Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I recently started a new series at Life Church called “Heroes”. This series is actually the beginning of a quest to discover the attributes of the heroes of faith to see what we can learn from them and then apply to our lives. I received enough requests for my notes from the last few weeks of messages to go ahead and post them here on my blog.

Somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character

We love Heroes! Our movies are saturated with them, and bookshelves are loaded with them. As I started thinking about this theme of Heroes, I actually found a group in Japan that is basically a ‘Hero Fan Club”.
The Yamagato Fellowship:
“For as long as history has been recorded, it has recorded the story of heroes. Whether it be the myths of those possessing supernatural abilities or the legends of the ordinary finding the extraordinary inside themselves, common strings can be found through all of these tales. The Yamagato Fellowship is dedicated to the study of these heroes - to highlight their courage, their passion and their intellect. By looking into the past, it is our hope that we will all be better equipped to identify and inspire the heroes walking among us today.”

Life Church is becoming like a “Yamagato Fellowship” for “Heroes of Faith”.
“We will highlight their courage, their passion, and their faith. By looking into the past, it is our hope that we will all be better equipped to identify and inspire the Heroes of Faith walking among us today.”

The Bible is packed full of Heroes! As we read it’s pages we see Kings & Queens, Shepherds & Fishermen, Lawyers & Tax Collectors, Priests & Peasants, Slaves & Soldiers, all who lived Heroic lives.

We’ve been looking at a list of Heroes found in Hebrews 11.

Heb. 11:1-3 NKJV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

1. Heroes = Live by Faith

“Faith is believing that God is who He says that He is,
and that He will do what He says he will do.”

Heb. 11:4a NKJV
“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous…”

2. Heroes = Willing to Sacrifice

Abel not only gave a sacrifice, but he gave an “Excellent Sacrifice”…

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.”

When you think of Military Heroes, Search & Rescue Heroes, or Revolutionary Heroes, they all had this in common, they were “Willing to Sacrifice” for the greater good.

Heb. 11:4 NKJV
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

3. Heroes = Leave a Legacy

Heroes live for something greater than themselves, and therefore their impact outlives them.

“When you came into this world you cried and people rejoiced…
live in such a way that when you die people cry and you rejoice.”

Hebrews 11:5 NKJV
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

4. Heroes = Please God

I think it’s amazing that we have the potential to “Please God”!

We don’t “Please God” out of “Duty”, but out of “Delight”.

Whenever I hear the phrase “Please God”, I get a little nervous, because there can be so much religious duty tied up in these two words. It doesn’t say Enoch was a “Legalistically Religious Man”… It says that he “Pleased God”. How do we “Please God”? The next verse clearly tells how…

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

How do we “Please God”?
= “Faith in God” = “Diligently Seek Him”

What would it look like for us to begin to “Live by Faith”, and “Diligently Seek Him” more in our daily lives?

Hebrews 11:7 NKJV
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

5. Heroes = Move with Godly Fear

The Fear of the Lord is to “Revere” or “Worship” God. It’s to acknowledge that He is God, and that we are not God! It’s really about living our lives as an Expression of Worship. Many people struggle with this term because they think of “Terror”, but real Godly Fear is really simply putting God in His rightful place in our lives.

Noah was moved with Godly Fear. He chose to obey God no matter what his circumstances, friends, or even family said! He lived in a generation of Horrible Sin, Rebellion, and Godlessness, but H echoes to follow God rather than his generation. Noah is certainly a Hero in my book! Heroes save people, and every one of us can thank Noah for our very existence! Because Noah was close to God, he became a Hero!

Ungodly Fear will paralyze you, but Godly Fear Moves you!

Hebrews 11:7a NKJV
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark…”

6. Heroes = Prepare for the Future

Noah “Prepared for the Future” by Faith! He diligently did what God told him to do even when he saw no signs of a flood. He did this for more than a lifetime! Imagine the temptations to quit that he must have faced. Yet, he simply did the right thing, and prepared for the future. We can certainly learn a lot from Noah!

As I was preparing for this message, I went back & read through the accounts of both Enoch & Noah’s lives in Genesis, and as I did this, I noticed a statement that was made about both of them.

Gen 5:24 NKJV
And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Gen 6:9 NKJV
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

7. Heroes = Walk with God

My family got me an I-Pod for my 40th birthday, It’s been a while since my “Walkman” days, and walking around with earphones on has almost been like a new experience for me. As I walked around our hotel & the streets of Manila, listening to Chris Tomlin, or sat in the airplane listening to Daniel Groves, or worked out listening to Jared Scholz I realized the power of walking with God to change our perspective. It’s like I’d invited God into those steps with me. Let’s do that! Let’s Walk with God!!!

Heroes =
1. Live by Faith
2. Willing to Sacrifice
3. Leave a Legacy
4. Please God
5. Move with Godly Fear
6. Prepare for the Future
7. Walk with God

In a world of selfishness and empty promises, let's step up and live Heroic Lives of Faith!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Me, My Teenagers, & Manila...

I just returned from the Million Leader Mandate in Manila! It was so great to be able to encourage and equip those leaders for greater impact in that amazing emerging nation. I also met with some church planters about the possibility of taking teams to assist with evangelism and service projects. I believe that we will be sending teams to The Philippines in the near future!

