Just read an article (Our Adolescent Culture) that discusses today's culture that has lost vision and challenge and is but "entertained" in their teen years. The article says: "Adolescence didn't always exist". It is a recent phenomenon. "The word teenager wasn't really used until 1941. In virtually every culture in the history of the world, kids became adults. In other cultures, "teenagers" were marrying, farming fighting wars, writing books, and in one case, bearing the Messiah." What we need to do is challenge them, provide the vision for them to take on the real problems in our neighborhoods and world and thus make the church of God attractive to a world turned inward. Case in point, John Quincy Adams, 6th president, was only 14 when he traveled to Russia as a secretary to obtain recognition of the new United States.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I just finished reading Numbers 20 as I read through the Bible and I was struck by Moses' failure that caused him not to enter the Promised Land. I enjoy teaching about the uncomplicated truth of how God values simple obedience and I often am brought back to 1 Samuel 15 where Saul is given a mission and essentially accomplishes most of what he was supposed to do, except he skips over some of the details and keeps some of the spoils and… makes all kinds of excuses and blames everyone else. In verse 22, Samuel tells Saul that God desires obedience over our sacrifice. Pastor Danny alluded to it today. Sometimes we get caught up in "doing" and forget that what God really wants is relationship (and all else flows out of that, including our "doing"). Back track to Numbers 20- Moses was supposed to speak to the rock and instead, he whacks it twice. God had an illustration he wanted to make and Moses messed it up. Verse 12 says that he didn't hallow God (make holy) in the eyes of the people. But then strangely enough, he says in v. 13 that God was hallowed among the people. Which is it? The answer was that because of the miracle, God was ultimately glorified but in the actions of Moses, he wasn't. What do we learn from this in regards to missions and our service to God? 1. The means doesn't justify the end 2. The measuring stick is not the outcome or result but the obedience of the servant. 3. The heart behind the obedience of the law is critical. Regardless of your agreement with the theology of Mother Theresa, I like a quote she once said, "God hasn't called me to be successful but rather to be faithful". Obedience is key!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
“decide what you believe before trouble comes: the time to settle our belief about the goodness of God is now, not when the bottom drops out of life. The pain of circumstances can easily tempt anybody to question the goodness of God. Overwhelmed by tragedy, it doesn’t feel like He is good and circumstances don’t cause it to look that way either. That is why it’s necessary to settle the issue before trouble comes into your life.”
Monday, December 14, 2009
As always, Mark hits a home run with an insightful look into the history of Mars Hill church and his experience as a church planter. I really recommend this book to anyone interested in planting a church as a great look at lessons learned (I really prefer to learn from other's mistakes rather than make them myself!). I thought I'd include some adapted thoughts below:
On the problems of many of the contemporary churches- Pg. 24 The contemporary church generally proclaims a gospel of fulfillment (Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs establishes each individual as their own god, on their own mission, pursuing their own glory). In other words, I don’t exist for God, he exists for me. In this gospel, the cross is an echo of my own great worth, since God found me so loveable and so valuable that he was willing to die for me so that I could love myself, believe in myself, and achieve my full glory. This “therapeutic gospel” is a false gospel because it does not call me to love God and my neighbor, but instead to love only myself. It doesn’t call me to God’s mission but rather calls God to my mission. Third, it does not call me to be part of the church to serve God’s mission, but instead to use the church to make me a better person. It takes pride and repackages it as self-esteem.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Just finished talking to Bri about the CC St. Pete Cuba trip. They hosted a camp for 250 kids last weekend that were between 8 years old to 19. Bri said it was neat to see them arriving Friday crammed into the back of dump trucks (not a lot of access to public transportation in Cuba!). They used sports and games to create a great environment and each evening and morning taught a well rounded series of messages on evangelism, growing in your faith, discipling, etc. They were able to raise enough money for the Cuban believers to duplicate their efforts on the east side of the island and to bless 5 of the poorest churches with some extra money.
