Tag Archives: That Day

How Can We Help Connect the Dots?

80-vs-forever-02I’m asking my youngest 3 kids – “what’s longer, 80 years or forever?” They’re 6, 6, and 7. But, they understand “forever” is a whole lot longer than 80 years. If we live for 80 years here, it’s still TEENY, TINY compared to forever, right?

Scripture teaches two big things about forever:

  1. By grace, through faith, we get to spend it with Jesus – salvation from our sins.
  2. In addition to forever with God, we’ll receive from God rewards commensurate with the works that flow from our salvation.

In other words, do good stuff in your TEENY, TINY 80 years, get good rewards that last forever.

 

Great leaders agree with Jesus – vision leads. When we begin our day, our week, our quarter, our game, our deal with eternity in mind, how we conduct that time, that game, that deal are dramatically different than when we’re only thinking about the now. How much more engaged are we when we realize how high the stakes of our obedience are? Vision – what could be and should be – impacts strategy and execution. It also raises engagement. Nothing at stake? Not paying attention. Eternal rewards in the balance? You have my undivided attention and engagement.

The history of Seasons of Life Ministries has been about helping people keep one eye on eternity and one eye on the now. Or, as some might put it, “eyes on Jesus, hands on the wheel, ready to turn at His command.” In the coming months, you’ll likely see some events popping up on our calendar – speaking engagements, performances of That Day, perhaps even a Clean Slate Workshop or webinar. Whatever form it takes, we want to stay laser focused on helping people stay on track in their walk with Christ, which involves connecting the dots between present obedience and eternal rewards.

If you know someone who’s struggling with the 3 O’s: “Overcommitment”, “Overwhelm”, “OVER IT!”, point them our way and we’ll see how we can help. Start by joining us at our next That Day performance at Holy Trinity Christian Church on Sunday morning, October 16th, 2016, at 10AM. By then, we’ll likely have a date on the calendar for “next steps” like Clean Slate, microgroups, or one on one coaching & discipleship.

One day, we’ll all come before Jesus to receive rewards for what we’ve done here (2 Cor. 5:10). When you come face to face with Christ for the first time, do you want to hear a mere “Welcome” or a hearty, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”?

Huge Accolades for That Day

Lockridges

Pastors Reuben & Pam Lockridge hosted “The Called” a Revival on August 8, 2016

That Day Hits the Road

On August 4th, our family and ministry packed up and headed for a few days’ break at a friend’s place in Pigeon Forge, TN. Once vacation was over, we repacked and headed for Virginia, where we prepared for our very first outdoor performance of “That Day: a Story of Great Rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ”!

Pastors Reuben and Pam Lockridge spent great effort and time organizing “The Called: a Revival” at the Bull Run Memorial Park outdoor theater. Despite sweltering August heat, over 100 people from at 8+ churches from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia united for a day long event of prayer, preaching, worship, repentance, and celebrating the name of Christ. There, I got to perform That Day for all in attendance.

Digging Past the Surface

When you perform a one man play, you’re going to get a lot of surface “WOWs” about the performance itself like “Wow, how’d you memorize 90 minutes of story?!” or “Wow, how do you do all those voices?” But, digging past the comments about what people saw, you may find more exciting comments about how people were changed, like “Wow… I haven’t been thinking about eternity anywhere near as much as I ought.

As a performer, consultant, and personal pastor these are the kinds of comments I look for to see if the play is on track; the kind of feedback that isn’t about me and my effort, but what God is up to through His efforts.

I’m used to giving people a “wow”, but this feedback email made ME say “wow”…

Road Report, Part 1 – God Connects the Dots

“for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
(Matthew 6:8b)”

I’m out at work a lot when my wife is teaching the “academic” part of our homeschool curriculum. But, part of homeschooling our children is simply being on mission to spot teachable moments and helping them connect the dots between what they observe and what God has already said in the word. You can’t schedule that. You have to wait for it… patiently.

Sometimes, strategy and execution get out of line with vision and we need to course correct. Other times, God frustrates our plans to give us a broader or more detailed look at the vision He’s crafted for us. He changes the map, yet keeps us on course with His planned destination; or zooms out to reveal that our timing and His timing are two different things… God calls us to connect the dots. But not at the expense of the bigger picture.

Long Day, Weary Driver?

