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    Monday, June 28, 2010

    That's what I call a care package






    Passing the time




    His grace is enough,

    Michael

    I thought this was funny...all the old peope are on blackberries,
    iPhones, laptops, and iPads. The youth are coloring, playing cards,
    talking and laughing.

    Connor's awesome friends



    We are at Dell Children's and Connor's friends got up at 4:00 am to be
    here with her...

    Connor's awesome friends

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Test

    His grace is enough,

    Michael

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Day 1 of the Sisters


    We left Liberty Hill about 4:00 with plans to get to Kerrville. It started raining again just as we were leaving, and then it started sleeting. The temperature dropped to 35 degrees and the rain just kept coming. We decided to stop in Fredericksburg and it warm up.
    Tomorrow we will head on to Leakey and the Sisters...it was a great start!
    The picture is of Tim, Rick, and me at the hotel in Fredericksburg...Steve took the picture.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Riding the Sisters

    Today is really D-minus-1 for this big trip...A great friend is having his 50th birthday next Tuesday, so a couple of us younger guys (sorry Rick...had to do it) are taking him out to the Texas Hill Country to "Ride the Sisters". Now before you go off the deep end, allow me to explain...

    The "Three Sisters" are three farm-to-market roads known to motorcycle riders around the world as the best roads to ride in Texas. They have all the twisties and scenery a biker could want. The funny thing is, I grew up south of that area and had no idea about the popularity of those roads until I started riding several years ago.

    For Rick's birthday, I got the four of us rooms at the D'Rose Inn in Leakey, which is something of a biker hangout in the Hill Country. The plan was to head out tomorrow afternoon (Thursday), ride the back roads from Liberty Hill to Kerrville, down to Medina, and then over to Leakey. That would put us in the right spot to have an all day ride Friday, a morning ride Saturday, and be able to head back in plenty of time for the Valentine's Dinner at church Saturday evening.

    Only one small little detail...snow. Can you believe it? The one weekend I am able to work this out and it decides to snow in South Texas!

    We still have plans to leave tomorrow if the weather cooperates. I don't mind the cold, but the rain just makes it miserable. We have all made numerous trips to every motorcycle shop in the area and too many trips to count to Academy to prepare for the cold weather. We will see what tomorrow brings...If nothing else, we are prepared in case you-know-where freezes over if Farouk what's-his-name wins the Governor's race.

    A huge appreciation out to my good friend Rex Fortner...Rex has been gracious enough to let me ride his '09 Ultra Classic so Steve can ride my Nomad. No doubt about it...I came out better on that deal.

    That's about it for now...check back tomorrow and the following days for news and pics from the road.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Wednesday devotional

    Wednesday Devotional


    Preparing for Revival: Why we fast Kings and commoners, priests and prophets, and cities and nations fasted in the Bible. Revivals and renewals are recorded as occurring during or directly after a fast. Paul fasted three days prior to his conversion experience and Cornelius was fasting when an angel appeared to him prior to his conversion. Jesus expected us to fast. He said that his followers would fast when the Bridegroom would no longer be with them and Matthew 6:16 records Him as saying, “When you fast…


    Why do we fast?


    First, fasting is a matter of the heart. Joel 2:12 says “return to me with all your heart, with fasting.” This means fasting is an expression of wholeheartedness. It is us telling God we have fully come to him and we are fully committed to him. It is telling making it about God and not about the physical. Fasting is us showing God we have put the Kingdom ahead of our desires, and that his glory supersedes our purpose.


    Second, fasting brings focus. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Fasting helps us temper our desires and get rid of distractions. At the same time, we can be spiritually empowered. Fasting is to help bring spiritual clarity. It removes distractions so we can focus our intentions on prayer and seeking God’s will. Think about it…if you fast you become hungry! The hunger pangs are a reminder for you to turn towards God and give over to him whatever issue you are presenting or seeking. Fasting overshadows all the other distractions in our life and allows us to focus on one thing: seeking his will!

    Finally, fasting brings humility. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” By denying the worldly part of eating, we are firmly stating our full faith and trust is in God. As I have said before, we are accustomed to having enough. We cannot imagine being without, and we pridefully take full credit for the blessings in our life. Fasting reminds us that God is almighty, powerful, and the Wonderful Maker. It helps us realize how much he has blessed us.

