10
May
10

a model for ministry & marriage (Priscilla & Aquila)

The lives of the first Christ followers can be described with many words, but “boring” is not one of them.  There were days of great excitement as men and women who had never heard of Jesus responded to the gospel.

There were…

-dangerous journeys over land and sea

-Health risks, hunger, & giving of possessions were part of the daily routine

-Open and hostile resistance to Christianity in many cities.

But these people lived it, changed the world, and learned that serving Christ  is certainly not boring.  They understood The Power of One.  One life listening, willing, availble and partenered with God.

-one life serving faithfully

-one life pouring into another

-the unity of a group working as one.

-the church, working as one body

Aquila and Priscilla were a dedicated husband and wife team who fully understood God’s math.  Genesis 2:24  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”   They understood the power of one in their marriage.

Priscilla must have been a remarkable woman.  This couples names appear 6 times in the NT and in four of these instances, Priscilla’s name stands first.  We get the impression she was key in their marriage, their ministry, and the church.  She was a strong devoted leader and witness.  They worked together serving the Lord and Paul.  Think about it –when Paul left Corinth for Ephesus Aquila & Priscilla packed up and moved their business with him and assisted in founding the church in that needy city.  Every local church should be thankful for husbands and wives like Aquila & Priscilla, people who work together in serving the Lord and helping the staff.

Some couples know how to make the most of life.  They complement each other, capitalize on each others strengths and form and effective team.  Their united efforts affect those around them.  Aquila & Priscilla were such a couple.  They are never mentioned separately in the Bible.  In marriage and ministry, they were together.  They were one.

How many of us would move as often as did Priscilla & Aquila just to be able to serve the Lord better?  Priscilla & Aquila would even move their business.  People with this kind of dedication and sacrifice are not easy to find, they are incredible assets to the local church.

What is your marriage doing for the kingdom of God?

They made the most of their spiritual education.  Listened carefully to teaching and evaluated what they heard.  Every believer needs to be growing in their faith, whatever his or her role in the church.

Are you growing together as individuals and as a couple?  Are you pouring into the lives of others?  Are you using your marriage to pour into other marriages?

Maybe you need to ask a more mature couple to help you in your marriage.

Aquila & Priscilla used their home as a warm place for training and worship. Our homes are valuable tools for serving and reaching people!

Do you use your home to serve, for ministry?  What hospitality is taking place in your life?

In an age when the focus is mostly on what happens between a husband and wife, Aquila and Priscilla are an example of what can happen through husband and wife.  Their effectiveness together speaks about their relationship with each other.  Their hospitality opened the doorway for many to know Christ.

Do guests find Christ in your home?

Couples can have an effective ministry together.  Aquila & Priscilla showed us the way.

What is your marriage doing for the Kingdom?

22
Apr
10

Noise

I have a lot of noise in my life; TV, the Radio, ipod, phone calls, voicemail, emails, tweets, status updates, two kids, my wife, friends, thoughts, stress, and more.  Those are not all bad but they can create so much noise in my life that I don’t hear God – the still small voice.  The Holy Spirit may be trying to speak or even guide me and yet I don’t hear him because of all the noise.  I don’t see and serve others because of all that’s going on in my life.

Is there enough space in my life to hear God, to spend time with God, to listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to me?  Honestly?  NO!

In the book of Amos the nation of Israel has experienced a great deal of prosperity and Amos has been called to be God’s prophet to the people.  He comes to warn them that they have forgotten who they are – the people of God.  Listen to Amos 5:23…

Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.

God was basically saying, through Amos, “if you keep listening to the noise of the world and keep neglecting the poor then your worship, your praise is like noise and I don’t want to hear it.”

I often look so forward to Sunday’s to escape the noise of the week to just praise God with my church family, but if I have been so immersed in the noise of my week God says that my praise, my singing, is just noise in his ears.  If I am not a follower of God during the week then God really doesn’t want to hear my, so-called, praise.

