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Showing posts from February, 2008

Oh Those Allergies!

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I kissed the puppy, the puppy kissed me, now I look like Angelina Jolie. (check out that upper lip!)

Remember this name

His name is Eckhart Tolle. Oprah Winfrey picked his new book, "A New Earth" 4 weeks ago and it has sold nearly 3.5 million copies. You can read more about it here. This guy is dangerous. He doesn't claim any particular religion or philosophy. But a quick review of his writings show a huge influence in Hinduism and Buddhism. What is even more dangerous is his philosophy which is very "spiritual" without being "religious". Millions of people will be sucked in with this spiritual junk that hasn't worked in thousands of years and it isn't going to make it tomorrow either. What can you do? Step 1 - PRAY!

March

To be quite honest, with Easter being so early this year, preparing and planning for Easter has been a bit of a struggle. But Easter is really beginning to shape up as well as the whole month of March - I'm really excited about what can happen in March! March Sunday Series - I Love My Church - isn't some generic series of messages about church - it's about us! FFWC! Youth Rummage Sale - I'm headed up into the church attic to see what we need to unload. But a bunch of stuff came in last night and we need more! iPod giveaway - During the month of March every person who signs up to get our weekly eLife will get a chance to win an iPod. Those of us who attend or have already signed up do not qualify. But your friends and family do! Spread the word AFTER this Sunday. Good Friday - We just added a Good Friday service. We will be showing the movie, The Passion of Christ. If you know someone who cannot attend Easter Sunday! Bring them to this service. Intro to Fai

Starbucks Closed

... for a few hours yesterday. After writing for the last few days about buy ins, vision, mission and core values. Then reading about the fluidity of the average Americans attendance to church. What Starbucks did yesterday made sense. I wish we could do the same thing. Starbucks is getting their tail kicked by a clown. He has red hair a red nose and his name is Ronald. McDonalds is moving in on Starbucks profit share and really hurting them. So Starbucks brought back their founder CEO Howard Schultz to turn things around before it gets to bad. So what did he do? A mandatory three-hour training session on how to make an appropriate cup of coffee. To most of us that would seem to be a little insulting. It is sheer genius! Starbucks sells more than a cup of coffee, they want that cup of coffee to be a pleasant experience that you will want to come back for. If the churches, our included, were to take the time to relearn how to do worship, welcome guests and do ministry. I

Hot Topic

The LA Times , MSNB and CNN all recently picked up on a study was released by the Pew-Form on Religion and Public Life. It says, among other things, - 78.4% of Americans are Christians, about 5% belong to other faith traditions and 16.1% are unaffiliated with any religion. - Secular unaffiliated Americans account for 6.3% of the population; religious unaffiliated, 5.8%; atheists, 1.6%; and agnostics, 2.4%. - At 1.7% of the population, Jews make up the next-largest religious group. Buddhists are 0.7% of the population; Muslims 0.6%; and Hindus and New Age followers, both 0.4%. What trends are we seeing here: - Non-denominational churches are gaining members. - U.S. about to lose its status as a majority Protestant nation. - 25 percent of adults leave faith of their upbringing. - Survey found a dropping confidence in organized religion. In a separate survey from UCLA which you can read about at churchrelevance.com - 43.7% of freshmen frequently attend religious services while 25

Our Core Values

Churches have to have core values. Without them it wouldn't know how to do what they are suppose to do. For example, if the church doesn't value sinners, then there will be little effort on their part to reach them at most levels. Quite honestly, over 12 years it hasn't been the vision or mission of FFWC that's been challenged - it has been our core values. For years people use to tell me, why doesn't so and so come to church? Given the opportunity they would confront so and so and ask them, "What's wrong with you - why don't you come to church? Don't you understand that you have to go to church?" That would be the last I would see of that person ever again. While I was preaching and teaching, "Put people first!" they were chanting, "Come to church, then your first." So here is my question. What should our core values be? I'm opening the floor to ideas and information from you - I can use your input. Her

Spring Cleaning

This week is spring cleaning week for us. So if you come around the office or church and see a bunch of stuff all over the place, it's ok. However, I wouldn't stand around to long either I'll get you to help or I might package you up in a box by accident. (I tend to be pretty ruthless about this every year) So clean out all your closets, garages and attics. The youth rummage sale is this weekend and they need our junk!!

