Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflections from Sunday

I continue to stand amazed in what the Lord is doing in and through the lives of the people at GFchurch. It has been a true blessing to watch our people engaging the community around us. We had the privilege of helping two families through the Christmas season that live in our community. It is such a joy to see His people being the hands and feet of Christ. I am so thankful that the Lord has placed us here to have the opportunity to minister to and serve alongside the people of GFchurch.

I really enjoyed teaching Sunday morning. We finished our series called, "Unwrapping The Gift Of Christmas" If you were not able to attend services this past week you can watch it here at GatewayTV

This week we will be starting a series in James. I am really looking forward to walking through these scriptures with the family at GFchurch. We are praying that the Lord will continue to do amazing things in our own individual lives and the life of the church in 2010.

We will be back on our normal weekly ConnectGroup schedule beginning Tuesday, January 5, 2010.

TuesNite @ 7pm @ The Snow's
WedNite @ 7pm @ The Brown's
Wednite (youth) @ 7pm @ The Snow's

.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thoughts On Leadership

I love the topic of leadership. I love learning more and more about how to become a better leader. When I come across something that strikes a cord within me, I typically try to pass it on, so here we go. I wanted to share a blog post with you on Leadership from Scott Williams. He has written about 6 thoughts that can help develop The Art Of Leadership. Click here to read it.

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship Church

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

GCS mission team

We are coming through Rockwall. We will be back at GCS in about 30
minutes. Almost home


Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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West, TX

Another stop at the Little Czech Bakery in West, TX. We are almost home

Lunch in New Braunfels

The girls are having fun at Chick Fil A

Long Bus Rides

Long bus rides give us an opportunity to really think. It is days like
this where the Lord speaks to me. Nothing in front of me but the open
road and oddly enough a bus full of students and sponsors who are
sleeping. Thank you Jesus for all You are and all You do

Breakfast at McDonald's

Eating breakfast in Mission, Tx

Headed to Gville

Empty bunks means the students are loaded and we are ready to head home

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Late Night Games Back At The Retreat Center

Musical Chairs for cookies:: all a part of the Festival

Christmas Wreaths with the students from Sullivan City

Stamp Art with the children

Making bracelets with the children

Another great crowd

This is our last night. Pray for these special people

Refurbished Bathroom

We were able to paint, hang a new mirror, and use the existing flower
decorations.

The people of Primera Iglesia Bautista are loving it

Lunch time

Students eating lunch in the fellowship hall of Primera Iglesia
Bautista. If you look above, you will see some of the decorations for
the festival

Polishing the pews in the church

Murphy Oil does wonders.

Putting picnic tables together

update on Wednesday morning

We are headed to Lowe's to pick up more supplies for the church. We are going to be doing the majority of our work inside today because of the rain. As I shared in an earlier post, Today is a big day for Primera Iglesia Bautista. It is their anniversary. We are going to be doing some painting and small construction projects inside the church. We are going to purchase a few more picnic tables and assemble them and place them out under the shade tree next to the fellowship hall as well as put some final touches on the community park until we are able to return. We will update as the day goes on.

Wednesday Morning

It is 6:10 am here at Valley Baptist Retreat Center in Mission, Texas.
It is pouring down rain, which will make working in the park today a
little more difficult. There has been so much done already but we do
not want to leave without being able to finish some of the other
things we want to do for the community. Pray with us that the weather
will give us a break in order for that to happen.

Last night we had a great group of children at our Bible School.
Tonight we will finish the Bible School up with the carnival that we
have often called The Festival of Lights for Jesus. It has been great
to watch the students of GCS interact with the children and adults of
Sullivan City, TX

We will so have the opportunity to be a part of the Mission Church's
anniversary celebration. So thankful for what He is allowing us to do
and what He is doing in us while working with Primera Iglesia Bautista

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy... down in my heart



The girls leading the song, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart" during our worship time this evening. Jessie really had this little boy going. It was great

Freshly painted benches and swing set

We have been able to paint the existing benches replace parts on the
swing sets. More to come. Stay tuned

Community Park

Future home of the Community Park in Sullivan City, Tx

Monday morning, Dec 14

It is 6:20am and I am waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. Breakfast is at 7am and then we will head out to Lowe's and Home Depot to begin purchasing equipment, tools and lumber for the community park, which sits across the street from the Mission Church in Sullivan City, Tx.

I am praying that we will all find our delight in HIM today

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Notes from morning sermon:: Christmas Coin


Acts 4:8-12
Kingdom Life Unwrapped
Dr. Mildred Minatrea

Jesus Christ came, lived a perfect life, was crucified, died and placed in a tomb, and rose again in fufilment of the scriptures

..There is salvation is no one else!
..This is the Gospel
..There is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved

If we were to mint a Christmas Coin, it would look like this:
-one side is the crown
-one side is the cross

Thus Jesus is The stone despised by you builders, who has become the cornerstone - verse 11

God's way of commemorating is not in making coins. God's way of commemorating is in the gift of the Holy Spirit

The Spirit leads us for His name and renown. It us not about us! We must live a life that is led by the Spirit. One that causes us to leave it all and give it all for all that He is and what He is doing in and through us



Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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New Friends

I love meeting new friends. Please pray for Benjamin, Crystal, Ruby
and Jesus

Music Time

Some of the children dressed out in some vintage GCS jerseys singing
during music time

Rec Time

Mason has some of the boys outside playing soccer during VBS rec time

Getting ready for VBS

We are 45 minutes away from the start of our Bible School in Sullivan
City, Tx

The Christmas Coin

Kingom Life Unwrapped

GCS in the church bulletin

We made it into the church bulletin. 2nd announcement in the Missions/
Mobilization

Calvary McAllen

Waiting for service to start at Calvary McAllen

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Eagle Has Landed

Students who flew in this evening are here and ready to get some rest. It has been a long day. I am looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in the morning and tomorrow evening as we start our community outreach program in Sullivan City, TX

The Girls Are Up To Something

Mission Trip ::: Hey

Saturday Evening @ 7:22 pm

We are at Chick Fil A finishing dinner and then heard to Wal Mart to
buy supplies followed by a trip to the airport

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Valley Baptist Retreat Center

We have made it to Valley Baptist Retreat Center where we will be
staying. We will travel form here into Sullivan City during the day

Lunch in San Antonio

We have made it to San Antonio and the students are eating at
Whataburger and Taco Cabana

Stop at St. Arbuxs

A quick pit stop at Starbucks for some coffee

Multimedia message

We have made it to The Czech Stop in West, Texas. I love this place

Friday, December 11, 2009

GCS Mission Trip '09 :: December 12-17

Greenville Christian School's 2009 Mission Trip will take place in Sullivan City, TX.

