Too Frozen to be Chosen

What a scripture: Psalm 65:4, Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

If you feel that strong compulsion and are drawn in by God’s Spirit to intercede and pray, this scripture says you’re blessed. God chooses and causes us to approach Him. This is a great truth.

“Many are called” Jesus said, “but few are chosen.” If you’re chosen, do not hesitate to answer His call. I believe many have been called, but so few have qualified themselves to be chosen because they have not answered that call. They’re too frozen to be chosen!

The Fear Factor

What keeps us frozen? More often than not, fear keeps us frozen from being chosen. Like a proverbial “deer in the headlights” we’re paralyzed by fear. But what kind of fear? For some it’s rejection. They fear that when they launch out, they’ll get rejected by their peers, by the popular crowd, or even the world. Jesus said, “if you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you.”

The Great Unknown

Another fear is the unknown. We have no idea sometimes what to expect. When we’re given a vision, or receive a call on our lives, that may be all we know. God doesn’t very often provide us with in depth details of our calling. More often than not, this is a walk by faith and not by sight. If you’re waiting until you have all the answers, you’ll remain frozen by that fear and never become the difference maker God called you to become.

Going All IN

There are many forms of fear, and this post by no means will cover them all, but the last one I want to expose is the fear of commitment. We think this only exists when it comes to personal relationships, but we fear this spiritually as well. A calling on our lives takes sacrifice. It will require a death to self, and a call to become more like Christ and less like the world; a call to go ALL IN!

John the Baptist described it this way; He (Christ) must increase, and I must decrease. Powerful words from a man who knew all to well what it meant to step aside and let Jesus have his ministry. Literally, some of John’s disciples left him and followed after Christ. OUCH!  John knew this wasn’t about his kingdom, but about the Kingdom of God. In fact, his favorite sermon was called, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!”

In Closing

Of course there are a variety of other factors that may have you frozen; a comfortable life, a cozy career, a love for worldly pleasures, you’re too busy with your own agenda, or the opposite, you’re just too lazy.

Listen, we have work to do and time is short! If God has in fact called you, take that next step and avail yourself to become chosen. And, when you’ve been chosen to approach His Throne! GO BOLDLY! – RDM

100 Book Challenge Week 4 Progress – 8 & 9 of 100 (Plus 1 Bonus)

The exciting aspects of this wisdom quest unfolded tremendously this week for me. One of my favor authors and non-denominational speakers is Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Church just outside of Atlanta, GA. His writing and speaking have a credibility and consistency that seems to be lacking in many mainstream religious leaders and communicators. He’s well respected not just in religious circles but in the circles of business and leadership too. For these reasons I have begun to build a collection of his works.

My current collection includes:

I will be adding soon

  • Visioneering
  • Communicating for Change
  • Choosing to Cheat
  • Ask It
  • Best Question Ever

8. Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley – By far my favorite book to date by Andy Stanley and 1460489103227the most exhaustive of his works regarding planting a church, designing environments to attract unchurched people, crafting messages for unchurched people and church people alike. Andy’s approach is very methodical and intentional.

Chapter 6 gives great insight into North Point’s concept of Spiritual Formation, which they use to quantify spiritual growth as follows –

They describe it as 5 Faith Catalysts which are 5 things God uses to grow your faith.

  • Practical Teaching
  • Private Discipline
  • Personal Ministry
  • Providential Relationships
  • Pivotal Circumstances

Chapter 7 Describes these in detail and provide excellent leadership advice on how best to position people based on one of these 5 catalysts.

One of the major moments for me stood out in Chapter 13…

“Marry your mission.

Date your model.

Fall in love with your vision.

Stay mildly infatuated with your approach.”

Andy does a wonderful job at mapping the mission to the programming as follows –

MISSION —VISION—MODEL—PROGRAMMING (see page. 286)

This skims the surface of this excellent book which reads like a manual on the North Point Systems Based approach to church leadership.

9. Creating Community by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits – I am investigating the feasibility of small groups for our church. I have surveyed a half dozen pastors and have received opinions in every direction. This book cleared up a great deal. I’m not 100% sold on the idea…yet.

