Blog Elliott Powell Music Ministries

SportsTalk with Thetford & Ashby, Saturday July 10.

Looking forward to my time with friends Gary Ashby and David Thetford on “SportsTalk with Thetford & Ashby” on Saturday, July 11. 9 AM

Double T 104.3 FM or doublet1043app – Lubbock

FoxNews Now Channel 9

KCRS 550 AM – Midland

Be sure to call the show!  806-770-5104

 

 

In your relationship with God, are you “all in?”

In your relationship with God, are you “all in?”

 

In high-stakes card game, sometimes a player will take a big risk and go “all in” with their chips.  The atmosphere becomes electric with suspense in that moment when the player pushes all their chips to the center of the table and says, “I’m all in.”  The suspense continues to build until it becomes clear the risk has paid off, or the player loses it all in the gamble.

 

Some people think of a relationship with God like that – a gamble- and they are afraid that they will risk it all and come out on the losing end:

 

“What if I make a decision to trust God with more of my life…

…and my spouse doesn’t understand?

…and it changes the way I have to be at work?

…and it changes the way I use my resources?

…and it means that I’ll have to be honest with God about things in my life that need God’s help and healing?”

 

Maybe you feel that way too.

 

The Gospel of Luke in the New Testament contains an interesting account of a woman who went “all in” in her relationship with God.  She has something to teach us all:

 

Jesus was seated at the temple in Jerusalem…

 

“Jesus looked up and saw those who were putting their gifts into the treasury- rich people-and he saw a poor widow putting in two coins.  So he said, ‘I tell you truly that this poor widow has put in more than all, for all these contributed to the gifts out of their abundance, but she, out of her need, has put in everything she had to live on.’” 

Luke 21: 1-4

 

Talk about taking a risk! 

What would make this woman put all that she had into the temple treasury?

 

She was able to go “all in” because she knew it wasn’t a gamble.

This woman knew the character of God.

She had come to understand that her whole life was sustained by God.

She knew that God loved and valued her.

She was able to go “all in” with God because she understood that God was “all in” with her.

 

In YOUR relationship with God, do you believe that God is “all in?”

 

 

That’s what the cross of Christ is about – God showing you that He is “all in.”

Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins was a sacrificial act intended to leave no room for you to wonder if God loves you, or if you can or should trust God.

 

For your sake, on the cross, Jesus withheld nothing.

He didn’t give 10%, or 20% or even 90% of himself;

He paid it all, the ultimate price, so that you might be rich in relationship with Him.

 

It’s never a gamble to go “all in” with God.

Even when it’s costly.

Even when it feels risky.

You can trust God.

 

In your relationship with God, what would it mean for you to go “all in?”

Hoping Against Hope

Do you sometimes find yourself hoping that your life would suddenly change for the better? 

Do you sometimes imagine that some person will come into your life, or you’ll be in exactly the right place at the right time for a great opportunity, and suddenly, the tenor and quality of your life will dramatically improve?  If you do, you’re not the only one.

 

Most people have moments of hoping for a person of influence or a singular event that will change their life.  Sometimes this even manifests itself in comical ways:  I read somewhere once that a poll was taken from Americans regarding how they were planning for retirement, and almost 21% of them counted winning the lottery as part of their strategy!   That is what we call “hoping against hope” – to hope very strongly that something will happen, although you know it’s not likely.

 

During the time of Jesus’ ministry, there was a widespread hope that a person, a Messiah, would arrive on the scene and change the lives of the Jewish people for the better. In Matthew, chapter 11, we read an account of John the Baptist who asked Jesus a question regarding this widely held hope of the people.  John asked Jesus, “Are you the one we’ve been expecting- or should be wait for someone else?”

 

In other words, John said, “Are you that person, is this the moment, that will change everything forever- or am I just hoping against hope?”

 

Jesus’ response to John is powerful:

“The blind receive sight, the handicapped walk, the sick receive healing, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news brought to them.”

YES, John, I AM that person and this is the moment where everything changes.

I am here and it happening right now!

 

In just a few days, Easter Sunday will be upon us (April 5, 2015). 

Easter is that time of year where we are reminded that we can align our lives to the person and the event that really did change everything for the better:  God raised Jesus from the dead.  In that moment, everything changed. 

 

Suddenly, it wasn’t “hoping against hope” to receive God’s healing in the broken areas of our lives, or forgiveness from sin, or power to live this life well, or to receive assurance of life beyond the grave.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us a solid basis for our hope.

 

If you’ve been waiting for a moment that will redefine your life, instill in you a hope for the future and a secure way of living- look no further and wait no longer.

Your moment is here.

Easter!  Resurrection Sunday!

This is the right place and the right time for you.

Jesus Christ is that right person.

If you’d like to hear more about how Jesus’ resurrection changes everything, I’d be honored to tell more about that.

With hope for you in Christ,

Elliott Powell

Get up and don’t be afraid…

Sometimes in life you need reassurance that you’ll be able to face what’s ahead.  

When you are facing great challenges in your life – a job loss; a decline in health; a betrayal in relationship- it’s hard to see how your situation will work out.

