06.19.12 // Daily S.O.A.P. (Is. 58:6-10)

SCRIPTURE

Isaiah 58:6-10

‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. ‘If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

OBSERVATION

If we’ve ever wanted to be free and healed, the way to freedom and healing is through the helping of others. We need to get away from blaming others and simply help others. When we help meet the needs of others, our own freedom and healing will come quickly and God will have our backs.

APPLICATION

Today I will seek out opportunities to help someone else in need. I will look for those who are in need and offer my assistance. I will consider myself less and consider others first. I will do this to bring glory to Him and I will believe and receive for my own freedom and healing.

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for your goodness. Thank you for loving me as much as you do. Today I walk to serve you by serving others. Give me the strength and the discipline to put others before myself and to be that connector for your kingdom. Bless this day, my family, my friends and the wonderful people of Connection Life Church! Amen.

06.16.12 // Daily S.O.A.P. (Matt. 7:21-23)

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 7:21-23

‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

OBSERVATION

Not everyone who ministers, who prays, or even performs miracles in His name will enter His Kingdom. It’s not about what we’ve done, it’s about relationship. We can know Him, but does He know us? We need to share ourselves with the Lord. Our strengths and our weaknesses. We need to surrender to Him our entire mind, body and soul. It’s not enough to minister by His name, we must surrender to His name.

APPLICATION

Today, I will fellowship with my God. I will converse with Him. Today will be more than service, but relationship. Today I will share with Him my deepest thoughts with Him and offer my highest worship to Him.

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for your great love and mercy. Thank you for caring so much for your children. Today I worship you in spirit and in truth. I pray that you will give me the strength to be real with you. I don’t want to live a life that pretends to be in relationship with you, I want to live a life that truly is in relationship with you. Thank you for our relationship. Bless this day, my family, my friends and the wonderful people of Connection Life Church!  Amen.

06.13.12 // From The Heart (P. Kevin Truett)

Have you ever been too busy to even recognize when you’ve blown it?

I have, and more often than I care to share here. There are times in life when we become so focused on what we want, everything around us that is often times equally important seem to disappear.  This happens when your brain is challenged with such immediate focus that it tunes out the (peripheral) things outside of that focus. It simply stops “seeing” the things that you’re not focused on.

Here’s an exercise for you that will prove my point.

In just a second, look at the image of the heart below and begin to focus on the “+” symbol directly in the center of the heart. I chose this image because of it’s significance to this post.

I have been guilty of focusing so intently on certain tasks and events that I temporarily lost sight of some of the people around me that I deeply love and care for. When my focus becomes hijacked, the ministries that make up the big picture of CLC begin to simply disappear from my vision. As a pastor, this must be battled. Never lose sight of those around you that make up your support, your ministry and your family.

Ok, back to the illustration…

Notice the heart in the image below. Now I’m going to hijack your focus! Begin to stare at the “+” symbol in the center of the heart. Remember, the heart represents everything you love and care for. The “+” symbol represents a specific task, event or desire. As you stare at the “+” symbol, notice what happens to the heart.

Image

What happened?

If you’re like me, as you focused on the “+” symbol, the heart began to disappear entirely.  Don’t worry, this is normal for most people. It’s not you deciding to ignore the heart, it’s your brain being hijacked by a different focus. When I asked you to stare at the “+” symbol, your brain processed a message that said the “+” symbol needed your attention. When that message in your brain was processed, it automatically stopped noticing the dots in your peripheral vision that made up the heart. Trust me, the heart never disappeared, your brain simply stopped seeing it.

Now that you know what’s going on, try it again…

Did you focus on the “+” symbol?

HA! Even when you know what’s happening, your brain is wired to turn your peripheral vision off when you intently focus on something else.

The way to battle this…

Though your focus point may be important, always take time to take a look at what’s around that focus point. Simply glancing over here or there will make that heart literally pop out at you. Don’t believe me? Try it again and this time, just glance at any part of the heart every few seconds.

Did you do it?

What’s interesting is how you glance at one dot in the heart and the entire heart reappears. The entire heart will NEVER disappear if you take the time to notice even one dot that makes up this heart every so often.

