On Sunday, we gave an announcement regarding Bob Shull’s new role as Pastor of Discipleship and Evangelism.
You can watch the video below to find out the details of Bob’s continued ministry at RBC, as well as how that will affect the Youth Ministry.
On Sunday, we announced that Julie Johnston will be joining the RBC staff as our new Director of Women’s Ministry!
Please join us in thanking the Lord for His kind provision. You can watch the video of the announcement below.
In this video, Fellowship Groups Pastor Jim Supp gives a 2020 update on the Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, and Young Adult Ministry.
Visit annualreport.restonbible.org to see the rest of the 2020 Annual Report!
We’d like to thank Bruce and Mike for their kind words and for our gifts. (I, Marsha, am pretty stoked about my pink umbrella. I recently lost my old umbrella, so this is the perfect gift. And I, Sue, am thrilled with my chocolate bars because, well, I’m always thrilled by chocolate.)
During this time of transition as we head into retirement, we look back on our years of being on staff at RBC and find that we have much to be thankful for.
First, we are thankful that God put us together. Our personalities and gifting are quite different and some people thought we wouldn’t work well together. But God knew that we would balance one another, be stronger together and become great friends.
Second, we are thankful for the staff at RBC. They have supported us in so many ways. They are truly a team that works together and wants everyone to succeed. We’ve been able to see up close their love for people, their strong faith, and their servant hearts.
Third, we are thankful for the many volunteers who make Women’s Ministry run smoothly. These women have given of their time and talents faithfully, in joyful service, and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Last, but not least, we are thankful for each woman who has participated in Women’s Ministry. We have been privileged to see women grow in their faith, find community and serve one another.
We are grateful for all the experiences over these past years. Whether they’ve brought us joy and laughter or challenge and growth, God has used each of them in our lives. Now as we step down, we look forward. We are excited to see what God has planned next for the women of RBC.
Marsha and Sue
I recently received a ministry update from Margaret Ashmore, the speaker we intended to hear from at this year’s Women’s Retreat. In the update, she shared some thoughts about “things as they are” in our current situation. I’m sharing it with you (below) because her words point us to what remains when those things which cannot satisfy fall away. She points our eyes to Jesus. I so appreciated being reminded to look to Jesus where my salvation is found. I hope you will be too. Her post is copied below, or you can read it on her blog here.
The Bible tells us in the tenth chapter of Joshua of the day at which the sun stopped in the sky. It seems that the earth stopped spinning for a while, so that the sun and the moon appeared to be fixed in the sky. “The Sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.”
Yes, God can do that. And He has done it again.
The Day The Earth Stood Still is one of my favorite classic Sci-Fi movies. Made in 1951, the storyline goes that a “space man” came to planet earth for the sole purpose of warning its people that if they continued on their present course, “the earth would become a burned-out cinder”. In order to disguise himself for dwelling undetected with earth’s people, he became a man, giving himself the name, John Carpenter. (Purposed by the writer, the obvious connection would be the initials of Jesus Christ Who, as man, was a carpenter.) Being of superior wisdom, he decided to get the world’s attention by causing it to stand still, shutting down all transportation, all commercial enterprises and all every day activities. Maybe then, people would listen.
The writer, American short story novelist, Harry Bates, may have divined a present-day prophesy and while there are spiritual implications, it is nonetheless rooted in some scientific fact. I read an article from a seismologist who said, “The quarantine seemed to have made it easier to listen. Normally we wouldn’t pick up a 5.5 [magnitude earthquake] from the other side of the world, because it would be too noisy, but with less noise, our instrument is now able to pick up 5.5’s with much clearer signals during the day.” I also read that the decrease in “foot traffic” of the world’s almost 8 billion people, has had a similar affect.
So today in the midst of Covid 19, while the earth stands still, while the clamor on its surface is quelled, while the din of distraction is diminished and thronging humanity is hushed, are we listening? Are we picking up the signals from the One Who shut the entire world down with a single microbe? Now I can’t pretend to know all that God is doing in allowing this pandemic, and be assured, He has. “I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, Who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7) But I do know that His purposes are redemptive, born from mercy and not judgement. Far from reducing the world to a cinder, it is instead the clarion signal of Almighty God to listen more to Him rather than (ultimately) the prognosticators, the experts, the statisticians, the politicians and the media so that we might hear more clearly His message of divine love. So said John Piper when the Minneapolis bridge collapsed:
“The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is the most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live.”
