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My Story : "I decided to START" | message in 7 tweets

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1. The decisions we make today will determine the stories we tell tomorrow

2. Small decisions, can have major implications on our lives

3. Living a story worth telling begins with "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith"

4. Knowing what "God want you to want" helps you to know "what God wants you to START"

5. What discipline does God want you to START today?

6. STARTING a discipline today can be what God uses to transform your life.

7. When you look back on this chapter of your life, make sure it's a story you are proud to tell

To watch the entire message, click HERE

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A Life of Frustration - sermon in 7 tweets!

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 5.25.59 PM This message is based on Romans 7:14-25

1. Trying to find fulfillment in something other than Christ always leads to disappointment.

2. Seeking fulfillment apart from Christ is really living for "ME!"

3. Living for "ME" only shows my inability to achieve the fulfillment I desire. 

4. In pursuing fulfillment apart from Christ our focus is on what we don't have...so we pursue more things, and the cycle continues.

5. In Christ, we're reconnected to God...and our pursuit of "fulfillment in things" no longer has to control us.

6.  Pursue God FIRST and God will bring fulfillment.

7. 2 stepst toward fulfillment : 1) Name your frustrations -- 2) Don't try to FIX them...but rather pursue God THROUGH them!  

11.30.14 Set list

10425386_10205206876842636_5897113181815173795_n Ephesians 2:17-18  -  He (Jesus) brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

Holding Nothing Back - James Moore and Ryan Stevenson

Closer - Joel Davies, Jason Ingram, Braden Lang, and Reuben Morgan

Psalm 90:14Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

Nothing is Impossible - Jonathan Hunt

Revelation Song - Jennie Lee Riddle

CenterHall, Charlie | Redman, Matt

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On the horizon...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnNsVYCPbK8&w=420&h=315]

11.16.14 Set list

B2kdQXsCIAAz1Rm.jpg-large Like A Lion - Daniel Bashta

O Praise Him - David Crowder

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) - Matt Crocker, Joel Houston, and Salomon Ligthelm

Christ is Enough - Reuben Morgan and Jonas Myrin

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On the horizon:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBI4WDfRh6E&w=560&h=315]

"Death to Sin" in 7 tweets

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.52.44 AM 1. God responds to our sin by being "graceful" and "merciful"

2. Dead to sin = No need to seek life from any other sources of life

3. Sin = anything we seek LIFE from other than GOD

4. Reconnect with the ULTIMATE source of life...don't connect with other "SOL's"

5. Baptism is the means by becoming "dead to sin"

6. When I place my faith in Christ through the articulation of baptism, I become reconnected to God

7. 2 questions: 1) Where are you seeking life? + 2) How would you evaluate your life?

To watch the entire sermon click HERE

www.mclanechurch.org | #MEETMEatMCLANE

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11.2.14 Set list

B1cwl-kCAAE0ETh-1.jpg-large Mark 9:23 (NLT)“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Nothing is Impossible - Jonathan Hunt

Holding Nothing Back -  James Moore and Ryan Stevenson

All to You - Brewster, Lincoln | McNulty, Reid

Psalm 59:16-17 But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.

You Make Me Brave - Amanda Cook

Christ is Enough - Reuben Morgan and Jonas Myrin

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On the horizon:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUQv1mHxc_0&w=560&h=315]

"How we're made right with God" - message 5 in tweets

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 4.22.57 PM 1. It is only when we place our faith in Jesus Christ that we are made right with God.

2. The cross fills in every gap of our disconnection with God.

3. Faith = 1. I have a problem | 2. God has the answer | 3. I choose to do what God says

4. Our problem = our disconnection from God.  The way to reconnect is through Jesus. It's our decision to make.

5. When a ski boot is used outside its intended purpose, it doesn't work quite right...much like us.

To watch the entire message, click HERE

www.mclanechurch.org

10.26.14 Setlist

B04c55HIAAAW-5f.jpg-large Amos 4:13 (NLT) - For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth. The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!

IndescribableLaura Story

Revelation 21:3-5a I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!

Salvation Is Here Joel Houston

Psalm 138:3When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.

You Make Me Brave Amanda Cook

Lead Me To the Cross Brooke Fraser

Nothing But the Blood Robert Lowry

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hi-VMxT6fc&w=560&h=315]

"The Horse is dead, Paul" | Vertigo Series | Message in 7 tweets!

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.40.11 PM "The Horse is dead, Paul" -- message in 7 tweets: 

1 - Filling the "disconnect" we feel from God with ANYTHING other than God = idolatry.

2 - Trying to "make life work" won't make us closer to God -- trusting in God, and living according to His word will!

3 - Even if we attend church every weekend, we can still fill disconnected from God.  God wants a relationship with us everyday.

