Catch Your Breath - Sabbath Class
Find yourself rushing through life with no connection to those you love the most? Frazzled, stressed and worn out?
This class is for men, women and youth. In fact, I’d recommend doing it as a family. The Sabbath is probably the most ignored ten commandment and yet it is a pure gift from God. Find out why we have a hard time receiving this gift and how your life can be transformed when you do.
The time investment will be well worth it because you will gain more time for the things you love as you embrace these principles.
Bring a sack lunch for yourself. The class is free. No childcare provided, but middle school and older and invited to attend.
My "I Am Second" Story
I just received this “I Am Second” story from Dustin Mahler and was so encouraged I asked him if I could share it with the rest of you. I love the way God gets our attention!
“8-10 Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code―don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of―finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.”
-Romans 13:8-10 MSG
Sometimes its easy to become so focused on what we SHOULDN’T do. But I love Paul’s positive spin on it (and he is really just quoting Jesus, so I guess it’s Jesus’ spin on it).
“Love other people as well as you do yourself.”
Sometimes I get depressed and so inwardly drawn, and all I can look at is my own depression. And everything becomes all about me. God has been moving me to begin looking at others again. I had a very tangible first hand experience with that this morning…
I was eating breakfast, and a reminder popped up on my phone to check the laundry (Mariam and I had put some stuff in the community dryer last night). I wasn’t sure if Mariam had already gotten the laundry, so I decided to just go out and check. As I was walking to the laundry room, an older woman out in the parking lot yelled to me, “Excuse me! Can you please help me!” I ran down the stairs to see what the problem was. Her car doors were frozen shut and she couldn’t get them open. She was pretty desperate, worried, and probably in a hurry. I tried the driver’s side door and that wouldn’t open, so I want around on the other side and managed to get the passenger side open, then climbed over to the driver’s side and pushed that door open from the inside. The woman was very thankful and handed me a bill. I said, “No no, I don’t need this! It only took me two minutes! Don’t worry about it!” I handed the bill back to her. She then handed it back to me and said, “No take it! I don’t want to be one of those old ladies that can’t do anything for herself!” We argued back and forth like this for a while. Finally she shoved the bill back in my hand, turned her back, and got in the car.
So now I have this bill. My initial thought was to use it for myself, of course. But then… in the midst of this whole thing about learning to watch out for other people… Since Mariam and I don’t really need this , why don’t we give it to somebody that actually DOES need it?! Ah-ha!!! God is way too good at driving these lessons into me. Jon’s sermon series has been all about putting ourselves SECOND, not first. Interesting… This theme has been starting to pop up everywhere for me…
So Lord, continue to show me how to put others before myself and to love them. I can be so selfish sometimes, especially when I am too caught up in my own problems. You are the provision for Mariam and I. Work through us as you see fit, to bless and provide for those you put before us. Thank you. Amen.
Spa for the Soul
Ladies, Join us for the third annual New Year’s Spa for the Soul. This is a mostly-silent-retreat, a chance for you to pull away after the hustle-bustle of the holidays to hear the still small voice. In the past, we have found this a retreat to be a great way to hear God for the coming year and His priorities for our life.
Bring a Bible and journal and unplug from technology for a few hours. Some guidance and meditation questions will be given at the beginning, so you won’t want to miss that part. We will eat lunch together at the end. Bring your own lunch (brown bag style).
Wear your sweats, bring a blanket. We will spread out throughout the church for quiet and rest.
Breakfast snacks, coffee and tea will be provided.
Christmas Eve Service
Join us for an intimate, family-friendly, old-fashioned Christmas Eve service on 24th at 5:17 pm. (That’s a time you won’t forget)
This one hour service will include beautiful music, hot cocoa bar, and something special for every age. Bring your family and make this part of your family tradition and celebration.
The service will be held at the Shoreline Community College theater.
