Category Archive: blessings

Celebrating the 4th Down Under!

Hey Friends,

If you follow me on Twitter you know I’m in Sydney for the #hillsongconf.  It has been glorious.  The worship and the sermons have been more than challenging.  I am fired up to get back to “our House” @faithpromise.  We miss our family and are even more fired up for the second half of 2012.

I had an unusual experience this morning in the session.  (Remember we are 14 hours ahead of Knoxville.)  This morning we sang the Star Spangled Banner.  30,000 Aussies singing our song was pretty cool, but after that Pastor Brian Houston prayed for America.  I was already moved by the song, but the intercession pushed me and Michele over the edge.

We are told the world hates America.  It is not true here.  The entire assembly of believers prayed for us.  Wow!!! Around the world believers intercede for our nation.  Are they more passionate for revival for us than we are?  Watching the Body of Christ as one, the Lord was pleased.

We in America have so much to celebrate and to be thankful for.  Truly God has blessed, and we pray, “God Bless America!”

Happy 4th of July!  Enjoy all we have.

See ya when Michele and I get back.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Blessed With a Complicated Life?

 

Hey Friends,

I read a great thought from Mark Batterson in his latest book, The Circle Maker. It was about our life getting more complicated. I know many of us long for the “simpler days” of our past. It is easy to look at our “to do” lists or the problems we face and wish them away. Rejoice in them! Complications are proof of His blessings and favor on us. That is the best way to look at things.

When I was single life was far more simple, but I would not trade my wife for anything. God blessed me with a great wife but it did add complication. Then the Lord gave us three kids, and what blessings they have been in our lives. But you know as well as I do, they put complication on steroids. I would not take a million dollars for one of them and yet I would not give you a nickel for another one just like them. There is no question that the more you are blessed, the more complicated your life will become.

Another illustration of my point is money. When I was poor, life was so much more simple! Now that I have more money it adds layers of complication. Lord complicate our lives!

Now, let me ask you, do you like complication a little more? I am praying for the Lord to complicate my life, family, and ministry. I want all the Lord has for me and that means complication comes with it. Pour it on Lord. I thought life was complicated when I was doing one weekend service and the church was small. Now I preach at least four times each weekend and we have five locations. Thousands of people show up every weekend and we are highly favored, but think of the layers of complication. I would not want to go back to a simpler day and forget about all the people who have been saved.

Complication is a great mark of God’s Hand of favor resting on you.

Now, how do you view a complicated life?

Just a thought…

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Favor Is Not Fair!!!

Hey Friends,

We live in a world where almost everyone is crying, “IT IS NOT FAIR!” In many situations life is not fair. Fair is not a biblical concept. People usually cry, “NOT FAIR,” when they think someone has gotten more than them and they want what you have. It seems to be hard-wired into our DNA.  Virtually every child uses this tactic to get what he or she wants. We have all done it and seen it.

When it comes to the favor and blessings of God, it is not fair. He gives it out as He sees fit and He is, after all, GOD. So, of course He can. Deuteronomy 28:2 says, “All the blessings shall come and overtake you.” God loves to bless His kids. And we love to be blessed, Amen?

What I seem to be seeing in so many is that we are embarrassed by the blessings. You look around and you seem to be the brunt of blessing others are not receiving, so you try to hide them, ashamed of them. Do you think this honors God? Probably not! We need to brag on God and His mighty Hand of favor and blessings. Psalm 118:23: “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Don’t you marvel at all the Lord does in your life?

Psalm 35:27-28: “…And let them say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.’ And my tongue shall declare your righteousness and your praise all day long.”

We are supposed to brag on what He does in our lives, NOT and NEVER be ashamed!!! The blessings of God on our lives draw people to Him. Some, to be sure, will be jealous, critical or angry at your blessings. So what?!? Don’t allow others to ruin or squelch all the Lord is doing. Remember, He is the Blesser and He is to be bragged upon.

If you refuse to rejoice in all the Lord does in your life because you are embarrassed, think He might stop the flow??? Your real friends will rejoice with you as God blesses.

Many times I have been in meetings with other pastors and I refused to brag on what God was doing. Usually the theme of the meetings was doom and gloom. I hesitated to talk about all the Lord was doing and how the church was growing. I was holding back on God!!!

Tell your story to others and give God the glory! He will use it for you and in them.

Do you feel His favor falling on you?

Love ya and be blessed,

Pastor Chris

 

The Kingdom Moves on the Tracks of Sacrifice!

Hey Friends,

As Christ followers we should be very familiar with sacrifice! Our Lord and Model showed us what it was to give your life away for others. I heard a great definition today of what sacrifice really is:

“Sacrifice is giving up something you love to be about to give to someone you love more.”   ~Bill Price 

He said just ask a grandparent what it is. I love it. I was immediately moved and began to think of what Michele and I could sacrifice in our upcoming MIRACLE OFFERING. After all, Jesus held back nothing for us and gave His all. What can I do in return and in worship?

