Eyes Right

a blog by Christ follower Wesley Fryer

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God Rejoices With Us

December 14th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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Some great verses and thoughts about Christ and joy from our associate pastor, Matt Jones, this morning.

Remember God rejoices with us:

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.” (‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3‬:‭17‬ NIV)

God’s voice is heard loudly and clearly through the words of Jesus.

Jesus shared and shares his words, the words of God our Heavenly Father, so our joy can be complete.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭1-11‬ NIV)

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God Saved Us Because of His Mercy

December 12th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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A verse shared at our men’s group this morning:

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (‭Titus‬ ‭3‬:‭4-7‬ NIV)

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Tell The Disciples and Peter

November 30th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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Our preacher today, Carl Bosteels, pointed out in these verses of the Gospel of Mark how the angel commanded the women at the tomb to tell the disciples AND Peter. Peter was a disciple, of course, so it is significant that this separate identification and exhortation to Peter was made.

But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” (‭Mark‬ ‭16‬:‭7‬ NIV)

I think we all need the same exortation to go and tell. It is a commandment and imperative which must not simply be left to others.

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Jesus Called Him Simon Again

November 23rd, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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When Jesus called Simon to be His disciple, Jesus gave him a new name: Peter. In the garden of Gethsemane just before he was betrayed by Judas, however, Jesus called Peter by his former name once again. I never noticed this before, and our pastor (Matt Jones) pointed it out today in his sermon. In Mark 14:37 we read:

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?

Jesus calls us all to remain awake and not sleep as we face times of trial together.

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The Importance of a Woman in the Pulpit

November 16th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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Today our congregation was again blessed with a Spirit-filled message about Christ’s love from our new assistant pastor, Jennifer Howat.

Since our son continues to help with sound in the sound booth, and my wife was at an education retreat with Oklahoma A+ Schools, I was sitting with both my girls in the pews today. As I listened to Jen open the Scriptures and preach the Gospel to us, I was struck by how important it is for my girls and others to see her as a woman preaching in our Sunday service. We have been members of this congregation since 2006, and Jen is the first female pastor we have had at our church. I am not sure, but she may be the first female pastor we have ever had.

Praise God that He is using Jen in our community to share the love of Jesus Christ, and that Jen is a role model for young women like our girls to see how God powerfully uses both women and men to lead his church today and in the future.

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From Foyer to Kitchen by Andy Stanley

November 15th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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These are my notes from a DVD message titled “From Foyer to Kitchen” by Andy Stanley. We watched this today at our Session retreat for First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma. This video is 6-8 years old (no longer available on Amazon) and there are several things Andy’s team has modified since. This post has a video of Andy talking about these ideas, similar to what we watched on today’s DVD.

We believe the local church should be irresistible
– children and parents should wake up on Sunday morning and say, “We want to go to church.”

We believe people who are NOT believers YET should be able to attend on Sunday morning, and want to go back the next week and check it out
– in the Gospels, Jesus was irresistible
– he wasn’t someone you could ignore or marginalize
– the Church is the Body of Christ
– our local church and yours should reflect that same thing in society

Story of explaining in Atlanta, GA
– we need more relevant environments where believers and non-believers can connect to each other and connect to our heavenly Father

This drove us to start Northpoint Community Church
– started with 6 staff
– hammered out mission statement: “Lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ”
– that was our version of saying the “Great Commission”
– 3 components or pursuits:
-1 pursue intimacy with God
-2 community with insiders / believers
-3 influence with others outside the faith

Generally discipleship or spiritual growth has been relegated to a series of classes
– it meant “how much Bible do you know” (verses)

Our goal for people wasn’t an amount of knowledge or number of classes you’d attended, but the degree to which people are engaged in these 3 pursuits

Our strategy recognized we can’t MAKE someone do any of these things

All of us in the group who valued these three pursuits realized we developed those passions and routines was ENVIRONMENT
– relevant environment

We decided if we created those environments, trained people to lead in those environments, and …

Mission: Lead People
Strategy: Creating environments where participants are encouraged and equipped to [engage in those 3 pursuits]

We named the 3 environments for rooms in the house
1- Foyer
2- Living Room
3- Kitchen

These environments do three different things

Foyer environment: Where we expect GUESTS

When guests are in your home, things are different: There are things you DO talk about, and things you don’t
– you change who you are as a family or what you believe, but you tailor the environment for the guest so they feel welcome and want to come back
– we decided we needed to create some safe “foyer” environments to help guests feel welcome

Living Room environment: people start to connect as friends

middle circle (we found) is the most difficult/challenging
– everyone talks about getting people into small groups
– we have constantly updated the transition part in the living room, when people

Life for our family happens in the kitchen
– this is our ultimate small group environment
– that is where life happens
– in the foyer you feel like a guest
– in the living room you start to make connections
– in the kitchen community with insiders happens

We want everyone at the kitchen table

For adults we have 3 kinds of small groups: (that’s the only one that meets on Sunday mornings at our church)
1- starting point small groups: open group
2- starter groups: we call it “dating” – it lasts 6 weeks, gives people a taste of group life, if they want to move on together they can – targeted group
3- community groups: meet for 12 to 18 months, then they reform (they are closed groups)

We’ve discovered community doesn’t happen in an unpredictable environment
– life on life doesn’t happen in an environment where trust is uncertain

Every small group comes to an end: either a happy end or a small end
– people may go forward and multiple
– people may decide they never want to be in another group

Life happens within the church when we are focused together

Our focus to evaluate all new PROGRAMS: Does this help us move people from the foyer, to the living room, to the kitchen?
– we try to “add steps, not programs”
– need to fill in gaps, help people move toward growth…

“Your church strategy is perfectly designed to get the results you’re getting”
– so if you want to see change, to become an irresistible church, then discover what your strategy is and change it so you can talk about it intelligently so people understand what you are doing and how you do it

Question: Are your ENVIRONMENTS accomplishing the mission

3 takeaways:

  1. Would you go home and spend time clarifying your purpose / mission? What is the WIN we are wanting to celebrate?
  2. Would you go home and think through what it would take to develop a strategy? Can you put it in terms you can explain to your people? (This creates amazing synergy)
  3. Focus your environments

“Everybody wants to give their time and energy to something they understand” (you need to clarify your strategy w different terms)

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You’re An Overcomer!

November 8th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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Sarah, Megan and Alex sang again as a trio last Sunday in church. They sang, “You’re an Overcomer.”

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Rachel’s Drawing of Our Family

October 19th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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Rachel drew this in church today.

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Our Need to Rest

October 12th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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We need to carve out time each week for rest:

Mark 6:30-31 NIV

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

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T to the 4th Power

October 5th, 2014 by Wesley Fryer
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From Harry Birdwell’s sermon today at our church, based on Mark 5:21-43.

Trust: Faith is the frame if the painting of our lives, “knowing in your gut Jesus can & will.” Real discipleship begins when we say to Jesus, “Take control.”

Touch

Test

Tell: It is YOUR story you are supposed to be telling! Our confessions of God’s faithfulness, our testimonies of how God has and is working in our lives

Book: “The Glory of the Ordinary Christian” changed Harry’s life as a child, it focused on the power of our testimonies about Jesus to bring others to a saving faith and belief in God.

It is about telling my story to others about the love of Christ which has transformed my life.

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