Thursday, November 29, 2007

Don't miss this week!



I am currently finishing our series for this weekend and I hope that you can make it. Make sure to bring a friend for our special day and check out our website for the updates and our new newsletter.

A One Year Plan For Personal Growth

I was working on our 1 year plan for our church yesterday and as usual I was multi-tasking. I was listening to a podcast about personal development and why it is important and why it is spiritual. I'll put the notes below and why don't you join me in making a plan for your life this new year that will help you grow as a Christ follower.

One Year Plan For Personal Growth
Personal Growth Truths

Personal growth is necessary for Spiritual growth. (faithfulness and fruitfulness are both necessary)
Personal growth requires a plan. (ones mind once stretched by a new idea never goes back to its original form)
Personal growth precedes professional growth. (Growing organizations are lead by growing leaders)

*We need both knowledge and wisdom (Biblical wisdom and basic knowledge)

"We overestimate what we can accomplish in a few weeks and we underestimate what we can accomplish in a year."
Planning Your Calendar (When planning your calendar, go from big to small)

Annual
1. Abandon annually
-Vacation (abandoning annually, plan your vacations for the year now)
Monthly
2. Measure monthly
-mentoring (meet with someone who is further along than you, listen to a teaching)
-evaluation (personally review your month)

Weekly
3. Withdraw Weekly
-Your Day Off
-Reading Goals (Bible & various books)

Daily
4. Divert Daily
-Time with God
-Fitness
-Spouse
-Kids

Monday, November 26, 2007

The 'Our Daily Bread Devotional' for today!

Connected to our church website is a online daily devotional that we also have available in our church foyer called, 'Our Daily Bread.' I thought that is was really good, enjoy the bread!

I’m a news junkie. I like knowing what’s going on in the world. But sometimes the atrocities of life make me feel as if I’m a kid watching a scary movie. I don’t want to see what happens. I want to turn away to avoid watching.

God reacts to evil in a similar way. Years ago, He warned the Israelites that He would turn away from them if they turned toward evil (Deut. 31:18). They did, and He did (Ezek. 39:24).

The prophet Habakkuk had not forsaken God, but he suffered along with those who had. “Why do You show me iniquity,” he asked the Lord, “and cause me to see trouble?” (Hab. 1:3).

God’s response to His confused prophet indicates that even when evil obscures the face of God, our inability to see Him does not mean He is uninvolved. God said, “Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you” (v.5). God would judge Judah, but He would also judge the invading Babylonians for their evil (see Hab. 2). And through it all, “The just shall live by his faith” (2:4).

When world events cause you to despair, turn off the news and turn to Scripture. The end of the story has been written by our holy God. Evil will not prevail.
—Julie Ackerman Link


Lord, we praise You for Your displays of power in the
past and Your promises of victory in the future,
for they replace our fear of the world
with confidence in You. Amen.


Don’t despair because of evil; God will have the last word.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday's message, 'REMEMBER'

REMEMBER (this Thanksgiving Season)

Remember What?
 Remember that everything good comes from God.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17 (NIV)

Know that the LORD is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;  give thanks to him and praise his name.  5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalm 100:3-5 (NIV)


Remember Why?

Because We FORGET.

 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria.12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. 15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”  Luke 17:11-19 (NLT)

Remember How? 4 ways that we can thank God this week!
 
1.  BY SINGING TO HIM
 
            "Sing out your thanks to Him; sing praises to our God..." Ps. 147:7 (LB)
 
       "Shout with joy to the Lord.  Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before Him, singing with joy.  Acknowledge that the Lord is God!  He made us, and we are His... Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name... For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever...!"  Psalm 100 (NLT)
     
       About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Acts 16:25 (NIV)
 
 
2.  BY PRAYING TO HIM
 
            "Give thanks to the Lord and pray to Him."  Ps. 105:1 (NCV)
 
       "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:6-7 (NLT)

 
3.  BY GIVING TO HIM
 
            "Give an offering to show thanks to God.  Give Him what you promised."  Ps. 50:14 (NCV)
 
