We Are Launching

Our Launch at Rave Cinemas is almost here Covenant! I’m so excited I can barely sleep! The team has been working so hard to make sure that the worship experience for both adults and kids alike, is going to be one that you can be really proud of when bringing your friends. I just CANNOT wait for you to see it. WOW. I think we all are getting the sense that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves here. There is such a great anticipation and momentum heading into this Sunday. Here are a couple quick thoughts pertaining to this upcoming Sunday as we launch at 10AM…

#1- Remember you are standing in the Gap. You may be the only opportunity someone has to hear about  Jesus. Do not miss any opportunity that you might have to invite someone to Covenant this weekend. Remember that you are not accountable to, “save” anyone, that is the job of the Holy Spirit. However, it is our job to clear a path for the gospel, and to invite people to experience Christ. For this reason, you should be a bringer. Be a person who is marked by your love for Christ in your everyday life, not just your Sunday mornings. Step out in boldness and invite, invite, invite. Do whatever it takes to get people in a position where they have the chance to hear the gospel.

#2- This Sunday we begin our new series, “YU.” We are going to be talking about the bigger vision that God has for our lives. I’ve been waiting to preach through this series for a while now. In fact, this has been burning inside my chest since last May. I cannot wait to get it out of my soul.

#3- Pray with expectationNaw, bump that, pray with HUGE EXPECTANCY! I want to encourage you to pray prayers over our church that are so big, so huge, so immense, that they seem imposible. Pray prayers that are outside the realm of what you think is realistic. If we serve a God who is greater than anything we could ever imagine, then our prayers should reflect it. So be sure as you pray to pray BIG. And when you pray, remember to pray for people and not just numbers. Pray specifically for people by name. Pray for the woman at the coffee shop, pray for your boss, pray for your husband or wife, and pray that God will stir in their heart to join you this Sunday. Pray that God would move like never before, pray that His presence is evident in our church like never before, pray that God will continue to draw all people to Himself, and pray for a great Harvest this Sunday!

#4- Our Volunteers are amazing! I’m so thankful for so many of you stepping up and taking ownership of YOUR church! There is no telling what God can do with a group of people who are sold out for Him, and who are sold out to the fact that God wants to use HIS church as the vehicle to reach this world.

#5- I am praying for you! As your pastor, I want you to know how proud I am of you, and the fact that we are all stepping out of faith in this move. Just remember that daily, I am lifting up the names of the people who call Covenant their home. I love being your pastor, and I love our church. Let’s make an impact that will be felt by our children’s children, let’s take back the land that God has promised us, and let’s pray that God moves mightily beyond all of our understanding. 

Stay Strong,

-Pastor Travis

Lion Taming

We’ve all had it happen…none of us are immune…that hot, hair raising sensation that slowly creeps up the back of your spine and into your your mind when you find out that someone has said malicious things about you behind your back. Your first instinct is to find the nearest cat and throw it across the room! (maybe that’s a bit dramatic?) Sometimes the things that people say are true, often times the things people say behind your back are untrue, but either way, YOU are left with the response. And as my grandma always say’s, “People Gonna Talk.” Nothing you can do is gonna change the fact that there are people that are going to be slanderous, people are going to be malicious, people are going to talk about you behind your back at some point in your life. (If you feel like this has never happened to you then you have just been mis informed)

So once again, if there is nothing you can personally do to stop behind the back talking, then it would seem that you are only left with one option, YOUR DEFENSE or your response. However, this is untrue. You have two options. Both are options are made available through a historical account in Daniel 6. We’ve all heard the story of Daniel in the Lions Den, but I think that Daniels story can give us some great personal insight on malicious talk, and how we act and react in our unique situations.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story of Daniel, let me debrief you in short form. Daniel, a Godly man is arrested by a good King who was manipulated by a couple of malicious men to make a decree that states, anyone who prays to any god outside of their king would be thrown into a pit filled with lions. This sounds good to the king, so he issues the decree. The malicious men then head straight over to Daniels crib where they find him (as he is every day) praying to God. They arrest him and throw him in the lions den. God then shows up and shuts the mouths of the lions overnight and protects Daniel. The next day the king goes over to the pit to find Daniel alive. With great joy he pulls Daniel from the lions den and then throws the malicious men into the den instead (because they manipulated the king) where they are eaten alive by wild lions.

