Author Archives: Tracie Aldridge

Home / Articles posted by Tracie Aldridge

Harbor Women’s Bible Study 2021-2022

We are excited to be studying the book of Revelation this study season! We will be using Sarah Ivill’s book Revelation: Let the One Who is Thirsty Come to guide our inquiry and discussion as we read through the entire book of Revelation over 22 weeks. Harbor Women’s Bible Study meets on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.; childcare is provided (please notify a leader if you are planning to bring children). For more information or to sign up, go to Church Center > Groups > Seasonal Classes > Harbor Women’s Bible Study. For additional information, contact Tracie Aldridge or Lindsay Colvard via groups or get in touch through the contact form on the Harbor Church web site. We hope you’ll join us!

Harbor Women’s Bible Study Sign-Up 2020-2021

Who is Jesus? Who and what does he claim to be? What does his self-revelation teach us about God the Father? How should we respond to the answers to these questions? Through this year’s study of the Gospel of John, we’ll consider these questions and many more. Study questions to guide observation and understanding will be provided weekly. We’ll also consider how the truths we encounter should shape and impact our thoughts and actions. To sign up, please complete the form below. Questions? Email Tracie @ tracieNC@gmail.com. There is no cost for study questions or materials, though purchase of God for Us: Discovering the Heart of the Father through the Life of the Son, by Abby Ross Hutto, is recommended, as we will make use of the content and questions from this additional resource during our discussion time. (A group order will be made for those interested.)

The link below will take you to a Google Form where you can sign up. It’s not pretty, but it works!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScLNolQED8rQC1HV8kdHsi777kK3YZnVgbPx8N7uFrHh1nd3g/viewform?embedded=true

Women’s Winter Bible Study

Please join us as we begin a new study Tuesday, December 3! We will be studying the book of Genesis beginning with Jen Wilkin’s God of Creation (Genesis 1-11) and moving on to God of Covenant (Genesis 12-50) in the spring. Our weekly study time will be extended by 15 minutes to allow for discussion time followed by a video teaching that will wrap up each week’s lesson. Stay tuned for details regarding the exact time. Contact Tracie Aldridge (tracieNC@gmail.com) or Lindsay Colvard (lindsaycolvard@gmail.com) with questions or to request that we order your book if you prefer not to order it yourself (cost will be about $16). Childcare is provided; please let us know if you are not currently participating but plan to attend with children so that we can be prepared to care for your little ones. All are welcome! You’re encouraged to bring a friend or neighbor.

Harbor Women’s Bible Study – Fall 2019

We are excited to be offering a twelve-week study of the books of Lamentations, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah led by Lindsay Colvard this fall. If you’re anything like us, you might know a verse or two from each of these books, but would be hard-pressed to identify the overall message or theme of any one of the books themselves. These probably aren’t your go-to books for daily study or encouragement! I asked Lindsay to share why she’s looking forward to studying these books, and here’s what she said: 

I think it will greatly benefit us to study sections of God’s word that some of us aren’t as familiar with, and to see how all of God’s word is profitable. I hope this will encourage us not to be intimidated by less familiar parts of scripture.

I’m also looking forward to considering more fully the Biblical concept of lament, and how it might be a help to us in our Christian lives.

These books contain some very familiar passages, some that we know from their being quoted in the new testament, and I think it will be helpful to understand them more fully by studying them in their old testament context.

We think you’ll be surprised and encouraged by what you learn in this study, and hope you’ll join us for our fall session! 

  • Study Day/Dates: Tuesday mornings, 9:30 – 11:00 from Sept. 3 – Nov. 19
  • Childcare will be provided. Please indicate your need when signing up.
  • Please sign up in the church foyer (by Sunday August 18, if you would like us to order your book). No deadline otherwise!
  • Sign up online HERE.
  • Contact Lindsay Colvard (lindsaycolvard@gmail.com) or Tracie Aldridge (tracieNC@gmail.com) with questions.

Relationships Rooted in the Gospel

Mark your calendars for March 1 & 2 and get ready for a refreshing time of fellowship with other women!

This year we will be looking at Relationships Rooted in the Gospel, what it looks like to live in God-honoring relationships. In a time where social media has the tendency to dominate our time and energy, forming deep and meaningful relationships can be difficult, but it is important nonetheless. We hope that focused time spent together will help grow relationships we already have and form new ones at this retreat, as we are called to live in community with one another. Our speaker, Angela Howard, will be addressing what God-centered relationships look like.

We will be in a tranquil, secluded mountaintop retreat center called Laurel Ridge. It will be a time of refreshment, worship, learning, and, of course, building meaningful relationships. By giving ourselves time to truly connect and develop friendship, we hope it will be a time of renewal and a chance to focus on the command to live in community with each other. We also look forward to it providing the time to focus on growth in personal relationship with Christ. We hope to see you there!

