Thank You

Sowing seed is hard work...Jesus said, 'I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.' John 4:38 NIV

Most of the time the seeds we sow don't spring up in a day, sometimes it takes weeks, months, or years to see the harvest. It is a spiritual principle foundational to outward focus and outflow.

What we sow into our lives will bear fruit someday...That's why it is important to continually sow positive, good things into our lives. It is also why it is important to sow seeds into the lives of the people in our communities...the principle no sowing, no harvest.

My friend Doug met with some church planters recently all stated, 'We don't have the funding to sow seeds.' Doug was stunned, he then asked what business they were in? He clarified we are spiritual farmers, we sow seeds it is what we are called to do...the principle, begin where you are...with what you have. If you wait for tomorrow, you may have a long wait...He encourage them to begin now, invest in the community, fling seeds, invite, encourage, challenge the people to do the same, and experiment with what you have.

Last week I talked to a church planter who is beginning where he is. They went out to a local laundry mat to feed some quarters into the machines...only people...many leaders would have become discouraged and quit...He being a good leader led the small group to a coin operated car wash and fed quarters to pay for the car wash...They returned encouraged.

Later, when asked how can he and his church begin to kick up the volume, by inviting people to become shareholders? I gave a tip...Invite the people to bring outreach items to the meetings...

This month is granola bar, trail mix and packs of peanuts. When you go shopping pick up a box or two of the above items we will store the items for our monthly outreach.

Are we a coke church or a pepsi church or a water church...I did this in Cincy and we raised 28,000 drinks for a summer outreach. Encourage the people to bring cokes, or pepsi, or water to the church each can or bottle is a vote...plan a 4th of July drinks outreach...and use the drinks as your outreach items.

etc. etc. be creative...

Yesterday at 11am we went out to a low income housing area with mainly a bunch of guys out of the 25 people who showed up only four were women. We delivered groceries and offered prayer. At one door one a single mom with 4 kids opened the door...she burst into tears...she didn't have any food to last that week...When prayed for she sobbed.

At 5 pm a van drove up in our parking lot. I noticed a lady looking lost so I went and greeted the lady and the 4 kids in the van...She was the lady. ... She had been so moved by her experience she felt she just had to come and see who we were...She also said thanks...

It is moving when something like this's not the norm. Most of the time seed sown is hidden in the ground of a persons heart. How it grows? Nobody knows it is a mystery.

Watering Planted Seeds
I was washing my car yesterday...a guy pulls up in a truck...gets out asks about the house next door...mentions his parents are returning from Vietnam that night, they are missionaries...I noticed he was a searching, needy guy...After our conversation, I ask if I could pray for him...Startled he agreed...I grabbed his hand and prayed blessing prayers over his life...that God would crown him with favor just as God had given favor to his mom and dad and family, that God would provide for him, that God would open doors for him. At the end of the prayer he said, 'You know, you're not the only person who has prayed for me lately.'

My job, your job, to water the seeds already sown in the hearts of men. God brings the increase.

I'm hoping my boys Mattie, Andrew, and Nathan will be prayed for by the believing people they meet...If you have a minute why not pray for them now. ... ask that God's favor would be on them and that they'd meet believing believers I'd appreciate it very much.


ark almighty

this is an amazing event bringing thousands of people in touch with kindness, serving and caring. I'd encourage you to become an ark for the people in your church and beyond. This is another Steve Sjogren landing on his feet again...beyond and above him and his winsome personality...has to have a ring of God on this... clink the link below to see tabs to see the inspiration behind the film and join the cause...


Investing our time for what really matters..

Last segment in redeeming the time...

time marches on and waits for no one.

Here today gone tomorrow.

One shot, one life, one chance, one opportunity to make a difference.

We are created to make a difference...

to leave the planet when departed having made our mark somewhere somehow small or great.

The greatest investment we can make is to influence a life toward eternity.

So how or where do we begin to invest our talents, gifts, money and our service? The how has been covered in the last few posts...where do we invest? is the question...

