Jesus loves me this I know. Debra Wants me this I know. My kids appreciate me this I know. My church encourages me this I know. My Life Group cares for me this I know. Everything else I know, I will share with you.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Be Careful what you pray for, it might hurt as it helps

Yesterday afternoon, Dale McGinnis told his daughter that He loved her and then followed a man into eternity.
Dale met Jesus Christ.
And I am sorry but I miss him.

He was more than just a father, more than a church attender.
He was my friend.

He, more than almost anyone, was there every time I needed him.

After a difficult season of ministry, on my anniversary, Dale paid for a night in his cottages in Longbeach. This included roses for my wife and a gift certificate to the best restaurant in Longbeach.
He was one of the few who even remembered our special day.
It encouraged our hearts that someone actually loved us that way.

After five + years of my wife's pain from our accident, she was so unhealthy from bronchitis as pain will do. Dale again came to our rescue offering us three weeks at his house in Lake Havasu Arizona. That three weeks rejuvenated a weary couple and for those of you who have been touched by newLife, it was Dales love for Debra and I that kept me in the ministry.

Again, after a difficult season of ministry, my family was living in the upper house (its been torn down) Dale came to visit one day and noticed how bad it was, one week later he stopped by and offered to build us a house. Dale arraigned the financing through a friend, helped me find and then hire a man to do much of the building, and guided me all the way. Dale did all of the finishing work. And it was done in three months because Dale wanted us to be in our new home by Christmas Eve.

Dale would not accept any money, but told me that if He died, he wanted to make sure that I would keep his girls going in the right direction towards God.

All he got from me was unconditional love.

He loved me though I was not his family.
He loved me though I was not able to do much for him.
He loved me...............and i miss him

But yesterday He met Jesus and was loved like He has never been, and for that, I could not be happier.

Friday, January 28, 2011

You Don't Always Have to Listen to the Medical Staff

I don't know how many of you follow football, but last Sunday the Quarterback of the Chicago Bears, Jay Cutler had some form of injury that kept him from finishing the game.
Once the game was over with a loss, many questioned his toughness as most believed if Jay wanted to he could have finished the game.

Now I am not his doctor, nor do I know what he was feeling, but I do understand how both sides feel.

There are times that I get injured and want to sit out on life.
I want to rehab.
I want to do what's best for me.

Someone said something that hurt me.
Someone criticized a decision that I made.
Something happened that I didn't think was fair or right.
Sometimes I just get tired and think i need a break.

and I want to quit.

But leaders can't quit.
and even though Jay was hurt, I believe that the sign of a true leader is that they work through the pain because the goal of any player is to play.
and when the leader of any organization gives up when the team needs you the most, its the end of the team.

Dads, I wonder how often we quit on the team because the family disagrees with us or finances are tough?
How often do we back down from our Quarterbacking Responsibilities because we are too tired to lead?

Husbands, do you let the Center (your wife) lead because she disagrees with the play calling? Do you let her bear the responsibility the organization entrusted to YOU?

I know that sometimes you get advice that the best thing for you is to sit one out.
But not if your a leader!

Jay, my suggestion is this. Its better to be remembered for being a leader than a leaver. Next time it hurts, Play through it. The Bears are counting on you. Man up and lead.

On a more important note. I was wrong again.
Last night as Julie Meihe was driving to Astoria with her brother, He trusted Christ to be his savior. Heaven Rejoiced Last Night! and so will we.
Also, we have one young man who wants to join our church body this Sunday.

These are the things I don't mind being wrong about!

Have a great weekend and see you Sunday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Help the Pastor be His Best!

While there are several things that make the ministry of the Pastor difficult there are several ways that a church member can help the Pastor be the best Pastor he can be.
Here are three basic suggestions, and then a few thoughts.

1. Pray for Him.
The work that the Pastor does goes beyond the 9 to 5 as it is spiritual warfare that he is engaged in. 24/7 your Pastor is battling principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12-18 key vs 19)

2. Support Him.
In this battle it can feel as if your Pastor is the only one watching for your souls. (Heb. 13:17) Loneliness is a part of the position. People may not understand some decisions he makes, others may get angry at an observation he brings to the forefront, and some flat don't like his way of handling things. Remember he is God's man for God's church and he needs to know that your trusting God as he leads the congregation.

