After Sunday mornings as the lead pastor at Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, CO I always am excited. This Sunday is no different! I was able to watch and see things that only some people in a church start get to dream about:
- 6 people put their faith and trust in Jesus Chirst.
- We had over 40 people serving in different places through out the church.
- We had 6 first time guest and 6 second time guests hang out with us.
- We had 31 people make commitments to memorize verses in the bible.
- We had fun as our worship team played, WAR. (Flashback to Roller skating.)
- We had another back pack come in for Save Our Youth partners totally 79. The goal was 61.
Each day and each week I thank God that I get to be involved with Elevation. I am so thankful that I get to work with the team that I get to work with everyday. There are guys that God has put in my life that have allowed me to really start to lead at the church the way that God has called me to lead. I am so excited as we head into this fall and all that God has for us.
Let me now what you see God doing in the church that you attend.
One of the things that we have learned over the last two years of being a part of a church plant is the battle that comes after we see God show up and do something amazing. This last weekend at Elevation we were priviledged to share the gospel message then see the Holy Spirit move in the lives of 10 people. We have already heard from some of the people that responded to the gospel and there has been freedom in their lives when it comes to addiction, brokeness, and loss. I love being able to be a part of a church where people see it is a place for the “jacked up” and that they can encounter the radical grace of Jesus Christ. But then we also were able to celebrate with five men as they were baptized. Five men that are going to be leaders in their homes, five men that are going to be fighters for the gospel, and five men that are chasing after Jesus. We can claim that at Elevation we are living out Matthew 11:21 where we see the Kingdom of Heaven is advancing.
But then comes the Monday and Tuesday after an amazing weekend. These are the days that we have learned that there is an enemy that does not want us to be able to celebrate what is going on in Elevation. So we have things that happen that will discourage and divide the team. People get upset about things, people don’t like how things were done, or people well they are just people. But we know it is just the enemy that is trying to get us to lose focus. Maybe to even get us to hate or be bitter or even give up. These are the verses that came to me this afternoon while I was praying:
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
The fight is never with a person or even with the problem. The fight is with the enemy and you can choose to either allow the enemy to take you down or you can by the power of Jesus Christ put a double leg take down on the whole situation. The way that you do this is by getting down in the bottom position (if you wrestled you know what I mean). From this position you just pray. Anytime that you get on your knees and pray is the best way to fight. Then you you use the stand-up (basic wrestling escape) and stand on the power of the bible. That is the only way that you are going to be able to make it through the battle. If you are going through what you feel is a battle then please let me know how can I be praying for you. Fight the good fight!
As we continue in the “Sun Stand Still” series it is amazing to continue to hear about how God is moving in each of our lives each week. I am so excited that we were able to talk this week about how the Bible the word of God is so important to our ability to live a life of Audacious Faith. So as I said I a want to share with you the Faith Confessions that you can find in the book “Sun Stand Still” on pages 114 and 115. I beleive that as we take these confessions that are grounded in the word of God the Bible we feel an sense of what God is doing in us and through us.
Faith Confessions (page 114 & 115)
- I am fully forgiven and from all shame and condemnation. (Romans 8:1 – 2, Ephesians 1:7 – 8, 1 John 1:9)
- I act in audacious faith to change the world in my generation. (Joshua 10:12 – 14, John 14:12)
- I have no fear or anxiety; I trust in the Lord with all my heart. (Proverbs 3:5 – 6, Philippians 4:6 – 7, 1 Peter 5:7)
- I am able to fulfill the calling God has placed on my life. (Exodus 3:9 – 12, Psalm 57:2, Colossians 1:24 – 29)
- I am fully resourced to do everything God has called me to do. (Deuteronomy 8:18, Luke 6:38, Philippians 4:13)
- I have no insecurity, because I see myself the way God sees me. (Genesis 1:26 – 27, Psalm 139:13-16, Ephesians 5:25 – 27)
- I am a faithful spouse (if you’re single, you can slip FUTURE in there) and godly parent our family is blessed. (Deuteronomy 6:6 – 9, Ephesians 5:22 – 25, Colossians 3:18 – 19, 1 Peter 3:1 – 7)
- I am completely whole – physically, mentally, and emotionally. (Pslam 103:1 – 5, Matthew 8:16 – 17, Corinthians 5:17, 1 Peter 2:24)
- I am increasing in influence and favor for the kingdom of God. (Genesis 45: 5 – 8, 1 Samuel 2:26, Acts 2:37 – 47)
- I am enabled to walk in the sacrificial love of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:16 -17, 1 John 3:16; 4: 9 – 12)
- I have the wisdom of the Lord concerning every decision I make. (2 Chronicles 1:7 – 12, Proverbs 2:6, Ecclesiastes 2:26, James 1:5)
- I am protected from all harm and evil in Jesus’ name. (Genesis 50:20, Psalm 3:1 – 3, 2 Thessalonians 3: 2 – 3)
Here is something that I would challenge you to do. Take these statements and print them up and place them in a place where you will see them every morning. We as a family have placed them in each of the bathrooms in our house as a reminder of how are life can look as we speak the word og God over our lives. We seek to be a family that lives a life of Audacious Faith.
