Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

FASTING

Posted: January 30, 2013 in Books, Faith, Life, Ministry, People, Spirituality

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18 NIV)

The only fast that God actually required of the Jewish people was on the annual day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27). The Pharisees fasted each Monday and Thursday (Luke 18:12) and did so in such a way that people knew they were fasting. Their purpose, of course, was to win the praise of men. As a result, the Pharisees lost God’s blessing.

It is not wrong to fast, if we do it in the right way and with the right motive. Jesus fasted (Matthew 4:3); so did the members of the early church (Acts 13:2). Fasting helps to discipline the appetites of the body (Luke 21:34) and keep our spiritual priorities straight. But fasting must never become an opportunity for temptation (1 Corinthians 7:7). Simply to deprive ourselves of a natural benefit (such as food or sleep) is not of itself fasting. We must devote ourselves to God and worship him. Unless there is devotion of the heart (see Zechariah 7), there is no lasting spiritual benefit.

As with giving and praying, true fasting must be done is secret; it is between the believer and God. To “make unsightly” our faces (by looking glum and asking for pity and praise) would be to destroy the very purpose of the fast. Our Lord here laid down a basic principle of spiritual living: Nothing that is truly spiritual will violate that which God has given us in nature. God usually does not tear down one good thing in order to build up another. If we have to look miserable to be considered spiritual, then there is something wrong with our views of spirituality.

(…exert from The Bible Exposition Commentary: Matthew-Galatians by Warren W. Wiersbe)

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REVOLUTION

Wednesdays, 7:00-8:15pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)

NORTHchurch

Over the past month, the REVOLUTION staff has spent a lot of time researching, praying, and thinking through every aspect of our ministry. But more than anything, we have spent a lot of time dreaming for the future of REVOLUTION.

Habakkuk 1:5 has been jumping off the pages of our Bibles: “Look around…and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.”

God has given us some seriously ridiculous dreams for REVOLUTION in 2012.

Here are 3 of them…

1. YOU WILL DIVE INTO THE BIBLE LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

Last night, I personally challenging every single REVOLUTION student and leader to participate in the PROJECT 3:45 Bible plan. I’m a big believer in having a plan. A wise man once said, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”

In an average of just 3 minutes and 45 seconds a day, 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, you will be able to read the complete New Testament in one year. Can you commit to give 3 minutes and 45 seconds a day to God through PROJECT 3:45?

2. YOU WILL BE AT REVOLUTION EVERY TIME THE DOORS ARE OPEN.

Let me be crystal clear about this, the church is a big deal. The local church is the hope of the world because it is the only vehicle God established to carry the message of Jesus Christ to the world.

My challenge to our students is to not make church optional. To commit to being at REVOLUTION every single Wednesday.

3. YOU WILL SEE AT LEAST ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS ACCEPT JESUS AT REVOLUTION.

There’s nothing more satisfying, nothing more addicting than seeing somebody you’ve invested in start a life-long relationship with Jesus.

At REVOLUTION, we are addicted to sharing Jesus. We are addicting to telling others what God has done in our lives. We are addicted to inviting people to have a life to the full relationship with God. We are addicted to seeing people get saved. No matter how big we get, no matter how many lives are changed, we will not be satisfied until every person on this planet knows Jesus.

And that starts with 7 simple, yet profound words that could change someone’s life: WILL YOU GO WITH ME TO REVOLUTION?

And if you consistently ask the people around you those 7 simple, yet profound words…

  • Your friend that hasn’t been to church in two months – will show up again.
  • Your friend that is hooked on some bad junk – will be set free.
  • Your friend that is hurting on the inside – will find hope and healing at the cross of Jesus.
  • Your friend that is living in darkness – will step into the light and find salvation.

God can take one invitation and start a revival. (What a crazy thought!)

My prayer is that all 3 of those dreams come true in 2012.

 

If you’re one of the 11,000,000,000+ viewers of this video (and especially if you really like it), please read this excellent article that brings great perspective.

