Welcome Back, danandsandycan
building leaders for multi-site churches
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Saturday, June 27, 2009, 9:36 AM [General]
Welcome Back, danandsandycan
building leaders for multi-site churches
Columbia International University professor Roy King shares how to inspire meaningful change.
This is a page designated for those of us who are campus pastors.
Say you've got a guy you're looking at as a potential campus pastor. You have the opportunity (say it's your brother and his birthday is coming up) to give him a single book with the idea of using it to gauge his potential as a campus pastor. What b…
A group for lead pastors of multi-site churches
Are you responsible for small group strategy, assimilation, leadership development, spiritual formation or outreach? Let's support each other here.
I recorded this screencast for how to sign-up for an account to connect into this Leading Multi-Site social network. Feel free to pass this link along to your non-techie friends -> screencast.com/t/kUfeHWysT
We usually just share with those who ask. However, things in Southern California are tight, so I was thinking about actually reporting it in the bulletin for a while... how much we need to make budget, and then how much we took in...? Not sure if th…
You created the danandsandycan social network
Friday, June 26, 2009, 11:51 PM [General]
Thursday, June 25, 2009, 1:57 PM [General]
NO ROOM FOR BRAGGING
Romans 2:17 (NIV)
17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God;
The Apostle Paul told it like it was to the Jewish people. They were his own people but he knew they were wrong in their thinking. Their eyes had been blinded. It was the Lord's doing; but the Jews made choices that brought it all about. Because of their hardhearted choices, they ended up with an inflated opinion of themselves. They thought they were superior to everyone else. They judged others as though they had all the answers and, in essence, placed themselves in the position of God, Himself. Romans 2:1 (NIV) 1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Instead of bringing order to their lives and the lives of others with righteous judgments, they ended up condemning themselves.
We can do the same things these Jewish people did, if we're not careful. They got into bad habits in their thinking and soon those bad habits seemed right and normal to them. They relied on the law. They never got past that to the One who gave them the law. The Bible is good. All of its words were given by God. But, how many of us Christians use it to judge others, as if our confidence was in it, instead of the One who is the Word? (John 1:14) How many of us, rather than use the Bible to put another down, use it to spread Good News! Is our confidence in a book or is it in the One who wrote the book. The One who is the Word. The Jews boasted about their relationship with God. Romans 2:23 (NIV) 23 You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? Do we ever find ourselves boasting that because we're in a relationship with Jesus, we're going to be given favor? While that is entirely true, we are not to boast about the favor, but in the One who gives the favor. (Galatians 6:14) The Jews felt that they knew God's will. Of course they did! They had the Ten Commandments. But, then they proceeded to make their own rules and add to those commandments, which were impossible to keep in the first place. (Luke 11:46) We also know God's will and, because we do, we are not to place burdens on one another, but help to bear one another's burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
There were other attitudes held by the Jews of Paul's day that we can learn from. That is, learn to do just the opposite! They loved to give their approval to what was superior. In fact, they loved to think of themselves as superior in the spiritual realm. Yet, they failed to do the very things that they taught! Romans 2:23 (NIV) 23 You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? Have we ever bragged about the fact that we have the Bible, we know the Bible, and we've been born again and then do something totally against the Bible and in opposition to the commands of Jesus? Others may not have even seen what we did. It could be an attitude or a thought. Remember the Pharisees "looked good" on the outside, but God judges the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) When we enter the church lookin' good on the outside, what does God see on the inside? (Matthew 23:27) And, how good do we look when we're not in proximity to the church? The Jews read the law all the time and began to feel that they were the only "instructed," ones. We can read the Bible all we want. We may think that we are instructed and have a sense of superiority over others who never crack those Bibles. Yet, knowledge, by itself, does nothing but make us proud. (1 Corinthians 8:1) God has told us what happens when we get puffed up or proud. (Proverbs 16:18) What is our choice? To walk in proud superiority over others or to walk in the love that Jesus commanded? (Matthew 22:35-40) To just read our Bibles, spout scriptures, or to walk in the precepts and revelation we find there? And what about all of our denominational differences and doctrines that sometimes become barriers to those who need Christ instead our being a beacon? Matthew 23:13 (NIV) 13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. The Jews of Paul's day considered themselves guides. But, instead, they were like the blind leading the blind and no one benefited. They exalted themselves. Because of that, God humbled them. Matthew 23:12 (AMP) 12 Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor. So much for bragging about anything! Today, let's remember to walk in love, blessing God, not bragging about the gifts God has given us. May our boast always be in Christ! Romans 3:27 (TLB) 27 Then what can we boast about doing to earn our salvation? Nothing at all. Why? Because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds; it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in him. That's Good News! News worth spreading!
Thursday, June 25, 2009, 9:32 AM [General]
Romans 8:26 (TLB)
26 And in the same way—by our faith —the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words.
Today, I read the following quote, "A friend understands what you are trying to say...even when your thoughts aren't fitting into words." - Ann D. Parish As I thought more about that, I was so very thankful for the few close friends I have who sometimes hear my heart even though my words may be jumbled and fragmented. There are so many things happening in our world today. Things bombard us from all directions. There are times when we might not seem to be able to put our finger on just the right words to say in any given circumstance.
