Holly Furtick

Monday Morning Commentary

My husband brought the fire this weekend!  He took a familiar passage, the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 and gave it a quite unusual twist.  His message was called, “Death by Distraction.”   He challenged us to see that at times, we can all be the different types of soil mentioned in Matthew 13.

He told us that there’s nothing wrong with the seed, it’s the soil.  We must stop complaining about the seed (the opportunities we feel we have been given) and focus on the soil (depth of character we have when the seed is received).  Loving God with all of your heart means you have a focused heart, an undistracted heart.

In Matthew 13 we find 4 different types of soils

  1. SNATCHED-we let the insignificant keep us from the significant (v. 19)
  2. SCORCHED-we stay at the surface and wonder why we have no roots (v. 20-21)
  3. CHOKED-we let worry and stuff distract us from our true purpose (v.22)
  4. SABOTAGED-we let the enemy plant weeds that grow up next to us and keep us from fulfilling our purpose (v.24-30)

You can watch it later 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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I will fight!!!

I am sorry I have been absent from the blog this week.  Our boys are in the thick of coach pitch baseball playoffs and they are on a winning streak!  We have played every night this week.  If we win tonight, we play for the championship Friday night.  Shew.  It is so much fun watching your kids play sports but it sure doesn’t leave much room for blogging.

Anyway, while back I blogged about the piece my husband did called, I Will Fight (link here).   I also mentioned it in my sermon during our series, Crash the Chatterbox (link here, week 5).  Many of you have asked how you can get it.  Well, I am happy to tell you today that it is now available on iTunes!  Yeah!!  Here’s the link!  I know you are going to love it!

I listen to this track on a regular basis.  Sometimes daily.  It is so encouraging.  In fact, I am going to play it on the way to baseball tomorrow night!!

And if you would like to watch the video one more time, here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Video:

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Monday Morning Commentary

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For the next few weeks we will not have a series!  My husband gets to preach whatever he wants and boy was he on fire this weekend!  His sermon (based out of 1 Corinthians 1:8-12) gave us 4 points to preach to ourselves when we are under pressure…

    1. I’ve been here before (v.10).  The enemy wants to wipe my memory of the faithfulness of God in my life.
    2. I’m not that important (v.9).  My failure will not frustrate God’s purpose.
    3. I’m better under pressure (v.11).  Pressure brings out what He put in me that only He can produce.
    4. I’m not really alone (v.12).  The enemy puts us under pressure in isolation.

The sermon was one that will really stick with me for a while.  How encouraging is it to tell myself, I’m better under pressure??!!  You can watch it later 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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Leave it

Have you ever thought about the things people left to follow God?

Abraham left Ur to go to an unknown land (Gen 12:4)

The disciples left their nets to follow Jesus (Matt 4:20)

Blind Bartimaeus left his cloak to be healed (Mark 10:50)

The woman at the well left her jar to tell others about Jesus (John 4:28)

My husband has this line that he says, “When Jesus asks something from you, He is usually trying to get something to you.”   I have been thinking about this lately.

I think sometimes God doesn’t even have to “ask” us to give something up.  We just know.  We know that in order to go to a new level in our faith we have to leave something behind.  It could be someone to give up because they are keeping us from fully living out our calling.  It could be we need to leave a familiar place because He has a journey he wants to take us on.  Or maybe we leave something behind because we know that we cannot take it where God is leading us (This could be a habit or a hobby that is not in and of itself bad, but just something that isn’t best for us at the time).

It is not always a huge thing.  It could be a small thing that makes a huge impact like deleting a certain app from your phone.  It is not always a permanent thing.  It could be a season of time that you need to leave something or someone behind.

The enemy wants me to think that holding onto this thing, or this person, or this place is the most important thing in the world.  That God is a god who wants me to suffer.  The reality is, God will not love me any less if I never change another thing for the rest of my life.  But there are experiences with God that I will miss, miracles I will miss, when I cling to the things that are keeping me from fully trusting God.

Is there something you need to leave behind today?  Remember, God is not trying to take something from you, He is trying to free up your hands so He can hand you something better.

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Monday Morning Commentary

We ended our series, Hope of Glory, this weekend and my husband preached such a great message for Mother’s Day.  It was called, “The Problem with Pinterest.”  He talked to us about the dangers of comparison by using 2 Corinthians 3:12-18.

He pointed out to us that sometimes Moses wore the veil because the glory was fading from him.  He asked us what veil are we wearing?  We often think that the way to help others is to keep our veil on and tell them “you should,” but often the best help you can offer those around you is to take your veil off and admit, “me too!”

He told us only in Christ does image management come to an end.  We can not allow ourselves to live in the past memories or our imagination of the future.  When we do that we miss the glory of the present moment!

God wants to transform me from glory to glory, not from shame to glory.  When I remove my veil, I can see God more clearly!

My husband shared a great illustration about comparison.  He showed this welcome video my kids and I made last Easter…

Then he shared (with my permission) the behind the scenes of that video…

I am taking off my veil today.  I am saying me too!  I struggle to get my kids to behave!  I struggle with having a good attitude in every situation!  Me too!

The message was so powerful and so helpful.  I hope you will take the time to watch it.  You can watch the message 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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A-May-Zing Cauliflower

Every spring our staff does a nutrition and exercise challenge. We love to compete. This year the challenge includes a nutritional, physical and spiritual element, we are calling it, A-May-Zing! Each person can design their own plan. Even our boys are competing!

My husband and I are eliminating grains and added sugar as well as drinking 64 oz of water per day (this is how he basically eats anyway). My boys are eliminating sweets and sweet drinks (water and white milk only) 5 days a week.