    Be prepared for renewal!


    Today’s prayer:

    Father God,


    You are my provider. You are sufficient for all my needs. It is because of you that I live; you give me life! To know your wonderful riches is beyond my wildest imagination!


    Lord of my life – I want to do your will, but so many times I fall short. Please show me how to live my life according to your will and not my own. I ask for wisdom, and I believe you will answer my prayer.


    Lord, I want to know your glory! Allow me to worship you with prayer and fasting. I come before you – broken and needy – to know you and to seek your face. Thank you for loving me!


    In the name of Jesus,


    Amen.


    Step 5 to fasting: Prepare through knowing why we fast. Read this passage from Isaiah and pray over the reasons listed here:

    “Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for a man to humble himself?
    Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
    and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
    Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the LORD ?

    "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?

    Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
    when you see the naked, to clothe him,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

    Isaiah 58:6-8, NIV


    His grace is enough!



    Pastor Michael

    Tuesday devotional

    This is the devotional we sent out yesterday...it got a little crazy and I did not get it posted. I will post today's devotional later this afternoon...

    Preparing for Revival: Spiritual Preparation for Fasting

    Preparing for revival is not just about getting dressed and showing up on time. Revival is about change, and we want to change from the inside out. If we truly want to change from the inside out, we must prepare from the inside out.


    We are not accustomed to doing without. We live in times of plenty, and there are very few people who experience true hunger. This is the day and age of fast food and credit cards, and that means for most people there is usually a meal just around the next corner. There are those who sometimes do experience hunger and I certainly do not want to ignore their plight. Even this points to our need to rely on God. For the most part, hunger is transient at its worst.


    Satan uses our prosperity against us. He has used the very blessings God has given us to distract us from the gaping holes we have in our lives. We have been conditioned to not ever lack for anything, and because of this we forget the hunger we are to have for God. We continue to pour junk into the gaps in our lives, only to realize there is only one thing that can truly fill us.


    Fasting – allowing ourselves to feel physical hunger – helps us ignore life’s distractions so we can concentrate on God and his plans. Fasting allows us to let go of the gap-fillers and hold fast to the cross. Fasting brings focus.


    In order to honor God through fasting, we must be prepared.


    The first step to spiritual preparation is to spend time – devoted, one-on-one time – in prayer with God. Every fast in the Bible was accompanied by prayer. Fasting should never be done as a stand-alone method of worship. Instead, it should be done with a heart properly prepared through prayer.

    The second step is to examine your heart and detect any unconfessed sin. Scripture records that God always requires His people to repent of their sins before He will hear their prayers. King David said:

    Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what he did for me: For I cried to him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it!

    Blessed be God who didn't turn away when I was praying, and didn't refuse me his kindness and love. (Psalm 66:16-20)

    In your prayers, confess not only obvious sins, but less obvious ones as well. Remember there are two kinds of sin: the sins of commission (things we do against God’s will), and sin of omission (things we fail to do to that are God’s will). Our sin is usually part and parcel with worldly-mindedness, self-centeredness, spiritual indifference, and unwillingness to share your faith in Christ with others. Sin can also be failing to spend sufficient time in God's Word and in prayer, a poor relationship with your spouse, your children, your pastor, or other members of your church. Confess these things and commit to turning away from them and towards God.

    Be prepared for renewal!


    Today’s prayer:


    Father God,


    Your grace and beauty are beyond my comprehension! I cannot fathom the depth of your love, and I cannot begin to measure how much you love me. I desperately want to please you and honor you.


    Lord, I need your forgiveness. I want to experience change in my life and I know sin can block revival. There are so many ways in which I fall short of your glory. I confess these things before you now, and I seek your help in turning away from them. Thank you for dying for me, and thank you for forgiving me.


    Lord Jesus, I am ready for change. Help me prepare to receive your direction in my life. I ask for your inspiration as I seek you through fasting and prayer. Thank you for blessing me.


    In the name of Jesus,


    Amen.


    Step 3 to fasting: Pray

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


    Step 4 to fasting: Confess and seek forgiveness

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9


    Tomorrow: Why we fast.


    His grace is enough!



