Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SOLOMON SAYS- 31 Days To A Smarter You! Part 2

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!

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

Take The Solomon Says Challenge This Month! 31 Days To A Smarter You!

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

Check Out These 5 Free Resources To Help You Become A Great Man & Father!

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

4 Truths I've Learned In The First 40 Years Of My Life

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)


Friday, April 11, 2014

"Genesis Week" -an excerpt from my upcoming mini-book!

Here's an excerpt from one of the "Small Book, Big Difference" mini-books that I'm currently writing. It's called, "Genesis Week- Creating A Life Worth Living One Day At A Time" and will be out this summer or eventually. 
____________________________________________________________  

“... God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life...”.  Psalm 51:7-15 (MSG)

On July 4, 2012, hundreds of thousands of people eagerly gathered in San Diego, California, to enjoy an 18-minute fireworks show that was advertised as one of the "biggest in the nation." People waited for hours for what was sure to be the best ever Big Bay Boom. Hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours had been spent on planning and preparing for this epic event. 

A few minutes before the anticipated 9 p.m. start time, the show began, unexpectedly. In one loud blast, all of the fireworks ignited simultaneously. The show lasted a mere 15 seconds! Apparently, a technical glitch caused all of this hard work to literally go up in smoke. Frustration and anger ensued as those thousands of people experienced what happens when plans don’t seem to work out. 

When I hear stories like the one that I just mentioned, it puts a smile on my face. Not because I like to see people experience failure. I guess it’s because it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one that makes plans that seemingly fail. Each of us has likely experienced the loss of invested time and energy because of a “technical failure.” 

Too often when these things happen, we allow them to determine our future decisions and, ultimately, our destiny. It is easy to shrink back in fear of failure after you royally screw up. I encourage you: Failure is not fatal and it is not final. 

San Diego hosted a huge fireworks show the following year. In fact, many said that it was their best one ever, and it went off without a hitch. The event planners didn't allow the previous year’s setback to hold them back.  

Don’t create a present and a future based on the failures of your past. You are not a failure. In Christ, you are a champion. 

Within the pages of this small book, I want to help you to make plans for a great future. I want to encourage you toward the greatness that God has designed for your life. God has designed good plans for your life (see Jeremiah 29:11). Isn’t it about time that you do the same?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Decade Of Destiny- Year 3, GREATER 2014

Freedom Life 2014 Vision Video from Freedom Life Christian Center on Vimeo.

Dream Bigger.  Start Smaller.  Ignite God's Vision For Your Life!  @StevenFurtick

The theme for year 3 of Decade of Destiny is, "GREATER," based on the best-selling book from Steven Furtick.  The Bible says in John 14:12, "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father (NLT)."   2012 marked the beginning of a 10 year vision for our church called, "Decade Of Destiny."  Since that time, God has been gracious to our church as we have witnessed hundreds of people make decisions to follow Jesus, dozens more baptized and powerful ministry occur in environments geared toward children, youth, young adults, married couples and people from all walks of life.  This past year was an exciting year of INCREASE for Freedom Life.  We expanded the reach of our church by adding a campus in Centre County that is now poised to reach a new community.  We reached thousands of people through our church plants, missionaries and outreach events.  One of those events was the "Night Of Hope" in Hershey, Pa with Joel Osteen Ministries.  Our church spear-headed that event and we partnered with Pastor Joel and witnessed multiple thousands of people stand to their feet to declare Jesus as Lord of their lives.  It was an incredible honor! Year 3 begins this year and we are prophesying a year of GREATER things over our church family.   To read more about our Decade of Destiny goals, click here.   Below are some of the goals that we have established as a church.

2014  GOALS AND STRATEGY

1.  Discipleship and Small groups:  We will strengthen our new small group and discipleship strategy.  This will enable us to help people grow more effectively in their faith as well as build greater community within our church family.  Next Steps coaching/classes and small groups will be offered weekly.

