- I am thankful to raise my children in Sweetwater, the oasis of West-Texas. A beautiful city, filled with beautiful people.
- I am thankful for the team I work with every day. A passionate, energetic, creative, and hard-working crew of Jesus-loving pastors.
- I am thankful for men and women who laid down their life to lead the Body of Christ and pioneer a path of revival. Men such as Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church are my modern day heroes.
- I am thankful for Nelson Searcy’s book “Fusion,” which has taught me how to love and appreciate the new guests at EFC. It takes courage to walk into a church for the first time, and I want to honor that courage with a warm welcome and great encounter.
- I am thankful for every unsung hero and unknown face that loves unselfishly, lives faithfully, and serves unconditionally. These are the saints I look forward to singing with someday in a Heavenly choir.
- I am thankful for my spiritual heritage, a legacy of faith of three generations of men loving the church and seeking revival in West-Texas.
- I am thankful for my kitchen table. It is so much more than warm food and sweet desserts. It is a place of joyful conversation, heartfelt prayers, and everyday discipleship.
- I am thankful for grace. It is as amazing today as it was the first day it pulled me out of darkness and into light.
- I am thankful for my wife. She inspires me every day to live fully and freely, to continually press further up and farther in to the grace of God!
- I am thankful for this year’s harvest: salvations, healings, rededications, restorations, weddings, baptisms, and freedom. It’s been a good year!
- I am thankful for the opportunity to press into next year — and the hope that 2012 will be even more alive, blessed, and fruitful than this year!
Archive for November, 2011
Our Famous Failures sermon series has taken us deeper than I first expected, and has touched on some very delicate aspects of our faith. In Sunday’s message, I challenged our congregation by saying, “The most dangerous thing we can do in our faith journey is interpret God’s will through our failures.”
Statements like this need to be digested. They are not “one and done” thoughts. In fact, they rub against some of the lies that have been deeply ingrained in our hearts about God.
I strongly encourage you to follow the link and listen again to Sunday’s message. I actually wish you would listen to it twice. As you listen, ask the Holy Spirit if you have misunderstood God’s heart and His will for your life because of some of the heartbreaks and failures you have experienced. Ask God to reinterpret those events through the lens of His amazing love and the truth of His Word.
Here at EFC, we emphasize four simple truths we describe as our “Pillars of Thought.” We have intentionally established these Biblical statements as tools to help us interpret what God is doing in and around us. These pillars define our approach to understanding God and protect our hearts from misunderstanding His character.
I pray these principles will come to define your understanding of the heart of God as well, and may they give you courage to rise up from any failure and continue to pursue His glorious purpose for your life.
The Pillars of Thought that define the revival culture of Emmanuel Fellowship Church are:
GOD IS GOOD
It is our adamant belief that the fundamental nature of God’s character is goodness. When Moses requested to see the glory of God, our Lord responded by saying, “I will cause all of my goodness to pass in front of you and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.” (Exodus 33:18-19) The glory of God is His goodness.
WE LIVE FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH
Paul teaches that “our citizenship in is in heaven.” (Philippians 3:20) We are ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, we live according to the government, culture, atmosphere, and economy of heaven. We live from Heaven to earth, recognizing that what is invisible is a superior reality to what is visible. We will live according to the truth Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
EVERYONE IS SIGNIFICANT
We see the fingerprints of God upon humanity. We will live lives of honor toward one another. We live to see people saved, healed, and delivered from the effects of sin, to help them identify their God-given personality, gifts, and purpose, and to see them actively invest themselves in the work of the Kingdom. Knowing that everyone is significant leads me to understand that I am significant.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
Really. The Bible says this. We believe it.
“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception and response to failure.” – John Maxwell
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910