We will be:

* working with a mission church in Sullivan City, TX (a ministry of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Tx)
* staying at Valley Baptist Retreat, Mission, TX
* putting together a Christmas themed Vacation Bible School program that tell the story of Jesus
* playing soccer, kickball and other games in order to build relationships with and share the Gospel with the people of the area
* we will be building a community playground, picnic table, and park benches
* painting and doing some small construction work at and around the mission church
* making ourselves available for any other service related projects that may need to be done



Schedule:

* leave from GCS on Saturday, December 12th
* arrive in Mission, TX at Valley Baptist Retreat on Saturday, December 12th
* attend Sunday morning worship at Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, TX on December 13th
* travel into Sullivan City on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (December 14, 15, and 16) to work with the mission church
* leave Mission, TX on Thursday, December 17th and arrive back at GCS that evening

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Today was a great day in the life of GFchurch. There are new things on the horizon for our church and we are excited about what the Lord is doing in and through us. The month of December is upon us and we have a few eve ts we need to tell you about.
Dec4 :: Ladies Ornament Exchange
Dec13 :: Children's Christmas Program
Dec20 :: Pastor's Open House
~ be watching my blog and our Facebook page for more details concerning each one of these events.

We will be starting a new series this Sunday called, "Unwrapping The Christmas Gift" Make sure to join us for Coffee and Conversation at 10:00 am followed by our Worship Gathering at 10:30 am.

We know have 3 weekly connect groups that are meeting.
Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm at Zach and Susan Snow's
Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm at Trent and Natalie's
Sunday morning at 9:15 am at the church
~feel free to come to the Sunday morning Connect Group even if you are already attending another group during the week. These are meant to suppliment one another. You do not have to choose just one.

We will also be talking about an opportunity for us to send 10 Christmas Smile Packs to help give Christmas to families in the Dominican Republic through an organization called Children Of The Nation. This is the organization that many of our staff members at GFchurch have served and partnered with, in the past, to take our trips to the Dominican Republic. It is also the same organization that my family sponsors Yanelli, who is a first grader and lives in Algodon, Dominican Republic.
.... We will be talking about the Christmas Smile Packs this Sunday morning and you will have an opportunity to help put one together.

I love our church
I love our community
I love our people
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Steve Hayes @ Grace Community

Steve Hayes @ Grace Community

November 15, 2009
Grace Community Church

The Holy Spirit

The Spirit is what we perceive with rather than what we perceive

While every Christian in indwelt with the Holy Spirt not every one is
living in the power of the Spirit


The Holy Spirit is
... Our helper
... Our guide
... Our way to see Jesus better
... Our engine to our spiritual life
.... Our unity and diversity In the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 12:12
4 key words ::
...baptized
...by or with
...were
...all

The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to trust in Christ

The Holy Spirit imparts unique spiritual gifts to us

The Holy Spirit secures our future

He will complete the work He has started in us. He is the author and
the perfector of our faith

H is real, He is personable


Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dino Rizzo @ Dirt Conference

Dino Rizzo @ Dirt Conference

Why do we do what we do?
What we do with what we have
What is the ultimate outcome of everything we do?

John 13:1
Now before the Feast of The Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had
come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having
loved His own who were in the world, He lived them to the end.

... We have to be able to show the full extent of His love to those
around us
... We have to show the full range of who He is
... People need the full measure of His love

What do we see Jesus starting to do
... He begins to serve
... He washes the disciples feet
... He expressed it with a basin and a towel

Jesus could have done anything as He unleashed the full sweep of God's
love but he chose to SERVE

Jesus could have made a huge deal invited a to come when He unleashed
the fullness of God but He chose to do it in the Upper Room

The fullness of God's love was culminated in His service to all of
humanity on the cross

We must descend to greatness.
....Most of us serve to get out of serving
....we should serve because that is what we do and have been called to
do as Christians and leaders
... It must be about One
... It must be about Him

What is the ultimate goal of what we have at our fingertips?
... To make Him known

Our potential is many but our passion is One

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Anne Jackson @ Dirt Conference

Anne Jackson @ Dirt Conference

Is serving the church interferring with your communion with Christ?

You can not forget how to BE with God in the midst of Doing for Him

The discipline of "being" with Christ is one o the strongest
challenges as a church leader

We're tired not from doing too many things, but from doing the wrong
things

We must never let "doing church" get in the way or "being the church"

You can not let anything get in the way of your communion
(relationship) with Christ

Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God - Psalm 46:10

Communion with Christ will transform us as Christ Followers and will
make us more effective as Creatives

God wants your heart more than H wants your designs, videos, blog
posts, sermons, etc.... He wants your Heart

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Team Chemistry session @ Dirt Conference

Team Chemistry session @ Dirt Conference

What happens when someone is not a team player::
... It all starts from the hire
... You have to hire for heart at church
... You can teach talent but with no heart they will not play well
with the team
... You must filter from the front end

How to keep team chemistry::
... Once again it is all about relationships. You must communicate to
keep team chemistry.
... Team chemistry is can be looked at as a bank account. You must
make some deposits. You must not make withdrawals all the time.
.... As the leader of the team, you must be mindful of their lives. Do
you know how to pray for them. Do you know what they are going through
.... You must care more about them as individuals than what they can
do for you
.... You must set up others well

People on the team must exhibit these things::
Character
Chemistry
Competency (you can work with this one)


Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Pastors Only Session @ Dirt Conference

Pastors Only Session @ Dirt Conference

Pastors have to work with their creative person in such a way that it
is a co-creation

... Creative guys work in spurts
... Creative guys are typically lineal people
... The Pastor and the creative person have to understand tbat they
are co-crewting the journey of the church
... The Pastor must be able to give direction in a way that helps
Father (push) the creative person. This relationship has to be one
where you help build, encourage, and give enough room for them to work
... You must be able to trust you creative person
... Set aside time to meet with your creative person to continue to
build your relationship
... There is a great deal of strength in building into each other
.... Truth is most pastors are creative also
.... Do not micro manage:: give vision and let them work
.... Relationship and Communication is crucial
.... Make time for your team and or creative person to share with you
what they are walking through... They could be at their breaking point
... Relationship will solve the us and me mentality


Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Series Development session @ Dirt Conference

Series Development session @ Dirt Conference

How far out do you plan services?
....90 days is ideal in order to give creative team time to do their
magic
.... easier to ditch a plan that create at the last minute
.... If you can get some sort of a template for about 6 months out,
creative team can really bang it out
.... How often do we ask those who aren't churched what they are
thinking and why they don't come to church. We should be asking them
how to package our stuff. We have to be mindful of our community an
culture
... Get different types of people on the creative planning team- do
not go at it alone

Creativity is meant to enhance..... to add to what is there..... It
has to be purposeful

Recap videos during sermon series are great. Think about the people
who come on week 3 of a 6 week series. They need some context of the
series. A quick recap video before sermon is awesome


Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Rick Bezet @ Dirt Conference

Rick Bezet @ Dirt Conference

If you are not willing to change, you are not creative

Do we create environments in our churches that cause people to fake it
(can people be real an authentic in our church)

They have to be able to be real...

