Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Cycle of Grace and Growth”

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 kicked off a new series “I Am Church” at Kfirst. In this new series of talks, we are emphasizing the mindset that we don’t go to church; we are the church. And this series, we’ll be diving into the book of Acts and looking at some of the fundamental elements of the early church.

Week 1 was a special morning as we turned our attention to Acts 2 and the two intangible elements saturated in this new church.

Grace and Growth.

They responded to the grace by saying “yes” to Jesus. They began to grow by continuing to say “yes” to the direction of God.

In Acts 2, both elements are not just inseparable, but they propel each other. And that’s what sends us into the “cycle of grace and growth.” What is the “Cycle of Grace and Growth”? It’s when you get who you are, what God has done, and what you can become in Him. You see His grace and allow it to propel you to growth. But to grow, you have to lean upon His grace. One feeds the other. The more I say yes, the more I grow. And the more I grow the more I realize I need His grace to accomplish it.


Have you said “yes” to the grace of God? 

Have you grown by continuing to say yes to the next steps the Holy Spirit has shown you?

This month, we’re asking Kfirst to dive into the book of Acts and use S.O.A.P. (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer). If you need a reading plan, click HERE for one on youversion

Read it daily. In fact, find someone to meet with once a week to talk and pray about it. And when you pray, would you make your prayer,

Jesus, do this IN me, start with me.”

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: This is the song we introduced yesterday.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Mantles and Monuments”

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.






Yesterday we continued our series on Elijah entitled, “Whirlwind.” In week 6, we looked at the next part of Elijah’s story as we see him looking to pass on what God began in him into a new generation.

Elijah used his cloak, or mantle, to symbolize what God was wanting to pass on. So when he puts his cloak upon Elisha, it was a challenge to accept a new legacy.

I believe there is a legacy we live and there’s a legacy to live. There was a place where Elisha lived and operated, but God was calling him into another direction. I also believe there’s a legacy to receive and there’s a legacy to leave. Elisha had a choice about accepting the new direction. But it should end with him, God was beginning to do something that would outlast Elisha.

God wants to build a legacy with your life. And we wanted to share some thoughts about building a healthy legacy.

  1. A healthy legacy is intentional. 1 Kings 19:19 “…Elijah went and found Elisha…”
    1. Look for opportunities to pass on what God has done in your life.
  2. Healthy legacies may necessitate healthy closure. – 1 Kings 19:20-21 
    1. Elisha said goodbye to family and sacrificed his oxen. In other words, he gave closure to his connections to the past in order to move forward.
  3. Healthy legacies are not built alone.1 Kings 19:21 
    1. The scripture says, Elijah and Elisha “went together.” We are missing out on true community if we are just attending church on Sunday. You and I were meant to do this faith-journey together.
  4. A healthy legacy is the acceptance of a responsibility. – 2 Kings 2:1-18
    1. Three times Elisha reinforced his dedication. And that tenacity cause him to ask for the “double portion” or the “first-born role/responsibility.” He wanted more than the blessing, he was willing to accept the responsibility that came with it.

This week, see yourself as someone either living a legacy life handed or embracing a legacy God has given you. And what God has given, look to pour that into someone else.

Love you all. Praying for you this week.

Turn Signals: 2 Types of Marital Signals

We all have signals. Whether we purposely try, we operate in them all the time. I can pick up the signals from my staff on what kind of morning they’ve had just by their body language, the tone of their voice, or their silence when they come in and slam their office door. Two Sundays ago, I was overwhelmed with an issue on a Sunday morning. After the service, I got a pulled aside by someone. He said, “I could tell you were struggling by your body language. I’ve been praying for you.”


We all give “signals” to those around us and our marriages are no different. From the infant stages of the relationship with our spouse, we operated with signals. I’d hear someone say, “I saw him/her the other day and, I think, they’re giving me signals like they’re interested in me.” I’d love to say that, in my adolescence, I was always correct on reading THAT signal. Sadly (even more embarrassingly), I can’t say I was the best at it. Case in point, the girl’s face I tried to ask out because I “thought” she was interested.

Nope. #MissedAgain #WrongSignal

Then there’s the dreaded, “I’m getting mixed signals.” And, from experience, it’s a terrible place to be. It is the proverbial “fork in the road” and “I’m not sure which way to take this” type of signal. Ever got a mixed signal from someone? I remember when Anne wanted a treadmill (I believe it was for an anniversary or birthday). I’m telling you, when I was staring at that thing, I was sweating. Come on, you DON’T want to be the guy that got a signal wrong and bought his wife a treadmill when she didn’t think she needed one.

To God be the glory, I got that one right.

“Signals” can be quite fun in a marriage. They are the intentional expressions to convey a thought. My wife has a signal for me when I’m dominating conversations (us pastors like to talk). I have signals for her when I’m ready to leave somewhere. And when one of us misses the signal, we talk about it afterwords as to fine-tune our signal skills. Usually, we laugh at how blatant we were trying to be with them.

