Holly Furtick

Psalm 46:1-3, 7

Psalm 46:1-3,7

1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.

 7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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First day of school

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Today was Elijah's first day of kindergarten.  While I got pretty emotional, Elijah saw to it that I did not shed a tear because he wanted nothing to do with me.  He did not hold my hand walking in, neither did he kiss me goodbye.  He walked into that classroom and never looked back.  I am glad he is so confident.  I am thankful he has a wonderful, godly teacher.  It is going to be a great year!

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Monday Morning Commentary

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We began our new series this week, the Prodigy in Me.  It is going to be a great next few weeks as we uncover the unique giftings God has placed in each one of us.  To set up the series my husband took us to the book of Exodus and showed us a character I had never paid attention to before.

In Exodus 31:1-5 we find a man named Bezalel.  The scripture says that God chose Bezalel to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order that he might build the temple.  Then my husband pointed out Colossians 1:27 where Paul tell us that we are chosen by God to make known the mystery of Christ in us.

He said that so often we think that there is potential in the preacher but not in us.  He encouraged us to know that God chooses us, He fills us and then He gives us the skills that we need to complete the job he has for us to do on this earth.  It was so uplifting for our church to hear that God has called them to be the best mom, the best business man, the best teacher that they can be because together the body of Christ is the most powerful force in the universe!

You can watch the message at the Elevation Experience this week or in our archives online.

I hope you have a great Monday!

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Great Things: Beauty Edition

I love beauty products.  When we first got married my husband was blown away at how many bottles I owned.  I think he would say he didn't know that many that many beauty products existed (I guess he never ventured into his mom's bathroom).  When we moved into our first apartment, he simply asked for a place to put his toothbrush.

I love to try new products.  One of my favorite places to browse is the beauty section of Marshalls, they have great deals on name brands.  Here are a few of my latest favorites…

Hair spray
I love Big Sexy Hair hair spray.  I recently found their travel size and it is perfect for my purse (Yes, I carry hair spray in my purse.  You never know when you are going to need hair spray!  Plus you may get a run in your pantyhose, just a joke.)  You can buy this at stores like Ulta or Beauty Brands for around $6 (travel size).

 

 

Dry shampoo
This is dry shampoo.  My world was recently changed by this product.  Have you ever tried the old baby powder in your hair when it is dirty trick?  This is that but better.  I used it today after I played tennis but didn't have time to wash my hair.  It is awesome.  You can pay anywhere from $10-$35 for this, again at like an Ulta or Sephora type store, any brand is good.

 

 

Hair pins
These are spiral hair pins I bought off an end cap at Target (they get me with those things).  They cost about $6.  If you have short hair, you probably won't like these, but if you like to do an up-do of any type, you should try these pins.  They have great hold and they are so easy to get in and out. 

 

 

 

Nars multiple
Now this is an item you may have to save up to buy but it is so worth it.  It is by NARS called, the Multiple.  This stick is blush, eye shadow and lipstick in one stick.  I love to keep it in my purse and use it to refresh my make-up.  It costs about $40 and you can get it at the beauty counter in Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.  Sephora also sells them in their store and online.

 

 

Aveda mint
And I don't want to leave the men out on this post.  This is my husband's favorite splurge grooming product: Aveda, Rosemary Mint Shampoo.  It is very refreshing.  You can purchase at an Aveda salon or various online retailers for about $15.

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He Sees You

Genesis 16:13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

In Genesis 16 we find the story of Hagar.  If you have never read this story, you should go read it here.  But let me give you a little recap…Hagar was Sarai's servant.  Sarai was Abram's wife.  Abram and Sarai would later be renamed by God: Abraham and Sarah.  God had promised Abram that his descendants would outnumber the stars.  There was only one problem, Abram and Sarai had never been able to have children and they were old.

So Sarai decided to take matters into her own hands.  She told her husband to sleep with her servant, Hagar, and that child would be their descendant.  Hagar became pregnant and as you would imagine, things got rought between her and Sarai.  Sarai began to mistreat Hagar to the point that Hagar ran away.

And somewhere out in the wilderness, Hagar met God.  He told her that He saw her.  That He saw her misery and that He was going to bless her and her son.  Hagar called God El Roi, the God Who Sees.

If you are still reading after that lengthy summary, I wanted to remind you today that God sees you.

He sees your pain.

He sees your injustice.

He sees your side of the story.

He sees your abuse.

God sees you.  He has plans to take care of you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).  When you feel like no one cares, no one understands, no one wants you, God does.  He is great and He is good.  He is El Roi, the God who sees.

Oh and one more thing, she named her son Ishmael which means God hears, but that is another post for another day :).


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Look alike?

I started working on pictures for Elijah's digital scrapbook.  I have been working with the Faces function on iPhoto and have been amazed at how much my kids look alike as babies.  The funny thing is Elijah and Graham do not favor each other much, but Abbey has some photos where she looks just like Graham and some photos where she looks just like Elijah.

