Category Archive: spiritual Journey

Praise the Lord for a Breakthrough!

Hey Friends,

If you read this blog very often then it means you are either my mom or you care deeply for the Church of the living God! That means for most of us we care for the Church. We want it to be healthy, grow, and see major life transformation. I truly believe this about you. My question is, “How deeply are we looking into the spiritual side of the Church?”

For several months some people I trust at Faith Promise had told me something was wrong. We  prayed, studied, brought in consultants, and did everything we could to find the problem. We probably spent more time in the natural than the spiritual. In the natural we had plateaued. Our growth was stagnant at best. When the Church is not growing I am not a happy camper. Healthy things grow, especially the Church. We looked at every system and strategy we had. Nothing seemed to help.

Then out of nowhere God broke through! We lurched forward by hundreds and are 25% over the same time last year. What happened? God happened! We had a breakthrough in the heavenlies. Spiritual war is real and hell is out to stop all of our ministries. Hell hates the Church. We must destroy the works of the devil.

What happened? I wish I knew what the Lord did, but I don’t. I’m so excited that He did! The Church is moving forward. People are being saved. There is a new excitement in the air. That cannot be produced by our clever planning or promotion. Only God can create revival, save souls, and heal broken hearts and lives. He is at work and I just want to join Him in His marvelous ministry. He can do more in five minutes in His power than we can do in a lifetime without Him.

Where do you need a breakthrough? Our God can! I pray He moves on your behalf in any area you or your ministry is blocked. It is the devil’s job to dam up our lives and ministries. We have greater power than he does. Let’s ask the Lord to send revival and break the devil’s dam in your life and for the Holy Spirit to flow freely. Praying for your victory in Jesus’ name.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

30 Days of Sabbatical! I’m Back

Hey Friends,

Well, it sure has been a long time since we hooked up here, I’m back! It is great to be with you. If you prayed for me I really appreciate it. I sought the Lord like never before. It was a great time with Him and with Michele. I thought I would give you my reading list as you might want to read some of these great books.

1. Heaven is for real. What a great book and an easy read. It warmed my heart for heaven and for the goodness of God. An elder at Faith Promise, Mike Fritze not only suggested it but he bought me a copy. What a way to start my month with the Master.

2. The Autobiography of Reinhardt Bonke. I loved the book even thought it was no easy read, it was close to 800 pages with very few pictures. I was stirred as I read it about the supernatural power of God and a fresh burden for souls. I was blessed by reading the book. It is not for the “Baptist” at heart as Bonke is Pentecostal. I loved it.

3. Win, by FranF Luntz. This is a secular leadership book. I could not put it down. It was great and challanged me on many levels. I really enjoy Luntz at an author.

4. Whisper, by Bill Hybles. This book was about hearing the voice of God and having the guts to obey. I love to reay Hybles and this was as good as usual. I was challaged in my prayer life and discernment towards His voice. Bill is a brilliant leader and man of God.

5. Hinds Feet in High Places, By Hannah Hurnard. This is an old book that I read years ago and grabed it as I left the office. I started it Sunday morning and could not put it down. It is an allegory of walking with Jesus, and I love it.

I would recomend any of these books to you. God used each one of them in a special way in His plan for me. What you read is vitaly important in your spiritual growth and advancement. It is the will of God for you to grow.

It is great to be back with you, and get ready for a great ride.

Praying for you,

Pastor Chris

 

Are You Hungry to Grow?

Hey Friends,

Are you hungry to grow? I have to be honest, I am really blown away by how few people are hungry to grow! Would you agree? We are commanded to pursue the Lord with our whole heart. We are told to, “Study to show yourself approved…” Over and over we are encouraged, commanded, warned, and motivated to grow in the Lord. As leaders we should want to give the Lord the best offering we can. We should desire to give our lives as a “drink offering” to God.

What could be some of the reasons that so many seem to care less about personal growth? Could it be laziness, complacency, lack of a plan, no motivation, or any one of a million reasons to stop on the interstate of improvement and growth? On a scale of 1-10, where are you on pursuing personal growth? If you rated yourself low, why? What is stopping you from climbing to the next level? It really is the “Climb of Your Life.”

I promise you, when you attempt to grow into all the Lord has for you, it is a great journey. Your influence grows and you ability to minister and care for others grows exponentially. You get to lead the church or your organization to a whole ‘nother level. There is no down side to personal growth, but there is a massive down side to not achieving your potential or at least attempting to grow. So, what will you do with what the Lord has placed in you?

If you rated yourself high on the scale, you need to be grateful for the motivation the Master has given you. Psalm 51:12 says, “Lord, sustain me with a willing spirit.” Ask the Lord to make you want to. If you are one of the few constantly trying to grow, then I applaud you and I believe the Lord is very proud of you.

