Monday, November 22, 2010

Beauty

This past Sunday gathering we discussed the word "beauty."
We defined beauty has coming together and creating something that resonates with the heart of God. Creating a different reality than others are used to seeing which results in giving others a glimpse of God's glory. It's awakening other's imagination to realize there is more than this life.
We talked about walking in beauty when we walk in excellence & creativity.

1 Corinthians 10:31— So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God

What are you doing right now? What are going to do today? What are you doing this week and Thanksgiving? Remember, that we are called to do it with excellence as unto the Lord! When we do beauty is released and others see a glimpse of God's glory!

Take Home: What is one thing that I can do with excellence this week?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Story

This past Sunday we talked about the word "Story."

Why are stories so powerful? Why do stories have the ability to touch our hearts like nothing else? Stories make us laugh, they make us cry, and they draw us in so we feel connected. Why is that?

I know this has been told many times but the word History is really His-story. The Bible is not a bunch of fragmented books that are disconnected. The Bible is 1 story starting in Genesis and signing off temporarily in Revelation. It's a story of Redemption and forgiveness. It's not a book full of rules and regulations and law. It's a story of how we turned away from God and severed our relationship with Him. It's a story of God's amazing plan to restore that relationship so we could know Him again. It's a story of how we can live our lives to the fullest and we can truly know God personally.

Have you read the story lately? Go ahead...start in Genesis 1:1 and read the beginning of it all. The more you know and become a part of God's story, the more you will desire to share it with others.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And Conference part 3

As we continue this conversation on being attractional and missional I wanted to share a few barriers that we come up against. There are usually 3 barriers that challenge us and try to keep us from being missional in our every day lives.

BARRIER #1—Individualism

*This is how we process our social interaction…control who we are with. More and more in America we have become individuals often isolated from others. This is true for the church at large. We have created our own "bubble" that keeps us from being around the very people that need the love & power of Jesus. We are not truly a disciple (which means follower of Christ), until we are intentionally around those who need Him the most.

BARRIER #2Materialism--which we define..."the reason I live and work is to get stuff" It's hard to be missional when we are focused on all of the things in life we want for ourselves. It makes it hard to be generous and giving. A disciple who is missional is characterized by generosity.


BARRIER #3—Consumerism--defined as...God is here for me first…I do everything for me. I seek God because God blesses my business. I attend this church because it meets the needs of my family. How do we know this is true? Statistics reveal that a majority of churches spend 80% of their money on themselves and keeping themselves alive. A missional disciple is one who understand that they are here for God and His purposes. They live with His mission and purpose for their lives at the center of every thing they do.

Which barrier do you struggle with the most? Write down and make it a strategic matter of prayer and focus this week as you strive to live missional and with meaning!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

And Conference part 2


Once again the topic of this blog is on the tension of being an attractional and missonal church. Being attractional is trying to compel those who aren't walking with Jesus to come to the church. Being missional is leaving the church "box" and going out to the community to bring Jesus love to others.


Here are some more thoughts & insights from the conference

In the PAST—We focused on getting the community into the church. Church was defined largely by the weekend service. Primarily centralized top-down structure. Attendance and giving were how success was gauged. People come to the church building to do their ministry. Buildings serve the church—the community is invited to join them

Where we are NOW—Get the church into the community. Church defined by “where you are." We begin also tracking community impact and loving others as a gauge of success. Ministry isn’t confined to a building. It happens where you are. Buildings serve the community—the congregation also meets there

Many do what we have always done. Other's want to throw out the past and go with where we are now. We are going to join the movement and believe God to help us do both. I've always said, this is not a church...just a place where the church meets.


When you go to work Monday, there is church. When you meet others at Starbucks or Tim Hortons, there is church. When you hang out watching sports with others, there is church. Let's allow God to shift our mind and understand that everyday is an opportunity for us to meet with God to be used by Him to help others meet Him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

From the "And" Conference

I have been given the great opportunity to attend this challenging
conference in Indiana. The entire conference is to wrestle with the
philosophies of being an "Attractional" church and a "Missional"
church. It's going to take a lot of blogs to share what God is saying but hang with me :)

First of all..let me define what Attractional & Missional means?

Missional means to Be the love of Jesus right where you live, being the church in your everyday life. Being Missional is being outward focused and taking the love and grace of Jesus out of the church into the community. Being missional is understanding that we don't go to church but we are the church. Everywhere we go, we take the power and love of God with us.

Attractional means to use creativity, arts, technology and other resources to attract the community to come to church. It's more inward focused trying to compel others to come to you. Attempting to be relevant and connect with the culture in how one designs one gatherings.

Over the past 5-7 years there has been debate on which one we should be. This conference is about how we can become both!

BUT HERE IS THE PROBLEM...

The Shrinking 40% --This percentages used to be higher but is ever shrinking. Many Americans who currently don't go to church will possibly come to the “box” The way we do church is working for fewer and fewer people everyday. The way we do church isn’t style, traditional, denomination doesn’t matter—it's usually come to us.

60% and growing—60% of those who don't go to church, will never come to the “box”. Many of them believe there is a higher power yet don’t consider the church as a resource to take steps to know God better or find answers. Young adults today are less connected to church than previous decades but just as spiritual. If this trend continues churches will close as fast at GM dealerships

We feel this tension because many of us say..."But I love inviting people to church because that is how I came to know Jesus. That is how my life has changed. Yet we all have friends who we have invited to the "box" for years but they won't come. So, this leaves us with two choices.

Two Choices:
#1—Continue to pour our lives and resources trying to reach the 40% (28,565 unchurched people in Wyandotte, Riverview & Southgate who may come)
#2—Leave the institutional church behind. Go out and spend the resources and time going after the masses 60% (42,828 unchurch people who most likely will never come to the box)

IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO BOTH? IS IT POSSIBLE TO REACH OUR COMMUNITIES AND FRIENDS? YES.

MORE TO COME and comments encouraged...

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Outfit are you Wearing

Well, yesterday was the special illustrated message "Chainsaw Jesus." (Check our facebook fan page for pictures soon)

We talked about how many of us even after Halloween try to cover up the sins, hurts, and void in our lives with other things. However, the more we try to "mask it," the greater the wall becomes inside our hearts and the further from God we actually become.

Yet, THANK GOD FOR CHAINSAW JESUS! Through His death on the cross and his triumphal Resurrection on that 3rd day, we can be forgiven and freed from our sin and ourselves.