4 - Get in shape | Fix my finances | Manage my family better | Get organized | Better my education = Good things but won't bring fulfillment

5 - The more we try to on our own to make life work, the less it works.

6 - Our disconnect from God is the source of all our discontentment.

7 - A relationship with Jesus is the way to a fulfilled life and the only way to bridge our disconnect from God.

To watch the entire message, click HERE

www.mclanechurch.org

6.15.14 Setlist

10351532_10203953315944397_1994707847197217271_n James 4:8 (NLT) - Come close to God, and God will come close to you.

CloserJoel Davies, Jason Ingram, Braden Lang, and Reuben Morgan

All To YouBrewster, Lincoln | McNulty, Reid

Isaiah 41:8-10+13 (NLT) - “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend, I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. - For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

Moving ForwardIsrael Houghton and Ricardo Sanchez

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)Matt Crocker, Joel Houston, and Salomon Ligthelm

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On the horizon:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-ZpcJzGBpE&w=560&h=315]

 

Life looks like... a LOT of stop signs

LIFEstop-sign This morning it was BEAUTIFUL outside! On days like this, we often make it our practice to go for a walk as a family before the "crazy of the day" hits!

This is always an adventure for us, because our boys teach us many things as we experience the world together…especially as we try to teach them!  As they grow, they learn new things…and their ability to notice the nuances of the world becomes enhanced.

For instance, our oldest (Riley) has a newly developed fascination with stop signs!  Every time he sees the bright red octagonal warning mechanism, he shouts, “STOP SIGN!”  It’s super funny for us to watch!

We live in a fairly residential neighborhood with lots of side streets and our walking route tours many of them.   Until this morning, I had no idea how many stop signs there were!

Every time we rounded a corner, Riley shouted, “STOP SIGN.”  We’d walk 10 more steps and hear, “STOP SIGN!”  We just pass a stop sign he’d already be spying another one!  “STOP SIGN!”  “STOP SIGN!” … you get the picture!  THEY ARE EVERYWHERE it seems (or it least it seemed to us today!)

As I thought about this, I was wondering what Riley thought about the world.  He must think that all we care about is stopping!  Signs are everywhere to indicate that to him.  From his perspective, the world is full of “STOPS.”

He is too young to understand danger.  He is too young to understand rules of traffic flow.  He’s too young to discern safe traveling practices.  All he sees (with incredible frequency) are the signs that post this rule.

I then thought about what Christianity must look like to those who don’t have an understanding about how the world was created to work and function.  Without an understanding of the created order, how do God's laws look?

They must look like a lot of stop signs.

The beauty of growing and becoming more aware of the world, is that you see the meaning behind the stops.  You see the strategy and order behind them.  You see the purpose and good they serve.  They don’t remain just STOP SIGNS, they become instruments to govern order and safety and the preservation of life!

Maybe today, as you travel and see (like Riley does) the incredible number of life’s “STOP SIGNS” take a second to be thankful for these little reminders that make us aware of our surroundings, remind us to look both ways and then to proceed with caution in the precious gift of life God gives us!

 

3.30.14 Set list

Bj_M30dCUAAzApt Amazing Grace (Chains are Gone)Tomlin, Chris; Excell, Edwin O.; Newton, John; Rees, John P.; Giglio, Louie

Glorious RuinsMatt Crocker and Joel Houston

Isaiah 52:7-10 (NLT)How beautiful on the mountains
 are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
 the news that the God of Israel[b] reigns! The watchmen shout and sing with joy,
 for before their very eyes
 they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem.[c] Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song,
 for the Lord has comforted his people.
 He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has demonstrated his holy power
 before the eyes of all the nations.
 All the ends of the earth will see
 the victory of our God.

Your Love Never Fails - Chris McClarney and Anthony Skinner

Our GodJonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, and Chris Tomlin

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On the horizon:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY7OtDJLWlg&w=560&h=315]

 

One of the most challenging passages in all of scripture - and a preview of this weekend!

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This Sunday, our "Defying Gravity" series continues with one of the MOST CHALLENGING passages in all of scripture.  (Malachi 1:6-14) You have to check it out! 

Just to read through these few short verses brings to light many overwhelming thoughts. The one that continues to remain paramount for me is "What are we offering to God?"  

Take a moment and let's make this personal.  We learned last week that God is most concerned with the condition of our hearts...so, let's consider our hearts again:  Think of your prayer life.  Think of how you serve.  Think of your time, money, energy, relationships, the BEST OF YOUR LIFE...and consider what you give to God in light of these verses.

(hmm)

(hmm)

I'm incredibly challenged.  I hope you are too.  I think that's the beginning of what God's wants to speak to us through this message!

This Sunday's worship service will look much different than our usual worship experiences in light of this teaching.  

Set your alarm so that you can get to church early!  Come ready to be challenged...and come ready to give God your best.  

