Waiting Season

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Waiting Season continues. 2015 has been a tremendous year of change and transition. We moved to sunny Florida from Indiana in February and have embraced the blessing of awesome weather all year round. But with every change there is transition time and waiting.

After moving I had been in search for the right place to connect for our family. It took us a while but after the waiting period we found Next Level Church and are loving every experience. Kyla’s job has been a major transition and after a period of waiting to see who would purchase their contracts, LPG stepped up and it has been a great opportunity. Each transition has come with a season of waiting.

As you can tell by the picture above we are in a season of waiting for our second (yes I said second) child to be born. This was is also a major waiting period. We found out we were going to have another child a couple of months after moving. Talk about transition.
Even as we are now in the last days of waiting, it feels as if the end is not in sight.

Knowing that we were having a baby girl in our hearts completed our family building prayers but now sometimes feels like torture. The promise has been given, the gift is in route but the wait continues. I wonder if this is how Mary and Joseph felt as they waited for the promised child or the Jewish followers waiting on the promised savior. Possibly how the Disciples felt waiting on the promised gift of God.

Perhaps you are in a season of waiting and it seems there is nothing but time in front of you. Stay strong and be encouraged your not alone and the wait is soon over. The promise will come to life and the blessing will be overflowing.

Read: Acts 1:4, Ps. 37:7, and Romans 12:12

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Being Contnet vs Being Satified

Over the years I have heard many people speak of being content with your situation. This has often been in regards to times that I have felt frustrated with not moving forward on certain things that I have passion and desire for. I understand most times they mean well, but the context from which they speak does not fit what they are trying to convey.

Their thoughts of being content come from the scripture found in Phil. 4:11. From first glance you might say okay, no matter the circumstance or situation I am in, I must be satisfied. But if you really read the context of this scripture it is not about being satisfied. Paul is saying he is content in whatever circumstance he finds himself. The word content here is the greek word “autarkes”, which means being able to sustain yourself or being independent. Paul was not talking about being satisfied with his circumstances, but being able to sustain himself while going through whatever situation.

Although in most cases being satisfied and content are synonyms, we must understand that being satisfied means having all your wishes, desires, and expectations completely fulfilled. When you have a satisfied mind there is no need for anything more or greater than where you are. You are SATISFIED! But when you are content, you make do with what you have and where you are while continuing to have passion and an expectation that there is more.

In life I am not satisfied, but content. I know I am blessed and am excited about all that God has allowed me to do and see, but I know there is more. There is more I have to improve on. There are more things that I have to will achieve. There is more to life and the vision I have than where I am and what I am doing. Yet, I am content by the fact that what I am doing presently is making a difference in the lives of those I serve. Satisfied? NO! Why not?

Be cause I believe God has called me to do “greater”. The same way that God has called you to do greater. If you are satisfied with where you are now, that is awesome and I pray you will be ready to support the ministry moving forward, but I know there is more that God has in store for your life. Your present posture or situation, wether blessed bountifully or in a constant struggle, is not your future destination.

God has more in store for you. Don’t be satisfied be content in the present, preparing for the future.

Let’s Go!

New Church from Scratch

No big name. No big money. Only big faith and hard work. Some think they know but they have no idea. With all the stress, long hours, and constant transition I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

God’s work is my Lifework. Let’s keep growing and maintaining the) blessings God keeps bringing.

We are doing this from scratch. One person at a time. We began with 8-12 people (depending on who you count) and now we have grown to about 50 in worship weekly since Feb. 12, 2012.

I believe God has more in-store for this faithful faith family, but it will take more work and lots of faith.

We will go from scratch to an awesome faith story.

Let’s Go!

From Scratch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! This is one of my favorite desserts everything from the pineapples to the brown sugar to the taste of the butter that moistens the cake. My mouth is watering as I think about it. One of my favorite things about the cake is that I have never had to make one. I have only enjoyed the fruits of someone elses labor. I have never shopped for the right ingredients or ran out of eggs and had to go back to the store. I have never burned a cake and had to start all over again or put too much batter in the pan and caused the cake to overflow. I have only sat down and enjoyed the finished product.

This is how I feel about church planting. Throughout my life I have enjoyed the fruits of years of consistent ministry put together and ready made for me. Now I am at the beginning stages of making a pineapple upside-down cake, for Jesus. Although I have never made the cake before, I have tasted one and I have read many books about what proper ingredients to purchase. The main thing I have learned that goes into this cake is a calling by God to do this.

I was called to church planting the day I said yes to becoming a disciple of Christ. The day I became serious about serving God with my life, Jesus signed me up for this calling of making disciples who make disciples. Lifework Christian Ministries will be just that a ministry that builds and prepares disciples for Christ’s work in our community and throughout the world.