For exercise we are doing at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. The boys count baseball or 30 minutes of outside activity.

For our spiritual plan we are memorizing 1Peter 1:3-9 and reading through the book of 1Peter every week.

I’ll be posting some recipes over the next month. Also check out my friend, Lindsay’s blog for more recipes. Everything she makes is always delicious!

For today I want to share my favorite recipe for mashed cauliflower (It’s actually Lindsay’s!) now before you turn your nose up, you really should try it. I am not a fan of cauliflower but this is really, truly delicious (especially when served with beef)

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower ( stem remove cut into 1/2 in pieces)
1 clove garlic (peeled and pressed)
1 qt chicken stock
3 tbs butter
1/3 c plain Greek yogurt
2 c shredded white cheddar cheese or shredded Gouda
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Bring cauliflower garlic and chicken stock to a boil, lower to simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender

Once cooked drain cauliflower and place in a blender or food processor with the butter (you can use a hand mixer too but it may not be as smooth). Blend until fine. Add yogurt and blend again. Add cheese and blend.

Enjoy!

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Monday Morning Commentary

 

 

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This weekend was week three of our series Hope of Glory, and I was just blown away! I seriously don’t know how my husband weaves such a beautiful message together every time he preaches, he is truly gifted by God.  This week we studied the life of Abraham from Genesis 12-17 and Romans 4:18-22.  The sermon was called “Get your hopes up.”

My husband used Romans 4 to show us that there is always a story behind the glory.  Romans 4 tells us Abraham is a hero.  He had hope against all hope.  But it leaves out Genesis 12-17 where Abraham lied, slept with a woman who was not his wife and laughed at God.

My husband taught us that nothing gets stronger without resistance.  In order for Abraham’s faith to be strengthened, it had to have something to push against.  Like Abraham, we must face the facts but keep our faith (Rom. 4:18).

We cannot allow ourselves to be weighed down by the facts, our feelings, or our failures.  Instead we must learn to give glory to the things God has shown us.  We have to let God remind us of his promise so He can renew our perspective.

The message was so powerful.  If you want to learn more about the seesaw, you will have to watch the message yourself.  You can watch the message 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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Too tired to finish

Do you know the story of Gideon?  In Judges 6-8 we find Gideon, an Israelite, called by God to defeat the Midianites with only 300 men (you should go and read the story if you don’t know it).  In chapter 6, Gideon accepts the call (after asking God many questions), in chapter 7, Gideon and his men have a huge victory but they have to finish the job and defeat all of the Midianites.  I love verse 4 in chapter 8…

Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it.

Have you ever been exhausted while obeying God?  Just because you are winning a victory does not mean you won’t get tired.

Maybe you are fighting for your marriage or a relationship.  Maybe you are finishing up a big project.  Maybe you are serving in a church.

Don’t give up.  Keep up the pursuit.   Remember, the Lord is on your side.    The One who gave you the faith to start will give you the grace to finish.

If you need an extra boost of encouragement  today, listen to this sermon from my husband.  It is one of my favorites and it always encourages me.  Don’t Stop on 6!

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Holy Hangover

 

Wow. What a weekend. God is so good.

 

 

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How to kill a friendship

Friendships are such a difficult thing to navigate in life, but such an essential part of life.

I read that the average friendship has a lifespan of 5 years.  That is kind of sad but yet comforting at the same time.  Friendships ebb and flow.  Jobs change, people move, kid’s schools, teams and hobbies change.  When a friendship ends, it does not mean there is something wrong with me.  It is just a natural part of life.  There are, however, a few things you can do to fast forward the ending of a friendship.

1.  Jealousy. Jealousy will kill a friendship faster than anything. If you cannot celebrate the successes of your friend, they will eventually stop sharing those wins with you. Proverbs 27:4 says, “Anger is cruel and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.”

2. Judgement. If you never come to a place where you accept others even though you disagree on something, you cannot cultivate that friendship. Is my friend too strict because she doesn’t let her children play with certain games or read certain books? No, just different. Just because my beliefs are different from yours does not mean I am right and you are wrong.

3.  Comparison. Anyone who is constantly comparing is a drain to be around. It doesn’t matter if you are comparing careers, possessions or children.  Check out this line from Dillon Burroughs, “The problem with comparison is that you always feel either better than someone else or worthless compared to someone else.”  Constant comparison will suck the life out of a friendship.

4.  Lack of Confrontation. No friendship can move forward if it does not push past a conflict. No, we do not have to always speak the truth in love, but there are times when we must confront a situation (not talk about it to everyone else), talk through it and move on.  Conflict can either destroy or, if handled correctly, can deepen a relationship.

A few more thoughts on friendship…

Remember, friendships need to be cultivated, but if a particular friendship is like caring for an orchid… try as you might, the petals are falling off, it may be time to let it go.  On the other hand, if you have an friendship that is like an oak tree, one that is steady and has weathered many storms, you should fight for that one.

Loneliness is something everyone experiences.  But we all must be reminded sometimes that it takes a friend to be a friend.  What kind of friend are you?  If you feel so lonely, when was the last time you invited a friend to lunch?  When was the last time you sent a note of encouragement, or bought your someone a gift just because?

And don’t forget, God wants to bless us with friendships but Jesus is the true friend.  Sometimes I think I mistake loneliness in my life for lack of closeness with Jesus.  When I am full in my relationship with Jesus, I feel more fulfilled in every area of my life, especially my friendships because they become more about what I can give, not necessarily what I am receiving.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:25

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