Monday, October 20, 2008

This Weekend & Isaiah 35


I believe we are standing at an incredible time in history. I have been overwhelmed this weekend by God's love and grace and Jesus' sacrifice for us. I think I am being to see (not always understand) the amazing gift of freedom Christ gave us. God moved powerfully this weekend. I know paradigms were shifted and people were set free. As I was reading this morning, I read Isaiah 35. Man, this pumps me up. I think it is a word for each of us, Whipple Creek Church, and God's Children. I don't know what you've all been through or what "beast" are on your roads but the good news is, God Wins! God Loves! God Saves! God Knows! God Cares. Shall I go on? Here read it for yourself. Spend time pressing in on this amazing passage of Scripture. Spend time "losing" yourself in God's extravagant love for each of us. Enjoy!

God Will Comfort His People
1 The desert and dry land will become happy;the desert will be glad and will produce flowers.Like a flower,

2 it will have many blooms. It will show its happiness, as if it were shouting with joy.
It will be beautiful like the forest of Lebanon,
as beautiful as the hill of Carmel and the Plain of Sharon.
Everyone will see the glory of the Lord
and the splendor of our God.

3 Make the weak hands strong
and the weak knees steady.

4 Say to people who are frightened,
“Be strong. Don’t be afraid.
Look, your God will come,
and he will punish your enemies.
He will make them pay for the wrongs they did,
but he will save you.”

5 Then the blind people will see again,
and the deaf will hear.

6 Crippled people will jump like deer,
and those who can’t talk now will shout with joy.
Water will flow in the desert,
and streams will flow in the dry land.

7 The burning desert will have pools of water,
and the dry ground will have springs.
Where wild dogs once lived,
grass and water plants will grow.

8 A road will be there;
this highway will be called “The Road to Being Holy.”
Evil people will not be allowed to walk on that road;
only good people will walk on it.
No fools will go on it.

9 No lions will be there,
nor will dangerous animals be on that road.
They will not be found there.
That road will be for the people God saves; 10 the people the Lord has freed will return there.They will enter Jerusalem with joy,and their happiness will last forever.Their gladness and joy will fill them completely,and sorrow and sadness will go far away.r

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Call and Response--It's Our Call

A non-profit movie that was filmed, produced and released without the big hollywood hype and backing, is making a big showing. It is a documentary that talks about something we don't think could happen in the good ol' USA, but it does. Check out the clip here, go to the movie (it's currently playing in Porland) and then join Whipple Creek this Advent Season as we bring Christmas back to what it was meant to be--the light and hope of the world. Our focus during the Advent Conspiracy is going to be releasing girls from the sex trade in various countries. I will post more about it later. We are really excited to see what God is going to do.

Also, join us this Sunday starting at 8:30 am until 9:45 am for an all you can eat omelet feed. Following breakfast, we will worship and I will be probably giving one of the most controverial messages I have ever given--"is it okay for Christians to drink alcohol?" You are going to have to come and here this one. It's going to be a fun one.

Love you guys, still celebrating the 6 dedications and re-redications from last Sunday. That was awesome! I also have some exciting news to share about how God is fulfilling a long time dream I've had for our church! Whoo Hooo! Stoked for Sunday!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Where We've Been-Where We're Going!

I think it's time for good ol' old testament remembering. I was always struck by how God always had altars built to remember what he had done for His children. They would stop, worship and erect an altar of stone. I think as a church, we should do the same thing. We need to remember where we've come from, because it gives us a direction of where we are going.

We were recently asked "What has God been up to a Whipple Creek since last year?" At our staff retreat last weekend, we had a time to remember and we jotted those things down in bullet point format. This list is not to impress or say, "look how cool we are!" or even, "hey, look what God is doing in our church." but it's to remember how God has been faithful to us in the past and how we can trust that He will be faithful in the future. I hope you enjoy reading through "the list." Each one of the bullet points represents a story of a changed life (or lives in some cases.) As you read, remember God's faithfulness in your own life, your own ministry and your own church (if Whipple isn't your church.)

Oh yea, for those of you in Vancouver, we kick off our new series this Sunday, "Behind Closed Doors." We asked you what questions you had about the Christian life and we went to the Bible for answers. This Sunday is "End of Days" or Are we living in the end times? I look forward to it!

