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Monday, October 20, 2014

some things about our God


Sunday at The Community Fellowship we finished up the EVERY 1 MATTERS series.  In the last 8 weeks we have talked through the truth of Scripture that declares we have value, we are important and we belong to God.  Facts are facts.

There were several pieces of being the people of God that stuck out to me in this last message, and I would like to share some of those with you.  They not only stand out to me, but they declare things true and must be responded to.

My people will again live under my shade. They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.

There are lots of things going on in this verse, and one of them stands up and shouts at me.  It is about the shade.  I like the idea of shade as it reminds me a hot day that seems to be melting me with the heat of the sun.  Yet I step under a tree with branches, and there seems to be a breeze as I step under the tree.

The shade gives relief and the ability to think further about the day.  Shade gives protection and reminds me of the protection that God gives me.  Then it happens.  When I chose to step out of the shade, the sun is hot and bearing down on me once again.

By doing life without God and outside His protection I miss God’s best for my life.  We lose perspective and protection when God is not part of the equation.  That is awesome truth that gives us reward by making the best choice.

Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.

This is good stuff.  In the Old Testament God spoke through the times God blessed people through the priest as seen in Aaron and his sons.  We do the same thing today.  As we bless people God works through us to bless those same people.  We become a conduit that God uses.

We don’t speak for ourselves.  We speak for God.  It is vital that we allow Him to work through our lives.  By connecting ourselves to God we are used by Him to bless others!

In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.”

But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Both those verses speak to the covenant that God makes with us, His people.  His promises cannot be broken, and they go deep in to the future.

Our future is clearly set by God and fully secure.  We can enjoy His protection and peace each day as well as bless others in big ways.  To be His people and for Him to be our God is a big deal.  Claim it.   Live in it.  Share it with others!

I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.

Friday, October 17, 2014

walking on water


Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.

When we follow Jesus, we will have many opportunities to exercise our faith.  We will also have opportunities to allow fear to keep us from going where God leads.  It takes a great deal of courage to set fear aside and to live by faith.

Peter was ready for the next step.  He was in a boat with his fellow disciples late one night after a long day of ministry.  Jesus told the guys to get in the boat and go to the other side of the sea (Matthew 14:22-33 is the story).  As it often happens, the weather changed suddenly, and the disciples feared for their lives when the wind got bad.

They were way out in the middle of the sea as the disciples see someone walking toward them, and they thought it had to be a ghost.  It was Jesus.

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

The story continues to unfold as Peter asks Jesus to let him walk to Jesus.  Then it happened.  Peter walked on water.  He actually took steps.  We don’t know how many.  While the rest of the disciples were in the boat, Peter got out of the boat.

Jesus walked on water.  He is God.  Peter walked on water, and he is not God.  This story often gets us caught in the fact of what Jesus did, and we miss what happened with Peter.  Don’t miss this part of the story as there is much to learn from what Peter experienced and what Peter wanted.

I don’t believe Peter wanted to do something miraculous or to become a hero.  I believe that Peter wanted to be with Jesus.  The way that Peter dealt with fear was to spend time with the one who brought him comfort.  That was Jesus.  Peter learned to trust and stop leaning on his own resources and strength.  He saw Jesus do miracles like healing people and now walking on water.

Yes, Peter sank.  When Peter realized that as he was walking on water and that the storm and the waves and the wind were bad, he began to sink.  When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he sank.  We will do the same.  Take your eyes off of Jesus, and you will sink.

How do we deal with fear?  Do we run in faith to the one we trust, or do we cower and let our focus move off of God? 

To walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.  To trust God, you have to live by faith and live with courage.  God is ready to help us take the next step.  He is ready to empower us to live lives with meaning and strength that changes us and will lead to others being changed. 

I don’t know about you, but I am ready to step out of the boat and see what God is going to do next.  Despite the fear of looking foolish or failing; despite the question of finances or of fighting; despite my lack of resources or confidence, I will step out of the boat and trust God.

May our lives count as we follow God’s lead.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

NOTE: this devotion was first shared in June of 2012

Thursday, October 16, 2014

notes from the ReFuel conference


The past few days I attended a leadership conference, and I would like to share with you my notes from each message.  It was an excellent experience.  The worship was incredible.  I want to say a huge THANK YOU and GREAT JOB to Pastor Jonathan Falwell and Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA.  Enjoy and may God inspire you as I have been inspired!

ReFuel notes. Oct 14-15, 2014

JD Greear. Summit church. Raleigh NC

I believe it is time that evangelicals have a new look at the Holy Spirit

Some seek experience. Some ignore.

John 16:7 NLT
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.

Are we excited about having the Holy Spirit inside of us?

Jesus told the disciples to do nothing until the Holy Spirit comes?

