Thursday, May 27, 2010

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 move. We accomplished that and more as we experienced one of the best summers yet. Thanks so much to each of you who gave!

This year we are going to again focus on raising money to attain another shipment of powerade and another major purchase of (2) Inflatable Bounce Houses. Here are a few details on both.

*1) (2) Inflatable Bounce Houses*
After thinking about this for the past 5 years I have felt the push from God to go ahead an make this purchase. We held over 45 outreaches this past summer and I cannot tell you enough that the bigger you go the bigger the crowd grows. My heart is to reach as many people as possible and whatever can help make that happen I am willing to do it. We have already placed the order for two 13ft x 13ft Bouncy Castles from the Inflatable Superstore based in Southern California. These guys have given us a great deal to the point of essentially giving us free shipping. The total cost for both inflatables is $2,800.00. A great deal for an all inclusive package with repair kit, blower, and warrantee.

*2) 30,000 bottles of powerade*
Once again we will be raising funds for the powerade again. Due to the project gas increases coming our way this summer we need to raise $2,500 for the Powerade for transportation costs this year. which is a little more than .08 a bottle. We reached so many people this past year by handing out free drinks. It made for amazing opportunities to share our faith with thousands of people at our outreaches and in the streets. We are excited to be doing this again this year! So what it boils down to is this…It costs $2,500.00 to transport the Powerade to my home base and that averages out to a little over 0.08 cents a bottle. Since we received a donation already we are asking for is 38 donors to donate $65.00 to help us finish raising what we need for this project. That means your $65.00 will average out to approximately 780 bottles.

To hear more about (& donate to) this incredible opportunity to help Jason & his team reach people far from God this summer, click here. Keep Jason & his team in prayer as they travel this summer & consider if the Lord would have you invest into these outreaches! Thanks for your consideration!"

Monday, May 24, 2010

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? They get up early. John D. Rockefeller said, “if I get up early I am already ahead of my competition.” Successful people start work while others are still rubbing their eyes. If you were to get up a half hour earlier than you do right now, then in a years time you would add about 182 more hours to your life this year. That is more than a week.

Start the day in God’s presence. Think about the time it takes to get ready, and then allow some extra time to spend with God. You will find you accomplish more throughout the day by giving Him time first. He will make more of the rest of your time that day. Also when you put Him first at the start of the day, you’ll see the world in a brighter light.

Keep a weekly agenda. By having a written plan you will have a better sense of direction and purpose for the day. This is where you will write your appointments, meetings, projects, and you will learn to appreciate time and use it more wisely. When you have clear goals and objectives, and a well organized calendar it will enable you to focus continually on the most valuable uses of your time.

Decide your daily priorities. What is the most important thing you need to get done today. Schedule your daily task in order of importance and priority. Start the day working on number one. When it is complete then go on to the next one. You will enjoy the sense of fulfillment as you mark each one off your list and because you prioritized you will finish the most important things first. Your ability to set clear and accurate priorities on your time determines that quality of your life. The very worst use of your time is to do very well at what doesn’t need to be done at all. It is important to look at the consequences of whether you do a task or not. Continually ask yourself, What is the most valuable use of my time, right now? And whatever it is, work on that. Your ability to discipline yourself to work on those few tasks that can make the biggest impact in your life is the key to successful time management.

So many people complain about their lack of time. Yet those who know how to make the most of their hours aren’t complaining. They’re too busy achieving and accomplishing their goals. People who practice the laws of time management say that their careers accelerate, their income grows, and they have much more time to spend with their families.

Monday, May 17, 2010

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.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

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 we don't want to marry. As you take time to read the story you will understand that Ahab was a complete momma's boy & his wife overdosed on the crazy pill. They are an example of everything we should strive not to be as men/women, husband/wife.

I laid out a clear challenge to the guys to not get caught in adolescence for the rest of their lives. Women don't want to be their husbands momma! Every woman wants to be with a man that will be a lead-her. It's time for the men of our generation to man-up & put away childish behavior. The Apostle Paul tells us in I Corinthians 13:11 - “... when I became a man I put away childish things.”

