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Looking Back at Freedom Life! BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN, 2010!

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Our church is all about loving God, loving people & loving life! This year was an incredible year as we set our faith & goals high to impact our church family and the surrounding community. Our theme was "Believe That You Can," based on the scripture found in Phillipians 4:13, that says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Lost People Matter To God So They Matter To Us-  This year we have witnessed over 300 people make decisions to follow Jesus & we have baptized 70 in obedience to Christ!  We have supported 17 different missions organizations at both home & abroad with over $52,000.  We have assisted in planting churches in Cuba (4), India (1), Dominican Republic (1), Tulsa, Ok (1) & we are currently raising funds for Bridge Community in Downingtown, Pa.  This is the heart beat of our church.

Investing Into The Next Generation-  We have, on average, over 300 stude…

The Me I Want To Be- Part 5

“... I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

HOW TO KEEP HOLY MOMENTUM!
"So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites..." Exodus 1:11-12

The more that the devil comes against you, the more God wants to establish & prosper you! Below are 5 momentum builders that will help you become what God has called you to be!

1. Life giving FRIENDSHIPS & PARTNERSHIPS.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.” Psalm 1:1
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
2. Positive WORDS & Positive PERSPECTIVE.
“But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and nigh…

THE ME I WANT TO BE- PART 4

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“A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26

DO YOUR FRIENDS PULL YOU FROM FROM YOUR DESTINY? JOHN 5:1-13 (Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man)
DO YOUR FRIENDS PULL YOU TOWARD YOUR DESTINY? MARK 2:1-12 (Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man)

5 THINGS THAT YOU NEED FROM YOUR FRIENDS

1. FULL OF WISDOM FROM GOD.
 “BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes],
“He who walks with the wise will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20
2. FULL OF PASSION FOR GOD.
“...nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk,...”
“Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Cor. 15:33
3. FULL OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOU.
“...nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. 2But his de…

The Me I Want To Be- Part 3

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We all make declarations over our lives. Often times we allow what others have called us to get on the inside of us & determine how we view ourselves. It is true that, ”The tongue has the power of life and death...” Proverbs 18:21 (GWT)

Regardless of what others have named you over the years or what has been said about you, your heavenly Father has declared good things over your life & your future!

DON’T LET THE WRONG PEOPLE NAME YOU
God chose to alter the future of Abram because of his faith & name him Abraham, the father of many nations. Abraham's name reflected the declaration that was made over his life in faith. God called his one & only son Jesus, declaring him to be the salvation of the world. His name declared what his destiny would be. Whatever God names you, you are!

KNOWING WHAT GOD CALLS YOU WILL SET YOU FREE.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children o…

The Me I Want To Be- Part 2

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THE ME I WANT TO BE- PART 2, Renewing Your Mind
"Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts." Prov. 4:23 (GN)
"Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution so that you can put on the `new self' that has been created in God's way ..." Eph 4:23-25 (Jer)

God Has Given You A New Spirit, But You Must Renew Your Mind
When you believe, you become born again! John 3:3
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17 (NKJV)
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Rom. 12:2 (NLT)
Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Preprogrammed Thoughts Control Our Lives More Than We Realize
SPIES RESPONSE TO THEIR GIANT- “W…

The Me I Want To Be- Part 1

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Your life is a gift waiting to happen!
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Understand this about you!
-You have been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)
- God breathed the breath His life into you (Genesis 2:7)
-God formed you from the beginning (Jer. 1:5) & you are fearfully & wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

“God knew- what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the SAME lines - as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. - We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.” Romans 8:29 (MSG)

We all struggle with...
The me I don’t want to be
The me I pretend to be
The me I think that I should be
The me that other people want me to be
The me that I’m afraid …

Who's Kidding Who? Pt. 2- The Kid Lid

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Part 2- The Kid Lid
“What’s Pouring Into Your Child’s Heart & Life?”
“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and
my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-17

*Click here to read PROVERBS 24:30-34- This passage is a reminder that if you're lazy, you'll experience poverty. This translates into parenting as well. If you're to busy to parent your child, there is a great chance that they will not become all that God has called them to be.

LEAD YOUR FAMILY. In the book of 1 Samuel we learn that Eli was a priest that did not lead his home. His children would follow his lead in stealing from God and not honoring Him with their whole heart. They had no…

How To Move From Kid CEO to Parent CEO, Pt.4

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Yesterday we learned that having consistent discipline is God's design for the family. One last time, the flow of the home looks like this: God --> Husband/Wife --> Child. We discovered that real parental love is present only where there is consistent discipline. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 26:12, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Today, you need to develop a vision for your family with structure that is strategic! The final letter in the K.I.D.S. acrostic is "S" & it stands for...

