Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let's Move With Him

I see us standing on the edge of seeing God do something that many of us have never seen Him do in our life time. We have the possibility of seeing hundreds find freedom in Jesus Christ in a very short period of time.

We have the possibility of seeing hundreds rediscover HOPE in the person of Jesus Christ.

We have the possibility of seeing hundreds come back to Christ.

We have the possibility of seeing revival!

And let me be clear…I want our church to live with such abandon…in such surrender to God and HIS will…devoted to the word and drenched in prayer that we see the Hand of God move in our church and in our Community.

What needs to happen? PRAYER! Prayer always precedes the work of God. Please pray along with us in with the Life’s Healing Choices Prayer Guide.

The second thing that needs to happen is stepping out in faith. How?
1)Pass out the invitations that will be provided this Sunday to your neighbors and friends.

2)Place a yard sign in your front yard (they will be provided this Sunday).

3) Step out of your current small group for 8 weeks and host a group.(If you can hit the play button, you can host a group). As Brad said this past week “This is too important to be territorial.”

God is moving...Let’s move with Him!

A.W. Tozer once said “ God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible…” Be that person. Be that man or woman that steps up and steps out in faith. Be found faithful!

Expecting Greater Things Than These!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Practice of Solitude

The first time I ever played solitaire (with real cards) I thought it was an odd game to play. Why? Every card game was, in my mind, meant to be played with someone else. Now as an adult I have played hundreds of games of solitaire (not with real cards).

The practice of solitude may at first sound strange to you because we have been taught that life is meant to be experienced with others. We play ball on teams, we cheer on squads, and we live in communities. To tell you the truth I have almost convinced myself I don’t need solitude. And that is what the devil wants us to believe.

Before we go any further, what is solitude? Just like solitaire…you “play” life by yourself for a short span of time. (At this point, the moms of preschoolers are planning on dropping their kids off at my office. They are thinking, “he makes it sound so easy!”) There is no set amount of time. There are very few “rules” to it. However it does take some planning…especially for you single parents.

Another question to ask is why is it important? Busyness and hurry are like a drug. We have people who are addicted to their “to do” list and their “tasks.” We have surrounded ourselves with instant communication. We are constantly being pushed and shaped and molded by the pressure of what needs to be done and who needs it done. When we finally stop, we try to go into neutral by watching TV, surfing the internet, listening to music or reading a novel.

Solitude removes us from all of the normal day to day pressures. Henri Nouwen wrote, “In solitude I get rid of all my scaffolding.” What do you use to prop yourself up or tell you that you are important? In solitude we allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind questions, doubts and fears we may never address otherwise. As I sit here I could name two issues that I need to sort through. What about you?

In order to do this we need to escape the busyness of life. Kierkegaard wrote, “The press of busyness is like a charm. Its power swells…it reaches out seeking always to lay hold of ever younger victims so that the childhood or youth are scarcely allowed the quiet and the retirement in which the Eternal may unfold a divine growth.” There are times we just need to stop in order for God to speak and bring new growth into our lives.

Let me encourage you to experience solitude on two levels. One level takes place in the morning (or evening) when no one else is awake. Pull away to a quiet comfortable spot and just begin the time with a prayer similar to this: “Lord I surrender this moment to you and invite your Holy Spirit to lead my thoughts and speak to me.” At that point take a few moments and just concentrate on His presence. Realize he is there and he loves you. Read your daily reading and just allow the scriptures and the Spirit to direct your thoughts. And again, focus on His presence.

The second way to experience solitude takes a little more planning. It could be done for two hours, half day or and entire eight hour period. The format could look like the following and be adapted to meet your allotted amount of time. (The following is adapted from John Ortberg’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted and Glandon Carney’s book The Spiritual Formation Toolkit.)

1. Find a place where you can be uninterrupted and alone such as a park or a retreat center.
2. Spend a brief time the night before to get ready. Ask God to bless the day and to tell Him you want to devote the time to Him. Think about what you need from the Lord: a sense of healing or forgiveness? Conviction for an apathetic heart? Compassion? A renewed sense of mission? Ask Him for this.
3. Arrange the day around listening to God.