You may feel anxious or scared for your future.

Whatever you are facing today, Jesus’ reassurance to you in scripture is that you can

“Get up and don’t be afraid!” (Matthew 17:7)

 Would it surprise you to know that even Jesus sought reassurance from God regarding the challenges he faced in his life?

In Matthew 17, we see Jesus and three of his closest disciples- Peter, James and John- ascend a mountain to spend time in prayer.  On the slopes of that mountain, Jesus prayerfully sought reassurance from God that the path before him to the cross was indeed God’s will for his life.

Something remarkable happened in that moment…

“Jesus was transfigured before the disciples.  His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus…And a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’”  (Matthew 17: 2-3, 5)

How extraordinary!  Moses and Elijah (two of the most important figures in Judaism) and the very voice of God Himself reassure Jesus that He is on the right path.  This reassurance gave Christ the strength to walk the road to the cross and the glory that lie beyond it.

 We see an important principle at work here:

The more powerful the person giving the reassurance; the more powerful the reassurance.

 Jesus’ disciples, Peter, James and John witnessed this event and “they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.” But after that dazzling moment had passed, Jesus tenderly touched them and spoke to their human struggle- and ours. “Get up,” Jesus said. “Don’t be afraid.” When the disciples looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.” (Matthew 17: 6-8)

 Sometimes you need someone to tell you to “Get up and don’t be afraid.”

 What better person to give YOU that reassurance than Jesus Christ?

His glory revealed on the mountain; the authority figures of Elijah and Moses; the very voice of God – all point to Christ’s power. Beyond His and your struggle lies the glory.  And Christ is present throughout!

My prayer for you is that Christ will touch you today with his powerful reassurance so that you too can “Get up and don’t be afraid.”

When you do, I pray that you too will see only Christ before you; not the distractions of fear and anxiety, nor the voices of your detractors; nor the challenges of your circumstance- but Christ, in His power and compassion giving you His powerful reassurance.

Are you facing something today that requires you to be courageous?

Get up – and don’t be afraid.  Christ is with you.

Are you in a state of inaction because of your fear?

Get up – and don’t be afraid.  Christ is with you.

And Christ will remain with you.

 

The New Year

Congratulations! 

You’ve made it through the first month of 2015!

How are you feeling about the New Year, so far?

If you’re like me, my guess is that you spent much of January cleaning up after Christmas!

Perhaps now you are remembering the resolutions you made with such good intentions at the beginning of the New Year. 

Maybe one of them was to grow in your relationship with God…

One of the most important ways that you can do that is by regular Bible reading.

Maybe the idea of reading the Bible is daunting to you.

Perhaps you tried it and found it overwhelming.

Don’t be discouraged and don’t give up!

Scripture functions as the light for our lives.

King David said about the scriptures, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)  Knowing the scriptures will bring more light into your life to help you navigate the paths of 2015 more clearly.

I’d like to suggest a way to read the Bible that people are finding useful:  

I recommend downloading an app for your phone or tablet called “Bible in One Year” (BiOY).

It takes you through three scripture readings a day and has a relevant lesson on each of the passages.  The interface is also very easy to use, nice to look at and will track your reading progress. It also is manageable in terms of time.  It should take about 15 minutes a day.

And…it’s free.  Within a year’s time, you’ll be able to say that the light of God was shining in your life in 2015.

Jesus said, “I AM the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”  By walking with Christ, he will help you to “see” the right steps you need to take through 2015.

My prayer for you is that this is a resolution that will bless and enrich your life.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Elliott Powell

 

Uncomplicating Christmas

The holiday season can be complicated…but your relationship with God doesn’t have to be.   

 

How are you doing with managing expectations this holiday season?

How are you feeling about the many demands on your schedule and resources?

Do you feel stressed out?

 

Before you this Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to approach God in simplicity and humility- to lay aside your stress-and receive from Him, True Joy.

This Christmas, God wants you to COME JUST AS YOU ARE to the cradle of Christ.

 

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus’s first earthly appearance to us was as an infant?

Was God trying to tell us something through that?  I think so…

 

The Bible records the birth announcement of Jesus, the Savior of the World, as coming from an angelic messenger to a group of shepherds in a field:

 

“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’  And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:15-16

 

Notice the shepherds didn’t go home first to wash up from work, or get a gift for Jesus, or any other thing one might expect in this situation; they simply went and saw Jesus- just as they were.

In the same way, YOU can come to Jesus right now – just as you are.

 

And that’s the point of Christmas:

The infancy of Jesus is God’s way of telling us that we can approach God just as we are.

How does one approach a baby?

Do you worry about your appearance?  Your status?  The condition of your heart and soul?

No- you simply come as you are.

Jesus- the Christ in the cradle- has made God approachable FOR YOU.

 

Here is a wonderful thing:  Upon seeing Jesus for the first time, the shepherds went back to their daily lives as transformed people, full of joy.

The same can be true for you.  The same should be true for you!

 

This holiday season, I invite you to come just as you are to Jesus – whether this is your first time to the cradle of Christ or if you’ve made the journey many times.

