims in Psalm 127, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” What a poignant proclamation for such a time as this in the life of the Fairmount Christian Church. For over a year, our latest facility expansion has dominated the terrain and the conversation here on campus. Fairmount’s leadership – and hopefully every person that worships here – knows, though, that God is building something much bigger than a building – He is building a church.

As we prepare for the Grand Opening of our new Worship Center, we want to focus on the building blocks that God uses to construct a church that has maximum impact on the community and on the world. Bob Russell, retired minister of the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, published a book in 2000 by the title, “When God Builds a Church”. During his time at Southeast, the church grew to over 20,000 people in worship services each week. The building blocks that Bob outlines in his book are Biblical and timeless.

Our late fall sermon series, “When God Builds a Church”, is going to explore these important values – values that will make Fairmount much more than a building. If implemented, these values will continue to form Fairmount into a family that reaches the lost, blesses the believer, and honors Christ – a family that accomplishes its Biblical mission of “loving God and loving people”. As we prepare to open our doors even wider to the community, plan to be here each week of this series as we focus intently on how to be the Church that Jesus wants us to be.

Bob Russell, author of "When God Builds a Church," spoke at our December 4th services. You can listen to his sermon in the link below, or watch on YouTube.

Psalms is one of the richest and most reflective books in the entire Bible. 150 songs and poems penned by as diverse individuals as David, Moses, and Solomon. Like all poetry, language is used to express everything from heart-wrenching anguish to soul-inspiring joy. Part of the richness of Psalms is the theological insights that are found in every line. Much can be learned about the God of the universe just by reading this beautiful book of poetry.

Beginning on July 31, the Fairmount family is going to do a wide overview of Psalms’ theological implications, but do so in a unique way … by looking at the names that are given for God. In “Hello My Name Is God” we will discover a number of ways that the writers refer to the Lord of all creation. Enjoy this theological journey with us. Through learning a variety of these names, each of us will develop an even deeper appreciation for our heavenly Father.

This will be a six-week series. So why don’t you make it your goal to read 25 Psalms a week? You will uncover quite a bit on your own. It is our hope that our prayer lives, our devotional lives, and our personal interactions with God will be expanded and enriched.

In this year of “Under Construction” we are using our preaching time each Sunday to explore themes that help us build a deeper faith. If we allow Him, God is constantly constructing us into the people that He wants us to be. When a house is built, the builder takes special care to make sure that the end product is one that pleases the owner. Our lives are no different. We want our lives to please the Owner – our very Creator.

In Galatians 1, Paul writes his friends and reminds them that they are not to worry about pleasing people, but rather they should live to please God. He writes of himself, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” We need to be God pleasers, not people pleasers.

Starting on Sunday, May 15th, we are going to take a journey together through the Book of Galatians. Along the way we will be reminded how to let God build us into people who are pleasing to Him. This topic is important for believers as we want everything in our lives to please God. This topic is critical for non-believers as well. Invite an unbelieving or unchurched friend to worship with you. Perhaps they will discover that a life pleasing to God is the best life of all.