Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “And It Came To Pass” #TrueNorth

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

I’m not sure if you knew this, but a magnetic compass doesn’t always show “true north.” It has been historically known that “magnetic north” waders in diverse directions. At some periods in the earth’s history, it reversed so that magnetic north pole has been near the geographic south pole. What we know as “true north” is north according to the earth’s axis. Most of us only know magnetic north. We follow what a needle driven by a magnetic PULL and have learned to follow that.

There are many things “pulling” at our attention attempting to get the focus of our lives. Jesus is our “True North.” And in this series, we’ll dive into the Old Testament prophets who spoke out to draw the people of God back to “True North.”

Check out the service yesterday from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • Joy is not what pushes a smile but what positions my heart.
  • “…this too shall pass” vs. “…and it came to pass”
    • One, places trust that something will pass.
    • One places trust the God will show up.
  • Joy is a statement of security.
  • Happiness is a symptom of circumstances. Joy is a byproduct of perspective.
  • God heals your past and secures your future so you can find joy in your present.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s a great song for this week…

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Hope For The Broken-hearted” with Jarrid Wilson

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series “Anastasis” at Kfirst. Anastasis is probably a word a majority of people wouldn’t know, recognize, or use. But to the New Testament Church, it meant everything. Anastasis means “resurrection.” It speaks of “rising up.” And for the new Church, it was where new life began and it was the power to live from each day.

The Spirit of God causes us to rise up out of our sin and brokenness, out of inadequacy and weakness. The Spirit of God Spirit causes us to rise up into a new and empowered life.

Normally, when I preach, I like to give a brief outline of what we receieved on Sunday. During, Anasasis, I want to send out the entire message with some of the points picked up from the speaker.

Enjoy the message from Jarrid Wilson in week 2 of “Anasasis.”

Thoughts from Jarrid:

  • Far too often we depend on the faith of yesterday to get through today.
  • God has not called you to “exist”; He’s called you to live.
  • ‪I expect that God will.‬ ‪I expect that God can.‬ ‪I will follow Him regardless. ‬
  • When we fall at the feet of Jesus we’re able to stand in his strength.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Light into the Darkness: Journaling Through a Depressed Heart

Sitting early this morning in the coffee shop, I had just finished reading John 15:26-27. I sat in stillness at the word Jesus used to describe the Holy Spirit jumped off the page.

The Advocate, or Comforter.

In scripture, the Psalmist calls this “selah” (stop, pause, think). And in the midst of meditating on the words of my Savior, the lyrics in my ear buds caught my attention. In Cory Asbury‘s new album “Reckless Love,” his song, “Water and Dust” spoke these words,

And when everything is falling apart, don’t lose heart.

Between what I just read and the words being sung in my ear, I set my pen to my journal to articulate what this moment was speaking to me. The words Advocate or Comforter have always been the reminder of Who has been my rescue and redemption during my bouts of depression. When I cannot see where help will come from, I look for someone to be my Advocate. When I cannot sense hope, I long for someone to be a Comforter.

I don’t know where I’d be without the Lord. Knowing that He is with me, even when I can’t detect Him with my senses, has been a huge comfort to me.

Journaling has been a place to process and express for me. It’s a safe place to work through what I’m pondering inside. I find it’s much healthier than throwing out a Facebook status empowering others to speak into my unprocessed thought while exposing my vulnerability to some that may not be equipped to help. So with ink and paper, a started scratching out a few thoughts.

From there, I began to thumb through my journal. It took me back to October when I shared with out congregation some of my journal thoughts combined with the song, “Let there be light.” Why that song? Because during a dark moment, it was my ongoing prayer to God,

Lord, would you speak “let there be light” in me.”

So today, I thought I’d share those journal thoughts from that dark moment when the Comforter was not just pulling me through a tough season but was working someone deeper in me.

Lord, would you speak “let there be light” in me.”

