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F E AT U R E S
— Proverbs 14:28
8 Momentum by Kevin Gerald
1 4 The Road to 25 Years by Kevin & Sheila Gerald
2 4 The Power of Focus by Kong Hee
IN THE KNOW 6 Champions Foundation Update 11
Real Life Application
2 2 Champions Centre College IN EVERY ISSUE
ABOUT US 3 Let’s Talk 4 You to Us 2 0 Champion Finds 29
Champion Life Magazine purposes to equip people to live successful Christian lives.
Real Life Champions
3 2 k. Wise Spring-Summer 2011
E XE CU T IVE PU B LIS H E RS Kevin Gerald & Sheila Gerald
E DITO R-IN-CH IE F Jodi Gerald-Cameron
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Champion Life Magazine is produced by Kevin Gerald
Communications (KGC). KGC is a department of Champions Centre in Tacoma | Bellevue, WA, a non-profit organization.
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LET’S TALK In the Pacific Northwest, we had the longest winter that most of us can remember. Well, it appears that summer is finally here! Now that the sun is back and the long, bright days are ahead of us, it’s not time to forget about God and the priorities in our life. It’s time to get out into the community and make God famous through our relationships, actions, and service, because “the best we have done is not the best we will do!” In our past 25 years in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve done some fun—even some great—things. It’s not about getting caught up in the past, but instead, using it as a platform to propel us into the future. We feel like the future is alive with possibilities, and we are calling that into your life as well. We hope the rest of this year is the best of this year for you! We have a new friend joining us this issue, and he will also be a guest with us during our summer TC 2011 Conference, coming this August. Kong Hee tells us about the “Power of Focus” on page 24. Through good times and tough times, the power of focus can take you to the next level. Take a look at some of the journey Champions Centre has taken over the last 25 years, and where we’re looking to go (page 14). The road of 25 years has been full of great things, lessons learned, and lives changed. Something we’ve learned along the way, is that building and riding momentum is a huge part of success. I wrote about some of what we’ve learned on page 8. Also, something that our team has been made aware of in the past year is the reality of Human Trafficking around the world, and on American soil. Our Champions Foundation team lays out some of the alarming statistics for you, including what we can all do about it on page 6. Plus, hear about some Real Life Champions who have overcome adversity in their own lives (page 29). Make the most of the next few months! Step out of the box, encourage someone in your life daily, think big, and imagine the possibilities! There is greatness in you! It’s time to do something new and fresh, and continue to make God famous!
P.S. Throughout the different CLM Issues this year, we invite you to let us know how you have been encouraged, inspired and challenged through this ministry by emailing email@example.com. Spring-Summer 2011
YOU to US Comments from Fall 2010 Issue Congratulations on the 5 year
Yesterday was our second service at
anniversary! Your magazine is such an
Champions Centre and we loved it!
inspiration to me and so many readers.
Thank you for making our family's
I want to thank you for always being so
transition from Michigan a bit
relevant. I love reading every issue and
smoother! —Amber M.
every article. Great work! —Jake A. I loved the Lion-Like article about how we Thanks to your magazine I was
view Jesus. Gives different perspective
introduced to Pastor Kevin’s podcasts. I
than how I viewed Him growing up in
recently started listening to them on my
Sunday school. After reading this article,
drive to work. They’ve been so helpful
I’m more inspired to go after God’s plan
and uplifting—a positive way to start
for my life. —Steven S.
my day. I’m looking forward to future downloads. —Mark K.
Do you have feedback or a story to share? CLM welcomes your comments. We want to hear from you! Please write us at: championlife@ championscentre.com Mail: Champion Life Editorial, 1819 E. 72nd
I particularly enjoyed reading The Marriage Mirror from Ed and Lisa. They
Check out Kevin Gerald’s podcast now available through iTunes. Search for “Kevin Gerald” or “Champions Centre” in the iTunes Store. Video streaming and MP3 downloads are also available on kevingerald.tv.
were so great at MESH Conference. I love how real they are. Not every relationship is ‘happily ever after’. But there is hope and we’re working on our fairy tale ending. —Nat W.
St., Tacoma, WA 98404
Champions Centre Tweets Here are some of the recent online tweets we’ve seen about Champions Centre in 140 characters or less. Join the conversation at twitter.com.
Our internal fire of passion
If you don't already, do
How you treat small
and purpose doesn’t burn
yourself a favor and follow
opportunities will determine if
strong within us if it’s not fed
my Pastor @kevingerald. 18+
you get bigger ones.
fueled and stoked. Feel the
years under his leadership has
changed my life! —@brandonmstewart
Team player? One of the great
like he does every week. If you
keys to success is to help others
Vision is like a magnet.
were expecting him to come he
to succeed. When you do that,
Everyday let it keep you going
did. He will be here next week
you can’t help but succeed
toward your destiny.
—@sheilagerald It’s quicker and less painful to
Feels good to be in the house
Up early watching @
learn from advice then from
of God this morning at @
KevinGerald speaking in
CCTacoma – I'm needin some
rejuvenation this morning.