8:00-9:00: Prepare your heart and mind, take a walk or do whatever will help you set aside concerns over tasks and responsibilities. Try to plan on remaining in silence through the day.

9:00-11:00: Read and meditate on scripture, taking time to stop and reflect when God seems to be speaking to you through the text.

11:00-12:00: Write down response to what you have read. Speak to God about them.

12:00-1:00: Eat lunch and take a walk reflecting on the morning.

1:00-2:00: Take a nap.

2:00-3:00: Set goals that emerge from the day’s reflection.

3:00-4:00: Write down these goals and other thoughts in a journal. Prepare to reenter society.

All of the above may need to be adapted but you must have a time of prayer, scripture and a time for reflection. I truly believe that many of us would be much more healthy emotionally and spiritually if we did the above on some level.

Take time over the next week or so and practice solitude. The truth is you will not be alone. You will be with your Father.

I pray this is beneficial as you walk and grow in the Righteous One.
Love you guys,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What Leads You?

Today let me share what has been on my heart this week. The question is, “What leads me?”

Is it what others think, others’ expectations, what I think, fears, or desires I may have?

What leads you?

This past week it was my goal not to be led by anything but the Holy Spirit of God. Is it easy? No. I like routine. I like systems and patterns and programs and structures. I like predictability and plans. I like to eat when I feel like it. Now, there is nothing wrong with those. But, are we prone to make idols out of systems, plans, or desires? I am.

As we continue our day (our week…our life) can we strive to have the attitude of “not my will but your will be done”?

Let’s continue this walk with the Lord that we have all begun and surrender our ideas, loves, dreams, convictions to Him. One day it could be normal for us all to shout like Paul “I no longer live but Christ lives in me.”

Please be in prayer for the Life’s Healing Choices Campaign. Satan does not want to see people find freedom in Jesus. Trust me on this, the first place he will attack is our unity. Divided we fail. Pray against Satan. There will be a new prayer guide in this week’s bulletin. Remember, Greater is He that is in me (us), than he that is in the world!

People are signing up to host groups. We still need more. Be part of God’s work to bring hope into hurting lives. These groups will be meeting every week for eight weeks. That’s it. The church needs some of you who have been in Christ a while to host a group. God has been preparing you for this. It is time.

The campaign ends on November 8…Our 20th Anniversary. We will be celebrating in the morning and afternoon at our Fall Picnic. You don’t want to miss it!

On November 22, we will have Rabbi Robert Israel Solomon speaking. He is a Messianic Jewish Rabbi (Christian Rabbi). He will be speaking on “The Relationship Between Israel and the Church: End Time Prophetic Scriptures and Our Jewish Roots”. Please keep him and his congregation in your prayers. They keep a police officer on their property while they worship because of the threats they are receiving.

Finally “be self controlled and alert. The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”1 Peter 5:8. As someone said to me today, recognize the enemy. “Pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

What will be the result? More people coming to faith In Jesus…like four teenagers did this past Sunday…and five adults recommitting and 110 adults choosing to “remain in Jesus”!

Lets pray for God to do even “greater things than these”!

Striving to Surrender,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Choosing to Remain in Him: The Disciplines of Abstinence

As I sit here and type this, there is a bag of Murray’s Ginger Snap cookies beside me calling my name. I have had 5 which is the recommended serving size. (Truth is if I had a glass of milk I would eat another 5).

Abstinence…it sounds as much fun as a summer cold. But of all the disciplines it is in abstinence that I seem to connect better with the Lord. What is abstinence exactly? According to Dallas Willard in his book “The Spirit of the disciplines”:

“In the discipline of abstinence, we abstain to some degree and for some time what we generally regard as normal and legitimate desires.”

These natural desires are for food, sleep, bodily activity, companionship, curiosity and sex. None of these are evil. We also have desires for convenience, comfort, material security, and so forth. Again, these do not have to be evil.

The disciplines that fall under abstinence are: solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy and sacrifice. Why are these practices so important (and I think more so today than yester-year)?

Think about our days. We wake up too noise. We prepare for work where we will be around people all day. And if we are not around people all day we can email them, text them, tweet them and facebook them. We share our thoughts and read theirs. We can have 24/7 contact with people.

