Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup- Celebrating others

Over 3 BILLION people, which is more than HALF of the world's population, throughout the world have been watching the 2018 World Cup over the past few weeks.  What an exciting series of games it has been!   The World Cup has always been a HUGE crowd gatherer.  Russia spent close to $9 BILLION in infrastructure alone, and no visa is required to enter Russia to view the World Cup!

I've always wondered what it was exactly about the World Cup that drew such a worldwide following.  It has been amazing to me to see how people of all races, colors, locations, and religions come together with one thing in common: We want to see our country's team playing in the World Cup! (although for the the United States men's team will not be competing for the first time in thirty years!!!)

Wouldn't it be awesome if all of us could come together more often than in just Worldwide sporting events? What about if we came together when one of us is struggling?  Or if someone needs some praise for something positive that has happened to them that is worth celebrating?  Let's focus on celebrating each other more than once every four years at an international sporting event!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Never give up on each other!

I have been GLUED to the news recently as the story unfolds of the boys soccer team in Thailand who have been trapped in underwater caves for over 1 week now. The SEAL Teams are currently debating on the most efficient way to remove the boys from the caves as it is monsoon season.  They have pumped some of the water out but have been ravaged by a giant downpour, stranding them behind a wall of water. 

This has become an international rescue effort that has the world worried and concerned.  The boys are being fed and seem to be in positive spirits even though some of them do not know how to swim.  The current debate is whether or not the SEAL team will need to train the boys how to actually scuba dive to get them out, or wait for the water levels to subside.  I cannot even imagine the terror that the parents of these boys must feel.  But we as a people, globally, will not give up in this rescue effort.  

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could apply this determination to help these boys in our daily lives as good Christians?  So often we get frustrated with those in our lives who are struggling, because sometimes it is a major inconvenience on our end.  But what would the world look like if we took a few extra minutes each day- even if it is just to make a phone call to someone that we know that may have something negative happening in their lives.

Galatians 6:2, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

Putting in a small amount of effort really does make a MONUMENTAL difference to those struggling. Whether it's giving them a small amount of money, asking how they are doing, or maybe even offering to cook them dinner that night- It doesn't take much to provide relief to someone who is struggling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What goes on behind the scenes at New Venture?

Every Sunday, you come to walk into our Worship Center of New Venture and have the experience of a lifetime: We start with incredibly moving worship, greet one another, share the message, and pray for one another.  And most importantly... SOULS ARE SAVED.

I can bet that many of you have never wondered what it actually takes to make a church service happen! 

Every Tuesday, I meet with several staff members who are a part of our Production Team. These staff are responsible for individual aspects of making church happen for you every week: our media department makes the beautiful "show" happen.  Our marketing department gets the word out.  Our Connections Coordinator discusses the next steps in becoming a Christian and following up with people. I spend days working on my sermon for the weekend and reviewing it with our Team.

Here is a pic from this past Tuesday's Production Team meeting- a screenshot of all of us on Skype with our Marketing Director. Basically, the gist of what we spend hours discussing is.... What can be be doing better to reach more within our church and our community?  It takes a village... but there is no better boss to work for other than Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The importance of the "fruits" of the spirit.

What are the fruits of the spirit that Galatians 5:22-23 discusses?


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

As iron sharpens iron...

On Mother's Day 2018, I gave a sermon about what women wish men knew about them.  What a hot topic that was! We also had special treats for the ladies after service- photo-booths, food, love coupon books.... We received so much positive feedback from that week!

This week's sermon title will be for the men this time!  "What men wish women knew about them...".  And on Father's Day, we will have a special day planned just for the men of our church.  There will be a "Man Cave Cafe" where we will turn our Connections Cafe into a real world man cave!  There will be video games on huge screens, cheeseburgers, drinks, darts, and plenty of other activities that are sure to bring a smile to each brother's face!  It is surely going to be a blast and a time for all of the gentlemen to feel extra special that day.

Proverbs 27:17: " As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."  Doesn't this verse just stand out to you as we discuss all of the festivities and sermon title for the gentlemen in the house?  There is absolutely a mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their assignment to carve and slice.  It is with this that we are to sharpen one another—in times of gathering, fellowship, or any other interaction, i.e., Father's Day 2018 @ New Venture.

I can't wait to see you all there both this Sunday and Father's Day Sunday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Power of Perseverance.

The Power of Perseverance... we hear this phrase quite often.  Whatever it is in life that you are working through- whether it be a professional project, taking up a new sport, dysfunction in the family... whatever it may be, the important thing is that you FINISH what you started. 

Most of us are great starters, but lousy finishers.  The Bible specifically addresses the importance of finishing strong.  Eccl. 7:8 "The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride."  

Although it can be tiring and possibly frustrating to 'hang in there' until the end, good things will come about when you acknowledge God EVERY step of the way.  So often, we will complete 75% of our project and give up towards the end because that is the easier thing to do.  Persevering often feels DRAINING, and it is at times.  We feel like we are at the end of our rope and just cannot handle anymore.  But the human body and mind is capable of so much... even when it feels as if we are done.  

We can ALWAYS hang in there until the end.  There is always going to be light at the end of the tunnel so long as we rely on God to be the mastermind behind the end results.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Phil. 4:13

Never, never, never, NEVER give up!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Decisions AND Disciples: Why Both are Essential

Here at New Venture, one of our motto's is REACH... TEACH... RELEASE.  What does this mean to anyone?  I'll explain!

As disciples of Christ, we are always looking for ways to Reach others.  That could translate to partnering as a greeter, host, prayer team, etc.  Other ways include 'venturing in the park' (we @ NV are doing that THIS weekend!) which is an amazing time for all.  As the weather warms up, New Venture brings church to local parks in the community.  We have food, music, and games for the kids.  This is an excellent way to reach others because the fun and games at the park attract folks in nearby neighborhoods, and it becomes a spiritual filled atmosphere in a non-church setting!

After we Reach, we Teach. New Venture has so many ways that we teach.  We have Starting Point classes which cover the basics of christian foundations as well as in-depth Bible classes.  We also have Discovery classes which teach about the specifics of New Venture, ways to partner, and benefits of being a church member. 

Once we have reached people, taught them, we then Release them.  This is where people are encouraged to truly be disciples of Christ by venturing into the community and spreading the Love of our Lord through actions.  Some examples that we do at New Venture are beach cleanups, cooking for our military Veteran, visiting seniors in the community, as well as Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless.  The possibilities are endless as there is always something going on at New Venture.

We encourage you to get involved... take the first step by signing up to Partner with us.  Bring a friend or neighbor with you to church.  It's the little things that truly add up to the most monumental outcomes!