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We had a great kick off to our Dangerous Church series this past Sunday at Elevate Church!  Here are a few things to share with you:

1) The heart beat of a dangerous church is when people realize I Am The Church. With this confession, there is potential to become dangerous. Without this confession, there is the excuse to become passive.

We went through Acts One to identify the signs that I Am The Church:

a) I was dead now I am alive! Our rallying cry as a church is that Jesus was dead now He is alive.  That changed everything!

b) I desperately depend on God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a luxury. He is an absolute necessity. I am convinced God’s Spirit can do more in a moment than we could in our own efforts in a lifetime!

c) I am compelled to witness here, there, and everywhere.  These three “signs” of I Am Church are a progression.  If you try to do number three without one and two, it will be exhausting. It will be manufactured and fake. If you get one and two, then witnessing everywhere will be the natural overflow of what God is doing in your heart! Witnessing is not showing others what I’ve done for God. It’s showing the world what God has done for me!

2) We prayed over and sent out Chris and Hope Bray on Sunday.  It was awesome to see the work God has done in their lives this past year at Elevate! God has used them greatly in San Diego! We can’t wait to see the great things God does through them in New Zealand!

We don’t need a missions conference. We just need to wake up and realize we are all missionaries in our community.  Elevate Church meets wherever you are!

3) Let’s never forget – Church is not simply a place I go. It is who I am!

4) Memorize Acts 1:8 this week and read over Acts 1 several times.  You can break it up to read about 7 verses a day or read the whole chapter a few days this week.  Slow down and give your self time to read through it.  Read over Acts 1:8 giving emphasis to each word in the verse.  Take one step to becoming a witness here, there, and everywhere.

5) A HUGE thank you to everyone who made our Mega Sports Camp possible!  It was a great week and families were impacted.  Thank you for being the church!  Here is a camp picture!

6) Join us in Mexico October 5th – 7th. We are building a loft house for a family in need.  Why? We are the church! We want to be a blessing and share Jesus with those in need.  Email info@elevatesandiego.com for more info or to sign up.

7) We will continue with our Dangerous Church series this coming Sunday in Acts 2. Remember, Acts 2 only happens when Acts 1 actually happens!

Here are a FOUR thoughts from a great weekend:

1) I had the privilege to preach at Eagles Landing in McDonough, GA this past weekend.  I am so grateful for Eagles Landing and so many other churches who have partnered with us along the way. Eagles Landing is an incredible church.  The future is bright! 

2) The message I preached was called How To Respond To God’s Call.  I shared from the life of Moses in Exodus Chapter 3.  God wants to ignite the ordinary in your life just like He did to a burning bush many years ago.  “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) is what we focus on when God calls us to do something.  It is not as near as important as the fact that God’s answer is – “I will be with you.”  (Exodus 3:12) 

It is so easy for us to become obsessed with our inability that we miss out on God’s ability.  It is time to stop focusing on what you don’t have.  Instead, focus on who you DO have – The Great I AM! (Exodus 3:14)  He is all you need whenever you need it!

3) We continued our At The Movies series at Elevate Church on Sunday.  Troy Martin preached an excellent message from the story of Ruth for our “Chick Flick” week.  God is doing a great work through this series!  We had even more new people this week.  We’ve had people receive Christ each week during this series!

Keep inviting people!  We only have TWO weeks left in this series. It is a GREAT opportunity to invite your friends and family to experience Christ in a fresh way!

4) I have missed Elevate!  It is so great to be back at Elevate Church this coming weekend.  I have missed our church family these last few weeks.  I have taken some time away and a few weeks off from preaching to recharge for this next season of ministry. 

All I can say is I am more excited than ever about the future of Elevate.  God spoke to me so much during this time and confirmed even more things in my heart.  I can honestly say, I could not imagine doing anything else than pastor Elevate Church!  I love what I do. More importantly, I love the great people I get to do it with! 

I am so proud of our staff and amazing volunteers that keep advancing God’s kingdom EVERY week!

Here are some thoughts from week three of our At The Movies series at Elevate Church:

