Saturday, April 23, 2011

He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!

Join us this Easter Weekend as we celebrate our RISEN Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Saturday, April 23 @ 5pm & 7pm
Sunday, April 24 @ 8, 10, 11:45am & 1:30pm


Sunday, April 24 @ 9 & 11:30am

We hope you and your loved ones will join us this Easter Weekend at Christ Church!

He is Risen!
Pastors David & Marlinda Ireland
Founding Pastors

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 5 (April 22): It’s Good Friday!

Approximately two thousand years ago today, Jesus was nailed to a cross. Your sins and mine were borne on His shoulders. Fortunately on the third day He arose triumphantly holding the keys of death, hell, and the grave.

The world has discovered: There is no grave deep enough, no seal strong enough, no guard powerful enough, no stone heavy enough, to keep Christ in the grave. Our salvation was paid for through His death, burial, and resurrection. He has risen! Alleluia!

Tonight at the East Campus we will feature a moving concert in celebration of the Power of the Cross. Simultaneously @ 8:00 p.m., our West Campus will host a Good Friday Service centered on the Seven Last Sayings of Jesus and Holy Communion. Our aim at both campuses is to win people to Christ and set the stage for believers to have their faith reignited.

Seize the opportunity to invite family and friends alike to either one of these meetings. And, for this Easter weekend consider inviting someone to God’s house by making a phone call, sending an email, or kidnapping them.

They will hear about our amazing God in a way that is easily understood. At the same time, you will be encouraged in your faith through a celebrative environment designed to capture the mysteries of our faith.

Make sure you tell your guests that our dress is very casual and we have an astounding Children’s Church.

Come prepared to celebrate the risen Lord tonight and anyone of our eight weekend services. Yes, this Saturday we offer two services at the East Campus: one at 5:00 and the other at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, we will have our four services in Montclair and two meetings in Rockaway.

It’s Good Friday! Rejoice because Resurrection Sunday is coming!

Watch for my blog on Monday, April 25th that will have powerful stories of what God did this weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 4 (April 21): Obedience!

Last night’s service at the East Campus was quite powerful! As we heard the seven last statements of Jesus and contemplated the great mysteries of our faith around the Table of the Lord, it was clear: Obedience to God is a must.

Are you living in obedience to God? Don’t side step this question. It is foundational to discipleship. All Christ followers must strive to live in obedience to the will of God…all the will of God. This was the crux of Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42) days before the cross.

His emotionally distraught heart was asking the question: Should I go to the cross or not? Then He prayed to God, “Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” His resolve anchored in prayer, was one of obedience.

Right now you are facing the big decision to either obey or disobey God’s will for your life. It may be concerning something large or even a tiny matter. Obedience is obedience! Conversely, disobedience in small matters is still disobedience. What are you going to do?

Over the years I have discovered four simply questions that help me walk in obedience to the revealed will of God. Maybe they can help you.

► Is it worth it to disobey the Lord?
► What future blessings will I forfeit if I disobey God today?
► How many people will my disobedience impact?
► Can I live without God’s anointing or intimacy with the Holy Spirit?

Which one of these questions is most helpful to you? Why? What have you learned about obedience?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 3 (April 20): Pour Out Your Heart!

If you want to experience a fascinating Bible study, review the prayers of Jesus throughout the New Testament. They are most telling of what true praying is supposed to be like. They are instructional on both the “head” and “heart” levels. They show us how to pray the facts surrounding our concerns to God without ignoring the heart—the feelings and the emotions of the matter.

One such example of Jesus’ prayers is captured a few days before He went to the cross (Matt. 26:36-46). Before Golgotha came Gethsemane. At Golgotha He hung on the cross. At Gethsemane He wept on the ground. At Golgotha He poured out His life. At Gethsemane He poured out His soul.

This quintessential picture of intercession is presented to us as Jesus fervently prayed for clarity concerning the will of God. He wanted to be certain that the cross was indeed the will of God. He prayed: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus demonstrated that prayer is truly the gift of tears. As Jesus prayed, the Scriptures point out that He was sorrowful and troubled. In fact, Jesus described His own predicament with these words: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matt. 26:38a).

After praying the same prayer three times, He was strengthened in the will of God. The cross was the only course to take. Humanity must have access to God’s forgiveness, salvation, and new life. The cross must not be avoided. Jesus then fixed His attention on the cross while His love was fixed on our salvation.

