Monday Morning Commentary

April 16, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

Waitingroom

Well today is an odd commentary because I was the preacher this weekend.  My husband has been preaching his heart out in Australia this week.  He comes home tonight and my children and I cannot wait to see him.  It has been a long 7 days.

I held down the fort at church this weekend (I said in my sermon that I took over the fort because of what I did to my husband's backstage bathroom.  Picture make-up everywhere and a cloud of hair spray.) as we began our new series, Waiting Room, which is all about waiting on God.

My sermon was about how to turn your waiting room into a work room.  I am going to skip the commentary because it feels too weird.  You can listen to the message (or watch it) at our website, the Elevation Network and our podcast.

I would like to say that I wish every pastor's wife and church staff member could have the opportunity to preach one Sunday.  Every time I do this, it gives me a renewed perspective and sense of empathy for what my husband goes through every single week.  The pressure to prepare a message and basically speak on behalf of God to a group of people is more than you could ever imagine.  And it never really goes away, even if you do it every single week. 

So it is a great thing for me to preach at our church every couple of months even if the only thing that comes of it is a renewed vision to pray for my husband each weekend.  I truly do not know how he delivers such an incredible message every single week!

I hope you have a great Monday.  This week I will finally be sharing some of Abbey's birthday pictures as well as a great giveaway and of course great stories of life change too! 

 

April 02, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend we celebrated Palm Sunday.  I just love the days leading up to Easter.  They are days filled with lots of anticipation and celebration.  This weekend we also had a special treat as Israel Houghton lead us in worship.

My husband's message was based out of Mark 11.  He said told us that Jesus often calls us to do something risky (like taking a donkey before asking) and also something that has never been done (like riding a donkey that has never been ridden).  Here are a few of my favorite lines...

He told us that God is not a genie who carries out my wishes, rather I am a donkey who fulfills His purpose! 

Sometimes in order to be victorious, you have to look ridiculous. 

God doesn't need me to understand fully in order to obey completely

He closed by encouraging us, "When I do as Jesus tells me, it will be as Jesus told me."  He challenged us by asking, what is Jesus asking you to do?

You can listen to the message (or watch it) at our website, the Elevation Network and our podcast.

Have a great Monday!

March 19, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

Greymatter

We wrapped up our series, Grey Matter, this weekend.  My husband closed it off with an excellent sermon based on Daniel in the Lion's Den (found in Daniel 6).  The sermon was called, Constant Courage, Unchangeable Situations and an Unchanging God.

Instead of highlighting the main points, I think today I will just highlight some of my favorite quotes from the message...

Sometimes God puts me in an unchangeable situation so that He can do something undeniable.

If you don't decide to honor God in the light of day, your faith will never hold up in the dark of night.

No one can fix my fate if I have fixed my faith.

Faith is not an act, it's a habit.

Instead of altering God's Word according to my circumstances, I need to alter my circumstances according to God's Word.

I think my favorite part was where my husband pointed out that God does not want me to wait until I get to a dead end crisis and cry out for His help and guidance.  He wants me to seek Him daily and let Him guide me each step of the way.  So practical!

I hope you will take the time to listen to it and let God speak to you.  You can listen(or watch) at our website, the Elevation Network and our podcast.

Have a great Monday!

March 12, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

Greymatter


This weekend we continued our series, Grey Matter (a series about the complicated issues we face in life).  My husband preached a great message on dumb dichotomies.  The message was called, He's big enough for both.

He started out with a definition of dichotomy: a division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups.

He told us that there are some divine dichotomies in scripture...
    -worshipping one God or many gods (1 Kings 18:21)
    -serving God or money (Matt 6:24)
    -the spirit and the flesh (Gal 5:16)

The rest of his message he went on to explain, Sometimes, God draws a line, other times we draw a line when God is big enough for both.

