Thursday, October 30, 2008

coming this Sunday!

1 Corinthians 14 / Oct 31 - Words mean something

Well, I'm back...and what a day I picked! Of all the issues that the church struggles with this is one that causes an incredible amount of ire and at the same time makes only a tiny bit of difference.

Speaking in other languages (tongues) seems to be a personal issue unless it is done in the church but should ONLY be done if there is an interpreter. And is used as a tool for the unbeliever. I suppose it goes without saying that if there is no one in church that does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ then there would be no need or call for speaking in another language.

I use the term language because that is how most Bibles interpret this word and Paul makes it clear that there are "all sorts of languages in the world yet none of them is without meaning." Clearly Paul intended that his hearers would understand that this "tongue" was a language, had a meaning and could be interpreted by someone who was gifted to "interpret" or could speak the language already.

I have heard stories of ministers in other countries who "spoke in tongues" only to have someone come to them and say that they spoke perfect (fill in the blank) language and wanted to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

I do not say that "tongues" doesn't exist or that it is nothing. However, it is clear to me that the idea that a person "has to" speak in tongues to prove the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is completely unBiblical. Paul clearly indicates in his writings that all different people have all different gifts. There is no gift that everybody has unless the ability to believe to in Jesus - faith - could be considered a gift.

So, in words that can be understood, be strengthened in your faith as you continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. And I'll see you Sunday!

Monday, October 27, 2008

MIRACLES: Casting out the Evil Spirit - 10/26/08

On a scale of 1-10 where is your faith? Do you sometimes find yourself believeing that God Can do what you've asked, but you're not really sure that He will? In this message Corey discusses how to develop real faith. And it's real easy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

1 Corinthians 3 / Oct 23 - solid foundation

This chapter really speaks to me as I think about the future of Real Life. Just so you know and there is no question... neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
I've said this before but it bears repeating over and over. I am no one special, just a guy who God is using to connect people to a place to connect to His Son Jesus Christ. You all however, are God building - which is way cool!
I am doing my best to lay ONLY the foundation of Jesus Christ in a way that connects people do not currently know him.

I think that the gold, silver, costly materials, wood, hay and straw all will burn in the fire the only thing that will last is Jesus. So, should we sit on the ground with no projector, instruments, etc.? I don't believe so. If we did we would not have a very big crowd. Without a crowd there is no one to connect to and no lives for Jesus to change. So we will continue to try and update and find new and innovative ways to attract the un-churched and under-churched to Real Life so they can experience Eternal life.

But please know... Real Life is about Jesus, connecting with others to connect others to Him. That's the foundation and we will build no other foundation than that.

thanks for allowing me to do what God has called me to do and thanks for being a great "building" for God!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1 Corinthians 1 - October 22 / foolishness

Do you remember being a kid and coming home thinking that there was something incredibly important but no one else in the family did? TJ is always coming in with some incredible story about dirt or some toy...or his favorite thing is to talk about some scene from a silly Disney channel show. It seems that we are constantly telling him "if this is about a Disney show we don't want to hear it!"

From our perspective TJ's story is unimportant. But from his perspective, so close to the floor, it is very important! So important that he wants to share it with us!

The same thing happens in spiritual matters...what is important to me as a believer, what I want to share from what I've heard or seen doesn't seem very important to someone who doesn't share my perspective of Jesus Christ.

What I say "seems" like foolishness to them, but to me - and perhaps you to - it is the power of God for the salvation of our souls and even for those who think it is "foolishness."

So, here's to being foolish! and enjoying Real Life!

MIRACLES: Calming the Storm 10-19-08

Are there any storms in your life? Are you drowning in the midst of bills? Pain? Fear? Health issues? Have you cried out ot God to calm the storms in your life? Find out some reasons why we go through the storms in life and what the outcome can be. Are you ready for a Miracle?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday's coming!

He opened blind eyes. Raised the dead. Calmed the storm. Cast out demons and made bodies whole... think He's done?

