Dream Church

What You Should Look For In a Church

Some people look for what they like – wrong!

Four questions to answer:
1. How does the church view scripture?
2. How do they walk that out? Does it show in their preaching, their worship, how they interact with the community and each other?
3. Does the vision, mission and DNA mesh with your spirit?
4. Does the church constantly challenge me to grow?

Here’s one good rule of thumb: If you can’t financially support the vision and mission of a church then you haven’t bought into it.

Find a church that you believe in so strongly that you willingly donate your hard-earned dollars and a portion of your free time to its mission! When you find that church you know you’re in the right one.


What I Am Dreaming, as Pastor


And Most Important, What Jesus Dreams (after all it’s His church!)

Ephesians 5:23

  • Not just an hour 15 minutes
  • Not that you visit a church
  • Not just that you join a church
  • Not even just seeing you in ministry

Embrace a mission, your calling, the purpose you’re specially gifted for and passionate about!


In Isaiah 58:1-5 God says He isn’t interested in smug people who act like they want to learn about Him but really just want to do enough to be blessed by Him.

To paraphrase V6-14, I believe this is the church God is dreaming about:
A church that speaks out against injustice and exploitation
Helps the oppressed walk into freedom
Stands up for victims and even those who’ve fallen in sin
Cancels debts and doesn’t rely on unfair practices
Shares generously with the hungry, homeless and poor
Gives to those without proper clothing
Makes themselves available to those in trouble
Doesn’t ignore their own family’s needs
Restores, rebuilds and renovates throughout their community
And is known as a people who can fix anything

A church where the “lights come on”
That glows as sunshine in spiritual darkness
In which lives are turned around at once
For whom righteousness paves their path
Whom He can use to rebuild brokenness and redeem the past
Whose way is secure because of Him
Whom He is always ready to guide
And makes them ride high and soar above all
And gives them full life and strength in their lowest places
And when they pray, He answers, “Here I am.”

THE Dream

Ever wonder why things like reading the Bible regularly has anything to do with your dreams? Glad you asked!

How Going to Church Benefits Brain and Body

So what dream are we talking about?
Not the American Dream, or the Madison Avenue dream or Hollywood’s dream, nor a problem-free life – not even your personal dream

GOD’S Dream is THE Dream
This big, amazing, awesome, audacious and bodacious dream is His, not yours. And He is dreaming it over your life.


1. Since it is HIS dream it is a better dream because His way is better. THE Way, THE Truth, THE Life leads to THE Dream.

“History proves over and over again, that when humanity decides what is good or evil on their own, we inevitably end up deciding that what is good is basically whatever is easiest, safest or most pleasing to ourselves.  This always ends badly.”
from Living the Dream devotions Church 29:11, 1/9/2020

His Way is THE Way and doesn’t get tied up in traffic or detoured by obstacles

His Truth is THE Truth and doesn’t get confused or lost in the search

His Life is THE Life which is an abundant life!


2. HIS dream is more powerful, more awesome, more beautiful than anything you and I can ever dream

HIS dream for me isn’t limited by my weaknesses, resources, connections, or my ability to dream, envision and plan!


3. Our humanity is often a huge obstacle to THE Dream

Delete the Dream-Killers that keep you from THE Dream.

There is a battle for your heart: movies, music, lust, relationships, peers, social media, popularity, pride, envy, materialism, advertising, greed, anger

Psalm 101:3

But also delete the Dream-Distractors because it isn’t just sin that hinders THE Dream.

1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23

In other words, some things that we claim as a right don’t lead us to THE Dream but may actually keep us from it!

  • Like idleness and procrastination
  • Like reading without listening and listening without changing
  • And what some call “Permissive will”

“…what we’re doing is destructive AND keeping us from what God has planned for us.”
from Living the Dream devotions Church 29:11, 1/9/2020

Immaturity asks “can I?” Maturity asks “should I?”


