Ni River Community Church


A New Men’s Movement

Posted on April 1st, 2014 by Bob Bock

     At Ni River, we have seen the Lord moving and changing lives in many ways.  As we strive to be more like Christ on a daily basis, and submit to Him, we have watched as God stirred up a new passion for Him and for living according to His word.  Whether it’s been through Life Groups, the Sunday services, the worship team, or any of the other ministries here at Ni, we’ve seen people coming to know Christ as their savior, and allowing Him to guide their steps.  And now, God is stirring up a movement in the men of Ni River.  Here is a personal invitation from Dave Houck, our men’s ministry director, to the men:
Men of Ni River,
     Join “The Core” as we start our journey to authentic manhood with 33 The Series.  33 is a gospel-centered video series that presents the timeless truths of authentic manhood in a powerful and engaging way.  It includes insightful teaching, along with inspiring testimonies and interviews. While we work our way through 33, we will build a vision of manhood in our lives that is based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and was modeled by Him in His 33 years on earth.
     In Volume 1: A Man and His Design, we will learn God’s clear design for authentic manhood by examining a biblical definition of manhood, identifying the four “faces” of manhood, and learning how to anticipate and transition through specific seasons of every man’s life. Through this process the relationships that we build and strengthen with other men will encourage and deepen our relationship with Jesus while strengthening our walk with Him.  As we grow in these ways we will see better relationships in all aspects of our lives and growth toward being the disciple we are called to be.
     Please contact me by emailing for additional information on how you can get involved.  We will have a Saturday morning group starting April 12th at the church, or you can ask about leading your own group at a time that might work for those who can’t come on Saturday.  We are praying for as many men as possible to get engaged, equipped, and encouraged to answer God’s call on their lives for His glory and the benefit of those around us.

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Christ Remains Constant

Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Bob Bock

With the countless distractions that surround us today, it’s easy to take our eyes off of Christ, and focus more on the weights and hindrances that slow us down in our walk with the Lord.  We so easily forget a simple, but faith altering rule found in Colossians 3:2.  ”Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Our Worship Arts Director, JC Mason, shared her heart on this issue this morning.  Take a look at what she had to say:

It’s a blessing to get up early every morning and sit next to my fireplace to pray and seek the Lord. I watch the sky slowly light up as I write in my journal and sip my homemade almond milk latte. I am warm and content with no disruptions since the rest of the house is still sleeping. I look forward to my mornings with the Lord.  I sometimes question how would my meeting with the Lord change if one of my comforts was taken away. What if I was cold, or thirsty, would my mind be on my physical need over my need to seek Christ?  Then I think of Paul who was imprisoned and chained yet penned 4 books of the Bible (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) encouraging the readers and advancing the gospel of Christ. Being chained didn’t keep him from lifting up praises in worship to God , he was focused on the mission at hand trusting in God’s promises.

I believe we (myself included) can look at our circumstances and when they are not ideal we make excuses for why we can’t continue on the path. We start to look at what’s lacking and not at the God who spoke this world into reality.  I lift up prayers and praises to a God who put his spirit in me, a sinner, forgiven by the blood of Christ …the only thing I can lack is the faith of what has already been done through Him. But I make that choice. We are free, unchained and overflowing with the spirit of our Heavenly Father. We have a risen Lord who conquered death and now pleads on our behalf, and He is coming again!  No matter what we face, no matter how our circumstances change, Christ remains constant and we need to walk steadfast in that truth.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
-Philippians 4:12-13


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Good News of Great Joy

Posted on December 18th, 2013 by Bob Bock

I would bet that the shepherds near Bethlehem never imagined that on what was an otherwise uneventful night, they would be standing in the presence of an Angel of the Lord, with the glory of God shining around them.  Shepherds stood watch for all sorts of things at night.  Wolves, dangerous terrain, and thieves would have been all they expected to encounter, not an Angel showing up unannounced.  This was so powerful, and took them by such surprise that scripture tells us they were “terrified.”  Not just shocked, not just a little scared, but terrified.

