Holly Furtick

Monday Morning Commentary

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We wrapped up our series on regaining your spiritual momentum today with another fantastic message from the life of Elisha.  This has been one of my favorite series we have ever done.  Every single message has been so challenging and applicable.

This weekend was no exception.  My husband preached from 2 Kings 6:1-7, a rather obscure miracle where an axehead is lost in the water and the prophet Elisha makes it float.  Elisha tells the prophet, go back to the place where you lost it.

I love how my husband likened the axehead to the power of God in our lives, sharpness.  He said that often times, in our Christian life, we lose our axehead but continue swinging away, hoping that no one will notice that something is wrong.

The message is so hopeful, if you seem to have lost the power of God, go back to the place where you lost it.  God specializes in recovery.

Maybe you lost your momentum when you entered into a bad relationship?  Maybe it was when you decided not to forgive an offense?  Maybe it was that you simply stopped spending regular time with God? 

The good news is that God wants to restore His power in your life.  He wants you to return to the last thing He spoke to you, simply go back and begin the process of obedience.

If you missed any message in this series, it is well worth your time to go and listen to it.  You can catch them in our archive.  You can also listen to this week’s message every hour on the hour this week at the Elevation Experience.

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Furtick Family Jam Session

I had a post set to go up this morning.  Apparently I closed my laptop before it finished saving.  Of course I didn't realize this until I left my house today.  That post will have to wait for another day, or maybe never because, actually, it wasn't that great.

This video is awesome though.  For your viewing pleasure, here is the latest Furtick family jam session…

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Everlasting God

Psalm 90:1-2
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
   throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
   or you brought forth the whole world,
   from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

The other day I was enjoying some alone time in the car (a rare but wonderful occurrence).  I was listening to the song, Everlasting God, by New Life Worship.  As I began to worship and meditate on the lyrics, I started to thank God that He never changes.  It is quite a comforting thought.

Then I had another thought.  God never changes but what I know and understand about Him sure does.  At first thought I am glad that the God I came to know as a 9 year old child is not the same God I know today because as I grow and mature, He reveals more and more of Himself to me.

It's interesting how God chooses to reveal new aspects of His character to us. 

Sometimes it's through a blessing. 
You begin to tithe for the first time and you watch as God meets your every need and more.  God reveals to you that He is Provider.  God answers a prayer and you see that He is the one who hears.

Sometimes it is through a difficulty. 
A sickness that causes you to run to Him, but you discover God as your Healer.  A hurt that you need to forgive, but you discover a new revelation of how God has forgiven you.  A situation you cannot fix whether a difficult marriage or a sick child, even a situation that you just cannot understand, causes you go to your knees in prayer, you learn that God is in control and can be trusted.

If, at the moment of our conversion, God revealed all of Himself to us, I think we would be scared out of our minds.  I guess, in a way, it is similar to how I parent Elijah now versus when he is a teenager.

The comforting thought is that the God that I trusted in as a 9 year old child is the same God I trust in today.  With all my heart, I know that the God that I gave my life to as a 9 year old child is the same God that I can trust with my 30 year old life and my 60 year old life.  No matter what difficulty I face today or will face in the future, I know my God is the same God yesterday, today and forever.

He is trustworthy.  He is in control.  He is with me.  He forgives me.  And He loves me.

From everlasting to everlasting, He does not change.

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My Christmas Mistake

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Every year I buy the boys matching Christmas pjs.  Usually I purchase them on clearance after Christmas for the following year.  Last year after Christmas I got greedy.  I kept waiting for the pjs to go more than 50% off and ended up not getting any.

So this year I had to pay full price for pjs.  Ouch.  We picked out these cute little long john style pjs from Old Navy.  The boys wore them to bed on Christmas Eve. 

On Christmas morning we realized the pjs had a huge flaw.  The boys could not unbutton them on their own to use the bathroom.  In the middle of our present opening, both of them came to me in a panic to help them unbutton :).  The rest of my Christmas pictures, they are in their underwear.  Nice.

Pictured above are the only decent pictures I got with them in their pjs.  Of course they won't wear them now either.  I don't blame them.  No one wants to feel trapped.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.  This year I purchased at 50% off and I of course, bought 3 pairs (one of them is red, one is blue and one is pink :)).

Oh and I cannot finish without saying how amazing my in-laws are.  They go out of their way every year to make Christmas extra special for our boys and it means the world to me.  I am so thankful for them!

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Monday Morning Commentary

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We continued our series, Get Back, this weekend with a powerful message on getting your financial momentum back.  My husband was fiery.  I love it when he gets like that.  I can’t wait for you to hear this message.

We looked at the story of Elisha and the woman with the jars of oil found in 2 Kings 4.  If you don’t know the story, the woman had lost her husband and was going to lose her sons to the debt collectors.  She went to the prophet, Elisha, and he told her to take what she had, a little bit of oil, and fill as many jars as she could gather.  When she did, the woman had enough oil to sell and pay off her debts and live off the rest.

My husband had 5 points on what to do when you are lacking financial momentum.  You will have to listen to the message to hear the points.  But, here are few of the great statements he made…

-Often God will give you instruction before He will give you assistance.  Instruction almost always precedes a miracle.
-Never devalue what God has given you.  All he needs is what you already have.
-The strategy of the enemy is to get me to look at what I don’t have, what I used to have or what someone else has instead of what I have been given.
-God’s not going to give me provision until I change my perspective.

