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A Heart Attack

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Heart Attack

Sermon Notes

  • Recovery is necessary, because loss is inevitable. Everyone who lives in one way or another will face loss. It rains on the just and the unjust. Life happens, it bring loss.

  • We live in an imperfect world, and this imperfect world is filled with imperfect people; and sometimes you and I become victims of someone else’s imperfection.

  • Sometimes life happens, other times people happen. Thievery, lying, betrayal, exploitation, drunk drivers, it is the back side of the blessing of relationships. The same person that is close enough to make you smile is the same person who is close enough to make us cry.

    • Sometimes life happens, sometimes people happen, sometimes we happen. Every decision we make is pregnant with the potential to produce a season.

    • Some seasons are seasons of gain, some seasons are seasons of loss.

    • We need to learn to deal with loss without losing.

    • One way or another I’m going to find a way to win, The quintessential question is “What do YOU believe about loss?”

    • Can God Fix it? Can God turn it around? Can He turn me around?

  • The Gospel is a powerful story about Jesus’s ability to recover from something no one else could recover from. The resurrection is a powerful picture, the epitome of recovery.

    • When Jesus got out of the grave it was a powerful picture of how he could recover from the grave and the betrayal that put him there.

  • RECOVER!! No matter what RECOVER!

  • It’s not what you believe about loss, but what you believe about recovery.

  • The people were weary because they were anticipating a time of harvesting but the locust kept bringing loss.

  • God tells Joel to tell the people of Israel to be glad not by what they see, but about what He sees that is coming.

  • Don’t let the drought cause you to doubt who you are!

    • You should have the expectation to be the exception. What happens with you is not going to be reflective on what happens to everybody else. You are His child.

    • He made it rain before, just because he is not doing it now doesn’t mean he stopped doing it.

  • Don’t let the drought make you doubt who He is.

    • He will orchestrate elements in the atmosphere and create all the appropriate conditions that are necessary to make the clouds fill up with moisture to the degree that they have to release themselves with rain strategically and specifically on the fields you need it to rain on.

  • When you push out Gods presence you forfeit his protection!

    • (manifest not omnipresent) Presence.

    • You are not able to able to benefit from his presence when he has not manifest his presence.

  • Could it be we engage with restoration when we are able to engage in the practice of recovery?

  • When disaster hits your life you don’t just lose the harvest you lose heart

  • Locust can take your hope, optimism, dreams, expectations, drive, focus.

  • The enemy is not always out to kill you sometimes he is out to steal from you.

  • If we don’t understand his intentions we will celebrate survival when the enemy sent the season to rob us.

  • We will celebrate survival when in reality he robbed you and broke you down, you gave up, quit and lost heart

  • If he can break your will you can’t recover. When the enemy gets your heart, he’s got your wiil. When he has your will, he has your life.

  • 3 Steps to recovery

    • 1. Acknowledge You cannot defeat what you deny; you can’t fix what you can’t face. Faith is not the denial of the fight. You survived but you lost something in the season. PRIDE & PAIN.

    • 2. Identify it It’s one thing to know you’re not the same; it is another thing to know what left you. Whatever took what belongs to you is not bringing it back, you have to go get it.

    • 3. You have to own it You are not responsible for your hurt but you are responsible for your healing. Do you believe Joel?

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Read the book of Joel.

  1. What areas in your life have been consumed by locust, be truthful and look deep.

  2. What dreams have you shelved what have you lost?

  3. How can you recover? Find a verse that can become your mantra during this recovery.

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The Disappointment of Freedom

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Studying the Exodus story this week has been revelation on top of revelation, and I definitely won’t be able to fit it all into the sermon this weekend about the PASSION that Moses had for God. One of the things that stuck out to me so much was the “levels” (for lack of a better word) of God that Moses seemed to move through and crave.

God seemed to progressively reveal who He is to them. “There’s a reason that God does not show you everything all at once. It’s called mercy.” - Steven Furtick.

Just from my own quick observation:

  • Rescue - Freedom

  • Provision

  • Security

  • Presence

  • Law

  • Glory (God’s glory is his kindness)

Freedom is not the solution to problems, it’s only the beginning. We must have a new wholehearted embrace for what the Torah is — a guide to proper living— and begin to walk in health. I heard a Steven Furtick sermon lately where he talked about the disappointment of deliverance. Where the Israelites were out of Egypt, but not into Canaan yet. We can all relate to this in adulthood, right? We think, as teenagers, that all we need is freedom, that once we turn 18, THEN the party will begin! But then we become adults, get the freedom, and realize a few things.

And so, I believe that it’s important to learn how to live in exile. Because freedom is the answer to your slavery problem, not your soul problem, and it’s not ALL God has to offer. And after you get free, there are some more things that God wants to show you.

“The Way of Exile” is a lesson in how to live as passionate followers of Jesus in a society and context that doesn’t respect that.

But there’s so much beyond freedom that we can experience of God! Moses understood that.

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Read:

  • Moses’ Mountaintop Moments

    • Exodus 19

      • Can you see God trying to move them from experiencing Him in the context of rescue, and into the context of provision and security? Is there anywhere in your life that God is maybe trying to move you into a new season?