Conference. Am I jet lagged or
in need of a t-booster? Great Job, BTW! —@terrycrist
Jesus showed up @CCBellevue
Champion Life Magazine
worth your time. Summer Conference for EVERYONE
Aug 1-3, 2011
See back page for more info on TC 2011
Oct 6-7, 2011
Feb 8-9, 2012
Women’s Conference Celebrating 10 Years
May 17-18, 2012
My jaw dropped as I sat there that night. How could this still be happening? I thought this only happened in movies or the history books... It was almost one year ago now, I was listening to Christine Caine (one of our guest speakers at Oxygen Conference). I heard stories of young girls being kidnapped or sold by family members. She told us that many of the victims were raped, beaten violently, humiliated and sometimes even murdered. Unfortunately, she also said that only a few of the victims were ever rescued. It’s an industry that is more lucrative than drug trafficking—it is human trafficking—the buying and selling of men, women, boys and girls. Feelings of disbelief, anger, helplessness and sadness overwhelmed me. In the midst of such a great conference my world was rocked by what I was hearing. I really felt a tug on my heart to do something... but I just kept thinking to myself, “what can I do?” Over the next few months I began to research and what I found was beyond anything I could ever imagine. Here’s just a snapshot:
1. An estimated 27 Million people (mostly women and children) are in
modern day slavery across the world
2. There are approximately 100K-300K victims in the United
5. Victims are forced to sleep with up to 40 buyers a day
6. Human trafficking generates $32 Billion a year
3. Every year, 1 million children (girls and boys) are exploited by the
7. The Northwest (basically my back yard!) is one of the highest trafficking
global sex trade 6
4. The average age of a child who is forced into prostitution is 13 years old
Champion Life Magazine
areas in the United States.
I was astonished! For many nights I went to bed sick to my stomach. The weight of this issue was so heavy on my heart. My husband was taking notice, and after a couple months of me feeling overwhelmed by this issue he said, “do something or stop researching!” So I decided to do something. I attended an awareness event where I met Former Congress Woman and President of Shared Hope International Linda Smith. From there I began to attend other events, talk to friends and family, and do my part to eradicate this injustice. This opened the door for Jake and I to become Ambassadors of Hope for Shared Hope International. We realize that through awareness many young people can avoid becoming victims. This crime grows in the dark and awareness brings light to this issue. Many of the teen girls who are trafficked from our area are scouted out by local pimps in malls or even schools. We hope to get the word out so that parents, teens and young adults know what to look for and what to do about suspicious circumstances. Also, we see the importance of Safe Homes, where rescued trafficked victims can receive the desperately needed treatment after their traumatic exploitation. They are a place that is safe from the threat of their trafficker, and a place where these beautiful children, women and men can be restored. There are many ways in which we all can combat this issue. Here are just a few: (It’s where I started)
» Become aware
» Tell someone
» Give financially
We have a lot of ground to cover but together we can make an incredible difference. It’s time to be bold and courageous. It’s time to be the church!
D E R VE H T I W
Shared Hope International Human Trafficking tip hotline: 1-888-373-7888 Spring-Summer 2011
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Champion Life Magazine
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O T D A O R HE RS
A E 5Y
with heila A Q & n and S Kevi
Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
Champion Life Magazine
Looking back helps us to dream and look to the future. This year we celebrate 25 years of ministry in the Northwest with Pastors Kevin and Sheila Gerald. Not only are we celebrating victories we have achieved along the way, we are also looking ahead to the next 25 years.
Champion Life Magazine had a chance to sit down with Pastors Kevin & Sheila to talk about their first 25 years of ministry in the Pacific Northwest, how they got here, and where they see Champions Centre going. Champion Life: What brought you to the NW? Kevin: We started coming to the Northwest from St. Louis, MO to be part of the Jesus of Nazareth (J.O.N) Passion Play in the early 1980s, when we were in our twenties. The Passion Play, which was written by Sheila’s brother Steve Munsey, became a major outdoor tourist attraction in the summer months for over 20 years in Puyallup, WA. We would come in the late spring to be part of rehearsals and help out through the summer months with the production. Sheila: Honestly, I just came along for the ride. The summer before we would end up moving
here, I jumped in at seven months pregnant with Jodi. With my stomach in the way, I made up for the production!
Champion Life: When did you become a pastor in the NW? Kevin: We came to help the church that had been partnering with the Passion Play in Puyallup locate and name a pastor. I traveled alone back and forth from St. Louis to Puyallup for a few months preaching on weekends for the church and working with the church board because the church was in significant debt. After a couple months, we really felt God calling us to stay in the Northwest and I was voted in to become the pastor. That was the summer of 1986. Sheila: Kevin came out before me to help the church, preach on Sundays and get the Amphitheatre summer season on course. I missed him and so did our daughter Jodi, then, 3 and 1/2 years old. I was not even
thinking about staying when we came out to visit. I was there to support Kevin. We are both preacher's kids, so I was just focused on my future with Kevin as eventually being the lead Pastor at His father's church in Missouri. I was ready to head back home to the easy road where “Everyone knows my name!" I just thought that was God's plan for our future. So anything different than that was beyond what I ever imagined. After being here for a couple of months, one day my husband out of the blue says, "I think God has called us here." Of course, the first thing that came out of my mouth was something like I hadn't got the update from God. I remember he very calmly asked, "Did you pray about this?" It was hard to admit anything in that moment, but I can truly say that God has you in mind and will let you know the next move if you listen.
Jesus of Nazareth, a major outdoor tourist attraction in the NW for over 22 years begins during the summer months. Scrooge the Musical begins in the winter at People’s Church.
Peoples Church builds a church with wooden dome inspired by the Tacoma Dome.
Kevin and Sheila Gerald move to the Northwest to pastor Meridian Christian Ministries in Puyallup. The congregation began with 70 people.
Th eG r
y la P
orthwest Passi on tN ea
MCM hosted Jesus of Nazareth Production on site.
ith O & A wnd Sheila T Q a AD Kevin O R HE RS
A E Y 25
Champion Life: What were some of the challenges that you faced in the beginning? Kevin: One of the biggest challenges we faced was the church was thousands of dollars in debt with no strategy to recover until we stepped in. The first year we were here we took our very first “Liberty Offering”... at that point it was call “Debt Destruction Offering” or something like that, and we brought in around $7000. It was enough to pay for 13 or 14 bills. So our church of 70 people or so rallied together, paid off some bills and burned the bills as a monument! Another challenge was obviously that we moved our family of three more
than 2500 miles away from any family or friends. That was a huge personal challenge.