Learning The Lesson Of The Ostrich
I wanted to take a moment to share with you my S.O.A.P. Journal from this morning in the hopes that you too can learn this lesson with me.
“The ostrich flaps her wings grandly, but they are no match for the feathers of the stork. She lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them or a wild animal might destroy them. She is harsh toward her young, as if they were not her own. She doesn’t care if they die. For God has deprived her of wisdom. He has given her no understanding. But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider. (Job 39:13-18 NLT)
I love the fact that God uses the Ostrich as one of the examples of how little Job knows about creation. I also knew nothing about the Ostrich except that they supposedly stick their heads in the sand and someone in the Swiss Family Robinson rode one in a race. Job and his friends needed some perspective and the Alpha & Omega was taking them to school. It turns out second guessing God is never a good idea.
I received a similar lesson in a similar way as Job did. I found myself, a strapping young lad full of dreams, scraping Ostrich poop at six in the morning for a year. That’s right, I was an Ostrich rancher. I had recently graduated from High School, I had been a leader in the youth group and on my campus. My parents took their first pastorate in the Santa Ynez Valley at the peak of the “Ostrich is the new red meat” craze of the early 90’s (Historical Note: it tasted like shoe leather and thus was destined to fail). Ranchers were converting their cow ranches into Ostrich ranches and in order to help my folks make a living I found myself with this most unique entry on my resume. I had many plans as a young man to take over the world… and this was not it. The challenge in Ostrich Ranching, as it turns out, is simply keeping these stupid creatures alive. Sure they run fast, but that’s the problem. They run really fast without thinking about what they are running from or what they are running into and therefore they become a danger to themselves and anything around them. A low flying plane, a car that backfires will driving by, a loud yell from one of the other ranchers and these Ostriches set off running, as a pack, back and forth in their pens. They start running faster and faster until their long gangly legs start tripping over each other… they get their necks stuck in the wire fences and break them… and they die. As Ranchers we would try to use calming tones and no fast motions to get them to slow down before they killed themselves. They didn’t listen very often. I hated how quiet I had to be all the time. It was like living in an outdoor library, constant “shoooshing” from the Ranch Owners. I hated how humiliating it was. Scraping up all this hay saturated with Ostrich pee and poop. I felt like a servant to these creatures whose brains were smaller then their eyeballs. On some occasions, I would look in their large vacuous eyes while they watched me clean up their mess and I swear, I could hear their brain rolling around in their head like a marble in jar. I cried out, “God, why am I here? I want to go somewhere else. I want to do anything else!” Ah, there it is! The lesson God was teaching Job. God had perspective on my life that I’ did not. He did not just want me to just run fast He wanted me to run with purpose. Though I was sure I had it figured it out, I was as clueless as an Ostrich about my future and Gods plans for me. Would I learn the Lesson of the Ostrich? The first question being: What are you running from? Is it really something you need to fear? Is it really bigger then the God you serve? Is your fast running simply going to hurt you and those around you? No matter how fast you are you can’t escape from fear by running away. Only by running to Christ, the Rancher of our souls, can we get the perspective on the things we fear. There has been much to fear over the years. So many circumstances have caused me to be startled and spooked and convinced I just need to run away and escape. What does this accomplish? In the words of the Psalmist David: “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” (Ps. 39:5). I don’t my life to be endless running ending in nothing. I want there to be purpose for my pursuit, not just a life of frantic fear-filled movement. This where the second question in the Lesson of the Ostrich comes in: What are you running for? Why has God put you here? Whats His purpose for you on this earth? This was what God was getting to with Job and what He was getting to with me on the Ostrich Ranch. Don’t just run, run with purpose, with determination and destination. As it turned out, God had to get me on an Ostrich Ranch to confirm that He was calling me…not to the life of an Ostrich Rancher thankfully… but to a life given to telling others about the God of Creation who has a purpose for everything… Even an Ostrich. After my humbling year on the Ostrich ranch I went to Life Bible College not running from something ambiguous, but running to the person of Christ and His purpose for me! This is what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27: "Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified".
