PeterGowesky.com

finding meaning in the mundane

Be A Part Of Hope City’s Story

153 Days Left%2F%2FBlog PostThere are only 153 days until Hope City publicly opens its doors for the first time!

It is so exciting!  153 days may seem like a lot of time to you, but January 22nd will be here before you know it, and we’ve got a lot of work left to do!

We have been hard at work with an incredible launch team.  You would be so proud of this group of people–I know I AM!  This team is focused on what is ahead, not where we’ve been.  They have a heart to see the city of Sarasota changed by the gospel of Jesus, and I am so proud of them!

But we can’t do this alone!

This would be impossible without you!  We need your prayers and your financial help.  Our launch team is giving sacrificially and together with your help we have received almost $130,000.  This means that we have a gap of $70,000 left before we accomplish our goal.

Will you consider making a financial gift to help support Hope City today?  As Pastor Bill Hybels says, “Maybe God has afflicted you with affluence”,  would you consider how you can help make that $70,000 gap shrink?  Every dollar matters… and will be used in the mission of reaching people here in our city, because every person matters.  Our launch fund is exclusively used for purchasing equipment, but that equipment is used exclusively to see more people hear the word of God. It is all about people.

In the next few weeks we will be starting to secure the resources that we will use for church every week; computers, screens, projectors, kids equipment–everything we need for our kids environments, our main auditorium, and for our lobby.

You can send your gift electronically by clicking the donate button below.


Or, you can mail your tax deductible gift to the following address:

Hope City Church

3995 Bee Ridge Road Ext.

#130

Sarasota, FL 34241

All checks can be made out to Abundant Life Church, and in the memo line write “Church Plant”.  Email giving@HopeCitySRQ.com with any questions.

Will you be a part of the mission to bring the good news of Jesus, the Hope of the gospel to Sarasota? Thank you for your gift to Hope City.

~Peter

The Discipline of Being Disciplined

Spiritual DisciplinesEveryone wants to be strong and many of us wish we were a bit more ripped than we currently are.  No one sets out in life and says, “I hope that I’m incredibly out of shape and the laziest person I know.”  Yet,  very often we wonder how we can drop a few pounds, tone up and get into better shape.

All to frequently the same thing is true for our spiritual life.  Our desire is to be connected in a meaningful way to God, to know Jesus and walk with His Spirit.  Yet, for far too many of us we live dangerously close to being disconnected with God.

Jesus gives us a great example in Matthew chapter 4 for what we should do in order to be spiritually fit.  Check this out.

1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”

Matthew 4:1-4

We see here that Jesus did 4 things to stay spiritually fit.

  1. Jesus was led by the Spirit-  His ears were open to the prompting of the Spirit.  Jesus was so in tune with the Spirit of God that He followed the Spirit’s lead out into the wilderness.
  2. Jesus fasted–  Jesus stopped eating for 40 days.  He took the focus off of his physical hunger to help cultivate a stronger spiritual hunger.
  3. He memorized scripture-  Jesus knew scripture.  It was on the tip of His tongue when He needed it most.  What He had read as a boy, and a teen was buried in His mind and it infiltrated His soul.
  4. He spoke scripture out loud- Jesus knew scripture and He spoke scripture in the moments when it would be easy to give in and focus on self rather than scripture.

Typically we call these Spiritual Disciplines.  Spiritual Disciplines in and of themselves have no ability to save us, but they do have the ability to help sanctify us, or make us more like Christ.  One of my favorite authors, Richard Foster, has said, “A Spiritual Discipline is an intentionally directed action which places us in a position to receive from God the power to do what we cannot accomplish on our own.”  We don’t discipline ourselves for no reason.  We discipline ourselves so that when the time comes we are ready for whatever comes our way.

Think about it, if Jesus practiced spiritual disciplines, how much more should we?  What has been your experience with staying spiritually fit?

~Peter

 

Is More Enough

Contentment

It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, isn’t it?  I can go through every area of my life and tell you what’s missing in that area, or what I could stand to have more of. It doesn’t matter if it is finances, health, friendships, marriage, your children, or your job.  Every area of life can be easily picked apart and found wanting more.

Have you ever felt this way?  Wondering why your life doesn’t have more?  Maybe for you its more money.  Why is it that your money doesn’t seem to go far enough?  If only you had more money.  Or it could be your kids…  Does it seem like they don’t listen enough?  If they would only obey more.

More is a relative term.

More makes me feel good only until I realize that someone else has a bit more than me. The amount of more that once made me happy no longer satisfies the inner quest for more.  Beware there is a steel trap baited with “more”.  It is waiting to sink it’s teeth into you holding you captive at the allure of having more.

You would be wise to not ask how much more will be enough, rather ask the question, how much do I already have?  Do it…  Take an inventory of whatever area of your life that you are tempted by the allure of more.  Don’t be afraid of what the answer may be.

Focusing on what we don’t have causes us to easily miss what we do have. 

