Kempsville Road Southbound Lane Closures 7/21-7/24 2017

Road closure details:

  • 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday | July 21-24
  • Southbound Kempsville Road will be completely closed from the stoplight at Center Drive to Blackstone Street.
  • Northbound Kempsville Road will be reduced to one lane (the right lane) from Blackstone Street to Center Drive.

Detour:

Southbound traffic on Kempsville Road will be detoured to a left on Center Drive to a right on Newtown Road to a right on Kempsville Road. Map on next page.

First Baptist will continue to have access via the northbound lanes of Kempsville Road. The exact location of where the two northbound lanes will be reduced to one lane has yet to be determined. It will be after the first entrance, but setback requirements for the lane closure may force the taper to begin at or near the second entrance at Blackstone Road. The third entrance/exit will remain accessible via the one lane of northbound Kempsville Road.

Reason for the closures:

VDOT’s construction contractor for the 64/264 Interchange Improvements Project will be drilling three shafts in the median of Kempsville Road for pier foundations to support the new bridge over Kempsville Road. This new bridge will be the new collector-distributor road on I-264 east. More background on the project is at www.i64i264improvements.org.

Workers will be drilling the shafts, installing rebar and pouring concrete. They plan to do two shafts the first weekend (July 7-10) and one shaft the second weekend (July 21-24). Afterward, you will see rebar sticking out from the shafts. The contractor will return at a later date (yet to be scheduled) to pour concrete for the columns and cap them, and eventually set the beams for the new bridge. All that additional work means there will be future impacts to Kempsville Road. We will let you know as soon as those dates are scheduled.

What You Need to Know

1. The sidewalk along the northbound lanes of Kempsville Road will remain open

2. The west annex parking (across the street) is accessible via Blackstone Street only.

3. Pedestrian traffic will be able to cross Kempsville Road except in the work area.

4. All 3 entrance/exits to the church campus are usable.

5. There will not be construction traffic on the church campus.

6. An extra shuttle will run each of these weekends from the 3 parking areas served by the shuttles: Cross Roads Center, HRT/Tide, and Fortis College at the Interstate Commerce Center on Center Drive. See map below for these locations.

7. Allow extra time to get into the building.

8. All scheduled church activities will take place.

If you have any questions, please comment below.

First Norfolk Map 2017 inset with closure

First Norfolk Map 2017 master with google map
Detour dates above have been updated to 7/7-7/10 and 7/21-24

Thanks to Dave Forster with VDOT for details on this closure.

VDOT continuance hearing today

The hearing for a continuance with VDOT was moved from Friday, June 30, to Thursday, July 6.  It will be held at 2:00 PM at the Norfolk Circuit Courthouse, Courtroom 4B (Judge Jerrauld Jones). We would like for as many of our members as possible to attend the hearing to demonstrate support of First Baptist Norfolk’s opposition to the motion for continuance.

If you are able attend, here are some basic guidelines:

  • Have your photo ID (driver’s license) with you, but do not bring other items into the courthouse.
    Leave phones, laptops, food, drinks, bags, etc. behind as they are not permitted through security.
  • Please be in Courtroom 4B (Judge Jerrauld Jones) in the Norfolk Circuit Courthouse by 1:00 PM.
  • The Norfolk Circuit Courthouse is located at 150 St. Paul’s Boulevard. Parking is available for the courthouse at the Commercial Place Garage (520 E Main Street, Norfolk) and the Dominion Tower Parking Garage (999 Waterside Drive, Norfolk).
  • The church will be renting two buses, departing from the church at 12:30 PM. Seating on these buses is first come, first served.
  • You are also welcome to park at the church and ride The Tide to the Civic Plaza Station.

Lane Closures Scheduled for this Weekend are Cancelled

We found out today that the planned Southbound Kempsville Road lane closure has been cancelled for this weekend. The plan is to conduct the planned July 7-10 closure so that the contractor can bore shafts for pier foundations to support the forthcoming roadway.

The original post about the closures can be found here.

Vacation Bible school begins Monday. There is still time to register and invite! More information and registration link can be found here: www.firstnorfolk.org/vbs.

