Tag: resources

Five Tips for Studying the Bible

“For the Word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

There are numerous verses pertaining to the power of the Word of God.  In John 1:1 we read that the Word was with and is God.  From Isaiah 55:11, we understand that the Word of the Lord will never return void.  We know that all Scripture is breathed by God from 2 Timothy 3:16.  In Psalm 12:6, we find that the words of the Lord are pure, like refined silver.

THE WORD OF GOD IS GOOD, HELPFUL AND BRINGS LIFE.

However, I have found that though I know the value of studying Scripture, I can sometimes feel stagnant in this. But because I know the value of Scripture, it is worth it to persevere during dry seasons in pursuit of deepening my knowledge and love for the word of God.

We know the Word of God is essential to our understanding of ourselves as individuals, as a church and as part of the body of Christ.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant[s] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

FOR US TO BE QUIPPED, WE MUST MAKE SURE THAT WE POSITION OURSELVES TO FULLY RECEIVE EVERYTHING SCRIPTURE HAS TO OFFER US.

We don’t want to grudgingly study the Bible, but rather jump in with joy.

Here are five practical tools that I hope will bring fresh life and perspective as you read the Word of God:

  1. Read a passage in a different translation // Far too often we become comfortable and ingrained in our habits, even when it comes to spending time with God. Reading and studying different version gives fresh perspective and can provide new insight that we would not otherwise have. No matter the version, there is new insight to be gained.
  2. Summarize the passage in your own words // Studies show that we are likely to remember 70 percent of what we write down, as opposed to only 10 percent of things we read. After reading a passage, write down the full passage and then write it again in your own words. This will help you actually retain what you are reading.
  3. S.O.S Method // The S.O.S acronym stands for say, obey and share. After reading through a passage, ask yourself three questions –
    1. What is this passage saying?
    2. How can I obey?
    3. Who can I share this with?

This method challenges us to take what we’re reading a step further by asking God how we can apply the passage to our life, and sharing what we learn with someone else.

  1. Scripture Typer App // Having the Word of God engraved on our heart gives us tools to combat anxiety, fear and temptation. The Scripture Typer app uses different exercises to help us memorize Scripture. Once you have a verse mastered, the app will send you reminders in the weeks ahead to keep the passage fresh on your mind.
  2. Do a word study // Whether it’s something you may be struggling with or simply something you want to learn more about, a word study is when you read and examine the verses that include or are about the same word. Bible Gateway and Blue Letter Bible are great tools for this as you can search a word and find all of the verses pertaining to or including that word. This gives your study of Scripture a very specific focus, which can better enable you to dive deep into what it says.

My hope is that as you dive into the Word of God, you also gain greater understanding of His character and heart for you.

By Olivia Andrade – Communication Staff

Three Things our Kids Need to Hear Today

On Sunday morning in Journey (1st-4th Grade), we got real. About something real, something hard. One of our Ministry Mentors nailed it when he told the kids, “No one really taught us how to lie, but somehow we figured it out.”

As we looked at Jacob and Esau’s life in Genesis 27 together, our anthem as Antioch Kids became, “the truth is good enough.” But this anthem didn’t originate on Sunday morning.

While preparing to talk to our kids about the power of truth, I pondered the same idea their teacher pointed out. How did we learn to lie, anyway? Without being taught or told, we lie. And perform. And worry.

SIN’S ATTEMPT TO WEAVE ITSELF IN OUR HEARTS BEGINS IN CHILDHOOD.

But as parents, educators, friends and mentors, we can counter-weave with truth. With Jesus. With something real. With simple anthems, like the one we learned in Journey on Sunday.

“The truth is good enough,” is an anthem that originated in my childhood. My mom has shared this with me so many times that I can hear her voice saying it right now.

THIS PHRASE BECAME ENGRAINED IN MY HEART, SO I HAD A BATTLE CRY WHEN THE LIES CAME.