Barna Research::
Why are you not in church anymore::
... We don't like the music
... Kids don't like the church
... Sermons are boing and irrelevant
... Church just wants my money
... People that are there are weird and not like me

We must be encouragers!!!
... Do not lose the confidence of you call
... Do not lose confidence in your dreams


3 types of people
.. Those who have no dream
.. Those who have the wrong dream
.. Those who have the God dream

Have you forgotten the value of the soul? It has to be about souls! It
can not be about you an what you want. What does HE want?

Criticism comes from those who have lost the dream

Lord, restore to us our innocense

Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking more of others

Finish the race... Finish it well

We have got to do life together. He did not intend for us to live on
an island

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Service was great today at GFchurch I had a really great time preaching over the parable of the rich fool this morning. We looked at a few specific things. The first was the fact that we have to look beyond ourselves. The second is that we have to look beyond today. Are we really building His kingdom or are we building our own? In the parable we see that the landowner, because he had many crops and had run out of room to store them, decided to tear down his little barns and build bigger ones so he could store up his treasure. Scripture even states that the landowner was telling himself to ease up, eat, drink and be merry because he had done well and accumulated much. However, Jesus calls him a fool and tells about the difference between those who store up treasure for themselves and look only to themselves and those who set their minds on His kingdom and what He has called for them to do.

13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."

14Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."


If you missed the service this morning, you can catch it at GatewayTV.


This week, we move forward with our change in our connect group times. We are going to take those of you who are currently meeting on Thursday night and ask you to join either the Tuesday night group or the Wednesday night group. We will be birthing a few more groups out of our existing groups once we have a general consensus as to the day of the week most preferred to meet on. The groups will still meet at 7pm on a weekly basis.

We will also be launching a Sunday morning connect group that will meet at 9:15 am at the church. Mark your calendars for November 29, 2009. This is the day we will kick off our Sunday morning ConnectGroup.


Here are a few things coming up in the life of our church:


11.21 Gateway N Gear (working with Habitat for Humanity)
11.22 GFchurch Thanksgiving Feast
11.29 Sunday ConnectGroup

12.04 GF Ladies Ornament Exchange
12.20 Pastor's Open House
12.31 This is A New Year


.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Friday, November 6, 2009

Francis Chan @ RightNow Conf

Francis Chan @ RightNow Conf
Are we seeking first His kingdom?

Will we deny ourselves or build our kingdom?

We are not worried about living, we are worried about our standard of
living

We are not concerned even with others living we are stil more
concerned with our standard of living

We only think something is an emergency when it affects us personally
meanwhile people all over the world are dying

If we are about building His kingdom, we are along for the ride. It is
the Holy Spirit that creates the movements, we can try too hard to do
it ourselves instead of getting on our knees and praying about His
kingdom movement

I has from day one been a movement of God

2 Peter 1
.... I am a servant of God
.... I am in equal standing by the righteousness of our God and Savior
Jesus Christ
.... Grace and peace are multiplied in the knowledge of Jesus Christ
.... He has given us everything that pertains to life and Godliness.

Everything is given through HIM

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Matt Chandler @ RightNow Conf

Matt Chandler @ RightNow Conf

Are we preaching the Gospel or just behavior modification.... Moral
Deism

1 Corinthians 15
The Gospel is of first importance
The Gospel is that Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again in the
fulfilment of the Scriptures

You can not preach sanctification apart from the cross..

What does the Gospel look like and how is it being taught?

Colossians 1:13-
God is infinately Holy.... Our best day is filthy in reference to Him

But Ephesians 2 brings hope

Creation is good
Fall ruins it
Redemption reconciles it
Consummation brings about newness

We need to understand what the Gospel is

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Mark Batterson @ RightNow Conf

Mark Batterson @ RightNow Conf

What is the primal essence of Christianity?

..... The Great Commandment

The Lord said, love the Lord your Gid with all your heart, soul. mind
and strength

The church today is more known for what they are against as opposed to
what we are for

Loving the Lord with all of our mind::
.... We must love Him w/ all that we have and all that we are


1 Chronicles 29 Temple was built
.... He gave his son the plans that the Sprit had given him for the
temple
.... Must have God ideas not good ideas


The things that will make us or break us are when the Spirit of God
births something within us. This is a God moment.. It may just seem
crazy!

When God conceives something in you It Is A God Moment and we need to
hang on to them

Pray for God dreams not just good dreams


Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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@timrossorg teaching Connection Session @ RightNow Conf

@timrossorg teaching Connection Session @ RightNow Conf
New Testament Leadership


You must decrease to allow others to increase
... You may have to get out of the way

In leadership:: often times your pain may be somebody elses passion

You must replace yourself
You must be willing to let those around you succeed

You are either laying hands on someone for succession leadership or
you are laying hands on them and holding them down

Jesus says, greater works should you do

Do not trap disciples in apostles bodies

You have got to be able to see the exit sign

Paul to Timothy," I am finished"
.... generationally there are many who are running around the track
with no baton (no one has handed them anything)
.... There are others who are just waiting for the baton.... You must
be willing to hand it to them. You must not pass the one who is
supposed to run that leg of the race

Paul understood his leg of the race

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Francis Chan @ RightNow Conf

Francis Chan @ RightNow Conf

What is truth?
What is it that the Word tells us?

Start with scripture and get the Truth from it asnopposex to starting
with a desire and then finding scripture to back it up;
which may even be used out of context

Have we found a middle road?
Scripture says there is a narrow road and a wide road. We have made a
Middle Road in the church Nd in our own individual lives

We are twisting things..
We say the right things but our life doesn't match up
We have created a culture in the church that says the right things but
often times we are not even following the things of God that we speak of

.....Everybody just wants to comment as opposed to committing
(do not be suprised at the trials that you will go through as a
pastor, teacher and leader)


There is a reality to trading in the pursuit of the American dream and
becoming what He has called us to do. We need to pursue Jesus and Him
alone.

1 Peter 4:12 ... May we use as an encouragement in what He has asked
us to do
...the church must speak the Truth
...even when it may hurt

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be on the alert...

..... The enemy will try to get you fired up.
..... The enemy wants division. He wants to destroy unity
..... The enemy wants chaos

1 Peter 5:10
After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace will
Himself restore, strengthen and establish you

The Truth is found in the scripture. The truth is the fact that we
will go through trial and tribulation. The truth is knowing that He is
with you through it all. The truth is understanding the fellowship we
are to have with Him.

The Truth is that I have been created to be in an intimate loving
relationship with Jesus. I have been called to Lead the was he has
gifted me. I have been called to walk through trials but He will never
leave or forsKe me. He is our prize!!

Is Jesus your prize?

Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tim Ross @ RightNow Conf

Tim Ross @ RightNow Conf
Phil. 3: 17-19

Paul speaking to the church at Philipi

... If you want to be like Christ follow me
Paul says the above. It is a very bold statement

Question:
Are we worth following?
Where are we leading those around us?

