MESSAGE NOTES: House of Prayer 02

I        INTRODUCTION

Matthew 21:13 (NIV) – “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.

A)   God has called us to be a house of prayer. He didn’t say a house of worship, or a house of evangelism, or a house of fellowship (althrough these things are important) but a house of prayer

B)   If we are corporately going to be a House of Prayer we need to allow the Lord to make us individual Houses of Prayer.

C)   If you missed Melissa Medina’s message from last week I encourage you to listen to the MP3. Continue reading →

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35 Inspiring Quotes on Prayer

This past week at Toronto City Church we started a new series on prayer entitled “House of Prayer”. We had special guests with us, Melissa and Anthony Medina for the weekend and she brought an amazing word on prayer to the TCC Family (you can check it out here)

Along this line of things: a number of years ago I came across a number of really inspiring quotes on prayer from many great men and women of God. I wanted to pass them on: Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff that Got Me Thinking this Week…

It’s been a busy couple weeks in “Witton World”… lots going on at Toronto City Church, my wife was away for 10 days but I still had time to dig into some great resources this week. Here are a few of the ones that really got my attention:

  1. Podcast: How to Motivate Your Team by Craig Groeschel – Craig is right there at the top for practical leadership instruction. Very solid teaching.
  2. Podcast: A Culture of Collaboration by Andy Stanley – Andy has some excellent insights on how to create a culture of collaboration in your ministry/organization.
  3. Podcast: Exploring the Prophetic with Shawn Bolz – great podcast. I love Shawn’s ministry and he has top notch guests on with him who have great conversations about the prophetic in our lives. One of the things I love most about Shawn is how humble he is, and how much he ‘despookify’s’ (not sure if that is real word) the prophetic.
  4. Three By-Law Changes Needed to Break 100, 200, 400 and 600 by Brian Jones – now for many of you this one will not be your cup of tea, but if you are church leadership you will find it healthy. By-laws/structure is not on the top of most of our reading list but it’s so vital to healthy church and ministry.
  5. ‘The only electricity we use is one lamp’: Apple execs, Facebook billionaires embrace tech diets for devices, services they helped create” – Financial Post – I have heard my friend James Kelly from FaithTech talk about this before but it’s a very interesting read about how a lot of the execs of major companies are limiting their and their families use of the very technologies they are creating.
  6. How Pastoral Care Stunts the Growth of Most Churches by Carey Nieuwhof – really, really good wisdom from Carey for every Pastor and church leadership team member.
  7. 9 Characteristics of the Modern-Day Remnant Church by Joseph Mattera – I think articles like this are really key with the day and age that we are coming into. Some good thought provoking content.

Continue reading →

MESSAGE NOTES: Deep Calls 04

#4 – IS THERE NOT A CAUSE

I        FIRST FRUITS 2018 OFFERING

Proverbs 3:9-10 (Passion) – Glorify God with all your wealth, honouring him with your very best (or first fruits), with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy.

A)   One of our practices here at Toronto City Church is to bring a special offering to the Lord at the beginning of of the year – we call it our ‘First Fruits’ Offering. We will be taking this up today.

1)    This offering is an expression of our love for God

2)    This offering is an expression of our commitment to God

3)    This offering is an expression of our dependence on God

4)    This offering is an expression of our faith in God

2 Cor 9:6-8 (Passion) – Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meager harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest. Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving – all because God loves hilarious generosity! Yes God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything – every moment in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.

B)   I want to encourage and call every member of the TCC Family to obey God regarding sowing into this First Fruits Offering. Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff that Got Me Thinking this Week…

It’s been a busy week in my world… lot’s of stuff at Toronto City Church, my wife is in India… still I was able to get some ‘good food’ for my mind and soul. Here are some highlights:

  1. Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson – this was an assignment from my Bishop (I’m actually a little behind… catching up). Really good stuff on chasing the dreams that God has given you and believing big. A great quote: “Life is about more than arriving safely at death”
  2. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris – this is not a Christian book and I don’t agree with everything in it… but it has really challenged and encouraged me so far in a number of areas. It is very thought-provoking.
  3. Top-Ten Ways Churches Drive Away First Time Guests by Thom Rainer – great little article that has some real nuggets about welcoming people in your church. You might be surprised by some of what is on the list.
  4. What To Do When Your Spirit is Inwardly Disturbed by Rick Renner – every Christian leader (and really every Christian) needs to understand and heed the truth in this Sparkling Gems from the Greek devotional from Rick.
  5. Erik Fish – got in a training session this week with PastorsCoach.com and Erik Fish shared for a bit about real discipleship and what it looks like… some real good stuff. I’m planning to dig in a bit more to what he teaches.
  6. The Passion Translation is on BibleGateway.com – I got the Passion Translation for Christmas and am loving it… was hoping they would get it online soon and here it is! It is such a great translation!

Continue reading →

Message Notes: DEEP CALLS 03

If these notes look familiar it’s because they were the same notes as last week… I only made it through the Personal portion and decided to bump the Corporate and City/Nation parts to this week.

#2 – WORD OF THE LORD: 2018

I        FIRST FRUITS 2018 OFFERING

Proverbs 3:9-10 (Passion) – Glorify God with all your wealth, honouring him with your very best (or first fruits), with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy.

A)   One of our practices here at Toronto City Church is to bring a special offering to the Lord at the beginning of the year – we call it our ‘First Fruits’ Offering. We will be taking this up on Sunday, February 4th, 2018.

1)    This offering is an expression of our love for God

2)    This offering is an expression of our commitment to God

3)    This offering is an expression of our dependence on God

4)    This offering is an expression of our faith in God

2 Cor 9:6-8 (Passion) – Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meager harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest. Let giving flow from your heart, not  from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving – all because God loves hilarious generosity! Yes God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything – every moment in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff that Got Me Thinking this Week…

Here is some stuff that got me thinking this week…

  1. Church is a Family not a Business by Banning Liebscher – really, really loved this message by Banning at Bethel Church. I have been on my own journey of understanding ‘church as family’ (with the Toronto City Church Fam) and this spoke so much into that. (Note: the link is to a YouTube video that directs you to the Bethel TV site where you need to sign up for an account. You can also access the Podcast of it directly here)
  2. Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast: Giving and Receiving Feedback – Craig’s stuff is just so good… I highly recommend this podcast. Part 1 and Part 2 were both excellent. You can watch it on YouTube or subscribe to the Podcast.
  3. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast: Uniquely Better (Part 1 & 2) and Culture of Collaboration – once again… just really good leadership stuff. Andy has been a thought leader for years and I learn a lot from him.
  4. Seven Paradigms the Church Must Restore to Impact Society by Joseph Mattera – this guy always gets me thinking. Deep, solid stuff.
  5. Pastor’s Coach Master Classes (Michael Brodeur) – I’m in a weekly master-class with Michael Brodeur. If you are a pastor I strongly encourage you to check him out. I have learned so much.
  6. 15 Practical Tips for a Fruitful Vision Sunday (Hillsong Church) – while this article is geared towards a “Vision Sunday” it has a lot of nuggets that apply across the board.

Continue reading →