Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~Election

This is God exercising His sovereignty in salvation. The literal meaning of the word is "to chose" and it always applies to God's work. According to the apostle Paul, it is an act that took place before the world was created (Eph. 1:4). Apart form the doctrine, none would be saved. The Baptist Faith and Message says, "election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies and glorifies sinners. It is a glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy and unchangeable."

This doctrine teaches us that God is "the author and perfecter of faith" (Heb. 12:2) and that salvation is of the Lord and not of man's will. A proper understanding of this doctrine will promote humility in the life of the believer and destroy pride.

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~Inerrancy

Because God is not a liar, His Book, the Bible, does not lie. Inerrancy affirms the perfect God, who inspired the Holy Scriptures, produced a book, which are the very words of truth, and nothing but the truth in all that it teaches.

Inerrancy is the doctrinal position that, in its original form, the Bible is totally without error, and free from all contradiction; "referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Today was a little different at Gateway Fellowship. I asked Zach Snow our Executive/ Teaching Pastor to teach today because I was going to lead worship in the absence of our Worship Pastor Scott Finch

It was a blast leading worship this morning, I really enjoyed it and I think it gives our church a different perspective of what it means to do this thing together. Our staff members all have many different hats that they have to wear and often we have to put one on that we have not worn in a while. Today was one of those days for me. Zach did a great job teaching this morning and I am blessed to have someone like him on staff that can fill the pulpit when I am gone or have to be doing something else, in order to see that all of the facets of ministry are covered.

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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~Regeneration

The act of God whereby He gives life to the believer. The Baptist Faith and Message says it like this, "regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, t o which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ". Many today treat man as if he is simply sick with sin, but the Bible indicates man is "dead" in sin (Eph. 2:4-5).

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~Eschatology

The study of last things is something that has afflicted Christians ever since Jesus promised that He would return one day and take them to Heaven. (John 14:1-3; Phil. 1:23, and Heb. 11:14) Eschatology represents the unquenchable thirst to know all the Bible teaches concerning the end times, such as Jesus' promised return (Acts 1:11), the millennium (Rev. 20), the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21), Israel's future (Rom. 11:25-26) and the significance of hope for Christian living ( 1 Corinthians 15:58)

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~Sin

The word is used in several different ways in Scripture. It's meaning varies from "missing the mark, to "ungodliness", to "rebellion". In all cases, it refers to the condition of human nature that separates us from a Holy God at birth. It holds mankind in bondage until it is broken by the power of God at regeneration. There is often confusion to the difference between "sin" and "sins". "Sins" is an outworking on what dwells within, which is "sin". We are not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~Grace

The unmerited favor of God. Everyone knows this standard definition, but few realize how rich it really is. God has the right to send every person who has ever lived or will ever live to a place called Hell, which is eternal separation from Him. This is exactly what we all deserve according to Scripture. But He has chosen, because of his grace, to grant us eternal life to those who have faith in Christ and repent of their sin. It is because of His grace that men can and do belive and repent.

The Cultivate talk on Missional Orders~ Dave Fitch

A year ago in Hamilton, Ontario at a Cultivate Event, Dave Fitch talked about Missional Orders as a way to plant churches. What does it look like when you are planting churches in a Post-Christendom world?

As a pastor of a church plant, I can resonate with some of the things said, while others I can disagree with. Gateway Fellowship is 3 years old and we have walked through a host of the things that Dave is sharing here in this video. My prayer is that you might find some encouragement in what is being shared.

I would love to hear your story of how the Lord stirred your heart into planting your church or mission organization.

Dave Fitch - the Cultivate Talk on Missional Orders from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reflections on Crazy Love~ chapter 1

We began the "Crazy Love" DVD series this evening in our ConnectGroup. It was an awesome time of discussion and community. Here are just a few things to think about as you reflect over Chapter One.

A.W.Tozer writes,

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.

If the gravest question, before us really is what God Himself is like, how do we learn to know Him?

God is holy
God is eternal
God is all-knowing
God is all-powerful
God is fair and just

The appropriate way to reflect on this chapter is by standing in awed silence before a mighty, fearsome God, whose tremendous worth becomes even more apparent as we see our own puny selves in comparison.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself concerning the session: The first two come straight from the DVD

1. What are the first words that would come out of your mouth if you saw God face to face?

2. How has your relationship with God been over the past week?

3. What are we so easily prone to forget about God, even though He is so majestic and great?

4. How can we remind ourselves of His greatness and glory?

5. Why and how, do we become so numb to the fact that He is in control

Check out Francis Chan talking about The Awe Factor Of God

Stories of Faith~ Natalie Brown

A few days ago, I posted this on my Facebook Page:
I am working on a "Stories of Faith" video. I would love to hear your personal story of faith and how Jesus has impacted your life. Please email your responses here

Zach Snow , my Executive / Teaching Pastor and I are working on putting together a video series on the transforming power of the Gospel and are looking for stories to use and share with all of those who the Lord allows us to connect with.

