Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Are you feel'n it?

This past Sunday we continued our NEW SERIES "Unwrapping Worship." We are going through various characters in the Christmas story discovering the heart of worship. For part 1 we looked at the lives of Mary & Joseph. We talked about how surrender is worship!  This past week for part 2 we looked at the wise men and their heartfelt pursuit. If you missed it you can listen on-line at or you can listen on iTunes at

We live in such an energized, emotional and stimulating society. There are constantly new movies with better graphics, larger booms, more surprises and greater romances. TV shows now change camera angles every 2-3 seconds. ESPN can have several pieces of information on the screen at the same time in different ways.  Because of this phenomena, it has impacted our relationship with God. When we think of worship we often can think of emotions and feelings. (I know I have been guilty of this many times). We want to experience a feeling during church or we will stop going or find another place to go.

Yet when we truly unwrap worship and look at the wise men we see heartfelt pursuit!! During a pursuit there are times of great feelings and excitement. However, there are also challenges and dry times as well. 

Here are some questions to wrestle with today...

#1--Have you ever pursued something long after the emotions of which the pursuit began are gone? If so, what kept you going? If not why did you quit? 
#2--What do you think about this quote, "Emotions are great servants but terrible masters."--Tommy Newberry
#3--If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, is there an area right now you need to pursue? (regardless of your feelings) 
#4--If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ yet, how could you continue to pursue God on this explore?

Pursuit is heading toward a destination and not allowing yourself to be deterred or stopped. Imagine what the wise men had to go through and encounter to travel all the way to where Jesus was. They had plenty of opportunities to quit along the way. Yet they pursued!! 

It is my prayer that we become a people who learn to pursue God for who He is not for what He can do for us. Whether we "feel" Him in the moment or like the circumstances, may we find ourselves still worshipping Him. We worship Him when we pursue Him with our hearts!! 

Two last questions and feel free to comment...

What are some ways we can pursue God from our hearts throughout the week?

How did Jesus pursue regardless of the circumstances or feelings He had?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweet Surrender (or is it)?

This past Sunday we launched our NEW SERIES "Unwrapping Worship." We are going through various characters in the Christmas story discovering the heart of worship. For part 1 we looked at the lives of Mary & Joseph. We talked about how surrender is worship! You can listen to the podcast at or you can listen on iTunes at

As we look at the Bible, we see that there are many people who worshiped through surrender. The amazing reality is that as people have surrendered, there are two common themes we find. First of all, the surrender process if often painful, challenging and hard. Second, the end result is full of God's blessing and presence. 

So Who else in scripture came to a collision with their will vs. God’s will? What did they do?

Abraham and his surrender (worship)—Genesis 22

Jesus and His surrender—Matthew 26:36-44

Surrender is the ultimate form of worship. It is when we choose to trust His will and His way even if we don't understand. 

I pray that we will be a people who grow the rest of our lives in this kind of Worship!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Connected like a puzzle

This past Sunday was part 4 of our SERIES "FAITH-FULL." We are going through the book of James in the New Testament and learning how to live a faith-filled life. You can listen to part 4a "Connected" on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

We talked about how all of our relationships are connected with each other. Our vertical relationship with God and horizontal relationships with each other. We shared 3 practical ways to draw close to God on Sunday. 

For this blog I wanted to cover the horizontal relationships with each other. 

1.Take a moment and read James 4:6-11 &  James 5:9
                    a.    What do these two verses have in common?
b.    In context of chapters 4 & 5 how would this effect our relationship with God?
2. Read the following verses that speak to our horizontal relationships with each other.
          a.    Romans 12:18—what is our goal in horizontal relationships? 
b.    Since Paul put the phrase as much as possible what does that imply?
c.    Matthew 5:23-24—In this passage, what is more important than sacrifice (worship?) 
d.    1 Peter 3:7—What does this verse will happen if husbands are not loving their wives?
e.    Matthew 22:37-40—The two greatest commandments are connected via relationships 

3.  Have you seen this principle of connection in your own life? (where the horizontal effects the vertical and vice versa)?