    Pastor Michael

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Monday Devotional: Preparing for Revival

    We all share a deep desire to be more intimate and more devoted to God. Like I mentioned yesterday, I believe we all love God, but we sometimes are not experiencing being in love with him. It often seems like there is something that gets in the way of that kind of heart-felt, devotional love. We all have the desire to give our hearts to Him, but this desire is often shared with desires for a lot of other stuff. As John Piper puts it, our decreased hunger for God is not because He is unsavory, but because we keep ourselves stuffed with other things. In other words, we are so full of food, entertainment, work, play, kids, school, friends, and life that we have no appetite left for God.

    There is nothing wrong with all those things. It is not the big things that rob us of our hunger for God. It is the constant nibbling at the table of the world that leaves us so full that we have no appetite left for him! I run into this problem every Thanksgiving. I get excited about the family and the fellowship, but I really like the meal. All day long, I nibble and snack and when the main meal comes, I don’t really enjoy it.

    In our lives, we are nibbling on work, family, computers, investing, TV, internet, gaming, sports, school, shopping, exercising, talking on the phone, home repair, and even our Christian walk. While all these are fine, taken together they can leave us so full that we have nothing left for God. Wouldn’t it be great to be so full of God we didn’t have room for the rest? Oh, to experience such fullness!

    What a great reason to fast!

    As we enter the final days before Revival, begin your preparation by being before God. Pray that God will remove barriers to your personal revival. Make a list of the changes you need in your life and pray over these tonight before you go to bed and again tomorrow when you wake up. Begin preparing for your fast on Friday by studying God’s word on fasting. I have included several Scriptures for you to read and a couple of points on getting ready for a fast. Tomorrow I will send out more devotional material aimed at helping each of us prepare for fasting and revival.


    Today’s prayer:


    Father God,


    You are overwhelming and mighty. I cannot fathom the fullness of you. I know I have many things wrong in my life, and I need your forgiveness for so many things. Thank you for loving me enough to die for me, and thank you for your forgiveness.


    Lord, I want to be empty before you. I want to experience a hunger for you like I have never experienced before. Jesus, I ask you to help me remove the distractions from my life so I can fully focus on your plan and your will for me.


    Lord, I ask you to prepare my heart for you. I ask that you provide clear direction for me. Father, I want to honor you with fasting this Friday. Reveal your will to me in this. Help me seek your and experience your revelation and direction. I want to know you more, and I ask that you bless me as I prepare to be changed by you.


    In the name of Jesus,


    Amen.


    Step 1 to fasting: Believe fasting and prayer work.

    “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6


    Step 2 to fasting: Identify your inspiration and write your specific reason down on a piece of paper. Pray over it and meditate on it. Allow God to convict you.

    "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14


    “There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.” Ezra 8:21


    Tomorrow: Spiritual preparation for fasting.


    His grace is enough!



    Pastor Michael

    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    Are You Excited?

    This is awesome! This is the 3D rendering of our planned new building. I can't wait to see the work God will do in getting us ready. We must place our faith in Him and get excited by the prospect of doing God's work.

    We serve an awesome God!

    In Him,

    Michael

    Michael S. Wright <><
    512.913.7405 Wireless and Text
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    Wednesday, December 31, 2008

    A GREAT STORY! Grapevine Faith vs Gainsville State Football, By Rick Reilly, ESPN The Magazine

    They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas. It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down.

    For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through. Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

    They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

    It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on - by name.

    "I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

    And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

    But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five-handcuffs ready in their back pockets – and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

    This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery-many of whose families had disowned them – wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

    So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans-for one night only – cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

    Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

    Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!"

    I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "

    They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

    It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

    Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

    After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this:

    "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

    And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

    As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home - a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

    The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

    And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

    Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.

    Hope.

    Thanks to Clyde Davis for forwarding this to me...its a great time to have a little perspective!

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    This was sent to me by Venesa Montague. Her mother sent it to her the first Christmas after Venesa lost her daughter Mandi. It is a beautiful reminder...

    My First Christmas in Heaven

    I see the countless Christmas trees
    Around the world below,
    With tiny lights like Heaven's stars reflecting on
    The snow;
    The sight is so spectacular
    Please wipe away that tear,
    For I am spending Christmas
    With Jesus Christ this year.

