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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Redeeming the Time

As I am taking some time to clear my head and heart, I read this article about a law firm that offered all of its associates one year off with 1/3rd pay. Now I realize that thier 1/3rd is more than we probubly make in three years but it got me to thinking.

If your company offered you enough to survive for a year, and you were willing to live lighter, what would you do with that year?


I would sleep long enough to wake up with Debra.

I would stop long enough to hear a conversation without trying to get to the meaning of it.

I would stay long enough to make sure every moment was at its end.

I would stare long enough to see God beyond the beauty of creation.

I would stand long enough to be comfortable where I am.

Ephesians 5:16 tells me to make the best of my time and at my age its its about appreciating moments and that means slowing down.

How about you?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sleepy but not tired

I awoke this morning to frozen roads and sleepy eyes and so while I am waiting for God to bring the heat I just thought I would share some things from yesterday that keep me from being tired.

#1 I never get tired of seeing people sharing thier faith in Jesus through baptism.

#2 I never get tired of God's people Celebrating steps of faith.

#3 I never get tired of hearing stories of bonds being broken by Love.

#4 I never get tired of people being forgiven.

#5 I never get tired of Christians finding thier place of ministry to the hurting and hopeless.

Our Jesus is amazing.
Our Church is amazing.
Our Life is amazing.

I love my LIFE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Sorry

I was thinking today about some of the comments that have so graciously been made about newLife, especially about those who have suffered because of a church.
I too have suffered from poor church experiences and know what it feels like.

But what makes it worse for me is to know that we have and probably will again fail others. And so this morning I just want to say Sorry.

I am sorry that decisions that I have made as a Pastor have caused some anguish.
I am sorry that at times my attitude has been selfish.
I am sorry that you felt unimportant because I ignored your needs.
I am sorry that once in a while I am not as prepared as I should have been.
I am sorry that I have changed in some areas.
I am sorry that I have said or done anything that might have caused you to stumble.

I am sorry that our church is not what you hoped it would be.
I am sorry that someone in our church family talked about your falsely.
I am sorry that we do not currently have the ministry that you need.
I am sorry that we don't agree with you.

In fifteen years because of my failures as well as others, I have lost good friends, at times hindered the work of God, and often hurt myself.

I am not a perfect Pastor nor are we a perfect church and that is not an excuse.
As Ambassadors of Jesus we have a long way to go to better represent His name in our community but we also have a heavy responsibility to do so correctly.

I will and have learned from my mistakes and sadly enough will probably make more, but I won't dwell there.
I am Sorry but it won't stop me from Serving Him.
I am Sorry but it won't depress me from Seeing Him.
I am Sorry but it won't hinder my Loving Him.
and while we can learn from our sorrow, that sorrow ought to motivate us to Love Deeper and Live Cleaner rather than be overcome with sorrow or overwhelmed by anger.

I love my LIFE

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

All we like Sheep............

As I was reading through the book of Corinthians it became very clear to me that I have been so focused on studying the book I stopped seeing the truth.

I understand that 1 Corinthians is a letter written to a body of believers that had gone astray.

1. It was a Divided Church. Being more concerned with their Baptismal Experience than their Salvation Experience. Chapter 1

2. It was an Undisciplined Church. Sin was not dealt with. Whether it was a prideful membership (who baptized who), a positional membership (rich getting more honor than the poor Chapter 11), and a perverted membership (a young man having a sexual relationship with his step mother) and yet no one said anything. There was no use of Jesus teachings in Matthew 18 but all was ignored. No one close to those in sin rebuked them, no one from the pulpit rebuked them and so sin was rampant.

3. It was an Doctrinally Confused Church. Many of the members brought in their past experiences into their
relationship with Jesus and the church from things they learned as non-believers, as religious people, and even as poorly taught Christians.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

But what happens to me as a Christian is that I can study this book to learn what was wrong with the Corinthian Church and even compare these things to my own life and church, but this letter was not written to newLife. Nor was it written to Andy Roberts. For us yes but about us no. and so I have to ask myself this morning............

Where have I gone astray?

If God were to have someone I trusted (this is key) write me a letter about my faith, what would it say?

Where have I gone astray?

What is more important to me than Jesus?
       What am I worshiping today more than Him?
                My Job?
                My Church?
                My Family?