Some times it feels like this…

But signals, if not handled appropriately, can be quite toxic. How? They can be a cop-out to conversations. “Why go through all the trouble of talking when I can just drop a hint?” But when that is your only mode of communication, don’t be caught off guard if (1) your signal is missed or (2) your signal is misinterpreted.  When you create gaps of assumption, don’t be surprised when those gaps are filled with confusion. When we no longer assert ourselves in a healthy way (time, tone, technique), but we rely solely on signals, we create harmful communication habits. Signals are an accessory to communication, not a replacement of communication.

Types of Signals
Signals are two-fold. There’s the purposeful signal. These are strategically developed and talked about. Anne and I have them and we have conversations about them. Why? We love each other enough not to leave signals in ambiguity. If you haven’t communicated about “purposeful signals,” then you are forfeiting your right to complain when they’re missed or misinterpreted.

Then there is the unintentional signal. These take time and patience to learn. Why? Most of us don’t realize the type of signals we give off to those around us. For example, Anne can recognize when I’m in the beginning stages of depression. She can see the signals and she is quick to be as proactive with the funk that is creeping into my spirit. I can pick up on when she feels disconnected and needs some quality time. So when I pick up on the signals, I’ll adjust my schedule without pointing out “hey, look how cool I am at reading you.”

(Note: If you’re bragging how great you are at signals to your spouse, you’re really not trying to be a better spouse, you’re trying to look better than your spouse. So stop that)

I’ve learned this: The longer you are married, the less you become what you were when you first walked the aisle. As you grow older, there is a selfish nature that wants you to focus upon yourself and your needs. When couples only care about themselves as individuals, apathy sets in and the spark is gone. And the only way to combat marital apathy is to be a daily student of your spouse. The more you work at learning, the more you invest in growing. Why? Because whatever you’ve learned about your spouse becomes the place or the area to serve your spouse. If a couple can be students of each other and invest in the areas they’re learning about, they created a greater capacity for health.

Today, I want you to ask yourself about these two types of signals. Talk to your spouse about the ones you both use. You may find yourself laughing at the one’s you’ve missed (see the Three Amigos clip). You may discover that your “obvious” signals were not-so-obvious.” Also, start studying your spouse. The more you learn, the more you both can grow.

Love you all. Praying for you.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Confessions of a Missionary” with Marcus Smith

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

Yesterday, we had a guest with us, Marcus Smith, missionary to Thailand. Kfirst has been supporting him, Andrea, and their beautiful family for the past 4 years. They have been instrumental in impacting the community that God has placed them in. And it all began when the Holy Spirit challenged their comfort zone.

And yesterday, Marcus brought to us what he termed as his “confessions” that every one of us can relate to.

  1. “I have nothing to give.”
    • When we abide in Jesus, it’s THEN that we have something to offer. (John 15:4)
  2. “There’s a lot of junk in my heart.”
    • I need to take inventory of what’s deep inside of me. (Hebrews 4:13)
  3. “I don’t know anything.”
    • I should walk humbly before God and not get prideful in myself. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

Our messages are for Monday and we need to put action to what the Lord is speaking. This week, be willing to ask God to take you out of your comfort zone. God will not just give you opportunity, He will equip you to do it.

Also, if you need a scripture reading plan to go along with our message, check out this one.

Love you all.  See you this Sunday as we continue our series!

BTW, here’s a song this week for your devotions playlist:

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Developing a Hearing Heart”

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

We took a break from our current series at Kfirst to have our District Superintendent, Jeff Hlavin, with us. He brought a tremendous message from Mark 4:1-25 as he challenged our hearing by saying this:

Out of scripture, Jeff showed us:
  1. Jesus is concerned THAT we hear: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23
  2. Jesus is concerned WHAT we hear: “And He was saying to them, ‘Take care what you listen to . . .” Mark 4:24
  3. Jesus is concerned HOW we hear: “Therefore take care how you listen . . .” Luke 8:18

Jesus is constantly speaking, but it is up to us to learn His voice and to listen to what He is saying. It’s a huge part of discipleship. And discipleship is a process of growth that we NEVER grow out of. In fact, your discipleship reveals your roots.

Jeff wrapped up with the words of Jesus declaring that a hearing heart will:

  1. Bring forth a bountiful harvest in your life (Mark 4:20).
  2. Give an opportunity for witness for you (Mark 4:21).
  3. Bring additional revelation to you (Mark 4:22).
  4. Be the basis for further development of a hearing heart for your life (Mark 4:24,25).

This week, as you are spending some time in the Word and in prayer this week, listen for how God is speaking to you. If you need a scripture reading plan, check out this one. God is always speaking, but most of the time, we’re too busy to listen.

Love you all.  See you on Sunday!

BTW, here’s a song this week for your devotions playlist: