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July 2007

Posts from June 2007

"Do Me A Favor"

Dsc_6275_copy_2 I love the book of Philippians!

Paul tells the church, "Do me a favor". In doing their pastor a favor, the church would also be doing itself a favor. The book of philippians is filled with Joy and therefore reveals some of the keys to having Joy. In the passage below, Paul really challenges the church to live in harmony, develop deep-spirited relationships, and to become servants to one another. The phrase, "Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand" is very appropriate to the day and age we live in. We are at times so busy with our own things that we find it difficult to lend a helping hand to anyone.

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care-- then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. (Philippians 2:1-6 MSG)

The King James Version reads, "Fulfil ye my joy". Can I say this? The Apostle Paul wrote this, inspired by God, and he 'NAILED IT' as far as I'm concerned. There is probably nothing that can take the joy out of ministry more than believers who refuse to live in harmony, develop deep-spirited relationships, and become servants. On the flip side of this is that their is nothing that is more exciting than seeing a church living in harmony.

The truth is, when we determine to live in harmony, develop deep-spirited relationships, and be servants...we not only please God and fulfil our pastor's joy, we also find true joy for ourselves. The key to living this passage out is found at the end, when it says, "Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what".  We must be humble in order to please God and find real joy.

Did you notice the last three words of the passage? "no matter what". I think that is the ultimate sign of pride. We are determined to get our way 'no matter what'. No matter what it does to our testimony, our family, our friends, our church, and even ourselves. We're like the little kid that takes his ball and goes home when things don't go his way. We must never forget that the mission is far more important than us having things our way.

God is in control. He is always in control (Ask Jonah). Don't forget, things are supposed to be HIS WAY, not my way.

Enough for a Saturday morning.


Coming Soon! "Summer Road Trip"

"Bless The Broken Road" Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts

I'm looking forward to starting a new series of messages in late July entitled "Summer Road Trip" We should have a blast going through this series. Lot's of great music to consider using with this theme. Help me out! What are some cool 'Road Songs'? Name your favs.


NOT THIS KISS!

Kiss

THIS ONE

Sometimes I try to squeeze too much into a Bible Study or talk. Tonight was one of those times. I was so fired up about 2 Corinthians 4 that I tried to teach the whole chapter rather than just "Keep it Simple, Stupid". I think I could have taken a month to cover what I tried to teach in one night.

I was really just wanting to convey the message "Don't Lose Heart". No matter what life throws at you, don't give up! I hope they got that before they fell asleep. :)

On a positive note, we had 10 people at our young adults fellowship! Yes! New record attendance. :) I just realized the majority of them probably wouldn't even recognize the picture in this post. I'm feeling old now.

Trivia Time: Can you name the members of the band KISS?


Don't Lose Heart!

Moleskine_and_bibleOur Young Adults Fellowship meets at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights at Round Table Pizza. They have the best bread sticks! We have a great group of young adults that are very active in the ministry here at Harvest. I really enjoy meeting with these guys and doing all that I can to encourage them on their journey.

Tonight, we will be talking about changes and fear. Young adults face all kinds of new things during this stage of their lives. I know that change is a part of every stage of our lives, but it seems to me a majority of life's changes come during these young adult years. New found independence, college, careers, marriage, buying homes, raising children, and so many other changes can seem overwhelming. Don't lose heart!

The Apostle Paul opens and closes 2 Corinthians chapter four with the encouraging words, "we do not lose heart". Between these two statements is a wealth of teaching for all believers, but tonight I want to encourage our young adults especially.

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1 ESV)

  • We are to renounce underhanded ways (vs 2)
  • We are to live honest genuine lives (vs 2)
  • We are to communicate the truth to those around us (vs 2)
  • We are to live in a way that reveals the Glory of God (vs 3-4)
  • We are to promote Christ and not ourselves (vs 5-6)
  • We are to allow Christ to shine through our weakness (vs 7)
  • We are to be confident in the face of difficulties (8-9)
  • We must understand that through our trials we are constantly identifying ourselves with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior. (vs 10)

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV)

Our "outer nature" is at times put to the test, but our "inner nature" is being renewed day by day. When we do not lose heart, and pursue God's will for our lives, he will renew us daily. Our strength will be increased by the Hand of God.

Two final thoughts from this chapter.

  • Keep Perspective (vs 17). Whatever we are going through at the moment is just that, momentary. These difficulties also pale in comparison to what they are accomplishing in us. We mature and grow stronger through these life experiences. The things that we face today will be just a memories in a few short years unless we give in and allow our current trials to defeat us.
  • Stay Focused on Eternal Things (vs 18) What really matters the most? The temporary or the eternal? Before we lose heart and give up, we must understand that the things we wrestle with are temporary.

Sorry for the lengthy post! Just fired up about this passage.


Something To Look Forward To!

Cabo_san_lucas1Kathy and I were just invited by some friends to spend a week in CABO! WOW! WOW! WOW! I'm pumped! I can picture us laying in those two little lounge chairs, chillin', watching the waves.

We just talked about 'Anticipation' in our CLEAR Bible Study on Thursday night. The anticipation of this trip is going to kill me. It's nice to have something to look forward to while you're working.


Do You Know Where You're Going To?

I've had the song 'Do You Know Where You're Going To?' by Diana Ross stuck in my head for over a week now. I love music, so a lot of times a song will pop in my head while I'm thinking, studying, or even preaching. I'm very burdened right now for young couples at Harvest. We are starting a Couple's Class this Sunday evening to help strengthen marriages and families. This song presents a very thought provoking question?  A Question that young couples should be asking themselves and answering.

Do you know where you're going to?

Do you like the things that life is showing you?

Where are you going to?

Do you know?

We should carefully examine the path we are on and determine where this path will lead us? If our marriages are not healthy now, and we don't do anything to change the course we are on, where will it lead us to eventually? Good marriages don't just happen. They are the result of a couple working to improve their relationship and making constant adjustments along the way to ensure their continued success. So the question is, 'Do you know where you're going to?'.

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Tough Pastor Training Academy (TPTA)


macho men, originally uploaded by Magic Pic.

One of the things I've tried to impart to our students here at ACCA is how to be a tough guy. Josh has been a good student. He has a bright future as a tough pastor... :)


A Mad Dash!

StopwatchI have some stuff I'm dying to write but just haven't had a chance to sit down and write. I hate when things get this busy! This week has been crazy! Our Christian school had an Honor Roll Trip to Yosemite on Monday and Tuesday, I had office stuff to catch up on Wednesday followed by a Children's Camp planning meeting that evening, Thursday was our school's Awards Ceremony and Eighth Grade Graduation, Thursday night was our C.L.E.A.R. Bible Study at the church, today has been devoted to preparations for our High School Graduation Service that is happening in just a few minutes. CrAzY ScHeDuLe! I'm downing a Grande Double Shot Non-fat Latte at the moment and writing Thank You Notes to our staff and volunteers.

Tomorrow! Kathy and I will be spending the better part of the day with our buddy Jack Bauer! I'm so hooked on 24 at the moment. :)

I've got a song stuck in my head. I'll share more about that later!


Meadow Walking


Meadow Walking, originally uploaded by CalPastor.

I just met with our Golden Gate Camp Committee to firm up this year's camp program. Our Children's Camp is scheduled for July 5-7, 2007. The price will be $55 for children 5-10 and $80 for 11 and up. We will be camping at Camp Cazadero just north of Bodega Bay. Grace Church of Concord will be joining us.

You can start signing your children up for camp this Sunday morning. We also need teachers, counselors, and workers. Camp is always a life changing even for everyone involved.