Structure that’s STRATEGIC.

“He (God) will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Matt. 6:33


Children scream for structure! According to family expert Gary Smalley, "Study after study has demonstrated that children need boundaries in order to grow up with a healthy sense of stability and security." In other words, good old fashione…

How To Move From Kid CEO to Parent CEO, Pt.3

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As we discovered yesterday, having a parent-centric household with intentional intimacy is God's design. Remember, the flow of the home looks like this: God --> Husband/Wife --> Child. We discovered that we must keep doing the things that won our spouses heart in order to keep our spouses heart. This week we're using the ever-clever acrostic, K.I.D.S., to learn how to do just that. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 26:12, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”You need to have a vision for your family which means you need to have a plan for DISCIPLINE! The next letter in the acrostic is "D" & it stands for...

3. Discipline that’s CONSISTENT.
Discipline is simply correction driven by love. When it comes to discipline, it needs to be consistent and parents must be in agreement. The Bible stresses the importance of discipline over and over again. Here are two examples:

“Discipline your children …

How To Move From Kid CEO to Parent CEO, Pt.2

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As we discovered yesterday, having a kid-centric household is not God's design. In God's design, the flow of the home looks like this: God --> Husband/Wife --> Child. We discovered that the foundation of the home is to keep our lives grounded in God's Word & His House. This week we're using the ever-clever acrostic, K.I.D.S., to learn how to do just that. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 26:12, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”You need to have a vision for your family which means you need a vision for your marriage! The next letter in the acrostic is "I" & it stands for...

I- Intimacy that’s INTENTIONAL.

Revelations 2:4-5 says, "But I do have something against you! And it is this: You don't have as much love as you used to. Think about where you have fallen from, and then turn back and do as you did at first.” While this scripture is in reference to a church that h…

How To Move From Kid CEO to Parent CEO, Pt.1

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How to move from Kid CEO to Parent CEO, Part 1

Have you ever stuck your head out of the car window while driving 55mph? If you have, you now know that you were in for a really bad hair day! Not only that, you would be sucking in more oxygen than you could possibly handle all at once. You need oxygen, but too much can be bad and potentially suffocating! Parents, we need to give our kids attention, love, and care. In doing so, we need to make sure that they aren't the focus of the entire house. Having a kid-centric household is not God's design. In God's design, the flow of the home is God --> Husband/Wife --> Child.

The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 26:12, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” You need to have a vision for your family. If you don't, you'll never experience all that God has for you & your children! One of my favorite leaders in all the Bible declared this, “As for me and …

Thoughts from Wave Conference 2010

I went with a team of about 20 people from our church to the 2010 Wave Conference in Virginia Beach last week & it was awesome! Every single one of us left with God encounters that significantly changed & challenged us. It's much like going to an awesome youth camp, but for adults. :-) Pastors Steve & Sharon Kelly & their team (wavechurch.com) always do a tremendous job in creating environments that produce life changing experiences. Wave Conference, much like Hillsong Conference, is designed for the entire family which is an awesome blessing. I'd recommend anyone wanting to grow their church or grow their lives attend next year. (waveconference.com) I wanted to share a few thoughts that stood out to me from the various speakers. Most of these quotes are without context, so keep that in mind. Words can't describe what God deposited into my heart & our team in those few days... but I'll give it a shot.

WAVE NETWORK PRE-CONFERENCE
Speaker- Gary…

Disciple, Part 1

Today we started a new series called, "Disciple," that I adapted from Rick Warren's recent Radicalis conference. The question that I'm answering is this, "What does it mean to be a disciple?" The reality is that many people claim to be followers of Jesus Christ but simply don't understand what that really means. Jesus taught 6 expectations that He has for people that claim to be his followers, his disciples. Here are the notes below.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A DISCIPLE?

“Go and make disciples…” Matt. 28:19

“As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. "Come, be my disciple!," Jesus said. So Matthew got up and followed him.” Matt. 9:9 (NIV)

Greek word for disciple- mathetes; a learner, pupil, disciple, follower.

1. I MUST SPEND TIME WITH JESUS.
“IF you want to be my disciple you must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And IF they follow me, the Father will honor them.” John 12…

Are You Ready To Grow Spiritually?

