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July 2011

July 29, 2011

Life Change Inbox

We continue in our Friday series, Life Change Inbox.  I am sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives through Elevation Church.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified.  None of these letters have been changed in anyway.

I hope Courtney's story will bless you today...

I moved here from Buffalo, New York and I feel like Elevation has changed my life completely. In New York, I was leading a terrible life where I was dependent on weed, alcohol, and sex. I grew up with an alcoholic father and right before I moved here he kicked me out of his house and I was homeless. My mother and myself didn't get along. We used to be a happy family until my parents divorce then everything went bad. My mother had hit me and my father was committing adultery. I went to a Christian private school and after graduating I turned away from God. I led a horrible life until my sister called me and told me to move down here with her. My neighbor brought me to a service and I just balled my eyes out. Elevation was the only thing that saved me. I was numb, I couldn't feel, I let the drugs take over and I couldn't get back. Elevation brought me back. I used to get high everyday, now I'm getting high off of God's love. I gave my life to Jesus during the Easter service and I never want to go back to the way I lived before. I want to thank you Elevation, for giving me hope when no one else gave it to me and I had no reason to even live. You gave me a reason.

I love this church!

Courtney

Courtney sent us this letter back in April.  When we called her this week she told us that although she is working a lot, she is still attending our Uptown campus and currently in a relationship with someone who is helping her stay accountable.  Way to go Courtney!   God has an amazing plan for your future!

July 27, 2011

Abbey and Me

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July 26, 2011

Monday Morning Commentary on Tuesday

We now return to our regularly scheduled program...

Treatment_series
We continued our series, Treatment, this week with a message on addiction.  My husband preached an amazing message.  I truly do not know how he does it every single week.  I particularly love his series after he has been on vacation.  He preaches like a fire has been shut up in his bones.  Last year he preached the series F-Bomb (you can listen to it here, #54-55).

Back to the weekend.  The message was based around Isaiah 44:14-22, the story of a man who builds an idol.  My husband talked about how we all have addictions and we all think other people's addictions are worse than our own.  For instance, you may not smoke but maybe you over eat.  Or maybe you don't over eat but you are controlled by the things you don't eat.  There are, of course, the more obviously destructive addictions like pornography, drugs and alcohol, but there are also some that silently destructive addictions like working too much, spending too much or too much social media.

An addiction, simply put, is anything that has you under its control.  It's caused by idolotry which is any time you take a good thing and make it a god thing.

I love how my husband pointed out the hope in the end of the passage.  Return. 

“Remember these things, Jacob,
   for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
   Israel, I will not forget you.
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
   your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
   for I have redeemed you.”

You can listen to the message at the Elevation Experience this week, then in our archive after that.  Have a great week!

July 25, 2011

6 years already?

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Elijah October 2006 024

 

Summer pics 131

Vacation 08 070

June 043

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Happy Birthday Elijah.  Please stop growing up.

PS. Monday Morning Commentary got bumped to Tuesday due to my baby turning 6 years old today.

July 22, 2011

Life Change Inbox

We continue in our Friday series, Life Change Inbox, where I am sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. 

I hope Bethany's story will bless you today...

Elevation,

After hearing last weekend's sermon on anxiety, God has inspired me to share my story in hopes of both helping myself as well as others that may be dealing with a similar situation. Since I was a young girl, I have had severe anxiety. I have dealt with various episodes throughout my life where it was worse, but in 2009 I hit rock bottom. I became very insecure with my body, and I constantly worried about how others perceived me. I let it get out of control, and in December 2009 I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. My world kept falling apart from that point, and by March 2010 I weighed 75 lbs and almost lost my life. My worry about my body turned into worry that I would not wake up one morning. That fall I began attending Elevation Church, and I had a new hope in Christ. I realized that my value to God was greater than anyone's opinion of me. I prayed constantly, and God pulled me out of my anxious situation. I am back up to a healthy weight, and I am proud to be living today to share my story. I am an example of someone who let worry and anxiety get the best of them -- almost. Attending Elevation was my turning point, and God even opened my eyes to new perspectives after hearing Pastor's sermon last weekend. I realize now that I went through this situation in order to learn from it and hopefully help someone in the future.

Thank you Elevation for all your support. I love you, Church.

Bethany   

 

July 21, 2011

Everyone should experience camp

All this week our Elevation Students have been at summer camp.  This past Tuesday night, my husband went to preach to them and I tagged along.  I had such a wonderful time getting to know some of Elevation's youngest and finest members.

I have such wonderful memories of youth camp.  I remember feeling so close to God when I was there. It was great to experience camp again.  Every adult should worship in a room full of 500 sleep deprived, emotional teenagers who are on fire for God.  Their energy and passion is contagious. 