During this Holy Week you should find a quiet place like the Garden of Gethsemane where you can pour out your soul in prayer. Deal with the big stuff. The stuff that requires you to commit willingly to a path of obedience despite the difficulty it may require.

Holy Week is a week of fresh surrender. What are you surrendering to God this week? Offer it in prayer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 2 (April 19): Start Fresh!

Holy Week gives us a chance to start fresh. We all experience disappointment, setbacks, and trials over the course of the year. Reminding ourselves of God’s power becomes very easy during Holy Week. As we look back to the cross, we grasp a fresh perspective of the awesome power of God that raised Jesus from the dead. How much more so is God able to deliver us from any present adversity?

Holy Week stimulates faith. What I mean is, your time of reflection on the cross, the tomb, and the triumphant resurrection of Jesus evokes a fresh faith in God. This faith emboldens you to pursue a fresh start in any and every area where you feel your life is lagging behind the will of God.

Meditation is one of the spiritual disciplines you often don’t find being practiced in our fast paced society. Yet this art is biblical and powerful. Psalm One gives us the promise of meditating on God’s word. We are told that the one who does it, “…is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatsoever he does prospers.”

Before you end your day today, read and meditate—pause and consider—on the Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1-13). This entry marks the week before His death. As you read, stop periodically and ask yourself these probing questions:

► Why is the phrase “The Lord needs them” so powerful?
► Why did Jesus seem so care free though He had to face the cross?
► What area of your life do you need a fresh start?
► If Jesus trusted God, can you trust Him for a fresh start?

Let God’s power work through you this Easter by giving someone access to new life. Invite them to church!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 1 (April 18): The Great Week

Holy Week was called “The Great Week” by one of the fourth century leaders, St. John Chrystostom. It was labeled great because of the great mysteries being celebrated.

When you consider how God clothed Himself in flesh and was born of a virgin to show us how to live. That is a mystery!

Jesus was born in a borrowed manger and rode to triumph on a borrowed donkey only to be buried in a borrowed tomb. Imagine the King of kings and Lord of lords choosing to live this way even though He is possessor of heaven and earth. That is a mystery!

Jesus willingly laid down His life for your life because He loves you. There is no greater demonstration of love than to sacrifice your life for another’s. This sacrificial love gave you access to God’s forgiveness and salvation. And, it’s still just as potent today to liberate people from the jaws of sin and death. That is a mystery.

During Holy Week spend some time contemplating the mysteries of our faith. Contemplation is enriched as your read, pray, and sing songs of praise to our God. This spiritual exercise will deepen your relationship with the risen Savior.

As you are meditating on God’s goodness ask Him to place someone in your path whom you could invite to one of our moving Holy Week services. I believe that someone you know will meet the Savior this week, if you go out of your way to point them to the Way.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Join Us @ Christ Church this Holy Week!

Holy Week is the most momentous time of the year for Christians. It is when we remember and celebrate the historic events of Christ’s passion, death and triumphant resurrection.

For centuries, followers of Jesus have recognized meaningful customs and traditions to connect the historic actions of Jesus with contemporary life. Today, the awesome gift of salvation is as powerful as ever.

At Christ Church, we invite you to share in these timeless spiritual practices as we:
* Participate in Holy Communion
* Hear the Last Seven Statements of Christ
* Celebrate the Risen King during our transformative Easter Service

Friends and family are a vital part of sharing His love.

Services times & location as follows:

East Campus

Saturday, April 16 @ 7pm
Sunday, April 17 @ 8, 10, 11:45am & 1:30pm

Wednesday, April 20 @ 7pm

Thursday, April 21 & Friday, April 22 @ 8pm

Saturday, April 23 @ 5pm & 7pm
Sunday, April 24 @ 8, 10, 11:45am & 1:30pm

West Campus

Sunday, April 17 @ 9 & 11:30am

Friday, April 22 @ 8pm

Sunday, April 24 @ 9 & 11:30am

We hope you and your loved ones will join the Christ Church family as we remember Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection during Holy Week 2011.

He is Risen!
Pastors David & Marlinda Ireland
Founding Pastors

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 40 (April 15): You Did It!

Congratulations! You finished the 40-day journey to Financial Empowerment! As a recap, we covered four areas—each lasting 10 days.

