Monday, December 28, 2009

Reflections



As I sit back and think about 2009, it truly was one of the best years ever. We got to spend more time together as a family than ever before. We traveled to Iowa 4 times in which one trip was on a train. We got to see our friends in Minnesota three times. It has been tons of fun.

I also think of the amazing people that have invested and poured into our lives.
  • I think of my wife who has been an amazing servant and support!
  • I think of my family who has worked hard in serving and giving following the vision God has given us for Wyandotte.
  • I think of the core team who has been faithful, allowing God to direct and stretch
  • I think of Real Life & Pastor Shawn & Sonny. Thank you so much for everything!!!
  • I think of Steve Bradshaw and the AG District Office. Thank you for always being there and for your guidance.
  • I Think of BCC & Pastor Nate. Thank you for your encouragement and belief.
  • I think of Northville Christian and it's entire staff. Thanks for opening up your arms and embracing us as your own.
  • I Think of Freedom Christian A/G and pastor Aaron Hlavin. Thank you for being the one of the firsts to jump on board and support us monthly.
  • I think of Brighton A/G & Pastor Brad. Thanks for allowing Julie and I to come and even have the privilege to speak. Your support has been a blessing.
  • I think of Monroeville A/G & Pastor Lance. Thank you for always believing in us!!!
  • I think of Bethel A/G & Pastor John Peck who has been a huge support and fan of what we are doing. Your thoughtful words and willingness to help as blown me away.
  • I think of Woodland & Pastor Clanton. Your time & wisdom over lunches have been challenging and much appreciated.
  • I think of the Metro & Metro South sections who have invested in us financially. WOW!
  • I think of all of our individual supporters who faithfully send money in every month and never miss a beat. Thank you for your faithfulness and commitment to reaching those who haven't crossed over into a walk with Christ yet.

I guess all of that to say, it has been very humbling and refreshing to see the body of Christ operate in full force. God has called us to change the spiritual climate of Wyandotte, to reach those who haven't crossed over yet and to strengthen and empower families. There is no way we can do it alone.

Please pray as we launch weekly gatherings January 10, 2010. We are also going to reach out and serve once a month as we move toward public launch.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stuffed!


PROVERBS 27:7--A person who is full refuses honey...

Now that we are wrapping up the holiday season, we are thinking about working off all of the extra pounds we gained from all of the great food and desserts. You know what I'm talking about! You eat so much that you lean back on your chair and moan semi-out loud, "I can't eat another bite or I'll explode."

Well, honey is very sweet and very satisfying! However, when someone is stuffed, they don't want any honey. Have you ever walked by Outback Steakhouse after you were full and the smell of steak didn't even smell good?

It's easy to fill my life up with busy church work, sports, TV, and plethora of other things. I get so stuffed with life that when it comes to the pure life of God's presence I can easily refuse it. Wait, a minute...what did you say Jeremy. It's so easy to be stuffed with the "junk food" of this world that we don't enjoy the gourmet buffet of God's presence. God's Word and Spirit bring life to us. The more we eat of this the more we develop an appetite for it. Whatever we consistently eat, we begin to CRAVE!


As we wrap up 2009, begin today to make it a habit of digesting God's Word and spending time in His presence through prayer and worship. Don't allow busyness to make you too full for what's truly important and what truly satisfies.

Write down a few thoughts and goals. Write down some specific action steps, times and places how your thoughts & goals will be a reality. If you need help go to www.biblegateway.com or www.youversion.com two great Bible websites.

Monday, December 14, 2009

too much coffee...really?

This is taken from writer and speaker Matt Anderson's weekly email "Matt Chat."

Just when you think you've heard it all.Seems that 31 year-old Dan Noble was driving erratically last week through the campus streets of Pullman, Washington. In fact, his driving was so bad that he struck two pedestrians with little to no hesitation. Both victims suffered broken legs and other assorted injuries.According to police, Noble exited his vehicle about 175 yards beyond the second victim where he was promptly tasered by police, taken into custody, and charged with vehicular assault and felony hit-and-run. Open and shut case, right?Au contraire, mon frere. His lawyer is alleging that his client is not responsible for his violent actions. Why, you ask? I'm not sure you want to hear the answer. You really want to know? Okay, don't say I didn't warn you. Noble's attorney contends that his client's enormous consumption of energy drinks and Starbucks coffee put the would-be-killing financial analyst in a state of, ahem, "caffeine psychosis". Yep, you read correctly. Caffeine psychosis. (Source: The Spokesman Review, 12/9/09)

