Moving to our new website, www.embark-church.org

Embark Friends,
Our new website, www.embark-church.org, has gone live! Check us out. We will be adding features like videos, sermon podcasts and more in the coming weeks but as of now, all the information about who we are, what we are doing and where we are going is on our new site. As a result, we will be shutting this temporary website down. For those who subscribe to this wordpress blog, if you wish, you may re-subscribe to the blog on www.embark-church.org. God bless!

In Christ,
Jud

Reflecting on the loss of Troy

The loss of our brother and friend Troy has caused many of us to reflect. His premature death exposes a reality that we are not always ready or willing to accept. It shows us that bad things are going to happen and for all of our wishful thinking or attempt to control life, we cannot. His death reminds us that real evil exists in this world. It shows us there is pain, suffering, sickness, disease and hurt. Most importantly, the loss of Troy exposes the chaotic nature of this world. This chaotic nature lies just beneath our well-ordered, well-ritualized, well-controlled lives just waiting to burst in and spill its chaotic contents all over us. It wants nothing more than to shatter our false sense of security and power. No matter how much we try to position ourselves, how well-connected we are, how much respect we may have, how much money, influence, and safety we try to build in, the reality is is that our lives can change in the blink of an eye. WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL.
On the other hand, Christians are told that Jesus gives us freedom, peace and joy. He is supposed to protect us, right? Troy should have been protected, right? After all, he had it figured out and walked with God. He prayed. He knew the joy of the Lord. This is what he gets? A life cut short? A love unanswered? So much potential instantly wiped out? They don’t seem to go together: the harshness of this world and the goodness of Jesus Christ. As a result, we are left with many questions. We say pithy, silly comments like “God had a reason” to make ourselves feel better or speak into the uncomfortable silence with another because we don’t know what else to say. HOW DOES THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS SPEAK INTO THE UGLINESS OF A HARSH, CHAOTIC WORLD?
This is what I do know: Jesus DOES speak into the harshness of this life. But in order for Him to do that, there will need to be a paradigm or understanding shift. There will be a need to get comfortable with ambiguity in life and not having all of the questions answered. There will be a need for faith. The truth is is that Jesus can only be speak into the harshness of life when someone really believes in God and that scripture is our authoritative guide for life. For someone who struggles with with these two things, Jesus cannot speak into the harshness of life. So the “answering” that I attempt to give here will only speak into the life of those who have responded to the faith God has given them.

More to come…

Loss of our beloved friend, brother and worship leader, Troy Pooser

Friends,
    Tonight we lost a dearly loved brother.  Troy Pooser, our friend, brother and worship leader, entered into the Father’s heavenly kingdom.  Although we do not have all the details, it seems he suffered a massive heart attack while jogging after our Wednesday night meeting.  To lose a beloved, tender-hearted, humble and incredibly generous man like Troy hurts deeply.  Many of us are left asking why and wondering where God is in this tragedy.  We wish for answers.  In this time, let us simply rest in Proverbs 3:5-6.  It states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  
    This Sunday we will have our worship service in the YMCA at our usual time of 10:30.  However, we will not be setting up.  We will praise God because He is good.  We will praise God because He is worthy.  We will praise God because we have the blessed assurance of knowing that although we may be grieving the loss of a wonderful person, Troy is in a place where there is NO grieving.  Troy is in a place where there is now only His savior in which to dwell.  
    Keep Yvonne and Mike Pooser in your prayers, asking for Him to give them the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Keep Lauren in your prayers asking for Him to give her strength for this time.  Let us especially surround her with our prayers and love as we all now celebrate that Troy is with His God.  Most importantly, let us remember what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:55,57.  He proclaims, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  
In Christ,
Jud