51obh1fz6ql-_sx336_bo1204203200_Much of the first few chapters were spent convincing the reader of the importance of community. The authors state God literally created us for community. In fact, they use Creation when God said, “It is not good that man should be alone,” as evidence God wants us to have companionship. While I agree companionship is wonderful and beneficial, I personally felt that readers who may be single, and may have resigned themselves to that fact, may be out of line their opinion of God’s view on being alone. Many biblical leaders, even Jesus was never married, so this comparison should be drawn very carefully.

I did however like the way they correlated the Starbucks Business model to community. They’re not just in the business of selling coffee, they’re in the business of creating community. And, if you think about it, that’s so true. Their environments are conducive to conversation and connection which go great with coffee.

Now, from a church standpoint, I am a strong proponent of community. I can see the benefits of doing life together. Great examples were given in the book of how small groups impacted the lives of people who would have otherwise fallen between the proverbial cracks.

This book was filled with practical reasons on why, and a little on the how, as it applies to small groups, but left me wanting more in the way of a formal process. It could be done using the book, but would involve a great deal more trial and error, and would require high degree of tolerance on behalf of the people you would be asking to sign up for these groups.

Bonus Book(s): Finished Leviticus and began the Book of Numbers. I was so enamored with the Deep and Wide book I re-read several chapters several times. Once I cracked these books open by Andy Stanley, it reminded me of 7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner, and I dug up a few chapters from there because they were reference by Andy in Deep and Wide. 

 

100 Book Challenge Week 3 Progress – 6 & 7 of 100 (Plus 2 Bonus)

This week was a tricky week for keeping on target with my goal of a minimum of 2 books per week. In fact, I blogged about how I set goals in a separate post entitled, “100 Book Challenge – Setting Yourself up for Setbacks.” This is no easy undertaking. I read on average maybe 20 books a year and to increase it to 100 will require dipping into the reserves of my tenacity and grit!

The challenges, if I’m being transparent, arise when my routines get disrupted. I’m a pretty regimented guy and when that happens I have to have a contingency plan. With a 2-week margin for catch up out of the 52-week year of hitting 2 books a week minimum, I do not want to have to dip into that reserve if I can avoid it. I’d like to actually use those 2 weeks to get ahead of my goal so I can crush it!

6. The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick – Once I recovered from the minor setback of taking one day off, and another one being too busy to crank out so much as a chapter or two, I dialed in and finished up a great book I had started toward the end of last year called “The Battle Plan for Prayer” by Stephen and Alex Kendrick.

battle-plan-for-prayer

From the creators of the famed movie, War Room, and authors of The Love Dare, the Kendrick brothers have written a masterpiece of practical and theoretical wisdom on prayer. Prayer, the most powerful communication tool between us on earth and God in Heaven, is the sadly under utilized. This book  is a must have for any Christian library.

If I could make a suggestion, plan on reading a chapter a day. I plan on using this to teach future studies on prayer and to implement its practices in my personal prayer life as well. We owe the authors a debt of gratitude for penning these words. There’s no way they could have written them without having practiced them, and without the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

As of this post I have not seen War Room, but I will soon. For other resources for using this book as a teaching tool visit the book’s website at LifeWay.com

7. “If – Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities” by Mark Batterson – I have come to be a fan of Mark’s work. From the gifted writer of The Circle Maker and all of its resources, Mark again expounds upon one of the most unsuspecting 2-letif-booktered words of the English Language I-F. There is so much possibility packed within this word and Mark takes us on a journey weaving in characters like Winston Churchill, Helen Keller, and of course a host of biblical characters as well.

As a pastor, I appreciate the accounts Mark shares with the reader about the journey of National Community Church (NCC). I take inspiration from his writing because having started a church with little more than he did, I’m only 5 years into my pastorship, while he’s well past that. God has opened great doors in his ministry and he attributes it all to faith in God and a solid prayer life. This inspires me to keep believing and trusting God for greater things in our church.

I might add here too that Mark states in the book he read over 3000 books before he ever attempted to write one. That’s huge. He mentions also, Teddy Roosevelt, one of his all-time favorite presidents, made habit of reading 500 books a year…and I think 100 is a “challenge!”

With 31 chapters, Mark recommends you read this book, one chapter a day as well. In my quest for wisdom, I will admit, I did this in just a couple of days, but can see the value in taking the time to both read, and journal thoughts and impressions of the book as you go through it.

