Tag: New Year

Live Courageously

This morning Impact Waco director Susan Peters shared on living courageously in the midst of transition. As we prepare to transition into a new year, we have to let let go of some things in order to embrace all that is ahead. We spent most of our morning in Joshua 1:1-9; where we find Joshua stepping into transition after the death of Moses.

“BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS…”

Throughout the passage, God calls Joshua to be strong and courageous. He calls us to the very same thing. God knows we are prone to fear, and in His kindness, He encourages us and tells us not to fear.

As we transition and step into a new season, we need to process the loss of what we are transitioning from. Otherwise, we will step into the new season with fear and discouragement instead of expectancy.

IMPERFECTIONS, INTERCESSION AND INTIMACY.

Knowing that we are called to courageously step into the next season, we talked about the three I’s that will help us transition well.

  1. Imperfections // God knows our weaknesses, but they don’t cause God to pull away from us. Even with our weaknesses, God calls us up and places divine purpose within us. When we allow the enemy to amplify our imperfections, it eventually destroys us. God calls us to minimize the inner-critic so we can walk out triumphantly. Moses didn’t let his imperfections hold him back from God’s calling. Instead, he embraced humility. Humility is acknowledging our weakness, but having confidence in the God who strengthens us. Humility is not allowing ourselves to believe that we are less than. In this transition season, God is calling us to shake off the voice of our inner critic and embrace humility.
  2. Intercession // Intercession is simply praying, setting aside time to meet with God and talk with Him like a friend. Even in busyness, Moses set aside time everyday to pray and meet with God. He prayed fervently because he was confident that God would answer his prayers. What would our prayer lives look like if we believed God would actually answer us. When we fervently pray and contend for things, we can be confident that our intercession will lead to provision and miracles. This year, let’s lay aside fear and pray with courage and confidence.
  3. Intimacy // Joshua did not depend on Moses’ connection with God, he wanted his own connection with God. God is inviting us to press in and believe for more. We won’t know the new promises God has for us unless we set aside time to meet with Him and create space for Him to speak. We are not only called to intimacy with God, but also with other people. We need people around us in both victory and defeat. When we lay down our distancing maneuvers and press in, we step into deeper intimacy.

CHANGE DOES NOT EQUAL SUBTRACTION.

Stepping into something new can feel scary. It’s easy to believe that things won’t get better. But God is calling us into so much more! In Him, there is always opportunity for increase. When God asks us to let go, it’s because He wants us to embrace all that is ahead. So, as we get ready to enter 2019, let’s enter with expectancy and confidence that God has even more good in store for us!

IN RESPONSE //

  1. Imperfections: Ask God to speak fresh identity over you in this season, and allow His words to speak louder than that inner-critic.
  2. Intercession: Let’s commit to praying with confidence and faith! Ask God for one area that you can deeper pray into, and begin interceding in that place.
  3. Intimacy: What does courageous intimacy with God and others look like for you this year? Maybe it’s setting your alarm for a half our earlier so you can spend time with God every morning, or maybe it looks like committing to a Lifegroup. Ask God where He is calling you to press in this year.

Resolving to Leave Perfection in 2017

Welcome to 2018!

There is something about the start of a new year that has me running to the nearest Target to get calendars, colored pens, sticky notes, a new planner and anything else that is sure to help me have the most successful year yet. My motivation is at an all-time high and my list of resolutions extends down a page in my journal.

But to tell you the truth, my motivation dies out after about a month. I can’t remember one thing that was on my 2017 resolutions list, and my planner has sat idly on my desk for the past few months, just waiting to be replaced on January 1st. I love the idea of a fresh start. I think we all do. But each year after the holidays pass, I find myself caught between the same responsibilities and struggles I woke up with on December 31st, and the desire to check off every single item on my resolutions list.

The recipe for my seemingly perfect year is all there, but things never really play out the way I expect them to.