As I was reading this morning I came across this verse in Romans

Romans 13:14--Rather clothe (cover) yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do no think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Thank you Jesus that even though I deserve death and eternal separation from You because of my sins, I can clothe (cover) myself with Your love, forgiveness and freedom.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When You believe in God but won't share your faith part 3

An old friend of mine is an author and blogger. I recently received an email from him about making an impact on others lives. Thought this was a great practical read as a follow up to the message from this past Sunday...ENJOY!!!
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Article by Matt Anderson (Matt Chat)


On September 25, the Texas Rangers cliched their division's championship in Oakland. It was cause to celebrate. This was rarefied territory for the frequent AL West cellar-dwellers. It would be their first playoff appearance in 11 years. Per tradition, bottles of champagne were popped open and freely dispensed over the heads of teammates.

But Josh Hamilton was nowhere to be found. After hugging and shaking hands with his teammates, he changed in the trainer's room, far away from the raucous celebration. Why would he eschew a moment craved by every baseball player? Two reasons. Hamilton is a believer in Christ who didn't want to send the wrong message to fans, and he is a recovering addict.

Hamilton is one of Major League Baseball's most interesting stories. Drafted as a "can't miss" prospect, his rampant addiction to drugs and alcohol had taken away everything - his career (suspended from the league), his family, and almost his life. At rock bottom, he made a decision to follow Christ, eventually got clean, and got back into baseball.

Now he's arguably the best player in the game. But he's far from perfect. Relapsing almost two years ago, he made the mistake of believing he could handle one drink. That dalliance snowballed into a binge and an indiscretion that once again could have cost him his career and family. Finding forgiveness from both his wife and team, he moved forward. These days, the right fielder has to live on a much shorter leash than most. He has no cash or credit cards in his wallet at any time, to eliminate the temptation to purchase alcohol or drugs. Even his per diem funds are handled by his manager. He is only allowed to hang out with teammates who don't drink alcohol. Which explains why Hamilton was nowhere to be found when the champagne was flowing.

This past Friday night, I watched from home as the Rangers defeated the Yankees to win the American League pennant. The team charged the field, huddled, hugged, and celebrated by pouring beverages over each other's heads. But this time, Hamilton was right in the middle of it. Why? What the lead broadcaster said next floored me. He remarked that, in deference to Josh Hamilton, the team was showering each other with liter bottles of ginger ale. From my living room, all I could say was, "That's totally cool." I know. Not the profundity you look for from a writer, but that's all that worked. I was amazed at the respect they showed to a valuable teammate.

It's not easy for Christians in the workplace. Even today, many of us will be regaled with tales of unholy conquest and behavior from the previous weekend. We seem to almost be speaking a different language than others in the office or the plant. It seems a gulf too big to span. However, I would suggest than when we are a valuable teammate and value those we work with, we will have the respect of (at least) some. If we refuse to go out for drinks with friends/co-workers and tell them we're concerned about getting drunk and what that does to us, only a complete moron (non-spiritual diagnosis by author) would be disagreeable. Yes, there will be those who can't wait for us to "relapse" and be less than perfect, but in their hearts they'll know we get it right a whole lot more than we get it wrong. And that counts for something.

If you're in that spot and think you're not making an impact, I want you to know that you are. When the loud mouth's head hits the pillow, it's your life he wishes he had. He wished he could live without the constant shame, guilt, and pain that only substances can anesthetize. Be as consistent as you can, be a good teammate to the company, and be available to your co-workers. Who knows? The next invitation to drinks may turn out to be ginger ale.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Penn Gilette...won't share your faith part 2

Below is a video I wanted to show on Sunday at our gathering. It's the video blog of Penn Gilette (from Penn & Teller Illusion Show) talking about sharing faith. Now remember, he is an atheist. What profound and challenging words he shares.


video

Monday, October 25, 2010

When you believe in God but won't share your faith!


Yesterday we finished our Christian Atheist Series. The entire series was designed to shrink the gap between our words & beliefs we profess and our actions.


When it comes to sharing our faith, we talked about inviting people to church, sharing your story & serving others in love. Sharing our faith doesn't mean trying to fix others ourselves or get them to act right.
I came across this blog from a another pastor Julie and I served under in Northville. Check it out...
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#1 way for us to be Spiritual NOT Religious
October 21, 2010 by Sonny Hennessy

This past year Shawn and I went to a Spiritual renewal retreat lodge in Colorado for 10 days. It was life altering! We felt like our Bachelor of Arts in Theology and 12 years of experience in “full time” ministry dimmed in comparison to the fullness of the Word we received 12-14 hours a day for 10 days.

One of the books that was part of our daily curriculum was, “The Valley of Vision”. It is simply a collaboration of Puritan’s journaled Prayers. To hear them repent for the need to repent among other cries for God’s Mercy and Grace stunned me. These particular puritan’s, not that all were this way, were consumed with their own Holiness. Their focus wasn’t on others need to be Holy but their own need. They knew if they caught flame, others would follow but it was their responsibility to check their motives, heart, desires not just first…..but period. They were aware that they had so many sinful ways as flesh of flesh that they could spend all day everyday working on themselves. It was introspection, Fear of God, trembling in His presence. Who were they to judge others if they felt unworthy themselves? That is where God wanted them…aware of their unworthiness and their need for Him.

We have come so far from the pure fear of working out our own salvation that we honestly feel it is our duty to work other’s out for them. This is Religion.

It is saying I want to have a fence built around me by man- made rules and obligations so it is simple and fool proof. Next step is I need to get that fence around those who become Christians so myself and my earthly leader can prove this faith is “fool-proof”. We must realize we are fools, and those who don’t know Christ yet may really look foolish but I’m not the wise guy to change em! We want so bad to control any bad thing that may come our way, and don’t see that delima’s allow God to turn us in the direction of our true destiny if we let HIM!

We also feel obligated as Religious people to “take a stand against sin”, in fact we hear that preached often. It’s always a sermon that will get the Pastor some “Amen’s” and a “Preach it” here and there. Problem is, we believe we are making a difference “taking a stand” against sinners through picketing and making stern comments when opportunity arises. Shouldn’t we first take a stand against that darn plank in our own eye before we hold up our angry sign with a plank?

I recently was surprised to hear about a great Pastor we know who was rallying his congregation to show up and picket a topless bar. I asked Shawn if he thought the same time from the pulpit could be spent receiving an offering so some lovely church ladies could take money and hand it to one of the girls going into the bar to work a shift. This could be the “seed” God is sending to end the cycle of their need for this paralyzing career. The money may help a single mom support herself and poor babies so she can get out of the job that makes her a lot of money a night.

