Epic Failure

By Kevin Ganiere

I have done some stupid things in my time. I can say that now because I am over thirty. But the one that takes the cake is when I was about twelve years old and ran to jump on my brother when he wasn’t looking. Little did I know the glass door I had to run through was not open, just really clean! I wish someone had video tapped it, because I would be a $100,000 winner on Americas Funniest Home videos!

It hurt though. It hurt my nose. It hurt my pride (as everyone laughed), and it hurt the door (it broke).

All of us have failed. Sometimes our failures are small, sometimes they are big. And sometimes they are EPIC. Whether you have failed in a relationship, in school, on a job, or at sports, we have all had an “Epic Fail”, and that is when we sin.

Sin is the failure that separates us from God. You can’t get any bigger than that. But there is good news. God invites us back into relationship when we accept, believe and confess our sin. Story over, right?

Well if you’re like me, we continue to epically fail and sin over and over. Most times our fails hurt. Just like running into a glass door, they can hurt us physically, emotionally and relationally. When you fail, you can choose to focus on your fail, and become depressed and discouraged. Or, you can choose to focus on God.

Here is what I know: Philippians 1:6 tells us that He (God)who began a good work in us (when we first believed and received his forgiveness) will continue it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. This God life is a race. There will be hurdles, failures, pot holes, etc., but God is still working on you. Believe it and choose to focus on Him rather than your failure.

PS - I was reminded of Philippians 1:6 when I opened an old Bible my Mom and Dad gave me for eighth grade graduation. That verse was written on the inside with a note. Parents, never underestimate the value of the words that you speak over your kids.

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When God answers prayer, how do you respond?

Do You Need Some S.O.A.P.?

By Jeremy Chapman

I’m not really the blogging type but I’ll give this a whirl … and possibly even cheat a little by pulling a page from a recent journal entry. Some pastor right? Cheating on a blog entry!

So taking a page from my journal, let me share with you a quick explanation of something I picked up from the book Divine Mentor by Wayne Corderio. Corderio lays out a very simple acronym that has helped in my journaling (and now blogging) endeavor. As much as I sometimes hate the church’s overuse of corny acronyms this one has helped me. The acronym is simply the word S.O.A.P., which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. That said, here is a recent entry:

Scripture:
Psalms 76:10 “Human opposition only enhances your (God’s) glory…”

Observation:
God’s plan and strength shines through most when man says it can’t be done. It’s true! I always thought I had a rebellious spirit, but maybe it’s a God spirit that loves to be told what I can’t do only to prove to others what can be done! In fact, I love it when others tell me what can’t be done so God can show up and show everyone what He can do. The wisdom of man is folly, not to be completely disregarded but certainly held loosely with regards to God’s still, small and steady voice!

Application:
View my opposition as God’s opportunity! Don’t go looking for or creating opposition, but certainly don’t shy away from it when it presents itself. What are the situations, who are the people, what are the limitations that I view as opposition?  Where is the God opportunity in those circumstances?

Prayer:
Give me a right spirit when I’m faced with opposition. May I prayerfully, humbly yet confidently make my requests known to you, God. May I be positioned in your righteousness so that I might receive your favor and blessing. I pray your glory is revealed in my life’s moments of opposition. Also I continue to pray an “impossible prayer” for a 2011 Prime29 payoff!

Hopefully the S.O.A.P. acronym can help you in your own journaling. It may sound cheesy, but it really is effective!

Upcoming Event: Married Life Live

Carving out a few hours to spend with your spouse can be hard. Trust us. We know. Finding time between work, social obligations, walking the dog, and workouts is crazy enough. Throw in a few kids and some after-school activities, and the likelihood of an empty space existing on your calendar is pretty slim.

Still, we think time together is important. That’s why we’re offering Married Life Live – a chance for married couples to have dessert, register for some giveaways, and hear our always-entertaining speakers share practical tips on building your marriage.

Register now for the next Married Life event on Friday, February 11, and reconnect with your spouse!

Getting to Know You: Amanda Coggins

 

1. What’s your role at Life Church?
Director of Early Childhood

2. Besides Life Church, what are you passionate about?

  • My family
  • Traveling
  • Maps

3. Share some things on your “bucket list.”

  • Travel to every continent
  • Do mission work in Somalia
  • SCUBA dive


4. Who’s influencing you right now?

  • Andy Stanley

5. What’s your favorite meal?
Italian sausage, pasta, and red velvet cheesecake

6. What’s something we may not know about you?
I grew up on a dairy farm.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

 

Instead of asking for help, how many times have you thought, “I’ll just do it myself,”? Increasingly, our society has shifted from being interdependent to placing high regard on being independent. But time and time again, the Bible illustrates that God called us to work together to fulfill our goals and bring our dreams to life.

One of the Bible’s most poignant examples of teamwork is in the book of Nehemiah. A cup bearer to the king of Persia, Nehemiah was distraught over the broken state of the city of Jerusalem. He dreamed of returning and rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. By examining the way he approached his mission, we can learn valuable insights to apply when it comes time to assemble our own “dream team.”

 

1. Understand, you can’t life the dream alone.

2. Ask God for help. “O Lord, please hear my prayer!  Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you.  Please grant me success now as I go to ask the king for a great favor. Put it into his heart to be kind to me,” (Nehemiah 1:11).

3. Ask influencers for help. “The king asked, ‘Well how can I help you?’  With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, ‘If it please Your Majesty and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.’  The king, with the queen sitting beside him asked, ‘How long will you be gone?  When will you return?’  So the king agreed, and I set a date for my departure,” (Nehemiah 2:4-5).

4. Recruit volunteers. Ask others to come alongside you and help.

5. Don’t give up. Stay focused on living the dream. “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us,” (Philippians 3:12-14).

So what are you waiting for? Start your journey. Live your dream.