Monday, October 27, 2008
Just two more weeks. Yep, in two weeks we will launch our Second Sunday Morning Service. We will now have one at 9:00am and one at 10:30am. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!
When God lead me to this building about 14 months ago, I knew this was where we were supposed to be. The only concern the Launch Team and I had was, "Is it big enough?" Every time that question was asked, my answer was always the same, "We will do Multiple Services." I had no idea it would happen this fast but here we are only 10 months since our launch and way past due. So it happens on November 16.
Launching a second service on Sunday morning presents a ton of new opportunities. We will have more opportunities for people to serve (having a second service means having a second hour of Kidstowne and Kidstowne Live too). It gives us the opportunity to reach more people with God's Love. It provides us the opportunity to sustain the momentum that God is driving through our church right now. And we will have more opportunities to see God work in the lives of people, and He loves to do that.
Adding another service is not about becoming a bigger "church." It's all about bulding up THE Church. God's Kingdom. Not Midtowne. The fact of the matter is this: When you are following the plan that God has given you, you will see growth. That growth will be Spiritual and numerical. It's all throughout the Bible. And that's all we want to do.
Over the next two weeks I will be teaching a new series called "Grow Up." We will look at ways to grow ourselves Spiritually and anticipate growth numerically. I want to invite you to begin now asking God how He wants you to grow. Whether you attend Midtowne or any other church, God does not want you to remain an immature, inactive child of His. He wants you to Grow Up and get in on His Best.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Nothing has impacted my spiritual life more than my own personal Time Alone With God. My Youth Pastor taught me a simple way to spend time with God each day when I was a Senior in High School. And last night I had the privilege of teaching 45 people at Midtowne Church how to spend quality Time Alone With God every day. It was awesome!
This morning I received several emails from people in the class who started their day by having a 'cup of coffee with God." Each of the emails expressed how excited they were and how their day had gone so much better. They expressed a different attitude and outlook on their work, friends, and family. The excitement jumped off of my computer screen as I read the words of ordinary people who had spent a short amount of time with the extraordinary, and only, God of the Universe.
So What? Maybe you should try starting your day with God. I'm not talking about a huge amount of time. Just a few minutes talking to Him, listening to Him, and reading a little from His Word. It's not All You Can Eat Pancakes at IHOP. It's a cup of coffee to get your day started right. Try it for two weeks and see if your outlook on life does not change. You might find that life doesn't stink so bad. It can be Stinkin' Awesome!
Monday, October 13, 2008
My Starbucks gift card ran out. Someone gave me one to use for "office expenses" and it lasted longer than I thought it would but now it's gone.
We have a cheap coffee pot in the office that we make coffee in sometimes. It hasn't been used much lately because of the awesome gift card but now it's being used. That poor coffee pot has just sat there on the counter empty. This morning, it is being used. It is slow and the coffee that comes out of it is not nearly as good as Starbucks, but it's free and convenient. We will drink it and be just fine.
So What? Doug, why are you talking about cheap coffee and whining about your gift card running out? Good question and thanks for asking.
Here's the deal. It's hard to settle for less when you have had the best. Once you get used to Starbucks each day and then have to go to Kennybucks (Kenny the worship guys makes our coffee), it's just difficult. It's not the same. It's quite a let down (no offense to Kenny, he agrees). The same is true in our relationship with God. Once you get on board and truly make Him your Leader, you begin to taste how awesome He is. You get in on the incredible life that He has for you. You begin to experience His Best.
Then it happens. Your gift card runs out. You begin to take back certain areas of your life. You quit allowing Him to control every area of your life. You begin to get lazy and miss those Spiritual Disciplines that you know you should be invovled in every day. Life just isn't as tasty.
I encourage you today, even if your gift card is empty, dont neglect the things you know you should be involved in in order to experience His Best in your life. Stop right now and talk to Him for a few minutes. Read a little of the Bible and put into practice what you read (Try reading a chapter of Proverbs). You will find that you don't have to have a full gift card. You may feel like a cheap coffee pot but when God is making the coffee, it always tastes rich, full, and bold. That's how He wants us to live our life.
I'm going to pour me some cheap coffee now.
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. 1 Peter 2:2-3 NLT
Monday, October 6, 2008
"I just told myself I could do it"
That was the statement my 9 year old son made when I talked to him about his soccer game. He had a tournament this past weekend out of town. We went to his games on Saturday and then he stayed with his big brother over night and played a game on Sunday morning. They won that game and he played his best game yet and even scored a goal. (The other parents have said that I can not attend anymore games since they won with me not there.) So I asked him about his goal and he explained to me how he was set up to receive a corner kick. The ball came all the way through everyone right in front of him and he ran right into it and scored.
Now here is the significance of it. His team has practiced that all year long and no one has scored off it yet. He and I have worked on it in the back yard and he seldom scores. I have been telling him lately about the importance of playing with confidence. I explained to him that he needs to approach every minute of his game thinking that he is going to do the right thing and that he is going to be successful. When I left him Saturday night, I was giving him some last minute encouragement and coaching and began to tell him to play with confidence. I asked, "Do you understand?" He replied, "Yes sir. Tell myself that I am going to do it."
I can't tell you how proud that made me. Not of myself and the great job I had done communicating that truth to him. But my pride was in him because he got it. And when he told me on the phone Sunday that he scored and that he did it with confidence, I nearly burst with joy.
So what? What part of your life is lacking confidence? What is it that you need to accomplish but you are just not sure you can? No, I am not saying just put your mind to it and you can. That's just not true. However, when we approach life with the attitude of "I know how this works, I have been trained to do it, I have practiced it, I can do it," we will find ourselves being more successful and, better yet, more fulfilled.
If you need a little extra boost, check out what the Apostle Paul told the church in Philippi.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 NLT