Small steps in faith

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"How to Respond When You Reject God's Moral Will"

These are my notes from the sermon at Apex this morning. Ryan Stanley from Mercy Hill did the sermon. Phil did worship alone with just acoustical guitar which was beautiful with The voices of Apexers .

Psalms 51:1-19

Christianity is a story peppered with instructions. Many other religions are instructions peppered with a story.
We find ourselves outside of moral doing or not doing something.

We need repentance.

He started the sermon talking about ways confessions on TV are done
Avoiding details
Sharing the blame
Talk about love a lot

In this Psalm, David is confessing about his affair with Bathsheba

1. He turns to God 1-2
He asks for mercy
He grounds that mercy in God's love
He knows God can cleanse him

2. Zoom out 3-6
Sometimes we have to look at the big picture.
It is worse than we thought because we hurt others in the process.
It happens more than once

3. Trust your theology 8
Theology is practical.

4. Recognize the Source 10
It's an evil heart that our actions come from. Outworking of something inside

5.Seek transformation 7,9,11
inner cleansing
Don't need more instruction

6. Receive restoration Joy 12
Remember the day you believed

7. Spread restoration Joy 13-15

8. Review the Gospel 10-19
You can't "do" to gain God's acceptance.
What pleases God is broken hearts turning to Jesus

"How to Respond w

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"The Filter of Wisdom"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon this morning.

Proverbs 2: 1-11

God's will is something that can be "spiritual experience" on one end and "Bible only" on the other.
Our spirit experiences always are subservient to God's word.
We need's not the same as intelligence.

What is wisdom?

The moral skill to understand and apply the commandments of God to situations and people. It is the ability to connect the principle to the application. James Petty

The ability to apply in life the character and purposes of God. The wise individual discerns and lives out the unseen reality of God's kingdom and rule.

Nature of wisdom

Gaining wisdom is an act of humility. It(wisdom) has to be given to you by God.

Gaining wisdom is hard work. It takes diligence. Resources are there but we are lazy.

Gaining wisdom finds it's fulfillment in the knowledge of God.
Everything about us is a means to know God.

Questions toward gaining wisdom

Look at your circumstances
Utilize common sense
Clearly define your desires

1. Have you done thorough research on the decision? "Seek it like silver"

2. Have you done thorough research on yourself?
What are your gifts?
What are your motives?
What is driving this decision?
What are your fears?
Romans 12:3

3. Have you sought out a counsel of wisdom?

4. Have you been living in the vine? It tunes us in to God's sovereign will. Prayer,scripture, fellowship with believers.

5. Have you consecrated yourself? Are you all in? Don't be "double-souled" where you have allegiance to 2 things.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"The Dance of Wills"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon this am.
This is a continuation of last weeks sermon

Genesis 2:16-17

Rob gave a visual of his skiing experience at Lake Placid. Different levels of skiing..different choices you can make.
Safety is a mirage
Our lives are molded by our decisions
Starbucks has 19,000 ways to make coffee..many choices
Life confronts us in thousands of ways.

We use God or the holy spirit to support our decisions when many times it's our own ego making the decisions.

3 wills


Too many times we become too obsessed with individual will and forget about the other two.
There is no "permissive will of God" That's not a biblical statement.

The issue isn't whether God has a detailed will for each believer, the issue is whether we can know that detailed will before we take action.

Be careful how you apply narratives from the Bible.
The word of the Lord can become an obsession more than Christ himself.

Direct revelation was the exception not the rule in scripture.

God speaks most clearly and powerfully in his word.
Many times we "amen" that but we rarely live that.

Don't look for the supernatural. God did these many times because of lack of faith.

"Decision making and the will of God" by Gary Friesen

We have freedom towards a variety of choices within God's sovereign and moral will

In Genesis 2...we may eat of every tree
not to eat the tree of knowledge..moral will

Leviticus 11 animal sacrifices clean vs unclean animals
Levitcus 22 offering is free will
1 Corinthians choices
2 Corinthians choice of financial giving
1 Corinthians 10.."whatever you do"'s a choice for the end result..glory of God

Ask yourself:

1. What is a significant decision that is confronting you right now?

2. What is your process in making that decision?
We often have control issues and need for independence

3. What are your motives in making that decision? Our motives are who we are.

4. What are your fears/concerns in making that decision?

"We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road." Tony Snow

Friday, January 15, 2010

"The Male Factor" by Shaunti Feldhahn

Last year I read a book called "What Every Woman Should Know" by Shaunti Feldhahn. It opened my eyes to some things that make men and women different. It honestly helped me look at my husband differently and understand why he thinks and feels differently.
This year she has come out with a book that is similar but it has it's focus on the workplace. Many of us work with men and again may not understand why they think and feel differently. Personally, I only work with one male in our office but even in that work relationship I can now understand why many times he looks at us like we have a second head :) I think this book would be most valuable to those women who work in the business field.
Men want to be respected, they are visual, they focus on results not relationship.
I think these are the 3 main points I learned from this book.
Shaunti took the time to interview several men through survey and interview. Once I read the book and understood why men feel the way they do, I had many " I get it" moments. I highly recommend reading this book to make your workplace more positive for yourself and your male coworkers. To buy a copy you can go here

Many talented women today risk undermining their careers without realizing it, simply because they don’t understand how they are perceived by their male colleagues and customers.
In What Men really Think, best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn reveals the inner reality behind men’s views — the unspoken expectations that no man would dare to publicly acknowledge, and no woman would learn from an HR department. These revelations include:

• Men’s unwritten ‘rules’ of the workplace
• How men perceive workplace emotion
• What common situations with female colleagues most frustrate men-- and why
• Why revealing clothing can sabotage a woman’s effectiveness
• Why some men think flextime is fine, but equal compensation for it is not

What Men Really Think equips women with the information they need to make informed decisions and compete on a level playing field.