  • This week was called Captain America.  We viewed a few clips from the movie and used it to set up a message from David’s life in 1 Samuel 16:6-12.
  • Troy Martin preached and delivered a great message about the importance of the condition of our hearts over outward appearances.
  • 1 Samuel 16:7 – “Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  • God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary.
  • God is more concerned about our inward character, than he is our outward talent.  
  • What talent can build over a lifetime, bad character can destroy in a moment.
  • David’s heart in 1 Samuel 16 was attractive to God.  Is your heart attractive to God?
  • “Stick to who you are, not a perfect soldier but a good man.” – Captain America
  • What makes our hearts attractive to God?
  • 1) Courage. (1 Samuel 17:34-37; Romans 8:31)
  • David was confident who was with Him.
  • You and God are a majority.
  • 2) Authenticity. (Psalm 51; Proverbs 24:16; 1 Kings 8:39)
  • Pour your heart out to God.
  • Stop trying to hide from God. It never works.
  • 3) Humility. (Psalm 16:2; Proverbs 16:5; James 4:6)
  • David knew the only good in him was the God in him.
  • We sang In Your Freedom at the end of the service.  Powerful song!
  • We honored all of those who served and are serving our country during the service.
  • Thank you to everyone who has served in our Armed Forces!  I am grateful for the freedoms I enjoy every day.
  • We worship in freedom on Sunday because you helped make those freedoms possible! Thank you!
  • I am also grateful for the ultimate freedom we have in Christ!
  • We had several new people this week.  I love seeing new faces.
  • I just returned from vacation with our families. We had a great time!
  • It was great being back to see my Elevate family too!
  • This coming Sunday is called Chick Flicks!  We are talking about relationships.
  • On July 15th, we have a Party Truck coming to Elevate with snow cones, cotton candy, bounce houses, and more!
  • On July 22nd, we are giving away movie tickets at the finale of our At The Movies series.
  • Three weeks left to bring someone to our At The Movies series! 

This past Sunday we kicked off At The Movies series and celebrated Father’s Day! Here are some highlights from another great day at Elevate Church:

  • First of all, I love Elevate Church! I had a great time preaching this message to a bunch of people that I love.  
  • I don’t care if someone loves to preach. Who cares?! I believe what matters more in God’s eyes is if you genuinely love the people you are preaching to. 
  •  We had a sports theme for this week of At The Movies and celebrated Father’s Day with a ton of giveaways. The kids ministry also made some great stuff for the dads! 
  • This week I preached a message called The MVP Life. The last thing I believe men need is to be beat down. I think that happens enough.  My goal was to encourage and put “wind in the sails” of many men who are simply surviving through life.
  • There is no one who lived the MVP life more than Jesus. We looked at the story of Lazarus in John 11 to highlight this.
  • The MVP life Jesus lived cause ordinary men to become extraordinary. He turned fishermen into world changers. He lived it so much that 2,000 years ago we are still talking about a dead guy that rose from the grave!
  • 1) Mission.  (John 11:3-15)
  • Jesus’ life was characterized by intense focus and purpose.  He only lived approximately 33 years on this planet, yet he put in motion an unstoppable movement.
  • Don’t allow the urgent to dominate the important in your life. 
  • Jesus was clear about his mission – “The Son of Man CAME to seek and to save those who were lost.” – Luke 19:10
  • Jesus didn’t end all wars. He didn’t heal all disease. His purpose was to change us so we could change the world!
  • We can become good at many things all the while missing the BEST that God has for us!
  • Jesus knew why he was here, therefore he also knew why he wasn’t.
  • Mission is about finishing what I start.  I am thankful we have a Savior who finishes what He starts!  John 4:34 – “…I will FINISH His work!”  John 19:30 – Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is FINISHED.”  
  • It doesn’t matter if you do well the first 3 quarters but don’t finish in the fourth quarter at home, work, and life.
  • The good news is Jesus always finishes what he starts!  He started a good work in you and He will finish it! (Philippians 1:6)
  • You can’t choose when or most often how you will die, but you can choose how you will live.
  • The goal of Jesus wasn’t to save us from pain and suffering but to save us meaninglessness!
  • 2) Vision. (John 11:4, 17, 21-26)
  • Jesus came to speak life where there was no life. 
  • Bottom line – those who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it!  
  • “For nothing is impossible WITH God!” – Luke 1:37. All bets are off!  Anything is possible with our God!
  • Obstacles pave the way for greater opportunities.  You need to understand that opposition is really nothing more than an opportunity for God to demonstrate how big He is!
  • Vision is when God ignites the ordinary to make something extraordinary out of it.
  • Matthew 5:13-16 is incredible.  Jesus speaks incredible life and hope into some very ordinary people.  He is still doing that today.  There is no plan B.  God is using you and me to to ignite something extraordinary all around us.
  • Don’t speak to what someone was or could have been. Speak to what they can be in Christ!  Speak life to your spouse, kids, and friends!
  • 3) Passion. (John 11:35-44)
  • With passion, lives are changed.  Without passion, things die.
  • Jesus had passion – He was deeply moved (v 33, 38), He wept (v. 35), He had zeal for His father’s house (John 2:19).
  • Passion also means suffering and describes the last hours of Jesus life on earth. Passion is about living for something much bigger than your own comfort.  It is about laying down your life for a cause greater than yourself.
  • Where is passion found? It is fueled by time with God. (Mark 1:35) Jesus knowing he had very limited time on earth still made time with His father a priority.
  • What consumes you?  Passion for Jesus will lead to greater passion for spouse, kids, and life.
  • Don’t settle for anything less then God’s best!  Our God resurrects dead dreams, relationships, and lives! He is the God of the living not the dead! This is the heart of John 11.
  • I am grateful for all the awesome dads at Elevate.  Men, let’s rise up by the power of Christ to be what we could never be without Him.  
  • I brought my boys on stage to help with the giveaways.  Here is a picture.  I am so grateful for my boys!
  • Our family is on vacation this week with our family in SC.  Please pray for our time away and our time with family. Pray we are refreshed and refueled for this next season of ministry!
  • I believe this At The Movies series is going to be incredible.  This Sunday we have a Toy Story theme and plan to have Buzz Lightyear in the house!
  • Invite someone today to our At The Movies series this Sunday!  

