Pastor Steven, Elijah, Graham, and Abbey Furtick have a little jam session band they call the Pajama Bottom Band. This year for Easter they decided to make a video welcoming our first time guests. Enjoy!
We are in the middle of our latest series, The Genius of Jesus. We are studying the life and teachings of Jesus. This week’s message came from the pool of Bethesda in John 5. The message was called, “Put it to work!”
In John 5 we see that Jesus works with purpose, priorities, and perseverance. Jesus wasn’t afraid of work. When he showed up at the pool of Bethesda he looked for the most difficult situation, a man who had been lame for 38 years.
The man was around the wrong people (others who could not help him), he was dependent on the wrong system (the waters to stir) and he gave Jesus the wrong answer when he was asked if he wanted to get well. My husband pointed out how sometimes, our weaknesses become our security. But it is our weaknesses that allow us to show off God’s strength.
Jesus said take up your mat and walk. The man was healed. I loved when my husband said, “The man did not get healed because he got up (that’s religion). He got up because he was healed (that’s grace)!”
But my husband also pointed out that the miracle was not just about what Jesus did and how he did it, it was about when he did it. On the Sabbath. Jesus wanted to heal the man, but he also wanted to change the religious system. Jesus came to break the system.
Jesus said take up your mat! The mat was a banner that showed the man’s healing. We all have mats we want Jesus to just take away. But Jesus wants to put my mat to work. He wants to use His grace in my weakness to prove his strength to others.
Oh this message was so good. It really ministered to me this week. You can watch it 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!
Have you ever read the story of blind Bartimeaus in Mark 10?
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” 52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
I love this story. I love how the blind man cried out to Jesus and Jesus responded with a simple question, What do you want me to do for you?
I think so often in my life, I spend all my energy telling the wrong people what I want. I tell my husband I wish I was better at doing a certain thing. I tell my friend I want to be a better mom. Or I beat myself up, I need to do better, be better, act better. Sure I pray and read my Bible, but do I ever stop and take time to tell God what I want Him to do in my life.
Jesus is the Healer. The true miracle worker. He stands before me and says, “Holly, what do you want me to do for you?” Maybe God has not worked a miracle in my life simply because I have not taken the time to ask.
A few days ago I read this story then I grabbed my journal and just started to write, to pray, and ask God to do some things in my life and in my family’s life. Later that evening, my husband mentioned one of the very things I had prayed about that morning. It wasn’t a big thing, but it was confirmation to me. Jesus hears my prayers and he answers them.
What do you want Him to do for you?
We are in the 3rd week of our series Moodswingers and I am so glad to be commenting on the sermon, not recovering from it :)! The message this weekend was called, “How to give yourself a cheer up check up!” based around John 16:33 where Jesus said, “be of good cheer… I have overcome the world.” It was such a great message!
My husband reminded us that whenever Jesus told us to be of good cheer, it was always under difficult circumstances. But because He has overcome, I can overcome what’s overcoming me!
We were given 3 (well he never actually got to the 3rd point :)) ways to give ourselves a cheer up check up…
- Check your countenance. Proverbs 15:13 says a merry heart makes a cheerful countenance. If you’re happy and you know it, tell your face!
- Check your circulation. What is flowing from your heart? Luke 6:38 says give and it will be given unto you. Sometimes you have to give the thing you feel like giving the least.
- Check your connection. There is a vital connection between me and my heavenly Father. Don’t let anything stop up your connection.
This message is going to help you with whatever you are facing this week. 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!
Today is my husband’s 35 birthday! I thought the kids and I would share a few things about him…
My favorite thing about him…
Elijah: He is so great at so many things and so humble about it.
Graham: How he’s an awesome preacher.
Abbey: I love how Daddy loves me.
Me: I love how he is always growing. He has become a better man every single year that I have known him.
Something people may not know about him…
Elijah: His first name is Larry.
Graham: He’s not a body builder.
Abbey: That he’s strong.
Me: He’s a great songwriter.
Some of his favorite things to do are…
Elijah: Play Mario with me.
Graham: Take us out to lunch.
Abbey: Play with me.
Me: Take me on a date.
He is really good at…
Abbey: Defeating the monsters
Me: Writing music
His favorite preacher is…
Elijah: Bishop Jakes
Graham: Bishop Jakes
Abbey: Bishop Jakes
Me: Bishop Jakes
His favorite music to listen to:
Abbey: Shake it off
His favorite thing to watch on tv is…
Elijah: The Simpsons
Graham: The Simpsons
Abbey: Penguins of Madagascar
Everyone is trying to eat healthier this time of year. It is hard when you are trying to eat healthy but your kids don’t want to. And it seems like a waste of time and energy to make two separate meals. I try to follow my mom’s rule and have something green at every dinner (last night we had chili so do green onions count??). The difficulty comes in getting my kids to taste, eat and eventually like vegetables.
