Over the last week I have been reading through the new book “Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others through the Eyes of Jesus.” by John Burke. It has been amazing to hear all the stories of the people who were impacted by the love of Jesus at Gateway. But the impact of the stories of Jesus and the way he cared and for those that felt more like mud then the masterpiece. One comment really impacted me as I read this book:
“Think about it: Jesus didn’t confront Zacchaeus about his thieving practices, he offered relationship, and that changed Zach.”
The relationship that comes from the radical grace that Jesus offers to each and every one of us. What an impactful statement he did not point out the problem but the possibilities. So it is my hope and prayer that each person that takes the time to read through this book will see that we are a masterpiece created by the master and that we can’t fix the masterpiece ourselves. When we try to fix the painting the only thing that happens is a distortion of the original creation. Kind of like what happened to this picture:
We spent this last Sunday talking about what happens when we step outside the boundaries of what God created for our lives sexually how that can create guilt and brokeness. That we can feel like the mud has been thrown all over the masterpiece. It is our hope that everyone understands that forgiveness is received and not achieved.
What does it mean to you when you hear the statement: “He offered a relationship”?
The moments that you get to experience in the life of a church start are amazing. Especially as a church start that is reaching people that don’t go to church. I had a conversation with a lady today that is thinking about when to get baptized and if she will have recovered from her surgery in time for one this month. I then had a conversation with a guy that came for the first time and was amazed that the pastor the church was wearing jeans and a Tap Out t-shirt. He let me know that he was worried that his shirt would keep him from being allowed at church. It was a rock band t-shirt, I just laughed and said I like that band too. So here are some of things that I thought about:
- We had two people say “Yes” to Jesus.
- We were blessed to have 17 people “Join The Team” at Elevation. First time having dinner while we had the huddle it was awesome.
- Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies make even big guys smile. (Thanks Michelle for making them.)
- In a church start that is portable there are still things that we forget to bring with us to church. (This Sunday’s programs. OOPS!)
- That enabling people to belong before they believe is a huge thing. We have had two guys this month alone that have been serving that said “Yes to Jesus”.
- That no matter what you do there are always going to be things that will need to be tweeked and changed a little.
- The people on the team enable the team to be the best that you can be.
- The series that we are doing “Make War” has caused us to really see that we are in a spiritual war. That we are excited to see that God is using us in this war.
- That I miss seeing my son in the church on Sunday’s. Had through that in since he has been off to school for two Sundays now.
I have to say that even though that it is Sunday night and I am a little tired, I CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT SUNDAY!
What are you excited about when it comes to being at the church you attend?
Over the last couple of years as we have walked through planting a church in Aurora, CO. I have had to deal with many areas of growth. Developing leaders, doing long range planning, and knowing what to do when to do it. (Still working on that one.) But most of all I have had to deal with my insecurity.
I had a person that I have in my life that is able to speak into those areas of my life and a couple of weeks ago he just said, “Scott you are a very insecure person.” At first it really kind of ticked me off. But the more I have thought about it the more it has really been a freeing moment for me. I am insecure.
I am insecure about:
- my marriage
- my parenting
- my ability
- my leadership
- my . . . .
But the one thing that I gain strength from as the insecure person is my true security coming from my identity in Jesus. I am a follower of the risen Savior Jesus. I am a jacked up, insecure person, that only can live life because of the radical grace of Jesus Christ.
John 1:12 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Sounds simple doesn’t it. Well it is! Every day since that conversation I have woke up with the this statement. “I am a child of the risen and conquering Savior, my life only comes from Him. I am secure because of what he has done, not me!” Take some time to say this statement each day and see what it does for you.
Hi, my name is Scott Bloyer and I am secure with being insecure. Who is with me?
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!
Here is a great way that a very creative person put together thoughts about today. Today is the day that Jesus gave His life for us. A day that has changed my life forever, how about you?
Remember life is not about waiting for a funeral but living everyday as it is a PARTY!
I just wanted you to know how terri-cited I am for this weekend. That is our family word that we made up, it is terrified and excited at the same time. I am terrified that we will have tons of people I am excited that we will have tons of people. So as I have been praying and fasting this week like many of you are doing. Through the prayer and fasting I have realized that I am more hungry (fasting term) then ever to see the gospel of Jesus Christ change our community. That I see Elevation being a place where people that are not sure about church can come and find out about the radical grace of Jesus. So here are the “Top 5 Things That You Need To Know” for this Weekend!