4.  Is there a specific relationship that you are praying about that needs some attention or reconciliation?

5.  What specific steps do you need to take to apply this teaching?

  Our relationship with God affects our relationship with others. Our relationship with others affects our relationship with God. They are connected. I pray that we learn to value this principle and strive to live a life of constant growth and pursuit.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving's not what you think :)

This past Sunday was part 3 of our SERIES "FAITH-FULL." We are going through the book of James in the New Testament and learning how to live a faith-filled life. You can listen to part 3 Our Heart Speaks on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

We looked at James chapter 3 and the power of the tongue. We uncovered the reality that our tongue and hearts are connected. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.We learned that words are a window. Words are a window into our hearts and what is truly going on inside of us. 

How do we allow God to transform our hearts and ultimately our mouths? Here is one practical exercise from Life Coach & Author Tommy Newberry. His team has created the "Thanksgiving Binge" exercise. This exercise takes 5-10 minutes and will help you truly be thankful this Holiday Season and develop a true sense of gratitude. It's a BINGE on Thankfulness. A BINGE on gratitude. 

I truly believe the more gratitude that is in our hearts the more our words will be life giving to others. Pause for a few moments and invest in your heart!! Click on link below...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Can I really become comfortable at sharing my faith?

This past Sunday we part 2 of our NEW SERIES "FAITH-FULL." We are going through the book of James in the New Testament and learning how to live a faith-filled life. You can listen to part 2 visible faith on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

Also encourage you to check out our Facebook page and check out the pictures and stories from our surprise outreach "Visible Faith." It's pretty amazing what could happen when a followers of Christ realize that we are the church, we don't go to church. When we start living as the body of Christ and being the hands and feet of Jesus, people's lives our changed!!

Many people are intimidated when it comes to sharing their faith. They feel pressure and anxiety over it. We come up with thoughts like, "I'm not good at talking about this stuff. I always stumble over my words. I feel like I'm forcing it. I don't have all the answers so I can't say anything" 

What if there was an organic way that you could share your faith on a daily basis? What if there was a way to live a visible faith and truly making an impact? What if there was a way to share your faith regardless of your personality, temperament or abilities? 

There is one way that is powerful, fun and irrefutably when it comes to sharing your faith. There is a way to share your faith to your family, co-workers and friends that is not cramming religion down their throats. What is it? It's simply being strategic in sharing your life with others. I believe that this makes the world of difference. For so long, people feel like we are sharing a speech or trying to sell them something. Yet, as someone who has encountered the amazing and powerful love, grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, my life is not the same. I am a different person than I used to be. God has set me free from sin and continues to transform my heart and mind. 

Let me give you an example. You walk into work early Monday morning. What question do people commonly ask? How was your weekend? What do you normally say? Good? Alright? Too fast? Many people come into a new work week disappointed the weekend is over, with a hang over or just going through the motions. 

What would happen if you began to truly share your life with others. They ask you, "how was your weekend?" You respond by saying, "absolutely amazing!!" Wow...wait a minute, I got to hear this. Why was it amazing? Our church had a surprise gathering. I didn't know what it was but I was excited to find out. When my pastor got to the sermon, he read a passage of Scripture from the book of James (actually share about the verses) and said we were going to be the sermon today. We split up into groups of 10 and went out all over Wyandotte, Southgate and Lincoln Park blessing people with money and praying for people. I had a blast. I love serving Jesus Christ and spreading his love and grace everywhere I go. It was a special day!!

What would your co-worker say? What could they say? They most likely wouldn't refute your beliefs. They wouldn't argue with you. They won't feel pressured. Why? You are not selling or pressuring anything, you are sharing your life. People will not always agree with you but when you share your life, it has a powerful impact. 

As a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, He is our life. He is #1. He is the center of our life that everything else revolves around. If we change our perspective from having to share our faith to we get to share our life, we will see a greater impact and greater freedom. I try to share my life with as many people as possible. Why? It's who I am and what is most important to me. Jesus Christ is everything to me. If you get to know me, you'll get to know Jesus too! 

