Wednesday, November 26, 2014

“Today, I am thankful for…”

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

I’ve discovered that gratitude and thankfulness are cultivated in our lives through intention and practice. Of all the attitudes we get to choose, gratitude seems to be the most beneficial. I read a study that said, “Gratitude research shows that thankfulness has the strongest link to mental health and physical well-being of any of the thirty most commonly studied personality traits.” Gratitude leads to healthy, less stressed, more social, and happier people.

On Sunday, after the offering time, I challenged us to be “gratitude givers” - to be people who change the atmosphere through our words of thanks. The idea came to me when I read a Facebook post from a woman who was shopping last week and said, “No excuse me or thank you out there today. Only blank stares.” Folks, as we enter into the holiday season which begins with a day set aside to express thanks for what we have and ends with songs of joy over the greatest gift we could ever receive, let’s make sure our attitude and actions match the reason we celebrate.

Gratitude is spawned as we become fully aware of God’s presence and goodness. How much do you focus on the fact that God is always there and working out His plan for your best?

Gratitude grows as I humbly realize that I really don’t deserve anything. I am not entitled. Instead, I am humbled to have what I have. When I feel I am entitled, my speech is littered with grumbling, but when I am content with what I have, my speech is flowered with gratitude.

Gratitude is an expression of blessing as a person reflects on God’s presence and provision. I know I am blessed beyond belief. My wife, kids, family, friends, church, purpose, mission, calling, health, home and faith are all gifts given to me by our generous and good God. I am one blessed and thankful man. So, here’s a discipline to practice this holiday season. When someone asks you how you are doing, answer this way: “Today, I am thankful for…” Let’s be people who change the atmosphere wherever we go by expressing our gratitude for all God has done.

This week we’re going to look at another of Jesus’ outrageous statements. It’s all about how to handle our stuff. It will challenge all of us.

Looking forward to hearing from Jesus,


Thursday, November 20, 2014

A chance to make a real difference!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Tuesday night Jenny Williamson, of Courage Worldwide, gave a presentation that was absolutely riveting. I am so thrilled God has led us to pursue a partnership with this life-saving organization. Courage Worldwide has a vision to establish Courage Houses all over the world. Courage House is a safe place where girls and women who are involved in the sex trade or sex trafficking, can come for healing and restoration. Sex trafficking is one of the biggest criminal activities in our world, and it even impacts us here in Nevada County. We can help fight this battle when we link arms with Courage Worldwide.

You’ll hear more in the coming months about how you can participate. For now, we can pray. Please pray for the Courage Worldwide team, the girls they have already rescued, their needs for more Courage Homes, and for how we can be involved.

Please note that our Thanksgiving Holiday serving opportunity is to join in with what Interfaith Food Ministry is doing to feed our community. If you want to know more, please go online to http://www.interfaithfoodministry.org and click on the link about sponsoring a family.

We have an opportunity to care for people in our church and community who are facing the holiday season while in the season of grief over the loss of a loved one. Our Grief Care Team is offering a FREE seminar called, “Surviving The Holidays.” This caring seminar will help you not only survive the holidays, but find new strength and healing as well as provide tools to guide you to move forward in your daily walk through the pain of grief.

I guess the impact our Outrageous Stuff Jesus Said series is having in my life, as well as hundreds of others, shouldn’t surprise me. God continues to lead us deeper into His Word with each series of messages. Last week as John walked us through Jesus’ words concerning the danger to our souls of giving in to temptation was truly life-changing. Remember this: It’s worth your effort to do everything you can so that nothing gets between you and God. Be radical in your determination and be accountable in your plan.

This week we’re going to look at another of Jesus’ outrageous statements. In fact, it’s so outrageous that I am struggling with how I am going to communicate it on Sunday. Will you say a prayer for me as I prepare?

Looking forward to hearing from Jesus,


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Your amazing generosity!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

You are amazing in your generosity. Last week during our benevolence offering you gave $4500 to help others who are in dire financial predicaments. The beauty of your giving is that our church gets to give people hope. You might be surprised at how many people still struggle financially in our community with our stagnant economy and lack of employment opportunities.

Just to let you know how our benevolence works, we have a thorough application and approval process. As hard as it is to say, “no,” we regularly do so as we seek to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. Your generosity allows us to say, “yes,” more often. You may never know how much this can do to show a person that God really does care. We’ll let you know the next time we’re going to receive a benevolence offering.