#5 – Gathering Times to Invite
We want to remind you that our gatherings this week are going to be 8:30 – 10:00 – 11:30AM. If you can make it to the 8:30 gathering that would be a huge help because we do anticipate that the two later gatherings are going to be the most crowded. But make sure that you invite someone to come with you. This is your chance to have someone be a part of the party.
#4 – Volunteering this Weekend
I want to make sure that I thank each and everyone of you that is stepping up to serve or have already been serving. You make every Sunday possible for us to have gatherings that create relational environments for both kids and adults. So make sure that when you come to serve that you PARK in the back lot of the school building. We want to make sure that guests have the best spots. We also ask that you enter through the back of the school where the trailer and truck are parked through Volunteer Central. That is a place where you can get your name-tag, a pep talk, and something to snack on. We want to make sure you are ready to great, treat, direct, and seat the people that are going to be at Elevation.
#3 – Follow the Volunteers Lead
I know that this is not something that you need to be told, but I am going to say it any way. Make sure that as a regular attender and a team member that you do what the volunteers as you to do. So if that means sit in the front, sit in the front. If that means move over in the row, move over in the row. If that means fill out the connection card, fill out the connection card. If that means give up your seat, give up your seat. We want to make sure again that we are setting the tempo for the rest of the people that attend. So make sure that you follow a long as you are lead too.
#2 – Be prepared for the “Hook-up” Offering
On Sunday we are going to be taking a special offering for us to be able to do a couple of things. We are going to purchase the trailer that we are currently using for us to get everything to the school. We also are going to be re-decorating the trailer with Elevation stuff on it. That means taking off the old decorations and the new spray paint. (Painted at night in the parking lot.) Then finally we are going to be buying Bibles for several pastors and leaders that are in need of them in Kenya. We will be doing this through our partnership with Miracle House and then seeing them given out when our three team members go to Kenya this coming June. So be in prayer of what you will give or goal is $6,500.
#1 – Pray during the Gospel
This Sunday we know that more people then ever will show up and give church a try. So that means that we will have the opportunity to see more and more people say “Yes” to Jesus then ever before. So as the gospel is being presented make sure that you are not moving around because that is the time we especially don’t want any distractions. But then make sure that you are praying for the people around you. Pray for the people that are sitting in front or in back or to your side that you have never met before. You may not know what they have been going through and this is the day that the Holy Spirit is moving on their heart in such a way that they are going to say “Yes” to Jesus. SO PRAY!
Thank you for your support and thank you for being the followers of Jesus that know that this weekend is still a weekend that is changing the world. Who knows it may be your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker, a student at your school, that is going to say “Yes” to Jesus.
P.S. Remember that this is the week that we give people the opportunity to win a party. Limo service, dinner out, and tickets to an event it will be a fun night and we will pick a winner at the end of the month.
Ever have one of those days where you just wish some one would acknowledge that you are doing a good job at whatever it is your doing that day? I mean maybe if you are a stay at home mom, that your husband or kids would just tell you that you are doing awesome and that they love their home. Wouldn’t that be nice? I mean how about husbands that work away from home and are gone for a couple of days, that when you get home you hear from your wife and kids that they missed you and want to be with you. Instead, you get the list of broken things in the home and dad you promised to take me to the store. Don’t you want to be encouraged? How about for those high school and middle school students that are taking on the world in school. That when you get home you hear that you were missed and that is there anything that your parents could do for you while you do the 12 million hours of home work. But instead you hear about the chores that aren’t done or about how you missed one thing on the project and it wasn’t the grade that your parents had hoped for in that class. Don’t you want more encouragement?
I recently was sitting and working away and was kind of having one of those days, where I just wanted to hear I was doing a good job. That things were going well and that even though my emotions were getting the better of me, that God is the one in charge I am not, and today was better than I thought. When I looked up at the huge wipe board in my office and saw this:
There she left me a little note just telling me she loved me. What a great reminder and an encouragement to me. It made the rest of my day just hinking about how my “favorite youngest daughter” loved me. Maybe that is what you need to hear too? Maybe you need to know that from not just the people around you but from God himself. You see God being the great dad that He is even knew that was important. Look at what he said to His son:
Matthew 3:17 (NLT) “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved son, who brings me great joy.”