As I began to think more about this, I remembered the great value of friendship. The Bible says, Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) 24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. The quantity of our friends is not nearly as important as the quality of our friendships. In fact, there is indication that perhaps one with many companions has the potential to fall into destruction. I have a few caring, wonderful, loving friends. I know they would come to my aid if needed and do anything they could to help. In fact, they have done that before. However, there's not a one of them who can promise me that they will never leave me or forsake me. They're all human. They all have limitations. Jesus is that friend who can promise to stick closer than a brother and come through on that promise every time. Matthew 28:20 (NLT) 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” When you are with someone always, your relationship deepens. Sometimes so much so that no words are needed at all. You just know what the other has need of. You can almost hear their heart.
Jesus is that kind of friend to us, if we have invited Him into our lives as Lord. While that is a wonderful thing to try to comprehend, I am thinking that perhaps I should ask myself if I am that kind of friend to Him. Do I hear the cry of His heart? Am I about teaching new disciples to obey Him? I have found myself with a myriad of questions lately about all sorts of things. Some of these questions seem to have no answers, at least that I can find. However, I am comforted, when I go to pray about such things. I'm comforted by the fact that Jesus has placed His Holy Spirit within me. You can't get a closer relationship than that! His Spirit understands my questions, even when I don't understand them myself. When my thoughts aren't fitting into words, His Spirit takes over. What a relief! The Holy Spirit helps you and me in the problems we face every day. Some of those problems may be so perplexing that they leave us quite speechless. Then the enemy may come in and try to tell us we don't know how to pray, making us even afraid to utter a word. How wonderful that we can just be still! (Psalm 46:10) We can just rely on the fact that God is God. His Spirit within us will cover for us when we don't know how to pray. That covering will be in utterances we can't understand. Thankfully, the enemy can't understand them either, so he can't interfere with a thing! We can also cease from wondering if we are praying, "correctly," because the Spirit of our Friend will be praying exactly the right things, according to the will of the Father. Are there things you can't quite express today? Just take a moment, or as much time as it takes, to sit together with your Lord. You don't have to say anything. He knows what you need and He is making intercession for you. We may not always understand what is going on around us and even in us. We can have this assurance though. God is still on the throne and He is for us. (Romans 8:31) He is our friend. (John 15:15) He understands! Matthew 6:8 (TLB) "Remember, your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 10:53 PM [General]
And If I Did Not Make Mistakes Katie Paton Scottish Poet And if I did not make mistakes And give too brief a thought to heavy questions And too much time to little matter; Or if I always knew which road to travel Where every step would lead me into daylight And if each face that turned to watch me pass Was broken by a smile; Or if whenever I should choose to lay my heart Bare upon the sun-warmed grass, It always was returned with tender touches And carried by a song; And if my heaviest burden were only to be A breeze upon my back, and blossom in my hair, And my brow was never crossed with lines of pain; If all this endless summer were my lot And winter`s fury never beat me back, Then I never would have seen the stormy nights Through which I`ve struggled, fought and won; I never would have known the joy of needed comfort given, Or the essence of a friend.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 10:22 AM [General]
JESUS WALKED THAT LONESOME VALLEY
Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 11:22 AM [General]
Tags: A NATION WITH DREAMS THAT ARE SHOCKING
Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 11:06 AM [General]
THE FAITHFULNESS OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
2 Chronicles 29:6 (NIV)
6 Our fathers were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord's dwelling place and turned their backs on him.
Some fathers are not faithful. If you are one of those children who grew up in the home of a father who did not honor the Lord, you may not be able to relate to the faithfulness of your Heavenly Father. It is said that our view of God, when we are small, is formed by what we see in our earthly father. The good thing in all of this is that our Heavenly Father will give us clear vision and help us to turn the other direction. In the days of King Hezekiah, they had great problems because of unfaithful fathers. Their fathers had turned their backs on the Lord. When we turn our backs on the Lord, it doesn't just affect us. It affects all those around us. And, in a very negative way. 2 Chronicles 29:9 (NIV) 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. It causes death to ourselves. It causes sorrow to the rest of our family. It can lead them into the captivity of the evil one. Look what happened in Hezekiah's day!
The temple had been closed down and was in disrepair. God was not pleased. 2 Chronicles 29:8 (NIV) 8 Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. Our Heavenly Father loves us with a jealous love. Exodus 20:4-6 (NIV) 4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. He will do whatever it takes to get us to turn to Him if we have gone our own way. Matthew 18:12 (AMP) 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray and gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost? Like any good parent, He will discipline us, if necessary. Proverbs 19:18 (NIV) 18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death. The end result of punishment or discipline, in God's view, is not to destroy or bring death; but to usher in the abundant life that an He wants to give to His obedient children. (John 10:10) Does it feel good to be disciplined? Not usually. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Indeed, if we have to be disciplined by God, we may feel like we are going to die. But what is really happening is that the fleshly part of us is dying to make way for the new creature that is being formed by our faithful and loving Heavenly Father.
