Lead by Serving -IdeaFactoryPress
11.29.13 - By David Bradshaw
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your presence, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." -Psalms 19:14
This week youngest daughter Braida and I joined Swiss America broker Bill Durham in volunteering to serve food at a Ronald McDonald House Charity
located at Phoenix Children's Hospital's Cambridge House,
which provides for parents to stay with their children undergoing treatment for cancer.
This experience was especially meaningful for my daughter, as her first act of volunteerism. As she helped with food preparation, serving and clean up I smiled a lot, knowing this is pleasing in the sight of the Lord, as well as teaching her to find happiness in serving others in need. She succeeded in bringing smiles to many faces that night, just as we all bring
a smile to God's face when we reach out to those in need giving of our time and talents to volunteer.
2013 has been a very transformational year for many of us in the third quarter of life (age 50-75). I believe God created us to become more
reflective, and even sentimental - toward God, family and our community - as we age and gain greater wisdom and perspective on life.
I'm thankful Paradise Church in Phoenix is committed to empowering all ages with a fresh vision - to reach across all generations.
Thanks to the life-changing "Trading Up" series by Doug Sherman, (summary below) many are learning to see God more clearly as He really is - a loving Father - in His
Word, in nature and in all circumstances for the purpose of sharing our testimony of his faithfulness with the generations to come.
By the grace of God we're making daily progress 'trading up' from a self-centered life to a God-centered life. We're also understanding the
awesome power our words have to speak life and blessing! It is by serving that we lead - our generation and the generations to come!
ECONOMY MAY TURN "BLACK FRIDAY" RED, SAY EXPERTS - On this Black Friday 2013 American
retailers hope to move their balance sheets from "red" to "black", as Americans rush to to spend and save money - all at the same time.
"Many businesses may stay in the red all of 2013 and deep into 2014 because consumer confidence is at its lowest level since 2009,"
says Craig R. Smith, a monetary expert frequently interviewed by Fox's Neil Cavuto and other major business journalists.
"The reason is that Uncle Sam is Playing Santa Claus. Our politicians are spending more than $1 Trillion every year more than government
takes in as taxes," says Smith, whose latest book is The Great Withdrawal: How the Progressives' 100-Year Debasement of America and the Dollar Ends.
"Our government now operates in the red all the time, funded by the Federal Reserve printing more than $1 Trillion every year out of thin air,
which debases the value of our savings, and frightens tax-fearing, inflation-fearing investors and companies out of hiring more workers," says Smith.
"This Friday, I plan to use some of my gift dollars not to buy toys or trinkets, but to diversify with tangible things they can't run off a
printing press as they do our rapidly-devaluing paper dollars in Washington," says Lowell Ponte, co-author of The Great Withdrawal.
"To protect my family, I plan to follow the example of three Wise Men who followed a star - and who brought tangible, reliable gifts: the
spices frankincense and myrrh, and the once-and-future universally accepted global reserve currency, gold, which will gain value as fiat
currencies such as today's U.S. Dollar collapse," says Ponte.
Indeed, precious metals provide an excellent gift buying opportunity, as prices are on target to end the year lower for the first
time in over a decade. I especially like giving my family Silver Dollars, as they are very affordable and are usually saved vs. spent.
When people ask my advice regarding saving, I tell them to earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can. In the days ahead
we may all be forced to live on less, so why not make 2014 the year to begin living below your means - instead of above your means.
This will allow you to save more and give more - both of financial resources and time.
Trading Up Plus: A New Vision - IdeaFactoryPress
11.21.13 - By David Bradshaw
"Where there is no vision, the people perish" - Proverbs 29:18
Last week at our Third Quarter meeting we discussed "An Evening of Encore"
as a group and what were our takeaways from the event. Response was across
the board - everyone who attended felt challenged to stir up their gifts
and talents to get more involved in community outreach.
Pastor Kurt outlined some of the best thoughts, including, "You will get
more than your give ... We are not leaving a legacy, we are living one ...
teamwork means checking your ego at the door ... and accomplishing great
things together will create solutions to our community's greatest needs."
