Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Love conquers all!

It is not often that the news puts out any type of happy story... especially one like this!  I found this particular story to be incredibly heartwarming.  
A man from Rochester, New York, Luther Younger, shows how deeply devoted he is to his beloved wife, Waverlee.  This man goes way above and beyond what anyone would expect from an elderly husband.
Luther makes a six mile round-trip every day, regardless of the weather that day, to visit Waverlee in the hospital.  Waverlee is currently suffering with a brain tumor that she was diagnosed with nearly a decade ago. His wife is often hospitalized for weeks on end.  Sometimes Luther even sleeps on the hospital floor next to her bed!
Luther's love for Waverlee begins decades ago.  She helped him raise his children from a previous marriage.  She was strong.  She was his "cup of tea", as he describes. Waverlee's daughter tells news reporters of the strong, unconditional love that Luther has for her mother. Everyone sees it. 
Most people would CRINGE at the idea of making a six mile round trip, on foot, every single day.  But when you've walked through life with someone, what's another six miles? 
What can we learn from Luther?  That love is unconditional. And although Luther's love for Waverlee seems to be unmatched, it is nothing in comparison to God's love for us.  Can you even believe that?!
1 John 3:16
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. "

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

When life has you shaken up... don't get stirred up!

We all know what it feels like to be shaken up by the daily annoyances in life.  Sometimes they are small things, like someone cutting you off on the road, being late to work, etc... and sometimes the annoyances are overwhelming- your boss is being extra hard on you, family drama, children getting into trouble. All of our problems are taken seriously by God! 

Give up all your problems to God and don't get stirred by them.  It's one thing to be shaken- (ie, irritated, annoyed, etc), but it is another to be stirred (loss of sleep, extra stress, worry, etc), which can have what may be possible long- term effects on your life.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your worries on Him, because He cares for you.

When we are a society of such that lives for the moment with instant gratification at our fingertips, we often times lose sight of the bigger picture in life, and therefore can be stirred up quite easily.  If we remember that God is the ultimate receiver of all of our worries, we will be able to manage being shaken much more easily.  Remember: The ultimate goal for ALL of us should be to disciple to others and let God handle the rest.  Be a good person. Do good for others. God will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Make disciples of all nations!

It is a Christian's obligation to spread the gospel. As Christians, we know this.  It is not enough to simply believe- but it is also our job as Christians is to bring others to Christ.  New Venture is coming up on "Plus 1 Weekend" on September 16 where we encourage our members to bring a friend... or 5!  We feed everyone, take them on a tour, and see what areas of ministry everyone is interested in.  It really is a wonderful time!


I encourage all of you to show up on September 16 with your "plus 1".  It really is a great opportunity to fellowship and to grow the body of Christ. You never know what you may learn about yourself that day!  Everyone has special gifts that they have to offer... and for all you know, your spiritual gifts COULD start a chain reaction.  You could be getting more souls in Heaven! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Overcoming the enemy's attempts to undermine your objectives

Have you ever been knee-deep in ministry and your plans seem to get foiled? It's not always easy to see- but the enemy is always hard at work, trying to cause difficulty in our lives. Just when it appears that we have succeeded in our ministry efforts... the enemy rears his ugly head and reminds us that we as Christians are constantly under attack.

One important thing to do is recognize that it was not God that stopped you but the enemy. 
The reason you need to decipher the source of the interference  is that knowing the enemy is trying to stop you will help you keep on track. It will keep you from giving up and from blaming yourself. 
Another important thing to do is to realize that this difficulty is fleeting. Just know that the enemy's assault will end, and you will move forward. 
Keep looking for  a way to achieve God's objectives. The enemy LOVES trying to interfere and frustrate us, especially those of us that work in a ministry. He just LOVES to try to thwart God's plans... don't let him!  And never give up!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Blessed are the peacemakers.

