Always Something New

It never fails when we reach out to help others, and attempt to do the will of God with motives other than selfish ambition that God will give us a greater revelation of who He is.

A great temptation for a guy like me, meaning I’m 43, I’ve grown up in ministry, I have worked in full time ministry for 23 years and for all of those years I’ve been an avid student of the word, of people, of leadership and life in general, is to without realizing it limit myself by thinking I know more than I do, or operating on old stale mind sets.

As I lay here in my bad at 4 am in kibuye, Rwanda, listening to the waters of lake Kivu and contemplating what I plan to share with these pastors today I realize I’m but a small piece of a very big puzzle. I have more to learn than I have to teach. I’m merely a tool in the hand of God and what he is using me for is less about me and more about His purpose.

However I am a piece of the puzzle. I have learned some thing’s that I can teach, and I am a tool in the hand of God that He will use to change the life of another.

So in realizing this temptation, and that a lot of people my age struggle with this whether they admit it or not, I find myself with a new and different perspective.

That while I’ve gone aways down the road of my journey I’m really just beginning. I’m more concerned now with the motives behind what I do then the importance of what I do. Growing is something that never stops if we are healthy and I can learn from the very people I teach.

My prayer is that Gods kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and that it never be skewed by my limitations, aspirations or selfish ambition.

I am given to that for which God has created me for, nothing added or taken away.

To God be the glory!

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Finish one thing and Start a New Thing…

We had a great GFC. WOW, incredible on so many levels. Now we are hurrying to wrap up details, on our Africa trip. Meeting with families of missionaries tonight and getting everyone ready to go. It is such a blessing to be a part of the church that is reaching out to all areas of the community and around the world. We are flying out tomorrow afternoon. We are ready.

Next up for Harvest, AFrica mission, Kids camp, Harvest foster kids camp, 4 weeks of youth America and Cambodia trip. What a great summer at harvest and what a great opportunity to serve others.

It’s a great time to be a part of the church here we go.

What’s on Your Mind?

Collisions 3:1-2 (AMP)

If Then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

The bible says in proverbs, as a man thinks in his heart so is he.  We are told many times in the new testament, to put on the mind of Christ.  Romans 12:2, tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and Strength.

This passage in collossians helps us understand how to grow spiritually, and really how to keep from stunting our spiritual growth.  When we accepted Christ, in symbol we died with Him on the cross and rose with him from the dead.  Our old nature, what the apostle Paul calls the “old man” died when we accepted Jesus sacrifice, and understood that He paid the penalty for our sins.  Just like our “old man” died, our “new man”  now lives with him in reserrection.  Meaning we are the personification of the idea expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new.

In truth, we at that moment of salvation are regenerate.  When our faith connects with God, he changes us.  However our old nature, sin nature, carnal nature is at war with that spiritual reserrection and we have to remind ourselves daily that old man is dead.  How?  will we struggle with this forever, boredering on a defeated life foreaver?  Not knowing if we are going to make it spiritually.  No.  Not if we do what this passage says. “Set your minds, and keep them set on what is above.  Meaning godly thoughts, a mind that is transformed and progressively changed as a result of thinking on the word of God, and on Gods plan and purpose for them.  We know that we think on things we allow into our lives.  So what is on your mind today?  Worry?  Stress?  Sin?  trouble?  Gossip?  Failure? Past?

It says, “Set.”  Which means establish, found, consistant.  It implies don’t let anything take your thought life off course?  So two things.  1.  Take the time to meditate, think on Biblical, godly, and purposeful things.  2.  Don’t listen to, follow after, fill your mind with other things.  No fear, just faith.  No gossip, just truth.  No worry, just peace.  No Sin, just righteousness.  No failure, just hope.

What’s on your mind?

 

 

 

 

Summer @ Harvest

This summer has been incredible at harvest. Starting with the GFC, Pastor Nancy and her team put together a powerful conference so many ladies from each of our campuses and from churches around the region were empowered and encouraged.

Two days after GFC our Global Reach for Justice Africa team went to Africa. We held a leadership conference and medical clinic in Rwanda, and built an education building. It was life changing for many Africans and all the team.

While the team was still in Africa, we had our Youth America Kids Camp, a huge success! Pastor Phil and the team conducted a great camp experience for hundreds of elementary students. Many decisions for Christ, and leadership development for kids leaders from other churches.

Immediately following kids camp was our Foster kids camp. this is a camp free for foster kids ages 7-11. We treat them like royalty. 60 foster kids and families were blessed by this week. Allison Morris did a great job leading the team to create an awesome atmosphere for each of these kids.

The very next week we started the Youth America Youth camps. 3 weeks of the most powerful camps we have ever experienced! The batton was passed to Grant and Monica Pankratz, and they and their team did an outstanding job, leading the beginnings of a movement that I believe will ultimately effect the nation. There were thousands of campers and hundreds of decisions for Christ. The speakers were first rate, and God showed up.

During all of that all of our campuses are showing signs of growth and enjoyed a great series called “Dream Big,” as well as the Fantastic four weekends. four weekends where we streamed live to each campus four guest speakers. It was fantastic and we just wrapped that up with Dino Rizzo.

We are about to graduate our first class of NGI, and receive our second, and wrapping up the summer outreach with a Global Reach team going to Cambodia.

