Our entire church leadership team will be going through a book called, "it." The book is written by one of my favorite Pastor/Leaders, Craig Groeschel, of LifeChurch.tv. Right now our church has "it," we are growing & significant life change is happening in the lives of those whom attend. There is a positive & life-giving atmosphere & the church is functioning as it should. (mostly :)) My passion is that our church will not only keep "it," but that we grow in "it" & give "it" away. Here are a few notes from what I shared. (adapted from the book "It") How many of you have walked into a church experience and it was … “dead?” And we all can name churches that have “IT,” churches that had “IT” and lost “IT,” and many churches that don’t have “IT.” So what is “IT?” I don’t know. I believe that God makes “IT” happen. It is by Him and for Him, and we can’t create it, manufacture it, put it in the bott
This past Saturday we had our bi-monthly leadership summit. Below are the notes of what I shared with our team as we head to the next level organizationally & as a church. The first part is a reminder that as much as we want to help people, there are some people that you can't help. 1. You cannot help someone who does not believe that they have a PROBLEM . Proverbs 26:12 (NIV) “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” 2. You cannot help someone who believes that YOU are their problem. (example- Pharisees & Religious Leaders that crucified Jesus) 3. You cannot help someone who desires a different OUTCOME then God does. Jonah 1:3 (NIV) “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish...” 4. You cannot help someone who refuses a SCRIPTURAL solution to their problem. Hosea 14:9 (NIV) “Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the
The new Hillsong United album, “Tear Down the Walls“, released today. Listen to the album straight through one time for free on my blog: a_CROSS // the_EARTH: Tear Dow... This is an awesome album & you can hear some of these songs each weekend throughout the summer at our church, Freedom Life. I know that as you listen, you'll experience God's presence so quit reading this & enjoy!
I just received a great devotional from Ed Young Ministries about how to get to heaven. It's so easy to slip into the mindset that we can somehow earn God's love. The truth is that we can only come to God & please Him by faith. Enjoy! Home For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Romans 3:28 When someone asks you the question, "How do you get to heaven?" what is your response? For many people, the answer is, "Just be a good person. Do the right thing. Keep your nose clean. And pay your taxes." What they are trying to say, basically, is that you can earn your way into heaven. But that's the wrong answer - you can't earn your way in. Even on your best days, you will never be "good" enough to get into heaven on your own merit. Thankfully, God has taken care of that for us. He knows that we've messed up. And that's why he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth to live a perfect
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT) The Story that God is writing can be summed up in three Acts (as in a play). Each act tells one part of the story that God is writing. The great thing about God is that He tells us not only about the beginning, but he tells us what the end will be as well! ACT I- PERFECT PARADISE Why Didn’t God Create A World Without Evil & Suffering? Answer: He did “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! Gen 1:31 “...In the middle of the garden he placed (a choice) the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil... The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Gen 2:8
Jon & Lauren are great friends of mine that have been severely tested by the issues of life. We shared their story this past weekend via this video and we closed the service with Lauren singing the song below. The Desert Song by Brooke Fraser This is my prayer in the desert And all that’s within me feels dry This is my prayer in the hunger in me My God is a God who provides And this is my prayer in the fire In weakness or trial or pain There is a faith proved Of more worth than gold So refine me Lord through the flames And I will bring praise, I will bring praise No weapon forged against me shall remain I will rejoice, I will declare God is my victory and He is here And this is my prayer in the battle And triumph is still on it’s way I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ So firm on His promise I’ll stand All of my life, In every season You are still God, I have a reason to sing I have a reason to worship This is my prayer in the harvest, When favor and providence fl
This is a re-post from edstetzer.com & is a fantastic reminder for every believer as we head into the summer! A Summer that Counts, by Philip Nation Seasons all have their official dates that are set by… well, I don’t know who sets them. But they all start on a specific day on my Blackberry. But then there is the other 99.9% of us whose lives are controlled by other factors. For many, it is the school calendar. Right now, the spring semester is ending and it’s the start of summer vacation. It is the glorious time of the year when children are home all day, vacations are taken, pools are visited, and then we look for something to do on the second week. Each spring, I hear people making plans for the perfect summer. They vow that this is the year they go camping with the kids, visit the grandparents more, and have more fun than anyone thought possible. Then the new school year rolls around and everyone wonders what just happened to the two months of perfection they had planned. T
"For all of them were trying to frighten (intimidate) us, thinking, "They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done." But now, O God, strengthen my hands. " Nehemiah 6:9 (NASB) All of have dealt with times where we lacked courage (dis-couraged) because of overwhelming issues in our lives. Discouragement leads us to depression and ultimately defeat. What is the difference between discouragement and depression? Very simply, depression is discouragement that has won. You will experience many discouraging times in your life and how you handle them will be vital to you fulfilling your destiny. Discouragement is very common, it can be recurring, and is highly contagious. I want to encourage to read the story of Nehemiah today in your Bible and see why Nehemiah became discouraged and how he overcame it. Here are some of the principles from the story. The reasons we become discouraged. 1. Just plain tired (physically, mentally, emotionally exhau
Have you ever wondered how the story and the gospel of Jesus Christ found it's way from a desert region to you right now? Whether you've heard the message of Jesus via radio, t.v., internet or a live service, it had to travel to you from somewhere! Take a moment to hear how this incredible story got from the middle of nowhere to you right now, click here. Don't ever forget that you are in the middle of history & the story that God writing at this very moment!
