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By: Drew Neal

I’m a senior pastor, minister, conference speaker, and a church consultant ... and in every avenue I work in, a common need I find is more transparency. Some of my favorite moments are when I’ve been brought in as a guest of honor, and then share my current struggles. It gives permission for honesty, relationship, and the need for God as a human in process while also walking in honor and responsibility.

Leading up to being ordained in 2003 I had never witnessed a pastor blatantly share a current weakness with me. These moments were always shared as “I used to...” implying they had arrived and overcome. This was limiting for my development process because it subvertly created the pressure to also have a status of arrival as I began my ministry. It also created a culture that says if you are struggling, something might be wrong with you, or you might be disqualified.

Church leader culture: If you have a weakness, you’re marginalized. If you fail, you’re done.

With all the movements today, weaknesses are getting exposed at a heightened level. Things that happened many years ago are causing people to not just be out, but to be done.

Many Christians I know are upset with political correctness, upset that forgiveness isn’t exercised with second or third chances. But I wonder if the culture of the church of “fail and done” has been the pioneer of the PC movement? I ponder if the way we have crucified the failed leader has set this tone in the earth? And then... I wonder what could be possible in the church to shift all of culture through demonstrating radical restoration and reconciliation? 

Every choice we make can shake the earth!

I’ve seen affairs, crazy addictions, murder, and abuse all overcome. I think about what the church would look like if we asked Jesus how much restoration was too much? What length would He go to reconcile? What effort would He give to bring honor back and believe in someone’s future after failure? You can’t read the Bible and not be blown away at how God consistently used broken, weak, unhealthy people to do great exploits.

What if justice (getting what you deserve) was a short season? Haven’t we proved as a society that separation doesn’t equal rehabilitation? What if that was then followed by blatant mercy (not getting what you deserve) which was then followed up by a season of grace (getting what you don’t deserve)!

What if the end goal of restoration is giving something to someone that they aren’t worthy of? And what if this supernatural gift is the final encounter of healing?

Let’s be a voice for victims (a whole other needed perspective) and let’s be advocates for fallen leaders to have honoring paths available for restoration. Let’s crush the head of political correctness by exercising this reality:

The gift of empowerment defeats the label of failure. 

It’s been a tremendous year so far.  We are four months in to 2018 and everything in my life is building tremendous momentum unique to other years… tremendous synergy.  I’ve always had my hands dipped in a lot of things, but the weakness has been that it has spread me thin on lasting impact.  About a year ago, the Lord began to show me how to bring together a few of my worlds that rarely interacted - and it is starting to pay off. I’m so excited to begin to see the fruit of this, but I’ll share more of that in the coming months.  Here’s an update and encouragement from some of my travels this year. 

My take away from this year is very simple, yet weighty...

To read the post in full - click here!

Good News

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We have been so encouraged lately with how God is moving at GenONE and one of the avenues we have seen a lot of breakthrough is through our prayer chain! The way God has worked through the prayers of those involved is remarkable. Just in the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen appetites restored, abdominal pain ceased, breakthroughs in sleep, hearts restored, and comas interrupted with total restoration - to name a few. From people who have struggled with diagnoses for a while, to those who have onset symptoms, we are seeing breakthrough in powerful ways on the same day the prayers are sent out - sometimes within just a couple of hours!

Let's take a moment and celebrate what the Lord has done!

If you’d like to get involved with this ministry team by partnering with us in prayer and believing for Heaven outcomes on Earth, contact Mike Rutter! You can email him your name and phone number at michaelr@generationone.org to be added to the chain. Also, if you have any testimonies, we’d love to heart them! Simply send an email to goodnews@generationone.org. 

Thank you for all your support and be encouraged that He is moving in powerful ways.

 

Never. Ever.

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By: Tony Mancina

What if I told you that complete contentment in life is the overflow of simply knowing you’re not alone? 

Listen to this.  