What is

Four reasons we need to recover the Holy Spirit presence

1 The Holy Spirit empowers our works will be greater

            You have more potential than even John the Baptist
            30 of the miracles after Jesus left happened outside the church
            the gospel advances faster thru lay people. See acts 8:1 and more

There are less and less non believers coming new church today.

If we are going to reach the people who will not attend church, we've got to do more outside the church.

Growing leaders filled with the Holy Spirit make a difference

2 the Holy Spirit makes the presence of God real to us

            walking in the spirit is a big deal
            we need to learn how to relate to the presence of the Holy Spirit
            the presence of God gives us the ability to overcome
            the presence of God declares and shows His love
            spirit of God helps us see and feel the love of God

3 The Holy Spirit makes the mission of God real to us

            spirit of God put something in us that we must do
            the great commission is too big for us.
            Jesus said they were to wait in the Holy Spirit
            our posture of dependence must be like the disciples. They were waiting
            what does God want me to do?  That's the right question
            59 times in Acts the Holy Spirit shows up and 36 times was speaking

4 the Holy Spirit can bring extraordinary power to our ordinary lives

            psalm 126 God send us streams of the Negev
                        what took farmers years took Negev a short time
            we need what the Holy Spirit can do
                        the end of what we can do and beginning of what only he can do

Jesus hasn't left us alone ... he left us with the Holy Spirit.

-------------------------------------

David Nasser. Campus pastor at liberty

Fear and unknowns drains us most. We need refueling.

Holy discontent. Where is the greatest need? Where is the least amount of peace?

Reach the community God put you in. Sunday should be a celebration of what happened between Sundays.

I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:9-10 NLT)

The power of the promise is always about the power of the person making it.

God doesn't change.  The promise doesn't change.  Don't be afraid. Do not fear. I'm with you. 

------------------------

Jonathan Falwell. Thomas Road Baptist Church

Speak and preach truth.

2 Timothy 3:1-5. Picture of today

How must we respond to a world without Go?  Gay marriage legal.

It's the truth that changes lives.

What are we to do?  Pray. Proactive with policies on item Dealing with anything with same sex marriage. Be educated about it.

Continue To stand the truth, truth always wins

Mathew 6:19 NLT
Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.

What must a pastor do to keep his heart right with God?

Have a heart focused on your relationship with Christ  
Colossians 2:6-10… let your roots go down deep into God

We don't exist to be happy. We live to exalt and glorify God.

The word is....

Make sure you love God the way He intended for us to love Him.  experience this

Must love others the way God intended for us to love others. 
            Christ died for all. Ministering to all. Reaching people.
            when a church demonizing lost people, it won't spend time reaching lost people.
            preach truth. Let people see Christ.
            our job is to make sure people get it before it's too late

            liars tell you what you want to hear. The word of God tells us what is true and what we need to hear

The same power that was in the church in Acts 2 is the same power that is in the church today

If we will be faithful with the word of God, He will still draw all people to Himself

---------------------

Ronnie Floyd. Cross church. Springdale Arkansas

Proverbs 3:5-6  HCSB
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.

How do you walk toward your future that God has for you?

What you do not know you fear. What you cannot see with your eyes you become concerned about the most.

We've gone into extreme panic over something that was just a bunch of junk.

This passage tells us to not to do the one thing we often do. DO NOT RELY ON OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. Trusting ourselves is a difficult and dangerous place. When we resort to our own feelings is dangerous. We run to our own knowledge and feelings which leads to support every fear and concern we have.

That's why the Holy Spirit says don't do that.

Often people, us, dictate to God what we are going to do. 

God always knows what we need to do and where we need to be.

I'm so glad God dint give me everything I thought I needed in life and ministry.

Overcome the element we are going to do ministry and that we will determine where it will be done. Our YES needs to be put on the altar. That's hard to do.

When was the last time we allowed God to make us uncomfortable with something in ministry.

TRUSTING IN THE LORD FULLY

All your heart trust. Confident in the Lord with a boldness in our confidence. Lie helplessly before God because we are trusting in Him.

God I'm gonna to die to myself today and to my future in ministry. My yes is on the altar before you God. Fully relying on the Sufficiency of God and the complete insufficiency of ourselves.

Too often we look like 1 Corinthians 3 rather than what called us to look like.

Trusting in the Lord fully is a call to surrender my life and will And future to God completely.

Put up your hands in surrender. As a child that comes to us. We are to go to God. Surrender. So He can carry us.  Our hands represent many times what is in In our heart.

Nahum 1:7  HCSB
The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him.

Romans 12:1-2  HCSB
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 HCSB)

When was the last time I gave my life in worship to Him?

Where can I find the will of God for my life and ministry?

It is on the road called trust. That's where we find the will of God. By trusting God.