Jesus still calms the storms in this life. It's called a miracle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Romans 3 / October 15 - do and believe

So, everybody knows the passage that says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... but do you know the other half...and how the two are connected?

My children do things to each other that I don't like and that they get in trouble for. Each of them do it. They don't really set out to do these things, but they happen. My guess is that it happens in your family too. It's not intentional- but it does happen.

...and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.

...and they love each other and will help each other whenever the need arises because they are a part of the Landreth family - they share the name.

You and I will sin, not because we necessarily want to but because we are not as strong spiritually as we might want to be. And quite frankly, we sin...bottom line...because we want to. Which is why I am so grateful that I am not justified by what I do, but by my association with the name of Jesus Christ (Christian) and the grace that come through His blood. Which is the same for my kids. They are going to say and do things that hurt each other but in the end they are blood and that connection is strong.

Thank you God for this insight and for judging us, your children, by faith and not by deeds.

October 14 - addendum to Romans 1

Hey all, if you haven't read it yet...after today's post (Romans 1) you need to read verse 13 from Romans 2. The whole righteousness by faith hangs on this verse.

Romans 2:13

Notice that it is not in just "hearing" where righteousness by faith is found but in...get ready for this..."OBEYING" what you hear. In fact, the Christian life begins with obedience. Believe, Repent, Confess and be Baptised aren't suggestions...they are part of that obedience that connects us to the Son of God. Not because we completely understand it all, but because we believe enough to obey, even when we don't understand.

it's called faith.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Romans 1 / October 14 - It's a faith thing

Let's kick of Romans!
Having just finished Acts (I read even when I didn't post), you might be wondering where Romans fits... since Paul is already in Rome. Well, Paul's letter to the Romans was actually written between the 18th and 21st chapters of Acts, right before Paul actually gets there (actually several months/a year before).

Paul is pretty clear in this chapter so I won't bore you with what you can plainly and directly read for yourself.
But I want to focus your attention on verses 16,17 where Paul says "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

First, why should we (Christianity as a whole) be ashamed of what is the greatest expression of the power of God - Salvation through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. The message went first to the Jews, who did not all wholeheartedly receive it, and then to the Gentiles where it exploded into the rest of the world.

But look at the last statement. In the message of hope concerning Jesus (the Gospel - Bible) there is a righteousness from God that is about faith. and then Paul quotes the Old Testament, the righteous will live by faith.

Here's the bottom line. Your church attendance won't save you. Your money, tithes and offerings, won't save you. Your "morals" or "ethics" won't save you. Your family history or genealogy won't save you. Your kids, grandma, parents or dog won't save you.

Only your faith in the one and only Son of God will save you. Did He die on the cross for you? Did He rise from the dead? Did He go to His father in Heaven? Did His death on the cross pay your price and free you from the guilt and punishment for sin?

then you are well on your way to a righteousness that comes through faith. Live like it!

Habakkuk Part III - Climbing out.

In this final message we see Habakkuk climbing out of the spiritual dip. If you are struggling with what God is doing in your life this message can help.

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 10th - got bugs?

As you know I work a part time job and what I do requires a computer. Okay, I realize that many jobs today require a computer. But if our computers shut down we are dead in the water. First, 90% of the orders we receive come to us through the Internet and into our email. We process the orders through a software program and run credit cards through that same software. We also use the computer to process shipping through UPS, FedEx and USPS. So if the system goes down we all just sit around and twiddle our thumbs.

The last few weeks we have had one computer issue after another. Two new pc's and we're still having issues. Tuesday one of the employees came out and said, "I think we've got a bug." Meaning, we've got a virus of some sort that kicks our individual pc's off the network and shuts us down.

I was thinking this am (while being frustrated by some issues with my own new laptop!) that our spiritual lives are kind of like our pc's and networks.

How is your connection with God and His Son Jesus Christ? Do you feel like you've been getting "kicked off" the spiritual network that was established when you gave your life to Jesus? Maybe you've got a bug, a sin that lays in wait until an opening is found and then attaches it self to you in some way and that connection is dismantled.

