Vision 2016

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We started this year as a church talking about VISION. And we are going to continue talking about Vision for the next few weeks.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no Vision, The People perish.”

Simply put you and I were created to LIVE with a vision in our heart. When we live with focus and Vision we thrive, but when we live to just survive we perish. The word perish means to suffer death, typically in a violent, sudden, or untimely way, to suffer complete ruin or destruction

Have you ever been in pure survival mode? Life has a way of beating you up sometimes and all you can do is stand, take it, and survive! I’m a survivor. I’ve been through a lot in this life. Lose, death, struggle, poor, lost, alone, etc… but through it all I vowed to survive. But I realized something at the end of this year…

God doesn’t want me surviving, He wants me thriving!

I can survive all day long, but it’s God’s vision that He has given me that compels me to thrive and strive to see the vision become a reality. And this is what brings glory and honor to our creator God. Living as we were created to live is our way of bringing glory to God!

You and I were created to live with and strive toward vision, and not just any old vision. Not a vision that you think would be great, but a vision God says will be great.

A Vision From The Lord, Creates a Mission From Heaven!

So there you have it… this is why we are going to spend some time on vision.

You need a vision!

If you don’t have one for your life, your marriage, your finances, your career, it’s time to get one. And if you have one, but it’s something YOU decided without God’s input, it’s time to bring Him into the mix and seek God for His vision for Your life.

Join us this Sunday at One Community Church as we begin to put some flesh on this thing we are calling Vision 2016.

Peace

Advent – Hope In A Hopeless World

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Advent carries a  meaning “coming” or “arrival”. In the Christian calendar it has become a season to celebrate the fact that Jesus came or shall we say crashed into the neighborhood of humanity as a baby only to fulfill all that the scriptures detailed the Messiah and savior of the world would do. Advent is also a season where Christians anticipate the second coming of Jesus as much as the people of God anticipated the arrival of The Savior and Messiah. We look forward to the hope, peace, and love that come when The Kingdom of Heaven invades the place we call home today… the earth.

This already but not yet reality that Jesus brings with His presence creates an atmosphere of yearning, waiting, and anticipation of the future we all can be hopeful for. We are reminded of the story of the Israelites who were slaves in a distant land separated from the hope found in God crying out for a way of deliverance and God met them in Egypt through a prophet named Moses and delivered them so that He would be there God and they would be His people.

We will cover four aspects of this Advent season in our new series called The Arrival. This Sunday we will dive into Hope, followed by Prepare and Love… and finally bringing it all together on Christmas Eve with our focus on “The Christ”.

This week we explore the hope of advent… It is that hope, faint at times, and God, seemingly  distant at times, which brings the church and the world into a desire and anticipation of a King who will rule with love, truth, justice and righteousness over His creation.

We have many ways to celebrate and embrace the Arrival of Jesus… let’s make this Advent season one to remember for One Community Church, for your family, and for your community. Out of our hope for the coming and arrival of Jesus, we love those in our lives no matter the circle you find them in and offer the same hope that is transforming our lives.

Offer hope this month and may that hope carry you into new depth of your relationship with Jesus and others. May hope be the catalyst of change in our hearts and in our world.

See You This Sunday… bring someone who’s in need of some hope! We will be handing it out in large quantities at One Community Church.

Peace

Busy Is The New Weed

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This is not a post about herb, blunts, Mary Jane (I’m dating myself I know), or cannabis. But follow me here…

“Just Staying Busy”… we have all said this in response to a question about what we have been up to, or how we are doing. “Good, just busy” was something I said all of the time. And it was true. Work, kids, school, church, and some other stuff sprinkled in between my already busy life. I’m busy now too, the truth is no matter how much time I have… normally I’m trying to figure out ways to spend it!

If time were a currency I would have ZERO in my savings account! How about you?

The Parable of the soil hits this nail on the head when Jesus says, “The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” (Matthew 13:22)

I hate weeds

I waited tables for a couple of years in college and I can remember the first time someone yelled out, “I need some help, I’m in the weeds”. In the restaurant business being “in the weeds” means you are so busy you can’t handle whats coming your way… maybe you were triple sat and with all 3 tables of 6 people each ordering drinks, appetizers, and food at the same time you spend the next hour or so running so hard you don’t know what table is what… and if that happens once and they all get up at the same time, guess what happens if the lobby is full of people waiting… you spend the entire night “in the weeds”. It seems like you would make more money that way, but if you’re so busy you can’t give quality service to your tables, you might work a lot harder and make less money because the people you’re trying to serve well are left with needs unmet, cold food, empty glasses, and their night was ultimately affected by your busyness.

Being on the clock with so little time for things that really matter is like living your life in the weeds.

If you’re too busy and in the weeds of life, you are neglecting things that really matter. You just had a flash of things and people who are affected by the busyness of life right? Relationships take the brunt of our busyness. In fact, you and your wife can both be busy together and still forget what being married and in-love feels like.

Busy is never a synonym for success.

As all relationships are affected by the weeds,  if you desire a relationship with God and life gets too busy, Jesus will likely get put on the back burner. More than likely you pray to Him while you’re in the weeds because deep down you know you can’t go forever like this… but a quick prayer is not what it takes to get out of the weeds.

It takes time to get out of the weeds.

We only get 24 hours a day… a simple prayer won’t work. Change is needed… you will have to find time somewhere in your already busy day. It means you will have to get intentional about making time. Time is your friend, but it can also be your enemy if you let others dictate how you spend it.

If you find yourself in the weeds of life, I challenge you to find some time in your busy life to REST.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” If you want to know God and have a relationship with Him… you have to be still to get to know Him. Any relationship requires time, and a relationship with God is no different.

