Monday, September 7, 2009

90 Day Tithe Challenge at NC

Hello Everyone...

Yesterday, we wrapped up our Direction Series. As we finished up the "partner" teaching, we invited everyone to take the 90 Day Tithe Challenge. So far, 11 families are going to honor God with their resources but are also testing him (Malachi 3:10) at the same time. It is going to be an amazing journey together this Fall as a church and i wanted to invite you to watch a video that will help teach us how to give back to God.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Marriage Retreat

Dawn and I just returned home for an awesome marriage retreat this weekend. This is the first "chris & dawn" trip that we have had since we launched New Community. I am confident that we will make this an annual trip.

We spent the weekend in Gatlinburg, TN. We had several sessions that dealt with Covenant Marriage and how our marriage will only be as strong as our relationship with God. We ate, slept, played and spent time together. It was great...getting reconnected. We feel like we have a plan to keep moving forward in our marriage each day, week, month and year.

the only bad thing about the trip is that Gatlinburg didn't have a Starbucks...i know...what the. Seriously, it was a bummer because the only other coffee shops didn't open early and their coffee sucked. On the way home, we found the nearest Starbucks and had a spiritual experience enjoying a good cup of Joe.

Anyway, if you and your lover ever have a chance to go on a marriage retreat...i highly recommend it.

Grace and Peace...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

vision coming to life repeatedly

Last night, Dawn and I were invited by the Mayor to attend a fundraising event for the Arts Commission of Hoschton. This commission is doing everything they can to develop and launch an arts community within Jackson County. It was a great time to just hang with Dawn and marvel at how beautiful she is, especially when she is pregnant.

As we were walking up to this historic house in downtown Hoschton, it became very clear that every person of influence was present at this event. Beer, wine, sweet tea and good food were served while a silent auction was running. As Dawn and I made our way in, we were overwhelmed with how many people we knew and with how many knew us. Over and over, throughout conversation, New Community was lifted high with praise and appreciation.

When Dawn and I moved here to start NC, we knew we wanted it to be a church (movement) that loved people without strings attached...with no agenda...just the big and safe love of Christ. As we mingled, ate and talked, we were seeing this vision played out right before our eyes. This town, these people love NC because of who we are and who we represent. It is a beautiful thing.

This wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the people of NC. Everyone of YOU make this happen, day in and day out. Your generosity allows me to be in the community and your volunteerism and selflessness, has a reverberating effect all through Jackson County.

As always, i am proud to be your leader and i am stoked about what God is doing!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter @ NC

What a day it was on Easter. People just kept coming in and coming was amazazing. I have to give a shout out to several groups of people. First, to all of you who invited friends...YOU ROCK. Most of our guests were from personal invites...way to go. Second, All of our volunteers that made Sunday happen...YOU are the best. So much preparation went into getting ready...and by 10 AM, we were ready. Third, everyone who gave to the Easter Offering. THANKS for getting us close to the goal your generosity is overwhelming.

Here are the highlights from the day:

  • 445 in total attendance!
  • More volunteers than ever before...55 people serving.
  • 8 people indicated that they wanted Jesus to be the leader of their life.
  • We received $9800 toward our Easter Offering Goal of $15000
  • Over 50 first time guests with the families and kids
  • Parking lot team launched and did a fantastic job
  • We added a toddler environment and it was packed.
  • 43 elementary students in the GARAGE...96 NC Kids all together!

So, i am still on cloud nine. I am so proud to be your leader and i am thrilled with what God is doing @ New Community. Let the good times roll.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

1% Spiritual Initiative

If you have or haven't heard about this new initiative at NC, this video discusses the nuts and bolts of our 1% Spiritual Initiative. We will be launching this on Easter Sunday.

We are inviting you to partner with God in this manner so that in June, New Community will be able to start paying a salary to our student and children's pastors. These two areas are the fastest growing at NC and we need to continue to take care of them well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Mystery, Day Eight

Yesterday, i encouraged you to memorize Colossians 2:6-7. Take a few minutes to review that verse and write it out from memory.

