A Window of Opportunity

openwindowThis is the phrase I heard the Lord impress into my spirit and mind during a church service near the end of April. The message of ‘equipping’ I heard is for myself, our body, and for anyone else who is willing to hear.   As such, during the subsequent worship services I have attended since that particular Sunday, the Lord has not released me from the urgency and relevance of this word; I can’t shake it.

What does ‘Window of Equipping’ really mean?

  • Window: a period of time regarded as highly favorable for initiating or completing something.
  • Equipping: to furnish or provide with whatever is needed for use or for any undertaking; fit out, as a ship or army.

The definitions for window and equipping speak for themselves…. We have a period of time to get what we need for a specific task, event or occasion.

As I continue to mediate on this word and His written word, my sense is that things are about to go to the next level of intensity. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I know that God has a plan for this season and it will indeed require equipped and ready saints. The enemy also has a plan for this season: disruption in the life of believers and disruption of the harvest.

Ill-equipped saints are neutralized saints.

As such, the ‘equipping’ moment before us is essential in fortifying us that we may stand firm and advance. We must stay connected with Him in the season ahead. We are to move forward and mature in individual and corporate callings as transformed, unified powerful messengers of truth to a hungry and confused world.

What does your ‘Window of Equipping’ look like?

Your course of action and mine are found in James 4:8 which says “…draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. Get close to Him and let Him reveal your equipping strategy; it will be different for all of us.

I believe His desired outcome is a body of worshippers, working together. We must:

  • Shed the distractions (time spent indulging ourselves must give way to more time spent with Him)
  • Get rid of the garbage in our lives (it takes many forms, but has the same effect: a diluted follower)
  • Get anchored in Biblical truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

Together, we must stop being a company of people who wear the jersey of the Kingdom of God but look nothing like the Kingdom.

Prior to the financial collapse of 2008 the Lord gave me the word ‘acceleration’. Since then, the landscape of all the stabilizing ‘connective tissue’ of national and geopolitical concern has seen an undeniable acceleration of challenges and issues that appear to be driving the world to a crescendo of unknown outcomes. It has been unrelenting.   In light of this, I believe the ‘window of equipping’ He is presenting, is important for all of us. We must get solid in His word, solid in His Spirit, and be ready for our assignments in the fast paced, critical season ahead.

The Lord is a God of strategy, and our best life is moving forward with His plans and His purposes, not ours. As such, my prayer is for all of us to take a moment and prayerfully consider this word and seek Him during this hour of equipping.

Feet

I was thinking about feet today. That alone should either intrigue you or scare you

off from the rest of this article. No really, feet, think about them. They are

important enough that God gave us two of them! They keep us standing upright,

help us with balance, we walk on them and there pretty important for kickball.

However with all of their usefulness I don’t think I would ever call feet the most

beautiful part of our make up. Feet just aren’t that pretty. I know mine aren’t. My

second toe is longer than the big toe and bends way too far to the left. Looks

really strange but it’s great for gripping wet rocks when swimming! Feet just

aren’t what we would call beautiful. Then I read this:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe

in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone

preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15 NIV)

Feet are beautiful things when what they do is carry the messenger of good news.

When our feet are committed to carry us to where people need to hear about

the one who died for them…who loves them. Feet are beautiful things when they

are surrendered and submitted to follow where God alone leads.

Yeah, those feet are more beautiful than we could ever imagine to those who are

waiting for a delivery of hope and purpose.

Think again about those feet…your feet. Where are they walking and what are

they carrying?

Pastor David

VBS Recap

The goal of Faith Center’s Vacation Bible School this year was to open new doors by taking the gospel into our neighborhoods and sharing the love of Jesus with our friends, neighbors and acquaintances. We have had the privilege of hosting one of these VBS’ so far in Island City, and the intended outcome was a success. Our attendance grew throughout the week. Kids kept coming because they had been watching us from home and wanted to see what all the fun was about. We had people walking by and asking what we were doing, families joining us for our snack time and we got to share the love of Jesus the whole time. I would like to say thank you to Heather Watson, Alaina Watson, Hope Vavra, Brooke Bertrand, Jennifer Phillips, Stacy Shown, and Lavina Casey for sharing your selfless service, endless energy, and boundless love with an amazing group of children at VBS this year.

If you are interested in hosting a VBS in your neighborhood this summer, there is still time. This is a fun and easy way to share the Gospel with the people you see and live with every day. Contact Pastor Will for more information.

Vacation Bible School

VBS_BGS_Logo

VBS Registration Form

Our first VBS of the summer is quickly approaching. Preschool age children are invited to Faith Center on Friday June 19th from 5:30-8:30pm and Saturday June 20 from 9-Noon. We will be celebrating God’s love for us, His gift of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit’s power in us, helping us to live for Him.

