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Pastor Nick

What the Panthers game taught me about live-streaming

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Sunday was the first time in a few years that I have had the opportunity to go to a Carolina Panthers game. It couldn’t have been a better game to go to. I mean come on. 49-15 is great and yes I had to dab at least 49 times during my time there. As I was sitting there, fans screaming all around me, jumping up and down in anticipation for what’s to come I realized something:

Going to the game and watching the game are vastly different.

As technology continues to advance and we become more inclined to things at our fingertips, more and more churches are diving into live-streaming services. I will be the first to say that I am totally for it! In fact, Propel will start live-streaming in the near future. However, watching a service from your home, and being a part of it are different. Technology should complement your church experience not complete it. Live-streaming is incredible for tuning in on those sick days or while traveling but if the only time you connect with your church is from tuning in at your convenience you will miss out on a few things.

Here are a few things you miss out on when settling for just live-streaming:

#1) You miss the celebration

At the game, you experience a ton of celebration especially when your team is winning. As a follower of Jesus, we always have a reason to celebrate. We live on the winning team because of what Christ accomplished on the cross and then by being risen 3 days later. In HIM we have every reason to celebrate despite our situations and circumstances. Being involved in a service in person, you get to not only experience your own celebration, but the celebration of others. We have the opportunity every week to celebrate when people begin to follow Jesus and take steps closer to Him. For us as followers of Jesus, that’s a touchdown worth celebrating.

#2) You miss the connection

Charlotte traffic is not a very enjoyable experience and because of that we arrived at the game early. Waiting for kick off allows plenty of time to strike up casual conversation with anyone willing to talk. This is where I met Bill. This week I had the opportunity to connect with a guy that I may never have met had I not gone to the game. This may be a one-time meeting or Bill could be the next beer cheese aficionado I have been searching for. The point is, when you only watch, you miss out on the opportunity to connect with new people. The sad reality is that for most of us we settle for “Facebook friendships” where the extent of our knowledge of a person is what is found in the about column. God’s desire for you and me is to connect with people who we can do life with.

#3) You miss the community

On Sunday the Panther’s stadium was covered in a sea of black and blue. This wasn’t just a bunch of people who happened to be wearing the same colors. These people were a part of a community, a community larger than the facility but gathered together to rally around their team. As followers of Christ, we are on the team known as the Body of Christ – The Church. We get to gather together in community to love, support and encourage each other as we continue to do what God has called us to do. We need community in our lives to hold us up and cover us when we can’t do it ourselves. Don’t just watch others be a part of the community, join in for yourself.

 

Week Recap 1/17/16

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Words are one of the most powerful tools we have. To bring life or death. Words smooth us or pierce us. We have the capability to heal with words or we can set fire. How do we control such a powerful tool? Pastor Nick Newman continues in the series “Power to Change” as he walks us through the how-to’s in spiritually seeing our “life giving” and “life taking” battle. We are not capable of this change alone. With God we are truly able to change hurtful words into positive, building blocks to a healthier relationships.

 

Top quotes from this weekend:

“Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul healthy to the body”

Proverbs 16:24

 

ladies nightLadies we are having a night out just for you! We will be having a painting class at Sunday Art Gallery at the cost of $30. We only have 20 spots left so be sure and contact Tori Newman 704-796-3864 or Natalie Wensil 704-223-8222 to get registered

baptism vid

We are hosting Baptism on February 7th! If you need to be baptized sign up in the link below!

https://propel15.wufoo.com/forms/baptism-sign-up/

10 books you should read in 2016

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Let me start off by saying that I try and read often. Try being the key word there. My bookshelf is full of books that I have gotten only a third of the way through only to be distracted by the update of my fantasy football roster. Below I have laid out 10 books that I have read that I would highly recommend to others!

 

  1. Grace- Max Lucado
    • learn more about the extravagant beauty of grace (click here)
  2. Pursued- Jud Wilhite
    • Unpack the book of Hosea and God’s pursuit of you (click here)
  3. Sandcastle Kings- Rich Wilkerson Jr.
    • Jesus is the only unshakable foundation (click here)
  4. Tribes- Seth Godin
  5. Next Generation Leader- Andy Stanley
    • The 5 C’s of leadership that will leave a legacy, not a memory (click here)
  6. Deep & Wide- Andy Stanley
    • Help your church reach the unchurched (click here)
  7. 8 Essentials of a Catalyst Leader- Brad Lomenick
    • Better develop yourself as a leader (click here)
  8. Let Hope In- Pete Wilson
    • Having hope in the middle of the hardest times in life (click here)
  9. Unoffendable- Brant Hanson
    • It’s difficult but not impossible (click here)
  10. Living Your Strengths- Albert Winsermas
    • Learn how God created you and live it out (click here)