If you've found your connection lacking maybe it is time to re-boot. How? Well you reset your spiritual hard drive by recommitting your life to Christ and His will for your life. Romans says "Do not conform to the pattern of this world (living with bugs) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (resetting your spiritual hard drive)."

If you need to recommit take this opportunity to make it public. You can comment on this post and we'll pray for you and your decision!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some encouragement

It's late Wednesday night...pretty tired but wanted to share with you a bit from a meeting I had with some members of my advisory board through the Christian Evangelising Association (their the guys who help to support me so the church can put it's money in other things).

The two guys I met with are the lead pastors and church planters from Lifestream in Gardner, KS. and Dave Henry from New Community in Salina. They know what their doing. Dave's church in Salina is 10 years old and is averaging in the 300's. Russ' church will be 4 years old this Sunday and they are running mid 100's I believe.

What I took away from our meeting was that while we may not be where I thought we would at one year we are doing very well. We are right where each of these other churches were at one year. In fact, where our giving is concerned we are averagaing about $14 per person, per week in attendance for the year - that's incredible!!!

Now, we do need to look at some of the things we are doing and re-evaluate what we're doing verses what we really want to do (good exercise!) and I'm starting to get ready for our first annual meeting which we'll have in January.

So, pat yourselves on the back, We are doing a good job and most importantly, we are doing exactly what God wants of us! Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Acts 22 / Oct 8 - You were chosen

When I asked Andi to marry me and she said "yes" (and yes she said it right away and didn't have to ponder or question!) I felt like the richest guy in the world! I was so happy, so wanted, so wonderful! (okay, that was mushy)... um...I felt really, really good.

Everyone wants to be wanted. Everyone wants to be included. Everyone wants to be chosen. I know it may be hard for you to believe but there have been a few times in my life when I was the last chosen...picked by default.

I want you to know today, in the middle of the week, in the midst of all the junk you are going through, that you ARE wanted. You ARE chosen. You ARE just the one He's looking for.

In Acts 22 there are a just a few lines that stick in my mind...I can't get off these two statements. The first came from Jesus (yes, Jesus was the one talking to Paul (Saul) in the light). And there through the light Jesus speaks to a man who is "persecuting Him." And there Jesus makes this incredible statement, "you will be told all that you have been assigned to do." That word, assigned, is just incredible. And it's not just for Paul.

The second statement that draws me in comes from Ananias when he says "God...has chosen you." Wow! Two statements, two words, assigned and chosen.

Here's what you need to catch. Your name might not be Paul, but YOU have also been ASSIGNED a role in the kingdom. I believe mine is to preach and through the Spirit, lead Christ's church. I'm not sure what yours is but I KNOW that God has an assignment for you. YOU have been chosen. In fact, the Bible in another place says that you and I were chosen by God. God desperately wants you to know Him and His Will (Word) and to live and do what you have been assigned to do.

You are here because you were chosen and you have an assigned task or several (Andi is great musically and she does an incredible job speaking to women about faith and family - though you might not know it!). So this is YOU: CHOSEN/ASSIGNED

See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Habakkuk part II - In the Dip

In this message Corey Habakkuk answers the question, "what do you do when you're in the spiritual dip?" You've been there before and if you haven't you will be. When what you see in your life doesn't line up with what you believe about your faith or about God you're in the dip. Here's what you can do to help yourself make it through the dip so that you can have the opportunity to mature in your faith and grow closer to God.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Just a little interesting

Didn't want to let this get away so wanted to write it down. In this case you all get to share it with me!

It was about 11:15 - 11:30 when I was getting off the plane in Wichita last night (Friday). I was extremely tired. Hungry. And ready to be home...but alas (throw back to the old days) I had to get my car out of the long-term parking and drive it home.

So I get my bag and head out to the parking lot, no big deal...except I can't remember where I parked. I was in a hurry when I got there on Wednesday morning so I just jumped out and grabbed my stuff and headed for the US Airways terminal.