      • Why do you think God was so adamant about the people not coming up the mountain?

    • Exodus 24

      • Can you think of another time God used blood to act as a covenant with us? Why do you think he uses blood?

  • Moses’ Passion

  • Moses’ Request for More Presence

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Need some new music?
Here’s what I’m listening to this week:

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The Mountaintops

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Our 3rd annual CHURCH CAMP Sermon Series begins this weekend…and I have to admit…I’m a little torn. I’m torn, not because I don’t know what to teach, but because there’s SO MUCH I want to teach. I’m praying that I’m capable of pulling it all off, to be honest.

I have all these experiences in my memory, having grown up in the church. Are you familiar with the term “mountain top moments” in the church? It’s the experience of extreme presence of God. The moments spent at camps around altars, or in a week-long conference worshipping and praising every day all day. When God seems to heal your heart, inspire your soul, and inform your mind all at once, and you feel so close to Him, so changed, that you think everyone must see the change in you so clearly. Your perspective, your mindset, your place in the world, all seem to shift so powerfully.

I have this picture in my mind of the mountain top experiences in the Bible. I imagine that they are the physical representation of my camp or conference experience. I picture the work it takes to get to the top, the exhaustion, the sleepless nights and long days. Always looking ahead, how much longer, how much father….building your expectation, rehearsing the questions over and over in your mind.

When you finally arrive, God speaks, the very world shifts before you…

  • In Exodus, Moses met with God on the mountain, and when he came down, his face shined!

  • In 1 Kings 18, Elijah asked God to defy the prophets of Baal and rain down fire from heaven on his altar. An entire nation of people convinced in a moment.

  • In Matthew 17, Jesus was transfigured and for a moment, Peter, James, and John got to hang out with Moses and Elijah, can you imagine overhearing that conversation? Who would want to leave that place?

All of these incredible moments happened on mountain tops. How do you stomach leaving that place?

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Read:

  • 1 Kings 18

    • verse 19, “Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.” 

      • God’s not hiding from a fight.

      • Are there any situations you’re hiding your faith from?

      • Do a little research…what kind of gods were Baal and Asherah?

    • verse 21, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. “

      • Wavering means you’re going no where.

      • Is there anything that you’re wavering on? How can you fix it?

    • verse 22,Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets.”

      • EVERYone can be saying one thing, but EVERYONE can be wrong.

      • Is there a place in your life where you’re following the crowd, instead of following God?


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For Such A Time As This

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Tonight, we talked about the book of Esther! To understand this book even better, check out The Bible Project’s overview.

Some fun facts about the book of Esther:

  1. It’s the only book in the Bible that never once mentions God specifically.

  2. King Xerxes is the Persian king mentioned in the movie “300”.

  3. Haman the Agagite was a descendant of King Agag in 1 Samuel 15. Saul was supposed to have killed him and prevented this whole mess generations ago.

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  • Read the book of Esther. 10 chapters.

  • If you only have time for a part of it, read chapter 4.

    • Mordecai seems to have faith in God, but also thinks there’s a piece that is OUR responsibility. Where do you think that line is? How do you find it?

    • Read this article: Fasting for Beginners. Is there anything on here you could try this week?

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Jesus Has Left The Building

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This week we listened to Dharius Daniels “Jesus Has Left The Building“ in his “I Quit Church” series. If you missed it, I encourage you to listen to it!

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NOTES

MATTHEW 21:12-14

Have you ever found yourself in a place or space, when someone walked in the room that made you wanna walk out?

  • Not only is this reality relevant for people, but it is also relevant for God

  • When God walks in the room, there are some things that must walk out.

  • Praise is a spiritual discipline, and not just some empty exercise. Praise is an invitation for divine habitation. When praise goes up, God comes down. When God steps in, somethings must step out.

  • I need Him like I need oxygen. Like my body needs blood. When I have HIM, and when He comes into my space, things that are not like him, get evicted out of my space .

  • The converse is also true: when God walks out, some things walk in.

  • You cannot improve what you are unwilling to assess.

  • The entrances of Jesus represented the ending of one type of representation of church.

  • You have evolved into an institution that is inconsistent with God’s intent.

    • exploitive, entertaining, and irrelevant

  • Hebrews 8:6

    • testament = covenant.

    • New Testament = new covenant

  • We not only need God’s help to hold on, we also need God’s help, to let go.

  • You’re a steward, not an owner!

    • Stop painting walls that don’t belong to you!

  • If you do some assessment, you’ll probably find some things that you need to stop doing.

Five Things We Need To Consider Stopping:

  1. Stop church that likes Jesus, but isn’t LIKE Jesus.

    1. The word “Christian” means Christ-like, not liking Christ.

    2. Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, because your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    3. Disciples means learner, apprentice, mentee. “Make people like me.” Learning the virtues (character traits), the values (priorities), and the vantage points (the way he sees things) of Jesus.

    4. Matthew 28:19 - the job description of the church

  2. Stop doing church in a way that makes external judgements without addressing internal issues.

    1. God did not call the church to be a critic, God called the church to be an example. Salt & light. To MODEL an alternative way of living.