“Where’s My Bailout” during the month of March we are going to be taking a look at dealing with our finances. So many people think that all the church is out for is your money, but the truth is it is more about your heart. So take the time to read through these verses and really ask God to speak to your heart about how you are handling your finances.
1st Genesis 14:20
2nd Genesis 23:16
3rd Numbers 24:11
4th Numbers 31:25-30
5th 2 Kings 5:20-27
6th 2 Kings 16:10
7th 2 Chron. 25:9-10
8th Psalm 37:21
9th Psalm 119:36
10th Proverbs 6:1-5
11th Proverbs 18:11
12th Proverbs 19:1
13th Proverbs 21:20
14th Eccles. 10:19
15th Ezekiel 7:19 – 20
16th Matthew 6:24
17th Matthew 18:30
18th Matthew 19:21
19th Matthew 23:13-14
20th Mark 11:15-17
21st Luke 12:33
22nd Matthew 26:14-15
23rd Mark 10:17-23
24th 1 Tim. 6:6-10
25th Mark 10:21 – 23
26th Mark 12:41-44
27th Luke 12:18-20
28th Luke 16:10-14
29th Acts 8:18-23
30th 2 Cor. 11:7-12
31st 1 Tim. 6:6-10
Bonus: James 5:1-6
I pray that you take the next month to just be able to walk through these verses and know that God wants us to love him with all that we are and what we have.
Make sure that as you take the time to read the different verses about the Devil and all that he does and doesn’t do. This is your chance to dig deeper and grow stronger. Always start by praying that you will grow in faith and be better prepared for the battle that is being fought everyday.
1 John 5:5 (NLT) And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
4th Job 1: 6-7
5th Exodus 7:11
6th Zech. 3:1-3
7th Mark 9:18
8th Luke 4:6-7
9th John 14:30-31
10th Matthew 4:1-10
11th Genesis 3:1
12th Mark 5:10
13th John 14:30-31
14th Col. 1:13
15th 1 Thes. 2:18
16th Luke 13:16
17th Job 2:3-6
18th Luke 22:3
19th Ephes. 2:2
20th Rev. 12:3-4
21st 2 Thes. 3:1-3
22nd Luke 4:9-11
23rd John 12:31
24th Mark 1:12-13
25th 1 Chron. 21:1
26th Matthew 8:28
27th Matthew 16:18
28th 1 Peter 5:8
29th Ephes. 6:10-17
30th Rev. 20:3
31st Rev. 20:10
I am so excited to be able to take this Christmas season and read through the bible about this story as we go through the series “Home for Christmas”. We know that the home is really the heart and that is what we want to focus on when it comes to the Christmas season. We want to make sure that our hearts are focused on Jesus. So here are the verses that we can read through together, make sure that you share with me what you see Jesus doing in you as we read through this together.
