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Compass Scottsdale Bible

holiday 2012

An Interview with Pastor Jamie (page 4)

Winter Wonder An Arts Extravaganza (page 6)

winter snow is coming! (page 10)

surviving the holidays AFTER A LOSS (page 18)

Date nights and your marriage (page 20)

scottsdalebible.com


Compass Scottsdale Bible

h o l i d ay

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Table of Contents ___________________________ Pastor Jamie Rasmussen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Winter Wonder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SOMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Special Ministries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Winterfest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Renew. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Students. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Women. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Counseling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marriage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Outreach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Small Groups. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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hristmas exists as testimony heard ‘round the world about the immeasurable grace of God. We collectively celebrate that God loves us so much He sent His Son Jesus to save us. Our Christmas activities are reflections of His great grace and love.

God’s grace inspires us to give gifts to family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers. His grace motivates us to invite others to Christmas worship services or outreach events like Winter Wonder and Winterfest. His grace challenges us to serve at Christmas in the Barrio and partner with our local ministries to uplift those in need. Christmas is a wonderful season when God compels us to reach beyond ourselves for the benefit of others, and the world around us is better because of Him. As we look to 2013, my prayer is that we will be a church increasingly compelled by grace. Even as we continue our commitments to transformational Bible teaching and engaging worship, we are motivated to leave a lasting legacy for emerging generations of Christ-followers represented in our children and grandchildren. Even as we maintain our focus on connecting people in authentic community, we further our influence by providing a campus that welcomes families, fosters relationships and facilitates ministry. And even as we persevere in service-based outreach, we are emboldened by His love to expand our impact through multisite campuses and church planting, and to intentionally spread the gospel throughout the world through strategic partnerships and efforts. It is truly a thrilling time to be a part of Scottsdale Bible. We are on the threshold of the next great chapter in the life of our church. I believe that in the next few months, God’s grace is going to lead many of us into new, life-changing opportunities where we will see Him move in unprecedented ways, for the sake of His name and His cause. It is my joy to shepherd you through this incredible season of grace! Your pastor and friend,

Jamie Rasmussen

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A Call to

Honor Our

Pastors

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roughout our 50th Anniversary year, we have been honoring the pastors who have faithfully taught God’s Word and led our church for the last half century. We now conclude our celebration in a conversation with Scottsdale Bible Church’s sixth and current Senior Pastor, Jamie Rasmussen.

Scripture calls us to remember and imitate our leaders. Throughout 2012, each publication of The Compass has featured an interview with one of Scottsdale Bible’s six senior pastors. As we have profiled the men God ordained to lead our church, we have learned about each pastor’s tenure, their victories, joys and challenges. We have looked at how God worked in the lives of these men and subsequently the church, their personal walk with the Lord, how He called them to minister, and how He led them to their present work for His Kingdom. Over the course of the year, each pastor has returned to Scottsdale Bible’s pulpit to teach on one of the seven churches from Revelation. Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith…for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. -Hebrews 13:7, 17b

remember rejoice renew

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Jamie Rasmussen B.A., Religion and Psychology, Hillsdale College, 1986 M. Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1990 Continuing Studies: • Advanced School of Spiritual Direction, Dr. Larry Crabb (2006) • School of Spiritual Direction, Dr. Larry Crabb (2004) • Church Leadership Conference, Willow Creek Association (2003) • Leadership Summit, Willow Creek Association (1999, 2001) • Executive Pastor’s Forum, Leadership Network (1997) • Small Group Pastor’s Forum, Leadership Network (1995, 1996)

In the Beginning… “I was raised in a wonderful home on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, but we didn’t go to church very much during the first 17 to 18 years of my life,” said Pastor Jamie. “Even though I grew up relatively unchurched, I began seeking spirituality in my teen years. On March 11, 1981, I accepted the Lord when a Youth for Christ staff worker at my high school shared the gospel with me. I remember the day! I understood that I could have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that He died for my sins. Within the first year or so, I knew the only thing I wanted to do was to be a minister. “Recently, when I was back home in Ohio visiting my parents, my mother commented that she still remembers the marked change that occurred in my life 31 years ago, when I came to know Christ as my Savior. I’m grateful for that.”