We also discussed the importance of recognizing and engaging in spiritual
warfare in our quest to serve and support other 50+ers. The enemy of our
faith trembles at the prospect of mature Christians working together to
advance the Kingdom of God, period. Thus it should be no surprise that
the elders in the body of Christ represent the enemy's worst nightmare.
Who and where are the church elders today? Are they the pastors, deacons,
or home care group leaders? James 5:13 says they should be the first called for
prayer over the sick, "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders
of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord."
In Ephesians 4:13-15 Paul admonishes the elders to grow up, "... to attain the
unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we will no
longer be children...speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things
unto Him who is the head - Christ."
We closed with an introduction to the book, "50+ The Emerging Joshua & Caleb
Generation - Empowered for the most fruitful years of your life" By John Boneck,
author and pastor, Morning Star Ministries in Charlotte, NC. 50+ers have been called
to bless future generations by creating and documenting our unique spiritual legacy,
says author and pastor Boneck.
"The younger generation needs us, we are called to be their covering...we are to lead
the next generation into kingdom life. They can't make it to God's promised land
without us," John boldly and passionately declares.
The generation gap is about to be filled by 50+ers who are ready to declare an end
to the era of estrangement and begin restoring generational connections. John offers readers
his simple "Spiritual Legacy Mission Statement: We will declare God's faithfulness,
power and provision to future generations, that they too may know and live in God's
love and purpose."
This is a vision and mission I feel strongly is about to quickly spread throughout the church.
As Pastor Kurt outlined, 50+ers need to; 1) reclaim our place and call, 2) Be healed of
past wounds, 3) clarify distortions of reality (Vision), 4) Get equipped for a calling
(Purpose) and 5) Leave a spiritual legacy (MISSION).
Stay tuned, the next chapter of this 'God story' is about to get very interesting!
P.S. At our twice-weekly company prayer meeting Bronwin shared how this story: The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself Today
changed her life. I invite you to take 5 minutes to read it! We are continuing to bask in Doug Sherman's "Letters From God" at
each meeting. It is such a blessing to see and hear how He is speaking into our busy lives through these simple expressions from the heart of God.
Trading Up Plus: Innovative Possibilities
11.14.13 - by Kurt Notehelfer, ParadiseChurch
"The world may be done with us, but we are not done with the world."
This quote, shared by Marc Freedman at the Encore event last Wednesday, captures some of the
tension that many of us may be feeling right now. Some of us because we are part of a growing
number of people who, in the world's eyes, have moved beyond our prime.
Others of us, because we are feeling disconnected from the church and are unsure of what,
if any, role we have to play in the new chapter of life that is unfolding at Paradise.
The reality, Freedman explained, is that "innovation and experience is not an oxymoron."
In fact, if we are willing to believe it, our lifetime of experience can bring uniquely
innovative possibilities that can impact the world in powerful ways!
Join us for Trading Up Plus on Wednesdays at 7pm as we explore, together, how our collective gifts and experience
can be used by God, in our world and in our church, to bring about uniquely innovative
possibilities in this season and beyond!
Tuesday night pastor David Harris and Kurt held a baptism celebration after the All Church
prayer gathering. My youngest (almost 10 year-old) daughter Braida was among the group to
take the plunge, declaring to the world, the church and her Heavenly Father that she
belongs to Him for a lifetime.
"Baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith." said author Watchman Nee.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Amen," were Jesus last words on earth recorded in Matthew 28:19-20.
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as
have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ," said the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:26-27.
It is such a joy to experience the wonder of childlike faith from the perspective of
the second half of life. Leoma and I are looking forward to Trading Up Plus meetings
and will be sharing more soon.
A "REINSPIRED" EVENING of Encore - IdeaFactoryPress
"Trading Up -> Living Out -> Impacting the World"
11.7.13 by David Bradshaw
My wife Leoma and I, together with nearly 20 others from Paradise Church's Third Quarter group
and Swiss America's company Bible study attended ExperienceMattersAZ "Evening of Encore" last night,
featuring keynote speakers Harvey Mackay and Encore founder and author Marc Freedman.