4. Since it is HIS dream, we can’t reach it without Him. His process, His recipe, His route.

Do things that lead to THE Dream:

  • Upgrade your habits – whatever you’re doing that’s good, do it better
  • Appreciate the moment you have – too many are waiting for a “better” or “more opportune” time
  • Work on your health – stewardship of your health
  • Be more thankful, 24/7
  • Connect to people closer to Jesus & stronger in their faith than you and a great place to do that is Small Groups that begin in 2 weeks!
  • Pray constantly
  • Feed your soul & mind – Living the Dream Devotions
  • Go deeper into devotions, sermons, songs, scripture

Falling deeply in love with Jesus is the most sure way to begin Living THE Dream!

Living the Dream

Jeremiah 29:11

God is dreaming. Are you?

Dreaming of a great life and Living the Dream are not the same thing.

Here’s the question: What is better in your life right now than it was this time last year? Name your progress.

Jesus didn’t die so you could dream.
Jesus died so you could Live the Dream!

Living the Dream is not a destination. Living the Dream is a process, a journey, an awesome adventure!


If you haven’t set goals, made plans and started working towards your dream, your dream is just a fantasy! (adapted from Jeff Robinson)

Fantasies are unproductive. Dreams produce results.
Fantasies are fleeting, inconsistent. Dreams have focus.
Fantasies stretch your imagination. Dreams stretch you.
Fantasies may inspire you. A dream can change your life.
Fantasies are unrealistic expectations. Dreams are balanced in reality.
Fantasies are free. Dreams have a cost.
Fantasies require only imagination. Dreams require hard work.


Biblical examples of dreamers:
Jacob
Daniel
both Josephs
King Abimelech
Pharaoh
King Nebuchadnezzar
King Belshazzar
Pilate’s wife

Bible examples of those with fantasies:
the rich barn-builder
Haman
Jezebel
King Ben-Hadad
(FYI, none of them turned out well!)


Set Goals

  • Every member growing closer to Jesus and stronger in faith!
  • Each one reach one in 2020

What are your goals? New car, lose weight, pay off debt, dream vacation?
What about your spiritual health? Why not adopt the above goals?

Make Plans

  • Small Group changes
  • Discipleship that actually creates life-change
  • Team Night – Night of Prayer – 1.26.20
  • OK, so what are your plans for your spiritual health?

Work On It – A dream doesn’t just happen!

What we are working on for you:
– 21 Days of Devotions (SIGN UP HERE)
– Small Group launch on 1/26


You may not be living the dream yet but you’re closer than you realize

Accounting For 2019

What kind of business leader looks at his employees on December 30 and tells them to just move on to 2020?

Romans 14:12


Who is accountable?

  • Those God has blessed with a 6-figure salary or perhaps also those who earn $6 an hour?
  • Those capable of beautiful artistry or perhaps also those who’ve hidden their talent and not shared it?
  • Those with plenty of time or perhaps also those who keep their calendars full?
  • Followers of Jesus or perhaps also those who don’t follow Him?

Every person must give an account as steward of those things God has entrusted to them.
Even the High Priest!
Even the king!
Rich men like the barn-builder and also poor widows.

 


Hebrews 9:27

Luke 14:28-29

Those who keep up their checking account aren’t surprised by the balance.

“If you dare not search your hearts, I am afraid there is a reason for that fear, and that above all others you ought to be diligent in this search.”
– Charles Spurgeon

So when is the best time to reckon our account, at the end of life or today?


WHAT we must account for:

  • The use of the time He has allotted us
  • Our financial blessings and substance
  • Our talents and gifts
  • The influence He has given us
  • The balance of self and sacrifice
  • The invisible people in our lives
  • and all other things with which God has entrusted us!

Do our lives burn bright with Jesus or do we only leave Him the candle ends? As we said a few weeks ago, does our giving say leftovers or Lord?


WHY reckon our account on a regular basis?

To start afresh, begin in the clear, on the level, to not start behind.

A daily or weekly recounting of adversity He has helped us through, trouble He has rescued us from and sin He has forgiven us for! Without looking back we forget to acknowledge, appreciate and thank God. We just absolutely forget.

And here is the grave reason we must reckon our stewardship: we are not sure of another day of stewardship!