Pray for the Costa Rica trip as they get ready to leave Dec. 12th with the Christmas outreach gifts and water filters.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thanks to everyone who came out the Bilmar Resort on Treasure Island for the bootcamp. The speakers were such a great blessing and I am very thankful for each one of them. Lord willing, we'll be looking to do it again in the future. I'll post when the MP3's are online.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
There's one more reason worship should really matter to you--whatever you worship, you become. You can worship whatever you want, but there'll always be a last twist to the story. Whatever you worship, you become obsessed with. Whatever you become obsessed with, you imitate. And whatever you imitate, you become. In other words, whatever you value most will ultimately determine who you are.
If you worship money, you 'll become greedy at the core of your heart. If you worship some sinful habit, that same sin will grip your soul and poison your character to death. If you worship stuff, your life will become material, void of eternal significance. If you give all your praise to the god of you, you'll become a disappointing little god both to yourself and to all those who trust in you.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I am going to be at Asif Shaik’s place in Lutz next Tuesday (Sept 15) to rip out and install a tub (Asif is one of our supported missionaries). Anybody with some plumbing background and a penchant for installing tubs or putting down tile is welcome; let me know if you can help.
According to the IMF 50% of the world has a standard living less than that of the
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Here is a partial listing of articles for auction
1. Kida - Australian Shepherd Puppy 10 weeks
2. Scenic Flights of St Pete
3. SkinMedica Pharmaceutical Grade Skin Care
4. Air Tran Airways - 6 Roundtrip tickets
5. Villa in Sicily Italy 1 week
6. Lorelei Resort
7. Boca Raton Resort
9. Silver Forest Inn -
11. TN Cabin sleeps 8
13. 46' Beneteau 8 Hour Sailing Charter w/Captain Z
14. Ford Amphitheatre - 2 Brad Paisley VIP Box Seats & more
15. Bracelet and Earrings $2300
16. Gourmet Dinner for 4 cooked in your home
17. Laser, Lipo, Microdermabrasion, Botox, Peels, and more
18. Visage Dermatology
21. Indulgence Medical Day Spa
22. Salon Volo
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Lori is getting geared up to get out on the field, ministering in France! Saturday night at 7pm is a dessert night and raffle at D and D Missions homes to help send Lori on her way. So, if you want to bless her, come! If you want to win prizes and eat, come! If you just want to get rid of her, give extra! (that's a joke by the way). You'll be blessed!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
According to Ralph Winter of the US Center for World Missions, “A person must overeat by at least two dollars worth of food per month to maintain one excess pound of flesh. Yet two dollars per month is more than what 90% of all Christians in
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Last week in my meetings with Pioneers (www.pioneers.org ), I inquired about something that was weighing on my mind and I was told a fascinating statistic. Pioneers has 1,000 missionaries serving all over the world and do several orientation trainings every year. In those trainings, roughly 40% have no idea where they are going to be serving and around 10% have an idea but change the area during orientation. After talking to Pastor Viv who was a missionary in Africa for 35 years, he agreed with the stat and even gave his own testimony of how God moved in his life, called him to missions but he never really knew where to serve except in
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Many people ask “how do I prepare for a mission trip?” Well, I am glad you asked. We have in our bookstore a Short Term Mission leader’s training manual that we’ve put together with a nuts and bolts approach to equipping teams for overseas mission trips. For the most part, many churches have no idea how to properly send a team and unfortunately, the consequences can be disastrous. We’ve seen all kinds of problems and dependencies created by good intentions and as a result, the manual was designed to plan, prepare and send a short term trip. In this manual, you’ll find everything you need to develop a vision, plan team meetings, build unity/teamwork and debrief your short term team.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
KEY CHAIN PRAYER RINGS
Praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints.
If you have a heart and desire to be dedicated to prayer for our missionaries, please pick up a FREE Key Chain Prayer Ring. Each ring has cards with pictures of our supported missionaries and their prayer requests. If you are willing to commit to regular prayer for our missionaries, it is our gift to you. Pick one up at the bookstore today! If you aren’t committed to praying for them, take one and leave your wallet (we’d prefer the prayer, but we’ll take cash too).