I pray that we become a people who daily live a visible faith as we share our lives with others. Why not start today!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pinky and the Brain

This past Sunday we started our NEW SERIES "FAITH-FULL." We will be going through the book of James in the New Testament and learning how to live a faith-filled life. You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

If you happened to miss SCREAM October 31st, you can also watch the edited version (minus videos we played during the message) at 

Before you read this blog I would encourage you to read James 1...just click on this link to Bible Gateway

God has given us ears to hear and feet to obey. It's pretty interesting when you study the New Testament and learn about the Jewish culture. For instance, in the book of Revelation, Jesus says to the 7 churches often, "He who has an ear, let him hear." Why would Jesus say that. It seams a little redundant doesn't it?
Yet, in that culture if you didn't follow through or obey then you didn't hear. To hear meant you listened. You did what you were asked. If we are not careful there can be a HUGE disconnect to what we hear and what we actually do. Just like the cartoon Pinky & the Brain. Brain was the intellectual one who came up with the devious plans to take over the world and Pinky was the one who would try to make it happen. If we aren't careful, we can be one or the other when God calls us to be both. 

It's easy as followers of Christ to hear great sermons, watch inspiring movies, read powerful books and only have them go into our intellectual bank but have no impact on our lives. How do we not just listen to the word of God, grow in knowledge and actually do it? How do we not just go to church on Sunday and then live like God doesn't matter throughout the week? 

We simply begin to DO the truths we already know. We simply obey what we already know. If we don't we haven't really heard His words. The words may have passed by our brains but they haven't hit our hearts. Remember, "It's more about what I apply and do than the knowledge I accrue." 

James chapter 1 reminds us to put into practice what we know. As we live in the most educated and knowledge based society in the history of the world, may we be a people that actually apply what we learn. May God's words be more than nice songs, poems and art may they be words that transforms our hearts and changes our lives. 

What is one truth from God's word that you know intellectually but are not obeying? Spend a few moments in prayer asking for God's forgiveness. What is one step you can take this day to begin to obey?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scream Cont.

This past Sunday was our special message "SCREAM." 

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

You can also watch the edited version (minus videos we played during the message) at 

We all face hard times and circumstances in our lives. More often than not, we keep our scream on the inside. Even though we have a smile on at work, the scream mask is what we really look like on the inside. Below are some Bible verses to meditate on and pray through. 

When was the last time you screamed (cried) out to God? When was the last time you truly opened the door to your soul and poured out everything to Him? When was the last time you were completely authentic and opened every part of your heart to God? The scream out to Jesus is the one Scream that changes everything...

*all (Scream)s in the verses were added by me

Psalm 28:2 Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out (Scream) to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary. 

Psalm 55:17— Morning, noon, and night I cry out (Scream) in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice.

Psalm 88:1— O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out (Scream) to you by day. I come to you at night.

Psalm 119:47-- I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out (Scream) for help and put my hope in your words.,

Luke 18:7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out (Scream) to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

Father God, I thank you that you died on the cross for my sins. Thank you for taking my pain, shame, guilt and suffering on yourself. Thank you that when you rose again on the 3rd day you defeated death, hell and the grave. Right now I am struggling with                               . I’ve tried many things to cover it up and have been screaming on the inside. Right now I SCREAM out to you! I’m putting my faith, trust and hope in you alone. I am SCREAMING out to you right now specifically asking                                                                   ! In Jesus Name!!! Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The only think we like to "change" is our underwear!

This past Sunday continued our series "Pain Killers" with part 3: Pain of Change.  

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

This Sunday is our special illustrated Message "Scream." If you haven't yet go on to our facebook page and SHARE the Scream graphic and post on your own wall.

Pastor Evan proposed 3 questions to us in his message...

#1--Are you comfortable?
#2--Are you satisfied? 
#3--Are you hungry for change? 

Change is such an interesting dynamic of our lives. It is something that is inevidible yet we try to keep it from happening. We wish we could pause our children at a certain age. We wish our boss didn't have to leave. We don't like to be forced to let old friends go and have to meet and make new friends. We try to keep the grey hairs and wrinkles from showing. 