Great Day!

I really, really, really, enjoyed preaching the Driven series. It turned out better than I thought it would. But that's God for you! He really did a great job in our hearts and lives this past month. Let me say quickly that I am looking forward to this next months series. I believe, really believe that it could changes this churches future for the next 25 year or so. But more on that next Sunday. We really had a great, great today! Tell someone and bring a friend next Sunday - Jesus will be here and that makes it worth it all - doesn't it!

What do you value?

What makes you tick? What makes you the person that you are? How do you come to make the decisions that you make? Some people go through life with a "fly by the seat of your pants" philosophy. The truth is, you have core values (or a lack thereof) that is the filter you run your whole life through. What are your core values? What are the most important things about your life? Having fun? Are you a penny pincher? Your family or your faith? The first thing you have to ask yourself is this, "Are your core values the same as God's?" I would recommend that you take some time for an honest assesment. Reflect on the last few weeks and ask yourself, "What was I known for?" You may or may not like the answers. But realize that as life presented itself to you, it was filtered through your values and came out through your attitude. I've heard people say that a people cannot change. It's true that in my own power I can change no one. B

The Vision Pt.2

Our vision is to help people to experience God’s love in real and relevant ways. To enjoy each others company as a healthy, strong and wonderful community. As a follower of Jesus we desire to live the life He has planned for us honoring Him with the gifts He has given us. Then we want to give back to our world what He has given to us . Or in short, Experience God - Enjoy each other - Live the life - Give back to your world. OK, this one is a little longer than usual, but I think you will agree it was worth it. Now let's look at "Live the Life" This quite possibly could be the hardest for people to embrace because it challenges our selfishness. Here's the problem. Most people here in America think that their life is pretty good. Especially here in Palm City. When people have everything that they want. "Why change?" "Life is good!" "It's everything I could have hope and dreamed for?" Remember what God said in Jer 29:11? He

The Vision

Our vision is to help people to experience God’s love in real and relevant ways. To enjoy each others company as a healthy, strong and wonderful community. As a follower of Jesus we desire to live the life He has planned for us honoring Him with the gifts He has given us. Then we want to give back to our world what He has given to us. Or in short, Experience God - Enjoy each other - Life the life - Give back to your world. A vision statement is the ultimate buy in. This is where you and I say, "This is it!!" A few years ago the greatest pizza giant was Dominos. Their statement was "We Deliver." They made millions off of delivering pizzas. Personally for me, I don’t like their pizza (sorry Dominos) but because they delivered - I bought. Then another company came along and their statement was "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza" and they delivered too! I like Papa Johns pizza!! Soon Dominos began to fall by the way side. Two sentences was the di

I Can Say The Word Now!

Superbowl, Superbowl, Superbowl!! The word just came down the pike and you can read about it here!! click here

Environmental Stewardship Award

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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, FFWC was nominated for an Environmental Stewardship Award by Keep Martin Beautiful Organization. If you don't know we participate in the Adopt A Road project and clean Mapp Road between Martin Downs Blvd. and 714. Last year, during the month of October, we cleaned every street in Old Palm City. Now we didn't do this to get attention for ourselves, we simply wanted to make a contribution to our neighborhood. Anyway, we didn't win. As it turned out the very people who were sitting at our table were the ones who won. They have been nominated for the last 14 years. Congrats go to Russ Overholt for his efforts in keeping Dixie Hwy. in Hobe Sound litter free. But you should have seen the faces of people when we were announced. Faith Family who? They did what? We were the only church represented this evening. I really feel good about that!

Hope and Future

After reading Jer. 29:11 you can understand our Mission statement. "Giving hope and building a future." A mission statement boils who we are and what we do down to one sentence. FFWC is here to give people hope and help them build a future in Jesus Christ. Our desire is to lead people through a process by which they will make Jesus their Savior and Lord. Now let me stop here a second and speak to that last sentence, especially the part that says, "... make Jesus their Savior and Lord." You and I understand that, but the average person on the street doesn't. Allow me to recast the sentence. "Our desire is to lead people through a process by which they will fully entrust their faith and life to Jesus Christ." I said the same thing, while increasing the number of people who understood it. If people cannot understand what we are offering and what we are doing, they will not receive what we have to offer. This is why we use language that most

Where does vision come from?