► How to eliminate debt
► How to gain greater control of your finances
► How to live in financial freedom
► How to leave a financial legacy for your loved ones

If you need to review any one of these lessons, just stop by our bookstore the next time you’re at church and purchase the CD. You can also review the sermon by watching it online

The ability to advance in your knowledge of money is an ongoing conversation we will be having over the course of 2011. The intent is to keep reinforcing keep principles such as legacy-building in order for you to grow in your personal stewardship before the Lord. Solomon says in Proverbs 13:22:

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children”

What were the biggest lessons you learned in this journey? What did you take-away from the 40-day experience? Post your thoughts and lessons learned.

I will offer new postings to my blog weekly in order to create a strong online community. I have enjoyed getting to know you and hearing what you think through reading your posts. Let me know if my blogging is a blessing to you and what topics/themes you’d love me to write about. Thanks!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 39 (April 14): They Were Too Busy!

It’s great to be busy! But being busy without being FOCUSED is a mistake. Captured in Proverbs 19:14 are these wise words of Solomon:

“Houses and wealth are inherited from parents”

Now don’t break your computer if your deceased parents or relatives didn’t leave you any houses or wealth. Maybe they left you other things of great value which helped to shape the person that you are today.

The question you and I must grapple with is this: What will you leave your heirs? We live in a uniquely prosperous nation. People fight, lie, deceive, and even try to sneak across our borders because of the possibility the United States of America offers for a better quality of life.

The challenge sometimes when you live where we live, we take for granted these wonderful and lucrative opportunities. Let’s not fall into the trap of passivity—numbness of soul—because our legacy is at stake.

Your family and charity (hopefully Christ Church is on that list—LOL) is important enough for you to get cracking with making more money.

How has your desire to make more money or get out of debt faster been affected through this 40-day journey? Post your comment.

See you tonight at the WEST CAMPUS for training in leadership and Financial Empowerment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 38 (April 13): A Legacy Provides PEACE!

Jesus had a great legacy! Interestingly we read that He planned it out beforehand. As we are preparing for Holy Week, do you remember how Jesus foretold His disciples that He wanted them to have PEACE following His death? Checkout John 14:27 which said:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

If you want your heirs to have PEACE, you should prepare a legally recognized Will. Don’t say: “I don’t have a Will because I don’t have a large sum of money or a grand estate.” Don’t hide behind the excuse: “It cost too much to get a Will prepared.”

Even if you chose to use an online version like Law Depot, it’s better than allowing the courts to decide the fate of your underage children or where your assets should go after your departure. A Will spells out those particular details.

For pennies, a legally prepared Will and Testament can be prepared. It will give you peace of mind. And, it will give your heirs peace of mind. Even if you’re not Donald Trump, you may still have underage children that must have the PEACE of knowing that you planned who should raise them if you died prematurely.
We seldom want to talk about death. Some even think that by not speaking about it will protect them from an untimely death. That’s pretty ridiculous! Yet, as a pastor, I have had the unfortunate experience to eulogize many people in our congregation that did not have a legally prepared (or any type of) Will.

Their family members did not have peace! They were frantic! They were emotionally distraught not only at the loss of their loved ones, but because the pain was compounded without their having a Will.

Please take the time to have a Will prepared; if not for you, for the PEACE of your heirs.

We’re days away from the completion of this powerful journey.

How has it benefited you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 37 (April 12): 4 Days Left to Live

If you had four days left to live, what would you do? Another way of asking this question is: How are you intentionally building your legacy? If you do nothing, your legacy reflected in your obituary may read: “He did nothing to help or influence the life of his family!”

I don’t want my eulogy to last five minutes because I did not leave behind a worthwhile legacy. I’m sure you feel the same way. Leaving a legacy behind has very little to do with money. Rather it has to do with your life being an influence to others even after your death.

Sadly, some people will not leave property or other material goods behind for their family. But, if they are smart they can still leave a legacy through their kind behavior and righteous lifestyle. There’s something to speak of a person whose heirs say: “I learned how to pray because I had a praying mother or a praying father.” I’ve often heard some people say: “I learned the value of a good education because of the environment created in my home.” When we really probe this statement, we’ll most likely learn that the value of education is a rich legacy handed down from a deceased loved one. These two examples of non-financial legacies embody the purpose of a legacy. A legacy should POINT an heir towards God and a better quality of life.

