Sermon Notes: How to Wreck Your Life. Week One. ‘Be afraid to Fail’.

Good Morning Thrive Church! How are we doing this morning?17038628_10158473396200235_138093799698539258_o

  • Who has ever FAILED at something?
  • Who has ever felt like a FAILURE?
  • Well, if you answered YES to either question, you’re in the right place.
  • Today, we look at a way to utterly and positively WRECK YOUR LIFE.

But, here’s the reality, there are a ton of ways we can WRECK OUR LIVES! The decision is all ours.

Make poor decisions, and you will begin to wreck your life.

  • Kind of a downer, right?? But, I can’t even begin to count how many conversations I’ve had over the last 20 years with people who feel like they can’t move forward with life because of failures.
  • Failures with relationships, or jobs, or finances. People get stuck and when Life brings disappointments, we sometimes feel like we can’t move forward.

Olympics

  • Crazy thing about success and failure. 90% of the world’s best athletes never win a medal at the Olympics!?! And so often, the Silver medalists feel like failures because they were so close to Gold!
  • But, so many of us though, have been stunted from life. We just refuse to try new things or move forward because of how bad life has hurt us. The sting of failure keeps us away from trying!

Failure is Everywhere

  • Failure is everywhere, right? Work has not become what we had hoped. Things do not turn out as were led to believe. Marriages that began in hope, end in tears. Our kids are a constant concern and then they make horrible decisions.
  • Friendships are betrayed. Prayers do not seem to be answered.
  • Some of us are really struggling because we thought we would be farther in life. Thought we would be married.
  • Then, even sometimes, the things we do manage to achieve often disappoint us.

Winston Churchill said…

  • Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
  • The sense of failure is never far from the surface.  

Thrive STORY

  • Story about person telling me that Thrive would never make it with me as pastor.

 

How to Wreck your life? Be Afraid to Fail

Failure is a bruise not a tattoo

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

You are not defined by your worst day!

  • What you attempted may have failed, but you are not a failure in God’s eyes.
  • See, here’s the story of God, he’s in the redemption business! He is in the reconciling business.
  • God’s plan involved saving His people from the beginning. He created them perfect and gave them the most amazing life. They had one rule, just don’t eat from the tree. They had everything. They choose to break the rule and sin entered the world.
  • They were immediately banned from his presence. They knew they were sinful. They were embarrassed because of their nakedness. They had to work. Pain entered the world. Sickness entered the world.
  • They failed!
  • But, God is in the REDEMPTION business.
  • Paul wrote about it in Romans 5:8, and this is a verse we should all have memorized and thank God for everyday.
  • ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’!

  • Sin blocks us from having a personal relationship with Jesus and that’s bad news because we cannot gain access to God or be close to him because He is Holy!
  • But, God’s plan is amazing. He sent Jesus, for us. To die for us. To take our sin and to pay the penalty of it with his life, on the cross! For each of us!
  • And, when we acknowledge and repent of our sin, we confess it. God, I’m sorry. I ask for your forgiveness. I give you my life. I surrender my heart to you. We become followers of Jesus! Children of God. Friends of Jesus. And, we gain entrance to the Kingdom of God. Both on earth and in heaven after we breath our last breath!

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

  • Actually, this is illustrated and lived out for us in an amazing way in Luke 22 with the story of Peter.
  • Real Quick, let me catch you up on Peter. Son of John, had a brother named Andrew (also an apostle). We first meet him at Simon Peter. Jesus was teaching and he hopped in his boat and afterward they go fishing. Jesus tells them what to do and they caught a HUGE load. They followed Him.
  • Jesus’ first words (when he started his ministry) were to him, ‘Come, follow me’. His last words were ‘You must follow me”.
  • One of Jesus’ 12. We looked at Peter last week. This is the guy who took the step out of the boat! This is also the guy who tried to defend Jesus and pulled a sword and cut off an ear! 
  • Huge Failure. Crucified under Emperor Nero upside down because he didn’t think he was worthy enough to be crucified the same way as Jesus.
  • He’s guy who stumbled a ton, but he kept following Jesus.
  • He was a fisherman. His name was Simon, and Jesus renamed him to PETER which means…ROCK.
  • He didn’t always live up to his name, but Jesus was looking for models, he was looking for real people.
  • He kind of became the leader of Jesus’ disciples and he was a part of the inner three with James and John.
  • He was brash, he spoke without thinking, impulsive.
  • But, we learn from Peter, you can’t be defined by your worst day

LUKE 22:55-62

54 Then seizing him, [that’s Jesus, Judas had just betrayed him] they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. [One time] 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”“Man, I am not!” Peter replied. [Two times] 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.  [Three times] The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

  • Even Peter Failed! But, you don’t have to be afraid to fail.
  • That fear of failure will paralyze you!