            "... your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."  2 Cor. 9:11 (NIV)
 
       "Celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honor the Lord your God by bringing Him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing He has given you.  Be joyful in the Lord's presence, together with your children..."  Deut. 16:10-11 (GN)
 
       "Now, our God, we thank You... These things did not really come from me and my people.  Everything comes from You; we have only given You back what You gave us... Lord, we have gathered all this to build your Temple.  But everything has come from You and everything belongs to You.  You test people's hearts and You are happy when people do what is right.  I am happy to give all these things, and I gave with an honest heart.  And Your people gathered here are happy to give to You too, and we rejoice to see their giving."  1 Chron. 29:13-16 (NCV)
 

 
4.  BY SHARING MY TESTIMONY ABOUT HIM
 
       "Thank the Lord!  Praise His name!  Tell the world about His wondrous love and how mighty He is!"  Isa. 12:4 (LB)
 
       "Be very careful to never forget what you've seen God doing for you.  May His miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives!  Tell your children and your grandchildren about the glorious miracles He did."  Deut. 4:9 (LB)
 
       "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God..."  Col. 3:17 (NIV)
 
       "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Th. 5;18 (NIV)


What do you need to thank God for this week? How do you need to do it?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Remember



First off, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Secondly, Do you ever have trouble remembering? This week we are going to talk about the importance of remembering to thank God for all that He has provided for us. We will learn about the 4 ways that God shows us in His word that we should use in order to thank Him. It's going to be a great week and I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Good Devotion That I Read Today!

As we head to thanksgiving I always think of God's goodness and how thankful I am that I am forgiven and free. It's a blessing to be able to receive forgiveness and also a great blessing to give it. Check out this devotional I read from Joel Osteen today and ask God if there is someone that you need to bless with forgiveness this week.

The Blessing of Forgiveness
Today's Scripture

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered” (Psalm 32:1, NIV).

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

The scripture is filled with keys to obtaining God’s promise of blessing. It says here in Psalm 32 that you are blessed when your transgressions are forgiven. God extends forgiveness to everyone, but we have to do our part to receive the forgiveness. We have to repent, or change our ways, with open hearts. The Bible also tells us that if we don’t forgive others of their trespasses against us, we cannot be forgiven. Is there anyone in your life today that you need to forgive? Is there someone who has hurt or wronged you? Make the decision to forgive so that you can walk in the blessing of God’s forgiveness for you. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t condone wrong behavior. It simply releases the person from the debt they owe you so that God can release you from the debt you owe from your own transgressions. When you make the choice to forgive and allow God to heal your heart, you will be able to receive His forgiveness for you, and you will walk in His abundant blessing all the days of your life.

A Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of blessing in my life. I open my heart to You and ask that You cleanse me of anything that isn’t pleasing to You. Search me and show me if there is any unforgiveness in my heart so that I can release it and walk in Your blessing for me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The winner is...stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut!

I was wondering how I was going to break my fast this past Sunday. I had considered it during the week leading up to the big moment and was undecided. We ended up traveling to Lancaster after the Sunday service to pick something up and opted for an easy meal that we could eat on the go while half of our kids were napping. It was a great pizza (stuffed crust) and a great 21 day fast. Here are some things that I learned or relearned from the fast these past few weeks.
1. I do not eat very well. I mean, I eat pretty well just the wrong stuff.
2. I am capable of eating healthy because I did it for 21 days.
3. I really didn't miss the sugar & junk food after the 2nd week and I am planning on adapting my diet to eat less.
4. Focused discipline is very good. Fasting helps to refocus your thoughts on God.
5. Your diet affects the way you feel which in turn affects every relationship in your life. Including your relationship with God.
6. I want to eat better, feel better and know God more.
7. If you can conquer the temptation of food, you can conquer any temptation.
8. When you think about God more and digest His word daily you recognize more clearly how He works in your life.
9. We have a great church and people really responded by participating in the fast.
10. Once I got rid of the junk out of my body, I began to desire things that were better for me. Obvious implications.

