God is NOT everywhere

by Kevin Gerald
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Okay, so people who are doing all the wrong things, they say to me, “Where is God?” And it’s like they assume that because God is on my present and they’ve heard [for example] that He’s here, and he’s also in Florida, and He’s also in Texas and He’s also in Europe… that God is everywhere. And the truth is [I’m realizing] that God isn’t everywhere.

For example, God is not in our stupid, and He’s not in our confusion and He’s not in our strife, and He is not in our doubts. So, I’m just thinking today that a lot of people need to wake up and realize that their experience is telling them [by way of experience] that God isn’t in what they’re doing.

Question is, “Where is God?” He’s in wisdom, God is in unity, God is in peace, God is in faith. He isn’t everywhere –He’s in the right places and you can find Him there.

The Mystery

Notes from Brandon Stewart taken from Champions Centre Monday Staff Meeting With Chris Caine

Today I sat in a staff meeting and heard some teaching that has had a big impact on my life. I mean huge. I have been in many services and conferences...and heard some of the world's best (and we have an incredible Pastor who brings us the best every week). But today was different. Today was timely. It was a Word in season for me, and I believe our Church. It put words to the way I see myself and ministry, but could never describe it.

Have you ever looked at a Church, or a person for that matter, and thought "Wow, God is really doing something incredible through that person." Every once in a while we encounter God doing something so big, that we don't know how to describe it. It is nothing less than the plan of God at work on the earth. It is a mystery.

For most of my time in ministry, I have been known to say that I will "spend the rest of my life serving another man's vision." It has been my attempt to communicate to people that I do not seek to be a Senior Leader (very common assumption in ministry....that everyone needs to have their own Church or ministry to be successful). I seek to be the greatest support leader that I can be. I have committed my life to serving, and doing what needs to be done.

Today this was taken to a new level. It is no longer enough. I will be a steward.

John 15:15 NIV (quite possibly my life's theme for this season)
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends (stewards), for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

Think of the last time you went into a small business, and experienced customer service. You can always tell a difference between a worker and the owner. A worker clocks in for their shift...does what is required...and punches out. No personal risk is necessarily involved. The owner, however, is much different. The owner is responsible for the success of the business. In fact, they cannot be successful unless the business is successful. They are invested. They are loyal. They have longevity. They are stewards over this business.

This is the life of a steward. It is a life of owning the vision, not just contributing to it. It is the place of longevity, accountability and submission. At times it is the place of sacrifice. But it is also the place of greatness. We have been given what I would consider to be the greatest commission known to man...to "go and make disciples of all men." We're alive for the Cause of Christ. We're experiencing the mystery that God and man can be reconciled to each other...and it is up to us to see as many people brought to God as possible in our years on the planet.

I will not be known as someone who is passive about this commission. I will not take lightly the Work that we do for Christ. When the eyes of heaven are roaming throughout the earth, I want to be found as someone committed...passionate...and alive on purpose.

Some thoughts I wrote down today....
-A servant serves a vision, a steward owns the vision.
-A servant serves out of obligation or duty, a steward lives with passion and conviction.
-A servant focuses on a task, a steward focuses on fruitfulness and advancement.
-A servant learns obedience through restriction (a necessary step), a steward demonstrates obedience without restriction. They show voluntary submission and loyalty.
-A servant attends Church where is best for them...and serves where they want to serve. A steward serves where is best for the House/team.
-A servant has visible areas of responsibility, a steward is serving invisible assignments. No credit is necessary.

The vision of Champions Centre is my vision. I own it. The success of the Church and my personal success are inseparable. I will not seek personal success at the risk of a team defeat. But the opposite is true. I will die a thousand deaths if necessary to see the Church move forward. In a world where Christian leaders all over the world are imprisoned and tortured as they advance the Kingdom of God, I will give every ounce of my life to this Work. I will work, regardless if I get the credit. I will not pursue positions or titles. My goal is influence for the cause of Christ. To see His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

It is amazing to me that our ministries can have national and international influence. And at the same time, a person living just down the street may have never heard the name of Jesus or His Church. It means our job is not done yet! We've got to be busy. We are created for this. Regardless of your background, skills, qualification, or occupation...we're all in this together.

My question tonight...
Will this be our Church? Will we move from simply being servants of a vision to stewards of the Mystery that is Jesus and His Church? Will we do everything in our power to advance the cause of the Kingdom of God in our generation?

Let's be stewards over this great mandate.


We’ve heard it said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Relationships are the same way. The strength of a relationship is only as strong as the people in it. Each of us brings to a relationship whatever strength or weakness we have.

JAMES 3:17 – “You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.”

Here are three keys to being a strong link and forging unbreakable relationships with other people.

First, be aware of and manage fear. We all wrestle with some kind of internal fear, the voice inside our head that negatively affects our relationships when we act on it.

Some people are afraid of being taken advantage of. When someone invites them to dinner, the internal chatter starts. “What does she want from me? What is he going sell me?” He or she fears being manipulated, and keep people and opportunities away.

Other people are afraid of rejection. “What are they thinking about me? Should I say something or will it sound goofy? I don’t think they like me. They don’t notice me.” Those who are highly social talk a lot, but are afraid of being misunderstood. We need to remember the words of Timothy, that God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7).

Criticism of work or performance is something that people can fear. The internal chatter says they don’t measure up. These people are driven toward being a perfectionist because they are afraid of not performing well, of failing.