However, the reality and truth of the matter is life is constantly changing and we can't stop it. Once we realize and embrace this truth, we then are setting ourselves up to change as well. As we change, we often are growing and becoming stronger. 

I'm thankful that I'm not the husband I was 12 years ago. I'm thankful I'm not the Father I was 12 years ago. I'm thankful I do not pastor like I did 12 years ago. Why? Because of change. 

I want to encourage you to not just change for change sake but to be strategic about the changes in your life. 

#1--What small change can you make today to be a stronger and loving spouse?
#2--What small change can you make today to be a more effective parent?
#3--What small change can you make today to grow closer to God? 

Maybe you decide you are going to start taking your family to church every week? Maybe you decide you are going to implement a consistent date night with your spouse? Maybe you are going to decide to stop drinking pop or having late night snacks? Maybe you are going to decide to spend time with your children for the first 30 minutes you are home. 

Change doesn't have to be bad. Change, even though it can hurt and be hard, is often our #1 friend. Why? Change often stretches us and causes us to grow.

May we be a people and community that isn't afraid of change!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

40 days to a joy filled life!

This past Sunday continued our NEW series "Pain Killers" with part 2: Pain of Suffering.  

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

As a pastor I get the privilege and opportunity to talk, encourage and pray with many people. From my personal experience over the past 12 years of full time ministry, I've seen the amount of people battling depression increase. Many are suffering with the pain of depression or discouragement!
More and more people I talk to are not satisfied with their lives, are discouraged or just lack purpose. As a result many are lacking genuine joy in their hearts. 

How would life be different for you if you expereinced true joy? Imagine how your relationships could improve with joy? Imagine how your job could be impacted by joy? Our circumstances may not change in the near future but you and I can. 

I challenge you to take the "40 day to a Joy Filled Life" challenge. ( This book has 2-3 pages to read every day for 40 days. I love 
it because it's not overwhelming and very attainable for the busy. There is even a FREE 3 chapter PDF you can download before you buy the book. Right now it's on sale on Amazon for $9.98. 

My pray is that we will learn to live lives of genuine joy that positively encourage and impact everyone around us. Our families, marriages, jobs, and community can be strengthened by joy! May we be the ones to take the challenge and experience true joy!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

PAIN OF LOSS (going practical)

This past Sunday we started our NEW series "Pain Killers" with part 1: Pain of Loss.  

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

I wanted to follow up this week and share some practical actions steps we can all take to allow God to comfort us with His presence, His promises and His people. Here is a great quote..."It's not he who has the most information that wins, but He who applies it" --Konan Stephens

#1--His Presence

*When you are going through the pain of loss, spending time in prayer & worship is vitally important. Talking to God, pouring out your feelings and thoughts to Him (authentically) and listening to His voice provides genuine comfort. 

Here are two songs that are very meaningful and encouraging when you are going through the process of grieving...

#2--His Promises 

Getting into the word of God and clinging to His promises gives you the strength and comfort in time of grieving. Here is a great way to read God's promises and to receive the comfort He gives through them.
  • W. Word (what promises stick out to you in the current stage you are in?)
  • A. Application (How does this promise connect to your life?)
  • T. Talk (Talk to God about the promises you are standing on and trusting Him with)
  • C. Confession (Confess your honest struggles and thank Him for the truth of His word)
  • H. Holy Spirit (Listen to the Spirits voice and or direction as you pray)
#3--His People 

Here is a list of our current home groups going on right now!!!

  • Starting Point (11 week adventure through the story of God & the Bible.) led by Ann & Nick Romanick. This group is great for seekers, new believers or those who want to be refreshed on the basics.
    *Monday's at 6:30pm Contact them at 313-820-4640
  • D3 Dearborn (Deeper Discipleship & Discussion) led by David & Nadine Buzzeo. This group will go deeper, study and discuss the sermons from Sunday Morning.*Tuesday's at 6:30pm Contact them at 313-207-1755
  • D3 Wyandotte (Deeper Discipleship & Discussion) led by Rose Gyorke & John Fulmer. This group will go deeper, study and discuss the sermons from Sunday Morning. *Wednesday's at 6:30pm Contact them at 313-613-7007
  • D3 Brownstown (Deeper Discipleship & Discussion) led by Johnny & Theresa Saenz & Evan & Erin Distad. This group will go deeper, study and discuss the sermons from Sunday Mornings*Thursday's 6:00pm Contact them at 313-215-0915

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Whose is it anyway?