3. Love Him.
Your Pastor is far from perfect. He has faults that grieve him, he has failed in ways that have hurt people, and he experiences negativity on a daily basis. He works with sin and its pain. He feels it all. and worse, he feels it on the outside as someone whose only answer is a God that most people know of but do not really know. Its a tough sell, and so the last thing he needs is to be around people who judge him, don't forgive him, and neglect him. Love him for his works sake.

and now some thoughts.....

Let your Pastor develop relationships his way.
Jesus himself had friends who were closer than others, let the pastor choose those people and don't be offended if your not in his inner circle. (You wouldn't like it in there anyway)
There are people who are my friends who minister to me, and friends who I minister to, if you want to help me be the best, let me choose my closest friends and don't try to be someone I have not allowed you to be.

Let your Pastor have bad days.
What part of Human don't we understand?

Don't be a flake.
If you make a commitment, keep it. If he has entrusted you with the souls of others, (Children or Adults in ministry) finish the course. There is nothing worse than people who take responsibility for something and then because of flakiness pass it back to me or put it on others to do what YOU have committed to do.

Appreciate what God has done by giving back.
Like the nine lepers who were healed but never turned back to give God praise, many Christians take the new life God offers and go on their merry way. If you appreciated what God has done, go and tell the world.

Don't pity the Pastor.
Don't think "Oh Poor Pastor". He chose this path. God called, He committed.

While the position of Pastor is the most difficult thing I have ever done, the church can go a long way to making it better by taking heed to these things. They are not only things you ought to do, it should be part of our church culture as we encourage others to help the Pastor be at his best.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Help the Pastor be the worst!

Today I just wanted to share some thoughts on the best way you can get the worst out of your Pastor. Tomorrow I will share how to help the Pastor be the Best!

1. Complain. About anything. No matter how small make sure your voice is heard! The Pastor in any church is only doing the best He can with every aspect of the ministry and sometimes the best is not up to your standard. So let everyone know.

2. Call him at your Convieniece. He has nothing else to do right? He only works two days a week and doesn't have to work nights like the rest of us. And His family is in the ministry as well, so they don't mind the phone going off all the time.

3. Be Confrontational. We have every right to challenge authority.

4. Care only for you. The Pastors the only one getting any benefit out of this thing. He gets the Praise, the paycheck, the pats on the back, and the peoples attention. Why shouldn't I get mine?

5. Make Him Cut first. He's the one whose called. Were just volunteering.

6. Don't Keep your Commitments! I mean there are more important things than the Church. And he will understand, Right?

7. Choose whatever Church you Want! I realize that He says that God sets the members in the body but God doesn't understand how unhappy I am here.

While I realize that very few people really think this way outwardly, I do believe that at times we do inwardly. and its these inward thoughts that betray the truth of our heart.

These things only cause the Pastor to fight against the church instead of fighting the real battle.
Against Satan.
Help your Pastor be the Best He can be, and don't do these things.

Tomorrow I will have a list of seven things you can do to make your Pastor the Best He can be!

Have an awesome day. and Pray for Dale

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A letter from Pastor A

What a day, Sunday!
Our Attendance was down a little, not sure what that was about but we still saw God do some amazing things.

Some great people joined our church body.
A great lady took a huge step into Baptism
and one thing that I want to address this morning.

Kathy Butchers great decision to join newLife.

That was a big step for her and a bigger statement for us.
I am not saying that everyone needs to do this, but it think it made Sunday bigger than we think.

Kathy was not saying that Bayview Baptist was wrong, but Different.
Kathy was not saying that Bayview Baptist was worse, but Different.

Kathy was saying that SHE is experiencing new life as never before.
Kathy was saying that SHE is enjoying her new life as never before.
Kathy was saying that SHE is embracing her new life as never before.

and I think that Kathy was saying for all of us who were members of Bayview that we are different.
Not wrong, not worse, but different, and that we all are living new lives in Christ.

Sunday was nothing more than Kathy expressing her love for the difference.

I too love the difference and am thankful that God moved on Kathy's heart to remind us all of what God has blessed our church with.

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Daddy used to say, "Make Hay while the Suns Shining"

And the Son of God has been Shining into the hearts of many through our church!

After my post yesterday someone went to prayer and opened up a whole bunch of work for us.

Since Yesterday........