We’re driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains on our way to Tennessee – it’s a stretch of winding, mountain road of tree tunnel, speckled with pull offs where gaggles of tourists like us stop to take selfies in front of God’s majestic mountain scenery. A 7 year old mind behind me, Presleigh, breaks my concentration: “Daddy, when are we going to see deer or elk or moose?”

Video Heads Up on the Road Trip

A number of you wanted to know about the road trip, but we never cross posted the video heads up here on the blog. So, here’s a quick note to those who might want to support this ministry through prayer or giving.

What Happened, What’s Now, What’s Next?

confused-face1-300x198I’m Confused, What Happened?!

Here’s a quick ministry update for you. Many of you may be seeing what God’s up to with us this year and wondering why, considering what happened last fall.

Let me clear up the confusion:

In September, 2015, following a major case of tunnel vision on my part, both Cristine and I were buried in stress, so we called a round table together to ask some prayed-up outsiders their feedback on the tension we were experiencing.

They listened prayerfully and replied as lovingly and bluntly as we’d asked. Their conclusions were:

  • “You’ve been faithful with the calling God had given you.”
  • “You AND your wife are clearly exhausted.” and
  • “Now is the time for you to lay this ministry down and pursue a full time job to bring stability to our financial situation.”

I felt like Abraham being asked to lay his son, Isaac, on the altar as a sacrifice. With deep grief, I obeyed their counsel.

That Day Points the Way to a Clean Slate

That Day Promo Card 2UP GHBC_gForm 800x200That Day is an amazing, modern day parable about a man who comes before Christ to receive rewards for what he did with his life. (This is the “believer’s judgment” or “bema” as opposed to the “White Throne” judgment.)

The most poignant response I get from people who have seen this story is this: “I didn’t really have such a clear picture of what eternal rewards could look like.” Suddenly, they’ve magnified this simple truth: “I am called and accountable.” The next question that typically comes up is – “now, how do I minimize my losses and maximize the gains for Christ?”

Clean Slate is where we help tease out those ideas and bring clear, biblical thinking to bear on the day to day “to do” along the way. www.zeroinbox.org

This April, we’re excited to present two That Day performances at Greater Heights Baptist Church, here in West Forsyth, on Saturday, April 16th at 7PM and the Sunday morning 11AM service on the 17th. Following that, we will be presenting our Clean Slate – Gospel Driven Productivity workshop for staff and volunteers at the church. With some favor from God and GHBC, we may have room for a few invite only guests. Inbox me for details!

In the meantime, SAVE THE DATE, register for free seats, and keep us in prayer!

I look forward to seeing you on That Day!

AP

2016 Ministry Update – Hard Plowing, Good Fruit?

Last year, Seasons of Life Ministries celebrated 8 years as a public ministry. We faced some of the toughest work in many years: many marriages in great distress, conflicts within regarding short term application of the long term vision, and financial challenges that made us wonder if 2016 would see us walking away from this mission altogether.

In September, we sought outside counsel from an impartial roundtable of “prayed up” believers. Cristine and I presented the ministry’s predicament with all the brutal facts of its then current reality, including the painful 25-30% funding status. Their unanimous responses:

  1. You two are exhausted.
  2. You’ve been faithful with what you’ve been given.
  3. It’s time to bless your family with a steady paycheck.

So, we followed their counsel, sending out Aarron’s resume, interviewing, praying, listening, waiting on God to use someone or some company to bring clarity and peace. Instead, we received a job offer that created nothing but turmoil when it was discussed. We’re so smart it only took us two weeks to figure out it was not only not a God opportunity, it wasn’t even a good opportunity. In the midst of this, we got an invite to present That Day at a church here in Alpharetta. By November, we had presented the best performance yet of our best script yet to a sold out crowd of nearly 300!!! Amazing!

Following this, Aarron picked up some part time work at a local store a mere few minutes away from home and we moved forward as prayerfully and patiently as possible, discipling a limited book of clients, shifting most of them to virtual meetings, reaching out to a very small handful of couples still in distress, and waiting for God’s next move.

In the meantime, we’ve seen a handful of men and women that were in troubled marriages actually walk out the biblical advice we were able to cover with them and appear to be rebuilding their marriages God’s way. Others will still need a whole lot more prayer, because this kind of turnaround doesn’t happen overnight.

After a review of the books at year end, we discovered the numbers we’d given the September roundtable were way off… By year end, God had used dozens of people, families, etc. to fund this ministry to well over 80% of its need. Armed with that information, