Holly Furtick

Monday Morning Commentary

Screen shot 2011-02-28 at 10.01.37 AM
We began our series, Honorology, this weekend.  Honor is one of the core values of Elevation church (along with generosity and audacity).  I was really excited for my husband to teach on the topic to our church because it is truly a passion of his.  And he did not disappoint.

I think my favorite part of the message is when he talked about honoring the Word of God being preached.  We read the passage in Matthew 13:53 where Jesus says that a prophet is without honor in his own home.  The passage goes on to say that Jesus did not do any miracles there because of their lack of faith.

My husband talked about how some people come to church excited to hear the Word of God.   They sit up and take notes.  They expect for God to speak to them, they honor the preaching of the Word.  Then there are others who come in late with a bless-me-if-you-can attitude.  My husband said, where there is no honor, the level of your blessing is limited.

I have barely touched the surface of this powerful and challenging message.  You can listen to it here and here this week.

Loveweek_2011

It wouldn’t be a complete Monday Morning Commentary without mentioning that we also launched Love Week at Elevation this weekend!

We have already served 6,556 hours and it is barely Monday morning!  This weekend, volunteers have sorted over 17,000 shoes for Samaritan’s feet and made over 5,000 sandwiches.  We have already served at Habitat Charlotte and Hope Haven!  The week is going to be amazing.  If you are in Charlotte and haven’t figured out where you want to serve, go to loveweekcharlotte.com to view over 150 different opportunities this week.

And if you are not in Charlotte, you can still participate in loving your city.  Make a basket for a fire station, read to kids at a local school, find a way to volunteer just an hour of your time.  And encourage someone to do it with you!

It’s going to be a great week as we honor and love our city.  Happy Monday!

Permalink | 3 comments

LOVE WEEK CHARLOTTE begins tomorrow

Love Week-TwitterIcon

By Guest Blogger:  Tonia Bendickson

Starting this Saturday, our church will embark on an unprecedented outreach collaboration, and you’re invited.  We are partnering with 25+ churches, on 100+ projects to benefit 70+ non-profit agencies with a goal of reaching 25,000 hours of service!

Love Week 2011 begins Saturday, February 26 and runs through Sunday, March 6.

It’s an outrageous, audacious volunteer blitz you simply must see and be a part of to believe.  Here are few examples of what will happen in our city during Love Week:

Dozens of volunteers will clean and repair the transitional housing campus of Jackson Park Ministries on Saturday, Feb. 26.

 

Volunteers will help construct a new Habitat for Humanity home on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 419 Wellingford Street starting at 8am.

10,000 sandwiches will be assembled for Urban Ministries starting at 11am on Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Uptown Campus of Elevation Church.

AND THAT’S JUST THE FIRST WEEKEND!

We will donate shoes to Samaritan’s Feet, feed clients at Crisis Assistance Ministry, read books to children at Piney Grove Elementary, pamper young ladies with a spa night for One7, Safe Journey, and Right Moves for Youth, and so much more!

Go to www.loveweekcharlotte.com/volunteer to see and sign up for at least one hour of service during the nine-day long celebration of God’s love for us.  Our church is making it super-easy to reach out and support someone in need.  For example, at each campus this weekend, we’re hosting “Stuff the Truck” events.

So if you attend Elevation Blakeney, bring non-perishable food items this weekend to share with our city’s hungry.  If your campus is Elevation Uptown, bring a new or gently-used book to share with a child in need.  At Elevation Providence, we’re stuffing a truck full of new school supplies for CMS students.  And at Elevation Matthews this weekend, we’re asking you to clear out your closets of new or gently-used clothing you no longer need to share with our less-fortunate neighbors.

In 2010 Elevation Church volunteers gave 10,551 hours of service during the first Love Week.  The outreach blitz supported families, beautified schools, cleaned parks, renovated buildings and more.  In 2011 Love Week returns with a new commitment to unite our resources and unleash outreach like never before.  I’m so proud of our church for leading the way in generosity in our city!

 

Permalink | 1 comment

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cookie-Bars-56762
   
I know it has been a long time since I have posted a recipe here.  It's been a while since I successfully added one to my repertoire.  Until this week.

I made these bars as part of our birthday celebration (the one we really didn't have because of a bout with the flu).  The bars were good nonetheless and although fairly easy to make, but  a bit messy.  The recipe came from Kraft Famiy Food magazine, here's the link to it, I stole the picture from them.