Now we are starting a new series called the “Power of We”. I can’t imagine the results. Thanks to all the volunteers of harvest who realize we are the church and were highly involved. Thousands of volunteer hours were put in this summer and it’s made a huge difference in the lives of so many.

We glorify God for all He has done and the privelege it is to be used by Him to help others.

Day 2 and 3 Servolution….Personal Impact

Saturday and Sunday on harvest MWC Campus our projects were an absolutely no cost car wash, and an outreach to “Manor Care” a local nursing home facility.

we have had a good number of volunteers in all our projects. The car wash was Fun and interesting. People would pull in we would give them a couple of gifts, a bottle of water, and a car wax product and applicators, then we would wash their car. It was amazing to me, how many people wanted to give us money, and when we said no, it was as if they couldn’t grasp what we were doing. They really were having a hard time understanding this totally free, no agenda car wash. Once they got it they were really appreciative, wanted to know where we were from, and why we were doing this.

It shocked me at the response, and to be honest made me a little sad. I was sad because it is so foreign for someone to do something kind like this just to be kind, and not have an agenda or want something in return. It has really challenged all of us, to live our lives serving others, every day. Coming out of this, it will no longer be an event but a lifestyle.

We washed one lady’s car who lived in the neighborhood close to the wash, and her family were obviously impoverished, didn’t have a lot, but a few minutes after we had washed her car, her little son came walking up from their house, his hands full of change. He said “we wanted you to have this” If we had been raising money they had no clue what it was for, but were so moved by our generosity they were ready to give. Our youth pastor told the little guy, you take that money back to your mom, and tell her we just wanted to bless you guys.

I pray that the church becomes known in the community, not as the neediest, but as the most generous. Let the world know that Jesus Loves them, and his people stand ready to show it.

On Sunday we had great services and that afternoon we went to the nursing home. We took adults, teens, and children with us, and we sang songs, we gave out gifts and we just sat down and talked with these wonderful, beautiful elderly people. Honestly our hugs and hand shakes were the best thing we could have done. My girls, Sydney and Taylor set down and talked to a lady named Pauline. She was so sweet, obviously her memory was affected and she had a hard time putting thoughts together, so we just begin to tell her about ourselves, and she loved it, she loved my girls hugging her, and holding my hand. It was interesting watching my girls in this setting, they have so much love to give and i am glad to be teaching them that this is what Christians do, they show the love of Jesus in a practical way. My oldest has decided that after church on Sunday we should make it a regular journey to see Pauline, and my youngest just cried, visably moved at the loneliness of an elderly person in her situation.

Love goes farther than we can imagine, its a touch of sincerity, a hug that says, I don’t even know you, but I care, a heart that is overflowing with compassion, not even knowing what to do but to say, I love you.

What we are finding is serving people can be inconvenient, and serving people can be awkward, but serving people is the mandate on our lives and the expression of our faith, and the love of our Savior.

Our culture, our people, our families, and our lives are changing, I feel forever. We have always done things for the community on some level, we have branched out in the last few years locally and globally, but I feel we are moving to a whole new level of love, and compassion for people. A revolution means a complete turn. This has been a complete turn of serving. A Revolution of Service.

More to come….honoring and appreciating our Dept of human services employees today. They’ve already begin to thank us, and we haven’t even done it yet. Just the thought moved them.

Remember its not about what we are doing, its not about, how good we are, cause we all know better, its about one thing. Expressing the Love of Jesus to people in all walks of life. Thank you Jesus, it’s all about you.

David

My hero part two…

Hero’s are truly all around us.  In my mind a hero is a person who is actively involved in making a positive difference in the lives of others, by sacrificing themselves.  I know numbers of people like this.  People who have been blessed and see life as an opportunity to be a blessing to others.

Hero’s see need and say, something has to be done.  To them this is not a suggestion, rather a statement of fact.  Hero’s never point at others and say you should do something, they take the responsibility themselves and do what they can.

Hero’s realize they don’t have all the answers, and they can’t fix all the problems, but the difference between a normal Joe and a hero, is action. Normal Joe says, “someone should do something,” hero says, “I will do something.”  We can’t do everything, but we can do something, and what we must never do, is nothing!

Whether you are a teacher in the classroom, a professional in business, a mechanic in a shop, a worker in a plant, a doctor in a hospital, a pastor in a church, we can all do something.  Will it take us beyond our level of comfort?  Yes.  Will it require sacrifice?  Yes.  Will it feel like its more than we can do?  Yes.

I think we should all go that extra mile, stretch beyond our boundaries, lead beyond our level, and achieve change.

Pat Bradly, of International Crisis Aid, is one of my hero’s.  Pat is a man who is truly doing things to change the world.  A few years ago he was in a crisis moment of his life, and he asked God to help.  God helped him make a major life change, which saved his marriage and his life.  He has an advertising business and is a blessed man, and is a blessing of a man.  Pat with his non-profit organization International Crisis aid, goes into “no go” zones.  He feeds the hungry, brings medical care to the malnourished, and is helping to rescue young women out of the sex trade, which is modern day slavery that is effecting the entire globe.

Here is a man, who is as down to earth as it gets.  Hes normal, fun, excited about life, has a great family, and is making a difference.  The way you know a person is really making a difference is they will always say, we need to do more, which I hear Pat say frequently.

So Hats off to my hero, Pat Bradly.

-David