Wednesday June 13, 2012 | Reflections
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
There are so many words in this scripture that are hard to live out day to day. But the truth is a wise person is (among other things) considerate, submissive and sincere. Perhaps you could say, a wise person is willing to be the first person to sincerely say, “I’m sorry.”
No matter what your relationship, whether it is a family member, friend or spouse, the scripture gives a promise, sow peace, reap righteousness.
When a conflict arises in a relationship, am I willing to sincerely apologize for my part or do I act so stubborn that I will prolong the disagreement until the other person submits? A wise person is peace-loving? This is a hard pill to swallow.
I want to be wise enough to resist the urge to punish the other person through my silence, or pouting, or outburst, and be the one to take the first step to peace. Not because I am a doormat. But because I am wise. I am not here. Not nearly. And maybe the first step towards this is to memorize this scripture, because I know the Holy Spirit will bring it to mind the moment I need it. And maybe when that moment comes, I will choose to sow in peace.
Tuesday June 12, 2012 | Family
Somewhere in my past life, the beach was a place for peaceful reading and sunbathing.
The beach could not be any different for me now but yet I love it.
I love how Elijah likes to fight the waves. I love how Graham sticks close to me and Abbey, not quite brave enough to venture out as far as his brother. And Abbey is fearless. She doesn’t stop til a wave knocks her down.
It’s hard not to wish away each season of my life. But I know in my heart, when the day comes that I can go back to peaceful reading and sunbathing, I will wish those sandy little children were begging me to play with them.
Friday June 8, 2012 | Life Change Inbox
It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! I have been 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.
Here is a great story about a church plnater…
My name is Eddie Leon and I’m a church planter in Chicago. Sometime before July 2011 I gathered my core group to watch your documentary on how you guys changed the world. It was such a blessing and inspiration to us. It challenged our faith and gave us hope. In Jan 2011 we launched our church with a very small group of people and very quickly realized that all our plans were easier said then done. I wasn’t looking for a quick way to grow my church idea when I came across your DVD, I was looking for hope. By the end of watching this DVD for the fourth time (1st with my wife; then with key leaders, then with the rest of the team) my heart was challenged and renewed. So I did what any silly crazy church planter would do. I grabbed a close friend (Carlos) and drove to North Carolina from chicago. We arrived and have been transformed by elevation church. I didn’t call your church or ask for any attention because we wanted to spy out the land lol. We were greeted by some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met and felt blessed just by being there. We attended your Saturday night service on July 9th. Since then we’ve come back and implemented a lot of ideas gathered from that one visit. Now its been 1 year and 4 months since we planted and have grown from 25 people to over 400 disciples seeking Jesus and transforming lives with His gospel. Just wanted to say thank you for your faithfulness and giving hope to us here in the great city of Chicago. Your church is forever etched in our history.
Wednesday June 6, 2012 | Reflections
Isaiah 26:3, 12
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Lord, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Here are 4 simple observations about the characteristics of people who enjoy the protective peace of God in their lives…
1. Peaceful People are Unwavering
The word steadfast means unwavering. Peace comes to the unwavering mind. The peaceful mind affirms that God is in control-especially when negative impulses start spinning out of control. The steadfast mind does not dwell on fearful thoughts. It quickly turns thoughts of worry into thoughts of a sovereign God.
2. Peaceful People are Confident
Peaceful people confidently trust in the Lord. They know that even when circumstances happen that they cannot understand, they serve a trustworthy God who promises to work all things for good.
3. Peaceful People are Established
The Lord establishes our peace. He can establish a peaceful mind. He can establish a peaceful home. We can ask for it. We can petition Him to give it to others.
4. Peaceful People are Humble
A peaceful person knows that every good and perfect accomplishment and attribute-including a peaceful heart- is a gift from the Lord. Peaceful people turn their peace into praise…and the God of peace multiplies the blessing back to them.
Monday June 4, 2012 | Monday Morning Commentary
We wrapped up our vampire series this weekend. It has been such a great series. The Lord has really been speaking to me through this teaching.
This weekend the message was titled, “Suck Proof Soul.” It was based around 4 truths in relationships that Jesus modeled:
1. Nobody can take what you’ve already given away.
2. Never write anybody off, but always watch your balance sheet.
3. Real love doesn’t leak, it overflows.
4. Don’t look to people to pay you back, claim your reward from the Lord.
All of the points were great and really spoke to me, but my favorite one was the 3rd. My husband illustrated this by pouring water into a leaky cup and non-leaking cup. When you pour water into the leaky cup, water flows from it but the cup stays empty. When you pour water into the working cup, it doesn’t overflow until it is full. And it stays full even when it is pouring out. This is kinda hard to put into words (you should watch the sermon), but the basics are that I can either pour out to people by leaking and still feeling empty or I can let Jesus fill me. And out of the overflow, I can give to others.
My husband pointed out in Matthew 14 how Jesus withdrew alone before and after he poured out and fed the 5000. I love this.
As a wife and mom (and really a woman), I am always pouring out. And I can choose to pour from my overflow or from a leaky soul. This was word challenging for me. So many days I pour out of an empty heart. I was so challenged to get full before I pour out.
You can listen to the message today at the Elevation Network, on our Podcast and in our archive.
Friday June 1, 2012 | About Me, Marriage, Pastor Steven Furtick
10 years ago, on the hottest day in the history of outdoor weddings, I made the best decision of my life (besides giving my life to Christ) when I said “I do” to my husband.
Steven Furtick is a true man of God and I can’t believe God picked me to be his wife.
I cannot wait to see what the next 10 bring. If it is anything like the first, I am in for an amazing ride.