This past Sunday we ended our series with part 4 "Generosity." We talked about the 3 different types of giving and how "only what is given away can multiply!" 

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

As we wrap up this focus on money and giving, I want to share with you one more verse! It's found in the Old Testament and comes from the heart of King David.

   But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!

I love the heart and wisdom of David. He understood the fact that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. Everything we have is a blessing. When we live our lives with that reality, we are on our way to living a blessed life. We will be generous to people all around us. We will see God's provision and power flow through our lives because we will be living as stewards not owners. We will be willing to obey Him when he speaks. 

May we be a people who live our lives not as owners but stewards. May we be generous always remember, everything we have and own has come from God!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

God, Debt, Stewardship & Benjamin's

This past Sunday we jumped into part 3 of our series "Financial Path of a Champion." We talked about how money is a test. It tests our trustworthiness and it tests our motives.

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

This has truly been a good sermon series. The Bible has WAY MORE to say on money than we will cover this month. I encourage you to continue to study God's word and what He says about money. It's not my opinion or my thoughts that ultimately matter but HIS. 

Here are several Bible reading plans through YouVersion that address issues of money,
debt, and stewardship:
3. Money Matters 

Take a few moments today and sign up for one of the above plans and let God's word continue to transform your heart and change your life!!

May we continue to always be growing and moving forward toward Him!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who really is on first?

This past Sunday we jumped into part 2 of our NEW series "Financial Path of a Champion." 

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

Because this is the first time in 2 years we have preached a sermon series on money and because we don't pass an offering plate on Sunday's, I can say with all confidence that we are doing this series because we want you to truly be blessed!! Look around at everyone in debt, addictions and emptiness and tell me if not following God's way is working.

The title of my message this past Sunday was "Who's on first." You know how easy it is for all of us to say "well, God is, naturally." However, money has a way of revealing who really is on first. God has instituted a principle in Scripture to really see if he is 1st place in our lives. It's called Tithing. Because God's word is so powerful, I thought it would be worth it just to put all of the Scripture verses again on my blog this week.

Matthew 6:20-21 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Matthew 23:23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Exodus 13:12-13 12 you must present all firstborn sons and firstborn male animals to the Lord, for they belong to him. 13 A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son

Proverbs 3:9-10— Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Exodus 23:19— The first of the first fruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. 

Genesis 4:3-5— And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. 

Malachi 3:8-10— “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings.  You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

I know tithing can be hard at first but once you experience the amazing provision and blessing from God you will never turn back!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Money reveals my heart

This past Sunday we had a blast as we celebrated our 2 year anniversary and kicked of part 1 of our NEW series "Financial Path of a Champion." 

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

The title of my message was "Mammon." Simply put Mammon is the spirit behind the money. Jesus said, "We can not serve both God and mammon." The spirit of mammon says, "you don't need God, trust in money." The spirit of mammon says that money is the answer to security, peace & happiness. However, mammon promises many things it can never provide.

Here are some tough questions to wrestle with as we strive to apply the message to our lives. 

#1--Who do we believe is our source? (our employer, the government or God?)

We want to say God but if we were honest we often live our lives likes its the others. Here is a powerful verse that wasn't shared on Sunday.

Deuteronomy 8:18--Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.

God is the one who provides for us and takes care of us. Take a few moments and read Matthew 6. You will get the big picture of what God is saying and how he takes care of his children. 

#2--How have we viewed giving in the past? 

Do we view it as a get rich-quick scheme? Do we view it as an obligation? Do we feel guilted into it? 

Giving is not a get-rich-scheme; it is a lay-down your life challenge--Robert Morriss. 

If I told you that being generous and giving wouldn't make you rich according to the American standard, would you still be generous? 

