Unexpected Appointment

As many of you know I am preparing to plant a church late summer of this year.  What many of you might not know is I have been waiting and praying for this for 8 years!   Waiting is hard but timing is everything.  Let me tell you it is HARD!  I need to raise the equivalent of $500,000, build a team of 150 people (120 that are people I do not know), and find a venue for us to rent.  

In Plantation, there are 2 public high schools, 2 public middle schools, and 3 private schools.  I have called all of them, email all of them, and showed up to all of them requesting a meeting.  One high school has a church in it, the other said they were not interested. One middle school did not have a room big enough.  One private school said they use their facilities on the weekends, and the rest did not reply to email, phone call, or visit.  

Matthew 6:31 So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Let me tell you I was getting worried!  I know I have 5 months until I need a building, but it seemed like the lack of options was closing in all around me.  My heart was growing anxious.  Then I met a guy who worked at a public park building.  He said to come back in a week and he could introduce me to a couple of principals.  He did but they did not have the room size I needed, then one of them introduced me to a middle school principal.  This was one of the schools that had not replied.  She asked what I was looking for.  I told her we need a space for the weekends but more importantly we want a school to partner with.  She said she had a space but did not have a sound system or lighting.  I told her we could install our system.  She shared how she needed the money to help feed kids that could not afford breakfast or food for the weekend.  I told her we want to help her meet those needs.  We could paint, landscape, clean, or whatever they needed. She about cried.  

We set up a meeting for the following week.  We talked about how we could serve them.  We got to pray with them and are looking for some early ways to bless them.  

What does this have to do with you?  Everything!  This school is what I have been praying for for years.  God heard my prayers even when I thought they were bouncing off the ceiling.   God has filled our church with purpose by meeting the right person at the right time.  Many of you have jobs that pay the bills but do not have a purpose.  You have prayed and tried to open doors.  God is a God of perfect timing, and will open the door for you in His timing!  So pray and believe!

Oh and if you want to give to the school to meet those needs you can give to this link and we will give the money to the school… https://pushpay.com/g/thevibrant?src=hpp

But today, ask God to open your eyes to how you can be a blessing to the world you live in!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

My Big Fat Mouth: Lying

I’ve been reading the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis (which inspired the movie). The book is a re-telling of the causes and events leading up to the subprime mortgage crisis, which eventually led to a global economic crisis. While the whole subprime disaster can be difficult to concisely explain (Lewis’ book is considered short, concise, and simple, yet is still 300 pages) one theme kept striking me: lies. The global economy came crashing down in 2007-2008 largely because of the massive mountain of lies being told. Home buyers were often lied to, told they could afford homes they simply could not. The guys approving the loans lied to their bosses, saying people had the ability to repay their loans, when they obviously did not. The ratings industries lied to investors, telling them these loans were fail-proof and a perfect investment, when in reality they were basically destined to fail. Millions of people lost their homes, their pensions, and their retirement plans because of all the lies that were being told. 

God is pretty clear on His view of lying. He absolutely hates it! The command to not lie makes the Ten Commandments, as well as the lists of things that He hates and are an abomination to Him (Proverbs 6:16-19). Checkout this passage from Paul in Ephesians: 

assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:21-25 

I hope you actually read that, because that’s some awesome stuff! Paul is telling us that Jesus and the message he teaches us is the Truth. If we believe and follow that Truth then all lies and falsehoods need to be thrown out of our lives. We are new creations in Christ, and therefore we need to stop the lies and the falsehoods of the world around us, and instead always speak the truth. Why?

  1. Because lies hurt: I’m guessing that all of us have been hurt by lives in your life. As seen in the global financial collapse of 2008 lies can cause pain throughout the entire world. 
  2. Because Jesus is all about Truth: Jesus embodied the absolute opposite of lying and falsehood. Lies were one of the number one things he stood against. 
  3. Because we are new creations in Christ: As people saved by Jesus’ love we’re expected to not live like everyone else, but to instead live like Jesus. We’re called to stop the cycle of hurt caused by lies, and instead live lives of truth and love.

Let’s start following Christ’s examples, cutting the lies our of our life and replacing them with words of truth and love. 

Vital Ministries News

It is Ground Hog Day.

