Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New series, Still need a title and praying for missionaries

This week we kick off an all new series called, "A.K.A. God." Yes, I will be speaking again. I took a much needed 3 weeks off of speaking for the first time in almost 5 years and it was a great break. I spent all of my 'free time' working on the children's wing and tending to child #4. Man I feel refreshed. Actually I do feel good and I'm still looking for a title for our fall series. If you have an idea, please post it. I've recieved some pretty good ones so far but I'd like them to be posted rather than by simply e-mailing me. (so that others can see too) I will choose one within the next 2 weeks and even if I don't use your exact title but I take your idea, you get the $25 gift card to the place or restaurant of your choice. Also, Bob & Jeanette did a great job sharing this past Sunday during the flood. Crazy weather! I'm really inspired to spend more time praying for the missionaries that our church supports. I hope that you'll take some time to pray for those that are in other countries sharing their lives with lost people. That's it for today, have a great one!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Help, I need a name for our new Series this Fall!

In just a few weeks we will begin our new fall line-up of small groups and various ministry opportunities and outreaches. We will kick it all off on Sunday, Sept. 9th at 10 a.m.! I am working on a new series that will help teach us how to deal with difficult circumstances and people the Bible way. We will have special guests Jon, Kate & family from the reality T.V. show on Discovery Health and TLC called "Jon & Kate plus 8." On that week we will be talking about what to do when life doesn't go as planned. Google them and check out their story if you're unfamiliar with their show. We will also be opening our newly re-designed children's wing on that day! All I need now is the name of the series so that I can begin to promote and market it. That's where you come in. My ideas are, the dummies guide to life and relationships & survival guide to 21st century living. I don't particularly like either of them but you have to start somewhere. Please post your ideas and if I choose yours I will give you a $25 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice. Let the creative juices flow! Remember, the theme is how to deal with difficult people and circumstances.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Update on Bob Rapp

Today at 3:25 p.m. my friend Bob Rapp went to be with the Lord. This morning at around 4 a.m. he had a blood vessel burst deep in his brain. Sherry called 911 and he was rushed to Lancaster General Hospital. There was nothing that the excellent staff and doctors were able to do because of the proximity of the rupture and he passed at some point during the day. He was on a breathing machine so his death was not pronounced until later in the day after they ran some final tests, but we believe he passed much earlier. Our church family was amazing and so many came and were with Sherry through this difficult day. You know who you are and thanks for being the body of Christ and good friends! Please keep Sherry and her family in your prayers! I'm not sure yet in regards to the details of the time/date of the service we will have in celebration of Bob's life but hope to e-mail and post it sometime tomorrow afternoon. Bob was a wonderful man of God who touched many of our lives and will be missed! More to come...

Monday, July 23, 2007

PREMONITIONS

I watched a pretty weird and interesting movie last night with my wife called Premonition. It was all about a lady that saw something terrible happening before it really did. She tried desperately to change what she believed would happen. The word according to Websters dictionary means... 1 : previous notice or warning : FOREWARNING 2 : anticipation of an event without conscious reason : PRESENTIMENT The Bible is full of premonitions if you will (a better term might be prophecies) that foretell a bleak future if change doesn't occur. I currently am having a premonition about the community in which I live. I can see that if I don't change and if our church doesn't continue to change what we care about, people will continue to die without the knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ. Do you have a premonition about people in your life that are heading toward a negative future? Is so, what are you willing to do about it. I end with this great quote for you to consider, "In order to reach the people no one is reaching, we have to do the things no one is doing."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bull Running And Living Life



I just finished reading an interesting article a few minutes ago. Two brothers were speared during the annual running of the bulls craziness in Madrid, Spain. One of the bros. recently overcame cancer so each year they look to do something exciting. This year they got a little extra excitement courtesy of a really big bull. Great story, great faith. Regardless of what you think of these guys, they decided to take a stab (bad pun)at taking a step of faith. Most of us (including me) don't normally step out and do risky things & have great faith because...well...the picture above. Risk can equal pain. It reminds me of the story of Rack, Shaq & Benny (the names have been changed in honor of veggie tales) in the book of Daniel. These guys were so brave, they had so much faith. Kinda. They are the story that I've heard all of my life that encourages followers of the one true God to stand up and believe against all odds knowing that God will come through no matter what. They had superhuman faith and simply believed they would make it without a doubt. They were fearless as all great people of faith are, right? The King was pretty ticked (read the story for the context) at their disobedience for not worshiping him and he ordered them to be burned alive. Here's what they said in response in Daniel 3, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." They were going to run against the bulls regardless of the odds I guess you could say. One interesting thought though. They weren't so sure they were going to make it, but they followed God along the path anyway. What path of faith is God calling you to take this week that you're not so sure you want to? If you're afraid, do it anyway! If you don't outrun the bull, at least you'll have a great story and no regrets!

Monday, July 9, 2007

How To Be Driven By Eternity

This past weekend we talked about the fact that we will all stand before God. Those that are Christ-followers will stand before what the Bible calles the Judgement Seat of Christ. We will be rewarded based on what we do for Christ. Thinking about that reality, it helps me put into perspective how I need to live my life. I took alot of my notes this past week from a great book by Bruce Wilkinson called, "A Life God Rewards." If you are interested by this topic, it's an easy read and a great book. Below are the things that God will judge us for and how He will judge us. I'd encourage you to consider each item on this list and allow the Holy Spirit lead you an guide you to make a difference for both now and eternity.

What will you be rewarded for?

1. WORK to make your employer successful.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Ephesians 6:5-9

2. WORSHIP the Lord through prayer, fasting, praise, and worship.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6

3. HELP those in urgent need—the poor, widows, orphans, and prisoners.

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. Titus 3:14

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25

I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. Mark 9:41

4. LOVE and encourage your spouse and family.

4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 5:4,8

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. 20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Colossians 3:18-20

5. MAKE DISCIPLES of everyone.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. John 4:35-36

6. SHARE your finances and resources with others.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother[a] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29

7. SERVE and follow Christ with your whole heart.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16:24-27

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58


Your work will be tested by fire in these 3 ways (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)

Test #1- Relationship--I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Test #2- Integrity or Motive--"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Test #3- Love--If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Newsworthy stuff

There is so much stuff out there that really isn't newsworthy. For example, a new world record holder for Nathan's hot dog eating contest. Anyone else find it troubling that people are starving around the world and we're celebrating some goof ball eating mystery beef hot dogs? Or the other newsworthy item of the day. Headline, little girl gets small intestines sucked out while in a pool. There are so many things that I don't want to know about that story than what I would want to know. To help rescue you from weird, scary & un-newsworthy stuff, I have todays post.
We were able to give $1,000 2 weeks ago to our loved ones that are doing important missions work in Grenada. Give it up for Freedom Life! You guys rocked it and stepped up! Be praying that God will use the team in an awesome way to encourage the churches and reach lost youth! You can keep up to date with the team at www.myspace.com/teamgrenada. Now that is newsworthy! Make today the best day of someone else's life!