The Apathy of Atrophy


“decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue - atrophy of muscles”

The start of this week marked the beginning of my earnest attempt to prepare for my next surgical makeover – new knees! In actuality, it should have begun several weeks ago, but things got in the way. Well, that’s what I’m using as a pitiful pass on why I’ve waited till now. Fortunately, I think there’s been a bit of residual rehab readiness from my recent hip surgery. However, the commencement of this activity has revealed a number of things – things, in fact, that I’ve known for a while.

Along with working on some leg muscle groups I decided it might be wise to incorporate a little upper-body exercise as well to help with that whole getting around thing following surgery. Remembering earlier days – apparently not very well – I dropped to the floor to do a couple sets of good old fashion push-ups! Sadly, I found out pretty quickly that the words “couple” and “sets” should have never crossed my mind! Muscles once able to perform this rather routine exercise rebelled. For a moment, I thought I heard laughter emanating from my arms and shoulders! Due to lack of regular exercise my body has experienced atrophy. Regrettably, there has been a “decrease in size or wasting away of a body part of tissue.” I know what I need to do and I have begun the process. It’s only a start, but you have to start somewhere.

The atrophy that can slowly and imperceptibly take place in our physical lives can also occur spiritually as well. The sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups of spiritual exercise can begin to fade as quickly as the practice of physical exercise. The practice and discipline of devotions, prayer, scripture memorization, and Bible reading give way to other things; things significantly less important for our lives.

Finishing my workout the other day with a ride on a stationary bike I noticed something very interesting. Just across from me there was group of three men lifting weights together. I remember I had seen them earlier in another part of the gym as well. They were working out together but it was more than that – they were encouraging one another, too. From grunts to laughter they were working together on mutual goals and gains. Not only did I see this group of men, but I saw someone from CPC working out as well. We spoke briefly, and went on with our exercise. When leaving he walked by my bike and tapped me on the shoulder and said good-bye. That encouraged me; there was a beneficial, non-threatening accountability in his presence.

In less than one-month, Lord willing, I’ll have a new set of knees. I’ll be able to do things without pain that I haven’t done in years. But those new knees will need support; stronger muscles to enhance their function. I’m counting on the surgeon to do his part and the surgeon is counting on me to do my part! The Lord Jesus has given us new life. By His Spirit, He wants us to grow strong in the exercise of His grace in our lives.

For some of us the question becomes “Where do I begin?” Well, of the disciplines mentioned above here’s one thing you can do with others in our church - memorize. There will be monthly memory verses for you at the welcome center – even a nifty clear carry case to make things easier. Yes, it may be a little tough getting started – unused muscles can be a little sore at the beginning. One verse a month may not sound like a lot to you, but it’s a place to start! Don’t let the apathy of atrophy set in. Grab your verse for February and get started this week! Let’s do this together!

Atrophy of Grace, or A Trophy in Grace – you decide!



“A Prayer To Know A Love Surpassing Knowledge” Text: Ephesians 3:14-21
Pastor Bob Clark

DEACONS’ FUND OFFERING – Sunday, we will be collecting the Deacons’ Fund Offering for the Mercy Ministries of the Church.

SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR ALL AGES (Pre-K through Adult): Youth Classes for the following ages: Pre-K/K; 1st – 3rd Grade; 4th-6th Grade; Jr/Sr High & Adult Sunday School.

COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY – Our congregation can help! For the SOUPER BOWL of CARING, we will be collecting soups, canned foods, cereals, and any other non perishable foods that you enjoy. All donations will be given to the local Community Food Pantry. They have been providing healthy food to 550 – 600 people each month. The next two Sundays, February 11th & 18th, place donation items in the marked box in the church foyer.

TUESDAY MORNING LADIES BIBLE STUDY – This overview of the Old Testament led by Pastor Bob Clark, meets Tuesdays from 8:30-10:00 a.m. in the church fireplace area.

THURSDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY – This study will meet again on February 15th, from 6:30-7:30pm. at the church office. We are viewing the DVD series "Dust to Glory: An Overview of the Bible" by R. C. Sproul. The study meets every other Thursday night.

LADIES MONDAY NIGHT HEBREWS STUDY – On Monday, February 17th, we sill being a new study, “Better, Study of Hebrews”. Join us on Monday’s from 6:30-8pm in the home of Lori Fowler (3800 Delwood Lane) Please contact Lori Fowler to order your book if you would like to join in.

CHOIR REHEARSAL – The choir will rehearse on Wednesday, February 21st at 7pm at the church.

CIRLE U – We have food pantry at Circle U on Saturday, February 24th from 1:30-4pm. Mark your calendar. Bring some friends and come and help! Contact Lori Fowler if you can make it or need more information.

BABY SHOWER – Ladies, you are invited to a baby shower for Joy Allen (Peter’s wife/daughter-in-law to Michael and Beth) at the Mansion House, 214 E Main St, Centerville, on Saturday Feb 24th at 11:30 am. Lunch will be served. Joy is registered at www.myregistry.com. Hosted by Beth Allen, Jaimee Allen and Pat Bane. RSVP by Feb.20 to Beth at bethallen87@gmail.com or 765.969.0656.


Tuesday Morning Ladies’ Bible Study, Old Testament overview, led by Pastor Bob Clark, meets 8:30-10:00 a.m. in the church fireplace area.

Ladies Exodus Bible Studies – Mindy Deckard is facilitating the study on Wednesday afternoons. This study meets from 12noon-1:30pm at Kari Harrington’s home (12 Parkway Lane) Bring a lunch. Please RSVP to Kari Harrington if you would like to attend.