9AM | 11AM | Free hot breakfast at 10AM

www.mclanechurch.org

Twitter: @McLaneChErie

 

4 questions to help keep your heart soft!

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.34.48 AM A wise preacher once said, "I preach for Thursday...not just for Sunday."  The thought behind this statement is that it's easy to keep focused on God and what He's teaching us on Sundays.  However, as the week progresses, it becomes more and more difficult to recall these things as we walk through our week and the "natural entropy of memory" sets in!   However, to live WELL, we NEED to continue growing all throughout the week!  With that thought, I want to recap a HUGE lesson we learned this past Sunday:

In Zechariah 7, we see a group of people coming to the temple to seek God's favor.  They have a question to ask of God...and this question is about a "fast" that they had been doing for 70 years.  They wanted to know if they still had to do it.

How many times do we find ourselves asking, "Do I still need to do this?"  or "What's the point?" or "Is this even still worth it?"  I ask these types of questions all the time!

Rather than answering these questions directly, we learn about God's prevailing concerns about us in his response.

Zechariah 7:9-10 [9 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.]

It's almost like God sees the question about fasting...but then directs his answer to the true issue at hand...the condition of their hearts!  God is ALWAYS most concerned about the condition of our hearts.

Asking if we HAVE-TO-DO something can be a good indicator that our heart is not in the right place!  Yet, we need to always be mindful of the condition of our hearts.

As we processed this thought together,  I left our church with 3 questions to help us evaluate how our hearts are doing:

1. Where are you just going through the motions of life?

2. Is your pursuit of God for YOU or for HIM?

3. What do you need to do TODAY to soften your heart?

To help us carry this thought into Thursday :), I want to add a 4th question into the mix:

4. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO LET GO OF TODAY TO SOFTEN YOUR HEART? 

Our time is too short...and life is too precious...to have hard hearts.  Being too busy can make us loathe the good things that we're to do...and it can give us more room to do the things that will keep our hearts soft (bringing peace and harmony into our relationships, showing love and loyalty to our neighbors, looking out for the weak and oppressed around us and practically stepping in to help)!

Is there something that you need to let go of today to keep your heart soft?

What will you let go of?  I'd love to know!

Why does God ask us questions?

WhyDoesGodaskSo often in scripture we see God posing questions to people.  Doesn't this strike you as weird?  I've been thinking about this a lot lately.   Check it out...here are some of my favorite God-questions:

In Genesis 3:9, God asks, "Where are you?" to Adam.

In Genesis 3:11, God asks again, "Who told you that you were naked?"

In Job 38:4, God asks Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?"

In Jonah 4:4, God says to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about this?"

....finally, in Luke 8:45, Jesus asks, "Who touched me?"

Now, doesn't this seem like a strange thing for God to do?  (ha...now I'm asking questions...)  God knows ALL THINGS.  He's got every answer already down.  He's not looking for any NEW information...He's has it all!  So then, what is the reason for His questions?

As I thought about why God would do this, I was reminded of something that happens DAILY at my house.  Picture this -- 2 toddlers -- dinner time -- delicious boxed macaroni and cheese -- luke warm chicken tenders -- peas...you are getting the picture I'm sure.

Within 5 minutes of this scene being set, my wife or I can count on being asked the question, "Mommy (or daddy) can I get down?"  This almost always gets followed up with another question from my wife or I..."Did you finish up your food?"  Questions start flying around like crazy! ...And these questions are usually ones that everyone already knows the answer to!  Strange! :)

Here's the deal -- and where I believe these 2 thoughts line up.  I see a little of the God/man relationship found in the relationship between my kids and myself.  As a parent, I want to love, encourage and instruct my kids...while many times knowing the answers to the questions they ask me.  I don't want to just tell them answers all day long...I want them to think about their circumstances!  I want to walk them through thought processes that will help them make future decisions!

When you know all the answers...it seems that conveying answers becomes less important than creating opportunities to get the questioner thinking.

Why else would God ask us questions?  Why else would my wife and I perpetually ask our kids questions that we know the answer to?  The goal is to inspire thought.

So...take a second and think...has God been asking you any questions lately?  Have you asked God a question...and not received an answer?  Maybe He's trying to get you to think about something...

Now that Elisha's over...what's your plan to keep moving forward?

elisha640This past weekend at McLane Church Erie, we concluded a series on the prophet Elisha called a "Tale of Ridiculous Faith." What an awesome set of messages!  All in all, we were challenged to TRUST God's plan, to MOVE FORWARD without looking back, to DIG DITCHES and prepare for God's provision, to offer God our LITTLE and let him do A LOT with it, and to get our EDGE BACK by recommitting and remembering the passion we once had!

To anchoring in any ONE of those phrases is for life to change!  Each one represents a recalibration to the way we choose to live...and has incredible potential to reset the trajectory of our lives!  I love the power in God's word to do just that.