WHEN MY EXPECTATION IS PERFECTION, I AM TEMPTED TO FEEL LIKE A FAILURE WHEN A RESOLUTION GOES UNCHECKED.

If you’re anything like me you may be wondering, “How do I get out of this cycle of feeling like I fail every year?”

I’m not going to tell you to give up on making resolutions or to set low goals because I don’t think that is the answer. I believe the answer is to shift our expectations away from perfection.

GOD DOESN’T EXPECT US TO BE PERFECT.

If perfection were achievable, Jesus never would have died on the cross. Instead, God invites us to press into Him in the areas where we fall short. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

WHEN WE LAY DOWN OUR EXPECTATION FOR PERFECTION, WE CREATE SPACE FOR GOD TO DO WHATEVER HE WANTS.

And there is an assurance that His plan is always better than we can comprehend.

So, as we look forward to the New Year I encourage you to resolve to leave perfection in the past. Make a list of resolutions and dream with God about the year ahead. And cut yourself some slack, you don’t have to check everything off your list right away. We are covered by the grace of God, and it’s time for us to extend grace to ourselves.

IN RESPONSE:

With the desire for perfection in the past, check out three ways to help you set yourself up for a great year:

  1. Invite God into the process and ask Him what He has for you in the coming year.
  2. Stick to three or four resolutions; don’t overload yourself with a ton of things.
  3. Quantify your goals. Instead of saying, “Read more,” set a more quantifiable goal, like, “Read one book every three months.”

By Destiny Gonzalez – Communications Staff

A New Year Letter from Carl Gulley

Happy OLD Year!

I don’t know about you, but the sound of that makes me depressed.

Why? Could three little letters really make that big of a difference?

NEW.

Think about it.

For Christmas, most of us were given something NEW: clothes, gadgets, home decor,etc. And that NEW possession was nothing short of thrilling.

But….

What if every gift you received was something you already owned? If someone gift-wrapped your old Iphone, your empty perfume bottle or your holey underwear, you would look up confused and ask, “Umm, are you serious?!”

That’s because in our subconscious, we all expect something NEW. And in light of that anticipation of the NEW, you tore into that gift.

I BELIEVE THE DESIRE FOR NEW IS BUILT INTO OUR DNA BY GOD HIMSELF.

Let’s get pessimistic for a minute. What if all we had to look forward to in 2018 was what we encountered in 2017? Sure, some great moments occurred in the past 12 months. However, all of us were also confronted with high levels of tension, pain and disappointment. So the thought of pushing COPY on the OLD year and PASTING it into the NEW year isn’t exactly thrilling for most of us.

I’ve never looked up the definition of the word “NEW” until now. Webster shows two definitions:

New- adjective:

  1. Not existing before; made, introduced or discovered recently or now for the first time.
  2. Already existing but seen, experienced or acquired recently or now for the first time.

See the difference? In definition #1, something is introduced or discovered. But in definition #2, that same thing is experienced or acquired. In other words, #1 is information and #2 is revelation.

Lamentations 3 tells us, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are NEW every morning.”

Fresh forgiveness.

Fresh possibilities.

Fresh starts.

THEY.

NEVER.

RUN.

OUT.

For many of us, this verse isn’t new. We know God loves us and has mercy for us in vast sums. The question is, are we simply aware of His love and mercy (information)? Or are we truly seeing, experiencing and acquiring all He has for us (revelation)?

HIS MERCIES ARE A NEW GIFT TO BE UNWRAPPED EVERYDAY!

Tragically, some people leave that gift under the tree. They think their best has passed them by and the past is doomed to repeat itself. Or they may be tired of risking with God and just kick into a survival mentality.

But that’s not who you are as a person.

That’s not who we are as a church.

ANTIOCH, WE NEED TO GET AHOLD OF THE FACT THAT 2018 HAS NEW WRITTEN ALL OVER IT.

NEW vision.

NEW relationships.

NEW strength.

NEW salvations.

NEW risks.