Guess what you are His kid and you too bring Him joy. So even if you can’t see it on the wipe board in your office know that God loves you and He wants you to lean into Him and hear I Love you, your doing a good job.
Hope that you are encouraged! Maybe this is something you need to share with someone else? Go encourage someone, maybe on their wipe board.
It has been one of those seasons in life where more and more that we are reading or hearing about another individual that has fallen in a position of leadership. In some cases they are things that just down right tick you off or shock you. Whether it is Sandusky and his abuse of his position that lead to the abuse of young boys, Sullivan being a sheriff and a person that is to protect and serve, not enslave through addiction and abuse. The thing that amazes me is that each of these men were at the top of their game, they were seen as men that were top notch in their area of leadership. So it really challenges me to say, “What about me?” What if my life, my career, my family, were all to become majorly successful? How would I handle it?
As I was reading through, “The Five Levels of Leadership” by John Maxwell a quote by Henry Ford really made think.
“More men are failures on account of success than on account of failures. They beat their way over a dozen obstacles; overcome a host of difficulties, sacrifice and sweat. They make the impossible the possible; then along comes a little success, and it tumbles them from their perch. They let up. They slip and over they go. Nobody can count the number of people who have been halted and beaten by recognition and reward!”
So many times we have seen great men and women take a tumble; why is that? Unfortunately, I believe it is because they start believing it is all about them. They believe because of their accomplishments they can begin to relax in the areas of importance when it comes to character and discipline. A couple of verses in the bible that I cling to daily is this;
Proverbs 30: 8&9, “First, help me never to lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”
The more and I lead and watch other leaders around me I always come back to remember that “God is God and I am not him”. I always want to be a person that is satisfied with who I am in Jesus Christ. Because let’s be honest each one of us could very easily be the next person that tumbles and falls. May we each take the time every day to pray Proverbs 30:8&9 over our lives.
3 – Take a Spiritual Next Step:
Each one of us needs to take next steps with Jesus. That may mean getting baptized this Sunday at Utah Pool. When you do this, you will be going public with your relationship with Jesus. You will also be sharing it with everyone at the Baptism Celebration this Sunday at 5:30PM. This may mean, for you, serving somewhere at Elevation. The month of December is a great time to start. We will need more people to serve during our Christmas Eve services because we will see a large group of new people coming and we want them to have a great experience here at Elevation and you can be a part of that by serving. You can serve in the Worship Arts Team by contacting Tim Hanebrink, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tim is looking to have a group of carolers for our Christmas Eve services. You can serve on the Ekidz Team by contacting Nancy Bloyer, email@example.com. Nancy is going to be having shepherds walking through the Ekidz rooms and we would love for you to be a part of this as well. You can serve in the First Impressions Team by contacting Ryan Duncan. Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org. Ryan will need more volunteers so that our first time guests experience is enjoyable. So, we need you to take a next step!
2 – Give to the IMPACT Offering:
This year all of us at Elevation will be coming together to make an IMPACT offering. This offering will be above and beyond our normal 10% tithe. We have set a goal for twenty thousand dollars and we are on the way there. We want you to sit down with your family and friends and see how you can make this Christmas about others. Make this Christmas special by giving to something that is going to change people’s lives. When you give this year, you will be giving to each area within Elevation. Your gift will help to enhance our EKIDZ experience. It will also improve your experience on Sunday mornings in our worship services. Some of the funds will also be given to first impressions to enhance the experience of our first time guests here are Elevation. Finally, when you give, we will be giving 5,000.00 to the Miracle House in Kenya. Make and IMPACT today, you can go to our ONLINE giving and give there or you can mark on your envelope this Sunday “IMPACT” or any of the other Sundays this month.
1 – Remember that Jesus came for the Hurting:
You have a chance to make December special by inviting people that you know to come hear about Jesus at our Elevation Christmas Eve Gatherings. This year you can use our Elevation Christmas tickets to invite friends and family. My wife Michelle is making cookie plates for the people on our block and taping the tickets to the plate for our Christmas Eve gatherings. You can pick up the tickets and our new building cards, which are available at our Guest Services table. Remember that we have two services. The first starts at 4:30PM and the second starts at 6:00PM. Each service can seat 250 people. Make this December special by allowing the people you know to find out why they call Jesus the “Prince of Peace”.