These anthems resound truth inside our kids, and in us as well. Here are a few of my favorites that we can speak over our kids and daily declare for ourselves, too:

  • 1. The truth is good enough // When our kids know we’re not waiting for a better story, a perfect explanation or for ideal behavior, truth is set free. Even when they know the truth isn’t perfect. Even when the truth is messy, hard or sad. Kids who are woven with truth won’t carry around the weight of lies, especially when they know that even their messiest parts cannot separate them from our love or from God’s love.
  • 2. Your best is enough // Have you ever seen a kid’s face light up, when they realize they are exceptionally good at something? This anthem reminds our kids that they bring something to the table that is different from everyone else, and it is enough simply because it was given to them by God. It frees our kids to be ok with failure, a powerful teacher. Most importantly, it empowers them to operate without glancing side-to-side, watching and hoping they measure up. Because they already do.
  • 3. You can do hard things (It’s hard, but you can do it) // Kids need to know that things like telling the truth and obeying when they don’t want to ARE hard. But they can do them. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s right. We do our kids a disservice when we convince them that things like tying their shoes, listening to authority or spending time with Jesus every day are easy. These things are not always easy, but our kids are SO CAPABLE.

Ultimately, the best way to speak anthems of truth over our kids is to ask the Holy Spirit. He knows everything they need, and He is the Master-Weaver of truth.

“And He has given…the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.” -Exodus 35:34-35

“I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery!” Colossians 2:2-3 (MSG)

By Sydnee Nichols, Associate Elementary Pastor

Keys to Making it for the Long Haul

I couldn’t believe it, and it broke my heart.

For more than 20 years, Susan and I had always received this family’s end-of-year updates, complete with a great picture of husband, wife and kids.  It was always a great general update on these two college friends of mine, who’d married shortly after we all graduated. They shared about how their kids were growing and what they were doing, how the husband’s ministry to destitute and addicted men was super difficult yet so rewarding and how the wife’s work with a nationwide ministry to youth and young adults was right up her alley; a ministry and minister match made in heaven. The update was always brimming with faith, hope and love; exactly what I’d expect from this wonderful family whom I’d always known to have Jesus at the center.

Then we got the heart-breaking update last week. It was immediately apparent that something was amiss when I saw the picture at the bottom of the letter. There was mom and her now adult kids; but dad was missing. In the paragraphs above that incomplete family photo, Mom apologized for having not gotten an update out for the past several years. She went on to say how she’s struggled with exactly how to give an update during a very difficult situation. She shared how she’d continued to have “hope and belief” as they got “much counseling” and made “repeated efforts” for “healing and reconciliation.” Then came the punch-in-the-gut line, “We’re divorced.”

Ever had one of those surreal, this-can’t-be-happening or this-happens-to-other-people-but-not-me or -them moments? I had one of those on July 1, 1992 when I received the call telling me my wife’s 33-year-old brother – husband, father of 3-year-old twins and an 11-month old, attorney and deeply devoted lover and follower of Jesus – had just been shot to death in the Tarrant County Courthouse. Well, last week I had another one of those moments. “What? Are you kidding me?! They are divorced?”

At this moment, I have no idea what happened in this couple’s relationship that led to their divorce, and I don’t have a critical or judgmental thought in my mind or bone in my body toward them, or any divorcees, for that matter. I’m a very firm believer in, “There but for the grace of God, go I,” (John Bradford) and, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). As I said at the start, I’m simply heart broken. Oh, the pain this man, woman, the children, their extended families, close friends and colleagues must have experienced and continue to feel.

Why do I share that tiny snippet of a very difficult and painful story? Because as 2017 wound down and 2018 cranked up recently, it was just one of several big, complex and challenging situations either very near or somewhat near to my life. And all these hard things led me once again, as I’ve done numerous times before, to slow down and ponder questions such as these:

“HOW CAN WE, LOVERS AND FOLLOWERS OF JESUS, NOT CRASH AND BURN IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES, FAMILIES AND FAITH WALKS IN CHRIST?”

“How can we avoid the slippery slopes that lead to falling into sin, pain, addictions and destruction?” “How can we not become a John 24:12, ‘the-love-of-most-will-grow-cold’ statistic?” “How can we make every effort, by the grace and power of God, to stay near to the heart of Jesus and endure to the end?”

There are a hundred, if not a thousand, solid, biblical answers to these kinds of questions. Vincent Carpenter happened to preach on THE key this past Sunday – abiding in Jesus.  But as I prayed through what I’m sharing here, I sensed the Holy Spirit highlight a couple of slippery slopes to avoid and another key to being an endure-to-the-end disciple of Jesus.