Indeed, if we could see the eternal calamity from which God is offering escape, we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.
Hebrews 12:27 tells us that when God shakes the world, it “indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.” For the unbeliever, it means that if you are breathing, there is still time to escape from eternal judgement, each breath a clemency, each drawing in of air an opportunity to confess your sins and receive the forgiveness which has already been secured at the cross, each life giving inhalation the possibility of securing forever your salvation. How merciful of God to shake the passing and temporal world of the unbeliever so that they may become citizens of His unshakeable kingdom!
When God shakes the believer’s world, He is prying our hands off of those things which in the end will not ultimately satisfy nor will be sufficient to bear us up when powers, people and pandemics threaten to undo us. When those things “fall away”, when comforts are not readily available, when friends are at a distance, when funds are failing, when plans are paused, when store shelves are scant and even when the specter of death may threaten us, what remains is Jesus and His unwavering goodness, mercy and His all satisfying love, fixed in the heavens, immoveable, joy filling, peace giving, eternal.
Jesus Christ triumphantly stands astride Covid like the Colossus of Rhodes bidding all to look to Him for salvation, for satisfaction and for safety and as the old hymn says to, “Put away lesser things” so that nothing eclipses our view of Him and a deeper, more intimate fellowship with Him. The message is merciful. And in the quiet of a world no longer spinning in a hurried pace, much easier to hear.
“You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm.”
– Robert Murray McCheyne
When I began writing this, it was another rainy day with no hope of sunshine, and I had a bad case of the doldrums. When I feel that way, I can easily go to despair and find myself losing hope. When that happens, I have to ask myself what I’m putting my hope in. Am I hoping that the sun will come back out soon or that this quarantine won’t last much longer and that will make me feel better? Sure I am–and it’s okay to hope for those things–but ultimately I need to find a better hope. I need a lasting hope, a hope that speaks to the pain in my heart. I need to remind myself of the hope that isn’t wishful thinking. I need to preach the gospel to myself and find the hope that the Word of God promises to those who’ve placed their faith in Him.
Fortunately, on that day I came across an article by Christine Hoover (one of my favorite authors) entitled Every Hard Day Will Be Beautiful Someday. It was written almost two years ago but it spoke so poignantly to my need to find hope in my current situation. I wonder if you’re looking for the same hope.
In her article, Christine draws a lesson from a box of old photographs that she found in her closet. There is power and value in looking back and remembering what was because it can help inform us as we consider what is to come. We see a similar lesson taken from the Old Testament in God’s requirement that His people “remember” (Deuteronomy 8:2, Isaiah 46:9) along with His message through the prophets to “look forward” (Jeremiah 23:5-6, Acts 3:18-24). In the New Testament, the message remains the same–remember and look forward (1 Corinthians 11:24-28, Philippians 1:6). Remember Christ’s death and all that it accomplished on our behalf, and look forward to His return and the hope of eternity with Christ.
To quote from the article, “Looking back at the past and forward to the future helps us walk by faith in a promise-keeping God in this present darkness… We do not need to see or understand all that God is doing on our hardest days. We just need to know that God is behind this, and in this, and that he will make it beautiful in time.” Looking back at the past and forward to the future builds our faith and helps us put our hope in Him in the present.
One thing I know with certainty is that this pandemic did not catch God by surprise. He’s in the midst of it working “for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). And that brings me hope.
If you’d like to read the article, click here.
If you’re struggling to find hope in all of this, please feel free to reach out to me.
Hoping in Him,
Director of Women’s Ministry
Dear Ladies of RBC,
Hope this finds you well. I’d like to share with you a couple of things that have helped and encouraged me so much during this quarantine.
