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What do you do when things out of your control mess up your plans? Well, such was the case on Sunday when a snow storm came through the early Sunday morning hours right into church time. What was our recourse? It was to have everyone stay safe and not brave the 5+ inches of snow. Family time and times of personal worship was on the menu.
Well, for us, the snow is nothing more than a temporary nuisance. But in life, there really are curves. Things that are out of our control that suddenly dominate our lives and mess up our plans. That is why it is so important for each of us to lift up each other in prayer. There is power in prayer and God is in the "power" business, strengthening us to face these challenges. Where should we look when the unplanned happens? Heb 12:2..."We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." Yes, there is a better day coming and we can live for the glory of God by reaching out to others to share his love and free gift of salvation.
For the Micro-Church families, we will be back on track next week. My encouragement for you is to not let the cares of this life derail you from the peace and path God has for you. Trust him. You are not forgotten. He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life no matter the past or how old.
I pray God's richest blessings on you and that you are filled with the Joy of the Holy Ghost - which gives you strength and health. Be blessed. I love you all. I hope to see you all next week at the Micro-Church!
Worship, Word, Fellowship, Food? Count me in!
Wow! Acts 13 is an amazing chapter with so many practical insights. First we find that Prophets and Teachers were playing an important role in the church at Antioch. Now, for us, reading 1 Corinthians 12, we can recognize the importance of Apostles, Prophets, Teachers and more. But then, this was fresh revelation as the church is literally being formed before their eyes under the direction of the Holy Spirit. What did they do to make then attuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit? If you said Fasting and Prayer you'd be right! … So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. As was said to Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:6… Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord. It’s God’s power on display when they meet the Proconsul and evil rears its head. As was shared in our group, Elymas the Sorcerer was made blind so the Proconsul could see – and see he did. Signs and Wonders confirmed the stamp of God on Saul and Barnabas and he became a believer.
As they continue, their ministries, two interesting things happen. 1) Saul starts using his Roman name: Paul 2) Barnabas was the one who took Saul under his wings in Jerusalem and then in Antioch. Now, Paul becomes the lead and Barnabas plays a supporting role. Are these insignificant? I don’t think so. Saul was a Pharisee of the strictest sect. Even though both Saul and Barnabas were members of the Jewish Community, these credentials help him have favor and opportunity to participate actively in the Synagogue – speaking openly about Jesus. Paul was also a Roman Citizen. This gave him credentials with the Gentiles and special legal rights in Roman law. Both would prove to be invaluable in his missionary journeys.
Lastly, it is almost a footnote that a young John Mark went with them as their Assistant. However, after sailing from Cyprus, John Mark left them for Jerusalem. There Mark travels with Peter as his translator and later writes the Gospel According to Mark – reckoned to be the earliest Gospel to be written. Why is this interesting? In just two more chapters (Acts 15:36 – 41) his leaving Paul becomes a contentious event so intense that it literally separates Paul and Barnabas from ministering together. Paul selects Silas. Barnabas selects Mark. Then they sail their separate ways. Once again, the devil tries to divide and conquer. However, God has other things in mind and each group (Paul and Barnabas) went on to fulfill different and unique things. So, instead of neutralizing, he doubled the effort! You go, God!
There are so many more things that could be said but I’ll leave it up to you to come to the Micro-Churches to find out what God is doing and the plan he has for your life.
I also want to give a shout out to the wonderful series going on at our Shakopee Micro Church Family with Roger and Juli Bohlsen. They are studying The Meal that Heals from Perry Stone - a video series that will transform your thinking and revolutionize your relationship with God. The reports from Sunday were amazing and are best experienced first-hand. “Experience healing in your heart and body by remembering the Lord and His sacrifice daily.”
These are only samples of the great teaching you can get at the Micro-Churches. God is doing so many great things at the Micro-Churches that space won’t allow us to share. If you haven’t been to a Micro-Church Family yet, maybe this is your week? MCF Locations and time can be found at https://rezlife.org/ministries/micro-church-families and you are welcome at any of them.