So, we here we go Lord! I’m 39 years old and just now learning to not run like an Ostrich as hard and as fast as I can into the fence in front of me! This is the Lesson of the Ostrich: What am I running from? What am I running for?
Support Foursquare Disaster Relief
Less than a month after a 7.1 earthquake shook the Philippines, Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the area on Nov. 7. The Foursquare Church has more than 1,900 churches, 2,400 workers, 8 Bible colleges and 1 missionary family in the Philippines. Foursquare Disaster Relief is on the ground to assess the greatest need. Join us in praying for the Philippines and for our Foursquare Disaster Relief team. Donate generously to support those in the most need.
Just follow this Link: Foursquare Disaster Relief
I Am Second... Sometimes
But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13 NLT)
Christ came and took second place so that every person who would believe could have a first hand relationship through Christ with the Father. Christ took on Himself what we deserved. We did the wrong yet He did took the punishment. We should have bees serving Him as the King of Kings, but instead He served us with His life. We should have been showing Him the reverence, honor, and respect due to a King, but instead we hung Him in shame on a cursed tree. He took second and now every person can know God first because of this.
Living out the “I Am Second” reality of the Savior in whose steps I walk is much more difficult then I thought it would be. This whole month I’ve set my heart to take second by putting Christ first, which means, very often putting others first ahead of me. Whether its in lines at Costco or Starbucks or in conversations and meetings with people I am constantly confronted with the self-centered filter through which many of my decisions flow. This confrontation with my selfishness is especially evident at home. One of my boys asked me to help him bring his football gear out to the car. He had nothing else in his hands and is often very demanding, so I told him he was more then capable of doing it himself. If felt justified in my choice, until I felt the Spirit telling me I should have taken second and helped. It was only later that I found out he was asking for help because his back hurt. Another one of my boys was asking me to play toys with him after he finished his homework. Everything in me wanted to just relax at the end of a long day. Then I thought of the “I Am Second” challenge and realized how often I miss precious moments like this because I’m only thinking about myself. So, I sat down and had epic battle with Iron Man, Spider Man and Incredible Hulk. Cyndi is preaching at the New Hope women’s retreat this weekend. I prepare messages almost every week and so I offered my help. Taking Second right? Not so much. She was very grateful, but I was less then helpful as I expected her to do it the way I do it when she is a completely different person then me. In what could have been a great opportunity to be second I put myself first. I’ve got a lot of growing to do, but I’m loving the process as I am hearing the Spirit speak to me and guide me so much more as I look to live out His generous heart in the world around me.
So, here we go Lord. Seven days in to the #IAmSecond challenge and I realize how often I am not putting You first by putting others first.
I Am Second
To find out more about this Upside Down way of living visit www.iamsecond.com
Here are some practical ways to walk out I Am Second in your life:
Allow yourself a little less so that others might have a little more
Travel lighter then you might
Buy one less Christmas gift and give that money to someone in need
Watch one less TV show/put the phone down and give more time to your kids
Before taking off right after service stay a little longer for sincere conversation or to relieve one of those you see serving week in and out.
Pray for others before you pray for yourself
Cut out a meal this week, or maybe just a snack and bring some food to a local food bank or family
Visit the neighbor or co-worker no one else can stand
Give someone else credit for success on that project or sale at work
Give someone that parking spot you were waiting for
Did you hear we're moving?
Just in case you haven’t been around for a few weeks, a quick reminder to let you know that we are moving our Sunday services to the Shoreline Community College this Sunday, September 29th.
Adjusted service times: 9:00 and 11:00 am.
Address: 16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133, just a couple blocks off 160th and Aurora.
This Sunday is our 9 year anniversary as a church! So come celebrate with a Hawaiian brunch, hula dances and special testimonies.