    2. Like Zaccheaus, they’ll climb a tree to get to you. Like Nicodemus, they’ll come to you at night.

    3. Matthew 7:3

  3. Stop church that is arrogant and ignorant.

    1. It’s dangerous to be either one of them, it’s lethal to be both.

    2. God’s WORD is true, and right, but that doesn’t mean our interpretation always is.

    3. When a tribe is arrogant, and ignorant, they think their interpretation always lines up with Gods’ intention, and so they become unteachable. OR they become ONLY teachable by anyone in their tribe, which means everyone in the tribe, has the same blind spots.

    4. We don’t get to pick, who God uses to teach us! Luke 10, The Good Samaritan story.

      1. Jesus said learn from the Samaritan, but the Samaritan’s doctrine was wrong.

      2. Some people, who might be wrong in some areas, aren’t wrong in every area. And we have to learn from people who are NOT in our tribe!

  4. Stop church that puts its preferences over God’s priorities.

    1. Are we really concerned with what God wants in church, or what we want?

    2. People try to use corporate worship, to make up for a devotional deficit.

    3. It’s hard to reach people, if you’re not thinking about people.

    4. Because God’s kingdom is not this or that, it’s this AND that.

  5. Stop church that’s too sacred to say “I’m Sorry”.

    1. Church is not God. God is perfect, we aren’t. God never gets it wrong, we do.

    2. Lemme tell ya what’s wrong with you pastors: You anointed, but you think that means you omniscient.

    3. Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer, turns away wrath.”

    4. Some of us need to apologize to people we thought we was ministering to.

      1. You using my words, but you do not have my heart.

    5. WE are the church. Church changes when WE do.

    6. Correction. Self assessment and self adjustment

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Study John 6

  • What do you think Jesus was trying to teach them toward the end of this chapter?

Study Luke 4:14-30

  • What can we learn from why Jesus’ hometown rejected Him?

Study Mark 10:17-27

  • Why do you think the man walked away?

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Blessing Pirates

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There’s a Hillsong United song, “As You Find Me”, that contains the lyrics:

I have wrestled
And I have trembled toward surrender
Chased my heart adrift
And drifted home again
Plundered blessing
Till I’ve been desperate to find redemption
And every time I turn around
Lord, You’re still there

When I heard that lyric, “plundered blessing”, it captured me, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. The rest of the song is amazing too, but during this FULL HEART GREAT GAIN series we’ve been in as a church, I just can’t shake the concept of plundering something that God has GIVEN me, and what that means.

So, of course, I went to the Word….and the dictionary.

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I found this odd little story in Daniel 4, where a king gets so big headed, so arrogant, that he’s driven to madness for 7 years, and then when he comes back to himself, he surrenders himself to God, and God restores everything that he had before.

Plundering blessing, to me, now means:

  • squeezing every ounce of goodness out of a blessing, until it’s not good anymore.

  • loving the blessing so much, you start worshipping it, instead of the God that gave it to you.

  • mining a blessing for only the parts that make you feel good, and ignoring the parts that could help others.

  • ignoring God’s commands, but taking the blessing for yourself.

Can you think of other examples of people plundering blessing in the Word?

  • Adam & Eve…had everything, but still wanted more.

  • Jonah…had God, didn’t matter who else in the world didn’t, as long as he was comfortable.

  • Saul…allowed his men to take anything they wanted, when God specifically told them to destroy everything.

  • David….had all the wives and concubines he wanted, but had to have one he couldn’t have.

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Study the book of Daniel.

  • What can we learn from chapter 3?

  • What else can we learn from chapter 4?

Can you think of any areas of your life that you may be plundering God’s blessing?

Can you see other Bible examples of this?

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Fight Like A Girl

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Today we read about Deborah in Judges Chapter 4. We saw how God listened to the Israelites’ cries for help after they had turned their backs on him for 20 years. He promised to deliver them from the Canaanites and incorporated two important women (Deborah and Jael) to help carry out His plan. We also looked at what made Deborah such a great leader. Some of her best leadership qualities was that she….

  1. Listened to God ( v 4:5)

    1. He told her His plan, and she communicated that plan to Barak boldly and without fear.

  2. Lead with a servant’s heart (v 4:9)

    1. When Barak lacked the bravery to carry out his part of God’s plan by himself, she was brave enough for the both of them and agreed to accompany him without hesitation. She did this even though God didn’t call her into it.

    2. We also talked about the significance of this, being that she was a woman leading a very patriarchal society. Not only did he not question what she was telling him, but he also practically begged her to go with him because he was too afraid to go on his own.

  3. Motivated her people (v 4:14)

    1. At this point we know Barak isn’t exactly known for his bravery. In this verse we see Deborah motivating him and giving him a pretty epic pep-talk.

  4. Praised God and gave HIM the glory ( v 4:9, 5:2)

    1. In 4:9 she reiterates to Barak that the glory will not be his, but God’s. And oh, by the way Barak, you’re not going to be the one that will even kill Sisera. The person who will ultimately kill Sisera will be a women. Talk about a humility-check.