I heard an awesome salvation testimony that will be combined with an outdoor baptism on Sunday.
I will be speaking today to a young man who has been far from God, who wants to join our church. (From Vince's Discipleship Work!)
I heard that there are several young men who visited Church on Sunday who want to talk to us about Christ as well as Baptism. (Thanks Steve and Darla for inviting them)
I got to open up a conversation with a family in need of Christ.
Carol wrote about a family in need of prayer as well. (see yesterdays comments)

Wow, if that's all it takes, I am going to repost yesterdays post every Thursday.

Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three days to Sunday

The last few services have been incredible, but I am concerned that we are quickly coasting.
No Baptisms scheduled for Sunday
No one scheduled to Join for Sunday
I have heard of no one getting saved this week

Church, are we done for the year?
Is this it?
Its been great I know, but are we satisfied? or worse, Is He Satisfied?

Have we stopped praying?
Have we stopped sharing?
Have we stopped teaching?

Have we have we've stopped being the church God has called us to be.

We have three days to Sunday, God created the earth in Seven and we are not asking for Him to create the earth, only to place someone in our life to share the gospel with, and open their heart to Him.

What are you going to do with your three days?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Early Church Methodology Arguments

Complaints from religious people about how things are done in a church are historical if not hysterical.
Lets look at a few.

#1 Your Life Healing Methods are Reprehensible. John 9:1-11
While we cannot deny that you healed a blind man, your ways are unacceptable.
I mean spitting on the ground, so much that you could make a mud out of it, and then putting it on his eyes? Regardless of his ability to see afterwards, its out of line. And on a Sunday! How dare you interrupt our worship. (Luke 13:14)

#2 Those you do heal, Brag about it. John 9:11
Yes we get the miracles that you perform in peoples lives, but how arrogant can you be to accept peoples praise for your acts of transformation?

#3 The "Group" you associate with don't fit our Christian Standard.
It has been said that you fellowship with a Samaritan woman (John 4), you have a tax collector on your staff (Matthew 9:9-13), and there are no Bible college educated people running your programs. (OK one, but His praise of your name negates his education as its obviously a little too excited.) The rest are fishermen. It has also been reported that there are a couple of crazy strippers coming to your "Group". (Luke 8:26-39)

#4 The way you teach is unacceptable.
Every time someone asks a question you answer it with a story. You obviously just want to entertain people. Your teaching is too shallow. We try and teach people the deeper truths of things like murder, and you say Anger is the same thing (Matthew 5:21-26). We try and teach people to put down adulterers, and you say that adultery is looking and not touching and worse you teach that if you can't handle it, to pluck out our eyes and cut off our hands (Matthew 5:27-30)? A little silly don't you think?

#5 Your not Respectful to us of the Religious Establishment. (other Pastors)
Calling us snakes and comparing us to the devil shows you care nothing for our work.
(Matthew 23:13-33) A man of God would never call other Pastors Liars and accusing our mothers of having inappropriate relationships with the Devil. (John 8:39-50)

Personally, I don't care how a persons eyes are opened to the gospel, as long as they can see. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

I think that we all ought to Shout about what God has done and is doing in our lives.
If not we make the rocks do it. (Luke 19:40)

I love the "GROUP" that attends our Church. We do have divorced people here, we do have an ex tax collector here, we do have uneducated people here, we do have fishermen and loggers here, we do have people who were once wild and crazy for sin, who are now clothed and sitting in their right minds, Loving their wives and children.

Our Teaching is Simple. Oh some tell me that our doctrine is shallow but I guess if what we teach is leading people to Christ, encouraging them to Love God and others, and helping them live victorious lives than I think I stay with that over creating more pharisees.

I don't respect pastors who are nothing more than Hirelings. They move from Church to church for no other reason than to enhance their careers. They gossip, they lie, they become busy bodies in other men's matters. But I also support men who love God and others.

These arguments have been going on for thousands of years and will continue until Jesus comes back. When that happens, I would rather be standing there with multitude of people we have reached for Christ, than with nothing more than my own righteousness.

I love you church, and am thankful that you have allowed me to be your Pastor.
Let's keep up the GOOD Work!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amazing Sunday, but Amazing Sadness

Sunday was a great day.
To see the faces of those getting baptized, to hear the Excitement and cheers of those who love Jesus Christ Praise God for that simple step of faith is enough to excite even the coldest of Christians.

But, and I hate to add that, But, after the service I was approached by a man from out of town, a Pastor of another church, who was greatly offended at our services and felt called upon by his god (little g) to rebuke me in the foyer.

