What did God NOT do

As some of you know where in the beginning process of taking this dream and vision (Opening a Donut Shop with a church inside of it) God has given us and turning it into a reality. I am careful to say “process” because often in our culture we see the “idea”… and believe it should become a reality overnight. But there is a process…

I woke up today thinking about process and about a guy named Noah. Noah was someone I want to be like. It is recorded that Noah was someone who “walked in close fellowship with God.” Most of us know the end of this mans story. But what we don’t know is the beginning. We don’t have the start… I bet it could be because it wasn’t “sexy enough” to write about. But that seems like a a great story for another day…
Today I want to focus on something unique in Noah’s Story…
God told Noah: “Build a large boat from gopher wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior.” (Genesis 6:14)
Then Noah… “Did everything exactly as God had commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22)

Now incase you have not read this story, the boat that God asked him to make was one that would hold a lot of animals, a lot of them!!

What has me excited today is that God gave Noah the job to do… and Noah did it…
BUT what did God NOT do for Noah….. He didn’t build it for him…. 

Another way we often look at dreams and visions is similar to my kids cleaning up their room… My kids think: “Mom and Dad will clean up my room, I don’t have to do anything and it will happen.” For my kids to have a clean room, they have “what they need” to get the job done, but they don’t because they are waiting for me to do it for them….

Noah was given all he needed to do the job God had given him… and unlike my kids… Noah got to work, and people thought he was crazy… and Noah kept working… because Noah believed that God had more for Him through the process than what Noah experienced when things were “Normal” as before… 

God isn’t going to build your dreams and the Plans He has placed in your heart… But He is going to give you everything you need for you to make them a reality…
Each of us has a CHOICE… pick up the axe and start chipping away at it or watch the trees sway back and forth… Wondering why they aren’t magically turning into a large ship…

Don’t think for a moment that the dream God has given you doesn’t include you being stretched and broken and hurt (Nobody builds a large boat without at least a splinter) in the process… Nobody who does the LEAST will ever experience God’s Best for their life! 

As we plan and prepare to move to Savannah, GA we invite you to join us!!!!
* Pray, for our family (Tom will be visiting in May, Pray for connections, a home and work)
* Pray, for the people we are going to (Fathers and Families who have no hope because they don’t know Hope)
* Give, talk with us about how you can help support us as we take this leap of faith
* We have less than 10 weeks in WNY and will be having a goodbye party on JUNE 8th!!! Hope you can make it!!!

 

Check out the full context for this amazing story in Genesis 6-9

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Click it… YOU WON’T!!!

I love that when I open facebook I have friends who are on every side of literally every argument out there… Nothing is untouched:-) It is good, I think if you don’t listen to both sides you can not truly make an informed decision on the topic you are fighting for…

Here is my concern though… Many people are not willing to listen… How do I know this… I see the same arguments posted by the same people, sometimes every day…

The Bible is where I go for my source of authority and truth, I am a follower of Jesus. My hope is in Him. WHY? Short answer, I believe the Bible tells our story. Where we came from, Why we are here… and even how our story ends… Spoiler alert: humans are not God, only made in His image….

That said, I have been reading some articles that have been posted and I was reminded of a verse in the Bible that seems to hit very close to home with how things are posted these days. Here it is: 2 Timothy 4:3-4

“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 

Next time you are sucked into a click bate article with a catchy title that backs your point of view ask yourself… Am I only hearing what I want to hear? Are the ideas I am promoting based in TRUTH?

NOW… Before you take this article and add it to the noise of social media and claim that I am promoting your idea and your Hate or your idea of Love… Remember these verses…

Romans 2:4:
” Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin.” 

John 9:40-41: (full context: read John 9, INCREDIBLE STORY)
“Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” 

 

 

 

Questions you must wrestle with: 
* Where does truth come from?
* Can something be true even if I don’t want it to be true?
* If what God says is true, will I follow it?
* How do I love like Jesus in a world of hate?

 

 

Protection and the Illusion of Control

As a dad I want to protect my kids.

I will do anything in my power to keep them safe.

BUT, “my power” is so limiting because children, make individual choices….

 

I tell them not to talk to strangers, they offer them donuts

I tell them not to run and they race through the china shop

I tell them to be kind and they throw fists

 

My power is so limiting… It is an illusion…

My desire to protect does have a foundation…

My goal as a parent is lead them to that foundation…

 

Foundations are future choices at the conception of  current ideas and thought

Foundations are felt but can not be Forced

Foundations take Trust or fear will be the foundation

Foundations are proven when Faith is needed

 

 

We all will build a life by the choices we make…. What is your foundation?