So what insight can we gather? Here are a couple quick thoughts…

#1-We must call in a preemptive strike on our integrity. A preemptive strike is a military action designed to neutralize a potential threat or to gain an advantage against an enemy. And this is how we must live as followers of Christ. 1 Timothy 3 tells us that we are to live above reproach. This means, that our lives can offer a testament to who we are and what we stand for, before someone says something nasty about us behind our backs. Such was the case with Daniel. If you notice in Scripture, the Kings heart is heavy when he learns that Daniel has been arrested for the crime of praying to another god. Notice that the King is not angry with Daniel, but rather heartbroken. This is because the King knows Daniels character. He realized that the claims that are brought against Daniel however true, don’t accurately reflect who Daniel is. Daniel is an innocent man in all rights, and the King knows this. Daniel called a preemptive strike in his own life. However, even though there was a preemptive strike, it still was not enough to deflect the attack that Daniel had come against him.

Even when you live a Christ-centered life, you will still have people who will try to tear you down.

And this is where the second point comes into play.

#2-Let your God be your defender. Notice that Daniel didn’t plea for mercy or scream and cry in rage. Notice that Daniel didn’t try and justify what he had done or go and defend himself. Nope. He…Did…Nothing. He let God be his defender. And what happened? God shows up in the lions den and shuts up the mouth of the lions himself. There was nothing that Daniel himself could have done to shut up those lions mouths, he would have been eaten alive. Sure maybe he could have injured one or two…MAYBE, but he surely would have eventually been eaten. But because Daniel was in correct standing with God, and because Daniel knew that the only defense he needed was God, God shows up and does only what God can do, and that was to shut the mouths of the lions. And then, God does one better on Daniels behalf! Notice what happens when Daniel is rescued, the malicious, manipulative men are tossed into the very den that they sought to put Daniel into!

So in recap…Live a life that is above reproach, a life that is Christ-centered, let that be your preemptive strike, and secondly, let God be your defender as scripture tells us He is. Let Him be the one who shuts the mouths of the ravenous lions who seek to eat you alive! And lastly don’t be a malicious person who talks behind others backs, or the beat down you are secretly trying to put on others will come back roaring as it eats you alive.

Somethings Gotta Change!

There was a time when Christianity didn’t just drive the culture, it actually created it. Think, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, think, “Sistine Chapel”, think,  “The Statue of David”. Christianity created the culture. Everything from music, art, politics, and literature. However somewhere along the way secular thought, and humanistic reasoning took root and Christianity stood by the wayside seemingly helpless in its endeavors.

And somewhere along the way we’ve accepted the place that’s been given to us. Christians have become ok with being emulators of culture rather than innovators of culture. We’ve allowed ourselves to produce a second rate product, and hidden behind an excuse. An excuse that says, if it’s Christian it doesn’t have to be as good. It’s expected that, “Christian Music”, “Christian Art”, etc. is not going to be as good as what the outside world can produce.

But hold on a minute, shouldn’t we have a different view? Shouldn’t we have the understanding that if it’s Christian it should be better? Since when did we think it was alright to lower our expectations? Don’t we serve a creative God, who made all that we know to be? His beauty at every corner, His handiwork and craftsmanship in every person? So therefore it stands to reason that, “we”, as people who have the Holy Spirit living in us, should be raising the bar on creativity, and not just regurgitating it.

We cannot be ok with sub-par art, but rather we must expect more.

We should not be content with poor worship experiences in our churches filled with bad art and  awful music, but rather in everything that we do, we should strive for the best, we should strive for excellence, we should strive to lay it all out for our King and say that we gave our best! Everything should be marked with this heightened excellence, our marriages, our families, our businesses, our communication, our churches, our organizations…All of these things should be so compelling that they drive people to the Gospel. It’s just frustrating that most times we do the opposite.

Where are the innovators? Where are the revolutionaries? Where are the creators of culture? Where are the difference makers? It’s time to raise the standard and start saying, “If its Christian, it should be better!” Our God is worth it, and our Savior is due it! May we go forth today and demand more of ourselves and the things we create! Whatever your livelihood, do it to the best of your ability! Musicians, artists, stay at home moms, businessmen, pastors, school teachers, janitors, writers etc., don’t allow society to put a ceiling on what you can accomplish, but rather, remember the words of Paul in Romans 8:11 when the Bible tells us that, “…the same power that raised Christ from the dead…now lives in us…”  This means you have a connection with the most creative, most innovative, most intelligent, most powerful being in all of the cosmos. Tap into that power source today and lets clear a path for the Gospel in our culture today!

Copyright © Covenant Church 2014