Are You Feeling Disadvantaged?

Are you feeling disadvantaged?

Have you ever felt like you had a disadvantage in sports? Perhaps your opponent had better equipment, better training, more experience, or just more fans cheering them on. What about at your job? Did you ever think that you could get a promotion if you had the same degree as Sally, or the same good timing that Fred always seemed to have? Maybe you’ve just felt disadvantaged at life in general from time to time. Why is it that the Joneses seemed to always be ahead? They have a nicer car, a nicer house, their kids are perfect and never talk back, and of course Mr. Jones is loved by everyone. I feel that way sometimes and I’m actually a Jones myself.

There are two things that I think can help rid us of that low feeling of being at a disadvantage. I’m sure there are more, but these two things have helped me to not focus so much on what I don’t have, and instead recognize what I do have. So, the first thing is to be content.

Being Content:

It’s not always easy to be content with everything that life throws your way. You can get so wrapped up in what everyone else has, that you fail to see that you are a lot better off than you could be. In fact, many of the people you are measuring yourself against could just be in more debt that you. Here’s a positive spin on reality. If you have a paid off 1998 Corolla, you may actually have more net worth than your neighbor that just bought a brand-new Tesla on credit yesterday. Now you can look at his shiny car and smile instead of letting it get you down.

You might also stop and think about how privileged we are to live in America. You’ve heard it said that we are richer than 99% of the rest of the world even if we are the poorest in the US. When you think about it that way, then we are all Joneses than the entire world is trying to keep up with.

Lastly, being content is much easier when you realize what’s really important in life is not how big your house is, or how much money you have in the bank. It is about how many relationships you have created, and most importantly, how good your relationship is with the one that created you.

Your disadvantage may actually be an advantage:

The second thing that helps me when I’m feeling disadvantaged, is the see how God may be using this situation to put me at an advantage. Now, I know that doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it is true. Take for example the story of Pharaoh and Joseph. There are two unlikely winners in this story. The obvious one is Joseph. He went through more than many of us will ever go through, but God used all of it to his advantage. The negative things that happened to him only led him closer to living out the dream that God gave him.

The other unlikely winner was Jacob. Something few people think about is the fact that God gave the dream about the oncoming famine to Pharaoh instead of Jacob. The dream that God gave Pharaoh allowed him to make Egypt the most powerful nation in the world. It caused other nations to come and basically beg him for food. No one else had any food during that famine. 

I mean, why didn’t God just give Jacob that dream instead? Didn’t He promise his grandfather that He would make of him a great nation? It would have been a huge advantage for Jacob’s family to know about the 7 years of plenty and the subsequent 7 years of famine. Pharaoh would have been begging Israel for grain instead of the other way around. 

I’ll tell you why God gave Pharaoh what seemed like an advantage. All that power went to Pharaoh’s head. It caused him to think that he was a god. Do you think maybe Jacob would have done the same? Instead, Jacob gave God the credit for taking care of his family during the famine. A family became a strong nation that trusted God due to what seemed like a disadvantage at the start. Also, remember the fact that God took care of them all along the way. That’s what He is doing for you today too.

Jake Jones

Spread the News

I am tired of the news!

Everywhere I look I see nothing but negativity being spewed out.  It pops up on our smartphones, it comes across the air waves, it is on the front page of your newspaper (if you still read those) and it continues to be talked about when you get together with your friends or families.

The early church was under constant persecution.  You want to talk about negative!  They faced it every single day and night, 24/7/365!  Not only were they being persecuted but they were expected to proclaim Caesar as their god.  The early Christians knew that there is only one God and in all good conscience they refused to call Caesar “Lord,” so the Romans looked upon them as traitors, persecuted them, and had them put them to death.

During all if this negativity and persecution, the early church had a saying they went about telling each other.  It was a one word statement; Maranatha!  It simply meant Jesus is coming!  Even though it was negative all around them, they chose to focus on the hope of a better tomorrow.

What would happen in our homes, our families, our churches or on our jobs if we went about speaking positive, proclaiming a better tomorrow instead of griping about all the negative going on in our world.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to check out on reality but maybe we can change our focus and instead of always starting the day out looking at all the negativity around us, let’s focus on the good things God has done.

Having been born with something many would consider to be a negative, I have learned to accept it as a gift!  A gift that allows me to look at life a bit different and see the positive opportunities that are in front of me.  Think about it – if I had been born with two hands I would never be able to beat my friends in golf single-handedly and tell people all about it, plus I wouldn’t have any jokes:

  • I can’t learn sign language, you would only get half the message
  • Good thing I didn’t try out for the Olympic swim team since all I do is swim in circles!
  • Man it costs an arm and a leg to live in SoCal and I am already halfway invested!!  (LOL, this one even makes me laugh)

So, how do we escape all the negative around us and focus on the positive?  Well you can’t change what is being pumped out but you can change how your respond, how you view it and what comes out of your mouth.  It is all about perspective and focus.