The first is a 2 week devotional on the sermon on the mount by Kelly Minter. This devotional went a long way in helping me to focus on God and His goodness. I found it encouraging as well as challenging as we dug deep into the word. To sign up to receive a free copy of Kelly’s The Blessed Life: 14 Days of Hope from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, click here.
The second is a new book that I’m currently reading by Christine Hoover called With All Your Heart: Living Joyfully through Allegiance to King Jesus. The book is about finding freedom from the false allegiances that are vying for our hearts. She doesn’t do it by shaming us or teaching us how to modify our behavior. Instead she turns our eyes to Jesus to find our heart’s true King. Christine writes from personal experience. I find her honest, vulnerable, and very easy to read and relate to. Click here to get your own copy.
Please stay safe. I look forward to gathering with you all again soon.
Director of Women’s Ministry
Mom’s Connection is a place where moms with kids from infancy to elementary age can come and learn, share and connect with other moms. We’ve all been ’new’ before and we have a heart to make sure no mom feels alone.
We are grateful for the giving which supports this ministry and for the RBCers who give generously of their time to serve our young mothers. Get more information on Mom’s Connection at RBC, please visit www.restonbible.org/moms.
Men of RBC: On March 3-5, the Women’s Ministry is holding their annual retreat. I have called the Sunday of that weekend, “Bad Hair Sunday” because it is the one Sunday out of the year that children show up with varying degrees of bedhead — worthy of pictures. For every man who spends the weekend with his children while his wife is away on a Women’s Retreat there are several valuable lessons in store. First, he realizes just how under-insured his wife is and that any thought he has ever had that even smelled like “I could do her job” was delusional at best. He also learns that you can dress your kids for church on Saturday night and put them to bed in those clothes. Lastly, he learns that Jehovah Jireh in the NIV means “Papa John’s delivers.” Men, you do not want to miss out on this.
More importantly, the weekend is a great opportunity to invest in your wife. I speak at a lot of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups in the area. When I go to these groups there is a room full of moms eager to hear my every word. (Not really.) I know that if a mom knows that her kids are being watched and someone is giving them food that they did not have to prepare, they would come and listen to me read the dictionary. No, I’m not the speaker for the retreat – they actually found someone with spiritual depth and great communication skills. But I am asking you guys to consider blessing your wives by strongly encouraging them to attend the retreat. All kidding aside, your wife will have the chance to spend time with other women of RBC, hear great teaching from the Bible and possibly get some much-needed rest.
Imagine how much they will laugh when they see the pictures you take of the kids on that Sunday morning. For more information on the 2017 Women’s Retreat, visit www.restonbible.org/womensretreat.
I’d like to make you aware of a new ministry opportunity for the women of RBC. Oswald Chambers said:
“When a man is born from above the life of the Son of God is born in Him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible’s idea of prayer is that we may get to know God himself.”
Tuesday mornings, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. a Women’s Prayer Group will meet in the Jr. High room in the Youth Building. All women of the RBC community are invited to join together to seek God in prayer for our church, nation, neighborhoods and families. Even if you can only come for a part of the time we encourage you to join us!
If you have any questions, please contact me.
-Marsha Mathews, Director of Women’s Ministry
by Liz Rainey
A few years ago, I heard Lauren Smith speak at a Mom’s Connection about her family’s journey in raising a son with special needs. A picture that she painted stuck in my head as she referred to the surprise that comes in learning your child has some delays. It went something like this: During pregnancy it’s like you are going to live in Italy, so you learn the language and everyone around you is talking about living in Italy as well. One day you find out that you’re not going to live in Italy, but Switzerland. It’s not bad, it’s just different from what you were expecting and your life will look very different from everyone else.
This image hit me like a ton of bricks! I could certainly relate to everything that she was saying about living in Switzerland! I approached her afterwards and was over the moon to learn that she wanted to be a support to other mothers that have kids with special needs. I had only been around moms whose kids were typical and honestly would go home feeling down and overwhelmed as they talked and I was living such a different experience. I knew I had a lot to learn differently about being a mom.
