Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When you feel like you are "second rate."

As I listened to a young leader share his disheartened, defeated feelings, I felt like I was being beaten within. He and others who supposedly were experiencing the same feelings, felt like 2nd rate, under appreciated people. They felt like they were being treated as lower class servants or leaders!


Well, there’s more to this story, but the outcome for me was a lesson (actually several lessons!).

  1. Listen closely to the pain people are experiencing.
  2. Guide them gently to the Word of God.
  3. Correct any wrong thinking or behavior.
  4. Call them to God centeredness, out of self centeredness.
  5. Be a leader who communicates through my life, actions and words, that NO ONE IS 2nd RATE!

We Believe that every person, Christian and non-Christian alike, is valuable to God and to His Kingdom. Because people are eternally valuable to God, they are to us as well. Responsible evangelism will always be our cause and ongoing discipleship will always be the core of the ministry.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Christ-likeness and my time

“I don’t’ have time!”

That’s a common phrase isn’t it?

Does it really mean, that “It’s not my priority.” (right now or ever:)

We all have 1440 minutes in a day.

Knowing our purpose, being focused, setting direction & goals for the day, will enable us to use our time wisely. Lack of discipline, not lack of time, in these areas can affect our initiatives to be Christlike in life.

Does every second and minute of how we live life count?

Jesus...to be and become more like You, to know and fulfill Your Kingdom purpose, is my highest aspiration. I submit my life, my time into Your hands!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Christ-likeness and my heart

In order to be a growing Christian, to become more like Jesus, we need to live out certain spiritual disciplines. Reading and meditating on God’s Word, Prayer, Fellowship, Bible Study ...and I’m sure you can think of more. But these disciplines can turn into spiritual activities on a check list. Our hearts and lives may not be changed by “doing” these practices.

So let’s not forget that Jesus didn’t come into the world to save us from what we are doing wrong, just to help us live right. He came that we might be transformed in heart, mind, motives, desires, character. Let’s allow God to work on these areas and the spiritual disciplines will follow.

Am I loving, living our His joy, overcoming evil desires and motives? Am I humble, slow to anger, kind...? I want to be like You Jesus...in heart and character...and life!

Romans 14:17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. (NLT)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Special Guest Jeremy - on character before skill

Jeremy's thoughts about hiring employees relates to the process of the church and who we place as leaders over our ministries and fractal teams. At New Hope, where we desire to develop and deploy people's gifts and skills for God, we must continue to develop the heart and character of our people.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Discernment; Training for Christ-likeness

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. ~ writer of Hebrews [ch.5]

  • What area in your life is God asking you to train your discernment?
  • Can you hear what God is saying to you involving the "good & evil" you need to be aware of in a particular situation?
  • What is He calling you to do or change to become more like Christ in this area?

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Still Undefeated!"

I was tired after a long weekend at church but decided to go running. I was doing some wind sprints (trying to:) and I was exhausted! While trying to muster up energy to continue, I saw a t-shirt someone was wearing that said “Still Undefeated.”

Yes, i really enjoy martial arts, boxing and contact sports! Having a winning record on a team or individual sports is a good goal. Who wants to lose or be known as a loser? Of course, I believe losing can build character, losing can be a part of life, losing can make winning that much more rewarding and all the other benefits we can list of losing.

But when it comes to my Lord and Savior - my personal relationship with Jesus - how I live my life - I can say by the grace and mercy of God [and I mean by the grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, strength of God!] - I am STILL UNDEFEATED! Undefeated because Jesus has already defeated the devil and conquered sin, death and all evil!

Brothers and sisters!

You and I are undefeated because of the work of the cross of Christ! Yes, we get knocked, down, stumble in our sin, get discouraged, yadi-yadi-yadi-yadi...ya!

But thanks be to God who ALWAYS leads us in triumph in Christ! 2 Cor. 2:14

Let’s get a hold of our victory, by getting a hold of our promises and truths in Jesus, through His Word! We’ve got the victory because we’ve got the Victor --- living in us!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hiding His Word in our hearts

  • Do you see the value of memorizing Scripture?
  • When was the last time you memorized a particular passage?
  • Is there a Scripture verse or 2 (or 3) that you will start committing to memory...today?
  • ...Just do it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Christ-likeness and God's Word!

