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During my Elders Meeting today…Renner Family Transitions…

Over the last 5 years the Renner Fam has had some head spinning life transitions take place from Arizona to Florida and back to AZ again. These 5 years have given me the ability to encounter many different types of leaders, staff, church members, and leadership teams. It is astonishing to me how different each one of these experiences have been.
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My most recent is my accepting the lead pastor role with CCFH = Christ’s Church of Fountain Hills. Earlier today, I sat in my 4th meeting with the CCFH Elders, and I am simply blown away at their love, camaraderie, and Kingdom mentality. As I post these thoughts, 7 hours after the meeting, I am still reeling with a heart that is full, and am so encouraged. This kind of team is what I’ve been looking for since the Parkway days.

I’m experienced enough to know it will not always be easy…but the foundation that the Founding Pastor, Don Lawrence has built over the last 32 years has created a church, a staff, and an Elder Board that is humble, hungry for Kingdom growth, and has strong spiritual, social, and emotional health. I ask for your prayers as this journey continues. If you don’t live in Fountain Hills…make the time someday to come out on a Sunday, visit CCFH, and say hello to me! If you live in FH, then it’s a no brainer, come to Church! ūüôā I’d love to see you and introduce you to an unbelievable Church called CCFH. I am grateful and will hit the hay tonight with a full heart.grateful


How do I know my name is written in The Book of Life?

There is this list. ¬†This¬†list hasn’t earned the superlative ranks we call¬†Oscar’s, Santa’s, Schindler’s, Craig’s, America’s Most Wanted, or My Bucket…but the day will be upon us sooner or later where this list will be parallel to none.

In the Bible, specifically Luke 10:20, Jesus said to a group of His Disciples, “Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.” ¬†Specifically in the Book of Revelation chapter 3 verse 5, the list is mentioned again, “They who overcome will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase their¬†name from the book of life, and I will confess their¬†name before My Father and before His angels.” ¬†

Book of Life

Every human being has been¬†given a gift…our names have been written in THE¬†Book of Life. ¬†Every person that Jesus died for has their name written in this Book of Life. ¬†What a gift! You didn’t earn having your name penciled in. You are not so¬†outstanding that your name got written in, and other’s, who didn’t put in the work ethic like you, did not.

This is no human standard’s list. ¬†No, this list has written on it every name that the Blood of Jesus was shed for. ¬†This list contains every name that was ever knit together in a mother’s womb, plus Adam and Eve. ¬†Every human, from the beginning of time, has their name written in this book. Jesus’s¬†death, His obedience to the Father, secured¬†your name being written on The List. ¬†You weren’t asked, and you did not earn it. You aren’t capable of earning such an entry in The Book of Life.

But…

Be warned. Every name¬†is written in pencil. Please note, in the Revelation passage above, the critical words, “overcome”, and ¬†“not erase”.

To keep the free gift of having your name written in The Book of Life, the only thing required of you is to LOVE JESUS. ¬†Jesus said, and it’s recorded in John 14:15, “If you love Me, obey Me.”

It’s a fair standard. ¬†This standard is the exact same standard the Father requested of Jesus, as He was sent to become one of us,¬†and live in obedience to the Father’s commands on earth. ¬†Such a request to Jesus from the Father, killed Him. ¬†He laid down His life. ¬†He laid down His own desires. (Don’t forget Jesus asked¬†the Father,¬†in the Garden of Gethsemane, to find another way to pay for our sins.) God didn’t change his way, so… Jesus obeyed and laid down His own desires, to honor the Father’s desires. ¬†Jesus, did all that was¬†necessary to Love/Obey the Father, specifically this, “NOT MY WILL BE DONE, BUT YOUR’S”.

Jesus referred a lot to laying down your own life, picking up your cross, suffering for Him, etc. He earned the right to command such of us. Your life is not yours.  Your desires are not your God, Jesus is.

Keep your name written in the Book of Life.  Our life choices influence the great eraser mentioned in Revelation 3:5.