What sin am I not dealing with?
        What am I choosing to ignore in my life?
        What am I unwilling to confess and repent of?   (1 John 1:7-10)

What doctrine am I weak in?
        What have I been taught that is wrong and how do I know?
        What do I believe out of convenience and not conviction?
        What cultural truth do I ascribe to trumping a biblical truth?

and so this morning that is my question.

Where have we gone astray?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Writings on the Wall

I have to admit, I did not expect to get what we got yesterday.
I know that people are hurting but the numbers shocked me.
and more than that was the evil written on the wall.

Abandonment - Familial and Martial
Abuse - Sexual, Emotional, Physical
Attacks - Rape and Beatings

So many overcome of evil, so many overwhelmed by pain.
It was real, it was raw.

I really don't know what God is trying to do within our body, but I know this........

It will be healing
It will be helpful
It will be Holy

and in the end the writing is on the wall, we will overcome evil with good.

I can't wait for Sunday

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bruised and Burned and Bummed and Born Again

Ever wonder if you can handle what you are going through?
Wonder if what you are experiencing will be the end?
and even worse, wonder if God cares?

I know that so many of you are weighed down, worn down, and just plain down.
I want you to know this today about Jesus.

Isaiah 42:3 says.....a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.

When God was announcing the coming of the Son of God He said these things about Him.

Jesus nature would be that of love, mercy and understanding.
In Biblical times a bruised reed would be useless and would be broken and cast out.

He would never break or through anyone away. No one is useless to Him.
Those who have been weakened and wounded by the trials and hardship of life is the reason why He came.

and a Smoldering wick is a picture of someone who has almost lost faith and is quickly losing hope.
Their desires and hopes have been snuffed out and their hearts have been filled with a sense of despair.

Jesus wants to be  faithful to treat them justly, just as they should be treated, and to strengthen and lift them up.

His nature, as should ours be, is to seek to save that which was lost.
To never give up on anyone and to encourage everyone to have faith in God.

Who do you know that feels given up on?
Who do you know who just needs to be encouraged today?

Maybe today you can share the Love of Christ with them.
and Maybe today, by your love and your Lord, their life will come back in them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why Forgiveness

This is a question asked so very often.
Why do I need to forgive?
Usually followed by the statements, they hurt me, they don't deserve it, I want them to feel what I feel.

The answer is simple.
Unforgiveness is not a good life to live.
     It makes you bitter not better.
     It makes you negative not positive.
     It makes you angry not happy.

To not forgive is to carry the pasts pains into the present.
It becomes a burden, a weight, and not on the one who hurt you, but you yourself.

Forgiveness allows us to be free from that weight. When we forgive we not only release someone of a debt they cannot pay, but it releases us to move forward in our lives.
It frees YOU from what THEY did.

Forgiveness brings you life from death, hope from hurt, and happiness from hell.

Why not forgive today and live?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

F-Bomb One word that will change your life Forever

Since we are beginning the F-Bomb Series on Sunday I thought I might share a posts about the subject to prepare us for what God is going to do.

Today lets keep it simple.
What is Forgiveness.

The Wikipedia definition states that Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt'

The Andy Roberts definition isn't much different. Forgiveness is the process of releasing of a debt created by an offence that could never be paid for. This debt release carries with it no form of retribution or punishment but is a free pardon of an offence.

Over the next few days I will share more to deepen our understanding but for today just dwell on that one truth.

Have an awesome day and Happy Birthday DJ I love you

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Letter from PRob to newLife

Seven things I loved about Sunday

#1 Our Greeting Team
I love that they have caught the vision we cast about making sure everyone who comes feels valuable. From the moment they touch the property they are warmly welcomed by some of our best!

#2 Our Ministry Leaders
From the Worship team to the Children's ministry their passion and love for people is clearly seen in the joy they serve and the sacrifice they make.

#3 Our lifeGroup Leaders
I am amazed at their growth. Most of them never had to work with people this closely before. They never had to feel others pain, hear the depth of the problems, and deal with their difficulties. Yet they are thriving and ministering in awesome ways.

#4 Our Tithers
Your Faith in God allows us to be faithful to God in the sharing of the Gospel, in the service to our community, and the changing of our world. Thank you for Believing.

#5 Our Anthony Leading us in Worship.
Sometimes its hard for people to see what I see. They might see a young man, I see a God man. His love of God is seen in His love of Music and shared by His love of us.
We are made so much better with Him.