The Calling… “One of the things my wife, Kim, and I deeply appreciate about Scottsdale Bible, and what led us here, is that this is a Bible teaching church that is very particular about doctrinal purity. It is also a church with a history of reaching its community through service and evangelism. Both of those components together—strong Bible teaching coupled with service and evangelism—were very important to us. Additionally, the fellowship of the church attracted us. We were encouraged by the number of people involved in enrichment classes, Bible studies and small groups. We felt Scottsdale Bible was a good fit for us and five years later, I think we have affirmed that fit! It was definitely a clear call.”


Q & A with Pastor Jamie: Q: What top three priorities, related to the church, are you most passionate about?

Q: What do your intimate and quiet moments with the Lord look like?

A: T  he top three things on my job description are what I get excited about, and that’s why I can say I love my job! First: Preaching and teaching. I love what I do on Sunday mornings. Second: To dream God’s dreams and cast vision for the future of our church. That is what the elders ask me to do. Third: To shepherd our staff and their families. We have 100 members on our team and my pastoral care of our staff is important to me.

A: My quiet time is truly a quiet time. It’s me, with my Bible open, being still before God—prayerfully reading His Word and asking Him to speak. There are really only three components to quiet time: reading the Word, listening to God and prayer. Simple but profound, still waters run deep. He leads me beside quiet waters, just God and me. The only other way I mix it up is when I am in nature. I like to be in nature and pray when I hike.

Q: W  hat is one of the most amazing things God has done in your walk with Him since you came here?

Q: H ow do you stay humble?

A: T  he biggest thing the Lord has done is help me be a more engaged father to my children. When our family moved to Arizona from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, our kids were at critical ages. Two were in high school, and one was in 8th grade. They were well established back at home in their schools, and junior high and high school were not good ages to move them. However, Kim and I made a decision to use this transition time to draw close to our children. We spent a lot of time touring the area and enjoying Arizona recreation together. As a result, we built solid relationships with our kids, who are now adults. There were many God moments with our children during that time.

A: B  y having three teens and a wife! My family sees me as I really am. When successful people develop pride, it is because they read their own press releases. A prideful person believes the accolades others give them. The problem is that those giving the praise only see what’s on the outside—a person’s production or performance in the workplace or when they are at their best. As Bill Hybels says, “It is who you are when no one is looking.” My family sees me for who I am. We are all fallen and we fight our flesh. When I realize and admit my fallenness to myself, there is no other response than humility. God is God and I am not. He saved me from an awful predicament, so remembering my salvation helps me stay humble.

Q: As our church looks outward to reach our

Q: Looking forward, what do you want your legacy to be?

community and world, how do you as a pastor help individuals in our church body stay spiritually healthy and maintain a vibrant, vertical relationship with Christ?

A: I picture it as a full circle. God saves us and calls us into a relationship with Himself, and then we turn our sights toward the lost and hurting world. Through grace and evangelism, we impact the world by introducing people to the same personal relationship we have with the Lord. We are not asking people to sign up for a lifestyle, agree to doctrines or join an organization; we are inviting them to consider a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When we see it that way, it keeps us sharp and focused to maintain our own relationship with the Lord. The full circle aspect comes when we are reminded, as Jesus reminded the church in Laodicea, that His ultimate goal for us is to know Him and find our satisfaction and sufficiency in a relationship with Him. So as we introduce others to that relationship, it brings us full circle to ask ourselves, “How is my relationship with the Lord?” Churches go wrong and get stuck when they try to reach out to the community but forget what we are asking people to do. We are not just trying to make a bunch of moral people; we desire to help people know Jesus Christ personally and follow Him.

A: G  race and evangelism. If a person says to me, “You taught me grace and to have a heart for lost people,” then I have accomplished my goal.

