Something to Say about the end of a Perfect Season

Let me start by saying I’m no football commentator, however I am a fan. I love football on every level. I think the game is terrific and has many great traditions. I’m having a ball watching this year. They seem to be playing more competitively then i can remember in a while. I really loved the attempt at a perfect season by the Indianapolis colts.

How unfortunate to lose at this point, especially when it didn’t have to happen. Far be it from me to be an arm chair Coach, however i feel the move to take out the best players on the field to assure their health at this point in the season was ridiculous and incredibly near sighted.

I love the quote i have heard from so many coaches, I don’t know who originated it, but it says, “we play to win, we don’t play not to lose.” What a huge statement. Playing it safe, playing to maintain, playing not to lose, always seems to land teams in the loss column.

I realize it seems a lot of players are hurt this Season, not sure why, maybe because the guys are bigger, faster, stronger. Maybe because they seem to be more strategic, don’t know, but it is a factor. To a degree it has always been, this is football, its a tough sport. I can understand the coach wanting to make sure he has his best players on the field in the biggest games. Now, however, he has to deal with the momentum shift and moral of his teams, because of the disappointment of losing the perfect season. I’m certain he thought they would win, but is it a chance you take? Not me.

Because at this time of the year, going into the playoffs everyone is playing their best and hardest and nothing can be taken for granted. Now, there is nothing guaranteeing that if you leave manning and the others in the game they will win, but there is definitely a much better chance.

Its just unfortunate that such a great quarterback, who has a team, that I believe will go to the super-bowl, and win, will not also be able to say, “we had a perfect season.”

I want to encourage you, don’t live life not to lose, but live life to win. Live on the offensive. Not maintaining but pressing forward, going for it, taking chances, not playing it safe. Add a little faith to your life, and believe it will come out right. If it doesn’t then you don’t walk away having any “woulda, shoulda, coulda,” but you know you did everything you could, and that is almost as good a feeling as a win.

Nobody’s perfect, but a perfect season is not out of the question, and that’s what I have to say, about that.


Finish Strong!

Here in one passage of scripture we find two perfect examples. One of what it means to finish Strong, and the other to finish weak.

2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Finishing strong or well, has a different meaning than just finishing.

(MSG) 6-8You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.

10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica

Thoughts on finishing Strong.

The average person feels like its good enough to just finish. Merely finishing is just surviving.

Finishing strong is winning, its ending with purpose, completing with excellence.

Finishing strong is less about externals or things people can see. Finishing strong is measured by our internal capacity and How successfully we will start the next thing.

The average person goes through life with it all running together. Never stopping to evaluate, never thinking it through. Whatever happens, happens.

A person of purpose or significance takes natural starts and stops to evaluate. To measure where we are, and envision where we go from here. Gods plan and purpose for us are so important that we must be strong Finishers as well as Strong Starters.

So as we draw near to the end of this year, we look at what we’ve done and plan for what we will do.

***Lets look at the two men in this scripture, one of which was the ultimate in strong Finishers, the other was the ultimate in failing to finish. These two men were friends who parted company over this very thing.

***Lets look at the weak finisher first. Lets see what keeps him from Finishing strong.

Demas: In other epistles Demas is referred to with honor and like one of the team, but at this moment a crisis moment, Paul facing his death and the Gospel being preached to the highest levels in Rome. Could be considered the greatest moment in the churches history at that time, and this is how we will all remember Demas.

For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica.

1. Weak finishers forsake their intended purpose. They lose sight of their Goal.
• Demas at a pivotal point, a crisis moment, just lost sight of what was important, and quit.