Please register HERE by January 6th for the early bird registration cost of $75. After January 6th, registration will be open til January 27th for the price of $85.

Romans: The Obedience of Faith

Harbor Church Women’s Bible Study will be studying the book of ROMANS during our 30-week 2018-2019 study session. We will meet Tuesday mornings starting September 11 from 9:30 – 11:00 in Room 201. Childcare is provided for children birth – age 4, though we’d appreciate your letting us know ahead of time if you will be bringing children, as we want to be prepared to care for your little ones. Please email womenscareteam@harborchurch.org or tracieNC@gmail.com to let us know you’ll be bringing children or for more information.

If you can read through the entire book of Romans once or twice before we begin, you’ll enjoy having the perspective of the whole before we dig into the smaller portions of text. No book is required, though you may wish to bring a folder or have a three ring binder for your weekly questions and notes. Please join us as we dig into Paul’s longest letter, one many theologians refer to as the clearest, most comprehensive summary and explanation of the gospel and the Christian faith in all of scripture. We look forward to learning and growing with you in our time together!

Save the Date!

The Harbor Women’s Care Team invites you to attend Craving Grace: Walking in the Goodness of the Gospel on Saturday, March 17  from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. This workshop-style retreat event will provide women an opportunity for fellowship, refreshment, and gospel-focused content that will challenge, encourage, and equip us to live each day in the realities that are ours by union with Christ. Cost for the day’s events is $22 and includes the book Craving Grace: Experiencing the Richness of the Gospel, box lunch, workshop materials, and other goodies. Full and partial scholarships are available. Email womenscareteam@harborchurch.org to register or sign up in the church foyer. We look forward to sharing the day with you!

Be sure to register by Sunday, March 11! Checks can be made out to Harbor Church (please note Women’s Retreat or Craving Grace in the memo) and given to any WCT  member or dropped in the offering plate. Thank you!

 

Women’s Fellowship Event to Support Hope of Mooresville!

Hope of Mooresville provides emergency housing and support for homeless women and children in downtown Mooresville. The Harbor Women’s Fellowship Team has organized a Care Bag Packing Event to take place Saturday, February 17 at 2:30 p.m. at the church. Please mark your calendars to join this time of fellowship and service to those in need in our community.  There is a sign up sheet in the foyer for needed donations. Please bring all requested items to church by Sunday, February 11, when we will also have the opportunity to hear from Bonnie Battalia, Hope of Mooresville’s Community Coordinator, during a missions moment in our worship service. The bags we pack, along with hand written cards of encouragement, will be given to residents at the shelter.  Please contact the Harbor Women’s Fellowship Team with any questions. We hope to see you there!

Happily Ever After!

We’ve finally arrived at Happily Ever After…sort of! God graciously gives us a glimpse of the great and glorious end he has planned for us – and with us – and wants us to be confident of the surety of our hope in Him and the work of his beloved Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But even though we enjoy the “now” of certain aspects of our salvation, we’re still living in the “not yet” of others, aren’t we?

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:19-20

Praise God that our hope is not in this life only, as is true for so many! This past week in our days of study, we looked at several aspects of the ultimate end that is yet to come, and how that end connects back to the very beginning, and to the long middle in which we live.

All Things New

On Day 1 we looked at the truth that God himself will make all things – all his creation – new.

Revelation 21:1-5 says this:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'”

-Notice the covenantal language of Revelation 21 (first italicized section), language that goes back to the very first books of the Bible. God’s commitment to his promises and to his people is unfailing, and we see its ultimate fulfillment in Revelation 21.
-“The sea was no more.” Of course this came up in our discussion! We talked about the fact that scholars are divided on exactly what this means in Revelation 21. Is this literal? Symbolic? We don’t know for sure, as is true of many elements that we see in Revelation. It helped me to read Dr. R.C. Sproul’s comments on the sea in Hebrew literature and poetry, along with other commentators. While the sea represented chaos and is generally a negative force in scripture, rivers are continually used in positive, life-giving images, and Revelation 22 fittingly tells us that “the river of the water of life” flows “from the throne of God and of the Lamb!” For those of us tempted to disappointment at the possibility of no oceans in the new earth, it might be helpful to remember that in the perfection of the new heaven and the new earth, where there is also no death, mourning, crying, or pain, we won’t miss anything that is no longer; we will live in perfect harmony and fellowship with one another in the presence of God in His perfectly restored world.

The Tree of Life

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him….And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22: 1-3, 5

-There are a few more “no mores” in this passage: No more will anything be accursed, no more night, and no more lamp or sunlight, for the true light will have come!