According to the Pennsylvania Dutch, if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will persist for another 6 weeks.

Make it a date night with your wife.

Take her out, and watch the movie, Ground Hog Day, with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

Enjoy and Laugh.

 

 

Clearing a Path

Proverbs 10:25 (NASB)’When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.’  

I wouldn’t choose to have to face the things that have come my way over the past few years and in particular the past few months.  Who would and who does.  Rough, difficult times are generally not something anyone wishes for themselves or on others.  

The past few weeks I’ve had a number of conversations that center around this thought.  I had one on Monday with Mike Sereg that birthed today’s message.  

Everybody has a cross or crosses to bear.  A fact of this life is that none of us is coming through without some blood sweat and tears.  Storms of life are going to rage.  Often times when the storm comes, it’s hard to see past the end of our nose.  Things are dark, loud, we’re being tossed about, knocked down.  Often times we catch ourselves wondering “why me, Lord”.  My Uncle John told me long ago, that’s the wrong question to ask.  The question to ask is, “why not me, Lord”.  A good friend of mine says, often times the storms of this life are simply God’s way of clearing a path.  Sure it’s hard, scary, painful and life altering, but have you ever stepped outside in the early morning hours after a storm raged all night, the sun breaking over the horizon to cast light on a clean fresh world?  

I believe more often than not, the “storms” of our lives are just like that, they are clearing a path to a bright, refreshed, wide open path to something we couldn’t get to if God hadn’t first cleared the way.  

So, when you find yourself caught in the midst of a storm, battered, afraid, tossed about and hurting, remember… He’s using the power of the storm to clear the path to something you couldn’t get to otherwise.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Walk n’ Talk

You have likely heard the phrase, ‘Don’t judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.’  Well, if we all did a little more walking and a lot less talking, maybe we would be better off.  It is easy for us to criticize, judge, and condemn people because they made a mistake, or didn’t do something the way you do, are of a different political party, or look different from you.  Just ask any armchair quarterback how the refs screwed up or what play the coach should have made.  We can all be geniuses with hindsight.  Sometimes constructive criticism can be helpful if it makes someone aware of the damage they are doing to themselves or others, but that may be the only case, and it doesn’t often work.  How do you feel when someone speaks negatively about you, your job, your family, your faith, or anything about you?  Not good.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?   Matthew 7:1-3

So, for the past 13 days, I’ve been playing solo parent with 3 kids still in diapers.  With schools canceling more than not the past 10 days, I’ve been cooped up at home from 6 am till 10-11 pm without much more than a 5 minute break through the day.  I once had 2 kids napping during the same 30 minute period, which was nice.  I’ve had all the kids days at a time before, but not for this long, as my wife is doing a 2 week tour.  Anyway, I can better appreciate what a single parent has to deal with on an every day basis and without support of friends or family, am not sure how some do it.  I heard a story this past week about a single parent who worked a minimum wage job, and without supports like WIC, EBT, and Medicaid, would not be able to afford much of what is needed on a day-to-day basis for very long.  I know it is easy to criticize some on the taxpayer’s welfare dollar, but honestly, I can understand why someone would choose to do it, if an option.  I still don’t fully understand how my parents managed with 6 kids.  Maybe we helped out – no, not really, but there were probably stretches where we kept out of trouble.  What can I do now to help out a family that is struggling? 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

Whenever I can, I tell teenagers to do a variety of jobs while they are young.  It may help them find a career they will like, or if not, and you don’t like a job, you can better appreciate those who are doing it on a daily basis.  If a kid in school who didn’t respect his/her teachers had to get up and teach something for 30 minutes, they might have more respect.  So, we may never fully understand what the people we meet each day have to deal with, we can give them the benefit of the doubt.  We can do or say something to make their day a little more pleasant, instead of criticizing or complaining about them.  I need daily reminders to do this, but when I do, it makes my day a little more enjoyable too.  A simple ‘thank you’ or letting someone go ahead of me helps take me off the #1 pedestal in my heart.  When we place God and others before us in the priority line, it lets humility work a little better in our lives.  I don’t’ know about you, but I need that on a daily basis.  I will even appreciate my job a lot more when I get back into a ‘normal’ routine too.  I have to go, a baby is crying.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Yours in Christ,

Clark

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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