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Hope from the Flood

Tom Holladay, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church, offered some words of hope to the flood victims in Houston, Texas with an article that appeared on the Fox News website. Holladay can empathize with the people in Texas and Louisiana who have lost everything because his home was covered by 9 feet of water when a levee broke, flooding Marysville, California in 1986.

Holladay says his family needed to quickly learn four simple truths in order to maintain hope during the recovery, which must be measured in years, not months. These truths are also a guide for how we can reach out to victims of the flood.

People will find hope in gifts that provide for their basic needs

Holladay says he appreciated the single woman who gave up her apartment to give his family a place to temporarily live, when a truck brought meals for all the workers, and when a church replaced his pastor’s library. You church could offer hope by providing pastors who need help ministering to their congregations with items they can give to others. Or, you could help a pastor get back to his full capacity by…

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Halfway between downtown Houston, Texas and Galveston Bay lies the town of Deer Park. To the West is Pasadena and to the east, Baytown.

Citizens of these Houston suburbs are no strangers to the issue of flooding, so they’re normally quite prepared. But as the nation watched recently, all of their preparedness was futile in the face of the massive, devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

We were able to connect with Charlie Ellison, Executive Pastor at Life Bridge Baptist Church in Deer Park while he was out in a truck delivering supplies to local residents who have now lost everything.

Life Bridge has sent teams out to clear debris, tear out damaged flooring and sheetrock, and deliver supplies purchased from local stores using money donated by people near and far. Part of their work is simply getting to pray for people as they serve. “Most of these people didn’t have flood insurance because flooding never seemed like a problem they’d have to deal with.”

“They haven’t just lost things. They’ve lost memories and all that they’ve worked for over a lifetime,” he continued. “It’s a blessing just to…

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Click here to get 'The Journey Continues, Participants Guide Set 5-8'Recovery is an ongoing journey, so we’ve created The Journey Continues, Participant’s Guide Set to help you and your congregation discover deeper freedom from life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits.

These guides give you the tools you need to help your church…

  • Take bold new steps forward in God’s grace.
  • Grow in Christ-like character.
  • Continue to restore and develop healthy relationships.

This bundle includes participant guides 5-8 for the Celebrate Recovery Program:

Guide 5: Moving Forward In God’s Grace
Guide 6: Asking God to Grow My Character
Guide 7: Honoring God By Making Repairs
Guide 8: Living Out the Message of Christ

Pastors John Baker and Johnny Baker will help you continue the Celebrate Recovery journey with four new participant’s guides that cover 25 lessons. The purpose of these new lessons is to help people to grow and maintain momentum as they continue to move forward in their recoveries.

Order your The Journey Continues, Participant’s Guide Set today and lead your church toward the future God has for them!

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unnamedIt doesn’t matter how much you work out, how healthy you eat or how much you sleep, if you’re not feeding and exercising your spirit you’ll run out of gas. Yes, we must take care of our bodies, but we must not neglect to re-energize our spirit. And the only way to do that is through the Word of God!

That’s why we’ve put together this new interactive guide called Re-Energize Your Life. Created from Pastor Rick’s most practical teaching, this first-of-its-kind resource guides you through everything you need to know to “charge your batteries” the way God intended. Step-by-step, Re-Energize Your Life takes you on a journey of restoration, rest and renewal.

Re-Energize Your Life shows you how to:

  • Renew your spirit by letting Jesus lighten your load
  • Reduce stress in 3 easy steps
  • Recognize how to live a balanced life
  • Rediscover what matters most
  • Re-activate your passion and purpose

The new year is just around the corner, so what better time to join with pastors across America and Re-Energize Your Life!

I want to Re-energize my Life! »

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I wish I had loved more.…
I wish I had been smarter about money.…

I wish I had thought about God more.…
We all have regrets about the past. Many of them come from our attempts to fulfill unmet longings. Dave and Jon Ferguson call this back and forth between longing and regret the Sorry Cycle—and they want to help us escape it.

In Starting OverDave and Jon show us how to recognize specific regrets and then release them to God as we learn to see our regrets as opportunities to start over. Finally, we can see God redeem our regrets as he takes the worst things in our lives and uses them for a greater good.

Your regrets don’t need to keep you from the joy God has for your life. As you apply the recognize-release-redeem process to your financial, relational, and personal regrets, you will find new freedom in living out your God-given dreams.