This inaugural ExperienceMatters AZ.com event hosted at the Heard Museum was an amazing assembly
of community leaders and servants. From the first parking attendent's helpful direction to the
last encouraging word spoken by Harvey Mackay and Nora Hannah - this was an evening of reinspirement,
or, as Mr. Mackay put it "refirement".
Experience Matters Arizona CEO Nora Hannah began the event with an overview of their mission of
connecting experienced talent with the community needs. Of the 77 million baby boomers hitting
traditional retirement age, 1 million of them live in metro Phoenix. She views the Encore movement
as the fulfillment of the social movements boomers spearheaded in the 60s, 70s & 80s. She reminded
the 400 event attendees that when you volunteer or give you always get back more than you can give.
Nora introduced Judy Mohraz representing the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust which presented
a $50,000 award recognizing an inspiring Encore Career leader who is addressing a major
social need in Maricopa County. Judy said she believes that given the size and magnitude of the
boomer movement, Experience Matters AZ will eventually "make eHarmony envious," by connecting
and mobilizing individuals toward true fulfillment in life via purpose-driven second acts.
Judy introduced author and Encore founder Marc Freedman, who believes it fitting that this county - the original "Mecca" of American retirement dream of the 60s - should again be at
the center of a new vision and dream to fill the vast purpose gap amid baby boomers a half
"If you build it they will come," said Freedman, speaking both of the past vision by Del Webb
to pioneer building retirement communities in Sun City, as well as ExperienceMattersAZ's new vision to help aging baby boomers plug into community volunteering jobs. According to Marc, so far 9 million have been touched by the Encore message
and another 32 million are now also leaning toward it. Mr. Freedman says the biggest difference
between happy and unhappy retirees is having a strong sense of purpose and living it out.
Mr. Freedman then introduced the VIRGINIA G. PIPER CHARITABLE TRUST ENCORE
CAREER PRIZE winner, Micheal McQuaid,
"A $50,000 Award for Applying Experience to Improve Social Good".
A tribute video then spotlighted McQuaid's humble
dream - which now spans across generations - to help end homelessness in his community, Maricopa County.
A dream of using the very best of his God-given talents and gifts to transform society. As a developer
and builder of shopping malls, that talent translated into building the Human Services Campus
a modern new homeless mall-complex with offices from 12 community services. Brilliant!
Mr. McQuaid is president of the Human Services Campus, which have been "Giving Hope & Transforming
Lives" for three decades. Located at 12th Ave. and Madison in Phoenix, their stated mission is:
"Using the power of collaboration to create solutions to end homelessness in our community."
"The Human Services Campus offers resources to over 1,000 people per day. Many of these
individuals are connected to our services, our shelters, and our programs. A lot of
these folks ARE working. However, they are underemployed, working part-time, or in
minimum wage jobs that do not allow them to maintain housing at this time."
explains their website.
Mr. McQuaid, and his family and closest associates have invested the last 30 years
serving the homeless with food, shelter, clothing as well as hope-building. It
was a high point of the event when Michael introduced his sons and grandson that
will carry on the family tradition - serving the needs of their community and
generation as a threefold cord (which is uneasily broken).
McQuaid's visionary approach to ending homelessness involves reaching out with helping
hands and bringing people together to create long-term self-sustainability for the homeless
population. This outreach is truly a beacon of light in a darkening world. Leoma and I have been inspired
to become volunteers at the Human Services Campus.
Next time I will cover what bestselling author and inspirational speaker Harvey Mackay had to say,
which was plenty - starting with something his father taught him as a lifetime rule; "Invest at
least 25% of your time volunteering!"
TRADING UP "PLUS" - IdeaFactory Press
"Trading Up -> Living Out -> Impacting the World"
10.31.13 by David Bradshaw
As the 6-week "Trading Up" series by Doug Sherman, author of More Than Ordinary concludes, I know my life and scores of other have been deeply impacted. The simple truth presented is that our Heavenly Father wants us to trade up to a much closer walk with Him in all circumstances.
I highly recommend Doug's twice daily email/text personal messages available free at Ingiteyourwalk.com!