Oh, I know what most are thinking, “You don’t know what she will do with that money”….hold up right there…. is that us determining she answers to us not God? And how many preachers have used our offerings for the hotel bills to stay with one of these girls…ouch, that was just mean, I know! Sorry

Anywhoo, if we Religious folk (I act it too at times) would focus as much on ourselves and our holiness, we would ooze with Love and Mercy for others. Our heart would break for what breaks His!

There is no way you can be on your knees and in the Word and walk away looking for a sinner to reprimand. Those who are disgusted by “sinners” have not been with Jesus lately because you would be crying not raging. Jesus only ever got angry at Pharisees, Saducees, and temple workers…oh and at the devil.

With love and gentleness….;D

Sonny

Monday, October 18, 2010

When you believe in God but trust more in MONEY


Yesterday was part 6 of the Christian Atheist Series. We looked at how easy it is for us to allow money to take the place of God in our hearts. Money is the #1 competitor to God. However, Jesus made it clear that we cannot serve both God and money. We will either love one and despise the other. You can listen to the message by clicking on this link http://www.wyandottefamily.com/listen.html
One of the things we talked about is how to combat selfishness and being discontented? One of the ways was to take action!


1 Timothy 6:18-19—Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the age to come, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.



Pause for a moment and spend a few minutes in prayer. Ask God how wants to use you this week and how you can be generous today to bless others. Remember, God isn't against His people having money or things but He is against money & things having His people.

TAKE HOME (ways to grow in generosity)

#1--Go back and re-read the story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19 starting at verse 16) and the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19)
#2--Pray every morning asking God to make you more like Jesus (a giver)
#3--Purchase this economical and power teaching by Rob Bell Nooma: Rich at http://www.amazon.com/Nooma-Rich-13-Rob-Bell/dp/B000RW3UWQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1287411747&sr=8-1 This video is full of challenging and mind blowing statistics on how rich we truly are in America.

Monday, October 11, 2010

When You Believe in God But Don't Think You Can Change


Yesterday, we had special guest speaker Brian Pruitt with us. He talked about When You Believe in God But Don't Think You Can Change.

He spoke from John 5:1-8 (I would encourage you to read it again)
Go ahead, pause, grab Your Bible or go to http://www.youversion.com/
and look up the verses.
The question from verse 6 is still echoing in my head, "Do you want to get well?"

Remember, God is unchangeable but we are not. Every life surrendered to Jesus can and will change.

Have a great week walking in FREEDOM!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The God Bag

Yesterday we talked about "When You Believe in God but still worry all of the time."I read a story about a gentleman who took a brown bag and wrote "God Bag." He put it above the kitchen door as a visual.


Every time he began to worry about something, he paused, prayed about it and then wrote it down on a piece of paper and put it in the God Bag. This was symbolic of him trusting God to handle the situation and that he didn't have to worry or stress about it.


If he began to worry again about that same issue, he had to get the step ladder out and climb up to grab the item back out of the paper bag symbolizing he wasn't letting God handle it and that he was taking it back out for him to carry.


I thought this would be a good visual for all of us to try as we move forward this week to "TRUST MORE AND WORRY LESS."


Philippians 4:6-8

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

His Love

This past Sunday we talked about "When you Believe in God but aren't sure He loves you." We shared how guilt and insignificance can be roadblocks to His love. We also talked about the key to knowing God's love is to truly know who God really is.


Take a few moments today and read these verses by putting your name in them.

John 3:16--"For God so loved (insert your name)that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

Romans 5:8--But God demonstrates his own love for (insert your name) in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

Romans 8:37-39--No, in all these things (insert your name) are more than conquerors through him who loved (insert your name). 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate (insert your name) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-But because of his great love for (insert your name), God, who is rich in mercy, 5made (insert your name) alive with Christ even when (insert your name) were dead in transgressions—it is by grace (insert your name) have been saved.

1 John 4:10--10This is love: not that (insert your name) loved God, but that he loved (insert your name) and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for (insert your name) sins.

God's love is present right now for us to receive. Let's draw near to Him today and accept His love, live in His love and allow His love to change our hearts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We talked about guilt & insignificance being 2 roadblocks to God's love. Which 1 is the greatest challenge 4 you? Tomorrow we will discuss Gods answer, His love

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Not Fair


It's Not Fair!! How many times have we heard our children, grandchildren or nieces & nephews pout that phrase. It was just a few weeks ago when my youngest wanted to do something and I said no. She pouted and kicked her feet in her car seat and said, "it's not fair."


Now I have to ask...does my 3 year old know what is fair? Of course not. Her little mind and life experience is so shortsighted.


This past Sunday we talked about "When You Believe in God but don't Think He's Fair." We talked about how God is present in our pain, He comforts us in our pain & He can redeem our pain.


We all will go through situations and circumstances that we don't think are fair. We face situations that are not easy or sometimes explainable. We also serve a God that is greater, bigger, and more loving that we are. I wonder if He sometimes looks down at us with a smile, as if he was patting us on the head, as we scream "It's not fair." He sees so much more than we do.


Does that truth make what we face better, of course not. It just means when we face unfair situations and circumstances, we should run toward God's love and grace not away from it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

At Your Feet

This past Sunday for our Grand Opening we talked about "When you believe in God but you don't really know Him." We are committed to building passionate followers of Jesus Christ who actively live out faith, family & fun.

Check out this powerful song by Casting Crowns called "at Your feet." This communicates well how to passionately follow Christ! Enjoy!


video

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grand Opening


Today will go down in history...the grand opening of weekly gatherings at Wyandotte Family Church.
We had an exciting day with 77 adults and 30 children for a total of 107 in attendance. The worship team did a great job and the presence of God was evident as we sang!

I preached a message titled, "When you believe in God but don't really know Him." One statement that I made often was, "Jesus didn't die on the cross so we can know about Him but He died on the cross so we could KNOW HIM!. At the end we had 5 people make re-commitments to follow Christ.

As I look back at this last year and the journey we have been on, two truths stick out to me.
#1--God is always faithful--we have come across many bumps and challenges along the way but God has provided, guided or given favor every time.
#2--You are the sum total of the people around you. David was a great king because he had his mighty men around him. (just read 1 & 2 Samuel). Julie and I have been blessed to have so many amazing people around us on this journey. Those around us on the team our the true heroes in our book


Thanks for your continual prayers as we move forward!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What is Church?


A few weeks back I was praying and had a thought come to my mind. When we find a building to lease I want to put up a sign over all the outside doors. "This is not a church...just a building where the church meets.