 

Ingredients:

1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg.  (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup  milk
6 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped, divided (I used semi-sweet choc chips)
1 cup  PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts, divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter
  
Directions:

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

-LINE 13×9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
-Beat first 4 ingredients with mixer until well blended (I just kneaded with my hands). Dough will be thick.
-Press half onto bottom of prepared pan. 
-BAKE 10 min.
-Sprinkle half each of the chopped chocolate and nuts over crust.
-Microwave peanut butter in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min., stirring after 30 sec.; spread over nuts.
-Roll remaining dough into 13×9-inch rectangle between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Peel back top layer of waxed paper; flip dough onto top of dessert (this part is kinda hard, and it won't look perfect). Remove remaining waxed paper.
-Sprinkle with remaining chocolate and nuts. Press gently into dough with spatula.
-BAKE 15 min.
-Cool 1 hour.
-Refrigerate 4 hours before cutting into bars.

Enjoy!

 

 

Permalink | 4 comments

What I say when I preach to myself

Recently the Elevation lead staff wives and I listened and discussed an old message by Jentezen Franklin called "What I say when I preach to myself."

You have to know that when Jentezen Franklin preaches to himself, it must be a powerful message because he is an amazing preacher.  It's also good to know that even men of God like Pastor Franklin have to preach to themselves.  Frankly, if you don't have to preach to yourself every now and then, you might need a spiritual check-up.

One of Pastor Jentezen's points really stuck with me.  He was talking about faith.  He said that God always gives us the amount of faith that we need to make it through any situation.  When God wants me to face a Goliath, He will give me the faith to defeat that Goliath.

Pastor Franklin said that when he faces a difficult situation, he frequently reminds himself, "You have the faith for this."

I texted this to my friend Lisa when her dad passed away this month.  I simply said, "I am praying for you, you have the faith to make it through this."

I am telling you today, whatever you are going through, you have the faith to make it through this.  I don't know what your this is.  I know what mine is and I have been preaching it to myself today too.

The most comforting part of this thought is knowing that God does not require me to have a huge measure of faith, just faith the size of a mustard seed will do the trick.

Whatever you are going through today, this week, this month, this year, preach to yourself.  Remind yourself, you have the faith for this.

Permalink | 10 comments

Monday Morning Commentary

This is not a normal Monday Morning Commentary because I did not make it to church this weekend.  No, I have not had baby Abbey yet.  Sorry to disappoint some of you.

I have had the flu.  So has my husband.  Our boys have managed to stay healthy, thankfully. 

To top things off, my husband's birthday was Saturday.  He has this thing he says every year, "Best birthday ever."  Let's just say, he did not say it this year.  Thankfully, his friend, Perry Noble, actually had the weekend off so he drove over to Charlotte and (so I heard) knocked one out of the park at Elevation.  Now that is a good friend.

And since this birthday for my husband was such a difficult one, I thought I might share one of my favorite birthday memories…

When we were in college (North Greenville College in SC), and dating, my husband was obsessed with the black gospel singer, Pastor John P. Kee.  I searched and searched for a concert near his birthday.  I found one, and best part, it was free.  We made plans to spend the weekend at his parents house in Moncks Corner, SC and then drive to Charlotte for the concert.  On our drive from Moncks Corner to Charlotte, we were having a great time.

We were in his black Chevy Lumina (a grampa car) with red interior and AC.  The back seat was loaded down with laundry and probably groceries from his mom.  We probably looked like we were living in this car.  I had a blanket and pillow in my seat, and was reading some scripture as we drove (we weren't that spiritual, we just happened to be at the moment). 

Suddenly, there were blue lights in the rear view mirror.  Imagine the cop's surprise when he finds two kids, with a car full of stuff, reading scripture, headed to a Christian concert.  Somehow we managed to talk our way out of that speeding ticket and continued down the road having a great time.  That's the memory.

From the beginning of our relationship, we have tried to live by the thought that happiness has nothing to do with how nice your car is, and birthdays have little to do with how expensive your gift is.  Contentment with what you have and thoughtfulness will take you a long way in any relationship.

Sorry for the randomness of this post.  Today is a new day with a new start to a new week.  Hope you have a great one.

Permalink | 8 comments

Blessed

I am feeling very blessed this week.  I am very blessed.

I have great family.  I have great friends.  I am a part of one of the most amazing churches on the planet.