If people were to follow us would we lead them to the cross? Or would
we lead them to perversion or self-centeredness and arrogance

Leadership::
You have to be HOT
H... Honest
O... Open
T... Transparent


Oftentimes your past will help propel you to the future
We have to be able to pick up The Book and see our weakness
Don't just preach to others weakness

Are we allies or enemies to the cross with our Leadership
.... Leadership has to be honest


Trent Brown, Lead Pastor
Gateway Fellowship

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Incarnational Living ::: This is a great post on what it looks like for us to be missional



* Being missional means that the church sees itself as being missionaries, rather than having a missions department, and that we see ourselves as missionaries right where we live
* Being missional means that we see ourselves as representatives of Jesus “sent” into our communities, and that the church aligns everything it does with the missio dei (mission of God)
* Being missional means we see the church not as a place we go only on Sundays, but as something we are throughout the week
* Being missional means that we understand we don’t “bring Jesus” to people but that we realize Jesus is active in culture and we join him in what he is doing
* Being missional means we are very much in the world and engaged in culture but are not conforming to the world
* Being missional means we serve our communities, and that we build relationships with the people in them, rather than seeing them as evangelistic targets
* Being missional means being all the more dependent on Jesus and the Spirit through prayer, the Scriptures, and each other in community

Sunday Reflections

We had a great day at GFchurch. The worship was sweet and I really enjoyed teaching over the Parable Of The Talents. If you missed the service this morning, you can catch it at GatewayTV.


This week, we move forward with our change in our connect group times. We are going to take those of you who are currently meeting on Thursday night and ask you to join either the Tuesday night group or the Wednesday night group. We will be birthing a few more groups out of our existing groups once we have a general consensus as to the day of the week most preferred to meet on. The groups will still meet at 7pm on a weekly basis.

We will also be looking at launching a Sunday morning connect group that will meet at 9:15 am at the church. More details coming soon


Here are a few things coming up in the life of our church:


11.07 GFchurch Ladies Night
11.21 Gateway N Gear
11.22 GFchurch Thanksgiving Feast

12.04 GF Ladies Ornament Exchange


.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday Reflections

The service yesterday morning was great. Scott Finch did a great job leading us in worship and we covered part 4 of The Parables series. The message yesterday was taken from The Parable of The Ten Virgins as found in Matthew 25:1-13. You can catch the service at GatewayTV if you missed it. We looked specifically at the fact that there is a world that is unconvinced of the love of Christ and is unprepared for what Jesus has in store for them. We also looked at the fact that we have been called, as individuals and as a church, to do our part to point the way to Christ.

We also have a change in our connect group times during the week. We are going to take those of you who are currently meeting on Thursday night and ask you to join either the Tuesday night group or the Wednesday night group. We will be birthing a few more groups out of our existing groups once we have a general consensus as to the day of the week most preferred to meet on. The groups will still meet at 7pm on a weekly basis.

We will also be looking at launching a Sunday morning connect group that will meet at 9:15 am at the church. We took a few moments during SNL this week and asked how many people would be interested in this type of group. We had a very good response and we will be giving you more details as we get closer to a launch date. More details coming soon

Speaking of SNL, our children did a great job presenting their worship and drama and we are already looking forward to the next time they lead us in worship. Great job Mrs. Devera~ we appreciate all of your time


Here are a few things coming up in the life of our church:


10.28 Main Street Trick or Treat

11.07 GFchurch Ladies Night
11.22 GFchurch Thanksgiving Feast


.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We had an amazing day today at GFchurch The worship was great and I really enjoyed teaching out of Matthew 22 as we looked at the parable of The Wedding Feast. It was a tough passage but I honestly believe that many left today a little different than they way they walked in. I am praying specifically for salvation for many. I am praying we would understand that we just aren't good enough in and of ourselves. We can not clothe ourselves. We must submit to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. This is all about man's natural desire to want to be able to do it all on our own. We can not establish our own righteousness. Look at Romans 10 verse 3, "For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God". May we fully understand that we need to pray that many would find salvation, life, purpose and significance in HIM. Next week we will be looking at the parable of The Ten Virgins. I am already excited about sharing the truths found in this account of scripture.

Here are a few things coming up in the life of our church:

10.24 Men's Breakfast
10.25 SNL
10.28 Main Street Trick or Treat

11.07 GFchurch Ladies Night



.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reflections From Sunday

We are in a series called The Parables at Gateway Fellowship Church This Sunday the message was over the Laborers in the Vineyard taken from Matthew 20 The parable unfolds for us the idea of generous grace. We have a tendency to understand the way law works. You see you do something and you get what you deserve. Right? Well wrong. When you unpack this parable it speaks to us about the fact that God deals with us according to who He is and not according to who we are. You see, lets be honest. Do we really want what we rightfully deserve from Him. The answer is No. You see this concept of Him giving us what He wants is sometimes very difficult to grasp. Take the Laborers for example. The landowner hired them to work for a denarius and the men agreed upon that wage. However, the Landowner continued to hire people through out the day and not everyone worked the same amount of time. So at the end of the day, when the foreman was given the task to pay t he workers. he was told to pay the ones who came last first. The foreman did as he was told and then he paid the ones who were hired first. The men who had worked all day wanted to know why they were not getting more than the ones who just worked a few hours. Sound familiar? Sound like our own attitudes when things like this come up? Here is the really cool part.
~God’s grace always operates righteously. He never does anything unfair in grace. God will never be less than fair, but He reserves the right to be more than fair according to the pleasure and riches of His grace. This parable shows that God can give to us out of the abundance of His goodness, completely apart from what we deserve.

Thank you Lord for GRACE. Thank you for dealing with us in light of who you are and not according to who we are.

Join us this Sunday as we take an in depth look at The Wedding Feast. I am really excited about this series and the truths that it hold for all of us.

.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday Reflections

I love what the Lord is doing in and through us Gateway Fellowship Church. The service Sunday was awesome. We heard from Scott Finch about his recent trip to Atlanta to serve the flood victims. Scott also did an amazing job leading us in worship this week. We will be looking at a few ways that we, as a church, might be able to continue sending Hope to the flood victims in Atlanta. You can see the video that Scott put together at DeepBreath Media

We started a new series this past Sunday called, "The Parables". Here is a quick look at what we will be looking at over the next few weeks::
1. The Sower [The Four Soils] (Mt 13:3-9,18-23)
2. The Laborers In The Vineyard (Mt 20:1-16)
3. The Wedding Feast (Mt 22:1-14)
4. The Wise And Foolish Virgins (Mt 25:1-13)
5. The Talents (Mt 25:14-30)
6. The Rich Fool (Lk 12:13-21)
7. The Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32)
8. The Persistent Widow (Lk 18:1-8)
9. The Pharisee And The Tax Collector (Lk 18:9-14)

This past Sunday, I spoke on, "The Sower". We looked at the Sower, the Seed and the four different types of soils that the Seed falls on. It gave us a very direct look at how we are living and what the soil looks like. Have you responded to the truth but you are you being choked by the thorns of life (the cares and pleasures of this world)? Maybe you have allowed your heart to become so hardened and calloused that you have chosen to reject the truth of what Christ has done for us all. Or maybe the seed has fallen on good ground? If you want to talk about this more after reading it, please feel free to contact me. I would love to talk with you

Join us this Sunday as we take an in depth look at The laborers In The Vineyard. I am really excited about this series and the truths that it hold for all of us.