Here are just a few things I would encourage you to do if you are having a hard time seeing anything positive in your life or situation:

  1. Change your mindset – remember that God is Great and He is still in control, no matter how bad it may appear!  We are constantly reminded in the Word of God to renew our minds.  It is where transformation takes place (Rom 12:2)
  2. Remember: It may never be as good as you want it to be but it’s never as bad as you think it is!  I think that says it all.
  3. This too shall pass!  It will not last forever and with God you have the Creator who promised He would never leave you nor forsake you!  BELIEVE IT and walk in that promise today!
  4. There is power in your words!  Speak the positive you find in every situation.  It is there, you just may have to dig for it a bit.  Instead of complaining start encouraging.  Spread the good news every where you go and watch how others will respond.  You may be surprised how things will change!

I hope when you look out the window today you see the positive of all God has in store for your life!  Go live it out, speak it and watch what happens when you focus on the positive in your world!

Pastor Sargent

The Design and Danger of a Delay Parts 1 & 2

We often talk about dreams.  Those inner visions that propel us forward to fulfill our divine destiny.  But what happens when they are late in arriving, even after you have worked and struggled to bring them to fruition?  How do you deal with the delay between the dream and that moment you know you have arrived at the desired outcome?  Sometimes there is so much disappointment in the delay that it may seem difficult to move forward into all God has for us.

The longer I live, the more I thank God for the DISAPPOINTMENTS in my life. Some of my WORST moments now serve as some of my BEST altars! – Raymond Woodward

Have you ever had a God inspired dream that didn’t happen as quickly as you thought it should? Yes, you had worked at it, but it seemed that many obstacles came against you. Finally, you gave up in despair and the dream lay dormant.  Think with me for a moment about the delay for the Children of Israel when they had been freed from their bondage in Egypt and were told by God they would inherit a land of promise.  Most of us are probably familiar with the story and how their fear talked them out of their future.  It is a sad story of an often experienced reality in our own lives.

As I was thinking of this I wrote down how I believe God may use delays in our own lives.  I will get to the dangers of a delay later this week, but check out these 3 things about delays and how they are a part of the design of God.

  1. God uses delays to prepare us. God uses delays to get us ready for those difficult times that we are going to face during the course of our journey. These delays are designed to fortify our faith and make us stronger.
  2. God uses delays to test us. Deut. 8:2, “God led you through the wilderness for forty years… testing you to find out how you would respond and if you would obey Him.” God uses delays to test how we will respond under pressure and to test our loyalty and obedience to Him.  Although the Israelites were responsible for their time in the wilderness, God still used it for their good.
  3. God uses delays to train us because sometimes it takes longer to get Egypt out of us than it does to get us out of Egypt (TWEET THIS).  God uses the delays to break those habits and thought patterns and train you in His way of thinking and doing things. The best thing to do when you are in God’s waiting room is be patient and let God do His work in your life.

If you find yourself in a delay and the dream is not becoming a reality in your life, I challenge you to look at the delay in a different light.  Next post we will discuss the danger of what we often face when in the midst of a delay.  Till then – KEEP MOVING FORWARD.


In our last post, we discussed the way God uses delays in our life to teach us in three major areas.  God uses delays to prepare us, test us and train us.  Today I want to look at the danger of not fully understanding why we are being faced with a delay.  If you and I are not careful we can fall into the trap of caving into the pressure of a delay, and find ourselves in some major trouble as a result.

When looking at the children of Israel, we can quickly discover four major approaches to the delay they faced.  As a result of each of these, only 2 out of the original million plus, ever made it into the land of promise.  The Israelites made these four major mistakes that cost them their promise.  When faced with delays in our own lives these 4 areas should be something we avoid.

Let's take a closer look:

  1. Don't Fear - This is the first mistake the Israelites made. There are a lot of reasons for the delays that happen in our life but this one is our own fault. God says don't be afraid. They were afraid to go forward at the Red Sea. And they were afraid to enter the Promise land because of the walled cities and the giants.  They had enough faith to move out of Egypt but they didn't have enough faith to move into the Promised Land. They were afraid.
  2. Don't Fret - Fret means worry. Don't get worried. Don't get uptight. We do that when we get into delays. We worry, get uptight, get stressed out. Worry may give you something to do, but it will only cause strength to drain from you.  When you worry you bind the hands that can help you. God responds to faith not fear. Learn to trust God in the delays you face. After all, it is God that is leading you.  God's children began to fret and it cost them dearly!
  3. Don't Faint - When you go through the delays in life, don't faint. Don't get discouraged. Don't lose heart. Don't give up. Don't throw in the proverbial towel.  This is the third thing the Israelites did and it kept them out of the promised land.  Numbers 14 tells us the story: "All the Israelites grumbled against Moses... `If only we had died in Egypt! ... We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."  They gave up on their dream. They caved in. They had been in slavery 400 years but now because they are having a little bit of delay they want to go back to Egypt. "If only" and "go back" are phrases that are tell-tale signs you're discouraged -- that you're fainting, losing heart.
  4. Don't Forget - Psalms 103: "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits..."  During the delay, time causes us to forget many things. When there is a delay, we tend to forget our dream. We tend to forget what God had done in our life. We tend to forget God's goodness to us in the past. We tend to forget that God is with us. We tend to forget God's power. We tend to forget how important it is that we stay in God's strength and we start focusing on all our problems than on what He has done for us.  We cannot forget all God has done in our lives in order for us to move forward into the promises He has for us.

