Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Thought That Exploded

Currently I am reading a book titled, Becoming A Contagious Church by Mark Mittelberg. There is a thought in the book that is so amazing I have to blog about it. Many of us in the church world are familiar with Mathew 12:13 "...For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

When I read this next thought it was like an RPG went off in my head and shook the walls of my cerebrum (suh - ree - brum). Ok here it is.
"Out Of The Lack Of Overflow Of The Heart, The Mouth Doesn't Speak." Interesting thought ay?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Great Night

Just finished up an awesome night at church. Genesis Youth Rock my face off. If you wanna talk to a bunch of passionate people who love Jesus talk to those teens! I don't care what anyone says, the teenagers of today are a group of people who desire to seek the face of Christ. So a big shout out to the BECKER MINNESOTA TEENS!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Great Wayne Gretzky Quote

I was reading online today and came across one of the greatest quotes ever. Here it is.. say it out loud with me... ok ready?? Come on clear your throat.. Alright here it is - "You Will Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don't Take!" To take a shot something is better than to never take the shot at all. REMEMBER THIS! Life is way to short to wonder "What If?" Maybe it's time to take a shot at that sport, or maybe that church, or that job, that you have kept yourself away from. Maybe you have family that could use an apology, or a friend that needs to be held accountable to the things they do over the weekend. Maybe your husband or wife needs to be told how much you care about them. Whatever the case may be, You Will Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don't Take!" I challenge all of us on these computers to take more shots in 2009 than we ever have before. Watch how life gets really great, really fast!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Three Life Changing Words

Mathew 4:19 says - "Come Follow Me," Jesus said, "And I will send you out to fish for people."

These life changing words were spoken to 12 men that had absolutely no idea what their lives would represent.

Peter - A fisherman.
Andrew - A fisherman
James - A fisherman
John - A fisherman
Mathew - A tax collector
Bartholomew (aka Nathanael) - occupation unclear
Philip - occupation unclear
Thomas - occupation unclear
Simon The Zelot - occupation unclear
James (Son of Alphaeus) - occupation is unclear
Thaddaeus (Son of James) - occupation unclear
Mathias - occupation unclear

These were the 12 disciples that to whom Jesus spoke the words "Come Follow Me." Every one of these men, with the exception of John, who died of old age, popular or unpopular were killed because they said yes to Jesus. You and I will probobly never have to suffer the persecution that these men suffered, but I pray that everyday we see people continue to say yes to "Come Follow Me!" These are three life changing words. Answer yes to Jesus today!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So Stoked!

I have been away for 12 days, and tomorrow I finally get to preach. If you are a preacher that loves to speak you know what I am sayin when I say "Let It Go Brotha!" There is a time that you have to let it all go. There are so many things flyin through your brain that you want to say to people, and if it collects for too long you are going to go crazy! That is where I am at tonight. I am preachin in the morning and I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One Of The Proudest Moments Of My Life

I have been out of town away from my family, my church, and my youth group for about a week. Back home there is an amazing ministry that we started in 2008 called DC. In that ministry is a man by the name of Josiah Lumley. He has been in our youth ministry for around 7 years. Tonight he spoke to the youth group and delivered what I will label a five star teaching. He spoke on what it means to be in Christ. Even though I am currently away, I have received numerous reports on how awesome he did. This is one of my most proudest moments because I have seen this young man journey through his spiritual life and now he is speaking out what he believes to the next generation of world changers. I have to say that I am so proud of Josiah, and I will never forget this moment. Keep preaching Josiah, I believe that God has called you to this and has prepared you for this. You Are Amazing! I praise God every day for allowing me to be apart of your life all these years, and I look forward to the future God has planned for you. Let's all allow this year to be a year that God stretches us. "It's Not Always Easy" is the slogan I am using for when God is trying to stretch us, but when it's all over we can sit back and say "It Was So Worth It!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

7 Non Negotiables Of Leadership from Perry Noble

Check out this post that Pastor Perry Noble posted on Leadership. It's awesome.

#1 - Passion. I'm not talking about false excitement over an event that you would not attend if you were not on the payroll at the church! But rather raw, unfiltered, emotional and unapologetic passion...a white hot fire inside that consumes, controls and configures us into who Jesus has called us to be and what He's called us to do!
Be warned-passionate people make for easy targets because no one has to guess what they stand for! However, passion, if handled correctly, can be one of the best friends a leader can have.

#2 - A Desire to Please God. One of the first verses I ever memorized was Galatians 1:10. I remember reading it and feeling like it literally jumped off the page...and something inside of me kept screaming, "You are going to need this verse for yourself if you are going to be truly successful in ministry." A true leader in church would understand that God is our Leader...and in a passionate pursuit to please Him you and I will often disappoint people.
We can't please committee's and Christ-a choice must be made.