Soon after, Lauren founded Courageous Mamas for those with special needs children. It was a chance for women to meet together and share their experiences and receive support one evening a month. In attending the meetings, it felt like someone had thrown a lifeline. At the time, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed that my son, Jayden, would have to attend preschool away from me to receive therapy. He was only 2 years old at the time and I was beside myself! It was such a support to hear from other mothers who had been through preschool and beyond college with their special needs children. I have had so many questions answered and have learned so much. I have cried and just sat back in total amazement at what God does in these families! Thank you to everyone that has shared, been a support, and offered their life lessons.
The experience has opened my eyes to a whole new world of people that God has created, and I am joined in Switzerland by others in the church family. All this to say, that Courageous Mamas has been a huge blessing!
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COURAGEOUS MAMAS, VISIT RESTONBIBLE.ORG/COURAGEOUSMAMAS.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MOMS CONNECTION, CHECK OUT RESTONBIBLE.ORG/MOMSCONNECTION.
TO LEARN ABOUT COURAGE QUEST, THE SPECIAL NEEDS INITIATIVE IN RBC’S CHILDEN’S MINISTRY, CLICK HERE.
So the holiday season is finally over. All the shopping, gift-giving, cooking, decorating, visiting, and traveling is now past but I wonder how many of us recognized the opportunities for a divine reset as we navigated the ups and downs of the holiday season. Were there any really hard and challenging moments that left you wondering what in the world was going on? Maybe it was a stinging remark by a family member or friend, or possibly you experienced unanticipated sickness or loss? Maybe it was a dashed expectation or just a general feeling that something was not quite right? At times, amidst all of the “expected” joy and celebration, we all can find ourselves experiencing some of the exact opposite.
Well, the good news is… it’s not too late to process those circumstances through the lens of the Gospel and look for what the Lord intends! In this update, we want to offer you a few follow up resources to remind you again that God is sovereign, He loves you and His love is not based on anything you’ve done, are doing, or ever will do. He always gives us more than we ask for (even if we can’t see it in the moment), and He has His hand on every aspect of our lives. He means all things for His glory and our good. We hope you will take some time to review these resources and remember how God ordains resets in our lives.
For some excellent resources in the RBC Bookstore, check out:
“Because He Loves Me” by Elyse Fitzpatrick
“Broken Down House” by Paul Tripp
“Jesus the King” by Tim Keller
“One Way Love” by Tullian Tchividjian
“Step by Step” by James Petty
For the link to the teaching from the Women’s Ministry’s “Ready to Reset” event, please visit the RBC Women’s Ministry Facebook page at www.facebook.com/restonbiblewomen
There you will find the link to the teaching as well as an email to send in any questions. We will get those answers back to you as soon as possible. And don’t forget to “like” us while you are there to be sure to receive regular updates and encouragements.
A blessed New Year to you all!
What do you get when you mix fellowship, food, fun, and a teaching with 150 women? Why, a girls’ night out, of course! And that is exactly what happened this past Monday evening at the Ready to Reset women’s event at RBC. Even the bitter cold weather could not keep the women away from this special evening. The night began with fellowship, ice breakers, and a great selection of hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and delicious flavored coffees and teas.
Our speaker, Cheryl Ryan, shared from her own life, and the lives of Leah in the Old Testament, and Paul in the New Testament. She explained how God uses His ordained resets in all of our lives to bring us to Him. Those resets can be slow or fast, gentle or painful, surprising or even shocking, but one truth is constant - in the resets God always reminds us of His great love and grace in our broken lives. Yes, we still live in a broken world, yes, we ourselves are broken, and yes, our hearts are constantly wandering away, but God is redeeming and rescuing us right in the midst of the difficulty, pain, brokenness and confusion.
With Leah we saw how she was “working” for her husband’s love by giving him son after son after son. For Paul, it was how he was “working” by proudly boasting of his own righteousness. And for Cheryl she shared with us her own personal story of believing that to be good Christian meant she had to “work” at being strong in the Lord. In all these cases God broke through their circumstances and showed that the “work” had already been done and that the good news is – it Is finished! The love and approval each desperately needed was only to be found in God, and they discovered they didn’t have to work for it. They actually found His wonderful love and grace was already theirs not by working for it, but by seeing and admitting their own weakness through His appointed reset.
