Holly Furtick

For all the people pleasers out there…

Are you a people pleaser?  I am.  We all are to some extent, and of course, we all go through seasons where we seem to get stuck in a rut of caring too much of what others think about us.

Look at these verses in Psalm 34

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.

When my focus is on seeking the Lord, He delivers me of my fear of letting others down.  My face does not have to be covered in shame because I can be confident that I am following His commands for my life.

I am not saying we shouldn’t seek the advice of the godly authorities the Lord has put in our lives.  But I am saying we should seek the Lord first in every situation.  If I go around wondering if this will hurt that person’s feelings, or if this person will be happy with me, I am putting the cart before the horse.

Here’s another way of looking at it, I can only seek to please God but I can try to bless others.  And when I seek God, will show me how I can bless others.

I want all those in my life to be happy.  And I want them to be happy with me.  But not to the detriment of me not being able to obey the calling God has placed on my life because I am running around trying to keep everyone happy.

Matthew 6:33 pretty much sums it up

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Spend your energy pleasing God and let him take care of the way others feel about you.

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Monday Morning Commentary

We continued our series Meant to Be based on 1 Corinthians 7.  This sermon series on relationships has been life changing for so many.

This week the sermon was called, “How to Save Your Husband,” taken from 1 Corinthians 7:10-16.  The message answered the question, how do we go from burning with passion for each other to not being able to be in the same room together.  My husband gave us 4 ways we lose our passion…

  1. When celebration becomes toleration.  The thing we loved the most becomes the thing that drives us crazy, we were encouraged not to leave the 80% we love because of the 20% that we don’t like.
  2. When we becomes me.  Sometimes you have to love someone enough to carry them through a difficult time (Mark 2).
  3. When debtors become collectors.  We forget that the forgiven forgive (Matthew 18).
  4. When covenant becomes contract.  Contracts are built on mutual mistrust, “I will if you will.”  Covenants are a vow until death.
This message was powerful for those considering divorce.  But it was also challenging for those considering marriage or in a marriage to remember the seriousness of our covenant and the need to work to protect it at all costs.  If you know anyone whose marriage is struggling and they need to be reminded of their covenant, encourage them to listen to this message, I promise their hope will be renewed.

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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The Best Yes Giveaway Winners!!!


Congratulations to:

     KaSandra Morris  @KaS0315
     Leesa K Lee  @LeesaKLee
     Maleah Phipps  @maleahphipps
     Maddison @mprice1112
     Jasmine(:  @eeeniimsajxx
     Sarah DenHartog  @Mrs10HDs
     Linda Kelley Rich   linda_lou86
     Brenda Black  bwb730
     Rachel Szyszka

You are the winners of the book, The Best Yes.  I am so excited for you!  Just email your shipping address to kvillarreal@elevationchurch.org and we will get your book sent out to you within the week.

Thank you to everyone who entered!  If you did not win, you can purchase your own copy here.

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Monday Morning Commentary


We continued our relationship series this weekend based on 1 Corinthians 7.  This week’s message was geared towards people who are single and the message was called “Marry or Burn.”

Here are a few of my favorite points my husband made…

  • If you allow your passion to burn a hole in your emotions, you’ll have a leaky heart that will not whole when the right person comes around.
  • Misplaced desire is very dangerous but desire isn’t dirty.
  • Passion needs parameters.  Don’t get burned while trying to stay warm.
  • If you don’t learn how to manage your passions, they will manage you.
  • Shame is often the source but never the solution.
I loved when he said, “It is not enough to starve the wrong fires, but we must learn to stoke the right fire.”  We must become consumed with the purpose God has given us for our lives today.  You can be successfully single.  You do not need another person to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

If you are single, you must hear this message.  And even for those who are not, the message was applicable to everyone.  Stoke the right fire!  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 happy Labor Day!

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Fighting words

I’m not one for confrontation.  I don’t enjoy a good argument.  I don’t feel better after a difficult conversation.  Now, don’t get me wrong, in the 12 years of my marriage, my husband and I have had our fair share of fights (just going to call them what they are). But fights in and of themselves are not all that bad, IF, as a couple you get to the heart of the issue.

I have heard it said that fighting in marriage is like fire.  It can do one of two things, it can shed light or it can consume.

A heated discussion is not the place for accusation, insincere apologies, and name calling.  Those things are gasoline to the fire.  In my marriage, I have identified some fighting words.  Common words or phrases that pack a big punch.  And whenever I say these phrases, I am not shedding light on a situation, I am pouring gasoline on the fire.

Here are 3 from my marriage.  I am sure there are more.

I am sorry you feel that way.
I’m sorry you feel that way is not an apology.  It is code for, “you are overreacting.” No one wants to be told they are overreacting especially when they are overreacting!   True love says, “I am sorry I made you feel that way.  Help me understand what I did.”

What were you thinking?
What were you thinking is code for, “you are a large child who doesn’t know how to act.”  What were you thinking might as well be followed by, “you idiot.”  I don’t like to have my face rubbed into a bad decision, but I often struggle with giving others the grace I would want to be given to me.  True love says, “We all make mistakes.  I forgive you.”

