Hark: The Shepherds

“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…”

7 Ways to Better Communicate Online – VIDEO Edition!

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!

Blessing No. 10 – Keep

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.

Altars – Elijah on Mount Carmel

We live in a day and an age where it is politically incorrect to CORRECT our culture in spiritual Truth! In 1 Kings 18, Elijah the prophet faced a similar spiritual opposition in his day in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, when King Ahab and Queen Jezebel ruled the land with their false prophets of Baal and Asherah. This is a message to encourage the people of God TODAY! That The Church would STAND in Truth, Gather the people, REPAIR broken places (altars), offer ourselves to the Lord, REPENT from dark deeds, and PRAY for Revival rain in America! Now is the time to seek the face of God boldly. Just as God SOVEREIGNLY stirred the hearts of the people to turn back to Him in Elijah’s day, may He do the same in our day, and like Elijah, may The Church be ready to LEAD the way! This particular message was given at the National Community Church Arlington, VA – Ballston Campus on Sunday morning, February 28, 2016.

A slightly more energetic and “raw prophetic” version from our Capitol Hill Campus on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 is available here. The audio isn’t as quality, but the message is clear none-the-less.

Spiritual Reset – NCC Campus Pastors

 

Concluding our 2016 New Year Series, “Reset,” our National Community Church campus pastors outline what it means to be Spiritually Reset. We had originally planned to give stand alone messages at our respective campuses, but the historic #Snowzilla snow storm caused us to get a back up plan. Turns out we needed it because all roads and public transit were SHUT DOWN for the most part in the DC/Metro area!

Previous messages were on the topics of Emotional Reset, Physical Reset, Financial Reset, and Relational Reset. In this final installment, “Spiritual Reset”, each NCC Campus Pastor shares in a TED Talk styled video venue message. None are longer than 5 minutes and each can stand on its own in quality content. My talk is at about the 27:50 minute mark, for those interested. I briefly teach out of Mark 10:35-40 and James 4:1-3, 7-10. Pastor Joel then concludes the passage with Mark 10:46-52 right after me. Ultimately when we’re all seeking a Spiritual Reset, we’re doing so by asking God to do something for, and hopefully IN us. The cool part is, Jesus beats us to the punch and asks us, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The question is, will we answer Him with the right heart motives?

Keep Calm and Christmas On

Kicking off our NCC 2015 Christmas Series, “HoliDaze”, we look into the life of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father and how he “kept calm and Christmassed on” despite the challenges that Mary being pregnant as a virgin presented to he and his original plans. We see in Matthew 1:18-25 that not only did Joseph trust God, God establishes He is WITH us and in control through all of life’s circumstances. The Message itself is about 38 minutes long with 17 minutes of worship ministry time on the back end provided by the Saturday Night Barracks Row worship band, led by Dan Rivera.

Even if it’s not Christmas, this message is meant for anybody going through anxiety and/or depression. Be encouraged by the Counselor, the Holy Spirit of God.

R E V E A L E D: Mission

This concluding message from our National Community Church series “REVEALED” peels back the mistaken perception that we are alone in the universe.

When we limit our understanding of existence to our 5 senses and only empirical evidence within the natural realm, we negate the existence and spiritual reality of God seeking to redeem humanity through Jesus.

We also tend to ignore unseen, dark, forces of evil warring against the soul of every person and against God Himself. Ephesians 6:10-20 REVEALS the reality of a Cosmic, High Level, EPIC spiritual battle and that every human being’s life can be influenced and often times dictated by UNSEEN, spiritual forces of evil.

It is the responsibility and the calling of every believer in Christ, aka, THE CHURCH, to STAND in the POWER of the RISEN Christ and walk in AUTHORITY over these dark, unseen forces with FULL spiritual armor and weaponry.

Once our mission is REVEALED and we choose to ACCEPT it, we can be like Jesus and set the captives free through the Spoken Word of God! This message was given at National Community Church Barracks Row location on Saturday, July 25th, 2015.

R E V E A L E D: Identity

“Remember WHO you ARE.” -Mufasa from “The Lion King”.  Other than finding life on another planet, one of the most difficult things to determine in our existence is WHO we ARE, that is, our TRUE identity.

Ephesians has a consistent theme of things being REVEALED throughout the whole book.  After careful study and discussion, our National Community Church Campus Pastors narrowed it down to 5 main sub-themes being revealed throughout the book: 1) Identity; 2) The Church; 3) Unity; 4) Truth; and 5) Mission.

In this message, spoken at our NCC: Ballston Regal Cinema location, I unpack 4 major parts within REVEALED Identity from Ephesians 1:9-14.  First, to know WHO we are, we need to seek the pleasure of GOD over our OWN pleasure. Second, to know our identity, we need to acknowledge and EMBRACE the sovereignty of God and that HE purchased us. Third, Our identity is found in FAITH in Christ.  Fourth, God gives us identity for HIS glory, not our own!  When we know WHO’S we are, we will know WHO we are.  I want to encourage all of us to seek Jesus and find our true identity in HIM.

Supernatural Kindness

It is good to be kind to everybody we encounter. Sometimes however, our limited resources and strength to show kindness to those around us just isn’t enough. That’s where God supernaturally does amazing things through His people who yield their lives to Him in the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit. This message was given on February 28, 2015 at National Community Church’s Barracks Row Saturday Night Service. It is the 5th part of a 9 part series titled Elements on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5 on the fruit of Kindness.  The actual message length is 45 minutes, but the last 16+ minutes are an extension of worship and prayer time as people responded to God’s Word.

I’ve always KNOWN about the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but looking deeper into the passage, one can see that we cannot conjure THIS Kindness in Galatians 5 from our own desires and even purest motives.  The kindness spoken of in Galatians 5 is other-worldly and beyond our most ardent and heart felt human ability for compassion.  This Kindness is the kindness of God, which leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). As you will hear in the message, Supernatural Kindness is the delivery system of God’s love through His Church.

Become – A New Year Message of Hope

  Psalm 133:1 says, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” During our Whitford Family Vacation to CA in December 2014, I had the honor to speak at the church where I served as the youth pastor for 6 years from 2004-2010. Many times when staff members leave a place it is in duress and difficulty.  Trust me, we’ve had our fair share of difficulties through the years in church settings, but I can honestly say we never left when things were bad.  God gave us the grace to endure various trials and spiritual attacks, etc… until we were able to see it through to a place of health & healing, not just in any particular situation, but also within our own hearts and minds.  I think this is one simple reason why we’ve had the honor to go back and spiritually invest in places we’ve already planted and watered in.  Northeast Assembly of God not withstanding. I believe we …