 

Happy Reading,

-Pastor Nicl

Why I don’t tip

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Now before you write me off and get angry because of a well thought out blog title let me once again say that I don’t tip at restaurants. Immediately if you have been in the restaurant industry your blood will begin to boil, but let me explain. I don’t tip at restaurants because God won’t let me. Tired of me only giving you one part of a thought per sentence yet? Good, just keep reading and we’ll get there.

The reality is for many people in the food industry, their view of God is tied to God’s people who they have the opportunity of serving on Sundays after church. I have heard people say that waiting on people on Sundays has made them never want to walk into church. If I am honest I was one of those guys. As a 16 year old kid who would wipe down tables at a local family restaurant; it astonished me to see the people who would yell at the waitress, leave a $2 tip, and that weeks bulletin to the front for 10% off their meal.

It is ridiculous and I think that it’s time for the church to step up and change things. The reason I cannot tip at restaurants because tipping is a requirement, but God’s command is to be generous. Tipping you gives you what you deserve. After all, you did just serve me. However, we serve a God who isn’t in the business of giving us what we deserve. As a Christian who understands that everything that you have was given to you by God (Romans 11:36) must display generosity.  You were blessed on purpose and that purpose is to be a blessing into other peoples lives. Don’t believe me?

 

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11

3 things we can learn from this text:

  1. You are enriched– God is the one who blesses you and enriches you! Unfortunately, most of us don’t feel rich, but if you have a roof over your head you are in the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the world.
  2. God wants you to be generous– The reason God blesses you is for the purpose of being generous. Often times we like to hoard and hold onto what we thing we deserve but scripture is clear God gives you stuff so you can give it away. Even Paul says this, “It’s better to give than receive.”(Acts 20:35)
  3. People will thank God for your generosity– I always find it intriguing that the moment people receive a gift that is extravagant they say “Thank God”. Some may be insulted, but I believe that at our core, we know who our provider is. Your generosity will result in people thanking God, it may just open the door for them to begin a relationship with HIM.

So as you go out to restaurants this week don’t tip, BLESS your waiter or waitress with a HUGE sum of money. Be a blessing to those around you, demonstrate the generosity of God, and watch people thank God for it!

3 ways to improve your marriage

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As we look at the world around us, we can see that we live in a “give up and just start over” culture. For some of us, this mindset has carried over into our marriages, and because of that we’re seeing and hearing a lot of miserable people.

Before my wife Tori and I got married, people would say things to us like, “Oh, you just wait! Marriage will show you everything you hate about each other, and make you wonder why you even got married.” People would often give me a funny look as the next words out of my mouth would be, “I DON’T RECIEVE THAT!”

In all seriousness though, I do not believe that God created the beautiful covenant of marriage so that you could be miserable. I believe that God created marriage to pull the best out in you, not the worst.

So in the short time that I have been married, here are 3 things that I have learned that I believe will improve your marriage:

 

1. Make date night a priority

 

Life is busy. I get it. Between work, school, kids, relatives, sports, hobbies, and friends, there are so many things that fight for our attention. Right now I am in the busiest season of my life. I am in the middle of planting a church that launches in September, I am married, I run a design company, I have a staff to manage, and I am constantly meeting with and building relationship with people. Oh, and yes, I also have friends.

The point is we are all busy, but we will make time for what’s important to us. If we want to see our marriages be happier and healthier then we must set apart time to take our spouse out on a date. You dated in your efforts to get married; don’t stop now that you are married. Date night is simple: it’s a night where just you and your spouse go out to spend time together.

I know what your thinking…but it costs money and I will have to hire a babysitter. The average person spends $35-$50 on coffee alone. That’s plenty of money to hire a babysitter with. Now is the time to stop making excuses for why you don’t do it and begin setting yourself up to be able to do it.

 

2. Make sex a priority

 

I know what you are thinking, “Of course the guy who has only been married for a year is telling me to have more sex…what does he know.” You’re right. My wife and I have lots of sex, but contrary to popular opinion, it’s not simply because we are newlyweds. We have sex often because it is one of the greatest gifts from God apart from salvation!

