Chrysler Restoration

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Just a short story about restoration. Hope you enjoy!

In his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, John Maxwell tells the story of one of the most incredible restorations in American business history. It happened at the Chrysler Corporation in the early 1980’s. Chrysler was in a mess, despite a long history of success. At one point in Chrysler’s history they had captured an incredible 25% of the entire domestic automobile market.

By the time the 1970’s rolled around, the Chrysler Corporation was in a steady decline. By 1978 they only had 11% of the market. Things looked bleak. The company was headed toward bankruptcy. In November 1978, Chrysler brought a new leader to take over the company. His name was Lee Iacocca. Iacocca had just left Ford in 1978 after serving as their president. When he left Ford, the company, under his leadership, was earning record profits of 1.8 billion in each of the last two years.

The task of turning around Chrysler proved to be enormous. Iacocca described the company as having been run like a small grocery store, despite its size. There were no viable financial systems or controls in place, production and supply methods were a mess, products were built poorly, and nearly all of the divisions were run by turf-minded vice presidents who refused to work as a team.

Morale was very low throughout the company, customer loyalty was low, and the company continued to lose money. Iacocca did everything he knew how to turn things around. He replaced 33 of the 35 vice presidents. He brought in the best leaders he could find. He reduced as many expensed as he could. He grudgingly and humbly went before Congress for loan guarantees so that Chrysler would not go bankrupt.

Finally, he reduced his own salary to $1.00 a year. Iacocca brought about a total restoration to the Chrysler Corporation. By 1983, Chrysler was able to pay back its loans. Before he retired, Chrysler had gained 16% of the market, double what it was in the first years he took over. The company has fought its way back and been restored to a growing, profitable industry.

By Jason Avant

The Wolf Syndrome…

Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is grisly, yet it offers fresh insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin.

First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night. So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his OWN warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more—until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!

From the beginning of time until this moment, mankind has always been drawn to their own lust. 

I don’t believe that there has ever been a time when we “accidentally” sin. Sin is no accident. It is a willful disobedient act and is done only after we throw caution to the wind and yield to the temptation because of our own desire.

Clearly our text expresses this to be true and valid.

Each person is drawn to sin and tempted to sin by the lust of the flesh.

What exactly is lust?… Taken as a verb we find it to be: “A yearning or desire; have a strong or excessive craving.”

Before we go any further I must address that LUST does not come from God. It is a direct emotion sent from the devil. You cannot tell me God invites you to lust and that he’s okay with it.

Truth is, Sin is our own responsibility. Of course, the devil is the author of temptation, but he has to have something to use in the first place. There are some things which, if Satan tried to tempt you with, you would just laugh. To some the smell of alcohol is a very great problem. To others it is a nauseating stench. It is similar with various things. Some of us find sexual perversion disgusting; others find it enticing! We have to deal with lust by getting associated with purity.

Notice that: “The best way to deal with lust is to get connected with purity.”

The bible is very clear when it deals with purity.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

This is where we find the scripture in 1 Peter 5:8 to be our anthem/challenge: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The devil will do everything in his power to sidetrack you and cause the temptations of your flesh to overrule you and overpower your mind.

This is why we must remain ready and on defense at all times.

Truly prepared for battle against the tricks of our flesh.

You cannot put yourself in the way of temptation. There are some of us who deliberately go where sin is! We may be trying to prove how strong we are, but this is foolishness to the extreme.

Why would anyone desire to push the envelope or force the issue of placing sin in the reach of your hands only to find out the end result is death?

Sin when it is finished brings forth death! (James 1:15)

THE WOLF SYNDROME

Just as the Eskimo uses the temptation of blood with the wolf, so does Satan when he uses the temptation of lust to lure you into thinking, “just because is smells good… just because the taste is incredible…”

It doesn’t work this way!

Lust isn’t always a sexual thing.

Lust is desire.

While many lust after flesh fulfilling these desires through pornography and find themselves infatuated with fornication, there are those who cannot seem to escape the grip of a lying tongue.

These are the people who have become trapped by the “WOLF SYNDROME” and now they constantly fight for their lives.

Sin is addicting.