At Wyandotte Family Church we are passionate about "being" the church and not just simply going to church. It's who we are with Christ not what we do once a week! There is a huge difference. Then I stumbled across this article by Steve Pike, the National Church Planting Director of the Assemblies of God. Check it out.
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The church is not a building and it is not just a worship service…it is a called out people. Our Assemblies of God (AG) founding leaders got it right when they labeled our local congregations ‘assemblies’. In my humble opinion, that is the best English translation of the Greek word ‘ekklesia,’ which roughly means a group of citizens of a local community called out together for a purpose. Our purpose is to be with God on His Mission. His Mission involves way more than enjoying the 9:00 am contemporary service at the Hilltop Theater once a week. Being with God on His Mission means we are called to make disciples and walk together with other disciples, tangibly allowing the Gospel (The Bible) to transform us and our communities 24/7

Being on a Mission with God certainly involves worship, but the robust discipleship journey will include acts of service, ongoing personal spiritual formation, transformational connections with others and a continual posture of being sent by God to manifest His love and power. Local churches and leaders who put all of their energy and funding into one weekly service will likely end up cultivating anemic disciples who think the church only exists to make sure they are happy and well fed. That is hard to reconcile with Christ’s characterization of discipleship - “take up your cross daily and follow me.”

Today is a great day to run your ministry plan through the grid of discipleship as defined by Jesus. How will the church you lead develop a community where disciples pick up their cross daily and follow Christ? How are you helping people serve followers of Christ and those who haven't crossed the line into a relationship with Jesus yet? How are you cultivating spiritual maturity? How are you facilitating redemptive connections? How are disciples being sent? I’m pretty sure the answer will involve more than an outstanding worship service once a week.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Mirror


We teach what we know but we reproduce who we are--Troy Jones


2 Samuel 21:22 says...These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men (David’s men also killed Giants).


David's mighty men were able to kill the remaining giants because their leader David had already killed Goliath. When everyone was afraid and hiding because of Goliath's threats, David was willing to be bold and trust in God and confront Goliath. As a result those who followed him later could do the same.


As we lead our spouses, children, co-workers, and family this principle works the same. Gone are the days of "don't do what I do just what I say." We reproduce who we are! If our children are acting certain ways, there is a good chance they learned it from us.


What is one character or quality that you would love to see in those around you? Ask God today to start making it a reality in your own life. As that quality becomes a part of who you are, you will begin to reproduce yourself in others.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Finger


Throughout the course of a day it is so easy to see the junk and wrong in other peoples lives. We see how rude and inconsiderate other people are on the highway. We see how heartless and picking our bosses are. We see how thoughtless and inconsiderate our spouses are. etc. etc.


2 Samuel 12:5 says David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!


Going back a few verses and chapters you see what happens. Instead of going out to war with the troops King David stays back. When he is looking out of the palace he sees another woman bathing and finds outs its Bathsheeba, wife of Uriah. He ends up sleeping with this man's wife and she gets pregnant. To cover it up, he ends up sending him to the front lines of battle so he gets killed. He then takes Bathsheeba as his wife thinking he has covered everything up. That is until Nathan the Prophet comes and tells him a story (2 Samuel 12:1-7)


Usually, we are critical & judgemental of others for the exact same things we struggle with. We end up pointing the finger at others when we are just as guilty ourselves. The next time we begin to become critical of others, lets pause and ask, "what sin in my life am I struggling with or trying to hide?" Asking this simple question may cause us to see the situation in a completely different light.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Tree Are You?

Below is a challenging article from Pastor Tim Dilena in Highland Park.
Christians should resemble a fruit tree and not a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree has decorations that are tied on, but the fruit tree has its fruit grows out of it not placed on it. Holiness is not stuff that people tell you to hang on your life; it is the result of something that is in you. You don’t have to teach holy actions to people; if the new life is in them it should come to them naturally. To say that sanctification (the process of becoming more like Jesus) is natural consequence of regeneration is not to say that it is automatic. The Christian can still act badly and thoughtlessly and selfishly, and grieve the Spirit, and fail in marriage and relationships and be depressed, but every Christian has the potential for holiness (being set apart) now since Christ is in them.

This is a work of the Holy Spirit. Holiness is the fruit of the Spirit. Holiness is not an attribute that we have inherently. Doing the wrong thing is natural to us. In Mark 7:23 Jesus teaches that within the soil of every man’s heart lies buried ugly seeds of every conceivable sin. The “evil things” which we think, do, and say are not due primarily to our environment or are they bad habits picked up from bad teaching, bad company or bad examples. They are due to an inner corruption of the heart. That is not to say that environment or education are unimportant, for their influence can be good and bad. What Jesus is saying is that the dominant force in a person’s life is his heredity, and that his nature is twisted and self centered. We say and do evil things because we have an evil heart or nature.

Even when people are at their best and giving good gifts to children they are still evil by nature. Jesus says “If you then who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children” This statement is striking; because it alludes to the fact that fallen men can do good things. Father and mothers who are not saved can love their children and make sacrifices for them but at the same time they do not escape the category of being evil.

It is out of the heart that evil things and evil thoughts arise. Here is the deduction: our heart controls our hands and feet or our nature governs our behavior. The heart of the problem is the heart. Right behavior in the eyes of God is dependent upon getting a new heart. And Jesus said this was possible in Matthew 12:33 “Make the tree good and its fruit is good” So the new birth is a profound inward change. It is the implantation by God of a new life, the bestowal of a new nature, the gift of a new heart Ezek. 36:26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Religion has messed up “holiness”. We make holiness out to be rules and legalism. It’s not that complicated. Simply put holiness can be defined as wholeness or healthy. It means inward health. It is a balanced life. And our human nature is all about imbalance. Just look at the medical profession. Most physicians today are specialists that just focus on one aspect of health. But Jesus is not a specialist in a few areas. He is a specialist in every area. He is the Great Physician who heals our heart, renews our minds, and transforms us into His image.

So what tree are you? A Christmas tree adorned with self aggrandized ornaments or a fruit tree bearing fruit that is produced by the Holy Spirit? Let Jesus exchange your heart of stone with a heart of flesh. Allow the Holy Spirit to produce fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Voice Over



The following is an article from Matt Anderson in his weekly "Matt Chat" email. Thought this was worth sharing...enjoy!!




Have you ever noticed that audio loop that plays on the public address system at airports? It is that nondescript, unthreatening, reassuring voice giving us proper traveling instructions. It helps us to understand that, "The Red Zone is for loading and unloading of emergency vehicles only," and that parking is restricted in such areas. Inside the concouse, we're told to "not leave our baggage unattended at any time". The faceless instruction continues unabated, occasionally interrupted by calls for passengers to report to the United Airlines ticket counter.


