Tuesday, March 28, 2017

From Disappointment to Dreaming.....Again

It was one of those bittersweet moments but our hearts were filled with excitement.  Seven years ago today I preached my final message as Senior Pastor at New Life Church on the Rock in Vidor, Tx.

It was bitter because we were leaving a group of people we'd been doing life with for almost ten years.  A great church with many good friends.

It was sweet because we were stepping out to live the dream God had put in our hearts.  The dream to plant and pastor a church in Colorado.

Very long story short the church plant was an epic failure.  Many people try and tell me not to view it as a failure but yes, it was a failure!  I'll call it what it was in our hearts.

Without communicating all the gory details just trust me when I say my family and a few friends were devastated.   The overwhelming sense of failure led to depression, discouragement and disappointment.  How could we ever recover and be productive again in what God had called us to do?

We had some pretty awesome cheerleaders during this season,  along with a few critics.  But how was I ever going to win this battle in my mind for my mind?  Would we ever lead a church again?  Could God use us again?   Who out there would believe in us again?


Today, March 28, 2017, my family is once again leading and serving a great church!  ReGeneration Church in Wichita Falls, Tx.   Hey, we're even dreaming.......again,  along with a great congregation.

So how did I move from "Disappointment to Dreaming.......Again"?  Just a few big ideas that might help you or someone you know who's struggling with disappointment.

1.  God is still God and you have to trust Him.  Even if you "feel" like He let you down.  One of my favorite scriptures during our difficult season.  "O Lord, I give my life to you.  I trust in you, my God!.."  (Psalms 25:1,2)

2.  God still has a plan for your life.  BELIEVE IT!   "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."  (Philippians 1:6)

3.  If God still has a plan for your life, and He does, it's for your FUTURE!  Well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.  Then why do so many people focus on their past instead of looking toward their future?  When all you can talk about is your memories then you're probably not dreaming about your future.  I didn't say you shouldn't think or talk about your memories, they can be precious.   But for some people a "memory" is all they have.  Start dreaming about the FUTURE God has for you!

"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:13,14)

4.  God is working everything, the good, the bad,  and the ugly, out for YOUR GOOD.  You're not going to understand everything so stop trying and TRUST GOD!  He still has a plan for your life so look forward because He's working it all together for His glory and your good!

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28)

If you'll embrace these four big ideas I promise you'll leave disappointment city and start DREAMING.......AGAIN of all God can and will do in your life.

Encouraging people all over the world,
Ken Woolf

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Done with Divisiveness

In my lifetime I can't remember the United States of America being more divided than it is right now.   It seems the "Divided" States of America would better describe our country!  Although we should never lose HOPE in GOD  knowing that He is able to heal and restore our land.  

God has a remedy for our brokenness and it's found in the following scripture from the Bible.

"Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land."  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I love the promise of God in this verse that is contingent on the actions of HIS CHILDREN!  Humility, prayer, seeking God's presence, and turning from our wicked ways gets the attention of our Heavenly Father who in turn forgives our sins and restores health to our land!

Now my concern and subject of this blog.  I can't remember a time in my lifetime that the church, God's children, has been more divided.  It seems the same divisive political spirit has infiltrated and infected  the Body of Christ in many ways.

No longer is it about being a follower of Jesus Christ but we now identify ourselves with being a Democrat, Republican or Libertarian.

Whether or not I support our current President now decides how healthy our relationship will be instead of us coming together as Jesus supporters.

Let me remind you of a prayer of Jesus.

"I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me." (John 17:21-23)

I think we need to take a stand and be "Done with Divisiveness" and be an answer to Jesus prayer!

I sincerely believe  the LOCAL CHURCH is the hope of the world.  We are the loving hands of God extended throughout our neighborhoods, cities and the whole world!

Two things I believe will bring the church together and bring us to a place of being Jesus Christ true representation in the earth.

1.  It's time for a "love one another" revival in the church.  How can we love a hurting world if we can't love one another?  

"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  (John 13:35)

2.  It's time for a "serve one another" revival in the church.

"For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love."  (Galatians 5:13)

Let's work together to get this political spirit out of the Body of Christ and be "Done with Divisiveness!"

A divided church is bad advertisement for a caring, loving God that sent his Son to the earth to die a horrible death on a cross.  

Make a choice today to not participate in the conversations that divide the FAMILY OF GOD.  Instead join me in a revival of love and serving one another!

I'm "Done with Divisiveness!"

Ken Woolf