All it takes is one hit off a joint to whet your appetite as a drug addict… All it takes is one drink from a beer can to whet your appetite as an alcoholic… All it takes is one negative phone conversation to breed a lifestyle of gossip…

THIS IS WHY YOU MUST GUARD YOUR HEART FROM LUST!

You have to constantly remain on guard at all times for your soul and for your life.

The best way to remain pure is to guard your heart.

This is the best place we begin.

Proverbs 4:20-27 (ESV)  –  20  My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21  Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22  For they are life to those who find them,and healing to all their flesh. 23  Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. 24  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. 25  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26  Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27  Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

To refrain from killing ourselves by our own lusts we must constantly stay connect to Jesus. After all, He is the very source of our survival. Without Him, I am nothing.

James 1:13-15 (ESV)  –  13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thank you to the General Youth Division for highlighting this lesson on The Commune-ity this month. I pray these notes will be a help to somebody somewhere. Blessings!

By Jason Avant

PERMISSION TO SHINE…

Born on November 6, 1976, in San Jose, California, the oldest of three sons. Tillman excelled at football in high school; as a star player, he helped lead Leland High School to the Central Coast Division I Football Championship. Tillman’s considerable talent landed him a scholarship to Arizona State University (ASU), which he attended after graduating high school.

At ASU, Tillman thrived on the field and in the classroom. The linebacker helped his team to achieve an undefeated season and to make to the 1997 Rose Bowl game. He won the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and was selected as the ASU Most Valuable Player of the Year in 1997. Tillman also earned awards for his performance as a student, winning the Clyde B. Smith Academic Award in 1996 & 1997… The Sporting News Honda Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1997 and the 1998 Sun Angel Student Athlete of Year.

Tillman was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1998 National Football League (NFL) draft. Over time, he earned his place as a starting player and set a new team record for the number of tackles in 2000. Loyal to his team, Tillman turned down a lucrative contract with the St. Louis Rams to stay with the Cardinals in 2001.

When the United States’ invaded Afghanistan, following the September 11th attacks on America, Tillman decided to put his professional career on hold in order to join the U.S. military.

“Sports embodied many of the qualities I deem meaningful,” he said in 2002.

“However, these last few years, and especially after recent events, I’ve come to appreciate just how shallow and insignificant my role is . . . It’s no longer important.”

After finishing the 2001 season, he planned on enlisting in the U.S. Army with his younger brother, Kevin.

His decision to leave the sport to join the military garnered a lot of media attention; some had a hard time believing that Tillman would give up all of the perks of being a professional athlete in order to fight for his country.

Yet Tillman turned down a three-year, $3.6 million contract with the Cardinals enlist. Before starting his military service, Tillman married his high-school girlfriend Marie.

Tillman and his brother went through training to become Army Rangers and were assigned to the second battalion of 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington.

Tillman served in several tours of duty, including time in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as a stay in Afghanistan to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom.

On April 22, 2004, Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan while fighting for the defense of America.

He was not afraid to stand. He knew there was greatness in him, so therefore he gave it all.

Jesus tells the story in Matthew 5 that is very compelling and challenging.

Matthew 5:14-16 — “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who am I not to be. You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Today I give you permission to shine in the middle of a dark world.

I give you permission to soar above the clouds and allow your faith to bring to you the victories that God has for you and your life.

I want you to know more than ever before that God is giving you the greatest source of strength and of power. In fact, it’s so strong that when you release your potential God will back you up and multiply your efforts and you WILL SEE greater results.

I say, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!

Let your hearts be encouraged and strengthen to know that if God is for you then nobody in this world can be against you and that the blessings of the Lord will release in your life and you will find out very soon the God of your salvation will also be the God of your success.

Today I give you permission to SHINE!

I give you the right to be different than everybody else in this world.

1 Peter 2:9-10 — “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

AGAIN … Matthew 5:14 — “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

NOBODY ELSE BUT YOU!!!

You have been chosen!

There is GREAT POWER in knowing that we are able to SHINE at our disposal.

Truth is, when we choose to shine we open the door for others to be themselves and display that greatness that is within them.

Paul Pamer preached about LIGHT at Youth Congress.

