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Posts by Jim Gribnitz

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New Sermon Series: Follow Me

The church has a double responsibility in relation to the world around us. On the one hand we are to live, serve and witness in the world. On the other hand we are to avoid becoming contaminated by the world. So we are neither to seek to preserve our holiness by escaping from the world nor to sacrifice our holiness by conforming to the world. John Stott, The Radical Disci...

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Small Chapter, Big Impact

In 2018 I am reading the Chronological Bible-in-a-Year, and today's reading was the shortest one yet. So short, in fact, when I initially saw the text I felt like I was cheating because it was going to take almost no time and the other days take at least 5 or so minutes of just reading. (FYI: you can find chronological Bible reading plans onlinefor free and see the Bible ...

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A Verse You've Never Seen

And a young man followed Jesus, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.Mk 14:5152 So.....ummmm......THATis in the Bible. If we live with the conviction that every verse in the Scriptures matters, what in the world are we to make of this obscure text, and why does it matter to us today? Context:T...

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Happy Easter. He is Risen!

St Joan of Arc, a young woman with no military training, believed she had been chosen by God to lead France to military victory in its long-running war with England in the 1400's. She convinced the embattled crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead a French army to the besieged city of Orlans, where it achieved a momentous victory over the English and their Fre...

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'Passion' Week?

Remember in 2004 the movie that came out called "The Passion of the Christ" and how we all acted like weknew full well what the word "Passion" meant in that context? Whatdoesit mean in thatcontext? What was thePassionof the Christ?When we hear about 'passion'we think of feeling strongly about something, i.e. "I have a passion for sports, my wife, andcupcakes" (not necessa...

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worship, connect, serve, GIVE

"Oh good...a fundraising email." Nope. Not even close. So often, the spiritual discipline of giving isfundraising disguised as Spiritual Formation. I approach the budget of Rockland from a Spiritual Formation perspective and let others way more gifted than I am crunch numbers. I want to help us all be shaped to be more Christlike through how we handle our money. I don't l...

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worship, connect, SERVE, give

We grow in Christ when we Worship, Connect, Serve and Give. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. I Cor. 12:7 The Greek word for "common Good" (above) is 'sym-phero', where get our word 'symphony'. The idea being that you can have several people playing instrument solos, but when they all play together, it is even more beautiful. Th...

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worship, CONNECT, serve, give

Spiritual growth happens when we worship, connect, serve and give. When it comes to 'connecting', unfortunately, we have today what I call 'cotton candy' relationships. These are relationships that are just connected enough to make you feel full, but not enough to be healthy. Our relationships need to be deep, biblical connections where we are vulne...

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WORSHIP, Connect, Serve, Give

We just had a GREAT Come and Consider class last weekend, and you will be so excited to meet the dozen or so people that will be joining Rockland over the next month! I remember another Come and Consider classwe had about yearand a half ago, and a question came up that I (embarrassingly) couldn't answer very well. The question was: "What do members of Rockland do...

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First-Hand Info

Have you ever read the gospels in chronological order?This website has an example of a reading plan you could follow, but there are many more on the web. Why is this a good idea? In "Four Portraits, One Jesus: A Survey of Jesus and the Gospels", Mark Strauss says: "To Christian believers, the Gospels record the "greatest story ever told," the events of the life, d...

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Why Goals Fail

How are your New Years Resolution coming? Are you like me in that you areclaiming the grace of God a littleearly thisyear? Two of the reason why our resolutions and goalsfail is that they are:1) unspecific in their desired outcomes,and2) unclear in their next steps. For example: "I'd like to lose some (unspecific) weight(unclear how to do that)." Here is a better way of...

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You Don't Want to Miss This!

TheChristmas story is the most remarkable story of aperfect Savior coming to rescue an undeserving, unappreciative world. But one of the things that makes Christmas so remarkable is that it is just the beginning of what happened next. When we onlyfocus on Christmas and Easter, we don't get a full picture of Jesus.If we just see the birth, death and resurrection of Christ, ...

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What would YOU ask?

This Sunday evening (remember: NO MORNING SERVICES) at our Christmas Eve Services,I am going to share some answers I have received from people of all agesto this simple question: "If you could ask Mary or Joseph one question, what would it be?" (I'm dying to tell you what some of the responses are, but I don't want to ruin the surprise of sharing it together this Chris...

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Worst news ever ...