#6 Our Pastors Wife
Maybe I am prejudice but I don't think many really understand how amazing this woman is. She shares me with you, serves you with me, and sacrifices for Jesus.
Without her, I am less as well as lost. Thank you Debra - I love You.

#7 Our Life
Your an incredible people whose potential for the kingdom of God has not even been touched. But soon, real soon, your going to explode and we will experience God in a very powerful way. Lets just keep praying and working and waiting and as He has promised He will be Glorified through us.

What did you love?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Little Angels

In Honor of my Daughters Birthday today.........."Happy Birthday Jaymie I love you" I wanted to talk about those who actually help the church grow.

1. The Suffering. I know this is strange but our church is better when people who are at their worst come. The Blind, the Lame, the Deaf. They are truly looking for love, life, and the Lord. When the suffering are not a part of our body, we have stopped being what Jesus intended. A House of people who desperately need God. (Matthew 21:13)

2. The Saved. I am not talking about someone who claims it, but contains it. Our church needs sinners who needed Jesus desperately and got Jesus Wholly because they appreciate everything truly.

3. The Servant. This is the person who willingly serves where they are needed. It does not matter to them where or what age group they are servants not managers. They just want to be a part and are willing to do whatever the church needs.

4. The Sacrificer. This person gives of themselves over and over. Financially theirs is ours, Emotionally theirs is ours, physically theirs is ours. This persons life is lived beyond themselves and for the Love of God they love others fully.

5. The Submitter. Literally, this person is for Jesus. They don't try and lead Him, control Him, and can't ignore Him. He is their God and their life is His.

The truth about these people is that they are selfless. They do what is best for others and they do this for the betterment of the ministry. There are many biblical examples of this by my favorite is the woman at the well.

She was a Sinner - Married five times and living with her current boyfriend.
She was Saved - Once she met Jesus she dropped everything.
She was a Servant - After being Saved she went right back to her home town and brought people to Jesus.
She was a Sacrificer - She dropped her pride and her pain and her water bucket for the purpose of souls.
She was a Submitter - No where will you see her trying to manipulate situations or control her destiny. Jesus was her savior and His will prevailed.

Jesus put it this way........
John 4:23-24  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Its these people who attract others to the church. Who lovingly encourage truth and honestly worship Him.
Are you a little Angel being sought by the Father for worship?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Little Devils

Today I want to share a few things that I can see just may hinder growth in our church.

1. Holders. Those who try to control all within their realm instead of giving themselves to the needs of the church.

2. Haters. Those who are judgemental, gossips, complainers who instead of loving their hating.

3. Hiders. Those who don't get involved or maybe surface serve.

4. Handlers. Those who try to have their hands on a little bit of everything. They never really do any one thing well, but many things mediocre.

5. Headers. Always thinking about what we could do, instead of doing what were trying to do.

The truth about all of these types of people is that they are all selfish. They do what is best for themselves and yet they do this under the guise of ministry. The Best Biblical Example I could find was in Judas.

Judas claimed to be a Christian but betrayed Christ.

Judas was a Holder as He chose to take care of the money. (John 12:6) I guarantee you that Judas didn't tithe.
Judas was a Hater as He complained about the woman who poured oil on Jesus. (John 12:5-6)
Judas was a Hider as on the outside He walked with Jesus but the inside did not.
Judas was a Handler as He liked being one of the twelve. (in the know)
Judas was a Header as He never really understood the mission of Christ.

Jesus put it this way..........
John 6:70-71  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
Yes its the little devils in the church that will hinder us, but only if we let them.
Jesus promised that the gates of Hell were not going to prevail against the church and with that cry we will fight Judas's the way Jesus did.

Letting them hang themselves. (Matthew 27:5)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Letter from PRob to newLife

We will continue this discussion of Order on Thursday night at church but I wanted to mention a couple of things today.

#1 People are Hurting. All Over. Lost Jobs, Lonely Relationships, Last Opportunities. Things just don't look hopeful.

#2 People are Hating. It amazes me how much hatred there is towards others. Husbands and wives, Parents and children, Christians and non alike. People are struggling to like each other let alone love each other.

#3 People are Hindering. Even when a church tries to love people, there are those who get in the way. The judgmental Christian, the angry church member, the complaining corrector of all that is not done their way. It makes even the most loving of Christian want to quit.

But we are in no different of a day than when our Savior Jesus lived.
People were hurting then, people were hating then, and people were hindering then, but Jesus did something we need to be reminded of.

