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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why I Changed

This past Sunday reminded me of why I am not the person I used to be.
Because I don't like mean angry Christians.
we are happy and they assume we are Pentecostal.
we celebrate and  they believe we are fake.
Because we don't dress up (like them) and we honor Him less.

In their eyes they are the True believers, we are less worthy because we won't follow them.
In their eyes their beliefs are the right beliefs meaning they are better.
In their eyes they are the Defenders of the faith called by God to correct OUR errors..
This you see in there witnessing and their writings and the ease in which they will separate themselves from you to keep themselves clean.

I see it as arrogance in ignorance and I don't like them and didn't want to be one so I left them.
Not to stay clean but because I don't want to be mean.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Family is Awesome

I will be visiting with family this week. But will see you Sunday. Have a great week in Him.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Its Real Simple

Point 10 – Peter Doubted

Matthew 14:30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

Maybe not in God but in Himself.
He saw
He was
He cried

Point 11 – Jesus Saved

Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Cause that’s what Jesus does

 I can't wait for Sunday

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What will it take?

While you would think that being in a storm just having Jesus show up would be enough. Jesus is there, were all saved, Awesome. But this story doesn't end there as if often doesn't in our own lives. Today I want to share a couple of truths that we might want to explore in our own lives.

#1 Peter Pushes it
Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

When the disciples found out that it was Jesus and HE was there to save them, that should have been all they needed right? But not for Peter. He wanted Jesus to prove Himself to him.
and there are three ways Peter pushed Jesus.

He questioned the Face of Jesus. (It is I vs 27)
He questioned the Faith of Jesus. (Be of good cheer vs 27)
He questioned the Fact of Jesus. (If it be thou vs 28)

and we do this ourselves.
Its not enough that Jesus saved us, we constantly push Him by questioning Him with questions like......
       Who is Jesus really? Can He save me, Can He heal, can He stop the storm?
       Where is Jesus really? Be of good Cheer? doesn't He see where I am?
       What is Jesus saying Really? If its you, do this. (we say to our Lord)

But our pushing the truth of Jesus isn't the worst part, this is

#2 Jesus will Accept your Challenge
Matthew 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
If there is one thing you must understand about Jesus.
     He is not afraid to do something Miraculous
     He is not afraid to Prove His Name
     He is not afraid to Show you how Awesome He is

The question is, do you really want to get out of a perfectly good boat?
     One that Jesus already put you in?
     One that Jesus already prayed for?
     One that Jesus already came to save?

Just to prove to yourself that Jesus is who He says He is?

Let me ask you this, Where are you questioning Jesus right now and are you willing to sink just to prove to yourself what you already know?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why I Love Jesus

Sorry about yesterday, I spent the day with my daughter in law taking her to lunch on the Harley. She's Awesome and I am so blessed by her.

Remember, the disciples has just seen Jesus feed 15,000 with a fish happy meal.
They were pushed into something they didn't want to do.
Jesus left them to go pray.
A storm arose in their lives.
Jesus came but not in the way they wanted. (Spiritually not physically)

But all of that means nothing when you hear these words.

Matthew 14:27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

How encouraging is that? It is I, the savior of the world It is I, the Son of God It is I, the Sole Power on the Earth .

I love Him because what ever He calls me to, where ever a storm arises, when ever I don't understand, He lets me know its OK because He is still there.

And when Jesus is there I can be of good Cheer.
The one with the Greatest Knowledge is there.
The one with the Greatest Power is there
The one with the Greatest name is there

I don't know where your at, what your experiencing, what your struggling with, know this, if you cry out to Him, He will be there and EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE!

Monday, July 23, 2012

When we Don't Understand

As with almost any tradegy of our generation, the current one in Colorado is no exception to the question, Why would God allow such a thing?
Why would God allow so much carnage, so much pain. Maybe we can draw an answer from our study.

as we find the Disciples Confused
Matthew 14:26 (KJV) And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
They too didn't understand what was going on.
Jesus pushed them into the boat
They didn't want to go
Jesus left them to pray
A storm arose
Jesus came

But he didn't come they way they thought He would. They were troubled by the spiritual.
Which brings us to the question asked by so many.
Why would God allow such a tradegy?

Whats the problem with the question? We are seeking physical answers from a Spiritual God and this makes it confusing. Especially to those who do not really know Him. (1 Cor. 2:13-14)

The disciples didn't expect salvation to come this way as they expected the sea to be calm. Never did they expect Jesus to come to them Spiritually. We always think that God is going to save our physical lives when we forget Jesus came for our Spiritual Life.

While this tradegy is horrific physically as many innocent people died, it makes me wonder, how many more will be drawn to the Spiritual because of the physical?

