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.