If you enjoyed the event and would like some follow up, we encourage you to please visit the Women’s Ministry of Reston Bible Church Facebook page. There we will be offering some follow up resources, including the references to the quotes you all have been asking for from the event. If you weren’t able to make it to Ready to Reset, in the next few days we will be posting the audio to Cheryl’s message there on the page as well. Then watch for more information on how you can ask follow up questions regarding the teaching. You will also find more frequent quotes and resources to encourage you as you follow the page. So let’s get the conversation started by “liking” the Women’s Ministry of Reston Bible Church Facebook page and we’ll meet you there!
RBC Ladies, I wanted to let you know about a couple new offerings in Women’s Ministry. Both will meet at the church beginning soon.
- FORGIVEN & SET FREE: This confidential 8 week study is for women who suffer pain, guilt or shame of a past abortion(s). This study, which effectively administers God’s healing grace, is offered in a safe environment with the goal of helping you find lasting healing, forgiveness, and freedom that can only be found in Christ. If you struggle with secrecy, guilt, condemnation or forgiveness, this study is for you. It will meet on Thursdays from 7:00-9:00 pm beginning April 24. For more information or to register contact Amy Raye, 571-283-7248, firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathy Kennedy 571-327-0617, Kathy.email@example.com.
- LIVING HOPE: This will be a women’s group for those who struggle with depression. Psalm 42:11 asks the questions, “Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” Beginning May 15, we will host an 8-week (5/15 – 7/10) group on Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:30 AM for women who struggle with depression. We will share from Scripture and from our own personal lives for the purpose of building each other up as we walk through difficult emotions and circumstances. Our goal is that through sharing openly and honestly with one another, reminding each other of the truths found in Scripture and speaking the truth in love, we will be able to say to our souls, like the Psalmist, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Due to the intimate and confidential nature of the group, size will be limited (6 – 10 women). Childcare will not be provided. If interested, please contact Julia Blanchard (firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-404-5045).
Have a wonderful week and enjoy this gorgeous spring weather…finally!
Director, Women’s Ministry
For the third year in a row, the ladies of Reston Bible Church converged on the Sterling Doubletree Hotel for a weekend away from the pressures and stresses of everyday life. We gathered together – freed from the distractions of families, careers and simple things like making our own beds and meals – ready to hear from the Lord through Shawn Lantz, who taught on the subject of Living with Unmet Desires.
Shawn is the daughter of missionaries who moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo when she was ten, and now resides in Nashville with her husband and three children. Throughout the course of our three days together, Shawn led us through the four core issues of jealousy, taught us to expose the true idols of our hearts, and learn how to forgive ourselves and those who we feel have sinned against us. Shawn’s message was a balm to many hurting hearts, and her delivery was clear and concise. She shared many moving anecdotes about her time in the Congo and was transparent about her own personal experiences and struggles with the topic at hand, which was refreshing and encouraging.
After each teaching session, we talked through what we’d learned in small groups. Sharing in our small groups was a great way for women to share with and encourage each other, and form new connections.
On Saturday afternoon, a chunk of free time afforded us the opportunity to participate in a service project for the RBC Food Pantry or attend a special interest meeting. We were also given the opportunity to buy handcrafted bags to support Napada, a ministry in Bangkok that employs women from low-income communities. The proceeds (and there were many!) went directly back into the ministry (and the bags were gorgeous). Some women took the chance to head out to the outlets for some shopping or worked out together at the gym. And I think a great many of us took naps.
Once again, the RBC women’s retreat proved to be an extraordinary time of teaching, connecting with other women, and hearing powerful messages from the Lord. Please pray that the Lord would continue to bear fruit from our time together at the retreat.
– Emily Cassee, Retreat Planning Committee
In this video, shown during the retreat, Jan Stevens shares about the loss of her son, David, and God’s redeeming hand throughout his life. Her story is a powerful testimony of our Lord’s grace & provision in the midst of the most difficult of unmet desires.