Ladies Monday Night Hebrews Study On Monday, February 17th, we sill being a new study, “Better, Study of Hebrews”. Join us on Monday’s from 6:30-8pm in the home of Lori Fowler (3800 Delwood Lane) Please contact Lori Fowler to order your book if you would like to join in.

Inspire – The Next INSPIRE meeting will be held March 8th from 6:45pm -8:45pm in the CPC foyer (350 Henley Rd. Richmond, IN) Dessert & 2 speakers: 1 sharing a Practical focus & 1 sharing part of "Her Story" a testimony of God's faithfulness in her life. Fellowship, Connect, Discuss & Pray. All ladies of the church in high school or older are invited to attend the INSPIRE events.


The mission of the Christion Church is found in the Great Commission. In Matthew 28:18–20 Jesus instructs the corporate body to make disciples of non-believers, baptize them, and teach them God’s ways. Only then will we see more people in fellowship, more people educated in the truth, and more people praising God. When this happens God will receive greater glory.

Authority Christ having authority over peoples and nations was not an original idea and was likely used by Jesus to cause the Jews to think of Daniel 7:13 and its declaration of dominion and glory over “peoples, nations and languages.” Christ had earlier declared authority had been given to Him by the Father (Matt. 11:27), but in the Great Commission the authority to teach is passed from Christ to His disciples for the first time. The disciples and the corporate Church are now endowed with the great authority given to them by Jesus Christ. This gives great boldness and confidence to the Church and the disciples knowing God’s plan will be fulfilled through their actions.

Go The Church must go out into the world. The Church must travel where the lost reside. Even in this technologically advanced age a disciple can’t be made over the internet or only by phone. The Church must go and must send disciples out into the streets and into the jungles to reach the lost. The going action is presupposed by the making of disciples. Disciples cannot be made unless someone has gone.

Make Disciples The making of disciples is an active process that the Church must participate in. It is not only a believer or two who disciple for a season, but the entire Church is to continuously participate in making disciples—across the street and around the world. While great glory can come to God by showing a film or handing out tracts, that is not disciple-making. If a person raises their hand, comes to the front of the church or says a prayer, the work has only just begun. Disciple-making is a hard, lengthy, and messy process. Disciples are made, not born. No Christian is given a pass on making disciples and no church exempt from this corporate mandate. Of this verse David Platt preached, “This is huge. Biblically, to be a disciple is to make disciples. Scripture knows nothing of disciples who aren’t making disciples.”

All Nations Jesus’ earthly ministry took place in Israel. Now, His Bride is called to go outside Israel and disciple the whole world. The central focus for the disciples at the time Jesus spoke was to no longer focus only on Israel, but to include the Gentiles in their mission. This was a shift from Christ’s previous instructions and would have been a great shock to His disciples. As the Church today, we are to disciple all people groups, all languages, and all nations. No people group is to go undiscipled.

Baptize Washing and baptizing is a near constant theme throughout all of Scripture. The Church in the wilderness was “baptized into Moses” (1 Cor. 10:2). The post-ascension disciples baptized as they went (Acts 2:38). Paul called for baptism in his epistles (Tim. 3:4–7). Baptism is a rite of washing, in the name of the Trinity, and signifies and seals the covenant of grace. Baptism is the way a new disciple is called to publicly display His relationship with Christ.

Teaching Jesus commands the Church to teach new disciples, “all that I have commanded.” That is a staggering volume of information. While showing films, short-term mission trips, and mercy ministry play a part in missions, the reality is teaching God’s ways is a long, very labor-intensive process. The missions ministries of church planting, discipling, and theological education are where this aspect of the Great Commission is to be fulfilled. In relation to the significance this command carries, it is under-represented in global outreach.

End of the Age When should the Church stop going to the nations and making disciples by teaching and baptizing them? Not until the end of time, or as some have stated, until Jesus returns. Based on this, the Great Commission is something that should keep the Church and its disciples busy for a very long time.

Our Mission The Great Commission is given under the banner of the authority of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus’ authority is universal, the command must also be thought of as universal. All churches are to go to all people to teach the whole gospel. Charles Spurgeon said of the Great Commission, “This is the perpetual commission of the Church of Christ; and the great seal of the kingdom attached to it, giving the power to execute it, and guaranteeing its success, is the King’s assurance of His continual presence with His faithful followers.”

God’s Great Commission should not be thought of as optional, but compulsory. Not every church is required to reach every nation, but every church must play a part in discipling the nations. The lost soul across the street will go to the same hell as the lost soul in the jungles of Africa.

The Great Commission is a mandate from a merciful God to His faithful Church to disciple the lost by going into the world and baptizing and teaching them to obey His commands. Matthew 28:18–20 requires an obedient church with disciples who are willing to avail themselves for God’s glory. The result is the compassion of God spread to the elect.

Mike Pettengill served in Honduras and Equatorial Guinea, and now serves as the director of the MTW West Coast mobilization center.



We would like to recognize your birthdays and anniversaries.
Please add your family’s special dates to our list by sending them to the church office office@knowingchrist.net or call 765.966.4017



1 Ed Gallo

3  Kris Hubbell

4  Mindy Deckard

4 Tom Deckard

8  Jane Robinson

9  Mike Luker

11  Kim Pratt

12  Jon Pfeil

13  Kayla Owen

14  Bill Kehlenbrink

18 Michael Gifford 

 18 Ruth Williamson

20  Kim Gray

21  Olivia Pfeil

22  Diane Angilella



17 John & Debbie Gentry 

 Christ Presbyterian Church  -  (765).966.4017  -  350 Henley Rd. Richmond, IN 47374  -  Office@KnowingChrist.net