THINKING ABOUT THE LORD CONTINUALLY

In all your ways think about Him.  About what he says. About what he wants.

One reason we need to read the word of God constantly is because that is where we find out what a God wants.

When I think about who God is and what God can do for me I can trust God for my life and my ministry and my future.

He can do what he wants to do when he wants to do it as he wants to do it.

God loves to express himself in the weakest of people and in the toughest of situations.

Cymbala quote. God is attracted to our weakness.

He will flood power to us when we see and understand that we need him.  Surrender

Manly Beasley. What are You trusting God to do today?

What are we trusting God to do in our ministry and in our future?  What are we believing God for today?

Pour out your heart to God trusting him fully and completely.

We become what we think or believe. As we think in our heart so are we.

God can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime.

2 Timothy 1:12  NLT
That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

When God entrusts to you something there only one thing that will bring more that he will entrust you with. It is when he can trust you with it.

Chose to believe a god. When we do not believe a God we become discouraged and discontented.

Refuse discouragement and refute discontentment.

Lift your hands in surrender. Open your hands to receive. Put your hands forward to follow him.

When we put our face on the altar that is where God leads and gives. When we don't we deal with fear and discouragement and discontent. When we trust and surrender God moves

----------------------------

Jim Cymbala. Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Acts 11:19-21  NLT
Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews. However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus. The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.

We are all here to proclaim the Gospel.

God's great intent is to save people.

When a church's intent is not seeing people saved, that church gets weird.

New survey. 7.2 to 9 million Americans are actually Christians.

During the time there has been great decline we have had more Books on church growth have been written.

1,700 ministers are leaving the ministry each month.

62% of Ministers say They would leave the ministry if they were Guaranteed a job to pay the bills.

Be Leary of someone who has a vision for your church. It is Jesus' church and he is the one that has and gives the vision.

Rather than reinvent the church we need to do what the apostles did and be part of growing the kingdom.

Antioch becomes the strong church. First in all kinds of things.

The people who founded the church at Antioch were believers and not ministers or the apostles.

We are creating spectators rather than believers who can reproduce themselves.

Romans 1... I am not ashamed. It is the power of God.

Challenge… Study every sermon in the books of acts.

Our additives dilute the gospel.

The thought is not how we can get a person back to church next Sunday. The thought was how to get them in the kingdom.

Unbelief ties the hands of God

The gospel has nothing to do with people trying to do better but with surrendering to Jesus

Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

The Holy Spirit will help you if you preach Jesus.

The Holy Spirit was only sent to lift up jesus. Add or talk about anything else and the Holy Spirit won't fill and anoint you. He has no part of that

The lay people had the message. They started the church. God uses people despite of who they are instead of because of who they are.

The hand of God was with these people.

Preaching is coming through personality. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Let the Holy Spirit flow through you daily.

And the hand of the Lord was with them

Not shooting for biggest numbers. Claim souls for Jesus

We don't claim terrify. We want souls.

Our mission field is no t territory but souls.

God does his best work in a desperate situation. When it's looking bad God gets his best glory.

David Wilkerson. God doesn't use anyone until they get a little crazy.

Without God we can do nothing.

God wants to do things through your life. Only as I lift up Christ.

-----------------

Ed stetzer.

Engaging in mission

1 Peter 4:10-11  NLT
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Mission is everything we join God in.

Everyone is called to be on mission.


1 ALL HAVE GIFTS

            Use the gift you've been given to serve others.
            the Gospel is not you do. It is Jesus did.
            we are gifted with the spirit and by the spirit
            passage says EVERYONE but reality says some

            When you build churches like theaters you build show goers.

Called us be good managers

            are we good or bad managers?
            we are not called to keep customers happy
            we are called to keep the co leaders are equipped

When you stop doing for people what God called the people Do, people will get mad.

We get our emotionally needs met when we make people dependent on us when they out to be dependent on God.

Do pastor the church as a store keeper.

Customers drain.

2. GOD INTENDS FOR ALL TO USE

3. USE THE GIFTS IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT

            if the end result is spectators and don't use their gifts, we are in effective.

            Sunday morning out to be a time when we celebrate the people who are gifted by God.

Customers are fickle. Co laborerS are faithful.

4. TO BRING GOD GLORY

            Eph 4. We are to equip God's people.

---------------

Mark Batterson.  National Community Church.  Washington DC

Joshua 3:5  NLT
Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”

Acts 10… story of Gentiles coming to Christ

Prayer is something you can not delegate as a leader.

Planning without praying is a serious mistake. It's a waste of time.

Seek God and opportunity will seek you. 

The favor of God Is doing for you what you cannot do for you.

Luke 2:52

Sunday, August 12, 2001 newspaper article.  Church was supposed to be in religion section but was on the front page.  Pushed the church to great growth.

