Monday, September 1, 2014
I wanted to take a moment to invite you to a special evening workshop for worship teams and church leaders that we will be hosting on September 30, 2014. Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff and her team will be sharing wisdom and insight on how to build and lead an effective worship team. Regardless of the location or size of your church, it will inspire you to dream bigger! This intimate setting is perfect for teams to gather, learn and grow together. I believe that this will be well worth your time and will help you take your worship ministry to a whole NUTHA level!
For those who are interested, Cindy, along with her husband Marcus, will also be hosting a Night Of Worship the following evening (Wednesday, October 1st) at our monthly 1st Wednesday service at 7p.m at Freedom Life. We would love to have you join us for this as well. If you intend on bringing a group for the service, please email email@example.com so that we can ensure seating for you.
We look forward to seeing you!
Worship Team And Leadership Workshop With Lakewood Church's Cindy Cruse Ratcliff And Team
447 Noble Road
Christiana, Pa 17509
6:30-6:45 PM: Worship With The Freedom Life Team
6:45-7:15 PM: Session #1- Cindy Ratcliff
7:15-7:30 PM: Break
7:30-8:30 PM: Session #2- Panel Discussion/Q&A With Cindy And Her Team
COST: Free. Come And Be Encouraged And Grow With Your Whole Team!
REGISTER: click here (this event is free but we do ask that you let us know that you are attending so that we can properly host you)
Cindy Ratcliff Bio - GMA Dove Award Winner, Christian music artist and songwriter
Cindy Ratcliff’s music career was launched at the early age of 6 when she began touring with her parents and older siblings as the youngest member of “The Cruse Family”. Not long after, she became the youngest licensed ASCAP songwriter, at the age of nine and went on to sign w/ CBS Records at age 19.
Known to many as America’s Worship Leader, Cindy has served as the Director of music and is the senior worship leader for Joel Osteen & Lakewood church. Through this platform, Cindy enters more than 100 million homes weekly singing and sharing her music with viewers in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Korea, China and Africa. The program was voted the No. 1 most watched inspirational program in America.
Cindy has also recorded several live worship albums with Lakewood, as well as, a collaborative Christmas CD with The Houston Symphony. After the success of her critically acclaimed solo album “Twenty Three”, she released her sophomore project, “Heaven Raining Down” in the spring of 2014 through her label RPM Music, in collaboration with Capitol and L.A. based Dream Records. The new CD climbed to #2 on the Billboard Music Charts and is gaining popularity around the world.
Cindy’s enjoyed performing in such iconic venue’s as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, Yankee Stadium, O2 and Wimbley arena’s. In addition to her US events, she’s also enjoyed recent tours to such nations as the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, The Philippines and South Africa.
Cindy is excited to be performing once again in NYC this December, at Carnegie Hall, with award winning composer and conductor Tim Janis to benefit The Golden Hat foundation.
Cindy lives in Houston, Texas with her husband Marcus Ratcliff. Cindy and Marcus have three children, Windsor, Merrick, and Emory, whom they consider to be their greatest treasure.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Special Announcement - Small Church, Big Dreams Roundtable With Zhenya & Vera Kasevich (of Hillsong Kiev)
I wanted to take a moment to invite you to a special round table that my team will be hosting on October 20, 2014 with Pastors Zhenya & Vera Kasevich. The Kasevich's comes to us with over 17 years of wisdom and from serving as the pastors of Hillsong Church in Kiev (& Moscow). They will be sharing wisdom and insight on how to build a life giving and flourishing church. Regardless of the location or size of your church, it will inspire you to dream bigger! This intimate setting is open to the first 50 registrants and I anticipate this filling up quickly. I believe that this will be well worth your time and will help you take your ministry to a whole NUTHA level!
For those who are interested, Zhenya & Vera will be speaking at our FaithWorks evening college open house, an initiative of Hillsong International Leadership College, later that evening at 7p.m. We would love to have you join us that evening as well. Don't hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org for any other questions that you may have about this day.
Look forward to seeing you!
Small Church, Big Dreams Roundtable - October 20, 2014
How To Keep Your Church Moving Forward
Register: click here
Shady Maple Cafe
835 Houston Run Drive
Gap, PA 17527
8:30-9:15AM: Check In
9:15-10:30AM: Session #1
10:45-12:00PM: Session #2
12:30-1:15PM: Q & A with Zhenya & Vera Kesavich
Zhenya’s uncompromising, yet always good-humored message inspires and challenges believers to apply all principles of God’s Word to their everyday lives, providing them with practical tools to live out their faith not only on Sundays in church, but throughout the week as witnesses of Christ to the world. The unrelenting theme of his sermons is the importance of living lives of significance for God’s Kingdom which is possible only with complete reliance on God’s power and faithfulness. His desire to see Christians reach their maximum potential and fulfill their purpose in God.