Yesterday, Mike wrote in his comment that it took longer than 5 minutes. I pretty much knew that it would take more than 5 minutes to answer the question - but for Mike - it is time well spent. He doesn't have to ponder the thought anymore, he can put on his Nikes and "Just Do It." That is the purpose of a vision and mission statement. It takes the guess work out of many of our decisions. If it doesn't fit Gods plan - you don't do it. So where does the inspiration for this come from? Good question - because if you don't go to the right source you will not get the right answer. Our theme verse for FFWC is Jer. 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Vision and Mission come from God. When He speaks into your life and/or about this ministry, what He says shouldn't be a mystery. Go to the Bible, God's Word, and let Him sh

LFTL Banquet

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Last nights banquet was great. The Scanlons along with Betty, Anneka and a friend of ours, Tony Bishop were in attendance. At first I thought something had gone horribly wrong because the attendance was so low. I then learned that 3 of our mens groups from our area were going into Cuba this morning and could not attend. Wow that is exciting! David Grant did a great job, as always, and I paid $110 for a pie. Why did I do that? Because it bought 11 Fire Bibles for Cuban pastors. Come to Wednesday evening service and I'll share it with you.

Vision and Mission

Years ago when I first heard these words I was confused. What's the difference? Why do we need them? What's their purpose? Are they that important? Well I wasn't the only one who had these thoughts. It wasn't long before a big dump truck of books was delievered to our doorstep telling us the answers to our questions. The problem was, none of them agreed with each other. Honestly, I've refereed more fights about what the definition of vision and mission is than what the actual vision and mission statements said. So why do we need a vision and mission statement? It wasn't that long ago that we as an American people were a focused group of hard working individuals that worked together to make a better life for ourselves. We knew what we wanted and we knew how to get it. But things begin to change. As we achieved these goals we begin to ask, "What's next?" Children grew up and said, "There has to be more!!" Our world began to

I wish I would have said this.

I know this is the truth from personal experience. click here

WOW What a Sunday!

What a great day we had today! A full house, great worship, great friends and an awesome response to todays spiritual challenge. There was a joy of the Lord in this place that really touched peoples hearts. A sense of His presence in our lives that gives us hope and so much more. I stand in awe of days like today and thank Him for His grace and mercy to us. Now Satan would love to tell you that it was all hype and emotion. Yes there is emotion and that isn't a bad thing considering God created us with emotions. But it wasn't hype - today was the real thing. You may face some challenges this week, but remember, God's mercy is new everyday. Tomorrow there is a whole new portion of love, joy and peace just waiting for you!!

Buy In Worth or Worthless

Some churches have exploded with growth because their vision and mission is built around the people they are trying to reach. That's isn't all bad as long as that vision is God given and ordained. Build a vision that simply makes the church the most attractive church in town only develops big, shallow churches. That isn't to say that ministry isn't going on or that some are being discipled well. Keep reading. Big numbers, with big programs and big staff seems to be the desire of many people who are looking to buy in to a church. But are they looking for a church that is doing great things for the Kingdom of God? Or are they looking for a church where they get a lot without having to give much at all? The people who seek the former grow as Christians and go on to do great things themselves for Christ. The later just attend church. Regardless of the size of the church, the vision and mission can be epic, huge and life changing. If the people buy into it. Many

Time for a Top 10

Today is Valentines Day - so here is my top 10 list about Betty. Happy Valentines Day hon! 1. She is a great mom to Anneka . I am amazed at what she is able to do with her and teach her 2. Gets up before I do every morning and prepares our day for us. When I get up she is already got her day going and much of her work done. 3. How much she loves this church. She is passionate about this church and its future! 4. She really is beginning to become a excellent speaker and presenter. Through her Southern Living At Home Business, they have really helped her develop her speaking skills. 5. She takes care of me and Anneka . That is a full time job in and of itself, but she makes it look easy. 6. She really, really strives to become a better mom, wife and leader. She is always pushing herself to be better. 7. For being able to laugh at herself. She is the funniest person I know. Anyone who has been around her for anytime know this. 8. Caring how she looks and how she takes

Leadership and Change

This may be a long article, but the guy is right on the money! Take some time to read this if you are a church leader. If you don't think of yourself as a leader, read it anyway - it will give you a little insight to what those of us who do this everyday are thinking about. Click here.