Three things I learned:

  1. Light always eliminates darkness
  2. Light is always moving
  3. Produces energy

What do you think could happen to this campus once every sees the greatness in themselves and begins to SHINE in ever area of their lives?

Tilman was an all-star player on the field but what made him truly shine was his ability to push aside the lifestyle of the rich and famous and become a man of humility serving and dying for a great nation. 

My final question to you is this: What are you willing to give up to SHINE the way God intended for you to shine?

By Jason Avant

5 Distractions Young People Face …


This is a message that God birthed in my heart for our local student ministry. What you are about to read consists of my PERSONAL notes. Hope you enjoy. Use as you please. 

Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Distraction #1 – UNBALANCED DIET

The easiest way for you to stay distracted is for you to cheat on the Lord with other things that are far less important than God himself.

You cannot effectively serve God while dating the devil.

Matthew 6 displays this theory: – “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Then verse 33 says: – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

You cannot pray through on Sundays playing with the world on Monday expecting to make it to heaven someday.

It does not work this way.

You have to be completely sold out unto God!

We must have a CRAVING for the things of God.

Consider this: There are many people who have a craving for sweet things between meals. Sweet things give a surge of energy and temporarily satisfy cravings. There are many who have a few sweet things that destroy their spiritual appetite. Men have sweet things. Women have sweet things. Sweet things, whatever they are, dull our hunger for spiritual things. In fact, there are many who lose their entire appetite for spiritual matters because they are living on a diet of sweet things.

This is a DANGER and it is a DISTRACTION!

We have to keep a balanced diet of the Word. It is the BREAD OF LIFE and without this important factor in our lives, we will starve on all the sweet things that the salt (which is you and I) will fade away and dissolve.

Distraction #2 – UNGODLY MUSIC

For some who don’t believe that ungodly music is wrong, let me direct your attention to something powerful that you cannot deny.

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Ok — honest, just, pure, love, good report

What does this have to do with ungodly music?

GREAT QUESTION … Here’s the answer … Does it glorify God?

Can you honestly say that you feel the presence of the Lord when you’re blasting your favorite playlist?

A woman singing songs such as “I kissed a girl and I liked it…”

Lady Gaga saying: “The taste of your skin … The warmth of your hungry lips … Has me so taken and I love the way you can make me dance … From miles away … When I’m with you I’m so sedated … I’m captivated by you”

THE LIKES ON FACEBOOK: Justin Beiber, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry,  Jay-Z, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne & Rihana

Answer this question, how can you honestly say the thoughts in your mind are pure when listening to music from these artists when they involved dirty language, vulgar suggestions and so much more?

Furthermore – how can you honestly step onto the platform and dare to lead worship knowing good and well these lyrics are STUCK IN YOUR HEAD and still have to push aside the negative purpose of each song.

It is a DISTRACTION from the total submission to God.

We must clean out the junk from our iPods and our computers.

If God came down here in flesh and scrolled through your playlist do you think he would approve or would he be ashamed?

Truth is, He does know what you’re listening to and to be totally honest, He is not impressed but rather is probably disgusted at this point.

We want the clean things in life.

Distraction #3 – NEGATIVE CONVERSATIONS

1 Timothy 4:12 – “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

1 Peter 1:15 – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”

Let’s be real for a minute.

This is one area that we struggle with.

Negative conversations are nothing but DRAMA and I don’t like them. I cannot stand the idea neither can I imagine what’s so exciting about tearing down people you supposedly love, making sure everyone around you is “aware” of their wrong doings and no matter how much you’re trying to “help” someone else by giving these warnings… look, it if doesn’t build someone up, don’t even mention their name or talk about them.

What’s so crazy is that if someone is bashing another person to your face chances are they are bashing you to someone else.

And let me address this issue also, all these acronyms that people want to post on Facebook: (LMAO, FML, WTF…) you know exactly what I’m talking about … that is NOT an example of a Holy Ghost filled young person.

You have allowed negative conversation to rule your life.

Please hear my tone and feel my heart beat, when you partake in these types of conversation you fall prey to the attack of the devil instantly cheating on God when it comes to your relationship with him.

He wants nothing more than for you to speak against the positive.

He LOVES discord and he enjoys bringing division into what God has joined together.