Birthing A New Move Of God
Like you, I am contending for a new move of God where I wake, work, and worship. In this morning’s LIFE Journal reading I was reminded that, while God does the heavy lifting, I am called to respond in faith rather then fear. This often means I need to Shut Up, Give Up, & Look Up!
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. ” (Luke 1:34-37 NLT)
Both Mary and Zechariah were told by angels that God would bring a miraculous child. John the Baptist to the barren womb of Elizabeth and Jesus the Savior through the Virgin Mary. Both births were impossible by human physiology, biology, and logic, and yet that’s where God resides- in the realm of the impossible. To see the Holy Spirit birth something new in me and my church I must continue to learn the lessons of Luke 1, not just at Christmas time, but all the time.
*Shut Up: Zechariah was performing his priestly duties before the Lord with the utmost reverence and his heart belonged to God. He was doing what he had been trained to do and was doing it with all his heart. Though he was serving God he did not actually expect to have an encounter with Him. How many Christians live this way? We serve God at church and in our communities. We accept things as they are. Zechariah & Elizabeth accepted they would never have a child. We show up faithfully every week, but no longer expect an actual encounter with God. God wants to birth something new. He wants to do the impossible. We want to argue the possibilities of the impossible when really we just need to shut up and watch what God does. Now, obviously, Zechariah had the joy of trying to explain to his barren wife what God wanted to do without the use of any eloquent word smithing. This task would certainly have required some finessing and possibly a good back rub to talk Elizabeth in trying something like this so late in their years. New life requires a rekindling of intimacy. Less words. More action. I’ll just leave that point right where it is.
- Give Up: Mary served the Lord. She had her plans. She was engaged to the sweet carpenter Joseph and probably had a good idea of how the rest of her quiet provincial life would play out. That is, until, an angel shows up in her room with a plan beyond her, or anyone’s, imagination. When God wants to birth something new we have to surrender our plans in favor of His no matter how impossible they seem. When God wants to do something through us we will often explain it away or assume there is a Christian who could do it much better then us. Take the position you hold where you work, where you wake, where you worship and make sure it lines up with your position in Heaven! "For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. (Luke 1:48 NLT)". You and I have to give up the limitations of our present situations. We have to give up our plans and expectations. If we want to see God birth something new we have to let Him do it the way He wants, when He wants, and how He wants so it’s obvious to all that this was Him and not us! The anthem of the surrendered saint started with Mary: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” (Luke 1:38 NLT)
- Look Up: I love how both Zechariah & Mary have their spontaneous song of worship and praise recorded in this chapter. After they see God do exactly what He said He would their only response is to look up and worship! They looked up and all of us who have followed should follow their lead. Whether we are in the place of contending for a new birth, we are in the throws of the labor pain, or we have just seen God do a new thing, may a new song rise from our lips to our King. The God of the impossible is worthy of our praise. Is there anything He can’t do?
Tailgate Party this Sunday!
That’s right, we are kicking off football season this Sunday (Sept 8th) with a tailgate party and a keg – of rootbeer! This tailgate party celebrates the fact that we need to move forward or we’ll be pushed backward in our faith. We need each other, we need to be intentional. Get connected to a small group of like-minded people. This is the life-blood of New Hope. This is where it happens between Sundays.
Here’s a taste of what will be offered this fall:
* Men’s Golf (paintball or bowling too)
* Women’s group for those who don’t feel “good enough” and need to move beyond their past
* Celebrate Recovery group for those who deal with addictions
* Women’s group studying what it means to be a “Safe Person” and how to find safe relationships
* Bible studies that are family-friendly – bring the kids
* Saturday morning Marriage Intensive
* Women’s Bible study on “David”
* Skill Swapping – for those who want to teach or learn a new skill
* Accountability groups
* Hula or dance
* Men’s LIFE Journaling groups with Pastor Chad or Pastor Jon
* Men’s group – discipleship, fellowship
* College age group
* Senior adult age group
* Marketplace Christians support
* Support group for families with Special Needs
If you are have been interested in joining the hula team, now is the time to jump in! We are just beginning to learn the dance for the 9 year anniversary service on Sept 29.
