Monday, August 29, 2011

Living out The Code

Elevation Church has 12 core values.  They are called The Code.  I memorized them several months ago with all of eKidz.  Since all of eKidz memorized them, I have had many new team members start on host services.  So, I challenged my team to memorize The Code again. 

I have been reflecting on The Code a lot lately.  These twelve values can be applied to our lives on a daily basis.  I am not challenging myself to live out The Code on a daily basis.  This means in my thoughts and actions with work, church, friendships and my personal life.

The Code #3 says We lead the way in generosity.  I went above and beyond to give sacrificially to the work of God in our city this weekend.  eKidz wanted to raise 1,000 backpacks for A Child's Place for the over 4,000 homeless children in Charlotte.  I donated three backpacks full of paper, folders, markers, crayons, and markers.  I spent over $50, but I know that it was worth it.  There are three children that can now get their school year off to the right start.  I will always lead the way in generosity. 

The Code #12 says We will not take this for granted.  I am living this out on a daily basis.  After working 9 or more hours a day, I come home and spend several hours working on projects for Elevation: Rock Hill.  I will not take the opportunity to be a part of this great move of God for granted.

But, in another area of my life... Work.  I have an amazing boss.  They treat me way too well.  I just asked for Thursday, September 8th off, and my boss said yes.  She said she will always support my personal growth.  She could have said no, because I know me having the day off will be a huge inconvenience to her.  But, she is amazing.  They just bought me a gym membership, as a way to appreciate me for being so flexible and to challenge me to get healthy!  I will never take the opportunity to be a part of this families life for granted. 

Elevators, I challenge you.  Take some time to review The Code.  How can you apply the twelve core values of Elevation to your daily life?  Can you act in audacious faith every day?  Can you always look for people to learn from and incorporate their teachings to your life?  Can you embrace your limitations by looking inside the box?  I am confident that we will have a higher standard of living if we apply these twelve values to our own life.

If you take the time to apply this to your life, please let me know the outcome!  I would love to partner with you in prayer.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jesus is... redeemer

So, I have some friends who have an addiction to Pinetrest.  One of them posted something from the same person.  I saw this and was in love. 

First off, my favorite word to describe Jesus and our relationship with Him is first!  Redeemer.  He is our redeemer and being in Him means we are redeemed. 

Other words that I love that this uses are alive, holding my hand, my best friend and perfect.

I hope that this is something short and simple to get you going in the right direction this morning, and that you have a lovely Sunday. 

(Elevation Church has an amazing worship experience this weekend, get there!!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

You asked...

Wayne from Writers in the Spirit asked: Another topic I'd like to see you address at some point in the future is how you hear from God. How do you discern the right timing? How can you tell when to share what is laid on your heart in your writing?

Just so ya know, I had not forgotten about this question.  I have been taking this time to figure out the right way to answer this question.

My one disclaimer before you read any further is - Everyone hears from God in different ways.  Some people hear from Him through other people, some through songs, some through circumstances.  I don't have some special connection to God because I hear from God.  He doesn't call me up on the phone and speak to me.  There is nothing special about me!  You can hear from Him, too!

How do I hear from God?  I hear God in various ways.  Clayton King wrote a book called Amazing Encounters with GodThis book is all about how to see God in all areas of your life.  After I read this book, I became more in tune to His presence in my life.  God is everywhere.  There are times that I hear from God through a song, just a comforting pat on the shoulders.  Sometimes I hear from Him through a difficult circumstance, as a reminder that there are struggles in life but I need to rely on Him through them.

How do I discern the right timing?  What a difficult question!! I can't give a step-by-step rule book to this.  Let me tell you a story...
Last year, my best friend was having a hard time at college.  I had it on my heart to write her a letter.  I sat down and wrote her a letter.  The letter was all about finding strength in the Lord, not giving up on her dream, and doing what God has called her to do even if it didn't make sense.  I addressed and stamped the card.  I got in my car to send the letter off to her.  The post office was closed.  I felt like it wasn't the right time.  Months went by.  I would look at the card and say "not yet..."  Finally three months after I wrote the letter, I dropped them off at the post office.  A few days went by and she called me.  She said that the letter was perfect and just what she needed.  All I could think was, God knew that I had the right words at the time to write the letter but it wasn't the time for her to get the card. 

