FINISHING UP

We are finishing up our time away. I really appreciated the open platform to share we had for a couple days. I think it is times like these where the course is set in such a fashion that God can use us to change the world for His better.

We talked about small things and big things. We defined the essentials that someone needs to know the moment they are saved, and when they plug into their church. We talked about how to do something about the world’s water crisis. We talked about how to engage the poor around us, and how to define what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in todays terms. We talked about missions in other countries to start churches and to address issues like HIV/Aids. We put some strategy down on planting new TRC campuses east of the mountains and the Hispanic church at The Rock. We talked about the essentials to be effective as a church in this new season we are entering.

This is the kind of stuff God uses to transform lives. Very proud of the TRC team who was here. Next steps are to refine then impart to the entire church.

WE ARE AWAY…TALKING FAITH

Melinda and I left yesterday morning with some of the team to dissect how Jesus took people from a place of NO faith to a place of Great Faith…

Here is what we’ve found so far…Here is a quick edit: It’s not like we haven’t seen this in scripture before, it is that we are trying to clearly and concisely define what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ through The Rock Church. Every church has a culture and a system of making disciples. Most are similar in reality because we are following the Bible. We are simply trying to make our process at The Rock simpler. We have been a tremendous gathering church, getting a lot of people saved; now, we want to be not only that, but a church full of disciple making Christians. We have done that pretty well, but we can improve.

For all of us we start at a position of NO Faith. This is the stage of our life where we are dead to the things of God, but He doesn’t leave us that way; instead, he reaches toward us with His love. At that point we cross over, by believing in our heart and confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, we are saved and have NEW Faith.

Well, it can’t stop there. From there we put ourself in position for our faith to mature, to grow. At that point we have GROWING Faith, through H2O baptism, Baptism of the Holy Spirit, understanding our gifts, fruits and purpose. Growth leads to PRACTICING Faith; in that, we start acting, living and loving like a person of Faith, Jesus being our example. Finally, we are fulfilling the message of Christ when we start reaching out to others–friends, co-workers, family members–with our faith, PASSING ON Faith.

NO Faith changes to NEW Faith, and new faith to GROWING Faith, and growing faith to PRACTICING Faith, and practicing faith to PASSING ON Faith. Think about Peter, he had NO Faith, but he ended up PASSING ON Faith to a crowd of his countrymen in the city.

It challenges me to ask some tough questions:
Where am I in my walk between NO Faith and PASSING ON Faith?
What is my plan for GROWING Faith? Do I need to get water baptized, baptized in the Holy Spirit, take some classes, connect to my church, get in a Reach Team? Do I finally need to decide to move past where I am at?
Where have I positioned myself for PRACTICING Faith? Am I volunteering anywhere, making a difference in other lives?
When was the last time I was PASSING ON my Faith? Do I share my faith with others? Do I tell about what Jesus has done in me?

These are intense questions we are looking to answer about our lives and the lives in The Rock Church. We return on Wednesday.

WEEKEND REFLECTIONS: LIFE STORIES


Sunday was a cool day. We told Life stories throughout the service. There are some powerful testimonies of life change in our midst. Here are just a few we showed on Sunday…

We targeted the interviews at different life stages.

Brent and Salina, when they came to The Rock Church they were simply dating and struggling in their relationship with each other and Jesus. Their faith was pretty much non-existent, but God began to transform their lives.

Bob and Deborah, when they came to The Rock Church they knew Jesus well. They came from a strong church and had strong principles already, but as it would play out The Rock Church had a message for them…

Katheryn, came from Guam to The Rock Church to do the internship. Her life was transformed by what God is doing at TRC.

Lonnie, Raised in The Rock Church he has many memories. Recently he encountered God about the tithe. This is his story.

I’d love to know what you think the importance of telling stories is… Secondly, if you were there, what were your thoughts about Sunday’s service?

WEEKEND REFLECTIONS: RACING


Race #2 of the 2008 season was my best finish yet!
I had a great car. As things played out in the main I had the chance to have a bunch of “first time” racing experiences.

TOP 10 Firsts of APRIL 26

1. It was the first time I’ve ever had what drivers call “feel” in the car. During the heat race I was able to stay with some really fast guys, but not drive the car to the edge. That was amazing and I was hollering on the radio all the way around the track, THIS THING HAS FEEL! It’s a big deal in racing lingo.