NEW revelation.

And it’s all powered by the engine of steadfast love and NEW mercies.

How do we know?

Because He said it, “Behold, I am making all things NEW!” (Isaiah 43:19)

So my prayer for 2018 is that you would, “not dwell on the former things, for He is doing a NEW thing.” And as you embrace this NEW year, don’t be content to merely gather more information about God. But, by the Holy Spirit‘s power, may you grasp more revelation of all He is and all He wants to do.

So welcome to new mercies.

Welcome to 2018.

Happy NEW year!

Carl Gulley – College Pastor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, to help you get ready for the year ahead – fill out this Roles and Goals for 2018 sheet.

A New Year Letter from Jimmy

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2
Happy New Year! Each new year is another opportunity to start afresh. As we look back at 2016, the word to us was, More of Jesus. Here are a few ways we saw that come to pass this year:
  1. We have seen lives changed locally, at our church plants across the country and around the world. The Antioch Movement truly has seen More of Jesus touch more people’s lives than any other year.
  2. We ENGAGED THE CRISIS of the refugees flooding into Europe. We had more than 1,800 short-term workers and 200 interns serve in Europe this summer. Now, 30 laborers and friends are continuing our work. Many refugees described a dream or a vision of a glowing white figure or a shepherd that had come to them but they didn’t know His name. We were there to put their hands in His so they could find More of Jesus.
  3. Locally, through the incredible sacrifice and generosity of the people at Antioch, we completed our new auditorium debt free! We have been opening our doors to our community like never before, to see people experience More of Jesus on a weekly basis.
  4. We could list thousands of stories of how God is using people for His glory, but the most important testimony, as we look back on 2016, is that people have encountered Jesus. They have found Him again to be Healer, Restorer, Deliverer, Savior, Helper and our Hope and coming King.

On January 8th I’ll be sharing the word of the Lord for us as a people and our vision for 2017. I am stirred, encouraged and excited about all God is going to do this coming year.

HERE ARE A FEW PRACTICALS FOR HOW TO BRING CLOSURE TO 2016 AND PREPARE OUR HEARTS PERSONALLY FOR THE NEW YEAR:

  1. Review 2016: Write down what you are thankful for that God has done. Once you’ve done that, go back to every painful place or disappointment and ask God to show you where He was in the midst of the challenge. His plans for us are always for good and He promises to work all things together for our good, so we can trust that even in the trials He is present and at work in our lives. This simple exercise allows you to bring closure to 2016 in order to have a restored and ready heart for 2017.
  2. Pull out the good ol’ “Roles and Goals” sheet: Our family has been using this template for the last 27 years to make sure our hearts are aligned with God’s purpose and plan for the next season. If you have never tried it before, this is a great time to do it. Last year a long-term member told me, with much surprise, “It actually works! God has helped us as a family to be clear and to get on track like never before.” Try it, you’ll like it!
  3. Resources: Take a look at some resources to help you grow in your relationship with God this year:
    • Building Your Spiritual Core by Ron Parrish: Parrish’s new book focuses on fresh ways to connect with God. It is available on Amazon.
    • Parenting Without Regret: Parents, as you gear up for the new year, check out our book focusing on parenting with purpose, not perfection. It’s available online and in our bookstore.
    • Hope is Coming by AntiochLIVE: AntiochLIVE’s newest song is an anthem of hope and is a great reminder of the hope that is always available to us. It is available on YouTube and iTunes.
    • When you Call by Antioch College Worship: When You Call showcases songs of a generation surrendered to Jesus and His purposes in the earth. It is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Laura and I love you and are so proud to be a part of the Antioch family. May God’s grace abound over you as you bring closure to 2016 and hear His fresh word for you for this coming year.

With much love and respect for all,
Jimmy

Four Ways To Fail

… at your New Year’s resolutions.

