financial help is on the way

 You are invited and encouraged to take the upcoming Financial Peace University Class, if at all possible. This is going to be a tremendous class that will help all of us get the best and most use out of the financial resources that God has blessed us with. People who have taken the class rave about it. Some of them take it over and over again because it is so helpful. We already have two signed up for our class who are coming for a refresher. Even older teens should consider the class. It will be such wise counsel on how to use their money. This class will positively affect them for the rest of their lives.

And you can’t beat the price. The full price is right at $100.00 but for everyone who takes and completes the class, the church will cover half the cost. In fact, if money is an obstacle to you taking it in any way, let me know and I will make sure your registration is covered in full.

A half dozen of our families have already registered. Several other families have mentioned their intent to take the class. I would like to invite, encourage and even twist your arm into joining them. Have I twisted enough?

The class starts on February 17 and runs for 13 weeks. It will be some of the best 13 sessions you have ever experienced. You can register on line at this web address, www.daveramsey.com/fpu/ . Do not order materials online. We will have them at the first session and they will be less expensive there. In fact, you can attend the first session free and if you decide not to take the class you will be obligated for nothing.

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lots of family pictures

It’s been awhile since I posted some family pictures so here’s a load from the end of 2010. To keep from getting confused (or maybe confuse you a little more) this is the family makeups. Of course, there’s Sharon (Grammy-T) and me (G-Diddy), then Brady and Elizabeth with Sawyer and Luke, then Timothy and Daphane with Audrey and Eloise and finally Matthew and Jess with Preston. To get you started I will begin with all five grandchildren with Matthew, in this order Audrey, Luke, Sawyer, Eloise and Preston with his dad Matthew. You are on your own for the rest of them.

 

One half of all men have a major problem with porn

The following is a partial list of some interesting elements I heard at a men’s seminar yesterday.

  • Fathers are a poverty reduction strategy for the home.
  • One half of all men have a major problem with porn.
  • 11% of the children born in 1911 were into a one parent home. 30% of children born today are into homes with one parent.
  • The difference between a man and a women can be seen in how they watch TV. Women want to know what’s on. Men want to know what else is on.
  • 6 of every 10 families pay the monthly minimum on their credit cards.
  • More than anything else men need to become disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting.
  • The answer begins by getting men into the Word of God.
  • Men are the world’s largest unreached people group.
  • Men are not attracted to and are often turned off by flowers adorning the church setting.
  • Wimpy love songs keep men from worshipping God.
  • Men want to be called to discipleship rather than relationship.
  • Discipleship is the process by which men become like Jesus.
  • To be a disciple of Jesus is the highest honor to which a man can aspire. 

New Venture Christian Church Announces New Staff Addition

Kevin Gibson, with his wonderful wife, Elizabeth, will be joining the staff of New Venture as Worship Minister. After a sixteen month search God has led us to just the right person to lead our worship ministry right here in our own community.

Kevin is a 2007 graduate of Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Worship and Music Ministry.

Elizabeth is a graduate of James Madison University and is an eighth grade teacher at Elizabeth Davis Middle School.

Kevin’s first Sunday with New Venture will be February 13. Please pray for him and Elizabeth as they transition from his current ministry to the leadership of the NV worship ministry. 

Kevin says:

“I am very passionate about developing music that enhances people’s worship experience. I love that God can take something that I enjoy like music and use it to draw hearts to Him.”

“I am also passionate about leading a team of musicians who desire to give God their best.” 

“I love encouraging teams to pray together and for each other, and to spend time with Jesus together.”

They reside at 4801 Valencia Court, Chesterfield, VA 23832. If you would be interested in contacting Kevin his email address is gibsonplaysfender@gmail.com.

Throw out the resolutions

My advice is to get rid of the resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions are often nothing more than wishful thinking. They are lofty dreams and empty hopes.

Then replace the resolutions with a growth plan. A growth plan is a well thought out course of action. It is a determination of what is most needed in your life to get you from point A to point B and the steps necessary to get you there. A plan is a set of goals with a strategy for completing them.

But, let’s be honest, we procrastinate big time when it comes to setting them.  Less than five percent of Americans have written down goals for their lives.  Surveys also show that the five percent that do are the top five percent wage earners in our culture.  Those who set written goals have greater income.  It’s a correlation.  They know what they want in life and they go for it. .

We have exited the old year and entered the new. Here’s the question, “How will 2010 be better than 2011?  The key is this; you’ve got to have a plan. You don’t just enter 2011 and say, “I hope it’s going to be better.”  You’ve got to have a plan to make it better.

Proverbs 17:24 says, “An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions.”   That means they have a goal, an objective, an aim, a target.  Have you set any targets for 2011?  Or are you just going to walk into this year and hope it’s better?  You’ve got to have a plan. Growth does not happen by chance.

Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Alan Lakein echoed a similar thought, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

How about a growth plan that follows the model of Jesus? If you are a Christ follower then your greatest desire in life is to be like Jesus. This is what the Bible says about Jesus and I believe that in these words is found the most balanced growth plan a follower of Jesus can pursue.

How did Jesus develop?  Luke 2:52 tells us four ways “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and favor with man.”  If I want to become like Christ, I need to develop in the four areas Jesus developed in.

  • He developed in wisdom – that’s intellectual development or knowledge plus application.
  • He developed in stature – that’s physical development.
  • He developed in favor with God – that’s spiritual development.
  • He developed in favor with man – that’s social development.

1. Set a wisdom target. Wisdom is knowledge plus application.

It is extremely difficult in our culture to grow in wisdom without reading. You can develop wisdom by attending every seminar you can find, but who has the time and money? Reading is key. It is depositing knowledge into the brain. Application must follow but without the knowledge there is nothing to apply. What is your plan to grow your brain power?

2. Jesus’ model also says, set a stature-physical development goal.

I just turned sixty a couple weeks ago and I have never felt better, physically, in my life. It is not by accident, only by plan and design. This morning I ran five miles in less than an hour. Not only am I sixty, I have had surgery on both knees and have a pacemaker. What is your excuse?

There are two reasons why I am so determined to keep myself in good physical shape.

  • I want to enjoy my years, especially the latter years instead of just endure them.
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I want to take good care of God’s dwelling place. 1 Cor 3:16-17 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. What is your physical development target?

3.  Jesus also grew in favor with God, in His relationship with the Father. So that means we need a spiritual development target that causes us to love and obey God more.
Here are three element of a healthy spiritual development plan.

  • Weekly worship; make it a non-negotiable part of your week.
  • Daily time with God; without exception my daily time with God is the most important key to my consistency and spiritual growth throughout the years.
  • Serving God in a consistent and committed way. One of the most important lessons I have learned in life is this, “Impression without expression leads to depression.” Impression—knowing what God wants us to do, without expression, doing it—serving God and others, leads to depression—spiritual depression. I would add, and eventually falling away from God. People who sit and soak without serving will eventually bail out on God all together.

What’s your spiritual growth target?

4. And fourthly Jesus grew in favor with Man; Jesus developed socially. He was connected with others on a regular basis. Even though he took himself away from the crowd to be alone with God he reconnected with people and was socially connected. In fact he devoted three solid years to the development of twelve guys. And much of that time devoted to the deeper development of just three of those men, Peter, James and John.

Jesus’ example indicates that healthy social development involves two key components.

  • Interaction and involvement with a small group of people; a group around the size of Jesus’ group, 12-15.
  • Connection with an even smaller group of two to four people where more accountability can take place.

So, what will it take for you to sit down this week and write out a growth plan or set some targets in these four areas of your life? If you do, you will find yourself in the five percent category. Doesn’t that make you feel special? So get on with it.