This trip was especially fun for me because I was able to take both of my teenage daughters! We had a wonderful time together! They also made a new friend who was excited to hang out with two girls from the USA! Her father is a friend of mine who was recently transferred over there. He and his wife Laura made the trip so great for us!

My friend "Buko Pie", I mean Mark. :-)

We had a great time, and experienced the grace of God every step of the way! Thanks for your prayers!

pics from Manila...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Redeeming Regrets

I recently shared a message at Life Church called Redeeming Regrets, and had several people ask me for the notes. I decided to go ahead and post a version of my notes on this blog as well.

-to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others

Have you ever felt the sting of “Regret”? It might be words spoken that you wish you could take back, or actions taken that you wish you could erase. It could be things left undone that you wish you could do now, but it’s simply too late, you can’t change it now. Regret can be Overwhelming!

Several years ago while on an outreach with YWAM, I met a homeless man in Florida who had so much regret that he didn’t want to live another day. As I listened to him, he listed several things that he had done, as well as several things that hadn’t done, with deep regret. As I talked to him about God’s Mercy, and the power of His grace, this guy just couldn’t get past his own guilt. He just couldn’t forgive himself. He told me he wanted to die, but he feared the no one would attend his funeral…and if anyone did show up, he was afraid of what they would say. He was afraid of suicide because he was sure that would send him straight to hell, but he just didn’t want to live. Regret had paralyzed him!

Regret has paralyzed countless people from moving forward with their lives! It can be one of the most empty, lonely, and devastating emotions you will ever feel.

Maybe you’ve dealt with deep pain that comes from Regret, knowing that you simply can’t rewind the tape & start over. If you have “Regret” today, God shares it with you. He knows what you are going through, and feels your pain with you. God values you more than you do. Not only does God feel your pain, but He knows how to Replace your Regret with Vision for the Future…

God can Redeem your Regrets! He can do a “New Creation” work in your life!

2 Cor. 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

How do we Deal with Regret & allow God to Redeem it?

The 4 R’s of Dealing with Regret:


- If sin produced the Regret, Repent of it!
- If it wasn’t sin, you can still choose to turn away from the Regret and live for God focusing on the future instead of the past…


Rom 12:18-19
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

- If your Regret is based on a relationship, ask God for wisdom on how to bring restitution to any Relational Regret…


- We must be willing to let go of our regret by releasing it to God. We’ll never be able to move forward as long as we hold on to the past.

1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.


- Replace Regret with our Redeemer!
- Replace Regret with a commitment to avoid potential Regret in the future!

Proverbs 14:8a “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways…”

How do we move forward & live lives free of Regret?

One of the greatest Christians to ever live was the Apostle Paul. He did more to forward the cause of Christ on the earth than any man who ever lived! Even this Great Man had Regrets. The good news is that he didn’t finish his life that way!

Near the end of his ministry Paul wrote...
2 Tim. 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

-There is certainly no evidence of regret in this statement! I want to be able to make that kind of statement at the end of my days!

…Today we’re going to quickly look at a few of his statements to the churches in Philippi, & Colosse…

The first statement is from his letter to the church in Philippi…Phil. 3:12-14
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I think a good summary of all that would be:

1. Prepare for Tomorrow, Today.

Early in his ministry Paul said...
Acts 20:24
“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

Paul knew what kind of man he wanted to be! And he did whatever it took to see that it happened! How did he make sure that it happened? He lived very day his life in light of those values.

What kind of person do you want to be?

What values are most important to you?

Living a life without Regrets means preparing today for tomorrow!

Do you want to live a Life without Regrets?

-Then do something significant today…
-Do you want to be generous? = Give today!
-Do you want to save money for the future? = Save Now!
-Do you want to grow mentally? = Develop Study habits now!
-Do you want to be known as a kind person? = Be kind today!
-Do you want to make an eternal impact in the lives of others?
=Reach out now!

I’m gonna give you a little homework assignment:

-Think of 3 character qualities you want to develop.
-Everyday for the next week, practice one principle from your first character quality that will move you in the direction of making that character trait a reality in your life.
-If you do this with each quality, at the end of the third week you will have taken 21 steps toward becoming the kind of the person you want to be…
àThis seems too simple, but it works.
àA life without regrets doesn’t happen by accident…

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons
- Jim Rohn

Proverbs 14:15 “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”

Our 2nd Statement from Paul is found in his letter to the church at Colosse…
Col. 3:1-3 NKJV
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

2. Live for Eternity, Today.

-Each day of our lives has eternal significance!

The key to living a life without regrets--is in recognizing the significance of the eternal value in everything you do… à Look for eternal significance in the little things in life rather just the success of the major accomplishments.Jesus did not struggle to find significance in everyday life.
-He saw every day with “Eternal Eyes”!
-He would be having a meal with a friend and turn it into a life-changing experience.
-He would be walking along the road with his disciples and see a tree, and teach his disciples a lesson in faith…
Do you want to live a life without regrets?
-Open your “Eternal Eyes”!

"No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets"
- William Borden

If you would like to watch this message online you can go to www.getlife.info and then go to the media section