And as long as I’m student pastor, from this point on when I hear of you talking junk and being negative about leadership, family, friends and whatever else comes back to me … I will confront you and I will suggest the negative conversation stops!

I’m not the “Senior Pastor” of this church but God did call me to lead you into a deep relationship with Him so therefore I will take that responsibility and will handle such situations as needed.

I’m not at all trying to sound harsh or rude, but I’m trying to save your soul!

Let’s keep the conversation clean and speaking of ……….

Distraction #4 – PEERS

THIS IS A HUGE ONE!

Not everyone around you is here for the same purpose as you.

While you’re trying your best to come closer to God, there will always be someone in your life who doesn’t care about what’s going on in the church and will do their very best to distract you from what God is wanting to do.

These people could care nothing about your walk with God and will do just about anything to sidetrack your mindset from what it should be focused on. Not everyone that comes to this church is here for the same reason. Not everyone desires to have a closer walk with God. Not everyone really cares to know how to be holy and live a pleasing life.

You cannot let what others are doing around you to determine what you will end up doing with your life.

Somewhere you have to make your own choice.

Don’t let your peers distract you.

If you have friends that want to run down, talk trash about and constantly sow seeds of discord about everyone else around … you need to disconnect yourself from them otherwise you’re going to end up in trouble simply because you did not avoid the distraction.

Before I go any further… if you have friends that want to engage you into areas of conversations that resolved around hatred, anger and strife then you need to find new friends and make sure they are the type that will make you better! 

Distraction #5 – IDLE HANDS

It’s been said that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

This in general could mean a lot of things.

Example: Internet sites, Television, Movies, Texting, Laziness

What you do when you’re by yourself will always determine who will be around others.

We must never allow ourselves to have too much free time. Whatever we do, we must glorify God at all times.

Colossians 3:17 – “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Six verses later (Colossians 3:23) – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”

Ladies and Gentlemen: There is a problem with sitting idle by yourselves and not having any source of direction and focus.

I read a quote last week that is now on my background for my phone and iPad. It simply states: “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy is having no goal reach.” – Benjamin Mays

We must stay busy! Keep your mind focused! Don’t become distracted!

  1. Keep a steady balance of God in your life
  2. Keep watch of the music you listen to
  3. Keep your conversations holy and pure
  4. Keep people in your life who will build you up
  5. Keep your hands doing the work of the Lord!
By Jason Avant

Just a Choir Devotion…

In case you didn’t know, I’m blessed not only to serve as student pastor for our church but also as worship director. We’ve started something new during our weekly rehearsals. Yep! You guessed it! Devotions! Below is one I shared with them on September 15th. Hope you enjoy and become challenged.

A system is as strong as its weakest link. All it takes to break a chain is one weak link. In the business world, that one weak link is very often a person. And the reason they’re the weak link is not because they’re a bad person, it’s because they’re not suited for the role they’re in.

QUESTION: When considering the Kingdom of God and our role in the church do we validate our role as a support or a weakness?

Everything we do must be a support to the Kingdom of God. Perhaps you ask the question: “How do we avoid being a weak link?”

I present two things that I sincerely feel are necessary for defining ourselves as a support and not a weakness.

#1 – PRAYER

We must do our part in supporting this ministry through prayer. Scripture encourages us to always: “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes 5:17) When we push aside the things in our lives to “PAUSE” and pray, we allow ourselves to become strong in the Lord.

There is nothing greater than being a man or woman of prayer. I think we would all agree that we could afford to pray more.

I found an interesting quote on this topic and I share it with us: “By the time the average Christian gets his temperature up to normal, everybody thinks he has a fever!” 

The best way to avoid this from happening to us is to maintain a daily walk with God.

I digress … We had a local minister challenge the church to “GROW UP” spiritually. Prayer will cause us to grow leaps and bounds in our relationship with God and as well with people.

If we are all the time fussing and complaining about what we don’t like and how things should be this way and that way … MERCY! We’ll need to be re-baptized and re-filled with the Holy Ghost!

Truth is Jesus said I’d rather you be hot or cold than be luke-warm! Prayer will cause you to be on FIRE when singing praises unto God and leading others in worship.

