Holly Furtick

Monday Morning Commentary

We wrapped up our series this weekend with a message called Naming Rights.  It was the perfect ending to an incredible series.

In Genesis 35:16 we find Rachel dying from childbirth.  As she breathes her last breath, she names her son, Ben-Oni which means, son of my sorrow. We learned that often times, great strength comes out of great sorrow.   In verse 18, Jacob renames the child Benjamin which means, son of my right hand.  Jacob did not want the baby’s history to be his destiny.

My husband taught us that although our situation may not change, we can always rename it.  Whatever you call something, that is it’s name.  Call your situation what you want.  Yes, we all experience great sorrow.  We all experience situations that we would never choose for ourselves.  But perspective can turn any situation around.  I have naming rights to my situation.

I  am not even coming close to describing how powerful this message was and really the whole series.  If you missed it, I hope you will go and listen.  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!

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When ministry isn’t measurable

As a pastor’s wife, there are somethings that only I can do for my husband.  I can make sure that our home is peaceful not chaotic.  I can encourage him about his sermon in ways that no one else can.  I can be a protector of the vision and promotor of our church culture because I know it better than almost anyone, I helped form it.

Of course there are other things that I do at our church.  But for me, my first calling at Elevation is to support my husband.  And I have to be relentless to protect my calling and not get distracted by other opportunities that may take away from that.

There are days when I wish I had someone else’s job though.  A more visible job.  Not because I want to be seen, but because I want to be able to measure myself.  I want to check things off a list of accomplishment.

I am learning that just because my job isn’t visible doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.  And just because my contribution isn’t measurable does not mean it isn’t ministry.

This is a word for all the women and men out there married to a spouse in “full-time ministry.”  Just because your name is not on the pay stub does not mean you are not in ministry.  Doing the work of God is a team effort.  We are all called but we can’t all have the exact same calling.  If your spouse feels empowered and supported from home, together, your ministry will be more effective.

If we all did the same job, we would never be effective.  And sometimes the most fruitful work is not the most fun.  I must have a willing heart to say, God, I will do anything, everything or nothing, if I can just be a part of the work that you are doing in our community.

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Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend we continued our series Death to Selfie combined with Student Takeover Weekend.  My husband brought such an incredible message not only for our students but for everyone there.

The message came from the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29-30. Jacob, the trickster, gets tricked into marrying the wrong woman.  My husband pointed out if you live a lie, you’ll eventually end up lying next to Leah, never Rachel.

We learned that both women were seeking the wrong thing.

Leah was searching for ACCEPTANCE
Rachel was searching for ACHIEVEMENT

Jacob didn’t want anything to do with Leah, but God selects what others reject. In fact, Leah was the wife God chose to bring the lineage of Jesus through.  Rachel was stuck in the mentality of, “if I could just, then they would.”  I loved when my husband said, One moment of receiving from God out weighs a lifetime of trying to receive from others.

The message was so great!  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!

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The Sights and Sounds of Love Week

 

 

This LOVE Week 2014 has been our biggest yet.

We served over 60,195 hours , with more than 100 partners in close to 1,200 events.

We built or re-built 19 homes, fought hunger, wrapped gifts, and landscaped properties.  We refurbished, repainted, remodeled, and reorganized.  We sorted, cooked, packed and even partied (with a purpose of course).  We partnered with Rescue Missions, YMCA’s, schools, pantries, shelters, offices, housing projects and MORE.

LOVE Week was a massive outpouring of LOVE on our city.  Now it’s time to organize the aftermath, deliver the backpacks, sort the tools, and clean the warehouse.  If you are available to help, these events position and prepare us to serve throughout the year.  Join us as we put the finishing touches on LOVE Week 2014 by signing up HERE

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Monday Morning Commentary

The title of the message this weekend was, “When God Shows Up in the Middle of Nowhere,” and it was a great one.  We took another look at Jacob’s life in Gen 28-35.