Did You Know…

A few personal favorites of Pastor Jamie:

• Favorite Christian author: Oswald Chambers • Present fiction read: John Grisham’s new legal thriller, The Racketeer • Favorite hike: In Scottsdale—Tom’s Thumb; Elsewhere—Death Canyon

in Grand Teton National Park • Favorite thing about Arizona: The multiple terrains. We live in the

desert, but in two hours we can be up in the mountains. • Least favorite thing about Arizona: August! • Favorite Christmas tradition: We really love Christmas Eve. On most

Sundays our family doesn’t come to church together because I arrive early and the girls serve in the children’s ministry. But on Christmas Eve, we eat dinner together, drive to church together and go home together. The service itself is very meaningful to us, especially the candle lighting, because it symbolizes the light of Christ. HOLIDAY 2012 scottsdalebible.com

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ur Winter Wonder Christmas extravaganza is just around the corner! We invite you to join the entire Worship Arts Ministry as we present our annual musical and creative arts production to the Scottsdale community. “Winter Wonder, is designed to creatively communicate the gospel to a person who may not attend church, as well as provide a highquality Christmas experience for our church family. We encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity to invite friends, coworkers, family—anyone in your sphere of influence—to Winter Wonder,” said Worship Pastor Troy Peterson. The goal of Winter Wonder is to share the love of Christ through a contemporary production with a classic flare. We will offer four performances: December 7 at 7pm, December 8 at 3pm and 7pm, and December 9 at 2pm. Winter Wonder will include three acts involving adult and student singers and dancers, orchestra, video elements, traditional carols, and the contemporary sounds of bands and electronic music. The finale of the program will include a nativity scene with biblical characters and live animals, accompanied by grand choral and orchestral music—all celebrating the pageantry of Christ’s birth. This year, we are partnering with MentorKids USA, an organization transforming the lives of at-risk youth. In the spirit of giving and generosity, Winter Wonder guests will have an opportunity to provide winter coats, shoes and blankets to meet the needs of the children in Phoenix who benefit from this life-changing program. Winter Wonder invitation cards are available at Guest Services and the Information Center on the patio. Share them with neighbors, family, friends, and others, as you invite them to “Encounter Christ” this Christmas season. Admission is free and tickets are not required. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each performance. Reach out to someone and share Christ this season as you experience Winter Wonder!

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P L U G G E D

Jan Nickel–Costumes Jan is thrilled to be serving in her second year as a costumer for Winter Wonder. She came to Scottsdale Bible in 1999 with her life in disarray. At our church, Jan learned how to follow and worship Jesus, filling the void in her life that only a personal relationship with Christ can satisfy. Jan had never been involved in a small group or ministry, but she felt compelled by Pastor Jamie’s message asking “pew sitters” to get involved in their church. One morning, she asked the Lord how and where she could use her skills and abilities, and that afternoon she received an email inviting her to help with sewing of costumes. Jan is now joyfully sewing and shopping for costumes, using her talents to serve the Lord.

Mark and Carol Coats –Orchestra/Choir

I N T O

Free Event

December 7, 8, & 9 scottsdalebible.com

M I N I S T R Y

Originally from Texas, Mark and Carol have been singing in church choirs and playing in orchestras since high school. When they moved to Fountain Hills in 2010, they began attending Scottsdale Bible and joined the choir and orchestra here. “Rehearsals and performances have been a tremendous experience for us both,” said Mark. “We are so grateful to God for giving us the opportunity to praise Him while participating in this group of dynamic and talented Christians.” Mark and Carol are excited to be performing in the Winter Wonder musical and continue to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”

Amber Ussery –Choreography When Amber began attending Scottsdale Bible two years ago, she felt overwhelmed with the church’s size and unsure of how to get involved. One Sunday, she visited the Worship Arts patio table and volunteered to join the Winter Wonder production team. Amber loves working with the kids in rehearsals and seeing their faith shine. She credits fellow choreographer Janna Everroad with opening her eyes to a new thought process of reacting to life’s situations with love and kindness. She now points kids toward worship in everything they do—even choreography sessions. This has been a welcome life change for Amber, who has been through rocky times including years when she completely fell away from church and experienced a divorce. Now she is eager to attend church, get to know people here, and grow closer to God as she becomes the person He wants her to be. HOLIDAY 2012 scottsdalebible.com

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Last month, more than 400 men enjoyed a fantastic weekend at our annual men’s retreat. Amidst authentic worship, dynamic teaching, and plenty of time for fun, they were challenged to build a legacy and leave a mark that will impact their families and others for Christ.