Over 400 people have made first time decisions or recommitments to follow Christ in the last 18 months!!  If you are one of them, CONGRATS!!You’re at the very beginning of a new life-- one filled with grace, peace, and joy that can only come from knowing God.  You’re invited this June to take part as we are launching a weekly new believer’s class called, “Fresh Start With God.”  This class 4 weeks in duration & will meet each week during the first service & you can join at any time.  It will encourage & empower you as you learn to follow Jesus Christ!  The Bible tells us to “Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be — you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean.”  Psalm 32:11 (MSG)  When you make a commitment of your life to Jesus, not only is your “slate wiped clean”, you also get a “fresh start” – a new lease on life.  This class is designed to help you have a good start to your fresh start.  During these weeks together you’ll discover and begin to unwrap ten gift…

A Great Opportunity To Invest!

This week we have incredible opportunity that I wanted to make you aware of! Most of you know my good friend Jason Rising as the man in charge of developing the organizational leadership of our church. Jason not only assists us for one week each month, but he also runs a full-time evangelistic ministry that focuses on the North East. As a church, we are not only thankful for his investment into our church but we believe in his ministry as well. We want to raise the funds necessary to secure vital resources for his summer mission trips this week. I wanted to make you aware of this unique opportunity. You can check out some the details below in this message from Jason!

"Right now! …we have an opportunity to impact thousands for Christ. Once a year we have a fundraiser to help purchase needed equipment and materials that will provide ways for us to expand our effectiveness in our outreaches. Last year, we raised money for two major items (Sound System & Powerade) and we saw God m…

Great post about time management

As my family & church family continues to grow, one of my greatest challenges is that of time management. Below is a great teaching that I recently read from Dr. Dave Martin. I continually evaluate my life each & every week to determine if I'm wisely using the most precious God-given resource that I have in my life: my time. I want to encourage you to take a few moments to do the same! Keep growing!

Time Management - Teaching by Dr. Dave Martin (www.davemartin.org)

Everything you are today and will be in the future is determined by the way you use your time. One of the most significant things you can do to improve your productivity is knowing how to make the most of your time. Successful people have developed an ability to get a lot more done in the same period of time as unsuccessful people. Here are four specific ways you can make the most your reaching your goals for each day:

Rise Early. What is one thing that top executives and political leaders have in common? T…

How do you deal with suffering?

The Story of Zac Smith from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

We showed this video during our Garbonics outreaches & on a Sunday this past March. It is one of the most powerful videos that we've ever used in relation to suffering! Zac died this past weekend so I decided to repost this video with a link to his blog. (click here) On his blog he talks about 3 simple ways that a Christian can navigate through suffering. I'd encourage you to take some time to read it & be challenged by Zac's eternal perspective! I'd also encourage you to take a moment & pray specifically for Zac's wife & 3 children.

Don't Get Married Until... Part 2

Today's message was probably more of a rant than a well crafted message. I shared a variety of thoughts in regards to what you need to know before you get married. My goal was to throw down a serious challenge to everyone in the house so they'd consider whether they are living lives of compromise or conviction in regards to their relationships. Last week I talked about the fact that commitment is the foundation of a great marriage. In fact, commitment is the foundation for a great life! You should not even consider going out with a guy/girl that doesn't demonstrate a high level of commitment in the key arenas of life. If you do, you might as well purchase your one way ticket for the Titanic now because a catastrophe is inevitable.

We looked at the story of Ahab & Jezebel found in 1 Kings 21. In the story, King Ahab represents the passive husband & Jezebel represents the controlling/manipulative wife. They are both extreme examples of the type of people that …

Don't Get Married Until... Part 1

WEEK 1- You Understand This One Thing! (read Genesis 29)

THAT ONE THING IS COMMITMENT!

Nearly 70% of married men & 60% of married women have affairs.
In the U.S. less than half of couples who marry will stay married 15 years.
Every 10 to 13 seconds another couple divorces.

COMMITMENT #1- (PRIORITY) I WILL LIVE MY LIFE BY PUTTING GOD FIRST
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Matthew 22:37-39

I PROMISE THAT GOD WILL BE MY #1 PRIORITY AND MY SPOUSE WILL BE MY #2.
You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

COMMITMENT #2- (PURSUIT) I WILL LIVE MY LIFE SELFLESSLY, NOT SELFISHLY

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yoursel…

The End Of The World, Part 4

Below are the notes from this past weekend. I ended this incredibly interesting series by talking about Heaven. You can listen to this message online by clicking here!
Also, you can read answers to many of your questions about heaven by clicking here!
I also highly recommend these 2 books for your personal study: 1. Heaven, by Randy Alcorn, 2. One Minute After You Die, by Erwin Lutzer

WEEK 4- HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” Ecclesiastes 3:11
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

WITH GOD, EVERY END BRINGS A NEW BEGINNING! (REVELATION 21:1-4)
…"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who lo…

