Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sermon Sunday

Grey Matter Week One
The Taurus and The Fox
This weekend, Pastor Steven preached an amazing message on how to make choices when it's not black and white.
The Bible is designed to draw us closer to the One who wants to guide your life. 
God wants us to get past the point of looking for His guidance and let Him guide us! 
Even if the right thing to do is unclear - it is clear who we are suppose to follow. 
If all He did was give us directions, we wouldn't build a bond during the journey
Visit Elevation Network at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 AM and PM to get the entire message!
Personal Reflection - This was a powerful sermon!  I have been looking forward to this series for weeks.  I don't know what I was expecting from the sermon, but it was fabulous!  Part of me was hoping that Pastor would give all the answers to all the questions that don't have a questions that don't have clear answers.  That was a huge expectation. 
I may not be in a position where I need the answers to a question that is a grey matter, but know that I will encounter those situations in the future.  Everything he said was noteworthy.  I couldn't write fast enough.
Pastor made an analogy of how we follow someone when driving and how we should follow God.  When you follow someone in a car somewhere, you are very aggressive to make sure that no one separates you and the car you are following.  We need to be more like that when following God.  We need to be aggressive and make sure that no one comes between us! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reflection Friday

If you are new to .Redeemed., I lead a middle school girls eGroup.  Thursday evenings with the girls is one of my favorite parts of the week.  They are an amazing group of girls and they teach me as much as I teach them. 

Bare with me today, as I try something new for the Reflection Friday post!  I would love to transform this into a way for the girls in my eGroup to look to this as summary of what we did if they missed eGroup and make this a guide for small group leaders!

Icebreaker: We have a few girls who have been coming for less than a month, so we are focusing more on ice breakers right now.  The girls paired up and interviewed one another.  Then, introduced the person they intereviewed to the group and shared three unknown facts about their interviewee.  I think this went very well.  We all found out at least one thing that no one knew about everyone.

Discussion: Our eGroup's focus is when God writes your love story by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  We tried something different this week.  We read attempted to read the chapter together.  Each girl took one page.  We would stop at the end of each section and discuss the important parts. 

Discussion Highlights:
- What are some keys to building a strong foundation in a relationship?  Honesty and communication were the most common answers the girls gave.
- Physical purity can't be seperated from our emotions.
- Have you ever thought of your heart as a treasure as important as your physical purity?  This blew the girls minds!
- The heart break most of us experience at the end of a relationship is a kind of pain that God never meant for us to experience.

Closing: We wrapped it up with going through the highlights and discussing an upcoming event.  We enjoyed some delicious cookies as the girls were being picked up!

During the Week: The girls are going to finish reading chapter six on their own and read chapter seven!

Next Week: Wrap up discussion on chapter six and discuss chapter seven. 

Personal Highlight: At least once during each eGroup meeting, I say something along the lines of, if you build your relationship around God, your world won't be over at the end of the relationship.  This week, this statement clicked with one of the girls!  She got it!  She admitted to not understanding what I had meant previously, but this chapter made it make sense!!  Seeing that light bulb turn on was fabulous!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


our eTeams are connectors to the current of the power of Christ.
Elevation Church on eTeams

Pinned ImageI have been serving for over two years now.  I have always loved serving.  When I did Host Services (eKidz Check-In), I loved it!  It was a great opportunity to welcome VIP's to Elevation, check regulars in and everything in between. 

Something amazing happened this weekend.  I realized that I am totally in my sweet spot as eKidz Coordinator.  I love this role so much!  I am very detail oriented, tech savvy, and a people person.  I love interacting with potential volunteers after going through an First Experience (Elevation style volunteer orientation).  I love explaining the vision behind each area of eKidz.  Some would say that this is my sweet spot.  I don't know what I do, but that is what I get commented on the most.  But, my favorite part about my role is getting a potential volunteer on the schedule.

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity of plugging a potential volunteer into an area that she was not initially interested in.  I swayed her to try the area with more of an opportunity to serve, and she loved it!  We talked about scheduling, and I was explaining how we are looking for small group leaders who serve every week.  She agreed!!  I felt so accomplished to have been able to have been able to plug her into every week on the schedule!

You see, not many people want to serve every weekend.  Something about that amount of commitment freaks them out.  Personally, I could never go back to every other week.  I love every week.  I love being able to be there every weekend and help out in whatever way needed.