.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday Reflections

The Lord is doing some really neat things in the life of our church. Every week, we look forward to what He is going to do in us and through us. We have around 90 percent of our church family involved in our Connect Group ministry and we are witnessing biblical community taking place. I love our Connect Group ministry and the implementation of our vision to "do life together" Our weekly small groups that are meeting in homes around the community is where we deepen our relationships with one another and become the community of faith that He has called us to be. I do want to challenge you to get involved with one of these groups.

We have a few things coming up:
~ October 3rd.... Ladies Night @ GFchurch
~ October 17th... FunFest
~ October 24th... Men's Breakfast @ Soulman's (change of date due to FunFest)

We have just wrapped us a series called, "Who Are You...?". and we are starting a new series this Sunday, October 4, 2009 called "Parables". If you missed the least series and want to catch up or you would like to hear one again, you can watch them at GatewayTV

.. I love our church
.. I love our team
.. I love our people
.. I love our community
.. I love what He is doing in us
.. I love what He is doing through us
.. I love that He is not done with us

There are some awesome things coming up in the life of Gateway Fellowship.
.. new ConnectGroup studies by Zach Snow
.. new Creative Arts stuff being led by Scott Finch
.. new way to stay connected with GFchurch Facebook Page

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thoughts from this week

This week has been crazy. Sunday services at Gateway Fellowship were awesome. The Lord once again reminded us who was in control. It seemed like everything we had planned did not necessarily go the way we thought but He was definitely in control. We had some instrument problems so I just got up and we preached the message at the beginning of service and followed it with worship. We do this from time to time, but it was not slotted to be done that way this past Sunday. Once again, He is the One who leads and directs and we are thankful. The service ended up going really well and everything just fell into place.

We had some amazing days at Greenville Christian School this week as well. On Wednesday, September 23rd, we had BMW Day, which is a day that our entire school goes out into the community and serves. It was an amazing time of community service and giving the students a physical opportunity to walk their faith out and teach them what Biblical service is. The students really enjoyed it and I am continuing to hear some awesome stories of what the Lord did in and through our students. That morning started out with the faculty and the student body surrounding the flag pole for SYATP (See You At The Pole). It was great to see students and adults praying for the name and renown of Jesus Christ to be known among the nations.

This weekend I am officiating a wedding for a young couple that Natalie and I have had the privilege of getting to know and are looking forward to investing in their lives and watching the Lord mold them and grow them together.

This Sunday morning, I will be finishing a series called, "Who Are You...?" This weeks message, "Who Are You Really Following" is one that I am really excited about teaching and looking forward to what the Lord has for all of us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Yesterday at GFchurch was awesome. The worship led by Scott Finch had a sweet spirit vibe to it and our people were really engaged and singing throughout the service. One of our elders, Dennis Dodds has just come back from being overseas and he shared some amazing stories of things that happened while he was there and even over the past 4 years as Gateway Fellowship Church celebrated its 4th anniversary. The Lord has been good to us. We have seen stages of growth, stages of pruning followed by regrowth and a passion for His name to be made known among the nations. There are some amazing things taking place in the life of our church. We are pushing forward to get to the next level of ministry for us in our Connect Groups. We are going to be producing some video driven small group studies that will feature Zach Snow, teaching several 10-12 minute video segments that will help unpack our core values to our church family. I am really excited about the direction our Connect Group Ministry is headed as well as the implementation of our overall vision that is being put into the Creative Ministries of the church. Pray with us as we push forward into what the Lord has for us at GFchurch

- I love our church
- I love our people
- I love what HE is doing in us
- I love what HE is doing through us
- I love that HE is not done with us

Sunday Reflections

Yesterday at GFchurch was awesome. The worship led by Scott Finch had a sweet spirit vibe to it and our people were really engaged and singing throughout the service. One of our elders, Dennis Dodds has just come back from being overseas and he shared some amazing stories of things that happened while he was there and even over the past 4 years as Gateway Fellowship Church celebrated its 4th anniversary. The Lord has been good to us. We have seen stages of growth, stages of pruning followed by regrowth and a passion for His name to be made known among the nations. There are some amazing things taking place in the life of our church. We are pushing forward to get to the next level of ministry for us in our Connect Groups. We are going to be producing some video driven small group studies that will feature <, teaching several 10-12 minute video segments that will help unpack our core values to our church family. I am really excited about the direction our Connect Group Ministry is headed as well as the implementation of our overall vision that is being put into the Creative Ministries of the church. Pray with us as we push forward into what the Lord has for us at GFchurch

- I love our church
- I love our people
- I love what HE is doing in us
- I love what HE is doing through us
- I love that HE is not done with us

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ed Stetzer~ The Nines Conference

Wanted to share this with you. It is from Ed Stetzer's blog post:::


Ed Stetzer - The 9s from LifeWay on Vimeo.




Mission, Self, and God's Mission



Mission is the opposite of self. We have to remember to make it about God and not about us.

Even pastors struggle with the reality that the heart is an idol factory. Your heart is an "Idol Factory" constantly creating things other than God to worship.

We must resist the pull of idols and live the mission-- to make it about God's Glory and His agenda.

We pastors too often consider ourselves as "religious professionals who can put on a show" rather than people transformed and sent on mission.

1. Those on mission focus on God's glory and His agenda
(Isaiah 6:1-8).

2. Those on mission reflect being with God
(2 Corinthans 3:16-18).

Trying to get people on mission who haven't been transformed by the gospel is a fool's errand.

3. Those on mission no longer live for themselves
(2 Corinthians 5:14-15).


It's not about thinking less of you; it's about thinking of you less.

I hope it is an encouragement to you.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Reflections

What a great day at Gateway Fellowship

I really enjoyed seeing the people of @GFchurch this morning. We had an amazing time of worship led by Scott Finch I really enjoy hearing our people connect in worship and sing praises to their Creator. We began a new series this morning called, "Who Are You....?" and we will be answering a different question for the next few weeks. Today we looked at the story of Zacchaeus and asked the question, Who Are You Listening To?" The scriptures found in Luke 19 tell us the story of Zacchaeus and gives us a snapshot of the voices he was hearing. We looked at the fact that there is an "internal" voice that we often hear which tends to be one of contradiction to the things of God. The is another voice that we hear at times. We will call it the "intermediate" voice and it is one that brings about a conviction to things of God. It makes us ask questions like, "what am I hear for" and "Is this really what life is all about?" We can also see that there is an intimate and inviting voice that we hear. It is the voice of the Father and it is one that brings conversion to God. In verse 5 we see this take place in Luke 19. Jesus tells Zacchaeus to come down, for I am going to your house today. When we hear the voice of Jesus, it often gives us a sense of urgency and anticipation.