The End Of The World, Part 3- Study Notes

This past week I talked about the judgement of God. Here is an article about this important topic.
Bema Seat - What Is It and When Is It?
The concept of the Bema Seat comes from the ancient Olympics, where a judge would sit on the Bema Seat at the finish line. The judge's purpose was to determine what position the runners came in-first, second, and so on-and then to give out the appropriate rewards. That is the imagery behind what is known as the Bema Seat.
Also known as the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Bema Seat is described in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, "If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.&…

The End Of The World, Part 3

Yesterday I talked about the reality that there is an ever after. Each of us have a blind date with the creator where we will be having an end of life evaluation. We will all be judged. The Bible talks about 2 different judgements and what will happen. God let's us know the test in advance and even gives us the answers so that we can be ready. If you missed the message, you can listen online via itunes. Below are the notes for your study.

DATE WITH DEITY FOR BELIEVERS
(is called the Bema seat of Christ)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)

“...his work will be shown for what it is, bec…

The End Of The World, Study Notes

I wanted to share with you some of the sources & resources that I use & have used in regard to my studies of the end times. Below is a video from Dr. George Wood, who is the leader of the Assemblies of God, our parent/affiliate organization. It's well done & he does a great job of explaining the second coming of Christ.



I also included some links to various authors that I'm learning from as I teach this series. We are highlighting some of these books during our series. The authors are well-respected scholars and Bible teachers and have a unique perspective in relation to end times events.

What In The World Is Going On? by Dr. David Jeremiah- click here for more answers to questions in regards to the second coming of Jesus Christ, messages and other resources
2012 The Bible and the End of the World, by Dr. Mark Hitchcock- click here for an interesting blog filled with discussions related to the end times and current events.
Understanding The Last Days, by Dr. …

THe End Of The World, Part 2

Below are the notes from this weekend. You can listen to the message from this weekend by clicking here!

WEEK 2- ARE YOU EVER READY FOR THE EVER AFTER?
“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

1. We are living in the END TIMES.
“The end of all things is near” 1 Peter 4:7
"... Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:6-10

2. God’s TIMETABLE is different than ours.
We know that we don’t know when Jesus will return

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come... So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:42-44
 “... you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "W…

The End Of The World, Part 1

What Do You Do When You FEEL Like It’s The End Of The World?

This past Easter Sunday we launched our new series called, "The End Of The World." Have you ever felt like your world was coming to an end? I know that I sure have! We all have really bad moments in life that can cause us to wish that life was over. We can learn some incredible truths from the life, death & resurrection of Jesus that can help us in those 'end of the world' moments. Obviously, I'm speaking of a figurative end of the world and not a literal one in this particular message. Below are the notes and some key thoughts from that Easter Sundays message. Next week I'll be talking & posting about the literal end of the world and how you can survive it!

Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-44)
Jesus taught us that even in our worst hour, we should turn to God and trust in His strength for every issue in our lives!
“… the floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes …

How To Begin A Relationship With God, Part 5

The series of posts for this week have been adapted from an article by Rick Warren entitled, "How To Have A Meaningful Time With God." I pray that each post has been helpful and that you'll take the leap and experience your Creator in a new and fresh way! To read the article in its entirety, simply click here!

CONCLUSION

What if you miss a day? Don't worry about it if it only happens occasionally. Don't go on a guilt trip. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV)

Don't get legalistic because missing one day does not make it a flop. BUT don't give up. If you miss a meal, it does not mean that you should give up eating because you're inconsistent. You simply eat a little more at the next meal and go on from there. This same principle is true with your quiet time.

Psychologists tell us that it usually takes three weeks to get familiar with some new task or habit; it takes another three weeks before it becomes…

How To Begin A Relationship With God, Part 4

FOLLOW A SIMPLE PLAN (adapted from Rick Warren)

Someone has said, "If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it!" To have a meaningful quiet time, you will need a plan or some kind of general outline to follow. The main rule is this: Keep your plan simple.

You will need the following three items for your planned quiet times:
1. A Bible - a contemporary translation (not a paraphrase) with good print, preferably without notes.
2. A notebook- for writing down what the Lord shows you, and for making a prayer list.
3. A worship C.D., ipod, hymnbook - sometimes you may want to sing in your praise time (see Colossians 3:16).

The 5 R's are foundational elements of a great quiet time with God! (Relax, Request, Read, Reflect & Remember, Record)

Wait on God (Relax). Be still for a minute; don't come running into God's presence and start talking immediately. Follow God's admonition:"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10; see also Isaiah 30:15; 40:31)…