The Blog

Standing with the Eleven
Feb 20, 2019

Standing with the Eleven

As Collin spoke this past Sunday, I was both encouraged and reminded how we are continuously called to community.  It is just a brief reference, but in Acts 2:14, Luke tells us that “Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them…”  

We have to keep in mind the context of this situation to understand the significance and relevance to our own lives.  They are in Jerusalem at Pentecost, which is the culmination of a seven-week celebration for the Jewish culture.  There were thousands of people there, and the Apostles are standing before them as Peter delivers a bold message on how Jesus was “crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men (vs. 23).”  Or in other words, you folks hearing my words, you missed the signs and wonders Jesus did when He was here, and you killed him.  This sermon is likely to have not been well-received, and it would have definitely been considered heretical for most of the people hearing it.  But while standing with his brothers, he delivered a message that “cut to the heart,” (vs. 37) and 3,000 souls were added to the kingdom that day.

We have all heard, and likely related to, Peter’s boldness and brashness at times, yet even he needed the support of his community to do something mighty for God.  I have no doubt that with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Peter could have delivered the same message with the same outcome if his eleven brothers were not supporting him – but he didn’t have to.  Those men who had lived, traveled and ministered together, also stood together.  They chose to not only continue to live in community, but to minister and spread the Gospel in community.  

So the questions are with whom who are you standing and who is standing with you?  We don’t need to focus on the numbers and look for eleven specific people, but my prayer is we all find the community we are called to, the people with whom we can stand, and the joy that fellowship brings.  

As one of the Four Pillars found in the Acts of the Apostles (vs. 2:42), may we all continue to lean-in and lean on each other for community and all its goodness.  May we not only learn to live in community more deeply, but also to use it for the purpose of spreading the Gospel to the World with love.  Jesus tells us in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  

Let us all love one another in community for His glory.

The Blog

Going through Storms
Aug 29, 2018

Going through Storms

Are you in the middle of a storm in your life? Maybe your job is getting the best of you and you can’t catch a break. Maybe your marriage isn’t going as well as you hoped. Maybe there is a relationship in your life that is causing pain and frustration. Maybe your bank account isn’t quite as padded as your mid-section. Can you relate? I think if we are honest, we all can.

Last night at our life group, we talked about storms and why we go through them. It was a great conversation. Our conversation naturally went to Matthew 8:23-27.

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”  The disciples were also in the middle of a raging storm. Theirs involved wind and waves, but in many ways it wasn’t much different than ours. No matter how much they fought or struggled nothing changed. I am sure that they felt like things couldn’t get any worse. 

The disciples then did what I often find myself doing in the midst of a storm. They pleaded to God for help.

“God! Please Help!!”

“Why won’t you do something!”

“Why are you letting this happen!”

In the middle of a storm, we are only thinking about how to get out and why we got in this spot to begin with. The disciples too had a single track mind. But, as our group chewed on this, we started to see something deeper emerge. If God has the ability to calm the winds and the waves. Why do we forget that He could have prevented them to begin with?

Could Jesus have told the winds and waves to calm down before he fell asleep? Absolutely!

Could Jesus have kept you from taking the dead end job that you have? Absolutely!

Could Jesus have kept you from saying the hurtful things that you said to your loved one?  Absolutely!

So, if that is true, is it possible that storms are sometimes used by God to increase our trust in Him and to grow us closer to Him? The 14 of us sitting around our living room last night definitely think so. We believe that we serve a God that pursues us with a never-ending love and an unmatched power. We believe that we often grow the most when we are in the middle of a storm. We believe that our God will never leave us and that He can use anything in our lives to bring us to Himself.

Kevin Jones serves as the Administrative Director at Life Church.  He loves his family, his life group and ice cream!

The Blog

One Word Blog Series: Well
Jun 06, 2018

For several years Life Church has challenged its staff, elders, covenant members and regular attenders to prayerfully consider a single word on which to focus for the year.  This closely follows the process presented in Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen's book, "My One Word" (http://myoneword.org/).  Peppered throughout the year, we plan to present some of these words here, on the blog.  

Every year when I begin thinking about my One Word for the year, I try to be sensitive to words I encounter frequently in songs, conversations, in books and Scripture, and other seemingly random places. God reveals Himself to us in these different ways, if we will listen. As 2018 began, a word that was on my heart repeatedly was WELL. I could feel God pushing me to choose this word for myself, but I was disappointed with what felt like such a lack-luster word. I wanted my word to be more glamorous or eloquent, but instead He gave me what seemed ordinary...

WELL.

Being a language arts teacher for years, I love the study and meanings of words. Through a simple dictionary search, I found exactly what God had for me through two definitions:

1 - Well: (noun) an issue of water from the earth;  a pool fed by a spring; a source from which something may be drawn as needed.

God spoke pretty directly to me with this meaning, saying “Britt, come straight to me. I am “THE well,” the source of your answers, encouragement, and purpose.” In my time with God, I often look more often for a devotional, Bible study, or podcast - and not often enough do I go straight to His Word. In 2018, I wanted to spend more time with Jesus in His Word. Instead of seeing what an author has to say about Scripture, I want to see what Jesus wrote just for me and to me.

2 - Well: (adverb) with skill or aptitude; with careful or close attention; to a high degree.

God revealed something to me about myself in this definition that I don’t like. You see, I’m a people-pleaser at heart; I say “yes” as often as possible and despise saying “no” because I feel like I’ve let someone down. But the problem with saying yes to everything is you begin to simply exist and not thrive. My days had become filled with surface-value checklists, versus the deep, meaningful relationships God has called me to.

Esther 4:14B “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Just like God chose Esther to lead, serve, do something difficult for His kingdom, God intentionally places us in our roles, connects us with our people, and creates us with individual purpose. He needs us to say yes to His work. He needs us to accomplish His work well.

This year, I wanted to say yes to the places where God has called me - and I wanted to do it well. God created me to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, and servant, and He charges me to do His work wholeheartedly. He also put me in this city, on my street, with my people because He created me for a very specific purpose in this time and place.

Here I am, almost halfway through the year, and I’m still fighting to be, work, pray, live, minister and love well. My word is saved on my phone, printed in my home, and a friend keeps sending me screenshots when she encounters it. I pray I can look back on 2018 and believe that I gave my whole self to those people and places where God called me.

So friends, where are you only half-heartedly serving, loving, or being? I would encourage you to start at “The Well.” Go right to His word and see what He’s written for you. Then I’d charge you to look around and see where God has placed you with influence. Where can you work harder and love better? Dive in and give all of yourself for Him...and do it WELL!

Coming Events

EKO Student Ministry
Every Wednesday, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

What is EKO Students? EKO (echo) Student Ministries (Middle/High School) exists to raise up students to be the EKO (echo) of Christ in the World.  We accomplish this...

Family Gathering
Sunday, May 26, 2019, 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM

All are welcome to our May Family Gathering of 2019! Join us for a night of great food and fun as we play and cookout at Sloan Park.  *Bring a side dish or dessert...

Creative Collective
Every other Monday, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

All are welcome for a unique experience incorporating Scripture and a creative heart.  Bring your own medium or materials to create something special while you...

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