Tag Archive for: Shoreline Church

Recalibrate – Living on Purpose by Cheryl Luke

Have you ever spent a considerable amount of time searching for something valuable?  You can recall having it in your possession, yet for some reason, you are unable to uncover what you’ve done with it?  Maybe you’ve tried to identify or connect with something that clearly belongs to you.  It is in your possession. You own it. You know it’s yours; however, you just don’t know what to do with it.

Remember who you are.” This is something my sister, Cissy, advised my nephew every time he extended his reach toward the handle of their front door.   Derrek might have been going out to play with his childhood friend, Angel or on his way to school.  She faithfully recited these unforgettable words as he exited the car for band practice or a soccer game.  Without fail, this authoritative phrase became an anthem in their household, “Remember who you are.”

As I reflect on the simplicity of this all too familiar expression, I cannot help but wonder how often we lose sight of who we are, our true identity, our purpose and what we have to offer as individuals.  Life circumstances – disappointment, triumph and failure – help shape our distinctiveness, yet, they also have the capacity to send us reeling down a path we were never intended to travel. It is during these times we might ask the question, ‘how did I get here’ or ‘how do I get back to the place I’m supposed to be?’

During these times of reflection we have the opportunity to regroup, make course adjustments or to recalibrate.  In an effort to recalibrate one has to go back to their original intent, purpose or context – remember who you are.  Coming from the word caliber, recalibrate is the degree of excellence or the quality of something; recalibrate expresses the necessity to revisit one’s unique and initial state of existence.

Because life has become so busy, one may think ‘now’ is not the appropriate time to take advantage of life-adjustments.  Going off course or experiencing a win in life can be used to our benefit.  At this stage, you have the opportunity to further define who you are and why you are here.  So, take the time to recalibrate, assess your life and ‘Remember who you are’.  There is no better time than the present!

Here are a number of tips to help you reposition yourself:

1.     Stop – long enough to assess your position.  Think about where you’ve been and where you are going.  How did you get here and what will it take to move forward. Ephesians 2:10

2.  Pray – for wisdom. Ask the Lord to provide insight for your life. James 1:5; Proverbs 3:3-12

3.  Redirect – your thoughts.  This is a good time to think about what you have been thinking about.  Our thoughts are powerful and have great influence on our actions. Philippians 4:8

4.  Ask — for help.  Those who know you well have the capacity to provide a different and honest perspective about your situation.

5. Keep moving – forward.  You may have to change course.  Forward is the only direction in which you are intended to move.  You may or may not progress at maximum speed at first; nevertheless, you are moving in the appropriate direction.  Movement creates momentum.  Philippians 3:12-16 (MSG); 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (MSG)

6.  Live to give – your life away.  Pastor Laura Koke of Shoreline Church in Austin, Texas,coined this phrase.  Jesus is the greatest example of living and giving; He presented all that He had. We were created to share our lives with others. Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

One of my favorite translations of the Bible is the Message.  I want to encourage you to review and study these verses mentioned above in various translations.

Question:  When things go awry or when you encounter a win in your life-journey, how do you recalibrate?

***Cheryl Luke is the Women’s Pastor at Shoreline Church, Austin, TX. You can follow her on Twitter HERE and friend her on Facebook HERE.

Scandalous Grace

Second chances in life and leadership can often be viewed as scandalous. But, if you study the Bible, the message of Grace is scandalous. I mean just think about, without the act of radical grace in our lives we would have no second chances. Without the act of love and grace, why would churches be in business? Churches are not made for the righteous, but made for the sinner — people who have failed and missed the mark, just like you and me. Through Jesus’ work on the cross and by His love for mankind, Grace is given to every man and woman —to every liar, fornicator, stealer, adulterer, bank robber, money embezzler, etc…

I like quoting what my pastor, Rob Koke of Shoreline Church, Austin, TX says about grace, “The message of grace is that even though we can’t go back for a brand new start we get a second chance at a brand new future.”

A few days ago, I wrote an article about my thoughts concerning the Ted & Gayle Haggard scandal and about Gayle’s new book, Why I Stayed – The Choices I Made In My Darkest Hour. You can read the article by clicking HERE. In my article I said, “What if the church thought as chess players and saw the Haggard scandal as a opportunity and decided to leverage the crisis to impact and reach more hurting people that struggled with drug addictions, immorality and other issues of life that are in need of the love and grace of God?”