Practices are on Thursday nights at 7:15 pm in either the sanctuary or the Children’s Ark wing. Just show up and join the fun. If you decide to perform with us on Sept 29th, that is great. If you just want exercise and fellowship, that’s okay too.
The song is “Come Just as You Are” by Crystal Lewis.
Saturday Night Service - Final 3
August is the last month for the Saturday Night Service.
Here’s the potluck assignments for our final 3 services:
August 17th: Breakfast-for-Dinner theme
August 24th: Italian theme
August 31st: Final service – bringing out the grill and making it a party!
Potluck starts at 5:30 and service at 6:30 pm
Yes! A Fall Women's Retreat
This is just a quick announcement to have all you ladies mark your calendars for this date: November 8 – 10. This will be our fall retreat, in combination with North City and a few other District Foursquare Churches. The location will be Gig Harbor and the cost will be reasonable to 2 nights. The theme is “Hope Awakens”!
Mark it down, tell your friends . . . more information to come.
Akiva, Archippus, & The Agony of Accountability
There’s an old story about Akiva, the rabbi, who had been in the village to gather some supplies. Walking back to his cottage, he absentmindedly took the wrong path. Suddenly, a voice came through the darkness: “Who are you, and why are you here?”
Shocked to awareness, Akiva realized he had wandered into the Roman garrison, and the voice had come from the young sentry keeping guard. But being a rabbi, he answered the question with another question: “How much do they pay you to stand guard and ask that question of all who approach?”
The sentry, now seeing that this was not an intruder but a rabbi, answered meekly, “Five drachmas a week, sir.”
At that point the rabbi offered, “Young man, I will double your pay if you come with me, stand in front of my cottage, and ask me that question each morning as I begin my day: ‘Who are you, and why are you here?’”
Akiva, the rabbi, saw the value of accountability and paid for the daily reminder to retain clarity of identity and purpose so as to not waste a single day. Now, whether this story is true I don’t know, but ever since I first heard Pastor Wayne Cordiero share it early on in my church planting journey, I’ve never been able to get it out of my head. It’s easy to lose the clarity of purpose in the midst of the tyranny of the urgent and the isolation of ministry. I need someone, perhaps many someone’s, to challenge me about who I am and what I’m doing here.
Akiva asked for it, but for Archippus, the opportunity for accountability was thrust upon him in a very public manner. As the Apostle Paul extended greetings from all of his friends to the church in Colosse he insisted the letter be handed around to all the churches to be read in public. Just before his closing signature he then drops this bomb on Archippus, “And say to Archippus, ‘Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.’” (Colossians 4:17) Ouch! Not only will Archippus get this Apostolic charge directly, but every other church who reads this letter all the way up to my reading of this letter today in 2013 will read of it as well. Undoubtedly all will ask the same questions I did, “Did Archippus carry out the ministry Lord gave him? What was that ministry? Why the public shout out?” The historical answer is that Archippus’ charge to action, with built in accountability, was directly tied to the letter of Philemon (where Archippus is desribed as a “fellow soldier” and pastor of a house church) and involves the receiving and caring for Onesimus, the restored slave. The spiritual answer is that Paul was prompted by the Holy Spirit just before the close of the letter to the Colossians to make direct mention of Archippus and call him out! The clarity of what Archippus was to do and why he was to do it was now evident to all. We will never know for sure what he was wrestling with or what Archippus may have felt like doing when the slave who deserted Philemon and his church returned home. We do know however that he needed to hear this from Paul in order to fulifll his God-given assignment. For Akiva it was the Roman guard, for Archippus it was Paul’s letter, for me it was Pastor Burt Smith’s large Marine fingers that called me to accountability and moved me to action.