I don't know what made me not send the card right away.  I don't know why I waited for three months.  I don't know what it was about the day that I sent it off, that I thought it was the right time to go off.  All I know is that God knew the right time for her to get the letter.  And, surely she got it at the right time! :-)

How do I know when it is time to share what God has laid on my heart?  For the majority of this blog, it is all about writing what He has laid on my heart.  God will lay a topic on my heart and sometimes weeks will go by before I write about it.  I know that the timing is write when I sit down to a blank post and the words just flow out through my fingers onto the keyboard to the page.  There are many times that there is something on my heart to write about and I will open the page and the right words won't come out. 

Keep the questions coming!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Follow Pt. 2

Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I know I did.

I had the privilege of spending the weekend at Elevation Church.  I spend most weekends there, but this weekend was extra special.  Last weekend 1,426 people were spontaneously baptized.  This weekend we added over 600 people to that number!  Over 2,000 people made the decision to get baptized.  (This is a picture of Pastor getting ready to baptize some people last weekend.  I love the genuine excitement on his face!)  The past two weekends there were whole families baptized together, husbands leading their wives, children leading their parents, teenagers, and people who flew in from other states to get baptized.  It is amazing to be a part of such a move of God.

Baptism doesn't save you.  But, it is the first step after accepting Christ.  Jesus calls us to get baptized.  It is a form of identifying yourself as a Christian.  It is a way to publicly declare the Lord as your Savior. 

I was baptized on April 4th, 2010 by Pastor John Bishop at Elevation's Easter 2010 worship experience at Time Warner Cable Arena.  I will never forget that moment.  To me getting baptized was a way to show my family and all who attended the worship experience that I had given my life to Christ.  He saved me.  It was a way of declaring that I will always do whatever it takes, go wherever He calls me and be who He wants me to be as a Christian.  (This is a picture of me being baptized.  I had just come out of the water.)

I can't stop reflecting on all of the lives changed over the last two weekends at Elevation.  I love my church!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Follow Pt. 1

Happy Sunday!
  1. This is my hundredth blog post!  Wow! I have come a long way.  This blog has come a long way.  It is interesting to see where this blog started, what it turned into and how popular it has become.  I have people reading from Korea, Alaska, Germany, Italy and Canada!  How cool is that! I wish the stats would show me where people are reading from in the United States. 
  2. Today is day two of the Follow series.  Last night 240 people were baptized at Elevation.  Two of those people where some of my team members.  I had the privilege of taking their children to the front row to see their mommy and daddy baptized.
  3. Bring someone to church today, please!  Invite them like crazy.  Their life will forever be changed. 
I tried to post the preview video for this series, but it wouldn't let me. Sorry!

PS. I titled this Pt. 1 because I know I will want to talk more about how God moved through this series!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

For the Honor

This weekend at Elevation, the worship team played "For the Honor".  This is a song that the worship team of Elevation wrote.  There is one line of this song that I have not been able to get out of my head. 

We'll give our lives as sacrifice until You come again.

I can't stop thinking about what it means to give your life as sacrifice to the Lord.  This has so much meaning to me.  Any silent moment since I attended the worship experience, I have been thinking about what this means to me and how to put it into practice. 

To me, this means honoring the Lord in everything that I do, through my actions and my thoughts.  Several months ago, I wrote about what glorifying God looked like to me.  Re-reading that post, I have to sadly admit that I don't think I am honoring God in all the things that I do anymore.

I can quickly get upset with the children I work with.  I have to remind myself that they don't go to church.  I am their example of a Christian.  I have to honor and glorify God through all of my actions with them.  It is easy for me to watch TV and play Cityville on facebook for hours, and never open my Bible. 

Giving my life as a sacrifice to the Lord means doing only things that bring Him glory.  It means that I have to start turning the TV off and spending more time in the Word.  It means eating healthier to keep my body in a condition that is honoring God. 

In every moment of my life I have the option of making a good or a bad choie.  Thankfully, we serve a forgiving God and have a new 24 every morning.  From this point forward, I want to live my life as a sacrifice until He comes again.

To you:  How can you change your actions to live your life as a sacrifice to Him?  What does this mean to you?