If you want God to do something different, you have to do something different.

The crazy test. If it's not crazy, it's probably not God.

Don't let you your budget determine your vision. Let you vision determine your budget. When God gives the vision, he makes provision. 

We want God to reveal the 2nd step before we take the first step.

Sometimes God shows up. But sometimes God shows off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

volunteer of the week ANNA TERRY

This week we are proud honor Anna Terry as The Community Fellowship’s Volunteer of the Week!

 

Anna Terry is 15 years old and a sophomore at Bassett High School.  She and her family have been part of The Community Fellowship family for 5 years. 

 

On Sundays Anna teaches pre-school aged children during Kid’s Worship and volunteers in the Foot Washing area during back2school.   She is reliable and generously gives of her time helping in other children’s ministry areas as needed. 

 

We have been blessed on more than one occasion when Anna played her flute during Worship Services.  Anna also plays flute in her high school Marching Band.

 

Recently Anna was inducted into the National Beta Club and is looking forward to performing in the Colts Stadium in November for a national band competition.

 

During our Mother’s Day Car Care Anna was the Leader of our Mani/Pedi area and blessed many moms with her creative artwork on their nails.  One mother cried because she had never had anything as special as the time Anna spent with her on “something so beautiful that was just for her.”

 

Anna loves science and wants to be a Marine Biologist.  She is considering attending UNC-Wilmington.

 

In her spare time, which is limited, Anna loves going to the lake, spending time with her family, swimming, boating and drawing. 

 

Anna’s favorite Scripture is Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation-so why should I be afraid?  The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” 

 

We are extremely honored to recognize Anna Terry as our Community Fellowship Volunteer of the Week!  Thank you, Anna, for giving so much to your church family and to those that you strive to bless and show God’s love.  We are proud of you, Anna!

 

 

*** for more information about The Community Fellowship or Dream Center call 276-647-8231 or email cmartin@thecommunityfellowship.org.  To give online click on this link   https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/trx_submit.php?type=public_gift  ***

Thursday Bible study at 4:15pm

Thursday at 4:15 p.m.  Linda Greer will be teaching Bible Study at The Community Fellowship!  This will be a great time of learning and fellowship for all who attend.  I hope to see you there!

our true identity in Christ


I am attending a conference today, but I have wanted to share this with you again.  May God use these verses and these truths to make us more like Jesus.

Our True Identity “In Christ”
(Taken from Lifetime Guarantee By Bill Gillham, Pages 91-92)

You are justified and redeemed (already).

Rom 3:24  being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

Your old self was killed (crucified).

Rom 6:6  knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

You are not condemned. (My performance is condemned when I don’t trust in His life through me, but God does not condemn the performer, just the performance.)

Rom 8:1  Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

You are free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

You are accepted. (All my life I’ve sought to be accepted. Now I am!)

Rom 15:7  Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

You are sanctified (holy, set apart).

1Co 1:2  To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

You have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption ( I am ransomed – restored to favor).

1Co 1:30  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

You are always led in His triumph (whether it appears so or not)

2Co 2:14  But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

Your hardened mind has been removed.

2Co 3:14  But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.

You are a new creature. (Even though I don’t always feel or act like it).

2Co 5:17  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

You are the righteousness of God. (You can’t get more righteous than this.)

2Co 5:21  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

You are liberated.

Gal 2:4  But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

You are joined with all believers (not inferior to anyone).

Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

You are a son and an heir.

Gal 4:7  Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

You are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven.

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

You are chosen , holy and blameless before God.

Eph 1:4  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

You are redeemed, forgiven.

Eph 1:7  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

You have obtained an inheritance.

Eph 1:10-11  with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him  also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

You are sealed with the Spirit. (Imagine the real you sealed up in the envelope of God Himself).

Eph 1:13  In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

You are alive (formerly a dead spirit).

Eph 2:5  even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

You are seated in heaven (already).

Eph 2:6  and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

You are created for good performance. (And I can let Christ live through me to perform it).

Eph 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

You have been brought near to God.

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

You are a partaker of the promise.

Eph 3:6  to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

You have boldness and confident access to God. (not slinking as a “whipped dog”).

Eph 3:12  in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

You were formerly darkness, but are now light.

Eph 5:8  for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

You are a member of His body (not inferior to other members).

Eph 5:30  because we are members of His body.

Your heart and mind are guarded by the peace of God. (Peace is knowing something, not always feeling it).

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You have all your needs (not greeds) supplied.

Php 4:19  And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

You are complete (perfect).

Col 2:10  and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

You are raised up with Him.

Col 3:1  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Col 3:3  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.


By applying these truths of God’s word our lives will be transformed.  Don’t think it is you or words that changes you.  It is God.  He is in the business of changing us and using us to help others change too!