I'm convinced that we have a similar loop that plays unendingly within our mind. And what we've allowed to be recorded on that loop will largely determine the direction of our life and our attitude while getting there. The mind is the navigational system of the soul. The coordinates placed within it control our belief systems and faith level. How it operates determines how we function on a daily basis. What we fail to understand, however, is our role in it.


From our earliest recollections, voices all around have contributed to the contents of "the loop". Parents, siblings, kids on the school playground - all have lended their voices to it. For those who have been nurtured in caring, scriptural families or environments, their loop is the launching point to believing the absolute greatest possibilities in God. For others, it's a constant reminder of their faults and inevitable victimization. It's all the difference between, "Good morning, Lord!" and "Good lord...morning."


We know the enemy of our soul wants to do all he can to infect the recording. He wants us to believe the worst about ourselves and our Father. When others have been his mouthpiece, it becomes that much more settled in our cerebral cortex. There are people reading this article today who hourly believe they are not as loved as others, less able, untalented, ugly, doomed to failure, and a source of shame to their friends and loved ones. Yep, Christians. People who have been redeemed and lift their voice in worship on Sunday morning. They do what they can to fight through it, but it plays without ceasing and constantly sends them the wrong direction. The longer it plays, the more true it is.


Maybe you've never given thought to, well, your thoughts. You haven't done a detailed, spiritual inventory of the loop. Maybe I'm not the first, but if your mind is constant source of spiritual drain for you, let me unequivocally state that those are all lies! You are not who you have believed yourself to be. The Lord wants to perform a voiceover today. He wants to renew your mind and "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5, NLT).


This week, I'm going to ask you to do something difficult. I want you to write down the harmful, untrue thoughts that have played in your mind for years. It's time to expose the lies of the evil one. I guarantee you'll feel silly writing them for the simple reason that exposing them will immediately reveal their inherent idiocy. Satan's lies lose their punch when taken out of the realm of secrecy.


The Father also wants to have His say in all this. Bring light to the darkness and watch the darkness dispel. Once you've exposed the lies, I want you to search the Scriptures for passages that speak the opposite of the accusations. Write them down and place them in strategic locations, like your nightstand, computer, bathroom mirror, and car. We have to be very intentional about allowing God to renew our thoughts and that means surrouding ourselves in His Word. He wants to replace our thoughts of failure, abandonment, and isolation with His reminders of abundant living, constant presence, and companionship. We've let this thing play too long. We're not stuck with this; it can be better. The truth will indeed set us free, so let's hand God the mike and let Him start marking a path of righteousness and peace within us today. I hope you have an amazing week.

The Matt Chat Book is available at the Create Space E-Store by clicking here, or at Amazon.com by clicking here. Hope it provides inspiration for you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Song Forever Reigns

video

Take a few moments and watch this new worship video!
Listen to the lyrics and have fun in God's presence!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Faith part 2

The last blog we talked about what it means to really have a relationship with God, the amazing creator of our lives and the universe.

Once you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and once you surrender your life to God, then what?

When we cross the line into a relationship with God we change citizenship's. We become citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Because of God's grace and mercy, heaven becomes our home and our destination.

We also get the privilege to walk with God in relationship and to live for His glory on this earth. We get to use the gifts, talents, energy, time, and money he gives us to worship and honor him every day. What an exciting adventure. He gives us purpose not just for the future but also in the present!

In 1 Samuel 2:12 we read about Eli's sons who were priests serving at the temple. Yet we read in this verse that they were wicked and had no regard (no experience or perception) for the Lord. They did whatever they wanted and ignored the heart of God. They thought because of their position and title they could do whatever they wanted.

This is where a lot of followers of Christ get tripped up. For years, many have fallen into a set of legalistic rules that squelched their relationship with God away. Manyy turned following God into a list of rules that was void of life. GOD was not pleased. So the pendulum has swung the other way, where many claim to follow Christ but they live their lives for themselves and order their lives for how they think is best. He is not pleased with this either.

Always remember, that God has our best interest in mind. Everything He asks us to do is for our benefit and will bring the best outcome. When we read His Word and follow His ways, it always brings true life. No matter how it hard it seems, you never regret following God's way.

If you finish reading 1 Samuel 2 & 3 you will find out what happens to Eli's sons. They reap the results of their own actions. It is not good.

Have you crossed the line into a relationship with God yet? If not, today is the perfect day! if you have, are you living your life God's way or your own? Do you know what God's plan and will for your daily life is? We get the amazing privilege to read God's Word and to discover His plan for our lives. Let's be people who follow Him completely! Let's let God change us who we are on the inside and everything will take care of itself.

Friday, June 25, 2010

FAITH


The first part of our vision at Wyandotte Family Church is to encourage individuals and families on their faith journey. As i was reading this morning in the Old Testament, Judges chapter 2, I was reminded of the faith journey.

Judges 2:10 says after the whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.

After Joshua had died there was a whole generation that didn't know God or basically know about Him. The faith journey includes both of these aspects.

There are some people who "know about God." Kind of like how I know about the Detroit Lions. I know statistics (unfortunately) about them, their schedule and even names. However, I truly can't say I know them personally. Maybe that's you....you know about God but you don't know him personally. The amazing thing is that you and I can! God extends a personal invitation to us through Jesus Christ for forgiveness, wholeness and the bridge to knowing God. Simply pause for a moment and express your desire to know Him and that You want to walk in a relationship with Him...He will come running toward you.

However, once we know God the other side is important as well. Once we begin to walk in a relationship with God, it's good to learn about His character, power, faithfulness and love. It's knowing the Bible and what He has done that builds are faith when we face hard times today.

Heart and head.....it starts in the heart but we need them both.

Do you know God today?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shortcuts


I remember one time when I was dating my wife Julie in college, we were going from Springfield MO, to Branson, to Joplin and my roommate and I mapped out a "shortcut" to save time. Well, it may have been less distance but it probably took twice as long and we barely found our destination while it was still light out.

Shortcuts...we all try to find them. With summer construction, lane closures, crazy drivers and accidents, any chance we can take a shortcut we are all over it. However, just like my shortcut to Joplin, if we aren't careful the shortcuts can be dangerous and sometimes even derail us from our destination.

Matthew 4 is the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Why don't you pause for a moment and take a minute to read the chapter. If you don't have a bible, just check out http://www.biblegateway.com/ and type in Matthew 4 in the passage search. Did you read it?

3 times Satan tempts Jesus with a shortcut. The ironic thing is that the shortcuts didn't seem that bad in the natural. The first one was to turn the stones into bread. Jesus was fasting so he was extremely hungry...food isn't a bad thing right? Then he was tempted to show off the glory of God and His power. It's not a bad thing for people to see how powerful he was right? Finally, he was tempted to bow down to Satan so he could have control of the earth.