Sheila: It was a challenge for me as a woman feeling a loss of security financially; plus, as a young mom with no family support to help me, and as a young leader, I felt very alone. Financially we walked by faith. We didn't have a church supporting us as a planting church. There wasn’t even money to afford a moving truck to move our belongings from our home in the Midwest to the Northwest (or even to bring our cars)! That really limited me from having my familiar surroundings and getting around to do things. Kevin had challenges in getting the church back on track and up on its feet. I really challenged myself to not complain and to keep his spirit lifted. Many times I would make it a big deal doing small things with all three of us as a family.
Champion Life: What were some of the steps you took to grow the church and get to a place of security? Kevin: We made a plan, we had some bold conversations with lenders, and we continued to manage Jesus of Nazareth production and saw thousands of people pray a life changing prayer of salvation at the end of each show. For the next five years we saw our church attendance grow from 70 people in to more than 1500 people in a very unchurched part of our nation. We encouraged our church family to invite and bring people to church with them. Word of mouth is a powerful tool of church growth. Sheila: Although I knew that I married an amazing man, I just have to say I really saw Kevin walk in a higher level of confidence and wisdom when we moved to the Northwest. Champion Life: After five years of growth, what happened?
Meridian Christian Ministries grows from 70 to over 1600 in 5 years. Looking to expand the campus, but the county denies progress because of water problems.
Meridian Christian Ministries merges with the People’s Church in a unique “marriage” of two congregations to become Covenant Celebration Church.
Wisdom for Life Leadership School is established and classes begin for people looking for relevant leadership development.
Champion Life Magazine
Kevin: We were looking to expand the campus, but the county continued to deny any structural expansion because of water problems. So, we were faced with the decision of what to do and where to go. I have to admit, I wondered if it was some kind of a sign that I was supposed to move back to where my dad was a pastor, but I was committed to the Northwest and we really felt like God had called us to this region. So we were in a bit of a holding pattern. Sheila: I remember one night, Kevin was talking to me and saying that maybe this was a sign for us to go back home to the Midwest. Doors seemed to be closing with the county to further build. He knew what God had put inside him and the next phase for growth was put on hold. After about 30 days of prayers other doors began to open. It was a move—but it was just eight miles down the road.
Champion Life: So, you feel like you were taking laps around a mountain, and then there was an opportunity that opened up, what was it? Kevin: In 1991, a few months after we had given up on expanding our Puyallup campus, we were contacted by People’s Church in Tacoma. They were in some financial difficulty and since we had a track record of financial turnaround—and because I believe we had positioned ourselves in a way that always honored Pastor Owen Shackett and his ministry at People’s Church—they approached me about merging the churches together and making Sheila and I the senior pastors. Champion Life: Was it an easy decision? Kevin: I don’t know that it was easy. But, after a lot of prayer and counsel we took on the challenge of merging two different churches and began the process of bringing another impossible financial situation to a
ett, y Shack n & Bett Church e w O r s Pasto of People Founders
Project 2000 is launched to raise funds to expand the children’s and youth departments in a major capital campaign. Several million dollars are raised over a couple of years.
Champions Centre addition has grand opening in the fall with beautiful classrooms, play zone, youth auditorium, game zones, offices, bookstore and more.
First Women’s Women’s Conference Conference.
The Coffee Shop opens daily proudly serving Starbucks Coffee.
Covenant Celebration Church changes its name to Champions Centre. Summer Conference for EVERYONE
First Team Church Aug 1-3 Conference.
ith O & A wnd Sheila T Q a AD Kevin O R HE RS
through. God always provided.
Champion Life: Church merges hadn’t really been talked about, were there things in the transition that stood out?
strategic plan of success and faith. It took a lot of faith in that transition.
Sheila: I was happy that we weren’t moving out of state, I had just begun to feel more connected in this area—so when we felt like we were in a holding pattern and wondering what was next I didn’t want to pick up and move far away. At the same time, I knew the pressure and stress that taking a church out of financial debt brought on Kevin and knew it was going to be a challenge. The first day we were senior pastors we had to let more than 15 staff go between both of our churches!
Kevin: It was tough, right after we merged we had a natural influx of the two churches coming together as well as new people walking through the doors for the first time, but we also had plenty of people walking out the door because the church they had known was changing—and a lot of people are resistant to change. We had a lot of transition going on in our teams, in our budgets, in our membership. I had to fly to Wisconsin to meet with a board of lenders and boldly negotiate a miracle—we
Champion Life: How did your faith keep you steady through those first few years of transition? Sheila: I think us both being PK’s (preacher’s kids) helped out a lot because we knew God would provide. We believed that He wouldn’t call us to something and then let us down. There were plenty of days and nights when I could see the pressures of church weighing Kevin down, but I did my best to keep our home life fun and light. I tried to keep a positive attitude with Jodi, because it was important to us that she grew up loving the house of God and not despising it. I “faithed it ‘til I made it” plenty of days.
worth your time.
got close to $1 million dollars written off of the People’s Church debt and laid out our plan of action. There were difficult times, but our team worked hard and God always came
Champion Life: What are some things that stand out in the past few years of Champions Centre?
Champions Centre records their first worship CD, Because of You.
First ever— Men’s Men’s Conference Conference Oct is launched. 6-7
The second CD recording, Nothing Compares, is produced.
Summer Conference for EVERYONE
Champions Foundation begins. A second location is added at an elementary school in Bellevue, WA and plans begin to look for a permanent location.
Champion Life Magazine is launched.
M FA L
10 L 20
Champion Life Magazine is now e available onlin championscentre.co
Champion Life Magazine WI NTER 2007
Building begins in Bellevue of the new Champions Centre location.