Another fear is that people are afraid of losing our financial or emotional security. Imagine a company with layoffs on the horizon. An insecure individual will pester his boss, creating tension-filled, awkward conversations, trying to grab some sort of security. Instead, he creates a needy, nagging persona that will backfire.

Isaiah chapter 41, verses 10 and 13 say: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand ... For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Second, we need to clarify the facts. Fear leads to negative assumptions. If the assumptions are inaccurate, an otherwise healthy relationship is derailed. People start reading between the lines, and come to their own conclusions. Research shows that our assumptions usually are wrong, and sometimes are better ignored even if they are right.

When clarifying the facts, clarify the positive as well as the negative. If we’re going to assume things, why not assume the best? How many will change their assumptions? Could this be a reason that relationships don’t improve?

And third, we need to amplify our faith. Fear and faith don’t mix, like oil and water. In the same way that the voice of fear causes a flow of negative energy that harms relationships, the voice of faith will lead to a flow of positive energy that builds relationships.

Fear locks people down relationally. Faith frees people up to live, love, expect good things, and believe the best about people. You can be a strong link by trusting people, living a committed life, and being confident.

We've heard about some of the great things that people have been doing with their "generosity stimulous package" that they received during the launch of Smile On Another. Check out some of the responses to the Smile On Another posting here...

This weekend (January 3 & 4), we're announcing the totals of our Smile On Another campaign that we started back in the beginning of December. We can't wait to find out what kind of harvest we'll see come in to benefit Champions Foundation.

Plan to be at services this weekend for the exciting announcement! Service times...

Are You A Humbug? Part 6

Where’s God when life stinks?

a. Holding the dead fish.
b. On vacation, indifferent to my circumstances.
c. Encouraging me to keep going.
d. Right there with me… lighting a Glade scented candle.

If you chose "a" or "b," you may have a serious case of humbugitis. The cure, you ask? A good, solid dose of life lessons from our fictional friend, Ebenezer Scrooge...

Life Lesson #6: The Presence Of Problems Doesn't Indicate The Absence Of God.

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way," (James 1:2-4).

Every problem you face has a question attached to it... which makes it a test. Think about it like this: if you answer the question properly, you advance. That's why the Bible describes testing as an opportunity.

Students don't look forward to testing -especially surprise tests. When there are a bunch of problems laid out in front of you, there is a question that is waiting to be answered. The question might be, "Are you doing the right thing for the right reason?" or, "How do you handle offense?"

Sometimes during a season of testing, you might fell like God is silent. Just remember that in school and in life, the teacher rarely talks during a test. In times of testing, God may be quiet, but He’s never absent.

Are You A Humbug? Part 5

As you were deciding between icicle and regular lights in the store aisle, some guy shoved in front of you and took both boxes… and they were the last ones. You…

a. Angrily chase him through the store, threatening to run him over with your cart.
b. Wait until he’s not looking, tip over the giant inflatable Santa Clause so it pins him to the
ground, then take the lights from his cart and run.
c. Shrug your shoulders and wish him Merry Christmas anyway.
d. Decide you don’t need string lights because the glow of love and Christmas joy from inside
your home will light up your neighborhood.

If you chose "a" or "b," you may have a serious case of humbugitis. The cure, you ask? A good, solid dose of life lessons from our fictional friend, Ebenezer Scrooge...

Life Lesson #5: You Do Yourself A Favor When You Forgive Others.

Ebenezer Scrooge went through life holding a grudge against the people in his life who had wronged him. He was angry at people and at God. Sometimes people find it hard to forgive because they define forgiveness as opening themselves to being hurt again. They think that forgiving someone who hurt you means that you need to trust them again. Scripture does not teach us to trust people who are not trustworthy, but God does teach us to forgive everyone. Unforgiveness hurts us more than the person we’re holding a grudge against.

Sometimes, we find it hard to forgive because we think that by forgiving, we are doing the other person a favor -and in our minds, they don't deserve to be forgiven. But, we need to remember that whether or not they "deserve" our forgiveness is not the point. By choosing to forgive, we keep unforgiveness from eating away at us.

Are You A Humbug? Part 4

I would be happy if…

a. I don’t believe in “happy.”
b. I looked like my favorite celebrity and had a trillion dollars.
c. I’m pretty happy now.
d. Happy is my middle name (and “supremely ecstatic” is my first name).

If you chose "a" or "b," you may have a serious case of humbugitis. The cure, you ask? A good, solid dose of life lessons from our fictional friend, Ebenezer Scrooge...

Life Lesson #4: It Takes Courage To Be Happy.

“I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am,” (Philippians 4:11b-13).

How happy are you right now on a scale of 1 to 10? If you answered between 1 and 9, what is holding you back from a 10?

The natural response is to evaluate your happiness based on your circumstances. You might say, "I'm happy because I just met this great guy/girl," or "because I just got a raise," or "because we just moved to a new home." The problem with this approach is that happiness based on circumstances is short-lived and will leave you unhappy most of the time.

Maybe you've assumed that anyone who is happy is automatically happy -that they don't have to work at it. Maybe you've convinced yourself that happiness is for people who don't have any problems and get all the breaks in life. The reality is that happy people don't always feel happy and they have problems just like everyone else. It takes courage to transcend circumstances choose to be happy.