I suppose that it has taken a long time for me to get to my point...  If you attend your local church, wherever you may be, you need to get involved.  You have the opportunity to get in your sweet spot and do what you enjoy doing.  I look forward to Sunday mornings every week!  There is so many opportunities to get involved in at Elevation Church.  You have eKidz - which has six areas to serve in itself, Production - which has several ares to serve, and Guest Services - which has more than five areas to serve... Stuff behind the scenes, during the week, from home, interacting with people, praying for people, ANYTHING! 

Why are you not involved at your church?  It will be a blessing to others, as well as yourself!  Don't say you don't have time... As long as you have time to sit on the couch and watch TV for hours, go shopping three days a week, sit on facebook for countless hours, make random videos... you have time to volunteer for an hour at your local church!

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Romans 12:11

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey, It's Okay

You know the drill - Whispering Writer has a series called "Hey, It's Okay". I loved it so much that I started doing it too!

Hey, It's Okay...

... to have spent the majority of my day off yesterday in my pajamas on the couch.  I sent a few emails, scheduled a few blog posts, did a little laundry, but mostly just pajamas and movies on the couch!

... to have had to get rid of all of my fat clothes for inspiration to keep losing weight and a need to buy more clothes.

... to have missed work on my day off.

... to need to schedule in sleep on my to do list.

... to have completely blown my getting healthy plans the last four days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Pinned ImageThankful Tuesday

... the opportunity to be a part of Elevation Church

... the one family in my eGroup who got out of bed at a ridiculous hour on Saturday to serve for Love Week 2012. 

... to have checked everything off of my to do list on Sunday.

... to have had yesterday off

... to have my tax refund, so I can go shopping for new clothes!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sermon Sunday on Monday

Living a Better Story Week Four
The Element of the Turning Point
Philippians 1:12
This weekend Matthews Campus Pastor John Bishop preached the final message of Living a Better Story on the turning point.
We all face turning points in our lives.  Some are good and some are bad.
When Paul wrote Philippians, he was in prison.  The majority of us would chose to see that as a stopping point.  Paul saw it as a turning point. 
What has happened to me isn't about me.  It didn't happen to Paul.  It happened to advance the gospel.
God can use you to be a turning point in someone else's life.
If you want to enjoy the entire message, visit Elevation Network or check it out on iTunes today!
Personal Reflection:  I just love hearing John Bishop preach!  I have heard him preach several times about being thankful in difficult times, in terms of the struggles he faced when attempting to adopt.  This weekend's message was completely different.  This weekend, the entire worship experience was based on the story of Fasha Davis.  Click here to see a video of her story.
If I take John Bishop's sermon and look back at my life, I have had many turning points.  There was a huge turning point in my life when God told me to leave the Early Childhood Education program.  I didn't know what was next. I continually looked into other programs.  Although, to be completely honest I looked at this as a stopping point for a moment.  I gave completely up.  I was hopeless. 
He ended the message talking about how you can be a turning point in someone elses life.  The family that my eGroup meets at is facing a huge turning point.  I hope to be a part of helping them remember it is a turning point and not a stopping point.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Love Week Saturday

Alarm buzzes at 6:30
Out the door before 7:00
Starbucks at 7:15
Arrive at Elevation Blakeney to volunteer for Parents Morning Out with the Down Syndrome Association of Charlotte at 7:30
Home by 1:00
Go through drawers and closet and fill three 30 gallon trash bags of stuff for Stuff the Truck at 2:00
Drive to work to fill seven more 30 gallon trash bags for Stuff the Truck at 2:45
Register classes for Liberty University Online over the phone at 3:00
Donate ten 30 gallon trash bags and two grocery bags to Stuff the Truck at 4:15
Attend the worship experience at  5:00
Make over 200 sandwiches with six elevators in under fifteen minutes at 6:30
Drive home in awe of how amazing my life is at 6:45

That was my Saturday.  How was yours?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reflection Friday

Another amazing eGroup meeting last night!  I can't believe that I get to be a part of shaping these girls lives.  I get to pour into them each week, encourage them, help them and speak life into them.  It is such a blessing to me.

Last night, we had two new girls join us and the three from last week return!  All together there was ten girls there! That was the most that we've ever had!  A full room looked amazing!