Here are some dumb dichotomies we create that God never intended us to make...
    -Grace AND Truth (Jn 1:14)
    -Make plans OR Trust God (Prov16:9)
    -God's Sovereignty OR Man's Free Will (Eph 2:10)
    -Honor God OR Honor People (Rom12:10)
    -GIve money away OR Enjoy God's blessings (Prov 3:9)

What a great message!  It is so encouraging to know that God is big enough for both!  You can listen to the message today at our website, the Elevation Network and our podcast.

Have a great Monday!

PS. Birthday party pictures tomorrow!    

March 05, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

Greymatter
What an amazing message my husband gave us this weekend.  I am really loving this series.  This weekend he preached from Matthew chapters 3-4 (the baptism and temptation of Christ).

My husband said that we often try to make the things that are black and white, grey (because we don't want to obey God) and we want to take the grey (situations where we are seeking God's will) and try to make them black and white (by asking God to gie us a direct answer to our specific situation.  My husband said, "When you don't know what to do, go back to what God has said."  How can God speak to me about the mysterious when I won't obey what is clear.

I love this point.  I think so often I spend my time worrying about something unclear and not nearly enough time reading God's word and knowing His word.  Obey what you know to do and let the grey parts of life work themselves out. 

My husband also pointed out that one of the main temptations of Christ was his identity with His Father.  He encouraged us that when we know whose we are, we know what to do.  He put it this way, "You will always have doubts about what to do but you never have to doubt who you are."

The last thing I wrote in my notebook was this... "If you'll do what you know, maybe you'll know what to do."

Great words.  You should go and listen.  You can go to our website, the Elevation Network and our podcast.

Have a great Monday!

February 27, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

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This weekend we kicked off our newest series, Grey Matter.  It is a series about knowing and doing God's will when the direct answers are unclear.

The main point of this week's message is that the Bible is designed to lead me closer to the One who wants to guide me.  God wants me to stop asking for guidance and allow Him to be my guide.  The goal is not so that I will have clarity in all my situations, it is so that I will TRUST Him in every situation.

Grey areas are not a problem, they are an opportunity.  An opportunity to trust.  An opportunity to know God better.  An opportunity to focus on what we already know we are to do but aren't doing it yet.

When I look at God's will as a yes or no answer, I cut my relationship with God out of the equation.  The message really spoke to me.  I so often forget that the process is the point.  The process of seeking God and knowing Him is the goal.  I loved when my husband said, "The Bible is not an answer book, it is a worship guide."

Psalm 48:14 says, "This God, He is our God.  He will be our guide even until the end."

You can watch or listen to the message at the Elevation Network, in our archive or on our podcast.

February 21, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary on Tuesday

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My name is Heather Bishop, and my husband is John Bishop- the Matthews Campus Pastor at Elevation Church. Holly asked me to guest blog for her today because this past weekend, Pastor Steven asked my husband to wrap up our series, Living A Better Story, with a message about the Turning Point. This was such a huge honor for my husband.


Pastor Steven taught us throughout this series that the elements that make a great story also make a great life. My husband preached about the element of the turning points in our lives, those moments when we are headed in one direction and then everything changes and we find ourselves heading in a completely different direction. John challenged our church with this question: How does God want to use you to be a turning point for someone else? This might be in a seemingly small way: like speaking a word of encouragement to someone, or challenging a friend who is struggling with sin by speaking the truth in love.


OR… God may want to use you in a major way to literally change the course of someone’s life- it could be the matter of life and death.


That was the case recently for John and I. It was literally a matter of life or death for our friend, Fasha. And God chose to use us to be a turning point in her life. I really don’t want to spoil the story.  It’s one of the most powerful stories our church has ever experienced. It’s worth the 10 minutes it will take you to watch it! You can see Fasha’s testimony on Pastor Steven’s blog: click here.


After sharing the story about Fasha with our church, John challenged us to not miss the opportunity to be used by God. To take the step of faith- and be a turning point for someone else.

