Blog Will Be Moving

January 6, 2009

This Blog will be moving to coincide with our new church website.  You can go to:

http://www.theverticalchurch.org/category/pastors-blog/

for a direct link.

To change your blog reader feeds use this address:

feed://www.theverticalchurch.org/feed/

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Day 2

January 6, 2009

Before I get to day two, I want to let you know that this blog address will be moving to coincide with our new church website.  The new address will be: http://www.theverticalchurch.org/category/pastors-blog/

For all five of you who read this blog, you can change the address in your readers.  

Here is day two of the prayer guide:

Day 2

Read: Acts 1:12-26

 

There are two things I want you to notice in this passage. One is in verse 14.  Notice that the early Christians were in prayer “constantly”.  As we begin this new year, I want you to take time to spend more amounts of time in prayer for your own life and for our church.  If God is going to give us exponential growth as a church, then we must remain a praying church.  The second is found in verse 15.  The Bible says that there group numbered about 120.  It has taken The Vertical Church a few years to reach this number.  God has given us this and wants to use us in that 120 to see many more people come to know Him. 

 

-Ask God to increase your prayer life

– Ask God to take the 120 people that we have and multiply our gifts to reach our friends.  

Prayer Journey

January 5, 2009

Yesterday at The Vertical Church, I called the entire church to a corporate time of prayer.  As we begin this new year as a church, many of you are vowing with me to spend the first 30 days in prayer.  

Today is day one of that journey.  Our reading is from Acts 1:1-8.  Here is the excerpt from the journal:

Jesus was giving His final marching orders to the disciples.  He was giving the vision of what He wanted to see happen by them through the Holy Spirit.  In verse eight He reveals the strategy.  He wants them to start in Jerusalem and then spread all around the world.  You and I are a direct recipient of the gospel that they started to spread.  It is our job to carry on that vision. 

 

Who do you know that needs to know Jesus?  Write their name here: __________________

 

       Ask God to reveal to them His love through you. 

       Ask God to help you live out this vision of being the hands and feet of Jesus daily. 

 

Even if you do not go to The Vertical Church, feel free to join along with us as we spend 30 days in prayer together!

The Vertical Church 2008 Year In Review

December 31, 2008

January- We changed our name from Yuma Community Church to The Vertical Church

March- Held “Eggs Over Yuma” with close to 7,000 people attending

April- Did a sermon series called “All In” and handed out poker chips as invite cards!

May- Baptized 13 people at one time and close to 200 people attended the Party!

June- Bought down gas and got covered by the local paper, the Dallas paper, and CNN radio

July- Announced we were moving the church

August- Moved to Pueblo Elementary 9.5 miles from our current location.

September- Held “Back To School Bash” including free haircuts for the students at Pueblo.

September 21st- had 161 people in attendance

December- The church took care of 71 angels in the Angel tree project

37 PEOPLE ACCEPTED CHRIST!!!!

24 PEOPLE WERE BAPTIZED!!!

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE GOD DO AMAZING THINGS IN 2009!!

Check Jose Out

December 23, 2008

I wanted to let all 5 of my readers know about a friend of mine’s new blog.  He is more than a friend.  He is my brother Jose:

http://www.fourladiesandme.blogspot.com/

Weekend Recap

December 22, 2008

– Friday left for Anaheim , CA to pick up Melissa’s parents from her Aunts.  

– Stopped and played in the snow.  Kids loved it.  

– Went her Aunt and Uncle’s house on Friday night, played Bunko for the first time.  

– Went to Downtown Disney Saturday morning. 

– Left Anaheim around lunch time, got to Yuma around 6:30PM

– Setting up on Sunday was darker than usual.  I think the sun is coming up later and later.  

– Had a great day at The Vertical Church, some new people as well as many regulars gone, but still a great day.  

– Thank you to all who wrote “Merry Christmas” on your Connection Card.

– Preached the third part in the series “Miracles”  Talked about the Poolside Miracle.  

– Remember, “Obedience precedes the Miraculous”

– Went to downtown Yuma after church to see the “snow” that was brought in.  It was more like a pile of ice, but the kids enjoyed it.  

– Took a nap

-Enjoyed Melissa’s Chili last night.

– Ready for a great week!

Why Not?

December 15, 2008

Friday, I was able to take some time to spend alone with God.  It was a great time of solitude and silence.  As I was there alone, God began to lay upon my heart something that He wanted me to do on Sunday.  I had a picture in my head of the entire scene.  

Since we were in this series called “Miracles” and we were talking about faith, God wanted me to simply provide the opportunity for people to line up and be prayed over for healing.  At first, I was taken back.  In growing up in “baptist” churches, I had never experienced this nonetheless directed one.  I had scene things like this on TV and heard about them in charismatic churches and I did not want to create some sort of fiasco.  So I began to really make sure it was God telling me to do this.  I fought Him on it all weekend.  All through my message until I finally said it.  Here is what I said, 

“I felt this week that God wants us to do something a little different today.  We have never done this before and no one knows about this but me.  I know there are great needs here today and many of you are needing major breakthrough in your life, a miracle.  So today, we are going to pray for your miracle.  If you would like to receive healing prayer then join me after the service ends behind the curtain and I will pray with you for your need.” 

As I said that, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I then made some disclaimers…

“I want you to know that I am not Jesus. I am no faith healer.  I will not be slapping people on the forehead and people falling down.”  I wanted to relieve any fears that may have been in the room because of those who have taken extremes on this subject.  

