Archive for the 'Radical Faith' Category

Paydown Sunday & His Story

We’re in the homestretch of our Radical Faith Stewardship Journey and for the last two weeks we’ve asked you our church family to pray and fast about how you might participate in the final months of this effort. Radical Faith has made a difference with nearly $1.4 million being given to global and local outreach, along with debt reduction freeing-up funds for future ministry. If you haven’t received a Homestretch brochure, check out this online resource for more information on Radical Faith initiatives and how those funds have made a difference:

At the conclusion of services at all of our campuses this Sunday, we will provide a time of prayer and an opportunity to bring forward your Homestretch commitment card and/or give a “Paydown” offering to paydown your pledge and paydown our debt. In the meantime, please pray about how you and your family might help us finish strong with Radical Faith and “retire not renew” our mortgage note that is set to be renegotiated in May.

Radical Faith has always been more about our faith than it has been about finances. Ask God to speak to your heart and then simply respond to him in humble obedience. I hope you’ll help us finish strong our Radical Faith journey.

Last Sunday’s message covered the final moments that Jesus had with his disciples in the upper room. In the His Story text are contained four goodbye reminders that Jesus gave his disciples.

Remember how I served you. Jesus left them with a visual that they would never forget. He washed their dusty feet. He even washed the feet of Judas who had an even filthier heart, having already planned to betray his Lord. In the process of washing their feet, Jesus told them to do the same for one another.

Remember how I saved you. Another very visual reminder, Jesus ate the Passover meals with his disciples. And then proclaimed that he was initiating a new covenant. This meal that celebrated the Israelites’ salvation from the death angel we find out was all along pointing to something even bigger when God would sacrifice the perfect lamb and his blood would cover our sins and save us from death.

Remember to continue my mission. Jesus was clear that his disciples would continue the work, and that they would be opposed. They would also do greater things than Jesus (John 14:12) and that anything they asked in his name, he would do (John 14:13).

Remember I’m sending you help. In fact, Jesus told his disciples that it was good for them that he go, so the Holy Spirit could come and empower them. And that’s exactly what happens after Jesus returns to heaven – the disciples are saying and doing things they could not have done on their own.

Only three more installments of His Story remain. Do your best to join us these final weeks and get to know Jesus like you’ve never know him before. If you missed the latest message or any of the His Story series, you can view them here.

Homestretch of His Story and Radical Faith

This past Sunday we launched the homestretch phase of our Radical Faith Stewardship Journey. You can read all about this three year campaign we began in November 2011, including our major goals and what has been accomplished so far at .

The bottom line is that we are in the final months of this initiative and as a church we want to finish well. We’ve asked our entire church family to participate by taking a 2 week spiritual journey. We’ve asked you, through April 13th, to engage God in a deliberate way. Set your clock at 6:33 pm and pray daily for our church (Project 633 is based on Matthew 6:33). And go on a spiritual fast of negative thoughts and entertainment, instead seeking God’s will for your participation.

At the conclusion of this 2 week spiritual journey, Sunday, April 13th, we’re asking you to fill out a commitment card of your intention to participate, through faith, in the homestretch of our Radical Faith campaign. We’re also asking you to consider giving a special “Paydown Offering” toward your commitment that day so that we can “retire not renew” our mortgage note that is set to be renegotiated with the bank in May.

The end is in sight. We are so close to being debt free and with that able to free up those funds for ministry. I’m not asking you to do any more than to ask God to speak to your heart and then respond to him in humble obedience. Please join us in this faith journey.

Sunday we talked about the events that lead into the final week of Jesus earthly ministry. It began on Sunday with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In this short period of time, we see the stark contrast between people who really know Jesus and those who are only interested in being religious.

People who know Jesus celebrate being with him. Religious people only complain. That was obvious on that first Palm Sunday. The crowds celebrated and rejoiced. They had experienced what being with Jesus was about. The Jewish leaders complained about all the celebrating.

People who know Jesus help others access him. Religious people care only about themselves. When Jesus cursed the fig tree and cleansed the temple for the second time on the following Monday, there was a bigger message behind it. It was an indictment on the Jewish leaders who were themselves being unproductive to their calling by denying people access to God. Jesus reminded them from scripture that the temple was to be a “house of prayer for all nations.”

People who know Jesus anticipate his return. They remain faithful to him knowing that he will return without warning. But as they wait, they’re also compassionate to the world around them. Because they know Jesus, they look for him in the underserved and underprivileged and serve as if they’re serving him. According to Jesus, there will be religious who won’t be ready and will have missed the opportunity to “do unto the least of these.”

