Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Be Planted

I wanted to share one of the hardest things I have found in the ministry so far. Hopefully it does not get harder than this but I am ready for whatever God wants me to do. I have a genuine love for our congregation and one of the most painful things I see on a continual ongoing basis is someone who leaves our church for the wrong reasons.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 92:13,

“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God”

Did you catch that? You will flourish in the house!! When we are planted in the local church we will flourish in life. Also notice that the psalmist did not say, “those who attend the house of the Lord.” You can’t attend a church and not be planted. Being planted means that is where you lay your life down to serve God. It is there you tithe, serve and obey the leadership. We are planted in the local church, just as the tree values the ground from which it receives life.

Way too many times I have seen people leave the church for the completely wrong reasons. Most of the times offended and with hurt feelings. There is nothing in scripture that says if you get your feelings hurt or someone in leadership offends you, to leave the church. If you are seeking God and hearing from him, he will never tell you to leave the church for these reasons.

I felt God sharing with me there are really only 3 reasons to leave a church.

• Number one if the pastor is not teaching biblical truths, for example the doctrine is off—against the trinity, etc.

• Number two if the pastor is living in open sin and not repenting, check out what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11.

• Finally and number three is if you get planted or released from the church.

If you are planted in a church, you will value your church leader’s words. You will not take lightly what they ask of you. You will then fear God, and in fearing God you will honor His appointed leaders. In honoring His appointed leaders you will receive the full reward God has in store for you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

40 Week Renewal of Our Life Week 12

Week 12 December 27th

Spiritual— Start out goals for 2010

Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Physical— Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine

Diet- Balance to 5-6 smaller meals a day
Body-Continue work out plan work out at least 5 times this week with 3 extra cardio workouts
Family- Psalm 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.

Parenting- Family Devotional Friday Night, Start preparing the kids to come up with 2010 goals
Marriage- Date Night Wednesday Night
Financial- Deuteronomy 28:6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out

Ministry- Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Honoring When It Is Hard

I wanted to share some teachings I have been learning about from John Bevere’s book Honors Reward.

1 Peter 2:18 says, Servants (employees, students, civilians, church members, etc.) be submissive to your master (employers, bosses, teachers, church leaders, civil authorities) with all fear, not only the good and gentle but also the harsh.

The word harsh here comes from the Greek word skolios, which means “crooked, perverse, wicked, unfair.” There are many benefits to honoring and serving our authorities. First if we are treated unfairly, our obedience to submit puts our case in the hands of God who will judge justly. If we take matters into our hands, God steps back and we are on our own. Most often when it deals with authority, we will end up on the short end of the stick.

Romans 13:1 says, “The authorities that exist are appointed by God”

When we are mistreated and continue to be a good worker, student, civilian, this is honor at its highest. It takes the fear of the Lord in our hearts to continue to treat as valuable who have mistreated us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Willing and Obedient

It says in Isaiah 1:19, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.”

Way too many times we might be obedient in what we are doing but not willing in our heart. There has been time in my past where I was obedient to do something but not willing in my heart. If you are not both then you will not eat the good of the land. In other words you might not receive any type of blessing from God if you are not willing.

Obedience deals with your actions; willingness deals with your attitude. John Bevere
You have to realize how important your heart attitude is.

Wait Brad, what if my boss, my pastor, my leader over me is mean and does not ask me in a nice way? Do it, be willing and obedient.

Wait, what if they hurt my feelings and did not ask me nicely? Do it be willing and obedient.