Zhenya and Vera Kasevich serve God together with their children Roman and Diana. They strongly believe that contemporary Christians can serve God as a family and enjoy life in its fullness.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
SOLOMON SAYS- 31 Days To A Smarter You!
Notes from part 2 of our series
How To Avoid The Trap Of Bad Words
Key Thought- There’s a miracle or a mess in your mouth.
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” —Proverbs 18:21
“…you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise.” Proverbs 6:2 (GWT)
“Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil . . .” —Psalms 34:12-13
The Bible says, “Let the weakling say ‘I am strong’” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Avoid The Trap Of Bad Words By Using Them As a Positive Force in Your Life
Solomon Says that our word have tremendous potential and influence in our everyday lives.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” —Proverbs 16:24
“Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted.” —Proverbs 11:11
“From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things.” —Proverbs 13:2
“The tongue of the wise brings healing.” —Proverbs 12:18
Six Things You Can Do To Use Your Words As A Positive Force
1. Speak to BUILD others up.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” —Ephesians 4:29
2. Speak without COMPLAINING or ARGUING.
“Do everything without complaining or arguing . . .” —Philippians 2:14
3. Don’t talk TOO MUCH.
“The more the words, the less the meaning and how does that profit anyone?” —Ecclesiastes 6:11
“Where words are many sin is not absent.” Proverbs 10:19
- Excessive talking wearies others
- Excessive talking will distract you from your responsibilities
- Excessive talking can cheapen your words
- Excessive talking will lead to sin
4. Speak without GOSSIPING.
“A gossip betrays confidence. . .” “A gossip separates close friends. . .” “Without gossip a quarrel dies down. . .” —Proverbs 11:13; 16:28; 26:20
5. Speak without CRITICIZING others.
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment.” Luke 6:37 (MSG)
6. Speak at the HIGHEST LEVEL of your FAITH.
“It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13
Monday, July 14, 2014
Solomon Says- 31 Days To A Smarter You!
Notes from part 1 of our series
“Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom.” — Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom- Is anointed common sense. It is KNOWING what GOD wants you to do and CHOOSING to do it.
The Consequences Of Not Having Wisdom: (see Proverbs 24:30-34)
- You will live a purposeless life. (Prov. 21:16)
- You will live a life marked by bad and foolish decisions (Prov. 10:21; 14:12)
- You will ultimately be destroyed! (Proverbs 1:23)
THE REWARDS OF HAVING WISDOM:
- Wisdom is the key that unlocks the FAVOR of the Lord in your life.
“For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” — Proverbs 8:35
- Wisdom causes a flow of RECOGNITION AND PROMOTION to come into your life.
“Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” — Proverbs 4:8
- Wisdom makes your ENEMIES helpless against you.
“For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” — Luke 21:15 4.
- Wisdom brings lasting WEALTH AND PROSPERITY.
“With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity . . . bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.” — Proverbs 8:18,21
THREE HABITS WISE PEOPLE BUILD THEIR LIVES ON:
1. The habit of ASKING GOD for more wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” — James 1:5
2. The habit of MEDITATING on the right things.
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)
*see Psalm 1, Joshua 1:6-9
3. The habit of adding the RIGHT THINGS and subtracting the WRONG THINGS in your life. 2 Peter 1:5-8, Colossians 3:5, Galatians 5:19-25
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The Bible tells us that Solomon, the writer of the book of Proverbs and son of King David, was the wisest and wealthiest man to ever live. Within this incredible book (Proverbs) is the wisdom that you and I need to succeed in every area of life! Consider taking the Solomon Says wisdom challenge with me this month. You are only 31 days away from a smarter you!
Solomon Says Challenge:
1. Read Through The Book Of Proverbs- There is one chapter for each day of the month. If you'd like to join via an online reading program, go to youversion.com or simply read through on your own. I pray that a proverb a day will become a life long (daily) habit for you. God invites you and I to grow wise each day as we get into His Word, the Bible.
2. Take The Tithe Challenge- The Bible asks us to give our first and our best back to God and He will bless the rest (Proverbs 3:9-10, Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:23). This first is the tithe, or “tenth” of our income. We return to the Lord 10% of what He's given us, because it belongs to Him. The tithe is a very practical and tangible way to put God first. If you are not tithing already, a great way to start is with the Solomon Says Challenge. Essentially, it's a contract based on the promises of God in Malachi 3:10-11. It is a step of obedience and guarantees the provision of God.
3. Ask Yourself The Best Question Ever- Learning from your past to embrace your future is vital to becoming wise. When the Bible doesn't seem clear, the best question that you can ever ask when you are unsure about whether or not God wants you to do something is this: "What’s the wisest thing to do in light of my past experience, my current circumstance, and my future hopes and dreams?"
4. Pursue Wise Counsel When Making Big Decisions- Solomon reminds us that “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14) Pride causes us to go it alone or to find people that will agree with the decisions that we know aren't wise. Continue growing in wisdom by seeking wise counsel.
