Have you ever questioned your own belief about God? Have you ever taken the time to consider whether or not what you believe about God, and the way He sees you may not be accurate? Or, at least incomplete? Authors John Lynch, Bruce McNicol and Bill Thrall take people through an incredible journey in discovering how God really sees us, and how we can live freely and intentionally in that reality.
Consider this an official invitation to be a part of a potentially life changing study starting Tuesday, August 15th from 6:30-8pm. We will be using the book "THE CURE - What if God isn't who you think He is, and neither are you?" as the guide for discussion. I'm excited about the way we are designing our groups and the discussion format. We will meet at the white house (on the church property). Unfortunately, we are not at a place in our service base to provide anything for our children during the study. We are praying and believing we will be at that place by January.
Since there are multiple ways to get the book (Kindle, Audio, Paperback, etc.) we are leaving it up to you to acquire your own. We will have a few copies available for those who would otherwise be unable to purchase or find. Click on the links below for ways to purchase and read your copy.
"The Cure” - Amazon
“The Cure” - Apple/iTunes
“The Cure” - Barnes & Noble/Nook
Lastly, invite others. I assure you, this may be the catalyst for the breakthrough you've been waiting for. I love you, Church!
I wrote a two part article that was featured in our email blasts- one the end of May and one the middle of June. They were both on communication. A common tension in just about every area of leadership is being confident that you have enough information to share, and knowing when to share it. Where these two points intersect is where a number of people will congregate and ask, “What’s going on?” It’s often a great question. Even the right question. I believe the same is true for our great people known as Discovery Church. So, as I have been working with the board, my staff and a number of other wise counselors, I believe I know enough to share with the rest of my faith-family.
What’s going on with our worship team? When are “they” coming back? These sum up a variety of questions I have heard over the last couple of months. It was our intention to build an educational/training module for our worship ministry. This would open up a myriad of opportunities for people to use their gifts all throughout our worship ministry. Unfortunately, our worship leader at the time chose not to be a part of that. Consequently, we had some step away entirely. Thankfully, God always has a plan. Even though Kyle and Michelle (our Associate Pastor and Children’s Pastor) have very time consuming jobs, they have graciously filled in for us when we’ve needed them. We have also had a couple others who have come alongside us to lead in worship. And, this Sunday we are blessed to have an amazing singer, song writer, producer and worship pastor here to lead us. Check this out though, who is on stage from week to week isn’t the bigger part of our worship. Sure, we want those who can play and sing well to lead us. But we as the church are not the audience. We worship through song for an audience of One. So, thank you, church, for bringing your worship with you and not leaving it to the people on the stage to bring it for you. Thanks for not expecting them to perform for you. YOU are the worshippers!
What’s going on with our staff? After our worship leader left, we saw God complete a move in two more of our staff members, Solomon and Candace. Many wondered if the moves were connected. They were not. God had been working in their hearts prior to them coming on staff for the purpose of returning back to New Zealand (where they had served previously). Their short time here was exactly what God had for them. They had an opportunity to move to Washington to be near Solomon’s dad, and prepare for their big move overseas. The rest of our staff (five of us) are growing stronger each day in our love, devotion and partnership in this ministry together!
What’s going on with our leadership? We have been blessed to have a board of directors assist this church in so many ways over the past many years. Several weeks ago, we had two of those board members step off the team. With the remaining four (lay-leaders), we move with great confidence and unity into the next season of our church’s life. We will soon be introducing a more Biblical model of leadership with an elder team and a deacon family ministry team. We couldn’t be more excited. More to come as that develops.
What’s going with our property? Again, we have been seeking the Lord for His perfect will and timing in this. There are so many options and variable to each of those options, we simply are waiting on the Lord. What we do know is, we don’t want the proverbial "cart before the horse" scenario to play out for us. As I write, we are working out some new and fresh ideas we believe God has given us. I am hoping we can share a little more this Sunday (pending the arrival of critical information). God is positioning us in our hearts, hands and feet in a way that will make us ready for all that we will need to house the fruit of our labor.
What’s going on with the direction of our church? This is the one I am most excited about. I have been preaching over the last several months what the direction for our church looks like- especially as it pertains to who we are and what we are to be about. Over the next four weeks, I will be laying out some very important instructions as to what the Lord is revealing for our church, and how each of us play a vital role in it’s success.
There you go. Where do you and I come in? We pray. We ask God for His will to be done as we seek the next worship pastor to join our team. We ask Him to deepen and widen our leadership and staff. We pray for wisdom and discernment for every “next step” we take, believing that God is positioning us for greater things. And, we all become partners, teammates, brothers and sisters in this local family called Discovery Church. We march together (everyone in) as we carry out the mission, vision, values and strategy God has uniquely given us. We stand committed and ready to fulfill the Great Commandment (Luke 10:27) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
I am honored to be your pastor. I can’t wait to hear more stories of salvation, spiritual growth and people stepping into this Spirit-filled discipleship paradigm (come Sunday to hear more about this). I love you, church!
