FeelMyFaith.com

Creative Biblical content at the intersection of life and faith.

Your Biggest Money Mistake



Spending is a character choice, not a dollar amount.



">Your Biggest Money Mistake from Brian Branam on Vimeo.
Spending is a character choice, not a dollar amount.
Continue reading
408 Hits
0 Comments

Just the Quotes from Exponential East 2015











Jim Tomberlin
  • “If they can do this in Mississippi, it will work at your church.”
  • “Growing churches have collaborative leadership teams.”
  • “God breathed into us the desire to be fruitful and productive.  God mastered multiplication (Gen. 1:28).”
Ying Kai
  • “We’ve been asking people to come when we should be telling people to go.”
  • “People don’t share the gospel because they don’t know where to start and they don’t know what to say.”
  • “Don’t ask for permission to share the gospel.  We don’t need permission to share Jesus’ love.”
Steve Murrell
  • “Jesus’ job, build the church.  Our job, make disciples.”
  • “In the western church ‘discipleship’ is a class to help members become better members.”
Joby Martin
    • On Matthew 16:19, “Are you building key rings, or handing out keys?”
  • Steve Stroope
    • “Acts 1:8 is not sequential, it is simultaneous.”
    • “Leadership is anticipation.”
Dave Ferguson
  • “The words we use reinforce the values of our culture.”
J.D. Greear
  • “Get beyond the idea that the call is for very few and the rest of us are just here to pay for them.”
  • “The future of the Great Commission is not in the hands of pastors, but in the hands of ordinary people who are disciples who make disciples.”
  • On John 16:7 “We are better off with the Holy Spirit in us than we are with Jesus beside us.”
  • On James 4:1-4 “How much of what we ask for, do we ask for as an adulterer?”
  • “What we do in church will not reach a majority of people because a majority of the unchurched people have no plans to be there.”
Mario Vega
  • Rough translation, “I had one of our men call me this week and ask, ‘How can I plant a church in Chattanooga?’  I don’t even know where Chattanooga is, but I told him, ‘Here is how you plant a church.’”
Michael Frost
  • “It is the stories we tell that give us the courage to believe and the strategy to reach the goal.”
Randy Frazee
  • “Is your church a starfish or a spider?”
Mark Jobe
  • On restarting dying and declining churches. “What you do with the first one will either open new doors for you, or close them forever.  Other people will hear how you do this.”
Derwin Gray
  • “Is who we are worth multiplying?”
  • “What we need in America is multiplied weakness; tear filled pastors.”
Danielle Strickland
  • “Let them see you bleed.”
Bob Roberts
  • “We don’t know how to do ministry in the open square because we don’t know how to love well.”
Ajai Lall
  • “We live in a world full of extremists.  It is time for Christian extremism.  Extreme love.  Extreme compassion.  Extreme forgiveness.  Extreme concern for the lost.”
Max Lucado
  • “Your actions have no thermostatic impact on God’s love.  God has determined to love you.”
  • On John 2, “‘They have no wine.’ You will never find a more naked, honest prayer than this one.”
  • “If prayer depends on us, we have no hope.  If prayer depends on the one who hears, then we have incredible hope.”
  • “Give your problems to Christ before they get to you.”
Oscar Muriu
  • “Do not let the smallness of your vision limit the greatness of our God.”
  • “Most of us know only sustaining faith (as opposed to mountain moving faith).  We under-challenge God.”
  • “An over abundance of caution is killing the church today.”
  • “Brave means God does not have to explain Himself to you.”
  • On Galatians 2:20, “Dead men are not afraid.”
Tags:
Continue reading
307 Hits
0 Comments

