For God Alone
October 30, 2007, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Personal

Have you ever had those times when you feel like a fish out of water? A visitor in a strange place? Or a square peg trying your best to fit into a round hole? Personally it is one of those times for me. A time when God is and will be teaching me a lot about myself and my place in Him. This will be a time when God will stretch me and pull me out of my comfort zone. These are times when God proves Himself the most to me. It is a time of total trust and reliance upon God in my life. Are these times ever easy? No. But, these are the times in my life that I most feel alive. There will be times of extreme doubt in myself and times of questioning why. But, God will be and even now is able to handle all the doubts and all of the whys. You might say that it seems like I am speaking from a place of knowledge and confidence, and you would be correct. I’ve been here before. The plucking and pruning of pride, self-reliance, over-confidence from my life to be replaced by a humbled, total reliance in the power of God instead of my own. It is funny sometimes how God moves in my life just when I feel like I have it all together with a good handle on whatever situation that I am in.

There is one thing I am sure of. When God calls us to do a job, He does not give it to us without giving us the tools to accomplish the task at hand. I know that might sound old and trite but it is the one fact that I rely on to get me through the low times when I feel I will not make it.

So now the whole world has a little insight into what I am going through in my personal walk with the Lord but transparency is a good thing that can help me and possibly someone else that might find themselves at a similar spot in their walk with Christ. We are all nothing but flawed, filthy, dirty rags in need of a gracious Savior that can mend our flawed brokenness and wash our filthy dirty selves as white as snow. Only then are we made into something beautiful not for self-admiration or for others to admire but something beautiful for only the Lord Himself to take pleasure in.


Are You Deep?
October 27, 2007, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Church

One of the criticisms of the way that we do church now is that we are not deep. That is just a bunch of useless dribble. One of the best blogs I’ve read on the subject is from Perry Noble at New Spring Church. I hope you enjoy reading his blog on are we deep?

Perry Noble’s Blog

Grace For The Change
October 22, 2007, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Personal

Does change scare anyone? I think for most people it does. At the very least I think that change makes people a little nervous. I am no different than anyone else. Is change easy for me? No, but, I believe that God is sovereign and that He actually likes change. In the Old Testament, God continually brought about change in His chosen people’s (Israel) lives. He continually moved them and moved through them to accomplish His will. In the New Testament Jesus came to abolish the status quo and bring salvation to everyone and wrought change in the religious establishment and the entire world. So one might ask why is it so hard for us to deal with change and why do we fight it most of the time?

I think it so hard for us because we look at change as inconvenience for us and not as a tool for God to accomplish His will. I would be lying to the world if I said that I get this principle and live it out in my life. Change is scary and makes me feel uncomfortable more than I can even describe. But, God does not leave me or anyone else left holding the bag while He allows change to permeate our lives. He gives grace for the change. I know some of you are saying to yourself right now, how “Sunday Schoolish” of an explanation is that? I can only share how God works in my life, so I honestly can tell you that through every time and season of change in my life, God has gotten me through. His grace has covered my life over and over again. Even right now God is speaking grace and peace to my heart even though I am feeling the winds of change.

God is a God of movement and change and I feel like things are kicking into high gear in the ministry that God has called me. C3 Church has been through a lot of change and will continue to change some more to fulfill God’s plan for us. In a previous blog I spoke about feeling uncomfortable and that is one result of change, but it is also a source of coming growth. So what am I trying to say? God gives grace for the change. Change no matter how it comes is never easy but God’s grace is sufficient to get me through. It really is a test of trust. Do you, do I, trust God enough to believe that He gives grace for the change? He’s done it before and He will do it again in my life. Thank you God for giving me GRACE FOR THE CHANGE.

