Holly Furtick

Monday Morning Commentary

He’s back!  After several weeks away from Elevation, my husband is back and boy is he in full force.  We began a new series called #deathtoselfie this week.  It is a series based on the life of Jacob that address the question, how do we have a God-first focus in a me-first world?

He talked about how the me-first mentality is actually miserable.  We can actually lose ourselves grasping for status and stuff (Luke 9:25).  We see in Genesis 27 that Jacob got the blessing but wasn’t blessed.  My husband told us…

God cannot bless who I pretend to be.

We must learn how to let go of who we think we are supposed to be so that we can become who we really are.  Often times it is in the struggle where we find out who we really are.  Jacob wrestled with God (Gen 32) and it was there that God gave him a new name, Israel.

My favorite part of the message was the end where my husband pointed out that even though God gave Jacob a new name, throughout the scripture, God calls himself, “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  God is not intimidated by the conflicts within me.  He is the God of Israel and the God of Jacob.  He is the God of the best parts of me and the worst parts of me.

The message was so encouraging.  You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

It is so good to be back.  Have a great Monday!

Permalink | 1 comment

Elevation Worship Live Recording

Over the past year, I feel like our worship team has gone to a new level.  The songs they have written are some of my favorites ever. In just a few weeks, we will be celebrating together as our worship team records some of these new songs live!!  This special night of worship will close out Love Week 2014 and we hope you will join us.
The Elevation Worship Live Recording is at Time Warner Cable Arena on August 1, 2014. Doors open at 6PM..
You can reserve your seat for a suggested donation of $10. If for some reason you’re unable to afford that, we still want you to attend though.  Visit elevationworshiplive.com for more information and to register today.  All seating is General Admission.
Oh, and it wouldn’t be right if we were closing out LOVE Week without giving you one last opportunity to love on our city.  We will be hosting a Canned Food Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank.  Please bring canned goods to donate at the door.
We will see you there!!
Permalink | 0 comments

No Substitute

The past few weeks my husband has been on a small break.  I have gotten to travel with him on family vacation and ministry trips. We had the best time.  While we were gone from Elevation, we were still in church, attending a conference and watching church online.  But there is no substitute for being a part of my own church.

I think so many people fall into the trap of thinking that attending one church this week, another church the next, then watching online one weekend and suddenly they find themselves in a place of loneliness, disconnectedness, and feeling like their life has little meaning.

When I finally was back in my seat, at my campus, last week after being away for several weeks I was filled with joy.  There is no substitute for this.  There is no substitute for being planted in a place where I give, serve, worship, and have community with people.

I am not saying everyone should go to my church.  But where is your church?  If you are feeling like something is missing in your life, maybe it is the fact that you are not planted where you and your family can put down roots with other believers.

Hebrews 10:25 says,  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Permalink | 2 comments

Love Week

 

 

I’m grateful to lead and be a part of a church where we don’t stop at just HEARING God’s word, we get out there and DO something about it. We believe you’re never more like Jesus than when you’re serving, so later this month we will give our time and talents to spend 9 days serving with 107 organizations in over 900 events.

It is LOVE Week people! One of my favorite weeks of the year. And it is so easy to get involved.

Starting July 26 and running through August 3, every day and through every Elevation location we’ll have the opportunity to do things like build a homeorganize a food pantry, spruce up the walls of a partner non-profit with fresh paintcook or deliver a meal for a homeless neighbor or a cancer patient, spend the day at summer camp with a kid who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it, play bingo with a senior citizen, or be a part of an outdoor landscaping makeover for one of our outreach partners.

Suzanne Spantgos is one of more than 120 volunteers leading the charge to accomplish what from the outside seems next to impossible. Planning and preparations started months ago. Suzanne and her husband George lead a special needs adult eGroup Elijah and I visited this spring. “I’m drawn to caring for others,” she says. “When I gave my life back to Jesus in 2010 at Elevation and saw how involved we are in serving and giving in our community to the things that really matter to me, I knew this was our church.”

Suzanne is organizing and ordering supplies for 169 food events during LOVE Week and coordinating dozens more through our Blakeney location.

You are going to be hearing a lot more about how you can get involved during LOVE Week. The best time to sign up is now because events will fill up fast (no commenting to me at the end of the month about events being full!!)! Sign up now!!

Click over to our outreach blog where you’ll see regular updates and highlighted opportunities as the countdown continues.  Go to the LOVE Week events site and use the filters to find events near you and your interests. Get involved and find out why many of us plan our summer vacations around this opportunity to bombard our cities with LOVE.

Permalink | 0 comments

An Unusual Act of Worship

I recently finished reading a little book called Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss, which was recommended to me by a friend.  It is a fiction book first published in 1869.  It is a sweet little story that is like a Christian Anne of Green Gables meets maybe, Little Women.  I am not sure this book is for everyone, but I enjoyed it.

There was one line in the story that really stood out to me…

I think a mother, especially, ought to learn to enter into the gayer moods of her children even at the very moment when her own heart is sad.  And it may be as religious an act for her to romp with them at one time as it is to pray with them at another.