Maybe you didn't realize it, but you've been raised in an extremely fortunate era. In fact, I would like to officially congratulate everyone in the world. As of this day, we all now have a built-in excuse for absolutely everything. For every flaw, every misstep of our lives, there is a natural explanation that absolves us of all gulit. Got pulled over for speeding? Just tell the officer you suffer with HAFS (Heavy Accelerator Foot Syndrome). Overeat during the holidays? No sir. Not when you have Unquenchable Gastronomic Hunger or UGH, as we clinicians like to call it. Are you chronically late for work and in danger of losing your job? Just tell your boss you can sue him if he does, all because you have been diagnosed with Determined Delay Disorder.Let's bring it on home. Ladies, don't be so rough on your husbands. Don't you realize that millions of men quietly suffer with RATTLE, Repeated Aggravated Traumatic Toilet Lid Elevation? Fellas, maybe you get onto your wife for nagging you when you're driving because you won't stop for directions. But it's really not so funny when you realize that NAG really stands for Navigational Assistance Gene and should be treated with the delicacy and sensitivity it deserves. That feeling you have on Saturday that keeps you in front of the TV instead of doing tasks around the house? It's called ARCS: Attached Remote Control Syndrome. Spending too much money on those shopping channels? You can't help yourself. Somewhere along the line, you were inflicted with ACCENT: Accelerated Credit Card Emotional Nurturing Trauma.The point is it's not your fault. Don't you see? It's obvious. You weren't hugged enough as a kid, were around too much asbestos, had too many immunizations, ate lead paint chips, lived under power lines, neglected to eat regularly from the four basic food groups, attended a fundamentalist church, had a low-fiber diet, sat too close to the TV, kept your eyes in the crossed position too long, shocked yourself in your grandmother's light socket too many times, played too many video games, drank too much Kool-Aid, ran with scissors, and liked the smell of felt-tip markers. How can you be expected to do such complex tasks as keeping pedestrians in an upright position?

We live in a world that absolutely needs to blame and refuses to take responsibility. What an odd pairing. In other words, it's always somebody's fault...just not ours. Wouldn't it be refreshing in this litigious world to hear someone say, "Yep, it was me. I did it. It was all my fault"? That's what David did when he disobeyed the Lord in I Chronicles 21 by taking a census of the people, and God responded by unleashing an epidemic. The king said, "Please! I'm the one who sinned; I'm the one at fault...Punish me, not them; me and my family; don't take it out on them." (v.17, MSG) David didn't claim to have DISC: Davidic Illegitimate Survey Condition. He said, "It's my fault. Forgive me, Lord." We all have our stuff to deal with, and sometimes we don't handle it like we should. Rather than reaching for an alphabet soup of excuses, let's just take responsibility for our sin, confess it, and repent. Sin is the ultimate disorder we should be trying to avoid.

And for what it's worth, the only psychosis I've seen with caffeine is from those who need it and haven't had it. Well, I'd better end this article before I slip into Mechanical And Technical Textual Chronic Hallucinogenic Alphabetical Trauma, which stands for...hey, wait a minute!

Gut Check

I just got done listening to a sermon by Francis Chan about being a lukewarm Christian. It was based off of Revelation 3. I have been doing some serious soul searching tonight. Take a few moments and honestly answer the following questions. Ask for God's strength and truth to really empower You to open up truly to Him! Remember, the results are worth the pain.

He says in Revelation 3:20-21--Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

#1--Am I completely in love with Jesus! Do I enjoy and look forward to being with Him? Am I truly satisfied in my relationship with Him?

#2--Do I serve Him or others out of love or out of duty?

#3--Do I realize how much God loves me?

#4--Do I truly realize how short this side of heaven really is? Does my life reflect what is eternally valuable?

As I honestly worked through these questions myself, I must confess that I have been doing a lot of repenting and asking God to forgive me for how lukewarm I have become. THANKS BE TO GOD for His amazing love and invitation for relationship. God, I want to be with YOU!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Relevant

The Bible is an amazing book! Some books of the Old Testament are as old as 12th century BC. Even though the Bible has been around for centuries, God's Word is still relevant to our daily lives. God's truths are timeless and change who we are no matter what generation we grow up in.

The Bible is really the "flesh" or the guide to what it means to surrender your life to God. It talks about marriage, raising children, finances, sex, friendship, and work all God's way.

Throughout history some people have lived life their own way and others have surrendered control to Christ and done it God's way. I don't know about you but I think God knows best.

If you struggle reading the Bible or have a hard time understanding it, here are a few tips.

#1--check out www.biblegateway.com--This site allows you to read various translations (I recommend New Living Translation or the Message), search keywords or search by topic like money, fear etc.

#2--Make sure you have or read a translation that you understand

#3--Develop a plan. The Bible is a big book. If you pick it up and randomly read, it can be confusing or overwhelming. Many times its good to read a Proverb a day (coincides with the day of the month) and a chapter from the New Testament (start in John)

#4--Ask others for help or their advice

God's Word can empower and transform your marriage, family, job and life. Pick it up today and begin to let God's truth renew your heart and mind!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mixing Their Religion


ARTICLE IN USA TODAY on Thursday, December 10, 2009

22% of Christians surveyed believe that people will be reborn in this world again and again (reincarnation)

17% of Christians surveyed believe that people with an "evil eye" can cast curses or harmful spells

15% of Christians surveyed admitted they attend services of at least one other faith.

What does all this mean? Synchretism by definition means blending together of different religions. People are taking one thing from Christianity, one thing from Islam, one from New Age Thought, and another from their own experience.

What drives your belief system? If it's emotions, they will fail and change often. If it's a new age movement, give it time it will fade. If it's God's Word, it will always remain.

Psalm 33:4--For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

1 Peter 1:24-25--"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord stands forever.

God's Word is truth and stands the test of time. Many people have tried to get rid of the Bible and make it extinct but they always failed.