    2. Chapter 5 is a song written by Barak and Deborah about the battle. It praises God and gives Him the glory….it says Jael was pretty boss too though.

On that note…we also looked at Jael, the unlikely hero of this story. She saw an opportunity to do what was right and used the tools God gave her to be an instrumental part of the Lord’s victory….even though she wasn’t an Israelite. Through her part of the story, we can see that you don’t necessarily need to hold a formal leadership position to serve and glorify God; all you need is to recognize the opportunity He has given you and be willing to act on it!

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Homework for this week:

  1. Read Judges 4 on your own. Was there anything that stood out to you about Deborah’s story that we didn’t discuss tonight?

  2. Think about the groups of people you lead, or are interested in leading. This could be your kids, nieces, nephews, other family members, coworkers, etc. How can you apply the principles covered at LEAD night (if you were there) and Deborah’s leadership qualities we learned tonight to be a better leader/servant of God?

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Where You Found Me

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Your love is too good to leave me here.


”Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate” . -Rick Warren


This quote has been used to many times to bash others regarding specific beliefs and life choices however that doesn’t negate the truth behind the quote, sometimes we need to love people enough to challenge them into growth. God loves us not just to rescue us from the mire and mud but also to compel us to grow by challenging the attitudes, mindset and traditions in us that hinder that growth.


Through the Bible God shows his love by meeting people in whatever circumstance they are, in the middle of sin, shame, hurt, danger, rebellion, and defeat. He reaches out regardless and offers forgiveness love, hope, relief, freedom. The amazing thing about encounters with God is that he will not leave you the same way he encountered you. There has to be a radical change. He will not let you sit in the attitude of dormancy. He will challenge, he will in the most loving way possible (and sometime not so loving) urge you forward. If he left us where he found us how would we grow?


God’s biggest show of love comes from the times he challenges his people where they are. Where he confronts them on choices and behaviors they have carried on with that are opposed to his word. Sometimes he confronts them for just staying still. We believe that his discipline or that messes in our life are because he wants to control us because life is just hard, because we are fated to always be in a hard place but this isn’t true. Hardship polishes us, the fire forces the dross up, pressure brings out the gifts and qualities needed for us to succeed and grow. Just because we have always had certain behaviors doesn’t mean they are healthy or beneficial for growth. Hardship, stress, difficulty force us to deal with behaviors that otherwise we would ignore or just not realize are keeping us from the fullness of God plan for our life.


God is a gentleman and will only take you as far as you want to go,
Do you want to remain as is or do you want to accept the challenges and become His version of you that is so much more than we can see…

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Below are examples of God meeting people where he found them and not allowing them to stay the same.
Read the scripture and pick 2.

Why did their story resonate with you? How did God impact their life.

  • Zaccheus: Luke 19: 1-9

  • Abraham: Genesis 12:1-7

  • Hebrew 11:8-12 Saul(Paul)

  • Acts 9:1-19 Hagar

  • Genesis 21:14-20

  • Read John 8:1-11

    • Where did Jesus find this woman?

    • How did he change her life?

    • What were the benefits of this encounter with Jesus and what where the goals for her life?

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Frustration is Your Friend

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Notes from Part 1

·       Frustration is your friend. Frustration ignites transformation

·       Life will not go as planned. The only thing that is predictable is the unpredictable

·       The immature have to stay in crisis to stay committed. Many people don’t know how to evolve in their reliance on God. Spiritual immaturity is preventing your own success.

·       We will never see what God has in store for us if we are obsessed with what he has for everyone else.

·       Move without the detail- walk by faith, not by sight

·       The plan God created for you future better than any plan you could create for yourself

·       God WILL outdo himself in your future.

·       Saul v David, The people’s pick v. God’s pick, what people thought they wanted V what they really needed. Move on from Saul to get to your David.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11.  Letting go of the life you thought you wanted is way easier said than done, and it won’t happen overnight; it’s a process. At the core of that process is the ability to fully submit to God’s will which requires complete, whole-hearted trust in God, His plan, and his Promises. This week I want you to reflect on this particular promise and how you can apply it to your own life.

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This week’s assignment

·       Has there been a situation in your life that you felt stuck in or were frustrated with? What could God have been trying to get you to move on from?

·       Samuel’s story didn’t end with him taking the oil to Jesse’s house! Read the rest of 1 Samuel 16 and do a SOAP note.  

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The Life You Thought You Wanted

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Moving On from the Life You Thought You Wanted

NOTES FROM DHARIUS DANIELS SERMON:

Jude 1:9

An aspect of God’s existence that is not overtly spiritual, but it is uniquely important: God is a planner.

God does not act reactively or impulsively. God is strategic, intentional, methodical in executing his intentions for his people. Whatever is a surprise to YOU, is not a surprise to HIM.

Jeremiah 29:11

I’m not going to tell you what the plan is, but I am going to tell you what the plan does.

God created the answer before the devil created the problem!

The principle of perspective. Where you sit, determines what you see. What you see, determines what you do. God’s providence = pro means before, video means to see.

When you live a life that thinks generationally, you are blessing people from the grave.

