Change – Part 1

Today begins a new blog series on the topic of change. Change is inevitable in life, but change can often happen to us and can be rather random. However if we either choose to change or choose to embrace a coming change it can be used by God to move us to a new place where He shows up big time!

For part one today – I want to post a recent question I answered in our latest edition of “Grace in Motion” newsletter… stay tuned for more:

Q/ Jason, when will things stop changing?

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I am learning that one of the keys to life is consistency. A lot of people can be brilliant once, a lot of people can show up big time in some area at a few points in their lives, but it’s those who are consistent that see real forward movement and progress. And here’s the kicker — it’s often those who consistently take little steps in the right direction who end up further than those who take a few big steps. That being said, consistency is hard. We tend to highlight the big steps, the major life decisions and the extraordinary actions. Yet it’s the consistent movement that tends to be the most sustained life change and impact. Think about the mentoring relationship that through time makes a big impact on our lives. Sure the one time inspirational discussion with that person can be helpful, but it’s the people who know us over time that tend to influence us to a much higher degree.

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Book recommendations for Help Wanted

For each of the message series we do, I typically recommend about 3-5 books so that people can go deeper into the topics and explore the issues further. There are actually some very helpful and challenging books on the topics we are covering in the Help Wanted series. By the way, all of these books are available in our bookstore, but of course you can always order them online too.

For Pain:

The Healing Path by Dan Allender – I went through some significant pain a number of years ago and this book was used greatly by God in my life to help me better understand the journey and find hope in the midst of it. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re going through something right now.

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The Problem of Speaking on Pain

Yesterday I spoke on the topic of pain. Since I decided to preach with few notes, each service was slightly different. It’s a challenging thing to speak on pain, because you want to be honest and you also want to give hope. Unfortunately “pain” has not been handled well by some churches and teachers. I’ve seen shifts from doom and gloom to the other extreme of saying that if you’re a Christian you won’t suffer. So as a teacher you want to make sure you walk the fine line that is truly accurate theologically. 

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Easter Post Services

We had a great morning on Easter!! It was powerful to see lives impacted. The music was great and the “personal stories” (on white cards) were a moving segment for us all. I felt like God was lifted up and it was fun to be at church!

There was about 1250 people for the big day split between the 3 services. A couple minor “glitches” did not distract from the greatness of the day.

It was also cool to begin the new series: “Help Wanted”. I’m really looking forward to the remaining 4 weeks of the series. I really think it will be helpful for our community. 

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Prepping for the BIG WEEKEND

On several levels, Easter is a BIG WEEKEND for Christians! It is the celebration of Christ’s demonstrated power over sin and death through His resurrection from the dead. The cross is where our sins were paid for, the empty tomb was the completion – He’s Alive! That fact alone, the centrality of that message makes this weekend the biggest for a follower of Jesus.

In church life, Easter weekend is also big since we tend to have many friends return to church that haven’t been in a little while and it’s also a time where many guests are invited! The number of people is typically large and the “stops” are pulled out in many areas of church life in a great way!

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No Perfect People

As we talk about engaging with people who are far from God, I was thinking that a lot of people tend to see Christians as unreal and often judgmental. Like it or not, it’s the stereotype of Christians. Is that because we ask people who don’t believe as we do to live according to a standard they don’t adhere to? Could our approach to people hinder our ability to communicate the most powerful message people need to hear?

In our culture it seems that the medium becomes the message. People see the message before they hear the message. So what message does our life and approach to people communicate?

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April Fools – Words

SInce it’s April Fool’s Day I thought I would capture some verses on “fools” for our reflection today… take a look…

 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”  – Psalm 14:1

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,  but fools despise wisdom and discipline. – Proverbs 1:7

The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment. – Proverbs 10:21

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.  – Proverbs 12:15

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