Summer Series: Psalms of Zion

In this series, we are looking at several so-called “Psalms of Zion.” Zion is sometimes used in scripture to refer to a special place, sometimes to a special people in a special place – always with the presence of God dwelling with them in a special way.
The word “Zion” is first used to refer to a stronghold David took from the Jebusites (2 Sam 5:7); later the term can be used for the site of the City of David (2 Sam 5:7) or for the site of the temple (Ps 132:13) or perhaps even for Jerusalem as a whole (Is 40:9). God’s people are so identified with that place that they themselves can be referred to as Zion (Is 60:14). But in all these referents, what makes one place or one people special is the presence of God dwelling there with them.
That’s why it’s natural for the writers of the New Testament to see Christ as the cornerstone of Zion (1 Pet 2:6). After all, in that “place” called Christ’s body dwelled the fullness of deity (Col 2:9). As such, Christ is the ultimate Zion. But astoundingly, in the same passage that calls Christ the cornerstone of Zion (2:4-8), Peter can talk about Christians as living stones in that same Zionic house, since God dwells in us through Jesus. For that reason, you’ll hear the preachers in this series talk about Zion by pointing both to Jesus and to the church that is in Him!
But that’s not all. In the end, we have a hope for one final fulfillment of this Zion motif in scripture: when a new Zion – a new Jerusalem – comes down out of heaven from God (Rev 21:2). There, we will dwell with God’s people in God’s place sustained by His glorious, personal presence.
You’ll hear this biblical trajectory of Zion over and over again in our sermons as we explore the intent of the authors of these Psalms, explore what these Psalms say about Christ, and what they say to us today as we experience tastes of Zion while looking ahead to the fullest Zion to come.
If you were at church on Sunday, you heard Robbie Kellogg and Maggie Fensler unveil their retooled version of the hymn “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” originally written by John Newton. What a rich song! And what a great job by Robbie and Maggie refreshing it for our benefit.
Click here for lyrics, an explanation of the song, and a paraphrase for enhanced understanding.
Press play below to listen to a recording of the song.

New Sermon Series – Isaiah: Judgment and Hope

It is with great anticipation that we look ahead to this Sunday, March 24th, when Pastor Craig will kick off a new sermon series entitled “Isaiah: Judgment and Hope.” In this series, we will be working chapter-by-chapter through all or part of the Old Testament book of Isaiah – we will cover the first five chapters before Easter and launch into chapters six through twelve right after Easter.
Isaiah is sometimes called “the fifth gospel” because, despite being written 700 years before the coming of Messiah, its sixty-six chapters vividly spell out the good news of this Messiah and what He will come to accomplish. Indeed, Isaiah is rich regarding all four of the portions of a full presentation of the gospel: (1) God, the sole creator of the universe and sovereign Lord of history, (2) sin, the rebellion engaged in by the peoples of the world as they puff themselves up with pride and worship the created instead of the creator, (3) Messiah, spoken of in this book both as the exalted king from David’s line and as the lowly “Servant of the Lord” who will lay down his life for his people, (4) salvation, seen in Isaiah as deliverance from foreign powers and as the restoration of a remnant of God’s people for a glorious future in New Jerusalem.
However, Isaiah does not envision God’s people arriving in New Jerusalem without great hardship. In chapter after chapter, Isaiah juxtaposes some of the most glorious pictures in the whole Bible of future hope with some of the bleakest pictures in the whole Bible of painful judgment. However, for the remnant of God’s people, this judgment is of the purifying sort – not like a fire that destroys but rather like a fire that refines.
As you prepare for this sermon series, you might consider preparing your heart in three ways:
– Read Isaiah 1-5 devotionally on your own. Some commentators have called these first five chapters a snapshot of the whole book in miniature.
– Watch these short videos that summarize the book as a whole. This may help orient you to the totality of Isaiah’s message.
– Pray with us that God will prepare our hearts to receive what He has for us in Isaiah – both a word of rebuke for our failure to live up to our calling and a word of hope regarding the glorious salvation that is ours in Messiah.