Ignited

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We had fun tonight. I thing someone was practicing first aid, but with toilet paper? Election results: Obama 2 McCain 4

Seeking Buy Ins

If you have read the last two days worth of blogs, then you know that I am talking about the "buy in". Without it people will not attend a church for more than 6 - 8 weeks. In our comsumer driven ecomony, people come to church looking to "buy in" into something that they are looking for. So what are you looking for? "I have personal and/or family needs." What can you do for me? This isn't an unfair question. However, if it the only question that you ask when looking at a church - your probably going to be disappointed. I've talked to scores of guests over the years and I hear the same old line over and over again. "We've been looking for sometime now and....." The truth is, they are still looking. Most of the time our research has reveled they end up in the largest church with the most programs for their family. "I'm looking for a place that is really spiritual." How much do you pray? What's your worshi

What do you buy into?

Pastoring by its very nature makes me a student of the church, church trends and church growth. It hasn't been easy over these last years to determine what the church is doing and where it is going. Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Church movement really hit is peak and while Evangelicals realized the blessing of this model of ministry, Spirit Filled, Pentecostal, Charasmatic churches didn't. The struggle wasn't so much with methodology as was vision and mission. Churches that are Spirit Filled have a different spiritual DNA. Not that Evangelical churches are wrong, they're not. God just created us differently. When you take a Spirit Filled church and try to change it's DNA - it's like Michael Jackson and plastic surgery. To much is a bad thing. What does this have to do with buy in? For years the Purpose Driven movement was telling churches that they we not buying to people, that if you make them the priority, without compromising the Gospel, Go

Buy In

"Buy In" means that you have chosen to personally take ownership or "buy in" into something. People who attend churches have bought into the church. The more people buy in, the healthier and stronger it will become. The opposite it true of people who attend a church and don't completely buy in. What happens is this. These people will place undo pressure on the church to perform for them some ministry or action that pleases them. Thus forcing the church to revamp itself to the will of the individual rather than the will of God. Jesus dealt with this all the time during his ministry. When the Pharisees and teachers of the law challenged Him to perform a mircale for them in Matthew 12: 37 - 39 what there were saying was, "You do a miracle Jesus and we will then believe in you." Or do what we ask an then we will buy in. Jesus let them have it with both barrels and if your like me you would say, "Good for you Jesus, don't let those re

My Daughters 1st email to me.

(I'm sitting in my office and I get this. As the story goes, Anneka approached her mom and said, "Could you send an email to daddy for me?") Good night Daddy! I love you Daddy! I love you when you take my mommy to the Disney Market. I love you when you tickle me really hard! I love you when you play dinosaur games with me! I love you when you read Elmo stories to me! I love you when you jump up & down & dance like a ballerina with me! I love you when you get up & play with my new toys with me before I clean up my mess. I love you when you giggle me & I giggle myself. I love you when you take me to Chuck E. Cheese. I love you Daddy! AJ

Sunday Reflections

We really had a great day! God really moved in a really, really sweet way today. To say that God loves us in reality is an understatement. He loves everyone and so much more! I enjoyed the look on Laura's face when she saw pics of herself from the Superbowl party. (which you can see on YouTube) We welcomed Mike and Pats daughter Kim and her three kids Celeste, Yanni and Adrian to our church family today. We also accepted Deana, Mike and Pat into membership today. I am having fun with this series, Driven. Racing is really in our blood whether we want to admit it or not. Did God do anything for you today that you would like to tell us about? Click on the comment link below and let us know.

Come Expecting

I am excited about Sunday's service. I really feel that God is going to do a great thing today. Come expecting, come ready. Allow God to be God today and let Him touch your heart. It's 3 a.m. and I'm going to go get a couple of hours sleep. See you all in a little while.