I try to make my veggies as tasty as possible. Last week I posted a recipe for Brussels sprouts. This week I want to tell you how I microwave broccoli and asparagus. Bacon and cheese make everything taste better. Here’s what I do (sorry no pictures)…
Wash and pull apart into small pieces. No one likes a big hunk of broccoli in their mouth.
Place in a microwave safe dish.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, shredded cheese and some chopped up bacon (I like to use the precooked for ease)
Microwave for about 5-6 minutes.
Wash and cut of the ends of the stalk. The thinner the stalks the better.
Add a few tablespoons of any vinegar based salad dressing (balsamic, Greek, Italian etc…)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, parmesan cheese and chopped bacon
Microwave for about 4 minutes
You can try endless combinations of cheeses and dressings. You can use butter instead of olive oil if you like.
I our house, I give my kids about 3 bites to start. They cannot have dessert if they don’t eat their small portion of veggies. I read that repeated tastings of vegetables increased 9-10 year old’s likings for veggies (link). That is why I continually put vegetables on their plates each night.
We kicked off our new series, Moodswingers, this weekend. I am so excited about this series. I feel like this is such a struggle for all of us. How do we control our moods? How do we live lives that are not controlled by our emotions? This week’s message was called, “The Great Emoti Con,” I just love my husband’s creativity.
The message came from Proverbs 4:18-25, Guard your heart, above all else, for it is the wellspring of life! Pastor Steven told us we must…
1. Guard your heart. You will have a leaky life if you don’t have a guarded heart.
2. Own your emotions. Probably my favorite line in the whole sermon was, my joy is my job. I cannot blame my mood and emotions on anyone but myself.
3. Change your concentration. My feelings are a result of my focus.
Moods matter. I may not be able to control what happens to me but I can control what happens inside of me.
This is going to be such a great series. If you missed the sermon this weekend, 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!
Do you remember my husband’s inspirational track, I Will Fight? The best workout/running track ever? Well did you know he had done another one? It is called Do It Again.
This track is just the thing you need to stay motivated during your workouts this year. I promise you it is so inspiring!
You can watch the video below and you can also purchase the track on iTunes: ele.vc/doitagain so that you can add it to your playlist! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
This weekend at church we wrapped up our series, The Power of Same. What a life changing series for the people of our church. I feel so ready to face 2015.
Our campus pastors preached a message called Trading Traditions. It was really great. I love it when we get to hear personally from the many godly men pastoring each of our campuses.
I was looking on my timehop app this morning and I saw this post I wrote 4 years ago on John 15. As we wrap up our study on John 15, I thought this was so fitting. So here is Pruning with a Purpose from 2011…
John 15:1-2 Says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
My husband is always watching preachers on TV. I am not sure who he had on the other day, I was in the next room and couldn’t see the screen, but I heard the preacher say something pretty interesting. He said, the Father is always trimming. He either cuts off a branch because it is not bearing fruit or He prunes it because He wants the branch to bear more fruit.
I don’t know anything about plants, except maybe how to kill them. Honestly, I don’t know the difference between cutting off a branch and pruning it. Both have to do with cutting. Both seem painful. Both make the plant smaller. Pruning has always sounded so wrong to me. I am supposed to cut off the bloom? Surely not. Here’s something I found about pruning roses on About.com…
Pruning a rose bush will encourage new growth and bloom, removes dead wood, improves air circulation, shapes the plan.
Here are some ways I think the Lord prunes me…
-He removes something from my life (a relationship, a possession, maybe a desire) and replaces it with something better.
-He forces me to have a difficult, confrontational, conversation in order to better the relationship.
-He allows me to face a difficult situation so that I turn to Him for guidance rather than depending on myself.
-He impresses on me a behavior I need to change or a habit I need to form in order to take me to the next level in my relationship with Him.
Rather than seeing pruning as punishment from God, I need to see it as an act of love to make me more beautiful in His sight and more effective in His kingdom.
Hope you are having a great week!
This weekend we continued our series, The Power of Same, that is based on John 15. We are reading through this chapter as a church every day, and some of us are memorizing it. It has been such a great start to the new year. I hope you have been joining us! This weekend the message was called, “The secret of sustainable success.”
My husband taught us that the secret is that your success is only as sustainable as its source. If the source of my success is my strength, my skill, my popularity, it will only last until the source runs out. But if my source is Jesus, the true vine, my success can be sustainable.
He taught us that our lives must have 3 constants…
- Constant Calling- my circumstances may change but the calling remains
- Constant Character- who I am when no one else is looking
- Constant Council- who surrounds me to encourage me and stand with me
Have a great Monday!