The Monday After: Remember to Say Thanks {Andrew}

 You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, June 29, 2014: Remember to Say Thanks: Listen HERE.

by Andrew Kelley

I’ve never been in a jail cell.

Maybe you haven’t either.

That said, I’m having a hard time understanding having a heart of thankfulness from a jail cell the way Paul had a heart of thankfulness from his when he wrote his letter to the Philippians.

Say Thanks.001Paul must have been happy and filled with joy even while in jail; look at the display of his gratitude!

Paul speaks of in Philippians 4 rejoicing over their concern for him and praises God for how they have come to his aid.

From a jail cell. That’s some pretty intense gratitude right there; Paul’s letter seems to brim with real joy.

Is thankfulness part of the recipe for happiness even when we’re locked away in our own respective “jails”? If we look at Paul’s life I think we know the answer.

We can only imagine how Paul’s gratitude made the Philippians feel, made God feel and made Paul himself feel.

I know how I feel when I show my gratitude and receive a joyous response; I feel really good deep down.

Pastor Josh issued us a challenge this week challenge to send a thank you card to someone each day this week. I don’t know about you, but I have quite a few thank you notes to send.

I am not only going to accept this challenge but I am going to purposefully try to say thank you.

And now it’ll be a different kind of thank you. It will be a different kind of thank you than I said when I was a kid, and I was told by my parents to say thank you all the time.

I’m also going to go beyond just saying thank you and move beyond those words by telling others why and how they have helped me.

That is where I truly think this whole “thank-you revolution” could take off.

It’s time to get thankful … and show it!

I’ll kick it off; thank you for reading this blog. May it encourage you and spur you on toward a life of gratitude no matter where you find yourself in life today.

Andrew and Dawn

Andrew Kelley is husband to Dawn and father to four wonderful children; he and his family currently call Immanuel and Zion home. 

 

The Monday {on a Tuesday} After: Sharing Jesus with Your Friends {Andrew}

 You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday Tuesday After Sunday, June 1, 2014: Sharing Jesus with Your Friends: Listen HERE.

by Andrew Kelley

I pulled up to my best friend’s farm just to say hi and maybe talk a bit about things we were both very much into like cars and grown-boy stuff. We were both about the same age of 18 at this particular time. He spotted me pull up in my red Dodge ram and walked up to greet me. We talked about grown boy stuff for a few minutes, but then I recognized the Holy Spirit turning the conversation toward sharing my faith. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to; I was at a time in my spiritual walk with God where I was growing and really into what God wanted. However, at the same time I was very shy and not bold at all with my faith. He was my best friend, though, and God was an even greater best friend.

“Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:11-12 NKJV

This verse had already been on my heart, and I was waiting for that God-given moment when what He said would happen. That day I didn’t speak; rather, it was the Holy Spirit speaking through me, and we talked for almost an hour while my truck was running. In the end, I felt as though I was on top of the world. And — I looked at my gas gauge and saw it did not even move!

Throughout the last 16 or so years, I have come to realize I have a specific gift when it comes to witnessing to those who don’t know Christ, and I’ve found my groove. While I am still learning, I am definitely using my testimony and my own personal experiences when I share my faith, just like the testimonial style Pastor Bryan mentioned this past Sunday.

I have recently been a little more theological and have been seeking out hardcore evidence that backs up our faith. It strengthens my personal faith, and l love details. I love sharing details as well. Our testimonies are so powerful, demonstrated  as we listened to Charles Best; we can surely see God’s mighty hand and His grace!

I used to think my own testimony lacked the awesome redemptive climax that some testimonies had. I thought because I have never done drugs, never gotten drunk or never been in jail, my testimony was not good enough. God taught me, though, that my own story was perfect for other people like me — ones who had never done drugs, never gotten drunk or had never been in jail. And also a person like me who was young age, and who has struggled with pornography for the majority of his life.

How about you?

Who can you reach through the way God has made you?

When we realize our own testimony has power, when we realize God has wired us to share his good news in ways unique to how He created us and fitting for how He created others, we gain some boldness!

And then we can say with courage and boldness, “God let me see Luke 12:12 come to life!”

Andrew and Dawn

Andrew Kelley is husband to Dawn and father to four wonderful children; he and his family currently call Immanuel and Zion home. 

The Monday After: The Supremacy of Christ {Andrew}

 You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, May 4, 2014: The Supremacy of Christ. Listen HERE.

by Andrew Kelley

The first to die, rise from the dead and live forever. The best part is Jesus presents us to His Father so that we may follow after Him to live forever!