God said to Abraham, 'Lift up your eyes from where you are. See the land I have given you...'

Begin where you are, lift up your eyes, ask God to help you see the needs in...your church, your community, your city, your state, your world.

Then seek those places to invest your life, sports, nursing homes, church, park departments, inter city ministry just to name a few...

Seek to match your passion with your gifting.

What are you passionate about? What burns your heart? What motivates you to action?

Passion in a heart keeps the life investment real and authentic. Passion keeps you going when the going gets tough.

If you are really stuck, read Steve and Janie Sjogren's book 101 Ways to Reinvest Your Life
available from pretty good

Goodyears passion

Redeem the time by

redeem the time by:
Drawing inspiration and encouragement from encouraging people.

in the USA there are a multitude of resources to encourage the heart...via Book, DVD, seminars, conferences, tv, radio, podcasts, life coaches and internet resources...not to mention great churches staffed by great leaders in most towns and cities...

Note: I mentioned drawing 'inspiration'...and 'encouragement' draw literally means to lean into, to contact, to connect, to seek, to ask, to question, listen and to learn...drawing from someone involves humility of heart and mind, effort and time, and a willingness to be a learner who responds positively to inspirational and encouraging input..

Jesus Christ is the most encouraging and inspirational person I know...He is always encouraging...He is the One we can lean into in order to draw all the life we need....Colossians 2:5-7 NLT States:

I am very happy because you are living as you should
and because of your strong faith in Christ.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord,
you must continue to live in obedience to him.

Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him,
so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous
in the truth you were taught.
Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.

A noun, inspiration is
    1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
    2. The condition of being so stimulated.
  1. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
  2. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
  3. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.
  4. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
  5. The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs
Inspiring people have a spark that is connected to an energy that is trans-rational, above and beyond the norm...

spending time with such people in person, in print or on podcast can cause us to be inspired to reach beyond our limited, natural abilities and tendencies...

We some how are then inspired and encouraged, to believe we can succeed, make a difference in the life of another, or survive a trying situation.


1. the expression of approval and support [ant: discouragement]
2. the act of giving hope or support to someone [syn: boost]
3. the feeling of being encouraged

people who spark inspiration are usually great encourager's, they support, give hope, and boost our lives forward...

there are always exceptions...sadly some people who are known for inspiring others don't seem to have the ability, the character to build up, to invest in and release others to continue to expand their vision or cause... I've watched some great leaders miss the mark... especially in the investment, releasing others into service arena. Their apparent success is usually diminishing, limited to one generation.

One church and another para-church ministry I know has always had 'great potential' but the potential
has been consistently dissipated or wasted.

1. By hiring over qualified people for jobs well below their abilities; locking them into a lesser role that leads to frustration, they are not released to do what they are trained to do which leads to
an abnormal high staff / leader turn over. Therefore the wheel is always being reinvented...the pattern repeated...hire over qualified leaders etc...

One church, when wanting 'to getting rid' of staff members (who are no longer 'useful' for the leaders / organizational benefit...and typically after the loyal staff members have given their life blood sometimes for years, for the organization or for the leader, uses the 'we will give you a role so much below your abilities, potential and character you will want to leave' fire method. (Real up front and Godly eh?) Leave they do, licking their wounds usually in anger and sadly full of disillusionment.

2. A failure to create a positive 'we are making a difference, therefore we will do what ever it takes team atmosphere' and 'vibe' ...that invests in growing people... the people who have a share holders stake (a personal growing investment in the movement)...thus lowering staff turn over.

The value of Team building, and Team dynamics are usually lost on such leaders,

...they may seen to be great speakers who encourage groups of people, but, in reality behind the scenes they in it for themselves...for such leaders people are just stepping stones toward their ideal their goal...they don't have the emotional intelligence, nor the skillful foresight to inspire, encourage, invest in and release people into service for the benefit of all.

