Archive for September, 2010

A Field Trip, A Guest Speaker, and Some Dedicated Prayer

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday’s New Church Launch Team meeting was unique in a couple of different ways.  For starters, we took a field trip and met in a different location. We gathered at the Robinhood Road Family YMCA, where we will be holding our worship experiences in the not too distant future.  Their conference room was the perfect setting for our time together.

We also heard from a guest speaker.  Jonathan Robbins, lead pastor of The Summit Church, spent time encouraging our team and sharing the wisdom he’s gained from his experiences as a veteran church planter.  He also challenged us from Nehemiah 4, as we continued our study through a book that seems as though it was written with church planting in mind. I appreciate Jonathan’s investment in me and the partnership we have with The Summit!

We wrapped up our time together by taking a tour of the facility where we will “…help people far from God experience new life in Jesus Christ!” We broke up into groups and prayed in each of the environments we will be using on Sundays.  I’m so pumped about what God is doing in, and through, the people on our team!  I look forward to seeing how God is going to use us to advance his kingdom!  I’m so humbled to play a part.

T. J.

Categories: Church, Milestones

Too Proud To Beg?

September 17, 2010 1 comment

When is the last time you begged God to move on your behalf?  I’m not talking about simply praying through a list of prayer requests.  I’m talking about pleading your case to God in desperation.

Psalm 5:3 says, “At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to you and watch expectantly.”

What would happen if we began begging God to show up in our lives in a way that was unmistakably Him?  How would our faith be impacted, and have an impact on others, if we pleaded with God to do the things that only He could do?

I think it’s about time for God’s people to lay everything on the line, and then stand back and expect God to do miracles.

T. J.

Categories: Growth, Leadership

Just Trust

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

I was reminded of 2 things as I read Daniel 10 this morning:

  1. When our hearts are right, God always hears our prayers, even when it seems like he’s not listening.
  2. Spiritual warfare is real!

Both of these shed some light on why God’s timing might be different than ours, and the fact that God knows exactly what we need, and exactly when we need it.  Just trust him!

T. J.

Categories: Growth, Leadership

Holding On = Holding Back

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

A great move of God requires everyone involved to consider personal holiness above everything else!  Nothing hinders the blessings of God like unconfessed sin!

Achan’s story in Joshua 7 is a great reminder that the negative impact of unconfessed sin is far reaching.

Joshua and the nation of Israel were experiencing some momentum as they saw firsthand the miracles of God when they crossed the Jordan River and conquered the city of Jericho.  However, Achan’s rebellion singlehandedly threatened the possibility of future blessings.

God makes this clear in chapter 7 and verse 12, when he says, “…I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction.”

Confession and repentance is necessary to experience God’s blessings.  In other words, personal holiness is a big deal to God.  Are you holding on to anything that is holding back his future blessings?

T. J.

Categories: Church, Growth, Leadership

Did You Know?

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Jesus was notorious for hanging out with sinners.  After all, that’s who he came to save.

In Matthew 9:9-13, the Pharisees gave Jesus grief for having dinner with tax collectors, who were thought to be the lowest of the low in the culture of that time period.  Jesus’ challenge to the religious leaders was for them to go back and read Hosea 6:6 and learn what it means.

Jesus is saying to them that our mission should be to love those far from him by demonstrating mercy.  We should also know that God isn’t as interested in us observing religious rituals or traditions as much as he is in us getting to know him.  The second half of the verse in Hosea says, “I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

If we’re not careful, as Christians, we can get so caught up in performing for God that we don’t even know who he is anymore.  God’s ultimate goal for his children is for us to get to know him.  When we make that our number one desire, the rest will take care of itself!

T. J.

Categories: Growth, Leadership

An Assault on Human Autonomy

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Why do you think people often struggle with the spiritual discipline of prayer?  Bill Hybels says one reason may be because, “Prayer is an assault on human autonomy, and an indictment on a life whose aim is self-sufficiency.”

It’s hard for some people to admit they can’t do life on their own.  They take great pride in the fact that they can stand on their own two feet.  So often our culture teaches that dependence upon someone else is a sign of weakness.

The Bible teaches the exact opposite.  The truth is, God likes it when we rely on Him to meet our needs.  He wants us to depend on Him for everything.  Maybe you unintentionally try to handle the small stuff on your own, and wait until the “big stuff” comes along to get God involved.

God is not like the judge that Jesus described in Luke 18:1-8.  In fact, He’s the exact opposite.  He’s not annoyed by our requests, no matter how insignificant they may seem.  God is approachable and desires a connectedness to us.  We matter to Him!  You matter to Him!

T. J.

Categories: Growth

Worry-Free Philosophy

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

In Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus tells his followers not to worry about their basic needs, how they will be fed or how they will be clothed.

At first glance, it seems like Jesus is endorsing apathy or laziness, but in actuality, he is encouraging them to practice faith—faith in a Heavenly Father who knows our needs and promises to meet them.

As Christians, our pursuits should line up with God’s agenda.  Our supreme ambition should be to bring glory to him and to make his name famous.  When we make that our priority, all the other stuff falls into place.

Jesus concludes his cure for anxiety by telling us not to worry about the future, something that seems increasingly difficult for many people these days.  God didn’t promise us a trouble-free life, but he did promise to care for those who have a relationship with him.

Not only is worry a wasted emotion, but it’s also a sin.  It’s a lack of faith that God is who he says he is and that he can do what he says he can do.

If you’re a self-proclaimed worrier, read Matthew 6:33 again.  It will provide a renewed focus and a fresh perspective.

T. J.

Categories: Growth