One January I sat down to write out my very first attempt at New Year’s resolutions. I had big dreams for my year: I was going to read more, exercise more, lose weight, wake up earlier, love my wife better and save the world. Besides saving the world, I didn’t get too far on any of those goals. 

By February I had canceled my gym membership, gained five pounds and was doing a fairly incredible job at NOT loving my wife well. For years I had made fun of people who made New Year’s resolutions, and had made even more fun of the people who couldn’t follow through on them. Now here I was 34 days into the New Year and my dreams for the “Year of a Lifetime” had already ended.

Through that journey I learned some valuable lessons about how to make goals that actually work and how to make goals that don’t.

IF YOU WANT TO FAIL MISERABLY AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, THEN JUST FOLLOW THESE FOUR SIMPLE RULES:

  • How to fail: Write out too many goals. I looked back at my goals for 2013 and I had 32, count them, 32 New Year’s resolutions. No one can accomplish that many, much less remember half the list. How to succeed: Write down three very specific, very doable goals.
  • How to fail: Write year-long goals. You have no idea where you will be in 12 months or what you will be doing, so why write out a goal that would take a year to accomplish. We live in a microwave culture, so you have to set microwave goals. How to succeed: Set goals for two to three months at a time.
  • How to fail: Write out broad goals. I’m sure we all want to eat healthier and exercise, but how in the world will you know if you are actually doing it? You have to be more precise. How to succeed: Quantify everything you want to do (i.e. go on a Daniel fast for thirty days).
  • How to fail: Don’t tell anyone. If you don’t tell other people what you are doing, then you have zero accountability besides yourself. Last time I checked, I am my own worst accountability partner. The reason Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers work so well is the accountability factor. How to succeed: Once you have two or three very specific, very short goals, tell someone to hold you accountable to them and/or invite them to do it with you.

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER SURE-FIRE WAYS YOU HAVE FAILED MISERABLY AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS? WHAT ARE WAYS YOU CAN TURN THAT AROUND THIS YEAR?

By Josh Lawson

Failure To Fix Ourselves

It’s almost the new year which means it’s time to review my resolutions from last year. The fact that I have to review them is probably the first indicator that things didn’t exactly work out. Fortunately, I’m not alone.  According to the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people actually achieve their resolution.

Resolutions represent what matters most – family, faith, health – yet we are terrible about making progress. For me, this time of year brings up the uncomfortable reality that I don’t do the things I want to do, nor am I the person I want to be.

Romans 7:19-25 illustrates this struggle:

 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

We want to honor God, we want to walk free from sin and we want to serve others, but often we do the exact opposite.

This feels depressing, but this is the Gospel.  We cannot fix ourselves; that is the whole point. Jesus rescued us from our sin through salvation; that is the beginning. But His work didn’t stop there

Too often, we receive salvation as a free gift, but then go right back to trying to fix ourselves and live righteously.

And inevitably we fail because we still cannot fix ourselves.

What is the solution?

  • Confess your need. Romans 7:18 is a cry for help.  Confessing our need to God and to others is often the first step to breakthrough.  Why?  Because God moves in the humble, those who recognize they cannot fix themselves.
  • Seek Jesus. Romans 8:5-6 describes the power of living by the Spirit.  This comes from a lifestyle of seeking God.  Spend time with God in the morning, set aside time to pray throughout the day and make worship a lifestyle. Rather than condemning yourself over your sin, pray for help! The more you are full of Jesus the more you will look like Him.
  • Stand on your identity. Romans 8 is a powerful portrait of our identity in Christ.  When we fail, we easily believe the lie that we are a failure.  The longer we fail, the more entrenched the lie becomes.  Eventually you will live out who you think you are.  Start walking in freedom by declaring the promises in this chapter, even if you don’t feel it.  To become who you want to be you have to know who you already are.
IN RESPONSE

By all means, have resolutions this year.  But resolve first and foremost to radically seek Jesus and you will soon find that there is power for everything else.

By Drew Steadman, Director of Ministries and U.S. Church Planting