Message For Church People

I have been talking with my friend Jesse through a few Facebook posts about Jude 1:4.  It talks about people in our churches, even today, that twist the Word of God.  They change the truth to make themselves and others feel better.  Jesse states in his blog post that “people in the Church who are using Christ as a get out of hell free card, not as Lord and Savior”.  I fully agree with him.  People try to work there way into heaven, pray their way into heaven, preach their way into heaven, tithe their way into heaven….

“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” -Jude 1:4

There is no way that we could even be good enough, give enough money, pray enough, or work/serve enough to be able to have eternal life in heaven. It is only by the grace and mercy of God that we can have salvation.  Grace and mercy have two different definitions. Mercy is God withholding what we do deserve, which is death; grace is God giving us what we do not deserve–eternal life in Christ. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8 that “for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

In the video below, Nate Pfeil elaborates on this point.

What is your take on this? Do you agree? Comment here

Total Abandonment

I have a friend, Jon Harris, that is going to be going on an 11-month mission trip to 11 different countries. The mission trip is called The World race. In his blog post “A little Broken, A little Blessed “, Jon expresses “I’m scared. I’m afraid. I don’t know if I will get what I need for the race…I cry to God to help me. But I hear no answer. I cry out in tears to Jesus. But no answer. Just peace, encouragement, or simply it will be ok is all I need.” Many times we are called by God to do something for His Kingdom, but then it feels like God steps away and is no longer with us. We feel like Jon does; we feel “scared that through everything I will be left here with nothing, still broken and scared. ALONE” We start to break down within our spirit.

It is in the lowest, darkness times of our life that God is preparing us to do something great! He has to humble us before we surrender everything to Him.

This is what I told Jon, but it goes for everyone of us–no matter what you are going through.

Jon,

Just remember that God said that He would never leave us or forsake us. He will provide our every need. All we have to do is TRUST. We have to trust Him. Trusting means not worrying and not trying to “fix” the situation. Trusting is surrendering yourself and all that you are to God. Total Abandonment! Trusting means not doubting God. When you start doubting God, you start putting limits on what God will do. When you fully rely on God, you place no limits on God, and He is free to move as He KNOWS is right. God is all powerful, and He can do anything that He wants; but humans can limit the work that God does by doubting God.

Lord, I pray for my brother Jon. Lord thank you for the work that you have called him to do abroad. Thank you for saving him and giving him a testimony to share with others. Lord, surround Jon with love and comfort. Give him peace within. Let Him know that “every little thing is going to be alright” just as the song by Delirious says. Lord protect his heart. Help Jon to focus on the work that You have called him to and not on the financial aspect. I pray for funds to flood in for support. I pray that you will take care of the funding, and I trust that you will. I have seen you do it; what is stopping You from doing it again? NOTHING! God I ask that You rise up in power! Cast out any doubt, fear, and brokenness. This I pray in the mighty name of Jesus! ~Amen

Jon, Just keep fighting the good fight. Do not back down. Go after God like never before. Do not let a moment in time go by without worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth for His awesomeness! Just keep the faith man!

-matthew

When God seems to be silent and not moving is when He is moving and working the most. The power of God come in the stillness!

Trust God through it all. Divorce, separation, death of a loved one, financial struggles…..nothing it too BIG for God my friend! Only trust Him. Only Trust Him!

Here is the song that I mentioned to Jon:

Every Little Thing

Everything must change
Theres a mirror
showing me the ugly truth
These bones they ache with holy fire
But Ive got nothing to give, just a life to live
If your world is without colour
I will carry you, if you carry me

Every little things gonna be alright
Every little things gonna be alright [x2]

Theres no-one else to blame
I live my life between the fire and the flame
Ive built my house where the ocean meets the land
Its time to live again, pull my dreams out of the sand

Let your world be full of colour
I will carry you, if you carry me

When its all falling down on you
Youre crying out but youre breaking in two
When its all crashing down on you
When theres nothing you can do
There is someone who can carry you

God Bless you all!
-matthew

Blessings From Above

Tonight my fiancée and I went to the Salvation Army (SA) in Charlotte with one of my coworkers and people from his church. It was such an amazing experience. This Salvation Army alone is giving toys to 13,500 families. So many bags full of toys and over 1,000 bikes! Families have been adopted from the SA Angel Tree. Businesses, scout troops, churches, and individuals pick up an Angel from the tree and the buy gifts for the children. This ministry does such a great job at showing the love of God. It was an honor and a blessing to go to the SA warehouse to help out and to know that I am impacting people’s lives through volunteering for the Salvation Army.

I was kind of bummed out earlier this semester when I found out that I had physics final exam on a Saturday morning. And if that was not enough, that particular Saturday also turned out to be the same Saturday that the youth from my church was going to the Samaritain’s Purse Operation Christmas Child warehouse to inspect, sort, and box the shoeboxes that were donated; something I look forward to from year to year.

I will not be able to help do shoeboxes at OCC, but I did get to help at ministry that also provides gifts to children at Christmas time.

God always has was of blessing us. It may not be in the way that we expect it, but He will not fail us. I was hoping to go to OCC this year, but God wanted me somewhere else. He always knows what is best for us; not matter if we realize it right away or after the fact.