Do I believe that God allows this? I'm not really sure, but I know when Jesus shows up in physical form to save us we will meet Him in the air, not on the ground.

But for now, we will have to settle for Him to show up as the comforter of our spirits, to save our hearts and minds from the horrifying acts of men.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Who needs a Dark Knight when the King of Light is Available

I don't think that there is anything more exciting than this thought.
When in their most desperate time, Jesus came to the Disciples

Matthew 14:25 (KJV)  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And there are a few things that I want to share with you to encourage you when your scared, tired, and nothing is going your way.

1. When Jesus comes it may seem late to You, but it's never never.
We like to think of Jesus as the savior that never has to save us. As Christians we believe that because of His love he would never put us in a dangerous situation. (the boat). We believe that if He sees impending danger he would stop it before it gets to us and if the rowing gets hard, He'll row for us. But that's not His place.

Jesus comes when we really need Him (Col 2:13)
Jesus comes when we really seek Him (Duet 4:29)

But He always comes to us when its necessary.

2. When Jesus Comes He comes for YOU.
The bible says "Jesus went unto them"
He came for the purpose of being with His disciples. He sent them out on a difficult journey, prayed for them, and then wanted to be with them through this troubling time.
Why? because He loves us. Love is not always keeping you from trouble, but being there with you when your going through it. The best friends I have know that my deepest needs are not met by their bailing me out, but being with me when I am imprisoned.

3. Jesus never comes to us the way we think.
Think about this, Jesus came to them walking on the water.
I didn't see that coming and neither did the disciples but this is always true about Him.
The bible says Jesus is going to come in the clouds one day to save us-Miracle!
and then it says that we will meet Him in the Air-Miracle!

Hey the Jews thought Jesus was going to come to earth as a King, and struggled to accept Him coming as a child, born of a virgin, in a barn. When Jesus touches earth its always a miracle.

Who needs the government to save me when I have a Savior named Jesus?
Who needs parents to save you when we have a Savior named Jesus?
Who needs the lottery to save you when you have a Savior named Jesus?

The King of Light is Available to you tonight, Shine your signal light and He will come.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Have you Got that Sinking Feeling?

You know the one.
When the Doctor Calls YOU to talk?
When the slip inside the envelope is Pink.
When the phone rings at 3:00 am and your daughter isn't home yet.
When your conversation begins with "We need to talk"

You know that it can never be good and you realize that the season your going into will be nothing but turmoil.

Its cancer and nothing seems to be working.
You've been cut and you know how hard it is to find another job.
She's been in a crash and her time is short.
He/She has found someone else, better, younger, richer, funner and your left alone.

and your a Christian.
Your Christianity started out like a Cruise to the Bahamas as everyone in the church was so excited for you. We celebrated your salvation decision, rejoiced when you got Baptised and Encouraged you to follow Jesus.

and then you got in that boat.

Matthew 14:24 (KJV) But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
You've rowed like you were told and it only got you farther from the land you knew and you don't like to swim that much. Then the storm arises and you pray, but things only get worse. You read your bible to try and figure a way out but it only tells you to trust God but God doesn't understand your pushing against a wind that goes against the direction you know Jesus wants you to go in.

Been there? I know what its like to have the Love Boat turn into the Titanic.
Everything is wonderful until you hit an ICEBERG!

And what makes it worse, Jesus is the Captain of this ship.
He signed me up for all of this.

He Constrained me to get into the boat. (Matthew 14:22)
He Specifically chose Me because I was faithful. (Matthew 14:22)
He Purposefully went to Pray for Me because He loves me. (Matthew 14:23)

How does that make you feel?

That Jesus Himself, will put you in a place for a season to where you will be far from helping yourself, nothing will go your way, and you possibly could be in a constant state of fear?
And it’s His will for You?

Because Jesus can't save what isn't about to sink. And if we are not in impending danger, truth is, we don't need or even want Jesus and without Jesus were just a part of the crowd.

The one dispersed by Jesus.

That Sinking Feeling? Its nothing more than the gauge of our relationship with Him. The Crowd quits when things get hard (John 6:66), the Christian, we get closer.
(John 6:67-69)

What will you do when on the Journey to Jesus a storm arises?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Can you say "Intercessor?"

The next passage in Matthew 14 we want to explore really helped me through a very difficult time in my life.
If Jesus wants to develop us as disciples, even dispersing a crowd to focus on the faithful, this next point is imperative for our survival.

Jesus Prayed

Matthew 14:23  And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Jesus knew the value of Prayer And so He did a couple of things that need to  be noted.

1. He sought Silence Cutting off all the noise.
Two things here that are very noisy.
     a. The noise of the Multitudes. The things or people who are constantly seeking to suck the life out of us.
     b. The noise of the City. The bible says He went to the mountains to get away from the normality of life.