One of the biggest messages of the book “If” by Mark Batterson is, at the end of our lives, it won’t be the things we did that we regret. We will regret the things we did not do, and wished we had.

Bonus Reading: When I started I anticipated getting criticism for reading books other than the Bible. I committed from the onset that I would attempt to maintain my Bible reading in addition to these 100 books. This week I made good on this BONUS Goal by reading Genesis (started last week) and Exodus. And, since Exodus blended right into Leviticus, I continued and have gotten a good start on it.

I am enjoying this journey overall. It is stretching me. I have a difficult time focusing on such diverse reading materials and going through them thoroughly and thoughtfully, but the more I do it, the more I hunger for it.

A good key if you’re going to do a challenge like this is to find someone to do it with you. I have had a couple people link up with me on this journey wanting to know which books I’m going to read next. If you’re so inclined, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below, and I’ll let you know which books I’m reading next.

Here’s to 93 more!

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 3 Focus: Church

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 3 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 3: Church

Scope: Our focus for the next 7 days will be your church, Turning Point Apostolic Ministries. We often envision our set of priorities, God, Family, and Church, in terms of a 3-tiered structure, or a ladder of sorts. Our structure is different at TPAM, it’s set up more like concentric circles.

The Outer Ring = CHURCH

The Inner Ring = FAMILY

The Core = GOD

We sing the song by Israel Houghton, “Jesus at the Center of my life…” and that’s truly how we must live our lives, with Him at the core of everything we do, and everything we are. The closer you get to the center, the higher your priority. Everything emanates from the core, or the nucleus of our lives; GOD. Everything revolves around Jesus! When we keep Him at the center, everything else that flows from the center, will be properly aligned.

Each day this week will focus on a facet of our church. Take the time to prayerfully read through each passage, and unify with us on each of the various aspects of the “Outer Ring” that encompasses our lives.

Monday – Leadership: This topic is the first one of the week intentionally because as is often stated, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Without strong leadership, the focus of the remaining week’s prayers will be in vain. We must have strong, dedicated, focused, and highly committed leadership at TPAM. Leaders must always be willing to both lead, and to serve. Laser focus on the things that matter to our lives, and our walk with God, is essential.

Leadership includes our directors, teachers, team members, deacons, elders, and our pastors and their wives. Their roles cannot be overstated. They’re under constant attack in their own lives by the enemy, and must have a hedge prayed around them, and their own families as they seek to serve the church and their community, and yet maintain the delicate balance of family life.

Scriptures: Proverbs 11:14, Ezekiel 33:1-9, Jeremiah 3:15, Romans 10:14-15, Ephesians 5:11-16, 1 Timothy 2:1-8, 1 Timothy 5:17-18, Hebrews 13:15 – 18, 1 Peter 5:1-6

Prayer: Pray for wisdom, discernment, and for vision for the leadership at TPAM. Pray for a hedge of protection around our leaders’ families, relationships, health, homes, and finances. Pray for a balance of boldness and sensitivity towards the body of Christ. Pray for awareness of the times, and for courage to hold the line of holiness and separation from the world and its influence.

Tuesday – Members: The Bible explicitly teaches we are members of one body, the body of Christ. That comes with a diversity of gifts, callings, abilities, and talents. No one is more important than the other, but we are all at different levels of personal growth in God, nevertheless, He loves us all the same, and we all serve an important function in the body. There is room for everyone’s gift in God’s Church, but there is NO room for bitterness, unforgiveness, rivalry, jealousy, or gossip in the body of Christ. We need to encourage, uplift, support, and even “submit to” one another. And, most importantly, pray for each other.

Scriptures: Matthew 16:18, John 13:34-35, Romans 12, Ephesians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, 1 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 4:7-21

Prayer: Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that God prosper and bless the church body. Seek God for ways to be a source of encouragement, growth, and support. Pray against the spirits that cause division. Pray for God to soften your heart toward anyone you have had a misunderstanding with. Pray for a spirit of humility, servitude, and love one toward another. Pray for the spirit of revival to stay steady in our midst, and for us to explode with growth in this new year!