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I just finished reading Andy Falleur’s blog (Andy left the St. Pete area to plant a CC in
Check out Andy’s blog at http://www.andyfalleur.typepad.com/
I just finished reading a fantastic book. I was up until 2 am for the last 3 nights as I tried to finish the book. I couldn’t put it down. The funny thing was that I was 1/3 of the way through the book before I realized it was a true story. Not based on a true story, but true! I was reading it because a friend lent it to me and then kept asking me if I read it. I finally acquiesced and started it. That was my first mistake because I ceased all extra curricular activities. The book chronicles the background of 3 people: A wealthy art dealer and his wife in
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The first time I flew on a missions aviation aircraft was in 1995 when a group of us flew in
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We have two great opportunities coming up for Calvary Corps (2 weeks to one year opportunities). 1. Come to the Tilapia Fish Farm class this Monday night in room C11 at 7pm and learn more about the 6-8 week opportunities in
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I just heard from Gospel For Asia. Their staff photographer recently got back from a trip to
On that note, KP Yohannan from GFA will be speaking in May for our weekend service on the 16th and 17th.
Buckle up! It will be a crazy ride!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Dawson Trotman (founder of the Navigators) once said, “If you can’t see very far ahead… go ahead as far as you can see.”
Nice quote from an evangelist, missionary and teacher! Like Pastor Danny says, “go through the open doors”, when praying to discern God’s direction for you.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Our missions class, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, has been going incredibly well and I can’t believe the caliber of teachers we’ve had. Two weeks ago was Jim Elliot’s old roommate and brother of Elizabeth Elliot and one of the former brains behind the URBANA conferences, Don Richardson was here because of the class and this week Sunday is Bob Sjogren, a well know author and speaker coming in from Arizona. The guy is a gifted speaker and I highly recommend coming to the class. It will be well worth it!
We will be offering PERSPECTIVES again next September, Lord willing, so this is a great opportunity to visit and see what it is all about.
This week in our Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class (highly recommend it, this class is radically changing people’s “perspectives” on missions), we discussed our key world, “faithfulness”. A great quote I just heard really summed it up well: “We crave clarity to avoid the risk of trusting”. I remember a conversation in college with one of the student government leaders. She wanted to know from God every aspect of her life (who she would marry, her job, etc). But the Word says that it will be lamp and to my feet, and a light unto my path, not a giant spotlight, 2 miles down the road illuminating every pitfall, every blessing. Why does God seem to place such a value on faith? Why does Hebrews 11 tell us that without faith it is impossible to please God? Because only acting in faith does it show our true colors, our true motivations. We crave clarity because it helps us avoid living in faith. Living by faith is hard but it is essential to any relationship, how much more so for the most important one.
In our class, we discussed the sufferings of virtually all missionaries as we took a look at 1 Peter. Out of suffering, Peter penned this epistle to a church scattered by persecution throughout
To answer the question, How do we build our lives upon faith in God? Nancy Missler, quoted on Chuck Missler’s website, Khouse, says: “By daily choosing to walk in childlike dependence and trusting Him, even in the smallest of ways (Matthew 18:3); by being obedient to His Word (1 John 3:22); by appropriating His promises (Matthew 21:22; John 14:13-14; John 15:7); and, by loving others in His Name (Matthew 22:37).” Real faith is not feeling, not seeing, not understanding and not knowing, but still trusting God. Real faith is being convinced that no matter what we see happening, no matter what we understand to be true, and no matter how we feel, God will be faithful to His Word and He will perform His promises to us, in His timing and in His way!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Many are wondering how the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class on Sunday nights is going. Well, glad you asked. In one short word: Fantastic! Although I have taught the Vision for the Nations class, the in depth level of this class is amazing. Our first speaker, Dr. Gerald Robison, co-author of Cat and Dog theology shared about the theme of the book and how there are two types of Christians in this world: Cats and Dogs. Cat Christians are those who when the Master feeds them, pets them, takes care of them, they turn around and say “IT IS ALL ABOUT ME!”; where as Dogs, when they are pet, fed, taken care of say, “IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MASTER!” How can I serve the Master?, etc.