However, here's where we get to the nuts and bolts.  At any given time, we have limited capacity to make big changes in our life.  Perhaps there is one or two truths in this series that spoke more to you than the others?  Now it's your job to take the next step and solidify their place in your life.

To help with this, I want to encourage you to make a plan!  Think through a concrete next step you can take TODAY to remember what you've pleged to do?  After that...write it down.  Place it in your pocket or on a mirror.  Set it as the wallpaper of your phone.  Set a reminder in your calendar to flash daily.  Tell a friend to help keep you accountable.  Get a tattoo... (ok...maybe that's a little extreme)! Just DO SOMETHING!

Don't let the magnitude of these set of messages disappear as the natural rhythm of life continues.   Don't forget the ground you've gained as life continues moving forward!

Praying for you today...praying that the ground you gained moving forward will continue to be gained as you continue moving forward!

To watch the entire set of messages, click HERE

How to let your DOUBT build your FAITH...

hebrews1023A wise man once said, “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservations.”Elton Trueblood As I was thinking about this quote…and what FAITH really means, I was reminded of two things.  (1) Faith and doubt are not opposites.  And (2) that faith is not a matter of “Do or don’t”…but rather, a matter of “will or won’t.”

What a freeing statement!

You see, far too often, we fall into the trap of losing our faith to our doubts.  We can feel like our doubts indicate an absence of faith.

What if faith and doubt work together?  Paul Tillich says, “Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.

Faith actually has a component of doubt interwoven into it!  Think about it...without some element of doubt, could there be faith?  If we see something…and know it for certain…is there the need for faith?  Doubt is not the opposite of faith…rather…it can be used to contribute to building faith!

TRUST is what allows us to push past our doubts... and use doubts to build our faith.

Today, if you’re doubting…and feeling that you’re without faith, know that your doubts don’t indicate that you have no faith!   Use your doubts to increase your faith as you TRUST God and push through them!

One verse that has allowed me to continue to push forward...to trust without hesitation...and to grow in my faith is this:

Hebrews 10:23 — “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

May you grow in your faith today...as you continue to trust the one who is FAITHFUL!

What is one step you can take to succeed in 2014 New Year resolutions?

Image Tis the season to make new years resolutions!

It seems like this time of year, the world is a buzz with the changes they want to make in this coming year!  This is a GREAT thing...but I propose that we add a layer to our "resolut-ing."

We've all tried to make resolutions and failed...which can be quite discouraging.  (Especially on day 2 of the new year...haha!)  And although our failure can feel defeating, when examined closely, it points to the hole in our resolution strategy...accountability!

Thinking of a resolution is the easy part.  Starting your resolution takes a little more effort.  Following through with your resolution is where TRUE LASTING CHANGE is promoted...and this can only be done by creating a structure of accountability.   This is the most difficult part...but this is where the rubber meets the road in resolutions!

If you've resolved to be, do, or become something different this year...what is your plan to finish the year strong?  

If your resolution allows it, I'd encourage you to invite someone on your journey of change alongside of you.  If your resolution is of a different nature,  you set up periodic reminders, checkpoints or short-term goals to encourage finishing the year strong in your resolution!  You CAN do it!

I think that this season is most conducive for self-examination...and CHANGE.  Let's not miss the opportunity to become more of the people God created us to be...while doing it with a PLAN to succeed and people to encourage us in our journey!

Luke 14:28-30 - MSG translation - “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’

Ideas to make this Christmas the most "meaningful time of the year"

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A new website designed to help you and your family have a more meaningful Christmas celebration is here. It’s AwesomeFamilyChristmas.com, and it is sponsored by McLane Church. It’s a total toolkit to make your season bright! Great ideas to serve others, be inspired, create memories, as well as get the most out of the Christmas series here at McLane Church entitled Four Told. Plus there’s plenty of things to share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Check out our special Christmas site today!

12.8.13 Set list

setlist icon Carol of the Bells (Instrumental)Mykolo Leontovich and Peter Wilhousky (Macosko, Bodenmiller arrangement)

Do You Hear What I Hear - Noel Regney and Gloria Shane (Josh Wilson arrangement)

Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella - Re­nais­sance car­ol (Macosko, Bodenmiller arrangement)

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly - Edith Margaret Gellibrand Reed (Macosko, Bodenmiller arrangement)

What Child is This - William Chatterton Dix (Macosko, Bodenmiller arrangement)

Hope Foretold - Brandt Fuller, Paul Macosko, Dave Lewis

Angels we have heard on high / Praise Him Mashup - Crosspoint.tv arrangement

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Scriptures used in worship: 

Sections of Isaiah 9 (MSG translation):  For a child has been born—for us!  The gift of a son—for us!  He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

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To see a video snippet of this past weekend's worship (including the original song) set click below Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 2.09.49 PM