"Trading Up" has inspired us to better understand... "Trusting God When Life is Hard" ... "God's Passion to Reveal Himself to Us" ... "Embracing the Truth and Rejecting Lies" ... "The Perfect Father - A God-Centered Reality" ... "God's Attributes: -Without Limits,
-Always the Same, -Self-Disruptive" ... and "Belong -> Believe -> Behave" (not visa-versa).
What comes next for the Third Quarter group at Paradise Church in Phoenix, AZ? Pastor Kurt Notehelfer suggests the following strategy:
"The next step of the journey, as we learn together, is to follow hard after Jesus and fully leverage our lives for the kingdom. A revitalized spiritual life naturally leads to new and greater vitality in every area of life.
In TRADING UP "PLUS" we will begin to expand the vision for where we are heading by introducing the three primary elements of living life to the full!
1. TRADE UP your relationship with God.
2. LIVE OUT your calling from God.
3. REALIZE your greatest impact for God.
We will continue to practice the daily rhythms of life with God that we have been learning from Doug Sherman and have opportunities to "tell God stories" in community with one another.
In addition, we will begin to explore how the new perspective we have gained, in our relationship with God, leads us to greater clarity and focus about who God is calling us to be and, ultimately, how we can take action to realize our greatest impact for God - in every season of life!
Of course, we will do all of this in community with one another, as a place to both learn and grow, but also a place to debrief and unpack our experiences of stepping out to serve throughout the week.
WED. NOV 6 - "AN EVENING OF ENCORE" - Come along for a "field trip" to hear Mark Friedman, author of The Big Shift speak and, together, gain a broader perspective on our culture and our mission field!
On the following five Wednesdays in November and December we will gather for times of training, small group interaction, and spiritual empowerment to begin learning what Jesus meant when he said in John 10:10, "I have come that they might have life, and have it TO THE FULL!"
I invite fellow 50+ Phoenicians to join us at the ExperienceMattersAZ "ENCORE" Event on Nov. 6th at 7pm at the Heard Museum to hear Mark Freeman and motivational author Harvey Mackay. Then join Third Quarter the following Wednesday at 7pm for "Trading Up PLUS" at Paradise Church, 4242 East Greenway Road, Phoenix, AZ.
TRADING UP: Rethinking Life With God
Session Six: "Trusting God When Life is Hard"
10.23.13 by David Bradshaw
This final chapter of Trading Up is especially important during the difficult
times in which we live today. Creating the new habit of seeking God's kingdom
first in all circumstances flies in the face of all that the world is telling us.
Doug Sherman shared a great example from his
experience as a fighter aircraft pilot and trainer in the Air Force. "Don't trust your
self, trust lead" is square one of becoming a good wing man. "Always follow lead, no
matter what the circumstance," was his advice to cadet pilots. Why? For everyone's safety.
The reason the wing man must keep his eye on the
lead pilot at all times to prevent confusion and potential panic sometimes
caused by an inner-ear disequalibrium which could lead to flight miscalculate
during a steep dive in a battle situation.
"Every difficulty, every injustice, every betrayal, every disease, everything
that is hard in our lives is redemptive. Most of the wisdom, goodness and power of God is unseen. We have to trust the
unseen goodness of as well as admire Him for the goodness that we see,"says Sherman.
Of course God hates pain, disease and all other difficult circumstances that
all humans experience, yet God allows them that we may learn to trust in Him
alone, instead of ourselves. "Pain deconstructs our ego," says Doug.
This is why the Sermon on the Mount feels so counter-intuative to the natural
mind. Becoming poor in spirit ... meek ... merciful ... persecuted ... none
of these traits appear to be the pathway to greatness in this world, yet Jesus
said these beautiful attitudes (beatitudes) were the fruit of walking in His kingdom.
On Sunday at Paradise Church pastor David Harris spoke on the subject, using
Scripture to illustrate the Apostle Paul's ultimate mission and goal; "to have
sufficient courage that Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or
by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Phil. 1:20-22)
David sums up our response to challenging circumstances as the "Nevertheless
Principle - the ABC's of Trusting God are simple; 1) Life is Difficult,
2) Jesus is Lord, 3) I will Rejoice in all things!" When crisis or trouble
strikes, don't look around, look up. What is your downside? Certainly not death!
