Evangel News & Events
I have been challenged a lot this week as I have been processing the idea of the daily battle that happens in my life when my commitment and my ego crawl in the ring together. My commitment is the things I have said “yes” to, both long-term and short-term. These are job decisions, personal goals, relationships, and small steps toward larger dreams and goals. In the ring with my commitment is a disgusting little creature called Ego. Ego is what feels most comfortable, easy, satisfying, pleasant – it hates self-denial and wants to roll with the emotions of the moment. Each day, decision by decision, Commitment and Ego crawl into the ring of my soul and begin to battle. In almost every way, commitment is attached to God’s Spirit and ego is attached to my own flesh.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” [Romans 8:5-6]
Here are some examples:
I commit to run three times a week. At the time of commitment I am excited…yet at the time of execution, ego crawls in the ring with commitment.
We commit to a relationship. The time of commitment is fun and exciting…yet after some time, ego crawls in with commitment and our ‘relationship’ becomes more about me.
You work a job. The hours have gotten longer or harder than expected. You find yourself complaining, lashing out, and hurting the integrity of the business with the language leaving your lips each day. Your ego has crawled in front of your commitment.
Commitment says life is about providing for your family, taking care of your body, honoring others above yourself and loving your neighbor as yourself.
Ego says your comfort is most important, you need to exalt yourself, you can do it tomorrow, and giving people “what they have coming”.
We can never, ever, ever, ever be the people that we were created to become or love one another the way we were created to if we continually allow our ego to overtake our commitment. Commitment will create the action plan you need to be blessed, successful, healthy and spiritually whole. Ego may feel better in the moment but will rob you in the long run.
Let’s be people of commitment! What has God led you to be committed to?
Let’s join together as we honor commitment and slay ego in every decision every day!
We had a few questions texted in during the Connection service this past weekend that I would like to share with everyone.
What do i do when i am rejected for my faith, what do i say?
When rejected because of your faith it’s best to say very little. Rejection is a sign of other people’s unbelief. So, what’s most needed is for you to “silently” live the Christian life with great “volume.” This means boldly living the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). Let your “debate” for the faith be the quality of Christ-likeness in your life.
Do you think that God intentionally presents problems to us?…so we can grow, as Pastor Doug said?
Yes. But not every problem has been intentionally put in your life by God. Some problems are “self-inflicted.” Some problems are the result of other people’s decisions. And some problem are simply the result of the imperfect world we live in. Yet, regardless of the source of the problem, EVERY problem has a God-purpose: to cause us to grow!
If you have questions during the sermon, please connect with us by texting in your questions to 701-484-1463.
- Pastor Doug
He chose to cling to His humanity. He chose not to justify Himself. He chose not grasp an earthly throne. He chose to not save Himself.
In doing so..
Jesus allowed me to survive my humanity. He chose to justify me. He chose to reign in eternity. He chose to save me.
I keep reflecting on the message from this past Sunday in church and thinking about the decision of Jesus to endure the embarrassment, harassment, humiliation and mockery that took place on the day of his crucifixion. It had to be virtually unbearable. The physical and emotional torment of watching the same faces that had shouted ‘Hosanna’ a week earlier now yelling curses at you with eyes of hatred and rage. It’s almost impossible to understand how or why he would endure.
The temptation for me would be so strong to step down off that cross…to display my God quality…to repay wrath right then. I’m so thankful that wasn’t Jesus’ response.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
He chose to sanctify me. He chose to justify me. He chose to choose me. He chose to save me…instead of himself.
Because of that sacrifice, we now get the opportunity to dwell and prosper under His grace. His response to our sinfulness and mistakes has not changed. He is still graciously patient, enduring with us as we struggle to realize and grasp His grace.
It’s hard for us to understand this grace. We want to earn it. We want to give a cause that would create the effect of grace in our lives. Jesus didn’t work like that. The cause is our sinfulness, our inability to save ourselves, our brokenness…but His effect is undeserved, unmerited, unlimited GRACE. Not birthed from our own works but by faith…simply because He decided to do it that way.
Stop striving. Stop apologizing. Stop trying to earn your way back.
Embrace Him. Embrace His grace.
He didn’t resist then and He won’t resist today!
It was such an honor to speak with my wife, Alyssa, yesterday about marriage. Marriage is God’s plan, His idea. But the husband/wife relationship is also one of the most challenging and rewarding relationships that exist. God wants to use your marriage to reflect His love, grace, and truth to the world. It’s truly so much more than the mundane, spite-filled, tense, or boring relationship that we often see on our TV screens, or at the movies.