I especially loved the 4th point on perspective.  As perspective is everything.  I truly believe God will never bless me with more until I am content and faithful with what I already have, what He has already blessed me with.

You can listen to the message every hour on the hour this week at the Elevation Experience.  You can catch it in our archive after that.

Also, we gave out give/save/spend jars to the children in our Ekidz program this weekend.  Today, the boys and I are revising their chore charts from this summer.  But for a quick idea of how we use these jars in our house, you can see this post from earlier this summer.

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And the winners are…

Giveaway
This was quite the giveaway.  Lysa TerKeurst, author of Made to Crave, linked me on her blog and we had a record number of entries at 577.  I could barely keep up!

Since so many of you entered, I could not just give one thing away.  I decided to have 5 lucky winners!  The number one spot will receive the bundle set (congratulations Ethel!), those selected in spots 2-5 will receive a copy of the book, Made to Crave (congratulations to you all!).  We will be contacting you next week to get your information and send you your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered!  Have a great weekend!

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Women in ministry, don’t miss this…

My friends over at Leading and Loving It are hosting a conference this May.  I am disappointed that due to the little one soon to enter my life, I won't be able to attend, but if you are a woman in ministry, you really shouldn't miss this event.  If you register before the end of January, you will be entered in a pretty awesome give away.

Here's a bit more information about the retreat.

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Who: A Retreat for Pastors’ Wives
Sr Pastors’ Wives? Yes.
Associate Pastors’ Wives? Yes.
Youth & Children’s Pastors’ Wives? Yes.
Worship? Small Groups? Teaching? Yes. Yes. Yes.

When: May 10-12, 2011
Retreat begins at 6pm Tuesday and ends at 11am Thursday.

Where: Nashville, TN
Retreat at: Union Station
Accommodations: Holiday Inn

Cost: $325 which includes 2 nights at the hotel, your registration fee and more!

For more information or to register, go here.

 

 
Check back here later this afternoon for the announcement of the winner of my give away this week.  (And I may have decided to give away more that one thing!)

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The 6th Love Language… Death

This past weekend we had Christine Caine at our church.  I got to spend some time behind the scenes with Christine and I must say that she is one of the wisest, most humble women of God I have had the privilege of being around.

On Sunday night, Christine took some time with our lead staff.  She spoke many challenging words to our staff, and nestled somewhere, about half way through, she said something that really resonated with me…

She said, "There really aren't 5 love languages, just one, death.  Dying to yourself."

I am not sure if you are familiar with Gary Chapman's book, The 5 Love Languages.  It's a great book that has helped a lot of couples.  The premise is that there are five main ways that we receive love: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation.  Often the way you show others love is the way you receive love.  For instance, if you love to do things for the people you love, that is often how you feel loved, when others do things for you.  The basis of the book is to learn to show your spouse love by how they receive it, not necessarily how you want to give it.  And I wholeheartedly agree with and like this teaching.

However, what many of our marriages lack is selflessness.  You will not have a successful marriage until you can learn to die to yourself and put your mate first. 
    When you put your mate's needs above your own, you die to yourself. 
    When you do something for your spouse truly expecting nothing in return, you die to yourself. 
    When you decide not to argue about something insignificant, you die to yourself.
    When you forgive your mate, as you would want him to forgive you, you die to yourself.

Jesus said in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Look at what Paul said in Philippians 2:3-9

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
   even death on a cross!

My hope today is that you will practice the love language of dying to yourself.

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First Master Piece

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A Picasso in the making?  Let’s just say, just in case, I did not throw away his first master piece.  It’s amazing how long a 3 year old could stay entertained with his brother’s easel and a set of watercolors that his Grammy gave him for Christmas.  It’s also amazing how squiggly lines can turn into so many different things including Baby Jesus.

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Give away… a NY Times Bestseller!

Made to crave set
Today I am happy to be giving away a small group study set Lysa TerKeurst's newest book, Made to Crave.

Released just this month, Made to Crave, is already on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Lysa and her family attend Elevation here in Charlotte and we could not be more proud of her.

The book is about learning to satisfy your deepest desire with God, not food.  While this book does give some doctor guided, practical guidelines for healthy eating, exercise and weight loss, the main focus is on replacing your craving for food with your craving for God, not necessarily on weight loss.

The book deals with what happens when we, instead of consuming food, become consumed by food.  We then to equate our weight with our worth.  Consequently, we often allow weight loss to bring us joy and satisfaction when our true ultimate worth must come from God.

Lysa's book is not new fad diet.  It is a book that will help you change not only the way you think about food and weight loss, but more importantly your worth in the site of God which has absolutely nothing to do with your outer appearance.  The book is full of scripture as well as practical steps that will help you re-train your mind and body to crave the living God, not food.

Over the next few weeks, Lysa will be doing a live Made to Crave web-cast every Monday night at 8 pm.  If you missed it last night, you can watch the replay today at noon, 3, 8 and 10 pm EST on the Made to Crave site (my husband was a guest last night :)).

Today I am giving away a small group study set that includes a DVD with 6 video session teachings from Lysa, one copy of the book, and one participant's guide.  Simply leave your name in the comments section ONE time :).  We will close the comments sometime on Thursday and randomly select a winner.  If you don't win, you can still purchase your own copy of the book at Amazon as well as bookstores everywhere.

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