Now it's late, my eyes hurt, I'm tired and I don't know where I parked. Besides that I had just spent three days in Vegas...which a lot of people would have thought was cool...not me. I wanted my wife. Was surrounded by sex and sin or at least the opportunity to do either, which could be both. I just felt bad...spiritually and emotionally and physically.

So, here I am walking in the near dark looking for my car carrying all my bags which were getting heavy and not having much luck.

I stopped to put the shoulder strap back on my duffel bag since I had taken it off when I checked it ($15) and started to put it on. I kind of bent over and stuck the bag between my legs while I messed with the side done...then had to take a step, turn the bag and click the other side. While in that motion I just said God, I know where I've been and I know that You have no good reason to, but I would like to find my sub...

Yeah. You know what happened. As I was bent over and in mid-prayer I looked up and having taken that extra step to secure the strap to the other side of the bag it put me in just the right spot to see the bumper sticker that says "God said it...that settles it" on the back window of the suburban.

I stood up, smiled at God and said, "thank you."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Acts 17 / October 3 - "O, woah, close to you..."

I am sitting in the airport watching people mill around and and talk and a guy just asked a lady across the aisle for the sports page...there is a lady sitting directly opposite me (my back) who has a pony tail and she keeps moving her head and flicking me with it...she has no idea. There are people speaking other languages and on their cell phones. Old and young. Male and female. Poor and wealthy, modest and darn near exhibitionistic.
And guess what? Acts 17 says that God is right here. In the midst of all this commotion and the constant din of slot machines and conversations He's here.
It's easy to forget that sometimes with all the commotion in our lives...easy for me this last three days... but He never left, right there the whole time.

I wonder how many know Him? I wonder who He is talking to right how? Anyone? Me? You?

God, help me to never loose sight of the fact that you are right here, every moment, every day. You desire to be in every thought, every decision. You see what I see and you hear what I hear and know what I think. Help me not to disappoint.

I'll see you all Sunday, a little happier. a little poorer and perhaps a little closer.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Habakkuk 1 - Sept 28, 2008

You see it every day. Bad people, taking advantage of the weak. Good people hurting. The innocent, suffering. War. Injustice.

Does it ever seem like God is unfair?

Join us for the next two weeks as we continue to look at the life of Habakkuk for the inspiration we need to continue, when God seems unfair.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

what a day...

Well folks, I made it to Las Vegas. It is an incredible town but I noticed a few things.
1. The glitz of Vegas is seen by most at night. But at night you have a more difficult time seeing the garbage. Trash on the street, tons of construction and mess. The size and beauty of the buildings is matched only by the stark contrast of empty lots, homeless and a dirty underbelly to this glamorous city.
2. The people here work really hard to keep their hotels and casinos clean and looking very nice, tons of money on construction and amenities...but as soon as you walk out side and off hotel property (walking the strip) you are faced with potentially hundreds of men and women silently and persistently trying to get you to take a small business card with their "escort" service information on it. I walked down one side of the strip today, about a mile total (there and back) and was confronted by at least 50 of these people.
3. I met a guy who looked like Jesus. Well, he had the robe and the sandals (Nike) and a beard and he began to speak to us about how the Lord had come to America because we needed him the most because of places like Vegas (he called it Babylon) and how we needed to repent and not be here but find better places to go. And it all sounded good...until he said that we needed to make sure we only ate vegetables because God loves the animals too and He created them. I almost stopped and said, have you ever even read the Bible?

So here is my synopsis.
1. If you want to be tempted there is no better place then Vegas.
2. All the glitz and glamour can't hide the stain of sin.
3. If Jesus came to Vegas he would love people and help them find life...not tell them to become vegetarians.

I love you Andi. wish you were here with me...or better yet, wish I were there with you.

God protect me and every believer who comes to this town and buys into the lie that you can do things here and no one has to know. What happens in Vegas...just might stay with you the rest of your life.

PS. I actually thought about getting a tattoo while I am here. That way I can say, what happens in Vegas (the tattoo) stays with you...whether you can see it or not! What do you think?! Any ideas! it would be a great conversation starter and lead to a great object lesson!

What do you think I should get honey?