Jesus was tempted to take the easy road but I'm so thankful he didn't. He eventually got all 3 of those things but not the way Satan wanted him to. He eventually finished his fast and we read that he broke bread symbolically teaching His disciples of how his body was going to be broken on the cross for our healing. Later on we see that Jesus raised the dead man Lazarus back to life and showed everyone His power and glory. Finally, after He died on the cross He rose again in 3 days defeating death, hell and the grave taking rightful ownership of this earth and our lives.

What shortcuts are you being tempted with? Shortcuts are just distractions from the real thing! Let's follow God with all our hearts and stay committed to what He has called us to do!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

No meeting tonight so families can spend time together!! Happy Fathers Day. See you next Sunday, 27th @ 5pm "lessons in leadership."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2 Buildings

Today we are looking at two buildings in Wyandotte as
places to meet when we launch September 12th. Both
are close to the downtown area which is where we want to
be.

We appreciate your prayers as we look for God's direction
and provision.

PS. I can't find my personal notes on the book "Do Hard Things."
The book must be in storage right now so I will have to
revisit this theme at a later time

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Do Hard Things


I got a chance to watch the grand finale of "The Biggest Loser" last week. The irony of it all is that I hadn't seen one episode all season. Yet, I sat there in amazement watching recap videos of every person and where they started. One lady in particular was so big and so out of shape she fell off the treadmill and started weeping she couldn't do it and wanted to quit.


What would of happened if she would have quit. She would have joined the rank of thousands of other average people living in mediocrity and probably would have been consoled and patted on the back. However, they got in her face, strongly encouraged her (lol) and she didn't give up. She did hard things and came out on top and was extremely satisfied with the results.


Doing hard things isn't popular these days or promoted. When is the last time you have seen a product advertised on TV that is going to make you work harder? Most inventions are made to make life "easier" and less work (remember the Clapper?). However, if you study the life of men & women who changed their world, they all did hard things. I red a book a few years ago called "Do hard Things" by Alex & Brett Harris. Over the next few weeks I am going to challenge you and use experts from this book to do hard things.


1 Corinthians 9:25-27 says--Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize



Get ready to do hard things!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book Review


Even though this book is written for Pastors, if you are in leadership of any kind, this is a great and easy read. Its broken down into short chapters yet each chapter deals with important & strategic issues of leadership. I recommend this book for those who are busy yet crave leadership growth and guidance.

Dick Hardy has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. He has stayed faithful to God and in serving others throughout his entire ministry. In 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask, Dick Hardy deals with the tough aspects of leadership and the necessary components for success. I wish the book had little bit more practical action steps to tackle some of the issues that are presented. Nevertheless, I still recommend this read.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Price Tag


How many of us love to get a good bargain? I'm just curious...are you one of the crazy day after Thanksgiving and Christmas shoppers too? I love those two days more for the free snow globes at JC Penny's than anything else (lol)
I was reminded of another quote from Dave Williams as I was reading the Bible this morning..."We all understand the value of something but we very seldom want to pay the price."
Deuteronomy 7 reveals this principle about understanding the value but not wanting to pay the price. God was revealing Himself to the entire nation of Israel though fire on the mountain. Out of the fire the tangible voice of God could be heard. They were the first people to actually hear the voice of God and to encounter the glory of God and not die. A GREAT THING, right? Something to get excited about, right? Wrong!

Instead they approached Moses and asked him to talk to God for what they saw and heard was too much for them. In other words, they understood the value of hearing God's voice and being in His presence but they didn't want to pay the price to do so.

What was the result of them delegating the presence and voice of God to someone else? While Moses was on the mountain encountering God, they were at the bottom making an idol (golden calf) and growing further apart from Him!

Anything in life that is significant comes at a price. No one can run a marathon by watching the fitness channel. No one can lift 300 pounds by only lifting Twinkies. We all understand the value of things but often don't want to pay the price. Let me encourage you today, nothing compares to knowing God and walking in His presence. It's worth the price of dropping everything else for a moment to read His Word, pray and listen to His voice. It's worth setting aside time to get together with other followers of Christ once a week to worship and encounter His presence together. ITS WORTH IT!!!! Don't delegate the most important things of life to someone else.

Friday, May 7, 2010

District Council

Every year all of the Assemblies of God churches come together for a time of prayer, worship and business. I wanted to share a few powerful quotes from this past week that have challenged me!!!

We do the faithful, God does the fruitful--Scott Wilson
*So many times we try to bring results. We forget that all God asks of us is to be faithful. We want God to say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant."


There is a difference between working for the Kingdom of God and working from the Kingdom of God--Dave Williams
*So many times we strive to work for God instead of seeking His face and then doing what He
tells us.


Brainstorming brings the results and thoughts of men. Praying brings the results and thoughts of God--Dave Williams
*I have been challenged to pray more. There is so much potential & opportunity to connect
with God and hear His voice.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It all Depends


Have you ever faced an extremely tough situation? Maybe you are facing a hard circumstance right now? Maybe your boss is making it so hard for you at work, it's hard to show up everyday. Maybe your spouse isn't showing the appreciation or support you really desire. Maybe the stress of trying to pay all of your bills and stay afloat is weighing heavily on your shoulders. Maybe you have lost or are in the process of losing a loved one as you read.

Whatever the situation we face, the results of our lives often depend on our response!
Numbers 20 reveals this amazing principle on the significance of our response. You have to understand that Israel was no stranger to the power and miraculous hand of God. They witnessed the plagues God brought against Egypt so Israel would be set free from slavery. They witnessed God open up the Red Sea so they could walk through on dry ground. They witnessed God provide manna in the desert and quail when they complained about more options.

Yet in Numbers 20 they are in the dry desert, hot and thirsty without any water. However, instead of responding in faith and with confidence in a God who has been taking care of them they respond with negativity, complaining, and quarreling.


This is in great contrast to how Moses and Aaron respond. Numbers 20:6 says Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. Every time Israel faced a tough situation they complained and got negative. Every time Moses and Aaron faced a tough situation they fell facedown and sought the face of God!

No matter what siutation you face today or in the near future you have two choices...to complain and become negative or to seek God. If you complain and become negative it will only feed your fears, unbelief, discouragmeent and anger. If you seek the face of God you will receeive strength, peace, hope, direction and most of all God's presence. Let's choose to run to God and trust in Him with every situation. We will be glad we did.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alpha Course Kicks off this Sunday night

We are so excited to kick off the Alpha Course this
Sunday evening @ 5pm.