Here are some thoughts from the final week of our Becoming Series:

  • I have really enjoyed this series so much! Each week we taught on one of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 from the Sermon on the Mount.  Miss a week? Listen right here!
  • This Sunday we focused on Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
  • One of the identifying marks that we belong to Jesus is our ability to get along and love others.
  • You can read all of the Beatitudes right here: Matthew 5:3-12.  
  • I also encourage you to read through the entire Sermon on the Mount. Jesus essentially gives further commentary on the Beatitudes.  The Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 5 – 7.
  • Peacemaker isn’t about appeasing others.  It is also not about avoiding conflict.  Either of these is a cop out and nothing ever got better by “sweeping it under the rug.”
  • Unresolved Conflict:
  • 1) Hinders my connection with God.
  • It hinders my prayers (1 Peter 3:7).
  • It hinders my worship (Matthew 5:24).
  • Reconciliation is a prerequisite for worship.
  • It is a reminder that occasionally, the greatest act of worship can be to resolve conflict not just sing another worship song.  
  • 2) Damages my relationship with others. 
  • Stop fooling yourself.  You can not be close to Jesus while in deep conflict with others. (1 John 4:20-21
  • I do know this: two people passionately seeking Jesus will be restored.
  • Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Will you live at peace with everyone? No. Should you try? Yes.
  • How To Become A Peacemaker:
  • 1) To have peace with others, I must first receive the peace of God. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
  • What is about to be said in Ephesians 4 is not possible apart from verses 22 – 24.
  • Peace has more to do with what is inside me, then it does with who is around me.
  • You can only spread what is already in your heart? If bitterness is in your heart, you will spread anger. If peace is in your heart, you can spread peace. 
  • You can’t spread peace until you know the Prince of Peace: Jesus!
  • The primary question: Who is in control?  Read Colossians 3:15.
  • Who is ruling your life today? If you are, then you can expect James 3:16 to happen.
  • Your reactions reveal more about your own heart then what someone said to you.
  • 2) Take the Initiative. (Ephesians 4:26-29)
  • Jesus said blessed are the peace MAKERS.  Those who actively seek to make peace with others.
  • Go immediately. It doesn’t matter if you are the offended or the offender. It’s your move. 
  • Refuse to let another day go by without taking steps to resolve conflict. 
  • Every day you let go by is another day the devil gains a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27).
  • Focus on building up not tearing down. Practice the Ephesians 4:29 rule: is it helpful? is it kind? is it necessary?
  • You can’t focus on fixing the problem if you focus on fixing the blame at the same time.
  • Speak the truth wrapped in love (John 1:14; Ephesians 4:15; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
  • Accept people where they are but you must love them too much to leave them there.
  • If all else fails, practice the golden rule – Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would want them to do to you.”
  • You can not control the response of others but you are responsible for how you treat others.
  • Don’t seek to get even. It will never work! Revenge belongs to the Lord! (Romans 12:19) Why? He is the only One who truly knows best!
  • 3) Always remember forgiven people forgive people. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
  • If you live long enough, you will hurt people and people will hurt you. It’s just part of life.
  • Forgiveness is the breeding ground for healing and restoration.
  • In light of your hurt, forgiveness may seem like a reward to the person who hurt you. In light of the cross, it is just one massively forgiven person forgiving another soul in need. 
  • God is the original peacemaker (2 Corinthians 5:18).
  • You must receive the peace of Christ in you so that it can flow out of you and to those around you!
  • I have really enjoyed this Series and seeing it help many people!  Go here to listen to any of the message you missed.
  • We did beach baptisms after Service.  Here is a picture. We should have some more pictures on our Facebook page later this week.
  • There is nothing like doing beach baptisms!  Definitely one of my favorite things I get to do! It’s all about the life change and it’s all for Jesus!
  • This coming Sunday is Father’s Day! We will have giveaways, wear your favorite sport’s team apparel, and we kick off our At The Movies series!  Going to be a great Sunday!!