Zacchaeus walked through all of these voices. I am certain that He went through the internal voice questioning his very reason for wanting to go see Jesus. The questions and reasoning of such things like; "people will think I am silly", "people will make fun of me", "someone of my social stature should not do this" This internal voice is one that leaves unrest which brings us to the intermediate voice where Zacchaeus began to ask questions like; "Is this really all there is to this life?". If his answer to such a question was yes, then he surely would have never climbed the tree. Zacchaeus knew that had to be more! Even in the midst of the voices he heard in verse 7 which were the grumblings of men saying "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner", Zacchaeus repented. He did not care what others thought. He knew there was more. You see he had overcome the internal voice, he was working through the intermediate voice and now he was hearing the initiating and intimate voice of the Father and the words were as such; "Come down, for I must stay at your house today" then we see in the last verse these words, "Today salvation has come to this house".

Will you move away from living a life of self and move towards a lifestyle that will listen and answer to the initiating and inviting voice of the Father?

~ I love our church
~ I love our people
~ I love what He is doing in us
~ I love what He is doing through us
~ I love that He is not done with us

Other GFchurch staff blogs:
Zach Snow's Blog
Scott Finch's Blog

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Reflections

This weekend was awesome in the life of GFchurch. We had a neighborhood block party in Creekview Estates. We had a great turn out at the block party and made some awesome connections. Sunday morning service had an awesome turn out of new faces, many that we met and connected with the night before at our block party. We are so excited about what the Lord is doing in us and the direction our church is headed.

This morning, our worship led by Scott Finch was great and I always enjoy hearing God's people sing out to their Creator. It is truly one of the things I enjoy the most. I love our worship times and always look forward to celebrating with the Body of Christ each week. This week's message entitled Consecrate Yourselves took a look at what we must do to:
con·se·crate (transitive verb): to dedicate something or somebody to a specific purpose.

We looked at Joshua 3:1-5 and looked specifically at the words Joshua gave his people. In verse 5 it says, "Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you."
We learned that in order to consecrate ourselves, it becomes a heart issue. You must be willing to:
* Give Attention on God
* Draw Close
* Pay attention
* Be available
* Be Ready

We are also going to be starting creating our own video driven small group studies. Zach Snow our Executive/ Teaching Pastor will begin creating and facilitation these upcoming studies. We are truly excited about the direction of our ConnectGroup Minstry.

Don't forget that @GFchurch will be at the Frisco Rough Riders game Wednesday night. If you have not gotten your tickets yet please contact me. Remember, these tickets are free but they are first come, first serve. The tickets include free hot dogs and hamburgers plus a hat and a ticket for parking. We still have some spots available. I am really looking forward to hanging out with our church family this coming Wednesday at the game

There are a lot of things in store for us @GFchurch and we are praying in accordance with the scriptures that teach us that, "the Lord will do wonders among you"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Local Habitat To Hold Informational Meeting

Dear Church Family,

We wanted to pass this information onto you in an effort to get it out to as many people as possible. If you know of anyone that might be a candidate please make sure they have this information.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Media Contact: Melissa A. Hicks, Mosaic Marketing, 484.888.6766 or Mellisa Hicks





Local Habitat to Host Informational Meeting for

Local Families Seeking an Affordable Home



ROCKWALL, TEXAS, August 27, 2009 — Rockwall County and Royse City residents who do not qualify for a mortgage from a traditional lender such as a bank, may still be able to own a home for as little as $500 per month thanks to the Rockwall Area Habitat for Humanity (RAHFH). The nonprofit organization leverages donations and volunteer labor to construct homes which they sell at cost with zero percent financing to qualified applicants. The group is currently seeking applicants and will provide an informational meeting on Saturday, September 19 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at the Rockwall Public Library located at 1215 East Yellow Jacket Lane.



During the meeting, members of the RAHFH Family Selection Committee and a current Habitat home owner will detail the application criteria and process. They will also conduct an initial screening of attendees, distribute application packets and arrange assistance for anyone who needs help completing the application. The program will be conducted in English and a Spanish translator will be present.



“Given the recession, more families than ever are in need of affordable housing. Our goal is to raise awareness throughout the community that the Rockwall Area Habitat for Humanity can make home ownership a reality for qualified applicants,” stated Larry Wells, vice president of the RAHFH.



Wells encouraged local churches, social service agencies, and individuals to help spread the word to anyone in need of affordable housing. Applications are available online at Rockwall Habitat or by calling 972.771.6909.





About Rockwall Area Habitat for Humanity

The RAHFH is a Christian housing ministry dedicated to building homes for families who might not otherwise afford one. The group constructs the homes by leveraging private donations and volunteer labor, then it sells each home at cost and provides zero interest financing for the approved family. Since its inception in 1994, the RAHFH has constructed 23 homes for area families. For more information, visit Rockwal Habitat

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Reflections from Sunday

It has been an awesome week already. I have had so much going on that I neglected to post my normal Sunday afternoon reflections. This past Sunday we finished our sermon series called, "Stressed?". We finished out the series with a message on Raising Children. I really enjoyed it and look forward to all the conversations that will arise from it.

This Sunday I will be teaching a message called, "Consecrate Yourselves" and I am already getting pumped up about it. We have some really cool stuff coming around the corner in the life of GFchurch so stay tuned for more details. We are going to be rolling out some new "Gateway In Gear" serving opportunities as well as taking our Connect Group ministry to the next level.

We are also trying to get our live video feeds back up and running for Sunday mornings. We have taken a slight break from it when we moved into our new building but we are doing our best to get it back up. You can currently view the recorded worship services on our website by clicking on GatewayTV

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We have had some amazing things take place in the life of Gateway Fellowship Church this weekend. We started Saturday morning with an awesome time of fellowship with the men of the church. We headed out to Soulman's BBQ and knocked out a huge portion of their breakfast buffet. We then hosted a block party in Zach Snow's neighborhood. We simply invited all of those who live in his housing edition over for a time of community. We had bounce houses, free food and drink and some amazing chill time. We met a lot of new people and even saw some new faces on church Sunday morning that we had a made a connection with on Saturday. We are hosting 3 more block parties over the next 2 months. These block parties will be hosted in neighborhoods that we currently have Connect Groups meeting in as well as a neighborhood that we are looking at launching a Connect Group in at a later date.

Sunday morning was awesome. Scott Finch our Worship/ Creative Arts Pastor did an amazing job leading worship and the church had a real sweet, authentic vibe as the created lifted their voices to the Creator. We finished our second week looking at Money. Last week we talked about not becoming possessed by our possessions but rather becoming possessors of our possessions. This week we looked at getting our Money under control and talked about things such as:

Problem: No Financial Plan
Solution: Prayerfully budget

Problem: Over indulgence
Solution: Simplify

Problem: Debt
Solution: Cut credit spending

Problem: Trusting money
Solution: Learning to Give is a faith issue

To top it off, on Sunday afternoon, we celebrated Lily Finch's Bday (daughter of Scott Finch). The really cool thing that happened here is that when Lilly sent out her invitations to her party; she asked those who were coming to not bring her a present but instead bring a pair of pajamas or bring a donation toward The Dallas Chapter of the Pajama Program. I love when children see the big picture. Lily, thanks for having such a precious compassionate heart.