Dec 7: Exodus 25
Dec 8: Matthew 25:31-46
Dec 13: Psalm 150
Dec 14: Acts 15:22-31
Dec 16: Matthew 2:1-12
Dec 17: Galatians 4:1-7
Dec 19: Luke 11:1-13
Dec 20: John 1
Dec 21: John 21:25
Dec 22: Psalm 100
Dec 23: Matthew 25
Dec 24: John 3:16
It is my prayer that we as church team is the place where people feel like that they have a fighting chance in life. That they are able to know that they have the best corner man there is in Jesus and that they have the best team of people around them. That when they wake up every morning they know that they are able to fight every morning. Now I know there is going to be someone that says are we really to be followers of Jesus and think of life with the picture of fighting. If you ask that question then I want you to realize that you need to read the bible:
While we were at camp this summer I was introduced to a series of videos on Youtube that share about what our girls see when it comes to their appearance. Watch this and tell me what you see.
Here is the verse that I have underlined in both of my daughters bibles when we gave them to them.
1 Cor. 13:11 (NLT) 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.
This week I had a couple come into my office just to say hi. But while they stood there they looked at some of the photos that I have on the wall of my family. In the center of the different photos I have a special framed couple of photos of my wife. In the center of the photos is the following verse:
Proverbs 5:18-19 (Msg) Bless your fresh-flowing fountain! Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!  Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose— don’t ever quit taking delight in her body. Never take her love for granted!
The reason that I had this verse put with the photos is as a reminder for me to always challenge me to enjoy my wife. Now there are many ways that you can take ENJOY. Of course yes that means sexually, if you are a man reading this that is the first thing that you thought of. If you are saying: “No I didn’t “ then you are also lying. There really is so much more. Enjoy her smile, enjoy her laughter, enjoy her as a friend, enjoy her as a mother, enjoy her as she cries, enjoy her as someone that is needed in your life. But that means that you need to work at being the man that she needs. One of the steps that you can do to be that man is never take her for granted. Take the time to listen to her when she has been home with kids all day and you are the first real conversation she has had that day. Take the time to let her do something that she wants to do and that is just for her. Take the time to make sure that you do what makes her feel loved. That may mean that sex isn’t even in the picture. But for marriages to be what they need to be men need to not take their wives for granted. Today men need to step it up. Men take the time to enjoy. Thank you Michelle for allowing me to be your husband for the last 16 years.
What can you do today to enjoy your wife?
What steps can you take today to prepare to be a husband that enjoys his wife?
The other night in my office after we had been at church for the Middle school small groups Morgan and I were talking. While I was finishing up paper work for the night she continued to talk and share about the nights events with the girls and how the leaders she had were awesome. I was listening half -heartedly. Then all of a sudden it got quiet and I could hear her turning some pages in one of the many books that I have on my shelves. I continued to work not thinking that she found some books that I have for students, or a book about games, even one of the comic books that I kept for younger kids to read while in my office. Then came the questions; who is this man again? What are these books? Why is this one so old? Can I keep looking through this one?
I had to turn and look to see what she was talking about. There in her little hands the old frail preaching bible of my grandfather. My grandfather was a hell, fire, and brimstone preacher back in the 1950’s in Iowa. We heard many stories about him and what he did and who he was, the reason we just heard stories is because he died when my dad was only 10 years old. One of the first people in the United States that had identifiable Colon cancer he died at age 35. So at one time my mom from my grandmother gave me some of his study guides, his preaching bible, a picture, and his sermon material folder. The sermon bible is what Morgan had in her hands. It had been a long time since I had looked at it, read it, and listened to what had been written in it’s pages. But one of the first things that I read in his note pages is what he had to say about being a preacher.
When I speak = He shall be my theme.
While I speak = His glory shall be my Goal
When I have spoken = His smile shall be my sufficient reward.
As I sat there and read these words I was challenged by the words of my grandfather. I thought were these things that he wrote so that he could remain grounded while speaking? Was this something that he heard someone else say? It made me really think, Morgan and I then cleaned up our stuff then went home. While on the way home we talked about his time, the little stories that I knew, and I shared with all I knew of him. When we were home she asked for me to make a copy of his picture so she could have it in her room. Then as I was tucking her into bed she said, “No one talks like great grandpa anymore.” It again made me think some more. Why don’t we talk like he did anymore? Is it because we have lost touch with God? Is it because we don’t take the time to really digest the words of scripture? Have we allowed technology to rob us of the intimacy of the scriptures? I don’t know? All I know is that I want to take steps to be like my grandfather. May we take the time to be more in tune with God and who He is, when I speak at anytime may HE be my theme.