This is the first response and it is from my lovely bride, Natalie Brown

I met Jesus when I seven, one morning in Sunday school. Came home told my parents about my new friend Jesus, I knew they too knew my friend. They were Sunday school teachers, a youth minister and head deacon. The following Sunday, my Daddy walked to the front with me as I shared with our Pastor, that I knew I was a sinner, and believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died on a cross for me, and I wanted HIM to be my friend, and I wanted to tell others ALL about HIM, how HE loves me! Life was quite simple, as a seven year old. I truly felt guilt and remorse when I would do things that I was not to do; like tell a lie, not pick up my toys, say mean words to my brother... I asked my friend Jesus to forgive me and teach me not to do the things again. He did!

After the divorce, being thrown out of my house at nine years old, the new family, sexual harassment from a sibling, life/things were different, we didn’t go to church, life was complicated... I knew the difference between right and wrong, it just some how wasn’t as important, or emphasized by those around me...
Oh, I asked for forgiveness, and then continued on, the tug at my heart, the guilt of knowing that I was going to be asking again, weighed so heavy that, I stopped asking... How could someone who knew what was right from wrong, keep asking and keep receiving? How could my “friend” love me? How could HE forgive me?

The summer of 1991, I went with my college BSU group to Glorietta, New Mexico. The first night there we were challenged to find a quite place and listen for the Lord to speak to us. Before I could listen I needed to empty my heart, it was about to explode, with guilt, hurt, bitterness- “friend where have you been, where were you when I was thrown out, where were you when I was harassed, when my world was falling apart”...?
I was on my own in the mountains, literally on a rock that evening, just me and my “friend” Jesus. He remembered me. As a seven year old I made a profession of FAITH-- but it wasn’t till on the rock, and at rock bottom, that I understood the Grace, the Love, of my friend Jesus, that I truly BELIEVED!

Daily, I crawl in the arms of my Savior, my friend Jesus and HE reminds me, you are loved, cleansed, and my FAITH is continually restored- HE never gives up on me!

“It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things... All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.
There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love. “ 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We wrapped up the series, "Who Is My Neighbor And How Do I Love Him" this week and it has been an awesome time for our church body. Many have spent countless hours engaging the community in an effort to understand better "our neighbor". Many have shared stories of being able to meet a need for someone bringing this whole idea of reaching out in love to a whole other level. I am thankful for what the Lord is doing in our church. Statistics would say that we are in a period where the "mega-church" is thriving and that 50 percent of our churches (SBC) today will range from 50-200 in worship on any given Sunday. I am reminded this morning as I read this article Small Churches Can Thrive by Ed Stetzer. Ed talks about how smaller churches can thrive and in doing so they will have to be persistent in prayer and maintain an attitude or a mindset of being outwardly focused. I love the fact that Ed reminds smaller churches that we are not exempt from the call to reach people because of their size.

Gateway Fellowship is continually being transformed into the church that He desires for us to be. I am truly excited about what is taking place in the life of our church. May we continue to have a passion to reach out in love to an unconvinced world. May we do all we can in fulfilling our part of what He has called us to as the Body Of Christ.

I love our church
I love our people
I love our team
I love our staff
I love our elders
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, June 18, 2009

Baby Dedication~ June 28, 2009

If you missed the Baby Dedication on Mother's Day and you are still wanting to participate, we will be holding another Baby Dedication ceremony at Gateway Fellowship Church on June 28, 2009 during our 10:30 a.m. service. The idea and process of dedicating our children to the Lord is a time honored, Biblical tradition that goes back thousands of years!

When Hannah, who had been barren for years, finally was given a child, Samuel, here was her promise:

“O LORD Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the LORD, his hair will never be cut.”(1 Samuel 1:11 NLT)

Throughout Jewish history, when a child was born, the child would be taken to the temple and dedicated to God and His service. Mary, Joseph and Jesus even participated in a parent/child dedication Ceremony:

“Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived. 22Then it was time for the purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. Luke 2:21-22 (NLT)

Keep in mind, this ceremony was more about the PARENT’S commitments than it was the child! The child could not make any commitments. They were babies! The parents were making the big spiritual commitments!