That’s it for now. Love you all and pray God’s richest blessings on each of you.
Does God speak to us through events? When things go from bad to worse does it mean that it is not God’s will? The answer… maybe. Maybe not. How’s that? Philippians doesn’t encourage us to let the events of life guide our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. No, it is the peace of God that comes from prayer and supplication complete with thanksgiving that guides us. That’s how the church was in Acts 12. They could have and maybe did question if they were following God’s will since things went from murder and persecution by Religious Jews, escalating to King Herod finding acceptance by killing the Apostle James, jailing and planning to the same to Peter. Yes, things are getting red-hot for the Christians. Are they in God’s will? YES. God often times uses the very thing the enemy sends for our destruction to be our victory and working God’s plan. Case in point…
- The devil tried to thwart the plan of salvation by slaughtering the boys in Bethlehem in hope of killing the baby Messiah. God protected baby Jesus and his family and the earth is blessed. Oops.
- The devil tried to thwart the plan of salvation by crucifying Jesus. The death and resurrection of Jesus was the very thing God used to win redemption for us and bring us into relationship with him. Oops.
- The devil tried to stamp out the newly birthed church by stoning righteous Steven and persecuting the church. That very act led to the Gospel going to all areas of the earth. Oops.
- The devil tried to get a grip on the rapidly growing church by sending Saul to find and drag back in chains Christians to face prosecution by the Jews. In Saul looking for Christians, he found Christ. Saul now becomes the leading apologist and most prominent Apostle to the Gentiles and wrote most of our New Testament. Oops.
- The devil tried to stamp out the maturing church by King Agrippa murdering the Apostle James and intending to do the same to Peter. Prayer from the church showed that God’s hand was more powerful than Herod and Peter was set free by an angel to preach. The church grew and lives were changed. Oops.
There’s more as it goes on – but every step of the way God used the attacks of the enemy to win victory for the early church and subsequently for us. It reminds me of Romans 8:28 where Paul, having witnessed God’s mighty hand in so many ways, recognizes that all things work together for good to those who love God and are the Called according to His purpose! Amen. To close the loop – don’t look for circumstances to dictate God’s will. Rather seek to hear his voice in the Word, prayer, visions, dreams and seek the peace of God – the still, small voice of God whispering in your ear – and then act with confidence and boldness.
Well, so many great lessons about the power of prayer and God’s mighty hand. But there’s more! Shakopee Micro Church Family with Roger and Juli Bohlsen are studying The Meal that Heals from Perry Stone. It is a video DVD series consisting of 6 lessons that will transform your thinking and revolutionize your relationship with God. From the synopsis of the book comes the following:
Synopsis: Early church history reveals that communion was often practiced daily in homes, and administered to and by individuals. Yet, somehow this practice was lost and segregated exclusively into corporate worship. In The Meal that Heals, Perry Stone explains the Jewish Passover and how Christ transformed this ancient ritual with his death on the cross. Experience healing in your heart and body by remembering the Lord and His sacrifice daily.
The early church meeting sounds a lot like today’s Micro-Churches! Hmmmmm.
This is just a sample of the great teaching you can get at the Micro-Church. God is doing so many great things at the Micro-Churches that space won’t allow us to share. If you haven’t been to a Micro-Church Family yet, maybe this is your week? MCF Locations and time can be found at https://rezlife.org/ministries/micro-church-families and you are welcome at any of them.
That’s it for now. Love you all and pray God’s richest blessings on each of you.
Ever done something God told you to do and saw God move only to come home and face criticism?