Is passion deep?

Have you ever met a deep person? I mean someone whose ability to think or feel goes beyond anything you've experienced. They comprehend things you don't or they can wrap their brain around things you've yet to think about? I know some people who are just like this. I really honor them and try to hang around them as much as possible. Here is something that I notice about them though. They are very, very passionate people. I'm talking, all out - over your head - all or nothing passionate. Some are very LOUD and animated in their presentation. Some are reserved but no less passionate about what they feel. So the question is this? Which came first, passion or depth? Why is this important you ask? Did depth of heart lead to ones passion in life? Or did ones passion in life lead to the depth of the heart? Click on the comment button and type away! I would really like to know??

Again!?!

Again another hotel room, again lousy internet connection. Sorry for the silence the last few days. Will try to catch up!

More vs. Better

In this day we don't have enough time or money to do any more that what we are doing. Quite honestly this has been bothering me for quite some time. After prayer and some wisdom searching I really think that what God wants from us isn't more, but better. To often I see people trying to live their lives in a fog of confusion. Where do I go? What do I do next? Even for those of us who are known for being organized, we struggle with day to day issues and emergencies. So what can we do? Well, #1 Get Focused - Distractions are a part of our day. Anyone with a 4 year old will tell you that. But when you can get into the "zone" you will feel that you have done 2 days work in one. #2 Get Purposed - When you know what you are suppose to be doing, everything else that tries to challenge you can easily be set aside or discarded. #3 Trash It - If it collecting dust. Get it out of sight forever. "But I might need it!" If there is stuff you have saved ov

Just in Time

You never know how a chance encounter with someone will turn out. A few weeks ago someone asked me to visit a stranger in the hospital. His name is Fred. Fred had led a rough life, by his own admission. Now he had cirrhosis of the liver. I helped him place his faith in Jesus and trust in Him. Well I just learned that Fred went home to be with Jesus yesterday. I had visited with him last Saturday, he had been in the hospital a week for observation. He had visited the church once. He loved everyone. All he could talk about was how nice everyone was to him and how nice it was to be in a place where people really loved you. All Fred wanted to do was try to make amends for his life in some way. When I left the last thing that I told him was this. "Fred, God wants you to finish the race. How it ends is up to Him, all He wants you to do is finish strong, finish well, don't give up." With that I prayed with him, he gave me his heart felt thanks, a few vanilla wafer

Environmental Stewardship

We have recently learned that someone has nominated FFWC for a Environmental Stewardship Award through the Keep Martin Beautiful Organization. We will be attending this years banquet and ceremony. If you would like to attend, tickets are $25. With that said, I know someone out there is asking why? If you don't know, we are the people responsible for keeping Mapp Rd. clean, between Martin Hwy. and Martin Downs Blvd. This is no easy task, believe me. So why do we do it? We want people to know that we do care about them and this neighborhood and we wanted to do so with a servants heart. Honestly, we are not seeking awards or praise. We simply want to let people know that we are their church, we are here for them and that we do care. That's it.

Hmmmmm!

This Senator isn't my favorite and I would rather the NFL just get over themselves rather than us passing a law, but this was interesting!! click here

And the pics are in!!

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Hey! Leave your comments and if you attended your thanks to the Shurrs here!!

What a Game!!

We had a blast at Randy and Donna Shurrs this evening. The game was great (with condolences to Steve Helmke) and we had a lot of fun with great food and hospitality. Thanks Randy, Donna, Anson and Tessa for being such great hosts and hostesses (this includes Emma the guinea pig). And what a game! There were times I was up on my feet shouting at the screen (with my apologizes to the neighbors). The halftime show was good but it got even better when it turned into karaoke night. And who know that Lee Cooper knew how to dance like MC Hammer? Like I said, we laughed until we cried (Steve just cried because his team lost) and had what I thought was the best fellowship ever!! Check back soon! Pics will follow!!

Looking Forward

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. The service is going to be great - come prepared to worship. I think you will like the music set. Also we are trying out a new voice on the platform! The sermon really came together easily which is always a good sign for me - and then of course we will be going somewhere that afternoon to watch a football game on something - oh you know!