Sunday Ruminations (1-1-12)

2 01 2012

2012 is squarely upon us and I believe it is going to be an AMAZING year.  I truly believe that this year will be the  most important year in the young life of our church.  HUGE things are on the horizon and I’ve dubbed this year to our staff as “the year of the set up”.  Setting up EVERYTHING that God wants to do in the years to come.  Had an awesome start to the new year today, here are my ruminations.

—  I rang in the New Year last night SOUND ASLEEP!  In fact, I don’t even think I was awake for the East Coast celebration.  HA!  Saw someone on Twitter say “The older our kids get we give PERMISSION to stay up till midnight.  The older WE get we are FORCED to stay up by our kids.”  Thankfully, I didn’t give my kids permission last night. Maybe for 2013.

—  Hope everyone’s Christmas/Holiday season was excellent.  Our family had an AWESOME holiday.  We didn’t go anywhere this year so just hung out as a fam.  Took the kids to Denver for a day, went ice skating, hit Casa Bonita, went shopping.  It was a blast.  Hard to believe that Christmas and New Years is come and gone.

—  2011 was a GREAT year at Element Church.  It was by FAR the most fruitful year in our ministry.  From salvations, baptisms, attendance and outreach, it was a year full of God’s blessings.  SO honored to be a part of God’s work here and I CAN’T WAIT to see what God does next.

—  Had a friend of mine, Eddy Shigley, bring the word today.  Eddy is founder and president of Doulos Leadership Group.  Eddy, whether intentional or not, had a BIG influence on my life.  When I was in High School he was a youth pastor in the same district my dad was serving.  When I was in college he was serving at that same church which I attended while at college.  Then my first few years in ministry, Eddy was someone I looked up to as a leader.

—  Eddy concluded our series called “I Am” today by taking on the statement “I am the True Vine”.  He preached from John 15:1-17.  Here are some excerpts on the day:

  • He got in my key phrase for the series “Jesus is everything there is you need, and everything you need HE IS!”
  • You can sincerely believe in something and be DEAD WRONG.  (So good!  Speaking to Jesus as the ONLY WAY)
  • WITH Christ we are vitally important and significant, without him we are NOTHING!
  • What ships in your life do you need to burn?  (Such a GREAT question in follow up to the illustration of Hernan Cortez burning his ships after landing at Vera Cruz.  This kept the crew from trying to “go back”.)
  • What is the evidence of discipleship?  FRUIT!  (Not knowledge)  John 15:8  8 When you produce much fruit, you are my TRUE disciples.
  • The only true Christian is a practicing one. (Quote from A.W. Tozer I believe)
  • True significance comes from being IN Christ, and being IN Christ produces MUCH fruit.
  • Growth doesn’t happen in the mountain top, it happens in the valley of the shadow of death. (speaking on being pruned)
  • Lukewarm, complacent Christianity has NO PLACE in the Kingdom of God.
  • Love is the greatest FRUIT of all, obedience is the greatest EVIDENCE of all!  John 15:10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
  • Jesus is our friend, YET we are called to obey HIM and serve OTHERS with a sacrificial love.

—  Thanks to Eddy for doing a GREAT job breaking God’s Word to us today!  So honored to have you share the pulpit!

—  Having Eddy here reminded me of the IMPACT we can have in peoples lives.  It is truly, many people like Eddy in my life that have shaped who I am.  I may have only experienced them for a short while in the grand scheme of things, but they make a HUGE impact.  What kind of wake am I leaving with people who I lead today?  GREAT question.

—  I get to spend some time Monday talking leadership and ministry with Eddy.  Can’t wait to talk shop with him.

—  Excited for our new sermon series starting this coming Sunday called “The Year Of The Comeback”.  We’re not talking about making 2012 the BEST year of your life.  We’re talking about making 2012 the FIRST year of the BEST LIFE you can live! It’s not about being BETTER this year, but living out God’s BEST for my life.

—  Gonna call it a day with that.  SO thankful for another year with God on our side!  CAN’T WAIT to see what 2012 yields.  SO honored to be called your pastor at Element Church!  You guys are AWESOME!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Till the end,

Jeff

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