One of the greatest partnerships we have is with the Holy Spirit which empowers the management of our lives.  This includes managing our internal world of desire, need, and contentment. Discontentment and covetousness are some of the enemy’s greatest tools of distraction and it’s rooted in the idea that I’m separated from God. It is the fruit of the spirit that allows us to gain control of unhealthy appetites that would want to rule our behavior. We need the Holy Spirit in conjunction with God’s Word, that brings inspiration and revelation for us to live in self control. In this, we can experience the true freedom and liberty that is encapsulated within it. As we actively engage ourselves with this unique partnership we have with the Holy Spirit, it leads us into confidently realizing that He will never leave us or forsake us.  

The writer of Hebrews tells us that we should not live our lives out of a state of “wantonness”; focused on what we don’t have while looking at others and desiring what they have. 

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  ~Hebrews 13:5

The solution is to believe you’re not alone. Living contently or being content is not denying the desire for more, but an unwillingness to let lack, or my present condition, rob me of joy and define my partnership with Him. Let’s take a look at the later portion of Hebrews 13:5 from the Amplified Version, where we can really get a comprehensive understanding of what the writer was communicating in Jesus’ promise to us.

“Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or RELAX MY hold on you [assuredly not]!”  

The greek words that translate into english as “never and nor” convey an absolute.  As reiterated in the AMP, it includes: never under any circumstance, no way, never ever, and I will not. That’s good news! So be encouraged today and rest in this truth. This strong wording to the end of this scriptures lets us know that contentment which is the key to overcoming covetousness is possible through the realization that I have a partnership with Him that He will never let go of.

He’s never gonna let you down! 

Family First

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It is no secret that we here at Generation ONE value community. Based on Jesus’ ministry, we recognize that generational wisdom and community is such an important factor in bringing Heaven to Earth. One of the ways that we emphasize this value is by offering Family Groups. These groups are open to all, and we encourage all those who attend to prioritize this unique aspect of community. Those in groups not only get time to eat and chat together, but also time to share testimonies, needed prayers, and the opportunity to dive deep into conversation and study around the values of the Kingdom. The community created in these environments is unlike any other, and the bond created between people can create lifelong friendships.

This semester, we launched several family groups - some of whom simply gathered to declare testimonies, and others who spent time in discussion and study around important values of the Kingdom. The results of even just the last two months has been extraordinarily positive. We just wanted to take a few minutes and honor God for the work that he is doing in these communities and through these relationships!

“Well Glory to God.  Very powerful... Felt the afterglow all the way home. You have blessed our lives…”

“ We just wanted more Jesus. Well we found that with the loving GenONE family. You are such a blessing.”

“... a great example of loving people.”

The environment in our Family Groups has cultivated relationships in a unique setting, that lead to an even greater experience during our weekend services. Many have reported that the environment of the groups leads to a connection with people on a deeper level, one that is harder to establish in the weekend services. These groups create an intentionality that cultivates friendship, the ability to learn from others and their wisdom and experience, as well as just the comfort of having friendships that emulate family so well.

The groups provide opportunities to be generous as well. Whether it's bringing dinners to share, snacks to pass, words to encourage, or blessings to give, the generosity of group members is outrageous. Through this, attendees have learned that there is more to Generation ONE than simply a “pastor”. The ability to depend on the body to help you walk through life’s circumstances with one another adds a new level to the value of our church.

Stay up-to-date for the next launch of Family Groups in the Fall Semester of 2018. We have leaders that are so excited to welcome you into our family and our community.

If you are interested in ever leading a group - we would love to hear from you! Find more information at www.generationone.org/family-groups, and let us know you are considering it.

We love people. We love community. We love families. We value walking through life with people, including you. See you there!

With Encouragement,
GenONE Family

The Pharisee Recovery Program

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By: Drew Neal

Hi, my name is Drew, I’m a recovering Pharisee, and it’s been a few days and a few hours since my last judgment.  Let’s just laugh at that!

