Hey FLOOD Family,
This is just a quick reminder about our community outreach for this Wednesday night. For those of you who can make it, we are starting at 5pm with basketball tournaments on the campus for the kids in the neighborhood who went through the basketball that PFB had last week on campus. I've heard some say, "I can't play basketball." Then don't. Just come out and cheer them on. It's mostly about being with the people, not showing off the skills that you do or do not have.
At about 6:00 we will be serving a BBQ hamburger dinner for everyone from the community that shows up to this.
We need people to help set up and tear down for this. Sign-up and let us know. Here are a few ways that you can do that:
1). Call Calli at the church and let her know (909-629-5277, ext. 3044)
2). Email Calli (email@example.com)
3). Click here to sign-up on the Facebook event page.
After this outreach, we come into FLOOD and worship Jesus together. See you on Wednesday!!!
"The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out." — Proverbs 17:14, ESV
The Holland clan moved into a new home in March, and we love it. When we first saw this house we were blown away with how well the owners took care of it. We absolutely love our new home.
However, we do have two showers (out of three) that leak. The water from the shower finds it way into cracks in the shower doors to create havoc for us on the ground and in the walls. And the thing is: it's not a ton of water, but it becomes that when it builds during the duration of a shower.
That is what strife is like. The beginnings of strife is like letting out water. Water contained and controlled is good. Water out of control is destructive. So, just stop it. You and I have a choice when strife shows up to take control of a situation. We can just stop it. We can drop the matter. We can let it go. There are times when we need to stand up and deal with issues. However, there are also times and situations that are not life-or-death and can just be put away in order to "keep the peace."
So, look at that situation that is causing so much drama in your life. Look at it and decide if it is really worth fighting for or if your pride is causing you to fight a worthless battle. Because honestly, the best thing that we can do when strife shows up is to just stop it.
Good morning you all, Here is an update on this weekend. It has been a whirlwind. On Friday, I flew into San Francisco and made my way to Sonora, California, to perform the wedding (wedding was on Saturday) of an amazing couple that I met at Mt. Gilead over the years (they were counselors of students where I was the camp speaker). It was AWESOME!!! There is just something about performing weddings for couples who completely and absolutely love Jesus. It was amazing!
Right after the wedding, I drove up to Windsor, California. I was able to teach at Newsong Church at the morning worship gathering as well as a worship event they had that night called "Awaken." God did some great things. First, I in the morning, I had a specific message in mind. During the prayer time before the worship service started, a phrase stood out to me that I heard someone else pray that made me think of Lamentations 3. So, we went with Lamentations 3. I had so many people come up to me and tell me that that was exactly what they needed. I love it when Jesus "changes" things up on me.
Secondly, at the evening worship event, I called people to a total commitment to being a disciple of Jesus. It was awesome to see about 60 people stand up proclaiming to Jesus that they were "All In." I honestly didn't feel great about how I preached that message, but God was faithful anyway.
Here is how you can be praying this week (and for the next couple of weeks):
1). This Wednesday at FLOOD, we are having an outreach for the community. Last week, PFB ran a basketball camp for kids in the community. We saw a lot of kids come out. On Friday, a flyer was given to everyone there inviting them to come back this Wednesday for basketball games in the parking lot and a bbq provided for by FLOOD. I really want to see this be a catalyst for us to reach the community for Jesus in even greater ways.
Also, please pray for Ryan Palmer. He will be teaching for me the next couple of weeks at FLOOD. I am so excited for him to get to share with everyone there. The boy can BRING IT!!!
2). This Thursday, I leave for Palau with a team from PFB. We will be running sports camps in the morning, and then I will be speaking at crusades every night for about a week. This is such a huge opportunity. Please pray for me as I pray through and preach messages. Please pray for the team as well, that we would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to see the unexplainable happen.
Thanks for hanging in there reading this update. I know it was a long one. I appreciate you so much.
Last night I taught on our vision and purpose as a ministry at FLOOD.
VISION STATEMENT OF FLOOD: to reach and equip people to change their world for Christ.