Wednesday – Future Members:
As you look around our sanctuary each service there are a number of empty chairs. Those empty chairs don’t necessarily represent just current missing members of TPAM, they represent members that have yet to make our church their home for spiritual growth. Don’t be discouraged by the empty chairs, see that as a place for us to plant future members. God promised that if we planted and watered, He would give the increase. Let’s pray in hope. Let’s do our part to evangelize, invite, cultivate, and disciple future members. Remember, when we preach and pray to the empty pews of our church, we’re preaching in faith to the future members of God’s great church!

Scriptures: Matthew 28:18 – 20, Acts 2:36-47, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, 1 Timothy 3:15, 2 Timothy 3:10-17, Titus 2

Prayer: Pray for God to open doors for you to win souls. Pray for opportunities to share the love of Christ. Pray for your family members, friends, co-workers, and those you interact with each day for your light to shine and for Christ to be in all of your conversations. Pray for in-roads to share Christ with someone each day. Pray for your sensitivity toward someone that needs love, joy, and hope. Pray for boldness to invite someone to your church. Pray for wisdom and words to tell someone about the Lord.

Thursday – Former Members: A tender spot for many of us, our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, moms and dads, who have fallen prey either to worldly enticements and entertainment, or to false doctrine. It’s like a knife to the heart of a parent to watch their son or daughter backslide form the truth they’ve been taught from their childhood. It’s like a constant churning in your stomach at the thought of those who once contended for the faith, who have fallen back into a world that will use them, abuse them, and kick them to the curb. There’s nothing that hurts more than to see the pain and heartache they needless endure, because they refuse to turn their heart again to God. But, they are not without hope. There is still a chance for them to return. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Never quit praying. Never quit believing. Never quit looking for them to show up one Sunday. Like the father of the prodigal, look for them while they’re a great way off; they’re on their way. We have a Heavenly Father that is in hot pursuit of them, and will overtake them with His love and mercy!

Scriptures: 2 Samuel 21:8-10, Job 1:1-5, Jeremiah 3:22, Joel 2:27-32, Luke 15:11-32, Luke 18:1-8, Acts 2:38-39

Prayer: Never stop praying for your unbelieving family and friends. Pray for the spirit of tenacity like the widow woman and the unjust judge. Pray in faith and hope that your children will be restored to the faith. Pray for God’s mercy upon them. Pray for all of those who have gone out from us, that God will once again tenderize their hearts, and that they will be restored to the family of God…before it’s too late.

Friday – Home Missions/World Missions: Our mission is critical. Our church is in the middle a tumultuous time. Workers are needed now more than ever, both at home and abroad. We must strive to be reaching the lost at all cost. God didn’t call us to be rich and powerful. He called us to reach our generation; to reach our world! Success in the world’s eyes fades. Success in God’s Eyes is eternal. Only what’s done for Christ will last. We need pastors and preachers, evangelists, Sunday School teachers, and worship leaders. We need missionaries, church planters, and new pioneers of the faith. We must have another generation of Apostolics coming up beside us and behind us. We ought to be inspiring our children and grandchildren to aspire to the work of the ministry. Plant the seeds early. The harvest is ready. Are you raising the next generation that will be changing the world? Or, have you taught your family to settle for worldly pursuits of fame, fortune and popularity? Challenge yourself today to align your priorities toward things eternal that cannot be taken away from you.

Scriptures: Matthew 7:13, Matthew 22:1-14, Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 10:1-3, Luke 10:42, 1 Corinthians 3:9, Hebrews 13:1-3, 3 John 1:5-8

Prayer: Pray for wisdom to raise the next generation of Apostolics. Pray for future pastors, teachers, soul-winners in our faith. Pray for God to call future missionaries. And, pray for the works over all over America, and throughout the World. Pray for the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all organizations that are faithfully proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for the World Missions Department of the ALJC. Pray for all of our missionaries, especially those in Europe. Pray for new works to start up all over the globe. Pray this End Time Harvest surpasses anything we’ve ever seen.

Saturday – Rochester:
Our beloved Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Macomb County, and beyond, need the Lord. But, before they’ll ever receive what we’re preaching, they need to know we love them, and most importantly, God loves them. We need to seek new and creative ways of engaging our communities. We need to be a light that is set on a hill that cannot be hidden. God planted us in Rochester, and Oakland County, for His Divine Purpose. He’s given us a burden to reach them, love them, and introduce them to Jesus Christ. Let’s not be complacent with past success. Let’s move forward in Jesus Name!