Speaking of lists…is the list below full of items that are worth doing so as to cause “The Great Eraser” to erase¬†our name from¬†The List?

Manipulation-Theft-Pride-Arrogance-Unforgiveness-Cheating-Dominance-Unfaithfulness-Disbelief-Disobedience-Apathy-Porn-Gluttony-Laziness…

My goodness…that list could go on for eternity. Did you read that list and think to yourself, “Impossible…My name is going to be erased…there is no way I can live my life free of those…”

First, let me challenge you with this.  Re-read that list again and ask yourself which ones on the list you HAVE to commit?  Which of the listed, or unlisted items, are you FORCED to do today or tomorrow, or the next?  Never forget the Bible verse that says, through Jesus, we can do all things. Never forget that those who confess Jesus as Lord of their lives, are titled OVERCOMERS, and CONQUERORS, and VICTORIOUS!

When Jesus said, “If you love me, obey me.” ¬†Repenting and confessing¬†your sins are¬†things we¬†do¬†to¬†obey Jesus.

My challenge is this…have your repented of your sins? ¬†To repent doesn’t mean to simply say “sorry” like an apathetic child, who called his sister a bad name, and then was told by a parent to apologize. ¬†No, to repent means to stop and go the opposite direction.¬†

The Bible says in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”¬† Receiving the Holy Spirit is what gives you the strength to witness your name NOT¬†being ERASED¬†from The Book of Life. ¬†The Holy Spirit is what gives you the strength to be what I wrote above…overcomers, conquerors, and victorious ones.

Ultimately…you have a choice of what¬†you want to be a slave to…Be a slave to the obedience/love¬†of Jesus, not a slave to the sins of this world. ¬†What sin is so fulfilling that¬†if it ultimately means having your name erased from The Book of Life…you will say to yourself, “That was worth it!!”?

This post, should strike a little fear in our¬†hearts and lives. ¬†The Bible, written in Proverbs 9:10¬†says, “Fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom.”¬† What do you need to repent and confess of? If you have been keeping secrets and living in sin…Get on your knees before God and stop the sin you are¬†commiting, confess it all to Him, and work diligently the rest of your life to live a forgiven and free life!

“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

It will be a very cool day, when you stand in line to meet The Creator of the Sun, Moon, and the Stars, receive a handshake and hug, watch The Book of Life¬†be opened to where your name is¬†written, and be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

There are two great eraser opportunities while our hearts still beat.

The first is to live our lives selfishly by ignoring the commands of Jesus, and thus erasing our names from the Book of Life.

The second and best opportunity is to dedicate our lives to the Teachings and Commands of Jesus, thus erasing the sins in our lives, through His blood sacrifice, so that we can be forgiven and remain in the Book of Life for all eternity.

If I can personally help you give your life to Jesus, please just ask in the comments section or email me and I’ll do all that I can to walk with you through such a life changing decision.


In search of a Church where i can best use my strengths…my wish list…

I am in search of a Church that will allow me to lead them in honoring God’s will.

I have a Wish List…If the Church isn’t committed to the point of writing this wish list as its upmost importance, then I must decline leadership in it. ¬†I do not want to just LEAD¬†in it…I want to incarnate it and vice versa.

The Wish List…wishlist

I want my family to be a part of a Church Body that...

1. ¬†…is fully committed to the acknowledgment that there is no difference in our spiritual and secular lives 7 days a week.

2. ¬†…doesn’t rely on a church building, me, or the people up front to be the primary source of growth.

3. ¬†…will disagree well, because our common enemy is the devil, not each other.

4. ¬†…is devoted¬†to the restoration of people who are hungry, thirsty, lonely, or have shattered lives.

5. ¬†…will agree that the Lord is worthy of excellence¬†and only the excellent¬†will be used in public¬†worship gatherings.

6. ¬†…has an aggressive pursuit of Health, Growth, and Love, founded in the Teachings and Commandments of Jesus Christ.