Today, I want to invite you to read Colossians 2:16-19.

1. Read the passage a few times underlining what sticks out.
2. What is this passage saying to you?
3. Have you ever met someone who was judgmental? What was that like?
4. Have you ever been the judgemental person?
5. What is this passage saying to the christ-follower about that person?
6. How can you be less judgmental as you follow Jesus.

Prayer time:

Obviously, most of us make "judgement calls" everyday of our life. Spend your prayer time today confessing to God that you are sorry for being judgemental and also spend time asking God to give you strength if you get judged all the time.

Ask God to continue to live through us through the power of Jesus. Invite Jesus to reside in your heart and mind today. Give him permission to remind you of things that are not of Him.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Mystery, Day Seven

Good morning everyone...welcome back to the daily readings for Colossians. I hope that you are using this tool to help create a daily or weekly time with God.

Today's time is going to be a little different. Just as we have to nourish ourselves physically with food to stay alive, we must also nourish our spiritual vitality. It is not us who does the changing, it is Christ in us, working through us.

I want to invite each of you to memorize 2 verses of scripture. Colossians 2:6-7. Now, you and i do this all the time with music. As a follower of the way, it is vital that we do this with God's Word.

So, this is how i memorize scripture. I read it over and over 4-5 times. Then i write it out multiple times. As i am writing the verse, i pray that God will allow this truth to take root in my life. I repeat this each day until it is memorized.

Spend all of your time today, beginning this process of scripture is food for your spiritual health.

Colossians 2:6-7 "So then,just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

Have a great day...hide God's word in your heart!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Mystery, Day six

What a day yesterday! Even with the cold and rain, it rocked at NC. We are beginning a new week for the mystery study. Check out this video and them move in to your time with God.

1. Read Colossians 2:1-5 three times, underline things that jump out and resonate with you.
2. What do you think God is trying to say to you through this video and scripture?
3. Have you ever felt like someone was trying to decieve you? what was that like?
4. Verse 5, really is hard for me because it mentions an orderly life and a firm faith. How orderly would you say your life is? What needs work?
5. Would you consider yourself someone of strong faith or lacking faith? why?

Prayer time:
Spend the next few minutes praying or journaling your prayers. Ask God to reveal to you specifically things that are out of order and out of balance in your life. Invite Jesus to be the one that brings balance and order to your life. Thank God for the knowledge and wisdom that is available through Jesus and that is hidden in us.

talk to you tomorrow!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Mystery, Day 5

Good morning, This will be the last post for the week. I will begin writing devotions for Colossians 2 on Monday. I hope you have enjoyed this week so far and i am praying that each of you grow in your faith as we do this together.

1. Read Colossians 1:28-29 two times.
2. What does "perfect" in Christ look like to you?
3. Have you ever thought it would be possible for you to be "perfect" in Christ? If that is attainable, how does it make you feel?
4. The "Church" began over 2000 years ago. What strikes you about it still being around and also, the fact that it is still reaching people?
5. Verse 29 says that has this energy that is so powerfully working in him. How have you sensed God working in you this week?

Prayer: ACTS
Adoration: Spend time telling God how GREAT he is.
Confession: Spend time confessing each sin that you can remember, God is big enought to handle it.
Thanksgiving: Spend time thanking God for all of the good things in your life.
Supplication: Spend time asking God to provide what you want and need. Make your requests known to God.

Have a great weekend, and I will see you all on Sunday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

They Mystery, Day Four

Well, it is 5 PM and i am just now remembering to post todays study. Please forgive me.

1. Read Colossians 1:24-29 a few times.
2. Underline anything that my jump out at you. Once finished, write those things down.
3. If you could summarize each of them in your own words, what would it read like?
4. What is "the Mystery"
5. Write out your thoughts on Jesus living inside of you?

Prayer excersise
take the next few moments to quiet yourself, tune everything out and try to just listen to yourself breath. As you are doing this, ask Jesus to center your thoughts, to center your soul, to center your attitude and center your will. Today's prayer time is all about you connecting with Jesus. Do this excersise until you are relaxed and centered on Christ. Invite him to move in and through you so that you are deeply connected to Him.