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At the Lake Havasu H 2 O retreat, more than 100 young adults experienced great teaching, built friendships, celebrated baptisms, and enjoyed boating, waterskiing, and sightseeing. If you are a young adult, consider joining the SOMA community in The Venue on Sundays at 6:30pm.

HAVASU 2012

Hundreds of kids and adults with special needs visited our campus on November 2 for the exciting Dr. Seuss-themed annual carnival. Games, concessions, and entertainment all made it an amazing evening to welcome many new families to our church.

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Winter Fun is Back! festive, frosty wind is blowing from the North, promising family fun and snow at Scottsdale Bible. It’s time again for Winterfest—our annual winter wonderland packed with free activities and games for the entire family! Children all over the Valley anticipate the arrival of 18 tons of snow on two snow slides and play hills, super-sized inflatables, a petting zoo, awesome holiday crafts, a family photo booth, fun carnival games, a scavenger hunt, live music, the coolest door prizes, delicious hot chocolate and hot cider, and more! Winterfest also provides an opportunity for families to create and send a special holiday wish to U.S. soldiers. Our elaborate Cards for Troops room features a great card-making station, photos and other military memorabilia for families to enjoy.

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Families can also purchase food from an assortment of area vendors offering kettle corn, funnel cakes, family-friendly dinners, and more. Winterfest is one of Scottsdale Bible’s largest outreach events. Every year we welcome hundreds of new faces to the Scottsdale Bible campus and have rejoiced in hearing so many stories about families who joined our church as a result. Invite friends, colleagues, neighbors, schoolmates and even random strangers to Winterfest for an evening of free family fun! Your invitation might just be the beginning of something very special for them—a new life in Christ!


Thursday, December 13, 5:30-8:30 pm

Many Volunteers Are Needed More than 260 volunteers came together last year to make Winterfest such an incredible event. We need that many (or more) this year to successfully continue the holiday tradition so many have come to love!

Sign up to volunteer at the Children’s Ministry patio table on Sundays, by emailing children@scottsdalebible.com, or online at scottsdalebible.com.

Winterfest is the perfect opportunity for small groups, clubs, families and friends to serve side-byside, demonstrating Christ’s love to guests who may be visiting our campus for the very first time.

We look forward to seeing you at

Whether you serve on your own or as part of a group, we would love to have you on our team! There are opportunities to help before the event, with set up or clean up on the day of the event, or at one of our many stations during Winterfest! There truly is something for everyone.

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On October 27-28, we celebrated an incredible Renew Weekend with powerful worship, memorable videos, and Pastor Jamie’s captivating message about the new vision God has given our church— Compelled by Grace. At the heart of this vision is our desire to reach more people in our community and impact the world with the good news of God’s grace.

The Media Team

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Mark your calendar for January 13, 2013 Join us on this special Sunday when Pastor Jamie will unveil the exciting details of Compelled by Grace. As we prepare for Christmas and the New Year, we prayerfully anticipate the great things God will do in and through us in the wonderful next season that He has prepared for our church.

For the love of Christ compels us

-2 Corinthians 5:14

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d

ecember is a wonderful time of year— Christmas carols, lights, decorating trees, spending time with friends and family, candy canes, cookies, and yes, parties! What teenager doesn’t like a great party and better yet, a Christmas Party?