If you find yourself in the weeds…

Pause

Breath

And Know or Get to Know The God of all creation, Jesus.

You might just find that rest is what you needed all along and the weeds begin to clear up in your life.

Peace

Sunday 2.0… How’s Your Soil?

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At One Community Church this week we talked about hearing from God and how the soil of our lives can make all the difference in the world. We have discussed in this series that God is speaking and He primarily uses His word… but the truth is no matter how you think He speaks the soil of our lives determine the impact His words will have.

There are four soils in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. The first soil is called the footpath which represents people who are just not willing to hear. Maybe they are bitter at a situation or with God, angry for any number of reasons and God gets the blame, or just too prideful to let God in. Ultimately Jesus could speak to them directly and they would refuse to believe it because they are unwilling to hear. An unwilling heart gains nothing it needs to survive!

The second soil is the rocky soil. This is when you and I prefer to stay on the surface of a matter. Maybe we always stay on the surface and maybe its just with this one subject, but the fact remains we don’t want to go any deeper.

Deep means you gotta take it serious. You might dig something up that can’t be covered back up!

It represents the heart that has a shallow response to the gospel. Jesus changed everything with His life, death, and resurrection, and you’re glad He did… but unwilling to completely surrender to the life Jesus calls those who accept His offer of salvation. Did you know that less than 72 hours after reading this, you will forget all about it? Some of you have forgotten the first soil already! The only way to remember some of the things you and I need to remember is repetition. Repetition means you take it seriously! If you truly have a desire to dig deep into the word of God, learning from it and remembering it will be a much easier task than simply hearing a sermon and telling everyone it was great and forgetting all about it by lunch. When you hear the word of God spoken, sang, or read in a way that resonates with your soul I’m begging you to spent some time remembering… write it down, study it for yourself on Monday, and ask God to help you learn about Him through this impactful message. Hebrews 2:1 says, “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away”

The third kind of soil is the weeds. I labeled this the soil of a pre-occupied mind. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God”. When I read this last week it dawned on me.. we can’t truly know who God is when we are always on the go, reminding everyone how awesomely busy we are and continuing to add one distraction after another. Slow Down…

Weeds… weeds grow because we neglect the soil. If the soil God’s word falls on determines its effectiveness you can have a sincere heart but a really poor “work ethic” as it relates to your relationship with God and watch all that God is doing get choked out by the weeds in your life.

The good soil is the final soil Jesus tells us about. He implores us all throughout the gospels to be this good soil and we are going to talk about how to be good soil next week. Because we determined we can talk all day long about hearing from God and how He wishes to communicate with you, but if the soil isn’t prepped and ready it really doesn’t matter what God says… it will not produce what the seed was intended to produce.

How’s your soil doing today? Tend to it!

Here’s The Real Problem With Starbucks…

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Christians who make the rest of us look like idiots!!!!

Right now every media outlet is talking about this “group” of Christians upset about a red cup. The Today Show, The Ny Times, you name it and they are talking about it… oh wait they are actually laughing about it!!!!

If you don’t know what the buzz is all about an “evangelist” Joshua Feuerstein went on his popular social media pages and ranted about the fact that Starbucks cups are simply red this year and contain no mention of Christmas. Complaining that they are taking Christ out of Christmas by not including the word on their cups… His only problem to the argument is that Starbucks has NEVER had “Merry Christmas” on their cups! They have had snow flakes, lights, and other non religious symbols on their cups because they are NOT a religious company! For the life of my I can’t imagine why this guy is upset and making christianity and Jesus followers look like idiots.

Look, if you rely on Starbucks to feed your soul with a specific word on a cup, you have bigger problems than not hearing Merry Christmas when you walk in the door. If you think the way to fix the cultural problem in America is by land blasting a company that is secular to the core for their choice of cups that never had a reference to Christ before, you don’t understand the culture or Jesus. This was not his approach, not should it be ours.

And Lastly, tricking others into saying a phrase and or believing what you believe has got to be one of the most arrogant and non gospel driven things you could do. I’m all about speaking truth, it’s what I do all day everyday to the best of my Jesus centered ability… but this Red Cup Christian movement is just another reason why people will like what Jesus stood for , but hate the church and his followers.

Jesus was full of grace and truth… this “so-called” movement is full of neither!

If you are a Christian, please understand follower of Jesus… you are called to be salt and light. The right amount of salt is preserving and flavorful… but TOO MUCH salt kills what you put it on faster and makes it unpalatable, inedible, and ruins ANY chance of someone tasting what once was tasty goodness.

If you are on the outside of the faith and looking in, Please understand that not everyone who has a voice speaks the truth 100% of the time. The sad part of this story is this guy has a lot of good things to say, but on this subject he is missing the mark BIG-TIME. Please don’t let his ignorance on the subject and arrogance because of his many followers block the truth of good news that Jesus could care less if you drink from a blank red cup or a cup shaped like a cross… what He cares about is your soul and how that soul spends eternity. He cares about transforming our hearts into a heart more like His… and He cares about how that new heart of yours and mine effects the world around you with grace and truth, how your new heart and life cares for the poor and broken in this world, and if that new heart is able to plop down in the middle of a place like Starbucks that may not share your values and engage them with the truth in such a way that compels them to follow the truth you speak.

Here’s to hoping the red cup revolution dies a quick death and the people of God love the world like Jesus instead of manipulating the world like some Christians seek to do.

On a side note… I will not be drinking from a plain red cup because I don’t like the burnt brown stuff Starbucks puts in their cups : )-

Peace

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