Carry Your Own Load to Love Others

It’s an expression of love when we carry our own load. This means when we have a responsibility to do something, people can count on us to get it done.

When we carry our own load and live up to our responsibilities, it creates maturity, stability, and a healthy environment in which the people around us can thrive.

Faith Seeks God Earnestly

It’s not enough for us to live off someone else’s faith. We need to seek God earnestly ourselves so that we can have our own experiences with God and grow our faith.

When we seek God, we will see God – and that will compel us to seek God further. This practice helps us to solidify faith as the center of our lives.

Faith Sees God Early

Just like Joshua in the Bible, we can choose to see an opportunity for faith instead of falling victim to fear.

The faith of seeing God early in the midst of trouble is a mindset and practice we can develop. Then, when the rest of the world only sees problems, we can recall God’s promises.

God Asks Us to Join the Fight

Pastor Kevin shares the Bible story of Gideon’s against-the-odds battle with the Midianites, and what he loves most about the story – that God didn’t leave Gideon on his own, and God also didn’t remove the requirement for Gideon to fight.

We should all be confident that what God invites us to do with Him, He will do with us. Even when we’re afraid, feel defeated, and are exhausted, God will never abandon us.

God Grants Trampled Ground

Pastor Kevin interviews Worship Leader Chris Morgan as he shares the story of his wife’s journey through a painful, debilitating illness, and how God spoke uniquely to Chris while on a prayer trail about “praying trampled ground.” His wife, Mary Anne, was eventually healed, and his prayer life changed forever.

Heather’s Prayer for Her Daughter

Pastor Heather Semple, from Red Cedar Community Church in Wisconsin and a friend of Pastor Kevin, shares her story of a very personal affirmation from God through an unexpected prayer request for her daughter. In the midst of what she believed to be a big spiritual risk for her congregation, her obedience and this “surprise” prayer moment left Pastor Heather feeling closer to God than ever.

Today, she believes the more she lives like God’s daughter, the more she experiences His power in her parenting and in her pastoring.

How Do I Know an Answer I Get Is from God?

When we’re sure God answered a prayer, we want to shout it from the rooftops, and thank God over and over! But when we aren’t sure the answer was from God, we have a very different experience – we don’t thank God, we don’t get encouraged in prayer, and we don’t understand the value of the cycle of prayer.

Remember, the God of the universe has the supreme power to answer our prayers in unexpected, surprising ways. Trust His sovereignty.

How Can We Help Kids See Answers to Prayer?

As we pray with our kids and they’re getting older, we transition from mere thankfulness to the concept of being cooperative with God.

Think of it this way: the first half of things we ask of God can be answered by gifts He’s already given us – a body, a mind, the earth, the capacity to work, etc. The second half is God doing things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. We cooperate with God to answer prayers; we both do our part.

When I Feel Like God’s Not Hearing Me, Should I Keep Praying?

There are times we casually ask God for something, and we’re not even aware of what will be involved in how God answers that prayer. For example, if we ask God for wisdom, we should be actively working to gain it.

How? Our focus should change from a material-centered lifestyle to a spiritually-centered intensity. Combining the fervency and persistent nature of our prayers, maturing, and fasting will all develop our spiritual life and help us gain wisdom – and we can’t rush that process.

How Do You Balance Praying in Faith with Releasing It to God?

Our prayers should be based on the understanding that God, our Father, has complete and sovereign control. The question is not whether He has our situation in control – it’s whether we trust Him.

The things we can do (like pray), we have to do. The things we can’t do are up to God. And God grants us peace in the meantime. So take heart: We have no idea how many prayers God is answering that we can’t even see yet.

How Important Is It to Have Relationships for Prayer?

The Bible tells us “to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.” There’s a practical reason for this: we tend to distance ourselves from God at either end of these extremes. In good times, we can grow arrogant. In bad times, we can become desperate. God wants us to be in community with other believers so we can have accountability and support throughout all the stages of our lives.

What if You Pray for Something that Isn’t Healthy?

If what we’re praying for is not consistent with the word of God, then whatever we’ve gained is not from God. When we violate the word and the wisdom of God, what we get on the other side is not the will of God. God will not answer our prayer in an unhealthy way that goes against what He teaches us in the Bible.