#2 – EXERCISE

RELAX … I am not talking about physical exercise! I am sincerely referring to the motivation of your faith!

Faith without works is DEAD!

When we are learning songs and are taking time to rehearse we must begin exercising our faith as we think in advance the wondrous things that God is going to do through us when we minister through worship.

It only takes one negative opinion or one negative spirit to through things off guard. I would hate to know that I’m the reason our worship set didn’t connect with the congregation ultimately causing us to fail when we should have succeeded.

Have faith in what you’re singing about.

Have faith that God will use us to set the platform for the miraculous.

Have faith that while singing about the Healer, somebody gets just that!

When we join TOGETHER and exercise our faith, anything is possible and anything can happen! It just takes a little work put into action!

When faith is present in our rehearsals and in our services, there is no telling what God can and will do through us. We just have to exercise our faith!

We can do all things through Christ which strengthens us!

There you have it Ladies and Gentlemen. Just a Choir Devotion. I truly feel this goes beyond the responsibility of a music department. It digs deeper and demands a corresponding action. We must unite together in everything we do for the Kingdom. Our job is to be a support not a hinderance. PRAY for the power of the Holy Ghost to fall during every service. EXERCISE your faith for the miraculous. Trust me … God will show up, show off and show out.

By Jason Avant

The Saga of the Rotten House

I enjoying finding good stories. Funny or serious. In this case, cute. Yes, I just said cute. Nonetheless has a cool point.

She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases. On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things. On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candle-light, put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of spring water. When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried everything. Cleaning, mopping, and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were steam cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Pest control specialists were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.Nothing worked. People stopped coming over to visit. Repairmen refused to work in the house. The maid quit. Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move. A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they still could not find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got out to the local Realtors and eventually even the local Realtors refused to take their calls. Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place. The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day. She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork. A week later the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home……… And to spite the ex-wife, they even took the curtain rods!!!!!

Seeing the humor above, I did find a great challenge that I wish to express in this post.

The writer of 1 Corinthians brings a powerful question to our lives and is one that should never be taken lightly. It clearly says: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (c6 v19)

Could it be that we as Apostolic people often times focus so much on the outward appearance that we’ve neglected the most important issue? That being the state of the heart? Don’t get me wrong. Holiness Standards are vital and extremely imperative. But what happens when you’ve dressed the perfect style and you’ve walked the with the right strut all the while forgetting what is most important in your life? How do you justify the neglect and the irresponsibility that you’ve allowed to corrupt your soul? When did it become okay to allow sin to be “SET INSIDE” the depths of your soul? Who gave permission to live a double standard? Why did you allow the story of your life to be “The Saga of the Rotten House?”

The answer comes to surface when we investigate the evidence of a dead church. A people who used to pray without ceasing. A man or woman who has failed to push the plate away and seek God. What this generation needs more than ever before is a fresh anointing and convicting power to weaken their knees and bring them back to the cross.

Excuse my horrible grammar but I stand challenged as a man. Forget the positions I hold and the sermons I’ve preached. At the end of the day, do I find the verdict to be guilty as charged or will I hear the Lord say, “Well done thy good and faithful servant?” Truth demands a verdict. It will always require the very best and very honest.

Romans 12:1 says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

There is coming a day when the Lord will call home those who have been purchased with His blood. What will He find inside YOUR house? What will your BODY express to the One who gave it all for you and for me?

By Jason Avant

theGATHERING – A Story of Anthony Robles

March 30, 2011 gave us a platform for an incredible night that will not be soon forgotten. We hosted out first Wednesday Night worship service, theGATHERING. God helped us and allowed favor for some 13 first time guests to be in attendance. We had a total of 38 in the student worship center. Due to severe weather our April service was postponed. This week we will be able to have theGATHERING. I am beyond stoked! I’m ready for God to move once again. We are hearing reports of some 40 guests that have been invited are planning to attend. I ask that you pray for REVERB and myself as I find the mind of God and speak a life changing word to our guests and students.

Speaking of… I share with you a remarkable story posted

If you haven’t heard about the new NCAA Wrestling Champion Anthony Robles, don’t feel bad. Many have not. After all, he’s not an NCAA basketball superstar or college football Heisman Trophy winner. However, maybe you should still consider his achievement. Arizona State’s Anthony Robles won the 125-pound division of the NCAA Wrestling Championship…with only one leg.