Let's seek truth. Let's continue to pursue God's Word and see what He says above all else.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Challenge from Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock says it's a blessing to meet and to portray a real Christian.


Associated Press - 12/1/2009 9:45:00 AM

LOS ANGELES - Actress Sandra Bullock says meeting Leigh Anne Tuohy, who she portrays in the new movie "The Blind Side", showed her there really are some Christians who "walk the walk."

Bullock says thanks to the Tuohys, who attend Grace Evangelical Church in Memphis, she now has "faith in those who say they represent a faith." Getting to know Leigh Anne Tuohy, says the actress, showed her that religious faith can be authentic. "She was so open and honest and forthright," Bullock shares, "and I said, wow, I finally met someone who practices but doesn't preach."

Tuohy isn't like some hypocritical church-goers she's known, adds Bullock. "The beauty of Leigh Anne was one of my biggest questions was how people use their faith and their religion as a banner," she says. "And then they don't do the right thing, but they go 'I'm a good Christian and I go to church and this is the way you should live your life.'"

Bullock admits she was wary of Christians before she met the Tuohys. "Whereas...before I was like, do not give me a lecture on how to live my life when I know I'm a pretty decent human being," says the actress. "I might not go to church everyday, but I know I do the right thing or try to. You're going to church and you're still sleeping around on your wife...how are you better than I am? So I finally met people who walk the walk."


Many people feel, think and live the same way Sandra does. Being good and trying your best is what gets us brownie points in the next world. Unfortunately, that's not how it works. You and I can never be good enough to earn salvation. Romans 3:10 says there is none that are righteous. My best day and my best efforts to be good are as filthy rags in God's presence (Isaiah 64:6)

Our hope, future and salvation is secure only because of the amazing love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He is our righteousness. He is our life!

So, because of what Christ has done lets continue to love others and let our actions speak loud. Let's continue to love those that don't deserve it. Let's continue to serve others and let God use our lives as a voice to communicate HE IS REAL!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Birthday Lesson

The vision of Wyandotte Family Church is faith, family, fun!!


This morning as we celebrate my daughters birthday I am introspective.Why is it the older we get, the harder it is to live with true joy? Children start off so full of joy and excited about life. As we get older we still want joy but often try things that only bring temporary happiness but not lasting joy!


Galatians 5:22 says one fruit of the Spirit is joy.


When we find ourselves living without joy let's pause and examine the direction & speed of our lives. Maybe we need to slow down and spend some time in Gods presence and allow HIS joy to fill our lives. Maybe we need to hang with some little ones and be reminded how to let loose and have fun!


Remember, activity doesn't always equal productivity. Busyness doesn't always equal fruitfulness. The proof is in our hearts and lives.

What is one fun thing you can do with your family or with others today? When you are done take time to read Galatians 5:22 and ask God to help you be filled with His Spirit and fruit so that you don't chase counterfeits.
Lessons from a birthday celebration. Coming soon :)
REGISTER email

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks-living

What is one thing you can do today to make thankfullness and gratitude a daily practice in your life?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Blessing Project


We are so excited about our upcoming event "The Blessing Project." We are giving the community of Wyandotte and downriver a gift for Christmas. It's exciting to see many from our core group getting involved to help make this happen.

To check out more information on the blessing project go to

www.wyandottefamily.com

Saturday, November 14, 2009

THE MIRROR

When you look into the mirror, what do you see? Do you see who you really are and are thankful or do you feel frustrated and mad feeling like you don't measure up?

Before we can ever love or serve someone else, we need to first be loved (and receive it).

Most of us can quote John 3:16, for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Most of us know that verse in our minds but do we have it in our hearts? Do we truly feel the lavish love of our Heavenly Father? Do we know in our hearts how valuable we are and cherished by Him? Check out these cool verses?

1 John 3:16, 1 John 4:9-10, 1 John 4:16, 1 John 4:18

God's love is more than a high fluent thought or nice children's story, it is a reality that wants to shape the very core of your being. God wants you to rest in your relationship with Him, looking forward to being with Him enjoying His love.

So, how do you know if you have God's love in your heart and not just your head? 1 John 4:18 says perfect love casts out all fear. If you have an unhealthy fear (dread) of God then it probably hasn't sunk into your heart yet? If you often life your life in condemnation and guilt then you probably haven't fully received God's love available to you. If you aren't comfortable in your own skin then you probably haven't fully received the love of God.

God so loved (insert your name) that He gave His one and only Son. Take a few moments today and ask God to pour out His amazing love on every area of your life. Ask Him to take the head knowledge of His love and to implant the reality of that knowledge into your heart. May God's love complete you and fill your life today!

Check out this cool video of God's love on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps


Further reading: Ephesians 3:14-19

Inspired by Living L.O.W.D. message from Oak Point Church

Friday, November 13, 2009

Really...

Have you ever read something in a newspaper or saw a story on TV and thought to yourself..."really." Just like the hard hitting reality of watching "Super Size Me." When you saw the bonus features and watched what he did with french fries you said to yourself, "really? I know there weren't healthy but nothing real in them at all?"

I challenge you to go on a journey of reading what people call the "Gospels" in the Bible (Mathew, Mark, Luke & John). They are the four books in the New Testament that reveal the life and words of Christ in detail.

