Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

Have you ever had one of those moments during service when God nudges you so hard that you think you might fall out of your seat because of it?

That happened to me yesterday as Vince ran up and down the aisle-way with a microphone asking people to share what they were thankful for as we come upon Thanksgiving 2017.

People shared so many different things ranging from cancer survival, addiction recovery, family members returning home, people were thankful for freedom, and for God answering prayers with miracles. It was beautiful to hear!

I remember talking to God during this time saying something along the lines of:

“Jesus, I just don’t understand! See…if you answered our prayer for children you would get so much praise from Chris and I. Look at everyone sharing what you have done for them! We would sing your name from the rooftops (even though we are both afraid of heights!) We would never stop praising you for that little miracle. We would be so grateful…People would hear how amazing you are because you came through for us! I just don’t understand what you are waiting on?”

In that moment, I was nudged hard to start asking a different question.

“What if people could hear how amazing Jesus is because of how He walked with us through this season MORE than Him actually answering the prayer with a yes?”

Bear with me on this…. what if God’s goodness, grace, and love would shine brighter in this season of waiting? What if God is calling me to be just as grateful and thankful during this “no” or “wait” period than if He were to just answer “Yes?"

You might be thinking…Jess we know this already. We need to be thankful and grateful no matter what season we are in. This is easy to say, but that can be super hard to live out when the desires of our hearts are not met yet.

Especially when they are not met the way that you and I THINK they should be met.

Transparency here…. I can really struggle with this. Especially because I am a bit of a control freak at times, and there have been many ugly cries on this topic.  However, this hasn’t changed my love or trust for Jesus. So what can you do?

We can run to scripture when we are struggling, pray for one another, and be in community with one another.

God can do so much more than what we can comprehend!

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

God is GOOD, and His plans are GOOD!

Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God is working on us daily! We can trust Him with that!

Philippians 1:6 (NIV) being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Today I want to nudge you a bit to be grateful for the things that God HAS blessed you with, and try to find reasons to be grateful for the season you are in at the moment.  

Whatever you are struggling with this Holiday Season, can I tell you that Jesus wants to walk with you through it? As you are waiting for whatever it is that you have been praying like crazy for, Jesus knows and hears your prayers as He hears mine. He wants to use scripture, prayer, and community to come alongside you in this season. He might be challenging those of you that have come out of a season to be the light at the end of the tunnel for someone else.

If you are struggling, find someone to talk to. If you are not in a small group, or serving in a ministry with others, I'd be happy to chat with you about that.  If you relate to this specific topic, I’d be happy to talk to you. (Big disclaimer though: Realize ugly cries are permitted if you hang with me on this subject because I'm in that boat as well.) Just don’t go it alone. How can we be praying for you? Our team would be happy to do that for you! Tell us at

What are things that you do to have an attitude of gratitude in a season of waiting?


Loving God Takes 7 Days

Yesterday we talked about how loving God takes 7 days a week. We put so much effort into Sunday’s that we often don’t realize we neglect the other 6 days. Jesus wants you to know Him. He wants you to spend time with Him.

Jason and I talked about some resources during service that might help you with being more intentional Monday-Saturday when it comes to spending time with Jesus, and sharing your faith down. Here is just a short list of some things that were mentioned during the service. Also don't forget that Small Group sign-ups is right around the corner!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9New International Version (NIV)

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Stories of Serving - Emily Zheng

Stories of Serving - Emily Zheng

Written by Lindsey Taylor

Emily’s family owns a Chinese/sushi restaurant in town called Chopsticks. She’s involved in numerous things at school and work, and with every free time she gets, she states she jokingly wastes by relaxing. She really likes watching movies, cooking terrible meals for one, and anything artistic. She also likes pretending she’s “a world-class ukulele player.”

Emily’s been coming to SCC's youth group since her sophomore year, but her family actually attends a church on the south side of Indianapolis called Aldersgate Free Methodist Church, where there is a Chinese service along with English. For the past several months, she’s been attending SCC on Sundays.