HERE THEY ARE:

  • Don’t lust // If you want to get serious about it, use filters and accountability programs on your internet-enabled devices, and don’t channel surf without your wife and/or someone else to whom you can be accountable present with you.
  • Avoid the comparison trap // Scripture says in everything give thanks. That includes giving thanks for how your Heavenly Father cares for and has handmade you AND how He cares for and has handmade others.  The next time you’re tempted in your heart or conversation with someone to compare yourself with someone else, thank God for them – and yourself – and bless them instead. Let’s all adhere to the Antioch Kids Ministry mantra, “Don’t compare and don’t complain!”
  • Live in the living Word of God, and let it live in you every day // It’s irreplaceable and oh so satisfying in the life of an endure-to-the-end disciple! Job says, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food,” (Job 23:12). Jeremiah says, “Your words were found and I ate them,” (Jeremiah 15:16). And Jesus says, “(let) My words abide in you,” (John 15:7).  What if you got to December 31st of this year and you could say, “I spent time in the Word every day this year”? It certainly wouldn’t be anything to brag about. But mixed with some, “now fill me, Holy Spirit!” every day, you’ll be more powerful and victorious than the Alabama Crimson Tide (Yep, 1985 graduate.)

By Steve Findley, AMI Director of Pastoral Care

 

Overcoming Fear

“… no one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life.” Joshua 1:5

In every season, we’re called to take ground. God has something unique for each of us – He has people for us to share with, places for us to carry His light into and encounters we can really only experience when we’re living fully abandoned to Him. But there is something that holds us back, paralyzes us and keeps us from the fullness that God has for us.

Fear.

I’VE ALMOST COMPLETELY DISREGARDED MY CALLING BECAUSE OF FEAR.

Many things can arouse fear within us, and it can stem from an attack, our own weaknesses or life experiences.

Fear tends to keep us idly waiting for someone else to take the lead. But in this life, there is no neutral. You are either moving forward or you’re sliding backward. I continually come to places and find things standing against me, and I just want to stop or turn back. But that isn’t what we were made for.

Rather than allowing us to dream, we stay up at night asking all of the, “what if,” questions. Our focus shifts from our greater calling to calming our anxiety.

FEAR ISN’T JUST A THOUGHT, IT CAN BECOME ALL-ENCOMPASSING – MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY.

But when God places a calling on our lives, there is an assurance that He will never leave of forsake us, and that He will prepare the way for us.

We were never meant to fall victim to fear, but to overcome it.

IN RESPONSE:

Take a look at two tools to help us overcome our fears:

  1. The Word of God // Joshua 1:7 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” There is a promise for us that if we keep God’s Word on our lips and meditate on it daily, we will be prosperous. Keep speaking out the Word of God, especially when you’re in a mental block.
  2. Go back to the root of your fear // Fear comes in at different experiences, go back to those memories and ask Jesus where He was in those moments. Allow Him to speak and bring healing to that place of fear.

This post was written based around a message from All Peoples Church Lead Pastor Robert Herber. 

What We’re Reading this Christmas Season

The word Advent means expectation, and the Advent season is a time of remembering the 400 years of silent anticipation of the arrival of our Savior. Many people celebrate and reflect on the Christmas season with an Advent calendar or special book to help them connect to the heart of the season and the eternal truth that Great Light has come and illuminated the darkness.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR FAVORITE BOOKS FOR THE ADVENT SEASON:

Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope by Louie Giglio // The Christmas season is one most of us look forward to, yet the rush and chaos of the holidays can leave us dizzy. Often, at this time of year, we realize we are all waiting for something: a solution, a relationship, a breakthrough, a rescue and so on. Christmas is a time that reminds us: God made a promise and then He fulfilled it. This daily devotional book by Louie Giglio will show you what to do while you’re waiting and how to encounter hope over the holidays and throughout your life.

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp // Divided into daily readings starting on December 1st and going through Christmas Day, Voskamp artfully draws the reader into the full love story of the season. She reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the Greatest Gift — through the Advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree.”

Unwrapping the Name of Jesus: An Advent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu // Throughout Scripture, Jesus is referred to as, “Alpha and Omega, Lamb of God, Prince of Peace, Messiah,” and so on. In this devotional beginning on December 1st, Asheritah Ciuciu takes a deeper look at who Jesus is, and what His arrival means for us.

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas // Watch for the Light is a compilation of stories and readings that allow readers to connect with the heart of the season. The book includes writings from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Friedrich Foerster and many others. The writers explore the significance of the birth of Jesus, not only during this season but every season.

FOR FAMILIES:

The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp // Based on her book, The Greatest Gift, Voskamp takes families through the tradition of “The Jesse Tree” and creates a platform for the whole family to connect to the heart of the Christmas season.

Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide // Jotham’s Journey is a great book for you to read with your children. Each day has a reading that takes you through 10-year-old Jothan’s journey across Israel as he searches for his family. Along the journey he encounters wise men, shepherds and innkeepers until he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.

Surviving and Thriving in Your Time with Jesus

Spending time with Jesus is as essential to your every day as food. Our bodies don’t function properly or grow when we are malnourished. We are not able to build muscle, concentrate, stay awake or do anything at a normal speed when we don’t eat.

Your body was made to take in food, just like your soul was made for relationship with your Creator. We were made to thrive with Jesus and we do that by being in His presence. It is essential for believers to value time with Jesus in the same way we value food: to survive and thrive.

There is not one formula for spending time with Jesus, just like there is not one type of food or diet. But I do want to give some handrails for what spending time with Jesus looks like for me and what it could look like for you.

1. WAKE UP EARLY

  • Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” – Mark 1:35
  • Yep. This is a big deal and the biggest hurdle for me on a daily basis.
  • Find a quiet place to spend time with Jesus.
  • “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9
  • It matters that we give God the first of all our resources, including our time! He promises to fill us when we do.

2. WORSHIP

  • “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” – Psalm 100:4
  • Starting my time worshiping Jesus (with worship music on my iPhone) stirs thankfulness in my heart and puts me in a place of gratitude that spills into the rest of my time with God and the rest of my day.
  • Who doesn’t love a person who is grateful?

3. READ

  • “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Depending on what is going on in my life, this part could look different from day to day. I have had seasons of reading through the entire Bible, where I chose to read one chapter in the Old Testament, one chapter in Psalms and one chapter in the New Testament. Sometimes my goal is to understand a certain book in the Bible, so I read a chapter a day of just that book (i.e. John).

4. PRAY

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
  • This is where I ask God how to apply what I just read to my day-to-day life. I will wait to hear something (sense something in my heart that is in line with the character of God and Scripture) and then pray into what He has spoken.
  • Then I have a list of people and circumstances I pray for. For me, this looks like praying in detail for my wife, daughter, friends, family and our city.

It matters that we spend time with Jesus because in His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and we have access to that. Let’s get to know Jesus in a deeper, more personal way; we can’t lose with Him!

And once again, this is not about being more religious. Just like our need and desire for food, it’s about surviving and thriving in our relationship with Jesus.

Check out the original post and other posts from Antioch Salt Lake City here

By Noland Gilmore – Antioch Salt Lake City Worship and Young Adult Pastor

What is Carl Reading?

The topic of leadership has been on my mind a lot lately! Take a look at three books I consider to be foundational for leadership:

 

 

1. Developing the Leader Within You – John Maxwell //

This was the first leadership book I read and a staple for anyone who is insecure about the topic of leadership, but still wondering how to help other people.

 

 


2. Spiritual Leadership – J. Oswald Sanders //

The author has gone on to be with the Lord, but I recommend this book frequently, as it lays a wonderful biblical foundation for what true spiritual leadership is all about.

 

 

 

3. Courageous Leadership – Bill Hybels //

Hybels waited until he had been in ministry for three decades before writing this masterpiece concerning leadership in the local church. Whether you are a volunteer in the Kids Ministry or a CEO in the marketplace, this book is inspiring and will practically put you to work right where you are – and make you better!

 

 

By Carl Gulley – College Pastor

What is JMG Listening To?
Fall Edition


I grew up listening to a wide variety of musical styles. I have always loved both hip-hop and classical, pop and folk, etc. I have a deep appreciation for almost all the genres. So maybe it comes as no surprise that this season’s playlist is pretty diverse. Below are some explanations, but you can just jump right to the “What’s JMG Listening To? Fall 2017 Edition” Spotify playlist here and now if you want. (Spoiler alert: there are a couple of songs below that aren’t on Spotify, but you can find them on YouTube.)

                       

We start with three songs that I am especially proud of. AntiochLIVE has been releasing a single every month, and they are here in descending order for your enjoyment. Unchanging, Your Name and All in All. Check them out!

Amen by People & Songs is a straight up gospel song that takes you right to the throne room. Another worship leader friend turned me on to this one, and I am so thankful. Keeps your sights on Jesus and all that is right and true.


What A Beautiful Name is not a new song, but have you heard Hillsong Worship’s dedicated EP? If not, you’re missing some arrangements that will bless you in very different ways. I highly recommend the Gospel Version and the Orchestral Selah.