Feeling like an outcast pretty much all of my childhood and even into my young adult years did not make me feel supreme. You’ll see in a few minutes why I just used the word supreme. I grew up in the lower middle class bracket, and I had the “not cool” clothes, as my classmates would often tell me. The shoes, too. Plus being sheltered in a relatively strict Christian home put me way out in left field, or more like on the bench because I hated doing anything I thought would result in me failing — ports, talking to cute girls and sticking up for myself. I hid in suclusion except with my closest friends. Fast forward to midway through high school where I got serious about a relationship with Jesus and the laws of religion started falling to the wayside. Jesus quickly became supreme to me because He was changing me from the inside out. He was showing me His unconditional love. He was teaching me that He was my Sustainer and wanted to be the Head of my life. Of course He still is. He is now showing me how supreme He has made me because He first was supreme!
Of the eight points Pastor Joe presented, the eighth one stood out the most to me: Jesus reconciles all things to God. Reconcile is one of those big words in my simple mind, and we had an excellent example on Sunday but I still had to look up the definition.
Reconcile-verb. 1. to cause (a person) to accept or be resigned to something not desired: He was reconciled to his fate. 2. to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons. 3. to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.). 4. to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent. 5. to reconsecrate (a desecrated church, cemetery, etc.). 6. to restore (an excommunicate or penitent) to communion in a church.
It’s necessary to include that whole definition because there are things in there we all can relate to. Colossians 1:19-20 was the reference for point eight.
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
But as we continue to read after verse 20, we see why we were or are meant to be reconciled. I love verses 21-23.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”
Jesus presents us to His Father. He presents us perfected and not the way we see ourselves. He presents us Holy and blameless. He can because He took our unholiness and every thing that we should have been blamed for, the wrong things that we have done.
This, my friends, is, in fact, unconditional love, and this is why we should celebrate Jesus like it is His birthday and every day! More than we celebrated our own birthdays! More than we celebrate our kids’ birthdays! More than we celebrate our spouse’s birthday! He is worthy of the most supreme celebration because of what He has done, and we are on the winning side!

Andrew and Dawn

Andrew Kelley is husband to Dawn and father to four wonderful children; he and his family currently call Immanuel and Zion home. 

The Monday After: Chosen Garment {Andrew}

 You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, February 24, 2014: Seeing What God Wants Me to See

by Andrew Kelley

I’ve always been a new-testament-kind-of guy.

I’ve loved the resemblance of the disciples and me as I walk with my Savior.

As I grow older and learn more and dive deeper into the old testament, though, I love it all the more. I’ve grown to love the old testament for its parallels of the people of Israel and our present nation of people. Plus the old testament is jam packed with awesome real-life events of romance and seduction, justice and revenge. If any of us paid any attention in Sunday school, we’d realized that if these events were turned into films, they would be R-rated and likely number one in the box office for weeks!

Much of Steven Mosley’s Chosen Garment performance gave us a glimpse into the powerful stories of the Bible, and he did so with the beautiful integration of many different garments. During the whole presentation, garments of praise kept coming to mind. So I searched and found Isaiah 61:3:

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”

Steven portrayed to us the importance of the garments, symbolic threads linking the old testament to the new testament and beyond, showing us a glimpse of God’s bigger picture. These garments were as a covering from God. The men that wore them used them wisely as well as foolishly. We then see the way the people followed their leadership while wearing the garments. It’s amazing to me that God has hand picked all of the leaders to this very present day. It makes me wonder about their spiritual garments and the level of stewardship they’ve been given, and it makes me even more thankful that Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, wears ALL of the garments perfectly.

So while I may be more of a new testament kind of guy, I’m happy to follow the thread into the old testament because it makes it all the more clear about the supremacy of the One who perfectly wears the garment that covers us.

Andrew and Dawn

Andrew Kelley is husband to Dawn and father to four wonderful children; he and his family currently call Immanuel and Zion home. 

The Monday After: Seeing What God Wants Me to See {Andrew}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, February 24, 2014: Seeing What God Wants Me to See — Listen.

by Andrew Kelley

I don’t member the exact day I came to Christ. It was more of a gradual day-by-day, month-by-month illuminating transformation. Like in Ephesians 1:18-19 the eyes of my heart were being opened to each area of my life, one area at a time.

I looked up this reference in the Message, and I really want us to take to heart what God is telling us.

“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers. Oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him – endless energy, boundless strength!”

Now pause.

You see, I was trying so hard in junior high and high school to fit in. I didn’t know Him who knew me from before time began so I didn’t know who He wanted me to be. I didn’t know who I really was because I lost my image in trying to become what others wanted me to be until half way through high school when I got serious about knowing God.

It was the illumination of a family that intrigued me. They were not fake. They were not traditional. They were like Jesus — bold and moved with Him because they knew Him. I wanted to know Him like they knew Him.

Near the end of Luke 24 we’re told that the Disciples eyes were opened when they broke bread. Even after walking with Him for almost seven miles and speaking with Him, they did not recognize Him.

They were so focused on the tragedy of His death that they could not tell who this man was. Are we so focused on our tragedy and problems that we don’t see Him walking right beside us? It’s only when we look to God and His promises that the eyes of our heart will be opened to what He has in store for us.

Now read again, Ephesians 1: 18-19:

“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers. Oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him – endless energy, boundless strength!”

In Luke 24:35, the disciples recognized Jesus when He broke the bread. In John 6:48-51 Jesus tells us He is the bread of Life, which makes our spiritual nutrition the Word of God.

Christ was “known to them in the breaking of bread.” We need this bread just like we need literal food to stay alive. Our eyes will be opened when we eat His word.

A long time ago, God challenged me to read His word and pray in public. I was afraid, but I did it. Every day for a little over a year I read the Bible at work in the cafeteria and where ever I was I took my Bible. The eye opening and illuminating awesomeness was that every time I read the Bible, I saw something new. Every time I read the Bible, my eyes were opened to a new truth, with both mini or large revelations.

This book we all have is truly Alive! The Holy Spirit illuminates Jesus, the living Word, us for all to see!

And so this is my prayer for us:

“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers. Oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him – endless energy, boundless strength!”

Andrew and Dawn

Andrew Kelley is husband to Dawn and father to four wonderful children; he and his family currently call Immanuel and Zion home.