2. In the Mountain He found solace. (when evening was come, he was there alone)
Just Jesus and God.

No kids, no music, no TV, no cell reception, no nothing, except for God

(If Jesus needed to disperse the crowd and find solace to pray, how much more vital is it for us as mere human beings?)

and what was He praying for?
The disciples.
Its part of His DNA.
As the son of God He loves us and wants us to succeed on our Journey, even if that Journey is a perilous one.
I don't know what your going through right now, but I do know this, if your a disciple, and He has put you in a boat He is praying for your success.

Jesus never sends us on a Journey without personally getting involved in communicating with God about us and for us.

I like how He prays for His disciples right before He leaves the earth. This might give you clearer insight.

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

This was prayed to God, right after Jesus told the Disciples this.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Let me summarize it this way.
In the world, as Disciples of mine, there will be difficult journeys that will draw them closer to me. Father, don't take the difficulties away, but keep them from sinning when they are fearful. Why, Because I am with them, and I (Jesus) can save them. (overcome the world)

Today, I don't know if He is going to encourage me to get into the boat for another journey or if He is going to encourage me to encourage another who is on a Journey, but I know this.

He will be Praying for His disciples
And so am I.

Join me today in praying for someone who is headed out to sea to draw closer to Him.
They will need the support.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Crowds Suck

In our passage today, Jesus had just performed an amazing miracle by feeding several thousand with five loaves of bread and two fishes. So amazing was it that people saw in Jesus someone who would be a physical provider for them. Think about it, with Jesus around you would never have to work, you would never run out, not even of wine, and you would always have what ever you wanted.
And People flocked to Jesus to be that provider.
But Jesus did something even more amazing.

Matthew 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Yea, He sent them away.

Why is this important? Because its important to note that Jesus has no interest in a crowd. A crowd is nothing more than a group of people gathered for thier benefit where a church is a group of people gathered together for others benefit.
and too many people think that a crowd is what God is looking for. They believe that because people are gathered together in His name that it must be of God, but like many today, they are only gathered together for what Jesus can give them.

They come to Jesus for physical provision
They come to Jesus for financial provision
They come to Jesus for emotional provision (Many who worship Him in Churches do so out of a personal emotional benefit)

and when Jesus doesn't provide those things they leave Him in a heart beat.

Its not that Jesus isn't interested in numbers, but He is seeking those numbers who want to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. (John 4:23-24)

Truth is, Jesus isn't interested in Crowds. Crowds suck the life out of Him as they do the church.

So here is my question.
Are you a Christian (a disciple) or part of the Crowd?
How do you know?
Ask yourself these questions.

#1 Why do I follow Jesus?
Am I willing to follow Him if it costs me physically, financially, and even emotionally or do I follow what is popular, what is easy, what everyone else is following?

#2 Do I Give or do I Take?
When it comes to Christianity am I really willing to give my life to His cause or am I always seeking how I can benefit from the cause?

#3 Do I question God's provision?
Is having Jesus enough for me?

Historically, its not been the crowd who has changed the world but those few disciples who were willing to live and give their whole lives to reach the world, even at the cost of thier own.

Are You?

Monday, July 16, 2012

They thought the Titanic was Safe, But Jesus wasn't involved

When it comes to following Jesus it is difficult at times to understand why we go through what we go through in life. The difficulties, the battles, the problems all cause confusion. For me this lesson from Sunday July 15th helped me in a big way and so I thought that I would re post every point one day at a time to allow for more opportunities to further explore this truth.

Point 1 - Jesus Develops Disciples

Matthew 14:22 (KJV) And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

When God created man, He did so for a reason, and that reason is relationship.
He being a God of love created us to be loved and love. This is at the core of His being. (1 John 4:8 b)
But the Love God created us for was not a mechanical love but a pure love. A Love that comes from the heart, willing, and wanting relationship with Him. To experience this Love of God and towards God man has to be exposed to not only who God is but what He is and does.

and to do develop a relationship with God we must all go on a journey of exploration.
This is called Life and Jesus was sent so that we could see God. In our passage we find a couple of things that we might want to examine in our own lives.

#1 Jesus has a goal for YOU. To get the Disciples to the other side.
Where they were was not sufficient relationally and so Jesus was allowing a circumstance to occur to deepen that relationship.

Jesus has a goal for you and I. He wants us to know Him more, but to know Him is to experience Him and that requires a Journey to a place different than you are.

So here is a question.
Where do you think Jesus is trying to move you to in Life?
If you could guess, what would be His goal for you?

#2 Jesus has to push YOU. The bible says that Jesus Constrained the disciples, meaning that they didn't want to go. As fishermen they knew a storm was brewing as well as how crazy it was to go at this time. But Jesus had to push them into this experience.