This weekend as I closed down my ministry with the awesome youth of Geist Christian Church (DOC), I also give birth to Lifework Christian Ministries. This major faith walk comes with fear and humility, with joy and happiness, and all things that come with stepping out on faith.

As we start our journey towards our launch (February 12, 2012) I need you to do three things for me:

1) Pray – God’s favor, empowerment, and provisions over our ministry and my family.

2) Donate – Donate your time in prayer, support, and even in some of our service opportunities. Donate your talent in connecting with our attractional events and worship experiences. Donate your treasure through your financial gift of $20, $200, or $2,000. Any amount would help launch this Jesus ministry.

3) Pray – God’s had and leading in everything we do.

In a few short weeks we will hold our first attractional worship experience. Let’s get excited! Let’s make Jesus an awesome Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!

Believe…Really?

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I am preparing for this awesome new chapter in life, two scriptures have really captured my heart. Often times as Pastors we can take two different scriptures from different writers and blend their messages in order to express an idea we have. But in this case both scriptures come from the gospel of John. Jesus is speaking to the listener and in both verses Jesus uses the phrase “Believe in”.

This phrase “Believe in” only shows up 16 times in the New Testament (NJKV). These two scriptures:

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 14:12 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” 

What would happen if we really believed in Jesus to be all that Jesus says that he is? Many of us believe in John 3:16 for our salvation, but what about John 14:12 for our purpose and lifework. We can believe in John 3:16 for God’s power in saving the world, but what about God’s power in using us for GREATER! You can’t have one without the other.

In the ministry God has called me to lead, this will be our aim. We will aim to inspire people to believe in God again. We will empower people to receive God’s grace and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, but also receive God’s power and call to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in our world. Our Christian identity must go beyond our personal salvation, but must reach out to save a lost and dying world. That’s our purpose and passion for developing this ministry. As ambassadors of Christ we will scream with all that we have, “BE RECONCILED TO GOD!”

God’s love is greater than anything in this world and one of most important facts that Christians must BELIEVE IN is that, through Christ God’s love is in us. Read those two scriptures and believe. I dare you to BELIEVE!   

“Balanced life…little bit of God”

“Nowhere in scripture do I see ‘balanced life with a little bit of God added in’ as an ideal for us to emulate. Yet when I look at our churches this is exactly what I see: a lot of people who have added Jesus to their lives. People who have in a sense asked Him to join them on their life journey and follow them wherever they feel they should go, rather than following Him as we are commanded. The God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before. The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives. Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us, He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true Life.” – Francis Chan, Forgotten God

What are your thoughts?

Begin. Again.

 Galatians 2:19-21 (Message) What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

Have you ever thought about why you believe, what you believe? Why be Christian? Why not take up another religion and pursue its truth and rituals. What makes living as a Christian any different than living as a Muslim or Jewish person? Why not believe only in the power of me (Humanism)?

The simple answer for me is, God loves us so much that God is not seeking another religious person, but rather people who desire to live and operate out of a true relationship. That was the whole purpose of Christ. To mend the broken, defiled, and ritualistic religion we held about God.

As we pursue this new ministry in Christ, I have asked our group to push the reset button on our faith. Completely resetting everything we thought we knew about God and centering our lives on Christ. When I came across this quote by Karl Barth in 2006, it altered my faith outlook. Karl Barth in the book Dogmatics in Outline said:

“He, the One, lightens, and the Christian moves in His light. What distinguishes the Christian is that [the Christian] stands in this cone of light which proceeds from Christ. But this existence in the light is not a selfish purpose, but the Christian moves in this light, in order to be a light.”

As a Christian, everything I do, say, think, and the choices I make has its center, starting point, and purpose in Christ. This causes us to not start our faith in doctrine, religious practices, rituals, and other traditions we don’t understand, but rather begin with the one who John 1:1 says was there in the beginning. Christ is the beginning, the end, and everything in between. This is the firm foundation Lifework Christian Ministries will have from the outset. We are not starting with bylaws and other formal doctrinal messages. We have to begin with Christ.

The mission is to provide an atmosphere of unity in Christ among a culturally diverse and progressive community of people through preaching, teaching, and living God’s message of reconciliation and mission in the community and throughout the world. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)

This unity. Reconciliation. Diversity. Mission. This ministry can only be accomplished with Christ at the center of all aspects. So as we step out of the boat at the end of September, we must keep our eyes focused on Christ, our purpose.

So while you are supporting this ministry financially by clicking donate on the side, please continue to pray for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in and through us. This is a major season of transition for us and we need your support.

If you are interested in joining the movement send me a message here or on Facebook.

Grace and Blessings,

Pastor O.

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