Faithco News:

Here are a few updates from Faithco:

1.  We sent about 40 kids to camp this week.  It will be quiet around here for the next 4-5 days.  We are praying for every one of them to encounter God in some way as they focus on God and each other.

2.  Last Sunday we kicked off a new series called iServe.  I believe this will be one of the most powerful message series we’ve ever done.  We are challenging people to lead, serve, and to give as never before.  Every member is a minister; we teach this in our newcomers’ sessions.

3.  For some reason, we’ve had a lot of new babies born this summer.  What’s the deal?  You people need to get a hobby.  Just kidding, I love it. We are having a baby dedication July 31st for all these babies.  Good times.

4.  Finally, Friends of Summer kicks off this Sunday night with FCO’s Got Talent.  I believe we have around 8-10 people who have signed up for our annual talent showcase.  If you think you’ve got talent, you can still sign up, but there is a  limited amount of space since we don’t want to be here all night.  Also, we will be having a big cookout before the show.  Watch our Facebook page for more info.

That’s it.

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You don’t have to be baptized.

Throughout my years in ministry I’ve had many people ask me if baptism was required for salvation.

From what I’ve read in the bible, I do not believe baptism is a requirement for salvation.  Romans 10 says to believe in one’s heart and to confess with one’s mouth that Christ is Lord brings salvation to the sinner.  One example in the bible could be the thief next to Jesus who was saved because he believed.   Obviously he was not baptized, but Jesus told him “you will be with me”.   No, I do not believe that baptism is a requirement to be saved.

However, I do believe that baptism is a response to being saved.  For years, I’ve been giving invitations for people to come to Christ and many people have raised their hands and prayed to give their lives to Christ.

I’ve found that there is a difference in the commitment level of a person who raises a hand or speaks a prayer, and the commitment level of a person who wades down into a pool of water in front of an audience of friends, family, and some strangers.

Here’s the point:  people who get baptized mean it.

Isn’t this is the point of baptism? To publicly identify a person as a new creation in Christ.  Doesn’t it say to all who are witnessing a person being baptized:  “I am a follower of Christ, I’m new, I belong to God”?  I believe that it does.

So here’s the deal:  Although it might not be a requirement for salvation, it is however the natural response and the next step for the person who has come to Christ.

By the way, I get the privilege of baptizing at least 9 people tonight.

What are your thoughts on baptism?

Faithco News

Here are some thoughts/reflections for some of the things that happened last week at Faithco, and some up-coming news:

1.  Last Sunday our Faith Kids kicked off one of the most important series of the year called iServe.  This series will end with our kids attending iServe day camp where they will be serving our community in various ways.  This is a powerful time to impact our kids as we teach them to serve God and our community.  Make sure your kids are a part of this.  It’s huge!

2.  Last Wednesday, Discovery 123 had its second session with our new people. They were asked to complete a personality test which will be reviewed this week to find out how each person is “wired” for life and relationships.  These sessions are taught by Deana and are always a blast as people learn things about themselves and their spouses that they never knew.

3.  Pulse was off the chain last Wednesday as Butch rolled out the largest slip and slide I’ve ever seen.  You’ve got to see the pictures.  Go to Pulse Facebook and check them out.  I think they are doing the same thing this Wednesday night at 7Pm….be there.

4.  Sunday was a good day.  From the praise and worship, to the message, I believe lives were changed.  I know I was direct and sometimes a little rough as I was talking to the guys.  However, if you want men to change, you have to speak their language.  I believe the  Home Builders series will be life changing for so many families.  I look forward to speaking to the girls this weekend.  Don’t miss a single week.  It’s too important to our families.  If you have to miss, you can always watch the messages online at http://www.faithco.tv.

Hey… in case you didn’t know, you can subscribe to this blog and every time I have a new posting, it will be sent straight to your email.  Just click on the “subscribe” button at the top of this page.

that’s it

Marriage Training?