What I forgot to include in my article was how will the church-at-large pre-determine its response and actions when we see the next leader fail in their integrity or in immorality (whether it be a politician, nationally known pastor, professional athlete, etc..). Because the truth is more leaders will fall and more scandals will happen. It breaks my heart to say that, but it’s the truth. The questions should not be: When will it happen? Who do you think it will happen to? The real question should be:  “How will I respond when it does?” Will I respond in love, compassion and grace or will I be self-righteous and act as if they got what they deserved? ImpelMinistry.com has pre-determined our decision and our response towards leaders who fall, to be one of grace, compassion and one that encourages a second chance in their personal and leadership journey.

There is a grass-root new movement that God is beginning to raise up, called People of the Second ChanceRadical Grace in Life & Leadership. The founders are Mike Foster & Jud Wilhite and they have been speaking at conferences and events to rally a movement that give leaders a second chance to share their story and their struggles. We encourage you to follow and connect with what they are doing.

The mission of the church is to be one of love and grace to people of all walks of life. It’s amazing when you think about the power of the cross, you begin to think who Jesus has forgiven… the adulterer, the tax-embezzler, the murderer, etc… His grace is scandalous.

Everybody Has A Story by Kelly Mata

I really enjoy hearing peoples stories. You know everybody has one.  It always amazes me the journey of where people come from to where they are headed.  Everyone wants to share their story with somebody, to be heard, encouraged, to walk away with hope for their future.

My small group journey started with a women’s young adult group. It was my opportunity to be discipled, transparent, share my thoughts (and therefore my mess).  I remember being like a sponge, absorbing God’s Word, memorizing scripture, praying scripture and watching the other girls in the group live their lives “out loud” right in front of me.  My group prayed for me and challenged me in love.  That accountability was vital to my spiritual and emotional growth and kept me on track.  I still stay in touch with some of those women and thank God for positioning me with such a great group.  The group eventually grew and multiplied into two groups.  I discovered with a smaller group, there is more opportunity for everyone to share and invite new people to join the group.

After I got married, my husband Sam and I joined a couples group.  It was a new season in our life and frankly, we had no idea what to do.  Nobody gives you a manual on marriage when you say, “I Do.”  However, just being involved in a couples group helped guide us and keep us from feeling alone.  We grew in our relationship with Christ and learned how to love and respect each other according to the Bible.  We were challenged to keep returning to God’s Word to discover what He says about marriage and how to apply it to our own. Being in a small group with other couples gave us the opportunity to have married friends, to laugh, go on dates and share prayer requests.

As you can tell by my journey, I am a strong believer in small groups.  In fact, I can honestly say if it wasn’t for the small group communities I have connected with, I’m not sure where I’d be today.

Small groups have provided for me the following:

  • Discipleship
  • Celebrate victories & share burdens
  • Place of authenticity – I can be real in my group
  • Healing community – where I practically live out my Christian life.
  • Fun & laughter
  • Be with like minded people who also want to grow
  • Make a difference in the lives of others

In my opinion, small groups are most effective when the group, or community, rallies around a cause. For example, Shoreline’s cause is to unveil God’s love to all people. If people know they are loved by God they will be able to pour that same love out to others.  I believe each one of us desires to be involved in something greater and bigger than ourselves-a cause that will make a difference and a positive change in the lives of people; a cause that will make the wrongs right in the world we live in. For example, feeding the homeless or bringing groceries to a widow or building Caleb houses for orphans or buying school supplies for children with lower income status or bringing awareness of human trafficking.   I’m convinced that people who are in a community rallied around a cause also develop into committed followers of Christ and World Changers for His Kingdom.

We also hear so many stories of unbelievers who are invited by a friend to attend a small group first, and then start attending a church service.

Small groups is a place where we can get to really know people from our church and are able to reach out to our neighbors, coworkers, friends and family. It’s where they too can experience life-giving relationships.

I envision small groups in every neighborhood, workplace and school shining the light of Jesus, where people can be the “church”, and unveil God’s love in their city and world.  I’m convinced small groups of believers saturating our city will make the difference in the lives of people, both now and for eternity.  Sometimes it really is the difference between life or death.  In my case, it was the difference of hope and loneliness.   I am confident that if people are in a small group, whatever age or stage we are in, no matter what goes on in our life, we will be alright.  Small groups have made a difference in my life and I hope you give it a chance to make the difference in yours.

Your Thoughts?

Kelly Mata is the Pastor of Small Groups & Assimilation at Shoreline Church where she has been in full time ministry for 20 years. Her passion for helping people get connected to God and each other are contagious.  She thrives on encouraging people to reach their potential by using their unique gifts and talents to serve the local church, their community and the world. Kelly serves alongside her husband, Pastor Sam Mata and their 2 teen age sons, James and Robert.

You can follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyMata and Facebook Kelly McVane Mata or become a fan of Shoreline Small Group page