-God’s people will once again dwell in His presence with the tree of life in their midst! God, in mercy, barred Adam and Eve from the garden and the tree, lest they live in sin forever. But even as he pronounced the curse, he promised one who would bruise the serpent’s head.

-Consider for a moment that it was a tree of death (the cross) that gave us access to the tree of life in eternity. Galatians 3:13 says “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree – ‘” In Christ’s death and resurrection, Genesis 3:16 is fulfilled! The serpent, Satan, bruised the heel of the woman’s offspring, but the One who was to come, and DID, bruised – actually crushed! – the serpent’s head.

-There is no longer a curse upon those whose trust is in Christ! These will be restored to the privilege of eating from the tree of life, and living forever with God.

The Throne of God

The throne of God was mentioned several times in the passages from Revelation quoted above. Revelation makes plain that the throne of God will be a significant feature of our eternal home, and rightly so, for the kingdom of God will come into its fullness when God and the Lamb are seated on it and the whole of God’s people/children/subjects are gathered before Him in worship. I appreciated how Courtney Doctor, in our study, took us back to Isaiah 6 to consider Isaiah’s vision of the throne of God. Isaiah, the prophet of God, cried out in apparent anguish at his vision of the Lord high and lifted up. “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Other translations use the words “ruined” and “undone” in place of lost. Isaiah, in facing the awesome holiness and purity of God, saw his own sinfulness, almost to the point of his undoing. But God…

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

The presence of God should be terrifying for you and I, as sinners, to behold. But though we were yet sinners, Christ DIED for us, to give us access with boldness and confidence so that we can come to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Ephesians 3:12, Hebrews 4:16) In the glory of heaven (the final dwelling place of God with man), we will have continual access to the father without shame, without guilt, and without the ongoing presence of sin to inhibit our intimacy with God.

I love how Revelation 4 echoes the glory of the vision of the throne room the prophet saw in Isaiah 6. I also love that you and I who are in Christ can look forward to enjoying the awesome presence of our holy God without the fear and dread that Isaiah experienced. We know that our Lamb has been sacrificed, and our guilt is atoned for! Revelation 7 tells us that same Lamb of God now sits on the throne of God and will be our shepherd, guiding us to springs of living water. We will be numbered among the multitude from every tongue, tribe, and nation, clothed in white robes, made spotless by the blood of Christ.

God’s Dwelling Place

We’ve traced the progression of God’s presence with his people throughout scripture. We saw God cast Adam and Eve from his presence after their rebellion in the garden. We saw God move toward Abraham with a call and a promise (several, actually). We saw the people of Israel leave Egypt in the Exodus, following God in a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. We saw that the tabernacle, and later, the temple, was given so that our holy God would have a way to dwell in the midst of his unholy people without ignoring or making light of sin. We saw Jesus, Immanuel, God With Us, humble himself and take on human form to dwell (or tabernacle) among us. (John 1:14) We know that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, and died as the spotless Lamb of God so that he might be the atoning sacrifice for all who believe in Him. And though Jesus ascended to be with the Father and is no longer present with us in bodily form, he did not leave us orphans, as he promised in John 14. We now have the Holy Spirit of God to indwell us who believe; we are new creations by the work of the Spirit, who is a guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it (2 Cor 5:17, Eph 1:14). In eternity, though, we will see God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. We will finally be whole, complete, perfected, glorified.

Even with all that we’ve studied, there is much we don’t know about what heaven and eternity will be like. We will have redeemed, restored bodies and reside in a redeemed, restored earth in the presence of God. Jesus’ resurrection body gives us hints and clues about what our resurrected bodies – and our redeemed, renewed earth – will be like. But we have just the glimmers of the reality that is to come. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully….” As faint as the picture may seem, though, friends, this is our reality. Our hope – and our future – is in the hands of our covenant making, covenant keeping God, who cannot and will not be unfaithful to his commitments.

I hope that as we move into this Christmas season, we will see the incarnation of God with fresh eyes that enable us not only to look back at what God has done for us in love, but also forward, with hope, toward the eternity he has planned for us. May the reality of our hope breathe life and promise into our moments and days, for the glory of the One who called and keeps us!

Waiting for our King to Return

This past week in our lesson we considered how we are to live as we are Waiting for Our King to Return. Over the past nine weeks, we have seen that God’s word is not simply a disconnected set of random pieces of literature by unrelated authors. Though it covers broad ground in terms of genre, writing style, authorship, chronology, and content, every chapter and book also contributes to the story of God who created a people for His glory and for relationship with Him, and who is at work to redeem them and restore them to fellowship with Himself after they (we!) broke fellowship with Him through our sinful rebellion. Because of His great mercy and compassion, man’s sin was not the end of the story.