Often I have said the Kingdom runs on the twin tracks of faith and sacrifice, and I still believe it. Show me a church where the people have faith and they sacrifice for the vision and for the Lord, and I will show you a miraculous ministry! Faith moves God’s heart and the sacrifice of God’s people provides what is needed to reach the Prodigals.

As Christ followers we are called to do what we can do and God will do what He can do. The problem with most churches is that we want God to do His part without us doing our part. If we are serious about the gospel and making it hard to go to hell from our city, then we will be marked by sacrifice. Are you doing your part?

This weekend at Faith Promise we will be giving our community a 4th of July celebration from 5:00 – 10:00 pm on Sunday, July 3rd, at Pellissippi State, Hardin Valley Campus. It will be awesome. We will have 11,000 people there. It will be totally free, just like the gospel. I am praying for 100s to be saved and 100 baptised. I hope to see you there!

Together we can make a mega difference.

Love you and praying for you,

Pastor Chris

 

Fifteen Awesome Years

Hey Friends,

I was blown away this weekend at Faith Promise. The church honored me for 15 years of service. Normal FP, they had a hilarious video. My son, Micah, honored me by praying for me. It was a moment I won’t soon forget.

Josh Whitehead also said some nice things – miracles will happen! I love Faith Promise and serving the Lord as the lead pastor. They have made it so easy to lead. I was really blessed to the max.

I feel so sorry for pastors and leaders where that is not the norm. Many people feel it is their lot in life to make it hard on the leader. Many churches feel the need to ruin the lives of every pastor they have. It is more than sad, it is satanic. Do you make life a joy for those who lead you? The Word says it would be unprofitable for you to make it hard on them. By giving your leader a hard time you are hurting and hindering yourself, the church, the organization, and the future for everyone involved! This is just not a great move.

I must say again that FPC makes leading a pure joy. They challenge me to be a better leader and serve our Lord at a whole new level. Maybe that is one of the reasons God’s favor is resting on us. The church has given me a 30-day sabbatical to grow closer to Christ and gain a new vision. I am so fired up about the time. You can see how they make it easy to lead. I am so grateful to God for how He blesses me.

In what ways can you make it easy for leaders to lead?

Just a thought.

Love you,

Pastor Chris

 

The Favor of God

Hey Friends,

Do you have the favor of God on you?

Have you found favor in His eyes? Have you ever asked the Lord for His favor to fall on you like a heavy fog? If you haven’t, you’re in pretty good company. Few Christ followers ever consider asking the Lord for His favor. Odd to me, since as you read the Bible you find it on so many of the pages. Every person used mightily of the Master had a heavy dose of His favor.

Favor is something I ask for on a daily basis. I think of Joseph as he found favor in the eyes of everyone of his captors. He was promoted everywhere he went due to the favor of God on his life. You see it on Moses, Daniel, King David and so many others. Paul pursued it with a passion. In Gal. 1:10 he said,

 “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?

 A rhetorical question with the answer so clear no one could misinterpret it. In 2 Cor. 1:11, he asks the Church to pray for him so the favor of God will be with him.

So, let me ask you again, do you seek the favor of God? Do you think it might be a good thing to do? As a leader and a person of faith you need all the favor you can get. You need it from God and from the people you lead. Even with the decisions you make, the favor of the Father can cause them to be received with overwhelming acceptance.

If you want to be a winner, an overcomer, a spiritual Spartan for the Savior, then you need His favor all over you. I pray it falls on you to such a degree that everyone you come in contact with sees it all over you. I pray they glorify our Father that is in heaven. As a leader looking to reach your full potential, favor must be part of your foundation.

Can you feel it falling on you?

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. Pray for His favor to fall on our Lit Conferences.

 

Who’s Holding You Back?

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Number 48 in the Country!

Hey Friends,

I have to tell you I am still blown away and I never dreamed it. Faith Promise was just listed as the 48th fastest growing church in America. That is just mind-blowing! Don’t forget, because I don’t, that I am just a washed up ex-druggie that God saved and decided to use. Now look – Pure God! He can use anything or anyone He chooses.

When Michele and I took our first church plant in the bayou of southwest Louisiana, we never saw this coming! I believe God has big plans for each of us. I also believe I am one of His favorites. I’m still surprised at how few people challenge me on that thought.

I am so thrilled with the team that God has assembled at FPC. The staff and volunteers are first rate! We have the best staff Executive Team, all staff, Elders, Leadership Team, Small Group Leaders, and I could go on. God has blessed us with so many committed Christ-followers who are willing to sacrifice and give their lives for the Lord and His Kingdom. We are so blessed to get to serve with this team.

Rarely does anyone do something great alone. Faith Promise is a family of thousands. It may have grown large but it is still a family. Every day I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. God is indeed so good. If  He never did anything else for me after saving me, it still would have been far more than I deserve. He never quits blessing His kids.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Today we are rejoicing because of the favor of God.

In less than three weeks we launch our next campus in Blount County. More souls saved from hell and placed in heaven – that is what we are all about!

Be blessed and walk under an open heaven!

Pastor Chris