What does the front of your refrigerator look like today? What do you have on the front of your refrigerator that communicates who you are as a family? I want to invite you to take the refrigerator FRONT challenge today. Before you even read this I want you to STOP and GO look at the front of your refrigerator and tell me what you see?
What is on the refrigerator that shows you are proud of your family? What is on the refrigerator that shows you love your spouse? What is on the refrigerator that shows what is important to you? (Included is the front of our refrigerator) Why do you think that I am asking these questions? (Another question) I am asking you to look at this because honestly it’s a place where your children go to daily, where you friends stop and look when they are over, and where you spend a some time. The front of the refrigerator is the place where you can cast vision for your family, where you celebrate wins, and where you can place things that are a matter of prayer.
If you look at our refrigerator in this picture you can see pictures of children that we sponsor as a family and one my daughter Danielle sponsors on her own. You will see two postcards that have some really amazing friends that are working on the mission in Vanuatu. Those cards remind us to pray for them. There is a picture of our family that when I look at it reminds be me to be first thankful for my family and then second to pray for them no matter where they are of what they are doing. We have a small picture for Michelle and I up in the corner in a magnet we got while we were in Hawaii. That is for me to be first thankful for my marriage and then second to pray for my wife and that our marriage will remain focused on Christ. There is a green card where Morgan wrote out the message from our of experiences at Elevation. It is a reminder for us about God has given us each special abilities that we are to use to point people to Him. There is a picture of me as a freshman in high school at Rangeview High school in Aurora. That is up there so that my family can make fun of me. (I get it 80’s clothes.) There is an orange card from our church that reminds us to know our neighbors, “Beyond the Fence”. We have filled this card with our neighbors names and when we hear them share something that is in their lives we then write something so when know how to pray for them. Then finally a magnet from Elevation the church that God lead us to start a little over 7 years ago. I pray for the church family that is in need of Go’s grace and I pray that I will be the leader that God wants me to be for this church.
So what is on the front of your refrigerator? What are you doing to cast vision? What are the ways that you are using this simple place in your home to grow and lead your family as followers of Jesus? If you want to feel free to post pictures of the front of your refrigerator here or on my facebook page. (Click here)
I am excited to be able to start the new year with a goal of writing on this blog at least twice a week and making it a part of what we are doing at Elevation. I am also going to be writing to help husbands, fathers, and men to be all that God wants them to be in each of their lives.
So today is kind of a two for one! We have started a series called, “The Vow”. We are talking about the vows that we need to take serious if we are going to be prepared for marriage or to have strength in our current marriages. Because if you are reading this you probably have like me seen the stats or studies that show that half of marriages are not making it for the long haul. And most men are like me where we did not have the best or if any examples of what it means to be a Godly and loving husband. So it is my hope that we can start the conversation where we can give men a place to start when it comes to preparing to be great husbands or help those husbands to grow and get better.
I have been reading through the book of Psalms and there is one that is specific about what it looks like for a husband to spiritually lead his family. We talked about what it looks like to, “Seek the One, to Reflect the One” to our spouses or women that we want to marry in the first message of our series. So read with me Psalm 128:
Psalm 128 (NLT) A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. 1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord— all who follow his ways! 2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him. 5 May the Lord continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live. 6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace!
The writer is talking about how it starts first with the fear of the Lord and of the one who is following in the Lords ways. Then it says that we will enjoy the fruit of our work because of who we are following the Lord. But then it show how as we “SEEK THE ONE” it will enable us to “REFLECT THE ONE” to the people in our homes. It is says that the wife will be like a fruitful grapevine flourishing within your home. This shows that as you make Jesus the one in your life and that he grows and shows through you that your wife will flourish, that your home will be better because of the both of you being affected by Jesus and that your HOME will be different because of you both being changed by following the Lord.
It then goes on and talks about the kids! Your kids will be affected by the way that you and your spouse are being changed as you “Seek the One to Reflect the One” as a couple. The future of your family the future of your kids are being lead by the way that you are being lead by Jesus. If we want to be a part of changing the directions of our families legacy’s we do that be following Jesus. It also points out sitting around the table, maybe this week as you, “Seek The One to Reflect the One” you have a conversation around the table with your kids about what you are learning or doing as a follower of Jesus?
But then it talks about seeing Jerusalem prosper and that you may live to enjoy your grandchildren and see Israel have peace. As I studied and read more this is showing that as we “See The One to Reflect the One” that it will lead to change in our community, that we will be a part of the change to generations of people because of the way that we are following Jesus. What you do as a follower of Jesus and as a husband and as a father can be used by God to change the communities that we are in and the generations that are to come after us.
What do you need to do this week to “Seek The One to Reflect the One”? How can you make sure that your wife is flourishing? How are you getting your kids around the table to talk about following Jesus? Take some time to pray and think about this and please feel free to leave a comment and share what you are planning to do.
So yesterday as I was heading to the airport with my wife and daughter to fly out to an event that I was going to speak at something caught my eye. We were sitting at an intersection that we always go through about three to four times a day and there was a man on the corner with a refrigerator. That’s right a refrigerator all by himself on a dolly. Then as we pulled up the light changed and he painstakingly hauled the refrigerator across the street to the other side, but when he got to the corner it got stuck. So he worked and worked the refrigerator up on the corner as all of the cars in the turn lane waited and honked. Then once he got it up on the corner sidewalk he paused caught his breath and then hauled the refrigerator down the street to some unknown destination.