Scriptures: Proverbs 11:30, Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Corinthians 9:8-14, Jude 1:17-23, James 2:1-13, 1 Peter 4:7-19

Prayer: Pray the light of God’s love through us intensifies so strongly that our community cannot help but be drawn to it. Pray for God to reveal ways in which we can better serve, and demonstrate both our love and His love for our city. Pray God grant us a permanent church-home in Rochester/Rochester Hills that will be built as a refuge for our lost and hurting generation, a beacon of Christ’s Love to all; a place where Jesus is the center of it all!

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 2 Focus: Family

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 2 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 2: Family

Scope: Our focus for the next 7 days will be on our relationship with FAMILY. From the onset of our church we set our priorities; GOD, FAMILY, CHURCH. We know when we have a strong relationship with God, and a strong family at home, we’ll have a strong church. It’s important however, as we pray and fast, that we ensure we don’t isolate these (3) elements from each other; each one is dependent upon the other.

Be sure and gain all the strength you can from each Sunday Service for the week. The message pastor preaches will be aligned to the particular focus of the fast, and it is expected that you spend time at the altar preparing yourself for that given week.

Monday – Our Homes

Scriptures: Joshua 24:14 – 15, Ephesians 2:19 – 22

Focus: Make the choice today. Be intentional. Make your home a sanctuary. Our homes must be dedicated to serving God. We are of the “household” of God; our homes should signify this in every way. This holds true for married couples, singles, and widows/widowers.

Singles – These principles and focuses are not unique to married couples. A single person’s home should be just as much of an example of godliness and holiness. In fact, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:32 – 35, a husband or a wife, if they’re not godly, can be a “distraction” from doing what God has called you to do.

Prayer: Seek the Lord for direction for your overall home. Ask God to reveal to you ways in which your home may better represent Him, His Kingdom, and His perfect will for you and your family. Pray for God’s protection and provision over your family, your home, and our health. 

Tuesday – Our Children

Scriptures: Genesis 18:16 – 19, Deut. 11:18 – 25, Psalm 127, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:1 – 4

Focus: Godly Children – Godly parents raise their children to love the Lord and be faithful to Him in every facet of life. Your role as parents, aunts, uncles, mentors, leaders, cannot be overstated. Sure the church must do its part, but it’s incumbent upon all of us to raise our children in the fear of the Lord. Encourage your children to join you on this fast, and instruct them about these scriptures. Children, honor and obey your father, mother, teachers, ministers, and leaders.

Singles – Just because you are single does not diminish your part as a role model. Our children need to know how to live godly lives both as a married or a single. Step up to the challenge. You can demonstrate for them profound lessons on trusting in God for all things even when facing them as a single adult. Your role is just as vital as any other in our church. Pray for our children, pray for those you mentor and lead, and perhaps, before you know it, you’ll be praying for one of your own one day. 

Prayer: Seek God’s direction for your child’s future. Through prayer, filter each decision you make for your children, nephews, nieces, and students through the perfect Will of God. Children should pray for God’s favor, protection, guidance, and wisdom. And, children should pray for their parents, their teachers, leaders, ministers, and pastor.


Wednesday – A Godly Husband

Scriptures: Genesis 2:18 – 24, 1 Corinthians 7:3 – 5, Ephesians 5:21, 25 – 32, Colossians 3:19, 1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Peter 3:7

Focus: Godly Husbands – We’re commanded to leave and cleave as husbands, making your relationship with your wife one of your highest priorities. We’re commanded to love, and even “submit” ourselves to each other. Usurping the Word of God as your weapon, or endeavoring to demand respect vs. command respect is a recipe for a broken relationship. Seek to be the priest of our home, the godly example of your home, and your wife’s best and ablest protector. Never let anyone or anything come between your relationship with your wife, regardless of how noble the cause. Your relationship should mirror that of Christ and His Church.

Single Men – you’re not off the hook here. You may not be married, but you have an obligation to either be preparing yourself for your future spouse, or to remain faithful unto God, by remaining pure from worldly lust and ungodly passions. If it’s a spouse you seek, pray for God to lead you to the one He created for you, and until that happens, keep yourself for your future Mrs. Christian!

