Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Five Enemies of Team Unity

As we close out 2008, I am looking forward to helping our congregation make a running start into 2009. My focus is more on Building and Strengthening our leadership/ministry teams, placing extra enfaces on Unity. God has designed for His people to live and grow in Community, to work together as a team. It is only when we are working together in Community that we can truly call ourselves The Church of Jesus Christ; The Body of Christ.

There are obvious things that get in the way of us being united and it is important to identify what they are and make sure to avoid or eliminate them. What are the opponents of team Unity; that get in the way of healthy Community? If we don’t find and eliminate these enemies, we will not achieve Team Unity.

Below are Five enemies of Team Unity

1. Poor Communication
When the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, strife sets in

2. Gossip
Gossip is when a negative comment is discussed with anyone who can't help solve
the problem

3. Unresolved Disagreements
This happens when a leader doesn't know they exist or avoids confrontation

4. Lack of Shared Purpose
This happens when the leader doesn't restate the goal, the vision, and the mission early and often

5. Sanctioned Incompetence
Keeping an inefficient team leader because we feel sorry for them or because of who they are

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Road To Recovery Part 3

The Road to Recovery - Part 3
DeAntwan Fitts
Outline provided by Rick Warren (used with permission)
November 23rd, 2008


R ealize I'm not God; I admit I'm powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable.

E arnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.

C onciously Choose to commit all my life and will to Christ's Care and Control.

Jesus, "Come to me all you who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me... For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Mt. 11:28-30 (Ph)


1. Pride; I don't want to admit I need help.
"...Arrogant people are on the way to ruin." Pr. 18:12 (GN)

2. Guilt: I'm ashamed to ask God for help.
"Problems far too big for me to solve are piled higher than my head. Meanwhile my sins, too many to count, have all caught up with me, and I am ashamed to look up."
Ps. 40:12 (LB)

3. Fear: I'm afraid of what I'd have to give up.
"How does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process? Is anything worth more than his soul?" Mk 8:36 (LB)

4. Worry: I confuse the decision phase with the problem-solving phase.
"Cast all your anxiety on God because He cares for you." 1 Pet5 :7

"God, who began the good work within you, will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his love is finally finished." Phil 1:8 (LB)

5. Doubt: My faith seems so small.
"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed... nothing will be impossible for you."
Matt. 17:20


1. I accept God’s Son as my Savior.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." Acts 16:31

2. I accept God’s Word as my Standard.
"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error,
for resetting the direction of a man's life, and training him in good living."
II Tim 3:16 (Ph)

3. I accept God’s Will as my Strategy
"I desire to do your will, O my God..." Ps. 40:8

4. I accept God’s Power as my Strength
"I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength
and power." Ph. 4:13 (LB)

Jesus: "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him." Rev. 3:20

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How Pastors and Leaders Can Work Together to Care for People

One of the greatest challenges for churches, pastors, staffers, and church leaders is the ability to work together. The reasons for an inability to work together appear endless: ego, pride, selfishness, a lack of vision, personality tension, church politics, and a failure to plug into a focused priority of Jesus first with a love for the Lord’s church that sets aside personal agendas. Such reasons may appear difficult to swallow on the surface, but the value of working together begins with a heart for God and His kingdom.

How can pastors and leaders work together?

1. Start with purpose.
Matthew 28:19-20 is a great place to start. Study God’s work in the early churches: Acts 2:41-47, Ephesians 4:12-16, and I Corinthians 16:13-14. A study will uncover five things:

The churches were Christ-centered.
Proclamation of the good news of Jesus and God’s Word were basic.
Discipleship transformed lives and culture.
The church engaged community and culture as worship, mission and specific mission activities like ministry to the poor.
The church enacted people to build God’s kingdom and people.

2. Put prayer at the center of the purpose.
Pastors and leaders, ultimately, pray to “join God in His work,” to borrow a Blackaby and King quote from Experiencing God. Prayer reminds the pastor and leaders of two things: 1. God’s plan in His love for people through salvation transforms lives; 2. Work cannot be done apart from God’s Holy Spirit and people-action-ministry. God’s work should not be done in isolation. It requires God working through people. Prayer engages that purpose.