Parents Night Out this month will be combined with our Preschool VBS on Friday the 19th. Preschool and Elementary age children are welcome to join us for a time of Worship, storytelling, crafting and snacking from 5:30-8:30.

Elementary VBS begins Monday June 22nd and continues daily through Friday June 26th from 9am-noon at Fred Beeman Park. (Island City Elementary) Each day children will learn a different part of scripture revealing God’s love for them! Please encourage your children to bring their friends as this VBS is designed to be a neighborhood outreach. Numbers will be limited, but we are hoping to host other VBS outreaches throughout the summer at other city parks. If you would like to help lead a VBS in your neighborhood, please contact Pastor Will.

 

Kids Summer Camp is July 20-23 and will be at Canby Grove. Cost is $200. Registrations and payment for Summer Camp at Canby Grove is due by June 26. Please begin turning in your registrations and any outstanding balance, so your child can be ensured a spot at this year’s camp. Our theme this year is B.e.a.r.s.

 

B-Believe

Acts 16:31 New International Version (NIV)

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”

E-Experience

Galatians 5:25 New Living Translation (NLT)

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

A-Act

Luke 11:28 New Living Translation (NLT)

28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

R-Restore

Isaiah 41:13b New Living Translation (NLT)

13And I [the Lord] say to you,

‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

S-Share

Mark 16:15New Living Translation (NLT)

15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.

 

Please join us is praying for everyone going to camp this summer, that God would pour out his abundant grace on everyone involved, that students would meet and be transformed by Jesus, and in turn be excited to share the message of the Gospel with their friends.

Bears poster

2015 VBS

I’m pleased to announce that Faith Center Children’s Ministries will be offering Vacation Bible School to our church and community once again! This year we will be trying something a little different than we have done in the past. Instead of holding our VBS within the walls of Faith Center we will be sending teams to GO out into our local neighborhood parks to reach children with the Love of Christ right where we work, live and play. Instead of one large VBS we are hoping to see many smaller VBS experiences around our valley.

 

We currently have one elementary VBS scheduled, happening at Fred Beeman Park in Island City June 22-26th. From 9:00am-Noon.

 

We also have one preschool VBS scheduled at Faith Center June 19-20th. Friday the 19th from 6pm-8pm and Saturday the 20th from 9am-noon.

 

If you would like to be a part of one of these VBS’ or if you are interested in leading a VBS at another park near you, please contact Pastor Will Phillips for more details.

Southside of Heaven

The ministry at Southside has been extraordinary! This past month we watched God captivate and draw three people to a personal relationship with Him, AWESOME! It’s been quite a journey this past year and a half. We have watched God change so many lives.

There is a great sense and excitement within our group of people coming. I hear stories every week from my friends there about how God has used the Southside to change their lives. I get pretty overwhelmed with emotion when I hear their stories of how they now understand that God loves them regardless of their past or current struggles.

People are finding their identity in God’s grace rather than past failures or successes. I love that people are getting clean from addictions and allowing God to change the atmosphere of their lives.

We have been discussing a lot about choices this past season. Coming to the crossroads and either moving forward into the unknown while God leads us or turn and go back down the road we just came and try to do it different. The reason we want to go back down the familiar road is that we understand it, we can control it and we can predict it; the difficult thing is we almost always fall back into the struggles. That’s why it’s so important for God to change the culture of our lives. It comes down to trust, Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

We must trust and allow God to lead us, guide us, speak to us and change us… If you are interested in the ministry at Southside please contact me!

 

In His Grip

Pastor Jeffry

Anger

Can we have a frank conversation about anger?

Well, it may be somewhat one-sided since this is in print but bear with me. Anger. It’s there in each of us, like a shadow that hangs around in the background.

It seems to lurk there waiting for a moment to spring to life suddenly or slowly creep on the scene poisoning everything around us. However it manifests itself the fact is that it’s there.

I think it’s disingenuous for us to either teach or make room for the idea that Christians won’t battle with anger. We are not all going to smile and laugh at everything that happens. We are not failures as followers of Christ if we battle anger at what we see happening around us. Even Scripture says:

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV)

WHEN you are angry don’t sin…don’t let your anger last through the night. Yes we get angry but how we handle ourselves when we are angry is what counts. There is plenty in this world to rage against and we can find anger as our go to standard. Anger will not change anything, reach anyone or produce an ounce of life.

It is when we are angry and we choose to turn to God for his help and perspective that we find life in the midst of the anger. It is when we humble ourselves in our anger before the King we find his perspective and his view. It is where the anger becomes kindling to ignite a passionate fire for the Lord to work or where he breaks our heart for what had moments ago enraged us.

While being angry is going to happen it should not be the place we live. It must not become our resting place or our default position.

Today allow The Lord room to bring peace to an angry heart, calm to an angry mind. Today allow the Lord to take that anger and bring life in its place!

Pastor David

Living in the Strength and Power of Jesus

Life’s greatest experience is to live now in the strength and power of Jesus, the resurrected Son of God.  God’s revealed Word of truth makes clear that “living in the strength of another,” Jesus Christ, is accomplished but one way.  It is written in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And He (Christ) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

After being beaten, tortured and hung on a cross to bear upon Himself the sins of the entire world; Jesus hardly looked strong, powerful or in control.  What He did that dark “first Good Friday,” was demonstrate for us what a “fully surrendered to God life” actually looks like.  And amidst His dying act of sacrifice and love atop Calvary’s hill, Jesus stepped into the very Words of truth He would later announce to the Apostle Paul.  “God’s strength was made perfect in Christ’s weakness!”  His dead body lowered from the cross and laid in a tomb could not be seen as anything less than weakness to the point of death, but…

Our Savior’s obedient trust in the Father resulted in a Mighty outpouring of God’s Resurrection Power coming upon Jesus, as He rose from the grave on the third day!  Defeat, weakness, distress and infirmities beyond our imagining were overthrown that Easter morning when our Champion and  Savior and King burst the bonds of death!

In the same way, He want me and you to remember that no matter what we must face or go through, He already has planned a means by which we shall share in His Resurrection Power.  He simply says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” He then goes on to invite this to be our response, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me!”

Today can be “in Christ” a day of spiritual victory even more than a day when all goes well.  Beloved Evangelist Vance Havner once wrote, “Our biggest “business in this life” is to be conformed to the image of God’s Son.  God works in mysterious ways to make me and you like Jesus.  You may gain more ground in adversity than success.”

Life’s greatest experience is to live now in the strength and power of Jesus, the resurrected Son of God!  That’s my prayer for us this Easter Sunday.  In His Eternal Love,

Pastor Ted

You Are Here

Years ago when the first hand held GPS devices came out everyone wanted one! Never again will I get lost in the woods many thought! Now I can go somewhere I have never been before and dive off in to some unexplored canyon never thinking about where I am, because my trusty GPS will be there to guide me. I’m sure many search and rescue calls happened because of that thinking. It’s not that the GPS didn’t show where someone was that was the problem. It’s that many times the operator forgot to set a start point. Meaning that they had a map and they were lost somewhere in the middle of it! What was missing was a view point…a proper perspective on the surroundings. Without having perspective we may know where we are but not know what that means in relationship to the larger picture!

As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus we may find ourselves much like this story. Thinking we know where we are but not having perspective on the bigger picture. Easter shines light on what that bigger picture is. Because the real question is not if I’m happy, wealthy, healthy, content or even feeling blessed. When we pan the screen back we have to see where we truly are in light of the bigger picture of a Savior that went to the cross for us, who beat death and was raised again to life! Who right now offers salvation, forgiveness and wholeness! Who has a way to walk out this life and promises to walk with us through it! Easter offers a perspective on where we really are.

 

Where are you today? I’m not asking for a location, or a run down of how well or not well things are going. But if a sign read, “You Are Here” where would here be in relationship to Jesus? Is He there close by, two pages over or not even on the map? Today, on this resurrection Sunday…where do you find yourself?

Pastor David

Reminders On Following

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:30-33 NIV)

I’ve read this scripture many times and even though I know what is coming I find myself rooting for the Israelites to not do what I know they are going to do! It is a sad place in Scripture because the Israelites are on the brink of crossing in to the land God had promised them. On the brink walking into the inheritance God had for them when he delivered them from Israel. It is here that they explore this Promised Land in front of them and after spying it out determine, on their own, they cannot take the land. Well, all but two of them anyway. The people in this new land are too many and too big! They forget Gods promise and for a destructive moment abandon following Him, instead relying on their own strength and vision.

It costs them…big time. They are denied entrance and for forty years they wander in a desert until the time comes again for them to cross over into what God has promised. This scripture is a powerful reminder of Gods faithfulness and our call to follow as he leads. I was reminded of a few things as I read this section afresh:

1. Look for the voice of Caleb in the midst of the trial, someone who in the middle of the noise speaks truly about God and His purposes. We all need a Caleb in our life!

2. Fear often leads us to see things incorrectly. Fear warps our view of people and circumstances.

3. When our view produces an enemy bigger than we think God can overcome we need to realize it’s time for perspective shift!

4. Our view of ourselves can often be just that, our view…not Gods. It’s impossible to step in to Gods promises unless we see who God is and who he says we are.

5. Our ability does not dictate Gods faithfulness.

If you are looking forward and find yourself daunted by what lies in front of you remember today that God is truly faithful. If the enemy is overwhelming you today and fear seems to be ruling in your life remember that God will fight this battle! Today is a day of victory and overcoming power in the Lord!

Pastor David