As I watched this happen I was thinking first, how I could get out and help this guy with out getting run over and with out being late for my flight. Then the second thing that came to mind was why is there no one to help this guy to move this refrigerator? Why is he carrying so much of a load all on his own? I thought that it was really interesting to see this since this last weekend at Elevation we talked about the need and call for community. We talked about “Relationships lead to community and community fuels maturity.”
It made me think about all the people that are involved in faith communities (churches) that are carrying to much on their own. Whether it because of their own choice of not being involved in community by choosing to be that person who just shows up and never gets to know any one. Or that they are involved in a faith community (church) that doesn’t make relationships a priority. It burdened my heart to think about how we have so many people that say they are following Jesus but have made a choice to forget about the “One Another’s”. Through out the New Testament there many “One Another’s” and there is one that I thought of when it came to the man on the corner with the refrigerator.
2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NLT)
When did we start to think that we need to handle things all on our own? When did it become ok to know of the struggle someone is having and to do nothing? It is my prayer that today you will notice the family member or friend that is carrying to much, like the refrigerator and get involved. Who do you know that you can help carry the refrigerator down the street today? Don’t miss out on sharing in the burden.
So this weekend I had someone invite me to come and see a car that was in our parking lot. We walked out the front door and the person pointed out the car in the parking lot. My first thought was ok nice car but that is not the make or model that I get all fired up about, I let them know that I am a mustang kind of guy. But then the person drew my attention to the license plate that was on the car. There I saw what had got the attention of the individual.
This is the actual license plate that was on the car. This is not fabricated or changed in any way to make this an interesting picture. For those of you that don’t know we are a church that is in the great state of Colorado where I am a native. A place where it is currently to legally purchase marijuana. Now I don’t intend for this to be a place where we argue about what should be or not be legal. We live in a state where it is legal and I have to live in that reality as a leader. So the person that pointed out the license plate then asked me this question, “What should we do about this?”
My answer to this question was simple, “Make sure they have a great parking spot and they have a good time.” With that answer I saw a look of confusion for a minute. But then I went on to explain what I meant. My answer and my prayer was that this person felt comfortable enough to come and be a part of our church so I wanted us to live out, “It’s ok to not be ok, but God doesn’t want you to stay that way.” I wanted the person that came in this car to understand that they can come here and be cared for and encouraged in their faith journey. Then I wanted the person to know that pointed out the license plate that God is going to be the one that is going to change a life. So we should be excited that this person was with us and hearing about the radical grace of Jesus.
We were not going to run them off because of their license plate because just down the row was another car that I knew the owner was dealing with porn, I knew that there was another car on the next row where the owner was dealing with mental illness, and I knew that there was another car on the other end of the lot that was in legal trouble. The only thing different about this car was that their license plate was letting us know what was going on in their life. So we were going to simply pray for this person, pray that Jesus was going to impress upon their heart about a relationship with Him, pray that this person would experience life change because of who he is and not because we pointed out their license plate. So my encouragement to you is to look in the parking lot, look and see not the license plates but who are the people that are there to be cared for and reached with the radical grace of Jesus? Who knows maybe you need to start with your car.
This year at Elevation we are seeking to really develop the people on the inside but we want to prioritize for the people on the outside.
So what does that look like for the team at Elevation? How are we going to apply this to what we are doing?
Here are some of the things that we are planning to develop and do:
- Develop the leaders that are leading teams currently by equipping them spiritually and practically. (In our prayer, our purity, our purpose, our planning, our preparation, our practice, and our performance. Matthew 20:26)
- Seek to develop new leaders that are willing to take things and go further then we are now. (Our best is yet to come. Acts 12:25)
- Connect people to the abilities and strengths that they have been given to honor God. (Everyone has a place to play. Exodus 31:3)
- Prepare for the leaders that are going to arrive and thrive on the team at Elevation. (Leadership Development)
It is our prayer that we will be equipping the team to lead and multiply as we move forward in this year. The question is what are you doing to develop yourself as a follower of Jesus and a leader in your home, neighborhood, school and workplace?
This weekend was another awesome experience at Elevation. But you may be wondering what makes it an awesome experience? Well, I am glad that you asked that question. Here are just a few things that made it an awesome experience:
- We had four people say, “Yes to Jesus”. That means that they took the ultimate step in their spiritual formation as a follower of Jesus.
- We had our Dream Team together before anyone even showed up for church. They sat together, they prayed together, and they took communion together. Why? Because great teams know what you are to do to prepare for a great day.
- We had four people attend the Discover The Church Team Workshop and see what it means to be a teammate at Elevation. Each story of how they came to be a part of Elevation was so inspiring.
- We were able to celebrate with being a part of the launch of Front Range Christian Church in Castlerock, CO. We even spent time praying for them and their team as they seek to reach people for Jesus.
- We also started a new series, “Mr. & Mrs. Better half”. A relationship series that is challenging us to become better when it comes to the other people in our lives.
It is our hope and prayer that we will be able to share some exciting news about Elevation and in the coming days and weeks. There are some things that are happening that you are just going to be amazed to hear about. Stay tuned.
One of the things that we like to do at Elevation is give things away. We also like to challenge creative people to do creative things. So at Elevation this month we are inviting bands and performers to make music videos and share those with us for cash prizes. I would like to encourage you to share with others this website so that they can send us a video for this contest. (Rocktober)
But if you want to really see something that we hope will get you to laughing and encourage others to get in the contest watch the video below. We are ready to ROCK!
“Have a ROCKING good day!” Garth.