Come for a free meal and a relaxed environment as we discuss some tough questions of life. Since Alpha is a more relational atmosphere, you can ask any question and have great discussions. Learn more about Jesus, the Holy Spirit and what the Bible actually says.

We rent out the chapel at First United Methodist Church on the corner of Oak & Biddle downtown Wyandotte (71 Oak St.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Letters to God


You are a Letter from God (By soul fuel Dare 2 Share Ministries)

Have you ever wanted to write a letter to God? If you sat down right now to compose a message to the Creator of the universe, what would you say?

I think most would go with the whole series of "why?" questions...why me God? Why did my parents divorce? Why am I depressed a lot? Why did you make me this way? Why are things turning out like this? Valid questions to be sure - and also ones that God is not threatened or angered by. Life is sometimes plain and simple awful, and it is human nature to point our finger at the sky and blame the One in charge - right? That is certainly something Tyler Doherty could have done, and no one would have blamed him.

Who is Tyler Doherty? Well that's not his real name, but he is a real 8 year old boy who went from an easy going, soccer playing childhood to the darkest journey anyone could ever face when one simple word entered his world: Cancer

In the process of his battle with this deadly disease, Tyler had to quit his beloved sport, lose his hair and eyebrows, and face a daily battle with a reality that could crush the spirit of anyone on the planet. But Tyler had an unshakeable relationship with God...a childlike faith that turned his pain and discouragement into a community transformation. That's why the letters he writes to God are not about the "why," or even about him. Tyler writes to God about other people and their problems, and in turn becomes a living letter from God to everyone around him.
And now his story has the chance to transform - not hundreds - but literally millions of lives through the movie Letters to God.

I can't say if I would have the faith that Tyler had when facing a giant of that size, but one thing I have in common with him is that I, too, am a living letter from God to the people around me. And if you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, this statement is true about you: Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts (2 Corinthians 2:2-3).

This truth formed the foundation of Tyler 's outlook on life. He wrote pen and ink letters to God on behalf of others, and in turn God used him to be a beating heart letter from Jesus Christ. His deepest wish was that the sad, hurting, and broken people in his world would come to know God. We've been granted an unbelievable opportunity - haven't we? Every day God is texting the world through our eyes, our words, our attitudes, and our actions. The ink from our hearts bleeds onto the paper of our world, painting a picture of Jesus Christ.

So what kind of living letter are you? The answer to this question can be found in another question- What kind of letters are you writing to God?
Your prayers are your letters, so if they are generally composed of complaints, questions, and self-focused requests, then that is the kind of God the people around you will see.

How about we all start a new letter writing campaign? One that asks God to touch lives and heal the pain in our corner of the world. One that begs God for the salvation of our friends who don't know Him because they haven't trusted in Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation. Let me start this campaign with a letter from God that changed me to the core of my being:

He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God's paths to follow our own.
Yet the L ord laid on him
the sins of us all (Isaiah 53:5-6).

Remember, the ink that God is using to write His message to the world through you was paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Don't waste this precious gift with selfish and self-centered prayers and living, rather make each day a magnificent composition to your Savior, then watch Him write His message of unconditional love and salvation to everyone around you!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Missing the Mark part 3


The past 2 blogs we have looked at some pretty gloomy stuff. We've talked about the definition of sin and the result of sin. Sin always brings death and separation. We've also looked at the sacrificial system the Israelites used to do in order to be in right standing with God.

Now comes the fun part...Jesus. Jesus death and resurrection was a monumental moment in history that changed our lives forever.

Romans 3:25 says God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.
Hebrews 2:17 says For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people

Even though Jesus was God He didn't cling to His rights as God but humbled Himself and became a servant, obedient until death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). Jesus left amazing heaven to become born in human flesh simply to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (missing the mark). He walked this earth in complete obedience to His Heavenly Father and lived without sin (Hebrews 4:15). When He died on that cross, He was shedding His blood to cover our sins once and for all. HE WAS THE ULTIMATE SCAPEGOAT so we could be forgiven.

Now the Jesus has done the hard part, it all boils down to our part. The Bible says that with out faith it is impossible to please God. We must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder for those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11). Our part is accepting His love and sacrifice and putting our faith and trust in Him. Our part is coming to the realization that we have missed the mark and we need His love and forgiveness.

As we come to this Easter weekend I pray that You are overwhelmed with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I pray that you realize how valuable you are and that you were worth Christ dying for. May you embrace Him and open up your heart to Him. May you put your faith and trust in His sacrifice.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Missing the Mark part 2


The previous blog we looked at what missing the mark means and how sin separates us from God and others and how sin brings death. The question we ended with was, "so what can we do about it."

As we approach Easter this weekend, we approach more than a yearly holiday or Christian custom, we approach a reality that offers true hope and forgiveness. In order to truly appreciate what Christ has done we must go back to learn the history of forgiveness.

Romans 5:14 connects with Genesis 3 and reiterates the time and place when "missing the mark" (sin) entered the world. Once sin entered the world the separation and death we talked about began to happen. Because God is so holy and so loving He developed a way for people to have their sins atoned for. Atonement means appease or satisfied.

There were lot of sacrifices and rules that required the bloodshed of animals (remember sin brings death). However, Leviticus 16 reveals to us the concept of the "scapegoat." The priests would lay their hands on the head of the goat and confess and pray for all the sins of the people. After they had prayed they would then send that goat away into the wilderness never to be seen again. The sins of the people were "transferred" onto the goat and he left the camp into the wilderness.

Sacrifices were made daily and the scapegoat and "Atonement", repentance of the people's sins happened once a year. This was a constant reminder of their sin and that they could never measure up. It was a constant reminder that sin separates and sin brings death. It was a vivid picture of the result of mankind going its own way and missing the mark.

Check out the next blog as we see the amazing and exciting reality of how Jesus became our eternal scapegoat and paid the ultimate price!!! Easter Sunday is so significant!



Monday, March 22, 2010

Missing the Mark

There is a church word that has been tossed around for years. It has been tossed around for so long even those who don't believe in God or go to church know the word. Have you guessed it yet? It's the word sin.


Even though we hear that word a lot, what does it really mean? Does the truth and reality of sin line up to our perspective of it or what we have heard?


One of the main Hebrew definitions of the word sin simply means missing the mark. How many times have we played darts or archery. We get so excited when we get a bulls-eye because it doesn't happen every attempt.


God has a standard (the bulls-eye) but unfortunately we miss the mark (sin). Check out a verse from the book of Romans founs in the new Testament...Romans 3:23. There isn't one of us who meets the standard. We all miss the mark. What is the effect of our sin?