In His Grip


At Whipple Creek Church we aim to make it hard to get to hell from Vancouver, Washington. We measure success by changed lives. Here is evidence of changed lives from this past year:

• Our prayer ministry has been developed. We began a weekly prayer meeting, developed a prayer team that is available on Sundays and throughout the week and have gone on prayer walks throughout the neighborhood.
• Our worship ministry has developed. We have gone through a transition in our worship ministry with a new worship pastor coming in and developing new leadership as he and his family our transitioning to the foreign mission field. We now have four worship leaders and a few different teams in rotations. The sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence during our time of worship on Sunday mornings is very evident.
• Our skate church ministry has seen 51 conversions since January. A new skate church pastor is transitioning into leadership. We are developing leaders from among our sponsored skaters. We have taken skaters on trips to California and other skate parks, doing outreach.
• Our youth ministry has gone through transition this year as a new youth pastor has come on board. They are developing a phenomenal leadership and seeing new youth come.
• We have had 35 baptisms.
• We have invested a lot of time and resources in community outreach. We had a Luau and campout and a movie night on our property in the back. We gave over 30 backpacks with school supplies to a local elementary school to be given to children from low-income homes. We served hot dogs to public service employees downtown. We made a float and were in a parade in our local community.
• We launched our first Vacation Bible School in our community where 60 to 80 children came everyday, 70% of which were not children from our church, 7 of which gave their lives to Christ. We had 70 volunteers come out to help.
• We started a coffee house on Sunday nights where local Christian artists perform to create an environment where people in the community can have coffee and connect with others.
• We have hosted Christian hard rock shows where 200 young people who may never darken the doors of a traditional church have come to hear about Jesus.
• We built a recording studio upstairs at our church where we record and produce local Christian bands, helping local musicians.
• We have started many small groups for all ages and walks of life where community happens.
• We have had 3 miracles babies, that from a medical perspective, shouldn’t have been born. We dedicated these babies and many more.
• We remodeled our children’s ministry wing and moved into it.
• William P. Young, author of “The Shack,” came and spoke at our church.
• We launched our young adult ministry where as many as 50 young adults come for fellowship and to grow in their walk with Jesus.
• We established Whipple Creek World Missions. We sent people on our 2nd short-term missions trip to Poland. We have sent out full-time missionaries from within our body to Oregon, Kansas, Mexico and Mozambique and are in the process of sending out a family full-time to Poland.
• A former drug-user who is a professional painter volunteered his time & came and painted our church building .
• One young man who gave his life to Christ at skate church brought his parents to church. His father who was raised Mormon and his mother who was raised Catholic turned Buddhist both received Christ on separate Sunday mornings and now serve at Whipple.
• One family who had been away from the church for 15 years and just lost a child to a motorcycle accident saw our church sign that says, “Real Life, Real Hope,” received healing and has been at church ever since. Their autistic son is a part of our greeting team on Sunday mornings.
• We’ve had the biggest Northwest Passage group we’ve ever had. We look forward to the changed lives that result in this leadership development.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Heart--Body---Crema--Good Espresso

Enthusiasm is the expression of a passionate relationship with Christ. Without it our Christian witness is like decaffeinated and bitter espresso. In 2 Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul gives us a java jolt about the power of enthusiasm to move the heart of God and impact the lives of others.

Paul wrote this piece of inspired mail to the church at Philippi while he was chained to a Roman guard. Paul could have been worried, stressed out, or riddled with fear. His disposition could have been that of criticism, rudeness, or ingratitude; but it wasn’t. Instead, the theme of the book of Philippians is outrageous, contagious enthusiasm and joy.

Philippians is a shot of real espresso for every Christ-follower because joy is mentioned 14 times in 104 verses. How did Paul remain so enthusiastic in the midst of such hardship? He was enthusiastic simply because he chose to be. He was intentional about enthusiasm because of his relationship with Christ and because of the important work Christ had called him to do.

In Philippians 1:12, Paul says, “What has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.” The word “advanced” means to progress the Gospel. This is a picture of a group of men who clear the path for an advancing army.

Once the path is cleared, the advancing army is able to proceed with the battle. Paul said that what happened to him occurred so that the Gospel could be preached and more people could come into the family of God. Despite his circumstances, Paul chose to be enthusiastic about his role in furthering the life-changing message of Christ.

Enthusiasm is the caffeine behind our expression. It’s the love of God that we share with a lost and dying world. God does not communicate to us in an arms folded way. He communicates his love enthusiastically to us with his arms wide open. And that supernatural enthusiasm in our lives gives us the power to mark the lives of others.

Enthusiasm also gives us an opportunity, like appreciation does, to move the heart of God. As you give your enthusiasm back to God, as you worship him with enthusiasm, it can change the course of your day and the course of your life. Choose enthusiasm this week, because as Christ-followers we have the ultimate reason to display contagious, outrageous joy and enthusiasm.

This Sunday will be our last in this series. Find out how to know if you're getting the perfect espresso shot and at the same time, if you are giving perfectly "espressoing" yourself.

Love you


One of the Coolest Things I've Seen in Worship

New Creation from FC Post on Vimeo.