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  • Grow Your Every Day Leadership With These Books

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    Over the past few weeks we’ve been exploring what every day leadership looks like in a series called As You Go. During our time together, we’ve learned that EVERYONE has influence. It doesn’t matter what your job title is, the size of your platform or whether you are an extrovert. Everybody is leading somebody somewhere. The question me must ponder is where do people end up when they follow in our footsteps.

    Because we desire to be known as a community who leads well, we want to encourage you to reflect on how you are stewarding the influence you’ve been given throughout the week. One way this takes place is making our daily devotionals part of your study routine. Another habit we recommend is exposing yourself to material that highlights how you can grow your leadership capacity, walk with integrity and use your influence for good.

    With this in mind, here are six books that have shaped PC3’s leadership culture over the years. These books are definitely worth a read for those of us who want to be prepared to respond when those “as you go” opportunities of impact present themselves:

     

    Developing The Leader Within You by John Maxwell

    “Leadership is influence. That’s it. Nothing more; nothing less.”

    It is a lofty calling to lead a group―a family, a church, a non-profit, a business―and the timeless principles in this book will bring positive change in your life and in the lives of those around you. God has called every believer to influence others, to be salt and light. Developing the Leader Within You will equip you to improve your leadership and inspire others.

     

    Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels

    “If God has given you a kingdom vision, if you see it clearly and feel it deeply, you had better take responsibility for it. You had better give your life to it. That’s why God made you a leader.”

    Too much is at stake for you not to maximize your spiritual gift of leadership, insists Hybels. In this passionate, powerful book, he unpacks the tools, tasks, and challenges of your calling. You’ll discover the power of vision and how to turn it into action. You’ll gain frontline insights for developing a kingdom dream team, discovering your leadership style, developing other leaders, making decisions, walking with God, embracing change, staying your God-given course, and much, much more. Drawing on his own richly varied life experiences, Hybels fleshes out vital principles with riveting firsthand stories. This is far more than another book on leadership strategies and techniques. You’ll find those topics in here, to be sure. But beyond them, you’ll find the very essence of one of today’s foremost Christian leaders—his fervent commitment to evangelism and discipleship and his zeal to inspire fellow church leaders even as he seeks to keep growing as a leader himself. 

     

    Amplified Leadership by Dan Reiland

    “Connecting with others is critical, but to truly develop strong relationships, leaders must go a step further. We must appreciate the people God gives us to lead.”

    If you want your ministry to reach its maximum potential, all that God wants for you, it is essential that you develop strong leaders. In Amplified Leadership, “pastor’s coach” Dan Reiland gives you a proven process for developing new leaders that are established spiritually and trained practically. Not just a checklist of things you should do, Amplified Leadership provides an intentional development process that starts with your relationships and ends with empowered leaders who are ready to make an impact.  The ability to develop leaders is a life-changing gift. When you successfully empower and release people to leadership, you give them the opportunity to fulfill their potential and advance the mission of the church.

     

    The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

    “Success demands singleness of purpose.”

    YOU WANT LESS. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions–and lots of stress. AND YOU WANT MORE. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends. NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH–LESS AND MORE. In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to * cut through the clutter * achieve better results in less time * build momentum toward your goal* dial down the stress * overcome that overwhelmed feeling * revive your energy * stay on track * master what matters to you The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life–work, personal, family, and spiritual. WHAT’S YOUR ONE THING?

     

     

    Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision by Andy Stanley

    “If you are “seeking first” his kingdom where you are, then where you are is where he has positioned you.”

     Everybody ends up somewhere in life. Wouldn’t you like to end up somewhere on purpose? What breaks your heart? What keeps you up at night? What could be that should be? Andy Stanley believes these questions are bread crumbs that lead to the discovery of personal vision. With down-to-earth practicality, Andy extracts principles from the story of Nehemiah to help you discover your purpose in life. Visioneering includes helpful exercises and time-tested ideas for visionary decision-making, personal growth, and leadership at home and at work. Catch a glimpse of God’s incredible vision for your life, relationships, and business—and discover the passion to follow it.

