Thursday, January 31, 2013

Maintain or Move Forward

Last week someone came up to me and asked me, “How do you maintain your spiritual walk?” Now, I knew what they meant by the question – they were curious as to the spiritual disciplines and mechanics of my relationship with Christ.

But I hate that word…maintain. To me the word implies status quo, staying where you are, doing the smallest amount possible so as not to stagnate.

I prefer the words MOVE FORWARD. How do you move forward in your spiritual walk? How do you advance your relationship with Christ?
God never intended us to stay the same. He wants us to continually advance in our intimacy with Him.
I answered this person with something I learned years ago. If you are in any kind of love relationship, including your relationship with Christ, you need to do at least three things:

1.)    You listen to that person; one way of listening to God is through h reading His Word. Have you been listening lately?

2.)    You talk to the person you love; we talk to God by prayer. Have you been in conversation with Him lately and regularly?

3.)    You do things to please the person you love; if I am in love with God I present my body unto Him as a living sacrifice, I obey His will and purpose as this is pleasing to Him.

Let’s keep moving forward in our love for the Savior. Listen to God, talk to God, live your life pleasing God.

P.S. This Sunday, special guest speaker Neal Brower will present a message called “True believers are real lovers”. Raised in Fullerton, CA, schooled in Kearney, NE and Deerfield, IL, Neal has pastored in four churches. After 28 years of pastoral ministry, Neal now serves the Midwest District of the EFCA as its Church Planting Director. Co-author of seven books with his wife of 35 years, Judy, Neal is committed to values-driven, generational disciple-making. You’ll want to be at First Free this Sunday, February 3rd!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dare 2 Share Coming to Lincoln - And First Free!

This February 8-9, about 6,000 high school students will gather together at Pershing Auditorium for a weekend called Dare 2 Share. Greg Steir is the leader, founder and speaker for this youth movement that ministers to young people. Wouldn’t you love to be a mouse in the corner observing the enthusiasm oozing from their excitement?

Students will invite their friends to join them for the weekend assuring them that through relevant music, drama and engaging communication their friends will hear the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and unashamedly.

The students are challenged to be courageous by texting, writing a letter or calling an unchurched friend to share the Gospel with before the weekend is over.

As I thought about this, I couldn’t help but think, wouldn’t it be great if we had an opportunity like this as adults. And then it hit me, we do have an opportunity. Greg Steir will speak at our 9:00 and 10:30 services on February 10th. Why not encourage people to bring their unchurched friends on that day to experience relevant music and engaging communication about Jesus Christ.

Can you imagine what would happen if each of us invited one friend? We would have to put up more chairs. Which is not a problem by the way. Can you imagine what would happen if we all dared to share? We would witness many of our friends hearing the Gospel and responding to it. Amazing. Can you imagine the excitement that would generate among us? We wouldn’t be able to contain ourselves.

Begin to pray about those unchurched friends you will invite. Ask them to join you for lunch after the service and ask them what they thought of the morning. I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do.


Pastor Mark (The Bru)

P.S. Have you ever lost your courage to speak a good word for someone because you were fearful of rejection? Have you thought that helping people with their needs is all God asks of me? What step could you make to become more courageous? If these questions intrigue you, you will not want to miss this Sunday's message!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My First Blog Post, Ever!

This year, you swear is going to be different. You’re finally going to lose that weight, get into physical shape, finish that degree, get a new job, clean out the storage room. And yet the ghosts of Unmet Resolutions Past haunt you. Been there! Done that!

So what makes me think 2013 is going to be any different? Because I am going back to a basic principle I learned years ago: life is driven by habit. Change the habit and you change the behavior. A changed behavior produces a different outcome.

So instead of sitting in front of the TV watching the latest episode of The Bachelor eating my jujubes, I am going to take a walk for that hour and eat an apple afterwards. A different habit produces a different outcome.

Take a moment and make a list of the bad habits you need to change over the course of time and replace them with good, healthy, godly disciplined ones. Is not taking a walk better than sitting in front of the TV? You can even pray as you’re walking. Is not an apple better than a box of jujubes? You get the point. Life is driven by habit. In 2013 let’s get rid of the unproductive habits and replace them with productive ones.
One of the habits I am incorporating into my ministry this year is to talk to you regularly (my goal is weekly) through written word: email, occasional letter, and yes in rare moments Facebook (I cannot believe I said that word).

Have a great 2013!

Pastor Mark "The Bru" Brunott

P.S. Do you feel you’re stuck in a rut? Do you dream of something better for you than where you are right now in life? Do you feel all alone and that nobody cares? If you answered yes to any of these questions you won’t want to miss this Sunday’s services at 9:00 or 10:30am.