Friday, July 29, 2005

Powerful Gratitude

Glen Davis spoke last week and shared a great message on "The Impact of Gratitude".

Hear the message below:

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

God’s Marketing Plan Pt. 2: Word Of Mouth

Last Week Review:

Last week, we began a series called “God’s Marketing Plan”.

We talked about choosing to live a life of influence.

I told you last week that God wants you to be a person of influence. That God wants us to influence our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, and one day the world!

I told you that that’s God’s dream for us! And it has been from the beginning.

We saw in Genesis 1:27 that it says, “So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.”

I showed you that one of the things this implies is…

That God’s plan from the beginning was that, in all the diversity of his creation, we would stand out as a constant reminder that he exists.

And I said that you can think of ourselves as God’s advertisements, because we are God’s main way to make himself known in this world.

When we looked at 2 Cor. 5:14-21 and saw that God has given us all “The Ministry Of Reconciliation”! God wants to make his appeal through you to the people you come in contact with on a regular basis. He wants to use you to reconcile people with himself!

And then, I read you a quote from Dale Carnegie where he said, “There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.”

I told you last Sunday that these 4 ways are the only way we can stand out as reminders of God in this world. That we can only reflect or reveal God by what we do, how we look, what we say and how we say it.

We then spent the rest of our time last Sunday looking at how we can reflect God by what we do. We looked at how as followers of Jesus, we should stand out by accident – without trying! I called it being “Accidental Witnesses

We saw this in Matt 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden...” And it ends with this, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds (the things we do) and praise your Father in heaven.”
  • We said that to be salt means to influence the people or situations that we’re a part of by what we do.
  • To be light means you reveal the truth or the right direction by what you do.
  • To be a city on a hill you have to be willing to live in a way that lets you stand out.
Because, if you’re going to be a witness you’re going to have to stand out. We have to stop trying to blend in.

I read you a quote from Seth Godin about his marketing book “Purple Cow” and at the end of the quote he summed it up with this…

“Today, the one sure way to fail is to be boring. Your one chance for success is to be remarkable.”

I told you that what Seth says here is true for business and it’s true for us as individuals!

God wants us to live such remarkable lives that the people around us are attracted to Jesus, because of us.

I hope you’ve been praying about and thinking about how you can live this way! *This is the foundation for you to be an influence on the people God brings in your life.

If you weren’t here last week, I want to encourage you to go to our website and listen to the message. Download it and burn it onto a CD, then you can listen to it in the car.

Today, I want to start looking at one of the 3 remaining ways that we can be advertisements for God in this world. We’re going to talk about how to reflect/reveal God by what we say.

Do you know what the most powerful form of advertising is?

Word of Mouth Advertising!

John Milton Fogg, a well-known network marketer said this, “The recommendation of a Friend is the single, most powerful Marketing 'force' in the world.”

Word-of-mouth advertising is powerful, but for some reason, God has such a hard time getting many Christians to ever mention him to anyone!

Today I want us to begin to learn how to get over this problem. To do that let’s start by looking at John 1:35-51...

Hear the message below:

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

“God’s Marketing Plan” Part One: Accidental Witnesses

In life, you can either influence, or be influenced.

Most of us have experienced being on either side, but when your life comes to an end which will describe your life as a whole?

  • Will you be a person who lived a life of influence?
  • Will anyone’s life be different because they knew you?

This is the good news…

God wants you to be a person of influence. His whole plan is for us to affect the people around us until eventually our affect touches the whole world!

God wants us - this small group of friends who are gathered in this theater - to influence our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, and one day the world!

That’s God’s dream for us! And it has been from the beginning.

Have you ever thought about this?

God made us in his own image. Genesis 1:27 says this, “So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.”

Do you realize one of the things that this implies?

God’s plan from the beginning was that, in all the diversity of his creation, we would stand out as a constant reminder that he exists.

C.E. Orr in his book “How To Live A Holy Life” says it this way…

“In the vast created universe, what place does man occupy? He stands out as a creature that bears the stamp of the divine image, a creature that is endowed with eternity. The heavens shall pass away, but man shall be forever. He was made capable of holding communion with the Creator. He occupies the relationship with God as child with parent. Being made in the likeness of God, he steps out upon the stage of the mighty universe to play the highest and noblest part in the entire drama of createdexistences. The songs of the morning stars as they sing together, pouring their anthems into the ears of God, are not such sweet music as is the voice of praise and adoration from the holy soul of man. Man was created for the very highest purpose in the mind of God. He is chosen to represent the divine character.”

What an amazing part God’s chosen for us! And that was God’s plan from the beginning of creation and it still is now!

There’s a fictional story about Jesus and the Archangel Gabriel that shows how important this plan is to God…

After Jesus returned to heaven, he and the Archangel Gabriel were talking. Even in heaven Jesus bore the marks of the crucifixion.

Gabriel said, “Master, you must have suffered horribly! Do people know and appreciate how you love them and what you did for them?”
Jesus replied, “Oh no; not yet. Right now only a few people in Palestine know.”

Gabriel was perplexed: “Then what have you done to let everyone know about your love?”
Jesus answered, “I have asked Peter, Andrew, James, John and a few more friends to tell others about me. Those who are told will tell others about me, and yet others still others, until the last man and last woman in the farthest corner of the earth will have heard the story of how I gave my life for them because I love them so much.”

Gabriel frowned and looked rather skeptical. “Yes, but what if Peter and the others grow weary? What if the people who come after them forgot? Surely you have made other plans?”
Jesus said, “Gabriel, I haven’t made any other plans. I’m counting on them.”

The events in this story are not true, but the message of it is true!

We are God's main tool to make himself known in the world! Do you realize this?
We are God’s advertisements to the world!

Today, I want begin a two part series called “God’s Marketing Plan”. Over the next two Sundays, I want to look at God’s plan to make himself known and get his message out to the world.

Turn with me in your Bibles to 2 Cor. 5:14-21.

Hear the message below:

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Friday, July 01, 2005

“The Hidden Opportunities Of Life”

Max Lucado tells a story about a bird named Chippie in his book “In The Eye Of The Storm”…

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming.

One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie's owner decided to clean Chippie's cagewith a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She'd barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in.

The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A few days after the trauma, the reporter who'd initially written about the event contacted Chippie's owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn't sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."

It's easy to laugh at Chippie, but all of us know what it's like to go through a trial and feel afterward like we don't sing much anymore -- we just sit there and stare. :)

But, trials and problems are a normal thing in this fallen world we live in. We shouldn’t be surprised by them. We should really expect them!

In John 16:33, Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

If we can’t stop trials from coming into our lives, what can we do?

The only thing we can do is learn to see them differently. And when we learn to see them differently, we’ll discover something amazing.

I want to look at a passage of scripture that tells us a surprising way to look at our trials and problems.

Turn with me in your Bibles to James 1:2-12.

Hear the message below:

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