It’s the prayer of everyone who’s been hurt by disappointment
When life hits and gave us way more than expected
It’s the cry of the overwhelmed heart; the scream of a tired soul
The aching of desperation; fallen deeper into a bottomless hole
But you understand my darkness, you get the struggle of my inside
So I lift up my eyes asking you to hear my cry
You hover over my chaos ready to create with just one word
Speak Holy Spirit; I need hope in my hurt

Lord would you speak…

It’s the prayer of everyone who feels forgotten
When the devil has convinced them that they’re no longer wanted
When he’s blinded their eyes from seeing the hope of light
When their strength is drained and unable to get in the fight
I‘ve had victory on the mountain, but the valley is nothing but distress.
Lord it’s you I need. I need some hope in my darkness
I call out the only One who can reach into an unreachable place
I know I can find peace if I could just find your face

Lord I need you to speak…

To every person who thought that nobody cares
To every tired soul, bearing weights to heavy to bear
To those longing to knock but cannot find the door
To those who seek a way out and cannot take any more
Lift up your face, look beyond the valley
The sun may have set behind you but it’s not your finale
There’s a God who creates out of the depths of your chaos
Lift up your head, the Son rises to call us

“Let there be light…”

He is Immanuel; God with us. Not God “gonna be with me” or “was with me.” He is God with you. Right now. Right where you are at. And darkness cannot hide you from Him.

To those who find themselves in darkness. Proclaim what you know to be true!

You are not alone. Darkness cannot hide you from God.
You have hope. Darkness cannot stop His hand.
You can get help. Darkness cannot keep you from His rescue. There are people who are reaching out even when you cannot see or sense it.

If you find yourself in a place where you need someone to talk to, reach out. Don’t do this on your own. Whether it’s to your pastor, a counselor, a trusted friend, or to Anthem of Hope , know that you are not alone in this AND the darkness CANNOT hide you from the presence of God and His outstretched hand.

I love you. I’m praying for you today. There are those around you that can help.

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

 

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: Why So Serious? #Playlist

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday, and sometimes in the wake of a great weekend and long workweek ahead, you just need a kickstart to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together. 

Yesterday we had a fantastic day at Kfirst. We continued our series “Playlist” as we looked at Psalm 126 (Read Psalm 126) as we put our focus onto the joy that God provides. Because we believe one of the greatest witnesses to a skeptical world is a CHURCH FULL OF JOY. 

The question we asked to kick off the day was simply: 

We believe that joy is a byproduct of a relationship with Christ. But we surrender that joy when we’ve given SECONDARY issues PRIMARY places. Believers without joy-filled lives, create instability in their walk with Christ. 

So our goal is to keep Jesus in His primary place: the center of our lives. 

Next steps to regaining your joy:

  • 1 – Reflect and Release:
    • Is there ONE area of your life where you are GIVING AWAY your joy?
    • Is there ONE area that you’ve made PRIMARY that should be SECONDARY?
  • 2 – Revere and Respond: 
    • What’s one way you’ve seen JOY in your life since you met Jesus? Take some time to spend in worship. 
    • What’s one way you can BRING JOY to someone?

 

Our Kfirst Values: We keep it fun

I started a series a few weeks back about the values of our church community. Here at Kfirst, our mission is our passion:  We make it simple for people to find and follow Jesus. And our values guide us towards that goal.

Check out last weeks by clicking on the value statement:

Week 1 – Everyone is Significant.

Week 2 – We are Contributors

Week 3 – God Works in Community.

This week…We keep it fun.

We keep it fun

Many people struggle with the idea of “church” and “fun” being in the same sentence. If that’s you, it’s most likely because the word “fun” is defined as: a carefree activity with no purpose or meaning. It’s an activity strictly meant to amuse. (the scene from Gladiator comes to mind, “Are you no not entertained?”) 

Honestly, if that is your definition, then I would agree with you; Church shouldn’t be fun. The idea of being something just to amuse is so spectator and consumer driven instead of something participatory and engaging.

But…when I look up the word “fun,” the first word to come up is the word “enjoyable.” With that definition in mind, that I would wholeheartedly say, Church should abso-stinkin-lutely be fun. It doesn’t mean we discount and/or disregard God and his greatness. We don’t treat the presence of God flippantly.  But when encountering Jesus for the first time, I experienced joy like I’ve never known. As I worship, there is a passion that I find in Him. When I engage with the Holy Spirit, there is a joy that floods my soul. It gives me a glimpse of what Jesus was talking about in John 15 when he said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”

I can legitimately say, church should be fun.  Fun isn’t about something set up to be “attraction” like a circus (Enter “Field of Dreams” line, “if you build it, they will come”). But we should do our best to cultivate an atmosphere in the facility AND an attitude in our hearts that says, “I’m ready to enjoy the presence of God.” We should have full joy being in the presence of God together with our church community. We should walk in full joy when we interact and engage in our communities.  Even when we go through the hardest of times, Jesus told us we can be of “good cheer” because he is able to overcome. Think about this, in the Old Testament, when David was broken internally because of the disaster in his life, what did he pray for in Psalms 51? He wanted the JOY of his salvation back.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have Jesus. And because of that fact…

The Church should be the most joyful people on the planet.