We’ve learned that God’s word is His revelation of himself to us, that all creation was created by God as good, that man’s willful sin destroyed that goodness, and that God has been working throughout history using various means (patriarchs, oppressors, priests, judges, kings, prophets, and then some!) to point us to our need for salvation and to fulfill His promise to provide the One who would accomplish that salvation: His son, Jesus Christ. Since the accomplishment of our salvation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has been about the business of building His church on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets (Eph. 2:20), with Christ as the cornerstone; he is this in both his completed work on the cross and his present, active intercession on our behalf at the right hand of the Father. Not only that, but he returned to the Father that he might send us a helper, the promised Holy Spirit of God, to indwell us. No longer slaves to sin, we have new identities as children of the living God! Consider just some of what scripture says is true of us who believe in Christs’s work on our behalf:

– You are a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17)
– You are (part of) a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for [God’s] own possession. (1 Peter     2:9)
– You are a living stone being built up with other believers into a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5)
– You are redeemed and forgiven according to the riches of God’s grace. (Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14)
– You are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of your inheritance in Christ. (Eph. 1:14)
– You are seated with Christ Jesus in the heavenly places. (Eph. 2:6)
– You are the workmanship of God, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world and created for good     works which God prepared beforehand. (Eph. 1:4, 2:10)
– You are a child of God. (John 1:12, Gal. 3:26, Romans 8:16)
– You are a friend of Jesus. (John 15:15)
– You are justified by faith and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
– You are a member of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
– You are a child of God and a fellow heir with Christ (provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be     glorified with him). (Romans 8:17)
– You are God’s temple and God’s spirit dwells in you. (1 Cor. 3:16)
– You are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (Eph. 1:3)
– You are an ambassador for Christ, reconciled to God through Christ and entrusted with the message of     reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:18-20)
– You have in Jesus Christ a high priest who is able to sympathize with your weakness and lives to make  intercession for you. (Heb. 4:14-15, 7:25)
– You are welcomed and encouraged to approach the throne of grace with confidence to receive mercy and find   grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
– You have boldness and access [to God] with confidence through faith in Christ. (Eph. 3:12)
– You have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the beloved Son of   God. (Col. 1:13)
– You have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
– You are born again of imperishable seed through the living and abiding word of God. (1 Peter 1:23)
– Your old self was crucified with Christ so that you are no longer enslaved to sin; you are set free from sin.  (Ro.   6:6-7)
– You are not subject to condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
– You have eternal life. (John 3:16, 1 John 5:13)
– Your new self is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:24)

This isn’t even an exhaustive list! But what do we DO with it? Are we simply to bask in the enjoyment of our new identity? Of course not! We are to live and walk in it!! Courtney Doctor has reminded us that the story of redemption is an unfolding drama in which we are not merely observers, but participants. Consider the bullet-pointed truths above essential truths and traits that you and I need to embody to play our part as we go about our work of “faithful improvisation.” If we need to know the background on our role, this is a good start! All that we say, do, and think as we participate in this drama should flow from God’s declaration in his word of who we ARE by faith in Jesus Christ.

So how do we go about living and walking in our new identities?

– We give ourselves to being conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29)
– We present our bodies as living sacrifices, being transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we may be   able to discern what is the will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
– We proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
– We put off the sins that belong to our old nature, and put on the qualities of the new nature that is ours in Christ.   (Colossians 3:5-17, Eph. 4:17 – 5:21)
– We walk by the Spirit, not gratifying the desires of the flesh, but bearing the fruit of the Spirit in all of our   relationships and circumstances. (Gal. 5:16-26)
– We take care that our words are truthful, not corrupting, crude, or foolish, and that they build up, fit the   occasion, and give grace to those who hear them. (Eph 4:25, 29, 5:4)
– We are prepared and look for opportunities to give a reason for the hope that we have, doing so with gentleness   and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
– We are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)
– We love, serve, submit, obey, look to the interests of others as well as our own, cultivate gratitude, pray, rejoice,   contribute to the needs of the saints, love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, confess our sins, consider   those whose faith is weak, put no hindrance in the way of a brother (or sister), show hospitality…

There is plenty to do, dear sisters, but this doing is wholly unlike us attempting to tackle our never-ending to-do lists! It is a result of walking in the freedom and identity that Christ has provided for us; it is our response to Christ Jesus, our savior. Consider Jesus’s invitation:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”                       (Matthew 11:28-30)

So…

Pursue reconciliation, remembering that the most solid ground for human reconciliation is our reconciliation with God through Christ.
Pursue peace, recognizing that the only peace in which we can have complete confidence is peace with God, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Pursue the flourishing of others, desiring them to flourish for eternity through salvation, which confers blessing upon blessing for both this life and the one to come.
Pursue holiness, righteousness, faith, and love. Pursue your Savior, who pursued you first, and proclaim him by speaking the truth of Him to all!