She’s a part of the High School Youth Group at SCC, and helps serve at the Middle School, where she is a high school leader for the girl’s 7th grade small group. She loves getting to know younger students from all different backgrounds and being able to be a part of their life every week. She says she always thinks back to her middle school self, listening to friends talking about youth group, and wanting to go so badly. She feels extremely lucky that she can now be someone who helps these children get to youth group, and is incredibly proud to be a part of something that can be a safe haven for all kinds of children.

She states serving at Middle School has changed her in countless, positive ways. “It's not something that you notice from week to week, but every time I take a moment to reflect, I'm always overcome by gratitude. Serving at the Middle School has made me a more confident, compassionate, fearless servant, and a more inspired leader. I've learned so much from the other leaders and especially from the kids. As much as we're supposed to help the kids grow, I've grown myself. I learn right alongside them!”

Serving has also made her more fearless in her relationship with God. In her group, she’s been told "We win when we experience what they [the kids] experience," which has really rung true for her over the past year and a half. Before the Middle School group, she was not nearly as bold as she is now in sharing her faith with others. She says, “I wasn't brave enough to raise my hands during worship. I didn't have the guts to pray in front of people. I definitely didn't have the guts to stand in front of a room full of middle schoolers and dance to "Party in the USA." I've become more intentional and passionate about my relationships, in big loud ways like dancing, and in small, quiet ways, like prayer.” 

Stories of Serving - Amanda Catt

Stories of Serving - Amanda Catt

Written by Lindsey Taylor

Amanda is married to her husband Alva. She has 2 step children, ages 22 and 24, and a 7 year old daughter. She also has 3 dogs. In her free time, Amanda and her family like to go fishing, sit out on the porch, and play games with friends.

Amanda has been coming to SSC since 2011, and currently serves in the KidZone. She states she knew it was the right church as soon as she walked in. She loves how it’s “come as you are”, and she always feels at home and welcomed.

She loves pouring God’s word into the children and seeing them understand what it means. She says, “When one of them comes up to you and tells you something we studied weeks ago, it is so awesome! I just love to watch them grow.” She enjoys watching how simple matters don't bother the children for long, “When something happens, not much later they are like, ‘Oh I'm over it.’”

In her time serving, it’s taught her how to improve her relationship with people by trying to think like a child herself, and not take offenses as much as well.

Stories of Serving - Dan Blackford

Stories of Serving - Dan Blackford

Written by Lindsey Taylor

Dan has been married for 30 years to his wife, Nancy. Together they have three daughters Kylie, Taylor, and Micah, that are grown and out of the house.

He and his wife just adopted a dog from the shelter named Hatchi. When he’s at home, he enjoys gardening and making the place look nice.

Dan has been attending SCC for 25 years and has served in various capacities ranging from leading worship to working in Kidzone. Dan currently serves on the tech team.

He likes the team atmosphere and the fact that, “We’re all pulling for the same end result, and that is to see Jesus lifted high.” He says it allows him to use the talents that God has given him and it lets him be around people that sharpen him.

Being in community with others completes him and helps him see who God is a little more clearly by doing ministry with them.


Stories of Serving - Amber Nobbe

Stories of Serving - Amber Nobbe

Written by Lindsey Taylor

Amber is married to Roger Nobbe and has a daughter, 12 year old Marcie, and a son, 6 year old Drew. They have been attending Shelbyville Community Church for about 3 years. Amber originally got involved serving in the nursery before changing to tech booth, and has stayed with it for 2 years.

She says Todd Crenshaw is one of the reasons she serves, “He teaches and encourages me.  He also works with your schedule and understands the balance we all need to have in our lives.”

