Thursday, February 26, 2015

Questions that point you forward

I just read the blog from my ministry coach Bruce Johnson on the kinds of potential you see in yourself. He asks the question when you look into your future, what kind of future do you see?

The question matters because rarely does anyone exceed the level of their ambitions. One of the great life lessons is to dream big because whatever your ambition level is, that will become the glass ceiling of your potential (mentally, physically, spiritually, relationally, financially, emotionally and professionally).

So, what do you see for you and your life? You can change your ambition and therefore change the potential for your life. The biggest limitations on your life’s potential never exist outside of you, they exist within you – between your two ears. Change your ambition, change your life.

Johnson gives four very practical ideas on how you can dream bigger. Read voraciously. Study successful people. Ask God to give you a bigger dream. But the most intriguing to me was to ask, “Why not me?”

In other words, when you see someone who is great at something, ask, “Why not me?” or “Why can’t I be that?” or “Why can’t that be true for me as well?”

Try a few of these on for size. If you see someone who’s succeeding well at school, ask “Why not me?” If you see someone who is healthy and in shape, ask “Why not me?” If you see someone who has a successful, fun filled and romantic marriage, ask “Why not me?” If you see someone who can read 1,000 words per minute, ask “Why not me?” If you see someone who is really smart, ask “Why not me?”

So start asking the “Why not me?” question and get a bigger dream for yourself.


P.S. Ever been in a conflict? Had a disagreement with someone? Feel like you’re having to live up to everyone else’s expectations? Do people and relationships complicate your life or simplify it? This Sunday we will probe into these questions and discover Biblical truth to govern our relationships. Join in Sunday morning at 9:00am or 10:30am. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Change, Transitions, and Response

It doesn’t take being a rocket scientist to realize life is full of transitions. In fact, life is a steady road of transitions and we are all on loan to one another. It think the enemy of our souls has tricked us all into wanting the permanence of heaven to be the norm for the constant change on earth. But the Bible reminds us that we are not to worry about tomorrow, in other words, give it no thought. (cf. Matthew 6:34)

Not only that, we are to press on toward the goal of the upward call in Christ each day. (cf. Philippians 3:14) This means we can find ourselves focusing on serving and being served in the present stages of our own lives.

know this since we’ve gone through transitions. The transition of diapers to toilet training, childhood to adolescence to adulthood, being single to being married, having children, having children launch and move on in their own lives, etc… We are also in the transition, as is everyone, moving from this life to the next. We are all here on loan to one another to be a part of this process.

The church is no different. There are and will always be transitions. New people coming, new staff serving and old staff transitioning. There were people before me as senior pastor and there will be new pastors after me. There were people before you at First Free and there will be people after you. Methods we used in the past will be transitioned into new methods in the future. (Did you ever think we would read the Bible digitally on phones?) Soon, we will add service time changes.

The question always remains for us concerning “Do we respond to transition now?” We should honor the past and help the future – but we do it all from right now!

It’s not uncommon for people to simply be disappointed and miss the opportunity to serve and be served. Instead, I want it to be common at First Free to respond with a heart which is ready to pitch in for the moment and for the need. (cf. Titus 3:14)

Life on earth is about change (growth) and you simply can’t demand change to go away. It would be the same as asking existence to quit existing or time to quit ticking. So we might as well catch on and pitch in. We have a world to reach for Christ beginning in our own neighborhood. We have a community – a city that needs us to be as salt and as light. We have a church that needs your God-given talents and resources. Let’s keep learning, growing, reaching, discipling, equipping. It’s our mission.


 P.S. Life is about choices. How do I know what choices are best? How do my choices affect time? How can I redeem the time? Come Sunday at 9:00am or 10:30am to discover how to reduce your options in a option-filled world. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

On Mission

We live in a mission field. What that means is we need a mission force. That mission force is you and me. Remember what Jesus said “Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers (you and me) into His field.” (Matthew 9:38) The world – your sphere of influence, where you live, work and play is the harvest field. (cf. Matthew 13:38)

Christian influence is on the wane but the unchurched and those far from God are interested and open to hearing about spiritual things. Lifeway research tells us the following data concerning 20-30 year olds: 89% are willing to listen to someone tell them what they believe about Christianity. 61% are willing to study the Bible with a friend. 46% are willing to join a life group to learn more about the Bible and Jesus.

It is a mistake to say that young adults now are as connected to church as previous generations – they aren’t. But, it is a bigger mistake to think they are not open to spiritual things – because they are.

Unfortunately, most of us as Christ followers aren’t sharing the gospel. 61% of Christians haven’t shared the gospel in the last six months but 79% of them know it’s their responsibility.

So where does that leave us? We must invest in the lives of those who are far from God. We must see that it is every Christ follower’s responsibility to populate heaven. We must invite those far from God into our lives, homes, activities. As we build relationships with them it is an opportunity for God to open a door to speak about Him. 70% of them would come to church to see how you worship, why God is so important to you and be willing to be exposed to God’s truth if they were invited.

We know it is our responsibility to invest and share the gospel with our family and friends; might we have the courage to begin doing so? We have been called, we have been sent, now it is time to obey and go.

March 22nd is Friend’s day. Invite someone you are investing in to church and see what God might do through that experience.


P.S. How do your choices affect your time, priorities and life? How can I simplify my life and make it more manageable through the choices I make? If I only had a few days to live would that change my choices? Curious about what the Bible says about these questions? Check out Sunday services at 9:00 and 10:30am and don’t forget service times change to 9:15am and 11:00am on March 8th (Which is also daylight savings time).