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Welcome to the Team Zak Harris!

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God is on the move and we're feeling that 2019 is going to be a remarkable year at Redeeming Life Church. As I've been looking out to the horizon and seeking God's vision for what's coming, I'm reminded more and more that church-planting in Utah only happens by the marvelous power of God. I am also more broken than ever over the lostness in Utah and the great need to shepherd the disciples well at Redeeming Life.

There are 80,000 people living in the specific mission area we are trying to reach, and research suggests over 78,400 of them do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Even more challenging is the very small handful of believers trying to reach into the darkness with the light of Christ. If we are really going to be able to saturate this area with the gospel, we are going to need a lot of support and many mission teams from outside our state. But coordinating a single short-term mission trip takes a lot of work. (If you’ve ever led one, you know.) Receiving the mission team is just as much work. Now multiply that by the number of mission teams and supporting churches necessary to reach this parched part of the Lord's vineyard. It's overwhelming, so I've been praying my face off. And God is answering!

Please join me in welcoming Zak Harris to our team at Redeeming Life Church. Zak is going to serve as a self-supported, part-time missionary working with us to help coordinate our mission and evangelism work. This work is vital to what we’re doing and we need Zak’s help.

Zak's from Utah and a member at Redeeming Life. But Zak is also the Operations Director at Healing Nations, an organization that serves to connect church across the US with mission fields around the globe. Coordinating mission teams and mission logistics is what Zak does. And what he does and has learned in that work is what we are hoping he can bring to our mission.

We need Zak's help! And maybe with Zak's help, we can bring on more support and more mission teams. But in the meantime, we need to raise support for Zak as he brings his knowledge, skill, and God-given gifts to the team. We need to raise funds so he can assist us with our current partners and incoming mission teams. (Partners and incoming mission teams, we love you and I'll be doing some introductions with Zak in January.)

Here's where you can help. Might you be willing to join what God is doing in on our mission field? Please pray for Zak and our mission. Please consider coming to Utah on a short-term mission trip. And please consider helping us compensate Zak for a few hours per week so he can give us dedicated time and help. Please join Redeeming Life Church to see Salt Lake redeemed by the power of the gospel.

One easy way you can partner with us is by supporting our ministry that allows us to have Zak working on our team.

There are three ways you can make a donation:
1. Donate on Realm, our online communication system by following this link.  (Please select the Outreach and Evangelism drop-down option).  You will also have the option of setting up a reoccurring donation, if you’d like.

2. If you would prefer to give via text messaging, you may send a text stating "RLC Outreach $(amount you desire to give)" to 73256.  The system will send you a temporary, secure link so you can complete the transaction and receive a receipt. 

3. Or you may send a check with “Outreach” to: 

Redeeming Life Church
901 Nocturne Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84116.

Thank you for partnering with us in God's mission to see Salt Lake City redeemed by the power of the Gospel.

For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan Catherman

The Nativity of Jesus Christ

When most Christians think about the Christmas story, they imagine the nativity. You know, the scene depicted by your nativity set. There's a stable and some animals and figurines and of course, the baby Jesus. A nativity set without baby Jesus is just silly. The entire point is Jesus.

When we open our Bible to the gospel accounts that explain our nativity set, we turn to Luke 2:1-20 for the birth story and account of the shepherds, and then we turn to Matthew 2:1-12 to be sure we get the wise men in there. But "nativity" comes from a Latin word that morphed with a French word. Both words mean "birth" and the combined word also means "birth." If we want to tell the story that explains our table-top nativity set, these two Scripture references do a nice job. But if we're looking in Matthew to the birth story of Jesus, we need to back up to Chapter 1.

The birth of Jesus is told in the first chapter of Matthew. All of the first chapter. You might be confused because the first 17 verses are a list of genealogy from Abraham all the way to Joseph. Most people skim these verses and move on. But then they miss the foundation of the nativity of Christ found in Matthew 1:18-25.

Verse 18 opens "Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way." But this is not the first birth mentioned in Matthew Chapter 1. The word "fathered" appears 39 times in the 17 verses before the nativity. There's a point here. There's a genealogy that includes fathers and lots of births and lots of sons. And there's another birth coming. A special birth. One with a special father. One, the likes of which the world has never seen. The mother will be a virgin and she will give birth to a son who will be called Immanuel, or "God with us."

The nativity of Christ is rooted in the genealogy of the Old Testament. The history is an important part of the story. Jesus brings hope and a look to the future, but his story started in the past. The nativity is the point when looking back and looking forward collide.

It's difficult to see the table-top nativity set as a celebration of God's redeeming work in the past and a hopeful joy in the promise of his redeeming work in your future. However, in my house, we have a Christmas decoration that helps us see this if we look closely. I'll share more about that this Sunday as I turn to the nativity story in Matthew chapter 1. I hope you'll join us.

Merry Christmas!
Pastor Bryan Catherman

Sarah Powers -- Church Planting Missionary to Utah

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We are thrilled to introduce you to a church-planting missionary that we're bringing on to our team to see Salt Lake redeemed by the power of the gospel. Her name is Sarah Powers. Sarah, Adam her husband, and their family are in the process of raising support and making the move to Salt Lake to work with Redeeming Life Church.