Don’t worry about the reasons why this isn’t the “right time” to talk to God.

Don’t let anything stop you.

Just come as you are.

 

West Coast September

Thanks to People United for Christ and Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church for hosting ministry events this month.

Point Loma Presbyterian posted a video of the acoustic concert I performed in their sanctuary following worship services.

 

Family Event @ Jump N’ Jungle – June 5th

On Thursday, June 5th from 6- 8 PM, EPM and Jump N’ Jungle are hosting a family event night in Lubbock, TX. 

jump_n_jungle_photos_4_20140310_1432523074

Jumpin N’ Jungle is Lubbock’s original, indoor inflatable play zone- a place where your kids can jump, slide, bounce and climb to their heart’s content in and on inflatable bouncy houses and castles.

This night is designed to give kids something fun to do and give the parents some space to relax.

Pizza, Jump N’ Jungle fun and some space for the adults to relax and have a meaningful discussion.   

Elliott will lead a short message on “How You Can Help Your Child Understand God’s Purpose for Their Life.” 

All of this is at no cost to you- just RSVP so that we can get an accurate count for the food we need to provide.

Details: 

Family Event

June 5, 6- 8 PM @ Jump N’ Jungle 

12209 Geneva Ave, Lubbock, TX 

Download VIP Pass here: 

Download Waiver here: 

RSVP:  elliott@epmusicministries.com  or (703) 727-3569

 

To see a video on Jump N’ Jungle copy and paste the following link into your browser:

The Christian Music Junkie

The Christian Music Junkie

Can you give us a little background history on how you got started playing music?

Hi Courtney. Thanks for the interview. I got started playing music in my early teens. Like a lot of kids that age, I began to pay attention to popular music. For me, however, it didn’t just stop with enjoying music; I wanted to learn how to create it. My Dad lent me his acoustic guitar when I was 12 or 13 and I began to teach myself guitar.

How would you describe your sound musically, and who are some of your influences?
On “Songs of Ascent” I think you’ll hear some Coldplay influence, some modern dance/rock beats, and some Indie/Folk sensitivities comparable to Bon Iver or Escondido. Those were some of the bands I was listening to at the time of writing and I think you’ll hear that influence in these new songs.

How do you think being a pastor affects how you write your music?
That’s a great question. It certainly affects the lyrical content of the music. I was also purposeful in writing songs that are accessible and sing-able in hopes that the melodies and lyrics would stay with people through the day after listening to them, so as to minister to them.

What do you hope listeners will get from listening to your music?
Encouragement. There are so many contemporary Christian songs which focus on the topic of God’s love- which is great and necessary – but I purposely focused on other themes that, I think, are needed in CCM. “Brighter” is a song about the light one finds in the person of Christ; “Majesty” is a song about trusting God in all circumstances knowing that an ultimate, secure destiny awaits the church; “You Gave” is about our response to God’s sacrificial efforts to offer us salvation. So, I hope that these songs will offer encouragement through these topics. That, and, I hope people just enjoy the music!

Where is your favorite venue or place that you have played?

I have a number of favorites. Probably at the top is selling out the Viper Room in Hollywood.

Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?

Jesus. The more I come to know him, the more he astonishes and inspires me.

How does your family inspire you, in everyday life, as well as in your music?

My wife and children are amazing people. I regularly give thanks to God for my wife- the love of my life- and our children. They inspire me by their unique personalities and their devotion to one another. They bring so much joy to my life and that, of course, has a way of coming out in one’s music. For example, I don’t write any more love-lost type of music! I’ve got all the love I can handle from them. I’m full-up on love.

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?

Personally given to me? My mother said something to me once that really stuck with me- probably because of the imagery of it. She’s a strong Christian and she told me once to “keep the center of your life uncluttered.” I like that. Keep the important things at the center. Don’t crowd your life with a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter. I also took it to mean that one should regularly take a life inventory: Is your life clean and ordered? People do better in order; not so good in chaos.

Five Random Bonus Questions

1. If you had one day to do anything, anywhere, what would you do?

I feel like I’m supposed to say something epic, like climb the Himalayas or something. But, you know, because my little girls love Disney princesses so much, a day at Disneyland sounds pretty fun – as long as they have a place to take a nap. Little kids at Disneyland with no nap = no fun.

2. What is last CD you bought?

Like most people these days, I mostly buy downloads as singles or selections from records.
The last full CD I bought was Arcade Fire, “Reflektor.” Most recently, I’ve been listening to Ivan and Aloysha, Imagine Dragons and American Authors.

3. Do you have any pets?

No. I have nothing against pets, but I am allergic to cats and dogs, so that kind of ends any thoughts of pet ownership for me.

4. Camping or hotels?

Hotels.

5. What is your favorite movie?
It’s an oldie- “Chariots of Fire.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks, Courtney! This was great. Be sure to “like” Elliott Powell Ministries on Facebook and sign up at my site, www.epmusicministries.com, to get updates and free downloads.

EPM Website wins a Silver Addy for Design

Congratulations to Monika Sobolewska and the team at Aycock Mediaworks for winning a Silver Addy for their creative work on EPM’s website! \

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