It kind of reminded me of this verse from Romans 12:1 (MSG)…

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that even in the ordinary acts of mothering I am worshipping.  And I must bring my best sacrifice when I worship.  That means sometimes I must be happy with my children when I am feeling the opposite inside.  Sometimes that means I sit on the floor and play princesses or sit at the table and play chess even when I have a thousand other things to do.  It means I read the same books and watch the same movies.

My calling as a mother may not be as helpful as being a missionary doctor or impactful as starting a church.  But my calling as a mother is equally important.  I am raising a human being.  A person that I am going to send out into the world and hope that they can make a difference for Christ. They will be impacted because I offered myself to God and to them today.

 

20140626-074501-27901732.jpg

Permalink | 11 comments

Summer Reading

I love to read in the summer.  Usually around April I start collecting a pile of books that I want to read for the summer.  I prefer fiction and memoirs but love anything really.

Here are a few of the books on my list…

One of my favorite authors, Shaunti Feldhahn released 2 new books this Spring…

Shaunti alway has great insight into marriage with practical application.  She surveys thousands of couples and then draws some great conclusions. Her books are so easy to read too!

 

 

 

 

If Shaunti is my favorite marriage author, Dr. Kevin Leman is my favorite parenting author.  I picked this book up at Barnes and Noble on a date night a few weeks ago and loved the first chapter.  The book is about the role of mothers in their sons lives, he also has one for dads and daughters.  I really need to read this book!

 

 

 

 

I love a good true story!  I started this book and then got distracted with the Divergent series this Spring (oops!). But I cannot wait to finish this.  It is an award winning book about the true story of a family living in the slums of Mumbai, India.

 

 

 

 

Mindless fiction.  Great for sunbathing.  They are making a movies out of these books so they must be good right?  I will let you know!

 

 

 

 

Ok, that’s what’s in my pile.  What’s in yours??

 

Permalink | 7 comments

Lessons from one of the greats

Maya Angelou died last week.  She was a woman who truly left her imprint on the earth.  I read her biography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  It was an incredible book.  Did you know that Maya Angelo was raped as a 7 year old child and did not speak a word for the next several years?  Did you know she was a teen mom?  Did you know that although she did not have a college degree she spoke 6 languages and wrote over 30 books.

I love stories of triumph.  They encourage me to know that no matter what I am facing, or what has happened to me in my past, I can overcome it.   They remind me to forgive.  They inspire me to make difference in the lives of the people God has placed around me.  The show me that my past doesn’t have to hold me back, it can propel me forward

 

Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.
Permalink | 1 comment

A weekend to remember

This weekend we concluded our open series and my husband saved the best for last!  He taught on Mark 9:14, the story of the demon posed boy.

The boys’s father so desperately wanted his son to be healed.  But beneath this thing was another thing that Jesus had to heal first, his unbelief.  Jesus wants to get to the thing beneath the thing in our lives.  Here are few of my favorite lines from my notes…

  • Sometimes we are so focused on what we want God to do FOR us that we miss the thing he wants to do IN us.
  • We can bring our issues to church and never really bring them to Jesus
  • The thing that causes me to come to Jesus is often not the first thing He will fix.

The message was life changing for so many people at church this weekend.  I hope you will take the time to watch it this week if you missed it!You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

Yesterday was also a special day because we celebrated our 12th anniversary.  I never imagined 12 years ago what an incredible ride Steven Furtick would take me on.

We have seen truly experienced the faithfulness of God in every area of our life.  I feel so honored that God would pick me to be the wife of such an an obviously anointed man of God.

I don’t know what the future holds but I know that no matter what happens, I have a husband who truly loves me and we serve a God who has proven to us that never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Permalink | 3 comments

We are the Champions

   We had another amazing baseball season with our boys.  I never could have imagined how much I would love watching my children play sports!

Our boys played baseball every night last week ending at the coach pitch championship game.  They were ahead 7-2 going into the bottom of the 6th inning (they only play 6 innings) only for the other team to come back and tie the game.  At the top of the 7th they did not score any runs.  In the bottom of the 7th they held them (not to mention Graham caught a tipped foul for the 3rd out).  Then our boys came out swinging and scored 7 runs (Elijah was one of them!).  The other team made a great effort with 4 runs but they couldn’t come back.

The Lake Monsters won!  It was one of the best sporting events I have ever attended.

And a bonus picture of the proud dad and the cheerleader…

Permalink | 0 comments

Monday Morning Commentary

My husband brought the fire this weekend!  He took a familiar passage, the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 and gave it a quite unusual twist.  His message was called, “Death by Distraction.”   He challenged us to see that at times, we can all be the different types of soil mentioned in Matthew 13.

He told us that there’s nothing wrong with the seed, it’s the soil.  We must stop complaining about the seed (the opportunities we feel we have been given) and focus on the soil (depth of character we have when the seed is received).  Loving God with all of your heart means you have a focused heart, an undistracted heart.

In Matthew 13 we find 4 different types of soils

  1. SNATCHED-we let the insignificant keep us from the significant (v. 19)
  2. SCORCHED-we stay at the surface and wonder why we have no roots (v. 20-21)
  3. CHOKED-we let worry and stuff distract us from our true purpose (v.22)
  4. SABOTAGED-we let the enemy plant weeds that grow up next to us and keep us from fulfilling our purpose (v.24-30)

You can watch it later today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

Permalink | 0 comments