I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through the generation of young people that He is raising up in the city of Charlotte.  They are going to be, as my husband so eloquently preached, unstoppable.

Crossroads collage

July 20, 2011

My brood

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July 19, 2011

Fashion File... You can be comfy!

I am happy to announce some excellent fashion news... you can be comfortable.  The slouchy, flowy look is in.  Here are a few examples and pointers to pulling off this look.

    Create shape.  You can wear something slouchy with leggings, or try wearing a long cami     that gives shape to your hips.  Also look for tops that have tight cuff around the arm.

    If you are going to wear a neutral color (like the grey top below) add color with your jewelry.

    The maxi skirt is a great way to look great and feel comfortable. 

    And don't forget boyfriend jeans.  Pair them with a great pair of jeweled sandals or espadrilles for a         feminine touch.

Here's a few examples.  Aren't you glad to know you no longer have to wear yoga pants to feel comfortable?

Comfy 1Comfy 3 cropped sweater     Comfy 5 Comfy 4 Comfy 6 cardigan

    


Comfy 7 tank
Comfy 2 skirt
Comfy 8 jeans
Comfy 9 floral

July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Commentary

Treatment_series
We continued our series, Treatment, this weekend.  My husband preached on depression and grief.  It was a difficult topic to tackle and I thought he navigated it really well.

He started off clearing up some misconceptions about depression...

    1.  Sin can cause depression but depression is not necessarily caused by sin.

    2.  Hard circumstances can cause depression but again, the two do not necessarily go hand in hand.

    3.  Only God can heal depression but he can use man made tools to do it.

I loved when he said that the devil's number 1 goal in depression is to get me to doubt the goodness and greatness of God.  God's goodness is big enough to handle my grief.

The passage my husband used was Lamentations 3:1-26.  The first 20 or so verses of this passage are dark words written by a prophet in the depths of despair.  Then Jeremiah takes a hard turn and says this...

Yet this I call to mind
   and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.

What a beautiful picture.  We get a new start each day.  God's love and faithfulness is new every morning.

We ended the worship experience with a performance of this song by Laura Story.  Here is Laura singing it live at a radio station.  I hope this song ministers to you as it did our church. 

 

You can listen to the message at the Elevation Experience all week and in our archives after that.  Have a great Monday!

 

July 15, 2011

Life Change Inbox

We continue in our Friday series, Life Change Inbox, where I am sharing some of the wonderful emails my husband gets, where people share the work God is doing in their lives.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. 

I hope Lisa's story will bless you today...

I can't begin to tell you how much Elevation Church has changed my life.On July 12,2009, I went to the Providence Road Elevation Church sermon which just happened to be the beginning of the cow tipping series. The night before, I went over to my best friend's mom's house in tears. I was in tears over a guy who I'd been having a "friends with benefits" relationship with. Not long after I began to develop real feelings for him but knew it didn't matter because he had a girlfriend. Every time we would sleep together, I felt so low like he took a piece of me every time he left. The night before I went to Elevation, I saw him at a party and he treated me so poorly that it hurt me so bad I couldn't stop crying. My best friend's mom popped me some popcorn and sat me down and told me to tell her everything, so I did. At the end, I told her I felt lost, like I needed guidance. Not like a parent's guidance, but another kind that I didn't know of. My best friend's mom is a Christian and she said "I think we should go to church tomorrow and see what you think." Feeling helpless and a bit desperate for hope and guidance, I said "Ok."

The next day I went to Elevation with nothing but hope, something in me just said there's gotta be something better than this horrible feeling. The next thing I knew this fun music began to play, I was tapping my feet and really excited for some reason. Then pastor Steven began his sermon. It was amazing. He talked about "friends with benefits" and in that moment everything he said about that topic went straight into my heart. It was as if I had never heard it said before. In that moment I knew I was there for a reason. God brought me to this sermon in this church for me to hear so I could accept him into my life. So I could in turn live by his rules and truly enjoy my life and find my true destiny. When I walked out of those doors that day, I was a new person. I wanted boundaries in my life so I could live my life. No longer would I do things to fill a void in my life because, now Christ has taken his rightful place in my heart and life.

The next day, July 13th, I bought a purity ring and made a promise to myself, my future husband and God that I would save myself for marriage. I was so relieved that I didn't have to have sex with every boyfriend I had. I looked back at myself two days ago and wondered how I could I have believed sex was a cultural norm.That day when I walked out of that auditorium, the chain broke and I was free. Free of the pain I felt when I gave my body to a man who didn't care for me. Free from being self-conscious of my body in front of a man. Now I know when I'm in front of my husband, it will be right. I know God has forgiven me for my sins and I really have just begun my life. That Sunday I can say I was saved and I thank God every day for never giving up on me and for leading me back to him.

Thank You Elevation and may God bless each and every one of you.

Lisa