Jesus gave his life so that those hurting could be healed, those who hated feel loved, those hindering be without Excuse and hanging from that Cross Jesus cried out.......

Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

We as a church ought to have that thought in us as we minister to the hurting, hating, and hindering believing that their only hope is Jesus.

So today instead of being upset or frustrated at the pain and problems of people, try to forgive them, love them, and ignore them (the hinderers - remember the gates of hell cannot stop the church) and they will be without excuse.

Who needs your love today?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Organization vs Order Part One

Last Thursday night I shared with the church a message that I believe is going to open us up to amazing things for God in regards to faith. One of those things, Order over Organization is one of the greatest of those things. And so this morning I want to talk about this a little to give a more clearer understanding.

Let me open by saying this, Organization can destroy faith, but order encourage it.

Organization in this context is mans attempt to control a God thing.
This is similar to that of religion and is seen in many faith practices.
But what organization creates is a false sense of a faith relationship hidden beneath some empty God experiences.

Order on the other hand allows for the movement of God and gives man opportunity to flow with it. With order there is no chaos. No confusion. All that is happening has purpose and even a plan. That which is natural to God occurs and we simply move with Him by faith.

Over the next few days we will explore this thought further to hopefully encourage a deeper more meaningful faith experience to those connected with newLife.

Organization vs Order Part Two

In order to understand order we must understand that this order is ordered by God. (LOL)
While God is not an organized God He is clearly an ordered God.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all are in order.
Birth, Life, and Death all are in order.
Salvation, Sanctification, and Service are all in order.

This is true with the Church as well.
Go, Baptize, Teach (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus, Pastors/Teachers, Members (Eph. 5:23, 1 Corinthians 12:29)
This order is clear as we find God continually calling for unity within the church.
(John 17:22, Philippians 2:1-2, Ephesians 4)

The church has a natural, if not Spiritual order to it.
I say all of this for one reason. Whenever an organization is changed, or loosened, it opens itself up to those who would take advantage of it. Those whose hearts are selfish and self centered that only care about using the church to their advantage who by their wolfish ways would create disorder.

Let me give you an example.
We have life groups that allow us to create atmospheres where the natural order of the things of God  can take place. Prayer is more efficient through a group who is more familiar with each other, Encouragement is more readily available through a group that knows each others strengths and weaknesses, and service is easier to manage as a small group of servants who have banded together to share love with others. and one of their greatest strengths is that they are all so very different in their organization but through their order fulfill ministry effectively.

But there are those who want to do their own thing. They care little for order but care much for control. They want things done their way, in their time, at their place because its best for them. Paul called these people wolves as they take advantage of what they see as an opportunity to create disorder. If left to their natural order they will cause chaos rather than glorify Christ.

It is imperative to realize that order is a God thing that allows for forward movement within the confines of Gods plan not mans. It is our desire as a church to explore God's way while being careful to protect the Flock from those who would take advantage.

Tomorrow we will add another piece to this thought.

Have an awesome day in the Lord

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Letter from PRob to newLife

There are four things I want to share with you this morning.

#1 People Proclaiming their faith through Baptism never gets old and yesterday was awesome.

#2 newLife life happens in life groups. Real Relationships are being built there.

#3 The Super Bowl was a didn't for me. I didn't care who won or lost cause Yesterday was about Jesus. and by the way, He won.

#4 Sunday is going to be over the top! and the two part series after that over the top of that.

There are some amazing things happening in our church. Get engaged to be more than a spectator and become a participator.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Push is not always a Shove

One of the hardest things as a Leader to do is lovingly motive someone to a deeper more fulfilling relationship with God and others.
This motivation is often viewed as a push and does not make people happy.

But I am not called to coddle or cuddle, I am called to lead.
And leadership dictates at times a push.

A Strong Word
A Confident Call
A Carefilled Correction

Its how Jesus led.
Its how Peter led.
Its how Paul led.

and its how every church ought to want their Pastor to lead.
Its how every wife ought to want her husband to lead.
Its how every child ought to want their fathers to lead.

Without a Pastor pushing forward, a church will often push back and that is when the shoving matches begin.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy...........
1 Timothy 1:18-20 (KJV)
8 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Just so you know newLife, a Push is not always a Shove, its often nothing more than an attempt to encourage movement of faith in you and the Church.

Have an Awesome Day