The message was based around the idea that some of the greatest things God will do in your life are when you are in transition or trouble.  We learned from Jacob that we need to go back to Bethel.  In Gen. 28, when Jacob was in trouble, he met with God, and then he built an altar to the Lord and called the place Bethel.  Later in chapter 35, Jacob goes back to Bethel.

Bethel means house of God and gate of heaven but it represents 3 things:

  1. a place of remembrance
  2. a place of revelation
  3. a place of response
When you find yourself seemingly in the middle of nowhere, you have to remember the past faithfulness of God, remember the things he has revealed to you and realize that he is with you now like he was with you then.
There is so much more to this message but I don’t want to spoil the reveal.  I don’t think I could do it justice anyway.  You’ll have to listen or watch for yourself if you want to hear the end.

This series has been so incredible and this 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.

Have a great Monday!

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There’s still more to do!

We’re in the final stretch of LOVE Week 2014 and we’re just breaking the surface on the incredible impact we will see volunteers make throughout our communities.   If you haven’t joined in on the LOVE Week action or if you’ve been serving all week and can’t get enough there’s still plenty more to do!

This weekend at every Elevation location, bring new or gently used items for “Stuff the Truck.” We’ll take your gifts to Crisis Assistance Ministry and other local organizations.

Here are seven more opportunities for you to sign up and serve.

Do you enjoy brightening someone’s day? Volunteers are needed at Hope Cancer Ministries to bring a hot meal to patients and their families in the Charlotte area.  Sign up and join us today, Thursday July 31 from 11:30 am – 4 pm

 

Elevation ROA has a couple great opportunities left to serve with neat organizations. Help out at Ronald McDonald House or our friends with Roanoke city parks. Click HERE to learn more.

 

Do you enjoy music or like to sing? Then this event is for you. You’re invited to be a part of the choir and serve a meal at Supportive Housing Communities on July 31 from 5-7 pm. Sing along and serve HERE.

 

What could be more fun than food, rides, and games? Volunteer on August 1 to set up and run a carnival for the residents at Holy Angels in Belmont. From 9 am-12 pm or 1-3:30 pm, you can celebrate with an organization providing specialized care, innovative learning programs, and is empowering those who are differently able.  Sign up to celebrate HERE.

 

Tear down and rebuild at Charlotte Rescue Mission. Volunteers are needed to help in the demolition of old worn out fences and installation of new fencing in several areas throughout the campus.  Improve the security and appearance of this safe haven for those who are homeless and battling addiction in the Charlotte area on August 2 from 9 am – 12 pm by clicking HERE.

 

Support the facility where our Elevation Rock Hill campus meets each week by cleaning up the grounds at Sullivan Middle School. Join us on August 2 from 8 am-12 pm to prepare this area for church and the return of students in the fall. Make your mark by signing up HERE. 

 

It’s Christmas in the summer! Come out to Barium Springs Home for Children on August 2 from 10-12 am to prepare Christmas supplies for children who are in group homes, therapeutic foster care, and adoptions. Give the gift of service this season HERE.

 

And don’t forget, to wrap up LOVE Week, we are gathering with our church under one roof at Time Warner Cable area to record our new live worship album. There are only a few seats left so reserve your seat today by ordering your ticket on the Elevation Worship Live webpage.  We will be collecting canned food donations at the event. We cannot wait to celebrate all that God has done through our church and will continue to do in the future. We hope you will join us in this unforgettable night of worship.  See you there!

 

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Serving with your kids… help or hassle?

I am passionate about serving with my kids.  I want them to understand, as best as they can, that there are people in our world and in our city who need our help.  And not just our resources but also our time.  I want them to have a compassionate heart to help people in need.

That being said, that doesn’t mean they will always understand it and enjoy it in the moment.  This past Sunday, after serving for about 10 minutes Abbey turned to me and said, “I am tired of doing this.  When am I going to go to Grammy’s?”  Ugg.  I wanted them to have fun!  I wanted us to serve together!

