Below are the issues of the Brady Lane Ledger, Volume 1. With articles from our Senior Pastor Jeff Keller, as well as messages from our Elders and other prominent Christian writers. We hope you will enjoy!
Hey there everyone! Haven’t added to the blog here since before Christmas, so I thought it would be a good time early in this NEW YEAR to check in. We are headed into the last weekend of January – hard to believe that four weeks have zipped past us already. We announced yesterday that we have finished the first month with hiring our NEW TEAM MEMBER & Next Generation Director, Stacey Smith, who will be with us beginning February 3, 2019! Can’t wait for Stacey and his family to join us.
I have mentioned a few times the last few months that I have felt like God is preparing us for something big…something special for His kingdom and glory. I haven’t been able to figure all of it out as of yet, but I know Stacey and his family coming is part of it. I know continued, steady, growth is part of it. We have grown from a 2017 weekly attendance average of 165 a Sunday to 215 a Sunday in 2018. We have had Sundays upwards of 230-240 that were not Easter or Christmas. A more important number for me is that we have had around 25-30 nursery – elementary school children in attendance on average! We have grown our second service from a weekly average attendance of 60 in 2017 to 110 in 2018. Every Sunday we see new faces, and more and more of them are not going through a revolving door…they are sticking around.
What are we doing? What is the magic that we have captured in a bottle? How can your church get the growth we are getting? I don’t think it is anything earth shattering. We are growing slowly but steadily because we are transparent, We love people, and we hold scripture as our truth from God. That’s it.
No smoke and mirrors…no laser light show. No promises of financial prosperity. No books being written on how to do it yourself! Is it a NEW APPROACH…no, I don’t think so.
Transparency – If you are reading this I want you to know we are not perfect. We are 250-ish sinners who have been saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. Of all the sinners, “I am the worst” the Apostle Paul wrote. We don’t have it all figured out. We stumble. We struggle. We have people who are fighting depression and anxiety. We have people who are working with the Holy Spirit to overcome addictions. We have people who have recently lost loved ones and are grieving. We have folks who are struggling with identity issues, sexual impurity, and the list goes on and on. We have folks who are going through their first, second, or third battles with Cancer. We have others who are just struggling with aging. If you are struggling with life, you belong with us…not to be judged, or ridiculed or picked on…but to become one of us…one of our family! We are certainly a bunch of misfit toys! But the joy that we live in and the peace that sustains us comes from the fact that Jesus has cleaned us up…washed us clean of sin by spilling his blood. We are made righteous by his sacrifice!
Love – I know…an overused, misunderstood, and abused word. We love tacos, or we love our football team, or we love our new car! Our modern lifestyle has sucked the life out of a word that once meant something special…Hesed – in the Hebrew – Agape in the Greek. Love without condition. God’s love. At Brady Lane Church we do our best to display love, through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The fruit from our relationship with the Holy Spirit of God, and with Jesus Christ our intercessor, and the Father – brings that unity of brothers and sisters from every tribe, tongue and nation. We have folks who are Hispanic, we have African Americans, we have folks who are from Korean and Japanese descent. We have had folks who have joined us for seasons who have either lived in or are from countries like Taiwan, Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Haiti, and soon Indonesia. We support missions in our community, our state, our country and the world. We serve anywhere between 150-175 families twice a month with our food pantry. We minister to 30 neighborhood families with our Good Shepherd Learning Center preschool. WE provide Grief Recovery Classes, Financial help classes, and Bible classes. We have fellowship events within our congregation regularly but we also have big events that we invite our whole community to be a part of. We don’t do any of it because we are special…we do it because of God’s love growing up in us through the work of the Holy Spirit! And we want to share that LOVE with YOU!
Truth – You have a truth, I have a truth, she has a truth, he has a truth! We all have a personal truth that we hold to, that is usually marred with our own personal opinions, experiences and upbringing. At Brady Lane Church we are working to make sure our personal truth lines up with GOD’s Truth…and His Truth is found in His Word…Jesus. Scripture helps us understand where God wants us to go and what He wants us to do…but our understanding of God’s truth comes from a daily interaction with God’s word. Do we do it perfectly…are all 250 of us in it everyday…again…TRANSPARENTLY…no. But I do believe we have a growing number of folks at BLC who are trying harder and harder to keep that commitment to living in a relationship with God through His Word. Psalm 119:115 says that God’s word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path. I shall hide it’s words in my heart, that I might not sin against God. God’s Holy Word is our Truth… and we hold up His Truth. We don’t apologize for God’s commands. We don’t back away from difficult topics. We don’t shudder under the weight of worldly popular opinion. God is who we have to answer to in the end. As one collective body we say…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD! That’s it.
Are you looking for a NEW LIFE? Are you looking for a church family. Are you looking for a drama free zone. Are you looking for a bunch of goofballs and misfit toys that you can add your distinctive gifts and love to? Are you looking for a place that cares about you – not your money, (we are a debt free church – your giving is between you and God…we don’t care to know your business), we care about your family becoming part of our family. Are you looking for a place to worship God by singing traditional hymns? Are you looking for a place to worship God by singing contemporary praise music? Are you looking for a place to worship, and you don’t care what kind of music we play? We have it all…come and check us out!
You are welcome! You will be greeted at the door by some awesome people with beautiful smiles. You will be given a gift from us to you, and you will be shown where things are by our wonderful Guest Services Team! Stop running from God. Stop trying to figure it out. Come join us sinners who have been saved by Jesus!
WELCOME, to Brady Lane Church!
As we approach the weekend before Christmas, I want to take a moment to say thank you to some people who have made 2018 amazing!