 

Kempsville Road Southbound Lane Closures 6/23-6/26 2017

Road closure details:

  • 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday | June 23-26 and July 7-10
  • Southbound Kempsville Road will be completely closed from the stoplight at Center Drive to Blackstone Street.
  • Northbound Kempsville Road will be reduced to one lane (the right lane) from Blackstone Street to Center Drive.

Detour:

Southbound traffic on Kempsville Road will be detoured to a left on Center Drive to a right on Newtown Road to a right on Kempsville Road. Map on next page.

First Baptist will continue to have access via the northbound lanes of Kempsville Road. The exact location of where the two northbound lanes will be reduced to one lane has yet to be determined. It will be after the first entrance, but setback requirements for the lane closure may force the taper to begin at or near the second entrance at Blackstone Road. The third entrance/exit will remain accessible via the one lane of northbound Kempsville Road.

Reason for the closures:

VDOT’s construction contractor for the 64/264 Interchange Improvements Project will be drilling three shafts in the median of Kempsville Road for pier foundations to support the new bridge over Kempsville Road. This new bridge will be the new collector-distributor road on I-264 east. More background on the project is at www.i64i264improvements.org.

Workers will be drilling the shafts, installing rebar and pouring concrete. They plan to do two shafts the first weekend (June 23-26) and one shaft the second weekend (July 7-10). Afterward, you will see rebar sticking out from the shafts. The contractor will return at a later date (yet to be scheduled) to pour concrete for the columns and cap them, and eventually set the beams for the new bridge. All that additional work means there will be future impacts to Kempsville Road. We will let you know as soon as those dates are scheduled.

What You Need to Know

1. The sidewalk along the northbound lanes of Kempsville Road will remain open

2. The west annex parking (across the street) is accessible via Blackstone Street only.

3. Pedestrian traffic will be able to cross Kempsville Road except in the work area.

4. All 3 entrance/exits to the church campus are usable.

5. There will not be construction traffic on the church campus.

6. An extra shuttle will run each of these weekends from the 3 parking areas served by the shuttles: Cross Roads Center, HRT/Tide, and Fortis College at the Interstate Commerce Center on Center Drive. See map below for these locations.

7. Allow extra time to get into the building.

8. All scheduled church activities will take place.

If you have any questions, please comment below.

First Norfolk Map 2017 inset with closureFirst Norfolk Map 2017 master with google map

Thanks to Dave Forster with VDOT for details on this closure.

The Power of Comfort

Pain has the power to ruin a good day. Pain can darken a sunshine-dripping life with threatening clouds of suffering. It’s amazing how one small blister on our toe can create such trauma on a hike that we miss the beauty of a mountain view or the majestic colors of a glorious sunset. Instead of basking in the beauty and being awed by the majesty, we drown in the persistent pain of a raw and tender spot on our foot. Pain has the power to ruin a good day.

We all face places of pain and difficulty. We encounter suffering that is beyond our ability to handle or navigate. Paul had traveled through that deep fissure and helps us understand the power of God’s comfort to conquer the potential power of our pain. Paul doesn’t want the Corinthian believers to take lightly his personal story of deliverance. He was in trouble. Deep trouble. Paul describes the affliction as life-threatening and beyond the scope of his strength and ability to handle on his own.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. (2 Corinthians 1:8)

How do we handle death-dealing blows in our lives?

1. Praise in the midst of the pain.

The gospel is the story of how God rescues us! The praise that drips from Paul’s pen is more than a stale theory that he is teaching. It is genuine praise to God for actual rescue by God. The divine blessedness, from which Paul and the Corinthian believers benefited, originated from the character of God.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4a)

As the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, God blesses His people with the magnificence of His great love (John 3:16; Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4-7). As the Father of mercies, God pours out the joys of His unsurpassed compassion and absolute sympathy upon those who share in His plan. Just as I look upon my daughters when they’re in trouble and am concerned enough to intervene appropriately in their struggle, God is our Father who passionately cares about us in our afflictions so that He perfectly intervenes (Ps 103:13). As the God of all comfort, God pours out the blessings of His unfailing help to those who share in His purpose. 