As you read these four books you will have many "really" moments in your life. One of them is a small but overlooked truth! The majority of Jesus' miracles were done outside of the temple and often to those who weren't followers of Christ yet. You may be asking, "what's so significant about that?"

God's power and Spirit isn't limited to a building on Sunday! For all those who are available and ready God will pour out His power through you so you can reach this world.

Question of the day: When is the last time you read one of the Gospels? It's time for a new "really" moment

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Information Overload

Any fact, trivia, story or person is at your fingertips. There is more information easily accessible then we ever could have dreamed or imagined.

However, I remember a mentor once told me, "Jeremy, it's not he who has the most information who wins but he who applies it."

At Wyandotte Family Church we recently discussed the beginning stages of developing a personal growth plan. Selecting three areas in our lives that need changed and developing specific action steps in order to achieve the change.

We are selecting one of our three to focus on for the month November. It's one thing to know we need to change and it's another to do something about it. Let's not get stuck in the quicksand of "good intentions." Let's develop a plan, share it with others and apply the information.

QUESTIONS:
#1--what areas in your life need changed or strengthend? Don't know...spend a few moments asking God to reveal a few areas?
#2--what are some specific action steps that will help you achieve that change?
#3--Which one can you focus on first?
#4--Who can you share your plan with?

Friday, November 6, 2009

RANDOM

Here are some random yet challenging thoughts from Psalm 103!

V1--Let all that I am praise the Lord.
*What would it look like for us to truly give our all to God?

V2--May I never forget the good things He does for me!
*What good thing has God done for us that we have forgotten?
May it produce fresh gratitude and praise!

V3--He forgives all of my sins!
*What sin are you carrying the guilt and condemnation of that He has already forgiven?

V7---God revealed his character to Moses and He revealed His good deeds to Israel!
*Character implies intimacy. Good deeds implies love.
*Are we walking in the shallow end of God's love? How much closer and intimate to Him could we be? Do we know His character?

God, I thank You for Your amazing love, grace and power that is available to us everyday. I ask that you would draw us closer to Your heart and character today. Help us remember how good and faithful You are no matter what situation we are facing right now. May we walk with You and seek You today! In Jesus name!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ministry or Job?


(Courtesy of Church Volunteer Central)
Some people have a job in the church.
Others involve themselves in ministry.

What’s the difference?

If you do it just because no one else will...it’s a job!
If you do it to serve God...it’s a ministry!

If you quit because someone criticized you...it’s a job!
If you kept on serving in spite of criticism...it’s a ministry!

If you’ll do it only so long as it doesn’t interfere with other things...it’s a job!
If you’re committed to staying with it, even when it means letting other things go...it’s a ministry!

If you quit because no one ever praised or thanked you...it’s a job!
If you stay even though no one notices your efforts...it’s a ministry!

If you do it because someone else said it needs to be done...it’s a job!
If you do it because you sensed God saying it needs to be done...it’s a ministry!

It’s hard to get excited about a job.
It’s almost impossible not to get excited about a ministry!

An average church is filled with people doing jobs!
A great and growing church is filled with people involved in ministry!

What ministry is God calling you to do? How can you make a difference in the lives of others? How can you make a difference in your church?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stressed?


Jesus says some of the most profound words in Matthew 11:30. He says...

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

There are two perspectives on this verse.

#1--Jesus was using the example of farming of the day and meant a real ox yoke. To truly follow Him wasn't what the pharisees had made it out to be. Their yoke was much heavier then the Son of God's.

#2--The yoke was Jesus' teaching. If you carr
ied a Rabbi's yoke that means you carried & followed His teachings.

Regardless if it's #1 or #2 Jesus is communicating that HIS YOKE is light. So, what does that look like? I know what it doesn't look like? If I am living stressed, worried and with a short fuse then I'm probably not carrying Jesus' yoke.

Try to visualize this with me. Jesus carries the burden of your own life, your marriage, family, friends, job, finances etc. all on His shoulders. In return He puts
one thing on You which is actually full of peace, love, hope and Joy (Romans 14:17, 15:13).

If I can be honest, I struggle with this one often. I catch myself starting to carry the burden of the world on my shoulders and the results are usually the same...stress, fear, worry etc. When I operate in surrender and trust in my relationship with God the results are usually the same...peace, joy, strength, etc.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Are you carrying the burden of your family, marriage or job? Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Following God's way is always worth it. Take Jesus up on His offer and surrender completely to His Lordship and take His yoke!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Passion


When you see this picture what comes to your mind? Wait a minute, actually take a moment to think about it? Do you think of anger? Do you think of passion? Do you think of intensity and energy? Do you think of celebration?

Matthew 21:12-13 can be confusing to us because it seems outside of Jesus character. But, is it really? Jesus never backed down from the religious leaders or from crowds. He was passionate about His purpose for being on earth. He came to seek and save that which was lost and to reveal the heart & love of God.

Question for the day: What are you passionate about? Will the object of your passion outlast you?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"So Close"

Let's continue to look at the life of Jesus to discover who He is. So, far we have looked at His amazing love and generosity. It's amazing, inspiring, and powerful to think that we can't do anything to earn or change God's love for us. How do I know? Romans 5:8 says But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Rest assure as you read this blog...no matter where you are on your journey with God, He loves You!!!!