Best and Worst from Exponential East 2015











Last week I spent four days at Exponential East hosted by Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, FL.  Exponential is a movement of reproducing churches envisioned by Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community in Chicago.  This was my first time participating in the conference and I plan to return in 2016.  I left the place with a notebook full of takeaways.  Here is my list of the BEST and WORST from Exponential East 2015. 
  • WORST - Realizing how un-cool I really am.  Maybe it is the shape of my head or the shape of my face, but there is nothing about me that can pull off the whole “I’m wearing a toboggan in Florida in late April” thing and make it look awesome.  Scanning the crowd I realized that I was one of only a handful of people who did not have facial hair or a forearm full of tattoos.  As a matter of fact, I think I saw the other ten clean shaven, tat-less preachers at the Jacksonville pastor’s conference in January.  Hey fellas, next year let’s sit together and exchange Ike Reinhard tapes.  I am so 41, suburban, white guy pastor.
  • BEST - Not coming home from Tampa with tattoos, a toboggan, or facial hair.  Tattoos look like they hurt.  I’m too old to get that sort of thing started.  I sweat a lot, so a toboggan would only be torture.  My wife loves me clean shaven - AND THAT is all that really matters (if you know what I mean)!
  • WORST - The technical glitches during Eric Bramlett’s segments.  
  • BEST - Realizing that my church is not the only one Satan hates.  Technology remains very much in the realm of Hell and the Devil messes with all of us equally well.  
  • BEST - Eric Bramlett’s introduction of Max Lucado to a parody of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.  Even if somehow it remains possible that you are a Christian, have never been to Lifeway to pick up communion wafers, and know nothing about Max Lucado, you can still appreciate this.  If you know anything about the great Max Lucado - you will love this!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16Gg537_WrY
  • WORST - Looking on Google maps and thinking Port Richey is not far from Lutz; only to realize once you’re there that Florida is nothing but long stretches of toll roads.  Flight from Birmingham to Tampa - $250.  Daily commute on toll roads - flying is cheaper.
  • BEST - The 2 hour nap I took on Monday afternoon at the Hampton Inn in Port Richey. Great staff, great room, great price, very clean.  Pastor crash - much needed.
  • BEST - The Brazilian thing I ate for lunch on Wednesday.  I’m sorry that I can’t remember the vendor, nor do I have any idea what you called it - but HEY that big wrap of meat and stuff, it was really good. 
  • WORST - Thank you Exponential for the strategically placed snack baskets in hidden corners.  Your volunteer staff gave me the warm-fuzzies,,, BUT,,,, have you ever eaten a Nature Valley Oats and Honey bar?  Fiber - GOOD, resulting dental bill from eating honey coated concrete - BAD.
  • BEST - The Exponential red t-shirt volunteer staff.
  • WORST - The Exponential red t-shirt volunteer greeter guy that kept trying to touch me - on the way in - on the way out - OF EVERY SESSION.  Dude - I’m not a hugger.  Slow your roll.
  • BEST - The worship band with the mysterious violin girl - very Mumford of you all.
  • WORST - The worship band sitting behind you on the flight home and feeling the pressure of failing to share Jesus with the obnoxious Alabama fans beside you, while also having to exercise the Fruit of the Spirit - Don’t Punch People, the worship leader is watching you and so is God.
  • BEST - Propaganda.  Because most of my readers are probably more familiar with Bill Gaither than with hip-hop artists, allow me to explain.  Propaganda is a collision of Scripture and urban plight in spoken word.  In his lyrics he is harshly honest about what the church believes itself to be, what if fails to do, and what it categorically ignores about itself and the world it is called to engage.  I am not cool enough to have ever downloaded any Propaganda tracks.  My daughter loves him.  Yet at Exponential I was glued to every word.  Incredibly convicting. 
  • WORST - The moments when I imagined myself before my church, on stage beneath a single smoky spotlight, without notes, wearing a torn T-shirt, bringing rhythmic, poignant, edgy spoken word to the good Baptists of Northwest Georgia.  Not good.
  • Even worse - The guy who actually tried to do that last weekend at his church.  Please send YouTube link!
  • BEST - If @prophiphop would give me a follow back on Twitter!  I would get a ton of awesome pastor/dad points.  (That’s @BrianBranam just in case).
  • BEST - Multi-site workshops.  This is not to say that the other workshops were not stellar, but I actually signed up for Exponential because of the multi-site workshop, so I attended nothing else workshop wise.  I saw a lot of room 214 in the children’s wing.  The entire conference was more than I expected, but the multi-site sessions were everything I needed.  The speakers brought a great balance of content for the guys way down the path of multi-site while remaining relevant for those of us who are just entering the on-ramp.  
  • WORST - When I showed up a few minutes late to Randy Frazee’s session, he stopped what he was saying and asked, “Guy in the red shirt, who just joined us - why are you here?”  Oh crap, the guy who re-wrote the Bible just called me down like a sixth grader.  Me and Frazee, we’re good.  He emailed me his notes.  Great session.  Sorry I was late.  Please don’t tell on me to Max Lucado.  Yay Church of Christ.  He Chose the Nails, The Story, I’m a big fan.  Won’t happen again.    
  • BEST Quotes -
    • Jim Tomberlin
      • “If they can do this in Mississippi, it will work at your church.”
      • “Growing churches have collaborative leadership teams.”
      • “God breathed into us the desire to be fruitful and productive.  God mastered multiplication (Gen. 1:28).”
    • Ying Kai
      • “We’ve been asking people to come when we should be telling people to go.”
      • “People don’t share the gospel because they don’t know where to start and they don’t know what to say.”
      • “Don’t ask for permission to share the gospel.  We don’t need permission to share Jesus’ love.”
    • Steve Murrell
      • “Jesus’ job, build the church.  Our job, make disciples.”
      • “In the western church ‘discipleship’ is a class to help members become better members.”
    • Joby Martin
      • On Matthew 16:19, “Are you building key rings, or handing out keys?”
    • Steve Stroope
      • “Acts 1:8 is not sequential, it is simultaneous.”
      • “Leadership is anticipation.”
    • Dave Ferguson
      • “The words we use reinforce the values of our culture.”
    • J.D. Greear
      • “Get beyond the idea that the call is for very few and the rest of us are just here to pay for them.”
      • “The future of the Great Commission is not in the hands of pastors, but in the hands of ordinary people who are disciples who make disciples.”
      • On John 16:7 “We are better off with the Holy Spirit in us than we are with Jesus beside us.”
      • On James 4:1-4 “How much of what we ask for, do we ask for as an adulterer?”
      • “What we do in church will not reach a majority of people because a majority of people have no plans to be there.”
    • Mario Vega
      • Rough translation, “I had one of our men call me this week and ask, ‘How can I plant a church in Chattanooga?’  I don’t even know where Chattanooga is, but I told him, ‘Here is how you plant a church.’”
    • Michael Frost
      • “It is the stories we tell that give us the courage to believe and the strategy to reach the goal.”
    • Randy Frazee
      • “Is your church a starfish or a spider?”
    • Mark Jobe
      • On restarting dying and declining churches. “What you do with the first one will either open new doors for you, or close them forever.  Other people will hear how you do this.”
    • Derwin Gray
      • “Is who we are worth multiplying?”
      • “What we need in America is multiplied weakness; tear filled pastors.”
    • Danielle Strickland
      • “Let them see you bleed.”
    • Bob Roberts
      • “We don’t know how to do ministry in the open square because we don’t know how to love well.”
    • Ajai Lall
      • “We live in a world full of extremists.  It is time for Christian extremism.  Extreme love.  Extreme compassion.  Extreme forgiveness.  Extreme concern for the lost.”
    • Max Lucado
      • “Your actions have no thermostatic impact on God’s love.  God has determined to love you.”
      • On John 2, “‘They have no wine.’ You will never find a more naked, honest prayer than this one.”
      • “If prayer depends on us, we have no hope.  If prayer depends on the one who hears, then we have incredible hope.”
      • “Give your problems to Christ before they get to you.”
    • Oscar Muriu
      • “Do not let the smallness of your vision limit the greatness of our God.”
      • “Most of us know only sustaining faith (as opposed to mountain moving faith).  We under-challenge God.”
      • “An over abundance of caution is killing the church today.”
      • “Brave means God does not have to explain Himself to you.”
      • On Galatians 2:20, “Dead men are not afraid.”
  • WORST - That convicting feeling you get realizing all of the things you could have done and should have done.  The sense of loss in the years you did less than that for which the gospel calls.
  • BEST - Knowing that we have a redemptive God who is sovereign in all things.  He never fails.
Tags:
Continue reading
326 Hits
0 Comments