One of my favorite finds of late is the album Labyrinth by David Baloche. You may have heard of David’s dad, Paul. He wrote Open the Eyes of My Heart and many other major worship songs. With truly inspiring music and vocals, David puts the Scripture in our heads and hearts in a unique way. I listen to this while working on projects, writing, you name it. It’s the Bible put to music.


This next one is not new, but every time I listen to To My Knees by Hillsong Young & Free, I want to do exactly what it says: hit my knees and worship Jesus. It makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.


There are several versions of The War is Over, but nothing beats the man, the legend and author himself, Josh Baldwin. The album version is amazing, but don’t miss the “Live at White Sands, NM” version – so raw and beautiful.


I love a song that makes much of Jesus’ sacrifice, combining the devastating loss with the final victory. The Cross Has The Final Word is a powerful anthem of truth for us to sing to Heaven and to our own souls. Also, Cody proves to be every bit the vocal acrobat that he seems on this breathtaking acoustic version of Til The End of Time from the same album.


I am a complete sucker for just about anything by my friend Chris McClarney. This homie is hysterical (see his Instagram for proof). But when Chris leads worship, it’s no joke. His tenacity to come boldly to his Father is real, and his voice soars to bring Jesus glory. His hunger for intimacy with God is tangible. My One My All from Jesus Culture’s newest album does just that.

Whatever you do, worship Jesus like crazy this season. He deserves it and you need it. From one person going through a crazy season of life to another, trust me: only in His presence does life begin to make sense.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

By James Mark Gulley – Worship Pastor

What’s Next? A 10 – Day Journal to Navigate Transition

Transitions are normal, but what’s not normal is always knowing how to handle transition. We may not always know what to do or what steps to take next. Whether you just graduated college, you’re sensing God wants you to move cities or you’re considering changing jobs, God wants to speak to you in the midst of the change. Here is a tool to help you process through life’s transitions through a facilitated and guided conversation with God. Even if you are not going through a life transition, this tool is great practice to help clear the fog in your life and help get fresh perspective and vision for what God has called you to in this season.

The goal of this time is to hear God, and to process God’s calling on your life. Maybe it has been your experience that hearing God for the future or for decision-making has been hard, daunting or confusing. But God wants to reveal His Father heart to you through these 10 days, showing you His goodness and how He trusts you as His child. The purpose of this journal guide is to help you facilitate conversation with God, but is by no means meant to restrict what this journey looks like for you. You should set aside 30 minutes a day to seek the Lord in this process outside of your devotional time with Him.

10 – DAY JOURNAL:

Days 1-3 // The Narrowing Phase:

The first thing you want to do during this time is surrender everything. We often walk through life with preconceived ideas of who we are, what we are called to do, who we are called to do life with and where we are called to be. Sometimes when we wait for God to speak, we only let him speak within the framework we have made for ourselves.

As you process through surrendering the locations, identifiers and callings that you are laying down, ask God to speak into them. Sometimes this can bring clarity, new perspective or truth to what you are already doing and sometimes God asks us to leave it on the altar altogether. If you are having trouble processing through certain areas, take time to recall God’s goodness and testify to yourself the work that He has done in you.

Day 4-6 // The Seeking Phase:

Once you have laid the ownership of these things down, leave it in God’s hands. God may tell you everything you have been doing is exactly where you need to be and where you need to stay, but He certainly won’t do that without giving you fresh purpose and vision for it if you ask Him (don’t ask for that until day 7-9). This is also time to trust God by dreaming with Him. He could speak new things in this time or highlight a dream that has been on your heart for some time. This phase is a lot more praying and listening than journaling or processing. However, you want to make sure to journal anything and everything that you hear Him say even if it doesn’t make sense to you in the moment.

This isn’t a time to ask God yes/no questions. Instead, you will want to ask Him open-ended questions and really discipline yourself to sit quietly and hear His voice (see the Scriptures, Prayers and Questions section at the end for example questions).

Day 7-9 // The Mining Phase:

This phase is the place that you ask God for some detail and initial steps in how to move forward in obedience to what He has been speaking. This is also a space to process dreams that He has put on your heart and to seek Him for practical steps of pursuing what He may be highlighting. This is a very important step because a lot of times we land with this big vision and no idea how to walk it out or where to begin. These few days are of the utmost importance because God has called us to be obedience-based believers and not just vision-based believers.