     

    Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft

    “Who you are will take you much further than what you can do.”

    If the Christian life is like a race, we must admit that too many Christian leaders stumble, burn out, or veer off the track. Clearly it is not automatic that a leader will finish well. Based on Dave Kraft’s thirty-five years of leading, teaching leadership, and coaching dozens of Christian leaders, Leaders Who Last moves through three stages of leadership: foundations, formation, and fruitfulness. Concise, anecdotal, and packed with wisdom, this book will help you aim your ambitions, refine your character, and position yourself to be an effective leader who endures. Kraft’s brief, down-to-earth guide to Christian leadership will inspire readers to finish the race well-to hit the tape in full stride with an energetic burst of speed and receive their commendation from God.

     

  • 5 Books On Integrity That Are Worth A Read

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    Over the past few weeks we’ve been exploring the important topic of integrity in a series called Double. Integrity is the most powerful currency we have to influence and impact others. During our time together, we’ve learned that walking in integrity comes when we are able to get our heart and mind in alignment. This centeredness enables us to reflect Christ in our actions and words.

    Because of the complexity of integrity, we want to encourage you to reflect on this topic throughout the week. One way this takes place is making our daily devotionals part of your study routine. Another habit we recommend is exposing yourself to material that highlights the importance of integrity in our day-to-day lives.

    With this in mind, here are five books that served as the foundation behind the Double series. These books are definitely worth a read for those of us who are looking to live a whole life:

    Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Dr. Henry Cloud

    “Character = the ability to meet the demands of reality.”

    Integrity – more than simple honesty, it’s the key to success. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. Drawing on experiences from his work, Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, leadership coach, corporate consultant and nationally syndicated radio host, shows how our character can keep us from achieving all we want to (or could) be.

    Ask It: The Question That Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions by Andy Stanley

    “What is the wise thing for me to do, in light of my past experience, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams?”

    Should I take this job? Buy this house? Marry this person?  We ask questions every day about the choices we face. But are we asking the most important question of all? In Ask It, Andy Stanley identifies the one question that makes it easy to determine the answer to all other questions. You’ll learn how to make decisions with confidence simply by applying the question that brings clarity to life’s most challenging decisions.

    Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise by Bill Hybels

     

    “Character is not what we have done, but rather who we are.”

    “When I listen to the evening news or read the morning paper these days my reaction is always the same: what’s wrong in our world will not be set right until people who love God and who refuse to cave to these overwhelming challenges put the things they believe into action, things like courage and discipline and love.” Bill Hybels Who You Are When No One’s Looking has pointed the way to godly character for more than twenty years.

    Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg

    “A soul without a center feels constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances.”

    The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith.In an age of materialism and consumerism that tries to buy its way to happiness, many souls are starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by false promises of status and wealth. We’ve neglected this eternal part of ourselves, focusing instead on the temporal concerns of the world―and not without consequence. Bestselling author John Ortberg presents another classic that will help you discover your soul―the most important connection to God there is―and find your way out of the spiritual shallow-lands to true divine depth. With characteristic insight and an accessible story-filled approach, Ortberg brings practicality and relevance to one of Christianity’s most mysterious and neglected topics.

    Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ by Dallas Willard

    “We don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true.”

    As Christians, we know that we are new creations in Jesus. So we try to act differently, hoping this will make us more like Him. But changing our outward behavior doesn’t change our hearts. Only by God’s grace can we be transformed internally. Renovation of the Heart lays a biblical foundation for understanding what best-selling author Dallas Willard calls the “transformation of the spirit”―a divine process that “brings every element in our being, working from inside out, into harmony with the will of God.” This fresh approach to spiritual growth explains the biblical reasons why Christians need to undergo change in six aspects of life: thought, feeling, will, body, social context, and soul. Willard also outlines a general pattern of transformation in each area, not as a sterile formula but as a practical process that you can follow without the guilt or perfectionism so many Christians wrestle with. Don’t settle for complacency. Accept the challenge Renovation of the Heart offers to become an intentional apprentice of Jesus Christ, changing daily as you walk with Him.