What about food? We eat when we wake, at lunch and dinner and in between. We celebrate with food and we console ourselves with food. Food is even a hobby for many of us. Many of us spend many hours watching shows about food.

I could go through each practice of abstinence but you get the picture. NOW communicating with people, eating (for hunger or fun), spending money, sex with our spouses, saving money is not wrong. But we can allow these basic behaviors “to run a rebellious and harmful course” ushering in sin. During one of our first challenges to the church for fasting (many years ago) I had a lady tell me she was going to fast from gossiping… I was speechless. That is not fasting but obedience.

Practicing disciplines of abstinence puts a great trust on God as we abstain from these activities for a season. When we combine abstinence with a greater amount of time set aside for prayer, bible reading, reflection, and journaling…we are preparing ourselves for a meaningful time with God. The purpose to be expressed to God is to grow closer to Him. Allow Him to direct how He grows you.

As you read through the Gospels you see Jesus practicing/teaching the disciplines of abstinence (Matthew 4 and 6).You see in the Epistles of Paul where he teaches abstinence(1 Cor.7:5) .

As you prepare for practicing these disciplines, spend some time in the scriptures looking for times Jesus fasted, taught on fasting, or pulled away from the crowd. Next week I will walk you through how to practice solitude.

Have a great week and I’m excited about your growth in the Lord. May we all be able to say like Paul…

“ I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20

Love you guys!

"The Rest Of The Sermon"

Yesterday morning during first service I was unable to finish the outline, so I quit in the same place second service. BUT because of the wonderful technology of computers I want to finish the sermon (minus illustrations ) so here we go…

Are you in Jesus? Are you remaining in Jesus?

Why is that decision important for you… and for the rest of the church… and ultimately the rest of the world?

That Choice will result in a transformed heart,
which results in a transformed life
with transformed behaviors
which results in spiritual fruit
that has seed to plant in others
which results in kingdom expansion!

Why? Because we have been commissioned to make disciples not churches, churches don’t build disciples, programs don’t build disciples.

Because fruit bearing disciples build fruit bearing disciples.

The current definition at Eastridge of spiritual maturity is too short sighted. Spiritual maturity as we know it is too self focused. The question is not am I becoming more like Christ? The question is am I becoming more like Christ and am I helping others to do the same. That is Spiritual Maturity…when we disciple someone else in their walk with our Lord.

But it begins by choosing to remain in Him.

Let’s be better...stronger ...faster

Are you Hungry to know Jesus? Are you tired of filling up on the world?

Find freedom in Jesus through repentance and then experience redemption.

Find life...REAL life by choosing to remain in Him.

And that is the rest of the sermon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Can You Believe It?


This past Sunday we had 4 more adults place their faith in Christ! Two more people recommitted. How awesome is that?!

Just to throw some more numbers at you:
1. In one week Celebrate went from an attendance of 190 to 275!
2. 95 adults started praying God sized prayers and expecting God sized results.
3. 30 people have signed up for the membership class.
4. So far nine have signed up to be baptized.

Praise God!

And you know what, we are going to see greater things than these!

I thoroughly enjoy reading Acts following the Gospel of John. Seeing the Lord’s promises come true has been exciting to watch. And talk about God sized prayers…It is amazing to read the prayer of the church (Acts 3)for more boldness and more miracles after they were threatened by the very people who had Jesus crucified!

Coming up…
· 863 begins on August 12th with worship and teaching. Come worship and be encouraged as Pastor Gary Thompson teaches on “Walking with God.” If you have never heard Gary teach…he is excellent gifted teacher.
· Life’s Healing Choices begins September 20th. You will be receiving a letter (a real stamped mailed letter) by this weekend explaining the campaign.
· Next Series “How not What” a series on prayer. I have two goals for this series. To understand prayer and to begin a prayer ministry before both services (maybe during) on Sundays. The Holy Spirit will determine who. Just ask him if it is you.