    I hear the many Christmas songs
    That people hold so dear,
    But the sound of music cannot compare with the
    Christmas choir up here.
    I have no words to tell you
    The joy their voices bring,
    For it is beyond description
    To hear the angels sing.

    I know how much you miss me,
    I see the pain inside your heart
    But I am not so far away
    We really aren't apart.
    So be happy for me dear ones,
    You know I hold you dear,
    And be glad I am spending Christmas
    With Jesus Christ this year.

    I send you each a special gift
    From my heavenly home above,
    I send you each a memory
    Of my undying love.
    After all Love is a gift
    More precious than pure gold,
    It was always most important
    In the stories that Jesus told.

    Please love each other
    As The Father said to do,
    For I cannot count the blessings
    Or love He has for you.
    So have a Merry Christmas
    And wipe away that tear,
    Remember I am spending Christmas
    With Jesus Christ this year!

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  If you are like me, you have put on your “fat pants” in great expectations of overeating and are making plans to see family and friends.  Perhaps your day will be one of quiet relaxation.  Whatever your plans, I want you to think about this:  While it is okay to be thankful for what we have, we should be more thankful for Who we have!

     

    I had the opportunity to see the sunrise this morning and I was reminded once again of our Risen Savior.  We have so much to be thankful for in Him and I want to encourage you today to concentrate on the good things.    The sermon this week will be from Colossians 1 and Paul tells us that we are to be thankful for the faith, love and hope we have in Christ Jesus.  We are to hold to the Truth we have in Him and nothing else.  Paul tells us to be joyful always, pray continuously and give thanks in all circumstances.  Together, we have so much…we have God in our lives, Jesus for our salvation, each other to help us through the tough times and a plan to make real change happen.  God is Good!

     

    I am specifically thankful for each of you and God’s providence for bringing us together.    I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.  That reminds me…if you are traveling, don’t use that as an excuse to miss church.  Find a church where ever you are and worship with them.  What a blessing to you and to them!

     

    A couple of things I missed in This Week at Fellowship.  First, we are trying something a little different this Sunday.  We are moving Steve Adam’s Sunday School class into the Sanctuary.  The Sanctuary Class will meet every Sunday at 9:45 am and will be encouraged to grow and grow.  This class will be an alternative for adult Bible study.  Also, December 14 is our Adult Choir Christmas Cantata in both services. 

     

    See you Sunday – remember…it is Southern Gospel Sunday…wear the pearl snaps!  Sunday night is our Campfire Worship service with hot dogs and ‘Smores.  Bring a chair and a friend!

     

    I love you all…may God Bless You!

     

    Pastor Michael

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Fellowship Work Day

    The Fellowship tent is just about up! The tent sales guy said it would take 10-12 men at least 6 hours to get it up. He doesn't know the men (and a couple of ladies) at Fellowship! Not only did the tent go up, but the grounds got mowed, mirrors hung, kitchen repairs completed, roof repairs made at the Brann's, and a lot of other stuff done in under 3 hours!

    God is good!

    Michael S. Wright <><
    512.913.7405 Wireless and Text
    +++Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T+++

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    This week at Fellowship

    Good morning!

    Here are a few of the things to look forward to this week at Fellowship:

    Thursday

    6:00 pm – Celebrate Recovery Training begins (Little house on Loop 332, sandwiches served)

    Sunday

    New breakfast hours: 8:00 – 8:25 and 9:15 – 9:45
    8:30 and 11:00 – Worship services. The sermon for this week: Worship, Part 5: Why We Go To Church
    12:30pm – Stewardship meeting
    4:30 pm – Phone Prayer chain meeting
    6:00 pm – Fellowship 59: Giving Your Testimony
    6:30 pm – Quarterly Business Meeting
    o Treasurer
    o Budget and Finance
    o Long Range Committee (Don’t miss this…first look at the New Building proposal!!!)
    o Nominating Committee recommendations
    o Stewardship Committee recommendations

    Monday

    7:45a – 10p – Pray @ church for the election
    6:00pm – Good News Evangelism and Visitation training…
    Domino’s Dough Raising Fund Raiser night – Pick up a coupon in the foyer and use it to order a Domino’s pizza.

    Tuesday

    6:30am – 8:45 – Pastoral Pancakes
    7:45a – 5:30p – Pray @ church for the election
    VOTE!!!

