Over the next couple of months, we will have many opportunities to contribute to many non-profit organizations. I believe the key to having the most significant impact in generous giving is learning to say “NO” (read the whole blog before you start hating me).
I’m not talking about saying “NO” to every non-profit organization; I’m talking about saying “NO” to many or most of them. Here’s what I’m suggesting:
First, take a look at how much money you plan to give away this season. Second, instead of choosing 6-10 different organizations to assist, why not choose1-3? I know this means you will have to say “NO” to a few fine-worthwhile causes; but remember, the idea here is to make a larger impact on fewer organizations.
Next time, I’ll talk about how to choose the most worthwhile causes to support during the holiday season.
Just kidding; Ministers’ Appreciation Month is only once a year in October. I just want to say thanks to everyone who bought or made us lunches, wrote us cards, made us desserts, or did something to say “thanks”.
Ministry is a tough job (believe me I know), but it is well worth all the labor to see on person or family transformed to live for Christ. When people show there appreciation is any way, its a bonus and it is encouraging to see people take note of how hard we work.
Thank you to everyone who did something large or small for me or anyone of our church leaders. Your words and your gifts are a blessing.
I believe our current series BLIND FAITH: (www.faithco.tv) is probably one of the most powerful message series we’ve ever taught here at Faithco. Over the past three weeks we’ve defined faith and we have taken a look at what it is to walk by faith. In addition, last week we explored how Noah obeyed by faith. Next week we will discuss one of the most important attributes of faith that is many times over looked. This entire series has led up to what I will be speaking about this weekend. It will be the final message in this series and I believe it will be the most impacting of all four messages. In fact, several months ago when I decided to teach this series, this message was the one message that gave me the idea to teach on and name this series Blind Faith. Whatever you do, don’t miss this message. If you know me, you know that I don’t say this about every message. I feel strongly that this message will change people. It has already changed me.
On any given day we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lies can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.
While Hebrews 11 defines faith, I thought it might be beneficial to talk about what faith is NOT, and what faith DOES NOT do:
First, Faith does not deny reality: I believe words matter. I believe we should speak words of faith. However, calling things what they are is not a lack of faith. It is simply an admission of reality. If you are sick, there is nothing wrong with saying “I’m sick”. How can a doctor diagnose you if you do not let him know the symptoms? If you have no money, don’t tell people you do –that would be a lie.
I believe that acknowledging and admitting where we are is the first step of faith and to receiving what we need from God. For example, if I were a non believer, the first thing I must do is admit that I am a sinner and confess my sins. (Romans 10)
However, faith does not end where reality leaves us. Faith takes us beyond reality to limitless possibility by believing in God’s word. Instead of just stating the obvious reality, we can speak words of faith into our lives and future:
“I may be sick, but I serve a God who can and will heal me. I may be broke, but Christ came to this world that I might have an abundant life. It is in his plan that I walk in heath and prosperity; therefore I can and will walk in health and prosperity.”
We live in a real world but never forget we serve a limitless supernatural God.
If you haven’t had a chance to attend the BLIND FAITH series, you can check it out here: http://www.faithco.tv
There is a lot going on at Faithco: Here’s a few reflections and updates:
1. Last week, we kicked off a new message series called BLIND FAITH. If you weren’t here, go to http://www.faithco.tv to watch it. We began by defining faith. I’ll write about this message in a future blog. This week’s message will be BLIND FAITH –The Walk of Faith. Don’t miss this one –this is really life changing stuff.
1. Did you know that Vanz (my incredible daughter) is president of the Shawnee High School FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)? Yes, I’m proud of her for her desire to serve her school and community through FCA. Tonight is a big night for her and the rest of the FCA kids. They are hosting FIELDS OF FAITH -a national FCA event that will bring between 2-300 kids together in the SHS football stadium for a night of worship and personal spiritual challenge. All the Pulse (our youth group) volunteers will be there on hand to help set up, cook, and serve in any way we can. This is a huge blessing and privilege. Not all US schools have this kind of openness to FCA gatherings. We can’t take something like this for granted. Send your teenagers and go and serve if your can.