In the same way, we look at Christianity in two ways. Is God the big vending machine in the sky, catering to my every want and need or do we exist to serve, to love and glorify HIM? Dr. Robison gave a challenging and convicting message on how we view serving the master. Is it to give him glory for the sake of His name or are we living lives that revolve around us.
Our next class, taught by Art Sanborn was equally engaging. Pastor Sanborn was a church planter and teacher in
Here is an update from Ron and Uli Hostetler, church planters in
just a quick update to let you know, that we are well on our way and very excited!
* we are scheduled to arrive Sunday, March 29 in the evening and will leave again on Wednesday, April 15
* we have a reservation at D&D Missionary Homes
* we are allowed to use the CC Missions van
* there is a pay as you go cell phone waiting for us to use as well
The only open issue remains Uli's Greencard. We have to decide if and how to renew it - this is a BIG thing for Uli - please pray for God to clearly lead - He knows what will be needful in the future...
Also, we cannot seem to find Anja's brand-new
We cannot tell you how much we look forward to being with you all soon!
Looking to Him to make it all happen, 4 very excited Hostetlers
Sunday, January 18, 2009
God is the Issue
I was recently reviewing a book that I read a few months ago, compiling some quotes and I thought I would share some of them with you. It really had an impact on me.
Pg.11 Morality is a symptom, God is the issue. Do we wish to cure the symptom or the disease. How we answer this question has major implications how we spend out time, energies and resources.
Pg.13 God is the answer to every dysfunction I face
Pg 14 The church in
Page 20. The current strategy of promoting morality without reestablishing a source of morality is not working
Pg 21 Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
Pg 24 Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, articulated the difference between cause and effect: birth-control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday from the tyranny of Christianity.
Pg 26 We must begin rebuilding the foundation by making the God of the Bible the central issue of life in the minds of those around us
Pg 30 only 9% of all born-again teens believe in absolute moral truth
Pg. 37 no amount of marriage counseling would do any good until he decided to put God first in his life
Pg. When God gives me the privilege of mentoring believers I make it very clear that they will hear very little about behavior but a lot about having a heart for God. Because behavior is an indicator of where the heart is at.
Pg. If we are to win, we must reframe the entire issue in a manner that allows us to move back onto the offense, stay on message. Therefore, if our rhetorical response is merely to condemn a symptomatic issues such as homosexual behavior, abortion, racism as morally reprehensible we will lose: the behavior will continue or other symptomatic behavior will replace it each time we defensively react to their issue they are able to further marginalize us in the eyes of the broad culture and worse gets us off message because in much of our culture condemning a moral behavior is deemed intolerant.
Pg.61 Dr. Martin Luther King – hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that
Pg. do not answer the question asked; rather view the question as an opportunity to talk about our issue -- -- the God of the Bible. For example – that’s a good question but I think the real issue is…. Move immediately to the critical question of the existence and identity of God.
Pg. 81 we start from their felt need and show how it relates to their real everyday need for God. for example – I would go in and talk about leadership and then transition to the greatest leader who ever lived – Jesus Christ. Jesus consistently did this. He almost always began with stories to which his audience could relate. He then gave them something they can readily understand and then rhetorically moved them to he wanted them to go. He not only knew his message – he knew his audience.
Pg. 90 speaking to a homosexual – you start with your behavior and try to conform God to what you want. I start with God and try to conform my behavior to who God is.
Pg.91 never, never, never feel obligated to answer the question (reframe it)
Reframing- Chapter 5
Pg.112 perception constitutes reality for most people.
Pg.112 we must learn to aggressively reframe the rhetoric of the opposition, just as Jesus did. We redefine it. Redefining does two things, first, it broadens the meaning of the opposition’s rhetoric or to carry our message, while simultaneously diluting their original intent. For example – such as what happened to the term family values under Bill Clinton -- he redefined family to be something other than the traditional nuclear family. One of the key components in the communication process is creating linkage. E.G. - Visualize world peace – visualize whirled peas.