C e l e b r a t e

High School Ministry’s Christmas Extravaganza is a holiday celebration like no other. We transform The Venue into a Christmas wonderland, and the smell of homemade Christmas cookies fills the room. It would not be out of the ordinary to see Santa, some reindeer or some elves. If you’re in high school or know someone who is, be sure to invite some friends and join us. You won’t want to miss this cool event on Wednesday, December 12, 6:30 pm in The Venue. The tradition of celebration continues with our Junior High Impact Christmas Bash. Wear the most outrageous Christmas sweater you can find and you could win our Tacky Christmas Sweater contest. Be ready to compete in holiday games and enjoy delicious snacks. Invite your friends to this fun outreach event on Wednesday, December 12 at 6:30 pm in the Junior High Building. Our Club 56 kids will have two celebrations to enjoy! Winterfest—our church-wide Christmas festival—is on Thursday, December 13 at 5:30 pm. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you as you embark on a huge winter adventure with food, games, a snow hill, inflatables, live music, a petting zoo, cookie decorating and much more. On December 23 in all three services, Club 56 will continue its celebration of the Christmas season with a special Christmas Party! theme. This fun day will include games, goodies and a great Christmas message. The highlight of the Christmas season in Student Ministries will be a special evening of worship and reflection as we all come together to celebrate the birth of Christ. Club 56, Impact, High School and College ministries will all join as one for a candlelight service on Wednesday, December 19, 6:30 pm in The Venue. This is always a meaningful event for our students.

Learn more about all of these Student Ministry events at scottsdalebible.com/students

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In September, 180 high school students went tent camping near Payson. They built friendships and learned from God’s Word how to count the costs and be fearless in following Christ. Many made first-time commitments to Him.

More than 200 5th through 8th grade students enjoyed an amazing Disney-themed weekend at Lost Canyon Ranch. Relationships were built and hearts were changed, with 50 kids committing their lives to Christ for the first time and 70 deciding to be baptized! It’s exciting what God is doing in the hearts and lives of our students!

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Women’s

Christmas Dessert C e l e b r a t i n g

years

S p e a k e r

Daisy Hepburn Former Minister to Women

Thursday, November 29 | 7 – 9 pm | Town Center Join the women of Scottsdale Bible as we celebrate 50 years of Women’s Ministry and prepare our hearts for the Christmas season. Our speaker will be Daisy Hepburn, who served as Scottsdale Bible’s Minister to Women from 1994 to 2000. Delicious desserts and coffee will be served. We look forward to having you celebrate this special evening with us. We will take a look back in time—remembering all that God has done for our church and Women’s Ministry—and we will rejoice in how He is blessing us now and into the future. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased on Sundays at the Women’s patio table, in the Women’s Ministry office during the week, or online at scottsdalebible.com

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Bible

Joan Jensen

Study

is Making a Difference Joan is one of 700 women attending our Women’s Bible studies. After class each week, she and her small group meet to discuss the lesson together. Joan shares her story here because of the life-changing impact her group has had and the support they have given her as she battles lung cancer.

“Every week, I look forward to coming to class and connecting with my small group! It makes it easy to form special relationships and is like sitting down and having coffee with a best friend. We share our hearts through laughter and tears. “Recently, our group decided to reach out to a woman who is battling cancer like I am, but who only has a short time to live. We discovered that she had a religious background, but wasn’t practicing her faith and didn’t want to hear anything about God. As a group, we decided to just show her the love of Jesus and pray that her heart would be softened. One day last week, a group of us stopped by her apartment and took some soup, ice cream and flowers. We told her she was an honorary member of our class. She was moved and allowed us to put our arms around her and pray for her, asking the Lord to open her heart and let Him in. “My group is committed to applying what we are learning and we were truly blessed by this opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life as we simply shared our faith and Jesus’ love.” -Joan Jensen

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Counseling Ministries Barbara’s Stor y “I made one of the best decisions of my life by turning to the Lord Jesus Christ on the darkest day of my life—when my mate left our 32-year marriage. Even with the support of family and friends, I found that God was the only One who was consistently there for me, listening to my every cry and feeling my deep pain. He led me to Scottsdale Bible and a small group. The DivorceCare support group helped me tremendously as I worked through painful issues and began to grow in the Lord.