3. Respect each other.
Max DePree has a book entitled Leading Without Power. Many pastors and leaders seek to dominate and lead with personal power, that is, out of their own independence, insecurity, or authority, rather than God’s power. Depree quotes Peter Drucker as saying that “manners are the lubricant of the organization.” Depree also calls for building community, deciding what is significant and measuring it together, and service to people.

These goals are achieved through respect for others. I find that tension, anger, and conflict arise many times when rudeness, pride, and disrespect prevail. The fruit-of-the-Spirit kindness never hurts. Try good manners.

4. Resolve conflict.
Differences about church, ministry, preaching style, and local church vision, mission, and programs abound. Conflict is inevitable because humanity sticks to all of us like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth. My father grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. He says, “Everybody has an opinion!” Often conflict arises over differences of opinion. Still, I am amazed at pastors, staffers and church leaders who carry unresolved conflict deep in the soul. It causes bitterness and kills the joy of service to Christ. Differences may stay, but conflict must be resolved to work together for Christ.

5. Build a team.
Team building through retreats, a monthly staff luncheon, or even an activity like bowling can open communication and encourage unity and ministry to people. Work toward working together by appreciating the grace-gifts of each individual. Aim for harmony like an orchestra sounding music. Train leaders. Focus on people’s needs.

6. Live in Christ’s Joy and Wonder.
What can you do when conflict is unresolved? Return to number one in this article and start over. Read Philippians to recapture Christ’s joy in service. Joy? Working together requires it. Such Christ-joy supplies purpose, wisdom, restraint and togetherness to glorify God. That’s the goal, isn’t it?

Discover the joy of serving Christ and working together to care for people.
Written by John Duncan

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Road To Recovery Step 2

The Road To Recovery - Part 2
DeAntwan Fitts
Outline provided by Rick Warren (used with permission)
November 16th, 2008


Realize I'm not God; I must admit that there are certain things that are outside of my realm of control. Apart from Christ my life is un-manageable..

Step 2:

Earnestly believe that God Exist, that I Matter to Him, and that He has the Power to help me recover.

"Anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
Heb. 11:6

Three Parts


"Since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen."

"The fool says "There is no God!" Ps. 14:1


"Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God." Col 1:15 (Ph)

God knows all about my situation.

"You have seen the crisis in my soul" Ps.31:7 (LB)
"You know how foolish I have been." Ps.69:5

God cares about my situation.

"He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic...for he knows what we are made of -- dust." Ps. 103:13-14 (LB/GN)

"God says "I have loved you with an everlasting love!" Jer. 31:3

"God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us." Rom. 5:8 (LB)

God can change me and my situation.

"I pray you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him...the same power that raised Christ from the dead." Eph. 1:20 (LB)

"What is impossible for men is possible with God." Luke 18:27 (GN)

3. ACCEPT GOD'S Offer to Help Me

"For God is at work within you giving you the will and the power to achieve His purpose." Phil 2:13 (Ph)

"The Spirit that God gives us ... fills us with power, love and self-control."
2 Tim 1:7 (GN)

How to Plug Into God's Power

Believe and Receive

"When you go through deep waters and great troubles, I will be with you,... you won't drown! When you walk through the fires of oppression, you won't be burned up."
Isa 43:2-3 (LB)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update On My Struggle!!!

Here is an update on my struggle with bad eating habits and being overweight after about two months.


How My Faith is Helping Me Control My Eating
-It's not about will power, it's about surrender.
-I don't trust my flesh, so why should I eat what/when it wants me to eat.
-True saving faith works.
-Inward regeneration produces outward transformation.
All praise and gloriy to our Lord Jesus Christ, who sets the believer free from life's hurts, habits and hang-ups!!!
My Eating Plan
Large high protein breakfast,
Medium high protein high high fiber lunch,
Small high protein, low carb (green carb only) low fiber dinner. With protein bars or shakes between each meal.
I have added a multi-vitamin and an antioxidant to my routine.
I now have the energy to start working out.
I will update again soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Road to Recovery Part 1

The Road to Recovery - Part 1
DeAntwan Fitts
Outline provided by Rick Warren (used with permission)
November 9th, 2008

Isaiah 57:18 (GN) "I have seen how they acted, but I will heal them. I will lead them and help them, and I will comfort those who mourn. I offer peace to all, near and far!"

