A couple times a year, once in the spring and fall, we call together the OCF local leaders in the Pensacola area for fellowship, food and an update on OCF happenings. This time we had leaders from Niceville, Valparaiso, Navarre, Pace and Pensacola FL. The couple from Niceville were at Anchor Points with us in June 2014! It was nice to catch up with everyone. In addition to this gathering we endeavor to visit the local fellowships and meet individually with the local leaders. These larger gatherings are a great opportunity to make new friends, get up to date with some old friends and pray for one another.
Highlighted Weekly/Routine Activity
On Friday 30 September we began an 8-week study on marriage using the Bible and John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage. The first gathering was an overview of the 8-weeks and already some of the “fun” issues are bubbling to the surface. You may be able to guess these include words like headship and submission! These 10 couples and one geographic bachelorette are not afraid to dig in and wrestle with the hard issues as we endeavor to look at them through the lens of Scripture.
God Sightings of the Month
One-to-one discipleship is where the rubber really meets the road. While most of these folks warm up to one another pretty quickly, sharing difficult issues in a group is not the norm. It’s during the one-to-one sessions that some of the deeper issues are brought to the surface. In 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Paul makes what appears to some a surprising statement. He does not care what others think of him, he does not even care what he thinks of him, he knows that the only true judge is Christ. These flight students, generally speaking, are very capable folks. However, they still struggle with doubt and some are plagued by a “perfectionist” trait. This personality trait leaves them vulnerable to the criticism of others and often more damaging are their own overly-critical self-evaluations. Understanding that we are to do our best for the Lord and not to please others or ourselves (Colossians 3:23) is very freeing. Recently, one disciple texted after our meeting and after meditating on the verses we had covered that morning, that it “blew his mind” when he realized how free he is in Christ (Romans 8:1). His struggles with being a perfectionist are coming to an end!
On Tuesday 06 September we loaded up the boys and traveled to Meridian MS to visit the OCF study that meets in the home of OCF Local Leaders, Dustin and Jessica Schraud. They serve up a strong combo of fellowship, food and teaching. Dustin, who serves as a flight instructor at NAS Meridian, is a very capable Bible teacher. He presents the truths of Scripture in their textual and historical context and then draws out the applications for the 21st century Christian. One of the flight students who has attended the group for a year expressed how thankful he is for his growth over the last year. Specifically, he pointed to his increased understanding of who God is and how that relationship must affect our lives. God is definitely at work in and through the folks of OCF Meridian!