    Wednesday

    5:15 pm – Fellowship Meal
    6:30 pm – Wise Guys, Youth Two68, Prayer meeting and Bible Study
    7:30 pm – Choir rehearsal


    May God bless you! Remember – you are serving on His mission field. In everything you do, glorify Him above all things. Focus your efforts on pleasing God and living a life that allows the love of Jesus to shine through!

    Let me challenge you in something; Make this the week in which you Dot your I’s…Invest and Invite!

    Invest some time in someone around you. Show them God’s love by doing something for them or just by expressing appreciation in them.

    Invite them to church and encourage them to attend.

    In Christ,

    Pastor Michael

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Take the time...

    I received this in an email from one of my Master's program advisors...take just a minute...


    Already your kids are climbing on school buses and trees are showing signs of change. Living rooms on Sunday afternoons will soon be mini football stadiums, complete with yelling and screaming for favorite teams. Fall decorations are on the shelves and holidays are fast approaching. Time seems to have just one speed, which is full throttle.

    There really aren’t enough hours in the day.

    In Psalm 90, Moses talks about how quickly time flies. These are words of wisdom. In verse twelve, he prays for the ability to measure his days. He calls upon God to teach him how to use each moment to the fullest and to the glory of God. Then two verses later, Moses cries out to God in the morning.

    Let me challenge you to take time each morning to spend with God. Ask Him to order your moments and satisfy your soul. It will not give you more time in the day, but it will help you manage the time you have.

    I praying for you...

    Saturday, September 6, 2008

    From my Gamma

    Michael S. Wright <><
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    Oh man!

    You ought to see the food Wayne and his crew have put together...come on!
    Michael S. Wright <><

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    Cofield Band

    Justin and the boys are doing their sound check and they sound GREAT!
    Michael S. Wright <><

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    Team Wright

    Michael S. Wright <><

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    Getting close

    It is an hour before race time and the parking lot is filling up!
    Michael S. Wright <><
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    5k

    Wow! The 5K is coming together. Run Tex is setting up scaffolding and there is a beehive of activity. What a day!

    Michael S. Wright <><
    +++Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T+++

    What a morning!

    If this morning is any indication, God has BIG things planned for today!  It is close to a perfect morning, with stars shining and people smiling...even at this early hour.

    I got here at 5:30 and wasn't the first one here...Rick Cox was already here and had generators going and the building opened up.  Ken and Joi Uyeda brought their RV up and stayed the night to ward off any pranksters and they were already up and around.  Tim even showed up a few minutes later!  This place is already buzzing with activity and it feels like heaven is just warming up.

    Lord God, we come to you this morning to thank you for perfect days.  Father, we bow before you...you are the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, and our Strength.  We are here expecting You.  We are here expecting to be revived.  We are here to encounter You.  Most of all, we are here to honor You and glorify your Son, to be obedient to the calling you have placed on our hearts.  

    Father, even in our efforts to honor and glorify You, we fall short.  Forgive us for our shortcomings, and help us to turn away from them and towards You.

    Abba Father, we pray for those people who will be here today.  Lord, may we see the needs.  Expose the hurts to us that we might minister to them as You did.  Father, allow them to witness You through us.  Be our words, be our actions, be our deeds.

    May glory be to You and You alone...

    Amen!

    Friday, September 5, 2008

    Friday devotional

    Good morning,

    I hope you had a chance to be outside this morning.  As I write this, the sun is beginning to show through the trees from the east.  It was such a pleasure to be outside and experience the morning coolness...it was refreshing!

    I was reminded of God's promise to Israel made through the prophet Jeremiah.  God promised to restore Israel and to rebuild her cities.  God promised to rescue the nation from captivity and to restore the health of the nation.  God tells us He will destroy our enemy and there will songs of thanksgiving!

    God promises to add to our numbers and that His will cannot be stopped!

    Friends and family, we stand on those promises!  We claim what He has told us will happen will truly happen!  Read Jeremiah 30 and thank God for His providence.  Claim the promises He has made for you to be restored, for your enemies to be conquered, and for you to be released from those things that bind you.  Stand firm!

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    Pastor Michael


    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    Are you ready?