Welcome to this week's teaching... Acts 11. Peter knew it was wrong and opposed it 3 times. Everything within him didn’t want to do it – but God warned him not to call what he has made clean as unclean. What was going on? God was making Peter aware of his mighty hand moving in ways Peter did not understand. His whole paradigm of God was centered around the Jews – the keepers of the law – the chosen ones - the people of the Messiah. Only problems, God said his salvation was for ALL nations and God was moving. After the vision, Peter obeyed God and as a result, the Holy Spirit was poured out on a Roman Centurion’s household. Why a Roman Centurion? Maybe it was the power, influence with many people. It most certainly involved his love for God and care for the poor. Cornelius and his household were saved and the Holy Spirit poured out on them because Peter obeyed the word of the Lord. What a glorious day. Peter and those who accompanied him returned home rejoicing.
That’s awesome! But, he gets home and immediately is confronted by friends. How could you be with those “gentiles”? You even ate with them!! What a horrible confrontation after a mountain-top experience. Immediate attack. How did Peter react? He didn’t try to explain in the natural about how they asked nicely or somehow tricked him. Instead, he simply recounted what God did and said to him and what happened as a result. He explained to them how God's Spirit was poured out on the people – yes, including the hated Romans. His detractors finally understood God’s great love for all men and rejoiced with him.
The conclusion of the story? Barnabas and Saul (soon to be named Paul) end up in Antioch for a year preaching, teaching and discipling the new believers seeing great numbers of Gentiles saved. God supplies the need and sends those to strengthen.
Food for thought: We serve an awesome God who knows all about us, what we're going through and is working on our behalf. In fact, he’s working in ways we never anticipated. Sometimes to our impediment, our experiences shape what we think God can and will do when in fact he’s the one in charge. He’s not limited by our thinking and doesn’t need our permission to move. Maybe God is putting someone in your path for you to share the love of God with? Don’t limit him. Speak up. You may be the catalyst to a great move of God for someone today.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Love you all, Pastor Lee
How much does God love the world? If you said “…this much… with arms open wide”, you’d be right. In Acts 10, Peter comes to a realization that, while he was focused on the Jews, God was doing something special among the Gentiles as well. In fact, that very-unique Holy Spirit outpouring that happened on the day of Pentecost was about to be also poured out on Cornelius – a Gentile, a Roman Centurion – and his entire household and friends. Yes, while Peter had his preconceived notion about how God moves and with whom, God was already moving among those who had not heard the good news and so began to break down Peter’s paradigm of God’s love and blessing for the whole earth. If you are unfamiliar with the account, read it in Acts chapter 10. It brings to mind our perceptions about who God is and how he moves. Sometimes we, as churches and believers, hold the opinion that God moves in specific ways and with specific groups of people. We say things like.. that’s not God or God can’t save them. However, we now know that the fastest growing church in the world is in a fundamentalist Islamic state rife with severe persecution of believers – Iran. Jesus has been appearing to many Muslim-born people in visions and dreams extending his forgiveness and inviting them to experience his love. This, oftentimes without preaching. Does that mean we don’t need to evangelize? We absolutely DO need to share with those God puts in our path. My point is that, we shouldn’t limit God to doing and working only in ways that we understand. The individual who may be the most unseemly sinner, may be the very one God is already speaking to, and you have the chance to lead them to the Lord. What an awesome opportunity when we open our ears and eyes to hear and see the world the way God does. We too can be like Peter and have our worldview shattered so that we can reach people for him. God’s love really is “…this much… with arms open wide” (John 3:16).
Well, in addition to the Word, Sunday we had great times of worship, fellowship and prayer for one another. The worship is an important element and is where his and our hearts connect. The more time we spend there, the more like him we become. Generally speaking, true worship bypasses the logical barriers that can keep us from having a “Rhema” or “Revelation” moment and penetrates straight to the heart where our emotions and will are active and can be molded into his image. If you have not experienced this kind of service yet, we invite you to join us at one of the Micro-Church Families (MCF) in January.
Speaking of MCF, remember, this coming Sunday January 5, there will be no MCF meetings (1st Sunday of the month). Instead, we will have our All Church Celebration at 4PM at Church on the Hill, 950 Trumble Street, Chaska, MN 55318 with Pastors Bill and Sharon Predovich ministering. Come prepared to catch up with the Pastors, see friends and loved ones, welcome the new year, have a great time of worship, word, fellowship and birthday cake!