 

  • I’ve failed plenty in my life! Oh my gosh, I’m like the poster child for failure! But, I’ve learned that we can find great beauty in the pain of failure!
  • You are not defined by your worst day! Failure is not final! You can overcome it. You can get victory over it. you can heal up from it.
  • So, if you’re going to NOT be defined by your worst day, understand a few ideas.

ONE…Recognize that everyone fails.

  • Nobody is perfect and everyone fails.
  • We all face defeat and realize that just because you fail at one thing, it does not make you a flure.
  • Even Peter, who was absolutely confident of loyalty and strength, even that guy failed!
  • Peter failed to keep his promise. He failed his loyalty to Jesus.
  • Just like us, right? We have the best of intentions. We start out well. We have the best of intentions.
  • Just remember…

NOBODY IS PERFECT!

  • I love what Thomas Edison said about this.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~THOMAS ALVA EDISON

TWO…God’s love and forgiveness is not dependent on your success.

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” ~Luke 22:61 (niv)

  • For me, the first 10 years of my ministry career was all about success! Having a ton of kids at events, speaking at different events and then it all came crashing down!
  • A bunch of years ago, I started a book called ‘A field, a pedestal and a shattered heart. Because it was in a field, where I was knocked off my pedestal and my heart was shattered into a million pieces.
  • Sometimes its just when you’re at lowest point, that’s when you can figure out that you are not defined by your worst day.
  • And, for so many people, there trying to earn God’s love and forgiveness by doing stuff for Him.
  • They make their relationship a check list. Now, yes, we’re called to love and serve others. But, when it becomes a show and you do it for the acclaim, and to brush up your chosen trophy, that’s when God turns away.

‘The LORD turned and LOOKED straight at Peter’

  • Verse 61 is powerful. ‘The Lord turned and looked at Peter. IN the original language of the NT, Greek, it’s defined like an intense look.
  • We all know intense looks. Our moms, our wives can save a lot with their looks.
  • We can also say a lot to our kids with our looks.
  • What kind of look did Jesus give Peter. A look of joy, sadness, compassion or understanding?
  • This was a turning point in Peter’s life though.

THREE…You have to Grow and Learn from your failures.

  • Take advantage of your failure, don’t waste it. Learn all you can from it, every bitter experience can teach us something!
  • And, know this, God is very interested in how you respond to failure.
  • What you call failure, God may call a window of opportunity for learning. In times of failure:
  • You may be given a new opportunity
  • A new open door
  • Chance to move out of your comfort zone
  • Respond in love
  • Verse 62 says that Peter wept bitterly.

‘And he went outside and wept bitterly’

  • That means great remorse.
  • Sometimes we screw up. We make horrifically awful decisions.
    • Getting wasted.
    • Losing a job because of lying or stealing.
    • Getting romantically involved with someone who is not a follower of Jesus. Then, if it doesn’t work out or your faith is always a matter of contention, you wonder why?
    • Failing with finances and you wonder why?
  • See remorse is not enough, Paul says in 2 Cor. 7:10, ‘For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation’

 

  • Lastly…

FOUR…Move on!

  • Have you learned? Are you ready to focus your life more on Jesus? Are you ready to give him the bad habits that got you there?
  • Then, move on!
  • I love the verse of the week, this week…

‘for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again’ ~Proverbs 24:16

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

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Hey Thrive…10 Ways to make this Sunday Off the Charts AHMAZING!

 
OH MY GOODNESS…SUNDAY IS ALMOST HERE!!!!

10 Ways you can make Sunday off the charts AMAZING

1. PLEASE don’t miss this Sunday!! You know, there are 4-6 Sunday’s a year where we plan for longer, invest greater and pray bigger. This is one of those Sundays!! So many amazing things going on!
 
2. Take 5 minutes and send 3 facebook messages or texts to friends about coming this Sunday! Please share info about it on your page. Please like the Thrive Church MI Facebook stuff about this Sunday! Let’s spread the word!
 
3. Would you head to Stadia on facebook and like their post about this Sunday at Thrive? It’s awesome that Stadia believes in us.
 