Join Us in a Day of Fasting and Prayer for BMA

This Summer, we will be sending a team to the Czech Republic to minister alongside our Global Partners Paul and Sharon Till at Bezkydy Mountain Academy in Frydlant.
More immediately, the Till family and BMA have some urgent prayer requests, and they’ve asked us to join them on Tuesday, March 19th, to participate in a day of fasting and prayer. Below is an explanation from Paul. Please do consider joining us in fasting and prayer on Tuesday.

BMA is seeking the Lord in a day of prayer and fasting.

      Thanks for all you have done to support the mission of our school. We’d like you to know about another opportunity coming up this week. The board and the administration are inviting members of our community around the world to fast and pray on Tuesday, March 19th. We are asking Him for some specific breakthroughs as well as the blessing, resources and protection He has always provided.
      Here are some of the specific things we will be praying about.

The Expansion.
      To bring more students to the school, so that more students and their families can meet Jesus, we’ll need permission from the government and a bigger building. To increase the size of the building, we raised money with the Lord’s grace and your help. Now we need building plans to be approved by various local government agencies. They are backlogged and facing many months’ delay. Our desire to act sooner rather than later comes from our understanding of the political system. We want to move while political leaders sympathetic to BMA are in office, before the next elections. 
      The Lord is the Lord of the government at every level, and the Lord of this timetable. We are seeking Him.

New Students.
      This season, we have a tremendous number of applications for September: 71. We are thankful for the increased interest. We already grieve for the more than forty students whom we will have to disappoint. We are seeking the Lord’s choice for who will be in the next class.

New Administration.
      We are in the process of possibly hiring a critical new staff member who  could join the leadership of our school. We hope this is the Lord’s choice. We ask for His people and His timing.

      Thank for praying as you always do. If you are able to participate in a special way on March 19th, we’ll be grateful.
      Paul for Beskydy Mountain Academy.

Sports Camp 2019

A unique week of fun, sports, character-building concepts, music, stories of well known athletes as well as stories of the life of Peter from the Bible.  We are staffed with screened volunteers that genuinely care about kids  and together we will learn how just like in Sports, life has Epic Moments as well that shapes who we are.
Important Details:  
Grades K-5 (completed) At registration, choose one sport for the week.  Basketball, soccer, a variety of gym games, cheerleading, or journalism (newspaper, photography, interviews, and video).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Ages 3-5 (by the start of camp):   Will enjoy a different sport each day as well as crafts, activities, and a group rally time of singing and learning from the Bible.
Dinner Is Included We will serve dinner each night for the kids at 5:30pm. (If your child cannot eat or does not care for what we are serving, please send a bag lunch for them labeled with their name.)
MENU:  Monday – Pasta, Sauce, Meatballs, Lettuce Salad/Veggie Toppings, Fruit, Bread
              Tuesday – Pizza, Fruit, Salad/Veggies
              Wednesday – Mac n’ Cheese, Fruit, Lettuce Salad/Veggie Toppings, Bread
              Thursday – Chicken Nuggets, Applesauce, Bread, Lettuce Salad/Veggie Toppings
              Friday – Hamburgers, All Beef Hot Dogs, Chips, Fruit, Salad
Friday Night Lights The last night will be “Friday Night Family Night” on June 14.  Join us for dinner, rally, see your kids in action as well as receive a certificate and join the fun and treats (ice cream, popcorn) outside under the lights as well. We encourage kids to leave any electronics at home but bring a water bottle marked with your child’s name. If your child signed up for Basketball or Soccer, have them bring a ball if possible. Be sure to mark all your belongings. Your child will receive a T-shirt the first night to wear throughout the week.
We also have a security system in place for pick up.  You will need to have your tag in order to pick up your child.
Print, fill out, and bring the Sports Camp Permission & Release Form the first day of camp.
If you have questions contact Jayne at or 847-580-5770

ESCAPE ROOM Student Ministries Fundraiser

Escape Room Outreach and Student Ministries Fundraiser
Jan 28 – Feb 1 at North Sub
You just made detective for the Illinois State Police and want to prove your worth by solving your first big case. With special permission from a federal judge you must retrieve the hidden files from Harry’s Motorcycle Repair Shop while Harry is away. Your informant tells you that Harry will be gone for the next hour. Can you accomplish your mission before Harry returns?