Sunday, December 14, 2014

LET IT GO, Part 2— How To Let Go Of Your Trouble

You Can Watch The Message Let It Go!  Part 2-  How To Let Go Of Your Trouble At Our Online Experience! (click here

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

THE TROUBLED HEART OF HEROD   (Matthew 2:1-3, 16)
  • INSECURITY  uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.  (John 8:14 / 1 Peter 2:9 / Isaiah 54:17 ) 
  • OFFENSE—  (skandalon)  a trap, snare, stumbling block  (Luke 17:1 / Proverbs 18:19 /  Mark 11:25 )
  • UNFORGIVENESS—  a grudge against someone who has offended you  (Matthew 18:21-22  / Luke 23:34 ) 
Key Thought— Forgiveness may not change the past, but it opens up an incredible future.  A future that is unhindered by your past hurt and pain, grudges, or regrets. Let it go and let God do something new!

HOW TO LET GO OF THE TROUBLE IN YOUR HEART

"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1 (NLT)

1.  Stop Making EXCUSES For Being So Sensitive.  (Ephesians 4:31-32)
2.  Let Go Of Your RIGHTS to be offended. (Proverbs 19:11)
3.  DECLARE Forgiveness Out Loud. (Romans 10:9, 1 John 1:9)
4.  Stop TALKING About It.  (Proverbs 18:21)
5.  BELIEVE That It Is Done And Don’t Look Back. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Key Thought—  Choose To Become Secure, Overcome Offenses And Forgive by FAITH —not be what you FEEL.  

“… but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”  Luke 2:10-11 (NLT)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Let It Go! Part 1- How To Let Go Of Fear

You Can Watch The Message Let It Go!  Part 1-  How To Let Go Of Fear Right Now At Our Online Experience! (click here
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

1.  ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE FEAR.

2.    UNDERSTAND THAT FEAR HAS POWER.

It CONSUMES your mind.  (Psalm 13:2) 
It CLOUDS your judgment. (John 12:42)
 It CONTROLS your life.  (Jeremiah 6:24) 

“I’ve been through some terrible times in my life, a few of which actually happened.” —Mark Twain

3.  RECOGNIZE YOUR GREATEST FEARS

Fear Of What GOD Is ASKING You To Do.  
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”  29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! Luke 1:26-30 (NLT)

"The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”  1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NIV)

“Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” Luke 1:38 NLT

Key Thought—  When responding to this fear, remember that the outcome is God’s responsibility but OBEDIENCE is yours.  Determine to trust God’s plans.

Fear Of What Other People THINK Of You. 

18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement[a] quietly.  20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,[b] for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18-21(NLT)

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Prov. 29:25

Key Thought-  Focusing On Pleasing God Often Means DISAPPOINTING People.  Becoming obsessed with what people think about you is the quickest way to forget what God thinks about you.  

4.   LET IT (FEAR) GO BY FEEDING YOUR FAITH.  

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:24
“ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

Key Thought- Fear will not DISAPPEAR but you don’t have to give it attention.  Feed your FAITH.


CLOSING QUESTION-  Have you been feeding your faith or your fear? Which of the fears mentioned today are holding you back from the future that God has for you? Isn’t it time to LET IT GO?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Potluck, Week 2- ONE (One Thought Changes Everything)

“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”  Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”  Proverbs 23:7 (AMP)

1.  One Wrong THOUGHT Can Keep Your  From Your God-Designed FUTURE.

*Read the following verses to discover that the Israelites believed something that was not true and it kept them from the promise of God for 40 years.  
Exodus 14:13 / Numbers 13:1-3; 25-32 / Joshua 2:8-1

The Perception Of Your Life Is Established By The Following:
  • Your Parents  
  • Your Past  
  • Your Physique  
  • Your Performance  
  • Your Peers  
2.  Right Believing Will RELEASE You Into Your Divine Destiny.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10 (NIV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

3.  You Have The Divine Power To CHOOSE.

"But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

4.  Release The Power Of Right BELIEVING By Choosing God’s THOUGHTS In His Word.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” ISAIAH 55:8-9 (NIV)

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NLT) 
  • The Word says you are WONDERFULLY created. 
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14 (NKJV) 

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb .… Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Psalm 139:13, 16 (NIV)

“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without ever wondering at all.” Augustine (399 AD)
  • The Word says you are created in the IMAGE of God.
“Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us... 27 So God created human beings[b] in his own image. In the image of God he created them male and female he created them... 28 Then God blessed them...”. Genesis 1:26-28

“... put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:10 *see also Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3, John 14:9, 1 Corinthians 15:49, Romans 8:29
  • The Word says you were created with PURPOSE and DESTINY.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:5   
  • The Word says that you are more VALUABLE than you can imagine.
“You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears” 1 Corinthians 7:23 (LB) *see also 1 Peter 1:18-19, Matthew 6:26; 10:31; 12:2
  •  The Word says that what’s true of JESUS is true of you! 
“Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” Romans 6:3-4


Key Question-  What Is ONE Thought That You Need To Change To Renew Your Mind?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Potluck Week 1- PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens)

Key Question-  What Have You Stopped Praying About?

