Category Archives: Christian Messages
I can still see their faces. They had that look of pity plastered on their faces like witnesses to a pending execution! The subject of their gaze was my family. It was at a Monday morning school assembly in my primary school back in Uganda. I was in 3rd grade and I, along with all the members of family, was publically beaten based on a false accusation trumped up by one of the teachers. He claimed we had vandalized the school because we lived the closest to the premises. We went home broken and humiliated for something we hadn’t done. Naturally, we told our dad. What happened next made me so proud of my dad. He marched into that school red-faced with anger and sought out the teacher who had made the accusation and had beaten us. The scared teacher had to run and lock himself in a classroom while my dad stood outside wanting to serve some justice. While I don’t advocate his methodology I applaud his courage in going to face with the one who would dare harm his family. My father did not take a passive stance when there was a threat to his family. He faced it head-on, taking his role as protector seriously. That, in my eyes, was a display of courage.
Courage is that quality that everyone and especially we men crave! The ability to face danger with seeming disregard for our safety because we are driven by a greater good! A damsel in distress, a nation or people or family that need saving! To do what needs to be done not because it is easy but because it is right. Every one of us has at some point asked the question, “Do I have what it takes? Am I courageous?” In today’s world we need courage more than ever to do the things God has called us to do! There are threats to our families all around. As the world drills into the minds of younger generations that the principles in the Word of God are antiquated and don’t apply today. When sin is not only accepted as normal but is celebrated and encouraged. It’s going to take courage to take God at his word and live as more than fans but disciples of Jesus. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars…they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelations 21:8
The other day I was reading this very scripture. The cowardly will not inherit the kingdom of God! And so that led me to ask the question what does it mean to be courageous for the believer in Christ.
There are several examples in the Bible of courage! Peter, asked to stop preaching under penalty of death, replies, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” Acts 5:29. Elijah, in the Old Testament, challenged the prophets of Baal to a showdown that would require some serious display of Gods power! I chose these two because of the inconsistencies in their “courage.”
Peter’s display of courage is in sharp contrast to his cowardice when he denies knowing Christ! Elijah became so scared for his life after his huge victory that he wanted God to take his life. What happens to cause these men to be bold one moment and chickens the next shows us that courage was a quality given from without and not conjured up from within! By themselves, these were ordinary men, but filled with the Spirit they were lions to be reckoned with! So for the believer:
Courage is a grace bestowed upon the believer through the in filling of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of fulfilling specific missions sanctioned by God!
What this means for me is I don’t have to muster up something from the recesses of my self. Though there may be some natural courage there for some, the source of courage is the Holy Spirit. I just need to depend completely on Christ! Joshua, the man who led the Israelites into the Promised Land epitomizes this in Exodus 33:11b. “Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.” He stayed in the presence of God and this, I believe, was the source of His courage. If I am yielded to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I can join the psalmist in saying, “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.” Psalm 18:21
The Daniel Plan is alive and well at THE PLACE! A lot of people ask what is The Daniel Plan? Well The Daniel Plan is all about Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends. It is plan to grow healthier spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
See, God designed our bodies to be healthy, providing everything we need to thrive and live abundantly. And with the assistance from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick Warren and thousands of people from the congregation at Saddleback Church started a journey to transform their lives. The result: 15,000 people lost over 260,000 pounds in the first year. But the changes in the people’s lives went far beyond the pounds they lost.
The Daniel Plan is far more than a diet plan. It is an appetizing approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle where people are encouraged to get healthier together by optimizing the key five essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends.
This program encourages you to deepen your relationship with God and develop a community of supportive friends who will encourage you to make healthy choices each and every day. The result is gradual changes that transform your life inside and out.
Here at THE PLACE we started a Daniel Plan group called THE PLACE FORCE that meets on Saturdays at 7:30 am at The Place 4 Kids and YES there is a lot of transformation going on! This group is now wrapping up but but we are happy to let you know you have not missed out because we are planning another exciting group for this Fall starting on Saturday September 13th at 7:00 am. Sign up now at the Information Center at THE PLACE and we would love to tell you more about this wonderful and exciting plan! Let’s get healthy together at THE PLACE!
By Shellie Loughry
Most of you know that we live stream our services every Sunday on USTREAM, which also keeps a copy of the videos for the last 3 months or so. Well, we’ve started putting together a higher quality version, which will be featured on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/theplaceaz. Here for your viewing pleasure is our first uploaded sermon video.
This is the message from the second week of our TV Family series at THE PLACE. Now that we have dug the foundation of family, we begin to examine the most important part… LEADERSHIP. And we uncover the harsh reality of leadership that if you want to lead, then you need to follow. In your life, who or what are you following. Allow yourself to be challenged as we dive in and commit to become a follower and call our family to ‘Follow the Follower’!
On Sunday, September 11, THE PLACE chose to pause and remember the event that affected our nation in a major way… September 11th. We took a look back at the victims and heroes of this memorable day and weaved a message about God’s call for all us to be Everyday Heroes today in the world in which we live. Take a moment to remember and to move towards becoming an everyday hero!
This is the final message in our TV Family series at THE PLACE. For this message, we examine how the keys to a healthy family are more like a marathon instead of a sprint. We talk about how steady steps each day will get us closer and closer to the goals that we have of having a strong family that reflects the character and love of Christ.
Pastor Greg from THE PLACE will help us put flesh on the bones of family. In the past three messages, a foundation or structure has been laid. Now, in the first of the final two messages, we will begin to look at the practical application of God’s Word to our families. From plate spinning to mechanics working on used cars, we will look at practical life examples that illuminate the wonderful truths about family found in the word of God
THE PLACE‘s campus pastor, Jeremy Courliss, opens up God’s Word and takes a look at our reaction to life and family when it seems like everything is blowing up. You will enjoy his message as he goes through the steps of rebuilding after a natural disaster and how we can apply those same steps to our families.
Join THE PLACE as we begin a brand new series all around the subject of FAMILY. We will be looking at TV FAMILY and for our first message, we will dig all the way to the foundation of what our family is built upon. From the little town of Mayberry and an encounter with Barney Fife to a man covered from head to toe with open sores, we will journey on this subject of foundation together.
There is a common discussion right now that is centered around the idea that the existence of evil in the world negates the goodness of God. In other words, if God is all powerful and strong, how and WHY does He allow evil to happen.
Why do children starve while dictators feast?
Why do people die from terrible illnesses?
Why do tragedies visit every town and city around the globe?
Why… (fill in the blank)?
The question is ancient and is reignited every evening as the newscasters spew every crime and injustice committed on earth into our living rooms each night. So, we wrestle and eventually the question overwhelms us and we begin to ask, “Can God really be good?”
The answer? Hmmmm. Let’s think for a minute…
Now, I ask you a question. In the midst of pain and tragedy and injustice… is God still good?
I vote YES!