Prayer: Pray for godly wisdom and sensitivity as your wife’s husband. Pray for God to reveal ways in which you can grow closer to your wife. Pray both that you are the humble and godly husband she needs, and that she be the godly and tender wife that you need.

Thursday – A Godly Wife

Scriptures: Genesis 3:15, Proverbs 31, 1 Corinthians 7:3 – 5, Ephesians 5:22 – 24, Colossians 2:18, 1 Peter 3:1 – 6

Focus: Godly Wives – While Eve is often blamed for partaking the forbidden fruit, she didn’t do it alone. But in the middle of God’s Divine judgment, women are given a promise that a redeemer (Gen. 3:15) will come from them and her seed “would bruise the head” of Satan! That’s prophetic of the work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Women, you are the continuation of God’s Divine Creation. You were literally created with a profound purpose; to be a help “meet” or suitable for her husband. What he lacks you supply. What you lack, he supplies. This is not a 50/50 proposal; rather it is a 100/100 proposal. While we all need love, men are told to love their wives, while wives are told to submit, or have respect for, your husband.

Single Women – you guessed it, you’re not off the hook either. You may not be married, but you have an obligation to either be preparing yourself for your future husband, or to remain faithful unto God, by remaining pure from worldly lust and ungodly passions. If it’s a spouse you seek, pray for God to lead you to the one He created for you, and until that happens, keep yourself for your future Mr. Christian!

Prayer: Pray for wisdom and sensitivity as a husband’s partner in your home and over your family. Seek to be the godly example to the younger women, and may your prayers be your family’s most vocal advocate before God’s Throne!

Friday – Our Finances

Scriptures: Leviticus 27:30, Proverbs 8:3 – 10, Proverbs 10:22, Proverbs 19:17, Micah 3:8 – 12, Luke 6:38, Hebrews 7:4 – 10

Focus: When giving to the Work of the Lord, be it your local church, or foreign missions, you’re not simply putting your money in a man’s hand, you’re returning a tenth of what God has blessed you with. Admit it, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not destroyed. We have what we do, and can achieve what we do, because of God daily loading us with benefits. Acknowledge Him as your sole/soul provider by returning your tithes and offerings unto Him, and see if He won’t open the windows of heaven’s blessings and pour them out upon you and your entire household.

Prayer: Pray for a renewed sense of God’s goodness in your life. Pray God increase you in direct proportion to your generous heart. Pray God create in you a conduit through which blessings will flow so that you in turn will be blessed and can bless others.

Saturday – Our Work

Scriptures: Psalm 37:5, Psalm 75:6, Psalm 90:17, Deuteronomy 28:1 – 14, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 2:14 – 15, Colossians 3:23, 2 Thess. 3:10 – 12, 1 Peter 5:6 – 7

Focus: We must never forget the source from whom all our blessings flow. Our work will never prosper without God’s Divine blessing upon it. Our careers are important, how we make a living is critical to our survival, but “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Endeavor to be a wise steward with your talents, your giftings, and abilities. Use them for the glory of God and He will promote you in due time. And, remember nothing you do for Christ is a waste. He always rewards the faithful.

Prayer: Seek God first in all things. Ask for wisdom (James 1:5 – 8) and favor in the right areas of your career, your education, and your occupation. Pray for favor in the eyes of those you work for and with. Pray you properly represent Christ in the workplace and your profession. Pray for a spirit of integrity, honor, and excellence. Do not pray for wealth as much as for wisdom to be a steward with the blessings God has already granted you.

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 1 Focus: God

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 1 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 1: God

Scope: Our focus for 7 days will be on our relationship with God. We will focus on aspects that will draw us closer to Him, by utilizing God’s Word to help us incorporate repentance, renewed focus on set times of prayer, creating a family altar, purging ourselves of fleshly things that over time have crept in unawares. Setting the stage here is critical for the success of the remaining 2 weeks. To optimize the effects of this fast, please avoid the usage of worldly media, social media, and entertainment f or this entire week. Give it all to God!

Be sure and gain all the strength you can from each Sunday Service for the week. The message pastor preaches will be aligned to the particular focus of the fast, and it is expected that you spend time at the altar preparing yourself for that given week.

Monday
Scripture: Exodus 20:1 – 17, Deuteronomy 6:1 – 9
Focus: Keep God FIRST in your life. Confess and repent for things you’ve allowed to challenge His Divine Authority. Renew your Family Altar.
Prayer: Pray for courage to keep God first despite worldly pressures. Pray for strength to overcome fleshly appetites and desires.