Whatever we value will become a part of our legacy!

Fortunately, from our 40-day Financial Empowerment Journey, we have all been instructed on how to live beneath our income. This practice will ensure that we leave a financial legacy for our family in addition to the other forms of legacies.

Solomon guides us in how to leave a legacy when he said: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Prov. 21:5).

How has our Financial Journey helped you? We’d love to hear your testimony in order to prepare other practical kinds of 40-day journeys in the future. Post your answer.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 36 (April 11): 5 Days Left to Live

If you found out that you only had five days left to live, what would you do? After crying and wondering how, why, and why me, then what would you do? Let’s rule out doing crazy, sinful things as a last ditch effort in living. That’s not the choice for Christ followers.

I would try to leave my mark on the earth over the next five days. That’s what leaving a legacy is all about! The word legacy means a gift of personal property, as money; anything handed down from the past. Since legacy has a specific meaning; it must also have a specific purpose. Here is the fourfold purpose for you to intentionally develop your legacy.

► A legacy POINTS my heirs to a better life.
► A legacy PROTECTS my heirs.
► A legacy PROVIDES for my heirs.
► A legacy instills PEACE in my heirs.

Fortunately, we have not been given five days to live. Whatever the amount of time we have remaining on the earth, we’re called to be stewards of our life AND our death.

Your life from the grave should still speak to those you used to influence while alive! God cares enough about our ability to leave a legacy by allowing Paul to pen these words: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).

What are you doing right now to develop and safeguard your legacy?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 33 (April 8): The Real Meaning of Financial Empowerment

The members of the West Campus are progressing nicely in developing the practice of worship and warfare. Our Harp and Bowl service last night was over the top!

Financial Empowerment is not just you personally achieving a strong financial footing. You have been called to help others less fortunate than yourself. In fact, we’re taught: “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you” (Lev. 25:35).

This verse is being demonstrated everyday at Christ Church. Most of the times the practice is done so silently and under the radar that no one knows who assisted whom. The focus is not about getting recognition from others, but about helping someone who has gone or is going through a heavy trial.

Last Christmas, one of the single parents experienced a robbery. The thief stole valuables in addition to the children’s Christmas gifts. Can you imagine the emotional trauma notwithstanding the financial loss, and the untimely nature of such an act? Fortunately, a bunch of folks at the church got wind of it and chipped in financially. They restored the gifts and most of the valuable items so that Christmas would not be a sad ordeal for this family.

This was a powerful picture of Lev. 25:35 being lived out in our day. Share a post of a story that demonstrates the practice of this verse.

I will resume new postings to my blog on Monday, April 11th. Get ready to encounter God in worship this weekend! Also come prepared to receive a powerful word that will inspire you to successfully continue our Financial Empowerment Journey! We’re almost at the end. One more week to go! Strive to finish well!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 32 (April 7): The Lord Will Open the Storehouse

God met us last night! We are beginning to see the culture of prayer developed in our church. Thank you for growing in your life of prayer. I believe that many of the good and powerful things occurring in our society are due to the prayers of the righteous. Only when we get to heaven will we fully understand the role our prayers played in building a just society.

Tonight @ 7:00 p.m. the West Campus will experience a time of “Harp & Bowl”. I look forward to waiting on the Lord in an atmosphere of spiritual vulnerability.

Today is Day #32 of our 40-day journey. The Scripture lesson taken from Deut. 28:12 teaches: “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.” Serving the Lord has many tremendous benefits including the fact that we should expect His help with our financial needs.

Please make this promise a point of prayer right now. After you’ve read this post, take a moment and pray about a specific financial or business need that you have. Ask God to show you a strategy in how you can see this need met. Conclude your prayer by asking the Lord to show you one person whom you can help once He answers this prayer.

Why is helping that person important to you? Did God give you feelings of compassion, justice, or empathy towards the person who comes to mind? Did you consider helping someone who’s of a different nationality than yourself, as the Scripture guides us? Post your answer.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 31 (April 6): Claim God’s Promises!

Hearing your thoughts in regards to how you flesh out this Christian walk is exciting and encouraging. Keep posting so that our conversation blesses others.

Speaking about blessing, do you remember this verse? Moses writes: “For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you” (Deut. 15:6). Wow!