Sex is a beautiful thing inside the covenant of marriage. When God created Adam and Eve, He didn’t say throw a party, or go out dancing he said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” In other words he said, “go and have sex; enjoy!”

Sex inside of a marriage is such a beautiful thing, however, sex should primarily be about pleasing your spouse not fulfilling your own desires. Husbands, your wife isn’t crazy for wanting to have long conversations after sex and/or wanting to cuddle. Likewise, wives, your husband isn’t crazy for wanting to have sex everyday. God put a sex drive inside of us so that we could enjoy it inside the context of marriage. It’s time for us to lay down our pride and have more sex. Your marriage will benefit from it.

 

3. Make creativity a priority

 

Nothing drives me crazier than the same old boring staleness of life. There is an electric excitement that comes when we live life spontaneously. God is the author of creativity, in the beginning God…. CREATED! It is a huge part of who God is and because we are created in His image creativity flows through us.

I believe that making creativity a priority allows you to look past the boring everyday and continue to discover new and exciting things about your partner.

I guarantee you are tired of every date night being dinner and a movie. Be adventurous and get creative! Go on a scavenger hunt, take a nature walk, make a jar containing notes about the things you love about your partner. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creatively showing your spouse that you love them and are thinking of them.

I will say this though, ladies: it is not the sole responsibility of your husband to plan everything. That is simply an unfair expectation to have that pressure resting solely on your husband. You taking the initiative to get creative will get you out of your comfort zone, and allow you to walk into uncharted areas with your spouse.

I hope that as you incorporate these three things into your marriage that God would grow you into a healthier and thriving couple.

 

Be fruitful and multiply,

Pastor Nick

 

5 tips for financial success

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At the beginning of every year we all say things like ” next year I am going to do…..”. On almost all of the lists I have seen, finances rank pretty high. So how do you set yourself up for financial success in 2015? I am going to give you 5 tips for financial success in 2015. I am not claiming to be a millionaire, but I do live in financial freedom and have seen God do some extraodinary things in our finances because we trust Him. So here it goes:

1. Stop living within your means

Hear me out, living within your means is great, if you want to spend the rest of your life living paycheck to paycheck. The reality is that life happens and if you live paycheck to paycheck chances are when life happens it causes you to panic. I am not sure about you but I don’t enjoy when I have to choose between a new set of tires and food for the week. Living under your means will allow you to create margins in your finances and margins = money. It isn’t always easy to not spend money, but it’s necessary to living in financial freedom.

2. Get honest with yourself

It has been said, “honesty is the best policy”. That statement is so true in the area of your finances. We all need to have a honest look at where we are financially and where we want to be. Getting honest will cause you to say no to some things now so that you can say yes to greater things down the road. This will most likely mean that you cannot buy a new pair of shoes every paycheck or have a shopping spree, but you will be mastering your money instead of it mastering you.

3. Begin tithing

 I know what you are thinking, ” the pastor wants to talk about money”. Your right I do, in fact so did Jesus. He thought that money was such a stronghold in the lives of people that He spoke on it often saying things like “where your treasure is, there your heart is also”. The point is if we take scripture at its word saying “every good gift is from God” then I would say God gave you 100% of the money you have. Tithing (10%) is simply giving back to God what is rightfully His! I believe that God wants to bless your finances but if you don’t loosen your death grip, how will you be able to receive the blessings of God? It is extremely hard to catch a blessing with a closed fist.

4. Start a savings account

Remember earlier when we talked about living under your means, and getting honest with your finances? When you do those things you end up with extra money. Rather than blowing that money, start a savings account with your bank. This will allow you to establish an “oh crap fund”. Life still happens, and when it does, with a savings account, you have the ability to not become overwhelmed by them. You never plan for bad things to happen, but you are saving to overcome them if they do. 

5. Create a budget (we have spreadsheets for you)

Lastly, create a budget and stick to it. a budget is a strategic plan on how you are going to spend your finances. Creating a budget allows you to know how to operate. This is a rough sketch of our budget:

  • Tithe- 10%
  • Savings-10%
  • Housing (mortgage/rent)- 30%
  • Expenses (utilities/groceries/gas)-30%
  • Date night- 10%
  • Not alloted (margin)- 10%

It gives us an outline of how we spend the money that comes in and allows us to plan for financial sucess!

My prayer for all who read this is that 2015 would be an incredible year of financial success for you!

Always Forward,

-Pastor Nick