Those who are not controlled by the spirit of mammon can be generous and begin to live the blessed life!!

#3--What aspects of money make you afraid?

Does thinking about retirement make you anxious? Do you avoid balancing your checkbook? What behaviors do you have that show you  are afraid of money? 

The more we are controlled by the spirit of mammon the less peace & security we actually have.

#4--How would you react to the following situations?

a)it's been a touch month financially, and to top it off, your car needs an unbudgeted repair.

b)you've worked hard for the last 6 months expecting a bonus from your employer. A downturn in the economy makes it impossible for your employer to give you the bonus. 

c)you have been generous with your church and you have also saved carefully for your retirement by buying stock in your company. You learn from the newspaper that mismanagement of the retirement fund has resulted in it's losing more than half its value

When these kind of setbacks occur how can we look to God rather than men for provision? 

May we be a people who put our trust in the only one that can truly provide for our needs. May we trust God with our lives and rest knowing He takes care of His children.

PS. This entire series is adapted from the book "The Blessed LIfe" by Robert Morriss. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Choose Your Own Adventure

This past Sunday we had a blast as we laid the foundation for our new series "Financial Path of a Champion." If you missed it, make sure you check out the links below.

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at

The title of my message was "Choose Your Own Adventure." We had fun going through our own choose your own adventure story during the gathering. There were a lot of challenging truths shared but I want to hone in on one...throughout Scripture you see  a connection between obedience & trust with blessing and the hand of God. If you want the hand and blessing of God on your life, then follow his path and his ways!

In 2 Kings 8 we read the story of a widow who was told by the prophet and man of God Elisha to leave Israel for 7 years because there was going to be a famine in the land. That is not an easy pill to swallow. Leave your home, everything you are accustomed to, your friends, your neighborhood etc. She also was at risk of losing everything if she left.
She was faced with a choice, go her own way or follow God's way.

Which path did she choose? She chose to follow God's path. After the famine was over she returned to Israel and an event happened that only he could orchestrate. Something remarkable happened in her favor that came from the hand of God.

Elisha's servant was telling the king a story about how Elisha and raise to life a widow's son and did a miracle. As he was telling the king the story the widow walks in at that exact moment to see if she can get her property, land etc. back. “Is this true?” the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.

Not only does she get everything restored to her that she lost but also the value of the crops while she was gone. throughout Scripture you see  a connection between obedience & trust with blessing and the hand of God. 

Will there be challenges? You bet! Will it be difficult? YES! However, when we choose to follow God's word and His ways we will see blessing. 

We all choose our own adventure, may we choose wisely!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kinsman Redeemer

This past Sunday we continued our series Soul Art. It's truly been a life-changing month for a lot of us.

You can listen to this message on on our website at or you can listen on iTunes at 

During the middle of my sermon and the story of Ruth I mentioned the concept of Kinsman Redeemer. I didn't have the time on Sunday morning to dive into this powerful teaching so I wanted to cover it in this weeks blog.

A kinsman redeemer in the Old Testament would have the responsibilities to...
1. To redeem or buy back a poor man's person, family, or property from indenture from arising out of poverty (Lev. 25:25) or warfare.
2. To redeem a person or thing dedicated to the Lord. (Lev. 27:13)
3. The responsibility of the nearest kinsman to bear a son through the widow of the deceased and childless relative. (Ruth 3:13)

How did you become a kinsman redeemer? How did you qualify?
  1. Had to be a blood relative.
  2. Had to be able to purchase forfeited inheritance.
  3. Had to be willing to buy back forfeited inheritance.
  4. Had to be willing to marry the wife of the deceased kinsman.

There were many people in the Old Testament who fulfilled this role for others. Even though it cost them a lot they still did the right thing. In the story we talked about on Sunday, Boaz was an amazing kinsman redeemer for Ruth. But here is a POWERFUL TRUTH. JESUS WAS OUR KINSMAN REDEEMER. Let's look at the contrast.