What You Got for Christmas, Part 2

Some of us like surprises, we don’t even want a hint about our gifts.
Some just have to know what’s in the box.
And some want the present now!



Jenga, the game of fear!

Introduced at the London Toy Fair in 1983
The fear of just one false move from crashing down. That’s the excitement of the game, it’s all about that fear.

The way a lot of people live their lives.

Jeremiah 29:11



Slinky, invented in the early 1940s

Everything worthwhile is uphill.
John Maxwell

Anything worth having requires effort.
Downhill is easy.
Even dead things flow downstream.
Anything besides downhill takes effort, even just holding your ground.
Going with the flow isn’t hope, that’s wishing for luck!



Etch-A-Sketch, introduced in 1960

Nothing on this earth is permanent… it all ends.
But every ending is a potential new beginning! Every day holds promise of a new friendship, opportunity, victory, blessing, miracle!

You’re writing the story. Be careful what you write, like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:10.
So be careful what you build. You get to start a new week at work or school tomorrow but you don’t get to start a new job or new school every week!


Jesus is all about second chances!
But at some point we have to stop relying on do-overs and start creating the masterpiece that is our life!

Matthew 4:16

What You Got for Christmas

The Hula Hoop, invented in 1958

 Self-centeredness, it all revolves around you

Matthew 2:1-2a

The level of selfishness in our lives is in indirect proportion to our personal long-term joy and fulfillment in life.

“As sure as a math formula,
as the x of selfishness increases,
the y of soul diminishes.”
– Barry York


Monopoly, invented in 1935

Materialism, he who has the most wins

Matthew 2:11

Where can I be light in someone’s darkness?


Magic 8-Ball, invented in the 1950’s

Randomness and chaos, there are no right or wrong answers, no point to life

Matthew 2:2b

I don’t believe God is interested in the little things of my life. God is interested in all things in my life!


Play-Doh, developed in the 1930s then marketed to schools and kids in 50s

Relativism, making the world whatever you want

Matthew 2:9-11

We’ve been given false ways to see the world and our relation to it.  Jesus coming gave us the gift to see the purpose in creation and our place within it! The wise men found a King to serve.


What you and I got for Christmas:
The call to focus on others
The challenge to be light in someone’s darkness
A King who is interested in all things in my life
Purpose beyond ourselves

One More Thing

Luke 18:22

It wasn’t that he couldn’t own possessions. It was obvious from his reaction that his possessions owned him.

Tithing

We have a record of Abel’s giving but no record of the directive to give, what amount, etc. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t. Maybe for someone who recognizes God as the source of strength, talent, wisdom, opportunity, etc to have a good job, career and make money, it was natural for them to offer a portion of their increase to God. By the time of Abram and Melchizedek 10% appears to be understood.

Tithing is stewardship, acknowledging Who the real owner is

Tithing is partnership, acknowledging God helped me win this battle

Genesis 4:4, Genesis 14:17-20, Malachi 3:10, Luke 11:42


 

Giving to Needs

In Luke 10 the Good Samaritan, went to the dying man, medicated him, bandaged him, carried him, led him to safety. But there was One More Thing.

When we see a need it doesn’t matter if it’s our passion or not!

Here’s a radical thought… What if we budgeted for some personal benevolence every month?

Does our giving say “Leftovers” or “Lord”? Article by J. D. Greear


Giving to our Passions

Kentucky Christmas Blessing toys are due 12/1/19

SO WHAT IS YOUR PASSION?
Hope House (Honduras)
Bread of Life Orphanage and Feeding Centers (Romania)
Refuel Ministries (disaster relief food support)
A21 (ending human trafficking)
The Wellhouse (female victims of human trafficking)
Fight the New Drug
Shepura Men’s Center and Royal Pines Rehab – (recovery)


Jesus, do something in us and for us today so You can do something through us this week!

Impacting Powerfully

Many people talk about changing the world. Few actually do.

Every person ever born has had the ability and the opportunity to change the world. Few actually do.