Now, before you freak out when you think about a woman involved in church-planting, I'd like to explain and expand on that thought.

Sarah has no intention of becoming an elder or preaching at Redeeming Life Church, or anywhere for that matter. But she does have a heart and call for mission work, specifically in Utah. However, there's a bit of a problem. Typically, if a woman is not the wife of a church-planter there's not as much opportunity for her to serve as a missionary or serve in church planting within our denomination (the Southern Baptist Convention) or with our church-planting network (the Send Network with the North American Mission Board). One of the great strengths of our denomination and network, however, is locally autonomous churches working together to reach the world for Christ. So we think with the help of other churches and people inside and outside our tribe, we can find a way to support women doing missionary work in the United State.

We've created a fund to help support women in church planting and missionary work. We wanted to name it after Annie Armstrong or Lottie Moon (two amazing women with remarkable hearts and calls for mission work) but those names were already taken. Therefore, we're calling our fund the 16:1 Support Fund, after Romans 16:1. In that verse, the Apostle Paul charged the church in Rome to commend our sister, Phoebe, a servant for the church. In the following verse, Paul also instructed the church to welcome her in the Lord and help her in whatever she may need from them.

I'm asking you to pray for this effort, for Sarah, and for her family. I'm also asking you to consider supporting Sarah and her mission. In the coming days, she'll likely have some ways you can follow her journey via email or social media. You might even consider coming out to Salt Lake for a short-term mission trip to work with Sarah and our team at Redeeming Life. And I'm asking you to support her and this mission financially.

Please don't hesitate to contact me or Sarah if you have questions or comments.

For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan Catherman
Redeeming Life Church
Salt Lake City, Utah

Three ways to give to our 16:1 Support Fund:

1. You may send a check, made out to "Redeeming Life Church" with "16:1 Support Fund" in the memo line. Mail the check to:

Redeeming Life Church
901 Nocturne Dr.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116

2. Make a donation on Realm, our online communication system by following visiting https://onrealm.org/rlc/Give. (Please select the 16:1 Support Fund in drop-down option). This is a secure system and allows you to set up reoccurring donations, too.

3. Text "RLC 161Fund $(amount you desire to give)" to 73256. The system will send you a temporary, secure link so you can complete the transaction and receive a receipt.

Thank you for your support!

"The Power of Forgiveness" (Matthew 18:21-35) -- Dr. Jeff Iorg

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Guest preacher, Dr. Jeff Iorg, President of Gateway Seminary opened to Matthew 18:21-35 to examine what Jesus taught about forgiveness. By way of Jesus’ parable, Dr. Iorg walk us through two very significant aspects of what it means to be forgiven and to forgive. Listen or watch this powerful sermon on forgiveness by one of the means below.

Listen Here:

Watch Here:

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle MusicTuneIn, or on the non-iTunes feed and never miss a sermon! 

"Contend for the Faith" (Jude 17-24)

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In light of all the lies the enemy hurls at us day after day, it might be difficult to live the Christian life well and contend for the faith. False teachers not only creep into to the church to attempt to ship wreck our faith, the enemy brings false teachers through media and communities and social circles. False teaching and the enemy’s lies are after us. But Jude encourages us to contend for the faith and he tells us how. Listen to the sermon here.

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle MusicTuneIn, or on the non-iTunes feed and never miss a sermon! 

Join Us in Prayer

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Pastor Bryan sends a monthly prayer update and request email. It’s like a prayer partner newsletter. It contains a short story (a paragraph or two) about a big way God answered our prayers in the previous month. There’s also a couple photos. After the report of what God did, the letter includes specific ways you can pray for and with us as we work to see Jesus known in this very dry part of the Lord’s Vineyard. And yes, there is a button at the bottom that links you to many other ways you can support our ministry in addition to keep us in your prayers. (We’re a church-plant in a hard place with limited help and resources. What kind of missionaries would we be if we didn’t provide an opportunity for you to join our mission in other ways, should God call you in that direction!)

Sign up to receive the monthly email and join the team of more than 325 people praying their faces off for God’s glory in this unreached place.

We are also thankful for the churches that partner with us in prayer. We hear reports of many people who take the request to their church, small group, Bible study class, or prayer group to pray for the work being done in Utah. And we’ve seen our printed prayer list on people’s refrigerators so they pray trough our needs and praises often. It’s encouraging!

Please consider signing up for our Prayer Partner Update Email by following this link to the sign up form:

[R] Prayer Partner Update Email

Thank you for joining us in prayer,
The Missionary Church Planters at Redeeming Life Church

"Don't Covet -- Be Content" (Exodus 20:17)

Exodus 20:17, the Tenth Commandment, says that coveting the stuff and experiences of our neighbors is wrong. If if doesn’t hurt others, why is it a problem? How did Jesus fulfill this Commandment? And what does obeying this Commandment teach us today in the New Testament Church? Listen to Pastor Bryan Catherman’s sermon here or with the link below.

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle MusicTuneIn, or on the non-iTunes feed and never miss a sermon! 

