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Pastor Search Team Update (October 31, 2014)

October 31, 2014

Dear BBC Family,

Thank you for your support and “your voice” in the recent congregation-wide survey.  Your comments have been especially informative and helpful. After five days, we completed Sunday night with nearly 600 respondents!
Along with the qualifications in the BBC Bylaws, your feedback completes the requirements to finalize both the Senior Pastor Job Description and associated Candidate Profile. In addition, we have been actively working to complete the BBC Overview for potential candidates to review (i.e. This is BBC).

In the meantime, we ask that you continue to pray for Bannockburn’s pastors and staff as they continue to step out in faith.

Father, I am grateful to pray for these who serve as pastors or in another capacity of leadership for You, especially (name one or more)…

Finally, please continue to pray with the team that we will patiently await God’s timing and settle for nothing less than His perfect will.  Praying for God’s grace and mercy in giving us a true man of God and a great leader.
  • “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.”  Psalm 37:7
  • “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

Should you have any questions, concerns, or encouragements, please feel free to drop us an email at pst@bbcfamily.com.

In Christ,
Pastor Search Team

This Is Not Instant Oatmeal

October 31, 2014

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Yesterday’s devotional was about being “different,” however this change to be like Christ is not instant.  Similarly, when a woman is pregnant, small changes happen each day, and over the course of nine months, a human being is formed and delivered.  When my wife was recently pregnant, I saw her every day.  However, I did not notice daily any changes in the size of her abdomen, where the baby was forming.  Yet, I still knew change was happening, because I could compare pictures of what she looked like at different stages of her pregnancy and then the changes were visible.  Finally, the moment came when my son arrived and I held this new creation in my arms. This creation was a newborn that spent nine months forming the entire pregnancy.

In this letter, Paul is explaining to the Corinthians that followers of Christ would be able to see the difference in the new creation. Looking back on our life, we should be able to compare the difference between who we were without Christ and who we are with Christ and what we continue to strive to become. Everyone, even the pastors of congregations, are on a journey to become more like Christ.  No person is exempt from the journey, but we should all be able to see a difference from where we started.

When I was in college, I took a road trip with a group of friends to watch Texas play Nebraska in football.  On our trip to and from Lincoln, Nebraska, we each chose different pit stops that we would like to make along the trip.  We visited historical sites, memorials, and even some great eating establishments.  Each stop defined our trip and made the destination even more memorable.  Likewise, this journey in our Christian life includes monumental pit stops that define our journey and should emphasize the importance of our destination, which is the ultimate prize of a life that truly reflects Christ.

Personal Application: Your life should reflect Christ but this is a journey for everyone. Do not compare yourself to other Christians, but make your goal to become more like Christ.

Home Application: Set aside time in your family life to discuss the important mile markers along each person’s journey where that person can see a change toward becoming more like Christ.

What characteristics of Christ have been the most difficult to apply to your life?

Devotional written by Travis Hogg.

Different

October 30, 2014

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.  And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king.  And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. Daniel 1:17-20 (ESV)

Looking different from everyone else while you are in your teenage years can be one of the most terrifying thoughts of a teenager. I know I worked very hard to try to keep up with the status quo. My mom was horrified when I came home and told her that I needed a new haircut. The haircut that was affectionately called “The Butt Cut” because of where the middle part was located. I did end up getting that haircut and was temporarily happy with my new-found ‘do.

However, as a believer in Christ, there should be something that makes us stand out from everyone else in the world. If we have Christ in us and are a new creation, our lives begin to reflect God’s holiness which sets us apart.

In Daniel’s early life, there was a point where the life of Daniel and his friends had to be different from those around him. The king was asking his people to eat food which Daniel had convictions about eating. Two key verses stand out which reflect the change in Daniels life. Verses 17 and 20 both state that God gave Daniel and his friends wisdom and understanding. When the king spoke with these four men, he noticed the difference and said that there were none others like them.

Personal Application: Study the Bible to grow in wisdom and understanding and as you do, Christ will make you more like Him.

Home Application: Pray over your family and children that God will give them wisdom and understanding of who He is.

Do you think we should be believers who pronounce Christ more with our words or with our actions?

 

Today’s devo written by Travis Hogg.

He will not disappoint!

October 29, 2014

And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals”. I Kings 1:18:18

Tonight in AWANA, our Cubbies will be learning about Elijah. I thought it was the perfect end to my time with you. I think there is a part of me that would like to be like Elijah in 1 Kings 18. He just experienced God raise a young boy from the dead. Then, he has the courage to tell King Ahab that he is the reason there has been no rain in Israel for the past three years because of his disobedience. If that’s not enough Elijah then challenges all 450 prophets of Baal to try to make fire rain down from the sky. All 450 prophets were a team working together against Elijah.  All the people of Israel come to Mount Carmel to watch. Elijah addresses them in I Kings 18:21 and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. The prophets of Baal prepared their sacrifice and prayed for fire from their god. Nothing happened, they prayed louder and harder, still nothing. Then came the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah prepared his altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me O LORD, answer me, that these people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their heart back.” What happened? God did not disappoint. Yahweh answered by fire consuming everything!

