Holly Furtick

Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend we continued our series, I Don’t Know What I Believe, based out of 2 Tim 1:9-14.   We have talked about Salvation, Sanctification, Sovereignty, and now this week, Suffering.

In the passage Paul says that he is suffering because of the Gospel.  My husband helped us see that we cannot view the Gospel through the lens of our suffering rather we must view our suffering through the lens of the Gospel.

God is a healer, a mountain mover, a water walker, but He is also a scar shaper.  He can take my stupid scars and my sacred scars and shape them to show His strength.

He closed the message with the passage about the Emmaus walk that Jesus took with the disciples.  Jesus walked 7 miles with the men, but it wasn’t until he broke bread with them and revealed His scars that they saw who Jesus really was.

This series has been so great.  I hope that you will watch it.  You can catch it today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Stupid Guilt

Have you ever thought about some of the stupid things we feel guilty for?

Like I always have this nagging guilt for all the thank you notes I forgot to write.

Or all the pictures I take and never print.  Better yet, how I don’t document our family pictures with scrap books.

I sometimes feel guilty for my eating choices.  And even what I allow my kids to eat.

I sent out a tweet yesterday and asked some people what stupid things they feel guilty for.  My friend, John Bishop said he feels guilty if he goes too many days without tweeting.  Another friend, London, said she feels guilty for killing ants.  Others said going too long without talking to a friend and not making others happy.

Guilt is a funny thing because when used in the correct way (better known as conviction), it can alert us to our sin and help us draw closer to God.  But Satan so often uses guilt, whether it is something small and silly or something serious from our past, to distract us.  If he can make us dwell on all the things we are doing wrong, or the things we did wrong, then he can keep us from accomplishing God’s calling on our lives.

Look at this scripture…

1John 3:19-22
Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

I love the part where it says, even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings.  Not only is God greater than my feelings, He knows everything, so whatever I am feeling guilty for, He knows about, has forgiven me for and still  chooses to use me.  My husband says, you don’t have to feel forgiven to be forgiven.

The opposite of guilt is innocence.  Because of Jesus, I can stand innocent in front God and have confidence.  Confidence that He loves me and He is proud of me and He has called me.  I cannot let the enemy make me feel guilty for things big or small because it destroys my confidence in carrying out God’s calling for my life.

Today I pray that you would hold your head high in the confidence of Jesus and carry out the calling God has placed on your life.

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Lessons from a 5 year old at a funeral

Last week Eric Phillip’s, one of our best friends, father died after a hard battle with brain cancer.  The death of a loved one is one of those things you cannot know until you experience it for yourself.  And after just losing my father-in-law this summer, and knowing the support of my friends presence, I could not miss the memorial.

So this past Saturday, Graham and I drove 3.5 hours to be at Eric’s dad’s memorial.  Eric and Nicole have 3 kids, their oldest is Evan who is 5 years old.  I volunteered to sit one row behind Eric and Nicole with Evan and Graham.  The memorial was in a small, country church, and every pew was packed.

While we were waiting for the service to begin Evan pointed at the bronze cross sculpture on the communion table and said, “Hey did you know this church has a cross trophy?”  A bit of unintentional comic relief brought such a smile to me.

Then throughout the service, Evan kept whispering to me.  He wasn’t whispering things like, when will this be over, or, I’m hungry.  He was simply processing the death of his grandfather (who he called Robbie) out loud.  It’s funny how a 5 year old can be so wise and not even know it.

During one of the minister’s very long prayers, Evan began to join in.  It was almost as if he felt like the minister wasn’t saying what he thought should be said about his Robbie so he said it out loud.

“And thank you for Robbie”

This minister continued to pray.

“And thank you that he is healed.”

Loss is so hard to understand whether you are 5 or 95.  And just like kids, we adults, we can have so many questions.  So many whys, and it is ok to have those questions and to ask those questions.  But little waves of comfort can wash over us when we stop and give thanks.

Thank you for his life.  My life is better because of the time I had with him.

And thank you that he is healed and no longer suffering on this earth.

 

 

Here’s a picture of Graham and Evan together.

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Monday Morning Commentary

This series is really shaping up to be a great one!  Still based out of 2 Timothy 1:9-14, this weekend we talked about  SOVEREIGNTY.  My husband addressed the topic head on with theology and practicality and it was such a helpful message.

He had such a great visual illustration of this message, I don’t think I can do it justice here.  But he talked about how we all have a circle of control, but there are things that happen outside of our circle that we cannot control.

He challenged us to think about how often we don’t really want God to be in control, we just want Him to take control temporarily.  God is not a bail bondsman. And often the only way we can know that God is in control is to face a situation which we cannot control.  This could be a difficult relationship or an illness or even something that happened in the past.

He told us that God wants to meet us in the places outside our control.  God is in control.  But God is also outside my control because that is the place where He gets to prove His power.

He closed with an Old Testament story from 2 Kings 6:15-17.  Where Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant to see the chariots of fire surrounding and protecting them, outside their control.

The message was so powerful and still practical.  You can watch it today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone.

Have a great Monday!

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Danielle’s life change story

Life Change Stories are back!!!

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

Here’s Danielle’s story…

Today’s message (week 5 of where’s your permission slip) really hit home for me!

Let me tell you my story. Around the time when I was in 10th grade, my mom began to have some health problems. She had 2 neck surgeries and has never really recovered. Over the last 12+ years she’s been dealing with chronic pain and has been diagnosed with other chronic health conditions as well as breast cancer and depression. Getting out of bed each day has become a struggle for her. Through this process she has lost her job, her home, her car, and her livelihood.

Since graduating from college about 5 years ago, I’ve been supporting her by paying rent and utilities for a small apartment for her and my little sister to live in. This totals about $700/month.