This semester, she’s also co-leading an online bible study with Pastor Jess. She’s learned so much leading this study, and loves getting to know other great women who struggle with the same things she does.She’s also learned much from Todd, Brandon, Brad, Jason and Jessica about how much God loves us and wants to be with us every moment of every day.

“I've learned from them that we are all broken and none of them claim to have it all together and it’s ok! As far back as I can remember I have understood and believed that Jesus died on the cross for us, but since I started to serve at SCC I understand that God wants a personal relationship with us.  I am learning how to listen for him.  I am also learning to show people forgiveness and grace, even when I don't feel like they deserve it.”

If you're interested in seeing what service opportunities exist on the Tech Team click here.

Simplify - Choosing a Life Verse


What to look for in a life verse
Life verses often reflect an individual’s story and personality. I hope by now I have convinced you of the value of choosing a life verse  — whether for this current season or as a rallying cry for the rest of your life. What characteristics are important in a life verse of your own? Look for a few key traits.

Call to Action
An effective life verse serves as a call to action. By this, I don’t mean it necessarily tells you what to do. My life verse happens to be instructional in this way  — be steadfast  — but many good life verses are not. Nonetheless, the message of a good life verse should call you to action. In the examples I cited earlier, the person’s life verse reminded him or her to do everything through Jesus the Vine, or to look for life “to the full” in spite of tragic circumstances. A good life verse should motivate you to run the right race for an eternal, imperishable prize. Find a verse that doesn’t leave you sitting comfortably on your backside, but rather drives you to act on the things that matter most.

Find a life verse that speaks to an area in your life where you need extra reinforcement. Don’t pick a verse that simply augments an area where you’re already strong; look for a verse that supports you where you are weak. Someone who is naturally filled with God’s peace doesn’t need, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14: 27), but someone who is in bondage to fear might! Find a life verse that fills the gaps in your life and undergirds you where you need it most.

Short and Sweet
In order for your life verse to serve as an effective rallying cry throughout your day, it must be succinct. Don’t choose several verses. Don’t choose Psalm 119, which has 176 verses! Look for a single verse  — or, at most, a short two- or three-verse passage. It should be concise enough to memorize and to be recited in the heat of battle as you go about your day.

Choose a life verse that leaves you feeling better than you did before you read it. You don’t need harsh words of truth or conviction repeatedly drilled into your mind throughout the day. So, don’t choose Romans 3: 23, for example: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We need the truth of this Scripture, to be sure. But for your life verse, find a verse that emphasizes God’s benevolence toward you rather than your shortcomings before Him. Choose a life verse that is encouraging, uplifting, and positive; one that motivates you and infuses you with hope.



I have included a catalog of possible life verses in Appendix B. These verses are sorted by topic to make it easier for you to find a verse that fits you. Other places to look for potential verses include your Bible, an online Bible, a book that lists God’s promises by categories, or a Bible promise app on your mobile device.

Your Bible
If you’re in the habit of underlining and highlighting Bible verses as I am, flip through your Bible’s pages and read the verses you have marked. Perhaps you’ve already underlined the verse you will choose as your life verse. If you find several, make a list of the top contenders. If your Bible has a concordance, you can search it for key words that resonate with you, such as peace, joy, faithfulness, etc.

Online Bible
Use free online Bible software such as YouVersion ( to search for key words. If you think a verse on joy would serve you well, search for “joy” and then scroll through the verses in the Bible that contain that word.

Bible Promise Books
Several publishing companies have published inexpensive, pocket-size books that contain hundreds of promises from Scripture, categorized into dozens of topics, such as anger, contentment, eternal life, hope, God’s love, peace, redemption, salvation, trust, worry, and so on. These books are available as e-books and in different versions of the Bible. Pick up the book that matches the Bible version you prefer to read  — and then search according to the topics that most resonate with you.