Over the years I noticed God has a way of taking away some, or all of the influence a leader thinks they have. He begins to raise up other quality people who see a relational investment worthy of pursuit. Sadly, typically the initial leaders of a movement begin to oppose the new kids on the block verbally, and in attitude. They end up opposing the very movement they helped start...usually pride, believing their perceived press, or a highly inflated view of self, and a narcissist ego, have something to do with their fall and failed potential of the movement.

to encourage someone lit. means to pour courage into another person that strengthens the heart, mind and will for action

When inspired and encouraged, our mind, and our will, and our emotions begin to line then enters the heart, and we believe. Believing... we then can move forward with confidence. It is important to be around encourager's and inspirer's if not our passion wanes, our hearts sink, and we become passive.

So seek to draw inspiration and encouragement from others...

Just a few people of the many people who encourage me mainly through reading their books, listening to podcasts, hearing heart felt worship, or talking on the phone...

Erwin McManus
Steve Sjogren
Doug Roe
Dave Workman
Scott Sliver
Robert Pitman
Brennin Manning
Passion 07
Tim Hughes and the Soul Survior worship guys
Robert Pooley
David Kerr always a resource of great thoughts and encouragment
Dave Ping
Doug Pollock

many more...

This week I will read, listen, watch ________________________.

redeem the time by

sir clive dyson
learning to fail successfully...

If you are going to redeem the time, take risk, you will fail.

Life = Risk

the key to learning to fail successfully is a no's simple, get up again.

'Fail will you'

the truth be known, most successes are
built on a multitude of failures.

Zig Ziglar

Failure Doesn't Suck pt 1 and pt 2 Fast Company
Today, Dyson makes the best-selling vacuum cleaner by revenue in the United States and is one of the richest blokes in Britain. But it took him 15 years and nearly his entire savings to develop his bagless, transparent creation. His latest innovation, a hand dryer that uses neither heat nor evaporation, took only three years, but Dyson says his grinding, error-filled approach hasn't changed.

You once described the inventor's life as "one of failure." How so? I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That's how I came up with a solution. So I don't mind failure. I've always thought that schoolchildren should be marked by the number of failures they've had. The child who tries strange things and experiences lots of failures to get there is probably more creative. For rest of article and podcast at Fast Company

also a great resource is famous failures... great video clip only $1.99

Proverbs 24:16 …a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again.

If I fail this week I will ________________________.

Redeem the time

Redeem the time by: Developing Spiritual Disciplines:

Look at any sport success story, or look at anyone who has achieved greatness and you may discover the reason for their success. Most likely you will hear that they were consistent in the basics. Their sudden accomplishment was more than probably revealed by years of disciplined living or their unwavering tenacity.

Mark Spitz won 7 gold medals and broke 7 world records. When asked, 'How did you achieve such a mind boggling accomplishment?' He replied, 'For years I was in the pool from 6am until 5pm every day....It's called pool time.'

Consistently doing the basics was the foundation for his success.

Paul writing to Timothy stated:

1Tim 4:7-8 NAS
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

So what are some basic spiritual disciplines?

Spiritual Disciplines are:

Bible study
...reading the Bible helps believers to know and to grow. is learning to think positively...

I often slow my self down by writing the books of the bible out in long hand with a fountain pen... helps me to know how and what God thinks, clears the clutter, chatter, and brings clarity of thought...whatever is good, right, lovely, honest, and true think on these is positive brooding...

Louie Giglio...uses the one word of a verse bible meditation program...take a verse...then take a key word and think about that word for a day or two...amazing what comes to mind, and the lessons that can be learned.

...talking to God...and listening to God...slowing down on the inside to think, talk, worship and listen...find a place set an appointment and talk to God....and old book titled Hey, God was a great read of an Italian family and 'momma', her conversations that began by the statement,'Hey, God'...

Serving others...serving others is the pathway for our head knowledge to become heart knowledge...

Thomas Merton learned much about himself, his faith and how to love by living and serving in a community that included the mentally challenged.