We discussed chapter five in when God writes your love story by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  This chapter goes into looking beyond physical purity and saving yourself emotionally and mentally for your future husband.  It may be hard to imagine, but your soul mate is alive.  And, you should be honoring him with your thoughts and actions right now!  Yes, before you even know who he is!!

Imagine your future spouse was able to watch your ever move and see your every thought.  Move past the creepiness of that statement.  Would he be happy with the way you were acting or thinking?  What if your future spouse was acting and thinking the same way you are... would you be happy?  Once I was able to wrap my head around that thought, the way I thought, talked and acted changed.  I wouldn't have wanted my spouse behaving like I was.  It wasn't like I was sleeping with random people, but I was having impure thoughts about every attractive man I saw.  I don't want my future husband lusting over every cute girl that walks by him, so I won't lust after every cute guy I see.  I am honoring my relationship with my future spouse NOW before we ever meet.

One of the girls wanted to know how a person who is meant to be single forever is suppose to act.  If you feel as if you are destined to be single and not meant to get married, I strongly believe that you should behave in a Christ-like away.  You should still behave as if you were waiting for someone!

I closed the discussion out by reminding the girls know that they are more than welcome to talk to me about anything they are struggling with.  That is what being in an eGroup, small group or community group is about.  The people you share that time with, are the people you lean on in tough times.  They are there to encourage and support you.  If you are in a church, I plead that you get involved in your churches form of small groups.  You will grow so much from it!!

We ended the night with a belated Valentines celebration.  I made cupcakes and pink lemonade.  Another girl brought heart shaped cookies that said "I love Jesus" on them!  I made a goodie bag for each girl to take home.  Each bag had a personal card with prayer that I am praying for them and some candy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Six by Six Goals

Fail for Tuesday: I went to click "view" on blogger and clicked "delete" instead.  I did it twice without noticing it.  I deleted Monday's review of my first round of six by six goals.  Then, I deleted the post that was suppose to go up yesterday on my second round of six by six goals.  So, here are my goals again.  Sorry, I probably won't be reviewing my first round of six by six goals. 

Six by Six Goals
February 15th, 2012 to March 28th, 2012

1. Lose 10 pounds!
2. No excuses.
3. Start and finish New Thru 30.
4. Finish Apologetics for a New Generation
5. Read all of Crazy Love
6. Start my first semester at Liberty University Online.

I've already lost ten pounds by going to the gym twice a week and not cutting back on fast food at all.  If I apply myself a little bit more, I am sure to lose at least ten more pounds.

No excuses is going to be the hardest of the six goals.  I give excuses for everything.  It is my list favorite trait in myself.  I notice it, when I give an excuse for something, it drives me crazy... So, why not just stop?!

The first few weeks of the year, I wasn't in the Word as I should have been.  I got it together, but committing to a reading plan will get me in gear like I should be.

I have a load of books that I would love to read that I bought for myself or was given as a gift.  I just hate reading.  But, the books are doing me no good by collecting dust on a bookshelf.  I have read the first half of Crazy Love like three times. 

WooHoo for finally getting back to school!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hey, It's Okay

You know the drill - Whispering Writer has a series called "Hey, It's Okay".  I loved it so much that I started doing it too!

Hey, It's Okay... Valentine's Edition

... to be single on Valentine's Day for the third year in a row. 

... to be typing this wrapped in a Snuggie watching He's Just Not That Into You alone.

... to have not watched the Grammy's.  People put way to much importance on award shows.

... to be excited that I surpassed my goal for the gym yesterday.  (Goal - 3 miles in 36 minutes.  Finished with 3 miles in 31 minutes!!!!!!!)

... to spoil the kiddos I nanny like they're my own.

... to be upset about the two blog posts that I accidently deleted this morning!

How did you spend Valentine's? 

Saturday, February 11, 2012


If you have been reading .Redeemed. for any length of time, you are aware that I have taken the last two semesters off of school.  If you haven't been around for a while, let me catch you up to speed...

Fall of 2011 was supposed to be my last semester of college at CPCC.  I was supposed to graduate in December 2011 with an Early Childhood Education Associates Degree.  God came along and wrecked that plan.  Don't you love it when God does that?  He did everything in His power to make sure I was not able to attend school for the Fall of 2011.  It was absolutely insane how everything happened, I couldn't even explain some of the events.  It just wasn't going to work out.  So, I took the semester off and soul searched.  I was just trying to figure out what I was suppose to do.  I felt Him tell me Children's Ministry was where I was suppose to be.  Awesome, except for the fact that you can't get a Bachelors degree in that.  So, what do I get my Bachelors in?  I threw the idea of Communications, Religion and English around.  I couldn't find a school to fit what I was looking for.