  • New Living Translation: The NLT Bible Promise Book (Tyndale House)
  • New International Version: Bible Promises for You (Zondervan)
  • King James Version or New Life Version: The Bible Promise Book (Barbour)

Bible Promises App
Same idea as a Bible promise book, but mobile friendly. Go to the app store on your device and search “Bible promises.” A number of inexpensive or free apps are available to help you search Scripture by key word or topic.



Using the resources described above, create a list of verses that resonate with you, and then prayerfully consider each one. Don’t make a quick decision; rather, give it time until you feel a sense of clarity about which verse to pick. Once you have selected a life verse, commit it to memory and post it in places you will see throughout your day to keep it fresh in your mind.



There are no hard-and-fast rules about life verses. You can change verses at any time. Though I have chosen a main life verse (1 Corinthians 15: 58), I have also leaned in to other verses for different seasons. Aim for finding a verse that will serve you for the long haul, one that can be a lighthouse for you throughout the journey of your life.




PSALM 3: 3-4 You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD,   and he answers me from his holy mountain.

LAMENTATIONS 3: 22-23 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

ZEPHANIAH 3: 17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

JOHN 10: 27-29 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

ROMANS 8: 38-39 I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

ROMANS 10: 13 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

EPHESIANS 1: 13 You also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.



NEHEMIAH 9: 6 You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

PSALM 27: 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

PSALM 71: 5-6 You have been my hope, Sovereign LORD,   my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.   I will ever praise you.

PSALM 116: 1-2 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

HABAKKUK 3: 2 LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

PHILIPPIANS 4: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!



PSALM 82: 3-4 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

PROVERBS 19: 17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,   and he will reward them for what they have done.

MATTHEW 25: 37-40 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I   tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

JAMES 1: 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. 1  

JOHN 3: 17-18 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love   of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.



PSALM 119: 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

MATTHEW 6: 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

MATTHEW 6: 34 Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble Each day has enough trouble of its own.

PHILIPPIANS 4: 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

PHILIPPIANS 4: 19 My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

HEBREWS 13: 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I   leave you; never will I forsake you.”



JOSHUA 1: 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

PSALM 27: 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation  — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life  — of whom shall I be afraid?

ISAIAH 41: 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I   will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

JOHN 16: 33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

ROMANS 1: 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

PHILIPPIANS 4: 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

1 TIMOTHY 6: 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

2 TIMOTHY 1: 7 The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

1 JOHN 4: 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.



DEUTERONOMY 6: 6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

JOSHUA 24: 15 But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

PROVERBS 3: 5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

ISAIAH 40: 30-31 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

JOHN 15: 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

1 CORINTHIANS 10: 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

COLOSSIANS 3: 23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

2 TIMOTHY 2: 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.



PSALM 139: 13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

ROMANS 15: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

COLOSSIANS 2: 6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

1 THESSALONIANS 5: 16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

JAMES 1: 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.



PSALM 18: 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

PSALM 25: 4-5 Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

JEREMIAH 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

MICAH 7: 7 As for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

MARK 10: 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

ROMANS 8: 28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

PHILIPPIANS 1: 6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.



JEREMIAH 9: 23-24 This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.

2 CORINTHIANS 12: 9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so   that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

EPHESIANS 2: 8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith  — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God  — not by   works, so that no one can boast.

PHILIPPIANS 2: 3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

PHILIPPIANS 3: 7 Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

JAMES 4: 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.



PROVERBS 31: 8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

ISAIAH 1: 17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

JEREMIAH 22: 3 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

MICAH 6: 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

ZECHARIAH 7: 9-10 This is what the LORD Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”



JEREMIAH 31: 3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

MATTHEW 22: 37-39 Jesus replied: “‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

JOHN 13: 34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

ROMANS 12: 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

EPHESIANS 4: 1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

COLOSSIANS 3: 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

1 PETER 4: 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.



EXODUS 33: 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

PSALM 46: 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

MATTHEW 11: 28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

ROMANS 8: 1 There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

ROMANS 12: 17-18 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.



