My name is Jason Clarke and I'm the Pastor of Rise City Church. As many of you know, on November 1st our church purchased SkateWorld. As this transaction has come to fruition, there have been lots of discussions, questions, and confusion on social media. Many of you are left feeling confused as to why Gresham is losing this landmark in our community and are looking for answers. My hope in this letter is to answer some of those questions and clear up some of the false narratives.
The Story of How SkateWorld Made This Possible
Beautifully, the story of SkateWorld does not end in the rubble of a bulldozed facility, knocked down to become another unused parking lot. Instead, SkateWorld’s community-building legacy will now be multiplied outward by a church that has a vision to love, serve, and build into this city. From our name, to our vision, to our values, Rise City Church is a church that has openly, publicly, and unashamedly declared that we are for our city.
3 reasons why you need to get baptized...
Too often people downplay Baptism as though it's just some religious-y ritual that functionally means nothing. But hold on. . .The act of being baptized is not identifying with some abstract, meaningless, religious idea. No. It's embodying your connection to the King of Reality. Something holy--something other happens at your baptism.
Strategic Prayer for Spiritual Warfare
This is my last article in a series on prayer that strategically aims for our faith to become more effective.
And today it’s all about love.
Many of us might already believe that love is more than an emotion, that love is shown in action. We believe that our faith shows itself in our deeds of love.
We therefore might think that love is not something we need to pray for, but that we must do.
Strategic Prayer for Spiritual WarfareIn my last article I talked about how important it is to pray for the effectiveness of your faith and that of those around you. I also showed an example of such prayer in the small letter to Philemon in the Bible.
This time I would like to look at a slightly longer prayer in the Bible and talk about its meaning in your life.
First the prayer:
Strategic Prayers for Spiritual Warfare
Peter urges you in his writings, "to abstain from the passions of your flesh, which wage war against your soul.“ (1 Peter 2:11)
There is a war going on. And it starts every morning when you open your eyes (sometimes even in your dreams). It’s real!
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
So, what exactly are these enemies of our soul trying to do?
Jul 24, 2018
A biblical basis for generosityMy husband, Jared, and I had been like many early-married couples, and struggled with some credit card debt. We spent money on things that we believed would bring us comfort -- mostly things for our home and things for ourselves. We paid them off within a year, but would slowly fall back into the same struggle. It wasn’t until we were in a church community, and heard a message about how all of our money is God’s in the first place, that we finally began to get a grasp on our finances. We began to see our money not as something we earned, but something that God gifted. It only felt natural at that point to give God back a portion of what he had given to us to begin with. That’s when we started tithing.
Jul 10, 2018
The Hardest Week of My Life
In 2006 I went to Mexico. I went on this week-long mission trip with 20 or 30 other students. We spent money, got in a van, drove for hours, and sweated our brains out doing tireless labor building a church. And it was real work. My hands were a calloused, bloody mess, mixed with dried stucko all week long. I couldn’t sleep in the heat, on the cot, with the bugs. But I’ve never felt more spiritually “full” than during that week.
Approaching the Bible can be a difficult task. In my personal experience however, the breakthrough usually comes when I have specific intentionality while I read. Instead of reading out of obligation, I open the Word with earnest expectation and intentionality. Our minds are designed in such a way as to soak in the most data when our learning is connected with authentic interest.
Here are a few suggestions on reading the Bible with intentionality--so that it flows more easily into our everyday life. In all these approaches, underlining, highlighting things, as well as taking notes is very helpful. Praying for God to guide us to the places we should go in our reading is also very good to do.
What I learned from an ex-gang-member.
I recently had my mind blown talking to a friend who left gang-life upon encountering the Gospel.
He said the most profound thing.
He told me how much baptism made sense after growing up in gang culture. Because, in a gang you’re initiated through a crime or fighting. It’s a mark of your permanent inclusion into the family. He said he noticed in the Church you’re initiated too. You’re initiated by being immersed, not in evil, but in the renewing waters of baptism. He realized the Church is the better fulfillment of what the human heart longs for in a gang.
As my friend spoke I realized how important baptism is...
Jun 14, 2018
Help I have teenagers...and I think they hate me. For reals. They really do.
I have turned into a complete dunce overnight and apparently, I now know nothing. Absolutely nothing. And to top it off, I am sooo uncool. Downright embarrassing, I am. Who took my confidence? I am afraid I have utterly failed as a parent. They.Hate.Me.
A Call to Young Adult Discipleship at Rise from Kayla Asbury
As a 25-year-old woman who attends Rise City Church, I am an anomaly because I have chosen to remain a believer and active member of a local church. As a person in her 20’s, I have been fortunate enough to have mentors since high school who have continued to disciple me, but I’m noticing a rising young adult community that hasn’t been so lucky.
After last Sunday's sermon, I got to thinking more about generosity. I started wondering if I am teaching my children to be generous? Scripture calls us to be generous people, but am I living this out in front of my children? Am giving as I am able? Am I actively teaching my children to do these things? The very best way to teach our children is to lead them by example. Am I doing this adequately?