2. Weak finishers confuse their devotion. They love the wrong things.
• Demas loved “this present world” This implies, he chose temporal things over eternal. He made his world more important than the kingdom. He was tired of waiting for the future and wanted his now! He became impatient and driven by his own desire instead of a greater purpose

3. Weak finishers are distracted and go off course.
• Thessalonica was a metropolis, a big city, a place with numbers of options and things to take our mind off priorities. Lots of distractions. Anything that pulls us off course from our kingdom purpose is a distraction. Our world is filled with them. We can not let distractions take us off course. It’s tiring to hear Christians say, “how did I get here” I want to be spiritually hungry and I want to fulfill my purpose in life, but somehow I’m off course. It’s simple, they’re distracted.

Paul: The other friend in this story is Paul. He is the ultimate example for finishing strong. We can finish with Great confidence, we can end one season and go into the next with Strength and power. No matter what we have gone through or what our circumstances have brought us, we can finish strong and begin again with power.

Paul Said, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness with the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day and not to me only but also all who have loved his appearing.

1. Strong finishers surrender to a great cause, and are fully given to the cause. (poured out)
• They hold nothing back, they have an all or nothing mentality. They look at their life like an offering. They are giving their life for a cause. Rom. 12:2 …living sacrifice.

2. Strong finishers are willing to fight to finish well.
• They realize this is a battle its not easy, and they are willing to face the challenges and fight for it. They look at obstacles as opportunities, not places to stop.
• Paul fought for the Gospel he was attacked on many levels and he fought through it.

3. Strong finishers are focused on finishing
• Not looking for rest stops
• Not looking to slow down and let the race pass them by
• Not looking to get most of the way there.
• They are focused on the finish line

4. Strong finishers always believe in the outcome and don’t allow for quitting, ever!
• They don’t have a back door mentality
• They believe In the goal, in the purpose, in the cause more than anything. They will not quit until they finish and they will finish well.

The Birth of Grace

These are my notes from a Christmas message…”The Birth of Grace”

Matthew 1:23 (msg)
…She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus – ‘God saves’ – because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term: Watch for this, a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; they will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for God is with us)

The idea of the son of God being born to be the Savior of mankind, also included him being mankind’s sacrifice. Giving us salvation through grace. Unearned, undeserved, unmerited Favor of God.

Meaning when Jesus was born, Grace entered the earth. Mankind would never be the same again.

Several ways we see grace given in the birth of Jesus.

1. We see grace being prophesied through his family tree.
• There were only four women mentioned in his family tree. Only Four, and all four had particular stories of redemption and Grace.
o Matthew 1:3 Tamar
• Geneses 38: Tamar’s story is one of vindication, one of justice, wrong things being made right. Redemption. One of her sons name was perez (break forth) and the other zerah (Scarlet, as in the color, crimson)
o Matthew 1:5 Rahab
• Joshua 2: Rahab was a harlot but had heard the stories of Gods people and believed, so she hid the spies and she and her family were saved, redeemed. The spies said, your lives for our lives. Just hang this “scarlet” Thread out the window, and bring all your family in, and you will be saved.
o Matthew 1:5 Ruth
• Ruth: The entire story of Ruth is about redemption. About her Kinsmen redeemer who purchased her and gave her offspring an inheritance. Her son was David’s Grandfather. Jesus became our kinsman redeemer.
o Matthew 1:6 Bathsheba (wife of Uriah)
• We know the story of Bathsheba and how her life was marred by adultery but in her and David’s repentance they were redeemed and she became the mother and teacher to the wisest man on the earth.

2. We see Grace In Joseph’s handling of the entire situation.
• Joseph before he knew it was God, did not want to shame or embarrass Mary, he extended grace to her. He walked in grace throughout the birth of Jesus and the upbringing of Jesus. The amplified said he handled Jesus tenderly.

3. We see Grace in His Name
• Jesus (Joshua) Savior
• Immanuel, Hebrew for God is with us

4. We see Grace in the Conception of Mary.
• Luke 1:46-55 Although Mary was a virgin She was a human and not perfect but God gave her grace and allowed her to be the carrier of the great gift to mankind.

5. We see Grace in the Angels declaration of the birth of Jesus
• For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will towards men.

