Intersect of relationships

October 18, 2017

This past Sunday we celebrated at the intersect of relationships.  At our Reunion Sunday we recognized that in the experience of the church there are times of gathering and times of scattering.  It is a healthy balance for the church.  It is also helpful for the church to embrace these experiences by recognizing God’s work in the world.  This healthy intersection is unselfish.  It does not rush to scatter but doesn’t resist it either.

By this time next year we will experience more gathering and scattering.  It is the nature of the church. It is the nature of following God and striving to experience the fullness of his Kingdom plan.  Let’s walk this path together enjoying each moment of community and friendship.

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Intersect of faith

October 10, 2017

The most difficult intersect a person will encounter is the intersect of faith.  It is difficult even when we understand basic principles of faith.  Here are a few things shared Sunday at First Baptist Church, Sweetwater TX.

When struggling at the intersect of faith:

Lay down any authority you think you may have.  The centurion in the story in Matthew 8. 5-13 understood authority.  His request for healing of his servant would come through the authority of Jesus, not his own.

Don’t take any steps until you are ready to take a BOLD step.  This is not the time for baby steps.

Develop a healthy disregard for the impossible.  This is where the adventurous life of following Jesus comes to life.  “In the same way that you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” Colossians 2.6.

 

Show up and say yes

August 31, 2017

When you begin to ask God for vision and you follow with devotion and obedience then God is likely to show up. In Acts chapters 9 and 10 we see how visions led us to two of the greatest evangelists we know in the New Testament–Paul and Peter.

For Peter and Paul there was a change in their core beliefs.  Paul persecuted the church but after a visionary encounter became a church planter.  Peter learned through his vision that God does not show favoritism and the good news of Jesus is for everyone.

In order for you to follow God’s vision for you here are three things that will help you be prepared.

  1. Listen for God’s call.  Are you really looking for God to speak to you about his vision for you?
  2. See and respond to an opportunity that presents itself.  Sometimes we don’t realize the magnitude of what God is doing until we hear the stories from those whose needs we met.
  3. Show up and say yes. Devote yourself to God in generosity and prayer. Be prepared to see God through the YES.

Leadership is Important for the Church

August 24, 2017

We have placed a high value on leadership in our church and while it is rare, some will occasionally ask why leadership in the church is so important. This list is by no means comprehensive but it should be enough to get you thinking. Here are five reasons leadership is important in the church.

1. It is required to get the work of discipleship done.  Jesus modeled leadership when he called together his disciples and sent them out to preach. (Mark 3.13) They demonstrated the authority of Jesus because he taught them and empowered them.  Paul in a similar way prepared Timothy with the expectation that he would train others in the same way that he had been trained. (2 Timothy 2.2)

2. It creates greater influence outside the church.  In many ways the church has forfeited its influence in the community. It seems we have gone into hiding within the walls of our churches only to come out when we feel like we need to criticize. This won’t do. We ought to be proactive in leading our communities and developing relationships for the greater good.

3. It encourages a dependence on God. When we respond to a greater vision we understand that we cannot accomplish this alone. We are not resourceful enough to do what God asks on our own.

4. It models a path into the future. Leadership is duplicated. It is multiplied through generations. It reminds us that legacies matter.

5. It necessitates togetherness. We will accomplish more through collective leadership than we will alone. This is the church.

 

 

Remain near

February 23, 2017

When we follow Jesus we want to draw near.  We want to experience a life with him to the fullest.  The Lenten season affords us the opportunity to be near and remain near for an extended time.  There is a richness in the lingering.  Experience it.  Don’t miss it.

Missed opportunities

February 20, 2017

If you have ever been guilty of missing the point then you may understand how the disciples of Jesus often felt. It is not easy to remain fully engaged. There is so much to understand and even when we are seeking we rush past teachable moments.

One of the things that might help prepare for meaningful moments is to recognize the seasons and the opportunities afforded us to focus our attention on spiritual things.  The Lenten season is one of those opportunities.

Create for yourself sacred space this season where you can experience God in this moment.  Look for habits to develop, practices to embrace or places of solitude for thoughtful reflection.

 

Reset your service

February 13, 2017

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he writes, “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to to good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”–Ephesians 2:10.

When we walk with God we begin to discover our uniqueness as a part of creation.  We then use our gifts to contribute to the story of God in the world.  Like all gifts, our spiritual gifts are meant to be shared.

Find your expression in the ways that God had created you.  For more information on serving you can check out Sunday’s Conversation on iServe.

 

Reset your financial health

February 6, 2017

Our financial health much like our physical health should never be taken for granted. In each case we take responsibility for how God has provided for us.  With our physical health it is easy to make excuses and for a long time do nothing without any consequences.  Not so with our financial health.  It only takes a short time for one to big in over their head.

Investing was the theme of the story we shared on Sunday-the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Three were given the responsibility to care for the owners resources.  Two invested and received a good return and were blessed.  Another hid the resources and was condemned.

 

 

The rule of investment provided for more resources and more responsibility.  As we care for the resources that God has entrusted to us we do well to take ownership, learn to invest in God honoring ways and look for opportunities to assume more responsibility.

Reset your physical health

January 30, 2017

When we think about our health do we ever consider that our health may be one more way God can use us as a part of telling his story?  When Daniel was chosen to be a part of the King’s service, his convictions about health changed the way the men were trained for service.  Daniel’s influence grew and it started with him sharing his convictions.

There are many ways we have the opportunity to be God’s voice to the world.  If health is important to you let this be one more way that you can share God’s voice.

 

Reset your community health

January 23, 2017

It seems like community is a word that has emerged most notably in the last generation.  It gets a lot of conversation time but not always with a common understanding of community as celebrated in the early church.  Most likely it is a theme that will continue in future faith generations but may look different as our social experiences shift.

The strength of community as demonstrated in the early church is life together.  When we think of ways that we can experience community in our culture we ought to be thinking of how we can develop and deepen our faith.

Make it your priority this new year to explore and expand your community experience.