My message for Living Streams this Sunday is called,“Building a Great Church, Family or Team” from Romans 15.

I was twenty years old when I started following Jesus Christ in 1970. My parents were divorced and my seven younger brothers and sisters were in various stages of rebellion and confusion because of the influence of the 1960’s culture and our family turmoil. As the Lord began to heal and deliver me from evil, I had a strong desire to see our family come to know Christ and be healed as well.

For the past forty years I have felt called to help establish healthy churches and families. There are many similar dynamics in building a healthy family, church or team. Serving one another, forgiving one another and working together in unity are essential in each area. There are also differences that are important to understand. My sermon this Sunday will touch on a few of these areas and hopefully help you serve the Lord by blessing the family of God as well as your own family.

I would like you to prepare your heart for this Sunday as well as Thanksgiving next week by meditating on this blessing from Romans 15:5-6: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

My sermon this Sunday is called “Understanding Spiritual Realities” from Romans 13:8-14. Spiritual realities are truths that apply to all people, whether someone believes in them or not. Some folks derisively say, “That’s good for you if you believe in it, but I don’t.” They assume that God’s law does not apply to them simply because they don’t believe in it. Gravity is a law that applies to everyone whether people believe it or not. Water boils at 212°F and freezes at 32°F whether or not people believe or understand those realities. Spiritual realities are those things which shape our lives whether or not we believe or understand them.

Wednesday night I attended a memorial service for Leo Godzich, a pastor at Phoenix First Assembly and founder of N.A.M.E. (National Association of Marriage Enhancement), an international marriage ministry. Leo, 51, was killed in a traffic accident in Uganda last week. Over 4,000 people gathered to honor Leo. We heard testimonies from his wife, his three daughters and several people whose marriages were saved through his ministry. We cried as Leo’s daughters talked about how much their dad loved them. We laughed as his wife Molly and Tommy Barnett shared stories about Leo’s wild and wonderful life. It is heartbreaking when a man who loves others deeply dies in the prime of his life. Yet as we celebrated Leo’s passion, his wisdom and his legacy, the power of the Lord touched our hearts and inspired us all. His memorial was a wonderful testimony of the reward that comes to those who serve the Lord.

Our desire at Living Streams is to equip you with the grace and truth of Jesus Christ so that your life will also will bring glory to God, and your reward will be great.