Bonus items…

Will no longer have the Lord’s Supper be a short pause with a little cracker and cup of juice during a worship service, but will meet once a week in homes¬†and have a full supper together. ¬†The Supper is a focused¬†appreciation of¬†common fellowship, Bible Application, prayer, and focus on¬†the Lord’s body and blood.

Every member will be committed to baptizing at least one person a year with whom they have built a trusting and loving relationship with.

Every member will meet regularly with 2 other friends for accountability and prayer.

There is a Church that exists with this focus¬†out there, and they are looking for a leader like me to join¬†them…I just know it. ¬†If not…I’m going to start a brand new one.


Truth and Nonfiction versions of the Church…

The title seems redundant. It is not.

Truth is purely what Jesus says. Non-fiction simply means facts of a reality. nonfiction

My intention here is to simply describe the Church from Truth’s design, and pray that we all measure our reality, and reset our targets accordingly.

Here goes…

It doesn’t matter if you are The Lord Jesus, the Lead Pastor, an Elder, a Nursery Care Volunteer, or the Wednesday Night Janitor, your¬†mindset in the Church is the same because everyone knows they must rely on one another. ¬†This united mindset is that the whole body of Christ experiences operational excellence and consistent holiness effort with minimal error. Whether it’s preparing a message to preach, a song-set to be led, a¬†business CEO strategically planning around the staff meeting table, a¬†man sitting in his living room at home by himself with his computer, or the three ladies meeting for tea and coffee to talk…they all, always,¬†strive for holiness and excellence, and rely on the entire body to do the same. ¬†It is in every tribe, every nation, every tongue, and every household. ¬†You do right for yourself, but more importantly, you do right for your fellow body members, and most importantly for The Lord and Savior. ¬†It is in our blood and in our brains, and it takes all our brawn to live it minute by minute, day after day, until Jesus arrives to gather this united group¬†and restore us all¬†on a fully remade¬†Heaven and Earth…simply called Heaven.

Thy Kingdom come on earth…as it is in Heaven.


Thoughts – Decisions – Reputations…Oh my!

I recently tweeted out a thought that was inspired by a fiction book I’m reading called “The Noticer Returns” by Andy Andrews… “Your thinking leads to your decisions which leads to results. ¬†These 3 work together to create your reputation. ¬†Guard your thoughts. Phil4:8”

As I prepare to teach another year at Joy Christian High School, I will also be taking on the discipline of students¬†as part of the¬†administrative team. ¬†I’m thinking that not one single student¬†should have to be disciplined. ¬†The choices of the student is what leads to discipline having to happen. ¬†I say the same thing about the incarcerated. ¬†Every prisoner made a choice that led them to be in prison. Our prisons should be empty. ¬†What choice did¬†that student or that prisoner have to make that landed them in prison? ¬†They weren’t forced. ¬†They didn’t have to make the decision that landed them in trouble. ¬†They chose to make the decision. ¬†They chose to be in trouble. They chose to be incarcerated. ¬†Again, they were not forced to make a decision that resulted in trouble.

This has me thinking about why people do what they do.  

I think there are some key words we must fully define before we can implement into our lives this phrase I tweeted out, referenced above.  We must define words like Integrity, Morality, and Character.  At first glance, I think these three words all seem to be the same thing.  Below you will understand this to be quite untrue. integrity

I think Integrity at its foundation means to be capable of doing what you were created to do.  A bridge can have integrity.  A seat belt can have integrity.  The chair you sit on.  Integrity deals with trustworthiness and reliability.

morality-logoI think Morality, at its foundation, means to be a person who is doing no wrong.  A moral person will not cheat, or steal, or lie. This is a great trait, but in my striving to fully grasp my tweet, we must get very technical.  One can be a very moral person and do nothing.  I can stay in bed all day, doing nothing, and still be a moral person.