2. October is MINISTER APPRECIATION month. Do something for your pastor and the others who serve in ministry. Trust me, they are underpaid for what they do; it is a labor of love.
3. BIKES FOR KIDS begins this month. I’ll write about this later.
1. Last Friday, Pulse put on a 5th Quarter event for Shawnee High School. We had a good turnout and had a great time. I especially enjoyed the dance off, although I didn’t participate. This Friday, Shawnee will have its Homecoming and we will have another 5th Quarter event. Spread the word; it will be awesome.
2. The weekend worship gatherings were awesome. I always enjoy hearing and sharing what God is doing through the lives of his people who are generous. If you didn’t get to be here, go to http://www.faithco.tv and watch the message. Even if you don’t have the time to watch the whole message, forward to the end where I share Sarah’s story (video). You’ve got to see this one.
3. The Building Faith campaign continues to grow. We received our monthly offering and we are approaching $200,000 in contributions towards our $2 mill goal. Exciting stuff!
4. FRIENDS Connect groups met in homes for the first time this season. We are getting some positive feedback from the group leaders. If you’re not part of a FRIENDS Connect group, pick up some info at Guest Services and get connected. These groups are life changing. –ask someone…
1. We kick off a new series this Sunday called BLIND FAITH. Don’t miss this series.
2. BIKES FOR KIDS is just around the corner. Don’t forget to start putting money back for a bike or two for a few kids in our community.
I’ve been either out of town or out of pocket lately and haven’t been posting. I thought today would be a good day to get back in routine and let you know what has been going on lately at Faithco. Also, I want to give you some updates on what to expect over the next few weeks:
1. Pulse has started a fifth quarter event here on Friday nights after the home games. The last fifth quarter was awesome and the next one will be this Friday after the SHS home game against Norman. Although it is scheduled for high school and middle school kids, we always are looking for adult volunteers for set up, break down, clean up, and over all supervision. Think about it, you’ll have a blast.
2. We concluded the series INTERVENTION this past Sunday. Deana did an amazing job communicating just how God speaks to us. If you weren’t here, try to go watch this message at http://www.faithco.tv. Really, it was an amazing message (ignore the stories about me).
3. FRIENDS OF SUMMER was the best Friends event we’ve had. It was a great way to kick off our new Friends season. Make sure you are a part of a Friends small group. Being a part of a Friends community group has got to be a top priority for all of us at Faithco.
This Sunday we will revisit what we are planning to do in our future and receive our monthly Building Faith Offering.
BLIND FAITH -New series in October; don’t miss it. The subject of faith is one of my favorite. Get ready to change; I know we all will.
One more thing, there is a Dream Girls event tonight at 6:30pm. These events draw women from our entire community, not just from our church. If you are a chic, be there and bring a friend….life changing stuff.
1. Pulse youth continues to grow: I think they are approaching 60 kids for attendance now. We believe this number will grow to 80 before the end of the year. Also, Pulse took a trip to Lake Eufala to enjoy some fun in the sun at Jellystone Park. You might check out the Pulse facebook wall to see some pics.
2. Weekend Worship was awesome. People are headed back to church from Summer activities and vacations. It’s great to see everyone again and great to see a full house.
3. Intervention continues to be a life changing series. We intervene for the people around us more than we think. The story of Jonah was familiar to us in more ways than one. If you didn’t get to be in one of our weekend worship experiences, you should check our http://www.Faithco.tv.
4. I’m excited about some of the things coming up: This Wednesday we will have Baptism Celebration at 6:30pm. Next weekend we are receiving our monthly Building Faith offering. September 11-12 Faithco will be hosting Power Force Team. FRIENDS Connect groups kick off at end of September. If you are not connected to Faithco, GET CONNECTED! it will change your life….really.