Shaunti Feldhahn is a nationally syndicated columnist and the bestselling author of For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men and For Men Only, which together sold one million copies. She holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard, worked on Wall Street and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Disclaimer:This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"God Has A Will For Your Life- Really??"

These are my notes from Apex this morning.
Worship was great. Loved the David Crowder songs but especially loved the words for the Phil Wickham song "Safe"

To the one who's dreams are falling all apart
And all you're left with is a tired and broken heart
I can tell by your eyes you think your on your own
but you're not all alone

Have you heard of the One who can calm the raging seas
Give sight to the blind, pull the lame up to their feet
With a love so strong and never let you go
oh you're not alone

You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms

Colossians 1:9-10

True North..what is our true north?
Rob tells us 3 story situations of people who ponder God's will

1 A couple who don't know if it's God's will that they get married
2 A guy in politics who finds God and wonders if it's God's will to go into ministry
3 A man who is accused of a crime who is innocent and faces capital punishment

What does God's will mean and do we know it?
You are filled so much with God's wisdom that it will show in your actions.
God's will..what God desires to do and the means he uses to accomplish these desires

Understanding the will of God is important because:
1. It bends the ear of God ( John 9:31 ; 1John 5:14)

2. Provides extravagant benefits (Ephesians 1:11)

3. It helps us discern God's excellencies

( John 7:17 ; Romasn 2:18)

4. It is the difference between being wise and being a fool (Ephesians 5:17)

5. We need to be spiritually equipped for it (Hebrews 13:21)

6. It is an indicator of true salvation ( John 9:31 ; Ephesians 1:5; 2Timothy 2:26 ;1John 2:17)

Three levels of understanding God's will

1. God's sovereign will
God doesn't consult us..It is just going to be done

2. God's moral will.
Know his word. the Bible.

3. God's specific will
You and me as individuals
Ideal detailed plan for each believer

Does God have a specific will for your life?
Yes..(but you normally will not know it until you look backwards)

God's specific will that we can know is for our lives to think, desire, and act like Jesus.

We often put this after choice of spouse, career,where we live, etc.
Conformity to Christ is your most important life direction ( 1 Thessalonians 4:3)

The 3 stories
1. The couple ...Pastor Rob and his wife Angela. He didn't "get a sign" that Angela was the right one but he knows she is because he is married to her.

2. The politician...William Wilberforce..he stayed in politics and abolished slavery

3. The third man...Jesus.."your will be done"

Christ dying on the cross wasn't Plan B. It was the plan the whole time.

Monday, January 04, 2010

"The One Day Way" by Chantel Hobbs

Over the weekend I read a book about losing weight by Chantel Hobbs. I read her first book last year and actually still use alot of her suggestions. This book is a good addition to the first book. It focuses on 3 main areas of weight,food,and fitness. She puts a lot of focus on encouragement and focusing one day at a time. By focusing one day at a time you establish a foundation. She gives great ideas for food. It's important to eat balanced, it's important to cut back on calories. She gives an example of a 7 day menu that she uses. These are suggestions she used in her first book as well. I still use the breakfast with oatmeal and the snacks. With fitness, she gives visual examples of strength training using a medicine ball and resistance bands. She talks about her 10 commandments for fitness. The bottom line for weight loss is burning off more calories than you consume.
The end chapters deal with the encouragement and what to do when you hit the obstacles.
The book is a very practical way to lose and maintain weight loss. She is a living example of her plan that works. To buy a copy of this book go here

Author Bio:
The author of Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer, Chantel Hobbs is a motivational speaker, life coach, personal trainer, marathon runner, wife, and mother of four whose story has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, the 700 Club, and the covers of People and First magazines. She appears weekly on two fitness-themed radio programs and promotes her One-Day Way Learning System on television. Visit Chantel at for fitness updates and coaching tips.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Questions to ask yourself this New Year

These are my notes from Apex this morning. Worship was good.. a different view from the balcony :)

1 Timothy 6:11-16

What is going to be our attitude going into the next year?
Reality..some of us will experience the best, some the worst, some of us may not be here at this time next year.
As a culture we focus on the outside...i.e. weight loss.

What are some questions we need to ask about our inside?

1. How are you going to run?
We're always running away from something.
What you run away from is an indicator of who you are.
More of an indicator is what you are running to.
"O Man of God flee these things.." money, division, false teachings
Run to righteousness, godliness Being Jesus to our family and friends.
We need to run after trust. Don't be a controller. If we micromanage our life we end up wearing a mask.
Run toward agape love. Don't love people for what they can do for needs to be unconditional.
Run toward patience and gentleness. Be humble.

2. How are you going to fight?
Paul assumes life is a fight
Fight the good fight of faith
Fight= agony
There is good agony where you run toward Christ
There is bad agony where you complain and whine

a. Take hold of eternal life
b. Remember your confession..when the world creeps in and the adversary clouds your mind.
c. Model this on Christ
d. Fight from reproach..don't back stab and cause division
There will always be hypocrisy in the body of Christ but don't let this become your authority.

3. How are you going to be motivated?
No better motivator in following Jesus than the character of Jesus.
Not religious things or experiences..It's the character of Christ.
a. God is our pursuer..he came after Adam and Eve. He came after sinful humanity. God pursues you and He is coming back.
b. God is our supreme ruler. He is the authority. No matter what deadness you are going through..He wants to give you life.
c. God is unapproachable..Jesus is our access to an approachable God. The veil is torn open.