#1--Sin Separates--we see in the book of Leviticus that those who miss the mark are cut off from the rest. Even though we don't practice removing people from churches who sin (because there would be no one left including the preacher) SIN STILL SEPARATES. SIN (missing the mark of God's standard) always causes separation in relationships.
#2--Sin brings death--Leviticus 8:35 & Romans 6:23--the ultimate goal of sin brings death and the ultimate goal of God is to bring us life. So the way God has designed us to operate and His principles that have been set into motion, actually bring life and freedom while missing that mark brings death.



So now that we know what sin actually is and the results of it, what in the world are we to do about it? Over the next few days I'll try to dissect the significance of Jesus and what He did to remove our sin.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is it good or bad?


The other day I was driving down Southfield Rd. in the midst of all the crazy construction and traffic. I was running late and of course in a hurry. Then all of a sudden a semi-truck pulls over into my lane and cuts me off. I was starting to get frustrated since he was going so slow and getting in my way (lol). He pulled over back to his lane and that's when I saw clearly. There was a cop in the right lane trying to catch someone speeding and the truck actually saved me!!!

So many times we go through certain situations and circumstances and are quickly to judge good or bad. Whatever you are facing today, hey you never know, could end up being a blessing tomorrow!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sabbath is spelled T R U S T


When we hear the word Sabbath we all have different thoughts or pictures come to our mind. Some have no idea what sabbath means? Other's think of a legalistic set of rules to follow on Sunday. Some may think of simply going to church in the morning.

No matter what comes to mind God created Sabbath to be a day of delight, rest and refreshment. Life is busy, hectic, hard, fast pace, stretching, exhausting, and sometimes painful. God understands that and has actually implemented and created a princple called the Sabbath.

Exodus 24:21--6 days you will work but on the 7th day you will rest, even during theh plowing season and harvest you must rest.

Here are some simple thoughts on God's princple of the Sabbath

*Taking a day of rest (delight) reminds us that we aren't god. The world doesn't revolve around us. The world still goes on even if step back from our Blackberry's for a day

*Taking a day of rest is about trust. God commanded Israel to take Sabbath even during the most crucial work season possible...plowing and harvest. But God, if I take a break and spend time with you and others less work will get done. God say's "not really...if you obey me and follow my Word, you will get more work done because you will be refreshed."Do I trust God?

*Taking a day of rest goes again this culture. In a world of 24/7, God's princple allows us to be different and allow His power and presence to be revealed.Have you ever taken a true Sabbath rest before? I challenge you in the next 7 days, set one day aside and answer the following questions...

#1--What should I not do on my Sabbath (what would distract me & still be work)
#2--What shoudl I do on my Sabbath (what will refresh my relationship with God &
my family)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Ever Preview Service


It's official...we have secured a meeting place for our first ever Sunday morning service.

Sunday, April 11 @ 10:30AM
Washington Elementary School
1440 Superior Blvd. Wyandotte
(between 14th & 15th st. with entrance to
parking off of Vinewood)

The theme will be "Alive"
We will have worship, drama, and an illustrated message. It is going to be a fun day as we move forward in planting this church in Wyandotte.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Timing


TIMING is everything! The timing of God is the one thing followers of Christ and even those who haven't crossed over yet to a relationship with Christ struggle with! We don't understand God's timing. Because we don't understand it's easy for us to get mad at God and try to remind Him what's at stake here!

We are currently going through this ourselves with the sale of our home. It's been a year and our house hasn't sold yet. It's easy for us to get impatient, frustrated, confused and even disillusioned. However, we can rest assured that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do!

John 2:4 we find Jesus at a wedding in Cana. The wedding reception is going full force and they run out of wine. So Jesus' mother tries to get Him involved. He replies, "Why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.?

We also read in Acts 3 about the amazing miracle of the crippled beggar. This beggar had been sitting at the gate beautiful (the favorite entrance to the temple court at Solomon's Colonnade). We know from Acts 3:2 that the beggar who was crippled from birth went to the gate everyday to beg. We also see in John 10:33 that Jesus had walked into Solomon's Colonnade. So, if Jesus passed by this gate and this beggar, WHY DIDN'T JESUS HEAL THAT MAN?

If we continue to read Acts 3 we see that God used Peter and John to perform a great miracle and the crippled man was healed. Because of this healing, Peter and John had the platform to share about Jesus' death and resurrection and that He was alive! God's perfect timing created a platform for His glory to be displayed.

Do I understand God's timing, NO! I wish I could but I'm glad I serve a God who is smarter and more powerful than me. If I could figure out God and He was at my level the whole world would be in trouble. We see in Isaiah 55:8 that God's thoughts and ways are so much higher and greater than ours. So, as you walk this day out, know that you can lay your decisions, stress, struggles and pressure at Jesus' feet. You can rest in His care and perfect timing...even if you don't understand.

#1--What situation are you facing that seems like God isn't listening or paying attention?
#2--Read a few of these verses in this blog and let God's peace reassure you that His timing, even though we don't understand, is good!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Present


Being present in every situation in our lives is harder to accomplish then ever before. In the age of multi-tasking, we have been trained to believe being present and fully engaged in the moment is a waste of time. However, Jesus was the master of being present wherever He was.

John 11 is the famous passage of Jesus' good friend Lazarus. He gets deathly sick and his sisters Mary & Martha send a note to Jesus about Lazarus' condition. Instead of worrying and being frantic, He actually stayed where he was for 2 more days. This astounded and confused everyone around him for they knew Jesus loved Lazarus.

Everywhere Jesus went He was fully engaged and present with the people He was with. He gave those around Him His undivided attention. He calls all of us to do the same! If we were honest with ourselves, the #1 temptation and challenge to being present is worry. Worry unpackaged is simply a lack of trust in our Heavenly Father. We have a hard time being present because we worrying about the future, worrying about what other people will think about us, worrying about our image & reputation and even worrying about our basic needs.

Jesus says to us today...don't worry, trust in Me and be present everywhere you go today (Matthew 6). When we spend time with God praying and reading our Bible, let's trust our Heavenly Father with our needs and be present. When we are at work and around gossip, negativity and worry, let's trust our Heavenly Father and be present. When we are with our children, let's trust our Heavenly Father with our needs and lets laugh and play and be present.

Being present is actually where God's power and presence is revealed. As we move foward toward April at WFC and even beyond, let's be known as people that are present. When we are present we will be more aware of other peoples needs and what God is doing. We will find ourselves being used by God to love others, serve others and sharing our faith more often. Have a great day being present!