But comfort is more than a feeling of contentment that we receive or a pain-numbing dose of divine anesthetic. Comfort is the active force of God’s grace strengthening and sustaining us in difficulties so that we live out each day with unwavering commitment and endurance toward His purposes. 

Today, we must praise God who is the glorious mover in our lives. This praise must come from us even in the context of the suffering that we may endure. In good times and bad, as we focus on God in all of His glory, we celebrate His glorious character, recognizing that He is the One who is the source of mercy and comfort in the whole of our lives. The point of Paul’s praise is that God meets us in this life, even in our trouble, with encouragement that moves us forward with strength and courage. Regardless what we face, our praise declares the work of God to transform our despair into hope, our sorrow into love, and our fear into joy.

God’s comfort always matches our suffering. The sufferings we endure as followers of Christ will be matched equally and superabundantly by the comfort of Christ.

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:5)

Paul has in mind the succession of events in the life of a believer; first, the affliction, and then the comfort. Thus, Paul has a sure and steadfast hope that as followers of Christ endure sufferings, they will also receive abounding encouragement from God.

2. Embrace the purpose in our pain. 

In verses 9 and 10, we see the purpose in our pain. With every trial and trouble, we must also see the purpose that God fills with each moment of suffering. The redeeming purpose in our pain is that we might trust in God more than we trust in ourselves. The purpose of the “sentence of death,” beyond Paul’s ability to handle on his own, was so that Paul and his team would trust, not in themselves, but in God who raises the dead. Every faithful Jew would have prayed every day to God who is “mighty forever, You make the dead to live.” For Paul, however, this prayer and declaration of God’s power has been infused with new meaning in light of the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection infuses our everyday life with supernatural power from God.

A second redeeming purpose for our pain is that we might comfort others (2 Cor 1:4). The result of divine intervention and help is so that we can, in turn, comfort and encourage others in all of their trials through the comfort with which we have been comforted by God. 

3. Remember that God rescues. 

As Paul and his team were pushed beyond their ability and experiencing deep despair, God intervened. This is the beauty of the gospel which shapes our lives. God intervenes to turn our despair to hope, giving purpose to the most devastating circumstances. We face overwhelming circumstances that lead to despair [“the sentence of death”], but God, who raises the dead, intervenes! 

God’s rescuing power, which rescued Paul, continues its work of rescuing God’s people (1:10). In verse 11, Paul reminds us that God’s rescuing power also moves on the wings of His people’s prayers. Through the help of prayer, believers in Corinth join Paul in the gratitude to God for His delivering power.
So as we walk through our days of struggle and face the persistence of pain, we need to focus on the glorious rescue that God is bringing us. We need to embrace the purpose that God has for us in our pain. And we need to praise the Lord through the pain!!

Brand New

There once was a caterpillar who saw himself just as a caterpillar. He was depressed and sad because he couldn’t soar with the creatures in the air, for that was his greatest desire. But, he would never soar, he thought, because he was merely a caterpillar. One day a beautiful butterfly came to the caterpillar and asked why he was so sad. The caterpillar told him his sad tale, and the butterfly began to laugh. He said, “You silly slug! Don’t you know that you can be changed into a butterfly like I am? I too was once a caterpillar, but I was transformed into a butterfly.” The butterfly then tried to share with the caterpillar how he could be transformed, but the caterpillar refused to believe it. Try as he might, the butterfly could not convince the caterpillar that he could be transformed. He flew away in frustration, thinking “this is hopeless.” The caterpillar stayed planted on the ground thinking, “I am hopeless!”

We have come to believe that what we do and our ability to please others is what leads to love, acceptance, and purpose in our lives, but this formula is a sham. It is a way for us to compensate for the brokenness of our soul created by our sin and separation from God. Our fulfillment in life depends not on our skills to avoid life’s problems but on our ability to apply God’s specific solutions to those problems. The basic need of every person is to regard himself as a worthwhile person, but only God can provide the significance we need.

Many people view themselves as hopeless because they see themselves as caterpillars, and they can’t see that there’s any hope beyond crawling in the dirt. Past actions, things that have been done to us, desires that we can’t shake, something about our appearance make it impossible for us to experience consistent happiness, peace, or joy. We build our significance on our past behavior, measuring our identity through the memory of yesterday’s disappointments and failures. We live in the abyss of shame.