I have to say that there is almost nothing better then being able to sit down in a nice comfy chair and be able to watch a great team on Sunday accomplish something amazing. Being a Denver native I have had the awesome chance to watch ‘The Drive” as it unfolded. I was honored to watch John Elway dive towards the end zone in the Super bowl against Green Bay. Now it is watching the kid, Tim Tebow do things that everyone else wants to critique but he wins games.
All I have to say is that they had nothing on the team at Elevation Christian Church on Sunday. We have begun the month, this series, and the next season for Elevation at Aurora Frontier K-8 with a big kick off. Yesterday we had teams of people show up early on Sunday in the snow to set-up kid’s rooms, coffee, drinks, sound systems, and lights. It was only the second time that each one of the different serving teams had even seen the school. But it was amazing. Each one of our teams performed amazing in the heat of the game. I am so blessed to be one of the Pastors at Elevation Christian Church. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year looks like for us at Elevation and all of the celebrations that we will share as God works in and through the teams and players of Elevation. Let’s celebrate this Sunday and the four people that said Yes to Jesus because each team and each player had a part in their day. Let’s celebrate a winning game!
Today Michelle and I are driving our oldest Danielle to her first year of college. She will be attending the University of Nothern Colorado looking to get a degree in Elementary Education. She also will be moving away from home and her family for the first time. It is one of those moments as a parent that you realize that all the times that other parents said, “Life moves way fast.” Were totally right. But I have to be honest as Danielle’s dad I am so excited and so proud of who she is and how she has become such and awesome woman of faith. I know that at some moment today I am going to look at her and remember the times that we played on the swing set in Montana. The day that she laid in bed with her Mom and said “Yes” to Jesus. That I will remember the little girl that liked to play dress up. That I will see the little soccer player. That I will remember the first time she went to a school dance. That I will remember the day I was proud to baptize her. That I will remember the days that she sat on my lap and cried her eyes out. That I will remember the times we shared her Christian crack addiction at Starbucks. But all of these memories will not wiegh me down. They will encourage the perspective that I already have about being a parent and the goal that I set a long time ago as Jesus laid it on my heart. That my job as a dad is that my kids “Leave Well.” Danielle is leaving well and I do not expect anything less. I am so proud and excited to see what the near future holds for her at UNC.
Danielle if you read this; I want you to know that I am one proud dad and that I am only a phone call, text, Skype, away. Oh yeah, continue to remind the guys around you that I still have the bow and they will not hear it coming. LOVE YOU.
This week we started the series “The F-Bomb” and it is all about dealing with and sharing the gift of forgiveness. In fact we started out by saying what forgiveness is and then understanding that when it comes to forgiveness that we are always called to forgive. We may not like it, we may not even want to do it, but if you are a person that calls yourself a follower of Jesus we just don’t have the option not too. The definition that we pinned to forgiveness is this; FORGIVENESS is not an emotion and does not mean you forget but you choose to end the cycle of revenge, and leave justice to Jesus. In fact we took a look at Romans 12: 17 – 21 where Paul in the chapter about being a living sacrifice to God makes a huge statement by saying, “Instead, if your enemies are hungry, fee them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their head.” v20.
So as followers of Jesus we are to take every opportunity to extend the forgiveness that we so richly received from Christ and share it with the rest of the world in all the situations we encounter. But man is that tough. I mean is forgiveness possible in all situations? Look at what Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in the book “The Cost of Discipleship”:
“The call to follow Christ means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christlike suffering which is the Christians duty to bear.”
Tell me what you think about this quote. Share with me how you are walking through life in the work of forgiving men their sins.
As we take the next month to really walk through and chew on how to live lives where we are dropping the F-bomb all over the place. I would like to encourage you to take the F-Bomb reading challenge. Here on the blog you are able to have different verses from the bible to read that deal with forgiveness. What I would pray that you do is share what you are hearing from God about be a person that is able to accept forgiveness and share forgiveness with all of those around you. Forgiveness is a challenge for each one us, it is a challenge to how we are going to walk through a life that can be filled with pain and hurt. Pain and hurt that comes from people that Jesus loves and was willing to to die for, so willing that he said on the cross, Luke 23:34; “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” There is an example of a life filled with the F-bomb. May we live that life too.