SANTA WENT DOWN TO OKLAHOMA

Posted: December 20, 2011 in Life, Ministry, People

 

***HUGE THANKS TO NORTH POINT COMMUNITY CHURCH IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA FOR THIS UNBELIEVABLE CREATIVE IDEA.

REVOLUTION CHRISTMAS

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Friends, Life, Ministry, People

Love this picture…

LITTLE DRUMMER BOY

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Faith, Life, Ministry, People, Spirituality

So honored to be a small part of this special performance of “Little Drummer Boy” at NORTHchurch on Sunday, December 11, 2011.

And yes…I did play an iPad and a tambourine.

Enjoy.

 

***HUGE THANKS TO CHURCH ON THE MOVE IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA FOR THIS UNBELIEVABLE CREATIVE IDEA. YOU GUYS ARE ROCK STARS.

TWO FACE – WEEK 3

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Faith, Life, Ministry, People, Spirituality

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REVOLUTION

Wednesdays, 7:00-8:15pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)

NORTHchurch

This past Sunday during the final week of the “I LIKE GIVING” series, the founder of ilikegiving.com spoke at NORTHchurch. At the conclusion of his message, the leadership decided to reverse our weekly offering. Instead of passing the bucket so people could give money, we handed everybody in the room an envelop containing $20 with this simple instruction: be generous and use this money to bless someone.

Here are 5 unbelievable stories of how people at NORTHchurch have responded…

I LIKE X-RAY TECH

My story starts Sunday before church. We were running late for the early service so we decided to stop for breakfast to wait for the 2nd service instead. While there, my 8 yr old daughter hurt her hand. She was hurting but was being brave so we went on to church anyway. At the end of service we were given an envelope with $20.00 in it and the instructions to bless someone with it. The next morning it was apparent that my daughter needed medical attention so we took off to the urgent care clinic. Earlier that morning I had prayed for God to show me specifically who the money was for and felt impressed that it was for someone at the doctor’s office. When we got there, you can imagine i was on ‘baited breath’ waiting for God to tell me who it was. So we saw the receptionist. It wasn’t her. We saw the nurse and then the doctor. It wasn’t either one of them. At that point I kinda thought I’d misunderstood God and just dismissed it. But then the Doctor thought my daughter’s hand might be broken and called for the x-ray technician to come take her back for x-rays. As soon as the technician poked her head in the door, I heard this very excited voice in my head exclaim, “THERE SHE IS! THAT’S THE ONE!” I was thrilled. So up I went after her, envelope in hand. I walked up to her, handed her the envelope, and said, “Okay, so my church gave us these envelopes on Sunday and told us to bless someone with it and you’re the one I’m suppose to bless.” She kinda shrugged, smiled a faint smile and said, “Thanks.” I walked back to the room very excited to have been involved in the exchange. And usually that’s where the story ends. Usually you don’t get to hear the other side of the story. We’ve given many times on a hint or a nudge of the Lord and given out of obedience just content to have heard from God and been able to bless someone. But oh how nice it is to hear the receiving side of the story! A few minutes later, the doctor walked in a little flustered and said, “Okay, so you’ve got us all in tears out there!” She went on to explain that the young technician had driven to work that morning on gas ‘fumes’ and didn’t know what she was going to do. Apparently this girl was not the type to tell people her problems and wouldn’t have mentioned it to anyone. The doctor was shocked and thrilled to see the goodness of the situation. Well, as she was talking to us, my husband, who loves to give, immediately opened his wallet and emptied it. He couldn’t get the money out fast enough and wished he’d had more. He said he knew good ground when he saw it and wasn’t about to let her get out of his sight. As he gave her the money, he felt impressed to say, “God loves you, and His name is Jesus”. (He’s never said that before!) She came in a little later with tears still in her eyes to say thank you and all we could say was that God loved her, and He wanted her blessed. But she wasn’t the only one blessed that morning. Everyone around her saw and felt the goodness of God working on her behalf. I for one felt especially blessed to have been given the gift of seeing what God sees. It’s hard to express that kind of joy. It’s a little like a kid who’s just gotten off the best roller coaster in the world and all he can do is jump up and down scream, “I wanna do it again, Daddy! I wanna do it again! Can we do it again, Daddy?” I know His answer is yes, and He wants everyone to experience that same eternal thrill. It truly is better to give than to receive. I am thankful for the opportunity and excited to say that it won’t be the last.