Deut 34:5-6

If we’re going to move on from the life we thought we wanted, we must be willing to move on without closure we thought we needed. Some people are still stuck in the past, because we’re waiting on closure. You’ve placed your future in the hands of someone who is probably unwilling to acknowledge the damage they did in your past. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO MOVE ON WITHOUT ANSWERS.

God only gives closure when closure is necessary for you to move forward. Bury that thing so that you can move on. You don’t need closure, you just need a calling, to get you from where you are, to where you need to be. Your future is calling you!

God gives us answers to questions we NEED to answers to, not the answers to questions you WANT the answers to. Lean what you DO know! For my good, and for His glory!

  • What I do know: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!

  • What I do know: no weapon formed against me shall prosper!

  • Trust must be present when answers are absent. Some people are stuck because they’re waiting on answers.

4 Steps We Can Take To Move On

  • Admit the emotion

    • Israel had an emotional attachment, to someone who had served them well in a previous season, they were in love with someone who could take them no further. Someone who was unequipped for their future. A season God had no intentions of them revisiting.

    • When we want something REAL BAD, we think that MUST be God.

    • When we are highly emotional in any way, it impairs our discernment. We will do things we would not normally do, when we are emotionally sober. Emotionally intoxicated.

    • Admit the emotion = increase your discernment. God, is this you? Or is this me?

    • If not, we will be entrapped by what we don’t expose.

  • Acknowledge the entitlement

    • Someone wanted an answer to what happened to Moses!

    • God’s like, wait time out, you wanna talk about what you deserve?!

      • Let’s talk about the stuff only me and you know.

    • I sent Moses as a gift to you, in a season you did not deserve him. And now that you are better than you were, you have forgotten how you used to be, and now you feel entitled to a GIFT.

    • Entitlement: I don’t have it, but I deserve it.

      • Appreciation: I don’t deserve what I do have. THE ANTIDOTE TO ENTITLEMENT.

      • Gratitude breaks the back of entitlement.

      • You can only move on from the life you thought you wanted, when you realize you’re not entitled to it.

    • A church about transformation, not just inspiration…we have to say things that comfort us, but also challenge us. More concerned about how we think, than how we shout. ‘Cause you can dance your way into a sweat, but you cannot dance your way into the next level!

  • Refuse to revisit what you can’t revise

    • For some of us, today is a worship service. For others, today is a funeral service. We need to bury some things…some reminiscing is counterproductive!

    • The enemy is using our mistakes to keep us in a maze of misery.

    • Once you’ve learned all the lessons from it, you’ve got to put that body in the ground.

    • “Remember Lot’s wife” Luke 17:32

      • Don’t look back! Because you can’t run forward and backward at the same time. Whenever you run into someone that’s salty, that’s someone that keeps looking back.

  • You must trust the Savior with our satisfaction

    • We trust the Savior with our salvation/sanctification, but do we trust Him with our satisfaction?

      • No surgeon operates on themselves.

    • Do you believe God knows what it takes to make you happy?

      • Jeremiah 2:13, my people have committed two sins, they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns, that are leaking water.

      • Something is holding your happiness, that has holes in it.

      • I want to be satisfied, not frustrated.

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Read:

  • Luke 17:20-37

    • What’s your takeaway from this passage?

  • Jeremiah 2

    • What do you think verse 13 is talking about?

    • What do you think verse 32 is trying to say?

    • What’s your takeaway from this passage?

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The Lies We Believe

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Satan tempts us today, in much the same way, as he tempts Eve…and he’s sneaky! It doesn’t often come in the way that we think it will. It may come as doubt, or fear, and it’s up to us to stop the doubts!

Genesis is an incredible look how Satan tempts us, but it’s often a little hard to understand.

 
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Satan didn’t necessarily lie- he bent the truth. Isn’t this the same thing though? How often do we tell our kids that not telling the WHOLE truth is the same as lying…this is what Satan did in the garden! The serpent was right, Adam and Eve didn’t die when they ate the fruit. What died in the garden was their innocence; the perfect life God had created for them. But how did Satan get Adam and Eve to believe him when they could literally see God and talk to Him directly? He planted seeds of doubt. He knew what God had said and twisted it just enough for Eve to doubt what God had said. How often do we do this in our own lives? That we doubt if God actually has a plan, or that his timing is perfect, or that he really has our best interest? Sometimes there is a disconnect between what we logically know and what we emotionally feel, and that is when those seeds of doubt can be planted. It is important for us to recognize those seeds in our own lives and take our thoughts captive when they are planted.

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Assignment

  1. Start to recognize the seeds of doubt. Practice taking those thoughts captive and replace them with The 40 I Am’s.

  2. Find your 5 favorite verses about doing good deeds for others for Melissa’s challenge.

    1. (Let Candace know if you can help with fruit or desserts for the Memorial Service June 15th, or set up/tear down that day.)

  3. Finish watching the Bible project videos above. What were your biggest take-away’s?

Melissa lived her life for others. She was constantly giving of herself to help someone out, her friends describe her as “not able to see another living thing go through pain, without doing something about it.” In her last moments, she asked her husband for two things:

  • 1. That her service would be at FV, and there would be a salvation message.