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“The first holiday season was very difficult; everything had changed. Holiday traditions that we had observed for many years were in the past. As painful as this loss was, I began to find hope that I could again find joy during the holidays. I was not alone; there was comfort in the Lord, family and friends. After two holiday seasons of new traditions, I am still in the process of learning to enjoy the holidays, but I now have a new perspective of focusing on Jesus’ birth and the reason for His coming.”


Survival Tips for Handling the Holidays November and December can be the most painful months of the year. Death, separation, divorce, illness, family trauma, job loss or moving to a new location can all result in feelings of great loss that make the holidays difficult. If you are facing difficult times, or you know someone who is struggling, here are some suggestions:

• Prepare for the ambush of emotions that can happen anytime.

• E xercise (reduces stress) and Eat Healthy (gives strength).

• Accept the difficulty at this time of the year and your loss.

• Shop Online if the mall is too stressful.

• Socialize. Force yourself to go out, even if it is only for a short time. • Lower your expectations. • Do not numb your pain with drugs or alcohol—these chemicals will create even more depression. • Decorating and Ornaments may cause too much pain. Put them aside for another time.

• Light. Get some sunshine. • Set Boundaries by precisely explaining to family and friends what you are and are not capable of doing this year. • Reach Out to Others who might be alone during the holidays. • Have a Coping Strategy by keeping the phone number of a counselor, pastor or close friend nearby.

Mar t y’s Stor y “I am so grateful for the many opportunities to serve our Lord at Scottsdale Bible. Using the gifts He gave me, I am privileged to serve in the Counseling Ministry. Little did I know how this serving opportunity would prepare me for a gigantic life change last year when my husband of 55 years went to be with the Lord. “As a facilitator in the GriefShare ministry, I had consoled many broken hearts and learned about the Lord’s master plan for their lives even in the grieving process. I realize now, the Lord was preparing me with a ‘head start’ for my time of grieving. The men and women of GriefShare have been a wonderful support for me and for each other.

“Although our first holiday season was difficult without my husband, my family and I decided to keep the same traditions as before. This year, however, we have decided to observe some new traditions as we continue to walk intentionally with Christ during this holiday season.”

For more information, visit scottsdalebible.com/counseling

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A

s we approach Thanksgiving and the season of Christ’s birth, we have much to be thankful for and much to celebrate.

Recently, I pondered what things display the glory of God on a day-to-day basis that we could celebrate. Certainly His glory is seen all around us—the heavens themselves display the glory of God. But the best answer, I believe, is marriage. Marriage is God’s design, and from Genesis to Revelation it is raised up as the highest relationship He gave man. I believe it is the best tool for evangelism.

This is cause to celebrate. Last month, we offered the first Date Night for couples at Scottsdale Bible. More than 70 couples went on dates and 116 children received care. Couples picked up a packet of date night ideas, dropped off children (if they had them), and departed for a special evening to spend focused time celebrating what God has given them in their marriages. It was a chance to reconnect busy lives and renew those ties to one another that mirror our relationship with Christ. Couples with truly great marriages have regular celebrations—dates that are more special than just dinner or a movie. Our community offers many creative options and quite a few are free, or nearly so, for those on a tight budget. If you’ve fallen away from dating your spouse, this holiday season is a great time to begin. Journey closer to Christ by doing something as simple as inviting your spouse to a local coffee house and reading the Bible or a Christ-centered book together. Your Marriage Ministry team celebrates your marriage and is eager to pray for you, help your marriage grow, and if needed, to help it heal. Join us for one of our 12 GYM (Growing Your Marriage) small group studies. Visit scottsdalebible.com/marriage to find out about our upcoming studies. Let us know which one interests you. Have a wonderful holiday season and celebrate often with thanksgiving, joy and laughter. - Don Farr, Marriage Pastor

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The Glory of God is Displayed and We Celebrate


Here are some comments from couples who celebrated their marriages on that special evening:

date N I G H T

“The Date Night event gave my wife and me a good reason to plan for a date (why we need a reason I am not sure). We visited a local resort and enjoyed a gondola ride with a serenade to finish the night. We discussed several of the questions included in the Date Night packet. It added fun to the evening and helped us see how we value and perceive each other in our marriage.”