    Throughout the Bible, God brought revival and renewal when the people were willing to change.  We have been talking about revival for months and have been preparing for it through prayer, discipleship and evangelism.  We see the beginnings of revival occurring around us and in our church.  We just have to look at the changed lives and people giving their lives to Jesus to see God is at work in Liberty Hill!

     

    This weekend, we are taking revival to the community and we are desperately seeking God to bring renewal…not just to Fellowship Baptist (revival has been here for some time), but to our homes, our community and our nation.   If we really expect revival and change to occur, we must follow Biblical principles to effect change.

     

    First, there must be a vision for renewal and revival.  Fellowship Baptist has been praying and seeking revival for years.  The spirit and desire for change and renewal has been here for some time and God has been preparing us for His good works.

     

    Second, we must confess.  Confess your shortcomings to God.  Name them.  Allow yourself to grieve those things that separate you from Him.  Turn from those things and recognize that God can overcome all things.

     

    Third, we must be willing to change.  Even this morning, I see people changing their lives to move closer to God.  I see new activities to reach people.  I watched in wonder last night as our Youth swarmed neighborhoods and passed out fliers and talk to people about revival.  What an awesome sight to watch these kids walk up to perfect strangers and begin talking to them about church!  We are willing to change and change has begun to occur!

     

    Fourth, we have to earnestly pray with conviction and lift our voices with expectation!  In our Sunday morning messages, we have discussed prayer and preparation for several months.  You have been encouraged to devote time to being alone with God.  I pray you have been praying for God’s revelation to come upon you.  I trust you are being faithful in setting aside time to be still and know he is God.  Now is the time!  Pray for change, pray for revival!

     

    Fifth, the people fasted.  We see the connection throughout the Bible.  Whenever a person or a group of people had a deep spiritual need, needed protection, or were crying out to God for revival, they prayed and fasted.  Last Sunday, I called for the church to enter a daylight fast for Friday, September 5.  I challenged you to spiritually prepare to fast through prayer and seeking God’s will for your fast.  I challenged you to make a list of needs and people to pray for during your fast.  Are you ready?

     

    Here are the rules to fasting:  there are no rules.  Fasting is a matter of the heart and is a relationship between you and God.  I have challenged you to abstain from solid foods from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm on Friday.  As you experience hunger, rejoice that God is your sole provider!  As you experience discomfort, find a quiet place to pray your list of needs and people. 

     

    Hopefully you have been preparing all week and have been reducing your diet already.  If not, no big deal.  Remember – we rely on God to see us through.

     

    Eat a salad tonight…nothing heavy.  When you wake up in the morning, pray with God to help you through the day.  Concentrate on the purpose of your fast.  Pray the list of names and needs.  Prepare for your day just as you always do.  (Read Matthew 6:16-18). 

     

    Every time you think about fasting (and you will…it might even occupy most of your thoughts) lift a silent prayer to God and smile because of His strength and His providence.  Thank Him for allowing you to worship Him in this way. 

     

    As the day goes on, you will several experiences.  First, there will be several times when you are tempted to “break the fast” early.  Hold strong!  Remember who it is that tempts us and rebuke him!  You will find that as lunchtime comes and goes, you will experience hunger but it will subside.  Drink TONS AND GALLONS of water!  Have a soda or a sports drink.  Smile to everyone.  Share a kind word with everyone you meet.

     

    When you can, slip away for alone time with God.  Listen to His moving.  Feel His providence.  Think your prayer to Him.  Name names, identify needs, confess sins.  As you near the end of your fast, pray in victory!  Claim that God has heard your petitions and His Spirit is already moving in the people and needs you brought to Him.

     

    When your fast ends, enjoy a salad…nothing big, nothing heavy.  Rejoice in the pleasure food brings and recognize it as a gift from God.

     

    Remember, fasting is between you and God.  Follow Jesus’ example and do your fasting in secret, except for prayer partners who are supporting you through your fast:

     

    Matthew 6:16-18  "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

     

    Fall onto God’s promises during your fast:

    Isaiah 58:6-10  "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
           to loose the chains of injustice
           and untie the cords of the yoke,
           to set the oppressed free
           and break every yoke?

     7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
           and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
           when you see the naked, to clothe him,
           and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

     8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
           and your healing will quickly appear;
           then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
           and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

     9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
           you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
           "If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
           with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

     10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
           and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
           then your light will rise in the darkness,
           and your night will become like the noonday.

