freedom, purpose, Uncategorized

Day 20: “Purpose is a Key.”

Photo: organiseme.wordpress.com

This year’s 21 days of prayer and fasting is drawing to a close. You have pursued God with intentionality over the last few weeks and you are closer to him. What’s the key to moving forward in a deeper, more meaningful way with Jesus? For 2019 to be different to 2018?

Understanding your purpose and seeking God for revelation regarding your unique calling will always lend a clue.

You treat your future like a vast mystery, unsure whether you’re worthy of greatness. Doubtful whether this is “it” and whether you should just get used to the status quo. Getting by. Content with mediocre. Or maybe you feel overwhelmed and hopeless, saddened at the thought of moving forward when life keeps throwing you lemons. How do you make lemonade when it’s so hard?

The good news is that God created you with a purpose in mind. You weren’t born and then God thought, “now… what am I going to do with this one??” Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Did you catch that? God prepared IN ADVANCE…

Wake up each day asking God what he has in store for you. Expect greatness! Anticipate walking in freedom despite your circumstances. No matter how others treat you or what life deals, endeavour to trust God with every. minute. every. day.

You will find doors unlocking. Expansion of your influence. Purpose. Hope for the future.

“A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life, but only the designs of his purpose will succeed in the end.”

Proverbs 19:21 (TPT)
church, Church planting, Lift Church, Uncategorized

Finding our Voice

LiftChurch-02-4

What was I created for?  Why am I here?  What’s my purpose?  Who am I?  The same questions we all grapple with along this journey we call life are no different when starting a church.  We are in a beautiful season of creating, establishing, and answering, “Who is Lift Church?”  Putting on paper and our website what we believe, what we are about, who we are trying to reach, etc.  It’s easy to talk about vision and long-term goals but the practicality of narrowing it down, picking the right verbiage, etc. is difficult.  A work-in-progress.  I want you to know what we know and I know you can’t know in one tagline or catchy phrase we put on our website!

I want you to see our hearts through our actions, not just words.  We have a our burden to impact this city.  I want you to know that we will accept you the way you are and that we want our church to be a safe haven for you to come with questions and problems.  Our services will be relevant to your everyday life.  We care about kids and young people.  We believe everyone was created by a heavenly Father who loves them and we are going to present God to you in a way that isn’t threatening or weird.  Our desire is to attract someone other than “the religious guy” who already has all the answers.  Rather, we want our building full of seekers and sinners just like us.

I personally am passionate about women who are in a tough spot, whether that be financially, relationally, or emotionally.  Women who have been abused or who have no self-worth.  I myself have been through some tough times and have met a God who loves me and has made me whole.  I am going to introduce Him to you if you’re interested.

I care about investing in young people so they know they have a purpose outside themselves.  Teaching them they can change their world for the better and find purpose by being open to what God has for them, living their lives to serve others.

We hope our weekend services will attract people who would say, “Church isn’t for me.”  That’s what my husband used to think.  Our teaching will be practical and our people non-judgemental.

Our public launch is imminent; so, our city is about to hear about Lift Church.  A place where your life can be raised to new heights.  Where leaders are developed and our community is better off because we are here.

Jesus described himself this way: “I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:9,10 MSG).

God, may Lift Church exist to lead people through this gate.

church, Inspiration, Series, Uncategorized

The Church, Part 3

It’s interesting to talk to people about how they see “the church.”  Many people I know base their ideas about the church on their experiences and oftentimes, they are negative.  They grew up GOING to a church that was BORING.  They know hypocrites and judgemental  people who GO to church.  They WENT to a church that always asked for money. They WENT to church as a kid but never really saw a need once they grew up.  They GO to church on Christmas and Easter, the important days.  They GO to church but nothing ever really changes in their worlds.

The common thread in all of these opinions is that the church is a PLACE that you GO. Have you ever thought of the church as a PEOPLE who ARE?  We, as believers, are called to BE the church.  Are we consumers who look at the pastor and decide whether or not we like what he has to say?  Are we to judge the building on its beauty and base whether we come back or not on how cool our kids thought their class was?  Do we pick a church based on its convenient location, free hot coffee, and has comfortable seating?

Or, do we ask God to plant us in a church where we can help spread the good news of the gospel?  Do we CONTRIBUTE instead of CONSUME?  What if we spend more time focusing on what we CAN DO FOR THE CHURCH instead of what the church can DO FOR US?

God created us for a purpose and we each have gifts He gave us that are for the benefit of the whole church?  As Christians, we are the body of Christ.  The church is not a building but a group of people each playing his or her part in displaying the glory of God on the earth. A healthy church reflects the love and beauty of Christ.  We are His body on earth.

1 Corinthians 12 draws the parallel between the parts of the human body and the parts of the church body.  Although there are many members in both, they represent one body. The Apostle Paul explains that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are actually quite necessary (have you ever broken a little toe?) and that the members all care for one another (injure your ankle and see that every joint all the way up your leg is affected!). If one member in the church suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  Every serving member of our church from the parking team to the kids team, to ushers and greeters, makes a significant difference in how people experience “church” every week.  This translates into how they experience God long before the Pastor ever steps onto the stage.

I’ve never been more personally fulfilled in anything I have accomplished than when serving my local church.  Let’s move outside ourselves to care about those walking through the doors who are broken and need to hear about our God the Healer.  Can we put our own comfort aside and pray for those who coming in who are far from God?  If we embrace the notion that we ARE the church and that is OUR responsibility to show others what a loving and awesome God we serve, our churches will be full of life.

People who come won’t leave feeling like they just sat through a bad movie.  They won’t complain about the decor or the lack of leg room in the aisles.  They won’t notice whether the seats were comfortable or not.  Instead, they will leave with a taste in their mouth of the living God who met them there.  They will leave with images of our smiles and loving handshakes.  They will want to be around us and among us everyday, not just once a week.

Romans 9:17 says that the purpose for which we are raised up is to demonstrate God’s power IN US, that His name might be proclaimed throughout the earth.  This is the church.