I wasn’t even sure why I had been asked to be a part of the Disctrict Advisory Council to the Northwest District of Foursquare churches. I looked around the room at some amazing pastors of very large churches with years of experience and wisdom under their belts and was just happy to be there to learn from them. This was not false humility I was feeling. There was no one else in the room as young and inexeperienced as I was. Dave Veach, our District Supervisor, was brainstorming with the group on how to make the District Fall Conference something that would be truly meaningful, practical, powerful, and useful to all the local pastors who would be attending later that year. This group of pastors and apostolic leaders began to suggest fantastic break-out sessions and subjects. I wanted to attend all of them they sounded so good. Then, the conversation suddenly shifted to the need to hear from the 40 and under leaders. Quickly my friend Jon McIntosh I found every eye in the room on us as they talked about the need to develop affinity groups in the District for younger pastors to be able to support each other in the ministry. I thought this was a great idea and was looking forward to someone else working on that. It was if Pastor Burt Smith could sense my passive agreement like a predator senses its prey. With one quick and forceful movement I found myself staring down the barrell of his massive Marine fingers pointed right between my eyes. His gravelly voice barrelled out with strong conviction to the group and then to me directly that it was time I started speaking up because God had something to say through me and my generation. This was my first time interacting with Pastor Burt Smith and I will never forget it. There’s a reason that the insanely accurate bio on the Living Water Foursquare church website describes Pastor Pastor Burt as having “a unique way of taking complex concepts and making them understandable, useful, practical, and attainable. He challenges those around him to achieve the high destiny that God has for each of us. He is known for his ability to motivate people to excel in their God-given gifts, calling and abilities.” I experienced this first hand, literally, and, to this day, am grateful for the agony of accountability this provided. I didn’t want to be called out, especially in this group of exceptional leaders, but I needed to be. I had been ready to abdicate my God-given message to someone “more qualified”. After this accountability encounter I could no longer get away with ignoring who I was and what I was called here to do.
Accountability has been such an overused, misused, misunderstood concept in Christian circles over the years that it has lost all it’s veracity and consequently priority in many of our lives. It may feel like an agonizing loss of individual freedom to open our lives up to allow others to speak into them, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Proverbs 11:4 reminds us that “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.” Accountability isn’t an encroachment of who we are, but rather an emboldening force to move us into what we’ve made for. We aren’t supposed to just stand by and wait for someone to speak into our lives either. Like Akiva, we need to seek out those who will challenge us. The reason we often don’t seek out accountability is that we assume we don’t really need it. Paul warns us about the arrogance of avoiding accountability in Romans 12:
3 As God’s messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.
I’m choosing to embrace the agony of accountability. I’m choosing to seek out the Roman Soldier, the Apostle Paul, and the Burt Smith who will not tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear! Will you do the same?
Here are two opportunities to step outside your comfort zone by inviting someone inside your home.
The first comes from a young man our Men’s Life Group met on Wednesday. His name is Branden and he used live in this area, but has just recently moved back from California. He needs a place to stay for even just a short time while he gets back on his feet and finds a job in the area. He doesn’t have any money, but Jeff Baker is hiring him to work at his house for a bit. So, if you have a couch Branden could crash on, a tent he could stay in (seriously), or a job opportunity please contact Jeff Baker via The City here or at his email at
. Right now he is sleeping behind the 76 Gas Station in Shoreline so anything would be an improvement and any help would be apprciated.
The second opportunity comes from Stuart Peeples. He’s a young man who used to attend New Hope when he lived in the area and his coming back. He needs a couch to crash on at minimum 5-7 days over nights so he can catch a busride to a transit center first thing in early morning to be downtown seattle around 5-7 am for a new job opportunity. He can pay under o a week. If you have a place or an idea you can contact me here at email me at
Thanks for your consideration on these opportunities and for lifting these guys up in prayer.