I will never forget taking Elijah last summer to the waiting room of  Crisis Assistance Ministries, a place where people wait for hours in hopes that they will find help to pay their bills and provide for their families.  We were there to give out books to kids and read with them while they were there waiting.  Elijah was discontent the entire time… what are we doing here?  how long are we going to be here?  Mommy, I’m thirsty.  when are we going to leave?  Towards the end of our visit, I was talking with the director of the organization, Carol.  She told me that all her life her parents drug her to places like this to serve people.  She told me she never really liked it as a child, but then one day, as a young adult, she realized she had such a passion to help people in need.  She now gives her life every day to it.

When we go to an event, I try and prep my kids- This is what we are doing, this is why we are doing it.  It is going to be hot.  We will stay until our task is finished… even then there are times where they just don’t get it, or they can’t stay engaged.  I have to remember that I planted a seed of generosity and a seed of compassion in their heart, and trust that God will bring it to fruition in His time.

 

All that being said, here are a few family friendly events you can be a part of this LOVE Week…

 

 

1. Birdhouse Making

It’s summertime and your family is spending a lot of time playing outside.  Share the beauty of the great outdoors with the residents of Agape Senior & Assisted Living by building bird houses.  Start building on July 29 from 1-3:30 pm by signing up HERE.

 

2. Free Store

Do you or your kids like to shop?  Did you know you could volunteer at a free store for LOVE Week? Free Store is a large-scale resource for donated clothing and household items that are given to families in need at no charge. Our teams need your help inspecting, sorting and stocking donated items in the Free Store to go out to local families in need. Shop till you drop on July 30 from 9-11 am HERE.

 

3. Healthy Family Fun Day

Join us for a community hot dog social and health expo at the Community Health Services of Monroe Diabetic Clinic. This free clinic serves over 7,800 patients in Union County with Diabetes. Many of these patients are unemployed and have no health insurance. The Clinic provides these patients with all the tools to help them lead a healthier life.  Join families from the Monroe area on July 31 from 9-1: 30 pm to enjoy food and have fun as they gain valuable health information. Register HERE.

 

4. Summer Block Party

What better way to celebrate summer than with a fun outdoor block party? We will be celebrating with the residents of Agape, their families, and community on July 31 at 6:00 pm. Sign up to celebrate HERE.

 

5. Family Game Night

What is more fun that a family game night? Play Bingo, cook dinner, and make dessert with the residents at Inreach on July 30 from 4:30-7 pm.  You win just by signing up HERE.

 

TORONTO, CALIFORNIA AND ROANOKE – LOVE Week is going on at all our locations and our extension sites. Here are a couple of our favorites there.

 

6. Back to School Centerpieces

Do you and your kids like to make arts and crafts? Then this project is for you. The Yonge Street Mission in Mississauga, an organization that supports at risk youth and families in Toronto, is holding a “Back to School Fundraiser” to raise money for school supplies for dozens of children this fall, and we get to create the centerpieces! We will provide all the supplies and instructions for you.  This is a perfect event to do at home with your family, or get some friends together and make 2 or 3! You will be able to pick up and drop off all supplies at church on the weekends. Start creating by clicking HERE.

 

7. Ronald McDonald House

This event is a favorite of our volunteers every year. We will be cleaning inside and outside landscaping at Ronald McDonald House Roanoke. July 31 from 6:3-8:30 pm. Register HERE.

 

8. Food Drive

Bring your family with you to the grocery store and pick out items for the Sacramento Food Bank. Bring by your cans between 8am and 7pm on Wednesday July 30.  Accepted items include: fresh produce, canned & dry goods, USDA certified perishable food items (meat, eggs, dairy), unexpired baby food & formula, clothing, diapers & baby supplies, bags, backpacks, purses, books, toys, unopened toiletries, computers, TVs and bicycles. To donate and find out more, click HERE.

 

9. Coat Drive

Growing families outgrow clothing.  Clean out your closets and donate your coats to bless local, underprivileged families in the Roanoke area. Bring all your jackets to church on Sunday, August 3. Find out more HERE.