Keep climbing.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Personal Growth Plan (5)

Hey Friends,

I know that if I write a blog 5 days in a row on the same topic, readers drop off like dead flies. There are more important things than numbers of readers and stats! Your personal growth remains at the top of our list. I was having lunch this week with Jay Strack. He is a great leader and preacher. He has preached to millions and has a heart to reach people and help grow churches. He made a statement that stuck out to me: “When all is said and done, there is a lot more said than done.” A true statement to say the least.

Let’s use that thought with regard to our spiritual growth and potential plan. There is a lot more talk about spiritual growth than actual growth. It is easy to read blogs and books about spiritual disciplines, formation, and growth than actually doing the hard work of Holy Sweat! We all want it and our intentions are as pure as the driven snow. But rolling up our sleeves, getting out of bed, opening our journals, memorizing the Word, spending time in silence, solitude, meditation, and pursuing God with a passion, well, that is a different story entirely. We all know this to be true by personal experience!

God, I believe, longs to walk with us like He did with Adam in the garden. That is why He created us. He gets pleasure out of a relationship with us. I am begging you to carve out time and a plan for your walk with God in 2011. With God you will be more productive, joyous, victorious, peaceful, and happy. In 2011, please place yourself in a position that you are bless-able. Our Father loves to bless His children.

Develop your plan, deploy your plan, determine to do your plan. Don’t let the devil or anything else keep you from your potential in the presence of God.

I’m believing with you that 2011 will be your greatest year of spiritual growth yet.

Pastor Chris

 

Personal Growth Plan (4)

Hey Friends,

If you were to rate yourself on your spiritual life, how would you rate yourself? On a scale from 1 to 10 how close are you to Jesus? Where would you like to be on the scale? This is not an event but a process. Spiritual growth is the result of disciplines developed over a lifetime. Most of us want it right now and we give up. I wonder how many people have bailed just before a breakthrough?

We are called into a passionate pursuit of the Presence of God. The only way to do it is the daily disciplines. We would all love to pray a prayer and automatically be a spiritual giant, but it just doesn’t work that way. We have to commit to the process if we are serious about growing. I want to ask you again to develop a plan and put it into place. Commit to a daily time and doing your plan.

If you don’t have one, what will you do? Without a systematic approach to Bible study and all of the rest of the disciplines, what will you do? If you are determined and dedicate yourself to the plan in 2011, by the end of the year you will be closer to a 10 on the spiritual scale. It is time to quit wishing or just hoping you grow.

Take responsibility for your growth. I have heard many people blame their spiritual standing on their pastor or other spiritual leaders. When we stand before the “Bema Seat” of judgment there will be no excuse. I want to challenge you to get it in gear and get going and growing. If you haven’t read last Tuesday’s blog, I encourage you to read it. It is the most important blog this week.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Personal Growth Plan (3)

Hey Friends,

As many of you know, I am passionate about all of us developing a growth plan. I started creating a plan in about 1990, over 20 years ago. The number one commandment for each of us is to, “love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.” A personal growth plan accomplishes this, or at least it helps us to strive to do it. We have a plan for many things in our lives, shouldn’t spiritual growth be at the top of our priority list?

For me it is. A personal growth plan has been what the Lord has used to grow me and feed my soul and spirit. We all want what a plan can help us accomplish!

  • We all want to be closer to Christ.
  • We want to know the Word better.
  • We want a better prayer life.

We could do this all day long. We all really want it! We dream of it, and we desire it more than anything else. Yet, we do not make a plan to make it happen. Odd! Hope is a great attribute but it is a terrible strategy. Don’t just hope you grow – prep for it, plan for it, and just do it.

If you think about it, there are only about a dozen huge decisions we make in our lifetime. Once we make a decision, we spend the rest of our lives managing the decision. You have already made the decision to grow, now manage it!

Look at yesterday’s blog and make your own plan. I promise if you do it and work it all during 2011, you will be much closer to Christ at the end of the year.

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”

Keep Growing,

Pastor Chris

 

Personal Growth Plan Template

Hey Friends,

This is part of the appendix for the book, “The Plan of Your Life.” This is a tool to help you develop a P.G.P. for your walk with the Lord.

Quantify the spiritual disciplines below so you can measure them. They can be measured by differing amounts of time or pages…

The number one command in the Cannon is: “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and all your mind.” That sounds like a lot of effort. The purpose of this plan is to help you accomplish God’s heart and your desire; to obey the first commandment.

Jude 20-21: “But you beloved, building yourself up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”

 BIBLE READING  Ps. 19:7-8:  “The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”

                 ________________ (pages or chapters, daily or annually)

 My recommendation is to read the entire Bible annually. Options: App____________ , read straight through, Bible reading record, Chronological Bible, One-Year Bible  (Straight-through reading is not recommended for the novice, as it is easy to get bogged down in some of the Older Testament.)