As some of you are aware, we are in the process of solidifying our partnership with Courage Worldwide – this is the ministry dedicated to freeing and redeeming girls who are victims of the sex slave trade. Jenny Williamson, founder of Courage Worldwide, will be here on Tuesday, November 18, at 7:00pm for an information meeting to share the magnitude of this issue and how we can help. Please invite anyone you know who might have a passion to be involved in helping set girls free from the sex trade.

We have an opportunity to care for people in our church and community who are facing the holiday season while in the season of grief over the loss of a loved one. Our Grief Care Team is offering a seminar called, “Surviving The Holidays.” This caring seminar will help you not only survive the holidays, but find new strength and healing as well as provide tools to guide you to move forward in your daily walk through the pain of grief.

We continue our series this week by looking at more Outrageous Stuff Jesus Said. Our message this week is shocking and yet so clearly loving. We’ll be talking about how to restrain our temptations to act outside of God’s expressed will concerning our behaviors.

Looking forward to hearing from Jesus,


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wow! Great Job Church!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Wow!!! I am so proud of you and the way we all pitched in together to make FFF such a wonderful experience for our community. I’ve heard so many positive stories from people who were able to extend even more invitations because we offered a safe and dry alternative. Doing the event indoors also created a heightened sense of excitement and made FFF fresh in so many ways.

Special kudos go out to John, Angel and the entire FFF team. You guys remind me how committed our people are to keeping our focus outward to those in our community who have yet to say “Yes” to Jesus. By moving the event indoors we took off some of the boundaries on the event and how we will operate in coming years. The rain turned out to be God’s blessing in so many ways.

If you’re like me, you are fascinated by the situation in the Middle East – especially concerning Israel, Islam and the persecution of Christians. If so, you’ll want to be aware of a seminar at William Jessup University in Rocklin on November 8. If that date doesn’t work, there is also a seminar at Combie Bible Church in LOP on November 9 from 3:00–5:30pm. Here’s the contact information: www.icejusa.org/events or (800) 379-3897.

As many of you are aware, we are in the process of solidifying our partnership with Courage Worldwide – this is the ministry dedicated to freeing and redeeming girls who are victims of the sex slave trade. Jenny Williamson, founder of Courage Worldwide, will be here on Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00pm for an information meeting to share the magnitude of this issue and how we can help. Please invite anyone you know who might have a passion to be involved in helping set girls free from the sex trade.

We continue our series this week by looking at more Outrageous Stuff Jesus Said. Our message will be about judging others. You’ve more than likely heard it said that it goes against the teachings of the Bible to judge. I think you’ll be surprised at what Jesus actually said. It’s outrageous.

Sunday is also our benevolence offering day. We’ve had more requests lately than we can possibly help. Will you consider giving this weekend to help people bridge the gap between their financial reality and their financial need?

Looking forward to hearing from Jesus,


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Family Festival will be INSIDE tomorrow!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

We’re moving FFF inside! I love the servant hearts of the volunteers and staff of our church. We’re taking an entire festival designed for outdoors and moving the entire event inside our church. Our purpose is to reach into our community and provide a safe, free and fun event for families. Well this year we’re adding “dry” to our mix. Forecasts are calling for rain on Friday and cold winds. We’ve never had this in the nine years we’ve done this event, but there’s always a first.

So, I have a couple of requests. First, will you please invite people from your circle of influence? It’s going to be rainy and cold, and we’re offering an indoor, dry, warm experience for the entire family. We’ll have food for purchase, a band for entertainment, games, crafts, bounce houses. It’s going to be awesome. Second, will you help? It’s not too late to volunteer to help serve our friends and neighbors and offer an excellent environment so they can be safe, dry and have fun. You can call John or Angel at the office to offer your help. Also, if you have already volunteered, there’s no need to call but please know that we still need you.

If you’re like me, you are fascinated by the situation in the Middle East – especially with Israel. If so, you’ll want to be aware of a seminar at William Jessup University in Rocklin on November 8. If that date doesn’t work, there is also a seminar at Combie Bible Church in LOP on November 9 from 3:00–5:00pm. “Discerning the Times” is a unique seminar designed to help Christians understand more about the days in which we live: The role of Israel, the rise of Islam, the persecuted church, and the way God is moving in the Middle East. Here’s the contact information: www.icejusa.org/events or (800) 379-3897.