At the end of the message I called people to come forward to sign a piece of paper if they were committing to the vision and to be owners of the ministry rather than just attenders of a worship service. Here's what blew me away: 52 PEOPLE SIGNED THE SHEETS OF PAPER!!! 52 people came forward to sign the paper to state that they were ALL IN for the vision and to be active in the ministry that God has called FLOOD to.
This pumped me up.
And then I received this email this morning: "Good morning, Brian, "I wanted to let you know I finally made it down in person to Pomona last night. I had been watching the internet broadcast a few times, after I made the connection that there was this awesome youth minister my friend Jim told me about. Small world — it was you. (I'm blushing as I type that part of the email out) "It was so much better in person,... Jim has been attending Wednesday nights for a few months and last night was my first opportunity. Jarret has an awesome gift!... Last night was so energizing, especially your message." (again, blushing)
FLOOD FAMILY: Thank you so much for what you're doing and for what you're about to take on. I'm even more convinced of this than ever before: the best is yet to come and I'm pumped.
Here is how you can be praying for me this week:
1). This Wednesday night I am teaching at FLOOD. I'm so excited to welcome our new freshmen to the Wednesday night worship service. This week I'm preaching and sharing about the vision that God has given us here at FLOOD. I'm so excited to share again with this group the road that Jesus has us on.
2). On Friday I leave for northern California for the following:
On Saturday I have the honor and privilege of performing the wedding of an amazing couple that I met while teaching up at a camp a few years ago. They asked me if I would come up and perform the wedding ceremony, of which I had to say yes. This couple is an amazing testimony of Jesus. I'm so excited to get to do this.
Right after the wedding I will drive four hours from Sonoma to Windsor and speak in the Sunday morning worship service (Newsong Church in Windsor) and then at a worship event that they are having that night called, "The Awaken."
This is a kind of packed week of speaking. I'm very excited. However, I'm even more excited about the things that God is doing at FLOOD on Wednesday nights and within the junior high, high school, and young adult ministries here at PFB Church. The biggest highlight from last week for me was this: a high school staff member was able to share with a high school aged girl about Jesus (in a different room while I was teaching at FLOOD) and lead her to Jesus. AWESOME!!! Those types of stories are what keep me going and moving forward during the times when I feel overwhelmed and defeated in ministry.
Here's how you can pray for me and the teaching ministry that Jesus is giving me this week:
1). This Wednesday night at FLOOD we are continuing in our James series (we are almost done). We are looking at James 4:13-17. As I've been studying it this morning something huge has popped out at me: did you know that the Bible teaches that I'm not promised tomorrow? I've been confronted with how much I expect that I will live tomorrow that I plan my life accordingly. Here's the problem with that: I'm not guaranteed tomorrow. I'm guaranteed God's will. Period.
I still have a lot to pray over and prep. Please pray for me during this process and then pray for me as I preach. Join us if you can (PFB Worship Center - 601 N. Garey Ave, Pomona or live online at www.pfblive.tv).
2). This Sunday I get to teach from the book of Mark at the TOGETHER college/young adults Sunday morning community group. It is going amazingly well. We have a consistent 18-20 showing up. Community is beginning to happen in the group. Please keep praying that God would bring this group together, and pray for me as I teach that morning.
3). If you wouldn't mind, would you please pray for our junior high choir and director here from PFB Church. They leave this Thursday for a few days. They are going on the junior high choir tour. Thank you so much.
4). This Sunday morning Pastor Josh Husmann is sharing/teaching at PFB Church. He is sharing with us his story of Jaxton Husmann, his son he and his family lost to trisomy 18. This will be a powerful time of worship and study. Please pray for him as he shares this difficult lesson, praying for God to do the impossible with the difficult (join us at the church or live online; 8:30, 9:45 or 11:11 services).
"You, however, have following my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me." — 2 Timothy 3:10-11, ESV
The first thing that Paul mentions to Timothy in this list is his teaching. Timothy followed Paul's teaching. And think about it: what an amazing mentor to have in the apostle Paul. But notice that the list continues. Paul mentions to Timothy that he has lived his life in such a way that Timothy could witness first-hand his conduct, his aim in life, his faith, his patience, love and steadfastness. He has seen how Paul has enduring persecutions until the day that God decided to rescue him from each of those persecutions. Timothy did not just hear about Paul's doctrine and theology. Rather, he saw it lived out because Paul invited him to do so.