4. Would you pray like crazy for this Sunday? Pray for 50 new volunteers, 50 new givers. Pray for kids lives to be freed from poverty!! Pray for people to find and follow Jesus! Pray for healing for broken people! img_4907
 
5. BE EARLY! Like 30 minutes early! Come on, please. Don’t miss the CMU Jazz band. Cheer for them and clap!
 
**Be in theater one 3 minutes before it starts!! Don’t miss all the hard work the band has put in on the opening song!
 
6. Come hungry. We’re grilling! 
 
7. Wear your favorite team’s jersey. Dress your kids like super heros.fullsizerender
 
8. Sit up front, and move to the center of aisles please 🙂 Make room for guests!! Clap, sing, cheer and laugh!!
 
9. If you knew how honored I feel and how special it is for Greg Nettle and his daughter, Tabitha to be coming, wow!! Greg is a mentor and friend and this leader is the real deal! Please don’t miss him!! Say hi! Stadia, the organization he leads has been so awesome to Thrive!!
 
10. Sponsor a child! Sponsor two! We can all sacrifice! $38 bucks is all it takes and you will FREE a life from poverty! LET’s DO THIS THRIVE!!!
Check out this link for more information!
 
I LOVE YOU! I’m proud of you!
 
Jason Raitz
 
PS…Some of you have asked about giving to help with the move to CMU! That’s awesome! If just 300 of us gave an extra $166, we would have all we need to make the environments amazing! You should have received some info in the mail about this, if not, let me know!

Thrive Church is officially 3 years old today!

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ONLY GOD had got us this far! 

It’s been an amazing THREE years! 160 people have been baptized kind of amazing!

This is a big one for me personally, because this past year was hard. I think satan threw everything he could at us and it wasn’t enough! We just kept moving forward! We just kept helping people find and follow Jesus. We just kept seeing amazing life change!

 

Today is a special day!

I’m so thankful!

I can’t wait to celebrate God with my Thrive family!

I do believe the BEST is YET to COME!!

Meet my friend Jess and the famous Slurpee Sunday tradition

I have an amazing friend named Jessica or Jess or as I try to pronounce it with an ‘h’…

Hessica. I don’t know why I do. It’s silly and I try to be funny with it. Its not, but she lets me do it.IMG_0231

Jess has been at Thrive since our very first Sunday, I believe. Or the second. But, either way, she has been at Thrive ever since. She hasn’t missed many Sunday’s in that time. She plays in the band. She has served in Thrive Kidz. She has helped set up at 7am on Sunday’s. And, she serves in One Youth! Actually, she’s one of the reasons One Youth got going and stayed going. She was the first adult leader and has loved and served students ever since.

If I had to describe Jess using one word, I couldn’t. It would just be too hard. Because I would want to use too many words, words like…

Faithful. Servant. Friend. Hero. Leader. Example. Loving. Caring. Believer. Amazing. Humble. Freaking Awesome. Lover of Jesus. Jesus Follower.

My wife and I have 4 kids and they all adore and love Jess.

Our 12 year old Zach is addicted to slurpees. There is a story behind that, but because of a special diet he’s on, we gave him his first slurpee pretty early on (like barely crawling, hahha) and he’s been hooked ever since.

Well, Jess and Zach have this cool tradition.

It’s called Slurpee Sunday.

After Church, before we’ll head to lunch, she takes Zach to his favorite slurpee place and they get a slurpee. As a dad who believes in having other adults be a part of our kids lives, this means the world. Some Sunday’s it’s probably a pain for her because Zach always remembers and is pretty persistent.

But, Jess is just faithful. Jess just loves. Jess just keeps investing into his life.

She cheered him on at his football games. She’s also taken our 16 year old to her favorite coffee place as well. And she has sat in the stands at many games from students from Thrive.

I was thinking about this today because last Sunday was slurpee Sunday and I was asking God to make me more like Jess.

I hope your kids have a Jess in their lives.

‘I just don’t feel connected at Thrive’

So, here’s the story, I do not feel this way!

I love my Church!

Like a lot! For 20 years I have served at and been employed by local churches and I can say that Thrive Church is my favorite (I did spend some time on staff at a Church called Willow Creek and that was pretty spectacular)!

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, ‘of course you love your Church, you started it’! Yes, that’s true! I helped plant Thrive Church and I lead it, so I am just a little bias! But, the reality is, I feel very connected at Thrive. There’s a good reason for that! More on that later.