Today, I want to focus on a different aspect in our relationship with Jesus, intimacy. God's love never changes but our intimacy with Him does. Just because Jesus loves us, doesn't mean we are close to Him.

John 15:9-10--I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love

Notice some key words in this verse Jesus speaks...
#1--Jesus says that we remain in His love. It doesn't say He withdraws His love. When we turn away from His commands and presence....we start disconnecting from His love and begin to lose intimacy. God's love doesn't change but intimacy does.

#2--When we obey His commands...we remain in close connection/intimacy in relationship with Him.

If you examine the context (the entire chapter it was written in) you see that staying connected to the vine (Jesus) gives us life and allows our lives to bare fruit.

The greatest cause of lack of intimacy in our relationship with Christ is not spending time in His presence on our own. Not staying connected to the Vine! We often justify it for many reasons...I'm too busy, too tired, don't know how to pray, don't understand the Bible, or I feel intimidated. Even though these are all real challenges and issues we face, if not addressed, we begin to lose intimacy.

Just like a marriage relationship will begin to fall apart and lose intimacy if the couple doesn't spend time together, we begin to lose intimacy with Christ if we aren't spending time with Him.

It's possible to be close to Christ! It's possible to know His voice and remain in His love. It's possible to be "so close" to the creator of the universe.

Questions of the day:
1. On a scale 1-10 how much are you aware of the unchanging love of God?
2. On a scale 1-10 how closely connected/intimate is your relationship with God?
3. What is one thing you can do this week to pursue Him and remain in His love?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Prodigal God

based off of the book "Prodigal God" by Tim Keller

Luke 15 hosts one of the worlds most popular parables in society. Most people whether followers of Jesus or not have heard of the Prodigal Son.


I want to lay the groundwork and give the context preparing for the next few weeks. The goal of the next few blogs is to renew our concept of our Heavenly Father and to reshape our concept of sin and church. It is so crucial that this truth sinks in our hearts because one of our core values is grace. We strive to be a church where people of all walks of life encounter God’s grace through us.


Prodigal actually has two different meanings...

1. Exceedingly or recklessly wasteful

2. Extremely generous, lavish


The younger brother was prodigal (reckless/wasteful) in his living and the Father was “prodigal” (lavish) in his loving.


CONTEXT OF THIS PARABLE


A)The context of the entire Bible

*God lost something and He wants it back

*Genesis 3:8-9—Where are you

*The Prodigal story is a miniature of the entire Bible story


B)The personal context of Jesus’ life

Luke 19:10—For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost


C)The Audience

*Luke 15:1-2—Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.


D)The Context in the entire chapter

*Story of the lost Sheep—(Lost, search, found, party)

*Story of the lost coin—(Lost, search, found, party)

*Prodigal God story—(Lost, no search, Found, party pooper)


God sets up this last parable by showing how important it is for what’s lost to be found. When it’s found there is major rejoicing and celebration. Yet, this last parable is the odd triplet. This last parable is…


Actually a rebuke to the religious, self-righteous leaders.
There were many sinners and tax collectors gathering around Jesus. Instead of celebrating and rejoicing they were indignant and angry just like the older brother.

We see that this parable is actually more about the older brother and Father than it is about the younger brother. Jesus is revealing to the crowds that there are two ways to get lost, not just one, and the 2nd way may be worst than the first.


The tax collectors and sinners are the non-religious crowd which is depicted by the younger brother. The Pharisees and scribes are the religious crowd depicted by the older brother in the parable.


*Both were lost and far from the Father’s heart. They both wanted the Father’s things but not the Father. The younger wanted his inheritance (which he shouldn’t of got until his father’s death). The older brother was in his fathers house, performed all of the duties but never had his fathers heart. (close to the house not the heart)


In this parable Jesus is also revolutionizing our understanding of sin. Sin is a condition of the heart before it is an action of life. Sin is not only breaking God’s commands but wanting to be and acting like God. The older brother was blind to his own wicked heart and motives. He was as sinful as the younger brother and tried to tell the Father it wasn't fair.


A pit deeper than the pig pen of waywardness is the pit of self-righteousness and the stench of spiritual pride. (John 9:13-41—Jesus healed blind man on the Sabbath)


How many times have we seen someone at work or on the street or in our family and we have looked down at them disgusted thinking, “I can’t believe them. I’m glad I’m not like them?” How many times have we criticized and condemned those who aren’t following Christ? How many times have we told God it's not fair, how could you...


Question: Who are “the lost sinners”

Answer: We are ALL the lost sinners (Romans 3:23)


Question: How are we saved/forgiven?

Answer: We are ALL forgiven by the mercy, the love and grace of our Prodigal God


Question: How should I view others?

Answer: Just like I see myself—desperately in need of God’s prodigal love


Question: How do I relate to others?

Answer: Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy


This parable should actually be called the Prodigal God or Prodigal brothers. Do you currently relate to one of the brothers. Regardless, you can be renewed, forgiven and restored right now by returning to the heart of the Father just like the youngest boy did.