Both early Christians and we modern Christians need to live boldly. When we become
a new creature, we are now members of a "fearless faith," says Harris. And this
comes from living live in the hand of God, which is our choice. Paul could have
thrown a pity party in prison, but instead he understood that God had a purpose
for him right where he was... even in chains!
In the end there are really only two types of Christians; 1) those who trust in
a loving and unfailing God, and 2) those who trust in man and his logic and
earthly knowledge. Only one path leads to life and inner peace in all circumstances.
Doug concluded the series with a reminder that a 3-fold cord is not easily
broken. As we begin to see and seek His 1) Wisdom, 2) Goodness and 3) Power...
we will be trading up a self-centered life for a God-centered life and are
then fit to become vessels of honor to greatly expand His kingdom throughout the earth.
I am looking forward to the next steps of action for our Third Quarter group
that will follow this excellent teaching and reminder of God's passionate desire for us to
know Him ... as He knows us. Meanwhile, our twice weekly company prayer meeting
is continuing to use Doug's "Letters From God" to help this important message sink
deep within our spirits.
Pastor Kurt at Paradise is already working on the next steps for our Third
Quarter group to help all achieve "life to the fullest" (John 10:10). Trading Up is
step one, which should be followed by step two, "living out our calling from God" and
step three "realizing our greatest impact for God".
My recommendation for Christian-based boomer groups as a next step to begin walking
out your holy calling is to read 50+ The Emerging Joshua
& Caleb Generation by John Boneck of Morning Star Ministries.
If you are ready to gain a fresh perspective on your second half of life mission,
and then coached on how to best tell the 'story of your life' with the power of the
Spirit of God, then you are going to love this book!
50+ers have been called to bless future generations by creating and documenting our
unique spiritual legacy, says author and pastor Boneck. Here is a short preview
from the book...
"Our society and cultural Christianity have
fostered a lot of spiritual orphans, not connected to spiritual parents, although they
want to be. In each person, God the Father has placed a spiritual genetic desire to
be connected to spiritual parents...We have learned so much along the way, our hearts
for them compel us to share the stories of God's faithfulness," writes John, echoing
Doug Sherman's call to freely share "God stories" from our daily Christian walk.
TRADING UP: Rethinking Life With God
Session Five: "God's Passion to Reveal Himself to Us"
10.17.13 by David Bradshaw
God reveals Himself to us using three primary means; 1) through His Word, 2) through
our circumstances and 3) through His creation/nature.
John 1:18 reminds us that no man has ever seen God, we can see
Him reflected in His son Jesus, in His lovingkindness toward us His
children. "We can see Him in every molecule of the universe, if we
are looking from the right perspective," says Doug Sherman.
A molecule is defined as: "The smallest possible amount of a particular
substance that has all the characteristics of that substance." Which
means we, as children God, are infused with the substance known as "faith"
complete with all the characteristics of our Creator, our Heavenly Father.
This week our 'Letters From God' focus was on "You can trust in My
unseen goodness,' and "You only have to take one step at a time."
We discussed how to finish our walk with God well, despite the
adverse circumstances we face daily.
Who are we (the clay) to argue with God (the potter) when His unseen
wisdom is at work in our life-challenges? (see Isaiah 45:9)
Doug shared the story of a canoe trip with his daughter that ended
up all wet and very cold. After they got to shore, they laughed and
enjoyed the moment, despite having their perfect plan capsized. So
it is that we must make a choice when circumstances "ruin" our plan,
our show. God wants us to give Him permission to "run the show" of our lives.
As contemporary Christian artist Toby Mac sings in "Steal My Show"... "If you wanna steal my show,
I'll sit back and watch you go, If you got somethin' to say, go on
and take it away, Need you to steal my show, can't wait to watch you go!"
Another message that liberated all participants in our small group was
that God is proud of us, right where we are at. He seeks for us to bask in
His love and acceptance, as we make small steps closer to Him, and then
to share our rich 'pilgrim's progress' experience with others.
