Thursday, January 3, 2019

I recently was given a free copy of Grace-Based Recovery to read and to review.
There are a couple items this is and it is not.
First it is a great book for a life group or a small group to go through to deal with recovery.  The way it is laid out allows for the leader to have some tips and guidelines as where to go.  Without these the leaders can cause the groups to go off on the wrong tangents if not trained in counseling.
Second the book is a great resource just to read and doesn't have to be used as a group.  It contains a lot of research and work that is invaluable.

What it is not:
a Legal reminder to counselors about anything dealing with Counseling.  As those of us know who do any counseling or Pastoral counseling there are multiple legal issues that surround you when you are counseling someone.

While a very small book in comparison to groups like Celebrate Recovery etc. I am very interested in how this book can be used in a Life Group and hope to complete it as one here soon.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Every year thousands of teenagers and college-age adults get together to learn about and worship Jesus.   This is simply called PASSION!
Their vision statement is:
“Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name."
This year's live music will again be released on an album on Feb 23rd at (This will be updated and active on 2/23 when the digital album release

The list is spectacular of the artists involved:
Kristian Stanfill, Sean Curran, Melodie Malone, Brett Younker, Crowder, Matt Redman, and Tauren Wells all are involved.

This album has been streaming on my computer almost non-stop of when I first received the link. Last year's top track for me was Glorious Day/I Ran out of the Grave.  That tune was very catchy and compelling.

This album doesn't leave wanting in songs that can be translated easily into your Sunday Morning.
There are newer versions of classics such as "Great are you Lord" with Matt Redman, and "All my hope" with Crowder and Tauren Wells.

Personally, my favorite song is a slower song with the typical musical swell in the end that ramps up the dynamics to make "More Like Jesus" with Kristian Stanfill a powerful pray song.
Heaven with Sean Curran is another great song reminding us where our focus should be, living in expectation of Heaven.

Musically this is a strong album.  With the variety of instrumentation leads that you would expect of Passion.

I'd love to be able to share this CD with you and ONE PERSON will be selected to win this album on FEB. 19th at 7:00 pm.
To be entered in the Drawing just comment below with your FAVORITE Passion Song and I'll enter you in the drawing.
Winner will be notified by Facebook messenger on Feb. 20th.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide

The last thing that you ever want to have happened is that a child would be put in danger at your church.  The very place that should be a safe haven for them in the midst of life’s pains, and it becomes a danger zone.  No one wants that to happen.  Yet why then do we so often lack at doing anything to ensure the safety of our children and our church?  “Just Trust God” is often said when we bring up the need for security.
            The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries” is a toolkit work.  What I mean is that this is not just a book that one reads from the front to the back and files it away.  This is a book that you give out to your team and read together, then you earmark pages, use it to help guide and create safe policies etc.  It is a book that will be pulled out over and over again and used to better our church.

            The book is broken into five key sections that all include thoughts, ideas, and practical tools to help formulate or even just aid in a current safety ministry.  This book has helped to shape and revamp our current policy and bring to light areas we were missing.  I would highly recommend this to be read by all safety teams, all children’s ministries and really all church staff members!

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 15th, 2016, Isaiah 40:28-31

Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

God's word is amazing!
Today in the midst of a Master's program, feeling tired, even maybe a bit overwhelmed.
Getting ready to help lead a debate team, nervous, don't want to let anyone down on the team...
I sit an am reminded....
Can you not hear a bit of the scold in that parent's loving voice
You've see His love before.
You've experienced His care and protection as well!

But you are tired and have forgotten.... AGAIN!

Notice where your strength lies... IN HIM!
Not in your own weak, feeble, frail, mortal being...

He will give you strength.

But will your life be effortless? Will it be so easy that you never learn like a spoiled child experiencing the real world for the first time?
Think about an eagle. What does the Mother Eagle do?
When the baby is ready to learn to fly what does the mother do?
From the HIGH nests on the tallest tree's the mother PUSHES the baby out.
The mother says it is TIME to learn...
But the entire time the mother is right there and if the baby is to able to fly she doesn't wait until the baby hits the ground but SOARS DOWN AND CATCHES THE BABY ON HER BACK!

He will not let you stumble and fall when you are dependent on HIM!
So walk, Run, this journey of Faith knowing that your HOPE and STRENGTH is in the LORD.
Praise God that it isn't in me.

God you are simply amazing!
We give you our lives.
Lord I pray that we will all see that YOU MUST COME FIRST!
Above all else.
Our Job, our family, our friends. YOU MUST COME FIRST.
These earthly things are temporal but your are eternal!
I am so in awe that by giving you my life, my family, and my all that you give it back to me renewed, restored, and thus I am able to enjoy them so much better than I could before!

God I praise you!
With all my breath may I praise you!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jan. 14th, 2016 Hebrews 12:7-13

Hebrews 12:7-13
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

My kids love it when they are disciplined. Don't your's?
We enjoy the pain of a butt spanking!
We enjoy the chastising of our parents, that scolding look of disapproval.


Because we dislike it as a child we scorn it.
Then later in life we look back in hind site and see WHY they did it.
Then you have children and you fully understand!

Thus why do we scorn God's reproof?

It is because we don't see what He is doing.
For the moment we grieve, we ache, we morn.... Yet our HOPE is in the NEW DAY!