My kids are healthy.  My marriage is healthy.

I have a lot to be grateful for.  

And so do you.  Care to share one of the many blessings in your life?  Leave a comment, I can’t wait  to read them.

Permalink | 24 comments

This is How We Change the World

Tihw_changetheworld_splash

This weekend we premiered the documentary of the story of Elevation Church, This is How We Change the World.  I am sitting here unable to think of the words to describe what our team put together.  Unbelievable.  I laughed, I cried, I clapped, I cheered.  Did I really get to be a part of all of that?

Grab yourself a drink and settle in, you're gonna love it.  You can watch it all week at the Elevation Experience

Here's a little clip to get you hooked…

Permalink | 18 comments

Love Post # 3

DSC_0217 Last but not least, Graham Graham, my baby who is soon not to be my baby anymore.  He has truly gone from baby to boy in the last year having mastered the art of using the potty as well as the art of self soothing without a pacifier (shew).

So things I love about Graham…

I love his raspy voice.  I hope he never loses it, it makes him so unique.

I love his love for music.  It is truly a deep part of him, not about performance, just a true love for music.

I love how much he looks up to his brother.  Sometimes, if he a has a deep question, he asks Elijah before he asks me.

I love how he is not a follower.  He does not need a friend to have a good time but will always play well if there is someone who wants to join him in whatever he is doing.

I love the way he is excited about baby Abbey.  He frequently talks of toys she would like and thing he will do for her.  He is going to be an awesome brother.

I love how he loves routine.  He eats a cereal bar and drinks milk for breakfast almost every morning.

I love the way he hates for me or his dad to be angry with him.  Sometimes when he gets in trouble at home he says "But don't tell daddy, ok?"

I love how his favorite song right now is the Goodbye Song from Yo-Gabba Gabba.  He frequently changes the words to it to insert whatever he wants to say, how can a mom resist?

To read what I said about Graham 2 years ago click here.

Permalink | 2 comments

Love Post #2

DSC_0159 Elijah's turn today.  My baby is not really a baby anymore.  It's hard to believe that the colicky infant then baby tortured with ear infections is now a sweet, intelligent little boy.  I never thought I would make here.  Seriously.

So things I love about Elijah…

I love how honest he is.  I don't think there is a 5 year old more honest.  He frequently tells on himself and I think it is an incredible quality.

I love how he has basically taught himself to read.  He absorbs any little reading tidbit you give him.

I love how runs and stomps everywhere he goes.  I have tried to break him of this to no avail.  I take it as a sign of his passion.

I love how he answers Graham's questions.  He may as well be Master Yoda to Graham.

I love how awesome he is on the drums.  Truly a child prodigy if his mom does say so.

I love what an amazing helper he has become.  I am counting on this continuing over the next several months.  Maybe I can teach him how to make a bottle in the middle of the night?

I love how he calls the stapler, the stabilizer.  I laugh every time he asks me to stabilize two pieces of paper together.

I love how he truly has a good heart.  He is not strong willed, although passionate, at times, he truly wants to please his parents and God.  That is going to take him a really long way in life.

To see what I said about Elijah two years ago, click here.

Permalink | 1 comment

Love Post #1

DSC_0189
  
Since Valentine's Day falls on a Monday this year, I thought I should start celebrating on the blog today.  Two years ago I did this and I thought it would be fun to do it again and then compare my lists.  For the next 3 days I am going to blog about the 3 people who I love the most.

I will start today with the ONE I love the most, Pastor Larry Stevens Furtick Jr. (no misspelling on his name, it really has an s)

  
   
I love how much he loves his family.  He makes us feel like we are his world.  I never feel like he loves our church more than he loves us.  Never.

I love how he has zero sense of direction.  It's simply comical.

I love how he obeys God.  No amount of money is too much too give.  No conversation is too difficult to have.  No item is too important to give away.  Anything God asks him to do, he does it, even if it means going without food for several days. 

I love how he almost always lets our boys win in their regular wrestling matches.

I love how he invests in everyone around him.  He has the ability to call things out in people that they never knew they had in them.

I love how he dresses. 

I love how he is always learning.  He is forever watching other preachers.  He learns from the good, the bad and he enjoys the ugly.  He is always reading and pushses me to do so as well.

I love to hear him preach, every single sermon, every single time.  I learn from him.

To see my list from 2 years ago, click here.

Permalink | 4 comments