If you fasted at all these last few weeks, take some time this week to reflect on your experience. I really didn't want to stop I enjoyed it so much. I plan on picking a day within the next week or so that I will fast each week. If you are interested in joining me in choosing to do a weekly fast, let me know.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Physical Health gets Spiritual

Over the last 19 days I have been on a spiritual fast like many of you. It's amazing how our spiritual lives affect our spiritual lives and vice versa. I've lost 10 pounds so far and it has been an awesome last couple of weeks both physically and spiritually. I'm really excited to talk about an important topic this week... commitment! It's amazing what you can accomplish when you are committed to something.
One of the things I am committed to making you do today is laugh since you took the time to check out my blog. Click on the link below and enjoy! click here

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good Poem

This is a good day to go introspective I think. This poem was supposedly written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital . Or at least that is what the e-mail said, which of course I never believe forwarded e-mails, nor do I normally read them. Either way, this is a great poem and it's called, 'SLOW DANCE.'


Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,"Hi"

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Monday, November 12, 2007

7 more days...

This week is the last week of the Daniel Fast that we are doing here at our church. The discipline has been great and the food variation has been... interesting. I personally feel physically and spiritually stronger. I sense that God is up to some great things in my life and the life of our church. I've been enjoying hearing the stories of what God is doing in the lives of those in our church family. If you have been fasting, what has God been doing in your life? Go ahead and leave a comment. I think I figured out how to respond to the comments so I will actually comment on your comment. Did that make sense?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Teen Hires Hitman to Kill Parents After Being Grounded From PlayStation, Television

This goes along with our daniel fast discussion and the importance of prayer. This article shows the importance of having a vibrant and vital youth ministry here at our church. The battle for the hearts of our teens is real and we can win it one teen at a time. Read this article and let it trouble you and push you to pray for this generation. click here

Monday, November 5, 2007

The best monday of the year!

I love the Monday after the weekend we turn the clocks back. It is so much easier to wake up! I wish we could get an extra hour every week of the year. What if we did? What would you do with it? My answer probably doesn't sound 'spiritual,' but I'd sleep.
Thoughts anyone?
I'm really hungry for something other than vegetables and fruit right now as we head into week 2 of the Daniel fast. I've dropped about 5 pounds thus far. In honor of being sick of the food that I'm eating, I'd like to do some posts this week on my blog for recipes. If you have found some recipes that are good & different, please take a moment and post them and I'll e-mail them to the church family later this week. Also, I'm thankful that I have food, period. Can you imagine eating the same thing for all of those years like the Israelites did in the desert. Manna and Quail. I'm thinking, at least they had some meat & bread! It sounds pretty good to me!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Great devotional

I was reading some devotions this morning and I got a great devotional in my inbox from Joel Osteen Ministries. Check it out.

Honor the Lord with Your Body
Today's Scripture

“Honor the Lord with your body” (I Corinthians 6:20).

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

The Scripture says that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We are commanded to honor the Lord with our bodies. How do you do that? You take care of it. You respect it. You treat it as valuable. You use your body to bring Him glory. When you stand strong against temptation, you are honoring the Lord with your body. When you take care of yourself by eating properly and getting enough sleep, you are honoring the Lord with your body. You are saying, “Lord, thank You for this gift of life. I am choosing to take care of myself so that I can serve You with my whole heart, mind, and strength.” As we enter into this holiday season, remember to honor the Lord by taking care of your body. Enjoy the treasures of the season, but don’t allow the hustle and bustle of the season to rob you from simply enjoying the blessing of your friends, family, and loved ones. As you honor the Lord with your body, you will be strengthened and empowered by His peace. You’ll be able to stand against temptation and walk in love this holiday season and all the days of your life!

A Prayer for Today

Dear Father in Heaven, today I choose to honor You with my body. Thank You for the gift of life. Thank You for empowering me against temptation. Show me Your plan for me today so that I can honor You in everything I do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.