Archives For Process

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Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭3-5‬ ESV)

Face it suffering happens. Broken relationships, flat tires, health problems, kids tantrums in the middle of Walmart and anything else that will make you want to cuss. However the bible tells us that suffering is a necessary part of growing. Every moment of suffering allows us a decision. We can gloat through our suffering or we can sprout through it.

Choosing to grow through suffering will help produce the endurance you will need in life to take on anything life has to throw at you. The endurance will produce a character that allow you to be influential to those around you.

Ask yourself a question. How influential are you as a Christian? Maybe you should try looking at the perceived suffering as an opportunity to grow in endurance, character, and the hope of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: God help me look at the moments in life that make me want to question why and draw me close to going crazy as times to grow! My hope is in you!

Workout or Work out?

February 7, 2014 — Leave a comment

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SOAP = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.

S : Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12, 13 ESV)

O : Paul encourages to not only be a light in the world in his presence but even more so in his absence. His very next words are: work out. I like to compare this “work out” to an actual gym workout. The ones that make you wish you were dead. I recently did a crossfit workout with a friend, by the end of the workout my push-ups went from being military worthy to almost eating concrete with every rep.

Those are the kind of workouts I believe Paul is referring to in his “work out”. There will be incredibly difficult decisions while following Christ. Decisions that have you in fear of losing a friendship, being called a hypocrite, and even decisions that make you question your calling. Decisions that make you fear and tremble. The battlegrounds to hash out this fear and trembling is many times found when no one else can see. I heard an author once write that you can see an individual go to church, you can see them serve in church, you can see them attend a small group, but you can’t see that individual spend alone time with God and that could be more important than all the other events put together.

A : Learn to utilize alone time with God. It’s easy to become motivated to do this by a good sermon or thought provoking book, but when motivation dies let discipline take its place. Learn to find comfort in asking other people whom you trust (close friends, pastors, elders, and leaders) who will dedicate time in prayer for you and your decisions.

P : God give me the discipline to serve you not only in the public eye but also during times I am alone. Help me gain and keep the desire to spend alone time with you to “work out” my salvation, my calling, and my decisions. Thank you for your blessings.

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I would do anything for love…..oh I would do anything for love…..yeah I would do anything for love…..BUT I WON’T DO THAT! – Meatloaf

Now that I have successfully got a song stuck in your head for a day, possible two depending on your age and your choice of music genre, I want to take just a few lines to tell you how this song can relate to your Christian walk. I know your thinking Meatloaf and my Christian walk……no way! Those things don’t go together at all.

Think about this: Have you ever told God there is something that you won’t do? I mean it’s usually not that straightforward but in a subtle round about way you tell God, “I would do anything for you!…….absolutely anything!…….except that one thing. Then you start to rationalize why you can’t do that “one thing” with one of the following reasons:

  • I’m just not good at that.
  • I already serve you in this other area…..so yeah,…..I can’t do two things, that would be too much.
  • I didn’t receive an official calling for that “one thing” but I would be more than happy to do it if you would speak more clearly to me……like through a burning bush or something.
  • I don’t have time.

What’s funny about our walk at times is that we are so passionate about loving God and letting other people know that we love God, but when he calls on us through that still small voice to do something we ignore/rationalize/procrastinate a response. However, it is important for us to realize that when God urges us to do something we are uncomfortable with there is a purpose to his urging. He wants to build your faith! If he urged/called you to do things you were already good it wouldn’t take faith. Our relationship is built on faith in him. “Saved by grace through FAITH” is an essential building block to our walk with Christ.

Don’t let pride get in the way! Do everything including “that” for God!

Pastor Aaron

Ups and Downs

November 12, 2012 — 2 Comments

The perpetual ups and downs of our Christian walk is in many ways considered a constant throughout the bible. James 1:2 assures us that there will be ups and downs. This unending change of highs and lows has been around since the beginning of time and looks as if it will be around until the Lord comes. It is in my best theological understanding that the ups and downs are part of the process of growing your relationship with Christ.

First lets talk about the “ups,” I will save the Debby-downers for later. When you are on an “up” it feels like God is so close to you. You are positively influencing lost people with the Love of Christ on a daily basis. Life is Great! Birds are chirping. Deer are frolicking. The sun is shining. You are constantly contributing great spiritual insight to the members of your bible study and when asked to pray you consider it an honor.

The “down” period is nothing like the previous paragraph. It feels like God is nowhere to be found. It feels like everything you touch is not only falling apart, falling apart would be good at this stage, but it seems that everything is EXPLODING into oblivion. The chirping birds have been replaced by a constant nagging of cawing crows. The deer are still frolicking but have moved from open fields to your garden and are now trampling everything to death! You don’t even want to think about a bible study and when someone asks you to pray you consider jumping out of a closed window.