I love our church
I love our people
I love our team
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us

Friday, August 14, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~ Propitiation


The satisfaction of God's violated holiness. When Mom was able to dissuade Dad from administering corporal punishment on you, did she become a propitiation? No! As the propitiation for sins, Jesus did not alter the Heavenly Father's disposition toward us. After all, the Father sent the Son to die for sinners. Rather, propitiation points to the sufficiency of Christ's redeeming work on the cross to deliver us from deserved wrath unto undeserved bliss..

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reflections From Sunday

We had a great day at Gateway Fellowship this past Sunday. The worship time was awesome, led by Scott Finch and I had the opportunity to teach on the scriptures in the Gospel of Mark concerning the Rich Young Ruler. The message was entitled, Possessed or Possessor" and it challenged us to answer the question of whether or not we were truly possessors of our possessions or if we were in reality possessed by our possessions. The Rich Young Ruler when asked what he must do to inherit eternal life was given an answer. His response to that was to say that he had done all of those things from his youth. Jesus responds and says, "you still lack something, go and sell all that you have an come follow me" Scripture tell us that the Rich Young Ruler walked away saddened and was grieving for he was one who owned much property. You see, the Rich Young Ruler was possessed by his possessions. Are you?

If we truly are the possessors of our possessions then we understand that everything we have is from God and for God. When we are the possessors, our possessions become tools in our hands. We can use those tools for our own enjoyment, but we could also use those tools to serve other people and to serve God. It means that we can part with our possessions and part with our money. It means that as we make more money, we don't have to spend it all, but we can give it. It means that we can even scale back our lifestyle if that is what we need to do. That's what it means to be a possessor instead of being possessed.

This Sunday, we will be looking at "Money:: Getting It Under Control" "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."(Proverbs 16) Here is a basic bit of wisdom that says that planning is good and that as responsible Christian's our planning is something we do under the authority of God. So we commit what we do to God and this includes our financial life. So what's the problem?

The problem. We've got no financial plan. What is the solution? The solution is to prayerfully budget. In a healthy lifestyle there is always money left over at the end of the month and if we get to the end of our pay period again and again and there is no money left, and we find ourselves short again, we need to know why.

Sunday Night, we had another awesome time of worship and scripture reading, We looked at the business of the church, our financials, and discussed direction and vision. We launched our Gateway In Gear emphasis. We will be hosting 4 block parties in targeted neighborhoods throughout our community over the next 2 months followed by our participation in the Royse City annual Fun Fest event that is held downtown every year. We are really excited about what is ahead of us and we are praying that lives will be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We finished the worship time by asking the church to join with us in praying for these 9 things:

1. that we would see our problem is not simple moral failure but failure to honor God

2. that we would understand that discipline rarely brings about love, but love always brings discipline.

3. that we would find the fullness of all things in Christ(He's the fullness of all things)

4. that as children of God we are not under wrath but under mercy (God's not "out to get us")

5. that we would recognize God has placed us where we are for His purpose and His glory

6. that we would live in Holy discontentment

7. that we would develop an appetite for truth, even difficult ones

8. that we would embrace Biblical Christianity and not American Evangelicalism

9. that we would we would believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and desire it earnestly



I love our church
I love our people
I love our team
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us

One last thing, if you are not yet involved in a Connect Group get in touch withZach Snow and he can help direct you to the appropriate group

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Proverbs 3: 5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

This is the passage of scripture we were in this morning. We looked at the following four things:
1. you have to GIVE Up~ Trust in the LORD with all your heart
2. you have to GIVE In~ And do not lean on your own understanding.
3. you have to GIVE To~ In all your ways acknowledge Him,
4. you have to GO Forth~ And He will make your paths straight.

We started service out this morning with a responsive reading led by Zach Snow our Executive/ Teaching Pastor. Scott Finch our Worship/ Creative Arts Pastor did a great job leading us in worship this morning. There was a sweet spirit in the house today. I love hearing God's people respond to their Creator in praise. I love hearing my beautiful wife, Natalie sing. She stands next to me every Sunday and she pours her heart and life out to the One who made her. I am so thankful for Natalie and her passionate pursuit of her Savior. I have the most beautiful wife in the world. Thank You Lord for your divine appointments.

I love our church
I love our people
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us

I leave you with the responsive reading from this morning::

But Where Will You Go? (Responsive Reading)

Leader: God, You said for us to follow you.


Congregation: But where will You go? Where will you take us?

Leader: We sometimes hope that you would simply reside in the church. But your heart always is drawn to the dark places that have never seen your light.

Congregation: Where will You go? Surely not into the darkness.

Leader: Will you go to the forgotten people of our society who live without hope?

Congregation: Where will You go? Surely not to the people we've chosen to pass by.

Leader: Will you go to the homes racked by divorce, infidelity, abortion, and spiritual warfare?

Congregation: Where will You go? Even to people who have made foolish decisions.

Leader: Will you go to the prisoners, the homeless, and the diseased? The terrorists?

Congregation: Where will You go? Must we follow you into jails and homeless shelters?

Leader: Will you go to our homes? Will you go to our offices?

Congregation: Where will You go, God? Where must we follow?

Leader: You've called us to follow. "Go into all the world, and teach all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."

People of God, Do you see the answer? He states it clearly and he waits for our response as we ask ourselves. . .


Congregation: We will face the question, "Where will we go?" And we answer, "Where He leads us we will follow.

Leader: Lord, we want to follow you, to carry your light, to keep this great commission. Give us the courage to follow you as other saints have throughout history.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~ Justification



The legal aspect of salvation whereby God declares those who place their faith in Christ "are not guilty". He even goes beyond the declaration of "not guilty" to the point of declaring the Christian "righteous" before Him. Justification is by faith alone in Christ alone.

why did Christ come?

1. Matthew 5:17 - He came to fulfill the law
..."Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
2. John 12:46 - He came as a light into the world
..."I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.
3. John 10:10 - He came that we might have life
..."The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
4. Matthew 9:13 - He came to call the sinners to repentance
..."But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
5. Matthew 10:34 - He came to bring a sword
..."Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
6. John 9:39 - He came to bring about judgement
... And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."
7. Matthew 10:35 - He came to set man at variance
... "For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;
8. John 18:37 - He came to be a King
... 37Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
9. John 6:38 - He came to do the will of the Father
... 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

looking at the life of Paul

When looking at the life of Paul, we can see the following things:

8 elements of his missional strategy

1. maintained close contact with his home base (sending point)
2. confined his efforts into a few areas (which birthed into others)
3. concentrated on larger cities (which became sending units)
4. preached to responsive people
5. baptized converts
6. remained long enough to establish the church (not just plant it)
7. made ample use of fellow workers
8. became ALL things to all people

7 elements on why Paul was successful

1. deep conviction of call
2. completely dedicated to the will of God
3. depended on the Holy Spirit
4. fearless in the presentation of the Gospel
5. emphasized the autonomy of the church
6. had a wise policy regarding money
7. lived what he preached

Sunday Reflections

This Sunday was a little different at Gateway Fellowship. I pulled double duty this weekend. Scott Finch our worship pastor was out, so I led the worship with the band and preached as well. I have to admit that at times, I do enjoy to get back in the saddle and lead musically, but it did seem to wear me out a little more than a usual Sunday. The band did a great job and I enjoyed leading with them.