Every person? Absolutely! Helen Keller, Frederick Douglas, Walt Disney, Franklin Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, etc.

A tax collector, a tentmaker and a bunch of fishermen are household names today because they impacted the world! But a rich, powerful young man is forever nameless. (Matthew 19:21-22)


You have to decide what YOU believe about Jesus

Who He is

You have to decide if you believe in a good guy or the Son of God.

His nameActs 3:6, Philippians 2:9-11

His blood – there is Peace, Redemption, Forgiveness, Being made right with God, Cleansing of our thoughts, Healing, Connection with to God

His Word

When we speak His Word we aren’t just talking but speaking THE Word of life!

Pray the promises, speak His Word into situations, against adversities. Matthew 21:18-22, Lamentations 3:37, Psalm 33:6-9, Hebrews 11:3, Luke 7:6-10, Mark 4:39, Luke 4:38-39, Genesis 1:3-24, Mark 9:25-26

You have to decide if you believe in His purpose. Isaiah 61:1-3

Jesus was given authority for us! And He gives it to us! Ephesians 1:19-22, Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Acts 1:8

Jesus didn’t intend that we simply see people in need but that we see to it their world is changed!

Jesus is not hoping or suggesting, He is declaring you and I will accomplish His purpose through His authority!

Finally, You have to decide if you are comfortable with life as it is,
your circumstances, your career and finances, your family issues, the pain in this world, the troubles your classmates and coworkers have to deal with, etc.

But what can I do? Test Jesus! Read through the devotional below this week and prepare yourself to pray the prayer that reveals the power of God, speak Words of life into the world around you and find purpose in serving Jesus!


Note: this week all scripture links are included in the devotional instead of the above sermon notes.

FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE DEVOTIONAL EVERYDAY THIS WEEK.

 

Impacting Those Who Can Do Nothing For Us

Matthew 25:40

Acts 1:8
A couple questions for today…
– Who needs me that I don’t even know?
– Are we just as ready to sacrifice to help those who will never do anything for us?

Romans 15:26-27

2 Corinthians 8-9

“With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.”
– Billy Graham

  • 75% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, but 790 million are without clean water to drink
    Plenty of food yet every second a person dies of hunger
  • 939,000 Facebook posts and comments every minute yet people are still lonely
  • The self-help industry is worth 11 billion dollars but people still have problems
  • Over 50,000 marriage counselors and therapists but people are still getting divorced
  • Over 14,000 drug rehab/treatment facilities but people are still addicted

Plenty of commercials this holiday season will encourage us to spend more, eat more, decorate more, etc. So at Church 29:11 we want to encourage everyone to look outward more.

  • Thanksgiving outreach
  • Remember the homeless – you can give to the Jimmy Hale Mission, $20 feeds 10 homeless people this Thanksgiving.
  • To help supply the emergency shelter at Restoration Ministries contact Lexie Bear
  • Those trapped in the sex trade – you can support and give to A21, a ministry actually rescuing them
  • Pray earnestly over Amber alerts
  • Do something for disaster victims – you can give to and support Refuel Ministry, that goes into disaster-impacted areas and feeds those displaced and the teams responders
  • Bless and reach into 3rd world countries – missions trip interest meeting on 11/17/19 @12:30, or text “Romania” or “missions trip” to 205-476-2911 for more info
  • Pray for persecuted Christians – Open Doors
  • Royal Chicks Operation Christmas Blessing – text 205-504-2576 for more info
  • Kentucky Christmas Blessing, deadline for toys is 12/1

“Authentic Christianity is more about what we give than what we get. Our giving doesn’t earn us our salvation, of course, but it’s a joyful response to a God who gave everything for us. Christians should be the most generous and selfless people on the planet. Sadly, we’re often known as the stingiest and most selfish (ask any non-Christian who’s worked at a restaurant). The Gospel calls us to die to ourselves so that others may live and to put something bigger than ourselves above ourselves. If you give your life away, you find it. When you die to yourself, something greater rises.”
– Carey Nieuwhof

No one has to do everything.
But everyone should do something!