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Leadership, Read Everything
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Why Do You Do That?: Salvation Prayer Every Sunday

Have you ever saw someone do something and just wanted to know why? You’re not saying you disagree, far from it actually. You just don’t understand why.

At Real Life Church, there are a few things we do differently from how you may have grown up experiencing church. Some of those things include:

  • Offering one-on-one prayer every Sunday at the end of service
  • Receiving our tithe and offering at the end of service
  • Have our announcements on a video instead of live
  • Greet our first time guests and talk to them every week
  • Lead the congregation in a prayer of salvation every Sunday.

Some of these you have never been curious about before. However, one I hear often is, “Why do you lead people through a prayer of salvation every Sunday even if it wasn’t the focus of your message?” That’s a great question. Here are three reasons:

1. Salvation is for everyone TODAY. 

Hebrews 3:15 – “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

There is no longer a reason to wait. Today is the day of salvation. We always pray for God to send us His lost children, people who are far from Him. We believe God has already been preparing their hearts for that moment, they simply need the opportunity to come to Christ.

2. God is constantly drawing His people.

Acts 2:39 “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Through the will and movement of the Holy Spirit in the Earth, God is constantly drawing His creation back to Him. When we are far from God we don’t always know that’s what feel. However, we know something is missing. When you are far from God, He will use every situation to draw you toward Himself.

3. Simply, people know they need Jesus.

Colossians 2:13 “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses”

I’ve talked to countless people who’ve attended our services and many times they’ll say things like, “My family is in trouble. We need help.” or “I have messed up and I need help.” They know they can’t do this thing called ‘life’ alone. It’s not working. They’ve realized there has to be something more. I truly believe that when we surrender our agenda to God and make the service about Him and not what makes us happy, He works in people’s hearts all through the service. By the time we get to prayer time, people are aching to connect with Jesus. I’ve seen it time and time again.

 

Here’s the bottom line- 
We believe that in every service there’s someone in that room that God is drawing to Himself. He’s desperately trying to reach His lost children. Why wouldn’t we do everything to make that happen. We were once far from God. We know what it’s like to be lost and alone. I don’t want anyone to feel that way. What if you met a kid and found out they had run away from home, wouldn’t you do everything you could to convince them to go home? That’s what we do every Sunday. We tell lost kids that their Heavenly Father loves them and wants them home.

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Book Reviews, Leadership, Read Everything
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Book Review: Wild At Heart

Every man should read “Wild At Heart” annually.
It teaches men that our heart is not to be tamed, sanitized, or hidden but to be unleashed.
The author says, “Men, be a man. Discover what that is and then let the fullness of who you are be real and authentic.”

This book hit me so many times in so many ways that I was wondering if he actually wrote this book for me.

Not enough books are written about the heart and depths of a man. When someone actually speaks on this topic, the result is the realization of an unquenchable hunger to hear more.

 

This book has recently been updated with even more good content. Here’s the link >>> CLICK HERE

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consider
Leadership, Personal Development, Read Everything
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Consider the Source

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23

I love the book of proverbs. There are so many great tools that add layers to your life. The above verse is a great one. It’s like a hammer, simply essential. One time early in my ministry, I was struggling with receiving criticism. At the time I was a worship leader and this lady came up to me after church and said I wasn’t very good at leading. She said I sang too low and a higher key would engage more people to sing along. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but at the time it crushed my very fragile ego. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism. If done the right way, criticism can be one of the biggest growth catalysts of your life.

However, the challenge is to learn how to take the criticism you’re receiving and place it into categories, mainly as ‘constructive’ and as ‘trash’. Early in my life I didn’t know how to do this and, if I’m honest, it’s still sometimes a day by day process.

As I said earlier, I was receiving some criticism and didn’t really know what to do with it. An older, wiser leader gave me a phrase which has been huge in the process of categorizing negative comments. Here it is…

“CONSIDER THE SOURCE”

“Consider the source” has been the key to allowing certain types of comments into my heart and others that do not even make it past my ears.  Here are some questions to ask next time you are being confronted with criticism and how to know what to listen to and what to throw away. In essence, it’s how we can consider the source.