Amy Keller…my bride, my ministry partner, my support, my comfort, my love…thank you for being who you are. You mean the world to me!
My Family…My kids Ashton and Elijah, My son in law James, my grandbabies Emory and Odin…I love you all so much, you all are my best.
My Extended Family…parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, Aunts and Uncles, and cousins…thanks for being awesome!
My Church Family…BRADY LANE CHURCH…YOU ROCK!!!! Amy and I Love you all!
BLC Elders…You guys are my teammates, my go to guys, my friends, my brothers. I love you guys!
BLC Staff…You ladies keep this place afloat! Without all of you we would not have the growth we have had in 2018!
BLC Team Leaders…All of you and your teams have done an amazing job lifting all the areas of ministry up in 2018! Keep up the good works for Jesus and His Kingdom!
Paul Del Valley – My Preaching Partner, confidant and friend! May God continue to bless your ministry at Colfax Christian! Looking forward to working through 2019 together!
Rob Brown – My good friend. May God bless you in 2019!
All of you mean so much to me, and there are so many I didn’t have time or space to mention individually who are on my mind and in my thoughts all the time!
As we head into the new year, let us be mindful of Christ, lifting His Name up high as strive to continue to GROW UP in HIM. Our first sermon series in 2019 will be titled GREATER, and will be represented by the “greater than” sign in between the years 2018 and 2019. The “alligator mouth” is pointed at 2019…indicating that we are going to be striving to be greater in 2019. Greater at what you might be asking. Greater at producing the fruit of the Spirit! We will spend the first 8 weeks of the year going deep in scripture to push ourselves to produce and bear more fruit in 2019!!! Join us beginning January 6th 2019!!!!!
We just finished a sermon series called Too Much: Living with Less in the Land of More. It is inspired by the book written by Dr. Gary Johnson, long time Lead Servant of The Creek, a book about making Jesus the Lord of our finances…and approaching our lives in a way that avoids the myth of more…a life that mirrors the humility, generosity, sacrifice, and love of Jesus.
One of the most troubling things about ministry is watching people who have tremendous potential to be amazing Kingdom workers just go through the motions. I think we all…myself included need to examine our hearts daily to determine if we are going through the motions enjoying the gift of salvation without the dying to self part…making Jesus first, others second, ourselves last. The picking up our cross daily and following Him part.
There are many who seek the salvation of Jesus who don’t want anything to do with Lordship of Christ. I’m not just talking about finances. I’m talking about wanting the gift without the surrender. Trying to have a foot in both worlds will only end with grief. Jesus never said we had to give up the things of this world that are good…and created for our pleasure and enjoyment…he just said we have to seek Him first…meaning we have to make Him Lord.
I encourage you to take a moment as we head into the season of MORE to read Matthew chapter 6. The entire chapter…part of Jesus Sermon on the Mount…is about making Jesus Lord. Here are some of the most important verses from the chapter…
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Before there was a Black Friday, Turkey Thursday, Wonderful Wednesday, Terrific Tuesday, and Marvelous Monday – yes according to the Amazon commercials…one day of deals was not enough…now we have a whole week! Before any of these temptations of MORE existed, Jesus taught us that the myth of more was just that…a myth…more will not satisfy you. It will not make you happy. It will not fulfill you. It will not fill the Jesus shaped hole in your soul.
Depression, anxiety, suicide are all out of control, people are seeking things to remove these feelings and hopelessness…Folks they never will. God created us to have that desire and desperate need to find fulfillment. That fulfillment comes from letting Jesus be the LORD and savior of your life.
I share this with you not to scold…not to judge…not to hate…but to remove the hopelessness and replace with HOPE. To remove the depression and anxiety and replace it with peace. To remove the darkness and replace it with light.
If you want something different…I am here – and ready to listen, and help you find the ONE you are missing. God bless you and keep you, may He cause His light to shine upon you, and grant you peace!
Hey everyone! It’s Tuesday morning of Holy Week, the week that leads up to Resurrection Sunday – the title I prefer to Easter Sunday. Sunday is the day that we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! The Maker and Perfector of our faith! As we head through the week I want to challenge you to read some scriptures and do a few things to prepare for Sunday!
- First read the arrest and crucifixion narrative sometime this week from all four Gospels. Maybe Read one Each day starting on Wednesday. They are each two chapters long. (Matthew 26 & 27; Mark 14 & 15; Luke 22 & 23; John 18 & 19)
- Also Read 1 Corinthians 15. I am going to be preaching out of that chapter but for time’s sake won’t be able to cover the entire chapter. We will be specifically studying verses 3-8; 18; 20-22; and 57. But to have a good grasp of the context it will help if you have read the text before coming.
- PRAY. Meditate. If you feel led…fast. Prepare your heart and soul for something from God.
- Join us at Elmwood Church of Christ on Friday night at 7pm for our Good Friday service. This will prepare you even more for what is to come on Sunday.
Resurrection Sunday is always a special day. I have many beautiful memories from past observances of the resurrection of Christ. I know this coming Sunday will be added to those! Join us at 8:30am or 11:00am. Breakfast will be served between the two services! Lots of good food and great fellowship! We will be finishing our Song of the Ages teaching series with a message titled: O Glorious Day!
I hope this past month you have taken it to heart and been encouraged by the fact that Jesus Paid It All, so that we could understand How Great the Father’s Love is, and realize that each one can come, Just As I Am, to receive his Amazing Grace, so One Day we can share in His resurrection…O Glorious Day!
May God bless you and keep you, may He cause His Light to shine upon you, and grant you peace!