As most of you are aware, we are in the process of solidifying our partnership with Courage Worldwide – this is the ministry dedicated to freeing and redeeming girls who are victims of the sex slave trade. I don’t know if you are aware, but the Sacramento region is at the top of the lists of cities where this is a top crime. We’ve even had a prostitution crime in our area in the past few months. Jenny Williams, founder of Courage Worldwide, will be here on Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00pm for an informational meeting to help us know the magnitude of this issue and how we can help. Please invite anyone you know who might have a passion to be involved in helping set girls free from the sex trade.

We continue our series this week by looking at more Outrageous Stuff Jesus Said. Our message will be based upon His words to love our enemies. Everyone can relate to being hurt or angry, but doing what Jesus says is difficult. This will be an eye-opener and will challenge everyone in a good way.

Can't wait to see you at FFF,


Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Friend Day" is this Sunday, and we are ready!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Friend Day is Sunday. I am praying for the friends, coworkers, family members and neighbors you are asking to attend with you this week. With all the fear and confusion in our culture from so many events outside of our control, people are more open than ever to spiritual discussions and even coming to church.

All of our Sunday morning teams will be serving on Sunday to create the most inspiring opportunity possible so that our friends encounter the love of Jesus. Now, it’s up to the rest of us to leverage their efforts by inviting our friends to come with us. Let me suggest that you make your invitation personal by offering to meet your friend and sit with them. You’ll be surprised at how many people are pretty nervous about a church, and your warmth may help break down those nervous fears.

A second opportunity to extend an invitation to those in our world is Fall Family Festival. On Friday, October 31, over 3500 families from our community will make their way onto our campus, and we need your help to make sure they have an awesome experience. Part of our strategy as a church is to provide irresistible environments so that we can help people experience the love of Jesus. We need you to help fulfill that vision.

Here’s how you can help. Give, Serve and Invite. Give candy, Serve happily and Invite freely. We still need lots of candy, but the biggest need is for people who are willing to say, “Use me.” You can sign up on Sunday or better yet call Angel or John at the office.

If you’re like me, you are fascinated by the situation in the Middle East – especially with Israel. If so, you’ll want to be aware of a seminar at William Jessup University in Rocklin on November 8. If that date doesn’t work, there is also a seminar at Combie Bible Church in LOP on November 9 from 3–5pm. “Discerning the Times” is a unique seminar designed to help Christians understand more about the days in which we live: The role of Israel, the rise of Islam, the persecuted church, and the way God is moving in the Middle East. Here’s the contact information: http://us.icej.org/events or (800) 379-3897.

We begin a new series on Sunday, and I am praying that it will have a clear and meaningful impact on your friends with an encounter with the living God and His Son Jesus Christ. We’ll be praying for Holy Spirit to stir their hearts to want to pursue the real meaning in life – Jesus. Our series, Outrageous Stuff Jesus Said, will be an eye-opener and will challenge everyone in a good way.

Looking forward to friend day,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Come experience God's presence this Sunday evening!

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

Three weeks ago as I was working my way through the story of Jehoshaphat, I was inspired by his call to the people of Judah to gather for prayer. That inspiration led to discussions around our office, and we sensed a strong urge to call our church to gather to pray on October 19, 4:00–5:00pm here at our church. We are going to pray for our world, nation, community and church.

We are calling this prayer experience The Gathering based upon this declaration and promise by Jesus – “Where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.” Come experience the presence of Jesus with your church family as we humble ourselves before our God. If you missed that service from September 28, you’ll want to watch the message on Pray Like Jehoshaphat When Your Circumstances Are Overwhelming. It was a day of release and hope.

It doesn’t matter how skilled or eloquent you feel about your praying ability, you will find that it’s not the quality of our prayer ability that matters; what matters is the heart of the one praying. Some of the most meaningful prayers I’ve heard were given by people who had little or no experience at praying.

This Sunday we’ll focus on Habakkuk’s prayer when he felt that God was absent. I love how real and raw the Bible can be. We’ll get an inside look at how a person of deep faith prays to God even when it appears that God is not there or silent. If you know of someone who could relate to this message, please invite them to come with you. We’ll have a time of Communion as part of our service.

Eagerly looking forward to praying with you,