5. Stay Connected To The Local Church- God desires that you would flourish in life. Solomon's father, King David, wrote this Psalm 92:13, "Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God." (NKJV) Hebrews 10:25 reminds us, "25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Wisdom for your life is connected to God's house. Stay connected when you are away via our online experience (click here) and get connected when you're here by taking your next step!
I believe that if you will commit to the wisdom challenge this month, you will not only avoid many of life's heartaches, but you will grow stronger and wiser in your faith. God invites you to grow in wisdom so that you can experience all of His blessings in this life. Solomon reminds us that, "20 Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square. 21 She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate: 22 “How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?" Proverbs 1:20-22 (NLT)
Are you ready move forward into the life that God has for you? Let's grow wiser together! Take the Solomon says challenge and I'll see you this weekend!
Sunday, June 15, 2014
In honor of Father's day, here are the top 5 free resources on the internet to help you grow in your faith and become a great Dad! Take a few minutes to invest into yourself. You are worth it and you have what it takes!
1. Pastor Dad- An short e-book with scriptural insights on fatherhood. click here
2. Xxxchurch.com- This website is packed full of resources to protect you and your family from the harmful effects of pornography. Years ago I downloaded their internet filter and accountability software for my smartphone, ipad and computer to guard my mind and heart. The best offense is a great defense. The generations following you and I are worth it! click here
3. YouVersion.com- This website has excellent plans to help you read and understand the Bible better. You can read or listen to the Bible via your smartphone as well as sign up for different devotional plans. Here's one of my favs... click here
4. AllProDad.com- Coach Tony Dungy helped launch this ministry that has excellent wisdom and tips for being a better leader, father & man. I follow them on twitter/facebook/instagram and browse their website because of their concise articles which are really helpful. I strongly recommend investing into yourself by doing the same! click here
5. Maximized Manhood- This book by Dr. Edwin Louis Cole helped me so much as a young man & it's helped dozens of men in the life of our church. His ministry sparked a generation and I believe will light a fire in your heart to rise up and become a man of God! click here
There it is. I hope that you'll consider investing into yourself. It's free. Takes minutes a day and it will help move your life forward as a man and a father... I know it has for me!
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
It's particularly odd getting older because no matter what I see in the mirror each day, I still feel young. I'm really thankful to be 40 years old and excited about the future. I'm not scared of dying or scared that I will go through a mid-life crisis. A mid-life crisis can happens when you wake up one day and realize that you created a life that you hate. The good news is that you can create a life that you love no matter what your age. You have the power to choose. Age also gives you the gift of perspective. The realization that your life can make a great impact. Anyway, since I am a voracious seeker of wisdom, I've learned some things over the years that have helped me become better. By better, I mean the best version of me that I can be. I hope that these thoughts will help you, whether you're going up the hill or are already over the hill.
1. Life Is Short And Life Is Long. I've married, buried and walked people through a myriad of issues over the years. Change is constant. The reality is that you will live about 25,550 days on the planet. The lie of youth is that you will always have tomorrow. The truth is that you have the potential for great a future, the other truth is that your future is coming at you fast. To live effectively, you need wisdom. Hindsight for perspective, insight for the present and foresight for your future. Everything that I have ever needed I've found in the Word Of God, the Bible.
"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
2. Your Greatest Power Is Your Power To Choose. God created you with the power to choose and create the life that you are living today. The difference between victims and victors is their choice. Your decisions really do determine your destiny. A series of wise choices can build your life and you can begin at any time. God has already given you the permission to succeed and be blessed in this life. He has great plans for your future, the choice is really up to you.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life…”. Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
3. What You Give Is Yours Forever. People are remembered for what they give, they are reviled for what they keep. When people speak at funerals they simply talk about what their loved one gave them. Things like time, money and encouragement. People that live with hands out, always wanting to receive, are rarely happy. People who live life with hands down, ready to give and serve, are always blessed. The truth is that it's not about the duration of your life, it's about the donation of your life. The only lasting investment is when you give to God's Kingdom for God's purposes. When you're truly generous, your world will increase, as well as your eternal reward. What you give is yours forever. I cannot think of one act of generosity that I regret.
"The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped." Proverbs 11:24-26 (MSG)
4. You Will Never Have A Positive Life With A Negative Mind. Negative thoughts disrupt God’s plan, steal your joy, peace and contentment in life. If your mind is filled with worry, insecurity, guilt, sadness, fearful imaginations and inaccurate assumptions, then your life cannot be filled with joy. Letting go of unrealistic expectations, bitterness and controlling behavior makes you a more positive person. It also empowers you to enjoy the life that God has given you. Negative and critical people are ultimately avoided and forgotten. When you choose to follow Jesus, you become full of genuine hope and faith because it is rooted in the promises of the living God! God's Word tells us to, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT) The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you. Your life really does follows your thoughts.
"Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)