Click on link below to see Chris Tomlin's song "love." Great ending to this blog
http://www.youtube.com/user/christomlinmusic?blend=1&ob=4

Sunday, October 18, 2009

PERSPECTIVE

PLEASE WATCH BEFORE YOU READ ON AT THE BOTTOM :)
ps. turn volume all the way up...not best sound quality


video


Perspective...can be an enemy of God. Why? Many people in our culture have the above view of Jesus and His followers. Most people who watch this video clip can't help but laugh and crack up. However, I don't think this video is that funny. The two creators of this video aren't Christians and from their perspective wanted to mock God.

They truly believe Jesus' entire role and existence is to walk around and point out what's wrong with them. That perspective is funny because if you study the Bible and the life of Jesus, He was nothing like that. Jesus never condoned sin or made exceptions for it, however, He lived His life with compassion and love for people.

On of our big dreams at Wyandotte Family Church is to crush this ungodly perspective in Wyandotte and the downriver area and replace it with the reality of who Jesus really is.

Follow me on this journey over the next 2-3 blogs as we study the life of Jesus.

Question of the day: Have you ever felt this way before or have had this perspective? If so, has it changed? What changed it? Have you met someone who feels this way? What can you do this week to be a part of God's grace and love?

Friday, October 16, 2009

I GIVE UP


When have you felt the most helpless in your life? It is one of the worst feelings we go through in life. Feeling like you have no control over the situation and have to sit back like a spectator and let it play out.

I can't imagine how the Father of Falcon Heene felt as he recently watched the balloon fly in the air, thinking his boy was trapped inside. I can't imagine how he felt as he watched the helicopters and planes follow the balloon closely waiting for it to land. It was all outside of his control.

If we were really honest with ourselves, there isn't much we really have control over other than ourselves. We want to believe that we somehow have all this control but if uncovered it's actually a facade.

God actually calls us to "give up." He calls us to give up control of our lives and to trust Him completely. That is a very vulnerable state to be in but that is where the supernatural takes place and our lives are changed.

Matthew 10:39--Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

To lose ones life doesn't mean one loses meaning or purpose. It means to completely abolish or remove out the way the facade control we think we have and let Jesus rule our lives. When we reach this moment in our lives we truly find the life we have been passionately striving for.

Question of the day: What area of your life are you still holding on to? Always remember, even if we don't understand...God always has our best interest in mind.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crash Helmets


Below is an exert from "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snow Day" by Mark Batterson. It's 2 pages long and worth the read. This will inspire you today!!

There are basically two approaches to life; playing to win and playing not to lose. Can you guess which camp lion chasers fall into? Too many of us are tentatively playing the game of life as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely to death. We need to take our cues from the early believers who competed for the Kingdom.

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it"--Matthew 11:12

There is nothing remotely passive about following Christ. Some of us approach our relationship with Christ like we're called to play "prevent defense" when we ought to be in a "two-minute offense." Some of us act like faithfulness is making no turnovers when faithfulness is scoring touchdowns. Faithfulness has nothing to do with maintaining the status quo or holding the fort. It has everything to do with competing for the Kingdom and storming the gates of hell. With a squirt gun, if necessary!

Is anybody else tired of the church playing defense? Why is it that the church is known more for what we're against than what we're for? Maybe it's time for Christ followers to put on the CRASH HELMETS and play offense.

God is raising up a generation of lion chasers that don't just run way from evil. God is raising up a generation of lion chasers that have the courage to compete for the Kingdom.

We need to stop criticizing culture and start creating it! Paul didn't boycott Aeropagus. he didn't stand outside with a picket sign "Athenian Idolaters are going to hell in a hand basket." Paul wasn't playing not to lose. Paul was playing to win, so he went toe to toe with some of the greatest philosophical minds in the ancient world. Paul competed for truth on their turf.

Instead of complaining about the current affairs, we need to offer better alternatives. We need to make better movies and better music. We need to write better books. We need to start better businesses. As the old aphorism suggests, "We need to stop cursing the darkness and start lighting some candles!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Control

Control, something we all strive, fight, push, shove, scratch and sometimes manipulate for. There is something inside of us that drives us to grasp for control in every area of our lives. Fighting for control is what often causes broken and hurt relationships, a vicious cycle of hurt and pain trying to climb the corporate ladder, or simply not allowing our children to truly grow up and begin to blossom.

The irony is that with Jesus it is the exact opposite. To be a follower of Jesus Christ is let go of control on a daily basis.

Matthew 10:39--If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

The more control we release to God the more fruitful and effective our lives will be. God designed it that way.

Acts 17:28--For in him we live and move and have our being...

1 Corinthians 3:6--I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.

We can work hard and put forth effort (which we should), however God is the only one with the control and power to make life happen. Only God can heal and strengthen our marriages. Only God can touch the hearts of our children and teach them His love. Only God can reach our friends, neighbors and family members that don't know Him.

God will use our lives to give, serve, pray, talk, and share but that is the planting and watering. Only He can bring the increase. If you have an area of your life that you want to grow....pray about it, read books on that subject, talk to someone else about it and then let go and give God control and watch what He will do!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Exciting Plan


No matter what phase of life we are in, we all have to make decisions. Sometimes, we have several doors we can walk through. We pray, talk to others for advice and do our homework before we make a decision.

I am excited to announce that God has given us specific direction and now is an exciting time to be a part of Wyandotte Family Church.