I was reading my adventdevotional this morning by Paul David Tripp, "Come, Let Us Adore Him". It started with the line... "The baby in the manger came to tell us the worst news ever..." You can imagine my surprise. I swallowed hard and wondered if I needed to throw this book out and stop recommending it. I held my breath and read the rest of the line... "The baby in the ...

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The Second Adam

This Christmas will be made even richerif we think about Adam. (Wait...what?!)Did you know that the Biblelikens Adam to Jesus, while at the same timedifferentiating the two? Observe Paul's letter to the Corinthians. (Parentheses mine.)21For as by a man (Adam) came death, by a man (Jesus) has come also the resurrection of the dead.22For as in Adam all die, so also in Chris...

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No Greater Love

The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs has the following on its website this Veteran's Day: "For 98 years, Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform on 11 November first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954 as Veterans Day. In this 99th year of commemoration, the Department of Veterans Affairs is broadening that tradition of observance and a...

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In Case You Missed It!

In case you missed a fun announcement this morning... Rockland has started the process tohire a third pastor, a Pastor of Discipleship, whowilllead our discipleship efforts at Rocklandfrom 6th grade through adults!This is incredibly exciting for me,our staffand our elders! (Dennis Jeffrey has been a HUGE help in this process to help by consulting and drilling down on sp...

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From Israel, with Love...

Greetings, from Israel! 50 Rocklandersare here and we are having a deeply moving time. Thank you for praying for us! If this trip to the Holy Land has reaffirmed any singular truth over and over, it is this: Jesus is real. You walk all over this land and see the evidence that He lived and lives. We've been to Nazareth, The Mount of Olives, The Mount of the Beatitudes,Megid...

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Where Did we Get the Chapters and Verses?

Wheredid the chapters andverses our Bible come from? A man named Stephen Langton (ca. 11501228), atheology professor and archbishop of Canterbury, is generally credited as the creator of chapters in our Bible as we have them today. He did this in the 12th century ina popular Latin version of the Bible called the 'Vulgate'. His reason for doing so,as a professor and scholar...

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All. Out. Joy

If you are new to Rockland, let me lay some groundwork for you on how we work. On Sunday mornings, we like to open a bookof the Bible, preach it, and when we finish that book...open another book. We are constantly in awe of the fact that God spoke ages ago through the Scripturesand yet they still speakto us even today. It always amazesme how God's ancient words are also...

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Best.Advise.Ever

Periodically I'll remind you of some of the best advice I have ever received with regards to growing in my faith when I'm in a worship service or Bible study. My old Sunday routine was that I would show up to church on Sundays, still thinking about what was on my plate from last week that I didn't get finished or what was coming up in the weekahead. I found it hard to focu...

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In Case You Missed It...

In caseyou were not able to be here Sunday, the one-minute video I showed is below. But first...some background. What does it mean when the author of Ecclesiastes says, "He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."(Ecc. 3:11)?The best answer I could find, based on a study of the English translations...

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Independence Day

Did you know that one of our founding fathers, John Adams,almost 'missed' celebrating the Independence for which he strived?Here's the story:On June 7, 1776, the Continental Congress met, and the man with the most guts in human history (Jim's opinion - not actual fact perhaps)Richard Henry Lee, the delegate from Virginia,introduced a motion calling for the colonies' comple...

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An Undivided Heart

Enjoy this week's email fromGordon Steere, the elder who works with Discipleship. This year I will be celebrating a milestone, turning 65.I know for some of you 65 seems old and for some I am still a youngster, but hitting a major milestone like this has caused me to spend more time reflecting on my Christian life.One of the most challenging and convicting verses of scrip...

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Is there a Point?

Last week we looked atEcclesiastes Chapter 1, where 'Qohelet'(the Hebrew word forthe "Preacher" in Ecclesiastes 1:1) lamented the pointlessness of finding meaning in life "under the sun" (apart from God). As we read the text you could feel the author's desperation and futility about how meaningless this life iswhen we leave God out. To say it in a more modern way, you ca...

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Chasing Meaning

Everyone I have ever met would benefit to know the answer to this question: "Where can I find meaning and significance in life?" We attempt to answer this question and find meaning and purpose for our lives in countless ways: Throughbraggingon social media, hoping that 'likes' and comments will make us feel important and valued By having short-term relationship after ...

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A Note to Wrap Proverbs

One last effort to help Proverbs come alive for us all... Shakespeare had couplets, Solomon (and the other authors of poetic Hebrew literature like Proverbs) had couplets,triplets, quadruplets and more. In this style of literature, the different lines of poetryactin parallel to teach the onetruth. This is called 'parallelism': when two or more lines are related to each o...