  • 2. That we would strongly challenge every person to do one good thing for someone else, every single day.

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Making Progress - Part 2

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Jason and I have been discussing lately how people will occasionally tell us that they just don’t understand how we can get so much out of the Bible, because when they read it, they just don’t get it. But look, we’ve been at this a while! I’ve been studying the Bible and using it in my daily life since a very young teen, and Jason says the same.

There are ways to get more out of it, besides just time, though! Coming to this group, is one GREAT way to do that! But I think, a lot of times, we just want quick and easy solutions…we don’t want to have to wait and work, and wait and work…in this time and culture where everything is instant, we want the WORD of God to be instant too.

Today’s teaching from Carl Lentz, is all about giving yourself room and time and permission to make progress.

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This teaching and assignment is from Carl Lentz’s sermon on the Hillsong Channel App! It’s about $8/month, but totally worth it, and if you just want to listen to this particular teaching, they do offer a free week!

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“God will never call you to something that He won’t equip you to stand in.”

John 14:23-27

“You’re purpose will always be greater than your position.”

“‘I don’t even have a bank account’ — YOU’RE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!”

TWO THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN YOU LIVE SPIRIT-LED:

  1. “Unannounced and unapproved (by you) reconstruction of your life.”

    1. “Just because you’ve made your peace with God, does not mean that God has made his peace with YOUR plans.”

    2. “God’s love is relentless, so that means the Holy Spirit will be relentless with His conviction.”

    3. “Comfort is not included in the conviction and the calling of the Christian.”

    4. “The kingdom of God is much more like an airport, than a country club!”

    5. “If you wanna know if you’re living spirit-led, here’s a pretty easy way:

      1. Have a look at how you’re handling the sin in your own life.”

      2. When you ARE spirit-led, here’s how you handle sin: Adherence (dedicated, focused, all in) & Repentance (I’m sorry, turn around, renounce, walk away)

      3. When you’re NOT spirit-led, here’s how you respond to sin: Admission & Continuation.

      4. Matthew 5:23-24

  2. “You can expect unbelievable and unearned restoration.”

    1. “You can’t choose the season of progress OR pain you’re in right now. But you can choose the spirit with which you walk through it.”

    2. “Every bit of your progress becomes your platform.”

    3. “Remind yourself who started it, and remind yourself who’s gonna finish it!”

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Read Matthew 21:28-32

  • When it come to spiritual growth, which son would you say you are?

  • What does this story say about how God values our words vs. our actions?

Read Luke 17:1-10

  • What can we learn about the spirit of authenticity vs the spirit of religion from this passage?

  • What can we learn about forgiveness? Can it be earned, or only given?

Read Matthew 5:23-24

  • Why do you think Jesus taught this? What do other people have to do with your relationship with God?

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Breaking Secrecy

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FROM CANDACE: This weekend, I spoke about staying awake, spiritually speaking. We are children of the light, and children of the day, 1 Thessalonians 5 tells us, and so we need to remain “awake and clearheaded”. We put ourselves to sleep, spiritually, by allowing the shadows the law and shadows of the world to creep in, little by little, and we excuse these things away little by little.

Radical honesty with myself is something I’ve been practicing for a while now, but I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about it.

RADICAL HONESTY IS NOT:

  • an excuse to say everything that comes to your mind. We are called to be patient, kind, and humble with everyone. We’re called to make allowances for each other’s faults. We’re called to encourage each other and lift each other UP!

  • a license to let your mouth rule you. The Bible says plenty of things about a fool’s mouth and how it constantly gets him/her into trouble. Read Proverbs 18:6-7, or Proverbs 20:19, or Ephesians 4:29. We’re called to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry,” James 1:19 tells us.

RADICAL HONESTY IS:

  • holding yourself to a standard. The standard does not change with every circumstance. No excuses!

  • asking yourself WHY you behave the way you do. And don’t let yourself get away with the first response. Old ways won’t open new doors.

  • confessing your sin. Not to everyone, but to the right people. Jesus said, “Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:7. At the very least, admit them to yourself, and to God. We tend to stress REPENTANCE, not just confession, but confession can be a powerful step toward repentance.

Some of us will never move forward spiritually before we’ve broken secrecy with ourselves. You have to acknowledge there is a problem, before being able to fix it. THE WORD is a lamp unto your feet, a light on your path (Psalm 119:105). Allow it to change you from the inside out by acknowledging your faults, allowing the Holy Spirit in to help you uncover the real reasons for them, and moving past them into freedom!

  1. Secrecy doesn’t work anyway.

    1. Proverbs 10:9

    2. Romans 2:16

    3. Mark 4:22-23, Matthew 10:26-28, Luke 12:2

    4. Psalm 44:21

  2. There’s mercy in confession.

    1. Proverbs 28:13

    2. James 5:16

    3. Psalm 66:18

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  1. Read Acts 4:32-5:11

    1. What’s your main takeaway from this story?

    2. What can we learn about the spirit of religion vs. the spirit of authenticity in this story?

    3. Does this story speak to “secrecy doesn’t work anyway” or “there’s mercy in confession”?

  2. Read Psalm 66:16-20

    1. What’s your main takeaway from these verses?

    2. What do you think it means to “fear God”?

    3. Does this story speak to “secrecy doesn’t work anyway” or “there’s mercy in confession”?

  3. Find one more story in the Bible that either speaks to “secrecy doesn’t work anyway” OR “there’s mercy in confession”.