"The False Witness" (Exodus 20:16)

The command of the Lord is, “Thou shall not bare false witness” (Exodus 20:16). God stands on truth and wants his community to stand on truth, but we are false witnesses and slanderers. But the good news is Jesus made a way for salvation for the false witness and the slanderer.

Today, Pastor Bryan Catherman opened to Exodus 20:16 and preached on the Ninth Commandment in our series, “The Ten Commandments.” He demonstrates how we all need Christ and that this commandment is about so much more than the courtroom. He also shows us how we are called to be witnesses in the trial of Jesus and the trial of God’s Word that we see today. Listen to Bryan’s sermon, “The False Witness” below or by following this link.

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle MusicTuneIn, or on the non-iTunes feed and never miss a sermon! 

Building God's Kingdom by Reserving Space

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Last Sunday I preached from Exodus 20:15. Don’t steal. I pointed out that when we try to build our own kingdom, we’re actually stealing from God. We should be doing more to build God’s Kingdom. I also provided 5 areas were we can start building God’s Kingdom. (You can listen to that sermon here.) In this post, I’d like to offer some practical ways to work on building God’s Kingdom in your heart, mind, and soul through some spiritual formation. It comes through spiritual discipline, which is a fancy way to say it comes through your habits.

Some of you are stealing from God and not building his Kingdom by stealing time, talent, or treasure from him. Some of you would like to stop this and start developing better habits for Kingdom building. This is great. I’m praying for you!

Maybe you're struggling to read your Bible daily. Or maybe you don't see how you can give a regular offering to God in support of his mission at Redeeming Life or other ministries, or both. Are you struggling to fast regularly? Or maybe you're struggling to gather with your local congregation at Redeeming Life.

Spiritual formation is often about forming habits and the formation of a habit takes strategic effort. Reserving a space for the thing you're lacking but want to do is a great start for growth.

When we were first starting the church plant, we set a budget that had line items for sending another church planter, foreign mission work, and even a building fund. This was a time when our weekly offering was a few bucks and some loose change. Remember when we were meeting in the parsonage? We were fundraising and had no money (and, really, we still don't) so why would we set these items in the budget? Because we reserved a space for them to grow in the future. It was about being faithful. These line items had extremely small percentages of our undesignated collected offering. It was almost comical how much we saved in each line item, but we were honoring God by making an effort, even if it was all we could do. Each year we try to up these percentages. It's not easy, but it's faithful and they serve as a placeholder for growth. It’s something, and that’s more than doing nothing.

How does this illustration translate into your life?

Are you are struggling to read your Bible every day? Set yourself to read one verse per day. Maybe it seems silly, but it will reserve a space for you and God and you'll be in your Bible daily. That’s something! As you grow, you can up it to two or three verses. If you keep this up, eventually you'll grow into entire chapters, then more and more chapters. Additionally, you'll begin to grow in this spiritual discipline and enjoy it.

Is the offering plate passing by you unchanged. If you're presently not giving to the mission of God at your local church through financial offerings and gifts, you should. It's an act of worship. "But I can't afford it," you might say. Try this. Every pay period, give $1. Not just $1 cash in the plate, but take the time to write a check or give online (or through text giving). Make it an intentional act every pay period. Be mindful of God and the spiritual discipline to give. And maybe as you start this, you'll give up one of those coffee drinks so you can up your giving to $5. See what happens when you act in obedience and faith. Doing something, even if it’s $1, reserves space for God to work in your life, and it's much better than making excuses to the Lord.

Do you fast? If not, start by setting a fast for a single meal per month. Skip a meal and pray every time you feel hungry. It might not seem like much, but it’s more fasting than you aren’t doing now. It’s a start and it reserves a space for God to grow you.

Having a hard time making church attendance a priority? Many people struggle to go to church regularly. "I'm tired" or "I'm too busy" I hear. The problem is not Sunday morning, it's Saturday night. Reserve space for this spiritual discipline by setting an evening bedtime on Saturday. If it’s not the evening, maybe it’s the chores in the day. Trying getting off the couch even for just a little bit on Saturday. It's really not that difficult. And by reserving space and time, you'll find it's not too difficult to attend a worship service with fellow believers. As you do this over time, making worship with your faith-family a priority, you’ll be surprised how much God grows you through it.

Spiritual formation starts with a little discipline. And discipline starts by reserving a space for God to work, even if only a tiny bit. Create a space holder until you've grown more. Be intentional about a strict effort that will lead to your spiritual growth and faithfulness. Watch what God might do if you reserve the space.

For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan Catherman

"Do Not Steal" (Exodus 20:15)

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“Thou shall not steal,” as the ESV translation renders Exodus 20:15, is obvious. The CSB is even more simple: “Do not steal.” This is not complicated. To steal is to take something that does not belong to us or that we not no legal right to do so. And God’s instruction is to not steal. But this command is about much more than simply taking things that belong to others. Pastor Bryan Catherman opens up this text and show us how it’s about so much more. Listen to his sermon here.

Listen to the entire series or find past series in our current series and our sermon archives on this website.  And subscribe our sermon feed on iTunesGoogle MusicTuneIn, or on the non-iTunes feed and never miss a sermon!