But they offended me and still want me to do something for them? Do it, be willing and obedient.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

40 Week Renewal of Our Life Week 11

Week 11 December 20th
Spiritual— Start out goals for 2010
Habakkuk 2:2 “Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”
Physical—1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come
• Diet- Continue to watch food and limit sugars this week. Limit caffeine intake this week
• Body-Continue the work out plan and get in 3 extra cardio workouts on top of the 6 days of p90x
Family- Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
• Parenting- Family Devotional Wednesday Night, Start preparing the kids to come up with 2010 goals. Have them write them down by the end of this year.
• Marriage- Focus on helping out more around the house, picking up after self and kids and helping with laundry
Financial- Deuteronomy 28:3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
Ministry- Ephesians 4:12 “Prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”

Welcome Team VIP 12/20/09

My goal is every Sunday? Can anyone guess it? It is kind of funny and weird. But it is to say Hello to everyone in the church. I know it is weird but sometimes I am doing so much that it is just that a Hi. You need to realize that you are direct reflection of me, Pastor Mike and more importantly Christ on the welcome team. Make sure every Sunday to make one of your goals to say hello with a smile to every person that walks in that door. Make sure to always say hi to the husband and wife and the kids. Just a simple hello and a smile will go a long way in the church. We want to be known as the church that was overwhelmingly welcoming but not overwhelmingly pushy.
Make sure we are honoring our guests as they walk in, honoring our leaders, and honoring our members and volunteers. Honoring people gives you huge rewards in heaven and helps to minister the Holy Spirit in this atmosphere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Be Life Giving

Recently I came to a huge revelation when giving encouragement. The author of Hebrews writes in 3:13 to “encourage one another daily”. I have always done my best to encourage those around me. However I have found recently that sometimes for some reason when encouraging some people like in the past my employees or my kids I add a “however” or a “but” after a “great job” or “job well done.” I think I have done this because I didn’t want to build someone up too much and cause an arrogance or a pride issue.

In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 and Luke 19, the master replied

“'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

I really feel like this is the one of the best examples of true encouragement. There was not a well done, good and faithful servant however you could have done better, or well done but you could have at least cleaned up your room before I came home. No he finished with a come and share in your master’s happiness.

Anytime we are encouraging someone we need to make sure we are being completely life giving because when you throw in the “however” or the “but” it can cancel out anything you said before that.

Today share in someone’s success and encourage them in something they did!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The definition of Evaluate is to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study.

I felt God challenging me to evaluate my life. He said to ask yourself these questions.

Am I improving as a husband?

Am I improving as a father?

Am I improving as a believer?

Am I improving as a servant?

You need to always evaluate where you were and where you are, to determine where you will be. Look at your life one year ago and ask yourself based on today these questions, do you see any change? If not then what are some things you can do to make a difference in these areas.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God has plans for you and wants you to prosper.

Monday, December 14, 2009

40 Week Renewal of Our Life Week 10

Week 10 December 13th

Spiritual— This week listen to 2 sermons during the week.

Romans 10:17 Faith comes from hearing the word of God.

Physical— Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is your strength

• Diet- Continue to watch food and limit sugars this week. Limit caffeine intake this week
• Body-Continue the work out plan and try to get in 2 extra cardio workouts on top of the 6 days of p90x

Family- Titus 1:8 Be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

• Parenting- Continue family devotional time with kids. Continue their memory verses daily. Start preparing the kids to come up with 2010 goals. Have them write them down by the end of this year.
• Marriage- Date Night with Stacey on Wednesday

Financial- Psalm 1:3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Ministry- 2 Corinthians 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Father's Struggle

(I got my son’s approval prior to sharing this)

I was recently reminded of a struggle I went through in the past as a father. My daughter was born first and then 2 years later I had a son. My daughter was one who always wanted to wear dresses, play barbies, and with dolls. She had no boy at all in her. She was a girly girl. My son came a long and completely looked up to her. Everything she did was awesome. He would play with her, wear dresses with her around the house, and do anything she did. My son would ask for barbies and dolls for Christmas rather than GI Joes or footballs. I struggled with that as a father. We would go places and people would always make comments about how pretty his Barbie was he was playing with. We would deal with all the sarcastic comments towards him, everyone telling him that he needed to be playing with action figures and not dolls. (He asked me also if I do write this, to ask those who make fun of him to stop; he still gets teased about this). It was and has been very hard on him as well. He even got that a lot from me and my wife. We thought it was a phase he would grow out of. We discouraged it and got nowhere.

