Pastor Steve Peoples' Blog
This weekend at all of our campuses you will have an opportunity to help out the people of Joplin. We are receiving contributions that will go to Convoy of Hope as well as helping families connected to our church family. Convoy of Hope is an incredible organization that does disaster relief and food distribution around the world. We are very fortunate to be able to partner with Convoy in ministering to the needs of people in crisis. Click here to learn more about Convoy of Hope.
We will also be headed to help prepare food for the workers on June 13-14th. Our team will leave Monday June 13th and return late Tuesday afternoon. If you interested in participating in the trip contact the church office (785-234-5555). I trust everyone has a great weekend and we will see you Sunday.
Have you ever thought what it would be like to know what people were thinking? Can you imagine being in a conversation with someone and hearing their words but actually know what they were thinking. That is a scary thought. I would be concerned if people knew my thoughts. There are some thoughts that go through my mind that are not really things I would act on. There are others that I realize are wrong and would never want anyone to know about them. I was reading the other day and ran across this verse, it follows a encounter Jesus had with an immoral woman who pours an expensive jar of perfume on Jesus’ feet while crying on them. We know the story but this verse just struck me.
Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” Luke 7:40
Can you imagine someone answering your thoughts? There are some of my thoughts that don’t deserve and answer. In this case the Pharisees thought probably didn’t either but Jesus answered his thought. That is just a very interesting passage, but it also reminds me that God knows all my thoughts. I want to make sure my thoughts would pass his test, He really is the only one who matters.
I recently watched a story on Dateline about Aron Ralston. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, here is his story in brief. He had set out for a hike in Blue John Canyon. As he passed through a portion of his hike he slipped and a boulder pinned his arm and he couldn’t get loose. After a few days he managed to cut off his own hand so he could possibly hike out of the canyon and live. After days without food and water he hiked out and was rescued. He had an amazing will to live. Most of us share that burning desire to live. We will do just about anything to live. But, that also raises a question for me. Do we really live or do we just survive?
If we are going to live we must really live, not sorta, kinda live but really live. Live in the way Paul explained living to the church in Corinth.
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NLT)
Paul tells us that once we know Christ, we should no longer live for ourselves but rather live for Christ, who died for us. How can we live for Christ? What does that look like? In some ways it probably means for us to really understand what God wants to do through us. What does he want to do in us as well? Can you think of ways you could live for Christ? If so, start putting it into practice, now is the right time to really start living. Let’s start really living.
What a great night! 220 people from the Topeka First Churches gathered last night at the Kansas Museum of History for our annual Vision Banquet.
We heard some great stories about what God is doing in our church and through our each of us. God is doing some great things as we are seeing people connect to God on a regular basis.
As we write our next chapter, my prayer is we will live with no regrets. Paul communicated to the Ephesian elders in his farewell address in Acts 20:26-27 these words, “I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, 27 for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know.” I am very interested in seeing what will happen if all of us would live life this year faithfully declaring all that God wants the people around us to know. I am confident if we do, we will write an incredible next chapter in the story of the Topeka First Churches. Are you committed to faithfully give your best this year?
Friday night is going to be a great night. I am looking forward to gathering at the Kansas Museum of History with friends from our 4 campuses as we give thanks for a great year last year and look forward to what God will do in 2011 and beyond. I am convinced the best days for Topeka First Assembly are still ahead of us. We have had a great past but must still look to the future with eyes of faith. God has much for us to accomplish. If you haven’t signed up yet you still can, call the church office to reserve your seat. Great food with friends and a challenge toward the future, sounds like a good evening. You can even come an hour early to tour the museum. Don’t miss it!
Warm weather, finally! The snow is melting and golf season is around the corner. The other thing about warm weather is we won’t be cancelling our life group because of snow. We have missed at least 2 weeks because of the snow. We are looking forward to hanging out with friends and learning more about what happens When God’s People Pray.
We are enjoying the study and are really looking forward to seeing how God answers prayer when we call on Him. God is good.
I have to apologize to everyone who has ever commented on my blog. The reason for my apology is that I had no idea anyone had ever commented until the other night when I had a conversation with someone who had commented on a post. They asked if I had seen their comment. Oops! I would have responded had I known. I just figured out how this whole comment thing works. So for that I’m sorry. I will make sure to check the comments regularly from now on.
Some days you learn things you wish you had already learned. I guess the important part is to learn something everyday and apply it to life. Just so happens today I learned about how my blog works a year too late.
Who is going to win?
The experts predict a close game. Fans of each team say they want a close game but a blowout is much more fun for trash talking. What do you think?
Packers or Steelers?
I have a friend from New Jersey, I know is rooting for the Steelers. He was a fan for all those years so there is no doubt he is rooting for them today. I don’t know that many Cheeseheads but I know they are out there. I think I will be rooting for the Packers. There’s just something about them I like. I really do want a close game. My prediction Packers 24 Steelers 21.
The hype is over! All the talking is done. Are you ready for some football?
Angela and I enjoy getting out and taking walks. Due to the weather, right now there aren’t too many walks happening. When we are out walking we will see interesting things, cars, friends, even a dead tree or two.
Jesus and the disciples were walking from Bethany to Jerusalem and they walked past a fig tree. There was something unusual about the tree though. The tree had no figs on it and so as Jesus walked by he cursed the tree. I can’t say that I’ve ever thought of that when I noticed a tree that wasn’t bearing any fruit, but Jesus did.
The next day after walking past the same fig tree that was now shriveled up and dead, Jesus’ disciples comment that just the day before the tree was normal. Jesus takes note of it and gives them a little lesson. Here is what he said.
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:22-25 (NLT)
How did he make that connection? I’m not sure but the lesson shouldn’t be missed. There is something about asking God and believing God that results in receiving it. I know this I have to believe more when I pray. I also realize this exchange between Jesus and his disciples also emphasizes the importance of forgiving people of their sins.
What do you need to ask God for? Help to forgive or faith? Maybe both?
At this point 1 month into some new goals, some are right on track. Others haven’t even gotten off the ground.
My reading goal is 52 books at this point I have finished 6. Here they are:
Steering Through Chaos by Scott Wilson
Winning by Jack Welch
Membership Matters by Chuck Lawless
27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask by Dick Hardy
The Life God Blesses by Jim Cymbala
When Leadership & Discipleship Collide by Bill Hybels
For many of you, the two that would be good reads would be Winning and The Life God Blesses. If you are in church leadership you might find When Leadership And Discipleship Collide and Steering Through Chaos interesting.
My exercise goal has not even gotten off the ground unless you count shoveling snow, which I don’t, even though it is a pretty good workout.
My blogging goal is on track so far but I would like to increase it to 3 blog posts per week by the middle of the year.
How are you doing on your goals? Now is a good time to evaluate. Have you read any books that you would recommend? Leave a comment.