What can we learn from this? First,  as long as the idols of this world: money, power, praise, attention are our focus, we are going to be miserable!  Second,  am I willing to stand alone for God and rely on Him to give me strength? IF we choose to trust the God of Abraham, Isaac, Israel and Elijah, HE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT!

Personal Application: Is there an idol you need to let go of or a stand you need to take? Do it today!

Home Application: Talk about the times God has powerfully and faithfully answered your  prayers. Give Him praise!

What are you standing up for?

Devotional written by Kathy Spade

I will take a stand

October 28, 2014

“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)

Casting Crowns based the song “Courageous” on this scripture. This song is also used in the movie by the same title. If you haven’t seen it I would recommend it. I believe the song fits perfectly with what we have been talking about the last couple of days. This song was intended to exhort men to lead bold, uncompromising lives for the Lord. I think it applies just as much to women. Mark Hill says, “We were never meant to be watchers, we’re warriors. We all have a desire for significance. We want to know we will count for something. But the best way to count for something is to stand for something-or even better yet, for someone. And the only way we’ll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands.”

Here is part of the lyrics that I have rewritten to challenge each of us to stand up and be courageous. I have changed the “we” to  “I”  to make it personal. Do more than just read it, ask God to make it part of  your life today! “I  was made to be courageous, I was made to lead the way, I could be the generation that finally breaks the chains. I was made for so much more. Let the pounding of my heart’s cry, I will serve the Lord. I was made to be courageous! It start with me tonight. The only way I’ll ever stand is on my knees with lifted hands. Make me courageous, Lord, make me courageous. This is my resolution, I will answer the call. I will become a warrior. I will seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with you, my God. In the war of the mind, I will make my stand. In the battle of the heart and the hand, I will take my stand. I will be courageous.”

Personal Application: Are you willing to get down on your knees and ask God where you need to take a stand and be courageous?

Home Application: Share with your family about a time you stood for the Lord or talk about ways you CAN stand for the Lord.

Will you be courageous and share what or who you are standing for?

Devotional written by Kathy Spade

Be courageous

October 27, 2014

God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

Courageous is defined as not deterred by danger or pain; brave. It takes courage to resolve conflict with people. It’s not always easy or fun but it is necessary!  God’s desire is that we live in harmony and peace with people. Unresolved conflict effects all people involved. Rick Warren in his Devotion called Daily Hope says unresolved conflict has three devastating effects in your life.

First, it blocks your fellowship with God. When you’re out of whack with others, you can’t be in harmony with God. When you’re distracted, when you’re in conflict with other people, you cannot have a clear connection with God. 1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar” (NLT).

Second, unresolved conflict hinders your prayers. Over and over again the Bible says that where there is conflict and sin and disharmony in your life, your prayers are blocked.

Third, unsolved conflict hinders your happiness. You cannot be happy and in conflict at the same time. When conflict comes in the front door, happiness goes out the back.

So how do you resolve conflict?  Rick further states, “ You must take the  initiative. Don’t wait for others to come to you; go to them. You be the peacemaker. Don’t ignore, deny or push the conflict under the carpet. The conflict is not going to resolve itself. You’ve got to intentionally deal with it. Only courageous people resolve conflict. Maybe the most courageous thing you can do is face an issue that you’ve been ignoring for a long time in your marriage, or with your kids, or with your employees, or your boss, or whoever.Where do you find the courage to face it? You get it from God.  2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self discipline.” That means if you let God’s Spirit fill your life, you’re going to be filled with power, love, and self-discipline. And God’s love overcomes fear. When your love is greater than your fear, you’ll do things you’re afraid to do. That’s called courage. When you’re filled with God’s love, you’ll also be filled with love for that person who is irritating you or that person you’re in conflict with.”

Personal Application: Do you have unresolved conflict? Take the initiative today!

Home Application: Do you have a plan in place when conflict arises in your home?

Will you be courageous today?

Devotional written by Kathy Spade

When war is declared! Do not be afraid!

October 24, 2014

He said, “Listen , all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid.”  2 Chronicles 20:15-17

Chapter 20 begins with several armies declaring war on King Jehoshaphat. He was terrified by the news and begged God for guidance. He ordered all the people to fast and pray. Jehoshaphat stood before the community and prayed. He  proclaimed who God is:  The ONE who alone is in heaven,  ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth, powerful and mighty.  He confessed “We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” That’s when, the spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, and he spoke telling them not to be afraid or discouraged because the battle belonged to God. They would not even need to fight, just to stand still and watch the LORD’s victory.  King Jehoshaphat and all the people bowed down and worshipped the LORD.  The next morning on their way out Jehoshaphat stopped and told the people, “Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm.” They went out singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. They sang, “Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever.” At that very moment the armies turned against each other and were all killed. All the men returned to Jerusalem overjoyed that the LORD had given them victory.