Why You? Why Easter?

Even though I am posting this on my blog I want to make a local, personal appeal to those of you who are within driving distance of North Murray High School in Chatsworth, GA.  If you can get there by 10:00 a.m. Easter Sunday morning - get there.  Why?
You may be thinking, yep, another big, over-hyped Easter church service.  I will go and hear the same sermon about the same thing that I have heard at every Easter service I have ever attended.
Not this Easter.
The resurrection is important and we will talk about it, but unless it answers your most serious questions, what’s the point?  
Have you ever cried out to God over and over again and it seems all you get is silence?  Me too.  On Easter Sunday morning - THIS is the sort of stuff we will begin to talk about.
Why do children who are being abused cry out to God for help, but the monster just keeps coming in?  Why do the people we need most in our lives get sick and die while it seems that evil people live long and continuously get their way?  Why do we struggle sexually to figure out who we are?  If the Bible teaches that we are not supposed to be homosexual, why is it that those desires can be so incredibly strong?  You may be a young wife who seems healthy in every way, you so desperately want to be a mom, but can’t.  Why not?  There are people on this planet who don’t deserve children, you’ve asked God for help - why not you?
This Easter Sunday I want to begin a conversation with you about the question you want answered the most - WHY ME?  
There are a million versions of the question.  Somewhere in your story it has been left unanswered.  Why me?  
It is time for answers.  Let’s talk!  
Please join me, Easter Sunday, in the North Murray High School auditorium for this critical conversation.
Why Me?
Easter Sunday, 10:00 a.m.
Chatsworth, GA 30705    
Tags:
Continue reading
231 Hits
0 Comments

...

Continue reading
206 Hits
0 Comments