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Proverbs 1

I'm writing this email on my wedding anniversary, and as we kick off a series on the wisdom of Proverbs, I thought it might be good to share some relationship wisdom I've received over the past 10, no wait, 22, no, hang on (looking it up)....the 18 years that I have been married. 1) Marriage first, kids and job second. The greatest gift we can give our children is a hea...

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Proverbs 2

Have you ever said something and as soon as you said it wished you could take it back? I have a...um...friend who, quite unfortunately, has had plenty of times where he has said something and then realized it was awful. I...I mean 'he'... tried hard to mask it with a quick "just kidding" and he hoped that everyone laughed and never talked about how rude it was. Man, that ...

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He.Is.Risen

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;Death is strong, but Life is stronger;Stronger than the dark, the light;Stronger than the wrong, the right;Faith and Hope triumphant say,Christ will rise on Easter Day.-Phillips Brooks He is Risen indeed.Happy Easter. Jim Gribnitz, Lead Pastor Join us for our new sermon series starting this week!...

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Easter is Upon Us!

This Sunday is THE Sunday. It is the day we celebrate the most important event in all of history, the resurrection of Christ showing His victory over death and sin. You know what makes that time even more meaningful? Knowing more of the story of the time leading up to it. Why does a championship in any sport feel so sweet? It is not just winning one game: it is the build ...

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Case for Christ

Click HERE to watch the 2-minute trailer for "The Case for Christ! "What does your husband believe?""Just the facts." - Leslie Strobel MOVIE REVIEW:"The Case for Christ", based on the book by Lee Strobel, was strategically released yesterday as we approach Easter, and I saw it late Friday night. The movie follows the real-life story of Mr. Strobel, who was an award-winni...

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"The Bible is so tough!"

"The Bible is so difficult to read" is one of the oddest statements I ever hear about the Scripture for two reasons: 1) God desires that we know His message for us. Since He is expressing a message of His great love for humanity, of course, He would want us to know that message! That is why the Bible was preserved for us when so many other works were destroyed and did not...

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Redeeming the Mundane

As we SPRING our clocks FORWARD this Saturday night (subtle reminder), I have a proposition for you. First, here's my assumptions: 1) When you are walking around setting your clocks, I assume that you, like me, are not doing anything else. It's sort of tedious. Sort of a 'must-do' instead of a 'want-to'. 2) I also assume that you and I probably have a handful of clocks ...

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Video Greetings, From Tanzania

Click HERE for the video!...

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Why Should Rockland Care about Galatians?

The Apostle Paul wasn't writing to us. Or was he? When Paul was writing one of his letters (in this case, Galatians) who did he have in mind? Was he only thinking of the immediate receivers of the letter? Was he thinking about the entire early church? Was he thinking about us here in Rockland in 2017? Did he know that his letter would last this long? As recently as a few...

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Sometimes I ramble...

Three kids bragging about their fathers: First: "My dad's so smart he can talk for one hour on any subject."Second: "My dad's so smart he can talk for two hours on any subject."Third: "My dad's so smart he can talk for three hours and doesn't even need a subject." Does that sound like anyone you know? (Don't email me.) There are some people who tend to be quite verbose. ...

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A Fork in the Road

Yogi Berra was a hall-of-fame catcher and former manager for the New York Yankees, but probably best known for his pithy, confusing, and humorous quotes. Some of my favorites: -"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."-"Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical."-"You can observe a lot just by watching."-"Always go to other people's funerals. Otherwise, they won't c...

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Prayer Request and Challenge for Rockland

Ed Lange has been a dear friend to me for this season that we have been serving together, and has been such a true friend and pastor to so many of you for so many years. Recently, I convinced him to put together the following update to send to the congregation concerning some information he has gotten regarding his health. Good Day Rockland! Since early Fall, I have been...

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Special Video Announcement!

Click Here for the video! I am grieved when I hear of churches, Christians, and pastors that swap the gospel of Christ for something it is not. Paul felt the same grief as he watched the church in Galatia lose their anchor in the sure gospel of Christ, hence the reason for the letter. (See, for example, Galatians 1:6-10) I am so glad to have served at churches that rej...

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Because of YOU

Paul says an odd, yet wonderful thing in Galatians 1:24 in reference to some church attenders in Judea whom he had never met face-to-face. Though they had never seen him, they sure knew about him! They said, "He who used to persecute the faith is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy" (Gal 1:23). Picture that: The one who would have previously given his life to...