And then, the Angel spoke.  ”But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people’” (Luke 2:10, HCSB).  The Messiah the people had been waiting for had finally come, and the shepherds were to go see for themselves.  Suddenly, they were surrounded by a multitude of angels praising God, and as quickly as they had come, they were gone, leaving the shepherds alone again with their sheep, probably still shaking from their initial terror.

Given the circumstances, they had every excuse to stay in that field.  After all, they had sheep to keep from getting stuck in thorn bushes.  They had thieves to watch out for and wolves to fight off.  Not to mention they probably could use a day or two to calm down, recover from their terror, and gather their thoughts.  But that isn’t how they responded.  ”When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’  They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough.  After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (Luke 2:15-19, HCSB).  They didn’t delay.  They didn’t worry about everything else that needed to get done.  They went straight to Bethlehem, met Jesus, and began to spread the message right away.

This time of year, it is so easy for us to get distracted by all that needs to be done.  We have presents to wrap, cards to write, packages to send.  We have to get the house decorated and cookies baked.  But we, like the shepherds, have been given good news of great joy that is for all people!  Jesus Christ came to earth to pay the price for our sins, died in our place, and has given us the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven as children of God!  How will we react to this news?  Will we, like the shepherds, spread the message we have been given?  Or will we stay distracted in our field?

The gospel is the central message of Christmas, yet so often we miss our chance to be leading others to Christ.  We have an excellent opportunity this week to spread the gospel to people in our lives.  We ask that you would do two things.  First and foremost, pray.  Pray for the hearts of those in your life that need to meet Christ.  Pray that God would begin to reveal Himself to them, and pray that He would use you in a mighty way.  Second, invite them to join us this Sunday at Ni River.  Travis will be focusing on the importance of the gospel and what that means for each and every one of us.

If you find yourself reading this, hopefully that means you have found a family and a home at Ni River Community Church.  It’s time we share the good news of great joy that we have been given.  Join with us as we strive to REACH out to people, LOVE them, and LEAD them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

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Posted on August 20th, 2013 by Travis Pauley

You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.
Deuteronomy 30:20a NLT

What are you preoccupied with?  Chances are, at any given moment your mind is focused on a singular issue, interest, or need, and everything else becomes peripheral.  Maybe that preoccupation is the biggest item on your to-do list, the biggest problem you face, or the biggest desire in your heart.  Whatever it is, it takes up a lot of mental space.  Our brains have limited focus.

Our preoccupations don’t usually line up with Scripture.  The Word continually points us back to worship or praise or some other Kingdom focus, but instead we’re distracted by competing demands about careers and relationships and personal plans for the future.  In themselves, these things aren’t wrong.  But we have a way of making them disproportionately large.  And our one true focus-God-seems to get pushed out of the way to make room.

Why aren’t we more preoccupied with Him?  Why don’t we wake up each day with one pressing question:  how can I love Him well?  Why aren’t we more intentional about caring for the heart of the Father?  Other concerns can drain energy from our primary purpose.  Unless we fulfill our primary purpose, none of the rest falls into place or ultimately satisfies us.  But if we do fulfill that purpose-if we choose to love God not just in theory but in the largest spaces of our hearts and minds-He becomes more practically and powerfully present in us and with us.  He watches over our concerns when we watch over His.  That’s what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 
Matthew 6:33 NIV

Choose to love and adore Him as your primary preoccupation, and see what He does with the other concerns of your life.  He will fight battles, win victories, and resolve issues for those who are focused on Him.

Spend time daily this week praying this…

Lord show me how You want to be loved.  Help me know how to care for Your heart and adore You well.  Fill my thoughts with Yourself above all else.  