Enter Liberty University Online.  Perfect for this girl who works an average of 50 hours a week, volunteers seven hours on Sunday's and likes to sleep sometimes... I will be starting Liberty University Online on March 17th.  My favorite part of this?  Their online program only offers 8 week classes. So, I can take two semesters in one semesters time!!

I was waiting to announce it to the world, until I got word that I was actually accepted.  Everything was playing out perfectly.  I just didn't want to tell everyone I was in, when I really wasn't.  Yesterday morning, I received this email! 

It is official.  Liberty University Online has accepted me into their Religion program.  I will start March 17th! 

Everyone who has been stressing me about about not having a plan, can now back off!  Random mother in Chick-Fil-A who lectured me last week, can now back off!  Family who has been stressing themselves out with my lack of having a plan, can now relax.  I have finally figured it out! 

*Insert exhale*

Friday, February 10, 2012

Reflection Friday

Pinned ImageI have got my hands full this semester.  Eleven middle school girls expressed interest during the Student eGroup push two weeks ago.  That is eleven girls IN ADDITION TO the seven who are already in the eGroup!  Talk about hands full!  Three of the eleven came last night. 

It was wonderful to meet three new people.  The "regulars" were extra crazy last night.  There were carrots thrown across the room, lots of laughter, tears from laughing too hard and new friends made all around.  I hope that our crazy selves did not scare away the three new girls!

We know how to have fun in our eGroup!

This week was all about getting to know one another.  I had no intentions of getting into our book study or discussing the sermon.  I just wanted us to get to know each other.  We talked about how long everyone has been at Elevation, what we hope to gain from being in an eGroup, what school we go to, and a lot of other random-nonsensical things.

The family who graciously opens their home to us every week is interviewing for a job they have wanted for over two years.  We ended the evening in prayer.  We brought the parents down stairs and we all put our hands on the entire family and prayed over them. 

Praying over someone was a new experience for all of the girls.  It went about as I had envisioned.  A few Do I go now's, a bit of laughter and some prayer.  I led them in prayer as best as possible.  This is something that we will get better at.

But, I wanted this family to know on a deeper level that they are in our thoughts and prayers as they are waiting for a decision.  Along with praying over them, each girl took home a prayer card.  This is a tangible way for them to remember how they can pray for the family this week.  I put a prayer, a Bible verse and a day to email the family.  I don't want the family to forget that we are praying for them!  We are covering their lives with prayer in every way possible!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hey, It's Okay

Airing My Dirty Laundry has a wonderful series that she is doing right now, Hey, It's Okay.  I love it so much that I am doing it too...

Hey, It's Okay...

... to not have watched any of the Superbowl.

... to love spending Sunday's at Elevation Church.

... to not be able to get into bed without my bed being made.

... to think school before relationship is the best way to go!

... to be grateful beyond words for my parents. 

... to have my taxes done already!!

... to love my life.  Far too many people hate their lives these days.  I wouldn't change one thing.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Get Your Self-Esteem Back

If you have been reading for a while, or you know me personally, you know that I lead an eGroup (Elevation Church's style small group/community group).  My eGroup is for middle school girls.  We know how to have a lot of fun.  Because it is the twenty-first century, a majority of them are on facebook.  I am all of their "friends" on facebook. 

A regular news feed for me consists of a lot of the following:

rate me
text me.
lms and I'll post a paragraph about what I think about you on your wall
rate me
I'm bored

Get it?  I'll be completely honest when I say that this DRIVES ME CRAZY!  (I do have more adult friends, but these lms and hmu's stick out like a sore thumb to me).

First of all, I had to google what hmu and lms stood for.  (hmu= hit me up and lms=like my status)  It made me feel ancient to not know the latest internet lingo.

Second of all, I know that these girls are worth more than they are giving themselves credit for.  Every lms and rate me reeks of low self-esteem and an undeniable lack of self-worth.  They are worth more than depending on people to like their status to get a confidence boost. 

Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our imagine, in our likeness...
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Isn't that beautiful?  I am made in the likeness of God.  You are made in the likeness of God.  He made me in His image.  He made you in His image.  Why is America so insecure these days?  We are made in the image of God, the Creator of this Universe, the One who works all things out for our good.  

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

In the context of this post, 1 Peter 5:7 says to me - if I am feeling insecure, I need to turn to the Lord and let Him know.  He cares for me.  If I am feeling like I can't handle the task at hand, I can just cast it on Him and He will take care of it because He cares for me.  I have nothing to worry about because He cares for me.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well...
Your eyes saw my unformed body...

Another beautiful passage.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I have no reason to be insecure.  I have no reason to depend on anyone to boost my self-esteem.  Nor do you!  God's eyes saw your unformed body.  His works are wonderful.  You are wonderful!  PS.  Holly Furtick preached an amazing sermon on this passage a few years ago.  Check out Elevation Church podcasts in iTunes and listen to "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made".

This post was for me to vent about the ridiculous statuses that I see on my news feed.  This post was for you to see that you are worth more than you are giving yourself credit for.  This post was for me to remember how much I am worth.  I hope you gained something from this.  There is a little bit of something for everyone in here. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

I think it is pivitol to take a moment every day to thank God for everything that He has given me.  I would not be where I am if it weren't for His involvement in my life.  I am so thankful.  Before I ask God for anything, I thank Him for everything.  You should try it!

Thankful Tuesday...
    Pinned Image
  1. My mother!  She does my taxes for me every year.  They seem to get harder and harder every year and she does them each year with minimal complaint.  She doesn't charge me.  She is amazing.
  3. My job!  My boss is amazing.  She bought me a pair of Toms last Friday, just because.  I would do all that I do for them without the random gifts.  They just make me want to do more and be better.
  5. My roommate!  I have so much fun with her.  We can talk openly about what we are stuggling with.  We randomly go out to the nearest mexican resturant in our most bum outfit and get chips, queso and margaritas.  She is awesome.
  7. Skype!  My best friend is in South Africa!  She is over 8,000 miles away!  I was able to Skype with her this weekend.  I loved being able to see her and talk to her.  I am praying for her daily!
  9. Time!  I took two semesters off from school.  It has been amazing to have this time.  I have been able to focus on other things.  I have been able to get my relationship with God in check, lose weight, focus on my position with Elevation Church.  These are all amazing things.  I am so thankful for the time that I have had to regroup.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Keeping My Guard Up

Warning: I do not know where this post is going to go.  I just know that I need to write.  Bare with me, please!

There are some people in my life who think that I should be in a relationship right now.  These people thing that I have too much of a guard up.  These people think that if I bring a man into my life, I would be happier.  These people tell me there are areas of my life that I should step back in, so that I have time for a man. 

I am here to say that I am going to keep my guard up for a while.

There is this boy.  We have been talking for over four years.  We met the summer before my senior year of high school.  We have never dated.  We have been on a date or two.  He is all wrong for me.  We have different goals in life, different views on the important things.  He facebook messaged me about a month ago to tell me that he was getting things together and had began to attend a church where he lives. 

I would be lying to say I wasn't elated.  I'll be completely honest and say that the moment I read this message I had two thoughts go through my head.  Him? In church?  God can change all people, right?  and Now we can be together.  After four years, we can finally turn this into something!  We will be the perfect couple. 

I kept my guard up for a little longer.  I know, that probably makes me the worst Christian ever.  I had a bit of disbelief.  I just couldn't shake the thought that this was another one of his games.  He had to be lying.

Saturday night, I let my guard down.  I agreed to go on a date with him, and see where it took us.  I was thrilled to think that after four long years of talking and not talking and talking and not talking and hating each other and loving each other and hating each other that finally we could be something.  I have always thought that it would be a complete waste of years worth of talking if we never dated... and now the time had come.  I could actually see myself dating him.  He was getting his life together and going to church.

Sunday, we were texting about church.  I asked him one last time if it was for real.  I was just playing, was the response I got.  It was all a joke.  A month of lying to me about attending church.  His explanation, I just wanted to see how happy it would make you.  Well, the disappointment I felt from believing his lie far outweighs the happiness that I held onto for a month thinking he could be attending church.