Why are you in a bad mood?
Now this one, this one is huge.  Why are you in a bad mood is like punching my husband in the face and saying, “Let’s fight.”  No one likes to be reminded they are in a bad mood, ESPECIALLY if it is true.  True love seeks to do something kind for the person having the bad day.  It doesn’t call them out.

Like my husband said this past weekend, relationships take work.  It is so true.  It takes work not to let a disagreement escalate into a huge fight.  I certainly don’t get this right every time.  But I am learning that relationships require grace.  The grace to try and understand the other person’s feelings.  Grace to forgive.  And grace to overlook an offense.

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Monday Morning Commentary

We began our new series yesterday, Meant to Be, a series about the Bible’s kept secrets on sex, marriage and being single, based out of 1 Corinthians 7.  The title of this week’s message was taken directly from the text, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”  There were 4 points to the message (my pen and paper were happy).

1.  Questions and Issues
My husband said that historically the church is really good at answering the questions no one is asking and being silent about issues people are really facing.  There are questions that we ask and questions that we live.  God is not as concerned about answering my questions as he is about dealing with my issues.

2.  Suggestions and Standards
We live in a world of sexual suggestions but there are some sacred standards.  God’s boundaries enable me to enjoy God’s blessings.  When you go against God’s standards, you don’t break them, they break you.

3.  Desire and Duty
Paul teaches us that sex is not about what you get, it’s about what you give.  Having your desires met in a relationship is a byproduct, not a goal.  If you go into a relationship leading with desires, it always leads to disappointment.  We often want the gift of the relationship without giving the gift of ourselves.

4.  Gifts and Grace
The ultimate gift that God gives is grace.   He gives us grace to face whatever our situation is.  If we are in a difficult marriage, He gives us grace.  If we are single and struggling with loneliness, He gives us grace.  The gift IS the grace.

This is going to be an awesome series.  If you missed it, I hope you will go and listen.  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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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge



The ALS Ice Bucket challenge is extra special to our family.  My father-in-law, Ltrain, who went to be in heaven last year had ALS.  Because of the viral success of the Ice bucket challenge, donations to the ALS foundation have gone off the charts.  This time last year, the ALS foundation raised $2.2M.  As of today, donations are up to $53.3 M!!!

To make a donation or for more information on ALS AND to watch some celebrity ice bucket videos visit www.alsa.org.

And for a good laugh check out these amazing ice bucket fails.  Ltrain would have loved to watch these with me!



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The Best Yes Giveaway!

Last week, my friend Lysa TerKeurst released her latest book, The Best Yes.  I have been reading it and honestly it has come at the perfect time.  The book is about making wise choices in the broad spectrum of life so that you will be empowered to make wise decisions in the day today details of life.

My kids went back to school yesterday and I spent several hours evaluating their extra curricular activities, my schedule, and what our days will look like each week heading into the fall.  Lysa’s book helped me see that this is not just an activity to get me organized.  It is essential to keeping me from feeling overwhelmed later down the road.

I’d love to give away a few copies!  To enter, simply Instagram or Tweet a picture of this book with the hashtag #thebestyes and the website www.thebestyes.com.  Also, make sure you mention or tag me so I can find your entry.  I will select the winners and give away 10 copies next week.

And if you just can’t wait to see if you win, you can always hop over to Amazon to purchase it for yourself!.

Good luck!

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Monday Morning Commentary

We wrapped up our series this weekend with a message called Naming Rights.  It was the perfect ending to an incredible series.

In Genesis 35:16 we find Rachel dying from childbirth.  As she breathes her last breath, she names her son, Ben-Oni which means, son of my sorrow. We learned that often times, great strength comes out of great sorrow.   In verse 18, Jacob renames the child Benjamin which means, son of my right hand.  Jacob did not want the baby’s history to be his destiny.

My husband taught us that although our situation may not change, we can always rename it.  Whatever you call something, that is it’s name.  Call your situation what you want.  Yes, we all experience great sorrow.  We all experience situations that we would never choose for ourselves.  But perspective can turn any situation around.  I have naming rights to my situation.

I  am not even coming close to describing how powerful this message was and really the whole series.  If you missed it, I hope you will go and listen.  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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When ministry isn’t measurable

As a pastor’s wife, there are somethings that only I can do for my husband.  I can make sure that our home is peaceful not chaotic.  I can encourage him about his sermon in ways that no one else can.  I can be a protector of the vision and promotor of our church culture because I know it better than almost anyone, I helped form it.

Of course there are other things that I do at our church.  But for me, my first calling at Elevation is to support my husband.  And I have to be relentless to protect my calling and not get distracted by other opportunities that may take away from that.

There are days when I wish I had someone else’s job though.  A more visible job.  Not because I want to be seen, but because I want to be able to measure myself.  I want to check things off a list of accomplishment.

I am learning that just because my job isn’t visible doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.  And just because my contribution isn’t measurable does not mean it isn’t ministry.

This is a word for all the women and men out there married to a spouse in “full-time ministry.”  Just because your name is not on the pay stub does not mean you are not in ministry.  Doing the work of God is a team effort.  We are all called but we can’t all have the exact same calling.  If your spouse feels empowered and supported from home, together, your ministry will be more effective.

If we all did the same job, we would never be effective.  And sometimes the most fruitful work is not the most fun.  I must have a willing heart to say, God, I will do anything, everything or nothing, if I can just be a part of the work that you are doing in our community.

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