If there is ever a verse you need to pursue in prayer, it’s this one. It’s in God’s heart to bless us with more than enough so that we can be a blessing to others. Submerged in this verse is God’s perspective of you. You are called to grow a substantial nest egg where others will look to you for loans, financial support, and partnership. This means that creative income streams must be sought.

What are you going to do about this verse? God’s role is to bless you. But your role is to position yourself for His provision. How are you doing this? Some leverage this Scripture by going to school to learn a trade, profession, or to develop a marketable skill. Others are launching a money-making venture by the faith generated from this verse. But, what are you doing to prepare yourself for God’s blessings? Do you know anyone that grew their financial position because of the teachings of the Bible? If so, post a testimony that will encourage us that we too can do it.

Remember that tonight @ 7:00 p.m. at Midweek at the East Campus is having a time of “Harp & Bowl.” (To understand this phrase of Harp & Bowl check out Rev. 5:8). This is a special time of waiting on God through intense intercession combined with powerful praise. See you tonight!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 30 (April 5): Experiencing God’s Peace

One of the great goals of this 40-day journey is to empower you with knowledge. This knowledge in matters of debt reduction, debt consolidation, budgeting, etc. is intended to give you peace of mind. Establishing a Financial Picture by taking the time to wade through these vital forms (Financial Empowerment Resources) is certain to give you peace of mind.

Apart from having peace of mind is having God’s peace. Paul says it this way: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col. 3:15).

Once you’ve completed an accurate Financial Picture and committed to live in obedience to God’s word, there is nothing else you can do. This is when God’s peace must surface in your life. This occurs when you ask God, in faith, to fill your heart with His peace. You cannot control everything. But, you can control the way you respond to the trials that come your way.

Have you experienced God’s peace? What did you do to secure it? Please post your insights.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 29 (April 4): The Secret

Finances can create a lot of pressure. If you need it, there’s pressure. If you have lots of it, there’s pressure. However, there’s a secret that we need to know about living with little or lots of money. Paul said: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil. 4:12).

A couple of weeks ago I taught about this very principle in my sermon entitled Winning the Financial War. You can access a video version of it by going to Not every Christ follower understands how to experience varying levels of freedom, victory, deliverance, or wisdom from the Lord.

Paul gives us insight by using the word "Secret", which he took from the mystery religions of his day. It actually means “I’ve been initiated.” In other words: learning the secret of how to be content in any and every financial situation is a matter of initiation. Your current circumstance is part of the initiation rite that God has set aside for you. If you are able to secure contentment through the use of your faith, well done! You’ve passed the test. Enter into the contentment zone. If not, you will have to keep plugging away until you learn the secret.

One way to experience contentment is to be missional in your actions. Living purposefully keeps you financially focused. Your financial decisions must revolve around your ultimate mission in life.

If you chose to live missionally, what changes would you have to make financially? Would your habits be different? Would you experience any financial savings? Share your answer with us.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 26 (April 1): Getting An Ant Farm May Be a Good Idea!

Have you ever studied the life of ants? Sounds like a crazy question, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not my question. It’s Solomon’s. He said: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Prov. 6:6-8). Solomon is talking about financial planning.

While we are young and strong—working and getting a steady income—we should be putting monies aside for our winter years. If the ants can gather food during summer and harvest time, in anticipation of the coming winter, so can we. If you read Proverbs 6:9-11, you will see a fuller picture of the wisdom behind planning for the future when there is no steady income stream.

True financial freedom comes as you learn the discipline of planning for the future. This means that we have to control our present spending habits despite the vastness of our current needs. Winter is coming! Savings must occur, even if you’re putting aside $10 every paycheck.

If you have to set-up an automatic deduction from your pay in order to have a growing savings account, do it. Some of us need that rigidity in order to have funds for retirement. The thinking is: if I don’t see the money, I won’t be tempted to spend it. If that’s what you need to model the ant’s behavior of savings, then do it! Make the necessary arrangements this coming week.

Remember, procrastination is a thief of time! If you keep putting it off for another time…a better time…a more convenient time, it will never happen.

Although ants are good at hoarding food during summer in anticipation of the winter, I don’t like ants. Post a funny story you experienced with ants.

I will resume new postings to my blog on Monday, April 4th. Get ready to encounter God in worship this weekend! Also come prepared to receive a powerful word that will inspire you to successfully continue our Financial Empowerment Journey! We’re almost at the end. Strive to finish well!

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