Breath in and out...focusing on Jesus.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Mystery, day three

Welcome to day three on this jouney. I hope by now, you are creating a regular time with God through this blog. I want to encourage you to keep it up.

1. Read Colossians 1:15-20 three times. Underline anything that jumps out at you.
2. Write in your journal or on your paper, the things you underlined.
3. How do each of these things impact you?
4. How does it make you feel that you are created in the image of the one who created all things?
5. If you were created by Christ and for Christ, how does that make you feel?
6. read verses 19-20, three times.
7. Do you feel reconciled to God right now? why or why not?
8. How does it make you feel that God was pleased to reconcile you through Jesus?

Spend the next few minutes in prayer: Pray through these things.
  • ask God to reveal to you any area of your life that isnt inline with Him.
  • thank God for allowing Jesus to reconcile not only me, but all of creation.
  • ask Jesus to fill you completely today so that you may be in step with His way.
  • ask for forgiveness for anything you can remember.

Have a great day...see you soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Mystery, Day Two

Welcome to day 2 of our jouney through Colossians.

1. Read Colossians 1:9-13 several times.
2. Verse 10 talks about living life worthy of the Lord. In your journal or on a peice of paper, write out the things that frustrate you when it comes to behaviors that play out in your life?
3. Do you think that you will ever get to a place where these things will no longer be in play? Yes or No. What do you think a "life worthy of the Lord" looks like?
4. Read verse 13, 3 times.
5. What does this say about what God has done through Jesus?
6. Read verse 11, 2 times.
7. Does this give you hope, why or why not?

In your prayer time today. Work through this Acronym:

A. Adoration. Tell God how great he is.
C. Confession. Confess any sins that come to mind that you are sorry for.
T. Thanksgiving Thank God for all the things that are good in your life
S. Supplication Make your requests known to God, what do you need.

Have a great day. I will see you all soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Mystery, Day One

Well, if you are reading this blog then you are taking the next step to be intentional about your spiritual growth...way to go! The way this will work will be for me to blog daily with scripture reading, thought provoking questions and an encouragement for you to pray through this experience with a journal. Enjoy your time with God today.

Read Colossians 1:3-6, three to four times.

1. Paul begins this letter acknowledging what is going on...people have come to Christ and spiritual fruit is evident. Think back to when you made your decision to follow Christ and write out what that experience was like.

2. As you have examined your conversion experience, how does it make you feel to know that the truth of salvation and Christ are in YOU?

3. Turn your bible to Galatians 5:22-26 and read three times. Galatians is three books back.

4. Based on the fruit of the Spirit, what fruits are evident in your life?

5. What fruits are not?

Spend the remainder of your time today praying through the following things.

1. Thank God for salvation and for restoring you back to a right relationship with him.
2. Thank God for the fruits that are evident in your life, because they are evident because of His work, not your own.
3. Pray that God will continue to work in you and help you with the fruits that aren't evident yet in your life.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Grace and Peace...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Being All In

We are smack dab in the middle of a series @ NC about being all in, with our time, talent and resources. I spent the first two weeks talking about giving, the discipline and the grace in how we give our money back to God. I am pumped that so many people have been open to what we are trying to communicate at New Community.

The next two weeks, we are going to be discussing how christ-followers should be all in with their time and talent. this weekend, we will be inviting everyone to be all in with their time. To be completely aware of where their time goes, but also to be intentional about carving out time for authentic community with other Christ-followers. We will be playing with poker chips and should be great.

Next week, we will be discussing how to be all in with our talent. Using the gifts God gave us to expand the local church.

As i have been studying and preparing for this series, it has also challenged me to make sure i am leading the way when it comes to being all in with my time, talent and resources. It has helped Dawn and i to prioritize what is important and a reality check when it comes to us investing in to the lives of others.

After 23 months of leading New Community, we have never been so excited about the future and we are thrilled about being ALL IN.

Grace and Peace...