I mentioned that for me I could go through every area of my life and find a way to have more of it.  For example, I could say for my relationships I wish I had more friends. But let me think about what I currently have. I have two, possibly three guys who if I called right now they would answer no matter what. They would take a bullet for me and are loyal no matter what. I have people who care about me and my family and show that on very tangible ways. Somewhere along the line three guys doesn’t seem like enough. Would I want six guys?  Of course I would. But I’ll tell you what, I’m grateful for these three. So do I focus on the three that I don’t have, or the three I do have?

Your focus is your choice. It’s up to you to decide what you will choose to think about. You can dial it in however you like. For sure, some days are harder than others, but the choice is yours.

Which area of life do you most often feel nagged by the trap of wanting more?  What can you focus on today to avoid the snare of more?

~Peter

The Journey of Faith

Gowesky FamilyIt has been quiet here these past few months, but it has been anything but quiet in my head and my heart.  I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions with my brain barely getting a chance to slow down before heading into another loop or twist.  Throughtout these past months my wife Tiffany and I have come to the conclussion that we are about to start on a new adventure.  With that in mind, this past Sunday I announced to my church that I am stepping down as the campus pastor in Nutley.

One of the things I have loved most about being the campus pastor in Nutley was that I had the privlige of walking along side of men and women who were taking their next steps in their journey of faith.  We’ve said all along that faith is a journey, not a guilt trip.  And I believe that to be true!  I have loved watching people step into our church for the first time to then find their spiritual home at Liquid Nutley.  One of my favorite things to hear people say about our church has been that the Nutley campus feels like family.  Welcoming people home has been a privilege of mine for these past few years.  But I have enjoyed watching as people learn what their next step is in their journey of faith.

Crestwood RoadNine months ago, Tiffany and I began to pray and ask God to show us what the next step would be in our journey of faith.  We were waking up early every day and praying, and asking God to show us.  Through several months of praying, reading, and listening, I am excited to share with you that we are about to set out on this next leg of our journey.  God has provided an opportunity for us to join the staff team at Suncoast Community Church as a teaching pastor.  Suncoast is a non-denominational church in Sarasota Florida.  This opportunity will allow me to do what I believe that God has wired me to do.  I am really excited to see how our relationship with God grows through this time.

It is a bittersweet transition for us here in the Gowesky household.  For Tiffany and I, we are leaving behind many great relationships here in NJ.  We are leaving a church that we love and that has loved us well.  We are leaving the taxes of NJ behind (okay, that’s more sweet than bitter).  Our kids are saying goodbye to their school and friends that they have really grown to love over these past few years.

moving podsBut we are confident of this… God has been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful in the present.  We know that we are in good hands.

So these next few weeks are going to be filled with adventure.  We will be making the 1200 mile journey over the course of several days and then we will begin the process of settling in.  Stay tuned for more info about the journey!

~Peter

 

How Are You? No, Really…

“How are you doing?”  If I asked you this I’m pretty sure that I could guess what your answer is going to be.

  1. Fine
  2. Good
  3. Okay

Or maybe just maybe you would join the 2% of the population that actually chooses option 4–honesty.

One Sunday morning I asked someone how they were fully expecting to get any of the first three answers, either 1, 2, or 3.  But instead they chose option 4–honesty.  What did they say?   “Well actually I’m pretty Sh!&#y.  This was Sunday morning in the church hallways.  There was something so honest and refreshing about his response.  He didn’t need to lie to me.  He didn’t need to cover anything up.  His feelings were raw and emotional.  They were right there on the surface.  And what I really appreciate about the whole interchange is that he didn’t apologize for them.  It was what it was.

Recently I’ve been re-reading “Fail“.  And the author J.R. Briggs says this,

How often are the regular Christian clichés we use nothing more than disguises for our hurt and pain?  They are not only lazy but also deceiving.  Maybe most dangerous of all, we may eventually fool ourselves one day into thinking we’re actually okay.  We hide so much under the rug, eventually we end up tripping on it.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  What are we afraid of?  Too often we are so uncomfortable with who we are on the inside that we couldn’t possibly understand how anyone else could possibly accept us if they saw who we truly were or what we were truly experiencing.  So rather than being honest and vulnerable with people, we choose to project an image of having it all together.

This should not be.

HikerFight the desire to simply be okay–okay is average.  Okay desensitizes you to feeling both hot and cold, pain and pleasure.  To the degree that we understand pain, we will understand pleasure.  We cannot understand the majesty of the mountaintop if we haven’t been down in the valleys too.  I love how J.R. puts it, “we may eventually fool ourselves one day into thinking we’re actually okay”.  How scary is that?  Those words left a haunting impression in my mind.  I don’t want to fool you, and the last thing I want to do is fool myself.

Don’t ignore the people around you.  Do them a favor and be honest with them.  They need it, and you need it.  So, would you be bold enough to answer honestly the next time you are asked how you are?  What if you were courageous enough to go first…  I bet you’d be surprised at how they would reply to your question “How are you?”

I dare you.  Try it.

~Peter

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