Too many people think church is anything but fun. We’re into changing that. We want Kfirst to be a place where you can encounter Jesus and receive life change that only He can bring. We desire to see you enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit, that the passion you carry will show the world around you the greatness and goodness of our Savior.

Those who give everything to follow Christ, find everything. And laughter and joy (fun/enjoyment) are part of the ways that God blesses His people.

I love what Reggie Joyner says,

You can measure the temperature of a church by how much its people laugh.

We keep it fun.  But, to us, fun isn’t about entertainment for spectators. It’s about enjoying the presence of God as we participate together in worshiping Jesus and serving the world around us.

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations,  “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalms 126:2-3)

 

Sucking The Joy From Your Life! 10 things I want you to know about comparison.

Anne and I have different running styles.  The fact is this: We love to run, but there really is nothing similar about the WAY we run.

Anne runs much greater distances but at a slower pace.  I run at a much faster pace but at shorter distances.  When we run together, the distance she wants to run makes me groan.  The pace that I’m used to running frustrates her.  When we approach hills, I want to power up them.  She likes to walk up them.  She can run in the silence of nature and pray and/or reflect upon the day.  I love to pray on a run, but I must have something playing in my ears. 

running-wallpaper-13-1080p-hd

Simply said, we approach running quite differently.  And neither one is the perfect way to run.  We have learned to enjoy our past-time without ruining it with comparing our styles to the other.  We’ve even ceased comparing our running to other people.  Anne and I will try to learn more about running, but we’ve resolved that “comparison” just sucks the joy out of our experience.

Know this: comparison can be a very good thing.  From comparing Qdoba to Moe’s all the way to comparing running shoes to get the best purchase that gives the best performance.  Comparison is a great power that needs to be handled with great responsibility.  But unfortunately, it has become a tool for the enemy to use to reduce our joy to dust.  I think there might be no other issue that Anne and I counsel more with people than with the issues of comparison.  It comes up constantly with us because, as just stated, we hear about it from others and we, Anne and I, can tend to suffer from it.  It’s brutal and violent. Comparison wants to shred your joy apart to be the shattered remains of what it should be.  

As I said last Sunday at Kfirst

Happiness is a byproduct of circumstantial vision; Joy is a byproduct of Godly perspective.

What element would love to keep you focused on your circumstances? Comparison.  Like so many things, comparison has been so misused and mishandled that it can be such a detriment to your life.  Here are 10 things I want you to beware of when it comes to an unhealthy use of comparison: 

  1. Comparison is selfish in nature.  “Why don’t I get as much as someone else?”
  2. Comparison is a thief. It robs the enjoyment from you and others that God designed you to have.
  3. Comparison is used to elevate ourselves instead of God.  “We can do it in order to look better than others.”
  4. Comparison can be a cop-out.  We’ll find someone who we think is “far worse off”, compare ourselves, and give ourselves permission to not change because, “hey, at least I’m not the other person!”
  5. Comparison can be laced with fear.  You match yourself against an ideal and think “I’ll never be able to do/accomplish what he/she has done.  So why try?”
  6. Comparison is manipulating. We’ll try to use in on our spouse, children, friends, etc.  “If I can compare them to who I want, I can steer them in the direction I want them to go.”
  7. Comparison is stifling. We use it to dampen the joy of the people in our life who are celebrating something we can’t celebrate with them.   
  8. Comparison will make you spiritually impotent.  When you have a reputation of using comparison to stifle joy and manipulate, it can keep you from imparting the love of Christ into others. 
  9. Comparison blinds. It leaves a fog around your life that keeps you unable to see His truth in your life.
  10. Comparison can be judgement.  We can develop an “ideal” and think everyone has to live up to that. People won’t know what they want to tell you because they won’t know what you’re comparing them to.

Be cautious with your living.  Watch your life and prevent comparison from sucking the joy out of your walk with Christ. If you’re really itching to compare something, then reflect on Psalm 86:8-10 (MSG),

There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord, and nothing to compare with your works. All the nations you made are on their way, ready to give honor to you, O Lord, Ready to put your beauty on display, parading your greatness, And the great things you do— God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devo: Ecclesiastes Day 4

September is all about diving into the book of Ecclesiastes.  Watch the devo and read the scripture for today:

 

Ecclesiastes7:14

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.