And now the apology…

All my life, I have had a tendency to give 110% to everything I do. This requires incredible focus at times and consequently there are peripheral items in my life that get overlooked unintentionally. These oversights could include tasks, events, information and even people. This could explain why I believe I have the worst memory in the world. Because at the time I’m gathering information on “A”, I’m focused on “A”. But the moment I focus on “B”, “A” becomes peripheral and falls victim to my brain completely losing sight of it. Sad, I know.

This bit of understanding has brought me to my knees. Although I am ecstatic about what God is doing in our church, and though I feel like our church has made a great impact on our community this year, I have recently discovered that the solid dots that make up the heart of LOVE & SUPPORT around me have been overlooked. Even if but for a fleeting moment, it’s often enough to cause significant damage. And I thank God right now for His grace that abounds.

Connection Life Church exists to serve and build the Kingdom of God through connecting upward, inward and outward. As the pastor of CLC, I couldn’t be more proud of our team of leaders, support volunteers and members. Many of you reading this post right now are the solid dots that support the vision (focus) that God has given me and this house. Lately, I’ve allowed my brain to overlook some of you as I focused on the task at hand. I want to apologize.

I don’t have to name any names here because I believe you know who you are. And let me say, I’m sure there are more than I even realize. I sincerely apologize to you if you’ve ever felt overlooked. As your pastor, I care for you deeply and each one of you are in my prayers daily. Kristie and I value you as a member of our church, fellow laborer for Christ and our personal friend. It breaks my heart to even think I may have hurt you or disappointed you in any way.

The little explanation and illustration above is not at all an excuse, just a revelation of how God OPENED my eyes to see the heart again! I have been challenged by God to make time to notice the “dots” or the people that make up the “heart” of CLC. We have great vision here at CLC that will require intense focus, but amidst  the focus, I will be making a much greater effort to take the time to notice the “dots”.

Please forgive your pastor and know that you are greatly loved! We’re in this together and we have much work to accomplish. If you’ve ever felt or begin to feel like I’ve lost site of you, please march directly to my “+” symbol, raise your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. Sometimes I need some assistance keeping a visual on my peripheral.  🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this and again, please accept my most sincere apologies. I look forward to working with each and everyone of you for years and years to come.

Your Pastor & Friend,

 

 

Kevin Truett – Lead Pastor
Connection Life Church

06.13.12 // Daily S.O.A.P. (John 12: 38-43)

SCRIPTURE

John 12:38-43

This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: ‘Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn–and I would heal them.’ Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

OBSERVATION

Sometimes it’s tough to confess your faith because our human nature seeks approval of man before it seeks approval of God. And when you have a tough time confessing your faith, it becomes more and more difficult to walk by your faith.

APPLICATION

Today I will not be seeking man’s approval, but God’s. I will look at my actions today and make sure they all lead to the glory of God. This doesn’t mean I’ll ignore man… on the contrary, I will honor man as it brings glory to the Lord. But I will seek His approval before I seek man’s approval.

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for your love today. Thank you for your grace and your mercy. Today I honor you in all I say and all I do. Help me to honor my wife and my children in a way that glorifies you. Help me to honor my co-workers and my church in a way that glorifies you. Give me the words to speak and the strength to speak them. Bless this day, my family, my friends and the wonderful people of Connection Life Church! Amen.

06.12.12 // Daily S.O.A.P. (John 12:31-36)

SCRIPTURE

John 12:31-36

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?’ Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.’ When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

OBSERVATION

Jesus is the light of this world and we must walk with Him to understand and become children of the light. Otherwise, darkness overtakes us and leads us in a path of destruction. And in darkness, we have no idea where we are going. We need the light, we need Him! There are only 2 options here… Light or darkness. If you’re not walking in the light, you’re walking in darkness.

APPLICATION

Today I will walk in the light. I will follow His path for me and oppose the forces of darkness that try to overtake me. I will read His Word and proceed with open eyes, open ears and an open heart. Today I will try to be a light for Him to reflect His glory.

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for being the light. Thank you that your glory shines upon us and you reflect the very righteousness of the Father. Give me the strength to walk only in the light and to oppose the forces of darkness that try to overtake me. God, I love you with my whole heart and I want to be a light in this dark world that reflects your glory. Bless this day, my family, my friends and the wonderful people of Connection Life Church!!! Amen.