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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Wurzell’

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Tonight was a pretty fun night for me at PhoenixONE. I had my own booth set up and was able to connect with lots of people from different churches. I ran into my old buddy Malachi and chatted with lots of friends that I have made over the years. I then looked across and saw that my friend Heidi from Food for the Hungry had her booth set up across from me. She was fresh off her trip to Bangladesh with the FH bloggers. She was there to get people to sign up for the FH Empower Women 5k walk.

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Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell

It’s always a blessing to have my long time friends and worship leaders Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell lead worship for PhoenixONE. Brian always picks a song to get us moving around in our seats and tonight it was Hillsong’s “Break Free”. Tonight’s speaker was Brad Lomenick of Catalyst. I’m a huge fan of Catalyst and have been to a couple of their West Coast conferences in Orange county. Brad helps raise up leaders and Catalyst is a movement that helps equip them through amazing speakers and teachers.

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Brad Lomenick

Brad’s talk was about the four keys to being a change maker (the theme of the Catalyst conference this year). My notes:

1. Understanding your calling

– Our talents and passions should intersect

– Salvation and Vocation

Write down your three greatest strengths and then your three greatest passions

2. Create a legacy

– Your 20’s will establish your 70’s – start creating your legacy now.

– Be Kingdom entrepreneurs – both business and the Bible.

– Own a vision bigger than what is in front of you. Perseverance is important.

3. Excellence – be the best in the world.

– Set a standard of excellence.

– Be good at everything you do – father, co-worker, etc. Work hard and be a good finisher. The world will notice.

4. Be more like Jesus.

– Passionately pursue Him. There are too many average Christians.

– His grace leads to our passion of worship which leads to joy in our lives.

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“Break Free”

I sat with my friend Heidi during the service. She was up next to talk about Food for the Hungry‘s International Women’s Day. The Walk to Empower Women 5k walk at Indian Steele Park is in March. This is a walk to raise awareness of the women around the globe that face violence, discrimination, lack of basic rights, lack of education. Heidi has a huge heart for this and God has taught me a lot about partnerships. Heidi has put a lot of time and effort into this and I’m thankful be a voice to help raise awareness for her. Plus I have the utmost respect for Food for the Hungry and always blessed to be a part of what they are doing in to world.

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Heidi Hatch

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PhoenixONE had an amazing kick-off night that I won’t forget. It started off when I walked in I saw this amazing sunset outside Phoenix Historic Presbyterian First right before the event started. I felt God telling me to prepare my heart because tonight was going to be a big night. Downtown Devil captured the event in this article.

The guest speaker wasn’t announce for tonight’s kickoff beforehand. After worship was provided by Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell, Francis Chan of Cornerstone Simi Valley came out to our surprise as the guest speaker for the evening. Francis Chan is known for writing popular Christian book Crazy Love. I first heard him speak at a Passion conference back in 2007. Ironically I went with my friend Shauna who was also happened to be with me at Passion ’07. This was an awesome way to kickoff a new season of PhoenxONE. The audio of Francis’ talk can be heard here.

Here are my notes from tonight’s talk:

Take Courage

  • We are sons and daughters of God and we represent Him.
  • The world will believe when they see a fearless church.
  • Live in a manner worthy of the gospel.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

– 2 Timothy 1:7

  • The enemy gives us a spirit of fear.
  • God puts the Holy Spirit in us. God Almighty is with us.
  • We honor God’s word when we believe in it.
  • Do you believe he gives you not a spirit of fear, but of power?
  • Something in us changes when the Spirit enters us.
  • God gives us a spirit of power, love and self-control.
  • Some Christians will say they don’t sense Jesus with them.
  • Are you out sharing your faith with others?
  • In Matthew 28, Jesus says He will be with us when we go out and make disciples.

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

– Acts 1:8

  • We all long for the spirit of love. We need to practice it in our local church.
  • Imagine if the world saw that life of unity in our churches.
  • With the spirit of self-control, we have the power over sin. We can overcome it!
  • God promises He will never let you be tempted beyond what you can handle.
  • When we gather, we are supposed to enCOURAGE one another.
  • Even Paul asked for prayer.

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

– Acts 4:29-31

THE PHOTOS BELOW ARE BY SUREFIRE PHOTOGRAPHY

(Photos from Facebook event)

Shauna

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Tonight I returned to my church of 15 years for a worship and praise night. I was blessed by the many friends and family that gave me hugs and loved on me. There was a lot of healing and many tears shed tonight. I was also moved by Suresh Kumar of Harvest India’s message. God is such an amazing God of redemption and restoration.

“In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Thy sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it came about before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. “And I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake,”’” 

   2 Kings 20:1-6

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I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:10-11

At a worship event tonight, I was able to worship with friends to this song written and recorded by Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell. They wrote it while on a mission trip to India. Download the song from Itunes and the proceeds go to help Harvest India and the amazing ministry going on there.