#3 - Wisdom. James 1:5 has been a verse that I have also had to cling to as a leader! What a promise! God has called us to leaders I feel that we need to be doing as much as possible to learn...that means going to conferences, reading books...and not being afraid to meet with and learn from people who "aren't like us!"
What are you personally doing right now to grow and develop yourself as a leader? To add to your wisdom?
I am in the process of connecting with other church the past several weeks I've been involved in numerous learning environments with people who know SO MUCH MORE than me...and God has used each experience to shape me in an awesome way.
If all we tell our people is what we know...and we lead out of our limited knowledge, never seeking wisdom from others or God-then we will raise up some very shallow people.

#4 - Courage. I don't think the tag "leader" should be put on anyone who hasn't had to make tough decisions on a consistent basis.
I once heard Andy Stanley say that a leader isn't necessarily the first person to see an opportunity, but rather the first person to act on what they see.
So true! There are lots and lots of people who see what is wrong with the world, church, etc...however, very few are actually willing to do anything about it.
Leaders step up and make the hard calls...even when it's unpopular.
On a side note-courage is NOT the absence of fear! There have been so many situations in my leadership journey here at NewSpring that have just about caused me to pee my pants!
However, courage is KNOWING what God has called you to...and then DOING it...not knowing the outcome...but KNOWING who is in control of the outcome!

#5 - Humility. This is a tough one cannot actually brag that they are humble!
Too many times in the past I know that this was a quality that was NOT in me! I wanted the credit for all of "my ideas!" If something went right and I was involved-I wanted people to know about it. If an element of service programming went well and it was my idea...I took the credit.
And then one day I had a conversation with John Maxwell that ROCKED MY WORLD...he said to me, "Perry, you are where you are for two reasons. The first is the favor of God. The second is the giftedness of God. And Perry, please understand that God didn't owe you either of these. You are where you are because of Him!"
DANG! When it comes right down to it...I don't have good ideas-God gives them to me. I don't have the ability to think or act...OR LEAD...unless HE leads me!
John 15:5 is SO true...and I have no right to boast in anything that I feel like I accomplish!
If a leader doesn't care who gets the credit...but is obsessed with God getting the glory-awesome things can happen!

#6 - Honesty. One of the things the corporate world has seen lately is a lack of integrity...and the lie that "this is my life and how I live it doesn't really impact anyone else" has been exposed over and over and over again! As leaders-we've got to be honest with...
* OURSELVES - how are you doing? Really? Can you keep up the pace you have right now? What changes need to be made?* OTHERS - is everyone around you doing a good job? Is there a tough conversation that needs to be had-but you won't because you are afraid of the outcome?* GOD - Is life and ministry REALLY "all about Him?"

#7 - Simplicity. I once heard Ed Young say, "If you want to impress me as a leader-don't tell me what you're doing, tell me what you're NOT doing!"
I think a leader who is worth his (or her) salt will admit that they are not good at everything...and as a result they will stop trying to be.
Reality is that everyone of us only do a few things well...and our leadership will be maximized when we focus on what God has gifted us and called us to be rather than what everyone else in the church expects us to be!
I can't do everything...but I can do something...and the something that I can do...I will do!!!
What is on your plate that you KNOW you aren't good at? You hate it? Go ahead and admit it because everyone around you already knows it and are probably praying that you will stop it anyway!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Click Your Heels Together

I have currently been away from home for 1 week. When you have a wonderful wife, an amazing 6 year old boy, an awesome 4 year old boy, and a beautiful 6 week old little girl, being away from home is tough. I found myself thinking about Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz clicking her ruby red high heels together saying "There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home." Make sure that you build your home into a place that you miss while you are away. Take time to restructure your priorities right now if your family is not at the top of the list. The home should be one of the greatest places on earth.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Acknowledge God, A Tough Life Lesson

Proverbs 3:5 - 6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Not leaning on our own understanding is one of the toughest life lessons to be learned. I want to break it down a little so that we can see the benefit of not leaning on our own understanding.
My little girl, Jayci, is about 6 weeks old. She is not able to do everything on her own. In fact all she does really well on her own is eats, sleeps, and fills her diaper like a pro. Everything else she leans on our (her mom and dad) understanding to help her grow. She knows that we are going to do what it takes to make her healthy if she is sick. To feed her if she is hungry, and to change her diaper so she doesn't sit in her own mess for too long.

This is how God views us. We are his children. He loves to take care of us and be the amazing father to us. We need to make sure that we continually put our trust in Him and not lean on our own understanding. He knows what is best for us to grow, gain health, and He will not let us sit in our own mess for too long. Today lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge God!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Turbulent Experiences

We all go through Turbulent Experiences in our lives.

