We always look for a festival for our kids as a “Trick or Treat” alternative. As I compiled my list of possibilities, I thought it might be helpful for others as they look for places to take their kids too.  Hope this helps!

October 26
Green Hills Church, 6:30-8:00

October 29
Victory Baptist, 4:30, http://www.vbcmtj.org/VBCFallCarnivalPage.html

Hermitage Hills Baptist:
Main Campus AND Mt. Juliet Campus at Rutland Elementary School
3:00-5:00

Gloabal Vision Baptist Church, 6:00-9:00, http://www.fbcmj.org/events/fall-festival

The Grace Place, 4316 Central Pike
Hermitage, TN 37076, noon-3:00 p.m.

October 30
First Baptist, Mt. Juliet, 3:00-5:00, http://www.fbcmj.org/events/fall-festival

Cooks United Methodist, 5:00-7:00

October 31
Donelson First Baptist, 5:00

Publix, Lebanon Road. 4:00-7:00

New Hope Baptist Church, 6;00, Trunk or Treat

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Is Your Life Stagnant?

June 23, 2011

I love being in the mountains and seeing a brook or stream flowing from the top of the mountain and sitting there reading my Bible or just thinking.  There is a sense of God’s presence there to me as I watch the water flow over the rocks and down the stream.

Normal people, however,  don’t see a pool of stagnant water and feel refreshed.  In fact, I think about the opposite when my nose catches a good whif.  It makes me want to see my lunch again.  The smell is enough to make a weak stomach gag.

Webster defines “stagnant” as “not flowing in a current or stream.”  Stagnant water stinks.   When it stops flowing, the life seems to go out of it.

God hasn’t designed us to be stagnant either.  The Bible says that the lukewarm life makes God gag too. God’s mercies are “new every morning.”  (Lam. 3:19-23)  He isn’t a God that you can be in a close relationship with and feel stagnant.  He is always at work around us.  If we aren’t involved in His work and seeing it on a daily basis, it’s our own fault.  When we seek Him we’ll find Him.  When we’re too busy, we don’t take the time to look.

That’s why we always talk about taking your next step at MJLifeChurch.  We believe that no matter where you are in your walk with Christ, there is always a “Next Step” to take because God is always at work and He is inviting us to be involved with Him.

As amazing as it is to me that God is inviting us to be involved with Him in His work, perhaps even more amazing to me is that we often ignore that invitation because we get ourselves too busy.  If you’re too busy to help your neighbor, take food to a sick person, or invest some time in your church, then you’re too busy.  Even though you always seem to be moving and going, you have become stagnant in your spiritual life. …the only part of your life that really matters because EVERYTHING is tied to the spiritual.

How do you break out of the stagnant life?  Decide to make your spiritual walk the most important part of your life.  Sometimes we have to give up some things that we love for some things that we love even more.  God should have the first spot in your life.  Everything else should fit around your relationship with Him.  (Quiet time with Him, Investing in leading areas at church, helping people, etc.)

The challenge is that most people fill up their lives with work, soccer, hobbies, and everything else that they can fit in it and then try to fill the cracks with God to help them feel better about themselves.  They blow off church if they happen to be too “tired” from all of the other stuff that they have crammed into their lives.

Take an honest look at your life right now.  Are there changes that you need to make for the sake of your relationship with God?  Then do it now!  There’s too much at stake to spend the rest of your life in a stagnant state of living.

Normal is out at MJLifeChurch.  We began the series, “Weird,” this past week and we hope that you’ll be going “weird” with us.  What do we mean by “weird?”  Check out this verse:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

Weird

One thing in particular that Craig Groeschel said in week one of our new series stands out to me.  “If we want what everyone else has, do what everyone else is doing.  If we want what a few have, do what a few are doing.”  It doesn’t take watching CNN for very long to see that what we’re doing isn’t working as a nation or as individuals.  What most everyone is doing financially, relationally, spiritually, and in just about every other area in their lives isn’t working.

If we want life to work, we have to do something different.  We have to stop thinking and acting like “normal” people.  We have to get “weird!”

Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right… Romans 12:2 NIrV

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out… Romans 12:2 MSG

It doesn’t make sense to walk in faith sometimes.  It’s weird to give your tithe, the FIRST 10% of what you the money that make, to God when we’re in a bad economy.  It’s weird to wait until you are married to have sex.  The world says “if you really love someone it’s ok.”  The world says it’s weird to tell people about God.  They think you’re “judgmental” or “narrow minded” when you really just want them to have a relationship with the King of Kings.

The world probably wouldn’t understand why I would quit my job in Tallahassee, came to Nashville without a job, and started a church.  To some, it didn’t make sense why I spent 10 years in youth ministry, hanging out with a bunch of kids.

We’ve got people at MJLifeChurch.tv that are just plain weird!  Some people:

  • Travel around the country playing music, telling people about Jesus.  Isn’t there more money playing in bars?
  • Go to the Nashville Rescue Mission, feeding the homeless.  Can’t those people just get a job?
  • Volunteer their time EVERY Saturday setting up church when they will just have to tear it down on Sunday and do it again next week.
  • Give the FIRST 10% of EVERY dollar they make to God for His use.
  • Turned down a higher paying job because they had a “feeling” that God didn’t want them to take it.
  • Take their vacation day from work just so they can serve another person that needed them that day.  Aren’t vacation days for going to Florida or at least the lake?

We’re not weird for weird’s sake.  We just see that normal isn’t working and that God has a better way.  If that makes us weird, then so be it.  This world isn’t our home.  We forget that sometimes.

Have you ever been considered weird?  What did you do to deserve that title?

Burn The Ships

January 2, 2011

The 21 day Daniel Fast starts tomorrow. I went out and destroyed a few chicken wings in preparation today since there will be no meat for 21 days.  That’s scary just writing it to me.  I could easily live without veggies or fruit, but without meat is going to be tough for me. I’m far from a Vegetarian!  LOL

I was reading in Daniel in preparation for the fast and this struck me.  I thought I’d share it with you and get your thoughts.

Daniel 1:8 says:

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”

 

Daniel decided, IN ADVANCE, that he would not go against the convictions that God had put in his heart about eating from the King’s table. He didn’t wait until the food was set before him. That’s basically what I’m doing. I’m deciding in advance that I won’t eat anything for the next 21 days except fruit, veggies, or nuts. I will not be drinking anything but water.

This reminds me of certain sins that seem to plague us. Satan knows our weaknesses and he knows where and when to hit us. It seems to me that the key is to decide IN ADVANCE that you will stand up, in Christ, to the temptation. Don’t wait until the temptation that plagues you is looking you in the face. Pray about it, confess your weakness to a trusted believer friend, and if possible, remove the stumbling block completely when you are strong.

When Cortez landed in Mexico, he feared that his men would grow tired of the journey and want to return home. Maybe they would turn against his leadership and force a return. As soon as they set foot on Mexican soil, he ordered then to “Burn the ships!” There would be no way to turn back now.

Regarding the fast, there’s no turning back either. If twinkies are your weakness, feed them to your dog. Give them to your neighbor. Throw them away. Whatever it takes, just get them out of the house. Don’t make it easy for you to eat one in a moment of weakness.

The same principle with sin applies. If you are prone to a specific sin, the time to “burn the ships” is when you are strong. Do whatever it takes to remove the barrier that is harming your relationship with God. When you “burn the ships,” God can speak to you because you are more prone to listen to Him. Maybe that means confessing to a brother or sister. Maybe you have to get rid of something that no one knows about except you and God. Maybe there is a relationship that you need to end. You know what it is that God wants you to do if you belong to Him.

Remember, John 8:47 says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” If you belong to God and there is something between you and Him in your life, there may be only one thing that He has been saying to you for some time. You ask Him things like, “God, what’s your will for my life?” “God, where should I work?” Whatever you ask Him, He keeps pointing to that one thing, saying “Burn The Ships.” It’s time to light the fire. Once you do, perhaps through this fast, God will then tell you something else. Decide NOW to

Burn it to the Ground, then go for it. Let’s do this!

Have you ever felt God telling you to “Burn The Ships”?