Serving others rightly gets our eyes off our self importance and onto those for whom Christ died...serving others reveals our heart attitudes and our ability to love, show grace and our willingness to care for others in practical ways...

1 Pet 4:10 NLT
God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you.

Becoming a generous person
...learning to become a generous giver instead of a constant receiver is acquired by developing a generous lifestyle...

my friends Scott, Mark, Doug exhibit this quality consistently that challenges and sparks generosity in me.

They give, and give big...

I've learned to tip big, add an extra $5 to the price of a special personal gift, to fill a persons car with a tank full of gas, to purchase my wife and kids gifts just because I love them...

Living a guarded life
...sadly many of us don't realize that living a guarded life is probably the most important spiritual discipline we can practice...

Think of the recent and past moral failures that are played out in the media...

somewhere, somehow, their guard was down, and a moment became a lifestyle that in the end became a downfall...

watch over your heart will all diligence for out of it flow all the issues of life. the proverbial warning...

perhaps we should listen to our hearts more often, and pause for reflection before we __________________.

..being part of a group who will love you enough to speak the truth to you in love...

to love you as you are...

and encourage you to be the best you can be...

community is where life is truly lived...

where the 56 + one anothers can be walked out...

hopefully you are connected to a community of believers that is of such a quality that they will not allow you to believe your own press and keep you grounded.

This week I will discipline myself by _____________________________.

Redeem the time by:

Discovering who you are and more importantly whose you are...Focus on who you are becoming as he changes you on the inside.

Doing something.

Acts 13:22,36
David was a man after God's own heart ... who after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation he fell asleep.

it's the only generation we have to serve the purposes of God...

Serving requires Action.

Jesus was consumed by His Father's purpose for his life. He was passionate, focused, all consumed by his higher call.

John 4 is a great read...many key principles included in this one chapter here are a few: Jesus's humanity
How to communicate the good news

Progressive revelation

Gifts of the Spirit in action that open a heart

The power of Story
People believing because they heard him for themselves

Jesus's fulfillment came from doing God's will and accomplishing all his will and work.

John 4:31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

Vision comes from a divine-human synergy
where God wills and acts in us,
while we will and act for him.

People who focus on what could be,
will begin to create what could be.

Laurie Beth Jones

See a need and meet it,
find a hurt and heal it.
Robert Shuler

There is no better way to redeem the time than finding a place to serve others.

Here is part of an email I received this week.

Thanks so much for your message last night . It really helped me and encouraged me . We are the family that last spring came by the church and asked for info about the church because we were moving to the area and my husband is Air Force Reserve and had taken a civillian job that he applied for at the base for his "regular" income . We moved to the area in June and shortly there after we all began attending a service .

Sometime during the summer there was a special speaker who I have forgotten the name of but at one of his services I went down for prayer and Scott prayed over me and in the prayer he prayed that God would use me and my hands to bring healing .

I hadn't told him what area of work I was thinking of going back to school for but God knew and used scott's Prayer as encouragement also .
Since then God has continued to reveal to me that Nursing is where he wants me and more specifically , children . I have felt God telling me to be " HIS Hands and His Feet" to minister to children and their families .

I was discouraged and struggling before I came to the service last night because of a letter that said I should wait til my children were grown and off in college before I should pursue this that they needed me more .

During your message I felt God was telling and reminding me of all the women I had seen already working in these hospitals and raising families too and they were doing both and that they were having a great affect on both their own childrens lives as well as those they tended to that were sick .


I just wanted to say if you felt like you fumbled around and it didn't run smoothly , the message got thru .

This Church has been a a HUGE blessing already . My husband is currently deployed in Kirkuk , Iraq since January and will return the end of May . The Church and all it has to offer has been a weekly source of strength and encouragement .