2.  Numerical growth: Break through 1,100 in weekly attendance as people get planted in God's House so they can flourish in life.  We will do this by further establishing our 3 locations.  We will prepare for additional services at Coatesville, Centre County and an additional campus in 2015.

3.  Salvations: Our goal is to see 1,000 people take their next steps in following Jesus this year in our community and all over the world!

4.  Church Planting/Missions:  We will partner with Freedom Valley to establish 10 church plants in the Dominican Republic. We will continue our missions support in Honduras, India, the North East (USA) and other parts of the world.  When you give towards our goal of $75,000 for missions, you are helping us accomplish this goal.

5.  Outreach and Community Care:  We will continue to develop our community care / outreach strategy for each location.  We currently give financially to various organizations, offer a food bank at our Christiana location that feeds dozens of families each month and a myriad of outreaches that impact people in diverse ways.   We will take these initiatives to A WHOLE NUTHA LEVEL to better serve our community and share the gospel message to each person within our reach.

5.  Financial:  Our faith budget will be $1,000,000+ for all of our locations. Through the sacrifice and dedication of God's people we will supply the vision that God has given us for this year.

6.  Decade Of Destiny Fund Goals: Our goal for this year is $300,000---$150,000 will go towards establishing our locations in Centre County and Coatesville, as well as preparing for our next site in 2015.  $50,000 will go toward supporting Pastor Jake and Kim Wood as they plant StoryLine Church in Denver, Colorado.  If raised, an additional $100,000 will go towards the proposed relocation that will be the site of our new strategic location for the future of Freedom Life (Christiana)! These monies will enable us to reach into surrounding communities with the message of hope in Jesus. Commitment Sunday will be on January 26, 2014! 

7.  Leadership Development:  We will increase our leadership level by growing our people with the vision.  To do this we will continue to offer FaithWorks Hillsong Extension College (www.FaithWorksCollege.tv)  on Monday evenings for enrolled students.  Our goal is to see 50+ students involved from all locations this year.  Our Growth Track classes will be available to every person in the church to help them move from an attender to contributor.  Growth Track will continue to meet weekly at all locations.  We will also have quarterly leadership summits for all of our volunteers and quarterly gatherings for all of our team leaders that will empower their leadership along with one on one mentoring.

9.  Media and Marketing:  We will invest into marketing and promotion to enable us to grow to the next level.  For years we have heard people say, "I didn't know this place existed or I would have been here sooner!"  We want to make it hard for people to go to hell in our community so we will be exploring new ways to reach more people through television, media, mailers, social media and so on.

10. Special Messages and Conferences:  We will continue to focus on special services / events / conferences that build peoples lives.  They include:  
  • Tangled Relationship Conference (February 21-22), Fight Men's Conference (March 28-29), Flourish Women's Conference (November 14-15) & many more outside of our church!
  • Quarterly Freedom Life United Services (combining youth and adults), 1st Wednesday Celebrations that combine all campuses to celebrate communion and be inspired by guest speakers.
  • Relevant Biblical series to help you grow such as:  HD Living:  A Study In The 10 Commandments (Feb 2- April 13), Life. Money. Hope. (April 27- May 18), God's Will Is Whatever (June) Solomon Says (July), Psalms (August), My Back Story (September) and more!

I want to invite you to be a part of something that is GREATER this year!  Our passion is to help people experience the freedom & life that only God can offer so they can become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.  If you that same passion, make a commitment to:

-Take Your Next Step.  Become a spiritual coach or become coached (discipled) through our Next Steps process.  (email NextSteps@FreedomLife.tv)
-Join A Group.  You need people and people need you to become what God has called you to be.   (click here)
-Join Our Dream Team.  Discover how to use your gifts to serves others by attending our Growth Track this week.  (click here)

-Give To The Decade Of Destiny.  Your gift can make the difference in someone else's eternity.  If you have a desire to become a Decade Of Destiny Partner, please contact our finance administrator at 610-593-5959 or email freda@freedomlife.tv to make your Year 3 pledge.