6. We find Grace in The baby.
• The Fact the king of Kings came in the form of a baby, implies an act of Grace. He didn’t come to overthrow us but to be one of us, and be here for us, and to love us. In spite of our failings and his perfections. In spite of our weakness and his strengths. That is called Grace. Thank God for the birth of Grace.

When Jesus Was born, it was the birth of Grace, the completion of the law, and Now, though man couldn’t live up to the law, He has the opportunity to believe in Jesus, and His gift of Grace. The law did its job in showing us we can never meet its standard, so Jesus Came and in His grace he met the standard for us. Now all we need do, is believe.

Take this, study it for yourselves.

God bless you.

Reaching to Serve

I am so proud of how all of our campuses are serving in our communities. We are by far not the only people doing this, it’s exciting to me to see how many churches have awakened to the fact that our role is to do more than preach with our mouths, but help people in need. People with spiritual, physical, relational, financial, and emotional needs.

I have Pastor Friends here in the city and throughout the states and around the world who are truly making a difference and caring for people. Love is active, so we stay busy helping others. Here are some of the things we have done lately.

Our MWC campus just held a banquet for Military men and women. To appreciate them and let them know how much they truly mean to us. MWC houses Tinker air force base, and the area is populated with the military. It was just a way of saying thanks and it really made an impact.

MWC has also been tailgating at choctaw high school Home football games, giving away free burgers and hot dogs and just being available to the students and families. They have also been diligent in building an ongoing relationship with teachers, administration and students by going to the school and helping out.

Edmond Campus, held a benefit dinner not long ago, partnering with a local high school for a young man who had been injured in an accident and had been paralyzed. They raised money to help him pay for medical equipment and medical Care.

Edmond campus men have been visiting the elderly in one of the local nursing homes. They have provided snacks for college students on finals week, and put together goodie bags for a local football team for an away game.

OKC Campus at the start of school handed out free snacks and connected with college students. OKC is going into local public elementary schools, and doing an assembly on the value of reading. In one day we will be in front of several hundred students, and helping promote reading and reinforcing what their teachers are teaching. We will do this on the 18th of this month and again in the spring.

Stillwater blessed 10 families for thanksgiving, fed lunch to all the teachers at the middle school, and some of the administrative staff at OSU, as well as cleaned the Payne County Youth Shelter.

Norman has been tailgating at the OU football games. They have given out thousands of free food items (hot dogs, and breakfast burritos) and connected with lots of people. They have really helped some people while being a part of the fun in the community. They Even ended up on the fox sports show. How fun.

Cordell Campus took on a project to help renovate, clean, and do minor projects on a home for a single mom.

These are just some of the things we are doing. We have individuals in our church, who have outreaches to get blankets for the homeless, others who are getting socks for the homeless, and still others who are regularly feeding the homeless. We have men who are mentoring inner city youth and women who teaching and training young at risk women life skills and parenting.

So many other things are going on and we’re just getting ramped up. One of the things I like the most are the ministries all of our campuses come together for. Like our foster kids ministry. We provide a free camp in the summer for 80-100 foster kids, and we do something we call the “Tree of Hope” Its a way for people on every campus to get involved with giving a christmas to hundreds of kids. We have people take kids wish list off the tree and buy gifts for them, wrap them and bring them back for a big party we do after our Christmas production. This helps our foster kids and our RTG (rescue the girls) families.

The greatest part of all of this is that it’s God’s heart for His church to help those who are need, and as we are helping we can share the love, compassion, grace, and Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love Jesus and all that He stands for, and am privileged to work in His Kingdom. It’s an honor to serve people and it’s life changing for us as well.

By the way on all of the projects we do, we are partnering with local merchants, business people, city officials, and leaders. Partnership is the key.

We can all do something. Please comment and tell me some of the things you are doing with your church or on your own to help people.




Something to Say About Leadership; What is Your Perspective of You?