1. Had to be a blood relative. Christ was born of a woman.
2. Had to be able to purchase forfeited inheritance. Chad had the merit to pay the price for sinners.
3. Had to be willing to buy back forfeited inheritance. Christ willingly laid down his life on the cross.
4. Had to be willing to marry the wife of the deceased kinsman. We became the bride of Christ, the Church! 

I'm so thankful that even though I was dark and lost in sin, Jesus still purchased my forgiveness and freedom on the cross!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We all can reach GOLD

I just read a blog from author & life coach Tommy Newberry and thought it was worth sharing with you!! Hope it inspires you and challenges you to be everything God has created you and called you to be!!!
You may have watched this inspiring ad on TV. The commercial begins with images of Olympic athletes training and then we hear their voices:

“Take a day off; shoot, I don’t take a morning off.”
“I haven’t ordered dessert in two years.”
“You know that book everyone is reading? I haven’t read it.”

This summer, your commitment to self-discipline can determine your capability to thrive in an economy where most are simply happy to survive. It no doubt influences your finances, your marriage, your parenting, your career, your spiritual health, your physical health, and just about everything else as well. No area of your life remains untouched by self-discipline for very long.

Self-discipline is the connective tissue that links ambition with achievement. Mastering self-discipline is like strapping turbo boosters to your vision and goals. It helps take you where you want to go faster, easier, and makes it possible for you to get more out of life along the way. But here is the rub. We live in culture where “now” is often not fast enough.
Logically, self-discipline helps us conquer this mass impulsivity and the desire for instant gratification. Like world-class athletes, those who understand the value of long-term goals are willing to sacrifice something lesser today for something greater tomorrow. But the self-discipline of deferring pleasure requires practice and lots of repetition. You must be willing to pay a price today in order to receive the rewards that will very likely not show up until tomorrow.

Because their appetite is aimed at the pleasure of the current moment, underachievers are at a great disadvantage in this arena. To the contrary, high achievers dwell on and are motivated by the value and lasting pleasure triggered from big accomplishments. With self-discipline, you are choosing success and the life of a peak performer. (And this is a good thing!)

Because self-discipline can be learned, it is an equal-opportunity character trait, and arguably the second most important ingredient in reaching your full potential. Self-discipline is the ability to funnel your desires and passions in a productive direction, for a sustained period of time in order to achieve your goals. It is an investment in your future, and demonstrations of self-discipline carry with them the added blessing of also inspiring others, as we recently observed with the London Olympic Games.

It’s a shame, though, that many people believe that self-discipline just isn’t “their thing,” that some people have it and some don’t. But they are wrong. People often want to take short-cuts to success, but success demands character and character demands self-discipline. If you learn to value self-discipline and harness its power, you will stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

Simply put, those who master themselves, master their potential.

With self-discipline, you do what needs to be done without a teacher, boss, parent, coach, or supervisor looking over your shoulder to make sure you’ve accomplished your job or training regimen and done it with excellence.
Self-discipline helps you synchronize your goals with your choices and keep you moving in the direction of your desired objective. It is developed by moving forward one step at a time and creating momentum in small, daily acts. The first step is to recognize you’re not a slave to your feelings. You can still make positive, goal-directed choices in spite of your emotions. 

Most people get tangled up in unproductive decisions because they don’t understand this reality. Undisciplined people are slaves to their feelings, so they experience self-inflicted problems and frustrations that disciplined people typically avoid.
No matter what your goals may be, your commitment to self-discipline will keep you focused on your intentions and off your fears and worries. You will do what you need to do when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not.

Life will seldom be about what you can’t do and more often will be about what you won’t do. Learn to distinguish between the two and you’ll surge ahead of those around you. Learn to engage self-discipline to overcome the “won’t,” and forge ahead, in spite of how you feel at the particular moment.

Understand that future change is an illusion and a myth. Tomorrow changes only as a result of what you do today. In my coaching practice, I’ve discovered that the most unhappy people in the world are those who use the word “tomorrow” most often. Because of delay and chronic indecision, they don’t even really show up for their own lives, and when they finally realize it, it’s too late.

Remember, discipline happens…eventually. Either we take the lead and discipline ourselves or life will, at some point, step in and play the role of disciplinarian for us.