2. It was the first time I’ve ever bumped wheels with another car at full acceleration. I started 2nd row outside with the 12 car in front of me. Going into the first turn he got loose or I helped him get loose, I’m still not quite sure. As he slid up the track I went low to go around him, but he recovered quickly and we came off corner 2 side by side. Well, the 31 car, who was fast time, ducked underneath me. WE WERE THREE WIDE ON THE FIRST LAP, AND I WAS IN THE MIDDLE! It’s never good to be the meat in the sandwich, and before I could check up enough to let the 31 clear we hit wheels, his right rear to my left front. It resulted in his car turning right (not good on an oval). He went across my nose and tagged the 12 car who was on the outside of me. Surprisingly my car was undamaged. Although I didn’t do anything wrong I learned a lot in the situation. It’s one thing to watch it through the in-car camera on tv; quite another to smell the tire smoke and see the action in front of your bumper at speed.

3. It was the first time I’ve ever done a double file restart after a caution. The first one was after the caution between the 31 and 12. I was 2nd row inside and moved to second by the end of the first turn. the next one I started 1st row outside and got a good jump on the restart, but couldn’t make the pass, I learned a bunch though…

4. It was the first time I ever passed the leader to take the lead on the outside of the 3/8′s! On the next restart I got a great jump and went into turn one with the advantage. The car stuck on the outside and coming off of 2 I was almost clear. Through 3 and 4 I gained a little more and then cleared the 11 going into turn 1. It was super exciting!

5. It was the first time I ever lead on the 3/8′s!
I stayed in the lead for quite a while. I ran my fastest lap of the race the second lap I was in 1st.

6. It was the first time I got to race the fast guys and be competitive through the checkered flag. Kelly Mann eventually passed me and put me to 2nd. I held my own, but the double file restart would bite me on the final restart. I missed a shift coming off of turn four and the 11 got by.

7. It was the first time I finished on the podium!
I was 3rd!

8. It was the first time I was ever accused of causing a wreck after the race. The 31 team was pretty mad at me for their wreck on lap 1. That wasn’t too fun, but we wear helmets for a reason. The only thing I did was try and get out of a bad situation by checking up, if I hadn’t I think I would have been the wrecked one, three wide doesn’t work for long on the 3/8′s. It did damper my night a bit. I talked with Jason (31-driver) today; as he said, it was just one of those “racing things.” Nevertheless, I hate it when others get tore up real bad as I know the time it takes to get the car back to fast.

9. It was the first time people asked me how I did and when I said, “I got 3rd” their response was like, “Wow, that’s good!”

10. It was the first time I’ve ever been asked to pray over the pit meeting with drivers and crew. That was the highlight of my day, but I have to admit passing Mike Holden on the outside to take the lead was almost as good! LOL!

Next week we are at it again. I am really excited about Saturday. The car is good, and my setup guy is going to be a the track with me. We should make it just a tick better and who knows maybe it will be the night!

Big thanks to Short Track Enterprises, Ellensburg, WA; MTS Construction; Rock of Ages Plumbing; Taco Del Mar of Monroe; and TNT Mechanical. These are my faithful sponsors and I appreciate their belief in the 70 team. Our guys are fired up and ready to get back at it next week!

Here’s Scott Whitmore of the Everett Herald’s take on the night of racing.

FUNDRAISING

Fund raising is tough stuff. I haven’t met a person yet who was born with enough money to accomplish their life’s work. Likewise there are not too many people who wake up everyday thinking that fund raising is the best part of their job. At The Rock Church I am the CFO, Chief Fund-raising Officer. It’s not the most glamorous position on the team, but because I so enjoy what fund raising can do in helping people find the Jesus, nurturing others and impacting situations in my community I am willing to do it!

I was writing some personal checks today and came across a letter from my friends in South Dakota who have big vision. Their daughter is going after Miss South Dakota 2008, and she was raising some money via support letter, which I think is great. I wanted to write a check; in fact, I had it written out and when it was time to address the check there was no address in the letter. Hopefully she will read this post and send me the address.

Here is what struck me; how many times have people wanted to give funds to my raising, but I didn’t give them the right information? They simply concluded it was too difficult to get me the funds and gave somewhere else. If you’re fund raising for your little league, church group, mission trip, internship, college trip or medical emergency do one thing, make sure those you are talking to know where to send the money!