What are some possible things I need to recover from?

Overworking Overeating Alcohol/Drugs Overspending
Grief Guilt Anger/Rage Fear/Anxiety
Divorce Abuse Sexual addictions Codependency
Insecurity Perfectionism Hypochondria Hurtful Relationships
Gambling Lying Procrastination The need to control

The first step to R.E.C.O.V.E.R.Y:

Realize I'm not God; I must admit that there are certain things that are outside of my realm of control. Apart from Christ my life is un-manageable.

"I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can't! I do what I don't want to -- what I hate! I know perfectly well what I'm doing is wrong. . . but I can't help myself! It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things."
Romans 7:15-17 (LB)

I. THE CAUSE OF MY PROBLEM: My sin Nature/I want to be God

How we "play" God:

By denying our humanity and by trying to control everything for selfish reasons.

We try to control Our image
We try to control Other people
We try to control Our problems
We try to control Our pain
II. THE CONSEQUENCES to trying to play God

1. Fear

(Adam) "I was afraid because I was naked so I hid."
Gen. 3:10

2. Frustration

"It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong... something else deep within me... is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me slave to the sin..."
Rom 7:21, 23 (LB)

"My dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration."
Ps. 32:3 (LB)
3. Fatigue

"My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to You and stopped trying to hide them."
Ps. 32:4-5 (LB)

4. Failure

"You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you." Prov. 28:13 (GN)

III. THE CURE: Admit that I’m not God
Admitting that I'm not God means I know I am:

powerless to change: My Past

powerless to control: Other People

powerless to cope: With My harmful habits, behaviors and actions

"God opposes the proud but gives GRACE to the humble."

James 4:6

GRACE IS: The power to change

Friday, November 7, 2008

Peace Chapel Just Kicked Off a New Ministry!!!

My fellow blog community and those that follow this blog,

I am exited about a new ministry that we kicked off this past Friday at Peace Chapel called "Celebrate Recovery". I am asking you to pray that God will use this ministry to change countless lives for now and for eternity. I believe in the power of prayer and "pray" is all I am asking you to do.

Celebrate Recovery

The Bible clearly states that "all have sinned." It is our very nature to do so. And because of sin, we've all hurt ourselves, we've all hurt other people, and others have hurt us. This means each of us is in need of repentance and recovery in order to live the way God intended.

Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program for helping people overcome their hurts, habits and hang-ups, using 8 principles based on the Beatitudes of the New Testament and 12 biblical steps to recovery. Through this program, people have restored and developed stronger relationships with others and with God.

Here are some issues people might need recovery from:

Overworking, Overeating, Alcohol/Drugs, Overspending
Grief, Guilt, Anger/Rage, Fear/Anxiety
Divorce, Abuse, Sexual addictions, Codependency,
Insecurity, Perfectionism, Hypochondria, Hurtful Relationships,
Gambling, Lying, Procrastination, The need to control.

We will start our fellowship at 6pm this evening with Dinner!

Peace Chapel is located at 7622 S. Avalon S. Avalon Blvd in Los Angeles. We are also on the web http://www.peacechapelchurch.org/

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to our New President-Elect Barack Obama

Congratulations to our new President-Elect Barack Obama! This is an historical moment for the United States of America particularly African Americans and all minorities that reside in this great Nation. We have come a long way in a short period of time. America has proven to be the land of opportunity. This should encourage us as African Americans to reach for the stars. We no longer can use being black as a reason for failure, we now have to take personal responsibility for our shortcomings.

My prayer is that we the Christian Community will be united in supporting our newly elected leader. We are commanded to pray for our leaders. President-Elect Obama, his family and his administration will need all the prayer he/they can get.1

Those of us who did not vote for Senator Obama, lets hope the best for our new President-Elect. The Bible tells us, that God ordains government, so let us accept and embrace the will of God.2

The revival that our Country needs will only come about when we as believers will humble ourselves, pray, seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways.3

God bless you and God bless America!