 BIBLE STUDY  2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17:  “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth.” “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

                 _______________ (amount of time, topics, books to be studied, studies)

 You may choose topics of interest, character studies, book studies, word studies, Small Group Bible studies, prepared studies, e.g., Beth Moore, Precepts, etc.

 SCRIPTURE MEMORY  Ps. 119:11: “Your word have I treasured in my heart, That I might not sin against you.”

                 _______________ (# of verses annually)

 Use areas of growth you need: evangelism verses, prayer promises, faith (I would suggest the “Roman Road” to salvation: Rom. 3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10,13.)

 MEDITATION  Ps. 104:34; 119:97-99: “Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; as for me I shall be glad in the Lord.” “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.”

                 ___________________ (amount of time)

 Daily in the Scriptures, Names of God, doctrines, attributes of God, memory verses, etc.

 SILENCE  Ps. 46:10; 62:5: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.”  “My soul, waits in silence for God only,  for my only hope is in Him.”

                 _______________(amount of time)

Structured listening to God,  listening to the Holy Spirit, discerning the Will of God, reflecting on issues, reflecting on events, reflecting on your day, problems, or the future.

 SOLITUDE  Ps. 27:5; 31:20: “For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.”  “You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.”                

                _______________(amount of time)

 When, where, rest, bask in His presence and His glory, receive His power.

 PRAYER  I Sam. 12:23; I Thes. 5:17:  “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.”  “Pray without ceasing.”                       

                ______________(specific amount of time)

Create a list of family, friends, co-workers, spiritual leaders, political leaders, church family, harvest of souls, revival, ministries, missionaries, etc.

 FASTING  Mt. 6:16:   “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”            

                 _______________(# of meals, days, seasons)

I would recommend starting with one meal and working your way up: one day, three days, seven days, longer. Plan for prayer times during the fast. Study Isa. 58 in preparation.

 EVANGELISM  Acts 1:8:  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”    

           _______________(# of people you will share the Gospel with this year)

 Create a list of people to pray for and share with:

 FAMILY                                         FRIENDS                                                               CO-WORKERS

_______________                    _______________                                        _______________

_______________                    _______________                                        _______________

_______________                     _______________                                        _______________

BOOKS READ                 _______________(# of books for the year)

Consider topics, areas of interest or growth, areas of strengths or weaknesses (I recommend one out of every ten books be a positive attitude book), areas of professional proficiency, areas to stretch you.

 CDs, DVDs, PODCASTS, BLOGS  Prov. 4:23:  “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”              

                 _______________(# listened to)

 Leadership, sermons, worship (Enroll in U. of A. – University of Automobile – by making the best use of time in the car and travel.)

 SERVING  Jn. 13:14-15; I Pet. 4:10:  “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”  “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”   

               _______________(amount of time)

 Inside the church, out in the community, with the poor, visiting jail or prison, areas to which you feel called.

 MISSION TRIPS  Mt. 28:19-20:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  

             _______________(Trips annually or when do you plan to go?)

 LIST AREAS IN YOUR SPIRITUAL WALK THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT:

 “Your personal plan should reflect all of the disciplines and the areas in which you want to grow.

 “Your life is like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.”  ~GOD

I know that this is long, but I pray it is a great tool to aid your pursuit of God.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Preparing Your Personal Growth Plan

Hey Friends,

It is that time of the year again and this is the week to get it done! Your personal growth plan, that is. This is usually a slow week in many businesses and churches so let’s make wise use of the time and get down to business. If you are new to my blog, then you may not know I have a passion for helping people develop a P.G.P. for the important areas of their lives.

Faith ranks up there at the top! It is key and critical if you are going to be successful in this life and the next. I just finished writing a book on this very topic. It will come out late in the first quarter of 2011 and is entitled, “The Plan of Your Life: Managing What Matters Most.” But for now, we need to help you begin your plan to get closer to Christ this next year.

How did 2010 go for you? Are you closer to the Lord than the year before? How did you do with the spiritual disciplines that are required to “grow up in all aspects unto Christ.” Now, take some time and begin to draft your plan. If you would post your plan it might help hundreds of others who are just starting. I am going to try tomorrow to post a template for the spiritual disciplines.

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail! We have all heard that, but it is still true. There is nothing more important than your walk with the Lord, so let’s get crackin’ at a plan for daily disciplines. Remember, disciples are made daily, not in a day.

This is a discipline I have been doing since early 1990 and it is the number one thing the Lord has used to grow me. Let’s get started – the journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step. I’m here to help and together we will grow into the men and women of God He desires for us to be.

Ready, Set, Go!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

People Will Leave You

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