Champions Forever Home opens in Johannesburg, South Africa for orphans of the AIDS epidemic.
Kevin: Wow, the last five years we’ve started a new campus in Bellevue, we started a new relationship conference called MESH and we had our first men’s conference just a couple years ago. In 2007, we launched Champions Foundation so that we could continue to reach our community under an umbrella that the corporate world could back and get behind instead of relying solely on the church. (Sheila: And, we opened our first Champions Forever Home in Johannesburg, South Africa for children affected by the AIDS epidemic). Just this year, we opened 148th Ave Coffee Shop at our Bellevue Campus during the week to reach out to the college students and business community in that area. Sheila: Church life is always busy around Champions Centre—but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Champion Life: You’ve been in ministry in
2008 Bellevue building is dedicated, and Champions Centre is now officially one church with two locations.
the Northwest for 25 years now, what does that mean to you? Kevin: We feel like there has been a good foundation laid, and now we can launch into even bigger and greater things because of the groundwork that is there. Most pastors only stay at a church for three years on average, so we feel blessed and also proud that we’ve pushed through tough times and capitalized on good times and made it this far. But we’re not done!
Honestly. There are things we are doing right now that are causing us to rediscover the raw faith that we had when we began. We know that God has to show up to make it successful. We’ll continue to step out—We see great things ahead!
Champion Life: What is ahead? Kevin: It would be easy to just sort of coast through from here and live on past accomplishments, but we’re committed to continue to take risks, push our faith to the limits and believe God will do big things! It’s a privilege to be pastoring in such a great part of the country. We feel like the best is yet to come.
worth your time.
First Relationship Relationship Conference Conference. Feb 9-10
148th Coffee Shop is opened in Bellevue attracting local businesses and Bellevue College students.
Celebrate Recovery beginsWomen’s meeting Conference on May 19-20 Tuesday nights in Champs Auditorium. Summer Conference for EVERYONE
The first ever Easter 3D is filmed marking the largest attended weekend in Champions Centre history.
WFL becomes Champions Centre College.
Celebrating 25 years of ministry, the church looks to the future with great expectations.
CHAMPION FINDS Honor Revolution (2 CDs; DVD) God called His people to lead a revolution of honorâ€”beginning with, and flowing from the house of God. You too, can be a carrier and communicator of honor: Honor up, honor down and honor all around!
Walking The Path (2 CDs; DVD) Everyone is on a path going somewhere, but not everyone is on the path God has for them. In this message, you will learn how to get on, and stay on the path God intended us to be on.
Waiting on Coffee Image Forces That Form Your Future (Book; 3 CDs) The will of God is not "whatever happens" and "whatever happens" is not necessarily the will of God. There are nine forces at work in your life that are forming your future. In this powerful series, Kevin Gerald shows how you can choose to use these forces to your advantage and create opportunities of a lifetime.
Champion Life Magazine
First Love (4 CDs; DVD) Have you lost your first love? Love has a tendency to grow cold. This can happen in any relationship, it can happen in your relationship with God, it happens with church, or in your marriage. Falling in love is the easy part, staying in love is the challenge! Whatever your situation is, return to your first love.
253.475.6454 ext. 361 888.935.6914 kevingerald.tv
The Proving Ground (Book; 4 CDs) God will require each of us to prove our potential at one level before being promoted to the next. In this book (and audio series) from Kevin Gerald, discover the nine tests that prove your personal potential.
Waiting on Coffee Image
Favor Forever (3 CDs; DVD) You can’t grasp the extent of God’s favor or understand its magnitude. Favor is full of grace, never ending, and lasts forever. Learn how to unleash the favor of God in your life.
Follow (1 CD; DVD) Jesus was consistently calling people to leave the bleachers of observation. He wasn’t trying to win a popularity contest and He wasn’t worried about being politically correct. Jesus is calling you to step out and follow Him.
The Big Life (4 CDs; DVD) This series is all about living BIG! We serve a big God, who wants to do big things, has big plans for His Kingdom, and calls us to think big along with Him.
Resource yourself at kevingerald.tv Go online to find a wealth of resources, including free wisdom tips from Kevin Gerald and mp3s of messages.