(1) 1 Tim 2:1-4 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
(2) Rom 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
(3) 2 Chron 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Guest Post "Summary of Sunday's Sermon"

Nothing brings joy to a pastor like someone benefiting from the preached word. The following is a guess post from a beloved member of Peace Chapel, Pam Kimbrough.

Pam K (as I call her) is an amazing testimony of the Sovereignty and Providence of God. The Lord has brought her through a severe bout with depression and she is living a life of victory even after having a massive stroke. Although the stroke has left damage to Pam's body, I don't know of a more active Christian on the planet. She keeps me up to date with members who are sick or experiencing grief. She sends letters of encouragement and Bible tracts to those in prison. There are not many who have come in contact with Peace Chapel that has not benefited from her ministry. I thank God for this dear sister, who is not only a blessing to Peace Chapel, but a blessing to the Body of Christ.

Here is her summary of this past Sunday's message:

PC Sunday Summary/Notes11.2.08~Evaluating Wisdom~
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I am so fortunate to have you as my brothers and sisters in Christ. It is such a blessing to know that we will all live, in eternity with our Heavenly Father. Praise the Lord.

We had a blessed day at PC, and I hope your day was the same.

This Sunday, November 02, 2008, Pastor Fitts spoke on wisdom, and the topic was Evaluating Wisdom. The Scripture was taken from James 3:13-18.

James mentions two types of wisdom; worldly wisdom, and Godly wisdom.

James starts with a question regarding wisdom in verse 13, “Who is wise and understanding among you?” then he says, “Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

Pastor challenged us to bring our wisdom to the light of God's word for examination.
The way we live denotes whether we have worldly wisdom, or Godly wisdom.

Regarding worldly wisdom, James says, in verses 14 through 16, “…if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

Let us not boast that we have Godly wisdom, and yet act with worldly wisdom.If we harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in our hearts, or practice evil, this wisdom comes from Satan. Let’s check ourselves. If we have any of these tendencies, we should ask God for true godly wisdom.

In James 4:17-18, he speaks of Godly wisdom. Scripture says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

The last verse, in James 3:18, says, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
So keep in mind Galatians 6:7, “…A man reaps what he sows.”

So, if you’re wondering whether you have worldly wisdom, or Godly wisdom, ask yourself, “Do I harbor bitter envy, or selfish ambition in my heart, or am I a person who is peace-loving, considerate, and submissive to God’s will?” There is hope for all of God's children.

Pastor gave us three ingredients needed in the recipe for Godly wisdom.
1. Ask God for it (James 1:5)2. Look to Christ (1 cor 1:24 & 30; Col 2:3)3. Obedience God's word (Psalm 119:98-99)

Here are four things I picked up from the message:
1. We should be considerate (Putting others first)
2. We should be submissive
3. We should seek God’s will
4. We should have mercy on others.

This is Godly wisdom.

Check yourself.
Have a God week.
Luv u much,
Pam K

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Last Sunday's Outline

"Taming The Tongue is no Small Matter" James 3:1-12 Sunday October 26th

Thesis: The tongue is one of the most underestimated members of the body, yet it is responsible for the most damage.

Taming The Tongue is no Small Matter:

I. We should Never Expect anything less from those in Leadership
verses. 1-2 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

a. Leaders are/should be held to a higher level of accountability vs. 1a
b. Leaders are/should be expected to demonstrate maturity vs. 1b

II. We should Never Underestimate the Power of the tongue
verses 3-5a When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.

a. The tongue has the power to guide and direct the course of one's life

III. We should Never Underestimate the Potential Damage of the tongue
verses 5b-6 Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

a. The tongue has the potential to damage fast vs. 5b-6a
b. The tongue has the potential to damage far (the whole course of life) vs. 6b

IV. We should Never Underestimate what the tongue Reveals about the Heart
verses 7-12 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

a. A untamed tongue reveals a un-surrendered heart
b. A untamed tongue reveals a un-repentant heart
c. A untamed tongue reveals a divided heart
d. A untamed tongue reveals a deceitful heart

What is the solution?

1. Repentance
Ez 18:31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.

2. Ask God for help daily
Ps. 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.

3. Think before you speak
James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.