Those in Hezekiah's time were in a predicament because of the unfaithfulness of their ancestors. You may be in some sort of captivity today, yourself. It may be to some addiction or bad behavior that you saw as a child and it seemed normal to you because you didn't know any better. It may be that your parents or grandparents or those who had great influence on your life did not honor the Lord. We all have choices to make and there are some things in our lives, holding us captive, that we need to choose to get rid of, even if we learned them from those who should have been teaching us better ways. That's not to say that we need to stop loving those people. We just need to do like Hezekiah was doing to the temple of God in His day. We need to purify ourselves and get rid of the things that do not glorify God. If you have received Jesus, your body is His temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Just as God was not pleased about the disrepair of the temple in Hezekiah's time, He is not pleased when we allow ourselves to stay in disrepair. He will help us bring order to the temple. In fact, He already has but some have not received it. He has given us power, love and a sound and disciplined mind with which to make the right choices. (2 Timothy 1:7) He will not make those choices for us. We have to make the choice. Joshua 24:14-15) 14 "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Maybe some of us have not made the right choices in the past and find ourselves spiritually dying or captive to some sort of sin. It will not just affect us, but all those around us. Why not make the choice to look to our Heavenly Father who is ready to set us free from our own sins and from the sins of our ancestors? 1 John 1:8-10 (ESV) 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. It is our faithful Heavenly Father's desire to set us free. ( Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18 John 8:36) He is faithful to us. Will it be our choice to be faithful to Him?
Monday, June 22, 2009, 12:49 PM [General]
FREEDOM - FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE
Galatians 5:6 (AMP)
6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
I grew up in an atmosphere that seemed to grade a person on what they did, rather than who they were. Consequently, I think I, in great error, thought that God would love me more if I did lots of good things, looked religious, said all the right things, always looked the part, etc., etc. That left me with many insecurities. Maybe someone can relate. I had it backwards. It's not that some of those things mentioned above are inherently wrong. It's just that I got the cart before the horse! All of us need to realize that God's love is not dependent on what we do. His love for us will never fail. It is dependent upon us just being us, openly and honestly before God. (Psalm 139:23) It's being willing to be transparent before Him. It's allowing Him to shine the light of His Word deep within us, cleaning out those things which are unpleasing to Him. It's not about keeping the law, but about receiving God's abundant grace. Galatians 3:11 (NLT) 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
Does that mean that the law is bad? Hardly! It came from God, Himself. It was given to show us something. Galatians 3:23-24 (KJV) It was to help us learn that we, in our sinful nature, could never perfectly keep God's law. Galatians 3:24 (KJV) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. The law is good. It's so good that we can't possibly keep it well enough to please God. Because of that, it points the way to Jesus. We all want to be justified. We all want to be accepted. We all want to be right before God. Some of us try to do that in all sorts of ways, busying ourselves with doing good things, etc. Although it is a wonderful thing to do good things, the way to be right with God is to simply be in Christ. Even those of us who believe can be deceived into getting into a "works related" salvation. (Galatians 5:7) We do have an enemy who would like nothing better than to get us all hung up again in trying to do things to make God love us more. God is God. We can't make Him do anything! The Apostle, Paul, was very clear about this sort of lifestyle. Galatians 5:4 (NLT) 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. Paul says that, if we are trying to be right with God by keeping the law, we're cut off from Christ. That's exactly what the enemy wants! We certainly do not want to wake up one morning and find that we have fallen from the only thing that can save us - God's grace, through Christ Jesus!
Do you every find yourself trying to live up to the expectations of others (the laws they try to impose on you). Or, do you read God's law and, in your own strength, think you're up to the task of keeping it? Neither of those ways will bring you or me closer to God. Our focus will always be on watching ourselves and looking at others to see if we're approved. Where is God in this picture? Certainly not in His rightful spot as the focus of our worship! Paul reminds us today that, if we're in Christ, nothing else matters but our faith in Him which is activated by His love flowing through us. (Galatians 5:7) Is your faith activated? Is His love flowing in and through you? Then you are not forced to do good things so you can be another step up on the ladder, closer to God. You are free to do good things, just as Jesus did! Acts 10:38 (NIV) 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. You are free to walk in faith and be spontaneous in showing your love to others and to God! Galatians 5:13-14 (NLT) 13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When we try to do things to get those proverbial "brownie points" with God, we don't have a right heart. It can look right on the outside but really our heart is bent on doing something for what we can get out of it. That's the way of the world and the devil. We don't have to struggle for anything. God has given us everything in Christ! We can have that child-like faith that knows that all our needs are already supplied in Christ. (Philippians 4:19) We can let God activate faith in us more and more. We can risk loving because we have been given God's unfailing and unending love. We can stop struggling like the world around us and just be in our all-sufficient Christ! When we are in Christ, His works will flow out of our faith-energized love. Those works will not make God love us any more than He already does, but they will lead others to love Him more!
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