Sunday Preview

January 30, 2014

The beginning of February is one of my favorite times of the year. I enjoy the big golf tournament in Scottsdale, even when I don’t attend it. I like the Super Bowl, even when the Cardinals are not in it. It feels like a holiday without the pressure of having to buy presents or cook a turkey.

We are starting a new sermon series this weekend called, “The Culture of the Kingdom.” In the weeks to come we will contrast the culture of God’s Kingdom with the culture of America. Not all things in our culture are bad. Every culture has certain qualities that enrich the lives of people. Some cultures stress family unity, and others emphasize hospitality. These are biblical values which bless those who practice them.

My sermon this Sunday is called, “The Heart of a Spiritual Champion” from Philippians 3:1-12. I hope you will look up these verses before Sunday and give some extra thought to verse 10: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection…”
I look forward to being with you this Sunday and expect it to be a day of grace and blessing for us all.

Sunday Preview

January 16, 2014

I became a senior pastor when I was 26 years old. I had been following the Lord for six years and had been an associate pastor for three years. I knew that my life and church experience was very limited. I wanted to pattern my life and our church after the practices of the disciples in the New Testament. Ever since, I have found that to be an excellent way to personally grow, as well as to lead a church.

This Sunday my sermon is called, “The First Missionaries” from Acts 13:1-12. The prophets and teachers were worshiping and fasting together in Antioch when the Holy Spirit spoke to them and told them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for their mission work. This was the first stage in the missions movement that has transformed the world.

When people seek and serve the Lord, many great things happen through simple steps of obedience. As we seek the Lord and obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we too can expect great things to happen. Jesus said that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. As we put our faith into action in the days to come, we are going to see God work powerfully to transform the lives of many people.

Our Fast, Pray, Go season is off to a great start. Many of us are already experiencing blessings from the Lord since we started our fasts. I don’t look forward to sacrificing the pleasures of life; however, I have been surprised by the way the Scriptures have been opening up to me, and how well I have been sleeping since starting a Daniel fast this week.

There is still time for you to join us if you are willing to fast and discipline yourself to start this new year. Simply pray and ask the Lord how he wants you to fast, and what you should embrace. Then obey what the Spirit is leading you to do. Let go of what you need to let go of, and embrace the obedience he puts on your heart.

This weekend we welcome Nathan and Christy Bentley, as Nathan will be guest preaching at Living Streams. Three months ago we sent them from Living Streams to Life Point Church in the San Tan Valley. LifePoint is flourishing under Nathan’s preaching, with attendance growing from 300 to over 400 adults since they arrived there.
David and JJ Heller will sing at our Sunday morning services this weekend. They are recording artists with a nationwide ministry who are longtime members of Living Streams.

I will be preaching at the Open Door Church in American Canyon, ordaining a pastor in San Francisco, and celebrating my birthday and our grandson Soren’s birthday this weekend in Marin County.

Sunday Preview

January 2, 2014

I want to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope you had a great Christmas. I was blessed by our Christmas Eve services and enjoyed the fellowship with Living Streams and our family afterwards.

This Sunday we are beginning our annual season of fasting in the month of January. Living Streams has been doing this for several years. The first couple of years we were facing major financial challenges as a congregation. Many of our members were also in very difficult circumstances. The Lord blessed us with financial breakthroughs, and gave breakthroughs to many people who participated in our fasting and prayer meetings as well.

Our pastors feel it will be very helpful for Living Streams to continue seeking the Lord intensely to begin the new year. Each of us faces challenges every year that require wisdom, perseverance and grace from God. We will use these next weeks to help get in shape for whatever ministry and mission the Lord wants us to fulfill.

My sermon this Sunday is called, “Why We Fast, Pray and Go.” It is taken from Isaiah 6:1-10. Isaiah had an incredible vision of the Lord. He was also given a very challenging message to speak. We can gain insights into the grace of God, and our lives, as we look closely at this story.

Be praying and thinking about making a commitment to fast as we enter into this new year. We have a great Lord, and He has given us a great opportunity to serve Him.