What’s Better Than Forgiveness From Sin?

In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says, “Lead us not into temptation.” Temptation, in this instance, means trials that would lead us to fall prey to Satan’s schemes and cause us to sin.

We should pray daily so that God would help us not to become so undone by our challenges that we would believe the lies of the enemy.

How Pastor Kevin Forgave His Dad

Pastor Kevin shares how he managed to forgive his father, from whom he’s been estranged since age 17. He discusses the three words that helped him process the loss: bitterness, forgiveness, and sadness. The forgiveness removed the bitterness, but it did not remove the sadness of what could have been.

Lead Like a Man, Pray Like a Boy

There is so much in our lives and in our world that we can’t control. Political issues, economic changes, relational problems – many things plague us. At work and in our families, when we’re expected to lead, we should lead with strength and confidence. But when we pray to God, our protector, provider, and deliverer, we should humbly approach Him like a child.

Prayer Is Not for God, It’s for You

Why should we pray if God already knows what we need? Theologian John Calvin offers an insightful explanation. In short, prayer is not for God, it’s for us. God knows what we need, and He’s faithful to provide it. But when we pray, we exercise our faith, release anxiety, and are reminded of who God is.

When we don’t pray, we’re at risk of believing everything we need falls upon us to provide. Remember, it’s not our own efforts and abilities that afford us what we need. It’s always God who does the blessing.

A Father’s Prayers

Matt and Lindsay describe the story of how their daughter started having seizures at a young age, and how they still handle that today. They consistently watch over and pray for their daughter, and know that God is also watching with them.

For Matt and Lindsay, following Christ is very real for them. They don’t know how they would’ve made it this incredibly difficult journey, but God has been alongside them and continues to be.

 

How Will You Run the Bases of Life?

As Pastor Kevin explains, we live in a world in which most people run the bases of life backwards. Sadly, many people wait until the end of their lives to acknowledge their Creator and connect with God.

It’s a great discovery to eventually come to God; it’s a better life to start with God.

Growth Starts with Connecting with God

Using Pastor Kevin’s baseball analogy, God’s pattern for our lives starts at home plate. This means our spiritual growth starts with us connecting with God, our Creator.

We discover that God created for us for a reason, and He will give us the power to accomplish our life’s purpose.

Life begins to make sense when we understand why God created us and what we’re here to do.

Learning to Value Others

When things are going very well, it’s easy to slip into self-importance. We start to believe we’re the very reason the business or marriage is so extraordinary. But things don’t typically grow and prosper forever. Difficulty usually sets in.

When God has us in a season of humility and things aren’t going so well, perhaps He’s teaching us to value others.

Win Dependence

Sometimes as we honor God and go through trials in life, we wonder what God could possibly be doing. Life gets difficult and our situation gets worse – and we wonder, “Where is God?”

Perhaps in these times, God is teaching us to “win dependence.” Children move from dependent to independent as they grow, but as Christians, the opposite should happen in our relationship with God. As we grow spiritually, we move from self-reliant to God-reliant.

Home Run Life

4 questions that can transform your life:

1) What makes for a Home Run Life Dream?

  • Success
  • Someone
  • Self Respect
  • Significance

2) What can we learn from Joseph’s Life Dream? (Genesis 37-50)

  • Win Dependence
  • Win Within
  • Win With Others
  • Win Results

3) What is the pattern? (Gods Game Plan for Life & Leadership – Romans 12)

  • Home Plate – Connect
  • 1st Base – Character
  • 2nd Base – Community
  • 3rd Base – Competence

4) How do you run the bases of life? (How will you?)

Our Forgiveness is Bought by Jesus’ Endurance

Our forgiveness was bought by Jesus’ endurance and sacrifice. Jesus had to endure the cross (the B-Zone) for our forgiveness. Now he sits at the right hand of the throne of God (the C-Zone).

Following God comes by our endurance and surrender. We will hit the B-Zone when we choose to follow God. We will get weary and lose heart. Jesus would encourage us to not quit on God because He has not quit on us!