13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.  16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.  James 5:13-17 (NLT)

• PUSH Thought #1-  To Often We Are Waiting On God When God Is Waiting On Us. (1 Kings 17:1-7) #PrayUntilSomethingHappens

“You do not have, because you do not ask.”  James 4:2 (ESV)

"Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word! 1 Kings 17:1 (NLT)

• PUSH Thought #2-  When It Looks Like Nothing Is Happening, Something Is Happening. (1 Kings 18:41-46)  #PrayUntilSomethingHappens

"Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!”  42 So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.  43 Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.” The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.”
Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. 44 Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’” 45 And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. 46 Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt[a] and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.”  1 Kings 18:41-46 (NLT)

• PUSH Thought #3-  Push Past Your Quitting Points.  (Romans 4:18-20)  #PrayUntilSomethingHappens

"18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”[a] 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.  20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. Romans 4:18-20 (NLT)

PUSH Thought #4-  Pray That God’s Plans Will Happen Through Your Life  (1 Chronicles 4:9-10) #PrayUntilSomethingHappens

“Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10, NKJV).

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”  Matthew 7:7 (NLT)

Key Question-  What Will You Start Praying About Today?

Our Prayers & God's Promises Have No Expiration Dates.  Don’t Just Pray For, Pray Through.  Never forget what the Bible says in Jeremiah 32:27, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" (NASB)


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fixing Us- Part 4— How To Get Your Marriage Unstuck


Marriage Myth: Married life is unhappy life.  The truth is that most marriages last.  Married people have more money, are happier, have better sex and live longer than single people.  (here is the link to the positive statistics mentioned, click here)
______________________________________________________

This week we are challenging every married couple in our church to go on a date each week.  Join us as work together to begin, "fixing us!"

Date Night By Design- (click here) *courtesy of MarriedLifeOnline.com  
The 11th commandment of a happy marriage should be, "thou shalt date your spouse."  

Counseling- Going to church is easier than going to a counselor but it's totally fine if you still need to see a counselor!  If that's you, email hope@freedomlife.tv and we will send you some referral options for your area.
                         ______________________________________________________ 

"Homes are built on the foundation of wisdom and understanding."  Proverbs 24:3 
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
  • VALUE TODAY BUT VISUALIZE TOMORROW TO GET UNSTUCK IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
“And without vision the people perish. . .” Proverbs 29:18
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” - Helen Keller 1880-1968 

4 Thoughts That Will Help You Take Your Marriage To A Whole NUTHA Level

1.  ENVISION The End.  

Your life and marriage will be shaped by your vision of what you believe it should be.  You have 5 days in your marriage, what are you believing for?

     5 Days Of Marriage

     1.  The day you meet.
     2.  The day you marry.
     3.  The day you have kids.
     4.  The day you have grandkids.
     5.  The day you bury your spouse or the day they bury you.

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

The word “goal” (skopos) literally means, “The distant mark looked at, the goal or end one has in view, to look into the distance.”

2.  Stay Full Of FAITH In The Present.   

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13 
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

3.  Remember That You Are On The SAME TEAM.

"And the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." . . . So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib (side) he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man." Genesis 2:18, 21-22
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church."  Ephesians 5:31-32

4. Take A Step Toward Changing Your Future (marriage) Today
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”  Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)

Key Question-  Day 5 is approaching!  Remember, momentum begins the moment that you take a step and begin to move forward.  What step do you need to take today?

Some of the stories and thoughts from this message can be found in my new mini-book called, "Momentum:  How To Keep Moving Forward When Life Seems Stuck." It is currently available on kindle (click here).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Take a moment & check out my first mini-book called, Momentum: How To Keep Moving Forward When Life Seems Stuck!

Need encouragement?  Feel stuck in an area of your life? Not much of a reader?  I'm pretty sure that I just wrote the perfect book for you!  It's a little (power packed) book that I believe can make a big difference in your life.  The title of the book is, "Momentum:  How To Keep Moving Forward When Life Seems Stuck." It is currently available on kindle (click here) or you can pick it up at each of our campuses beginning this weekend.  Within the pages of this little book, I share 5 thoughts that can transform your life and help you get unstuck no matter you may be facing!  Below is the introduction, enjoy!  


   


INTRODUCTION

The Chinese Finger Trap
The brilliant Albert Einstein once said:  “I don’t believe in combs.”  (I kid, I kid. Although he must have been, right? Have you seen his hair?)

What he really said was:

 “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We all have childhood memories of places we’ve gone on vacation, friends we’ve enjoyed hanging out with, and toys that provided countless hours of fun.
Some of my favorites included Nerf basketball, Atari, Operation, UNO, and G.I. Joe, to name a few. All of those toys were great, but looking back I can only think of one toy that I couldn’t put down, not because it was fun, but because it was so frustrating!

The toy was called the Chinese finger trap, and if you’ve never played with one before, shame on your parents for depriving you!