  1. What must I practically do to allow God's Word to transform my thinking? ...to transform my lifestyle?
  2. What area of my heart do I need God's Word to grasp and change me?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

B3 in Christ-likeness

Heart Questions:
  1. Where am I, in my relationship with Jesus? pursuing, stagnant, discouraged, in love, growing...?
  2. What's holding me back from being more Christ-like, in heart, in love, in life?
  3. What must I do today, to become more like Jesus?

B3 as the church


1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Abide, Live in, Live out MY love!

Hi Evangelism team -

I'm impressed of the Lord to share this word with you all.
It's a word I sensed in my heart for me! “Rod - Why do you share My acts of love? Are you doing acts of love and service for Me? Or because of Me?

Lord – It’s because of You, who You are, Your love, forgiveness, work of the cross, life ... I love You. I love You, because You first loved me! Help my heart, life, service to be about You. To be a “human being” in love with You – not a “human doing” acts of love for You!

So --- I ask... How are you “being?”

Praying for our team!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Core Values - Am I, are we, as Staff, Living our values?

Hello Evangelism Leaders:

As a staff pastor and leader of Evangelism and our church, I don't love and appreciate you for your gifts, talents, service - I love you for your commitment to Jesus, His Word, to becoming a stronger disciple and to His church - capital C!

Without YOU, our volunteer leaders and servants, we shrink in fulfilling His call - not just to reach our world for Jesus and do church as a team, but to BE the Family of God who chooses to express His love in community with the Godhead and one another!

There's an urgency in my heart to be one with you, our volunteers, our volunteer leaders and servants. To serve, shepherd, value and honor you in a manner worthy of Him!

I challenge you - to challenge me. To hold me, our staff accountable to our Core Values!
  • God is worthy of my very best, so I commit to a lifestyle of spiritual growth with honest accountability, genuinely loving and caring for our volunteers, because our volunteers are so valuable to God, to His kingdom and New Hope. I commit to doing church as a team, as as a developing & deployed minister, presenting the Gospel of Jesus as one team, to reach hearts while equipping emerging volunteers and leaders to reach our generation for Jesus... Together!
  • Am I living towards these values? Do I treat you in a manner worthy of your calling in Jesus?
Thank you for your commitment to me, our Evangelism staff, to partner with us to worship & love Him, grow in & live for Him, and fulfill His Kingdom will together!

with much love, honor and great respect - your brother, friend and pastor,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A 2010 message from Pastor Wayne

I received this encouragement from Pastor Wayne at the beginning of this year. I love meditating on this :) Read slowly - carefully - prayerfully.

Praying for you "for less" in 2010

  • Less time on possessions………more on relationships.
  • Less telling ..... More learning.
  • Less score for me in golf when I play.
  • Less work and projects…….more time with my kids and grandkids.
  • Less excuses…….for not spending time alone with God.
  • Less standard of living………….more standard of giving.
  • Less focus on negative politics and things I can’t control…………more focus on God’s grace and our freedom in Him.
  • Less complaining…..more thankfulness.

I pray that your year will “richer” in the things that are really important and “poorer" in the things that are not.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

B3 and teams

Hello Leaders:

B3 - Building Back to Basics ... and team building!

How can we build teams at New Hope? We need to fully understand the importance of being a team player!

Sometimes it's easier to "just do things yourself" isn't it? But that can be so selfish because we want to avoid "the hassles" of working with others, waiting on others or communicating with others.

Leaders will build teams. But leaders must be team builders. In other words, you and I must be able to build people, develop solid relationship, communication and listening skills. Then we may say "I am a team player" - until I don't get "my way" or something or someone is interfering us.

Dear Evangelism Leaders - Let's build teams, by being people builders and team players.

Action Plan:
  1. Develop people skills.
  2. Build your fractal team.
  3. Meet with your fractal teams to build relationships, not just building ministry.
  4. Pray sincerely for one another...this can be life changing!
Building hearts with you,