So…are you grasping with me that a person can have great integrity and morals and do nothing? ¬† Integrity is capable. Morality is doing no wrong. Character is where the magic starts to happen.

I think Character is active.  Character is defined in action.  Character is doing the right thing.  We actively build character. Character-Building

A person of integrity can see an injustice, not get involved, and still be a moral person.

A person of morals will not do wrong.

A person of character cannot sit still and do nothing…ever. Character has a spine. Character has action. ¬†Character will still experience fear, but pushes through it. ¬†Character cannot sit still.

A person of character uses their capability (integrity) and righteousness (morality) to DO!

Doing what is right is a result.  Results create reputations.

I could take the negative route here and show that just because there are results doesn’t mean morality and character are present. ie…Adolf Hitler produced many results. ¬†But…I want to focus on the positive results…aka…holiness.

Integrity = Capability.

Integrity + Morality = Capability.

Integrity + Morality – Character = Capability.

Integrity + Morality + Character = Results.

It is not a compliment to be told that I am¬†a person of potential. ¬†Potential means capable, but capable doesn’t equal results. A person of potential means they have integrity and morals, but lack character. ¬†Lacking character means¬†lacking action.

A lack of character/action, I believe, simply demonstrates how you think about yourself.

A person of great potential is a person of integrity and morals but not action.  This could mean the person thinks poorly of themselves or of their abilities.  This could mean the person has allowed the world or someone in it to influence their identity instead of Jesus.

Jesus is your¬†identifier. ¬†He is the one who died so you could live. ¬†He is the one who tells you how capable you are. ¬†He is the one who tells you how moral you can be. ¬†He is the one who created¬†you to be of great character, thus action. ¬†He is the one who commanded you to “Go” & “Do”.

This is all about your thinking.

“Your thinking leads to your decisions, which leads to results.” ¬†This all creates your reputation.

I can’t think of a more important passage to back this all up other than Philippians 4:4-8.

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable‚ÄĒif anything is excellent or praiseworthy‚ÄĒthink about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me‚ÄĒput it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Take a minute to double check the character that is splashed all over that passage. ¬†Remember, character is action. ¬†So look at the last four words of verse 9. ¬†“Put it into practice.”

Put what into practice? ¬†Your thinking…as long as that thinking is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy!

Put your thinking into character, is exactly the same as putting your thinking into action. ¬†I suppose it could be strangely translated to say, “put your integrity and morality into character!”

Since we are in Philippians 4…I can’t help but point out verse 13…

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

all things

Do you believe you have that much character? ¬†Do you believe that you can do all things? ¬†I believe you do. ¬†Way better yet…Jesus knows you do. ¬†He made you that way.

We all know Philippians 4:13…and it can be intimidating, because our stinking thinking many times will tell us that we cannot do all things. ¬†The problem is that we read verse 13 and then stop. ¬†We read it as if it says, “I can do all things.” ¬†But it doesn’t say that! ¬†The rest of verse 13 & 14 dilutes the individual¬†factor.

13b “through Christ who gives me strength.” &

14 “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”

Please note…Nothing in that verse says “I”¬†can do all things by myself.¬† It says “I¬†can do all things with¬†Christ.”

The Apostle Paul didn’t make it just a Jesus and “I”¬†thing. ¬†It is clear in verse 14 that Paul¬†and Jesus shared in Paul’s¬†troubles with the people of the Church in Philippi. ¬†Paul didn’t do anything by himself. ¬†Verse 14 basically says, “thank you for sharing my troubles with me.”

They did it together. ¬†You were never created to go it alone…in anything. ¬†Check your thinking on this.

Your thinking matters. ¬†Your thinking is what creates your results/reputation. ¬†Your thinking defines¬†your integrity and your morals. ¬†Thinking. Integrity. Morals. Character. They matter deeply because they create results. But…

When Jesus returns…I believe He¬†will not judge us by our results…no…He will judge us by our thoughts.

How you think…is everything…It is your thinking that leads to the character¬†you make everyday.

 


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