This has been such a powerful series in the life of our church.  You can watch the message (along with the whole series) at the Elevation Network, in our archive and also on our podcast.

February 13, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

Betterstory
This weekend we continued in our series, Living a Better Story and if you have not heard any of these messages, you are missing out.  This series has been so helpful for me and so many others.

My husband opened up the message in Jeremiah 1:5,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
   before you were born I set you apart;
   I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

He said something (something that was not necessarily new, or all that profound, that is until I took it to heart) that I hope will stick with me for a long time... "God chose me before I ever did anything wrong AND before I did anything right!"

If you really take this to heart, it will change your life.  I can cancel the audition because God has designed me for my part, and I never really had to try out.  I realize that I can stop auditioning for my friends, my family, my church members (hello PWs), my critics, and even my children because God custom designed me for the part He wanted me to play.

This message was so powerful.  You can listen to the message at the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.  You can also download our Elevation iPhone app and have the messages in your phone each week too.  Have a great Monday!

February 06, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary (with a winner of last week's give away)

Betterstory
What a great series this has been!  My husband preached the 2nd week of Living a Better Story and I am loving these messages. 

The sermon this weekend came from Numbers 13-14.  The essence of the message was that the story that I live is largely determined by the message I believe.  The Israelites believed the wrong message and if cost them 40 years in the dessert.

My husband taught us that the voices in our lives largely determine the choices we make.  I loved the illustration he told about Elijah playing with our DVDs and scratching them.  He then told us that if we let our story get in the hands of the wrong person, it can get stuck on one scene. 

Our story stops the moment we quit believing that God is who He says He is and that God can do what He says.

Last week he taught us that we are not the main character of our story, God is.  This week he told us that we are not only the main character we are also not the director.  I like how he put it... We are not the director, we are the reflector.

You can watch the message at the Elevation Network and in our archive.   I hope you have a wonderful day!

And, congratulations Kim Sullivan.  We will be contacting and will send you the book this week!

January 30, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary

Screen shot 2012-01-29 at 9.35.14 PM

I have the privilege of guest blogging for Holly today! I am Kelly Hubatka, wife of Creative & Uptown Campus Pastor, Larry Hubatka. Today we kicked off our new series, Living A Better Story-a series inspired by Donald Miller's book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Pastor Steven is challenging us to live a story worth telling. He said that the elements that make a good story are the same elements that make a good life. This is so true! The definition of "story" that anchors the whole series is this: A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it. The Bible is the ultimate story, God's story, with Jesus as the hero.

The main passage for this message was Acts 20: 17-24. Pastor Steven said we could sum up Paul's story with this verse: "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace." I love this example, as Paul was so focused on Jesus and the calling God had placed on his life, that even his own life didn't matter to him. We could very easily say that this was Paul's story in a sentence. We are encouraging everyone who is engaging with this series to write their story in a sentence-go to mybetterstory.com and write yours!

Pastor Steven shared 4 reasons our stories struggle and become stories that aren't worth telling: 

1. We cast the wrong main character. Jesus should be the main character in your story, not you! He said, "If you're story doesn't revolve around God's glory, it's not worth telling!" What a great reminder.

2. We are working off the wrong screenplay. We often don't live out our lives with the last scene in mind-which ultimately, for us, ends with worshipping at the throne of God, forever and ever! 

3. What we want isn't worth enough. When our life goal is to accumulate material things, we're underestimating all that God could do with our lives.

4. We try to skip the scenes that make it matter. We all want to avoid conflict and painful times, but those are often the most refining times in our stories.

I think this is the perfect series to follow Code Orange Revival. The revival set the stage for what God wants to do in our lives this year, and now it is time for us to actually do something about it and go live a better story. I loved this message as I am challenged to think through the story that I am living. I hope you will take the time to listen to it this week! You can catch it on the the archive later today, as well as on the Elevation Network at 12pm, 4pm, 8pm each day.