Holly Furtick

Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out this story…….

This morning I was reading Proverbs 4, an excellent passage on wisdom. I thought I would share with my children and told them at breakfast that I was reading about wisdom in the Bible. I asked them, “what is wisdom?”  Very quickly my youngest responded with in a matter-the-fact tone, “wisdom is making the right choices.” Then another one of my children replied, “choosing to do what is right.” Impressed with their knowledge and surprised that I did not need to explain, I asked them where they learned this. In unison they replied, “eKidz.” So there was the lesson this morning at the breakfast table. I was expecting to school and instead, I was schooled. Thank you for what you teach our children in eKidz each week.  

God Bless You,
Chad

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How to stay focused on Jesus during Christmas

We live in such an amazing time in history.  Technology has made it so that we have the greatest preachers and teachers on earth at our fingertips on the internet.  We can read books loaded all in one place on our phone or tablet and we can listen to the radio on demand!

It is important to have as many ways for God to speak to me throughout your day and really your week. And during the Christmas season, when life can be so busy, we must be intentional about this. Going to church is great, it’s essential, but unless I am digging in in between Sundays, I am not going to grow very much in my walk with Christ.  Of course nothing can replace studying God’s Word on your own, but we must make a conscious effort to fill our minds with things that are going to challenge us to grow and keep pur minds focused on Christ during the busy holiday season.

Here are a few ideas…

  • I recently found a great resource from the ministry of Dr. James Dobson, called Family Talk Radio (this is different from Focus on the Family).  They have a great app for the iPhone and Droid (just search Family Talk Radio or Dr. Dobson).  I love it.  I love that I can listen while I am driving or when I am cooking dinner.  The app is super easy to navigate but you can also listen online at Dr.JamesDobson.org.  Today and yesterday, they interviewed Linda Dillow, the author of one of my favorite books, What’s it like to be married to me?  Another great program they did recently was called 10 Habits of Happy Moms (search general parenting).
  • Begin the habit of listening to at least one other preacher in between Sundays (and your own if you missed church that week).  You can watch Elevation sermons at the Elevation Network.  Some of my other favorite preachers are Pastor Craig Groeschel at Lifechurch.tv and Pastor James Mc Donald.
  • Get your mind off yourself and all you have to do by serving a local organization.  This time of the year, there are so many organizations helping people in need.  If you live in Charlotte, there are tons of opportunities at ElevationOutreach.com
  • Listen to worship music.  It is amazing how much music can set a tone in my home or my car.  I have several favorite albums and a few Christmas instrumental albums, but a great cheap way to hear fresh music is through Pandora.  You can download their app or listen online at Pandora.com and create special radio stations with your favorite artists or categories.

 

I hope you will join me this holiday season in choosing to fill your mind with things that will challenge and keep you focused on Jesus this Christmas.  Next week I will share a few ideas of some family traditions that you can incorporate to help your kids focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

 

 

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Compassion to Act

Last week some of the Elevation staff spouses and I had the opportunity to visit Compassion to Act, an organization in our community fighting human sex trafficking in Charlotte.

Yes, human trafficking in Charlotte exists.  Did you know that there are more than 30 million slaves today, which is more than double the number of victims transported during the entire transatlantic slave trade?  Did you know that the US is one of the top 3 destination points for trafficked victims?  And did you know that North Carolina is 6th in the nation for trafficked slaves?

Compassion to Act focuses on providing education and awareness about human trafficking.  They have a big dream to provide rehabilitation for victims and they are not afraid to start small.  We had such a great time learning about their organization.

We arrived with armloads of beauty products and samples and together we prepared 100 gift bags for women working in many of the clubs in our area.

I love getting to visit and serve alongside so many of the great organizations in our city.  This month I will be visiting our local Ronald McDonald house (more about that in a few weeks).  You can find out more about how you can get involved with Compassion to Act by visiting their site.  And to find out more about how you can get involved with Elevation Outreach visit www.elevationoutreach.com.

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Monday Morning Commentary

 

 

This weekend we continued our series, Banner Years, which is all about how to make every year a banner year in your life.  Pastor Robert Morris joined us again from Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.  This weekend he taught us about the principle of firsts.

Based out of Exodus 13:1-13, he taught us three things…

  1. The firstborn must be redeemed or sacrificed.  If the animal was clean, it had to be sacrificed, if it was unclean, it had to be redeemed.  He made the connection that Jesus (clean) had to be sacrificed for us (unclean) to be redeemed.
  2. The first fruits must be offered.  He talked about how God cannot be second. Ever.
  3. The tithe must be given first.  I loved when he reminded us that God can do more with my 90% than I can ever do with 100%.

As we come closer to our Banner Year offering and my husband and I prepare to give the biggest gift we have ever given, I am encouraged by this message.  I always want to have open hands to God because he can never fill clenched fists.

Today I am going to warn you, if you listen to this message, you will be challenged in the area of your finances.  Listen at your own risk.  You can listen to the message on the Elevation Network, or later today on our Podcast, or in our archive.   Have a great Monday!