After the service, the response was overwhelming.  I prayed with individuals, laid hands upon them, and heard about needs that I had no idea about in our church.  I found out that people are really hurting and in need of miracles in their life.  

Later that day and then this morning, I reflected on the day.  It was an amazing experience and at the same time a sobering one.  To think of all the needs that were there that day are overwhelming.  But I now that God is a God who can take care of everyone.  

As I opened up to my reading of the Bible this morning, this verse was in my daily plan:

“The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people… As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.  Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.” Acts 5:12-16

Before yesterday I asked God “Why?”.  Today, I am saying “Why not?”

He is the same God now as He was then.

“Been With Jesus”

December 11, 2008

The Directional Team and myself at The Vertical Church has been for months now strategically going through parts of the Bible together.  Right now we are in Acts.  This week’s chapter is 4.  I have read this chapter many times; however this one phrase has never stuck out at me like it did this morning.  Here is the entire verse:

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

That last phrase really hit my heart hard:  “..been with Jesus.”  I then did what I do every morning with passages like this, I wrote down the phrase and began meditating upon it.  

As I sat in silence the Spirit of the Lord began to reveal to me some hidden motives that I needed to deal with.  One was, “Why do I do what I do?”  “Why am I a pastor?”  “Is it ego driven?” “Have I let the ministry drive me instead of Jesus driving me?”  

As I dealt with these questions, I began to dialogue with God about my life.  What does God want me to leave behind?  I believe for all of us His heart’s desire is that people would say of us that we had “been with Jesus”.  These three words are the greatest legacy and testimony that we could leave with people we meet every day.   

So I began to ask God in prayer, what do I need to do to really leave a mark that says I had “been with Jesus”.  You see Jesus is who I want in my life.  More than anything, I want Him to permeate every part of my being.  So how do I do this?  What does God want from me?  This one word kept popping in my head:

TIME

God wants my time.  He wants to be with me and I with Him.  I am not talking about just flippantly reading a verse in the Bible, but really spending time with Him.  

This past summer my wife and kids were gone for 3 days.  I decided that I was going to do something that I had never done before.  I was going to spend time with God the entire time.  I turned off the TV and literally spent hours each day basking, soaking, meditating, praying, reading His word, and listening in His presence.  It was a great time.  

As I began to think about this time I began to realize, I can’t do that for hours each day when life is happening at 100 mph!  So how can I accomplish being with Jesus in a real, profound way each day.  Here is what came to mind:

T- God wants my TOTAL attention  Yes, everyday I need to be “praying without ceasing” but it is impossible to just be like a monk and spend every waking moment with Jesus.  The disciples had 3 and 1/2 years with Jesus and then He was gone.  But the Holy Spirit came so that we could call upon Him any time.  We could be in His presence any time.  But there has to be time every day when my total attention is given to Him. 

I – God wants INCREMENTAL amounts  God knows my life.  I have a family, wife, two kids, and a ministry.  And I don’t believe that God wants us to build monasteries 24/7 so that we can cut ourselves off from the world and just be with Him.  This defeats the purpose of the Great Commission.  So their has to be incremental amounts of time.  Not just moments, but real time.  We must wait upon the Lord.  The problem is for most of us this means getting up early.  So am I willing to make that commitment to spend a total attentive incremental amount of time  with God.  

M- God wants us to MEDITATE upon His word  Of course deep down our thoughts are evil.  We have to have a compass.  That compass or road map is the word of God.  God wants me to meditate in incremental amounts of time with my total attention on Him.  The Word is one way that God will speak to us.  

E- God wants me to do this EVERYDAY  Of course there can be times 3 days here or 1 day there when we can completely wipe our schedule clean and spend with God.  But for the long haul, I need to have a plan for God to have my total attention incrementally as I meditate upon His word, everyday.  

So right now I am working on a plan for 2009 to help me accomplish this better.  If there is one thing I want to be guilty of striving for, that is knowing God more and knowing the power of His resurrection.  

What are you striving for? 

What’s your plan for being with Jesus?

It’s Been A While

December 8, 2008

Sorry to all 3 readers who read this blog.  It’s been a while. I went away for the holidays and then had my tooth worked on and then worked on again and still am not done.  Anyway, I’m back.  

Here’s a Monday Morning Recap:

– Great day yesterday at The Vertical

– Great kickoff on our Christmas Vision Offering-  We are a third of the way to our goal!!!  Praise God for that one!!

– I am loving the Miracles series just after one week!!

– Next week is going to be intense for part 2 of Miracles

– We did Angel tree again this year and helped 71 Angels!! That is awesome for a church our size!  Way to go Vertical Church!!

– I am pumped about 2009.  I am praying for God to grow us exponentially!!  

– Melissa and I finished the second season of 24 last night.  The show rocks!!  Thanks Dominic for letting us borrow the seasons!!

– God is good!!

Monday Morning Mind Dump

November 17, 2008

– Went to the Marine Corp Ball on Saturday Evening.  It was cool.

– Can’t believe Brock Lesnar Beat Randy Couture.

– Sunday was great! Attendance down a bit, but had some first timers

– One Salvation on Sunday, that’s always good!

-Going out of town next week, so everything needs to be in order before I leave. 

– Two people in the band were up all night on Saturday, but still made it and did great on Sunday!!

-Saturday is Coffee With The Staff- great time to meet some new people coming to The Vertical Church

– Sunday, I will be talking about “Is Forgiveness Really Forever?”