If you are wanting to participate in the Baby Dedication this Sunday, June 28, 2009,please contact us

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We are in wrapping up a sermon series entitled, "Who Is My Neighbor And How Do I Love Them" this week. This has been an awesome series for us at Gateway Fellowship We have answered the questions, (1) Who is my neighbor (2) How do I love them (3) Where exactly is my neighborhood and (4) How do I reach my neighborhood. This Sunday, June 21st, We will be looking at "How we move towards Christ with our neighbors. I love this this series and am looking forward, already. to wrapping it up on Sunday.

The worship today led by Scott Finch and the band was awesome. There was a sweet vibe in the room today. God is doing some amazing things with us as a church right now and I am looking forward to what he has in store for us. We talked this morning about understanding the call that has been placed on us, "You will be my witnesses in all of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. We looked at the fact that Jesus had told the disciples to wait for the fulfillment of the promise that His Father would bring. "When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, You will receive POWER!

It is with this power that He has given to us that we can, do amazing things for the Kingdom. I asked three questions this morning as we looked at what He wants from our church and from us as individuals:

1. Is the greatest dream you have became reality, would it profit and benefit the world around you?

2. What dreams are lying under the rubble of your past?

3. What dreams wait for you on the other side of your fears?

These are questions that we need to keep in front of us as we look at the things He is asking of us!

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

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Reflections

I love Sundays.
I love coming together to celebrate what the Lord is doing.
I love our church.
I love our people.
I love our team.

Scott Finch did a great job leading us in worship today at Gateway Fellowship Church. I really enjoyed hearing God's people sing out to their Creator. There was an awesome since of "we are a part of something bigger" this morning. I love when you sense this. I love seeing people when it clicks. We answered the question, "Where exactly is my neighborhood" this morning and really enjoyed preaching this morning. You can go to Gateway TV to see this morning service. It should be uploaded by Monday evening at the latest. Join us next Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m., as we continue our series entitled, "Who Is My Neighbor And How Do I Love Them"

We opened service this morning with Psalm 33.

1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars [a] ;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth-
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

I love verse 22....

We concluded service this morning with The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.]

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 love that He is calling us to "think missionaly" and "live communally"
I love that we are "Doing Life Together"

Thoughts from this week

When will we realize that if we cared half as much for our neighbors as we cared for ourselves that this world would be a much better place?

How can we, as the church, begin to embrace our neighbors in such a way that the are drawn to Jesus because of our willingness to embrace the communities in which they live?

Do I even really know my neighbors? Do I even know there names? Who really is our neighbor? Where is our neighborhood? Is it simply just those who live next door to us? Or is it, in reality, all of those who the Lord allows us to cross paths with?

When was the last time you really felt like you met a need in some one's life?

If our church really is "regional" does it make the answer to the question, "who is my neighbor and where is my neighborhood" different?

What does it really look like when the church truly becomes "missional in their thinking" and "communal in their living"?

If we do the two things above are we "worshiping authentically"?

While doing the things stated above, are we doing them for the "name and reputation of Jesus Christ"?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Days Like Today

I love spending time with my kids. It gets even better when that time is spent near a pond or on the lake with a fishing rod in my hand. I have to be honest here ant tell you that I am truly thankful that both of my children love the outdoors, love to fish, love to camp and continually ask me to do so, as often as they can. Fishing is one of the things that I love to do, There is something calming about it to me. Scripture references such as Psalm 46:10 that read, "Be still and know that I am God" or in some translations, "Cease striving and know that I am God" run deep in my soul as I sit on the bank of a river, pond or lake and throw out my line.

Fishing is found throughout the scripture. We know that many of the disciples were fisherman. As a matter of fact, we know that Jesus called for them to follow Him and He would make them "fishers of men". Once again, an amazing picture of what the Lord has called for us to do in our lives. We are called to "fish". He has called us and compelled through His word to become fishers of men!

Days like today remind me of how good our God is. Days like today remind me that my children have been given to me as an inheritance and that I have been called to nurture and raise them in the faith. Let's be honest, they belong to Him anyway. Everything is FOR God and everything is FROM God.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Sunday was awesome. The worship team led by Scott Finch did an awesome job. The vibe was good Sunday morning from the start of the first song until the end of the service. I really enjoyed preaching this Sunday. We started a new series called "Who Is My Neighbor" and the sermon was all about "Who Is My Neighbor and How Do I Love Them?". Next week I will be preaching a sermon entitled, "Where Exactly Is My Neighborhood" We would love to have you at Gateway Fellowship Church

Sunday Night we had SNL, this is what we like to call our family time. We discuss things like vision, ministry opportunities, and where we are financially. We always have worship, some sort of devotional and then we just hang out with one another learning to "do life together". It is always a great time of community and it is one the things I look forward to the most. Last night we finished our Children's series called "The Bright Knight". It was great to see parents enjoying what their children have been learning for the last 15 weeks during Sunday mornings.

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