In the Old Testament, the chief priests over the nation of Israel had the God-given task of assigning each of the 11 tribes their lot of land to settle. Each assigned lot was to be their lifelong inheritance after finally arriving at the long-awaited Promised Land. Notice that I did say 11 tribes. But wait, what about the 12th tribe?
God Himself chose the tribe of Levi to serve before Him always at the Tent of Meeting. They were in charge of the tent set up, maintenance, offering all the sacrifices for the people and on behalf of the people, and cleaning up after it was all said and done. The Lord said to Aaron as he began his call to vocational ministry, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.” (Numbers 18:20) That’s right. The tribe of Levi was not given their own lot of land for an inheritance, as the Lord Himself and their ongoing service to Him was where they would stake their claim.
Did you know that Jesus our High priest is still in the business of assigning His people their inheritance? “In him also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) We aren't given land to pass on to others, we've been given the gift of Him, His Spirit, and all his benefits in which to settle our tribe! Jesus and His everlasting love and grace is what we have to pass on to others. He remains our portion and inheritance even now. Just as we would share a monetary inheritance with our earthly family, we also get to bring others into our eternal inheritance in Christ. What God has freely given will never run out, get worn down, or get overpopulated. Our inheritance can sustain every tribe from every nation without end.
Servants of the Lord, are you still longing and looking for a “lot of land” to feel at “home”? Are you placing your hope and trust in that which the Lord says does not belong to you? Rather than desiring what the “tribes” around us have, consider the freedom and honor of the gift of an inheritance that will never dry up. Our inheritance is abundant. Our inheritance can sustain at all times, and is brimming with every resource we will ever need. Our inheritance is the Lord Himself, and He knows you the best, and loves you the most. He knows every need before you speak it and has called Himself your Provider.
Where are you staking your claim today? In the things of earth that can dry up and fail? Or is your claim found in the abundant grace of the Lord, your true inheritance?
As we close out our sermon series, "Church", let's focus the spotlight on a better understanding of one of the five-fold purposes of the church - Worship. Consider these scriptures and thoughts on cultivating worship into all aspects of our lives:
Don’t forget where you come from.
As each of us move forward into every new adventure, let’s remember the lessons from the road that brought us here. Don’t forget that each one of us has had our share of slips and falls, good days and bad, high points and low ones. The bible says that we all sin and we all have fallen short of the glory of God. Sometimes as we start a new path, it’s easy to look at those around us and become a critic as well, forgetting somehow that our own path was a rocky one and that we too have needed God’s daily mercies.
As God lifts you and strengthens you into a closer and deeper walk, allowing you to set that Godly example, please don’t think you ever got there alone. Without the grace of God found in Christ, none of us could stand before God. So be careful should you think you are standing on your own two feet, because it’s most assuredly then that a great fall is coming.
1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed, lest he fall.”
Don’t forget just how great the love of God is for you. Don’t forget the support and love of your family and friends. Don’t forget the investment of teachers, coaches, teammates, friends, coworkers, employers and yes, even your church family! God has used all of these to bring you where you are today. Don’t forget those that God placed in your life to build you up and prepare you for what lies ahead. And don’t forget that you stand today only by the great grace of the One who knows you best and loves you the most. He is your Creator, your Savior, your Friend.
I love you, church!
I can’t even tell you how many times I have heard this, and even given it to others as some sort of motivational encouragement. The sad reality is, it took years of making this statement before I actually began to understand what I was saying. Why did it take so long? Well, mainly because I couldn’t figure out which version of me to be. I have found so many people who are going through that same struggle I did for so many years. So what’s the problem?
First, are you who others say you are? There are so many people, perspectives, and paradigms all of us have let into our minds. Sometimes we are just trying to be who the different people in our circles perceive us as and affirm us to be. Then we say a statement like this (which in all reality, nobody actually means), “I don’t care what others think of me.” Of course we care. I could provide a dozen or more examples right out of the gate, but will refrain from doing so this post. Suffice it to say, you will never be a healthy and joyful version of you when others are given the authority to tell you who you are. Remember, if they can tell you who you are, they will also control how you live.
Second, are you who you’ve told yourself you are? At first glance, that doesn’t sound so bad. However, after a little introspection, you’ll find how that changes…. A LOT! As we go through life, we try and adjust who we are to our surroundings so we can somehow attain this place of peace, joy, freedom, identity, purpose and more. This creates an ever-changing identity. Nobody ever really understands themselves- especially to the extent that they can define who they are using their own heart, soul, strength and mind as their source and guide. The Bible is very clear about this.
Lastly, are you who the Creator and Sustainer of your life says you are? This is ultimately your only option if you reject the first two. If you have ever made the decision to trust your life to Jesus, to love and follow Him in all His ways, then why in the world would you not trust Him to tell you who you truly are?! Your ability to receive the fullness of the fruit of the Spirit given in Galatians 5:22-23 depends on you knowing His Truth about who you are… so you can BE who you are. Let me remind you who you are, so you know better how to live out of Truth every day.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Colossians 3:3 - For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Now, go and be who you are. Just remember who you really are, and the only One who has the right to tell you that! I love you, Church!