Nov19WedNovember 19, 2014
A storm is brewing, winter is coming and that is what I said three weeks ago when we started this series and here we are again in the deep freeze!! We have been told that this time of time of year is the most difficult for people. It gets dark sooner and often the mind goes there too. It’s harder with the holidays and a lot of people blame God…but how did we really get here?
We all have personal triggers that lead us down a dark path and get us stuck in a ditch of confusion and despair.
- Not expecting the storm. All too often, myself included, we start our day by being totally unprepared. We don’t put on the armor of God, we don’t take captive every thought, we don’t renew our minds. We allow our minds to wander much like someone using Instagram to explore pictures that led them astray from purity and righteousness. We think that we can remain immune from temptation. However, when we are not proactive with our decisions and who we follow, the message and story of our life loses focus. John 10 The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy
- Our approach. We mark our lives by INSANITY by doing the same thing over & over again and expecting different results. Simply, if it takes you 45min to get ready in the morning and you choose to keep setting your alarm for 30min before you need to leave…guess what… chaos!
- Shame. We listen to the wrong voices. We assume that Jesus doesn’t care much like the disciples said to Jesus that night in the boat…’ Lord don’t you care that we drown?’ They assumed that by sleeping in that moment that He wasn’t there for them. ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, Hebrews 4:14-16 He is right there in the midst of our mess, our muck and the chaos of our lives. He is the one who will carry us through.
Have you ever been to a beach where there is warning signs of an undertoe? What are you supposed to do? For one, you don’t fight against the current and then you are supposed to swim parallel to shore to get out of the current.
We want to fight, kick and get out of the difficult situation, but Jesus is the one who wants to calm the storm in our lives. Awaken your brave heart!
As Steven Furtick shared in his ‘Be Brave’ series, we need to learn to speak peace to the real waves in our lives, to our anxious heart, to our negative emotions. Be anxious for NO THING!
I thought that was a brilliant take on Philippians 4:6,7 We will succeed when we don’t press the panic button. We will find our way when we don’t run to our ‘addiction of choice’ and try to meet our needs in our own way and learn to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in the eye of the storm. John 14:27 "I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid.
The Words That We Speak!
Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
We need to start with the words that we speak over our lives and the lives of others. All too often we can get caught up in negativity and take the path of self defeat. We have to know that the words that we say and the promises that we claim will have a direct affect on the atmosphere of our heart. One of my favorite verses to being an overcomer is Philippians 3:13,14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 4: 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Be An Aggressive Worshipper!
I was at a Fire Conference recently where Todd White was challenging us to always be ready for opportunities to share about Jesus, to be totally unashamed followers of Christ who don’t care what people think of us. So while I was there I saw a young man at the front in worship dance. However it was his style that really caught my eye. It was as if he was acting out the words of the song through his motion and it was aggressive, passionate and he was completely absorbed by the music. It was powerful to me and reminded that in worship, breakthrough happens. Pastor Jim Gordon at our church makes it clear every Sunday that in a moment of worship we can be changed in an instant where lifelong recovery could never do. I believe we can lift the atmospheric pressure in our lives simply by our decision to worship with thankfulness and praise.
Manor Ministry Update
So, last week I was meeting with Roger, the owner, who is almost always at every service. He sees one of the men come down for lunch from Sue's Inn and notices that he is heading back to his room. He pulls him aside and challenges him to stay for the service. He then brings him to me to answer his questions about religion. We have a good talk and then he sits down with one of our ministry team members and stays for the time of worship! So, as you can see Roger will do whatever it takes to get people there!
So, this week he says, ‘Why can’t we just have one religion?’ It would be great if the Jews would just accept Jesus but they are too stubborn. He always surprises me by what he says! He is so open to talking about faith and life with me. He attends our services, tells me I’m his pastor and I fell down into his seat as he pulled me down for a hug.
Another praise item as a young man by the name of Joey prayed to receive Christ on Sunday and wants to be baptized! So, that brings the total to 3! Now, time to set a date.
Introduction to a social experiment… We have four people who have been speaking truth over themselves from verses that affirm their identity in Christ. This Sunday will mark three weeks for them and we look forward to hearing their stories.