Tuesday
Scripture: Luke 12:25 – 34, Psalm 20:7, Proverbs 3:5, Isaiah 12:2
Focus: Godly pursuits. Fight worldly distractions. Build solid trust and faith in God.
Prayer: Pray for strength to entrust every facet of your life unto God. Pray to build your life on things eternal.

Wednesday
Scripture: Mark 12:28 – 30, Matthew 15:8, 1 Peter 1:13, Jeremiah 24:7
Focus: Loving God with all your soul, mind, heart, strength
Prayer: Pray for opportunities to devote every aspect of your being to loving God.

Thursday
Scripture: Micah 6:6-8, 1 John 4:16, Amos 5:14 – 15, 1 Corinthians 14:33
Focus: Simplicity in your walk with God. Love the things God loves. Focus on the things God focuses on.
Prayer: Pray against confusion and complication of God’s plan in your life.

Friday
Scripture: Malachi 3:16, Deut. 8:11 – 20, Hosea 4:6, Jeremiah 2:32, Revelation 2:4
Focus: Rememberance of God in all things. Not leaving your “first love.”
Prayer: Pray for awareness of God in your life; to always be mindful of Him.

Saturday
Scripture: 1 Thess. 5:18, James 4:14, Romans 12:1 – 2, James 4:7
Focus: Sacrifice, Thanksgiving, Submission to God and His perfect Will
Prayer: Pray for a new revelation of godly sacrifice. Express Thankfulness; Seek a new found devotion to God’s perfect will in all your life!

100 Book Challenge Week 1 Progress – 3 of 100

As with virtually every endeavor that we start at the new year we dive in like “gang-busters” I have done just that with my 2017 100 Book Challenge. As of this post I have completed 3 books.

#1 – “Praying Hyde” by Captain E.G. Carre – This book left me desiring a deeper prayer life than ever before. John Hyde enveloped a lifestyle of prayer that left him in what seemed to be a constant conversation with the Lord. A missionary to India, he desired above all else souls, “lest he die.” At one point in his ministry he prayed to win a soul a day which God indeed honored. A year later John asked for double that. And yet another year later, 4 souls a day; and each time God honored his request. He prayed so strongly and so intensely, he developed a rare condition that literally caused his heart to relocate from the left side of his chest to just right of center. He embodied a life of a true intercessor. This book will highly motivate you to pray deeper and believe God for more answered prayer than ever before.

#2 – “Influencer – The New Science of Leading Change” by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfiled, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler – We too often underestimate the power of influence. Not only that, we miss opportunities to influence on many levels. Some assume influence is only about acting a certain way to elicit a certain response, but it’s so much more than that. Those seeking to influence change in their organizations, businesses, teams, churches, or even families will greatly benefit from this insightful and research-rich book. It is teeming with valuable and relevant data from a variety of well respected researchers. It can be used as a manual for both personal growth or even organizational and team growth. It’s more than theoretical, this is a practical guide for influencing the change you desire in your area of leadership. The authors have a successful training and consultant business called Vital Smarts. Their website and YouTube Channel offer a wealth of information for free.

#3 – “H3 Leadership – Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle” by Brad Lomenick – If there’s one book you read this year on leadership this book is a must. Brad Lomenick is an encyclopedia of leadership knowledge and experience. Written from a very experiential perspective, and very transparent, Brad uses his highs and lows of leadership as the CEO of Catalyst. Driven by a near breakdown to take a sabbatical, Brad reveals truths from a variety of subject matter experts. Get your highlighter and notebook ready, this book will overwhelm you with leadership ideas that will “catalyze” you as a leader, and a balanced one at that. Personally, as a pastor, mentor, and leader of missions in Europe, I will be utilizing the tools shared in this book with my teams.

Brad even posted 15 New Books he recommends – You will likely see some of these titles on my 100 List.

H3 Leadership Book Website

In addition to these 3 titles, I am in the middle of doing daily devotions spread out over several books:

  1. “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray
  2. “God’s Wisdom for Today – Scriptural Devotions”
  3. “Jesus Always – Embracing Joy in His Presence” by Sarah Young