But, from time to time, I meet with folks who tell me that they don’t feel connected and I totally get that! Our team spends a lot of time thinking through how people get connected at Thrive. We have charts and diagrams and lots of white board drawings.

In the end though, after many years of conversations like that, I think it comes down to a very simple diagram and 3 short phrases.

Show Up Jump In Do Good scratch4-01Here’s the deal, Thrive exists to help people Find and Follow Jesus! That’s it! We are a Church for people who have given up on God or on Church, so we actually try to not be ‘churchy’. We try to create an environment on Sunday’s where people are welcomed, accepted and loved!

So, we ask 3 things of every Thriver…

Show UP, Jump IN and Do GOOD.

And, we ask them to do these three things over and over and in time, we believe they will become a passionate follower of Jesus.

Show UP…Every Sunday. The reality is, people just don’t attend Church every Sunday any longer. And, we don’t want them to attend, we want them to be a part. We hope that every Thriver would serve at one experience and attend one. But, if you’re not there to hear the heart beat of the Church and to be a part, how can you feel connected?

Jump IN…To a Team, to a Small Group or to Shift. We believe people have to get connected to each other. So, there are 10 different Thrive teams to serve on. And, for three seasons of the year, there are Small Groups. Lastly, for those looking for some Seminary level teaching, we have Shift.

Do GOOD…Every day, every chance you can. We want people to live a lifestyle of generosity. With their time, their gifts and their finances. We want them to expeirence the joy of giving and sponsoring children and buying shoes and serving schools and the homeless shelter.

So, I think, if someone puts in just a little bit of effort, they will feel connected. Now, sometimes people try these things and still don’t feel connected, I don’t know what to do with that.

But, its amazing what happens when you put yourself out there.

I feel very connected because I love my Church! I fight for it! I serve it! I pray for it! I pray for the people of Thrive! I ask God to bless it. I give to it. I tell others about it! I read every email and every Facebook post from it.

If you’re looking to get more connected at Thrive, just email our amazing Connections Coordinator and she’ll get you all set up. Lindsey.msibi@thrivechurchmi.cc.

My prayer and hope is that I won’t have to have many conversations with folks with people who don’t feel connected, but I know we will do everything we can to help get folks connected and growing closer to Jesus!

 

 

3 Reasons You Should be at Thrive Tomorrow

It’s Saturday! Tomorrow is Sunday! Sunday is the day that Thrive has the privilege of gathering together!

I CAN’T WAIT!!! 

I hope you can’t wait as well. Here are 3 Reasons you should be at Thrive tomorrow.

ONE…We start a new series called ‘Grow a Pair’. Yup, Grow a Pair. Ok, because a couple of you probably just scratched your head. Let’s just go right at what you’re wondering.

Isn’t the title a crude? Well, maybe. But, I guarantee to someone who has given up on God or Church, it’s probably not crude at all.

This is just a very real way of saying…BE BOLD! STEP UP! YOU HAVE THE STRENGTH TO OVERCOME!

So, tomorrow we dive into the story of Samson and discover how we can learn to not waste the amazing potential that God has given us!  So, I hope you’ll be there!samson-banner65x35

TWO…We need your pop bottles or cans. One Youth is raising money for their summer camp trip and a very easy way to support this trip is to bring your bottles. If there’s too many, we’ll come and pick them up.

THREE…To meet someone new!  Too many of us are living alone! Sure, we may have family or co-workers, but who do you have in your life to challenge you, be with you, encourage you and pray with you.

Head to Thrive tomorrow and begin the journey of meeting someone that will help you on your journey to Find and Follow Jesus.

See you soon! 

 

 

Do you want to FALL IN LOVE? Today at Thrive

love

Does that describe you?

Do you want to fall in love? Are you praying, hoping and longing to find the love of your life?

OR…

Has your marriage stalled out? You’re no longer in love and honestly, you’re just roommates.

OR…

You want to strengthen your marriage or relationship. You’re in love and you show it by out loving each other, but you don’t ever want to lose that.

Let me cut right to the chase about what we’re talking about today…

If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.

Yup, that’s it! It will take sacrifice, but it will be worth it!

So, head to Thrive Church this morning. We meet at Celebration Cinema at both 9 and 1015a.

Don’t worry about what to wear, just dress comfortable. Don’t worry about having it all together, just come as you are.

See you soon!