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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Series this week - "IGNITED"

I'm Getting ready to start a new series at church this week called “IGNITED…Going from ordinary to Extraordinary”

This Definition…Ignite (Verb from Latin ignÄ«re to set alight) - to catch fire or set fire to; burn or cause to burn – Webster’s Dictionary

This Equation…Truth + Biblical Example + Life Application = Ignition in our lives

This haunting quote from Brennan Manning – “The greatest single cause of Atheism in the world today is Christians, who proclaim Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world finds simply unbelievable.”

These verses…1 Timothy 6:11 - But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

Malachi 3:2-3 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.

And this Truth – God wants to be #1 in your life, He’s got an incredible plan that you won’t always understand.  He will do whatever it takes to REFINE you to the point where you step out in faith and live a life of IGNITION for Him!

Are all percolating and mixing and brewing in my heart and soul this week as I don’t want to fall into the TEPID Mediocrity of this world…I want my life to be IGNITED for the Cause of Christ.

Who’s with me?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thoughts...God's Gifts

Today I was continuing my preparation for the message on Sunday, and had to stop and write this e-mail to the ministry leaders at my church. I hope it encourages everyone as well...

Hello everyone,

I was doing some prep work for Sunday’s sermon and I was really struck with the fact that God gives great gifts to his children. I’ve been privileged to see this truth in action as I’ve been observing all of you these past several months at church. I’m not just saying this, I really am impressed and even more than that…BLESSED by not only the gifts that each of you have but the creative ways in which each of you are using them.

 Whether it be through music, or teaching or encouragement or hospitality it’s been so fun to be on the receiving end and also observe you bless others with the gifts God has given you.

 On Sunday at the EM service I gave an analogy as I wrapped up the series I was doing called “Surviving the Moral Maze” where we looked at choices that we face all the time in the maze of our lives. Choices that demand a decision, a decision that will lead us around the corner towards God’s way or around the corner towards the world’s way. The whole series was about what we base our decisions on and why.

 Anyway the analogy I gave as I was about to encourage us all to choose Kindness over Cruelty was that I felt like a spectator sitting in the stands at a swim meet encouraging my favorite swimmer while he or she was competing, and the only advice I had for them was to Swim Harder!

 Now in the analogy I explained that just like my obvious advice to the swimmer was nothing they had never heard before, the advice and encouragement I was giving in the series are scriptural principles that we’ve all heard before and all would totally agree with. The swimmer wouldn’t stop mid stroke and say to himself “wow, swim harder huh, that’s great advice, I’ve never thought of it like that before…that’s genius! Thanks Brent! I’m going to swim harder!” We all kind chuckled at the analogy and I continued to encourage us all to take a hard look at what we base our decisions on and why we choose what we choose in our daily moral maze scenarios.

 So, as I was prepping for this week’s message, again I was really struck with the fact that God has gifted each of us in a way that is unique and powerful in the lives of others. We all know that, but sometimes we need to have someone come along side us with a microphone and loudspeakers and shout it into our ears…So Hear I go

 GOD LOVES YOU, HE CREATED YOU UNIQULEY, HE HAS A PLAN AND A PURPOSE FOR YOU, HE SENT HIS SON TO DIE FOR YOU TO SET YOU FREE FROM YOUR SIN, GIVE YOU ETERNAL LIFE AND LIFE TO THE FULL, HE’S GIFTED YOU IN A WAY THAT IS TOTALLY UNIQUE AND TOTALLY PURPOSEFUL…SO KEEP IT UP, KEEP USING YOUR GIFTS, KEEP SERVING OTHERS, KEEP SPREADING HIS FAME AND KEEP WATCHING WHAT HE’S DOING IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE ALL AROUND YOU!

 Pheww, now I’m out of breath from cheering you on in your “swim meet of life”. Thank you for using your gifts, others (including me) are being blessed and God’s name is being praised! A few years ago I wrote an article called “Gifts” that I would love to have you read and it’s my prayer that you would be encouraged to keep “swimming”…It’s working!

So privileged to serve alongside each of you,

 Pastor Brent