FCO Updates:

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.

What’s Coming:

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.

that’s it for now…

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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…

More Stumbling

You may remember a week or so ago I was talking about “stumbling” and the causes of it.  You may also remember the word translated in the bible for stumbling block was “offence”.  You can scroll down a couple of posts and read the first part of this blog called “Stumbling”.  I’d like to pick up where I left off.

Here is a verse that I’ve been using for this blog topic:

Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes! Matthew 18:7 NRS

In the last blog, we discussed the importance of not being a stumbling block to others.  Today, I want to address those of us who have been offended (stumbled) because of others.  Once again, Christ tells us in his word about stumbling and offences that they are “bound to come” .  In other words, “it happens”.  Yes, woe to the poeple who offend others or cause others to turn from Christ; yet, it is going to happen. 

Here’s my advice:  GET OVER IT!

If you have been offended by someone, you are not the first or the last person to be offended –so get over it.  Don’t let the enemy steal your future by keeping you trapped within the offence.  Get past it and get over it.  Here are a couple of biblical principles to help us deal with and get over an offence:

1.  Go to the offender –although there are exceptions, I believe confrontation is almost always the best way to deal with someone who has hurt us.  I’m not talking about someone who has abused or has the potential to harm you, I’m talking about someone who has offended you over church or with words.

2.  Pray for the offender –(ouch) No, it’s not easy, but it works.  When we pray for people who persecute us, it not only benefits the person who has hurt us, but it also helps us to deal with the pain the person has caused us.  When we pray for someone, it helps us forgive them even if they have not asked for our forgiveness.  Remember, forgiveness is necessary for moving on.

There is so much more to be said.  If you want to hear of watch the message Trapped by Offences, just go to our website: www.faithco.org.  Go to resources and recent messages and scroll down.  I think this is one of the most powerful messages I’ve preached.  The feedback on it was overwhelming.

And…that’s all I got for today.

This Past Weekend…

This past weekend was one of the best weekends we have experienced here at Faithco.  Although I don’t have the time to mention everything that led up to such a great weekend, I’d like to discuss a few things that really stood out:

1.  Several people came home to Christ.  I can’t tell you how that makes me feel.  God is so good.

2.  The worship band was awesome.  I liked the new song.

3.  We’ve got to build.  Both services were at capacity.  The place was electric.  I can feel God is up to something. 

4.  A healthy church is a church that is committed to reaching people with the gospel.  We will never stop our efforts to reach people for Christ.  As long as I am pastor here, and as long as God sends us people who are searching for Christ, we will be a soul-winning church.

5.  Friends of Summer Connect groups event was off the chain!  Wow, what a night.  Our people are wild and crazy and know how to enjoy each other.  Who says we can’t have a blast at church?  I liked the Olympics theme along with the competition factor.  I believe it is as fun as it is important to get all the groups together a couple of times a year to meet new people and to form new groups.

What a day and what a night.  Thank you God for Faithco.  This church has changed my life.

…that’s all I got.

This Past Weekend…

It is such a wonderful blessing to come together with the people of faithco each weekend.  Every weekend continues to exceed my expectations.  Here are a few of the highlights from this past weekend: 

1.  We have given it the name “Friends Sunday” and we ask people to invite their “Reach One” friend (the person whose name they write down at the beginning of each year they want to win for Christ).  It was awesome to see our people take advantage of Friends Sunday.  Yes, we want to invite our friends as often as possible; however, we feel like this day brings this goal into greater focus.   In addition, is sure is a blessing to be part of a church where people are not apprehensive in bringing their friends.

2.  I serve (play music) for band number two.  I always like worshiping God with my voice and guitar even if they have me in the back without any lights on me. I just love being a part of a team that has the privilege of praising God with music and instruments.  Scott Grein is our band leader –Scott you rock! (pun is intended).

3.  We are off and running with a new series called “Jesus”.  So many lives are changed when I teach about Jesus.  Over the next few weeks, I will attempt to bring to life the aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry that I believe sometimes get ignored.  I feel passionate and privileged to teach about my Lord.  I hope and pray that I can in some way please him with the words and thoughts that he has given to me about his life.

Wow.  What an incredible weekend that will lead us up to Easter.  I can hardly wait until next weekend.

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.

Friends -Who Needs Them -(part 3)

As I mentioned earlier, I was once confronted by the fact that I wasn’t a good friend. 

One way that we can measure just how good of a friend we are, is to look at the quality (not quantity) of the friends we have. 

Do you have good friends: friends with integrity who will confront and be honest with you -friends you can count on in times of trouble.  What is the quality of your friendships?

Can I say that this will depend on you?  Your level of quality friendships will be determined by your level of investment and committment.  Quality committed friends will take investment, mostly time. 

So, who is the good friend that you have been neglecting?  You need her/him and you don’t want to lose his/her friendship.