He was angry, judgemental, bitter, calloused, arrogant, and His wife did not seem any happier.

Souls Gladly received the word of God, Souls were baptised, and Souls were added to the church. (see Acts 2:41) this past Sunday, but all this man could do is question our doctrine.

Why don't you have a Sunday Night Service? (Doctrine?)
Why don't you wear a suit? (Doctrine)
How long will it be before this group, yes he called you a group, is charismatic. (if that means happy we are, if it means speaking in tongues we aren't.)

and while I tried to encourage him to look at the fruit of our labors, he focused on his form of doctrine.

If what we teach, leads people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ..........
If what we teach, leads people to obey the word of God in Baptism and faithful church attendance..........
If what we teach, leads people to study the scriptures and pray one for another.......
If what we teach, leads people to Love God, and Love others are we not teaching correct doctrine?

What we are teaching is leading people to become like Christ, but this man, did not show any love for God nor others.

and so I came to this.

If the "Doctrine" that created this Pastors Christianity is what he wants me to preach,
And the result is arrogance, judgementalism, and self-righteousness, Ill take what we have been teaching and the fruit of Love, Life, and Liberty.

I love our Church.
I have never been more excited to be around people who sincerely trust God, honestly love God, and openly share God.

and I think Highly of our People. Its your labor of Love that has resulted in the past months blessings. Your love of God and others has resulted in souls being saved and lives being changed!

It was an Amazing Sunday, but I am very sad for this man, whose anger kept him from rejoicing in the work of God in Astoria. Please pray for Pastor Bo and his wife Jamie that they might one day be free to rejoice in the work of God.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sundays Coming!!!!!

Just a note to let you know this Sunday we have three baptisms, and three families joining the church.

Many might think that this is the work of the last few weeks but its not.
One of those getting baptized received Christ a year ago after a service.
The other two trusted Christ after a service three months ago.
One of the families joining the church started coming a couple of months ago, and the other two about six months ago.

Why is this important to know?
Because your work of love kept them coming, and learning, and growing.
The Time spent on the music ministry made a difference in their hearts.
The Labor spent on Children's ministry kept their children excited.
The Love spent on unfamiliar people showed them who Christ really is and how Christians are supposed to be.

Good Job!
Galatians 6:6-10 (KJV) 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
We are only reaping what we have sown.

Isn't God Good!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A few things rolling around..............

I want to share a few things that are on my mind this morning to free me from having to think about them all day.

#1 I can't Wait for Sunday and we haven't even had Thursday nights service yet!

#2 Dale Loved the DVD! It really encouraged him and he even responded back to every one of you.

#3 We are having a Contest. Each home group will design/paint/create a picture of what Loving God and Loving others looks like. There are rules to this thing that we will present at our next home group meetings. Get your creative thoughts going!

#4 Big Question for the Week! How much more could God do if I............?
What's your answer?

#5 I believe that the church can make a positive difference in every life it touches.

#6 I am amazed that someone like Lindsey Perez could change our church with one act of honesty. Truly proves the power of one. Love it!

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

# 1 Reason for Spiritual Growth in a Church............

Our church is experiencing something we have only seen one other time in its History. Numerical growth from new Christians.

How did it happen?
Well it wasn't because we had a bunch of Programs to engage people.
 People are being engaged by Love.

and it isn't because we taught a bunch of lessons on things only Christians care about.
People are being educated where they live, by people who are living it.

We didn't have a revival meeting to revive us.
People are excited about Jesus because some have repented of sin while others have truly come to understand how amazing God is.

So what has brought so many amazing people to our church over the last several months?

One thing. Prayer.

2010 was a year of prayer for us as a church.
We were motivated by many difficult circumstances that put us to our knees.
We were moved by many unseen problems that caused us to seek Him.
We were mastered by many situations that MADE us seek Gods hand.

Its not surprising as whenever Gods people were moved to pray, it moved God which moved man.

The bible proves this over and over and over again.
But there is one danger the bible also teaches.
When men stop praying, God stops moving on their behalf.

It happened to us in 2002 when we saw amazing growth but it only lasting for a few months. Though our church lived on that growth for 7 years after that, it eventually died as people fell away.

We cannot stop praying as a people so I thought I would give you some things to pray for.

1. We are wanted to go to two services in the morning. One at 9:00 am and one at 11:00 am. To do that we are going to need to pray for people to fill those services.