Update on the next 8 steps…
1. Define us (Mission, vision and values) almost completed.
2. Space issues (especially when January hits). We have a plan and waiting to hear about some logistic on codes.
3. Executive Pastor. We hired Trey Bailey…an excellent hire.
4. Define discipleship culture. The question is how can we best build disciples. We are looking at every program we have and asking the question does it build disciples and is there a better way to build disciples. We have not done way with any program and no changes have been made. Word was out that we had done away with 863. We have not. We will examine the effectiveness of every program and there will be changes made as we feel the Lord confirms they need to be made. The vision for the church is to be a church that loves God, loves people and serves others. That is a biblical mandate that never changes. Plans on accomplishing vision are always subject to change.
5. Training. As we finish clarifying our mission, vision and values, every staffer (paid and volunteer) will be trained on these. Why? Clarity produces alignment. We will all be talking the same language and understanding why we do what we do.
6. Missional paradigm shift. This is happening and is represented in our teaching but more importantly as we see you inviting your friends and neighbors.
7. Master plan of the property. No movement yet.
8. Satellite Church. We are in the process of praying about time and location. We have some ideas about both but nothing concrete enough to share.

Thank you. You have been an amazing church over this past year and a half. You are growing in surrender to our Lord and it is bearing fruit. You have responded to the Lord through hundreds of decisions. Your giving has been through the roof. Trey told me this week we are on budget for the year. You are faithful to the Lord and HIS church.

What can you do? Exalt Jesus in your lives, in your homes…exalt Jesus. Pray this Sunday He is exalted. Pray His kingdom expands according to His plans.

I love walking in the Lord with you. Stay in His Word.

Scott Moore

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Providing Hope

Several years ago a good friend introduced me to the “Law of Large Numbers.” It works like this: if you have a church of 100 and 10% lose jobs, that is 10 people out of work. Well you can do the math. If a church of 1,000 has 10% lose jobs, you now have 100 people out of work.

Add to that the same 1,000 people a percentage who have cancer, another percentage who have suffered divorce, another percentage who are struggling in their marriages, another percentage who are depressed, another percentage who have health problems, another percentage who are suffering loneliness, another percentage of those suffering loss, abandonment, secret sins, consequences of sin…it just keeps going.

Now add to that number those in our community and you see how many people are really hurting and need hope and freedom that comes from one name and one name only and that name is the name above all names…Jesus Christ!

Listen to God’s heart on this matter:

“’I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will guide him and restore comfort to him,
creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,’
says the Lord. ‘And I will heal them.’”
Isaiah 57:18-19

As 2008 came to an end, we felt the Lord was leading us to bring as much hope to our church and to our community as possible. Real hope is found only in the name of Jesus Christ. We had plans to reserve the square every Tuesday night in September and offer testimonies of the hope and freedom people have found in Jesus.

We are staying with our goal but have changed the venue. Beginning on September 20, we are kicking off a series entitled “Life’s Healing Choices: Finding HOPE In Life’s Struggles.” What are the benefits?
· Evangelism opportunity…People surrendering their lives to Jesus!
· Christians going to a new depth in discipleship… maturity.
· More people experiencing connection through small groups. (We need more people to volunteer to lead small groups for only eight weeks.)
· Repentance and reconciliation with God and others…freedom.
· A great way for us to serve the community because we all know someone who is struggling with one of the pains mentioned above.

During this series there will be a testimony from someone whom the Lord has delivered from struggles, sin, and pain…they are unbelievable. Be praying for these people because this is an incredible act of faith to stand up and be so vulnerable. Pray for them to be able and stand and say “here is who I was, and this is who I am because of Jesus Christ.”

On August the 9, you will begin seeing a prayer guide for the church. You will see one each week until the series begins.

Pray! Did you see what God did at the end of our 21 Day Prayer Journey this summer with the number of people who came forward for forgiveness issues? Did you realize that day of freedom was the very last day of our 21 day prayer journey with God? Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!

You will hear more coming soon.

Know this…Satan will fight us on every level. He does not want to see the Lord…

“…bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners…”
Isaiah 61:1

Pray. Stay in the Word of God.

Read Acts and see what the Lord can do! Today is Day One.

Looking forward to seeing “greater things than these”!


PS: We’ve started archiving my weekly emails on a blog on our website. To see any of these, go to, click on “Resources,” then click on “Scott’s Weekly Blog.”