The Chinese finger trap - pictured on the front of this book - is simple. You place one finger into either end of this oversized, woven tootsie roll and attempt to remove them. When you start to pull away you suddenly realize that you’re trapped!

Funny how this little toy can cause a child, specifically yours truly, an irrational fear of having imprisoned, non-functioning fingers for the rest of his life.

The harder you pull back, the tighter the trap gets. And the tighter the trap gets the more you want to pull back! As a kid I experienced real moments of panic when I first started playing with this thing, wondering just what life would be like living with only eight fingers!

It was only a few years ago that I was studying for a message series on building holy momentum into your life when the Holy Spirit spoke to me in one of those oddly divine moments. I wasn’t quite sure what a Far East-inspired party favor had to do with living a momentum filled life. Then it hit me:

Momentum is all about movement.

The only way to get free from the Chinese finger trap is the only way to get free from whatever may be holding you back.

You have to push forward.

You can’t keep doing the same things over and over again and expect a different outcome. That’s what Einstein called “insanity,” remember?

This simple, yet powerful reminder was emblazoned in my heart in that moment, and it has stuck with me ever since.

Within the rest of the pages of this little book we’ll explore what this idea means because I believe it can make a huge difference in your life.

If you want to experience the freedom and life only God can offer through your one and only life, keep pressing on and never give up!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fixing Us, Part 3- Let's Get Ready To Rumble!


Marriage Myth: Married life is an unhappy life.  The truth is that most marriages last.  Married people have more money, are happier, have better sex and live longer than single people.  (here is the link to the positive statistics mentioned, click here)
______________________________________________________

This week we are challenging every married couple in our church to go on a date each week.  Join us as work together to begin, "fixing us!"

Date Night By Design (click here*courtesy of MarriedLifeOnline.com  
The 11th commandment of a happy marriage should be, "thou shalt date your spouse."  

Counseling- Going to church is easier than going to a counselor but it's totally fine if you still need to see a counselor!  If that's you, email hope@freedomlife.tv and we will send you some referral options for your area.
                         ______________________________________________________ 

(watch this message online now! click here)

"Homes are built on the foundation of wisdom and understanding."  Proverbs 24:3 

WHY DO WE FIGHT?
“For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”  James 3:16 (NLT)

Fights Within A Marriage Relationship Occur When There Are:
     -Unmet need
     -Unfulfilled expectations
     -Unresolved conflict 
     -Undeveloped self-worth

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don't they come from the evil desires at war within you?”  James 4:1 (NLT)

Key Thought- We fight when marriage becomes about “me” instead of “we.” 
“My lover is mine and I am his...”.  Song 2:16
"A man should fulfill his duty as a husband and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife, and each should satisfy the other's needs.”  I Cor. 7:3 (GN)

Dr. Willard Harley, in his book called "His Needs, Her Needs," identified through thousands of couples what causes failure within marriage.  When we fail to understand and meet one another's needs, unhappiness, affairs and divorce are more likely.  The following are the top 5 needs for men and women according to Harley.

The top five needs of most men are:
1.  Sexual fulfillment   
2. Recreational companionship
3. An attractive spouse
4. Domestic support
5. Admiration

The top five needs of most women are: 
1. Affection
2. Conversation
3. Honesty and openness
4. Financial support
5. Family commitment

HOW TO FIGHT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE

"If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." Mark 3:25
You are on the same team.  You are not enemies.  Treat one another like best friends and you will be.

Key Thought- We Have A Tendency To Judge Our Spouse By His Or Her Actions And Ourselves By Our Intentions.  Begin To Close The Gap Between Intentions And Actions To Fight For A Happier Marriage.

  • When You Think Something Good, SAY IT.   
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

Key Thought- Pursue her with words of affection. Pursue him with words of affirmation. 

  •  When You Think Something Special, DO IT. 

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.” James 4:17

Put into practice The Five Love Languages that were discussed last week. Choose to love them the way that they like to be loved today.  We give & receive love in the following ways: Acts of kindness, Words of affirmation, Physical touch, Gifts, Quality time.  Make the change!

  •  When You Want Something Different, BE IT.  

“Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Key Thought- To get what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done.  To get what you once had, you must do what you once did. (*see Revelation 2:5)

HOW TO FIGHT FAIR IN YOUR MARRIAGE

  •  Choose To Act And Not React.    

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

  •  Choose To Focus On The Good And Not The Bad.   

“…whatever is pure…lovely…admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are." ANAïS NIN

  • Choose To Talk And Not Walk. 

"Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."  Ephesians 4:26-27

Dr. Phil writes in his bestselling book, Relationship Rescue:  "… an interesting statistic shared by David McLaughlin in his wonderful series entitled The Role of the Man in the Family reflects that the divorce rate in America is at a minimum one out of two marriages. But the reported divorce rate among couples that pray together is about one in ten thousand. Pretty impressive statistic, even if you reduce it a thousandfold."  

Final Thought-  Pray for each other, pray over each other, pray with each other.  Prayer produces intimacy.  Prayer gives you the power that you need to love. 

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)