  • To Whom Much Is Given: A Post Election Letter

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    To whom much is given, much will be required.

    We are aware that there is much work to be done in the culture we have created and the country we have been given.  We must take seriously the rights, as defined by God, to life and freedom.  Those rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution; they are made possible by the authority of our God.

    You are entrusted with a sacred honor to lead.  You must be diligent, above all else, to steward your influence with great care and purpose.  The decisions you make will impact generations to come. I pray for God’s wisdom in your life that you may act with discernment and discretion regarding these most important matters, which include:

    LIFE

    The right to life provided in the U.S. Constitution is based on the authority of the One who created that life.  Life must be valued because it is an expression of and gift from the Creator.  Life is an expression of the purity and grace of God; from the miraculous conception to the mystery of death.  Life is given as an act of trust, full of promise and potential to bear the image of God with flesh and blood in time and space.  It is sacred and should be protected and valued in every way.  The authority given to protect the innocent and wield the sword to defend against the most vile are rooted in the same place.  This power to protect and defend rest firmly on the foundation of God’s Justice and Truth.

    As long as God gives breath, every effort must be made to ensure this most precious gift is preserved until life on earth turns a page into the promise of the eternity that resides deep in the human heart.

    You must do everything you can to uphold the sanctity of life.  This means valuing the trusted promise of life over convenience and justice over political expediency or perception in every situation.  This requires extraordinary discernment and discretion.

    In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

    FREEDOM

    Freedom is truly one of the great treasures we’ve been given.  It is also one of the great dangers – for cherished freedom can slip into carnal entitlement with little notice.  Freedom, however, is not the unbridled ability to do what you want when you want.  It is rooted in the human heart being set free.  This is found only through the righteousness and grace of God Himself.

    To uphold the gift of freedom, we must recognize that it is only found where forgiveness is given.  Justice and mercy provide the foundation for our freedom, but only receiving HIs forgiveness allows us to live free.

    In order to uphold life and freedom corporately, you must do so personally.

    AUTHORITY

    photo-1467912407355-245f30185020Authority can never rest simply upon the position, no matter how powerful or prominent.  Authority must be coupled with humility and integrity.  As a leader, I implore you to submit to the authority of God and His trust in you with humility of mind and heart.  You must live with conviction, carefully stewarding the fragile trust you’ve been given.

    This requires upholding and defending the systems designed by God to preserve the generational health and well-being of humanity.  This authority was given by God to the family.  One man and one woman brought together, not to form a Utopian society, but to experience and express the Oneness of God within the sacred gift of marriage.

    To uphold the sanctity of marriage not only requires submission to God’s design and definition, but also requires you to fight for marriages to stay together.  The erosion of the family has left an epidemic of fatherless children which is at the root of nearly every issue we face.  The covenant of marriage provides the foundational authority structure from which every other earthly structure draws its authority.  If there is no respect for authority in the home, you should not expect it in society.

    In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

    JUSTICE

    To act justly is one of the things that God requires of us as His people.  This involves upholding the values that provide us with the opportunities and protections we cherish.  However, opportunities are not guarantees and protections require participation.

    To uphold the value of justice means we must establish a firm standard of what is expected by those who participate and cooperate within the systems we have established. Justice requires equity that only comes when we encounter true justice and find mercy.

    Justice refuses to hide behind empty rationalizations and irrelevant comparisons, but it earnestly desires the truth.  In pursuing justice, I challenge you to confront the prejudices and pride that allow our sin to be nothing more than a vice that is justified or excused.

    To promote justice is to uphold the sanctity of life, freedom, and authority.  It means we must act on behalf of those who cannot and be accountable for the actions we take as well as the ones we don’t.  This is done in humble submission to the grace we’ve received in the face of perfect justice.

    In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

    COMPASSION

    Compassion comes as a result of caring.  We can’t wait to feel like we care, we must choose to lean in and take interest in order to understand. Compassion requires us to look at life from someone else’s perspective.  It is not simply about giving a handout or easing a guilty conscience.  It is about expressing the freedom and love we have been given on behalf of another.  It requires action.  The Scriptures speak often of the plight of the poor.  The Old Testament law established parameters which built a means to share into each person’s way of life.  The ability to generate wealth is a gift from God and is to be used for His purpose; extending compassion to those near and far.

