With Courage We Face This Together

November 10, 2018

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself,  ‘I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.’”   - Eleanor Roosevelt

This week many of our friends escaped the flames of the Camp Fire on the ridge with only the clothes on their back.  It has now been declared the most destructive wildfire in California history. The grief that I experienced in the course of 24 hours was the most overwhelming I have felt in my 25 years of full time ministry. 

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Finding and Being Safe People

November 1, 2018


We are Called to FIND Safe People and we are Called to BE Safe People.

During the recent series Fighting the Flames from Within, Pastor Andrew referred often to the community aspect of shame.  Shame is rooted in community and healing comes through community. Shame tells us that if people knew, we would be rejected. 

Healing comes when we look into the eyes of our brother or sister in Christ and see love, compassion, and acceptance looking back at as.  We long to see the eyes of Christ embracing us in our shame, but shame tells us “if they knew the truth, they would reject me.”  Breaking the grip of this lie comes through telling our story to a safe person, a person who is able and willing, like Christ, to despise shame and refuse to join with its voice.

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Take a Posture of Asking Good Questions

October 25, 2018


 

What a shame… the series is over. 

We have received so much feedback about our recent teaching series, “Shame: Facing the Flames from within.”  As I talk to more and more people who are becoming aware of the presence of shame in their lives, I find that the skill of good coaching is becoming seriously handy!  When someone is trying to unwind a personal problem with you and they are quick to ask you for your advice on what to do – it’s time to slow things down and ask questions rather than blurt out your solution to their problem.  As we seek to be safe people who others can be vulnerable with, and tell their shame stories… the coaching posture is gentle and helpful. 

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Being Thankful

October 18, 2018

As I sang the phrase “How do you solve a problem like Maria…” from The Sound of Music  the woman working at Walmart thought I was crazy. 

There are many evenings where I run out to the grocery store or to a place like Walmart to get one or two things that we need for the next day.   I have grown accustomed to a woman named Maria checking my receipt as I walk out to the door.  Maria has a smile and nurturing way about her that makes you feel like your “abuela” (grandmother) is here to make sure you get another helping of food. 

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24hr Prayer is Like a Relay Race

October 11, 2018

Yesterday our church took our turn at covering the county in prayer for 24 hours. 

When my time slot rolled around, I nestled into the couch with my coffee in one hand and the prayer guide in the other. As I started to pray down the list I was surprised when I looked up and the 30 minutes were almost gone. The Lord brought to mind individuals in different spheres of influence to pray for. I kept a pad of paper nearby so I could jot down any ideas that came to mind during the time so I could stay focused. That proved to be a very good idea. 

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I Respect You

October 4, 2018

I serve at the pleasure of the president. 

Dr.  John Stumbo is the leader of our movement, our “Christ Centered Acts 1:8 Family.”  He’s a gravelly voiced, tall, thin man who has been humbled by God, miraculously healed and has been leading the Christian and Missionary Alliance in our country for the past six years. 

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Prayer Movement Launch: Butte County Prays

September 27, 2018

We have 43,200 minutes to spend in each month.  Can we ask you for 30?

Butte County churches are launching a new prayer movement that we are calling “Butte County Prays.”  Each church is being asked to mobilize their people to take a 30 minute slot, one day per month to pray.  Butte County Prays officially launches  on October 1st.  

As Neighborhood Church, our day to pray is the 2nd Wednesday of each month. 

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Leaves are Starting to Fall

September 20, 2018


A FEW LEAVES ARE STARTING TO FALL OUTSIDE MY OFFICE WINDOW.

 

When is it Autumn? What marks the beginning of the new season that we call “Fall?” It could be identified by a change in weather, colors appearing on the trees, or the fact that football is back on TV? 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says this…

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Who Stole The Honor From American Politics?

September 13, 2018


WHO STOLE THE HONOR FROM AMERICAN POLITICS? 

There are things I read about the way politics are working these days that makes my stomach turn and my heartache. It seems that the healthy dissent and honorable debate that the founding fathers engaged in is not what we are seeing today.

I am aware that you can’t paint all people in politics with the same broad brush of generalizing and stereotypes, but there are people on the left and on the right side of the aisle who have forgotten honor in their discourse. The name calling, accusing, mud slinging and attempts to tear others down show that our culture is slipping more and more into a shame and blame society. 

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Honoring Ministry

September 6, 2018


"HONORING MINISTRY"

Years ago when I was the Youth Pastor here at Neighborhood Church I was in a “reverent prayer position” I heard a voice out of nowhere whispering to me, “You will be leading an “honoring ministry.”

I looked up to see who had said that to me, but no one was present --just two other church staff members who were praying about other things nearby. I quickly decided that either the Lord had spoken to me or I was going crazy.

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