Since I have been working with Elijah's photos, we will start with him.  Here is a shot of Elijah and Abbey about the same age.  In a few days, I will put Abbey next to Graham.

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Monday Morning Commentary

Follow
We wrapped up our series, Follow, this week with a sermon called Follow Up: Point the way, clear the path.  My husband brought the Word (like he does every week)!  Our worship experience was also filled with celebrating all the baptisms over the past two weeks at each of our campuses.  I truly felt a part of a large church that is spread out all over the city.

The message was based out of John 1.  One of my favorite points was when he talked about Andrew, Jesus' disciple, and how possibly the most significant thing he did for Christ was to bring his brother, Peter, to Jesus.  He encouraged us to know that God has strategically positioned us in our school, our job, our neighborhood, to point the way to those around us.

My husband went on to talk about Peter.  He said, "Jesus does not call us according to our performance, He calls us according to our potential."  Isn't that a great thought?  I don't need an extensive resume to work for Jesus, just a willing heart.

You can watch the sermon all week at the Elevation Experience and in our archive after that.  I am glad to be back!  Have a great Monday!

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A vacation of sorts

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There are only a few weeks left of summer.  How did time fly so fast?  I love summer, I am always sad to see it go.

This week I am taking a virtual vacation.  I have never officially taken a break from blogging, and I think it is time.

I will still tweet some.  If you don't follow me on twitter, you can at twitter.com/hollyfurtick.

So here is Abbey waving goodbye in her sweet little lobster outfit.  I will be back Monday!  Have a great week.

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Monday Morning Commentary and Give Away Winner

Follow We had another amazing weekend at Elevation.  During the past 2 weeks, we have seen over 2000 people get baptized.  Wow.

The worship experience was packed full of videos, pictures and testimonies of people whose lives have been changed.  There is also a great clip of my husband speaking at Willow Creek's Global Leadership Summit.  You can watch it at the Elevation Experience.

Also, a big congratulations to Ashley Vogel for winning a copy of This is How We Change The World! Ashley's husband is a youth pastor and future church planter and the documentary has made a huge impact on him and his team. Ashley, I am praying with you that God would use you & your husband to change the world!

We will be contacting you shortly!

Have a great Monday!

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Life Change Inbox

 We continue in our Friday series, Life Change Inbox.  I am sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified.  None of these letters have been changed in anyway.

Madeleine's story is a great story from one of the people who was baptized this weekend during Follow.  I hope this story will bless you…

Pastor Steven,

My name is Madeleine and I am a student at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. I have been attending Elevation since the summer of 2008. I wanted to share with you my story of how Elevation and God have changed my life.

During high school I had great friends, played sports and got good grades. I would say my life was pretty great. I grew up in a Presbyterian church with my family and knew the "Christian" way of life. I knew what I needed to act like, say and do to look like I was a good Christian. I always knew there was something wrong with this way of thinking, but I didn’t care enough to change my actions. I slipped farther and farther away from God as I got closer to my senior year. People who I thought were my friends turned out not to be, I started drinking and engaging in physical activities with guys just so I could feel wanted.

From that point on things just got worse. I graduated high school hoping to have a fresh start in college. There, I continued with my bad habits just to try to make friends or to find a guy that would like me for me and not the things I did. When this didn’t work, I slipped into a bad period of depression and anxiety. At one point I even became suicidal. I had to drop out of college and move back in with my parents. I lost everything. I had no friends. In fact, most of my peers thought I was strange. I lost all faith. At that point I didn’t even believe there was a God. I couldn’t understand how I could be at such a low point in my life and this so called "God" would not take care of me. Being home, I had nothing to do and I wouldn’t leave the house for the longest time in fear that someone might see me and start asking questions.

During the summer of 2010 I attended Elevation with my parents one Sunday. There was a series going on called "Christ Alone". I heard Pastor Steven talk about how our identities are not in our accomplishments or failures. Our identities can only be found in Christ alone. It was like a light bulb flashed on. I realized that I was not defined by the mistakes I had made or the depression that had overcome me. It all became clear to me that God had removed EVERYTHING and EVERYONE from my life so that HE was the only one left. I accepted Christ that day and from that moment on I was on a mission to live for Christ alone and no one else. I put my trust in him that he would provide me with friends, the perfect guy or anything else that I would ever need.

After that summer I decided to put my faith in God for the first big decision I had made in a long time. I decided to go to Belmont University in Nashville. I had always wanted to go their but had a fear of going that far away. I knew then that God was on my side and could carry me through anything. I am happy to say I had a great first year at Belmont with no anxiety or depression only by the grace of God.  

Today, August 7th 2011 I got baptized at the Elevation Blakeney campus. I knew it was something I was called to do because I wanted everyone to know that I have committed my life to follow Christ. I wanted everyone to know THAT is my identity. A Christ follower.

I wanted to thank you Pastor Steven and Elevation for all you do and that change you have made in my life. I know I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you and the power of God. THANK YOU.

Love love love,
Madeleine

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