Born without his right leg, Robles defeated Iowa’s Matt McDonough in the title match. Robles came in seventh last year and fourth two years prior. Dedicated and adamant on improving this year, amazingly, Robles went undefeated on the season finishing 36-0 and after his championship win, 17,099 people in attendance gave Robles a standing ovation.

What Anthony Robles has achieved is obviously a tremendous accolade in itself, however two things come to mind that make Robles an even bigger hero: one is the apparent disability Robles had to mentally and physically overcome, but the other is the fact that Robles represents the “ICON” athlete in a sports world that is so engulfed in NCAA, NBA and NFL superstars.

Robles showcases strength, dominance and grace and the ability to overcoming overwhelming obstacles. Robles delivers inspiration for the young athlete working hard to make a mark.

Additionally, Robles portrays opportunity resulting from confidence, superior work ethic and persistence. There are no limitations to success, only you can defeat yourself. To go undefeated for the entire season is remarkable, and to do it in athletics with a disability such as Robles against “unfair” competition is all the more powerful.

In the words of my friend, Nate Rios … “DREAM BIG OR DON’T DREAM AT ALL!”

You can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to. Scripture tells us clearly, “I can do all things through Christ which gives me strength.”

GO FOR IT!

Trust in God. He will bring you to victory!

By Jason Avant

TEARS

In Psalm 6:6 David says: “I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.” (KJV)

Some 45 chapters later we find David asking of the Lord:

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 

In essence, pouring out his heart with tears, David was completely honest with God. We can be honest with God even when we are filled with a variety of emotions. However, crying releases the gentleness of man and surrenders his emotions. Because we trust in an all-powerful God, we don’t have to be victims of circumstance but rather be victorious over any and all obstacles in our lives. Go ahead. Cry!

Psalm 126:5 speaks a lie changing volume: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (KJV)

Again, Cry! Let the power of your TEARS speak life into you situation!

By Jason Avant

Lighthouse Church – Another Level

I remind us of the words spoken on CNN.com after an EF4 Tornado struck the church property of Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse Church building at 333 Old Humboldt Road was destroyed by an EF-4 tornado on February 5, 2008.

God turned a tradegy into a testimony. Bro. and Sis. Lance and their children and 3 other families were inside the building when the tornado hit. Everyone survived without even a scratch! TO GOD BE THE GLORY! We can replace buildings but we cannot replace people!

The “CHURCH” has not been destroyed, just the building! We will be back bigger and better and taking it to another level! God has great things in store for us! “The latter shall be greater than the past!”

Pray that God will bless us during this time or transition. We appreciate your prayers and concern.

Later on in 2008, we were blessed to break ground. Our local newspaper covered our ground breaking ceremony. I share with you this story.

Members of Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church have been displaced since the Feb. 5 tornado, but on Friday afternoon, they dug their way forward during a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of their future sanctuary.

Pastor Donald Lance told the membership that moving forward would be the church’s theme in the coming year.

“Every journey, no matter how big or how small, starts with a single step,” Lance said. “We will move forward and not only recover what was lost, but gain more than we ever had.”

The tornado destroyed Lighthouse’s sanctuary at 333 Old Humboldt Road.

The church has since been able to sell its six acres of property and purchase 31 acres on Old Humboldt Road and Passmore Lane, the site of a new church.

Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist and Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris wished the church well during Friday’s ceremony.

Rhino Construction Group will be in charge of the construction of the 14,000-square-foot sanctuary, which will eventually expand to include a family life center, a soccer and baseball field.

According to the artist’s rendering, the front of the building will have large glass windows, which contractors said could withstand strong winds.

The family life and youth center will be individual buildings with basements. Lance said the church construction is projected to cost $2.7 million to $3.2 million. “We will start our capital campaign in January or February,” Lance said. The church hopes to be in its new sanctuary 12 months after construction starts.

Despite holding Wednesday and Sunday services at other church locations, Lance said his membership has remained steady at 250 people. “It’s been God who has allowed us to stay strong,” said Bridget Lance, wife of Donald Lance.