T A RE
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Champion Life Magazine
to ay is he d t t u re to ho befo roug t h t h s g re ni itie befo s the rtun utes ppo nute n i i o s m m t ve nu e an ew nd fi e mi daf tal c v e i n n f p a e s , g ery ay am t kin fund is a v the d s. Ta r, bu t e n g n r i n a n a i l i g p p ra nn be to twono-b ing l pla eek tal, this gett ch w men ious tiona w a a v n n i o e d b e n t n o p fu Ik the l ste for in ever ’s a like day ctica we n hy it a a , r t e. w p s i r l seem y i t e tl u tf ate ur f abov all b exac in yo y tha ssion m ’s l e a s t e k p the a v o a e , th l y s s g b t r s n n it ex lki g ut ade epi why the n ot ta rs, b t le m ke n e a o h e r and t t r f m n I’ G ng ay e o vibra talki that od. e aw e ar e a G r v e e r e o f ’ s r h e o m w ou our T th t fo ce, les y is y reng hear cien s amp ow e st x t hotH h e e t . od tals. rock from this men ith G a out d b w lead ach a n o u p r f i p ? h e p im ed t the ions hy w to a new ith H relat abou a re you ip w on w s h e r s h a e s t n i e u io w rag aste e r beca life relat d m s th ncou f n s e u o a a t f I w c on up fort t o impa seas ushs ef mos rship i r o e t h r t b t x d o e a F o n re to in le in ck t desi it’s rge tion i n to o ba eme dica tals, rtain G e s n e got s s . d e c t e e i m v a tn t, ositi unda grea hear had ho he p see he f our we se w t t l y l o i r h n i o t w s g le f you fresh doin od? arate peop that t h at e go y in t sep r r p a a a e . h e e e o will w lif ,k he wh e! ell, w t h at do t ome your e we TION ose eopl c utsh S h o e m p n i t t E b t t a In QU .” – er ot arn bou ter from e up way prop us n at le RITY v all a mas i eat e t t r e A r g a y e g h L g t h e L t C o h e t t are e “ are THE do n uer o ar ell. T for a f we ASK ople lly w conq e wh od, e tim i . s e a o h t o 2 t e o p s g t r h r n T g rve ings ctive take orde lves goin a ha le th e f fe mse ave s in not, eap y e r l h g r h :9 u n t o i simp r g y . T in he ns 6 e it ith ll th ! them se t latia ecom sma r w eliev a u b d a B a G , ONE e n e . c l e h s u . t be r lif ing EAT y c nts aro he u r h t e R t o e v e G y v e g r g i a , in VE A takin ho e big the b r to b e evel EUTH in th hat HA ext l re is d fa se w EL D d w n e n o U n f a h h e u M o t l h fo w ta SA re to t f e fe een and ke e co men arely tor O com n ta to t h betw t, is r unda a f tre a s c n n t e i Direc r e u n w l o g h e l o o i d v T y s Cen d e w n t t u o a u e i o g h o y p g i t b t o fy Cham wha ine i me t nt so The ound ti term y wa n. It’s f t l e l e ge e s d a i e g t e ess ou Colle ur tha betw ard. en y that yo reatn ents h w v t G r s e W a . o . f h e m ing ctice thos t s te p s wn t r the ll th don’ t pra n do sma a dy fo e e t e a t r w self i e y r r g r s w da a be ing you o n ’s h o e o t k i t r very s s : e e e i r s H is rd, a he or v eithe f the e th in t towa goal ost o e are mak ilot o e p M w I g h . o t e t n o n ve u e us ca t t you’ on a happ beca ow s, wan e e g e H r c u “ c n a i i n o t h o y e t or no ion sam hen mall are, uest even the the s ?” T is q f the n’t c l c h i o n e d t i f i s d n r ! c , u e It’s ty , a busy k yo em. clari at e sp nces y, as mor is th ss th aser urre i t l s i c r a m e c a b l v o a and d c daily ou h yday e. Y adde on a ntil y ever utur u e f DAIL k e n r a h o e t LY & em eat esti r K u w s g l tting E q s a a E t ce en of ge EW into m t i a R choi s b d u A a l he EP fun on t rope the h . PR g e 3 r the v n i e a t n s h will p r t a u LE le nd t EOP ghou ple m peop hrou ing a VE P t t peo l Many n l O r a g a L o e n r D the G ith goi em D AN d w ff in and n th i o O o h G G p c d s t u i le an VE goe your h litt ot sw soul 1. LO s wit topil alarm Lord our n t u i y s a e e g r l i l h e h f n T e d e yb e t th a day. y the ir da is th d wi “‘Lov b e e n s h e i h d t a t h h n t T a nd got dt hear ut it, ind.' ing a little t. An o n m r n d b e o a n r your s a t m a d r ou dm avoi ough hbor a blu all y man neig y to s all no th com r a a with s t o u t t w s w e o e t t le ph ey t on yi grea simp e da g ou e Pro : 'Lov h n t A i h t i t s and f . e o " o d d l . e n lik ents plish aw a t and nd is com andm opilo the L seco c t l m a l u a A m n co self.' ing o two your gett ese h t n o hang -40 2:37 ew 2 h t t WWW.CHAMPIONSCENTRECOLLEGE.COM – Ma Spring-Summer 2011
Power of Focus By Rev. Kong Hee
A double-minded person
constantly swings between conflicting choices in his life, achieving nothing but confusion and disarray. Discover the power of focus and let God’s creative glory bring energy and power to everything you do. As a young boy, I loved scouting. I was enthralled with my magnifying glass. Often I would focus sunlight through my magnifying glass onto a matchstick, or a bunch of leaves, to see how long it would take to start a small fire. My mother would get very upset with me for playing with fire; but I did learn something as a little boy: focused light has tremendous power! On the other hand, diffused light, or scattered light, has very little power. Noted pastorphilosopher, Rev. Dr. A.R. Bernard, defines focus as “the center-point of attention.” 24
Champion Life Magazine
In Luke 11:34 (KJV), Jesus teaches, “The light of the
the focus you put into it. Remember the old adage:
body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single,
If you are a Jack of all trades, you become a master
thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine
eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.” By talking about the need for singleness of vision, Jesus was advocating the power of focus. When you are single-minded, you are focused. When you are doubleminded, you are constantly vacillating between two opinions. Double-mindedness will make you a very unstable person (James 1:7-8). But through mental and intellectual focus, the glory of creativity will be released inside of you.
Sunlight Versus Laser Light Take the sun for instance. The sun is a powerful source of energy. Every hour, the sun washes the earth with billions of kilowatts of energy. The temperature of the outer, visible part of the sun is nearly 5,500 degrees Celsius. With some sunblock lotion, you can easily sunbathe for one to two hours without any problem.
The Great Cola War One of the greatest illustrations of the power of focus is the "Great Cola War" between Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola. In the mid-1980s, the market shares of Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola were about even. Pepsi then started buying Frito-Lay—the maker of "Lay's Potato Chips"— the world's largest snack food company. Pepsi then bought Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, which were the world’s largest pizza, Mexican and chicken fast food chains respectively. In addition to that, Pepsi also owns Hot n' Now, Chevys, Californian Pizza Kitchen, DÌAngelo Sandwich Shop, and East Side Mario’s. Altogether Pepsi owns 24,000 restaurants, making it the largest restaurant owner in the world. In comparison, McDonald’s has only 14,000 restaurants.