Melissa and I watched a movie recently that told the story of a priest falling in love with a woman.  It showcased having to walk out the tension of what he believed was expected of him by God and the love that he was feeling. Surrounding this central theme were loads of religious ideas that were not so far off from the life I used to live.  It was a life I called devoted, sanctified, and even necessary.  Of course when we say something is necessary for us as a qualifier for right standing with God, it quickly becomes an expectation that we place on those around us.  As I begin to encounter the kingdom, I began to ask if the things I thought were important were actually important to HIM? What where God’s ideas of devotion, sanctification or even the mystically endless necessities? The kingdom is many things, but anything that doesn’t look like freedom quickly turns to judgement. While many people talk about the slippery slopes of grace (I like His grace pretty slick by the way) what would it look like to start a “slippery slopes of judgement” movement? What if the moment someone began to be judgmental and we spoke up rather quickly to warn them that judgment is a slippery slope and we’d recommend extreme caution? (This is a window into how my brain works :) 

The holy trinity isn’t hiring, so let's stop trying to do God’s job. 

Many of the thoughts that run through our head reflect the need for a new nature. His nature. These thoughts are opportunities to see other’s from the divine nature rather from the nature of judgement.  We often think:  “she’s pretty”, “ he’s handsome”, “they’re bold” , “they’re timid”, “they’ll never be a leader”, “they’re going to be successful”, “they’re never going to make it”, “they’re a waste of time” and on an on. These are ideas rooted against scripture if we make these statements as conclusions of who people will always be, rather than recognize them as current observations. While it may be true that people are in a current state of need, the truth about them is found in Heaven’s perspective and we MUST treat them as so. Love always calls them forward, expects development and growth, but never partners with a limited perspective on their potential and ability for God to do something greater than we currently understand. II Corinthians 5:16 challenges us to no longer define people according to the flesh, but according to the new creation. What would it look like to love people according to the divine nature rather than their current limitations? 

While it may be our job to understand the fruit of someone’s life, it’s not our job to treat them the way they deserve, but to treat them the way they are worth… 

Let me say it another way.  It’s not our job to judge, it’s only our job to be light, to be love, and to let God do the rest.  When we judge we are partnering with the spirit of the accuser, not God’s spirit. Some of you are vehemently disagreeing with me right now, and that’s ok, but let me tell you this. There’s nowhere in scripture that God has invited us to take His job as judge. The truth is, we can’t handle it. Judgement includes the responsibility of establishing someone’s worth and unfortunately, the human nature doesn’t have the ability to establish someone’s worth in a limitless fashion and to be healthy at the same time. We would either place them below us because we’re insecure, or put them above us because we don’t believe we are worth anything. 

So who in your world doesn’t “deserve love”, but is worth it according to God’s perspective? What limitation have you placed on yourself because you see yourself according to your past rather than your future? How can we come into disagreement with the deception of judgement and partner with Heaven’s perspective … a new creation perspective? Let’s give the mercy we all long for in our own circumstances, let’s be hope-filled in all things and treat others and ourselves the way we are worth.  

With Encouragement, 
Drew Neal

THERE'S A JESUS FOR THAT

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By: Jeffrey & Miranda Trudeau

Have you ever heard the phrase, “there’s an app for that”? In today’s modern age, we have access to almost everything within mere moments. In a world of texting, ubers, microwaves, and fast-food solutions, we have so many opportunities at our fingertips - it truly is amazing. Despite how helpful all of the tools and resources at hand, I have been on a journey of discovering that there is more at hand and accessible than even all these resources combined.

Through the Kingdom Culture class at GenONE, Jeff and I explored 12 values that cultivate a culture centered on the Kingdom. At a time in our lives where we were discovering what it meant to live around these values, we were immersed in a class that taught us not only knowledge, but application. Each situation with family, with jobs, with cars, and more, we were set up to look to these values as a solution.  