Wednesday is January 1, 2020 and I know God has an amazing year in store for Resurrection Life Church, Church on the Hill and you! Have a safe and fun time bringing in the new year and do it with a prayerful heart – knowing that this nation needs God more than ever. Pray for our families, churches, state, nation and nations of the earth that in 2020, there will be an outpouring like the days of the early church – complete with signs and wonders.
A few notable updates:
- No youth on Wednesday January 1 (resumes Wednesday January 8 at Rez Life Waconia)
- See the https://rezlife.org/events calendar for this coming weekend youth overnight and youth hosted church service at Rez Life Belle Plaine.
- An hour of Worship the first Tuesday of each month from 7PM – 8PM will start in February – open to all – at Rez Life Chanhassen.
- Listings of MCF locations, times and amenities (i.e. childcare) can be found at https://rezlife.org/ministries/micro-church-families and https://rezlife.org/events.
- Pastoral Care and Counseling requests can be made at https://rezlife.org/ministries/pastoral-care.
- Online giving is also available for tithes, offerings, missions, special events at https://rezlife.org/giving.
Remember, Jesus is the reason for this whole season AND the giver of life. Relationship with him and sharing his love are two important elements that give us purpose in life. His love, forgiveness and grace towards me gives me the ability to love, forgive and extend grace to others. Be in relationship with Christ and others.
Love you all and hope to see you Sunday at our All Church Gathering!
Families, this past Sunday our Micro-Churches took a break from the book of Acts to focus on the most important event in history… the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He left the splendor of heaven with all its glory to become the gift of life for you and me. Many things come to mind immediately about the God who created the universe coming to man. You would expect he should be born to Royalty – to the rich and powerful. Yet, he was born to a humble family in an obscure setting. However, His life, death and resurrection would forever change the course of mankind and break down the barrier between God and his people. Thank you, Jesus! Yes, in this Christmas season where, in society, so much is about the emptiness of what we “get”, we can have purpose, destiny and share the love of God with people God places in our path. Is that person who just interacted with you there by accident? It might be that God has a message for them. He loves them. He cares and sees the heartache. He has a wonderful plan for their life. It’s a rare gift only he can give but we can share it. My question is, what can we give Christ? Maybe our lives?
Christmas Eve, December 24 Pastors Bill and Sharon and Rez Ministries (including the Micro-Church Families) are joining Church on the Hill for a Christmas Eve Service Celebration from 5 – 6PM in Chaska at 950 Trumble Street Chaska, MN 55318. The service will be both fun and worshipful and, we look forward to seeing you there.
We will have Micro-Church Family services this coming Sunday, December 29 as usual. See the https://rezlife.org/events and https://rezlife.org/ministries/micro-church-families websites for more information such as locations and timing.
Other events: Youth Over Night Event & Youth Service. The Youth will be having a both fun and spiritually focused overnight Saturday January 4th at 5PM into Sunday January 5th 2PM. The cost is $20 each youth. They will then be leading the Sunday 10AM Rez Life Belle Plaine Micro-Church family service. All youth and their families are invited to attend the 10am service and lunch afterwards. Email Mark and Jami at RezLifeBellePlaine@rezlife.org for more information.
See the https://rezlife.org/events calendar for all the events you and your family can participate in.
Lastly, our All Church Families and Friends Celebration is coming 4PM January 5th with Pastors Bill and Sharon. This is a time of worship, word and fellowship. Come and enjoy a time of ministry and family with Pastors Bill and Sharon Predovich as well as those you haven't seen for a while. This monthly celebration is available to ALL. Come join us at 950 Trumble Street Chaska, MN 55318.