Truth is most of us struggle with trials. Even if we know that our lives will be improved by them we still need to be pushed at times into situations and circumstances that we fear.

Where is Jesus applying pressure to you today?
What are you being convicted by?
You know life would be better if you experienced it but your fearful.

My suggestion today is seek the Lord for the answers to these questions and then...........GET IN THE BOAT.
You might know its gonna get rough but Jesus is trying to develop your relationship with Him.

Read 1 Peter 1:6-9 for encouragement

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An Amazing Story

I was just wondering what some of you though of Lori's story on Sunday. Especially her mothers statement. (I might be paraphrasing a little)
"If I am not worth Loving, Life's not worth Living"

That has haunted me because I think of the number of people who feel as she did.
For me it only shows me that the bible is true.
"The Greatest of these is Charity or Love"

Keep on Loving newLife, give them HOPE!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Staff Questions

Last night I met with the ministry leaders of newLife and I shared with them a simple truth that I thought was important enough to share with you as well. Here it goes.

The truth that we want to recognize is that if the Church is the Bride of Christ than it is valuable to God. The Church was purchased by His Sacrifice, established by His Providence, empowered by His Holy Spirit and pursued Passionately through His Love.

Than it ought to be valuable to those who follow Him.
and as God gave His all for the Church (Eph. 5:25) so should we.

The Calling the church has is to reach the world with the Good News of Jesus and there is way more at stake with that calling than any business on the planet.

Looking then at the secular world, the church ought to be doing things better than the world. better than Apple, better than Disney, better than anyone.

When it came to saving mankind God did not go and get the lowliest of Angels to die for mankind, He came, He suffered, He paid for our sins.

He gave His BEST for the BEST and His followers should do the same.

Which is why God says that an Obedient Christian is one who serves Him with ALL your heart, and ALL your soul.
Deuteronomy 11:13-17 (KJV) 13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
17 And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.
Joshua 22:4-5 (KJV) 4 And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan.
5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him,
and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Which is why God says that an Honest Christian serves Him with ALL your heart, considering all of the GREAT things He has done for YOU. And to not serve Him with ALL your Heart would be SIN.
1 Samuel 12:24-25 (KJV) 24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
Again God says that the Christian that does not give ALL their Heart to Him cannot find Him. (this is for those who claim to know God but give halfhearted offerings of their time, talents and tip instead of tithe.
Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV) 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
And for those who use the excuse that they are tired because they worshipped their secular jobs, Jesus said the first commandment was to Love God with ALL your heart, Soul, Mind, and STRENGTH.
Mark 12:29-31 (KJV) 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Here is my Question for us:

Did you give your best to the Church on Sunday?
Did the Greeters give ALL their Best or did you show up whenever?
Did the Music ministry give ALL their Best or did you slide by?
The one Ministry that I know that gave their best was our Children's Ministry!
They set the example for us as they are well prepared, they are wildly passionate, and they are wonderfully producing the BEST Children's ministry in Astoria.

When you come, does the Church get your BEST, your ALL or do they get what is left?
Just a side note, Apple and Disney expect their employees to give their all to the success of the company, what do you think God expects of us since He gave nothing less to us?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Grinch Christians?

As I was studying this morning I began to get a vision of people that I have known throughout my years in Ministry and I got stuck on one type of Christian.
The Grumpy one.

They never really smile as there's not much happiness in them.
They have strong beliefs about the bible but little faith that brings joy.
They struggle to get close to people and tend to lean towards judgementalism.
They know their bible, and why we use one, but they don't know God or others.

They fit well in the kind of church we used to be, cold and controlled.
But they fight to fit in here where Loving God and Others is celebrated.

and they make me sad.
So today I will be praying for you grumpy Christian to come to know the God to whom you claim. And by knowing Him begin to bear the Fruit of the Spirit to which #2 is Joy.

Philippians 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Letter to newLife from Pastor A

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

#1 Its Done. Kind of. The main auditorium work has been finished as of 8:30 am this morning thanks to the strong minds of many men and the strong backs of a couple of teens! This fall we will tape, texture, and paint. But not when the sun is shining.

#2 Its Great. The picnic was at least. It was great to see the Sun come out, great to see several new families come out, great to see the adults beating the teens in volleyball, and great to see so much joy in one place.

#3 Its Strange. The way you responded to the American Idol skit. It was like we were really there. I just hope that we continue to give God the same Enthusiasm.

#4 Its Awesome. To see the age of our current crop of men and women taking the step of Baptism. Its not religious but real and we have another one this Sunday!

#5 Its Exciting. I can't wait to see how much Mercy God shows us as we develop in Prayer as individuals and as a body.

newLife never gets old