Choose to Go into Your World and Serve

God’s answer for the people near you, but far from Him, is you.

God just doesn’t use us, He partners with us. The pressure of God isn’t all on us, His spirit is with us. We join Him! It’s our privilege of who we are in Christ.

We join God in reaching those around us. God clarifies this mission to us in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20:

“And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.”



Trip & Andrea’s Marriage Restoration Story

On the verge of divorce, Trip & Andrea decided to try out church at 12Stone’s Buford Campus. Once they visited, they knew they never wanted to leave! Their hearts began to change and knew that their marriage is worth saving.

After meeting with a pastor, they joined a ReEngage Marriage group and today have a great restoration story!

This year (2018), a permanent location is being constructed for the Buford Campus. 12Stone is excited as we know this opens up opportunities for more stories of impact and redemption for the Buford community.

Are We More Like Judas or Jesus?

Judas, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, was broken in his spirit. According to Psalm 109:17, he found no pleasure in blessing. He was all about himself!

By contrast Jesus was and is always about blessing others. We are more like Jesus when we bless others, but we are more like Judas when we only serve ourselves.

To live a life of blessing others, we need to ask ourselves daily: How can I bless someone today?

We’re Here to Train You to Bless Others

PK uses an illustration of visiting a restaurant contrasted to visiting a church.

When we go to a restaurant, our expectation is to be served. The restaurant’s purpose is to serve the customer, not to turn the customer into a waiter.

In contrast, the church’s purpose is to make us “waiters” and not keep us as “customers.” The church is first here to help people come to Christ, then to help us have a spirit of blessing others.

We weren’t meant to a reservoir of God’s blessing, but a river of God’s blessing to others. God blesses us so we can bless others.

God is a Blessing God

It is in God’s nature to be a blessing God, to pour out his favor on us.

Acts 3:25-26 gives us an example of how God blesses us:

“And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring peoples on earth will be blessed.’ He sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked way.”

One of the ways God blesses us is by turning us away from worldly things and bringing us back into relationship with Him. We can also bless others in this way by sharing our faith with them.


PK’s Funhouse Dream

Kevin describes a vision God gave him of a funhouse with a long swirling slide at the end. The funhouse is a representation of life on earth for the unbeliever which ends with the slide going towards eternity in hell.

God used this vision to put a purpose for Kevin’s life: to rescue people. He encourages us to live life like we are at the top of the slide rescuing people.

Join Jesus To Live Bigger

Rescued – Transformed – Sent (Pattern)
“Father, as you sent me into the world, I have sent them (my disciples) into the world.” John 17:18 (LiveSent)

2 Challenges:

1) Live for a Bigger Why! (Join Jesus)

  • “Because of the Rescuing hand of Jesus, we pursue personal transformation, one life at a time.”

2) Live for a Bigger What! (Join Jesus)

  • Transformed people bless, train & send.
  • We invite you into God’s blessing, to bless others!
  • God is a blessing God, so we are a blessing people.

Interview with Hasani Pettiford

Kevin interviews Hasani Pettiford, founder of Couples Academy, on how to navigate conflict within marriage. Hasani gives us key techniques that we can focus on in marriage to solve conflict:

  • Communicate effectively in what you say, how you say it, and your body language
  • Make the Bible the final authority
  • Give up the need to have to be right


Guiding a Family to Solve Conflict

We can resolve conflict in family by following the guidelines God models for us:

  • There is righteousness: Discuss and determine what is right, not who is right.
  • There is unrighteousness: Acknowledge what is wrong.
  • Someone has to repent: Apologize and return to what is righteous.
  • Someone has to forgive: Absorb the loss and restore the relationship.

When we let the peace of God reign, there will still be conflict, but now we have way to solve it.

Solving Conflict Within Marriage

In Ephesians 5:21-28, Paul gives a framework for marriage to work. This structure helps two people cooperate because Christ is ruling their life!

First they must let God’s peace rule in our hearts, then they are able to have a mutual respect and love for each other. Through this a married couple gains a better way of resolving conflict in marriage.

Solving Conflict Within Ourselves

Often, we over react to problems in life because we already have pressure within ourselves.

In this illustration, PK uses beachballs floating in water to show that a full beachball is much more difficult to keep down than a deflated beachball.

Here’s the point. In Colossians 3:8, Paul advises that we rid ourselves of anger, rage, etc.. (pressure) and surrender ourselves completely to Jesus. If Jesus rules us from the inside out, he removes the pressure within and any pressure we may bring into our marriages and families.


Solve Conflict

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Solve Conflict:

  1. Conflict Within
  2. Conflict In Marriage
  3. Conflict in Family
    • There is righteousness (right).
    • There is unrighteousness (wrong).
    • Someone has to repent (sorry & return to righteous).
    • Someone has to forgive (absorb loss & restore relationship).