    We are blessed to live in a country where we are free to do business and achieve economic success. However, may this be tempered with humble submission that this is what we’ve been given – not what we deserve.

    Again, this is about upholding the sanctity of life, freedom, authority, and justice.  We must look at humanity in a new way – as people who are made in the image of God.  This goes for the poor who are marginalized and oppressed as well as the powerful who are demonized and dismissed.  These prejudices are equally sinful and lack the compassion required from those who walk with Christ.

    In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

    EDUCATION

    photo-1464660756002-dd9f9a92b01bEducation is one of the most profound ways we value life.  We have the opportunity to awaken the next generation to the wonder of our world and most importantly the wonder of God.  It is imperative that we work together to provide a great place for our children to grow and learn where their curiosity is piqued and their thirst for knowledge continues to grow.

    The responsibility to educate the next generation is given to the family.  The educational system should seek to partner with and empower parents, not replace them.  Education must pay as much attention to the character as to the intellect, for one is of little use without the other.

    But we must not forget that education has a source.  The Scriptures teach us that wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord.  We must reclaim this foundational beginning point for the instruction of our children.  This is an issue of stewardship and authority.  We are warned not to be wise according to our own estimation.

    Seeing God as God positions us to gain knowledge and understanding.  The means to gain His wisdom is simply to ask.  He has promised that He will  give wisdom without reproach.  His wisdom empowers us to answer some of society’s greatest challenges.  His wisdom is pure, peaceable, merciful, impartial, and sincere.

    In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

    STEWARDSHIP

    This brings me to my last issue, and this may rank as the most important, for without a firm grasp of this, the others have no foundation.  We stepped into a world and a life which we had no input or say.  We did not choose or design the place or time in which we would be born.  I believe it was designed and defined by the same Creator from whom we look to for protection of our right to life and liberty.  If such things are not chosen, then it stands to reason, they have been given.  How you respond to a such a gift says a lot about who you are.

    Stewardship is doing the best you can with what you have according to the purposes established by the One who trusted you.  Our culture has rested on a shaky foundation of money and greed at the expense of character and integrity.  This is not sustainable and promises to prove that we have been poor stewards of what we have been given.  We face some serious challenges. However, this is what we have been trusted with.  How we respond says a lot about who we are.

    I believe deeply in freedom, opportunity and of risk and return.  Our economic structure has allowed for creativity, freedom, and cooperation which have contributed great advances in our world.  But we must never forget to ask the Giver, “what do you want me to do with what you have trusted me with?”  Jesus was very clear, “To whom much is given, much will be required!”

    Stewardship is about the value of serving and receiving, not of give and take.  One is negotiation, the other is trust.  You cannot negotiate the integrity that is essential to be trusted.  It is time we learn to trust and take seriously our responsibility to be trustworthy.

    Stewardship goes beyond just economics and governmental resources, but extends to our natural resources as well.  We have been trusted with God’s creation and one of the first acts of stewardship we received was to manage that creation.  We must take that call seriously and pay attention so as to be great stewards.

    You have been trusted with great responsibility and authority.  Steward it well.  Seek God’s guidance and His favor.  Do not lean on the wisdom of humanity.

    In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

    All of these issues require tremendous wisdom and discernment.  We have tried to solve these issues from afar and it will no longer work.  They will require us to get our hands dirty and get involved in the lives of those struggling with the very challenges we are seeking to solve.  I pray that God will soften your heart every moment to be molded and shaped by His tender hand and that your mind will be open to the mind of Christ, your ear to the whisper of God, and your life to the way of God.  That together, we will see a Kingdom which is not of this world but demands the attention of this world.  Until God sits on His throne and His feet on His stool, may we strive together for the image of God and the sake of His purposes.

    Lest you think this letter is to our President-Elect, it is written:

    From one follower of Christ to another.