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Abbey joins the worship team

This past weekend we sang Abbey’s favorite worship song at church. My husband decided to bring her on the stage. And although I have heard her sing this song many times, I didn’t know what she would do. Well, lets just say I am in danger of becoming a stage mom. Enjoy! Happy Black Friday.

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Greater Online Bible Study

I am excited to tell you about an opportunity for you to be involved in an online Bible study going through my husband’s book, Greater.  The study will be lead by Melissa Taylor.  Melissa is an author and speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  She and her family also attend Elevation.  Melissa has a heart for leading women in online Bible study who may not have the opportunity to be involved in one where they live. What an amazing day and time we live in that we can join up with people all over the world and study God’s Word in our very own homes.

The study begins November 25 and runs through January 17, and really all you need is a Bible, a computer and a copy of the book.  There are already over 2600 people from all over the world signed up to join in.  WOW!  Each week Melissa will give assignments and do a conference call with different guests (one week my husband will be the guest!) Click here for more information concerning the Greater online study.

I really hope you will participate.  The book is truly life changing and it would be amazing to read through it with others from around the world!

 

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Turkey Tuesday

Today is Turkey Tuesday for some very special families.

Last night I got tother with a few of Elevation’s finest women to pack 200 turkey dinners for families in need this season.  Since Elevation has joined up with our Outreach partner, Matthews Help Center, we have been able to increase the number of families they help every Thanksgiving from 50 to 200!  I am so proud of the generous people of Elevation Church.

I love serving our community all year long but I especially love it during the holidays.  There is something about taking time to help someone in need that gets my mind off myself and the business of the season and onto others in need.  I hope that you will get involved in one of the many opportunities to serve this holiday season.  Whether you want to serve with your small group or your family, you can learn more by visiting ElevationOutreach.com.

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Monday Morning Commentary

 

 

This weekend we continued our series, Banner Years, which is all about how to make every year a banner year in your life.  Pastor Robert Morris joined us from Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.  He shared with us about the principle of multiplication.

Based out of Luke 9:10-17 when Jesus fed the 5000.  Pastor Robert taught us two basic principles concerning our finances:
1.  It has to be blessed before it can multiply.
2.  It has to be given away before it can multiply.

This was a message mostly about giving, not tithing.  I loved when Pastor Robert differentiated between giving and tithing in a very black and white way.  He said, “Tithing is not giving.  Tithing is returning.  You either bring it or your steal it.”  Wow.

Pastor Robert makes the scripture come alive and tells some crazy stories about his personal giving.  I know you will enjoy listening to this message.  You can listen to the message on the Elevation Network, or later today on our Podcast, or in our archive.   Have a great Monday!

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

Today’s letter was written to our worship Pastor, Wade Joye.  I just love hearing life change stories from the kids growing up at Elevation.  If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out this story…….

Hi Wade,

I’m the mom of Lauren Baker, a  5th grade student in Motion at Elevation Blakeney; she is also a floater in eKidz where I am an eTeam Leader.  Lauren gave her life to Jesus this past Easter, and was baptized during the eKidz baptisms.  I just watched episode one of the Worship Games on the eKidz blog, which was AWESOME!  It is so great for our kids to learn about the importance of worship!  What a wonderful transition for them as they prepare to enter the auditorium soon!  I love the intentionality of programming in our church at all levels.
 
Lauren had to have surgery on both of her feet over the summer to correct six hammer toes, which are a result of mild cerebral palsy.  The morning of her surgery she was of course very nervous.  I explained to her that Jesus would go with her in her heart through all steps of her surgery, even in the places that I couldn’t go with her at the hospital, and that He could help give her a sense of peace if she asked Him to.  She showered that morning, knowing it would be a while before she could have a normal shower once her feet were operated on.  In the shower, I heard her belting out “The Lord Is My Rock” over and over again, which she has told me is her favorite worship song.  I have shared with her the story and circumstances behind that song as I remember it from the album release so many years ago.  She told me that it made her feel brave and helped her face her surgery with a Jesus-inspired courage.  
 
Thank you for sharing your lives and your testimonies with all of us Elevators, young and old, and for the forethought, planning, and excellence that you bring to programming for ALL of us at Elevation, regardless of age.  We are so very thankful to be a part of this move of God.
 
Blessings,
Christy and Lauren
 
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Shots of Gratefulness

As we approach the Thanksgiving season, I thought I might do a short series of picture posts of things (or people) I am thankful for.

Today I am thankful for the Groeschel family. My husband and I are so blessed to have Pastor Craig and Amy in our lives. Over the past several years we have been able to get to know them. It is invaluable to have a couple in your life that not only can relate to our exact situation in ministry but also who believe in us. And pray for us. And care about us.

God is the God who provides. He provides exactly what we need when we need it. He not only provides for us physically but He provides for us relationally.

I encourage you to take a minute today and thank God for the relationships He has given you. I’d love to hear from you in the comments too. Would you share who is in your life that you are grateful for?

 

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