Remember, Christ is the eternal gift of life. As we gather together this time of year to give gifts and have a wonderful time of connection, extend the same grace he gave to us, recognize that it’s not the individual gift that matters. It’s all about the love of Christ abounding in our hearts one towards another.
Love you all and Merry Christmas!
What does persecution do for the church? The religious rulers (including Saul) intended to pour something evil on the church to stop its incredible spread. Why? Already the church had blossomed to over 10,000. There were miracles on a daily basis. People were defecting from strict Judaism to a new religion where people can be saved by faith through grace! Wow. Acts chapter 8 is a powerful testament to God's grace in the face of adversity. As they poured what they thought was water on a fire by stoning Stephen to death, it turned out that they were actually pouring gas on the fire - which had the net effect of doing the opposite of what they wanted and spreading the good news and turning the world literally upside down - thus fulfilling Acts 1:8. I love God taking what should be bad and using it for his will and glory.
How about Simon of Samaria? Did you know that we can ask Christ into our hearts, become a new creation and yet still struggle with the past? Such is the case with Simon who had power and fame. Lost power when Philip came preaching salvation through Christ. He became a believer and yet, as chastised by Peter and John, was filled with bitterness and jealousy - still desirous of power for his own sake. Simon is an extreme case but shows that, even after believing, we need God's grace to begin to shape our lives into his image. What areas of our hearts are we clinging to that God wants to change?
There is so much more in that chapter. Does God care about ALL people? Yes! In one fell swoop, the word of God went to Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world (the Ethiopian Official)...in large part due to a faithful deacon... Philip. He loves the whole world and offers us freedom from the devil's power and sin's bondage. Thank you, Jesus.
Well, it was a great week filled with worship, word, testimonies, fellowship and food. And that's what the Micro-Church Families are all about - connection and growth - supporting and praying for each other - drawing close to God together. If you are missing that connection - simply coming to church and leaving the same as you came, you need something more such as a spiritual family. Come join us and see what you are missing. You will not be disappointed :-)
The Youth this week had another strong group. They meet Wednesdays at 6:30PM at Rez Life Waconia and would love to see you. In addition, Pastor Aimee will be starting a book study during that same time window for adults (... drop off the kids and have a great time yourself with fellowship and study). More information to follow.
https://rezlife.org/events has all the church events including the last chance for women to join in Christmas celebration Saturday at 11:30AM at Rez Life Waconia.
You’re invited to a Women’s Christmas L U N C H E O N
• Lunch, Carol Singing, and a Fun Gift Exchange
• Saturday, December 14th, 11:00am-1:00pm
• Resurrection Life Ministries, 9025 Airport Road, Waconia, MN 55387
• *Maximum Attendance: 35
• *Please Bring an Unwrapped New Pair of Socks with A $10 Gift Inside
Click here for the Christmas Luncheon Registration
Pastors Bill and Sharon will be joining us again January 5th at 4PM for our All Church Celebration service at Church on the Hill, Chaska. I’d like to pack out the church and have a grand time as we usher in the new year! With renewed health, they will be joining us each month thereafter as well.
Here’s a shout out to Church on the Hill. They also have activities you can take advantage of such as men’s breakfast the 2nd Saturday of each month and women’s events. You can see their website for details http://churchonthehillchaska.org/ to participate whenever possible.
As always, we pray for each of you that God will unite our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and grant us boldness to share with those God places in our paths. We are praying for signs and wonders, healings and miracles to become commonplace among the church.
Where are the Micro-Churches? Want to come Sunday? Here they are. The registration link below can be used to let your host family know you are coming.
Meeting from 10 AM – 12PM:
Rez Life Belle Plaine (children’s ministry provided)
Rez Life Chanhassen (children’s ministry provided)
Rez Life Missions House (Eden Prairie)
Rez Life Shakopee
Meeting from 2 PM – 4PM:
Information for Rez Life Carver (children’s ministry provided)
See https://rezlife.org/events for location information and to contact your host.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com. I love you all and hope to see you on Sunday!!