Following the storm, Lighthouse began holding services at Northside Assembly of God. Later, Lighthouse moved its services to Forest Heights United Methodist Church.

On Dec. 21, the church will return to Northside Assembly, Lance said.

“Everyone in the city has been good about taking us in,” said Gary McAlpin, who has been a member for six years. “We took care of our last church, and God blessed us with another one. We can’t wait for our new building.”

Members of the church shouted in excitement as Lance, Gist, Harris and representatives from Rhino lifted their shovels from the dirt.

“Success!” Lance shouted while the congregation clapped.

“For what does not move is dead, and we refuse to die; we will continue to move forward,” Lance said.

I am more than priviledged to tell you that God has given us great favor and miraculous healing. For the building may have been destroyed but the body has been delivered. There is no force able enough to stop what God has begun in the city of Jackson. We have moved forward, enlarged our vision and now we aim to GROW as God gives the increase.

With great joy, I am proud to announce the dedication of our brand new building to be held on Friday, May 27th at 7:30 PM.

If you are able and are in the area, please stop by and help us celebrate the great things that God has done!!! Look, what the LORD has done!!!

By Jason Avant

The Endurance Experience…

Some 86 years ago, on December 7, 1914, Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 28 men aboard the ship Endurance entered the pack ice off the continent of Antarctica.

Their goal?

To be the first party to trek across the continent on foot.

Nearly a century later, the tale of Endurance remains one of the most fascinating examples of human triumph in the face of adversity.

The Endurance would sail, through the ice, for just over a month until January 18, 1915 when the ship was trapped in the crushing ice of the Antarctic pack.

Despite the efforts of the crew, Endurance would remain lodged in the ice for the next nine months. The thick ice of the Antarctic pack pressed constantly, threatening to crush Endurance to splinters. That threat forced the crew to abandon ship in October 1915. From now on the party would live on the ice. One month later, the ship sank, stranding the crew — with minimal stores and three short-boats — on the drifting pack ice. The men survived for the next six months, killing seals, penguins, and ultimately their own sled-dogs for food.

In April 1916, the 28 men spotted an island on the horizon.

The ice floe broke just enough, allowing them to put to sea in some of the roughest waters on Earth. Seven days later they landed on the uninhabited and inhospitable Elephant Island. Far from regular shipping lanes, Shackleton knew the chances of a rescue from their location were nonexistent. They may be on land but they were far from safe, farther from home.

On April 24th he set sail, with a crew of five men, for the populated island of South Georgia — 800 miles away.

They sailed for 17 days, navigating by sextant, fighting their through storming high seas of freezing water and they made it. They reached South Georgia Island! The weather and their own condition forced them, however, to land on the uninhabited side of the island. Shackleton and two other men were forced trek on foot across the island.

In 36 hours they traversed 22 miles across the glacier-clad, thousand-feet high mountains to reach the whaling port of Stromness on May 20, 1916.

His attempts to rescue his crewmen left behind on Elephant Island would not be successful until August 30, 1916, a full 22 months after they’d initially set out.

Remarkably, all 28 men survived the ordeal.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN…

The next time you face an obstacle that seems impossible to overcome remember the story of Endurance… and press on.

Success is gained not by taking the easiest path.

It is achieved by taking consistent and persistent action until your goals have been achieved.

And if you think for one second that Job planned on facing the obstacle he faced while loosing everything we worked for, then we must relearn and come correct concerning his life, his passion, and his relationship with God!

No one plans for disaster. No one schedules to loose homes from a storm. No one can possible draw out the plans for life and never expect delays.

Life will constantly throw us for different loops, but what makes the end result is our attitude towards the storm, trial, and obstacle invading our lives.

This only makes us better Christians.

If Jesus could speak “PEACE” to the storm in the New Testament, then He is well able to speak the same today.

Nothing can stop us from going to another level except for ourselves.

We must come to the full knowledge of God’s love, God’s grace, and God’s compassion.

He loves us so much and His only desire is that we may live and multiply.

And if we can learn to stay strong in the midst of our storms then we can learn to see the blessings that God gives us through our faithfulness to Him!


By Jason Avant