#1--October through December 2009 we are meeting twice a month on Sunday evenings from 5-6:30PM. Email me at Jeremy@Wyandottefamily.com for more information

#2--December 12, 2009 is our next big outreach. We will be presenting a significant Christmas gift to the community of Wyandotte and the surrounding areas. We feel like a little kids who can't wait for Christmas day! It's going to be a blast.

#3--Starting January 10, 2010 we will be starting weekly gatherings on Sunday evenings from 5-:630 PM and serving the community/creating outreaches every month

Everyone wants to live life with purpose and direction. Everyone wants to be a part of something that last longer than themselves. We are on an exciting and exhilarating journey in starting this new church in Wyandotte. We always welcome new people who are curious, have more questions or are ready to dive right in. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Re-Think Church

This video put out by the United Methodist truly speaks and visualizes the vision of Wyandotte Family Church. Church is more about what happens on Monday then Sunday :)

video

Monday, September 28, 2009

Two Sided Coin


I remember growing up always selecting tails in a coin toss as I recited the phrase "tails never fails." Even though I had a 50/50 chance, it always seemed like tails came out on top more times than not.

Check Spelling
Just like a coin, the cross of Christ has two sides to it. To be honest, we haven't done the best job of giving both sides equal attention. Historically, the church has been very good at focusing on one side.

1 Peter 2:24--He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right (NLT)

In this scripture verse we see the two sides (purposes) of the cross...
#1--To set us free from sin (to be dead to sin)
#2--To have the power and freedom to live for what is right

So often we think of serving God and growing closer to God as sinning less and less, which is a really good thing. However, equally as important as not sinning is doing what is right. If we were really honest, James 4:17 says it is a sin to know what we ought to do and then we don't do it.

Let's us be followers of Jesus that are known for what we do more than what we don't do! Let our lives shine brightly with the love of God because of what we are consistently doing at work, at home and in our community.

Don't forget there are two sides to the coin and two sides to the cross!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why?


One of the hardest questions we will ever wrestle with this side of heaven is "Why does God allow bad things to happen on the earth?" We often wonder and ask, "Why did God allow that situation or experience to happen to me?" Honestly, we may never know all of the answers, however, there are a few thoughts from God's Word that guide us.

James 5:11...Job is an example of a man who endured patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord's plan finally ended in good, for He is full of tenderness and mercy.

The other day I was watching my daughter and our neighbor play in the sand box. They were talking about certain things like they were experts and that even though they are only 4 & 6 they had it all figured out. I laughed to myself as I listened and watched. I thought, "aren't they cute...they don't have a clue." Instantly I pictured God saying the same thing about us. He watches us act like we have all of the answers and that we know how life works.

Does God ordain these events or just allow them to happen? Either way, God is able to take the most horrific, painful and crazy situations and use them and spin them for good. (Romans 8:28)
God has such an infinite perspective and we have, well, such a small perspective. Just like my 4 year old daughter only having 4 years of experience and life to draw from, we only have the short years here on earth. God has been around before the beginning and sees the beginning from the end.

What hurtful situations are you facing right now? What hurts from the past are you holding on to? Why did they happen? I wish I had all of the answers! Why not surrender them over to God and allow Him to heal, restore and bring good out of it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

20/20


20/20 is considered normal vision. Many can see 20/16, 20/12 or even 20/10. Being able to see is extremely important to being who God called us to be. However, the kind of eye sight I am talking about isn't physical eye sight.

If you read Hebrews chapter 11 which is considered the "Hall of faith," you will see a common theme throughout the entire chapter.

Verses 13 & 14 sum it up...All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

They saw what others didn't see so they could do what others couldn't do!!

Jesus was the same way. Spend some time and go through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and take note of how many times it says "Jesus saw"

One that I have been chewing on today is Matthew 9:46--When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Let me ask you, when you see the crowds what do you see? Do you see someone who just cut in line or do you see someone confused and helpless? Do you see someone always late for work and sluffing off on the job or someone not living their purposes confused and helpless? Do you see someone angry, bitter and a jerk or someone hurt, broken, confused and helpless.

God give us 20/20 vision to see the way you see!! Give us compassion!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How may I serve you...

Came across this great story today...it's worth the read!!!

No one can make you serve others well. That's because great service is a choice. We all get the same amount of time each day. Some choose wisely and use it to serve others!

Years ago, my friend, Harvey Mackay, told me a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey. He handed my friend a laminated card and said:

"I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk, I'd like you to read my mission statement."
Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

Wally's Mission Statement:

To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment
This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf."
My friend said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink."
Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice."

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke"
Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio."
As if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of the day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights, or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

"Tell me, Wally," my amazed friend asked the driver, "have you always served customers like this?" Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'

"That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

"I take it this has paid off for you," Harvey said.
"It sure had," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action."
Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab.

I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting. Do we quack like ducks full of excuses or do we make the choice to make a difference in the world around us?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lasting Impact

"You may be only one person to the world but to one person you may be the world."

Think about some of the best memories you have in the entire history of your life. Chances are someone played a major role in your life that assisted or contributed to that memory.

