Monday, February 22, 2010

Conclusion of Balanced

This past Sunday we wrapped up our latest series at Rock Point, BALANCED. In this series we have been taking a look at our personal finances and determining whether or not we truly are "balanced" with our books. I have to be honest...when we looked at doing a 6 week series on money, I got very nervous. Many people associate money and the church in a corrupt way. Just recently I have seen 2 reports of ministries/ministers who have exploited others for their own personal gain. So, as we moved forward with this series I was a little reluctant to "promote" the topic as I wasn't sure how it would be perceived. Wow! Was I wrong how it would be taken.

During the past 6 weeks we have heard incredible reports of people who have begun to get their financial lives in order and others who have realized that their money isn't just for them. They have really begun to understand, "Where your treasure is, there is your heart also." That God is the true owner of everything and he has just given us what we have as a "steward". That will really change your perspective on stuff.

This past week (the conclusion) was incredible as Andy spoke about 3 areas where our money should go. He listed them in this order:

1. Give (to further God's Kingdom)
2. Save (for the future)
3. Spend (with what God has blessed us with)

Basically, we should give off the top for God's work not with what is left over. Now, we can discuss and debate all day about whether that should be a percentage for the local church...or parachurch organizations...or supporting missionaries. That's really not the point. The point is, most often we have reversed the order. We often put our immediate needs/wants first, followed by building our own kingdom and then finally giving to God's work what we have left over, (which usually is very little). It was very eye opening as many in the audience could relate with the reversal of this order and why it important for us to put them in the right order. I really can't do it justice in a blog, so here is the link if you want to catch any previous sermons in this series. I really believe you will be glad you did.

Although the series is over for BALANCED, we have a lot of work to do. Many of us need to continue working on our financial "books" so that we get out of debt and are no longer "the slave to the lender". Many of us need to reprioritize where our money is going, while others need to find a percentage to give outside of themselves. This is an issue we all face...have faced...or will face at some point.

So...where does your money go? Take a look at your recent bank statement. It tells a lot about what we prioritize.

For more helps with the BALANCED series, click here.

I hope you all have a great week and don't forget our new series beginning this Sunday, February 28th. - STAYING IN LOVE


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stories of Life Change

This past Sunday was an incredible experience as we witnessed the baptism of 4 individuals and got to hear their stories of life change through a relationship with Christ. They were so genuine and heartfelt. There is no better way at Rock Point to share the new life that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ than through baptism. I was honored to be able to share this experience with these individuals as well as the opportunity to baptize them.

If you missed this past Sunday, here is a video of one. You might need a full box of kleenex for this one...

Wow. If you are wondering if this guy is normally emotional and "soft" the answer is NO! Adam is your proto-typical tough guy who has just met his Savior face to face and He has changed his life. These emotions he couldn't hold back. It was incredibly moving for me.

Also, a huge thank you to Shelley, Tyler, and Andria. It was so wonderful to be able to baptize a Mom and her 2 kids on the same morning! Thank you for your stories and for your hearts.

As you watch these videos, enjoy their stories...but more importantly...enjoy the God of their stories. He so much wants to have this kind of relationship with you.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Last night I received a call about a friend whose father was on his way to the Hospital. As I got off the phone I called people, sent text messages and emails to friends to ask them to pray. Those people in turn asked others to pray. My son even prayed while praying for our meal at dinner time. I felt confident that we had a small army of people praying and that everything would be OK.

An hour later I received a text that he was gone.

All of a sudden I was flooded with emotions. One because I was taken back to 2006 when I lost my father suddenly. The story was eerily similar. We were all praying for Dad to come out OK and the doctors would know what to do. But then I got the call. Dad was gone. My heart went out to my friend because I personally knew his pain.

But I also felt this sudden tension to ask the question, "God, why didn't you take care of that situation? Didn't you hear your people calling to you, asking you to do this one thing for us?" I felt this all night long. I knew the right answers but the right answers don't always take away emotions and pain. I know my friend hurts. I know that his pain can be eased but not removed. So, I asked one simple question, "Why?" I didn't see a burning bush or God writing across the sky, but I was reminded of a few things about God and us.

* God has a plan that I don't always see. His ways are not my ways.
* He is the only one who can truly comfort and ease our suffering.
* He longs to see His children bear one anothers burdens.
* Prayer isn't a magic formula to bend God's arm but to line my heart with His heart.

I don't know why God allowed my friend's father to pass away last night. But I do know that He was and is present. Sometimes I find myself asking the wrong questions in times of trouble and despair. A friend once told me, "Peace is not the absence of chaos or trouble but the presence of God in the midst of that chaos."

Today my prayer is that my friend knows the peace of God. That's really all I can pray for.