The truth is that when these values are expressed, the environment around you shifts and the possibility of Heaven coming to Earth becomes a reality. A few of these values include joy, generosity, and hope. No matter what situation you are in or trial you are facing, these values shift atmospheres, these values bring Heaven to Earth, and these values change outcomes. There’s a value for “that”.

What would it look like to orient your life around life-giving values? You look around at this world today and it is easy to find so many things that are negative, destructive, and do not promote life or love. To think deeper in this, how many interactions with people have you had this week that left you feeling encouraged, inspired, and more confident in your identity as His? A quick count may tell you not many, but don’t be discouraged. Although you cannot be confident in your ability to change others, you can be confident in your ability to start this process from right in your own space.

As His, we are challenged daily to look like Jesus. This means emulating values that directly reflect the Kingdom: including family, goodness, grace and empowerment, honor, joy and hope, salvation, revelation in the word, generosity, supernatural, risk in faith, valuing his presence, and the prophetic. If you truly center your life on being a reflection of Jesus, and you strive for every interaction you have with people to lead them into an encounter with God on a new level, then these values are a great place to start. These 12 kingdom values are direct reflections of God's’ character, so by creating interactions with people using these values, you are, by default, leading them into a new encounter with God.

I challenge you with this: in a world where we can access almost anything at our fingertips, be an encounter that brings more than what these conveniences can. You can’t always see or understand the impact of your words or actions, but each word of encouragement, of insight, and of love brings someone else one step deeper into their experience with God. When you strive to reflect what Jesus looks like, people encounter Jesus in every interaction with you. When people are struggling, there’s a grace for that - show them. When people are hurting, there’s hope for that - show them. Be a resource that they seek out, and in turn, be a resource that leads them to seek out God. Give love instead of negativity, find encouragement for someone instead of discouragement, show joy in the midst of a frustrating situation, and so much more. 

Have an encounter. Be an encounter.

With Encouragement, 
Jeffrey & Miranda Trudeau

 

Coming Home

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By: Josh, TX

Growing up, we all worshipped the Lord in our house. However, as I got older, things started to change. At age 15, my parents divorced and our family was split apart.  I immediately placed the blame on Him and decided to lead a different life. I chose to only spoke to people who were non-believers and as I did this, I started to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Even in the midst of this, though, He was still watching over me. On the course of that path, I should have died so many times, either from drunk driving or overdose, but I didn't because even though I myself had stopped believing, He didn't stop believing in me.

I carried on this path, until one day, when I was 23, my dad asked if I would like to go to a service with him at a church in McGregor. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but I went anyway. Right when I walked in the door and a man approached me. He was very kind, a quite contrast to the types of people I was choosing to hang out with at the time. As our conversation carried on, he began to tell me things about myself that he shouldn't have known. He would say that God had plans for me and of how I would speak with nothing but the power of the Lord that was overflowing inside me! At first, I just shrugged it off, but then I started speaking with others and most of them kept telling me the same thing. It confused me at first and I couldn’t grasp what was happening.  

It all began to change when worship started, though, and I felt something begin to stir inside of me…peace. When we finished singing, Drew Neal came up and started to speak. His message that week hit home for me and by the time he had finished his testimony and began to pray for everyone, I immediately broke into tears in front of these people I didn't even know. At this point, I had decided I didn't want the life I was living anymore. I wanted to know this peace and joy that everyone else was experiencing with the Lord. I continued to cry like a baby and went up front to speak with Drew and my father about what was going on in my heart. I told him a small amount of what I was dealing with and when they began to pray for me, I immediately could feel all my pain and suffering wash away! I was reborn that night!

Even though my new journey has just started, I am feeling better than I have in years. I feel nothing but his love for me and peace in my heart. For the first time in what has felt like forever, I was able to sleep without any problems or worries about what my future holds. I am so happy that I decided to say yes and go that night, if I hadn't I wouldn’t have been able to experience and know the happiness and the joy that the Lord has shown me.  

With Encouragement, 
Josh, TX