“Forget to be the people of God and you become just noise!” – Matt Chandler

I don’t want to be noise in God’s ear!

11
Apr
10

Easter

We had a great Easter Weekend.  We added a third service on Friday night.  We knew we wanted to do three but didn’t really want to add one to Sunday morning or Saturday  night.  So, we thought, “let’s try Friday.”  Plus, it was the first weekend of Spring Break and we thought it might allow people to catch service before they left town.  Friday night was awesome!  We had a great crowd and then gave out ice cream from the truck after service.  This provided room in our services on Sunday and they were both great too.  We had 565 between the three identical services.  God just continues to blow us away.

I must also say I had my biggest blunder ever on stage at our Friday night service.  I was using three chairs to describe where we all sit and that we have to respond to the resurrection, we can’t just have another Easter weekend.  If you know where you sit then you know how to respond.  So, at one point in the message I wanted to say, “Where you sit shapes your values.”  I blended sit and shape and “shi” came out.  I didn’t get to the “t” but it was definitely understood.  The place fell apart with laughter.  I wasn’t sure I’d be able to regain control but we did and it was good.  It’s been a good story around here this week.

Our challenge for Easter:  How will you respond to the resurrection?

17
Mar
10

I’m gonna play for Kentucky

“I’m gonna play for Kentucky basketball!”  This is what my son said to Jodi the other day.  He told her that he wants to play for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program when he goes to college.  He went on to tell her that he thought he could be as good as Eric Bledsoe, who currently plays for Kentucky.  Bledsoe is a great player.  He’s a freshman who has started most of the season and many think he may go pro after this season.

Keaton is 9 years old and he loves basketball.  He loves watching college, NBA, playing himself, and playing it on the Wii.  Just a couple of issues.  He’s got great skills, but he is not aggressive in any way and he didn’t even score a basket this whole season of Upwards.  Keep dreaming!

“I want an ipod.”  This is what my 4yr. old, Addison, said to her mother a couple of days ago.  We gave Keaton one of our old ipods and set him up with some music and he’s been listening to it everyday since we gave it to him.  So, little sister watches big brother and wants one too!  In fact she said these very words, “I know how to work an ipod.”  Mom told her that maybe when she’s nine she can have one.   The truth is she probably could work one now.  She can operate our iphones as well as us, but she’s still not getting an ipod.

Here’s what I love about these two stories.  My kids are dreaming, imagining, hoping.  They believe they can do anything and want to do big things! I want them to be dreamers, to have high hopes, to know that if they follow God, they can do unbelievable things.  I want to be encouraging them to be open to what God wants to do with them.  I want to pour into them like Paul did to a young Timothy…

“Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.

11-14Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.

15-16Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.” I Timothy 4:7-16 (Message)

I need to be building their self-esteem and especially their spiritual self-esteem.  My prayer is that my kids will do incredible things for the kingdom!

It’s amazing how often I push aside my hopes and dreams due to fear, reality, and a “there’s no way I could do that” mentality.  Maybe I need to have more of child sized faith!  I need to be more of a dreamer.  Maybe I need to be living more of Christ in me than trying to get by on my own.  Maybe I need to be saying, “I’m gonna play for God.”

10
Mar
10

60-60 experiment

This past Sunday we challenged everyone to do a 60-60 Experiment. For the next 60 days, try to stay in continuous, honest conversation with God, willing to do his will moment by moment.  To remain in him.  If you missed Sunday you may want to listen to the podcast!

At least every 60 minutes for 60 days, stop and recall, “God is with me right now.  He loves me and desires to give me good things – better than I can IMAGINE,” and let that propel you to ask God, “Show me your will this next moment.  I want to be willing to do your will as an act of love toward you.”

Suggestion:  Get a watch or beeper or some kind of alarm that can go with you that will beep every sixty minutes as a reminder to stay connected. Put sticky notes on your mirrors, computer screen, and in your car to remind you.  “Re: 60-60”.  There are 60-60 stickers you can pick up at Momentum.