In order to make our marriages all God wants them to be, we have to be committed to the covenant relationship God has called marriage to be. We can do this by:
1. Being intentional about our marriages.
2. Not giving way to fear.
3. Acting according to our convictions (instead of our feelings).
4. Having fun.
Yesterday we referenced the “Marriage Discipleship Plan” that we created to help us stay intentional about our marriage. It helps us to look honestly at where we are in our marriage, and where we want to go. Below is our 2012/2013 Marriage Discipleship Plan.
Flaten Family 2012/13 Marriage Discipleship Plan
-Scott: maintain a healthy weight
-Alyssa: maintain a healthy weight
-Scott: run a tri-athalon
-Alyssa: walk a half marathon
-find and read a health related
book (7 pillars of health by Colbert)
-quarterly get away weekend
-find and read a marriage related
book “meaning of marriage” by Tim Keller
-start “couch time” when possible
-save for celebration trip
-find and read a budgeting book (winning w money by Coleman)
-open money market/mutual fund
-attend parenting small group
-develop Flaten family character list (7 character
-read through the bible in a year
-write a worship song together
-find a new ministry to support
I share this to give you a practical place to start in your own marriage discipleship plan. The important thing is to talk and pray with your spouse about how you want to grow in the next year, and come up with categories and goals that fit who God has called you to be as a couple. Hopefully our list will be a springboard to help you get started on your own.
I am truly loving Evangel’s marriage series “For Life”. Let’s commit to whatever it takes to have God-honoring, powerful marriages that reflect the love of Christ to our world!
Women of all ages and seasons of life will enjoy our Women’s Retreat,“When Wallflowers Dance: Becoming a Women of Righteous Confidence” by Angela Thomas, on Friday, March 1, from 6:30-11:00 PM and Saturday, March 2, from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM at the Element.
Women will be encouraged through worship, discussion, eating together, making new friends, and Angela’s teaching. Women who have lived hesitant, cautious lives but long to break free and dance will be reminded that God wants each of us to become strong, decisive, wise, creative, passionate, and courageous. God wants you to become a woman of righteous confidence. The registration cost is ?? which includes a catered lunch on Saturday.
We are hosting a fun night of laughter, music, dinner, and tips to strengthen your marriage. Teen Challenge will be catering the dinner which includes romaine salad, chicken cordon bleu, home-style mashed potatoes, caramelized carrots, dinner roll, and chocolate cake. It will also be a great night of entertainment with singer/songwriter Mark Schultz; comedian, Michael Jr.; and speaker, Pastor Ted Cunningham. Focus on the Family has sponsored this event by way of DVD. The registration cost is $35 per couple.
REGISTER HERE: Date Night
Friday, February 15
6:00-9:00PM at the Element
Speaker: Joe Oden, from the North Texas District of the Assemblies of God
Workshops begin at 3:00PM
Catered Meal at 5:00PM
Friday Main Service at 7:00PM, late night activities after the service.
Saturday Session at 9:00AM
Register by February 18, there is a $10.00 fee for late registrations.
Dakota Men of Faith (DMOF) will be hosting a No Regrets Men’s Conference on Saturday February 2, 2013, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. The conference will be held at Evangel Assembly of God, 3225 North 14th Street, Bismarck, ND.
As a full day conference, the format is simple and resonates with men. During our morning and afternoon general sessions, we gather for worship, testimony and our keynote speaker. In the middle of the day we offer four break-out seminars from leading pastors, teachers and authors.
This year the keynote speaker is Kenny Luck, with breakout seminar speakers James Macdonald, Dan Seaborn, Vince D’Acchioli and Steve Sonderman.
The conference is a live webcast from Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The cost of the Conference is $20.00 which includes lunch. Admission is at the door.
For more information about speakers go to: www.menwithnoregrets.org.
Men, please help us make the conference a success by:
1- Praying that the event would go well, and that God would work in the lives of men attending.
2- Promote the conference within your church. (See attachments and video promo link)
3- Forward to other men / churches that may be interested.
This week Pastor Doug is beginning a new series called “Blessed, Again!” In this series we will be encouraged to trust God with our lives, our jobs, and our finances.
Glory To God Forever (Beeching, Fee)
Holy, Holy, Holy (Barker)
The Stand (Houston)
Second and Third Services
Sing To The King (Foote, Horne)
You Are Good (Johnson)
Waiting Here For You (Tomlin, Reeves, Smith)
Worshiping You (Stockstill)