I trust that as you look at these posts you will begin to see what God has in store for you and how He desires you approach the delays that come into your life.  Remember you have a God that is for you and not against you.

Pastor Sargent

Thankful for a Miracle

Warning!!! This will be a longer than usual post but one I believe will encourage you and help to increase your faith.  All of us from time to time need to have our faith extended and our hearts encouraged.  It is my prayer that this post will do just that as you read it and see how awesome and mighty our God truly is!

A little history to get you up to speed:

My wife and I came to the city of Escondido in 2005, with our three kids in tow, to take the pastorate of what was then known as Truth Tabernacle.  Pastor Jimmy Jones had faithfully served this church for over 20 years and was desiring to retire.  We were elected as pastor in March of 2005 and the journey began.  The church began to move forward as North Point Worship Center and over the next several years we saw God do some amazing things but we also faced many challenges.  As we all know, any dream having any value will face obstacles. However, the value you place on the dream determines how hard you press in order to see your dream come to pass!

In 2013 our church launched a capital campaign to get the building, that had been in our location for over 40 years, ready to sell so we could take the next step into what we believed God was leading us into.  We were limited in room and desperately needed to make a change.  Once we launched the campaign, many challenges arose which are way too numerous to discuss in this post!  I had been told by friends, who had gone into campaigns of this nature, to expect some major challenges along the way.  To be honest, many of those warnings I received I let go in one ear and out the other, thinking that whatever those friends of mine faced would definitely not happen here at NPWC!  Boy was I wrong!  Now, I am not one to focus on the negative in any shape or fashion, but allow me to just drop this in here – once the campaign started it seemed as if all of hell and high water came against us.  It was a difficult time but God saw us through it and we emerged on the other side, somewhat scathed and scarred, but better off because of it!

Fast forward to 2014 (told you this was a long post).  I received a flyer in the mail one day at the church that described a building which was for sale in our city.  The price was WAY out of our league as a church but I felt we should take a look at it and see what it was all about.  What I quickly discovered, once we walked through the property, is that this building was one Pastor Jones had also looked at to purchase several years earlier.  It was in need of much repair when he looked at it and had continued down the path of being neglected when we showed up to take a peek.  A portion of this building was one of the first churches built in the city of Escondido.  In fact, the portion I mention, was built in 1887 as a Southern Methodist Church.  It was later purchased by the 7th Day Adventist and added onto, making room for future growth and plans.

As mentioned earlier, the price was way out of our price range but there was something to the old building that got our attention.  As a result of walking through the building we met the future agent that would help us sale our current building and set us on the road to a miracle.  The funny thing about a miracle is this – you often do not know you are in the middle of one till it is all over!  A year later we sold our building and once it sold I asked our realtor about the building we had looked at close to a year earlier.  He informed me the building was in escrow and was set to become a charter school within the next year to two years.  I remember telling our agent on the phone – Adam, this building will fall out of escrow.  Just watch!

In October of 2015 God opened a door for us to go into Classical Academy High School and rent their assembly hall for our services.  This was a major blessing and allowed us to continue to grow and dream as we waited on the miracle God had in store for us!  I am forever thankful to CAHS for their kindness and willingness to work with us over the course of this last year.  It has truly been a blessing.

Fast forward to June 2016 (sorry, I am trying to get to the good part).  I am up early one Sunday morning getting ready for our services later that day when I decide to get online to see if there were any buildings or land for sale in our city which may work for us as a congregation.  As I began to research properties online, the building we had walked through two years prior showed up in my search.  I quickly contacted our realtor and was informed the next day that it was indeed for sale.  We immediately went to work on seeing if we could secure this building as a future home for the church.  What at one time had been completely out of our price range as a church, was now something we could handle and after much due diligence, inspections, discussions and prayer the church became the new home of NPWC on November 15, 2016!!!

Now begins the fun part as we work to beautify the house of the Lord.  I wholeheartedly believe that if God provides it, God will help you build it and the dream can become a reality.  We have much work ahead of us but the future potential of this building and location is absolutely incredible!  We went from roughly a little under 6,000 sf. in our old building to close to 18,000 sf. with tons of parking, Sunday school rooms, youth rooms, offices, two sanctuaries, a large fellowship hall and much much more!  GOD IS GOOD!  He alone makes the impossible POSSIBLE!!!

If you have made it this far in your reading I applaud you (wait I can’t LOL)!  This is a dream come true for our assembly and a LONG time coming.  What God has brought our way is nothing short of a miracle and we are thankful for what He has done and what is in store.  We are currently remodeling the church and have several months ahead of us of work but it will be worth it as we see God transform the lives of people throughout our community and county in a beautiful place of worship.

I wanted to give everyone a few snapshots of the building and the work that is now taking place!  Thank you for your time and we ask that when you pray, say a prayer for our church that we can complete what God has provided for us.  We will continue to update you on the progress of the remodel.  God bless.