Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It is found in the things we never thought we could do!

Hey all,
My oh my, what a long title. Many of you know this year we hae been hosting the Upwards program at CWC. At the end of last year God really put it on my heart that if we do it again that I wanted to coach a team. Well God definitely answered that prayer this year as I am now coaching the 5th/6th grade boys basketball team.
It has been so awesome watching kids who might not normally come to church memorizing scripture and getting involved. My prayer is that this will spill over into families coming to know Christ in a greater way. In this day and age it is so wise to meet our culture where they are at. When it comes to kids sports many parents will support their kids no matter what (as well they should)
I say all this to say that in all of this I have benefited so much spiritually. In the families I have met, and many of the people I have gotten a chance to work with this year. Now if you have seen me coach I think I get more a workout than the kids (hint: I'm jumping all over the place). It is hard to contain the excitement of seeing a kid finally come out of any shyness he has and shooting the ball (i had that happen last week). It was awesome!
Isn't it funny how when you go, "out on a limb" so to speak and do something completely different that God shows you how awesome he is? Take a look at aspects of you r life and ask God where can I be stretched. Yeah, I know it is a dangerous question because as with most things we may not know th results, but praise God that he walks with us through these bold new challenges!

May God Bless you and Heaven Smile on you!
Pastor Jason

PS: "Go Aces"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

From the Inside out

Hey all,
As I sit here and think and type I find myself so hopeful right now. Pastor Mick has said time and time again that, "Now will be our finest hour"! Those of you who know me know that I have a flair for the dramatic, and that phrased has been a guiding force for me in recent week. I have seen and talked to people who have indicated that right now in their lives they feel like they are going through the worst time in their life. Whether the problems are economic, or just despair with situations, we all need to be reminded that God is there! Yes, God is there thought the hard times, we are not alone.
Tomorrow is uncertain and the guilt and pain of yesterday can and will dominate if we don't surrender to God. Many ask me about our youth all the time. How are they? Are they putting their hope in Jesus? The answer is yes, and if we are doing what we should do (praying and seeking God's wisdom) then the answer is clear. We are to put our hope in Jesus from the inside out, that is, with our entire being.
I know this is tough especially during the rough times, those times that we don't do what we know we should. So get back up and try again. Don't give up! The glorious one, our great God wants no less of us.
So as you go about your day today, remember that. Whether you are taking the kids to school or out, having dinner, life journaling, don't forget what a great God we serve. He is everlasting!!!

"His light will shine when all else fails
neverending his glory goes beyond all things
my heart and my soul
I give you control
consume us from the inside out"

"From the Inside out" Hillsong

May God bless you and Heaven smile on you!
Pastor Jason

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who would have thought.... It figures God shows up!!!

Hey all,

Well as I preached on Sunday, getting rid of the clutter is not the easiest thing to do. This is my first full week of FASTING from Television (as most of you may know I am an avid LOST, and Law and Order fan. I gotta tell you I have had some of the most amazing conversations this week. As you can see by the picture above God really blessed our youth lockin. In today's hard economic times we were blessed by God working through our teensw to collect over $2000 for World Vision and for our church, My Brother's Keeper, that we support in Detroit.

As I have been reflecting on this time it is definitely a time of practicing what you preach. Looking to God in all things, and heeding the words of Jeremiah 29:11. I believe that it is when our faith is tested with obstacles, it totally figures that our Great God is there with us to guide us through situations. Blessed be his name.

As I was talking to some people this week it was so cool to have them speak life, into my life. That is, to have those real "meaty" conversations that I believe each of us desires to have. Don't miss those opportunities. They are there. In today's fast paced world, we just have to look a little deeper for them. I praise God for helping me get rid of the clutter. As you read this I hope you think on those things that you need to get rid of. Pray about it, and moreover do something about it.

I pray these words find you well. Seve God with all your heart this week!!!!

Pastor Jason

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The one thing that I don't Question!

Hey all,
I hope this week finds you snowy but well. I was reading and preparing my message for this week and came accross 1 Thessolonians 3: 6-10. In it, you see the response to Timothy sharing the good news of Christ. It is really an awesome set of scripture when you stop to think of all the drama Timothy, much like Paul had to endure in this journeys.
I think to myself, the one thing that I don't want to ever Question is God's love for me. His infinite love, the love that is so characteristic in I Corinthians 13. That is the type of love that I want to share with people every week. I think that we all need to be reminded that, although we may mistakes, God forgives us in a way that is sometimes hard to understand. Because we live in such an unforgiving world that makes it that much harder.
Of any time of the year January and February are the hardest months for me to get through. I love Spring and Summer, and can even take Fall on a good day, but these months are what I like to call the Dog Days of Winter. Ironically, I find that I am more focused during these months as I read and pray over scripture, and now with the addition of my Life Journal, God has been giving me new insight into what I am reading. Isn't that just awesome how God works. I think of Timothy and what it must have been like for him to see just a glimpse of the spiritual fruit that (even for the smallest moment) was evident in the lives of the Thessalonians.
As we look at our families, and our friends my prayer is that each of us is willing to receptive to those moments of insight, and know that the one thing that we should never Question is that God will always be there!

