Thursday, December 23, 2010

Elevation Year in Review

What a year I have had. Elevation has truly transformed my life this year. I started volunteering at the end of March. I became a team leader this summer. I became an eGroup leader because God slapped me in the face in September. God has done great things for me this year. He revealed to me where He wants me to be at Elevation. I began working toward that goal. Elevation has played such a part in my life this year. I hope that Elevation only has more of an impact next year!!! I am excited.

I thought I would post my favorite and most impactful sermons of 2010. This is all in my personal opinion. :-)

Elevation Year in Review

10. The Antidote to Insecurity (Fearfully & Wonderfully Made) - This sermon was based from Psalm 139:13-16. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (vs 14). I love this sermon because it spoke straight to me. I am very insecure about my body and who I am. Pastor said that "You can't cover insecurity on the inside with stuff on the outside", which is something I tried to do for many years. He also said, "You can't worship God until you appreciate how He made you." Since Pastor preached this sermon on Mother's Day, I have began to see myself as God sees me and appreciate Him for making me as He did. I can't be ashamed for who I am because I was fearfully and wonderfully made by the hands of God.

09. The Idol of Greed (Scarecrow in a Melonpatch) - This week Clayton King preached! He preached from Jeremiah 10:1-6. He said "any idolatry is stupid because why would we worship anything besides our Almighty Lord." Wow! How good is that?! The idol of greed is not only money. Everything that King said is noteworthy. So, I will do my best to not regurgitate all of my notes. "Greed always wants more, and it always wants it right now." "Greed never says no, wait or enough." That is so true. It stung when King said that. "Greed will promise you happiness then devour you." I use to fall short to the sin of greed. He finished the sermon with a bang. "God is the cure for greed. The vaccine is generosity." Whenever I am having a bad day, I try to run through a drive thru line and pay for the person behind me. Blessing someone for no reason always cures my terrible mood.

08. Your Excuses are Stupid (The Invitation) - Pastor preached this sermon from Luke 14:16-24. This verse talks about how everything is already prepared for you. The quote from this sermon that stuck with me the most was "no excuse will be enough for the price that Jesus paid on the cross". We have to stop making excuses for why we don't attend church. We have to stop making excuses for why we aren't inviting people to church. We can't accept the people's excuses who we ask to church.

07. Selective Hearing (One Generation Away) - What a sermon this was! It was geared toward students, but I took notes on everything he said. I was leaning in to hear every word! Pastor's first point was to practice selective hearing. 'Right voices mean right choices'. We have to listen to the people who love us the most. It is easy to go from friend to friend looking for the answer we want to hear, but we need to listen to the friend who loves us the most. The second point was find your sound and play it loud. 'God has not called us to stand up He has called us to stand out!' Finally, just keep showing up. This point was the most personal for me. We have to just keep showing up no matter how tough life gets or how much we want to give up. This applies to everyone's life in some way or another. Just keep opening your Bible. 'When you fall down, let Christ pick you back up!!!'

06. Face Forward (Americana) - 'Remembering where we have been is an essential part of mapping out where we are going." 'To truly follow Christ you have to face forward'. There is no progress to be made when looking behind. We can't follow the coat tails of someone else's success or faith. It is easy to be paralyzed by past pain, but we must face forward and move on. John Bishop closed with, 'When you ask God why you are saying you don't trust Him.' Wow!!! This sermon reminded me to face forward and keep moving. I can't live off of who I use to be. I have to move forward and become who God wants me to be today.

05. System 77 (F-Bomb) - This was a life changing sermon. 'You may have to forgive someone 77 times for one offense. You must forgive continuously if you believe in the Gospel.' Pastor spoke on forgiveness, and how if we don't forgive in all circumstances, we don't believe in the Gospel. That statement killed me. Pastor said, 'if you don't give it, you don't got it because if you got it you give it!' So, if you don't forgive, Jesus didn't forgive you because if you were forgiven you would forgive. Unforgiveness equals unbelief. This opened my eyes to a world of people I needed to forgive and stop holding grudges against.

04. You Don't Suck Anymore (Christ Alone) - "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1 Pastor said "condemnation operates through suggestions like 'you're so stupid'." My favorite quote from this sermon was, "just don't pick up the phone when Satan calls." I hear this in the back of my head on a daily basis. When I want to buy a shirt for no reason, I tell myself not to pick up the phone. When I want to talk about a co-worker or friend, I tell myself to not pick up the phone. God's voice will lift us up higher, not bring us down. When the devil says 'you aren't worthy', reply 'you are right, but thanks to the blood of Jesus I am!" BAM! Pastor used the term bump, set, spike - (bump) You aren't worthy, (set), I'm not, (spike) But Jesus is! What an amazing sermon that was.

03. Audacious Faith in the God Who Provides (Sun Stand Still) - Audacious faith was an entirely new concept to me. I have never heard of this term. I have never read the story in Joshua where Joshua prays for God to make the sun stand still. I never knew that it was possible to ask God to do things of those sorts in my life. This sermon transformed my life! I was pumped to share the term audacious faith with all of my co-workers.

02. Why Bother? (Sun Stand Still) - I have many why bother moments in my life. Why bother starting an eGroup? Why bother waking up for a job where you feel unappreciated? Why bother inviting your parents to church when they'll hate it anyway? Why bother thinking you'll ever be on staff at Elevation? Satan tries to tear me down with the why bothers on a daily basis. Pastor preached on why we should bother! It is always worth the bother! Pastor said, 'the truth is more powerful than the facts.' This means that if the facts say you can't do something, but the truth is God told you to do it, the truth is more powerful! 'If people laughed at God, they will laugh at you! But, God always has the last laugh.' Lastly, 'You don't have to figure out how it is going to happen, just believe that it will!'

...And it all leads up to this. (drum roll!!!!)

01. I Can Do Awkward (Elevation Easter Experience) - Obviously Easter ranks as my number one! Easter was an important service to me for so many reasons. Pastor wanted to see 10,000 people worship together in 2010. Over 11,500 people attended our Easter experience at the Timewarner Cable Arena. I love how Elevation always rises above expectations!! 790 people got saved! I invited the Wiktorek's. The Wiktorek's helped me through a really rough time in my life last year. Michael Wiktorek was one of my youth pastors when I attended Covenant Church of Harrisburg. I will always love that family! The Wiktoreks were able to make it! My grandma, dad and brothers attend! The best part?? I WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!! I was one of about 60 people who had the opportunity to be baptized at the Easter service. It was so moving. I am so thankful that some of the most important people in my life were able to be there for that! :-) And the sermon? Pastor preached on "doing awkward". We all have awkward situations in our life that we are avoiding. I have one right now. This sermon has been on my mind recently because I just need to do awkward.

I hope that you go into the new year with an open heart. God has something incredible to do in your life. I pray that you are listening to His word, and are ready to do what He wants you to do with your life. I pray that you are never hesitant with His direction. I pray that you have an incredible year and that God allows you to do things you never thought possible. I pray that the sun stands still over your life.

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