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Let us not neglect our meeting together…

Posted on August 8th, 2013 by Travis Pauley

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV

One might think the Presence of God would be most easily felt in the body of Christ, the church, but that isn’t always the case.  In fact, there are times and places when it’s actually hard to see Him in His body. Yet He insists on being found there, working and moving through the gifts, callings and desires of His people. When we look at a fellow believer’s face, Jesus is behind it somewhere.

Though it may be hard to see His face in others at times, make sure it isn’t hard for them to see His face in you.  One of the key environments we are called to shape is the church-both inside and outside the walls of the building. We are to be the Presence of Christ among other believers, not only when we worship in one place, but also when we serve together in the world.  Whether at church buildings, in homes, or in other venues, we are to give and receive the Presence to and from each other.

How can you be the Presence of God in your church?  The same ways you can be His presence anywhere: by expressing His attitudes, speaking His words, seeking His wisdom and revelation, offering His solutions, and exercising His gifts.  Anytime you operate in His Spirit, you are offering His Presence to others.  And others need that from you as much as you need it from them.  That’s why meeting together is vital:  the Sprit in many is stronger than the Spirit in one.

Bring the Presence into your fellowship with other believers.  Learn to see yourself as a bearer of the Spirit-not a perfect one, of course, but an essential one.  Learn to see others that way too.  The church must be shaped and directed by those who are filled with Him and understand why.

Holy Spirit please overflow from me and let me see You overflowing from others in my relationships with other believers.  Let our church be known as people who display You and Your amazing works.

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Accomplishing His work

Posted on May 13th, 2013 by Travis Pauley

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

Jesus said that what filled Him up, what gave Him satisfaction and nourishment was to do the will of God; to accomplish what He was purposed to do. We as followers of Christ also have something that will nourish our souls and fill us up, we have work to accomplish that our Heavenly Father prepared for us in advance and we have work that should bring us joy to do out of our worship, love and appreciation for Jesus and what He did for us.  His will for us is to reach out to people with the message of Christ so that they may have a chance to be saved and live in a right and personal relationship with God through Christ.

As Jesus put it in Matthew 28…

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

So as a church we have this call, we have this mission to reach out to people, love them and lead the to become fully devoted followers of Christ.  As you read this are you focused on this mission?  Are you prayerfully approaching how to be engaged in this mission we have with the time we have left here on earth?

As you pray through this let me give some suggestions to spur you on in how to engage with Ni River in this call we have:

-Spend time daily in prayer and in the word.
During this time ask God to prepare you for this mission and reveal opportunities to share Jesus with others.  Ask Him to reveal anything to you in your life that may be going against Him or hindering His will from being done in you.

-Invite people to Ni River
Begin asking people to join you.  This week is a great week as we are starting a new series called LEGENDS and we have the Spring Celebration Party after the second service!

-Use Facebook as a platform
If a verse jumps out to you during your study time then post it, share encouraging words there; you’d be surprised how God’s word or some positive and encouraging words on Facebook can make people wonder what’s different about you!  Hey you can also share Ni River events and invite people to church through that platform.

-Get involved in serving consistently through Ni River
Are you helping to strengthen the ministry of Ni and make it’s impact more powerful by serving?  TKO, GAME, RUSH HOUR, Sunday service teams, outreach through Mercy With A Mission, Vacation Bible School… there are plenty of ways to get involved and help to spur on the ministry as we lift up the name of Christ!

I’m praying for you as you seek to discover what it is that God would have you do and for all those who are currently making an impact I also am praying for encouragement and strength from the Holy Spirit in your life to continue you on in this mission!

Serving Our Awesome God,

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More Than a Song

Posted on April 25th, 2013 by Bob Bock

More than a Song

I just want to first say what a blessing it has been to worship with you on Sunday mornings! I so enjoy praying for our congregation through out the week and asking God where He desires to take us in the short time we have to corporately seek His face and give Him praise!