The goal is to stay consciously aware all through your day that God is with you and desires a loving, trusting relationship.  Try to turn your thoughts back to God throughout the day and as often as you can—as you work, talk it over with God.  At every interaction ask, “What do you want me to say?”  At every decision consider, “What’s your will here?”

Journal or blog your discoveries each day as you’re doing this.  The highs, lows, ups, and downs.  Incorporate a reading plan into your moments each day.

As we live in right relationship with God, he will guide us to live in increasingly life-giving ways with each other.  We are not meant to take this Journey alone.  So, I want to encourage you to find 2 or 3 people to do this experiment with you!  Meet weekly to share, challenge, and hold each other accountable.  You need Running Partners!  There are Running Partner cards available at the 60-60 board at Momentum to give you guidance.

You may also want to read the book Soul Revolution by John Burke as you do the experiment.  I would also encourage you to check out http://www.soulrevolution.net.

Let’s learn from each other, hold each other accountable, and grow together!

Join the 60-60 experiment!

02
Mar
10

Imagine people with the Word dwelling in them daily

This past Sunday we continued our IMAGINE series with Scott Schade teaching on The Word Dwelling in People Daily.  I loved what God taught through Scott about the “Why’s” we should read the Word and not just the “How’s”.  The “How” is important but we must see the “Why”, realize that there are “Expectations”, and then that drives us to the “How”.  Here are the key thoughts from Scott’s message as a reminder to all of us.  We’ve also listed some practical “How’s” along with some other resources to assist you in getting the Word to dwell in you daily.

Why should we be in our word daily?

1. It points to Jesus.  Expectation: You will meet Jesus.

John 5:39-40

2. You begin to recognize His voice.  Expectation: Learn the Lord’s voice.

John 10:3-5

3. Life is defined by God.  Expectation: We go searching for life.

John 1o:10 / John 14:25-27

4. Word is planted in our life.  Expectation: We will produce fruit.

Colossians 3:16 / Romans 12:2

Some practical “How’s:”

-Just read!

-Pray before you read.

-Follow a reading plan.

-Read out loud.

-Read an entire book.

-Find a good place to read.

-Write down thoughts / questions.

-Read a passage over and over to let is really sink in.

-Ask questions of others who have the word dwelling in them.

Looking for a Bible?

I would recommend purchasing a dual version Bible with the New International Version (NIV) and the Message version.   This is called a Parrallel Bible.

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?within=1003SBR&Ntk=keywords&Ntt=niv+message+bible&action=Search&N=0&Ne=0&event=ESRCN&nav_search=1&cms=1&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D12059&field-keywords=niv+message+parallel+bible&x=0&y=0

Resources:

-Great App for smart phones is the Holy Bible app by YouVersion.  It has several versions of the Bible and reading plans.

-Bible website

www.biblegateway.com

http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/readingplans/

-Online Bible reading plans:

http://bible.christianity.com/readingplan/?gclid=CLDkx8b3mqACFR1fswodI0ETeQ

http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/Product/Bible/Plans.htm?QueryStringSite=Zondervan

01
Mar
10

Givin’ Blood

This past Sunday Momentum teamed with our Life South Blood Center for a blood drive.  Life South is our neighbors in the building next to us.  I want to thank all Momentum people who gave!

So, I have given blood many times and it’s always been really easy for me, but yesterday was a new experience.  The bag filled with blood, they removed the needle and asked me how I felt.   “Fine,” I said.   Then 20 seconds later I was not feeling fine.  I was feeling really light headed and said, “I’m not feeling too hot.”  Then next thing I know I’m reclined back and everybody’s asking if I’m ok and I say, “ya, I’m fine.”  What I came to learn is that I had passed out for about 5-10 seconds.  I even had the nurses patting my cheeks to wake me up and they eventually got the smelling salt out to bring me back around.  Let me just say quite a few Momentum people had  a good laugh at my expense.  The culprit ended up being that I had not eaten at all before giving.  Live and learn!




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