message by rick warren

Rev. Rick Warren

GETTING UP AFTER FAILURE

“Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up. But when trouble strikes the wicked, that’s the end of them.” (Proverbs 24:16 CEV)

Failure isn’t fatal — it’s normal! Just look around. All of us mess up from time to time. Somebody recently gave me a book, “The (Incomplete) Book of Failures: The Official Handbook of the Not-Terribly-Good Club of Great Britain.” When they printed the book, they forgot to print the first two pages and had to add it later. Even the book was a failure!

Unfortunately, we tend to hyper-focus on our own shortcomings, and that robs us of our confidence. That’s part of what happened to the first disciples. Yesterday, I told you how amazed I was that the first disciples went from defeated to dynamic so quickly after the Resurrection. I shared with you the first of three roadblocks to confidence that the disciples illustrated: fatigue.

The second of these roadblocks is failure. Matthew 26:56 says, “All the disciples deserted him and fled” (NIV). One of the main reasons the confidence of the disciples was so shaken was their sense of failure for having deserted Jesus. Plus, the thriving movement they were a part of — the ministry of Jesus — was seemingly dead. They were having a pity party. They were second-guessing themselves and wondering what went wrong. Jesus was supposed to be the Messiah, but then he died. I’m sure they were asking, “Why me? Who cares? What now?”

What’s the antidote to failure? It’s perseverance. You overcome failure when you admit it to God and keep doing what God has called you to do regardless of setbacks. The Bible reminds us that God specializes in using failures. The fact is, just three days after Jesus was crucified and the disciples thought their lives were in the tank, Jesus rose from the dead. God specializes in lost causes.

The Bible says in Proverbs 24:16, “Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up. But when trouble strikes the wicked, that’s the end of them” (CEV).

Are you ready to get back up?

TALK ABOUT IT

  • What is your usual reaction to failure?
  • How have you let your failures keep you from doing what God has called you to do?

 

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message of note

Paul Baloche

HOW FAR CAN ONE SONG REACH?

Paul Baloche is one of the most acclaimed worship artists and songwriters of our time. A two-time Dove Award winner and multiple nominee, he’s the artist on radio standards including “Because of Your Love,” “Hosanna (Praise is Rising),” and “Our God Saves,” and the writer of top-ranking CCLI songs and modern-day classics such as “Above All,” “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” “Glorious,” and “Your Name.” Paul has served for more than 20 years as the worship pastor at Community Fellowship inLindale,Texas. Learn more from Paul at LeadWorship.com.

When I travel to lead worship in places other than my home church, I feel privileged to meet people who tell me amazing life stories about God changing their lives. Occasionally, I hear an extraordinary story, one that moves me to tears.

Dear Mr. Baloche, 

I realized that I didn’t explain the story about the child with the painted face.

The child with the painted face’s name is David, but it wasn’t that originally. He actually didn’t really have a name. See, he was born with Cerebral Palsy, and couldn’t move his limbs and doesn’t know how to talk. When his mother had him, the village thought he was born that way because he was cursed, and wanted to drown him in the river to lift the curse. His mother refused to kill him. She was the second of her husband’s three wives and was cast out of the family because they were afraid all their children would be cursed because of her act of defiance against the spirits.

So she was cast out of the village, and had to care for herself and her son across one of the rivers in a very small hut. No one would speak to her or interact with her, and when we arrived at the village they warned us not to cross the river because they thought we would be cursed too if we helped her. It’s sadly not an uncommon occurrence.

So I ignored the villager’s protests and concerns and travelled across the river to see what I could do for her. When I arrived, even she was afraid to let me see her son because she believed he was cursed as well. When I convinced her it would be okay for me to see him and discovered he had CP and there was nothing I could do to cure him, I spent some time talking to his mother about her situation. The little boy was so helpless and small, and I was so proud of her for choosing to take care of him despite what she lost. She clearly loved him, but it was obviously hard for her.

I told her – and the other curious villagers starting to arrive to see if I’d be cursed – about how it was a medical condition, not a curse, that made him the way he was, as well as how it doesn’t mean he is stupid or unable to learn. You could tell just by looking into his eyes that he knew exactly what was going on. It was hard to convince them all though. They kept getting upset and insisting that even if it wasn’t a curse he was still useless and just took food and water they had so little of to begin with. They said it would be better for him to die to save the rest of the village even just one more meal. If you knew how little food they have you’d understand that this kind of thinking really isn’t as callous and terrible as it sounds. It broke my heart to see their desperation and to look into that beautiful face and into his mother’s tearful eyes and not know how to explain the value of this precious child to God’s eyes and plans.