My kids have enjoyed the Weds. night programs they are involved in and I have enjoyed the Randsom Heart women's group and the weds, night service as well as the weekend services .
I have even been encouraged by a man and his wife who sit sunday mornings usually in the same area I do and ever since He noticed the "photo pin" I wear of my husband and the a yellow ribbon he has asked me how he is doing and always says he is praying for Him and us . I don't even know if he remember my name and I don't remember his but he always remembers my face and it has been a source of encouragement that he is praying for my family and that we are thought of. It is awesome to be a part of such a wonderful church family . We prayed God would lead us to the right church home when we moved here and HE answered that prayer thru The Dayton Vineyard .

Thanks again to you , Scott and Doug and the rest of the staff and all those that give their time to make The Vineyard work .

her letter sums it up...doing something is now...

This week I’m going to redeem the time by ____________________________.

redeem the time part 2

We are all given the same resource, time…it is our greatest commodity.
How we invest our time is all important...we only have one generation, one shot to make a difference in our world...

Redeem the time by:

Discovering (discovery is a process, a journey) who you are and more importantly discover whose you are.

God’s passion for us, awakens passion in us. Mike Bickel Passion for Jesus

Discovery is a progressive revelation of who we are in Him.

Who are you? People who know who they are, are secure in who they are.

Jesus…knew who he was, where he came from and where he was going…
Before one act of mercy, before one miracle, before one teaching, before choosing one disciple... His Father spoke a resounding phrase to His Son...
This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

Therefore Jesus was secure in who he was, because he understood whose he was.

The 2007 Masters was won by a young guy named Zack from Iowa. He was playing the best of the best. Tiger Woods was moving forward. Zack remained calm.

After winning he was asked, 'Who are you?'

His reply, 'I’m Zack Johnson a "normal guy" from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.'
He went on to say...'This being Easter, Jesus was with me every step. I felt him. It was awesome.'

Perhaps he was secure in on the inside because, he knew whose he was.

Eph. 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Whose are you?
I am --------securely his…

Talk about a couple of verses that bring us security...see below...
John 10:27-28 NAS
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.

A more important question: than who are you is...Who are you becoming? God’s will for your life is to transform you into the image of His Son at whatever stage of life, or in whatever situation you find your self.

You can change who you are by allowing the Unchanging One to change you from the inside out. He is in the reconstruction business, He can transform your life. All you have to do is to offer your life up to Him, praying something like, 'I can't change my self. But you can make me a new person. I give you my life. Transform me, change me, make me like your son. amen.'

take my life Jermy Camp

Redeem the time...

spoke on redeeming the time...our greatest commodity...

The days of our lives... as the sand falls through the hourglass so are the days of our lives

Reality the sand is falling through the hour glass and we are all…
Chasing Daylight…

At one time it was called the Rat Race... or keeping up with the Joneses

Eat work sleep... there's got to be more than life than this...

There is something in every human heart that tells us there has to be something more…

that we were created for a purpose…

Every generation senses an inner longing for purpose, the thought is usually expressed in music…

they state something like 'i don't want to live the way the previous generation lived. I want more, i want to give my life for something that is great...that gives meaning to my existence on plant earth.'

The Who My Generation…'hope I die before I get old'

Neil Young 'I want to burn out, before I rust out.'
My My, Hey Hey.
It's Better to burn out, than to fade away.

Switchfoot Oh Gravity

Burn Out Bright
Does it have to start with a broken heart
Broken dreams and bleeding parts
We were young and world was clear
Young ambition disappears
I swore it would never come to this

The average, the obvious

I'm still discontented down here
I'm so discontented
If we only got one try
If we've only got one life
If time was never on our side
Before I die I want to burn out bright

The future is a question mark
With kerosene electric sparks
There's still fire in you yet
Yeah there's still fire in you

Listening to this song as i run on the treadmill at the gym on my stylish ipod and being past 50 I shout inside my heart 'Yeah there's still fire in you yet'...

Why does every generation seek to find significance?
Why is there a resounding intuitive declaration …There’s must be more to life than this.

The answer. God has set eternity in the hearts of men.

He has set boundaries around our lives for a purpose…

the purpose… that we might seek Him… and seeking Him we might find Him…and finding Him we might have life.

