Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Redeeming Santa (an article by Pastor Mark Driscoll)

http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/mark_driscoll/

This was a helpful, practical, and balanced look into the cultural icon Santa Clause and what can be done about believing, celebrating and incorporating him into a season filled with traditions. In short, it should keep you looking to Jesus who for the sake of the Gospel was God's best gift given to sinful humanity in need of a Savior. Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gospel Doctrine, Gospel Culture


I have said in the past to both individuals and audiences that doctrines matter. They are the buoys within the deep waters of the vast experience and expressions of life. They provide safety and security to the believer in Jesus. It is by His power He gives us the reasoning's, feelings, and experiences to learn, think, and do doctrines. As it pertains to the gospel this is essential. I would like to share with you a good and brief post link from Dr. Ray Ortlund who is a Pastor, and active associate within the gospel coalition. I hope you enjoy it and think and respond to how good, right, and healthy Godly doctrine is; especially in a world that seeks to sets its own wisdom as gospel. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/rayortlund/2010/10/11/gospel-doctrine-gospel-culture-2

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Church Planting in the Harvest Season


It is a common fact that Elevation set out to be a church planting church. We have seen this as a reality within the last 4 years of our churches existence. Origin Church in Rocklin was the first plant that has kept going and is faithfully sowing the gospel in Rocklin CA. Elevation is stoked for Pastor Mark South, his family, and the saints at this church for the life of gospel that goes on each day at Origin. We also have a church plant intern who is hoping to plant a church in Nor Cal within 18 to 24 months. This is all by the good grace of God. With that said, our SBC affiliation has in mind to pray, support, and coach several church planters this harvest season. How divine that during a time of the year that is traditionally known as a harvest time, many church planters will be casting vision, providing public worship gatherings, serving in missional events, and making disciples. All this I hope for the glory of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, under the direction and authority of Jesus as King, Savior, and Lord. So, Elevation wants to challenge you to pray for these planters, their families, and the context of culture groups they will sow the seed of the gospel. Enclosed is a link for you to go to so you can get a visual of who these missionary disciples look like and have a face, name and location to pray for. The Lord of the harvest calls out for harvest hands, so let's get to work and pray and seek ways to support and promote church planting throughout California. All for King Jesus. http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/48/newchurchplanters1010101.pdf

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ps. 119 Challenge

Your Word, a lamp.

Part 1 of Ps.119

Everyone human desires light. We might enjoy darkness, but over a period of time our lives long for light. A lamp is an instrument of providing light. The word of God, or the Bible is that to the life of anyone who reads, studies, memorizes, the Bible. It provides light. Jesus is said to be the Word of God, and therefore the light of God to humanity. This word of God is good news or gospel for the reader.

The Ps.119 challenge is a year long memorization of God’s word in Psalm 119. It is an opportunity to be exposed deep into the soul to the lamp or light of God’s word. The hope I have in this journey is to abide with God by tucking His word into my soul, so that I can have him shed light upon the way I live, and how I believe. I hope you too will be excited to memorize this beautiful chapter in Psalm, not because you hope to impress anyone, but to let the lamp or light of God shine on your life, and therefore your life shine bright for the gospel that others would see and you can give praise to your heavenly Father who see you by his marvelous light.

The first section of Psalm 119 is the first two character of the Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph and Beth. Therefore memorizing Psalm 119:1-16 in the month of October is what our Ps.119 goal will be. Use a translated version of the Bible, like the NIV or ESV. I will personally be memorizing from the ESV, but any thoughtful translation will do. If you have questions about which one or even questions about memorization techniques, don’t hesitate to ask them by email at evanpatten@elevationlive.com.

I look forward to hearing and seeing the light of God, shine on the process of memorizing His word so He can have all the glory that is due to Him.

Hidden Behind the Cross,

Pastor Eric

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Got Jesus


I know this may be splitting hairs, but I saw a bummer sticker on a pick up truck this morning that said "got Jesus?" I know what the person was seeking with the bummer sticker. It was motorized evangelism. Don't have a ton of issues over that, but it got me thinking in another direction. Can I get Jesus? I mean can I possess Jesus like I got a cold or flu. Better yet, can I looses what I get in Jesus? If I am the one who got Jesus, does it mean I can drop Jesus? I think the sticker was trying to spin off the "got milk?" campaign that was a while ago, and certainly is nothing new to Christian's using culture to capture attention for Christ. It just got me thinking about the "got" part of the sticker. I think the question should be asked a little differently. "Does Jesus have you?" I think this holds a right perspective to the sovereign nature and calling of God in Jesus. It means that when Jesus has you, he does not leave or forsake you. It means He has the strong hand that holds onto you. I'm weak and often unable to get Jesus. I think God's strength is not lost when you flip the position of this question around of who chooses who. If God is the one getting, than he will also be the one drawing people into His strong and sure hand. If it is me, then I am liable to loosen the grip due to my human and sinful nature. I know by now that some of you are thinking I ought to stop thinking so much about innocent bummer stickers, or at best keep my eyes on the road. Rest assured I do, it was just a thought I had about a simple "got Jesus" bummer sticker. I think when effort is expressed in relation to Jesus I can only react in faith to the tremendous love of His grace and know that Jesus is the one who got me. "So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." Romans 9:16.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Miricle of Provision


Often I have read the story of Jesus turning loaves and fishes into enough food to feed thousands. It has gripped me that while Jesus was teaching, healing, and proclaiming the truth of God, that he did not neglect the basic needs of others. I read it and often I have doubted that simple provision in my own life.

Times are hard, no doubt. My family feels it and sees it in the lack of food in the fridge, but yet we still hope in God to come through to champion His heart into ours. This miracle of provision came tonight. As we were having family friends by for a humble potato soup and salad dinner. I get a text message from a Christ friend from Elevation Church who asks if it is OK to drop off something.

That drop was a van full of food. I mean a extra large portion of provision. Not a left over of some cold pizza, but fresh vegetables, canned goods to last for well over a month, and meats that would make a small deli blush. Seriously, when you look into the stories of God's word (the Bible) you might find yourself thinking they are far removed events of time past, and then all the sudden you get a real life, present day provision of God's story being written. I am humbled to the core about the amazing miracle of God's provision, especially within this church and it's people. As the song goes that is sung in many churches would say, "I stand in AWE of you."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meet Memfis

She is a high school girl. Like many girls these days, she struggles with identity issues. As long as I have known Memfis she has been a soul who carries heavy burdens. However, within the last several months she has turned a corner of in her life. Her countenance does not seem down and her burdens are light. Elevation had the privilege of witnessing her public baptism on January 31st of this year. Before she was baptized she testified to the battles she has had with beauty and self worth. She didn't seem special in her eyes and the world must have thought the same. Yet the gospel had reached her heart and revealed a new truth about how God sees her and how beautiful she is...continue to read...Meet Memfis http://www.elevationlive.com/news/the-vine/

Saturday, January 30, 2010


A new decade is before us and we can do one of two things when it comes to saving our lives. Either allow religion to, or Jesus. A book that give an accurate picture of John 14:6 declaration from Jesus when he says, he "is the way, the truth, and the life," is authored book "Religion Saves" by Mark Driscoll. I have found that in most chapters the idea that we all struggle with is being good enough for God. Thankfully, in Jesus we are. Give this book a read this year and rest in the finished work of Christ; allowing the relationship we can have with God be lived in humble confidence because of God's grace.