ACTS 20: 24 I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me  — the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

1 CORINTHIANS 9: 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

1 CORINTHIANS 15: 58 My dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

2 CORINTHIANS 4: 7-9 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

GALATIANS 6: 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

PHILIPPIANS 2: 12-13 My dear friends, as you have always obeyed  — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence  — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

PHILIPPIANS 3: 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

HEBREWS 12: 1 Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

JAMES 1: 2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

JAMES 1: 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.



PSALM 51: 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

PSALM 139: 23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

PROVERBS 4: 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

EZEKIEL 36: 26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

ROMANS 12: 1-2 I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God  — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is  — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

PHILIPPIANS 4: 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable  — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy  — think about such things.



ISAIAH 6: 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

JOHN 13: 14-15 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

JOHN 15: 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

GALATIANS 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

EPHESIANS 5: 1-2 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

PHILIPPIANS 1: 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

1 PETER 4: 19 Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to   do good.


Hybels, Bill (2014-08-19). Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul (pp. 285-301). Tyndale Momentum. Kindle Edition. 

Serve - Day 5

Serve - Day 5

Written by Carrie Dile

Philippians 2: 3-4Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.  Be humble thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 

Mine.  That is one of the very first words we learn to speak, right after mama of course.  Yes, I’m a mom and I loved to hear my sweet, little daughter say my name.  I couldn’t hear it enough actually.  In fact, I loved hearing her learn to jabber and talk in general until the one day she said the word…….mine.  Why is that one of the first words we learn?  We start out wanting things to be ours and go our way.  Pretty much no one else matters when you are two and you want what you want!  Human beings are selfish.  We are all selfish in one way or another; it is part of our flesh.  Selfish ambition is one of the acts of sinful nature (Gal.5:20).  Although not as obvious as stealing or adultery, selfishness can hide in you and you may never know it.  

Not too long after we start using the fabulous word “mine”, we start trying to impress others.  We want everyone we know to like us, to the point where we are sometimes willing to do whatever it takes to get them to do so.  Why is this so important to us?  We all want to be liked, or should I say loved.  The truth is, we all want and need love.  God is love.  He loves us; you and me, so this is natural for us to want this more than anything.  Once we realize that we have God’s love, the less we will worry about impressing others.  His opinion of us is the only one that truly matters.

Once we feel loved, it is easy to then give that love to someone else.  Serving others becomes something that you “want” to do versus something that you feel you “should” do.  Jesus took on the very nature of a servant, and like Jesus we should have the attitude of a servant.  We serve because He served, out of love for others, not because we feel we have to.  Serving someone that we love or care about is easy, but serving a stranger can be quite the opposite.  When was the last time you stopped and helped a complete stranger?  We are called to treat others as we would want to be treated.  Jesus treated everyone equally.  He was humble.  In fact, Christ was the perfect example of humility.  We are called to act like Him.  

In this life, you can expect people to serve you, or you can look for people to serve.  I know I have passed up plenty of opportunities to serve others in my life, but the one thing that I do now that I did not do years ago is pray.  I pray to God to show me who and where I can serve, where I can take time to listen to someone who is hurting or just needing to talk, andwhere can I put someone else before myself.  God will show you as well if you seek Him, pray and read His word.  

Heavenly Father, I thank you for all that you are and most importantly for loving me.  Thank you for showing me that I am called to be a servant just like Jesus.  Help me to not be selfish, or worry about impressing others, but to put others first.  Let me live to glorify you.  In your name I pray, Amen.

Serve - Day 4

Serve - Day 4

Written by Jamie Davis

Colossians 4:5-6 says, "Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response to everyone." 