Why? He Cares for us…
He wants us to know him and to discover that he has a significant plan for our lives…

He wants us to live a life that is full of passion…
to live lives on purpose…

That’s the reason Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life

Subtitle What on Earth pause Am I Here For?

the book has sold more books than any other book in history 26 million in 2006… translated in over 56 languages

Why? because there is a common global human heart cry which yearns for a sense of significance and purpose in this life.

Many people come to the realization that they need God when they have come to the end of themselves. some use their intellect in the search, most use their gut feeling and mask the pain through drugs, booze, sex, sports, work, _____________fill in the blank.

Finding God in Christ Jesus, we discover new hopeful possibilities
He can make something out of nothing,
He can give us beauty for ashes,
He can impart a passion into our hearts that propels us into living a new life in a new way... living a life on purpose.

Coming to Him, He changes our destiny, by changing our heart, by giving us a passion and a purpose to live for.

How do we continue to enter into the purposes of God? and How do we continue to be passionate about fulfilling the purposes of God for our lives?

a few steps later posts

how do you spell cold?...brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

much to my amazement the day began on a slightly chilly note 25 and a wind chill = 18 degrees. Sun shining...for a moment...wind blowing...our brave set up team arrived in good spirits and set up the field, cooking area, face painting, prize booth. It was a sight to see 40 people lined up stomping out the snow in the field...Did someone say this is spring Easter season? the field now clean and green we threw out the eggs...

we gathered together prayed and bid a fair Adieu to the set up team who then ran like crazy to their cars and sped home to a hot shower...

meantime the rest of the team arrived and we waited to see if any people would show up...10:30am people began to arrive and began to scarf down the hot dogs, 1,100 cooked in an hour...time for the egg hunt a fair 750 brave parents and kids lined the field...

the horn sounded and in 90 seconds all the eggs were in baskets...

then opened to see if there were any prizes...3 kids won a grand prize ... a new bike...

it was the birthday of one kid who won... to see his smile was amazing... his mom grinning from ear to ear... what are the odds of a kid winning a bike on his birthday? i think he will remember the day for a long time...

in the end it was another great event... wonderful upbeat volunteers... our community cared for, people touched... several voiced their thanks... one lady and son said they'd see us at mass on Easter Sunday at the cool is that!

why didn't you pray?

wow! what power I be able to pray and see the major weather system stop, move back north...

most of the mid west all the way to Atlanta would be grateful if the last grasp of winter could somehow be shoved north where it belongs...

only if I had enough pray it away...sigh...not enough faith...sorry my mid-west friends for my lack of faith...

reality...nor rain, nor sleet, nor hail, nor snow can keep fun, upbeat, community outreach from moving outward...

yes, it will be cold, yes we will reach out, yes we will still have a great time providing an awesome, fun, up beat community event...

yes we will dress warm, yet stylish...yes we will use hand-warmers, yes 2000 hot doggers will be cooked, yes we will serve snow cones(really!)

yes we will host a Giant Easter Egg Hunt with 20,000 Easter eggs... Why? some may ask...We reach out because it is what the Church is supposed to care, to somehow communicate Jesus cares for real time practical ways. Easter Egg Smeaster egg, the real reason...Christ died for all...and all who come to Him live...really people discover or realize the truth of His great love and grace sometimes is revealed by small things done with great love.

See you there... Delco Park 11am...

steve out

Rain - Get on the bus.

what an outreach yesterday...30 intrepid teens and adults headed out in the monsoon to deliver groceries and pray to a low income area. umbrellas, pairing up in twos...

we've noticed that when weather is bad on an outreach day something good usually happens. sometimes snow is blowing sideways, or it is extremly cold, yesterday was no exception. most people asked for was great to see groups of people huddling under umbrellas praying for people in need.

some questions

What makes you want to come out in the rain and deliver groceries?

Who are you people?

Why are you so happy?

Do you think God sent you?

all returned pumped, and encouraged...