F-Bomb Reading Plan for the month of August:
8th – Genesis 50:15 – 21
9th – Exodus 30:11 – 16
10th – Leviticus 26:13
11th – Judges 15:1
12th – 2 Samuel 12:14
13th – 1 Chronicle 21:8
14th – Psalm 32:1
15th – Matthew 5:32
16th – Matthew 6:14 – 15
17th – John 20:23
18th – John 8:11
19th – Luke 11:4
20th – Luke 15:30
21st – Luke 15:32
22nd – Matthew 28:10
23rd – Acts 8:18-23
24th – Romans 1:5 – 6
25th – Romans 4:6 – 8
26th – Romans 12:17 – 21
27th – Philemon 1:10
28th – Hebrews 9:22
29th – 1 John 1:9
30th – Ephesians 4:32
31st – Luke 23:34
It is always a great feeling to finish off a Sunday and be able to think about all that I was honored to be a part of when it comes to Elevation. I get so excited that I get to be a part of a movement of God here in Aurora. Today we started our series called the “F-Bomb” and it was quite explosive when it came to dealing with the area of forgiveness in people’s lives. Here are a few of the things that just blew us away:
- We had 7 first time decisions for Jesus Christ.
- Then had the honor to be able to pray for up to 40 people as the share the gift of forgiveness with those in their lives.
- Was honored to have a friend from High school show up with her daughter that I have not seen since I graduated. (Yeah I am old)
- Enjoyed the opportunity to have 8 new families check out Elevation and all that is going on.
- Was able to enjoy an awesome lunch with the awesome volunteers at Elevation as we had our Fall Leadership Community.
- Was told today by the custodian at Dalton that she was listening to message from her office and she said, “I was thinking that this is a message that my friend should hear, but then realized that Jesus was talking to me.”
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.
There is one thing that I love to do and that is talk about the amazing kids that live in my house. I truly believe like every other dad in the world that my kids are the best and the brightest. Today my youngest Morgan is turning 14 and I could not be prouder to be her daddy. She is going to be a freshman next year in High school and I know that she is going to be amazing. She is a lady that can sing, play volleyball, and an amazing student. But most of all she is a woman that points others to who Jesus is in her life. I love being able to watch each of my kids grow and I love seeing how each one is their own person. Thank you Morgan for being my girl.
I am so excited to share a short story of the power of life change through Jesus Christ. Over a year ago now I had the opportunity to take an awesome guy named Justin “The Viking” Wren with me to visit some kids at Children’s Hospital of Aurora. What I did not know was what Jesus had in store for both of us through this one event. After our visit to Children’s Hospital of Aurora Justin went back to his home where he was convienced to go to a men’s event where at this event he gave his life to Jesus and was baptized. The Justin that I had first knew now was definitely a life changed by Jesus.
Over the last year I have personally been able to spend time with Justin as he has become a great speaker, leader, and man of God. He came and spoke at Elevation when we launched and now speaks with Champions for Life to thousands of prisoners each month presenting the message of life change so they can know. He has made numerous visits to the Children’s Hospital of Aurora and is even now a volunteer there. All the while of keeping his relationship with Christ first and his goal of someday being the UFC Heavywieght Champion.
So here is what I am asking people to do that read this. I am asking you to continue in investing in this life change. Justin in a couple of weeks is going to be embarking on a 55 day mission trip with Kingdom Builders. I know that God had opened this door in an amazing way and is going to provide for Justin to go and continue to change and to help others, he is going to be helping build houses while in Hati. So I would like to encourage each and everyone who read this to help support Justin first through prayer and secondly through your finances. He is just short of the finances needed to pay for this awesome event and I am asking you to help.
Here is how: If you would like to know more about Kingdom Building Ministries, please visit their website at www.kbm.org. For any donations you can visit www.KBM.org/donate select student and type Justin Wren into the students box.
You can also go and find out more about this awesome man of faith at www.JustinTheVikingWren.com
Let’s continue to encourage the life change that started over a year ago.
So just like the rest of the world I have been sitting by and watching as the power company tries to contain the nuclear waste that is coming from the power plant in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami. It has been amazing to hear of the stories of different workers that are taking the time to work at the plant while they could lose their life. But I have to be honest it made me think of churches and followers of Jesus. While I have been praying for the people of Japan and watching the workers do their best it was at the gym this week that it all became clear. An older woman walked by me this week wearing a shirt that said, “At my age exercise is damage control”. I thought it was really funny that she was wearing it but then it made me think. It is exactly what the workers are doing in Japan it is all just damage control. The nuclear plant and all the people that are close to it are already starting to see and feel the damage to the plant.