April was my first, 1st Wednesday, and I was so moved by God’s presence that I thought what if we had a night dedicated to worship. Others began to chime in with that same desire. After prayers and thoughts, this Wednesday will be our first, 1st Wednesday that is completely dedicated to worship! These Worship Wednesdays will happen once every three months. I didn’t want to mess up the rhythm of the 1st Wednesdays or add another night during the week so having a 1st Wednesday dedicated in worshiping our Lord seemed a natural flow…as worship should be!

My desire for this Worship Wednesday is for us all to come in great expectation of what God can do as a church body and personally in our lives. When we do that God shows up! Remember His desire is to show us His face, His will, His strength as we focus our hearts and minds on Him.

Worship for me embodies what King Jehoshaphat said when a vast army was closing in on his people to wipe them out,” We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you” 2 Chronicles 20:12.  I just know if I focus on God He will show up in all circumstances.

So this Wednesday:
If you are battling a Goliath be prepared to lay it down allowing God to go before you and defeat the enemy. If you are struggling with burden, sin, or doubt, be prepared to see the fullness of God’s grace and faithfulness. If you feel your family is broken and you are depleted emotionally ready to give up, be prepared to have the Lord be your rear guard and restorer. If you feel you lack direction or purpose, be prepared for God to reveal His heart and peace in those be still moments.

Worshiping the living God is more than a song; it has victorious affects in the spiritual realm. Worship is a part of what keeps us focused and effective in the race set before us. So I am standing in great expectation of a great God and I hope to see you Wednesday May 1st at 6:30pm!

JC Mason

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Peru Team Blog Post #6 (Greg Traber)

Posted on April 8th, 2013 by Bob Bock

Wow! I can’t believe it is Friday already.  What an amazingly awesome, God inspiring week it has been. I would venture to guess that every member of this beautiful team has experienced God in a special way. Each day has been incredible in its own way and each team member has been incredible in their own way. This week has shown the power of Christ to bind the hearts together of like minded people. It has been amazingly to watch Christ stretch people, grow people, challenge people and heal people. There have been tears of joy and tears of sadness. There has been much laughter and there have been times of somber reflection. I know God is doing big things here in Peru, but I also know He is doing big things in the hearts of 22 Ni Riverites, 1 special young lady from Spotswood Baptist and an amazing couple from Indiana. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to be a part of this team. The team prepares to leave tomorrow; however, before we do, we have an opportunity to bless Tony Kay and Jim by doing task at Esperanza De Hannah. I know Ni River will work hard to get every thing done that they would like to get done, because that’s how Ni rolls.  I have been blessed to watch people surrender to Gods leading and I am already in anticipation for the next time God leads us down to this beautiful place.  Be sure to ask team members about their experience and watch the excitement in their faces as they share how God showed up in an amazing way.
Greg Traber

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Peru Team Blog Post #5 (Rachel Rodriguez)

Posted on April 5th, 2013 by Bob Bock

Somebody said it will be Thursday before you know it. Guess what? It’s Thursday! Today we were able to visit with our Compassion children and let me just say, this was the quickest day of my existence. I know that God even had His hands all over the children we chose to sponsor just from looking at a picture. Confirmation of that notion was evident all over every single face in the park. I have never witnessed anything like it. God’s gifts are perfect.

Rachel Rodriguez

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Peru Team Blog Post #5 (Chantel Hardy)

Posted on April 4th, 2013 by Bob Bock

Wow , it seems like we have been in Peru for forever! It has been such a blessing to have this opportunity, but let me tell you a bit about our day. Today we got to take the children from Hannah’s Home to an amusement type park and it was truly amazing. Just getting to play with the kids, whether its on a boat ride, in the pool, or on the playground, was an opportunity I will never forget. The smiles on there faces and ours showed so much joy just because we were spending time together and making memories. I think it is so amazing how the people here are impacting our lives just as much as we are impacting there’s. So overall it has been a pretty great day!

Chantel Hardy

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