So I did what I always seem to do when I’m at a loss for words. I started singing.

“Open the Eyes of My Heart” was the only song that came to me on the spot, so I sang it as I exercised his limbs… and then, the next thing I knew, he was singing along in harmony. He couldn’t say the words, but he hit every note. The whole village stared in amazement. He had the sweetest little voice. And his eyes were so incredibly bright.

So I kept singing with him, song after song… and in the end it saved his life. It’s amazing what God chooses to use. I couldn’t do anything medically, but a simple song convinced the entire village that this boy was special. They were all touched by his singing, and I talked to them for hours about how God loves him and every single one of them, and He gave this boy this beautiful gift.

Now that little boy and his mother live in the centre of the village, a place of honour, and he helps with patients. I somehow got the idea that when I was treating people who were in a lot of pain or were frightened that he could sing to them to keep them calm… and it worked. They call on him for everything, and he sings all the time now. He always looks so determined and so happy when someone asks if he can sing for them.

His mother gladly carries him all over the village, and though he’s still learning how to speak, he can answer most questions with different signals. That’s when we named him David. Everyone said he needed a good name, a special name. So I told them about the warrior king David, and how he would write music and sing songs. His mother had become a Christian, and I believe that he believes in Jesus too. When I told him the story he kept signalling “yes” over and over, so we named him David, to remind him that he’s a prince in God’s kingdom, and that his songs are very special to God as well.

 

meet the christian ministers

Rev. Tim & Danni Lockwood

Tim and Danni met at a youth event they were both taking part in and after a few months of chasing (on Tim’s part), Danni’s heart was captured and they married around a year later in 1998. They have two amazing children, Acacia and Joseph.

Tim was raised in a Christian home where his parents were both pastors. At the age of 19 he embarked on a significant journey with God, travelling over toSouth Africaand studying Christian Leadership atRhemaBibleCollegefor a year. During that year he developed a passion for church and knew God had placed a calling on his life to become a pastor. When he came back to theUKhe took up the role of Youth Pastor at a localCornerstoneChurchwhere he impacted the lives of many young people. Another passion of Tim’s was to become a Police Officer so in 2001 he successfully completed a police training course, obtained a Warrant Card and became a fully fledged P.C! He continues his police work alongside his ministry within the church, as his role within the police is very much of a pastoral nature, working alongside offenders to get them out of the lifestyle of crime.

Tim is God-driven by a desire to see people saved, set free and released into a purpose filled life with God. He is a man of vision, and is committed to go where God leads.

Danni had her first revelation of God at the age of 11 at a Christian Camp, but soon fell away due to peer pressure and for the next few years led a lifestyle that was destructive and damaging. Eventually she hit rock bottom and knew the only way to turn was back to God. She began her journey on the road to recovery and experienced Jesus in such an incredible way transforming her from the inside out, impacting her outlook on life and her attitude to her future. She developed such a passion for God, His Church and His People that she made a decision to commit her life in service to God and His church. Because of her own experiences, she is passionate to see people saved, hope and healing arise and destiny restored. Her greatest delight in life is to see people come into a purpose-filled, awesome adventure with their creator God.

In 2010 Tim and Danni felt that God was relocating them and they both developed a heart forGuildford. In 2011 they became the Senior Pastors of Eternity Church taking over from the founding Pastors. Tim and Danni are passionate about seeingGuildfordtransformed by the power of God working through His church.

We are a modern and vibrant church that loves God, loves people and loves life. Our passion is to reach our community in a real and relevant way, demonstrating that there is a God in heaven who is for them, who believes in them and who is completely and utterly sold out for them. Experience church in a fresh and vibrant way!

Come along and join us every Sunday morning 09.00am or 11.00am at The Electric Theatre,Guildford for our fantastic services.

WHAT TO EXPECT

You, your friends and your family can expect a warm and friendly welcome at both our Sunday services and our team will be there to serve you in any way they can. We have our fully trained, CRB-checked Kids Church team on hand in the foyer area, ready to meet and greet you and your children at the 9am service, where you can sign them in to their very own age-specified programme for a fun-filled time. At the 11am service there will be fun filled kids packs available for under 12s during the word part of the service. You can also expect a powerful time of worship with our live band, an opportunity for prayer requests, and Bible-based teaching that is relevant to your everyday life at both services.

We would love to see you on Sunday, so come along for a refreshing church experience.