I am going to keep my guard up for a little longer.  Keeping my guard up is keeping me from getting hurt.  Just like God told me when it was going to be okay for me to leave the preschool I was teaching at, He will tell me when I can let my guard down for a man to come into my life.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sermon Sunday

Living a Better Story Week Two
Suspension of Disbelief
Numbers 13 and 14

Pastor Steven preached a sermon about what happens when God has a plan and we ruin His plan with our disbelief.

Of course it is hard to live a great story for God.  If it wasn't hard it wouldn't be a great story.

Your setting doesn't determine your story. 

Suspension of Disbelief - Deciding to get lost in the story. 
Example: Watching a science fiction movie and enjoying it even though you know it could never happen.

We must be willing to suspend our disbelief in the Bible.  It happened!  Nail your disbelief to the cross.

The moment you decide not to believe God, your story hits a dead end.

If you want to enjoy the entire message, visit Elevation Network or check it on iTunes on Monday.

Personal Reflection: I loved when Pastor talked about hitting a dead end when you decide to not believe in God.  God has a great plan for my life.  I must believe that if He tells me I can do it, that I can do it!  My first instinct is to always tell God that I can't do what He says I can.  I told Him that I couldn't lead an eGroup in Rock Hill.  Look where I am at now.

Pinned ImageI am a serious planner.  Every moment of my day is planned out.  I have gotten so busy lately that I even plan out my sleep, to assure that I get enough.  I have to remember that I am not the director of my life.  Pastor closed with this line, I am not the director.  He is the director.  I am just holding the reflector to shine the light on Him.  Everything I do should be to the glory of God, but my life isn't mine to live.  I must do everything to His glory, I must do everything according to His plan.

I never want to hit a dead end in my life by giving into disbelief. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Reflection Saturday

Reflection Friday coming to you on Saturday.

This week, my middle school girls and I discussed being faithful before you are married.  I have blogged about this concept before here and here. 

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:12

This is a foreign concept to us today.  All the days  means ALL, before you meet him, when you meet him, and every day after you meet him.  I want to drill this concept into the girls in my eGroups head. 

We can't have sex before we get married, because the Bible says so.  You need to be doing him good right now.  Having sex, or lusting after another boy is not doing your husband good.  You shouldn't do that if you are married, and according to this passage, you shouldn't be doing it before you are married. 

I think this concept is huge for the middle school girls in my eGroup.  I pray daily that they can wrap their heads around this.  Their husband exists, he is alive somewhere.  I don't want them to do something now that they will regret when they get married. 

I shared a story with the girls about a mistake that I made and what can happen when you invest all of your self-worth in a boy or boys.  We wrapped the evening up by reading Romans 8 together.  Take a minute to read Romans 8.  Isn't that something you would rather put all of yourself in?  I don't want to invest myself in something I'll regret.  I never regret putting my worth in Christ.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7

As I am gathering things for my taxes, I have been waiting for my giving statement from Elevation.  The longer I waited for it to arrive in the mail, the more anxious I became.  I have set up my offering to come out of my bank account automatically.  I know how much I give, but I really never think about it.

When I budget at the first of every month, it is a strain on my finances to give the amount that I do.  I skimp in other places to give.  I have never regretted this decision.  I know that God will bless my obedience to His word. 

The statement came in the mail last night.  Let me tell you, I had a slight moment of panic.  My first thought was, I gave how much!!??! Yikes!  My second thought was more of a, and how much of a blessing is it that you were able to give that much to the Kingdom of God.

Along with my giving statement was a card with the following numbers...

- 7, 699 people made professions of faith in Jesus
- 2, 410 people came forward to be baptized
- Over $2 million given to our outreach partners
- Over 5,100 people involved in a community through an eGroup
- Our church grew by 48% in attendance
- We launched 2 new locations - Rock Hill and University
- Our new worship album "For the Honor" reached #1 on the iTunes Christian Music Charts
- Named by Outreach Magazine the #2 fastest growing churches in America

I was able to be a part of all of that through my giving.  I may never attend the University campus, but I was a part of launching it with my giving.  I may never meet the 7,699 who made professions of faith in Jesus in 2011, but I was a part of each of their professions.  It takes all the panic away knowing how much God can do with my giving.

Yeah, I could give less.  But, God told me to give the amount that I give.  It stretches my faith in Him.  I would only be able to live the way I do through Him.  He makes it possible.

God will always do more with what I give than I could do if I didn't give at all.