May God bless you and heaven smile on you!
Pastor Jason

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Never forget!

Hey all,
Last night while taking some time to "veg-out" Shelly and I watched the Billy Graham Christmas Special. For most of you reading this you may be able to remember a time when the BG Christmas Special was at the forefront of Christmas viewing. In recent years it had all but disappeared. I began to think to myself, isn't it interesting then in these times of economic upheaval, here is this hallmark of American television, back again (this time hosted by his Billy Graham's son, Franklin)
The show was very Christ-centered, with prominent Christian music artists performing much to my astonishment especially in our "tolerance drivien society". It is apparent to me that even in the most desperate times, we cling to that which we know to be true. And for Christians that is the hope of our Blessed Savior Jesus Christ. That is the hope that defies all description. The hope that makes you cry, not in terms of sadness, but the joy that God puts inside you. Don't let the economics of this world affect your celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. That is, what Christmas is. A celebration of the birth that changed the world. I challenged our teens this week to celebrate December 25th as just that, a huge birthday party for Jesus Christ. We as a youth ministry will be doing that on Thursday December 18th. Our teens will have a huge birthday party for Jesus!
I believe that it is in that mentality that we won't get caught up in all the shopping for "the right gift", in all the busyness that this time of year can bring. Don't forget what we are celebrating.
However small and insignificant showing Christmases from years past might have been during that show last night, I think it reminds us that it is not the gifts we will remember as much as the times with family and loved ones that we will spend together. And in that togetherness we can face the hard time. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Philippians 4:13.

May God bless and renew you this week!
Pastor Jason

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Hey all,
On Tuesday I had the awesome opportunity to take 17 teens who are in Youth Disicpleship to volunteer in Detroit at My Brother's Keeper. For those of you who don't know, on the last two Tuesday's of the month we support in the way of food ministry, 2 impoverished local areas. Grace center's of Hope in Pontiac, and My Brother's Keeper in Downtown Detroit. As I gave the message I was reminded of the fact that the area we wereministering in was about a 10 minute drive from where I grew up. It was a very emotional moment for me to say the least. As we prayed , sang, and the teens shared scripture it warmed my heart to see them work so hard.
I must tell you as I sit and type this I think of the words of Proverbs 10:5, especially when it comes to our teens. They need to recognize that there is a world out there. Something beyond their homes, where people are suffering. In truth we all do.
There will be those that sit at their tables and not have food to eat on Thursday. On tuesday we got the opportunity to serve over 70 people who needed a meal. Further, we were able to give them a spiritual meal (definitely something that will last). One of our teens, Joel, gave his testimony to those in attendance. It was a powerful moment.
As our teens wrestle with lifes tough questions the fact that is does not take a mission trip to another country to open their eyes, but a 45 minute drive to Detroit to make a difference. As our teens begin preparations for our 30 hour Fast to raise money for the Homeless in January 2009 (see calender) be in prayer for them.
As we debriefed on the way home, many of the teens echoed that, "it just doesn't seem fair", and that they want to do more to help people. I challenged them to pray as to how they will be used by God. Again I think, "The Hour of opportunity" mentioned in Proverbs 10:5. Isn't it exciting that they are not willing to "sleep the time away", but to recognize a world of need beyond their own.
Perhaps you thinkto yourself as you read this. "What can I do". I say, support our feeding ministries, and support our teens as they get involved! Challenge them, because they are ready to fight for something. Isn't it awesome that they are choosing to fight for God! Let us support them as they strive to do so!

May God Bless you and Heaven Smile on you all.
Truly be Thankful for all that you have!
Pastor Jason

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Year Later

Hey all,
It is unbelievable to me that on Nov. 17th I will be celebrating my one year anniversary being married to my darling bride Shelly. The adage, "Time flies when you are having fun", comes to mind. I am really excited, much like our honeymoon we will be going on a cruise with some close friends. We will be visiting Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island, and Jamaica. What a welcome respite to all the goings on in the world around us (yes, even though I can't swim, I am excited!). As most of you will atest to it is nice to get away, especially with the one you love.

In addition this last weekend Shelly and I got to babysit my new nephew RJ. He is 3 months old and awesome! Kudos to all you parents and grandparents out there, my sister gave us a long list of things to keep an eye on with the baby. I hadn't realized how much goes into taking care of children, especially wee little ones (afterall in ministry I usually get them at age 11 or so:). So to all you who are raising or have raised kids, I praise God for you! Having RJ was just such a refreshing and enjoyable experience.

Many of you may know, but I believe wholeheartedly that RJ is here due to prayer. My sister was told that she could never conceive children. Due to the Power of Prayer from many people, I believe God granted us all this blessing. Don't you just love it when God shows up like that! He is truly an awesome God! May your week be filled with warm memories and good times, no matter what is going on in the world, we serve a gracious Lord who loves each and every one of you. And with Jesus Christ, "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE"!

Talk atcha when we return! Be praying for a safe restful time for us!
Pastor Jason

Shelly and RJ
RJ, PJ and India (sis/mom)