So therefore: RAISE UP YOUR HANDS! Dry your eyes!
Turn up the worship music in your life and PRAISE HIM.

Your focus on praise will allow your focus to be removed from the pain.
Trust God.
Trust His plan!
Trust HIS purpose!
Believe that HE created you for a PURPOSE!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jan. 13th, 2016 Colossians 3:12-17

Colossians 3:12-17

12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

What a great passage this morning!
When we are around people in a group, there are bound to be some people who naturally rub you the wrong way.
Subconsciously they may remind you of someone who hurt you (Sign of un-forgiveness possibly in your heart...)
Or they may be like you or exhibit a character flaw you see in yourself (Pride, Likes to be in charge, shy, etc...)

Yet we are called to be compassionate, kindness, humble, etc... we do it all though IN GOD'S STRENGTH! Which is a supernatural power!

But just in case, we think that's enough, we are called to forgive them...
I don't read that they asked for it... Do you?
We are to FORGIVE them. And not just superficially with words like a child forced to say 'I'm sorry' by their parents, but with a WHOLE HEARTED, I FORGIVE and will GIVE UP MY RIGHT TO HOLD IT AGAINST YOU forgiveness!

And just wait cause he is just getting started!

So I need to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, and then I need to still hang out with them?
You mean I can't change churches when the going gets rough?
You mean I can't hide?

And to top it all off, LET EVERY DETAIL be done in the name of the MASTER!

We are subservient to Jesus because we LOVE.
Will you love with that type of LOVE, DEEP LOVE, today?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jan. 12, 2016 1 Chronicles 16:8-14

1 Chronicles 16:8-14
8 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
11 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
13 O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
14 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
You know those Braveheart speeches? Those rally cries that we all love in movies?
This morning this sounded like one of those to me.
Remember that the hebrews were very ORAL in their tradition and would have read this aloud!
In fact it is known that if a priest, who was ordained JUST to read, could be fired and 'de-frocked' just for reading it poorly!
Just think about vs. 8. You can't read that without wanting to add a 'You' in front. Now that does make this come alive but in Hebrew culture again it was CORPORATE.
OH WE give thanks... etc...
Are you in community with believers that can all say this?
Read it once this morning making it personal but then read it once adding in the plurals to make it corporate!
Do you sing praise to Him?
Do you get your STRENGTH from Him?
Do you take time to remember the things that He has done that only HE could do in your life and in your communities (Oikos, family, friends, community!)
Is HE your Lord, your God?
Then look at that last verse. It seems a bit strange doesn't it.
We just heard these great things and then it says "His JUDGEMENTS?"
One meaning was to decide a case... or the process and procedure before a judge....
So all of these things (Getting our strength from Him etc) are part of HIS judgement?
The way I take that is that HE is so loving that He judges himself on how much He makes known to us His love?
Isn't that amazing?
He really LOVES US!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ezekiel 36:24-28 Jan. 11th, 2016

Ezekiel 36:24-28
24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.

25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.[a] 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

28 “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God.

This is a story of REDEMPTION!
Everything in life is a story about redemption. God is seeking to restore our HEARTS. In Heaven he will restore creation to where it was suppose to be.
But when God restores the heart.... LOOK OUT WORLD!!!

This verse explains why the NT Christian is not under the law as Paul said. It is because the LAW GIVER has written the LAW ON THEIR HEARTS!

Do you have that? Think about it... when you are driving down the road in Delaware the speed limit (THE LAW) changes. If a wonderful police officer pulls you over and tells you that you were speeding (BREAKING THAT LAW) and you said "Oh but I didn't know it changed" does he say "Oh, ok... since you didn't know it was wrong then it doesn't count!"

NO!!! He says... "TOUGH. Ignorance ain't bliss!"

You are held to the law even if you didn't know it was the law!

BUT because God loves us so much and wants to help us he WRITES THE LAW ON OUR HEART!!!!
That is the 'Jimminy Cricket' on your heart. That conscious that is saying "You shouldn't do that..."

OH but that comes with a warning... James tells us that when you do what you know you shouldn't do it is a sin.... OUCH!

I am so grateful for a God who writes his law on my heart. Who guides me, directs me, picks be up each and EVERY time when I fail him.

Mark 12:28-33 Jan. 10th, 2016

Day 10:
Mark 12:28-33
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Ever wonder who this "Teacher of Religious Law" was?
Did he want to trick Jesus or was he curious?

Vs. 32 and 33 could be read as COCKY such as "See I told you there is only ONE GOD and you aren't it!"
Or it could be read in awe "They say you are a heretic but you speak with truth and grace and wisdom! I'd follow you!"

The point I got out of this was WATCH HOW YOU READ THE WORD!!!
When we read the OT as nothing but this mean God, we see God has having a streak of evil which HE CAN NOT HAVE!
When we read the N.T. and Jesus being all about just love (And not in a good sense but in that of a pansy sense...) we get the wrong picture... the two don't seem to mesh...

Yet the word LOVE in the OT was a word that didn't have any emotional connection to it... it was all about basically commitment!

LOVE, commit, treat others better then yourself.
I know one of the issues I have is that I frequently will expect MORE grace to be given to ME then I am willing to give to others.
I expect them to have patience with me but I am unwilling to give it to them.

Value others more than you value yourself... See them with the broken heart and extreme PASSION that God does! It will CHANGE YOU!