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Archive for January, 2013

Vertical Stories Part One

God is working in people’s lives. Every once in a while we like to share them… Enjoy.

More coming tomorrow!

Sunday Nite (January 20)

I know.

Every single Sunday night I sit down at my computer and I tell you how today was one of the most incredible Sunday’s ever at Vertical Church. I’m not just being optimistic. I’m not trying to spin something… not trying to hype up an OK day and tell you it was great.

EVERY-SINGLE-SUNDAY-I-AM-JACKED-THAT-WE-GET-TO-DO-THIS.

And yes, today was one of those days that just blow our minds. Is this really happening? It is. I hope you were here because if you weren’t you missed an unbelievable  Sunday at Vertical Church:

  • Today was baptism day and the spirit in the place was just electric!
  • Today’s baptism stories were just amazing… over and over I found myself weeping and thanking God for giving us the opportunity to create a place where people who don’t like church can meet God.
  • I love the people that God has brought to us… such an incredible, heavenly looking make-up. There truly seems to be a spirit where everyone and anyone is treated with love because WE DO want them there.
  • Week 3 of “The Path” was titled, “The Discipline Trail”. I shared 4 Proverbs that remind us that the people in our life will either ADD TO or SUBTRACT from our faith. Who we hang with definitely matters.
  • Had fun watching our church with all of their name tags meeting new people and sharing about people that God used to make them draw closer to Him.
  • Shared with our church 3 people God used to help me come to and grow in Him: Coval Long, Eric Huston and Greg Blaine. Also gave a shoutout to all of the people who believed, stepped out in faith to be a part of the launch of Vertical Church. What WE experienced today was WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT – and we’re just getting started!
  • The momentum that we have right now is SUCH a blessing, so amazing and contagious. Every week people are just HUNGRY. They want this… they really want this. And I believe that God will honor their desire and increase their faith to follow Him into His plan for their lives: to bring Him glory.
  • Vertical Worship was SO GOOD today!!! Just smokin’… I was so blown away by today’s opener, “Go”. Definitely not the first time we have sung this but today the band brought an energy to it that just made me happy… Jesus-Shoutin’ good! They next went into Hillsong’s “Desert Song”. Coming out of a passionate baptism service in both services the band launched into Jesus Culture’s “Rooftops”. DANG!!! Honestly, anybody can bring it with that kind of manifest passion coming from the stage.
  • Vertical Worship today was Worship Leader Rhonda Lovin, Bree Harris and Justin Mc on vocals. JMac also on guitars and keys along with Robby Gaddy on guitar, Chris Rich on bass, John Astle on acoustic and Ethan Nunn laying down a fat beat on drums. So proud of all of them.
  • Rhonda was on fire today!!
  • Shout out to our crew for Saturday night set-up for baptism!! Love your commitment to Jesus and our church.
  • Our cafe team has been killing it on this series. Love what they’ve done with “The Path”.
  • We had HUGE #’s today. But that’s not the number I’m looking for. The number I’m pumped about is when those people in the seats take a step towards Jesus, no matter what it is.
  • That being said, lot’s of professions of faith today. The presence of the Lord was SO STRONG in the house today. So proud of all of you who professed your faith in a public way. Cannot wait to see you in that baptism pool next month!

Last thing: if you missed today we talked some about vGroups. If you aren’t in a vGroup we are beginning new groups and we want you to be part! Make plans to take a step on the relationship trail through vGroups. I love you all – have a great week.

The Path Fast – Last Day (6)

Almost done!!! I know that tonight there will be a celebration in some homes around our region!

[4:1] And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness [2] for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. [3] The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” [4] And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” [5] And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, [6] and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. [7] If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” [8] And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”
[9] And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, [10] for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’
[11] and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
[12] And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” [13] And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
[14] And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. [15] And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. (Luke 4:1-15 ESV)

I told you at the beginning of our fast that the purpose of “The Path Fast” is for US to seek God and ask Him to increase our faith. I hope that has happened. God has a vision, a path for your life. Fasting allows us to get quiet enough to rid ourselves of the junk that makes life loud.

After Jesus’ fast which we read above, it says in v.14, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. [15] And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” The fast is where Jesus got His direction. He came out of the fast directed and powerful. He was NOW ready for the task that His Father had called Him to.

You may be in that very same position – you’re different today than you were 6 days ago.

An experience that I had with fasting was that God used fasting to break some really big things in my life. Because of it fasting became a part of my life, something that I personally practice. I do this even though I do not enjoy fasting – i LOVE to eat!!! Which is all the more reason for me to occasionally forsake food to seek after God. These verses (and the chapter it came from) have become a very important part of my life:

[6] “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
[7] Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
[8] Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
(Isaiah 58:6-8 ESV)

Fasting, though we may feel weak, has an ability to make us strong in faith. It opens us up to the move of God’s Holy Spirit in our life. You must have the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work God has assigned to you. Seek Him with everything you have, and when that doesn’t quite get it done, FAST.

If you’re still with me I am SO PROUD of you. See you tomorrow!

The Path Fast – Day 5

Do you worry? I think we all struggle with worry occasionally. For some, worry is a way of life. I pray that today you will not only fast what you have been fasting but that you will also fast your worry.

[6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

In this busy world that we live in it seems hard to avoid worrying. There is so much that a person can worry with: our family/kids, finances, the condition of our world… If you don’t watch out you will make worry the focus of your life when Jesus should be the Center. Here’s what He said about worry:

[25] “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27] And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [28] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [32] For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
[34] “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)

You know why Jesus says not to worry? Because HE’S GOT IT UNDER CONTROL. God promises to never leave us or forsake us – will we trust Him?

Worry is a silly thing actually. Wasting time wondering about what could happen, thinking through all of the possible outcomes and “what ifs”… “what if” instead of wasting time worrying we would instead PRAY? When we worry what we are doing is saying to God, “You cannot help me – I must do this myself.” I have come to understand that I have no power over any of this yet JESUS has ALL POWER over all of it!!! He is the Keeper of the universe and there is nothing that is impossible in Him.

We have one more day to fast after today – what if today was a day of HUGE break through in your life? “Oh God, help me to trust you in all things – not just that which will come at the end of my life, but also my day to day – Have Your way in me!!!”

The Path Fast – Day 4

As we enter in today let’s ask God to open our heart to see Him more clearly. “God, may I hear You more closely than I ever have in my life.”

[17] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, [18] having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
(Ephesians 1:17-19 ESV)

It is so easy to find ourselves in a condition in which we are not seeking the supernatural power of God in our lives. God wants to move supernaturally in our lives but we often settle for less than His best. We go through the motions. We need God’s wisdom and resurrection.

James, the leader of the Jerusalem church, reminds us that when we lack wisdom, we should ask it of God who gives generously. In Psalm 43, the Psalmists confesses that God’s light and God’s truth are the only reliable leaders, for they bring us to where He is.

God of Heaven…Lead us with your light and truth! As we continue our way into this time of prayer and fasting, we are coming together as One church praying that God would lead us…open our eyes…and gift us the moving power of His Spirit in a fresh and awakening way. This prayer is a heart-felt, from the gut, straining desire to return to His reality, God’s light and life. We know that Christ Jesus has resurrected our souls by His grace and that light and life come only from Him.Light and Life come only from Jesus. Wisdom and Revelation come only from Jesus.Today as you pray, Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see Him more clearly and your ears to hear anything He desires to speak. Pray for a Spirit of wisdom and revelation that you might know Jesus more deeply and have a profound understanding of the hope that is in His heart for you.