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City Space Park in Phoenix

One of the most memorable moments I have ever experienced was exactly five years ago when I was with 20,000 other young adults unified as one body under the stars surrounding the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and Matt Redman led us all in a round of “Amazing Grace” as we all held candles and sang out in praise to our heavenly Father. Tonight I had a similar experience with a unified body of Christ under the stars right here in downtown Phoenix.

Unified as ONE body in Atlanta

I was just chilling at home when some friends of mine called me up and asked me if I wanted to go to PhoenixONE tonight. I decided to go thinking there might a good sermon preached that would speak to me. They decided to switch gears on us and have us all walk through downtown Phoenix Christmas caroling instead of a normal worship gathering. At first I was a little disappointed. But then I got into the spirit of things and started to enjoy meeting new people and singing as we walked through the streets. They had us go down to Civic Space Park – home of the “Her Secret is Patience” artwork (I think it looks like a floating mushroom). There Brian Wurzell, Ike Ndolo, and Brian Whitman were set up to lead worship. About three hundred of us were led in some Christmas songs. I’ve been zoned in on this season of advent and the coming of Christ’s birth and the hope it brings to this broken world. As we sang “Silent Night”, I was reminded of a Redeemer that came to restore this world. Then we sang “God of the City” with the beautiful skyline in the background followed by “Amazing Grace”. It was a good night for me to be among good friends and to give back in praise and worship for all the work that God has done in me and for all the blessings he has given. I am thankful for the body of Christ and moments like this when we can come together unified to glorify God.

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Tonight was our final outreach. This was our third long trek of the day. We were tired, but we knew we had a job to do. This is truly an amazing team! There was a lot of energy at this event. Brian was fired up and cracked some jokes here and there. Rick did “Praise ye the Lord/Hallelujah” for worship and got the crowd into it by splitting them up for each part of the song. Mary Alice shared a powerful testimony and Pastor Linn brought the Word tonight. What a great outreach it was!

People singing praises

Pastor Abraham

Indian dancers

Mary Alice shares her story

Pastor Linn brings the Word

Dinner in the village

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Tonight was our second outreach at another remote location. The cool thing about this location is that last year’s India team dedicated the church here. After some Indian songs, Rick Calcutt introduced us as a team. Gary and Kory led worship and Meg gave her testimony. Brian Wurzell followed up with an amazing gospel presentation. We went out and prayed for those that were sick and then had late night dinner in the church. Just another incredible night.

The people of Vemuru

 

Two girls singing

Rick doing the greeting

Meg giving her testimony

Brian giving the gospel

Pastor Linn prays for the local Pastor

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It was cold! We waited for quite some time outside the Philips Arena as Passion was running late. Because of the amount of people, they are splitting the event between two arenas – the other one being the Georgia World Congress Center next door. They will simulcast between the two. I spent our time waiting getting to know some of the people in Camber I didn’t know very well. Of course the Brian Wurzell and the worship guys provided some goofy entertainment as we waited. But you could tell people were getting antsy as they were hyped up for the opening session. It was awesome to be among 20,000 Christians and we were ready to make God’s name famous.

The Cornerstone worship guys - Matt, Jason and Brian

The Cornerstone worship guys – Matt, Jason and Brian

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Power of 10

Program from Phoenix Civic Plaza

This is where my story starts. On September 16, my wife and I separated after 9 years of marriage. Earlier this week I stayed with my uncle to give her space. He is a Godly man and has been like an older brother to me. I’m so torn. My world has been turned upside down and I hurt for my two boys for the brokenness they will have to endure. This past week while laying on an air mattress in my uncle’s spare bedroom, I cried out to God. I will admit that for some time I have doubted that He even exists. I asked Him to reveal Himself to me and to help me through this difficult time. I want to be a man of honor and integrity as I endure these trials. I want God to lead my path. This week I surrendered my life to Christ and vowed to live my life for Him. The only thing I asked for in return is for Him to provide good solid people to do this new faith journey with.

I have been attending Cornerstone Christian Fellowship for the past ten years and many at the church have rallied around me to help walk me through this difficult time. Today was their ten year anniversary and they celebrated downtown at the Phoenix Civic Plaza. Pastor Linn Winters was my youth pastor growing up and I have been a part of this church since its initial inception. Now is a time I need my church family more than ever. I took the boys to this event to be a part of this milestone. It was pretty hard for me to be there without my wife. Little did I know, God was answering my prayer by providing this community for me to do life with and working out His plans for my future in the process.

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My Uncle Joel doing a skit onstage

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Brian Wurzell leads the congregation in worship

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Pastor Linn and the original members that started the church ten years ago

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