“We were so impressed with Date Night! It is so sweet that the church takes time to remember how important it is for parents of young children to spend time together. We loved the packet, script, music, and childcare. It was wonderful. We can’t wait to tell our friends about the next one so they can do it too!”

“I loved the questions in the packet. We talked to each other about things meaningful to our marriage. It gave us an opportunity to build up and encourage each other.”

“W hat a blessing! We dropped off our kids knowing they’d be in good hands and spent quality time together talking about things we hadn’t addressed in so long.”

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Bryan and Kelli McAnally and family

M

ore than presents, feasts, and traditions, Christmas offers a bridge to introduce people to faith in Jesus. I know because I crossed this bridge myself in 1992, because of a Christmas invitation.

As a college sophomore, I was dating a girl who unashamedly loved Jesus. I respected her faith, but wanted no part of it. When she invited me to her church’s Christmas pageant, it was an easy decision.

Reach Out This Christmas

She invited me because she knew I needed to hear the message that would be shared there. I went because I liked her and wanted to spend more time with her. There, I heard the familiar story of Jesus, but understood for the first time that God loves me, Jesus died for me, and God was inviting me to experience new life through Jesus. Because of that invitation and by the Gospel’s power, I came to faith in Jesus that holiday season twenty years ago. My wife, Kelli, and I have been on a faith adventure ever since that wonderful time, and I continually thank God for the grace He revealed through that Christmas pageant. Your church provides you with many incredible opportunities to invite your friends this Christmas. Make the effort to include the people you care about in events like Winter Wonder, Winterfest, our High School Ministry Christmas Bash, and of course Christmas Eve services. This season, give the gift of the gospel by inviting your friends to the outstanding worship and outreach opportunities at Scottsdale Bible!

Christmas

-B ryan McAnally, Pastor, Local Outreach

IN THE BARRIO

Sat u r d ay, D e c e m b e r 1 s t 6-8:30pm at Neighborhood Ministries 1 9 1 8 W. Va n B u r e n S t r e e t , P h o e n i x 8 5 0 0 9

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localoutreach@scottsdalebible.com


Dennis Tong

Small Groups

“I have participated in small groups in the past. But before I came to Scottsdale Bible, my most recent small group experience was less than ideal. Rather than feeling encouraged, I sometimes felt judged—especially when my wife and I were occasionally late because of the distance we had to drive to attend. The leader said some negative things about us to the group and it got to me. I subsequently entered a spiritually dry season where I wasn’t close to God and wasn’t spending time in the Word and in prayer. “I knew the value of community and decided I wanted to give small groups another try. Initially, it was with low expectations, given my recent experience and my spiritual state, but I joined my current small group at the beginning of this year. God surprised me in a big way. From Day One the group was welcoming, encouraging, and there was a sense of intimacy in the group that I had not previously experienced. The group members were non-judgmental and I found myself in utter vulnerability, able to confront deep-seated sin issues and at the same time return to my first Love. “Through my small group, I’ve been armed with the tools to begin growing again and I’m held accountable in a loving, encouraging way. My small group has exemplified the very words from Hebrews 3:13-14: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. “It is a process, slow as it may seem, but I am again learning to walk as Jesus did through the biblical fellowship of my small group. It has truly been instrumental in my current season of growth.” - Dennis Tong Dennis is part of a Scottsdale Bible community group, one of several hundred that meet each week. More than 2500 people are engaged in learning and growing together in authentic communities where they are known and supported. If you would like to be in a small group, visit scottsdalebible.com/smallgroups to learn more.

HOLIDAY 2012 scottsdalebible.com

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Four performances to choose from:

7

7pm

8

3 pm 7pm

9

2pm

13

5:30-8:30 pm

Christmas Eve Services December 24

Worship Center: Family Service: 3:30 pm Traditional Services: 5:30, 7 and 8:30 pm

The Venue: 4 and 5:30 pm

Cactus Campus: 4:30pm and 6:30pm

November Compass Issue  

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