The message, on "boundaries", was the fourth message in a series called "Stressed?". This series is one that I have really enjoyed teaching through and look forward to the next as we wind it down and prepare for our next one. We have some really cool things taking shape and we will be launching some new "Gateway IN Gear" tasks very shortly. The first of those tasks will be a few neighborhood block parties that will take place during the month of August and September. This block parties will take place in the neighborhoods that we have ConnectGroups in in, and are meeting on a weekly basis.

I love our church
I love our people
I love our team
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us

Thursday, July 23, 2009

innovation via @gregatkinson

At the Church 2.0 conference at Fellowship Dallas and the 2nd session is on innovation:

innovation is that act of doing something new
innovation is being spirit led

~ Isaiah 43:19
~ Ephesians 5:1
~ Jeremiah 33:3

innovation comes from God moments when you are being led by the spirit

God's activity is far greater than anything we can dream up ~ William Blackaby

The main thing is to be Pure and Praying

There is not short cut to innovation, you can not by pass Prayer

7 ways that innovation happens:

1. revelation~ God speaks to you through scripture, prayer and/or worship
2. inspiration~ when you are challenged, stretched, encouraged and inspired by watching others
3. observation~ we have to be students of culture:: a learner and watcher of those you come in contact with
4. conversation~ you never know what God is doing through the loves of the people that surround you:: listen
5. situation~ you never know what God is teaching you through your circumstances or situations
6. frustration~ pay attention when you are frustrated because the Lord may be doing something huge
7. desperation~ when you are so desperate that you have no where else to go but God:: This is good

3 Uses of Twitter via @gregatkinson

Sitting in the Church 2.0 Local Forum at Fellowship Dallas led by Greg Atkinson. He is talking about uses of Twitter and how we can implement them into the lives of our people and churches

1. listening
2. life streaming
3. networking

You have to be intentional in using these tools

boundaries~ having a dark day = means you do not use it for that day. We have to set boundaries!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We talked about FEAR yesterday morning and I really enjoyed preaching on this topic. We looked at the scriptures in Matthew 10: 16-31 where Jesus begins to talk to the disciples preparing them for their ministry to the community and the fact that they will face new challenges and things that may even cause them to fear. A few things to remember when dealing with fears. Although many of us fear things such as death, illness, clowns, and spiders~ there is really only one thing to fear and that is The One who is able to destroy both soul and body (Matthew 10:28). There are a few things to remember when walking through the things that "we" count ourselves to be fearful of. Here they are:
1. God knows everything
2. God cares for us
3. God is in control of everything
4. God is with us
We had a great Sunday! The worship led by Scott Finch was awesome and it was great to hear the congregation engage in worship through song. Our YARD staff, which works with our children, were on spot yesterday morning. I love to see people who are passionate about teaching children and are willing to do "whatever it takes" to get the job done. A big shout out to The Yard Staff!! We will be talking about "boundaries" next Sunday, July 26th. I am already looking forward to preaching on this topic

~ I love our church
~ I love our people
~ I love our team
~ I love what HE is doing in us
~ I love what HE is doing through us
~ I love that HE is not done with us

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dream Big and follow hard after them

Here are 4 things that I shared at the Executive Board Meeting for the HBA last night. I started out by reading in acts 1 verse 8 the promise given to the church. I then went to Acts 2 ...Pentecost and followed with Peter's sermon

14But Peter, taking his stand with (S)the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.

15"For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, (T)for it is only the [b]third hour of the day;

16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
17'(U)AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' God says,
'THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND;
AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY,
AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS,
AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;

18EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN,
I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT
And they shall prophesy.
19'AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE
AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW,
BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.
20'THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS
AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,
BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.
21'AND IT SHALL BE THAT (V)EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'



~ people are often living lives of obligation rather than passion







1. ~ Question: If the greatest dream you have became reality, would it profit and benefit the world around you?



2. ~ Question: What dreams do you have that are trapped under the rubble of your past?



3. ~ Questions: What dreams are waiting on the other side of your fears?





We must give ourselves to the dream that God gave us to live.



There are so many places He wants to take us in our own individual lives as well as the life of the church



Four things that will move our ministry to the next level:




1) Understand ministry is WORK. Isaiah 57:14



14And it will be said,

"(A)Build up, build up, prepare the way,

Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people." NASB



a) Am I a team player?



b) Is there anything in my life that would disqualify me from ministry… or that i need to change?



c) How Thankful am I?



d) How is my relationship with others on staff?



e) Am I REALLY honest with others about what is going on in my spiritual journey?







2) Understand that Status Quo is unacceptable-



-Lack of attention to detail & Apathy are the quickest keys to recognizing Status Quo exist.



a) How’s my personal Passion Level? Isaiah 59:17



17He put on righteousness like a breastplate,

And a helmet of salvation on His head;

And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing

And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. NASB



b) Is God pleased with my performance?



3) Understand that it’s OUR JOB to BEG GOD for Him to move!



a) How active is the Holy Spirit in my life and in my work?



b) When is the last time I clearly heard from God?

(if we cannot remember then it might be time for us to find another job and stop faking it.)



c) How much are we praying as a team and a staff? Isaiah 62:6



6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;

All day and all night they will never keep silent

You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; NASB



4) Understand we’ve got to believe greater days are yet to come! Isaiah 54:2-3



2"Enlarge the place of your tent;

Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not;

Lengthen your cords

And strengthen your pegs.

3"For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left

And your descendants will possess nations

And will resettle the desolate cities. NASB



a) God has made His Church UNSTOPPABLE!



b) God has made His Church UNEXPLAINABLE!



c) God has made His Church UNDENIABLE!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We are in the second week of our sermon series entitled, "Stressed" and the Lord is already doing a work in us. We talked about friendships and intimacy yesterday morning and spent some time talking about removing our masks. Here is the sermon text (Col. 3: 12-17) and a few of the points that were discussed during the sermon:


12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

......................................

Meditation on Col. 3:12-17. What does it mean to put on Christ as we "do life together"?

~ you have to put on:
... a heart of compassion
... kindness
... humility
... gentleness
... patience

~ we must do these things:

... bear with one another
... forgiving each other
... put on LOVE


It's lonely behind the masks that we wear because we start to wonder if people like us or the person we pretend to be.




...............................................

I love our church
I love our people
I love our team
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us