Thursday, August 25, 2011

Your questions answered this Sunday . . .

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get so fired up about worshiping God? Ever wondered why some people raise their hands in church? Ever wondered why we run the music so darn loud?

Well, this week, we will answer those questions and a whole lot more. I will be interviewing a few of our lead people from our worship band and we'll be discussing the subject of "passionate worship" as we continue our Building Blocks series.

I hope you will be there and hope you're talking to a friend or two about coming with you. We start at 11am and directions can be found here on our website. See you Sunday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

what's on my mind and in my prayers this week . . .

I'm feeling really grateful this morning. I am in the middle of the toughest season of my life (to date) and I know that I would really be struggling if it were not for God's faithfulness and your prayers. Thank you. Here's what's on my mind and in my prayers this week:
  • First day of school - Today is the first day of school for all 4 of my boys and for Sara. The boys all start new grades and new classes and Sara starts her new job. I'm praying that they all have great experiences today. They are all nervously excited.
  • Crumbling foundation - If you are one of my friends who lives outside of Oklahoma, you'll think this is a joke. If you live in Oklahoma, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Since the drought we're in is so severe, the soil under our home has settled and our foundation has settled on one side. A huge crack runs through the floor and through the brick on the outside of the house. The interior walls are cracking and some doors are out of square and cannot be used either. We need to get it fixed. We had the assessment done and it's going to cost $4000 to get it raised up and stabilized. Normally, that would be no problem. We would just take it from our emergency fund, but we've been living partially off of our emergency fund for the last four months, so that's not happening. We know God is our source and we're asking you to pray with us that God provides that money somehow to get our home fixed. (This is not covered by home owners insurance)
  • Focus on the right things - Great things are happening at our church right now! We have some potentially high-capacity leaders coming onto our team, our one year anniversary and building grand opening are less than a month away and God has provided some very generous outside financial support for our church as of late. Still, my mind seems to always default back to the same old metrics - church attendance and offerings. Both have been flat for the last few weeks. I know it's the end of summer and that is expected, but I'm still just feeling a little frustrated this morning. Just praying I can focus on the good stuff and stay positive.
  • Back to ministry - For the first time since I began working at the Hospital, I am feeling like my limited time available for ministry is hurting our church. For a few months, it was a good thing because it forced my hand with delegation and trusting God to stretch my time and helped me grow like crazy. I'm not saying that I don't need to grow anymore. But, I'm so close to getting back to full-time ministry I can feel it. It's still a financial gap keeping me there, but it is much, much smaller than it was a few months ago. I'm praying boldly that I can give my notice at the hospital by September. Would you pray with me?
Thank again for all your prayers. I wold love to pray for you this week. Just let me know what's going on in your life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

this week @ Freedom Valley

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to say hello and remind you of some of the exciting stuff going on at Freedom Valley this week.

  • Part 3 of our Building Blocks Series. I'll be talking about evangelism. If you think you know what that means, you might be surprised. Really looking forward to this one.
  • Prayer over our kids for the school year. This is either the first weekend after school has started or the last one before it. We will be praying a blessing over our kids who are starting school and any educators who are part of our congregation. This would be a great weekend to bring your kids and invite any educators you know who would appreciate that prayer of blessing.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing you again this Sunday!

Pastor Jason

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

thoughts and prayers after a week off

Sorry I missed you last week, but it was really important to me to have a week that was totally disconnected. It was great :) I'm really refreshed and full of vision. Love feeling this way. I also want to brag on our leadership team. The last two Sundays were the first time I was out since our church started and both weeks went fantastic. I was so pleased and proud watching the videos of our team in action.

Here are some areas I'm focusing my prayers on this week:

  • Getting closer - I think I'm getting closer to coming back to full-time ministry. I am so ready and have grown so much this year that I think I can lead so much better and add so much more value to our church than I ever have before. Just believing that I'll be working back in the center of my calling very soon.
  • Big Fall - I'm really excited about this Fall at Freedom Valley. We have our one year anniversary and building grand opening on September 11 and some good outreach initiatives coming up. We have seen steady growth through the summer and I think we will see some significant church growth this Fall and I welcome it!
Thanks so much for your prayers.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

another marvelous thing

This is today's entry from my S.O.A.P. Journal . . . a pretty marvelous thing:

August 4 - Psalm 10

17 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.

Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.

Observation – God is about love and grace much more than He is about rules and the letter of the law. Even though I know that well, sometimes I still default back to pleasing Him through keeping rules.

Application – I want to take what I know to be true about God and help that be my default. I want to view Him as an incredibly loving Father. He's what I am to my boys on my best day and then multiplied by 1000. Just like my boys don't need to do a darn thing to make be gush with love for them, neither do I need to do anything for God to feel the same way about me.

Prayer – Father God, I am so content to just be your boy today. Thank you that I can get a small glimpse of how You might feel about me by experiencing how I feel about my boys. Please help me to relax. Let me truly sit back and allow Your love and Your grace to be all I need. Thank You that that's even possible. In Jesus' name, amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

some marvelous things . . .

Today my Bible reading brought me to Psalm 9. Look at the first 2 verses:

1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.

2 I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

I really stopped in my tracks and wondered why I tend to dwell on the few little things that are negative in my life and almost ignore the marvelous things God has done in my life. I decided to list a few of the marvelous things he's done:

  • He spared my life countless times. Especially before I turned my life over to Jesus, I lived a stupid and dangerous life. I walked away from violent car accidents, drug use, alcohol abuse, bar fights . . . you name it. Even after that, He welcomed me into a relationship with Him.
  • He has given me a marvelous family! I know a lot of people say this, and I'm glad for them, but I really do believe I have the most wonderful wife living on the face of this earth! Sara is fantastic. I also have 4 little boys who adore me . . . and I adore them. Colin, Liam, Ethan and Jude, you are the four most wonderful little men I know!
That's good for now. I may write more later.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

prayers for this week

Just want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you for your prayers! We just finished our first weekend in our new building and it went fantastic! You can watch the service video here. Don't worry, we're working on the lighting issue :) We had a really strong crowd, even with a bunch of regular people out, a lot of new guests and a really strong response of people wanting to make a new start with Jesus. I think it is a real possibility that we will be looking at moving to two services by this Fall!

On top of that, Sara was offered the job at Union Public Schools this week too. You know, the job that did not exist that we were believing Gof for? Well, it exists and it's hers!

As I go into this week, here are some areas I'm asking God to move and would appreciate your prayers too

  • This weekend: I will be preaching at Freedom Valley in Gettysburg this weekend. I am asking God for a few things: 1) A great time with Sara. It's been a long time since we had some significant time together and I'm looking forward to that very much. 2) A generous offering after I speak. They will be receiving an offering in Gettysburg this weekend for me to take back to Tulsa to help with our new building costs. I'm asking God to put it in people's hearts to be really generous. 3) Some new Tulsa residents. I am asking God to speak to someone - hopefully a family - about moving to Tulsa and working on our leadership team. I've felt for a while that there is someone really wrestling with this calling and I want this weekend to be their tipping point.
  • Our church while I'm out: I will be out of my own church for the next two weekends. I know it is in very capable hands, but I am just praying protection and blessings as their leader is out.
  • Me while I'm out: I'm looking for some really good rest and really good time with my family over my vacation time.
  • Sara's job: Sara was offered the job, but her pay package still has not been determined. We are praying for the offer to come to her on the high side of the pay scale.

Thanks so much for your prayers! I appreciate you so much. By the way, I will not be posting a prayer focus next week. I'm not cracking this computer open during my vacation :) Have a great week.