This sharing of our real-time "God stories" or encounters has an amazing
collateral effect: it will bring blessing to all who hear or read it and
inspire more encounters because everything in God's kingdom that is healthy
must reproduce to continue growing.
Reflection: Begin to think of how God is revealing Himself to
you in the Scripture, in your circumstances and in His glorious natural world more
each and every day. Tell someone about it or write it down in a journal
to be shared at that perfect opportunity later. Record the vision! In all things re-joice!
TRADING UP: Rethinking Life With God
Week Four: "Embracing the Truth and Rejecting Lies"
10.9.13 by David Bradshaw
"Our image of God is a mixture of truth and error. Every truth about God
has one or more corresponding lies which hinder our relationship with
Him and others," says Doug Sherman in the latest installment of Trading Up.
After walking in the truth of God for years, is it possible that we still
can fall prey to lies from the enemy about ourself, the world and God?
Sadly, the answer is yes. Our self-centered nature can blind us to the
truth without even knowing it. We often box God into our own limited
For example, consider this "Flees in a Jar" story that one of the Trading
Up participants at Paradise Church shared in our small group last week.
Did you know that if you put flees in a jar for three days or more, even
when you release them from the jar they will never jump any higher than
they could when they were inside the jar? It's true. They hit the lid so
often they became programmed - thinking their jumping power had a permanent limit.
Likewise, often we allow our circumstances to limit our view of ourselves, our
world and our God because we have also become programmed to artificial limits.
Thankfully our God wants us to continue in His Word, know the truth and be
set free, Jesus taught us in John 8:31.
"Every problem in life can be traced back to believing a lie," teaches Sherman.
Common lies can include ...
-God is not interested in the small details of my life.
-If I work hard enough, God might be pleased and bless me.
-God sometimes fails to keep His promises.
All of these are lies, but subconsciously, we are prone to believe them, because
we may see them operating and struggle with them daily.
Today in one of my text messages from IgniteYourWalk
came this message: "Here is some fatherly advice. If you
can see it, don't trust it. Instead trust Me. I am perfectly wise, loving and loyal. -Jesus"
We live in a world that is driven by the things seen, but the Scripture says we live
in another realm - an unseen spiritual realm - which is driven by faith in the unseen.
Hebrews 11:1 reminds us, "Faith is the substance to things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen."
If we are to live lives pleasing to God we must see beyond the physical realm and
walk in the Spirit, which is a lifetime journey of taking small steps out of lies
and darkness and into the truth and light.
Doug closed the session with the recognition that we are in a battle for our mind.
It is our choice to reject lies and embrace truth. "God loves fresh starts."
Lord God, today we yield our heart, mind and spirit to Your Way, not our own way.
We want to know you personally and learn to relate to You as our truthful Father.
Help us learn to reject the lies all around us and to stop trusting our eyes to
reveal the truth. Instead of saying, "Seeing is believing!" - may we instead
begin to think and then say "Believing is seeing!".
TRADING UP: Rethinking Life With God
Week Three: "The Perfect Father"
Key Truism: God-Centered Reality "Before-During-After" Challenges
9.26.13 by David Bradshaw
In week three, Doug Sherman offers a couple great examples of how our
Heavenly Father is perfect in every way, perhaps in contrast to our
experiences with our earthly father.
Doug shared of his experience flying with his sons to Rome, Italy
and how God allowed his sons to "trade up" to First Class to sit
with him at no extra charge.
How special his sons felt during the 9-hour flight to enjoy
the best thier father wanted for them. So to is with our Heavenly
Father who is hoping we will "trade up" for his best plan for our lives
rather than settling for our self-centered plans.
Doug also shared about his first experience driving a tractor
and allowing his infant son to sit on his lap and steer, together with
his strong hands along side to guide the wheel safely.
This story illustrates the truth that God's wants to control
the vast majority of our time and life, in everyday life experiences, but the choice to invite Him remains up to us. He wants us to grip the wheel lightly, and allow Him to do the real steering.