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"She's a boss!"

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From Jess:

Book of Psalms – patterned, present, and promised.

  • Pattern

    • 1-41 (Genesis): psalms of man and creation.

    • 42-72 (Exodus): suffering and redemption

    • 73-89 (Leviticus): worship and God’s house

    • 90-106 (Numbers)- our pilgrimage on Earth

    • 107-150 (Deuteronomy): praise and the Word

  • Present:

    • Psalm 2:6- I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain

    • Psalm 2:12- kiss his son or he will be angry and your way will lead to destruction….blessed are all who take refuge in him.

  • Promised:

    • Luke 24:44- He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

      • Jesus even acknowledges the book of psalms was prophecy about HIM

  • * The Psalms weren’t written in palaces, they were written in caves on the run….the entire book is a collection of midnight singing

    Psalm 1:1

    • Living your life for Good V Evil and the consequences of each, how to keep yourself on the right path

    • Do not follow the advice of the wicked

      • Proverbs 11:14- For lack of guidance a nation falls,
            but victory is won through many advisers.

      • Who do you go to for advice? Think of 3 people you can go to for GODLY advice

    • “Nor be found sitting in the scorner’s seat”- he doesn’t even hang around in the company of the wicked!

Proverbs 31: She’s a boss!

I think people get too hung up on the false idea that Christian women should completely submit themselves to their husbands, and that this is their only purpose in life. This verse outlines the ideal, virtuous woman that we should all strive to be. God did not create us to just sit around and be subservient; He created us in His image and to be strong contributors to our families. He wants us to be doers! The Proverbs 31 woman is made strong through grace, wisdom (wisdom is personified as a woman throughout proverbs), and the fear of God. Her husband trusted her totally, her husband and children voluntarily praised her, her home was run like a well-oiled machine, she reached out to her community and helped the poor, and increased her family’s resources through wise investments and productive management; she did it all!

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READ:

  • Proverbs 13:20

    • What do you do to keep wise/Godly Company? How can you get better at it?

  • Proverbs 11:14

    • Who do you go to for advice? Think of 3 people you can go to for GODLY advice

  • Do a SOAP study on Proverbs 31:10-31

    • Go through the book of Proverbs, memorize your favorites so that you will have a song to sing at midnight.

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This Giant Thing Called Life

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John 14

“The Progress Reality: Because we broke it, we need to allow God time to fix it, reset it, rebuild it.”

“Everything that matters in life has a process to it. Healing is a process. Forgiveness is a process. Loving people is a process.” “Deliverance = moment, Freedom = process”

“Don’t get caught building on broken foundations.”

“You need to give the holy spirit at least as much time to fix your life, as you gave the devil time to wreck it."

“This is what most churches look like. People who just got out of surgery, trying to do stuff!”

“You can always find reasons to sin…they even use Bible verses to do it!”

“This Christian life cannot be about how much we can get away with. It needs to be about how much the Holy Spirit can do in our lives! And if it costs you something, so be it!”

“Some of you right now are making progress, but it’s painful…stay in it!”

“Stop defining progress by the standards of this world!” “Non Christians are telling you there’s not progress—they don’t know the boss you work for!”

“Ya wanna know where you’ll bee in 5 years, show me your 5 convictions that matter! A reality in my own life that I understand is that most great convictions come at the expense of comfort.” “Convictions are based out of commands—God said it, so you do it.” “Some Christians have convictions with loopholes.”

“Empty activity vs. spirit-led movements”

“Living spirit-led involves two things:

  1. The convictions you hold. Ideas will come and go, convictions are immovable! What are your standards? What do you believe? What are you fighting for? The best convictions are the always the hardest to hold to. Being conviction-led, comes down to staying fed. You thought your fuel was gonna be relationships, so you go from church to church!

  2. The covenant you trust (promise from God, timeless truth). The difference between the Christian that is fruitful and the Christian that is not..is the trust factor. Some Christians think we have a contract with God, we don’t! It’s a covenant. You can’t stop a covenant! There is a promise for every problem!

“Generosity is not a matter of money, it’s a conviction.”

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This teaching and assignment is from Carl Lentz’s sermon on the Hillsong App! It’s about $8/month, but totally worth it, and if you just want to listen to this particular teaching, they do offer a free week!

This week, read:

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Patterned, Promised, or Present

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This past weekend, Johannes Amritzer spoke at Freedom Valley, and he referenced a story in the Old Testament about Samson. Samson had encountered a lion, and Johannes likened the lion to Jesus Christ, saying that Jesus can be found throughout the Old Testament in prophecy after prophecy, story after story.

In our conversations before and after services, Johannes mentioned a few more to me, saying that over the years, he’s become passionate about finding Jesus in the Old Testament.