I then thought of this when it comes to people that are followers of Jesus. There are some followers of Jesus that go to church and go through the religous do’s and don’ts just for DAMAGE CONTROL. They don’t see the need to follow after Jesus day after day. To being a follower of Jesus a lifestyle but more of damage control. I pray that this week that those who are following after Jesus see that we are called to be the ones that are in the midst of life in struggle or in good times are always pointing to Jesus the Risen Savior of the world.
Yesterday we were so excited to be able to share with everyone the commitment that we are making to support as well as partner with the Miracle Party. For those of you that do not know what the Miracle Party is then I would encourage you to click on the word Miracle Party and follow the link to their website. It is an amazing event that is for children with cancer and it is an opportunity to love on the kids and their families. So yesterday we gave to this organization for several reasons. We gave to this organization as a church because we are blessed to have the family that started the Miracle Party as a part of our team. We gave because we wanted to be able to model what it means to be generous givers to those around us. We gave because we believe that this is a great opportunity to not just give of our finances but our time and talent. So we will be committing to serve before, during, and after the party. We decided long ago that as a church we are not going to be a team that just gives a check but we are going to be giving of our time and talent too. So if you are wanting too or are willing to serve as a volunteer at the Miracle Party then click on the word VOLUNTEER and show them your support. We cannot wait to see what God does through this years Miracle Party and the families that we as Elevation come in contact. We are praying for miracles at the Miracle Party.
This last Sunday Tom & Amanda Gould shared something with the people of Elevation Christian Church that the NFL & Players Union wish that they could do. They made their relationship new again. It was almost a year ago Tom said that he was done with their marriage. He had moved out and was living in an apartment and was preparing for divorce. But something happened. Something enabled Tom & Amanda to start all over again. It was the relationship that they both began with Jesus Christ. You see Tom & Amanda had been to church and they had heard all the religious conversation, but they had never made their relationship with Jesus a priority. Let alone that relationship with Jesus the center of their relationship. Amanda shared that for a woman that their are two humbling things that occur in a womans life, child birth and a troubled marriage. She went on to share that they she knew that other things had crept into their life that did not make the marriage the priority.
You see I think that as I watch the NFL and the Players fight away. They to have lost the focus on what is important. It is one word “relationship”. They have unfortunately let other things take the focus away just like Tom & Amanda. The only difference is that Tom & Amanda had the humility to see that they needed number one a relationship with Jesus and a relationship with each other centered in Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if those in the NFL would be able to do the same thing, humble themselves to see that a relationship is at stake here. God saw it that is why He sent His son here to earth. To reconcile the relationship between us and Him.
Maybe just maybe the NFL and the Players Union could learn something from Tom & Amanda as they point to Jesus the one who can and will help in our relationships.
“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.
Over the last couple of months I had really had trouble being creative. I was spending more and more time going what am I going to do? How am I going to present this? What is something that will enable people to have fun and get caught? I was even just trying to make sure that I was just getting the simple things done. I was in a bad state when it came to being able to think or act creative. But then I was given some great help from the people who work alongside me at Elevation.
It started with finding out all of the things that I was doing on a regular basis. Then it was seeing the things that I needed to be able to hand off to other people. Then the process began where things were being taken off my plate. This is what I specifically heard about my life, “A Creative Crisis comes from a claustrophobic condition.” I had allowed my laugh to become so claustrophobic with the things in my life that I was then in a creative crisis. No what happens in this crisis? I had so much noise going on that I was unable to hear what God was teaching me and telling me. Maybe you are in the same place. Maybe you are having a creative crisis in your marriage, maybe it is a creative crisis in your school work, your job, your time. It is because maybe you are doing so much that you are unable to get creative. So I encourage you to build more margin in your life. I encourage you to realize that there are things in your life that you can either stop doing or enable others to do with you or EVEN for you.
What is causing the “claustrophobic condition” in your life? I ask you to pray and ask someone who you trust, a lifting partner on what you need to change. I also know that there are some of you going I don’t need to do this, well then ask your wife, your husband, how about your kids. I know that they will tell you.