 

 

 

 

Here We Go…

So, I am leaving on a Jet Plane… I am hoping I won’t be back…. The same person I was when I left…

Many have asked, If I am afraid of going… Not Really… I am honestly more afraid of NOT going… Leaving is scary but you know, not leaving is even more scary to me….
Who knows what I might have missed out on if I had stayed…

I talked with a friend earlier about Obedience and acting out of Obedience to do what God has called, gifted and prepared you to do… We both agreed that Obedience in the tough times of life is both uncomfortable and necessary for growth in your relationship with Jesus… So I will go in Obedience…

Obedience to go, when “my work” is here.
Obedience to go, when the summer just got two weeks shorter.
Obedience to go, when the unknown is there and known is here.
Obedience to go, when the hugs from my children and beautiful wife are here.

Am I afraid nope. Why because I know I am loved by Jesus and I am willing to be obedient to His call, and the doors He opens… He. is. Faithful. Always.

I read this passage this morning and it encouraged me. I hope it does the same for you:
Psalm 108:12b-13a
All human help is useless. 
With God’s help we will do mighty things

Please Pray: 
For my team: We will be working a youth camp, we will need His Help
For me: That I experience Him and His Love in greater ways than I can imagine
For my family: Grace and the kids, Especially Tyler (He’s Two Year Old Bruiser)

 

 

The Act of Faith

But seriously, how often do I really have to trust Jesus with my life?

Hear me out… I have a great job, great relationship with my wife (by the Grace of God), great family life, my kids love me, great friendships! Overall things in my life are pretty predictable. I wake up, I exercise, make breakfast for my kids, go to work, come home, eat dinner, play with my kids, kiss my wife, help put the kids to bed and then go to bed.

When I read scripture I notice that Jesus was always putting opportunities for the disciples to “use their faith in God.” This is above the normal faith in Jesus to just exist in a community. This was stuff nobody else was doing, stand out and move out kind of action in faith for God to move type of opportunity! Recently, I was reading in Mark 14. Where Jesus sends his disciples (First Followers) into Jerusalem to prepare for the passover meal. He gives them simple instructions: Follow the pitcher.
You can read it here:

Matthew 14:13-16

13 So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions: “As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ 15 He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” 16 So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

I wonder what it was like for those disciples as they approached the city. Did they have doubts, “Jesus said a man would carry the pitcher right?” Or maybe “did Jesus say before the city or after we entered that the pitcher man would be found”…  Regardless of what their doubts were, they showed the Act of Faith! They didn’t sit around allowing doubts and fears to stop them from accomplishing the mission Jesus had sent them on: Follow the pitcher.

Right now the pitcher I am following, the thing that is requiring unusually large amounts of faith, is my trip to the Middle East. This is a time for action no matter the doubts or fears. Trusting God and stepping forward following His lead. What pitchers are you following? How are you stepping out and trusting God with your life?

 

Parents: Making The Transition

The transition from Elementary to Middle School is as important for your students as it is for you the parent. So many Emotions!!! You will soon have a TEENAGER!!!

Remember we parents are the primary influencers of the practical application for what being a Christ Follower in this world looks like.
Here are a few reminders and pondering points for you to think about how your child will grow in their relationship with Jesus during the most transitional time of their life.

As always here our Middle School Team is always excited to talk with parents about helping you succeed in leading your child in their relationship with Christ!
If you have questions please do not hesitate to email me: tneary@wchamburg.org

Your child will grow. But will they grow away or towards Jesus? Check out the graphic below. Be encouraged. Be challenged.
summer deals! (2)

Love Alone Will Win This Fight…

I have been bullied, as a kid, a teenager, as a young adult and as an adult….

I have also been a bully…

WHY was I a bully… How dare YOU be a bully…

I was a bully because I have been hurt… I was so hurt by bullying and didn’t forgive that I did what I knew… How to hurt others…

BUT something happened…. Adults, people I looked up to, they loved me… They showed me kindness that I was not showing others… They loved the bully… Me…

This set the stage for me to realize who I had hurt and how I had hurt them…. This made me want to show kindness to others where there was hate, to love others where there was pain… and FORGIVENESS where there was brokeness…

How do we stop bullying…
We begin to do what Jesus has done for us, SHOW UNDESERVED LOVE and FORGIVENESS those who have hurt us…
LOVE THE BULLY

I Love Bullies because if I want to be part of the Hope Jesus has brought to this world!

Loved people Love People and Forgiven People Forgive People….

Loving the victims is easy (and necessary) BUT if we want to really change what we all agree is broken, we must learn to love the way Jesus love… When love is NOT deserved!

Checkout:
1 John 3:18
Romans 5:8
Ephesians 4:32
Matthew 18:21-35

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