Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Save The Humans Part 2

This past weekend was the second talk in the series Save the Humans. Pastor Chris has started both of these talks so far with "people are trying to save the dolphins, the whales, the turkeys, and the tomatoes. At Experience Life, we are trying to save the humans." Really funny!

But in all seriousness, that really is the point of Save the Humans. This weekend, Chris talked about all of the ways that Experience Life is involved in local mission projects.
Experience Life is a part of a ton of different projects that are all geared in serving people, and making the name of Jesus known. In one of his main points, Chris talked about radical generosity. He said that most people think that they are generous because they will throw some money in the Salvation Army can at Christmas, or they will buy someone a meal here and there. But, even when you add all those up, they don't really amount to extreme generosity. Pastor Chris then threw out the idea of what it would look like to give 25% of ones income a way. This is an idea that is so opposite to our culture, and dare I say, our human nature. But, have you ever thought about the fact that maybe the reason you have finances is to give them away? You see, The Lord entrusts us all with different things, and He desires that we would ask Him what we should do with those blessings. I know that I miss this step a lot. I get something, and then I fail to ask the Lord what He wants me to do with it. Now, I can hear some of you letting some of your human nature creep up. "But, what about me, what about the things that I want, what about my plans?" Well, two things. The first ones a biggie. This life is not about you. "Not about me," you say. Yes, not about you. So easy to type, so easy to say. But, hard to live out. We are made for God's glory and His purposes alone, and He really does desire for us to live a life that reflects that. The second thing is this. This morning I came across Matthew 6. It is titled, "Teaching about Giving to the Needy." A great follow up to this weekends message. This passage talks about giving to the needy, and also about money and possessions. Matthew 6:19 says "Don't store up treasures on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in Heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal." This passage continues on to talk about how "we shouldn't worry about these things, saying 'what will we eat? what will we drink? what will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of the unbelievers, but YOUR Heavenly Father ALREADY KNOWS all of your needs." That's right. He already knows what we will need. Each one of us. He knows it all. I kinda think that the reason some of us like to do some major "storing up" is because we forget about this promise from our Heavenly Father. And, here is the thing about His promises. He keeps them. He never fails. He does what He says He is going to do. Every time. So, I would encourage you to ask Him where He needs you to give generously, and let Him take care of the rest of your needs.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


We had so much fun this year on Halloween. Gigi and Wrigley both came to visit. The girls had a blast. McKinley was a mermaid, and Charis was a lobster. Can you guess who picked the costumes. I will give you a hint. She has red hair, and she loves to boss her little sister around. We carved a pumpkin ( a special shout out to Gigi who showed her mad carving skills), trick or treated, passed out candy, and McKinley ended the night by looking through magazines deciding what she wanted for Christmas. From one holiday to the next, I guess?!? :) Here are some pictures from the weekends happenings.

First Day of School...

McKinley started school this year. We have both been adjusting to it. I never thought it would be so hard to let a piece of my heart go some where all day long. She is growing to love it. Her teachers wonderful, and I am so thankful for both of them. Here are some pictures from her very first day. I know, I know. Just trying to catch up!! Only a couple more posts, and I will be there! :)

Charis turns one...

Yes, she did turn one in August. I know. I am way behind. Better late than never, right?!? Here are some pictures of her party. She loved the cake and the presents. What a doll! We are so blessed by her sweet little life!

The Pumpkin Patch

Every year we take a trip to the pumpkin patch. The girls had a blast. McKinley could have stayed there for hours loading up pumpkins. Here are some pictures from our trip. :)

Grow or Go Number 2

I love you, but I hate your wife....

Yes, that was actually a sentence that Pastor Chris used this past weekend in his sermon. "REALLY?" I hear you saying. Yes, really. He was comparing marriages here on earth to the ultimate marriage, Christ and the church.