    Finally, believe God is faithful and prayer and fasting are sweet worship to Him.  Believe God hears our prayers and answers them.

     

    James 1:2-6  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

     

     

     

     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Love that feeling...

    September is not quite here, but the mornings are starting to have that Fall fresh feeling. There is just something about the way the Fall mornings feel that make them special. It is as if God is promising great things for the day...

    Yesterday was just such a morning. It was the first day of school but the chaos typical of a first day wasn't as noticeable. We had a plan...Cristina took Hannah to her first day at Liberty Hill Intermediate and I took Connor and Kenna to the Junior High. This was Kenna's first day in Junior High, so she was a little on edge. I caused the first crisis...it turns out we were supposed to be at school at 7:50, not leave the house at 7:50. Yikes! Kenna got in the truck and instantly focused on the clock: 7:48. The tears started. Connor, ever the realist, told her not to worry, "Daddy can drive fast." I really did not have anything to say...we were late, it was my fault, and we couldn't change it. Kenna accepted that line of thinking and the crisis was resolved.

    I dropped the girls off and then parked my truck. Today was to be a special day. Brenda Emmert had it on her heart that parents should gather at the flag pole at 8:15 and pray for the kids, the teachers, and for God to be glorified at the schools. By 8:05 there were only two of us there. As the minutes ticked by more parents showed up and at 8:15 there were 10 of us gathered around the pole, holding hands and praying for our children.

    What I did not know was what was happening at the other 5 campuses. There were only a couple at the High School, but there were reported to be 20+ people at each of the other campuses! While Fellowship parents prayed, Principles, Assistant Principles and other parents joined in and voices were raised on all Liberty Hill campuses! One of the principles later commented that this was the smoothest opening school day he had ever experienced and he knew exactly why. He said this was no coincidence. I believe he is correct.

    In the coming weeks, we will lay the groundwork to make this a regular event...start blocking 8:15 am on Mondays off your calendar. You have an appointment.

    I walked out of the house this morning and experienced the same feeling. Coolness, comfort...a feeling of being refreshed.

    This is the the day the Lord hath made. God did promise great things for yesterday. He made the same promise for today and tomorrow. Claim that promise! Let nothing distract you from that promise.

    Blessings,

    Pastor Michael

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Kenna


    Kenna made cheerleader this year and has been very excited about it. She had a hard time during tryouts but stuck it out. The 7th and 8th grade girls had cheer camp this week and Kenna came home exhausted every day. While at camp, the girls were to elect a Captain from the 8th grade girls and a Co-Captain from the 7th grade girls. To be considered for Co-Captain, Kenna had to make up a cheer and write a short essay on why she would make a good Co-Captain.

    This is her essay:

    I think I would be a good co captain because…

    I am very responsible and organized. In addition, I have had lots of experience in cheer and know my stuff. It doesn’t take me long to memorize a cheer or dance. Also, I can’t stand making bad grades so that won’t be a problem. This year I’m strait on cheer because of how much time it takes up. So I am very confident I will be at every practice, fundraiser, and, game. I am also very energetic and out there, so it’s easy to throw out ideas for cheers and chants. I also don’t like when people feel left out or are embarrassed so if they are I would help them.

    My dad is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist church and I am very involved with the youth program. Church is a big part of my life. My favorite verse is Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. So don’t worry about tomorrow just live today.

    Kenna made Co-Captain...

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    It's been a few days...

    I have not posted since Saturday a week ago after Hannah and I rode to Marble Falls. It has been a busy week and a half since then...

    Sunday the 10th was an awesome day, as always. It is just such a blessing to see God working in people's lives. Sunday night we said goodbye to Cailin Vague, our summer youth intern. Cailin is a huge blessing and we will miss her as she goes off to Abilene Christian this fall.

    Then Monday night rolled around...this was the night the two Fellowship softball teams faced off in league play. The Blue team one 13-12 and it was a great game. We will have the chance to avenge the loss on September 22 when we play each other again.

    This Sunday was awesome. We had 106 in the 8:30 service and 346 in the 11:00 service. Three families joined and we had 3 come forward for baptism! God is Good!