As I get older and hopefully a little wiser, I believe I gain perspective on a few things.  This month at Faithco, we are spending some time talking to families in a series of messages called “Home Builders”.  We are using the following verse as our theme verse:

Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.  Psalm 127:1 NLT

To be a professional in any working field in our culture, it will take a person time, training, certification, and sometimes, even apprenticeship.  We grind through all these factors so we can have a chance at being successful in our careers.

Do you know what it takes for two people to be married?  Two willing people and a licence.  Training and counseling are suggested but not required.

Too many times people get married  and have no earthly idea what is in store for them until six months down the road.  Sometimes, people are married for years before they discover what marriage is all about.

I believe the best training for marriage comes from the church, and we (our church teachers)  are speaking up on what it takes to have a strong healthy marriage.

For the next month or so,  we are diving into the subject matter of husbands, wives, kids, and singles.  I believe these messages will be life and marriage changing.

Be at Faithco every weekend, or watch the messages at http://www.faithco.tv.

Change things in your home once and for all.

Don’t Go to facebook:

A while back, I read a friend’s facebook page that said: “So happy that my divorce is final”.   I’ve read others that said something like “Why are people so crazy, mean, or judgmental, etc…” which was supposedly a reflection of a recent encounter with someone who had offended them.

You’ve seen it – I’ve seen it.  People vent their frustrations with people who have hurt them by announcing that “I’ve found someone or something better” on status updates. 

Why is it that people use facebook to say publicly what they really desire to say privately to those who have offended them personally?  The bible tells us to go to the person who has offended us, and to go to the person we have offended and work things out. 

Why would a person have an  “I’m glad you are no longer in my life” natured status update in a public social network?  Here’s why:  To lash out at the people who have hurt them.  When people have been hurt or offended, facebook is becoming the first place people go to say something to a person without saying it directly to the person. 

It simply does not make sense when people hide behind computers and smart phones and launch passive aggressive statements to others who are supposed to be their brothers and sisters in Christ. 

God’s word stands true before and after technology and social networks.  Look at these words of Christ:

1.      Concerning those who hurt us:

 Pray for those who persecute you.  Matthew 5:44 NLT

 Never attack the person in a public social domain; instead, pray for them.  Yes, I know it doesn’t come easy but it is what is best for you and the person who has done the hurting.  Oh, one more thing…..Christ told us to do it.  I’d say tha is another good reason to do it.

 2.      Concerning those we have somehow hurt knowingly or unknowingly:

 …go to this friend and make things right. Matthew 5:23-24 MSG

 Don’t go to a public domain and play the martyr, go find the person you have hurt or vice versa and say: “Hey, what can we to make things right?”

 So the next time you get angry or hurt by someone, don’t go to facebook.  Instead, go to the person involved and work it out God’s way. 

 As if it weren’t enough….that’s all I got…

Home for Christmas (part 2)

Back to our discussion on going home for Christmas:

Last week, I asked you where “home” was for you.  How would you feel if I told you that you were going there this Christmas.

Home should give us warm feelings as we think of all the good memories we have.

Why don’t you go home?  What keeps you away?  Do you get a nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach when I mention going home?

Are there people who once were a part of your life back at home who need to be forgiven, confronted, loved, or even apologized to?

Remember, relational things left undone, will leave wounds in a heart. 

So this year, at some time go home…even if it is only in your mind.  Search deep within your heart and find what needs to be addressed.  Then, go home.  Find those people who you need to talk to and say what needs to be said.

Go home.

Home For Christmas

If you decided to go home for Christmas, where would you go?  For you, where do you consider home?  What comes to mind when someone mentions home?  Where does your mind go, and what do you remember most when you think of home?

If you found out that you were going home for Christmas, how would you feel?  What would be your emotional reaction: happiness, love, belonging……anxiety, frustration, anger?

For the next few posts, get ready to feel something; maybe one of the emotions previously mentioned.  Buckle up, we are going Home fo Christmas.