This past weekend was another message on "Grow or Go." Chris again, was really encouraging people to use their spiritual gifts to serve the church in some way. This may seem demanding, but really it is The Lord's ultimate desire for each one of us. He reminded us all that the gates of Hell are not going to prevail against the church. I don't know about you, but that sure makes me want to hop on bored. That means that there is no way or no how that Satan is going to destroy the church and its purposes. I know for me there are some days that I feel defeated and beaten down. To be honest, I feel like Satan is winning. But, when I heard the friendly reminder that Satan will not prevail against the church, I was incredibly refreshed. Because each one of us have a gift, and together we are the church, that means that Satan WILL NOT win. Needless to say, some people who are followers actually believe that they can love Jesus, and not serve the church in some capacity. We were reminded this weekend that this attitude is basically saying to Jesus, "I love you, but I hate your wife."

Since I am the wife in our situation, I have to say that I would be majorly offended if someone made this comment to Chris. Like the kind of offended that I would need to ask for some serious forgiveness. Chris already discussed his reaction, and yes, it did involve his extremely large pecks ;). After this weekend, I was reminded that every gift brought to the table is necessary for the church to be the church that God desires. So, I would encourage to find your gift. Get in the game and serve. Being obedient to the Lord's direction and guidance in your life offers more joy than most people realize. I pray that you won't miss out on this opportunity that the Lord has placed before you.

His Responsibitlity, Your Opportunity

His Responsibility, Your Opportunity

This past weekend was the first in the series titled, "Grow or Go." Many of you came in wondering what exactly the sermon was going to be about. I bet there were some pretty good guesses.

In short, Pastor Chris challenged the people of Experience Life to grow in their faith, or if unwilling to do so, to leave and find another church home. As our pastor, Chris wants every person that walks through the doors at Experience Life the experience ALL that God has for them. The only way that this takes place is through person growing in their personal relationship with the Lord. Some of you may argue that you can grow in your relationship without doing some of the things that Chris challenged us to do. He helped many of us to realize that there is a huge need at Experience Life that is not being met. Every weekend, it takes countless volunteers to make church happen. There has to be people to set up, tear down, watch kids, park cars, pray, serve Tea/coffee, and countless other things.These volunteers show up and serve because they are "in the game." However, a large majority of the volunteers serve multiple services because there is a LACK of people that are willing to help on the weekend.

How does all of this relate to growing in your PERSONAL relationship with God? Well, the main purpose of the church for those who are believers, is not simply another event on the calendar. Rather, the church body is to be the people that God uses to draw others to Jesus. Think about that for a minute. Church for a believer is his or her opportunity to serve others so that God's kingdom can be advanced. This was God's intention for church. So, for many people to claim that they are growing in their walk with Him, and yet be unwilling to serve one of the main ways that spread His fame seems contradictory.

This message may not be accepted with ease by some people. In fact, it may cause some people to "go." But, I came across a verse in Ephesians a couple of weeks ago. The verse talks about some of the gifts that Christ gave to the church. These include apostles, the prophets, the evangalists, the pastors, and the teachers. According to Ephesians 4:12 it is "their responsibility to equip God's people to do his work to build up the church, the body of Christ." So, yes the message was bold, but for a very good reason. Pastor Chris doesn't take his responsibility lightly, and I pray that your response wouldn't be taken lightly as well.

Now, I can hear some of you saying "Well, alright. It's pretty easy for you to write about this, but how does this look for you?" I have to say as Chris' wife that my service to and for the church looks different than most. When we started Experiece Life, I helped in the childrens area. As time progressed, I realized that my role needed to change. Over the past two years, I have helped Chris to make sure that he was ready for every weekend. Some weekends this means taking care of our sick girls by myself so that he has the energy to get up an preach. Some weekends it means that I get to attend several services so that I can support and encourage him. Preaching five services is a huge task every weekend, and I want to be his biggest fan. This is where I feel the Lord has lead me to serve Him and His church. I pray that you will take the time to pray and ask where He wants you to use your spiritual gifts.