Lastly, Doug challenged us to "trade up" to a God-centered lifesyle
during appointed meetings and conversations by remembering to seek His
direction before-during-after such life challenges and opportunities.
Again his emphasis is upon taking small steps daily and watch the
transformation take flight - over the days, weeks and months ahead.
Week Two: "What Is He Like?"
Key Truism: God's Attributes: 1)Without Limits, 2)Always the Same, 3)Disruptive
9.19.13 by David Bradshaw
In a world that changes constantly we need to be reminded that our heavenly Father is unchanging in His love,
His kindness, His goodness, His vastness, His majesty.
But knowing this is one thing and acting like it is really true is quite another.
In the video Doug Sherman shares of his trip to the mountains of Alaska to witness the awesome majesty of God's creation.
At first the mountain peaks were shrouded by fog.
Did that mean the majestic handiwork of God were not present?
No, they are just not visible to the human eye from an earthly perspective. We need a higher perspective - which is possible when we
are seated with Him in heavenly places throughout the daily course of our lives.
Likewise, God's presence and majesty are ever-present if we wait on Him for eyes to see it. The fog of daily distractions from
both the world system and religion can often blind us from seeing the truth.
Doug asks, "What makes angels laugh? ... When humans ask for more of God's presence!"
"God's lovingkindness is without limits, it is always the same and it is infinately disruptive in our lives," says Doug. God's
perfect plan for an intimate relationship with us towers over our problems, concerns, fears and foibles.
Sherman shares of his disrupted air travel plans as an example. Do we give thanks that He is in control of our time, schedule and
life when our plans are disrupted, or do we grumble? Our actions reflect our true beliefs.
I am really enjoying reading the "Letter From God" handbook included in the teaching series. The truth that God is passionate
about seeking His children's best is clearly communicated in these 41 short letters, each signed "Your Heavenly Father".
We have started to use the "Letters From God" in our twice-a-week company prayer/care group, investing the time to review
the four Scripture references included with each letter to help the truth to sink into our spirit further.
Paradise Church is hosting the video series on Sundays at 8:30am and Wednesday at 7pm (address below). Sunday services at 10a and 11:30a feature companion messages by pastor David Harris. My wife Leoma and I feel this series is the
foundation for the next big step of maturity in our walk with God. Perhaps it could be for you too also?
Next week's topic is "A Perfect Father"!
P.S. I just started reading another very good book: "50+ The Emerging Joshua and Caleb Generation" by John Boneck. I have emailed
with John, who leads a 50+ ministry with MorningStarMinistry in Fort Mill, S.C. Their goal is to call the boomer generation (50 and above) back to work, affirming them in who they are as fathers and mothers of the faith, and then pass the blessing onto the next generation. So far it is excellent, highly recommended!
New Boomer Group (3rd Quarter) Launches at Paradise Church
Key truism: Belong -> Believe -> Behave
9.12.13 by David Bradshaw
Recent headlines from the American Bible Society declare Americans
have a major "disconnect between belief and behavior". The result
is most people are living their life unfulfilled and guilt-ridden.
The poll found that most Christians "view reading the Bible as
taking your medicine", which is to say less than exciting.
The result: Only 13% of Christians read their Bible daily.
TRADING UP with Doug Sherman launched last Sunday at Paradise Church with the
premise that we each need an enlarged view of our heavenly
Father if we are to find true meaning in life.
Session One: "Rethinking God" was a breath of fresh air!
My wife Leoma and I attended with great expectations, having
read Doug Sherman's new book More Than Ordinary. Here is what Leoma wrote...
The words and teachings that I became aware of from this past weekend session was
to humble myself and rediscover God. As Richard Rohr reminded us; On our life
journey, we as Christians, need to dissolve our boundaries, feel the suffering of
life, learn from it and then lead others.
In addition, as Doug Sherman mentioned; We all fear the letting go of our "egocentric"
lifestyles. We must learn to trust Him moment by moment. "Ignite Your Walk"
daily email and text messages have helped me grow closer to God and fellowship with Him throughout the day!
I applaud the boldness of Paradise Church pastor, David Harris, for facilitating
face-to-face interaction within the service - allowing attendees to
fellowship with more than the back of someone's head.