On the other hand, a laser is a relatively weaker source of energy. A laser focuses a few watts of energy to form a coherent stream of light. Yet, with laser energy, you can drill a hole into a diamond, cut through steel beams, or wipe out cancer in a human body. In fact, you can focus that little laser energy into temperatures that exceed 5,500 degrees Celsius—hotter than the surface of the sun! Focused light has tremendous power! As such, what Jesus teaches about focus is very important to us all, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:14,16).
In the drink’s department, Pepsi owns Pepsi Cola,
Focus can bring energy and power to whatever you
Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Pepsi XL, Mountain Dew, 7-Up,
do. Churches with focus will make impact in their cit-
Slice, All Sport, and even Lipton Tea. And just for
ies. The future of your business or career depends on
kicks, Pepsi also sells Russian vodka in the US.
When you look at the parent company PepsiCo, it is very impressive. It has a much bigger spread than Coca-Cola. After all, Coca-Cola is only a beverage company, period. But while PepsiCo is worth US$44 billion, Coca-Cola is worth twice as much at US$93 billion. Per dollar of sales, Coca-Cola is worth almost four times as much as PepsiCo! Pepsi's philosophy is to be all over the world as quickly as possible. Coca-Cola has a simpler, more
see. Focus a camera on a flower and take a picture. The photograph will not show a tree, it will show a flower. Your vision must be a picture of what you choose to focus on. You will not experience success in life if you focus on anything other than the source of Life—Jesus Christ. No wonder the great apostle Paul says,
focused mission: To be number one in America. First,
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
America, and only then, the whole world. That is the
but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are
power of focus.
behind and reaching forward to those things which are
Let us look at another comparison. While Pepsi owns 24,000 restaurants, McDonald's only owns 14,000 res-
ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13-14)
taurants. But Pepsi's restaurants make only US$400
Paul took all the energy he could muster to focus on
million in annual profit, whereas McDonald’s restau-
the purpose God had put in front of him. When you read about our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospels, you will find that He was the most focused person in the world. He was always focusing on His Father’s work. Even at a tender age of 12, Jesus was already about His "Father's business" (Luke 2:49). Jesus never did or said anything that wasn't first initiated by His Father. In Luke 9:51-53, we read that Jesus was so focused on what He needed to do—going to Jerusalem, going to Calvary, going to the cross—that He could not be distracted. Three times in that passage, the Scripture describes that Jesus was so resolute, the intensity of His focus was evident all over "His face" and posture. He was 100 percent single-minded to be the Savior of the world.
rants make US$1.1 billion in annual profit. The 24,000
Jesus ran His entire life according to God's purpose
restaurants that Pepsi owns have an estimated com-
for Him. He fully concentrated on His life assignment.
bined value of US$10 billion. In comparison, the 14,000
While He healed all who came to Him, He didn't heal
restaurants that McDonald’s owns are worth US$31 bil-
every sick person wherever He went. While He deliv-
lion. The smaller, more focused company is worth three
ered the oppressed who came to Him, He didn't cast
times as much as the larger, less focused company.
out every demon in every town. When He was at the pool of Bethesda, there was a
Success Is Not Hocus Pocus
great multitude of sick, blind, lame and paralyzed. Je-
Success is all about focus. Your vision is what you focus on; vision is what you
years. Only one! Why didn't He heal the rest of the sick
Champion Life Magazine
sus only healed one man who had an infirmity for 38 at the pool? It was not His heavenly Father’s assignment for Him that day.
Countless times when Jesus went up to the Jerusalem
because it will be like "play" to you. All successful peo-
temple to pray, He would have passed by a lame man
ple discover their strength and distinctive, and spend
by the Gate Beautiful. But not once did He stop to heal
their entire life practicing those skills, honing them and
him. Again, it was not God's assignment for Him. It was
a task meant later on for Peter and John after the Day of Pentecost. As far as Jesus was concerned, He had to stay completely focused on His purpose.
Jim Carrey is a mega movie star who now commands US$20 million per movie (US$25 million for Bruce Almighty). But there was a time when Carrey was faced with many challenges along the road to stardom. As
Establishing Your Purpose
a young man, he suffered from very low self-esteem.
The Hebrew word for purpose is chephets, which means to "pleasure" or "delight." That which gives pleasure or delight to God is achieved on-purpose. That which focuses on what "God wants" and not what "we want" establishes His purpose on which we must focus, in order to know success in life.
nothing for two whole years. He felt he didn't have the
To establish His purpose as your focus, you must do three things:
At one point, Carrey was so depressed that he did good looks to be a successful actor. But Carrey realized that he was really unique in doing one thing: he could twist and contort his face and body into many funny positions. It is almost like he was born with a rubber face. So Carrey kept doing impersonations and performed at small clubs in the comedy circuit. Although he struggled with low self-esteem, Carrey kept on working hard, practicing and honing his seemingly bizarre comedy skill. One day, he was offered a role in a movie called Ace Ventura—Pet Detective. It had a reasonably good run
1. Build on your strength. Ask yourself: "What are my
at the box office. Shortly after that movie, Jim Carrey
natural talents, gifts and abilities?"
started visualizing himself being even more successful. He wrote himself a check for US$10 million for "ex-
All Olympic champions have one thing in common—
cellent service rendered." And because there was no
they spend most of their time focusing their strength
money in his bank to cash it, he postdated it. He would
on what they are naturally good at. They are athletic
then keep that check neatly in his pocket.
champions because they are naturally good at running. They are swimming champions because they are natu-
Whenever Carrey felt discouraged, he would sit on a
rally good at swimming. They are gymnastic champi-
quiet LA hillside and imagine himself as a movie star.
ons because they are naturally good at gymnastics.