Social media: When people hear those two words, it can either bring feelings of joy or distress. Social media can be a great way to spread awareness of something you are passionate about or even just to share about your latest meal. It can be a very enjoyable thing. But social media is also often used to spread hate. It is much easier to type something hateful on a computer screen than it is to say those same words in real life. Sometimes, it is hard to get across just how you are feeling, so you come off as angry or offended. I have seen this verse really play out in my life lately, especially when it comes to social media. I have a few Facebook friends who have very different political views than me. One friend takes great pleasure in expressing her views and challenging mine and others. This acquaintance also has other very vocal friends who have similar views to her and they aren't afraid to get involved. A lot of times, their challenges disintegrate into hateful comments. I'll be honest, their remarks can make me mad, but I always try to think, "if a non-believer saw me returning their hateful comments, what would they think about my relationship with God?" In my opinion, you are serving the other person by not getting involved in conversations like that and stooping to that level. I can't imagine that Jesus would be caught having a hateful political debate on Facebook. You are His example to the world and hopefully, others will see that there is something different about you. 

When it comes to politics, people tend to get angry very quickly and turn to being mean or hateful. But is that really glorious or attractive? Or even the right response? Instead, I can choose to lift the other person up and really listen to them, no matter their differing views. It may require stepping back from the screen, cooling down, and then thinking, "She/he is God's child and He loves her/him just as much as He loves me." We are called to love everyone; I can't pick and choose. 

"But he voted for _____." "But he supports ____." "Only an idiot would vote for _____." Did God stutter when He said to love everyone? As Christians, we have to set a good example of what Christ-followers are supposed to be. By serving and loving others, we are serving God. By listening to their views, we are showing the acceptance and approval of God. It is selfish to take the love and mercy that God gives you and not give the same to other people. Serving doesn'talways involve the big things, it can also just mean stepping away from a conversation that is quickly heading towards hatefulness, thereby glorifying God and honoring the other person. You never know, maybe that other person in the debate needed someone to show them that political conversations do not mean hate. Who knows? A gracious response to a heated conversation could make the difference between someone turning away or turning to God. I want to be that person who draws others to God. How about you?

Serve - Day 3

Serve - Day 3

Written by Jamey Smith

Have you accepted Christ as your lord and savior and experienced the gift of God’s grace and forgiveness. The spiritual high tingles from head to toe from knowing that you no longer are a slave to the bondage of your sin. Sin that had been dragging you down for longer than you know. Baggage weight you didn’t even know you were carrying has been lifted off your shoulders and suddenly you feel it; FREEDOM.

Now What?

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Now Go, Share

Go to family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. Go and share your story. Share that spiritual high you felt when you said “yes” to Jesus, share how you were carrying baggage you didn’t know you had and now it’s gone. Share the freedom.

I accepted Christ at a men’s encounter on February 2, 2013. I remember when I got to the men’s encounter that I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea how much baggage I was carrying around. I had no idea I was going to accept Christ as my savior.

By the end of the weekend of the encounter, the baggage I had been carrying around, the sin I had been storing in my soul; was gone. It is hard to describe how it feels to not be a slave to the bondage of sin anymore. It is hard to describe how it feels to be FREE.


When you are on a spiritual high, you want to serve the world all at once! But the truth is, not everyone knows what their gift is to be able to serve in order to serve effectively and whole heartedly. If you don’t know what your gift is, pray and ask God. 

Every day I pray out loud to God during my drive to work. While I was asking God how I could serve Him, He asked me, “Who are you”? At first, I was like, you are God. You know who I am. Again he asked me, “Who are you”? I answered Him. I am Jamey Smith. I am a dad. I am a coach. I’m a mentor. I am a leader. I am like an overgrown kid. And God said yes. And so…. So my service will be with students and young adults.

Ok, so the crazy thing is that TJ came to me 1 week later and asked if I would be interested in being a leader in high school ministry. He was really trying to sell the idea and the whole time I was smiling because God already told me that is what I should be doing.

Four years later, I am still in high school ministry. I have made friends with so many of the students, their parents, and with other leaders. But most importantly, I have served and I have helped lead students to Jesus. I have served using my God given skill, to be a light for others, and to glorify God.