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Showing posts from 2009

Are we really cutting edge?

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"This moment contains all moments." - C.S. Lewis

At this moment in history, we see more churches in decline than ever before. Sadly, many do not realize that decline is the only possible outcome for a church that doesn't pursue the right kind of change. The reason... change is necessary to have a healthy church. In the past 8 years that I have been pastor at FBC, we have experienced many changes together. Why? Because it is a proven fact that no church, big or small, new or old, can remain vital without it. Yet, few churches attempt to embrace, understand or know how to effectively engage it. But, for the sake of the church, we need to deal with change on a regular basis. We need to figure out the difference between positive and negative change, become aware of the areas that do and don't need change, learn the right and wrong ways to move people through change, and make the choice to begin leading our churches through the right kind of change.

When I travel around t…

"Serve me first" or "Let me be the first to serve!"

Which kind of person are you? Are you the kind of person who thinks, “Serve me first!” or are you the kind of person whose attitude is “Let me be the first to serve!”? Sadly, we live in a society where most people are “Serve me first” people. The thought of putting another person ahead of ourselves truly never crosses our minds, yet this is the one of the greatest ways to find fulfillment and meaning for your life.

In the book of Matthew 20:26 & 28, Jesus talked about having a life of significance and meaning when He said this: “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (NIV).” Paul would later say, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5, NIV).” When we spend our lives focused only on ourselves, we miss a great deal of blessings, joy, and benefits that are found only as we serve others.

So what are some characteristics of serv…

Let's talk about some money!

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I read an interesting story the other day that I thought I would share with you since you just got to pay your taxes this past April. Apparently little Johnny wanted $100 badly and prayed to God for two weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write a letter to God requesting the $100. When the postal authorities received the letter addressed to God, USA, they decided to send it to former President George Bush. The President was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send Johnny a $5.00 bill, as this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy. Johnny was delighted with the $5.00, and sat down to write a thank-you note to God. It said: “Dear God, Thank you very much for sending me the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington, DC and as usual, those jerks deducted $95.”

All of us have experienced this, haven’t we? With all the talk about the economy, stimulus packages, and bail outs, I thought it wou…

EASTER....and the Enemy retreats!

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During Napoleon's Austrian campaign his army advanced to within six miles of Feldkirch. It looked as though Bonaparte's men would take Feldkirch without resistance. But as Napoleon's army advanced toward their objective in the night, the Christian's of Feldkirch gathered in a little church to pray. It was Easter Eve.

The next morning at sunrise the bells of the village pealed out across the countryside. Napoleon's army, not realizing it was Easter Sunday, thought that in the night the Austrian army had moved into Feldkirch and that the bells were ringing in jubilation. Napoleon ordered a retreat, and the battle at Feldkirch never took place. The Easter bells caused the enemy to retreat, and peace reigned in the Austrian countryside.

Easter 2009 is a time when many of you are surrounded by enemies which threaten to storm the walls of your life. Don't forget that the victorious Easter bells are ringing with the good news that "HE is ALIVE!! Today if you will j…

Putting first things FIRST AGAIN!

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Pastor Steve Cole of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship in Flagstaff, AZ wrote about a time back in 1980 when he and his family were evacuated from their home as a result of the nearby Panorama fire. They were given less than three hours to gather whatever they could of their belongings and get out of their home. He says, "We were out of our home for three days. Thankfully, the fire did not reach our house. But the experience was an unforgettable lesson in clarifying what is really important in terms of material possessions. What really matters and what could we live without?"

The present economic situation in America is a firestorm that should wake us up as the people of God. The truth that has been revealed is that over the last few years we have ceased to own our possessions because our possessions now own us. We identify ourselves, our value, and our self-worth by our things. In today's world we have learned that earthly investments are fragile, our possessions and jobs …

LESSONS ABOUT FAITH DURING TOUGH TIMES- Part # 2

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Again, I want you to look at this passage Mark 4:35-43. Here Jesus is teaching His disciples and us some important lessons during tough times.
When you read this passage, Jesus had just given His disciples some important lessons and teachings about the Kingdom of God. To see if they had been paying attention, Jesus decided to give them a “pop quiz” or a practical test to see how much they had really learned. Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that the hearing of God’s Word is intended to produce faith. You see it isn’t enough for we who are believers to just continually hear God’s Word. We must also be able to put God’s Word to practice in our lives through the exercising of our faith in the Lord.
What are some lessons we need to learn? Well I believe there are at least 3 in this passage. Today, let's look at the first of these 3 lessons.
FIRST,THE STORM ITSELF IS A LESSON ABOUT FAITH!
Storms are not at all unusual on the Sea of Galilee. While it is a beautiful and serene place, the Sea…

Learning Lessons of faith during tough times (Part 1)

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First, open your Bible to Mark 4:35-43...
Is it any secret that we are living in difficult times? While America is still the strongest country on the planet and while we are still the envy of the world, there are many in our nation who are struggling. Many arguments could be made as to who is to blame for the circumstances we are facing, especially economically, but arguing is not the issue. The real issue a Christian and for a church is how we respond and live in the midst of what many are calling “tough times.”
For many, these tough times are not a theory, but a reality. In 2008, the DOW lost 38%. This is the largest stock market decline and loss since the Great Depression 70 years ago. I personally lost 18.75% of the total cash value of my annuity retirement account just from October to December 2008. Jobs are being terminated, people are being laid off, and companies are choosing four day work weeks. Car lots are filled with new vehicles and new homes sit empty all over our city. T…