1. Does the person know your heart?

Hurting people hurt people. That needs to be learned early and often. Sometimes people will say negative things simply as a way to cope with their own issues. Their not mad at you really. Their upset with someone else. You simply were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Before you take their words to heart ask if they know you. Do they know who you really are?  Do they love you? What’s the motivation behind their comments? Are they for you or are they simply trying to use you as a punching bag?

2. Are they willing to back up their comment with help to make it better?

Talk it cheap. Is the person daring to give you negative feedback willing to work through the issue with you. There’s a big difference between, “You stink” and “You stink but I want to help you get better.” Both hurt but one of them implies ownership for the words spoken. There’s another blog post coming for the importance of not saying anything you are willing to back up but… that’s later.

3. Do they want the best for you? 

I’ve had people criticize me that knew me. However, their comments weren’t to make me better it was just to inform me of my issue. That’s not a true friend. Just because someone knows you does not mean their out for your best interest. Anyone with an ex-spouse can tell you that. What’s the motivation behind their comment? Are they trying to make you better or simply remind you of their superiority?

 

Criticism isn’t going anywhere and the truth is not all of it is bad. We cannot grow with out being stretched, pulled, and sometimes torn. The trick isn’t to hide from criticism but to figure out what is worthy of your attention and what needs to be thrown into the garbage where it belongs.

So, there’s my three ways of qualifying the words of others. Is there something different you use? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

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confident
Leadership, Personal Development, Read Everything
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Stay Positive: I’m Confident (Wrap Up)

This past Sunday, we finished our latest series entitled “Stay Positive”. In this series we talked about the importance of staying positive in a negative world. Over the first four weeks we talked about Optimism, Gratitude, Encouragement, and a spiritual look at Enthusiasm.

For the last part of this series, we talked about the one closest to my heart, the desire to stay confident.  If we’re honest, we all have things attempt to rob our confidence. For some it’s the fear of the future. They’ve finished college, now what? For others, it’s the expectations of others. How do they measure up in the eyes of others? Still, others have a problem with their body image. If they could lose those last few pounds, gain some muscle (but not too much) be generally look good naked, they would finally be happy. (yeah right) These confidence killers plague all of us.

That’s why we no longer want to live on the unpredictability of self-confidence. We want to live with God-confidence. The three statements to live by are:

God is for me.

God wants to help me.

God is working on me.

These three truths can help you make it in the most stressful, confidence-sapping moments of your life. We do not rest in our own abilities but in the ability that God has in us.

We do not live FOR the approval of God but FROM the approval of God.  Below is the entire message. Let’s grow in our God-confidence together.

 

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book.review.killing.jesus
Book Reviews, Read Everything
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Book Review: Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly

So I’m sitting with some pastors the other day and one guy says, “Have you ever read the book Killing Jesus“. Everyone begins to smile and nod except me. I was the only one who hadn’t read it. This guy looks at me like he’s about to tell me the cure to cancer. He says, “That book is amazing. I listened to the audiobook and actually thought I might have pull over while driving. It made the story of Jesus so real.”

After hearing that, I found myself visiting audible.com and listening to it myself on the way home that very day.

OMG!

This book is exactly as advertised. Bill O’Reilly and Mark Dugard do an amazing job of combining scripture and historical accounts to bring the story of Jesus to life like never before. More than one time I actually gasped out loud… that doesn’t happen to me.

Here are the following reasons I would suggest reading this book:

> Great way to tie in historical events during the time of Jesus to the narratives of the Gospels.

> This book will bring you face to face with the horrors of crucifixion much like the Movie The Passion of the Christ did for so many in the 1990s.

> It will give the other ‘characters’ in the Bible a lot more detail than you ever knew before.

Disclaimer- This book isn’t written to convert people. It’s written for historical entertainment. That being said you will have to take a few things O’Reilly says with a ‘grain of salt’ and do your own research before making conclusions.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to any student of the Bible hoping to gain fresh perspective on the life and times surrounding Jesus.

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