I'm thrilled to announce that our new addition, arriving in late September, will be a gir l! After 3 consecutive boys, the girls broke through once again in what will be the season finale. (in other words, no more children planned) My wife & I went in to get an ultrasound done this past Friday & we were hoping that we would be told to expect a "healthy baby girl." We doubted that it would be the case because I seem to be so good at making boys (FYI, it is the male that determines the sex). After receiving the news, we immediately drove to our friends house where our kids were anxiously awaiting the final verdict. I handed my daughter Mikayla a bag to open in front of the boys & we had a little girl doll & outfit awaiting inside. The kids were totally pumped, especially Mikayla, who is tired of not having a little sister! I love all of my kids dearly but I'm thankful that I will get one more little girl to enjoy! The pictures above are from
Tomorrow afternoon we will find out whether or not our little shocker (#5) will be a boy or a girl! We are perfectly happy with whatever God gives us but I would love to have another little girl. My current little girl (Mikayla, 9) feels that same way! There is no Vegas line or over/under but I'd love to have your vote & you can win a million dollars! Okay, maybe not but go ahead make your selection. Check out the Poll to your right hand side and let your voice be heard...
I recently followed a link to my old high school year book online. I haven't been able to find my year book for years and it was great to look back and see how goofy everyone looked. Especially me, although I'm digg'in my old hair... Absolutely hilarious! Enjoy laughing at my pic!
In honor of my good friend Butch (butchwise.blogspot.com), I am posting another Joel Osteen devotional. This is a great reminder that we choose the passion with which we live our lives! Regardless of what is going on in your life today, choose to have an attitude of gratitude & a heart of faith that the best is yet to come! Set your heart & mind today on the future & hope that God has for your life! TODAY'S SCRIPTURE “Set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth” (Colossians 3:2, AMP) TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria Have you ever been laying in bed in the morning and out of nowhere you’re reminded of all the mistakes you made yesterday and all the problems you have in your future? That’s the enemy trying to set your mind for a negative, defeated, lousy day, but you don’t have to fall into that trap. The Scripture says, “Set your mind and keep it set on the higher things.” This tells us t
Today I shared a special mother's day message with our church. We visited with 5 mom's from the Old Testament and imagined what they would say to us if we were able to speak with them today. I shared the verses that I believe would be their favorites and a thought that they would share with us if they had the chance. Take some time and check out some the stories of these amazing women and see what you think you can learn from their lives! MOTHER #1- EVE (Genesis 3 & 4) “BE CAREFUL HOW YOU THINK; YOUR LIFE IS SHAPED BY YOUR THOUGHTS.” PROVERBS 4:23 “THERE MUST BE A SPIRITUAL RENEWAL OF OUR THOUGHTS AND ATTITUDES.” EPHESIANS 4:23 THOUGHT - BE CAREFUL OF YOUR THOUGHTS BECAUSE THEY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD! MOTHER #2- JOCHEBED (Exodus 1 & 2) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." PROVERBS 3:5-6 "Cast your cares on the LORD and he w
Today was a big day in my life, I'm officially half-way to 70! I spent some time thinking about where I thought I'd be at 35. I've had a lot of dreams for the first half of my life ever since my teenage years. Here are a few random thoughts about what I thought my life would be like @ 35... -I thought that I would have more hair -I thought that I would have more money -I thought that I would be more mature :) -I thought that I would marry a hot, godly woman (& I did) -I thought that I would have 3 kids (& I do, plus 1 & 1 more on the way) -I thought that I would Pastor a relevant,vibrant & life-changing church (& I do) -I thought that I would be playing a lot of basketball (not happening, yet) -I thought that I would weigh less than I do! -I thought that I would be helping people experience the love of God (& I am) I look back over the last 35 years and I am thankful that God has allowed virtually all of my dreams to come to pass. I am blessed
Here are some thoughts that I shared with our churches MOPS (Mother's Of PreSchooler's) group tonight. If you have ever dealt with depression, this is for you. How can I defeat depression? Don't ever forget, that you are not alone! You are surrounded by help! Isaiah 41: 10 & 13. “Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand….For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear. I will help you.” Don't ever forget, that God's grace is enough. You are surrounded by grace! Romans 5:20, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” In the Bible a clear example of someone that was dealing with depression would be that of 'Elijah.' (read 1 Kings 19) He was a prime candidate for depression because he was physically tired, emotionally exhausted & someone was threatening his life. The Bible tells u