He would take out the check from his pocket and confess positively to himself—that someday, he would be
2. Build on your distinctive. Ask yourself: "What is my
a real movie star. Then he would put the check neatly
back into his pocket.
We can all probably do many things but if we are hon-
A few years later, Jim Carrey was asked to be the lead
est to ourselves, there are only a few things we do really
actor of a movie called Mask. For his role, he was paid
well. So what are the few things that you are brilliant at?
more than US$10 million. And the day the money was
What do most people find difficult to do that you find
banked into his account was almost the exact date as
easy, and get fantastic results when you do it? That is
the one written on the check he kept in his pocket! To-
your God-given talent; your special gift from God.
day, Jim Carry is not just a comedian; he is recognized
When you do things that you have a natural talent for
as a serious actor who can act in practically any role.
and you are gifted in, you will stay excited, passionate and energetic. Even if it is hard work, you will enjoy it
3. Build on your revelation. Ask yourself: "What has
This is the freedom a believer has. God has given us
God shown me about my life assignment?"
the power of choice. But we must exercise that privi-
What are you supposed to do for the Lord in this life? Once God shows it to you, you must pray for the grace
lege very carefully. The Bible says that not every "good thing" we do will build up the vision God has entrust-
of God to stay faithful to it. In Acts 6:4, the apostles in the Early Church made a decision not to do any more administrative work, home visitation, counseling, marrying, or burying. Instead they were to stay focused on the Word of God, and to get the mind of the Lord on all future directions for the Church. In order to do these two things, they had to free themselves up from other duties. It is the same with me. Until our congregation hit 3,000 members, I was still doing most of the administrative work in City Harvest Church. I was the chief editor, graphic designer, home visitation leader, counselor, deliverance minister, marriage officiator, janitor, and building maintainer. But the moment the church grew to over 3,000 members, I needed to stop. I had to stay fully focused on my main purpose in the church, which is to be (1) the Chief Leader, and (2) the Chief Feeder. If I get distracted from God's assignment for me, then City Harvest Church would not be a healthy church. We would stop growing and stop having a positive impact in the city. I need to always build on the revelation God has given to me, which is: To build a church with a strong spiritual atmosphere of faith and purity, where every member is released into ministry, discipled in the Great Commandment, to obey the Great Commission. Every single week, you must invest most of your time
ed to our care. Life is too short to waste time running
doing what you do best, and let others do what they
around making the wrong choices. We don't have all
do best. When you focus most of your time and energy
the time in the world to get distracted doing the per-
building on your strength, distinctive and revelation,
missive will and miss out on doing God's perfect will
you will become successful in your God-given purpose.
for our lives.
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
KONG HEE is an anointed church
(1 Cor. 10:23)
builder, an effective humanitarian, a prolific conference speaker and a successful businessman. He is lead pastor of City Harvest Church in Singapore. In 1989, City Harvest Church was founded with 20 young people. Today it averages 28,134 in
weekly attendance, and has a total Champion Life Magazine
membership of 32,731.
REAL LIFE CHAMPIONS
Steven & Autumn Wright Steven grew up as a Pastor’s Kid in a loving Christian environment, and I was raised in a broken home with divorce, abuse, drugs and alcohol surrounding me. I got married at a young age to what I thought was an escape that ended in again an abusive relationship. As a single mother of one, I can only say it was a blessing that us as two complete opposites found each other and fell in love. In the spring of 2002 Steven and I had our second son Gaven. He was a happy baby who loved life and most of all loved to eat anything and everything. We had it all… a wonderful relationship, careers and a happy family.
he wasn’t alright. After that day Gaven stopped talking, eating and wasn’t happy anymore. We frantically asked everyone for advice and set up as many Dr. appointments as possible. We would go to the grocery store and Gaven would scream… strangers would come up to us and tell us that we were horrible parents. It felt as though we were in a nightmare and we would never wake up. We even questioned if God was punishing us for something in our past.
Real Life Champions
The day that dramatically changed our lives was a beautiful sunny day. I can remember it as clear as if I were watching a movie. Steven was at work and our oldest son Evan was watching Elmo and I was feeding our happy baby breakfast when I looked at him and noticed something very different. It was as though he wasn’t there anymore, like he checked out. As with any mother I felt something inside of me say that
After almost a whole year of sleepless nights, force feeding Ensure and endless temper tantrums, Gaven received his official diagnoses… it was AUTISM. We were dumbfounded. What we knew of Autism was from the movie Rain Man --not the child we had. Gaven didn’t repeat words and count cards, he screamed, didn’t talk, and most of the time we were trying to calm him down while getting bitten, scratched, kicked and punched. From that point, our marriage felt nonexistent, all of our time was given to this little boy. Evan our oldest son was shipped off to his grandparents most of the time, I gave up my career to take care of Gaven and Steven was in denial about his flesh and blood having flaws.
Where was our God? Why wasn't he helping us? Were we not go od t enough? Wha e could we hav possibly done ? to deserve this
I cried all the time and fell into a deep depression. I was now on medication and felt numb all the time. Where was our God? Why wasn’t he helping us? Were we not good enough? What could we have possibly done to deserve this?