2. We are wanting to double our home Groups on Sunday Nights. That would be three more at 20 people per group. For that we need people to fill those places as well as leaders to lead them. Pray that God would raise godly couples to lead these.

3. We want to add a staff member. We need another Pastor to share the load of ministry. For that we need a doubling of our offerings as well as for God to send us the right man for our needs.

4. We need teachers. We currently need three teachers to rotate with the other teachers as well as back ups for our teen leaders and 5-7th grade teachers. We don't want bodies, we want people who are passionate about helping parents lead their children on a faithful walk with God. This doesn't even count for the growth that we PRAY will happen.

5. We need general laborers. Men and women who are willing to serve faithfully in many of the little places. Sound and Video, Coffee Cart, Clean up, Ushers, Parking lot. The key is that we don't need selfish people who only want to serve when they want, where they want, and who they want, but who will serve wherever service is needed.

6. Each home group needs mentors. Spiritual leaders who can take a new Christian on for six months of one on one discipleship.

7. Each home group needs Prayer Leaders who not only pray for their group but bring those requests to the church body to pray about.

Prayer will be the only way God helps us with these needs.

It was Prayer that got us here, it will be Prayer that keeps us here.

Let's Keep Praying!!!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Letter from PRob (thanks Doney Family)

Hey newLife, there are several things that I want to share with you this morning.

#1 Sunday was Amazing. I would like to say there are only a few of them a year but we have got to make this a weekly thing. Five new members, Three Baptisms, and more coming next Sunday.

#2 The message was perfect for our church. I truly believe that people are seeing that being a Christian is the best decision they have ever made giving them the best life they could ever live.

#3 Its awesome to truly feel as if we are worshipping God through song from the depths of our souls. Love it.

#4 The people God has given us are amazing. Watching the children move during the song service, Singing Happy Birthday to Forrest and Brittney with Kai, Celebrating the Baptisms and just seeing people happy to be together. Priceless!

#5 And there is one reason all of this is happening and we will talk about it tomorrow so be ready.

Thank you for loving God and others, this is a good season for our church.

What did you think about Sunday? Leave a comment to encourage us.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who is our competition?

One of the greatest dangers of any church trying to reach people far from God is believing that our competition is other churches.

We compare Pastors and Preaching
We compare music ministries
We compare Activities
and we compare numbers.

While there are dangers here of Jealousy, this is not the real danger.
The real danger is not realizing that people who do not know Christ do not care about those things.
These are thoughts Christians have, not the lost.
They never think about these things even after attending our services.

I realize that if we are trying to reach Christians, Churches then would be competing, but that's not our goal. And since we are seeking to find lost people, we must understand what we are competing against.

So here goes my thoughts...........

We are in competition for peoples Hearts.
Those things that make people happy, safe, loved.
No one does that better than Jesus and so our focus ought to be on letting them know the love of God through Christ.

We are in competition for peoples Interests.
No one wants to be bored and sometimes churches can put on a pretty uninteresting face.
Our world is active as well as interactive.
But again, real Christianity is the same.
I can use words like Exciting, Amazing, Spectacular to describe what the Christian life is like.
Do they see that in our Daily lives? In our Worship Services? In our Preaching? In our Home Groups?

We are in competition for peoples Souls.
The soul is where the real battle is.
Daily peoples souls are stained by short term gain (Sin), hidden by alcohol or drugs, made heavy by pain and loss.
They use Money to make themselves happy, things to feel better, music to satisfy a brokenness that can only truly be fixed by God through Jesus.
To compete for someones soul is to accept them where they are. No matter what they have done or are doing.
It is to allow them to be themselves, without hiding behind a mask.

Churches are not our competition, and so how are we doing in the race for life?

Are we Loving God and others in a way that draws men and women to Him?
Is our Ministry Interesting, causing men and women to want to participate?
Do people who enter our church feel valued, special, wanted, no matter what?

That's where the real competition is. Lets get in the game.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Praising God and having favor with all the people, the Lord added

If this Sunday was any indication of what 2011 holds I am excited.
For the first time in my 27 years of attending church I felt that the music truly described how I feel about Jesus.
More than my own Baptism, Sundays held more meaning than anyone I have ever done.
The home group we held was amazing as we had several new families who felt awkward but also appreciated.
and More than ever the message of the Good Life is the most positive message I have ever been given.
That's the core of the Gospel!

Lets be thankful for where we are as a church and Who is in us, for us, and with us.