What to do when war is declared: by Wendy Pope, writer for Proverbs 31.

  • Beg the Lord for guidance (v3)
  • Pray and fast (v6-7)
  • Acknowledge you are powerless (v12)
  • Listen for a word from God (v13-17)
  • Believe the Lord your God (v20b)
  • Praise Him…before the victory  (v21)

I don’t know what war you are facing but REMEMBER:

  • Jehoshaphat’s prayer
  • The word of God can come thru a scripture, a person, a song, a devotion, a message, a husband or a wife. Wherever and however God chooses to speak to you He will.
  • Invite people to pray with and for you
  • Stand on His faithfulness
  • Praise Him for who He is regardless of what He does even if you don’t understand…PRAISE HIM. Praise confuses the enemy and it is one of our greatest defenses against him!

Personal Application: What “war” are you facing?

Home Application: Is your family feeling under attack? Wage war on the enemy!

Are you ready?

Devotional written by Kathy Spade

Courage

October 23, 2014

Go gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:16 ESV

For the next few days we will be talking about courage. Courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain etc., without fear; bravery. Synonyms include words like fearlessness, bravery, valor. Courage permits one to face extreme dangers and difficulties without fear; to take (or lose) courage. Bravery implies true courage. Bravery implies true courage with daring and an intrepid boldness; bravery in battle. Valor implies heroic courage: valor in fighting for the right.

One of my favorite examples of courage in the Old Testament is Esther. Many of you know the story of Esther but here is a quick summary. Esther is an orphaned Jewish girl who was raised by her uncle, Mordecai. Esther becomes the Queen of Persia, after King Ahasuerus banished his first wife and chooses Esther through a contest. A crucial part of the story is that the king doesn’t know she is Jewish. Mordecai refuses to bow down to Haman, one of the kings high officials. Haman is furious and plots to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom. Mordecai find out and tells Esther. Esther outwits Haman and goes before the king and begs for the protection for her Jewish people from Haman’s wicked scheme. The king becomes furious and has Haman hung on the very gallows he has built to destroy all the Jews.

Esther showed bravery and courage as she faced a seemingly impossible decision. Death seemed certain regardless of what she decided. In the midst of her turmoil, Esther realized she could not allow fear to paralyze her. Instead she left the outcome to God. She knew where to go to get the courage to make the decision: to God in fasting and prayer. Placing her life in God’s hands, she let Him decide the outcome for her and her people! Wow what extraordinary courage!

Personal Application: Are you paralyzed by fear? Go to God in fasting and prayer.

Home Application: Ask family members to talk about a time they have been courageous.

Where do you need to be courageous?

Devotional written by Kathy Spade

Important Survey from the Pastor Search Team

October 22, 2014

Dear BBC Family,

Below is the link to participate in a church-wide survey related to our search for the next Senior Pastor. Your responses will remain anonymous and confidential.
The deadline to complete this survey is Sunday, October 26 at 11:59PM

bbcfamily.com/pstsurvey

If for some reason, you are unable to complete the survey online, hard-copies are available at each church campus.

We greatly appreciate your participation!

“Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go.’” Isaiah 30:21

In Christ,
Pastor Search Team

Love Never Fails

October 22, 2014

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight with evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love never fails. I’ve wondered sometimes if love never fails because of the source of the love or if it is because of the action list before this bold statement. If we can be patient, kind, non-envious, not prideful…will that help love succeed? How about if our attitude is not rude and self seeking…will love succeed? What if we are forgiving, even tempered and rejoice with truth…will love succeed? Then after the actions of love come four bold ALWAYS statements. Love ALWAYS Protects, Trusts, Hopes and Perseveres. Wow! Those are huge!!

As I counsel young couples before they get married, I advise them to stay away from ALWAYS and NEVER statements. For example…He never puts the toilet seat down. Or…she always leaves the lights on. While there is usually an element of truth in those statements the likelihood of them being completely true is not high. But with God we can use always and never statements because He is constant. In 1 John the Bible tells us that God IS love. So as we read the verse above one more time we can see the character of God. As believers, we are to be imitators of God so I pray that I can live up to the love statements. How about you?

Personal Application: What kind of ALWAYS and NEVER statements are you using these days? Are they related to God or based on your opinion or strength? Take some time to listen to yourself talk this week and see what you might need to change.

Home Application:  Take some time this week to discuss the never changing character of God. Look at each love statement and talk about how you can live this out on a daily basis.

Is God’s love a constant in your life? If not, lets talk.

Devotional written by Chris King

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