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New Years Resolutions

Join us this week as we kick off a new series in Galatians! Good news: If you want to change your life for the better, simply make New Years resolutions. Those are always a sure thing. (OK, not really.) We joke about how we make resolutions and they never stick, but do you know that some people make them and they actually work? What is the secret to having a goal fulfil...

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Merry Christmas, Rockland

Infant holy, infant lowlyFor His bed a cattle stallOxen lowing, little knowingChrist, the babe is Lord of all.Swift are winging, angels singingNoels ringing, tidings bringingChrist, the babe is Lord of all. Flocks were sleeping, shepherds keeping,Vigil till the morning newSaw the glory, heard the storyTidings of a gospel true.Thus rejoicing, free from sorrowPraises voicin...

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The LOVE of Christmas (part 2)

When you think of "love" what do you think of? A romantic date? A parent's deep abiding affection for their child? A mushy movie? A thoughtful card? What about in a spiritual context? How often do we think about love in the context of our spiritual lives? My guess is that you are like me and need to fight the temptation 'graduate' from meditating on the love of God. We h...

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The LOVE of Christmas (part 1)

Did you know the Bible has one basic message? Oh sure, it's fun to overcomplicate it. I for one, love to get into the weeds and talk about nitty-gritty details of the faith and theological nuances. But when it comes down to it, the Bible has one basic message. God's love for his people revealed in Jesus Christ. (Now, to be clear, we do not get to make up our own definit...

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The JOY of Christmas

I have to confess one of my favorite moments in our worship services is something that no one but me gets to see. All advent, we are inviting all our kids to come forward to watch the advent candle lighting up close. From my unique vantage point, I get to see their faces and watch their eyes completely dialed into this simple tradition and great object lesson of the adven...

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Today is the Day

pray_for_election_day_ndop_1280x720_640_360

I truly was wondering if I could go to a movie tonight and just wake up tomorrow to hear who has won, rather than watch the hours and hours of television coverage. But I am sure I'll watch. Tonight, though, I'm going to try something I have never done before. I am going to practice obedience to 1 Timothy 2:1-2:I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.Ask God to he...

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Serve

Kyle Knight, Student Ministry Director “God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust him completely.” ...

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Connect

This Sunday, we continue exploring our core values in line with Rockland's vision of Connecting All Generations to Jesus as we study Value #2: "Connect". Merriam-Webster uses the following words to describe the meaning of Connect: "To join, weave, entwine, link, secure and to place or establish in relationship". Each one of these descriptions gave further meaning to the i...

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The Key to Worship

WCSG

A.W. Tozer once said, "I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven." Ouch. Thank you, Mr. Tozer, for that hand-slap about the negative attitude towards worship that we sometimes carry. But how should worship look? What should the attitude ...

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Important Info!

RCC logo

We had a GREAT Sunday this morning and it was a joy to share with everyone here today (and watching online) the new vision statement for Rockland for this next season as a church. CONNECTING ALL GENERATIONS TO JESUSAs we stand for the Truth of the GospelShow God's grace to all peopleAnd raise the next generation to do the same. Our publications, our website, and everythi...

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One Year Later...

Vision Sunday

My first official day on staff at Rockland was October 1st of last year, and let me tell you: it's been a wild year. We moved from a place we have lived most of our lives, started a new school, are in a new home, have a new job, new friends, and a new church. We now ski and snowshoe instead of swim and sweat. I now own 3 puffy jackets, and a little over a year ago I didn...

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Who IS your 'neighbor'?

How Faith Works Web

I have gotten a wide range of answers over the years the I've posed that question to different groups, but got perhaps my favorite this week at our men's Bible study....

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From Romania with Love

romania-jim

Thanks to jet lag, I am writing this at 11:30 AM Denver time, but it's 8:30 PM here in Romania, and my body thinks it's 4:12 in the morning, a week after next Thursday. I can't wait to get back to Colorado and get on Mountain Time (the same time I am convinced heaven runs on)....

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Why Translations Matter

How Faith Works Web

I am so grateful that there are so many different translations of the Bible in English....

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How Faith Works: We Are What We Do

How Faith Works Web

It would no doubt raise a red flag if I I say I love my family-if I say they are important-yet what I do screams otherwise. ...

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How Faith Works: Don't Be Deceived

How Faith Works Web

Are we deceived into thinking that our gifts we receive are from someplace besides our loving Creator?...

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How Faith Works: New Series

How Faith Works Web

The question of how faith and actions go together is one that theologians have tried to explain for centuries....

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