The “down” time is mistakenly synonymously related to being an ineffective Christian. In Genesis 37&39 we find Joseph who knows a little bit about the “down” times. It’s important to know that Joseph had done nothing wrong when his own family betrayed him. He was thrown in a hole and left for dead, sold into slavery, and then imprisoned for acting upon his morals. Joseph could have easily gave up on God and the purpose God had given him, but he decided to go another route. In Genesis 40:6 Joseph does something abnormal, he finds himself ministering to other “dejected” people. God’s favor followed Joseph wherever he resided because of his willingness to honestly serve through the UPS and DOWNS!

Dont give up on God. Get some dedication to serve God through the ups and the downs. There are lost people who are counting on you to do so!

Pastor Aaron

This week is kids/student appreciation week @FFWC and I have had the privilege to show gratitude and appreciation where it is due. I wish we were able to give these staff what they deserve, a two year all expenses paid trip to Hawaii. But in all reality the small things that we are able to do for them do not even remotely compare to what they truly deserve.
What they do is truly unique! Let’s face it we are all not cut out to be teachers of the next generation. Bad things would happen if I was required to fill that spot. FACT: Kids/youth would die or I would go insane. That may be a slight exaggeration but must of can relate to that analogy. But our staff has it figured out! They understand the future of our gospel is dependent upon the next generation to learn it.

This week I have taken some extra time to reflect upon the importance of the teachers of our next generation. These people are detrimental to the future viability of the church. If you haven’t told your kids/student staff how much you appreciate them……..you couldn’t do it fast enough. But don’t stop with a thank you, showing interest and support are also just as important.

~Aaron

Discord – I have seen discord take place in church. It usually happens when an individual isn’t fully dedicated to their own spiritual walk and wants to remain in a place they are comfortable with. They aren’t willing to learn. They don’t support the vision of the church because it makes them uncomfortable and the next thing you know DISCORD is born. Discord does not belong in the church. In fact God was stern about people who cause discord. Galatians 5:19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Discord is born from a persons flesh. They become more interested in what they want instead of what God wants. That is why the bible says we must die to our flesh on a daily basis.

Dishonor – This one is easy. 1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. If you are dishonoring others you do not have love and God is love. That’s a scary place to be!

Division – Division is much like discord but is more precise in the meaning. A church should be running on one vision (the great commission). When people start to break away from that vision and start looking at their own legalistic, denominational barriers that are the main purpose for churches closing their doors then DIVISION is created. Division simply means two visions. A church with a double vision will never be able to view or attain their goals.

Disbelief – I don’t want to confuse people on this one. It is great to have people in the church with disbelief. I mean it is the churches job to reach the unbelievers, right? But I am talking about a different kind of disbelief. When a leader of your church does not believe in the vision, future, direction, plan, goals, etc. of the church you will start to see a virus spread. Disbelief of one key person can cause others in the church to fall off the bandwagon and become fair-weather fans within your church. They will only be supportive during the times of celebration but never during the preparations it takes to have success.

Stand up for your church! Either you’re in and are being part of a single vision to reach the world, or you’re sitting out complaining about the direction and waiting to bask in the glory of an accomplishment that you had nothing to do with in the first place. Quit playing church! Be the church. Don’t let these “D” words wreck your life. Yes I said your life, because God’s vision for the church will REmain but the person who is being any of the “D” words will wreck their own life and never find fulfillment searching many different places for a passive leader who don’t mind to be double visioned.

Aaron

Atheist Ovation

September 8, 2011 — Leave a comment

Have you ever thought about the faith it takes to be a Christian? To truly believe that God created everything and redeemed us from our sins by sending his only son to be sacrificed upon a cross for us? What about the faith it takes for an atheist to believe that the very existence of mankind evolved from a big bang or tadpole type creation?

After taking a walk through a park that was abundant in natures beauty, incredible waterfalls, historically old trees, and wildlife at every turn I started to think about these questions. I am a Christ follower to the very core of my salvation but started to think about the thinking process of an atheist. You have to admit their faith in the evolving process of creation is applaudable. My faith is based upon a God that has the unmatchable power to create a universe that is capable to provide for the billions of mankind and meet all our every physical needs…..I mean he is God. Shouldn’t he be able to do something powerful that no other being could replicate? Isn’t that what Gods are suppose to do? My faith rests in God (singular) with that kind of power.

But how much faith does it take to believe that everything was created out of chance or coincidence. Something took place and creates the perfect atmosphere for a globe that is tilted on the perfect axis to cultivate mankind. Not to mention the perfect GALAXY……all by chance and coincidence, and when you die thats the end! That takes faith!

Let me ask you one question. Would you rather your faith (future) be in God or in chance and coincidence? What happens if I’m wrong? What happens if your wrong?

Aaron