  • Learning To Care | Twitter Recap

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    In 140 characters or less we recap Mike Ashcraft’s sermon “Learning to Care.”

    • Leaning in to understand is the first step in learning to care.
    • Indifference is a response to protect our hearts.
    • We must learn to lean in to understand or we will look away and ignore.
    • Missions is an expression of discipleship.
    • Our hearts expand or shrink to the size of our greatest concern.
    • We can’t wait to care. We must learn to care.
    • Compassion begins at the point where we start to care.
    • There’s always a person on the other side of the issue. We need to see the people behind the issues.
    • Some of us allow our convenience, comfort and complacency to justify our inactivity.
    • Everyday, all around us, we are confronted with brokenness. We see needs in our neighborhood, our city and our world.
    • Comfort might distract us and provide relief for a moment, but it eventually gives way to boredom and apathy.
    • Living a life of convenience proves to be a lonely venture.
    • Convenience is tolerated self-centeredness.
    • Rather than guarding our heart, indifference damages it.
    • When our highest value is our own comfort and well-being, our soul becomes minuscule and unusable.
    • Compassion is a quality that must be cultivated and only takes root when we take action.
    • The significant issues facing our world require significant people. You are significant…so the world needs you.
    • Maybe God only needs the little we have to make big things happen, if we would only lean in and start somewhere.
    Watch Message Subscribe via iTunes
  • Check Your Gauges: Avoiding Burnout

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    I drive a 2001 Ford Focus so I don’t much pay attention to the tachometer. That gauge is pretty much irrelevant. When I turn on the ignition, I’m more concerned my car starts than the RPM it is producing. 50MPH is about as fast as it goes and that’s when it is coasting downhill. Anything over that speed makes the car grumpy. It begins to rattle and screech, letting me know not to push my luck. If I get anywhere close to the Red Line, there is a good chance the car might combust. Over the years, I’ve learned the limits of the Focus and have come to the realization that it’s an “in town” car as in if I take it on the highway it’s a goner.

    IMG_2616_FotorThe tachometer on a worn out Ford Focus might be irrelevant, but the gauges that exist in our heart, mind and soul should be of utter importance. Whether we realize it or not, there is a Red Line that exists for each of us. Unfortunately, our tachometers tend to run hot in the overdone category. Since we have nothing to govern us, we push our lives to the limit. We are driven, but don’t know where we are headed.

    Disregarding those warning signs alerting us to our dissatisfaction, confusion and uneasiness about life has the potential to destroy us. We can no longer attempt to disregard the signs that something is broken in our pursuit of perfection, significance and feeling truly alive.

    Burnout is more than fatigue or too much stress. It goes deeper than burning the midnight oil for way too long. Burnout is a physical or mental collapse and the scary reality is some of us are on the edge of burnout all the time. If we don’t pay attention to the warning signs of our heart, we all are susceptible to this type of weariness.

    Just like a Check Engine light going off warns us of issues underneath the hood, there are behaviors, thought patterns and actions that serve as indicators of distress taking place inside our heart.

    The time has come to pay attention to our gauges. In his blog, pastor and author Carey Nieuwhof highlights 9 signs warning you that you are burning out:

    1. Your motivation has faded.
    2. Your main emotion is “numbness” – you no longer feel high or lows
    3. People drain you.
    4. Little things make you disproportionately angry.
    5. You’re becoming cynical.
    6. Your productivity is dropping.
    7. You’re self-medicating.
    8. You don’t laugh anymore.
    9. Sleep and time off no longer refuel you.

    The longer you ignore the Check Engine light on your car, the more damage you create and the costlier the repair bill will be. Eventually, the car will tap out and leave you stranded on the side of the road. The same is true with our heart. The more we push and pretend we are just imaging those warn signs the greater the devastation we cause not only in our lives, but in the lives of our family, friends and co-workers.