REAL LIFE CHAMPIONS Somehow, we still pushed forward. We were bound and determined to never give up, like it seemed God did on us. Years had passed and Gaven had daily therapy at the local hospital and was integrated at age 3 into an Autism preschool. It was very hard work, but again we didn’t give up. After a few months, he started saying words. A few months more, he didn’t have as many episodes. A year later, he was eating solid foods and after that he was soaring immensely. We couldn’t believe it. We were told by all the professionals that Gaven wasn’t going to be able to adapt to the real world, that he wasn’t going to be able to do normal child activities and here he was shining brighter than the sun. Steven said it was the work of our living God and I just laughed. Steven begged for
us to attend church and I continued to laugh even more. We had gone to a few services in the past, mainly to please Stevens’s parents in hopes that they would babysit again. But this time, Steven was persistent and I finally caved in to go. We went a few times and I still felt the same. Nothing changed in me and I didn’t see the point of church. One morning we woke up late and Steven mentioned this church down the street that had an 11:30 service, I thought here we go again... but this time it was different. From the moment we got out of our cars, we could both feel it. Everyone seemed to be so nice, especially a gentleman by the name of Pastor Larry in the Children’s Department. He was the only one we told that Gaven had Autism. He assured us that our both of our boys would be fine
and to enjoy the service. The worship was amazing and we were completely blown away by Pastor Kevin’s message. From that day forward we knew that Champions Centre was our home. Here, our family has given their lives to Christ; been baptized and have been totally transformed by this life giving church. I am no longer depressed and on medication, our marriage is stronger than ever and our son Gaven has miraculously transformed. He now is on pace with his peers and both of our boys have their hearts on fire for God. After being on our walk together for a few years now, we can reflect back on our lives and have come to realize that God had never left us; he was always there right beside us. We just didn’t take the time to look up. The whole time I was blaming him, he had his arms wrapped around us. Sometimes we have to remember that we might not be able to see the end of the road, but it’s not our job to do so.
We would like to say thank you to all the Champions Centre staff and volunteers. You are changing lives and making a difference in the Northwest.
I am no long er depressed on medication and , our marria ge is stronger tha n ever...
Champion Life Magazine
Ed & Sandy Ellis I'm always amazed at how God can take things that are broken and make something incredible for his purpose. We are a family made up of broken pieces that God supernaturally wove into a whole. I grew up in a strict house with a father I couldn’t relate to due to alcohol that nearly destroyed our family. Only my mother’s love and “never give up” attitude held us together. I found acceptance and success in sports and music, both of which I excelled at. In 1977, I was the top ranked pole-vaulter in Washington State, and by 1980 at WSU, I was on track for the Olympic trials that year. But it all ended when I suffered a career ending injury during a track meet. Everything I had dreamed of was destroyed in seconds. I was without direction in life and felt hopeless. After college I came home, began working as a building designer and product development engineer and have remained in that field to this day. In 1982, I started attending Peoples Church. In 1985, I met Sandy and by 1986 we were married and have been for nearly 25 years. She also came from a broken family and was eventually adopted by her stepfather into a stable loving home. She
has worked as a Payroll Specialist for most of her career. For the next several years we stayed very active in the church until it split in the early 90's. Leaving with the Senior Pastor at the time, we were active in helping to start a new church and served several years on the church board as an overseer. It was during this time that we decided to try adopting a child. The Lord gave us our miracle in our first son, Joel, and a few years later, Jonathan. Both boys came from broken homes that had alcohol and drug abuse. Though we loved our family at the other church, we began to feel the Lord speaking to us about change. After more than a year of prayer, we finally visited Champions Centre in 2006 and haven't left. It was like coming home after a long voyage. Pastor’s messages were fresh, relevant and for us, life changing. Though we were already born again, it was as if life was starting new again. We began to speak more positively, and live life with a new purpose. Growth is an expected and exciting part of our lives now. We have since developed a true passion for small groups being both CLG hosts and coaches and have been blessed by our involvement in Kingdom Builders, the Worship team, kids ministries and
Though we still have many challenges in life, we ar e able to face them with confidence... the Sound Team. Giving financially into the ministry is not only easy for us now, but it is a necessary part of our lives that fuels our faith. Though we still have many challenges in life, we are able to face them with confidence knowing that the God who saved us and made a broken family into one will see us through and make us stronger. I am reminded daily of one of my favorite scriptures: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
k.WISE Get In The Game Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a rut? Maybe you’ve felt like you are failing to move forward in God’s plans for your life? We get comfortable being spectators and just sitting in the bleachers of life watching things happen from afar. It may not be intentional, but rather the result of indecision. Just one decision can set off a chain reaction that dramatically effects and enriches our lives. When it comes to relationship with God, everyone spends some time in the bleachers. The bleachers are a place of comfort and complacency. There is no push, no advancement and no use of your talent. However, you can’t fulfill your destiny staying in those seats. A well-known story of the Bible is the story of Zacchaeus who in one day went from being just a spectator watching Jesus from the top of a tree to being a guy who got back in the game. Perhaps many of you can relate to Zacchaeus who preferred to watch things from afar. Something tells me that it was not only his shortness that caused him to choose the tree as an observation deck, but also the safe distance it put between him and Jesus. Maybe Zacchaeus was more comfortable at a distance, but that didn’t mean Jesus would leave him there. When Zacchaeus was spotted by Jesus, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately.” Jesus called him out of his very safe and distant bleacher seat into an up-close, personal, and interactive relationship with him and his people.
"Just one decision can set off a chain reaction that dramatically effects and enriches our lives." 32
Champion Life Magazine
There comes a time when everyone in the bleachers will be called back into the game just like Zacchaeus. Some of you may already be believers but you have not been an active part of serving and giving to your church. The following are four steps to a Pathway of Purpose that can help advance you forward and get you back in the game of life: 1. Make Contact and make church attendance a regular part of your life. 2. Get Connected and build some God assigned relationships. 3. Be Committed by getting planted in the House of God. 4. Live in Community by finding a place on a team and being a part of the life-giving community at Champions Centre or your local church.
In matters of
swim with the current; in matters of
stand like a rock. -Thomas Jefferson
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