You cannot afford just to be a “religious person” who simply knows about Jesus. Get to know Jesus like you’ve never known him before; speak to him in prayer, engage him through his word, be quiet and listen to him, celebrate being with him, help others find him, and look forward to the day when he will return for those who truly know him

When you miss Sunday services, you don’t have to miss out on the message. They are usually available on our website by noon every Sunday. You can view Sunday’s message here:

New Van at The Fold

Fall 2011 we embarked on a spiritual journey we called Radical Faith. Around $1.9 million was committed toward debt reduction, establishment of new local campuses and projects with our global partners. One of our African projects was to provide funds for The Fold Children’s Home to purchase a mini-bus. That 22 passenger vehicle was recently acquired and the kids sent the Cedar Ridge family a great big “thank you.” We showed the following video at our campuses this past weekend.

Music Camp in South Africa

Here’s a taste of our South Africa team singing with the kids this morning. We’ve been teaching them the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from Daniel 3 along with scriptures that remind us to trust God. We hope that this memory verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) that we sang is one that will be with them for the rest of their lives.

Excerpt from my Weekly Email

“Trust God with what you cannot control. Honor God with what you can.” That was the message from our “Life Apps” series on Sunday. James gave us a fitting illustration in our text, “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains” (James 5:8). We’re reminded that weather is completely out of the farmer’s control. There are things a farmer can control. He must prepare the soil and he must plant the seed. But after that he must wait patiently for the systems of creation to do their work. James is reminding believers who have had to go through suffering to put their trust in God. “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (James 5:11). He wants good things for you. In fact, he would not allow suffering to happen if there were not a far greater good ahead. How much different might your life be if you honored God with what you can control and trusted Him with everything that you can’t?

If you missed Sunday, you can always stay up with our series by watching the message video here:

We crossed a critical financial threshold last week of which you need to be aware. Because of extra principle payments made possible through our Radical Faith Stewardship Journey, our total debt load at Cedar Ridge is now under the $2 million mark. For a church with three campuses and such great facilities, that is not a bad place to be. Our goal is to completely eliminate that debt and free up those funds for ministry. Reducing our debt positions us to be ready in the future when God calls us to move. Thank you for your faithful giving and extra generosity to Radical Faith.

Keep praying for our Coweta Campus. Only 2 weeks until launch!

Radical Faith – Let’s All Get Started

It’s hard to believe we’re already three months into our Radical Faith Stewardship Journey. This is the update video we showed at our services this past weekend. Maybe you had good intentions when you made your commitment to Radical Faith but just haven’t gotten started giving. Now is a great time!

Disclaimer: No ATV transmissions were harmed in the making of this film.

Radical Faith Celebration Sunday

What a great Sunday – both of our campuses, all of our services worshiping as one. I love this recap video we showed Sunday.

Thank you Charlie and Heidi Spencer for sharing your story about how you’ve grown in your giving.

And thanks Frank and Debbie Jensen for sharing your journey on trusting God with your faith commitment.

Day 4 of eating on $2 a day

Just eeked-by today at a total of $1.99. My wife made some awesome black bean soup – pretty satisfying. Still find myself thinking of food lots during the day. I think I could do it on a regular basis. The most difficult thing to manage is the convenience factor and the lack of variety. Even on a tight budget in the U.S., there are lots of options – not the case in third world countries (unless there is a Walmart in range.

oatmeal & coffee – total cost $.35

peanut butter & banana sandwich – total cost $.50

fruit/grain bar & tea – total cost $.38

black bean soup & tortilla chips – total cost $.76

Day 3 of $2/day challenge

oatmeal & coffee (it’s a good think I like oatmeal) total cost $.35

egg sandwich total cost $.42

yogurt total cost $.52

vegetable soup, crackers & applesauce total cost $.65
Thanks Ladies for coordinating our Wednesday night dinner to fit in with our challenge!

total cost for the day $1.94. The mid-afternoon snack helped a lot today.

It was great to hear stories from other families participating in the $2/day challenge. Our dinner attendance was noticeable down. I guess the challenge is not a fit for everyone.

Day 2 of Eat on $2/Day

What I ate today for day two of trying to eat on $2 a day.

Oatmeal w/ one piece of toast, coffee. Total cost $.45

Egg sandwich. Total cost $.42

5 oz shredded chicken (thigh) on piece of bread. Total cost $.64

Snack at meeting:
brownie w/ coffee. Total cost – I have no idea.

Total for the day – $1.59 + a brownie.

Other than thinking I was starving about 4:30p, it wasn’t a bad day. I loved hearing stories tonight about other family’s experiences this week. Thanks Shannon.

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