    I was blessed Sunday night at the ordination service. This was a very spiritual, emotional and moving service. I still cannot believe God can use even me and I am thankful for the wonderful people He has put in my life. I am the most blessed person I know...a great family and the opportunity to share ministry with some of the best, most loving Christian people around. It is easy to be a pastor for people with such a heart for the Lord!

    I was humbled to have my two pastors preach at the service. Brother Dan has meant so much to me as God worked to form my call. He has been an incredible mentor and counselor through all of this, and he remains a good friend. His words were heart-felt and inspirational. Brother Jerry just blessed me. He spoke with such great conviction and stirred many people that night. I pray God will allow me to be half the pastor as these two men. I am so very thankful God allowed them to shepherd me!

    It continues to be a whirlwind and it is just picking up steam. We started talking today about adding a fourth service and we are officially pursuing off-campus solutions for Sunday School. Our growth is a gift and we are diligently seeking wisdom to accommodate more people seeking a church family. Just think, we are in the historically lowest attendance time of the year, and nearly every Sunday breaks a record! I can't wait to see what God will do as the revival continues.

    Prepare for it!


    Have a blessed day...bless someone else!


    Pastor Michael

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    My little biker chic

    What a week we had! It has been a very busy week for all of us...Cristina and the girls went to Rock the Desert with the Fellowship Youth. I looked at the pictures and it was obviously a great trip. I plan on going next year...

    Hannah and I stayed behind. I had to work and Hannah had a sleepover party she had been looking forward to. Hannah and I spent quality time together yesterday but were at a loss as to what to do last night. I wanted to go on a motorcycle ride but Hannah has not ever wanted to do that. Debby Cox came to the rescue...she talked to Hannah and explained it all to her in a way I could never do, and before long Hannah was ready to go. To sweeten the pot, Rick offered to let us ride the Gold Wing and Hannah agreed to give it a shot. We rode to Marble Falls and ate at the Bluebonnet Cafe. Hannah had a smile from ear to ear. She was hooked. We rode back in the dark and when we got home Hannah asked if we could ride my bike to church. I told her we could, but she couldn't wear church clothes on the bike. When we were ready to leave this morning, Hannah met me at the door wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes, and the motorcycle jacket, under which was a very biker chic-looking black tank top.

    I asked her if that was what she was wearing to church. She whipped out a bag she had already packed with a dress, nice shoes and a hair brush..."I will change at the church...now can we ride the bike?" I almost shed a tear...now all my girls are biker chicks!

    Thursday, August 7, 2008

    Sermon Notes for Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Preparing for Revival Part 2
    Close Encounters
    Exodus 33
    Fellowship Baptist Church
    August 10, 2008

    We are praying and preparing for revival. A revival is our renewal with God and we want to encounter. In other words, we should not be content to merely know Him…we are here to experience and encounter God. How exactly do we “encounter God”?

    We prepare



    We live



    We experience

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    O-fer

    Yep.. So far, Fellowship Baptist Church Softball teams are 0-3. That sounds worse than it really is...there are three teams and we have all played once. The Men's Blue Team lost in the opener last night and the White Team followed with another loss. There is one factor that probably didn't change the outcome but would have definitely changed the score. I could not find the right softballs and we all ended up playing with a softer ball. Softballs have a real science behind them and the teams we played had much higher compression balls which travel faster and farther. Again, we probably would have lost but it would have been much closer.

    The Co-ed team was the shining star. They had a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the 7th and the other team tied it with two outs. In rec league softball, teams go to a "one pitch" format for extra innings. This means each batter gets just one pitch...if its a ball, they walk. If it is a strike, they are out. If they hit it, they hit it. It makes for a very fast extra inning tie-breaker. Unfortunately, it takes most of the skill out of the game and tonight the Fellowship team came up one run short. I will be the first to say they looked great. They have some quality people and they will have a great season.

    The good news is this: I guarantee there will be a Fellowship win next Monday night at 9:00. How can I be so bold, you say? After all, the men's teams pretty much got shellacked, right? Here's the deal: The Fellowship White Team and the Fellowship Blue Team face each other this coming week. As far as we know, this will be the first ever contest between Fellowship teams in league play. Let the loving and Christian-like trash talking begin! Come out and support the teams next Monday night at 9:00 p.m. at McMaster Fields in Georgetown.

    Have a blessed day...start by blessing someone else!


    Pastor Michael