As most of you know, I am an avid Star Wars fan! Guilty as charged and I confess it! Depending on the place of affection it has in my heart, it is a matter of confession. Star Wars “canon” is not the Holy Canon of Scripture. There. You heard me say it, and it is not blasphemy to lower the importance of Star Wars. Rather, to say Star Wars is anything more, or infer by not saying what I’m saying now, could be blasphemy. So what exactly am I saying now? Glad you asked! I am saying, while I adore the adventures and life application narratives of Star Wars, and Luke Skywalker (Luke grew up on a the desert planet of Tatooine, and I grew up in the High Desert of San Bernardino County in So Cal; Luke’s dad left him at a young age, and my dad was rarely around from a young age; Luke went to Dagobah, TWICE to train as a Jedi. …
…it always has been, it always IS, and always will BE!
Long ago, God began a journey with humanity that has always been full of love, grace, truth, and care. In this 4th part to the Long Story Short Series at National Community Church, in Washington, DC, Campus Pastors unpack the life and meaning that is in the covenant that God has made with His people. God’s progressive covenant from Old Testament to New Testament to Eternal covenant, is full of God’s promise, His gracious protection, His presence, and Jesus’ payment on the cross for our failures. The long story short of covenant is that it always has been, always is, and always will be about Jesus.
For those of you who’ve kept up with the Whitford CA to DC to CA to DC to CA to DC journey, then you might also know I have a LIFE LONG vision to work for and hopefully see a national revival sweep across America in our generation. A Third Great Awakening if you will. This 9 minute vision cast, in preaching partnership with Pastor Mark Batterson, is a summary of my vision and heart for the Church in America. Its short and sweet and hopefully spiritually inspirational. Until Jesus returns, let’s keep working and praying for revival in America.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” -Jesus from Matthew 5:14
“The Greatest Story Ever Told” is still the greatest story ever told! Jesus, the Son of God and Creator of the universe, came to earth and as a result, the GLORY of God has been revealed to the world and fills those who believe in Jesus as the Messiah! In Luke Chapter 2:8-20, we explore this story from the perspective of the Shepherds. There are a few things we can learn and live out from what these shepherds experienced and how they responded. The true story begins a little something like this:
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord…”
“1Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives–especially the ability to prophesy. 2For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. 3But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. 4A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church. 5I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.” I have counseled at, helped lead in the execution of, directed, and participated in well over 100+ youth and young adult camps over the past 20 years of ministry. As a result, a few observable …
Have you noticed any brokenness in America?
Not to mention the world? But let’s just focus here at home in America for now.
Nehemiah also noticed the brokenness of his spiritual home: Jerusalem. In this message, National Community Church Campus Pastors kick off a two part series called “My NCC” stemming from the book of Nehemiah. The text for this particular message is from Nehemiah chapters 1 and 2. If we look closely, Nehemiah’s life example exhorts us to RECOGNIZE the brokenness around us and in us, to REPENT of our own sin and the sins of those among us, to REQUEST the favor of the King as we seek to do good in our homes and cities, and to REBUILD the broken places in and around us with the gifts and grace that Jesus has given His Church!
Who’s you are will determine WHO you are, and in Christ, you are a SON or a DAUGHTER of Father God.
We all have been in that place one time or another, where we feel like we simply cannot get out or from underneath the chains of bondage that either we have created through a series of bad decisions, or that were imposed upon us by those who did not love or care for us. In John 8:36, Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” In this seventh installment of the Mountains Move series, campus pastors at each campus at National Community Church share what it means to go from bondage to freedom in Christ. This particular message was preached by Rev. Michael Whitford on the weekend of August 13th & 14th, 2016 in Washington, DC and Arlington, VA.
Actual Message length is 41:25. The remaining time at the end is one of our worship bands leading the people to sing “Break Every Chain” as a declaration of freedom in Christ, as well as a final benediction from John 8:36.
Whether we like it or not, online communication is part of our reality today. There are many different approaches to online communication, from businesses, to education to non-profits. For the purposes of this post, we will focus on the best way to communicate online from a church context.
This is a laid-back, video version of my previously written blog post on the same topic, so sit back, grab a popsicle, and enjoy this masterpiece of literary technique in a moving picture format!
“…See, what we have here is a failure to communicate!” -Major Payne (Click the link…trust me; it will be a 30 seconds WELL spent!) I do not consider myself an expert in the art of online communication by any stretch of the imagination. I also do not consider myself an expert musician. Despite my lack of expertise in the musical arts, I do know when a note is off key or when a band’s rhythm might be off. The simple reason as to why is because I am always around and observing musicians in the midst of their environment in practices and performances/worship leading. In a similar way as my familiarity with right tone and rhythm in a musical setting, I can also decipher right “tone” and “rhythm” in online communications. In their book Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission in Chapter 9 on “Effective Online Communications,” authors Holly Ross, Katrin Verclas and Allison Levine write, “Your communications plan relies heavily on your goals and strategies for achieving your mission, …
Once again, I join other National Community Church Campus Pastors as we all preached at our respected campuses from Numbers 6:24-26. We focused in on the word “Keep” and how God keeps us in His hand through all sorts of trials and tribulations as well as in good times. This message was preached on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC at our Barracks Row campus on Saturday night, May 28th, 2016.