God’s Heart for the Nations

Growing a heart for the things God cares most about

HOW have you been blessed? God’s blessings include senses, like seeing, tasting, hearing, and feeling. They include the people He has brought into our lives, such as our family, friends, and neighbors. For most people God has provided a job or jobs. His blessings also include opportunities in life, like influencing others, being influenced, living where you live, and experiencing diversity. And of course God’s blessings even includes material things.

Gods Heart For The Nations

What’s the purpose of those blessingsWHY do you have the abilities, people, family, job, or influence you have? Yesterday I preached the answer from Psalm 67. HERE is the audio. Below are some notes to help grow your heart for the things God cares most about… THE NATIONS!

5 Keys to Pray Effectively

A Call to Pray

Last week I posted this question on Facebook: “Learning to pray more and preaching on prayer this month. What have been the biggest influences on how you pray?” I received a number of comments, including some great book suggestions and even a movie suggestion! Here’s my favorite comment: “You can read books and see formulas but there is no substitute for just doing it!

Yesterday I preached the second sermon in our series Pray: Growing a Heart for the Things God Cares Most About. This message was simply, “A Call to Pray.” HERE‘s the audio. Below are 5 the five keys to effective prayer via Nehemiah 1.

pray-acallto

Prayer for the New Year

We all want 2017 to be better than 2016, don’t we! This time of year gives us a chance to evaluate our goals and set ourselves on a new course for a new year. There’s no better way to begin that process than seeking wisdom in God through prayer.

prayer

Yesterday we started a new series at Restoration Church, “Prayer: Growing a Heart for the Things God Cares Most About.” HERE is a link to my message, “Make Your Days Count in the New Year!” I hope it’s a help and blessing to you. Below are a few notes of application.

Christmas Really is All About Gifts

Yes, I said it!

Who doesn’t love getting gifts? One of the best gifts I’ve ever received was when I was 14. I was taking drum lessons and using cheap three piece starter set. But that Christmas I got one of the best gifts ever… a blue Pearl Export Drum Set!

On the other hand, it’s amazing giving gifts too. The best gift I’ve ever given was a diamond engagement ring! She said yes and the rest is history!

Here’s the point… CHRISTmas really is all about GIFTS! That was the title to my message this CHRISTmas. It was one of my all time favorite messages to share and I hope it blesses you too. HERE is a link.

Christmas Gifts

How To Experience JOY This CHRISTmas

Jesus is Restoring JOY

Christmas can and should be a time of great JOY! The first Christmas started with a message that included GOOD NEWS… of GREAT JOY… for ALL PEOPLE! There’s no three easy steps to live a life of joy. But there is a secret…

Joy

Yesterday I preached, “Jesus is Restoring Joy.” I’ll give you a hint… Jesus is the secret to experiencing JOY this Christmas. Have a listen, download the Way of Life Plan, and take steps to enjoy more JOY this Christmas! Below are some further encouragements from the birth announcement of Jesus.

Experiencing Peace This Christmas Season

Jesus is Restoring Peace

I LOVE this time of year… something about the colder weather, Christmas decorations, delicious goodies, gatherings and celebrations, Christmas music, Charlie Brown specials, watching ELF, the Michael Buble Christmas special, and so on. Can you relate?

christmas-merry

But for too many people the joy of the holiday is as hollow as your neighbor’s snowman lawn inflatable. Take your pick of the holiday stress increasers:

  • Less time to get more done
  • Increased expenses and financial pressure
  • Awkward family gatherings at “uncle Fred’s” place
  • Having to get that “just right” gift
  • Reminders of painful loss or personal crisis

On Sunday I shared this message, “Jesus is Restoring Peace.” I hope it encourages you to embrace Jesus as your PEACE during this Advent season.

Experiencing the Peace of God

God is PASSIONATE about breathing PEACE IN and THROUGH us! And while that sounds good, we all want peace, right! My day-to-day experience often lacks the peace of God. I get anxious about a lot of things. I worry about my kids, my family, and money. As I get older I worry more about my health. As a church planter and pastor I worry about the future of our church. With the chaos in our country and world I worry about the future!

Can you relate?

Thankfully God IS passionate about His people experiencing peace.  HERE is the audio from my message from yesterday on this subject.

Peace of God

God isn’t surprised by our anxiety today, and He has never been surprised by the anxiety we face. In fact here’s a story in Judges 6, way back in the OT, around 1000 B.C. that teaches us how to experience the peace of God!

God Wants to Breathe Peace IN and THROUGH You

I don’t know about you, but I desperately NEED peace and wholeness in my life! As a husband and father of four kids (12/10/8/1 yr olds), my life isn’t filled with circumstances characterized by peace (usually more like world war 3)! I live in a very expensive county and struggle to keep up with my bills. And there are plenty of things that cause me fear… the election, financial stress, threats of terror and on and on.

Thankfully God is not silent or absent! Last Sunday I preached, “God is Breathing Shalom IN and THROUGH Me.” I talked about the true source of PEACE and WHOLENESS and how to experience it. HERE is the audio.

God is breathing shalom peace and wholeness IN and THROUGH us

 

Contemplative Spirituality as a Way of Life

There are a number of challenging messages we hear on a regular basis that make living a Jesus-centered way of life very difficult. Last Sunday I shared a message in our (Restoration Church) Vision Gathering, entitled, “Recreating: Cultivating Contemplative Spirituality.” HERE is the audio.

Challenges to living a Jesus-centered way of life include…

  1. Happiness is found in having things (luxury lifestyle = happy)
  2. Get all you can for yourself, as quickly as you can
  3. Security is found in money, power, status, and good health
  4. Seek all the pleasure, convenience, and comfort you can
  5. God is irrelevant to everyday life
  6. There are no moral absolutes
  7. You’re not responsible for anyone but yourself
  8. Life on earth is all there is, YOLO!

No wonder it’s SO difficult to follow Jesus… isn’t it!

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

5 Benefits of Multiethnic Churches

THE Answer to the "Race" Issue of Our Time

Racial tension and conflict has flooded the news lately. Rather than point fingers and cast blame, I submit THE answer is quite simple. Not easy or quick, but transformational.

Racial tension

 

Racial (I prefer using the word ethnic) tensions exist in large part because we don’t listen to one another. It’s hard to understand someone who is different without knowing them. How many ethnically and culturally different people do we really know?