Dr. Edwin Louis Cole describes 7 characteristics of children & men & how they should be different!
Seven characteristics of a child:
-Center of own universe.
-Insensitive to others’ needs.
-Demands own way.
-Temper tantrum if not catered to.
-Unreasonable.
-Irresponsible.
-Only subject to concrete authority.
*in other words, put away the xbox, get a job, stop spending all your money on yourself & become someone worth committing to!
Seven Characteristics of a Real Man:
-Christ is center of universe.
-Sensitive to Holy Spirit
-Submits to God’s way.
-Puts away anger - sins not.
-Reasonable.
-Responsible.
-Subject to Word of God and leading of
Holy Spirit.

Ladies- Look for a guy who demonstrates commitment, submits to authority, treats his mother well & loves Jesus more than anything! Men are called to be the provider, the protector & the pastor. Ladies need to understand... If he won’t provide, protect & pastor you before you get married, he won’t do it afterward. If you're dating that guy, lose him right away!

Guys should be more concerned with her character & not just her curves. The Bible says in Proverbs 31:30, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
 but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
" My shout out to the guys is to not date or marry a woman that is not submissive to her Father/Mother & other established authority in her life. If she won't submit to them, it's just a matter of time before she won't submit to you! Avoid manipulative, whiney women who need to be in control. The book of Proverbs says a lot about those kind of women. Run!

1 Timothy 6:6-12, "6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth... 11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and godliness (godly life), along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness." Paul reminds Timothy to pursue something that is a picture of a Proverbs 31 woman (righteous, godly, full of love, faith, perseverance & gentleness). If guys will pursue these things rather than the fulfillment of their own lust, they'll find the woman of their dreams. If ladies would demonstrate these characteristics, the man of their dreams would find them!

My final encouragement was about not dating people who aren't believers. I know it sounds old school but the Bible is pretty clear & the wisdom is legit. The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:14
, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" Bottom line, followers of Jesus have different standards & core values which will always be subject to compromise in a mixed relationship. Date someone in pursuit of the same things in life. If you don't, it will lead to frustration & have a dramatic effect on your relationship as well as future generations! (see what happened to King Ahab's children because of his disobedience)

Don't get married until... you are willing to live a life of conviction & not compromise! Don't ruin someone else's life because of your selfishness, moodiness & overall lack of integrity. Become a person worth committing to by the grace, mercy & power of God... & don't get married until!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

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 yourselves. Philippians 2:3

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…Ephesians 5:25
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

united—dabaq (daw-bak'); cling or adhere; to catch by pursuit, pursue hard with affection and devotion.
I follow close behind you… Psalm 63:8 TLB (see also) Judges 20:45

WHEN YOU THINK SOMETHING GOOD, SAYIT. (Hebrews 3:13)
WHEN YOU THINK SOMETHING SPECIAL, DO IT. (James 4:17)
WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT, BE IT. (Romans 12:2)


COMMITMENT #3- (PARTNERSHIP) I WILL LIVE MY LIFE FOR THE “WE” AND NOT JUST “ME”.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  Genesis 2:24
‘echad (ekh-awd’); united, altogether, completely joined as one.
…A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT NOT A CONTRACT. IT'S A COMMITMENT.
…because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Malachi 2:14

A contract is based on mutual distrust. A covenant is based on mutual commitment.
covenant: beriyth (ber-eeth'); cutting, a binding agreement, a blood covenant.

GODLY LEADERSHIP AND MUTUAL SUBMISSION.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:21-24
Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.  Luke 11:17-18

COMMITMENT #4- I WILL LIVE MY LIFE WITH NO SECRETS (PURITY)

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves…and they hid from the LORD… But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." Genesis 3:7-10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
“... those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
 They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.” Psalm 24:4-5
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

WHEREVER SECRETS LIVE, INTIMACY DIES.
WHEREVER INTIMACY LIVES, SECRETS DIE.

DEFEATING THE DARKNESS WITH LIGHT
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)…Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. Ephesians 5:8-9, 11-14a

CONFESS YOUR SECRET.
RECEIVE ANY CONFESSIONS WITH GRACE.
PRAY TOGETHER.

YOU'RE READY FOR MARRIAGE WHEN YOU ARE READY TO COMMIT TO... PRIORITY, PURSUIT, PARTNERSHIP, PURITY