The God Factor
October 22, 2007, 8:52 am
Filed under: Church

What can be said of Mondays? For me it is a time to look back and evaluate how we did on Sunday. I can look back and pick apart everything that was done incorrectly or things that could have been done better. Don’t get me wrong, that is a good thing and we always want to do our best for God and for the sake of everyone that comes into our service on Sunday. Part of that process is evaluation and we will always do that. But I can not forget the biggest factor when looking at a service. That factor is the God factor. Unless the Lord shows up and blesses what we are trying to accomplish then we do it all in vain. We pray every Sunday morning before we lead in worship and ask for God to bless our endeavor but most of all to change lives. We can do nothing without the grace of God on our lives, especially leading others in worship. Looking back to yesterday, sometimes God just moves in special ways. We had an unbelievable amount of communication cards passed in yesterday. Was there some big push to get people to turn cards in? No. Some of these cards were first time guests but most were prayer requests. I believe it is safe to assume that God showed up and moved in people’s lives yesterday. When you present the Word of God through the spoken word or through music God has promised that it will do the job and people’s lives will be changed. Did the God factor apply yesterday? You better believe it did and that makes yesterday’s service a huge success.

October 18, 2007, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Church

Well it has been a couple of rough days in the Loper household but, but, God is faithful to strengthen and encourage. God never promised to give us smooth sailing all the time but He did promise to never leave or forsake us. Reaching people is more important than our comfort. I don’t think that the disciples were comfortable, I don’t think that the first century Christians were comfortable, I don’t think that missionaries in places like China, Africa, Haiti and South America are comfortable so why should we here in America be so comfortable. Pastor Byron was talking about this subject with me a few days ago and I totally agree with him. We as human beings gravitate to places of comfort. It is the human tendency to work toward a comfortable place especially when times have been more challenging. Just look at America, we are always trying to achieve a greater level of comfort and convenience and that philosophy has been interwoven into American church culture. It would be wonderful for those of us that have been through so much during the transition into C3 Church to seek a level of comfort and convenience but we WILL NOT. It is not the job of the staff of C3 to get comfortable and coast (I know Pastor Byron would not let us even if we wanted to 🙂 ). The reason we will not become comfortable is because the time is short and there are too many lives at stake not to be relentless in our pursuit of the un-churched. Nothing is left off the table as we evaluate the best way to reach lives. There are no “sacred cows” and nothing that will stop us from doing the work God has given us. No matter what people that have left us might say, no matter what other churches might say, no matter what friends might even say, we have counted the cost and we will not be shaken! Our comfort is not important. When you actually think about it, there is nothing comfortable about the great commission. Like I told Pastor Byron a few days ago, “I’ve been uncomfortable for a good long time now so being uncomfortable some more is something I am learning to live with.” The Lord said that he will supply all of our needs. Therefore He will carry us through our rough and rocky times. He is our source of strength through our lack of comfort.

So bring it on, lives, souls, are worth being uncomfortable.

Andrea I Love You
October 18, 2007, 8:20 am
Filed under: Personal

My wife has requested that I don’t blog about what I was going to last night and I promised I wouldn’t so I will just say a few non-blogging things this morning.

Andrea I love you and wish I could insulate you from all the meanness that might ever be directed at you but I can’t. I just hope that my love would be enough to cover any hurt that anyone might ever throw at you.

I love you!

I Understand
October 16, 2007, 7:50 am
Filed under: Personal

This song has spoken to me over the past several days. It’s by an artist by the name of Smokie Norful:

I Understand

Sometimes I feel like giving up
It seems like my best just ain’t good enough
Lord if You hear me, I’m calling You
Do You see, do You care all about what I’m going through

And then He says, one more day, one more step
See I’m preparing you for Myself
And when you can’t hear My voice, please trust My plan
I’m the Lord, I see and yes I understand

But sometimes I feel like I’m all alone
I’m just like a stranger so far from home
I feel like I’ve done all that I can do
Please Lord give me strength, I’m just trying to make it through

That’s when He told me one more day, one more step
See I’m preparing You for Myself
And if you can’t hear My voice, please trust My plan
I’m the Lord I see you and yes I understand

He knows how much we can bear
And in the time of trouble He promised He would always be there
I understand
The Lord is telling you yes I understand
I am the Lord I see you and yes I understand

I am the Lord I changeth not
I won’t forget nor have I forgot
You see every thing works according to My plan
I am God, trust me, I got the whole world in My hand

One more day, one more step
I’m preparing you all for Myself
And you can’t hear Me speaking, just trust My plan
I’m the Lord I see you and yes I understand
I’m the Lord I see and yes I understand
I am the Lord I see what you’re going through
Every problem, every trial, every burden, every situation
I understand, I won’t leave you
I understand, understand, understand