It is a tough topic to discuss: Children and parents are being separated at US borders due to President Trump's zero tolerance policy on immigration.  The subject of this matter is extremely controversial. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or somewhere in the middle... the bottom line is this: These poor families are SUFFERING.  Often times it is the unknown and 'what if's' that are the most frightening to any of us.  Seeing the reunification pictures of some of these families is a very humbling experience. This is such a bittersweet photo: The joy of the reunification combined with the relief from the lingering fear and unknown.  God only knows what the child went though and what the parents went through during the separation. 

The Bible commands Christians to help the poor, to recognize the importance of family, and to love thy neighbors just as we would ourselves.  Regardless of who you vote for or what your stance is on immigration, we must all realize that we are ALL children of God and should treat each  other accordingly. At the very least, we can respect ALL people and realize that everyone on this planet is an equal in God's eyes.

At the end of the day, we are called to be loving Christians to all people in the world... and not only loving, but we are instructed to be peacemakers.  Don't be fooled by the world news which will often times rile us up and make us angry toward the "other" side of whatever it is we are in favor of.  Break things down to the very simple concept of this: Be nice, be kind, be loving, be empathetic. This is what we have been instructed to do.  When we do these things and behave accordingly, not only does it feel good but the blessings we are given start to become so much more apparent.

Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God".

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

In God We Trust!

This past week, the state of Florida passed a bill that became a law that specifically states each school district is required to display the state motto (IN GOD WE TRUST) in all of the schools in the district and in each building used by the district school board.  A caveat to this is that the motto must be display conspicuously on school grounds.  Christian state representative,  Kimberly Daniels, stated that the motto is inscribed on the state capitol as well as on our currency, and therefore needs to be displayed in schools.
 This new law and the implications of it are MONUMENTAL.  So many Americans have been praying for this for years, to only receive resistance from the non-theology based leaders.  This is truly something that needs to be celebrated! 

The power of prayer is a very real concept that has very real outcomes, such as the new Florida legislature. When thousands of people are in prayer for the same outcome, there WILL be results.  

Last night at New Venture was a night to remember as we had a Great 1 Hour of Prayer evening.  Hundreds of people came, to include our Spanish ministry and members.  There was powerful worship, many prayer requests, and even tears were shed.  Everyone there came for one common denomination: They needed prayer or they needed to pray over someone else.  The 1 Hour of Prayer is always a tremendously powerful experience.  It is unlike any other function at New Venture.  The Sanctuary is FILLED with the Spirit.  Anyone who attends these will tell you the same thing... there is just something truly miraculous about prayer in groups.

Similar to the new Florida school law, which is largely due to the power of prayer, New Venture witnessed souls being saved last night- non-believers feeling the power of prayer, at the very least.  There is absolutely a connection between large groups of people praying together and SEEING RESULTS!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Longing to belong

It is human nature: We ALL long to belong.  Whether it be in relationship with a significant other, being accepted in the workplace, or having a diverse circle of friends... there is something about BELONGING that makes us have high self esteem, feel comfort, and feel 'normal'. 

That's why New Venture is putting such a huge emphasis on the launching of our Small Groups this upcoming season with our newest series "Quest to be the Best"

We have a vast array of Small Groups and which have something to offer to EVERYONE.

Types of Small Groups 
The following small groups are currently functioning at New Venture Christian Fellowship. These models are utilized at NVCF. 
Small Groups (Sermon-based, Home) 
Utilize discussion questions from the church program. 
Service Groups 
For those who are serving together in the same ministry, (i.e. Frontlines, media, youth, worship, etc.) 
Affinity Groups 
Groups formed around common age, interest and/or experiences. 

Whether you want to go bowling, surfing, are in recovery, or just want to read the Word together- we surely have a group that you BELONG in. I can promise you this... you will not regret getting involved in one of our Small Groups!  Jesus modeled the importance of relationships by spending three years with twelve men (the disciples)... and they changed the world!