Wednesday, July 30, 2008

leadership development

I received word this week that I have been approved by the school board at Greenville Christian School to teach an upper level elective class entitled, "Leadership Development" This whole concept came from them asking me, "If I could teach students one thing, what would it be" I had no idea that in my response, I was setting myself up to actually teach the class. I have to say it is something that excites me very much and I look forward to investing in the lives of the next generation leaders. I continue to stand in awe of what the Lord allows me to do. I know that there are a huge amount of people in this world that wake up every day dreading what lies ahead of them. They hate where they work and what they do. I am fortunate enough to not be one of them. I love pastoring, teaching and coaching and I actually love looking for what the day holds for me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

progressive sanctification

While watching Perry Noble, Pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC, I heard an amazing statement. Perry while speaking about sanctification (being set apart and the fact that we are called daily to progressively draw closer and become more like Jesus) said this, "you will never become who you want to be if you stay where you are" This statement came form his talk on Sex and was taken from the scriptures that follow below found in 1 Thessalonians 4: 1-8. The quote while made during this talk, I believe can be applied in the context of living our lives daily for Him - not just in our sexuality but in aspects such as our missional mindset, communal life and worship

1Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

3It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Are you willing to leave things behind in order to get where He wants you? I believe the answer is progressive in nature

Sunday Night Reflections

Today was a great day at Gateway Fellowship. The worship was rich and there was a sense of true family today. I really enjoy watching God's people engage and chase after Him in true worship. Tonight was the finale of our Gateway Kidz Club. We held 3 sessions this week in the City Park on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Evening. We were able to touch some families that we have never had contact with before, and they came tonight to our facility for the first time. They watched and listened as their children lifted their voices in praise of the God they learned about this week. Nothing rocks my world as seeing little children singing songs to Jesus and being taught Biblical truth unashamedly. May we continue, as a church, to do whatever it takes to reach the children in Royse City, Texas with the love of Jesus Christ.

I also had a great meeting today with a prospective staff member and church planter. God continues to bring us into contact with people that He allows us to invest in. It is my desire, as the pastor, to make sure our church is doing all it can in equipping and sending out the next generational leaders.

I love Gateway Fellowship and stand amazed at the things the Lord continues to show us!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What do you do with fear?

23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (Matthew 8: 22-27)

I love the story told above about Jesus calming the storm. Do you ever feel like the storms are raging around you and you cant seem to rest? Do you feel like the world continues to bruise and beat you and you do not have anything to stand on? Do you ever feel like the disciples and want to scream, "Lord, Save us! We're going to drown"
I know I have been there before and I love the fact that His word to that cry is, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" I love that I do not have to question if my God is in control. I love that I can rest assured knowing that He will take care of me. I love that He loves me and makes the storms in my life calm! May I forever rest in the promise of knowing I do not have to be afraid about all that is going on - He is in control

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Are you anxious?

1 Peter 5 :6-7 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you." I am reminded daily that this world is full of ups and downs, bumps and bruises and you never really know what is going to happen next. However, with an understanding that the Lord is in control of all things and that He, just as the scripture says, "cares for me"; why should I be afraid or even anxious about what the day holds? Here are a few things I believe happens when we allow ourselves to be full of anxiety or anxious about what is ahead of us:
*** It divides our mind
*** It destroys our testimony
*** It diminishes our progress
*** It drains us completely

May I live every day knowing that My God is in control and that He has cares for me, therefore I cast off any anxiety that I have and run the race that He has set before me

Monday, July 14, 2008

Answer Me

Psalm 143:6-12 (New Living Translation)

6 I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. ** Interlude
7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. 8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. 11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. 12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant

May my prayer echo David's

* Do not hide Your face from me - verse 7
* Let me feel Your loving kindness - verse 8
* Guide and direct me - verses 8-10
* Revive me for Your name - verse 11

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

how then shall we live?

Philippians 4: 4-8

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

*** maintain a spirit of joy (verse 4)
*** rest in confident faith (verse 5-6)
*** react with prayer (verse 6)
*** focus on Godly virtue (verse 8)
**************** truth, noble, honor, purity, love

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Reflections

1. Today was a great day. We were down number wise because of the holiday weekend but worship was fresh and authentic.
2. We had a cook out this evening for the church - good times. Great brisket, ribs and pork butt.
3. Truly visualizing community life taking place among the church
4. Looking forward to the meetings I have this week as we prepare for service this coming Sunday
5. Zach Snow, our Leadership Pastor, will be preaching this Sunday. I will be out of town for a wedding in college station and then a few days of much needed rest.
6. Praying that, as a church, we will not take credit for anything that GOD is doing!
7. Praying that doing church will not get in the way of being the church!
8. Starting a new series on July 20th "How to build an ARK"
9. Praying for our community outreach "Gateway Kidz Club" July 22-24th
10. Praying for our SIP Team (summer intern program) - 6 students from ETBU
11. Praying for the Marshall Project
12. Goal of planting 3 churches in the next 5 years!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Be holy, because I am holy"

1 Peter 1: 13-16

13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

As I look at this scripture, I see a few things we all need to take into account on a daily basis:

1. Prepare our minds
2. Be self-controlled
3. Rely on Jesus
4. Do not conform to ignorance
5. Be holy

Knowing this, it leads me to a few questions:

1. Am I diligently preparing my mind with His statutes and principles for my daily living?
2. Am I relying on Jesus for everything or am I , in my humanness, striving for things that are not of Him?
3. Am I ignorant?
4. Would people say that, "I have been with Jesus"