Fall in Love with Your Regrets

It sounds impossible. How can we learn to love our mistakes? Instead, we go over and over them in our mind. Could…

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Re-Energize Your Life

pb304801_grandeBy Rick Warren

It doesn’t matter how much you work out or how healthy you may eat, if you’re not feeding and exercising your spirit … you’re going to feel run down and tired – you’ll run out of gas. You’ve got to do more than just take care of your body. You’ve got to energize your spirit! And the best way to do that is with God’s Word! That’s why we’ve put together this new interactive guide called Re-Energize Your Life!

In this first-of-its-kind guide, created from Pastor Rick’s most practical teaching, you will learn everything you need to know to re-energize your life the way God intended. Step by step, you will begin a journey of restoration and renewal. It’s a hands-on guide you take at your own pace. No need to rush! In fact, we encourage you to stop and linger where you want to spend more time. You’ll benefit from biblical wisdom and learn how to apply it to your life in practical ways.

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Who Moved My Pulpit? Leading Change in the Church

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Op-ed from Dr. Jamie Aten, founder and co-director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College and Ed Stetzer, director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism

Lessons on Hurricane Katrina’s 11th anniversary on preventing clergy burnout from those that have been there…

Dear Louisiana Pastors,

On this day, the 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we want to share one of the most important ministry lessons we learned from experience, serving in the midst of disasters, and clergy interviews conducted in the aftermath of the worst natural disaster to ever strike our nation. Don’t forget to take care of yourself as you care for others.

For some of you the current Louisiana flood is your first experience with disaster ministry. Others likely pastored congregations that were affected by Katrina in some way. If not by the winds and rain then by the flood of people who evacuated to your communities in need of shelter. Today you are experiencing a different kind of flood. Regardless of your experience, you need to read this, because you are at risk of compassion fatigue and burnout.

Your church and community need your help now. But they are also going to need…

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By Rachel Baker

It’s been nearly six months since the people of South Sudan have had government supplied electricity, only those with generators have access to this resource. Farmers are not farming and businesses are dying, as a baby country groans in its infancy amid tribal and political conflict. Africa’s 55th nation became its own in 2011, but quickly after its birth has experienced threat of failure and famine.

Currently the country, which is primarily composed of former refugees, faces staggering statistics. A mere 27% of the population aged 15 years and above is literate, with two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30. The infant mortality rate is 105 in 1000 and only 17% of South Sudan’s children are fully immunized. Roughly 38% percent of the population walks an hour round trip for drinking water and nearly 80% of the nation does not have access to any toilet facility.

Political tension keeps the country ravaged, as President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar are at war with each other, a feud that has resulted in 50,000 deaths, as guesstimated by the United Nations and ICG (International Crisis Group), though…

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Screenshot 2015-12-17 11.44.53Tony Morgan and the Unstuck Group have just released a great new ebook, Reaching and Leading Millennials: Practical Conversations to Get You Unstuck. From the introduction:

Churches have to understand:

  • Writing off a generation because they have diferent issues is a stubborn and unproductive approach.
  • Millennials were born into a very different world, and it is essential that they learn to live out their faith differently than their parents’ generation.
  • Fulfilling God’s purposes requires guring out how to speak the language of all of the different generations.

To borrow from Shaw, we have to start having the right conversations. Too many churches get hung up on talking about why young people won’t come to their church. Instead, they need to be talking about what they are willing to do differently.

Check it out!

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Screenshot 2015-10-08 21.13.53If you’re exploring the world of church planting, you’ve probably realized calling is a big deal. Because church planting is difficult, it’s important to know that the God of the universe has called you to do it.

But calling can be a tricky business, can’t it?

I was in my dorm room the first time I sensed a call to reach lost people, but it was 1:30 in the morning, so I didn’t think much about it. Besides, the only form of ministry I’d ever seen involved dingy fellowship halls and out of touch sermons – not a very compelling picture to a nineteen year old college football player.

Fast-forward a few years, after a summer workout, a thought hit me that coaching football was a great way to marry by burden for the lost with something that involved more Dri-FIT than flannelgraph. However, two years into my dream coaching job, all I wanted to do was listen to sermons and read blogs about church planting. I couldn’t shake the sense that I was created to do something else. I found myself caring more about our team chapel service than the conference…

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