Pg. 115 violence is a symptom of a person’s beliefs, ultimately one’s view of God, not a symptom of owning a gun.
Pg 116 when the opposition talks about hate crimes we should talk about hate crimes against people of faith.
Pg.124 President Theodore Roosevelt – the thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining.
Pg. 125 a fuzzy view of God will eventually lead to a fuzzy view of truth.
Pg 150 The next time you face something you truly believe is a problem, ask yourself the following question, “What attribute of God do I not really believe is true in this situation?” (By the way, this is a great question to ask as well when you’re worried, feeling hopeless or angry at someone). Never forget, life is not about you, rather it is all about who God is. Until you truly learn that lesson you are destined always to have “problems”.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I had the privilege of meeting with Stacy Gaskins, the regional director for Intervarsity the other day and I was so encouraged to hear how the staff and students of IV were stepping out in faith and reaching their campuses. At USF Tampa this past semester, in two days of campaigning to invite students to their Bible Studies, over 300 students signed up to attend an IV Bible study. Simply because someone asked!
From 2005-2008, 106 small groups started and 562 students were discipled
163 Student Leaders were trained and 170 students went on a domestic or international mission trip.
1540 were impacted by the gospel and 43 solid responses of faith were made!
Why Intervarsity, you might ask? Well, simply because the 16.5 million university students in the
Please pray for IV Tampa Bay as they broaden their vision to triple their staff, disciple 500+ students a year and start 65+ on-campus small group Bible studies by 2011.
This just came in through email from a friend of someone working at the homeless shelter at St. Vincent de Paul.
“I need a blanket.”
We were serving food to the homeless at the Sophie Sampson center last night and this simple request from a homeless man could not be answered. It is going to get colder over the next several days. Anything you can donate is appreciated. Please forward this email to anyone who may want to help.
We are collecting blankets and adult sized warm clothing (jackets, sweatshirts, winter hats) for the homeless and will be distributing them at the Sophie Sampson Center of Vincent DePaul tonight after the homeless feeding. If you have anything, it would be greatly appreciated.
There are approximately 200-250 people who come to the Sophie Sampson center every night for a meal. Serving meals at the center has made me realize that the stereotypes we have of our homeless population do not apply to the majority. Many of the homeless are our elderly, our veterans, our retirees who have no other option. The majority of them are so grateful for the food that is provided. Serving at the center given us a new appreciation for food, shelter, and warm clothing.
Call Stacey & Dave to arrange drop off
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The DIRT (Disaster International Relief Team) was developed to help out with disaster internationally. Unlike domestic disasters, international disasters bring their own challenges but also opportunities. It is absolutely critical to be prepared if we are dealing with disaster situations outside the comfort and safety of the
The CERT course offers basic training to members of the community to prepare them to react
safely when a disaster strikes. This 2-day course was designed and is supported by the United
States Department of Homeland Security.
Where: Lealman Fire District Station #18
Dates: Friday, January 16th 2009 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Saturday, January 17th 2009 2009 from 8:30am – 6pm
Disaster Preparedness Fire Safety
Disaster Medical Operations Light Search and Rescue Operations
CERT Organization Disaster Psychology
Terrorism and CERT
To sign up for the CERT course or for more information,
contact the Lealman Fire District at (727) 526-5650
or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our family and the church were blessed so abundantly with the team that we are without words.
Yes, we are exhausted - but in a very good sense. Tired, but very satisfied. To be able to see how the Lord has lead and protected the team, how He has used them to encourage our church and the people of
Lord has used CCSTP to bless our church with crafts and other materials for the generations to come :)
The fellowship and the spiritual oneness were very encouraging. Please thank everyone who has been praying for the team and for our church. We are greatly blessed with you all! Also thank the "Missions minded" group. Monika's favorite word of the
month without a doubt is "gift/present" - and she received a whole bunch of neat stuff from you guys.
The toys for the Sunday school / nursery came very timely and are just awesome.
In short our cup is running over with joy and thankfulness. We praise Jesus for his providence and care and for the friends we have in you. May the Lord continue to bless you all,