Ministry

This is a good read.  It is by my co-worker Lonnie Bateman

I have really had this word on my heart and mind the last few days. Ministry. One of the definitions from Dictionary.com describes it as: an act or instance of ministering; ministration; service.

Just a powerful description if you are a follower of Jesus. Ministering…. it is how Jesus came for others. It is how we are supposed to be to others. His hands and feet and His example. To reach others with the “good news” about Gods loving mercy, His grace and salvation. Too many times we think of ourselves as not good enough or we have a past and that fear keeps us from stepping forward. But our walk with Jesus is our ministry. Its personal and we own it. It is to be shared and not held private. Once we begin to understand this very important message – that our ministry is just that – OURS and we begin to start serving in our church or serving others or leading kids and students… we cross over and big things begin to happen.

The message we often hear in our minds is that we can’t do it. We don’t know enough about the bible. We don’t have a clue about students and children – we have messed our children and families totally up. My past is too bad.

But God does want to use you. He has given you talents and gifts… not excuses. He has given you life experiences to learn and grow from. There is no CAN’T in His vocabulary. Your ministry is your walk in your faith. Faith is believing in Gods word and acting upon it, no matter how you feel, because God has PROMISED a good result. So are you going to continue to doubt or are you going to get real with your faith? Doubt keeps you where you are …. people will always question you and make comments when you step out in faith to do something for God. Don’t let that keep you where you are. Your thing right now is either going to grow your faith, stretch your faith or its going to keep you where you are. So who are you listening to?

I have really been pouring my heart into those around me – especially “MyKids” that I am doing life with and whom I have influence with in leading. To go into their schools and their everyday life and shine for Jesus. Its their ministry – their mission field. God has called them to do this… just like He has called you to your mission field at work and your personal ministry. We are all ministers to Gods kingdom all working, serving and reaching out to others – being His hands and feet. Its a new personal way of looking at things…. let today be your day that you move from doubt to understanding the meaning of Faith. Your Ministry has action in ministering and serving. Its not a checkbox on Sunday mornings for an hour…. its life change for life!

Collide Video

I spent most of my day yesterday working on the mission trip video that will be presented in church on Sunday. I had like 500-600 pictures to go through. My goal was to keep the video under 10 minutes for time sake (for both time limit at church and time limit to upload on YouTube). I had to borrow down my picture selection to around 145 or so. That would allow me to display the photos for 4sec and also have time to put other pictures, video, and effects on the begging and end of the presentation. I am not sure how many hours I spent on editing pictures and video. [view video HERE]

When I got ready to burn the DVD, my DVD burner decides that it is not gonna work for me. I have had it for many years now, and in the past year or so it has been acting up. It will make really loud grinding noises may or may not read/write the data to/from the disk. So, I finally broke down and ordered me a new internal LG DVD burner from NewEgg that I am going to put in an external enclosure. I cannot wait to finally have a drive that will operate correctly again!

Collide Mission Trip

-PHILADELPHIA BAPTIST YOUTH MISSION TRIP-

My youth group from Philadelphia Baptist in Stanfield, NC will be going on a mission trip to Savannah, Georgia from July 25 – August 1, 2009. We will be sharing the love of God during worship, assisting with Vacation Bible School, hands-on missions activities, cultural experiences, sports camps, and light construction. In this mission effort, we will be working alongside churches that are a part of the Savannah Baptist Association.

In order to raise money for the trip, our youth group will be hosting a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, June 28, 2009. We will start serving around 5:30pm. The meal will be free of charge. Donations towards the trip are welcomed. The meal will include spaghetti (choice of several different sauces), salad, and garlic bread. There is also an option for kids to get chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. Desserts will also be available. The dinner will be held at Philadelphia Baptist Church‘s Fellowship Hall. We will stop serving around 8:00pm, so be sure to come hungry and ready to eat! [Update: Tonight we raise a little over $1000. We still need to raise more money though, but the Lord truly blessed us tonight. I would like to thank the ones that help make this possible and the ones that showed up to eat.]

We will also be holding a walk-a-thon on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 beginning at 6pm. We are asking people to sponsor our walk. If you would like to sponsor our walk, click here.[Update: The walk-a-thon went very well]

WE NEED YOUR HELP: Would you be willing to donate soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, comb, hair brush, deodorant, and white socks? Your donation of these items will be greatly received by the needy people in Savannah. By donating something so small, you can make a HUGH impact for Christ. These items will be given in the name of Jesus to those that really need them. Thanks in advance for your donations. You can give your donations to one of the youth, mail them to the church (click on the donate button below for the church address), or use the donate button to send a gift to go toward the purchase of the above items.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

For more detailed information, visit the Collide 2009 website.

If you would like to donate funds to help cover the cost of our mission effort, click here.

We greatly appreciate your support. If you would like to send us words of encouragement or scriptures that the Lord lays on your heart, then please use this contact form.

Video that I made for our spaghetti supper:

Video that I made for the presentation on Sunday, August 23:

PICTURES:

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Photo gallery 2 of 2