Day 10 // The Rejoicing Phase:

We must be ones that rejoice in the work that God does. Even if He only spoke a tiny word of direction to you, you are greatly blessed! How incredible is it that we have a Father who we can run to, to seek wisdom and direction from and He meets us? Psalm 119:162 says, “I rejoice in Your word as one who finds great treasure.”

SCRIPTURES, PRAYERS AND QUESTIONS FOR ALONG THE WAY

Pray:

“Father, thank You for the hope you give. Thank you for filling my life with hope and promise. I live with joy in the present and I eagerly look forward to what you have waiting around the bend. Forgive me when I put my hope in the wrong place, in either a person or circumstance. Let my hope be anchored in You. Holy Spirit illuminate my heart and show me the vision of a life filled with hope and walked out in promise.”

“Abba, help me to realize the truth that your will for me is more about the freedom of my heart than the direction of my life. I believe that you are able to guide me as I respond to your kindness. Thank you that you care about my heart more than you desire for me to do something for you. It glorifies you when I am rejoicing, prayerful and thankful. So, I ask for more rejoicing, more real communication and communion in my relationship with you, and for more thanksgiving to flow from deep within in my daily life. I agree this is your will for me. Amen.”

Read:

Ask:

  • What do You have for me?
  • What are You asking me to place on the altar?
  • What is the vision/dream You want to put in my heart?
  • Holy spirit, would You show me who I am beyond the work of my hands?
  • Father, what does it look like to give You all the glory in my life?
  • What are some routines in my life that have become dull? Lord, I invite You to show me how to make them new. What gifts do You have waiting for me there? Holy Spirit, open my eyes and heart to the little things that You are calling me to.
  • What are You cultivating in me in this season of my life?
  • Father, how do You want to upgrade the way I have been seeing my life with You? Are there places I have been afraid to trust You?

Bonus // Day 11

Make it your plan today to respond in obedience God’s will from your heart. Let go of fear, let Him love you freely and lead you as a kind Father. Let all of His gifts bless and enrich your existence. Make it your aim to rejoice, pray and give thanks in some way every day, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Download a copy of the 10-day journal

What Are We Reading?

Summer is almost here, which means it is time to find a new book to read while you’re out by the pool or on a plane. We asked some of our pastors and staff members about some of their favorite books. Check them out:


 

pastor reading 1

Leadership Pain by Sameul Chand

Have you ever found yourself holding back out of fear of pain? Pain isn’t always a bad thing. In his book, Chand looks at the practicals and priciples of pain as a way of fulfilling God’s purpose. God doesn’t try to hurt us, but is continually inviting us deeper, even when things don’t seem easy.


pastor reading 2

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Have you ever wondered what makes a team great? Check out Lencioni’s book as he tells a fable to reveal the five reasons teams struggle and how to overcome those struggles and be great.


 

Pastor reading 3

The Bait of Satan by John Bevere

This book is great for anyone, teaching us how to overcome offense. The enemy tries to restrain us with feelings of offense, but Jesus invites us into a place free of offense and destruction. In his book, Bevere shares on identifying traps and how to move past a victim mentality.


 

pastor reading 4

Developing the Leaders Around You: How to Help Others Reach Their Full Potential by John C. Maxwell

There is something so rewarding about seeing those around us reach their full potential that is greater than seeing ourselves succeed. In his book, John C. Maxwell, dives into raising up leaders and placing value on them, so they can succeed.


 

reading list 1

The Comeback by Louie Giglio

Everybody loves a good comeback story. This is what makes movies like Rudy, Miracle and even Cinderella favorites. It is inevitable, at some point, we all come to a place where we need a comeback. The good news is, men and women in Scripture did too! Check out Giglio’s The Comeback and find out how they found their comeback through the power of Jesus… and how you can as well.


 

pastor reading 5

Parenting Without Regret by Jimmy and Laura Seibert

Have you ever wanted some tips on parenting, or maybe just some affirmation that you aren’t alone? Check out Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert and wife Laura’s book as they share about parenting with purpose and intentionality.


pastor reading 6

Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley

Four emotions that can greatly cause destruction in our relationships are guilt, anger, greed and jealousy. In this book, Pastor Andy Stanley gives biblical practicals to help us fight back against those emotions and have healthy, thriving relationships.


Pastor reading 7

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Admit it. Everyone loves to root for the underdog. This book is a classic underdog story, telling the story of the USA rowing team at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. It seemed like all odds were against them, and still they came out victorious.