Like I have said before the way to be an effective leader is to overcome insecurity (fear) in your life. The question is; How do you do that? I have introduced the idea that proper perspectives are key to dealing with fear. If I have the right perspective of God, and I realize he’s my father, and He’s good to me, and loves me, then what do I have to be afraid of?

However, even when people get that one right, there is yet another step to take. What is your perspective of you? So many people just don’t see themselves clearly. Janae (my wife) and I were talking about this just the other day. We are consistently evaluating one another in leadership, because we don’t want to have big blind-spots in our lives. You know what I mean, those areas of weakness everyone else sees but for some reason you can’t. We have committed we want to be aware of who we are, and how we conduct our lives.

What does having the right perspective of yourself have to do with overcoming insecurity or fear? Everything. If I see myself properly then i can be confident in who I am and not be afraid of people’s opinions. Many people are ruled by other people’s approval, its fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being liked. We can say all day we don’t care about that, but until we have the right perspective of ourselves we will be controlled by those kinds of feelings.

First as so many have written it’s important to know who you are. Know what your purpose/destiny is. However its my firm belief that you can’t know who you are, until you know who you are not. I realize that’s poor english, but true none the less.

How much time do we spend, or should I say waste, trying to be someone else. Trying to follow in the exact footsteps of people who have done great things. Instead of finding our own great thing. Its not the thing but the person that matters. There are lots of ways to do great things, but no one can do them all. You are created and purposed for those things, but insecurity creates competition and imitation. it’s fine to Emulate, but imitating is taking it to far. You can not be secure in who you are, if you’re trying to be someone else.

I use the example of John the Baptist. When the Pharisees came to ask him who he was, his answer was very interesting. Before he told them who he was, he said, as if to clarify, I am not the Messiah. This man knew who he was, and knew who he was not. He knew His role, and therefore wasn’t tempted to compete or feel insecure about Jesus role.

Look at who you are, and realize you’re not perfect, but you do have skills and gifts and talents, I believe God given. If we realize who we are is enough, and who God made us to be is the highest purpose for us, then we can do great things and feel completely confident, settled and secure.

I have been a Senior Pastor, I am now an associate. If feel no insecurity about that. I Know I excel in the role God created me for, and I do not fear what others think about it, or that it somehow makes me less important.

I am secure in who I am and am clear to finish my course with no regret.

Be the best you, and see yourself for who you are, a developing leader.



A while back I was teaching our staff, and I invented a word. “Workisms” I gave our staff several “workisms” that I felt would make us more effective and efficient. Here they are maybe they will help you as well.


1. While at work, work. (come to work ready to earn your pay, and work with purpose)

2. While at work, work on work related to work. (focus on what you are there to do, with today’s distractions we waste a lot of time, which causes stress and pressure in the long run)

3. Leave work at work when you go home from work (in many occupations like mine, its 24/7, but you have to have some time when you let your mind rest, and you definitely don’t have to submerge your family in your work)
Ministry is a bit different because you are not just doing a job but living for a cause.

4. Don’t interrupt another’s work with your work. (Think before you intrude on someone else and change the direction of their day, can you figure it out, have you researched all the options?)

5. Think through your work then work out your thoughts. (Learn be a problem solver and develop the skill of articulating the solution)

6. When you work, consider how your work effects the work of the workers around you. (You’re a team player, act like it).

7. Work in a way that releases those working over you and empower the workers under you and enhances the work of the workers next to you. (Have initiative, and be cooperative. Great team players raise the level of everyone’s game)

8. Work with a workable attitude where all workers can expect you to work with them. (Don’t be antagonistic)

9. Discipline your work, and work your discipline, so the worker over you does not have to work you over. (why make it hard on your boss? Your boss should be able to trust that if your on the project there are no worries).

10. When you work with excellence, excellence will be visable in your work. (You don’t have to be pretentious or try to impress, if you approach your work with excellence it will show up in your work and people will be impressed).

11. Plan your work and work your plan at work. (be prepared)

Don’t know if it helps you but it was fun for us.

So there you have Gadberry’s “workisms”