    So, how does one deal with burnout if they see the lights flashing red on their dashboard? How does a person recover from burnout and prevent it from occurring in the future? Carey Nieuwhof gives us 12 keys to getting back from burnout:

    1. photo-1475361441796-3f808c9cb2a3Tell someone
    2. Get help
    3. Lean into your friends
    4. Keep leaning into God
    5. Rest
    6. Find something else to take your attention away from the pain
    7. Do what you can
    8. Don’t do anything drastic or stupid
    9. Trust again
    10. Closely monitor balance
    11. Watch for the warning signs
    12. Take responsibility for the health of your soul
    13. Believe there is hope (Bonus tip)

    Here are a few more posts from Carey on this topic:  A Decade Later: My Top 10 Insights on Burnout  and 7 Painful Truths About Burnout and Leadership.

    Another great tool in combating future burnout is taking a Self-Care and Lifestyle Balance Inventory. This short 5-minute quiz will shed light on how well you are doing in staying balanced and creating boundaries and margins in your life.

    If you are dealing with burnout, please know that the community at PC3 is praying for you. There are times when the weight of our struggles becomes too much to bear alone. Don’t be ashamed to seek the help of others. Asking for help isn’t weakness, but strength in disguise. Our counseling team is here to help you find the freedom in Christ that you need to heal. To learn more about Care and Counseling at PC3, visit portcitychurch.org/care.

  • Trusted Authority | Twitter Recap

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    In 140 characters or less we recap Mike Ashcraft’s sermon “Trusted Authority.”

    • We are trusting authority and trusted with authority.
    • When we look to God’s Word just to find God’s laws, we will often find loopholes.
    • When we look to God’s Word to find God Himself, we find life.
    • If you can trust Him with the first step, you can trust Him with the next one.
    • Authority requires responsibility. We’ve been given authority to empower others and point them towards freedom.
    • Our obedience is not about gaining access to the Kingdom, but for our lives to serve as an expression of the Kingdom.
    • God’s love should be the driving force in our lives because this is what God uses to bring His Kingdom to bear in this world.
    • True peace is centered on who is standing beside you rather than what is happening around you.
    • What our world is looking for is the Kingdom of God because that is the Kingdom we were made for.
    • We always find what we’re looking for.
    • What we focus on gets our attention and what gets our attention impacts our heart.
    • The condition of our heart doesn’t remain hidden; it will eventually get expressed.
    • What is happening on the inside shows on the outside.
    • If all our energy is spent on deciding what is best for our needs, our agenda and our comfort, others lose out.
    • We were never meant to live for ourselves.
    • By trusting God’s authority, we are able to steward the authority we’ve been trusted with well.
    Watch Message Subscribe via iTunes
  • The Thing That Matters | Twitter Recap

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    In 140 characters or less we recap Mike Ashcraft’s sermon “The Thing That Matters.”

    • In order for your heart to be captured, it must first be available.
    • We aren’t available to surrender because we serve other masters.
    • We want God’s ways, but on our terms.
    • We desire God’s vision just as long as it lines up with our perspective.
    • We are experts at looking for exactly what we want to see. We use our mind to either find truth or hide truth.
    • When we find truth but don’t like it’s implications, we disregard and dismiss it.
    • When God captures your heart, His commands become irrelevant. Obedience becomes an expression.
    • God doesn’t want “grin and bear it” heartless obedience.
    • We pretend that we are unsure and claim there isn’t enough evidence to submit. But, the truth is we don’t want to submit.
    • If you can convince yourself God is not real, you will always have a reason why you can disobey Him.
    • We use our mind to either find truth or hide truth.
    • The lens we use to view the world shapes our response to it.
    • If we feel there isn’t enough evidence to believe in God, our eyes will search for everything to confirm this point.
    • We all establish a standard by which we measure truth. More often than not, the standard we use is ourselves.
    • Obedience doesn’t automatically equal a heart that is in step with God.
    • The one thing God wants from us is the very thing we can hide from everybody else- our motives.
    • It’s through the renewal of our mind that our heart gets transformed.
    Watch Message Subscribe via iTunes
  • Freed By Restrictions| Twitter Recap

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    In 140 characters or less we recap Mike Ashcraft’s sermon “Freed By Restrictions.”