During this time I’ve stuggled with anger at my mom’s illness and with the financial responsibility that it’s added to my life. I’ve tried many times to fogive her and let go of this frustration. It’s been difficult as I’ve watched friends travel, buy houses and do other things I wish I could do.

Today changed my perspective! I realized that despite these challeges, God has blessed me abundantly and cared for all of my needs. I’ve been able to put myself through graduate school and obtain a higher paying job helping people and doing what I love. Every month I GET to tithe, and all my bills are paid and I’m slowly with discipline able to pay down debt. I also GET to be generous and do what God has called me to do by helping my mom each month.

From now on, I plan to look at writing that rent check with joy instead of dread and burden.

Thank you Pastor for preaching God’s word to help renew my mind and change my perspective on something I’ve been struggling with for years!

God bless you!
Danielle
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Morning detour

I had every intention of posting an inspirational blog post for you today.  Alas, my morning did not go as planned.

I knew things were more serious than a minor injury this morning when I heard the boys playing downstairs.  Then I heard Graham crying, then I heard Elijah saying “Oh no! Oh no!  Oh Graham I am so sorry.  Oh no! Mommy!!!!”

The story involves a Minecraft reinactment.  Elijah was mining with his lunch box, Graham was a creeping (I am not 100% what that means), and I heard something about Zombies too.  Apparently the Creeper made a leap over the miner and his knee intersected with an open drawer corner which resulted in an Elevation logo shaped injury.

Graham was stitched up by a kind and so accommodating, orthopedist Elevator by 9 am and off to school.  This is his 4th set of stitches in his short life of less than 6 years. I have many things to be thankful.

Heads up.  Some of these pictures are a bit graphic.

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Fashion File… raid his closet (not really)

Well the fashion file is back.  Sorry it has been a while.  As we head into fall fashion, and we head out and search for footwear that will keep our feet warm, I thought I would give you a few thoughts on what to search for.

Adapting menswear in women’s fashion is no new trend.  But it seems like every year, we get a twist on how and what to steal from mens fashion.  Whether it is a slouchy blazer or a pair of ripped jeans, it is always fun to take something masculine and give it a feminine touch.

Remember these shoes last fall?

 

Don’t worry, they are still a great choice.

But here are a few more options…

Try a velvet loafer like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or you could try an oxford style shoe like these…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My personal favorite is the ankle boot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you could also go with a lace up boot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to masculine shoes is making sure the rest of your outfit is feminine.  And for those of you who struggle with imagining “what would I wear that with?”  Here are a few ideas…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure who this last girl is, I grabbed her off Pinterest, but she looks so happy and confident to me, and I do like her outfit.  Confidence is the last piece of a look that most of us forget.  If you wear something with confidence, something that makes you happy, then you don’t have to worry if you are wearing “the look” just right because it is right for you.

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Give Away Winners

Congratulations…

Brandi Rice

Pam Mutschler

kaci_burgos from Instagram

adeal from Instagram

 

 

 

You guys are the winners of the book, Becoming Myself  I am so excited for you.  Just email your information to kvillarreal@elevationchurch.org and we will get your book sent out to you within the week.

If you did not win, you can purchase your own copy here on Amazon.

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Monday Morning Commentary

We continued our series, I don’t know what I believe, this weekend.  This week the focus was on sanctification.  And of course, my husband’s message was amazing.

The message was based out of 2 Timothy 1:9-14 (our theme verses for the series) as well as Matthew 4 this week.  My husband wrestled with tension of how we can actually live out being called to holiness.

The sermon was called “More Likes.”  And we talked about how we live for the wrong likes.

1.  More likes for me.
2.  More likes from others.
3.  More likes from God.

He asked the question, “Am I doing this to get more likes or am I doing this to be more like Christ?”   He explained that becoming more like Christ requires me becoming more aware of His love for me.

I loved when he told us that religion says, “All this I will give you IF you bow down.”  But God says, “All this I have given you, NOW bow down.”

The message was so helpful for me and I know it will be for you too.  You can watch it today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.  You can also listen on your Elevation app on your smart phone!

Have a great Monday and check back later this afternoon for the announcement of the winners of the giveaway from last week!

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Ashley’s Life Change Story

Life Change Stories are back!!!

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

Here’s Ashley’s story…

I am 24 years old and began attending Elevation about 3 years ago. I jumped right into volunteering and in an eGroup and loved it! During my time at Elevation, I’ve had the opportunity to help launch a new campus, as well as see my parents stand to receive Christ at one of our Christmas worship experiences.

As probably every girl does, I’ve always prayed for my prince charming to come one day and sweep me off my feet. Earlier this year, I thought mine had finally come. But it wasn’t long until I found myself being influenced by him and giving in to do the things I knew were wrong. I fell hard. I started missing church, not showing up for my volunteer responsibilities, and telling lies to others as to why I wasn’t coming. My team leader and team called me a dozen times but I never answered.

Long story made short, within a few months our relationship spiraled down to his unfaithfulness, broken promises, anger, control, and almost physical abuse toward me. I had no idea what to do, so I went back to the place where I had felt at home – Elevation. I was so nervous for the questions I might be asked.

But something very different happened. I pulled into the parking lot, the first volunteer waves at me, and I lost it. I began balling. It was just really nice to see a genuine smile. As I walked through the wall of greeters, I was hugged by so many. I listed to the Yes God message and knew exactly what God was telling me. I know I’m a hurting girl. Devastated, embarrassed and scarred, but believing that God still loves me. I realized I can’t be that girl who lets what happened define me negatively. I am more than a conqueror. So thank you Pastor Steven for bringing the truth. I may not be healed completely, but I know my God is the ultimate healer, and I know there is now no condemnation for those in Christ.

Ashley

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