I LIKE JARS (Feeding the Homeless in Oklahoma)

I’m 17 years old a junior in high school. Several months ago, I started a non profit organization called Change For Change. I began to feel God calling me to do something to help feed hungry people here in OKC. So I began handing out empty jars to other teenagers and asking them to put them in different locations to collect people’s spare change. I am then taking the change and using it to buy food & pack sack lunches and then actually going into downtown OKC to feed homeless and hungry people.

I LIKE KOHL’S

After church on Sunday, our family of four was eating lunch together trying to decide how we were going to use our $80 that was given to us that day to bless someone else. We immediately thought of our 11 year old sons friend, Alex, who had recently lost his father to colon cancer. The Tresler family had been dealing with the “C” word for several years. They are a very private family and so those closest to them were the only ones that ever knew that anything was wrong. We were one of those families. I would frequently ask Alex’s mom, Linette, what we could do for them. Her response would always be “Just pray.” One day, I sent her a text asking her how things were going and again what we could do for them. This time her response was very different and she was specific about her needs. We need gas cards, grocery cards and restaurant gift cards. I could feel the desperation in her voice even though we had not verbally spoken. Later that day, her husband passed away and went to be with the Lord. That was over a month ago and our family still had not responded to her need. This was the day. We went and bought a Christmas card, filled it with the money, added a little extra to it and inserted the I like Alex card. The next day, I was having breakfast with a friend and I was telling her about the 10 Second Rule and Ilikegiving.com. She told me she had been prompted to send some Kohls cash to the Tresler family but hadn’t acted on it. I handed her a card and filled in the blank with I like Kohls Cash. She rushed home to get it in the mailbox. Giving is contagious. It truly is better to give than to receive. We cannot wait for the next opportunity to fill in one of our cards!!!

I LIKE MCDONALDS

I go to NORTHchurch, and I like giving… because when a man comes to my church and hands $20 bills out to the service and says, GO. that inspires me. I took that $20 and bought two Big mac meals at McDonalds. I dont like fast food and I’ve never been to McDolands, which made it even better.. because I could turn somthing that I looked down on and turn it into somthing great. I have those meals to a women and a man holding signs on the side of the road. I split the change left over from McDonalds and put it in each of there bags. I LIKE MCDONALDS.

I LIKE $5 BILLS

We attend North Church and today heard a very inspiring story and a challenge for us all to listen and obey to those God generosity nudges. Later in the day, me and my older two sons decided to do some Christmas shopping. Before we left, I said a quick and silent prayer for God to give us a nudge. I then told the boys…“Be prepared to get one of those generosity nudges.”

I pushed the button, gave the attendant our order and started to grab my debit card like always. You see, it is common for people to tip the carhops but I typiclly do not. Instead, my mind struggles with the idea of tipping on a $1.00 item. If I use my debit card…..it’s easy…no tip. But in that very instant, I felt compelled to leave the debit card and grab one of the three $5.00 bills that I knew I had in my wallet. Before I pulled it out completely, I turned and told the boys…“Why don’t we tip this time? I will give the carhop a $5.00 since it is Christmas time.” The boys responded with a profound…“sure.”

I pulled it out of my wallet and sat it in my lap. A few moments later I picked it back up and turned it over. On the back of the $5.00 bill, someone had circled the words “In God We Trust.” Below that, they wrote with a pink marker…..‘God Loves You.”

That was it….I just knew it. That was the generosity nudge. I said to the boys…“Look!” They both responded in their pre-teen way. One of the boys responded with a “Cool!” and the other one said “That is so wierd.” 
The boys talked about whether or not the carhop would even notice. She handed us our drinks and we all sat and watched as she walked away. Yes! She did notice. She read the bill and a tiny little grin showed as she walked away.

No, it wasn’t a huge tip…only $1.37 but it was a true blessing for me to experience a very real God moment with my boys.