We often don't feel like we have much to offer or that we have no time to do much for others however you can make a lasting impact on anothers life. Maybe it's a phone call or text today? Maybe you send an e-card or a real card in the mail? Maybe you decide you are going to cut your neighbor's lawn or bring them over some cookies and sit down and spend 15 minutes talking and listening.

Whatever it is remember the words of Jesus when He said..."The greatest among you will be your servant.(Matthew 23:11). Jesus didn't just preach it, He lived it

John 13:12-17--When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Don't underestimate the power of serving. When you put someone else first you will make a lasting impact on their life and show them a glimps of the presence and love of God! What a deal!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pause

this lesson has been adapted from Andy Stanley

Temptation is something we face every single day of our lives. Tempted by chocolate cookies, tempted by drivers who cut us off on the highway, tempted to cheat on our taxes, tempted by TV commercials, tempted to say things we shouldn't to our spouse or children and tempted to leave work early and still get paid. In some way, shape or form we are all tempted to live life opposite of how God designed us to.


Learning to pause and think about these two principles, will empower us to be more successfull in resisting temptation. If we start asking these two questions on a consistent basis we will find ourselves having more victories than defeats.


#1--There is always more at stake than we think

HAT WE THINK….

Matthew 4:3-11—the tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." 4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'[a]"

5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
" 'He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test." 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.


With every decision we make it effects our future, somebody elses future and our faith. Look at the life of Christ.
What was at stake for Jesus? Do you know what hung in the balance? You & I hung in the balance? Our eternal destiny hung in the balance on that day. Jesus’ ability to pause and see the bigger picture allowed Him to be the perfect sacrifice and die on the cross for our sins. IF HE WOULD HAVE SINNED…HE couldn’t have died for ours.


#2--Our ability to resist temptation is connected to our confidence in God

Look back at Jesus’ three temptations. He always referred to what His Father God had said. He didn’t respond by his feelings, which he wa
s starving. He responded with confidence in God...IT IS WRITTEN


Because we see a behind the scenes look into the 3 major causes of temptation. All temptations no matter how big or small you may think trace back to these 3 things that Jesus faced. All 3 of these temptations deals with Jesus’ confidence in God.

1. Tempted to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way

2. Tempted to leverage and use God for His own gain

3. Tempted to take a short cut—to do the right thing the wrong way


How many times have we tried to meet a legitimate need…intimacy, love, peace, provision in an illegitimate way? How many times have we tried to use God for our own gain? How many times have we tried to do the right thing the wrong way?


Our ability to resist temptation reveals the level of our confidence in God.


PAUSE....may we add it to the remote control of our lives and learn to focus on these two principles. Ask God today to help you pause and think about these two principles!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Do you have a light?

Check out this powerful music video by Desperation Band "Light up the World."

http://www.youtube.com/user/desperationband?blend=3&ob=4

The lyrics communicate part of the vision and passion of Wyandotte Family Church!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

G.R.A.C.E.

Another one of Wyandotte Family Church's core values is GRACE. This is a word that we hear often but what is the definition of grace.

Webster defines grace as : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy or : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

I have heard many great preachers say grace is being given what we didn't deserve.

I wanted to take a few moments and add a little depth to the word grace...

G.etting a 2nd chance
-We all know what if feels like to mess up big time, drop the ball or do something wrong. We know what if feels like to fail. It's not a fun feeling. Grace is getting a 2nd chance. It's being able to get up off the floor, dust off our pants and try again. (Romans 3:23-25)

R.eceiving the gift
-The amazing thing about grace is that it can't be earned. When we blow it with God or with another person, we are at their mercy. They technically don't have to show us favor. They don't have to cover our situation and life with grace. When they do, all we can do is humbly receive.
(Ephesians 2:4-6, 8)

A.llowing others room to fail
-It's so amazing how we judge ourselves by our intentions but others by their actions. People will fail and sin (Romans 3:23). Grace is being honest, open and truthful yet understanding others are going to fail. Instead of pounding others when they are down grace is lending a hand to help them back up. (Proverbs 24:16)

C.oncerned with the person
-Jesus Christ gives us grace because He loves us and is concerned about our eternal destiny. However, it often seems that people are more concerned with church rules, traditions and programs than people. People often get hurt and steam rolled as innocent bystanders. Grace is caring and having a genuine concern for others even if they don't reciprocate it. (Psalm 86:15)

E.ngaging
-Grace is an action word (Philippians 2:5-9). Jesus didn't just say He was going to give us something we didn't deserve, He did it. Grace is more than a core value or nice sermon. It comes alive in marriages, friendships, co-workers, in families and at school. Grace is continually in motion and is never neutral.

Jesus has given us "amazing grace." He has given us a 2nd chance. We all have sinned yet He made a way through the cross for us to be forgiven. We have the ability to receive the gift and grace of salvation. We can't earn it but we can receive it. It's amazing how slow to anger and patient God is with us given us room to fail. Jesus is concerned with our lives and cares about every detail. I am so thankful that He is constantly involved and engaging our lives with His love and grace.

On a scale 1-10 (10 being the best) how would you rate your ability to give grace?

When I say difficult person...who was the first person to come to your mind?

Pray and ask God to give you the grace to give to that person. Think about how much God has forgiven you from and covered in His grace. Do the same for others.