Loss of a loved one
Loss of a child
Loss of a job
Feeling overwhelmed by loneliness
Feeling like we don't measure up
A failed marriage
A friend who bailed out

Whatever the case is, we all eventually face something that beats us up a little bit, or rips hope from our hearts. Instead of giving up and losing all hope, take these moments and give them to God as an opportunity for your faith to grow more than ever before! Is it fun going through Turbulent times? NOT AT ALL! But we will, and when we do our response still needs to set us up for an infiltration of hope. I believe that some of the greatest opportunities are born out of turbulent times. You see life differently and in those moments something small but priceless may be revealed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Avoid Drifting

Today about 1:00pm I was driving through Wahoo Nebraska, ok, get it out of your system and repeat "Wahoo" in your head again. Funny name, I know. I was hit with an interesting thought.

Have you ever been in a boat fishing, or just parked in the middle of the Ocean, Lake, or River, getting your tan on? The boat will actually move on it's own if the engine is off. How does this happen? It's called "DRIFTING." There are so many times I believe that we begin to drift in our spiritual lives, home lives, and school lives. We just shut off our engines, (our core values, our goals, our common sense, our beliefs) and just drift. Drifting is dangerous in the sense that it often leads to an undesired location. Undesired locations produce undesired results. This year set some locations, and develop some routes for your life that are solid, no drifting! Do whatever it takes to keep your engine on, and stay the course. Everyone will arrive somewhere in life, but not everyone will arrives somewhere on purpose. Avoid Drifting, set your route, and arrive on purpose.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An Awesome Thought

I heard a teaching the other day by pastor that I absolutely loved. He said that when he was a kid he wanted an "Atari" game system so bad. Atari was even before Nintendo, so this was an older system. But all he wanted for Christmas was an Atari. One day his mom looked at him and said, "son, you are not going to get an Atari this year for Christmas, so stop thinking about it and don't get your hopes up." Devastating for a young kid, don't you think? So Christmas morning came, and it was time to open presents. As he opened his gift, his eyes lit up, and he was over - excited by what he saw. His mom and dad bought him a "Super Nintendo!" Way better system than the Atari!

Point being - Maybe the things you want for your life this year are like the Atari. Don't be devastated when God doesn't give you those things. He might be setting you up to receive something way more SUPER! Take every day and thank God for what he is doing in your life. Start to get excited about the Super things that God is going to bless you with this year.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Am Proud Of You!

I recieved some news tonight that a friend of mine and his wife are going to work on saving their marriage! That gets me stoked! I love what he said, "I spent alone time with Jesus, and my perspective changed." Jesus is incredible!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Biblical StokeAtion (I made that word up)

I am stoked!! I recently watched a video by Louie Giglio called FRUITCAKE & ICE CREME. In the video Louie brought a verse to the table that many of us know, and many of us are hearing this verse for the very first time. Here is the verse, check it out:

2 Corinthians 5:17 - 19 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

If we are in Christ, we are NEW! This is a New Year! Get in Christ like never before and become NEW! I love the promise that God is not counting men's sins against them. Talk about a powerful verse! No it does not release us to do whatever we please, but the truth is, that God desires a deep connection with us, and therefore if we are in Christ, He commits to us the message of reconciliation. I encourage you to check out Louie's video, it brings the whole verse to life!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Freeing Entanglement

Everyday life can be feel like what some of our junk drawers look like. Do you have a drawer in your house that you only keep chords in? You know the old car phone adapters, car phone chargers, or small extension chords? When you pull out one chord they are often tangled around another chord, and instead of pulling out one chord, the whole drawer comes with. Usually, unless you are a very "special" person, you begin to feel the heat on your face as you become frustrated.

Everyday life can feel like an entangled mess. The demands of the world can be consuming. I know we are supposed to do all our work "as to the Lord" (Ephesians 6:7-8) but if we are honest, sometimes it's tough to keep one eye on heaven when it seems we always need both eyes on earth. So here comes the good news - When we are patient and begin to untangle one chord at a time, we eventually work our way out of entanglement. This is a freeing feeling. Remember to be patient and untangle one chord at a time this year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another Great New Year Start!!

I can't think of a greater book to read than the bible. I know at first you are probably thinking, "well, the Harry Potter series was good," or maybe, "Twilight" was awesome. You may be thinking to yourself, "I never really understand the bible when I read it." Take the challenge this year to pick up the bible and read it a ton. When you don't understand what you read, stop, and call someone who you can trust to answer those questions that are brewing in your mind. Don't quit!! Keep reading even when you don't understand what it means.

For those of you who are reading the bible all the time, here is an awesome site you can go to and read the bible through in a year. ( So Here We Go!!! Let's Rock This Year!

Hey It's A New Year!

A BRAND NEW YEAR!!! Thank God for another year that we all get to live. I would encourage you to put all of things from last year in your mental journal and look forward to the new year.

There are two parts to a movie that critics say are the most important, the Beginning and the End.

There are two parts to a book that authors say are the most important, the Beginning and the End.

There are two parts in public speaking that are often noticed by the audience. The Beginning and the End.

Galatians 6:4 says - Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won't need to compare himself with someone else.

So here we go!! The first day of a brand new year. Let's be sure we are doing our very best. At the end of each day take a look at how the events unfolded and ask yourself, "Did I Do My Very Best?"