When Jason and I talk about sermon preparations, we always talk about bringing everything back to Jesus, and how Jesus can be found either directly on the page, or indirectly in our need for Him. I’ve found myself lately reading with two questions in mind: “What is this saying about my savior?” and “What is this saying about my NEED for my savior?”

“Perhaps we’d be helped by a simple framework for how Christ is at the heart of the Scriptures: he is patterned, promised, and present from Genesis onward.”

Patterned: “The flood and the ark, the Passover and the Red Sea, the wilderness and the Promised Land, exile and return, war and peace, kingdom and kings, prophets and priests, the temple, its sacrifices, and its rituals, wisdom in death and in life, songs of lament and rejoicing, the lives of faithful sufferers and the blood of righteous martyrs — the Old Testament is extraordinarily Jesus-shaped.”

Promised: “Old Testament saints were not simply tiles in a mosaic, witnessing, unwittingly, to a gospel pattern of which they were ignorant. They too looked forward to the fulfillment of these patterns. How? Through the promises. This is how Jesus, Paul, and Peter saw it (Luke 24:25–27; Acts 26:22–23; 1 Peter 1:10–12). Each of them characterizes the Old Testament shape as proclaiming “Christ’s sufferings and glory,” yet, at the same time, each of them maintains that this message is what Moses and the prophets themselves “wrote,” “said,” “prophesied,” and “predicted.” All along, true faith was messianic faith, centered on Christ himself. He was the one held out and the one trusted by the faithful.”

Present: “But more than just patterned and promised, perhaps the most under-appreciated facet is that Christ also is present. It’s surprising how explicit the New Testament authors are about Jesus’s presence in the Old Testament:

  • The “I Am” in whom Abraham rejoiced was Jesus (John 8:56–58).

  • The Lord who motivated Moses was Christ (Hebrews 11:26).

  • The Redeemer who brought them out of Egypt was Jesus (Jude 5).

  • The Rock in the wilderness was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).

  • The King of Isaiah’s temple vision was the Son (John 12:40–41).”

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Study the following 3 passages and try to figure out how Jesus is patterned, promised, and present in all 3.

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The Testing

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Today, we’ll be studying Genesis 22. This is one of those passages that tends to make me really uncomfortable…but is LOADED with lessons for me to learn. We’ll be studying a few of those lessons in Bold & Brave, but I wonder which lessons you’ll learn this week from it as well?

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Study Genesis 22

  • What is your biggest takeaway from this chapter?

  • Is there anything in your life that God might ask you to give up, but it would hurt?

  • What else can we learn from Abraham’s story?

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Dream Again

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This week’s BATTLES sermon is about the wall of Jericho, and I think one of the biggest lessons we can take from the story of Jericho is that some battles happen MORE in the spiritual, than in the physical. You may think you have a PHYSICAL problem, when in reality, the problem is in the spiritual.

Some of us need to become dreamers again. We need to start believing God for something impossible, not out of desperation, but out of passion!

Today, we’ll watch this Hillsong teaching, and we’ll learn how to dream together again.

CANDACE’S NOTES from the teaching:

“God NEEDS his church to have more—to have access to all that He has.”
“The lowest parts in my ministry were when I didn’t have any vision.” @Chris_Hodges
”I think we keep trying to reduce God down to us, and God keeps trying to bring us up to him.”

Hebrews 11

5 types of people:

1. No dream. You’re saved, but you’re very bored. Just getting by.

2. A wrong dream. You're living for something that God did not inspire. You've become a hireling. Good, not God. Fun, not fulfilling. Career, not a calling. “Compensation will give you something to live ON, a calling will give you something to live FOR.”

3. A stale dream. A right dream, it’s just dying out.

4. A vague dream. The Bible wasn't being metaphoric when it says to write it down! If someone asks you what you would do with $1 million (in ministry), you BETTER HAVE AN ANSWER! The one who writes the vision, CAN RUN WITH IT. Have a vision gap:: more vision than money. And a plan for when God gives you more.

5. A God-honoring, culture-defying, heaven-impacting, seemingly-impossible dream. “The only dream that really matters is the dream that shows up in heaven.”

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  1. Read Hebrews 11

    1. Pick one of those stories to study further.

  2. Start a bucket list!

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No Weapon Formed

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Have you ever found yourself in a season where you felt like a desolate woman, living in shame and disgrace? Or a storm-battered city, troubled, defeated, and terrified?

Now, I know those are oddly specific scenarios, but I bet every one of you can identify a time in your life when you felt like one or the other…or both! You’re not alone.

Isaiah 54 describes these exact scenarios, and it’s a prophecy for a better future! At FV this weekend, I talked about how we are not victims. We are children of God, and therefore, we have certain promises that we can cling to. At the end of this chapter it says, “These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!” So, today, let’s look at some of the promises He’s made to us, just in this chapter alone.

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Go through Isaiah 54 and write down all the promises you want to claim over your life. Come up with at least 5. Say them out loud over yourself this week, and every day that you do, write down how they make you feel.

Come back next week and share them with the group!

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