Homework: As a couple or family, agree to solve conflict by God’s ABCD’s. Solve conflict when it comes, solve it direct, and honest. Repent and forgive and return to building solid.

Create a “Closed For Business” Sign For Your Family

Work is important, but it’s only one of the important things in life. We need to find a way to be “closed for business” for our families.

This means putting limits to work so you can do family and limits to family so you can do work.

Kevin and Marcia navigated this conflict in time between work and family by setting some rules:

  • Quitting: “closed for business” at certain times of the day.
  • Interruptions: no interruptions at work.
  • Phone: no business calls when at home.

These rules help keep both family and work important. When someone is “on”, they’re fully on. When someone is “off”, they’re fully off.

Solve Calendar

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Solve Calendar: Since Jesus is at the center; new things become sacred (holy set apart). Therefore, we should put the sacred things in our calendar. Otherwise, the ‘busy’ will crowd out the ‘important’.

4 Well Timed Lessons:

  1. Your worldview defines how you view time &use time.
  2. If it’s not in your calendar, it’s not sacred.
  3. Put sacred things in your calendar first.
  4. Create a “closed for business” sign for your family.


Plan Together: Nobody can solve every calendar problem all at once. But you can progressively build a solid future for your family by putting the Sacred (big rocks) in first. Sit down together as a couple and practice putting the Sacred (Big Rocks) in your calendar for next month. Then, live it. Along the way, figure out what pebble size commitments need to be planned. Even plan time to relax & recover. And if you have to shift a Sacred Rock, work it out until it’s back in.

Pray Together: “God our Father. Give us wisdom into our calendar to do what we can do. And do for us what we cannot do as you hold us together. In Jesus Name, Amen”.

Gumption is a Sacred Family Value

Gumption is the character to commit and complete. It’s the essence of self-leadership in requiring something of yourself without excuse.

Everything worthwhile is an uphill battle. Luckily, God has given us the necessary gifts, talents, and abilities to win. We only need to exercise gumption to get the better life God has invited us to.

And when we succeed, we celebrate!

Striving to be Authentic

In our families, we’re never going to be perfect, but we can strive to be authentic.

Being authentic means to have consistency between what we say we value and what we practice.

For example, when we say, “God is our sovereign source of life, and the one on whom we depend,” we need to live it. We can do this by finding our significance and security from God and not in others. When we trust others to fill the void, they will eventually fail. We need to look to God and lean on Him for emotional wholeness.

Valuing Family Togetherness

God designed families to stick together.

In marriage, we die to our single life in order to look forward to being together. This means that time together becomes the default, rather than time apart.

When Kevin and Marcia got married, their single lives had to die. They made “together” a sacred value in their family. Every effort has been made to form their family to be together as a default habit.

Build Sacred

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Build Sacred: Since Jesus is at the center; we set our hearts and minds on things above. New things become Sacred (holy set apart). We “die” to old things we once valued and value new things we once dismissed.

What is sacred in your family?

  • Togetherness
  • God First
  • Authenticity
  • Gumption
  • Bless Others

Homework: Define what is sacred in your family (5 to 7 things).

  • Ideas: Use today’s teaching; use the 10 commandments (Exodus 20); or use the “Value Exercise Cards” to start the conversation
  • Note: Perhaps what becomes “sacred” is distinct at different stages of life; dating, married, with young kids, with teenagers; empty nesters.

How Families Can Withstand Pressure

Two different families may come from the same mold, but we won’t know the difference between the two until pressure is applied; job, finance, emotional, psychological. Once the pressure comes there is no amount of skill or training that can compensate for being hollow – it all falls apart.

If families are built from the inside out, they can sustain pressure from the outside in.

Build Solid

4 things that keep a family together: 

  • Build Solid
  • Build Sacred
  • Solve Calendar
  • Solve Conflict

Build Solid:

  • Build a Christ centered family.
  • Learn to love and be loved.

Family Question: Is this a Christ Centered Solid Decision or a Self-Centered Hollow Decision?

How Many Souls are “Good Enough” for God?

Sometimes we get distracted in the activity of life and get wrapped up in a material world. This causes us to lose sight of the greatest good.

As Christians we should always re-engage our passion. Our true purpose is to continually reach out into the community of spiritually lost people.

God Applauds Doing Good for One Another

It matters that we do good to one another.

When someone blesses a child, it blesses their parents! That’s how God feels with us. When we do good to one another, He (God) feels good.

  • Love one another (John 13:35)
  • Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)
  • Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
  • Build each other up (I Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Pray for each other (James 5:16)
  • Spur one another on toward love & good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)