As he grew older I had a sit down talk with him that it was time to get rid of all the dolls and barbies. I asked him to pray to God about if he should play with those toys or not. God told him to ask me to pray about it. So I did, I got alone with God and prayed. God clearly told me to accept him for who he is and not to make any more comments and to stand up for him even if he was playing with dolls. So I did just that, I stopped making the comments, stopped giving him the looks and accepted him for who he is.

Quickly after we accepted him playing with the dolls and barbies, he began to lack interest in them. He began to start liking to play with other toys and not the dolls. My relationship with him grew even stronger and stronger.
Sometimes we try to fit our kids in a box that society wants to have them in. Today I want to encourage those parents to accept your children for who they are. Affirm them with words, encourage them, tell them how you unconditionally love them and then show them with your actions, words and behaviors how you love them. Trust me you will gain a ton of ground in your continued relationship with them just like my son and I have.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Be Confident in Yourself

I was in the hallway of my kid’s school the other day and remembered myself in elementary school. Then I thought about growing up and then even being in high school where I started attempted drugs and drink alcohol and smoke. I wondered why I would ever do something like that? Why did I not have a relationship with God? Why did I do those things?

I came to a realization that I did those things because of my lack of confidence in myself. My lack of feeling like I fit in. Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well”.

In going in to lunch with my son, I started to affirm him with words to build him up so he grows up confident in whom he is. I started saying that I was proud that he was my son; he is a wonderful kid, a great brother and just really encourage him and make sure that he hears those things so he does not struggle with confidence as he grows up like I did and start doing things I am not proud of.

Today be confident in who you are and if you have children, make sure to affirm them with words and start building them up so when they grow older they are confident in who they are.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 9 Renewal of our Life

Week 9 December 6th
Spiritual— Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Physical— Philippians 4:8 Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.
• Diet- Continue to watch food and limit sugars this week.
• Body-Seriously after taking 2 weeks off the work out it is time to get back on it and stay on it, starting Monday.
Family— Titus 2:7-8 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
• Parenting- Continue family devotional time with kids. Continue their memory verses daily. Spend some one on one time with Madylaine this week. Have lunch with Madylaine this week.
• Marriage- Date Night with Stacey on Wednesday
Financial- John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Ministry- Continue to be knowledgeable in all areas of you ministry/business.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

Welcome Team VIP this Past Sunday

This is the story I shared with our Welcome Team this past Sunday at Turning Point Church.

So I have an issue with my tires on the Suburban and need to get them checked out, so I went to a place where I have been before to get my oil changed. I walked in and the guy sitting behind the computer did not even acknowledge me until after standing there for a few minutes. Then it was a “how can I help you” with no smile on his face or anything. I asked him a few questions and after a few small sarcastic answers I decided to leave and go to another place my friend had told me about. I did not have much time to get this done in.

I drove to the other place where there were a few other people ahead of me, but immediately the manager acknowledged me and said it would be just a minute. Once it was my turn I asked him the same questions and without belittling me or making me feel ignorant, he said let go check it out.

He immediately came out to help me, adjusted all the air in my tires, reset my electronic register of the tire pressure and did not charge me a penny. Now in a small town like McDonough, who do you think I am going to refer people to get new tires?? You guessed it the second place. Discount Tires in front of Wal mart off 20/81

Let’s remember that today when greeting people, directing them to their parking spots, checking in their kids, greeting/ushering them into the sanctuary. We want people to leave this place feeling like they want to recommend our church because of its welcome team to all their friends and family.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Slow Down

In my time with God I felt Him telling me to "Slow Down," to listen, see and feel what He is doing in your life. I was feeling that too many times I try to rush through things without giving the proper attention to all the details. It is in the details where you can feel, hear and see God moving. If we rush through things we might not feel God working, and then we get too dependent on our skills and abilities to push God out...that is a whole nutha blog.

This can work in every area of you life. In a blink of an eye my oldest daughter is 11, my middle son is 9 and my youngest is 3...WOW. Time flies, right? How many times have you said that in your life?

So today I wanted to share with you not to get too rushed by the daily activities in life that can keep you from feeling, seeing and hearing God moving in your life.

Press On, Press In and Press UP!