    • Commands serve as placeholders to help us do what we want to do until we want to do it.
    • There is a BIG difference between what catches your eye and what captures your heart.
    • Authority requires restrictions.
    • What we see affects the condition of our heart.
    • Our heart is forged by what we encounter.
    • Freedom comes from discipline and endurance.
    • We become free by becoming a slave.
    • You’re only free to the point you are willing to submit to God’s authority.
    • For better or worse, our lives are always expressing what is inside.
    • Most of our lives are spent responding to the things that catch our eyes.
    • Freedom is found when we focus on who we are and let the One who defines us define our days.
    • Obedience from the heart takes time.
    • As our hearts are changed, we are free to live out as we were made.
    • Restrictions are liberating because they help us see what we truly want and desire.
    • Freedom comes from discipline and endurance so when the time comes we will be free to respond in obedience naturally.
    • Our heart always follows our obedience.
    • When our picture of God grows clearer, our obedience becomes more consistent.
    •  He is always pointing us towards the way of freedom.
    Watch Message Subscribe via iTunes
  • Fighting For Freedom | Twitter Recap

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    In 140 characters or less we recap Mike Ashcraft’s sermon “Fighting For Freedom.”

    • Ultimate freedom will only be found under God’s authority.
    • We wrongly assume freedom is the absence of restrictions or expectations.
    • The absence of authority doesn’t lead one to freedom, but rather chaos and futility.
    • We must think about what we think about. How did we arrive at our view of authority?
    • Authority is designed to empower for purpose.
    • Authority exists to provide a foundation and boundaries for our freedom.
    • Love requires freedom and a choice.
    • If you can justify your reason not to trust, you can justify your reason to not obey.
    • Authority is primarily relational. Authority given has a responsibility to the authority giver.
    • Human wisdom says only obey what you understand. In God’s economy, you will only understand once you obey.
    • We live in a culture where trust has been eroded. This erosion has taken its toll on our view and respect of authority.
    • If God created life, He alone gets to define it.
    • God established a system of authority built on trust – not a power structure built on strength.
    • We trusted another and wound up trapped.
    • Because of sin, authority was exchanged for power and community for competition.
    • We are reluctant to submit to anyone, especially God.
    • Simple compliance squeezes the heart out of obedience.
    • You can obey all the rules and still miss the point.
    • God gives us the choice whether to live under His authority or to go our own way.
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  • What In The World | Twitter Recap

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    In 140 characters or less we recap Mike Ashcraft’s sermon “What In The World.”

    • We all fundamentally expect our lives to go well. At some point, our expectations won’t be met and that leaves us disappointed.
    • Disappointment is a state, not an emotion.
    • Asking “What in the world is going on?” is trying to see things clearly from the back seat.
    • No matter how hard today is, it isn’t worth comparing to the glory that is to come.
    • Sin broke the world. Nothing works like it should. The whole earth is longing for a new beginning.
    • No one hopes yesterday will be good because it’s already happened. Hope is set to the future.
    • Patience is a fruit of hope.
    • Whatever shakes the world God can take and turn it into good.
    • God comes to you in your brokenness and enters into your weakness.
    • As believers, we need to learn to navigate any circumstance with faithfulness and full of hope.
    • Faith saves us. Hope sustains us. Hope rests on the foundation of faith.
    • Everything in this world is designed to awaken hope.
    • The depth of what we are dealing with needs to be matched with the depth of the hope that is in Christ.
    • Faith and hope require uncertainty.
    • We meet uncertainty with control. God tells us to meet it with faith instead.
    • Hope provides you the patience and perspective to see God’s work in the world.
    • He died so we wouldn’t be stuck in the futility of this world.
    • Our response to disappointment sets the course for the way our lives will go.
    • Redemption isn’t making lemonade out of lemons but rather making life out of death.
    • Redemption requires the stubborn belief that God uses everything.
    • The depth of the struggle reveals the depth of our hope.
    • Without hope, there is no faith – only futility.
    • The Gospel is the redemptive force that turns loss into gain and death into life.
    • Shattered expectations leave us deeply disappointed.
    • The redemption of frustration is to hope.
    • Frustration should not reduce our desire, but awaken it.
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