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Archive for July, 2011

Do This Don’t Do That…

Signs

…can't you read the signs?

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!! I hope the above pic makes you smile on this Friday morning as it did me.

Are you as excited as I am for "At the Movies" Week 3 – Signs? What kind of person are you? Do you think you see signs? Do you believe in coincidences? Do people just get lucky? This weekend we will ask all those questions and dive into what the bible says about them. If you or someone you know has longstanding issues and hurts related to people or events do everything you can to get them to Vertical – I believe that this message will help.

Love you guys – CANNOT WAIT to worship with you Sunday! By the way, here's the original:

Abigail_breslin10

I Never Want to Go There Again

Some people refuse to live the new life God desires to give them.

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (Numbers 14:1-4 ESV)

Really? After all they had experienced doesn't this seem crazy? These people experienced God send 10 plagues on Egypt beginning with the water of the great river Nile turning to blood then there were a multitude of gnats followed by flies that occupied the land. After that a disease came upon all of the livestock then boils developed on the people and the livestock. The next plagues were awesome thunder and hail, a locust infestation and darkness which fell upon the land. The last plague was the death of all of the firstborn of Egypt while the Israelites firstborn lived. If that wasn't enough, the Israelites watched God part the waters of the Red Sea only to watch it close on the Egyptians who were following. This miracle was followed by God feeding them manna from the sky, water from rocks and quail from the sky.

After all of that the people basically said, "God brought us out here to die. Can't we go back to Egypt so we can be slaves again?" WHO would do that? After all they had seen and been through?

You would. I would. We all would.

All of us have the ability to be pessimistic. We begin to think that the bad times of our past were actually the good ole days. Worst part is that we have a tendency to doubt or even forget what God has done. In our daily life we have thoughts like, "Things like that never work out for me – why do I never get the breaks?" or "I'm not good enough, smart enough or connected enough to make that happen." seem to pop into our minds before we even have the chance to consider it in a positive way. Sometimes you might even think, "is living out the Christian life really worth it – I just don't feel like I can make it". Let me give you a word from God that can break that cycle:

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV)

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV)

I'm not going back to Egypt. I don't care how rough the situation gets, I ain't going back. What about you?

That pessimistic person is not who you are in Christ – repent from that right now, ask forgiveness and His power to change that in you beginning right now. Remember who you used to be? You are not that person anymore – you are a new creation in Jesus (2 Cor 5:17). There will always be people who choose to live their lives believing the lies of their past, they aren't your problem – you are. It's time for us to decide that we aren't going back to Egypt.

Why Jump to Conclusions?

Cru135 Last week Campus Crusade for Christ officially changed their name to "Cru" and some believers flipped out over it. It was all over twitter, facebook – heck, I even saw it reported on the news channels. It was controversy at its finest (not really).

The gist is everyone freaked out because they were removing Christ from their name. Truthfully, it IS a little shocking – after all, why would an organization that is known for boldly proclaiming the name of Christ and reportedly has won 37,900 new souls for Christ over the last five years do such a thing? It must be because since their founder, Bill Bright died a few years ago they have taken a more liberal turn, right? One thing I've learned through the years is to give people the benefit of the doubt and not jump to conclusions too quickly, especially people with great track records.

Not surprisingly, from Campus Crusade's website:

“Anyone who knows anything about Campus Crusade for Christ knows we are passionate about one thing – connecting people to Jesus Christ,” noted president Steve Douglass. “In fact, we only exist for the purpose of helping people everywhere experience the transforming grace and forgiveness of the gospel through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

"We were not trying to eliminate the word Christ from our name. We were looking for a name that would most effectively serve our mission and help us take the gospel to the world. Our mission has not changed. Cru enables us to have discussions about Christ with people who might initially be turned off by a more overtly Christian name. We believe that our interaction and our communication with the world will be what ultimately honors and glorifies Christ."

Why do Christian people automatically assume the worst about ministries? I have seen this since the very early days of my ministry. People automatically assuming anything someone said about a pastor or a church was true. "The preacher did such and such!" said the gossip to another gossip – "HE DID?!?" to which she/he told another – always assuming the worst about a church or the man God called. It's happened to me. It's happened to my former church and pastor friends. It happens to Vertical. They Assume.

I know I share this verse often but I remind you once again, [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 ESV) Your ministry IS NOT to point out what you think is wrong with everyone elses. The battle isn't against people – but against the spiritual powers which wage against us. We need to watch the friendly fire because the wrong people are taking the hits.

People have done the same thing to Cru. Maybe instead of jumping to conclusions or filling in the blanks by ourselves, maybe we should actually research the things people are saying before we assume the worst. I think this tweet says it all:

 

@jerryriendeau: When Kentucky Fried Chicken changed it's name to KFC, I wonder if they were accused of abandoning chicken. #csu2011 #cru

 

Here's a suggestion: next time someone begins to talk badly about another Christian, pastor, church or organization, flee from that conversation as quickly as possible and research for yourself whether these allegations are true.

Why don't Christians see that they totally shoot their own? Let's quit assuming because you know what the word assume stands for, right?

(and for more info on the Cru name change check out this link from their website)

Vertical in Pics (July 25)

At The Movies  week 2    Sebrina Harris   Picasa Web Albums

I've been telling you how incredible the stage looks lately so I just wanted to let you see for yourself. CHURCH PEOPLE: Set the bar high – don't make excuses – Our God is creative, look at all He has done in creation. People, made in His image, are creative also and are a people who appreciate it when they see something different. The change keeps things fresh and conveys that you are actually doing more than showing up, picking a couple of songs and teaching.

If we can do this in a portable context with our limited budgets, how much more could you do in your permanent facilities?

Vertical KIDVENTURE Deadline is Today!

KIDVENTURE

Deadline to sign up is today, JULY 25TH.

What is KIDVENTURE? KidVenture is an event designed to allow Waumba Land/UpStreet kids and their small group leaders to connect outside of Sunday morning. 4 times a year we throw a huge party for Waumba Land/UpStreet small groups and their leaders.

Parents, we have booked White Lake Water Park in White Lake, NC for Thursday, July 28 from 6 – 9 pm. The event is $10 per family and includes entire park access and dinner. In order to attend you must register online or at our NEXT table. We look forward to serving you and your family during this exciting event. 

Register HERE