I was reminded this morning that I am called to live a life that is truly worthy of the gospel that I've been called to. However, I've been called to live it publicly for others to follow. I am not called to preach Christ from the pulpit while ignoring him when I step away from it. In fact, the majority of my life with Christ happens when I'm not teaching. I should be open with others about my faith, my goals in life, my love, faith and steadfastness, as well as being real that I struggle as I strive to live, by God's grace, for Jesus.
If you've been called to teach God's word, let me ask you this: are you a follower of Christ before you're a teacher? If not, then you're not a very good teacher.
And then I had to ask myself this question: Am I living for Christ in such a way that I would want others to emulate me as they walk with Jesus? I'm not speaking with a self-centered heart in this. Rather, I'm asking this question as a personal challenge of myself. I should strive to live my life in such a way that I would want everyone to imitate me as I imitate Christ. Paul said it this way in his first letter to the Corinthians:
Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. — 1 Corinthians 4:15-16, NIV
Am I doing that? Are you? Are we settling for "good enough"? May it never be.
Jesus, I live for you. I want to live my life for you, by your grace and power, in such a way that others could imitate me as I imitate you, resulting in you being pleased with us.
Thank you for praying. Last Wednesday night, at FLOOD, was absolutely incredible (click here to read all about it). Here's how you can pray for me for this week:
1). This Wednesday night I'm team-teaching with Pastor Lisa at PFB Church at FLOOD. I am so excited to get to teach with her. She's a great communicator and her love for Jesus is infectious. We will be continuing through our James series (James 4:1-12). Please join us if you can. If you can't, join us online (www.pfblive.tv).
2). On Sunday morning I get to teach the young adults on Sunday morning at TOGETHER at 9:45. We are going verse-by-verse through the book of Mark. It is such a blast to be together, and the study is blowing us away.
Last night was ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE!!! Seriously. Here's a run-down of what went on:
1). The worship was powerful and mind-blowing from the very first strum of the guitar. People came PREPARED to worship Jesus. There was no need to get warmed up and then get into it slowly. Rather, everyone came prepared.
2). I preached on all of Psalm 139. Here are the key points of the message:
a). God knows you.
b). God is with you.
c). God created you.
d). God listens to you.
e). There's a need to submit under his authority.
3). The baptisms were a blast. And honestly because of those baptisms, we saw a lot of new people at FLOOD last night. We baptized 3 people last night, bringing the total as of January 2011 to 51 people that have been baptized on Wednesday nights at FLOOD. This never gets old.
4). We partied. We celebrated before God in all that he has been doing, but especially last night. Every time that we have a baptism service, we will throw a party called, "The Encore." It was a blast.
5). During the last song of worship, Jarret invited people to come forward and kneel at the step if they were needing prayer. After the invitation, I saw between 30-40 people at the steps of the stage, crying out to Jesus. As they were crying out, others from FLOOD came up behind them and started praying. It was absolutely mind-blowing.
I had to pass this on to you. Thank you, Jesus, for all that you're up to. And I'm still convinced: the best is yet to come.
Today was Kelley's six-month check-up for our journey with thyroid cancer that started almost 5 years ago. For the past 2.5 years, Kelley has been clean from cancer. Even though this is true, she still has had to go in every six months to get checked. So, over the past two weeks she's had an ultrasound on her neck to check lymph nodes that the doctor had a little concern about and had her blood work done.
Today: we found out the following:
There is no trace of thyoidglobulin (no cancer cells) in her body.
The ultrasound showed that the lymph node that the doctor had some concern over did not change in size so he's not worried about it at all.
We are so thankful. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us about this. Today was a wonderful day.
And even as I write this, I know that many of you reading this are enduring some pretty tough things. I do not want to come out gloating about this time of celebration for me and my family without letting you know that I'm praying for you. Hang in there. God is faithful.