Shame is the poignant pain of feelings of inferiority. Because we have this deep sense of inferiority, we behave in a way that is consistent with our perception of ourselves. We build a statue in our soul to remind us how bad we have it and worship each day throughout the day at its altar. Like tar on a beach sticking to our feet, shame becomes the emotional tar of our souls. When we are stuck in a caterpillar life, shame constructs our identity with the mortar of despair and the bricks of hopelessness.

The Bible tells us that life is not hopeless, and we aren’t stuck in the cell of our shame.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-6, NKJV)

God’s love invades our caterpillar life! Jesus invades this world and crushes the power of Satan and sin at the Cross. God in His mercy and love brought new life to sinners. Paul describes God’s compassionate care, sensitivity, and love for humanity in their destitution. God looked upon sinners enslaved and had compassion for them in their plight. The cause of His mercy to flow toward sinners enslaved is His great love.

Once we have been freed we continue in that new life of freedom. We have been rescued, and we remain rescued for all eternity. It is not the work that we have done that has brought new life (Eph 2:8-9). It is wholly the work of God’s grace. Indeed, we have been saved by the grace of God, His gift to sinners.

Like a caterpillar transformed to a butterfly, in Christ we are transformed from the inside-out. Our past doesn’t define us. Our appearance isn’t our identity. Jesus shatters the statue of self-pity and destroys the idol of hopelessness through His death and resurrection!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3, NKJV)

Today, hear the song of hope that God’s love sings to our soul. Hear the note of triumph to resound through the halls of our heart as it echoes through the hall of heaven. In His merciful, compassionate, love, God offers us help when we could not help ourselves. Our hope won’t die because Jesus is alive! The purpose of new birth is a “living hope.” This is a vigorous hope that lives in the present and moves toward the future. Here we find a hope by which we can live each day and in which the terrors of the night are swallowed by the bright light of Christ’s resurrection.

1. Be rescued by God’s love. It is the goodness of God that leads sinners to repentance (Rom 2:4). His love displayed through patience and mercy and the display of His grace opens your heart today. My prayer is that you might be rescued by His love through faith in Jesus Christ.

2. Be satisfied in God’s love. God is the greatest satisfaction. To praise God, therefore, is the consummate joy in a life gripped by the grandeur, majesty, and unsearchable greatness of God. In praise, we find the fulfillment of our great joy, which is supreme satisfaction in God through Christ. Stand upon the faithfulness of God’s great love, each day resting in His glorious embrace.

 

Love to the End

Travel with Jesus from Bethany to Jerusalem. It is Thursday evening and the disciples have gathered with Jesus in an upper room. As they walk into the room, Jesus set His love upon His followers.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1, ESV)

In the final hours of His life, Jesus poured out Himself in love toward His friends and followers as He prepared them for the despair of the Cross and the delight of the Empty Tomb.

Jesus loves us to the very end. To the end of His humanity, He pours out His love upon us. To the very end of our lives, Jesus pours out His love upon us. Jesus loves us completely and absolutely. There is no greater measure of love than His love for us, and just as He poured out this love toward His followers 2,000 years ago, He pours out His love to us today. Jesus had received all authority from the Father. He recognized His power as King, and yet He humbled Himself to be the servant who showers His followers with love.

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. (John 13:3–5, ESV)

When Jesus removes His outer cloak and kneels before His followers, He foreshadows the act of love and humility in His sacrificial death that would cleanse sinners. Jesus fills the room and our world with the fragrance of a cleansing, healing, life-giving love. The love of Jesus isn’t merely words on display in a meme or sentimental holiday card. His love is poignantly displayed and personally applied to all who trust Him in faith.

As we approach the terror of death and the triumph of resurrection this Holy Week, receive the love that Jesus offers. The tenderness of His love caresses our heart with comfort, confidence, and courage in the face of debilitating difficulties. The power of His love cleanses our sin-stained soul through His death on a cross. The faithfulness of His love pierces through the deepest darkness of death itself. His victorious love conquers hell and shines the brilliance of hope into our lives through the resurrection.