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Monday Morning Commentary

 

 

We continued our series, Death to Selfie, this weekend and we officially started LOVEWeek!! More on Love Week in a second, first the incredible sermon. The message this spoke right to me. Don’t you love it when you feel like the preacher is talking straight to you?

This message was from Genesis 27, the story where Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of beans. The sermon was called “Starving Sons”
Here were the 3 main points…
1. Beware of mistaking growth for maturity.
2. Beware of unsatisfied appetites that become exaggerated emotions.
3. Beware of the temptation to give up what you want most for what you want now.

But the message didn’t stop there. My husband went on to encourage us that Jesus is the firstborn Son who bought back what I sold (Romans 8:29). But before I come to him, I must first come to myself!

If you missed it, I hope you will go and watch it!.  You can view 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.

Love Week is off to an amazing start. I really hope you will jump in and serve this week. Head over to our events page to sign up to serve.

Tomorrow I will be blogging about the challenges and benefits of serving with my kids. I’ll also be suggesting some family friendly event for you to get involved with! Have a great Monday!

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A big day today!

 

 

 

 

Today our baby is 9 years old!  He has turned out to be such a fun young man.  He loves to play piano, baseball, and to read (currently on book 5 of Harry Potter!).  He loves a challenge and a good argument. He loves to listen to his dad preach. He is a born leader and excels in school.  We are so proud of him!

Happy Birthday Buddy!  We love you.

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4 ways to join love week this Saturday!

 

WARNING: You are going to be hearing a lot about love week from me on social media over the next week.  Why?  Because I love LOVEWeek.  I love serving our community with my friends and family.  I love being the hands and feet of Jesus without any ulterior motives.  If you are a part of Elevation (or if you are not but you live in the area), I want you to be a part.  Not just do your part, BE a part.

When we all put our gifts and our passions together we can make a huge difference.  Do you like to do yard work?  Do you like to build?  Do you like senior citizens?  Are you passionate about feeding the needy or helping homeless children?  There is an opportunity for everyone.  Remember, you can go to the LOVEWeek site and search by location, type of event, time of day, and/or family friendly events.

And if you need a little help deciding, over the next week I will be posting opportunities for you to get involved.  Here are the top 4 events you can be involved with this Saturday…

If you like to build, tear down, reconstruct, or paint and  you live in the Cornelius, Charlotte, or Concord area? Habitat for Humanity has events happening at five locations this Saturday that you can sign up for. Come be a part of the first day of a new home build or renovate an office. This is your chance to put God’s love into action to transform lives and add beauty to your community.  Register HERE.

 

Do you like to party? To start up LOVE Week, we’ll be teaming up with Second Harvest Food Bank to have a packing party at the Uptown area warehouse.  Come spend some time with your friends and help supply much needed food to organizations throughout the Charlotte region. To register to help to make sure that food pantries stay stocked throughout the summer and serve those who might otherwise go hungry, click HERE.

 

Calling all green thumbs and parking lot artists! Your passion for gardening and painting in straight lines is needed at the Ada Jenkins Center to freshen it up before Fall. The Ada Jenkins Center is a new LOVE Week partner added with Elevation’s expansion to Lake Norman and we’re more than excited to be transforming this local non-profit inside and out. Have a hand in creating an inviting environment for students as they enter the next school year by registering HERE.

 

Want to give a landscape a new look? Jackson Park is a long-time strategic partner that has new energy to help transition families out of homelessness. Thirty volunteers are still needed for this Saturday’s transformational landscaping event. The lawn needs mowing, weeds have taken over play areas, and mulch needs refreshing. Sign up HERE and come out to create for Jackson Park an environment that matches their passion to help families in crisis and restore lives.

We will also have opportunities for you to serve at each of our campuses after the worship experiences all weekend.  Make sure that you plan to stay for a bit after!  Maybe I will see you out there?

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