If you like being given the freedom to encounter 'body life' with fellow Christians, this
is the place for you! Imagine, a dedicated time to share what God is
doing in your work, your life and walk with God.
From ... Behave-Believe-Belong To ... Belong-Believe-Behave
In our culture today, and sadly in much religion, feeling
accepted, or that we belong is based upon thinking we must do better, or simply put, we must BEHAVE to BELONG.
Morality and strict rules are the key to pleasing God, most think.
But the Bible teaches otherwise; we must first understand that
we BELONG, that we are loved, as-is. From this perspective
we then grow in our faith and BELIEF. Then our BEHAVIOR gradually
changes from "What pleases me?" to "What pleases God?"
After a lifetime of having the world system (and religion) brainwash us to
believe just the opposite, the chances are very high that many of us need
some deprogramming to walk in this new spirit-led self.
Just before Christ's temptation by Satan we
hear the Father saying... "And a voice from heaven said,
"This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased,"
(Matt. 3:17). We each need to have that same foundational identity of
really knowing that we are loved and are pleasing to God.
This is the goal of TRADING UP, as I see it. I invite all
Phoenicians to begin Trading Up, Session Two: "What He is Like" this Sunday,
Sept. 15th at 8:30AM at Paradise Church, 4242 East Greenway Road,
Finding our place of service in God's Kingdom is His ultimate plan for our life.
It all begins with a change of heart, knowing He is passionate about
knowing you. God wants a closer relationship with you. Wouldn't you like
to "trade up" from a self-centered life to a God-centered life today?
Latest Boomer News Briefs
2013: Greetings from the Valley of the Sun!
Here's a ministry fund-raising idea!
INTRODUCTION: For a quarter century I have researched and reported on economic trends from a Christian perspective for Swiss America. In that time I have watched debt enslave and devour American culture. Americans are now urgently seeking answers about the shaky economy, soaring debt and how to survive a rapidly rising cost of living.
GOOD NEWS: I have a fund-raising idea to share with you today which could help expand your budget and outreach by $100,000 per year* or more. I have helped a small national ministry use this fund-raising concept successfully over the past two years. Here is the idea in a nutshell:
1) WHO: Swiss America, founded by Craig R. Smith in 1982, is the most respected national brokerage firm for precious metals in the U.S. and a trusted source of the most comprehensive free educational resources on such investments. Swiss has no unresolved complaints and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Swiss was the first company invited to advertise on CBN.com and The 700 Club. Craig Smith has been a member of Phoenix First Assembly of God (Pastor Tommy Barnett) for over 25 years and written about by Pastor Barnett in his books. Pat Boone is Swiss America's spokesperson and is widely respected for his integrity, ministry and lifetime achievements.
2) WHAT: To help fund your ministry Swiss America's in-house advertising agency (FAME, Inc) would like to extend an offer to make a donation to your ministry for each referral who either calls us at a special toll-free number or online registrations to receive a free educational kit. Educational kits may include a free book, free dvd, free cd, free White Paper, etc. There is no obligation to purchase anything. Those contacting us simply agree to receive free, postpaid information on the Bible's teachings about economics via our free resources.
3) HOW: Monthly we will provide your ministry with a $25 donation for each new, unique inquiry to Swiss America (name, address, email & phone) requesting our free, empowering educational resources. Our approach is to work with fellow Christians such as yourself to share a monthly or quarterly email blast offer, internet banners and links, and/or radio/TV show mentions and/or live interviews with information that can help the faithful in these times of trouble and testing.
4) SAMPLE FREE OFFER: "Truth About Money" cd and "Re-Making Money" report which explains why and how individuals, families, ministries and nations should and could restore the sound money values of the Bible that America's Founders included in our Constitution.
I would love to work with you to help build His Kingdom and strengthen your ministry with a solid gold foundation, for the sake of our future and our children.
DAVID M. BRADSHAW
Editor, Real Money Perspectives
Publisher, Idea Factory Press
*Based on generating 8,000 responses to free educational offers at $25/response since 9/2009.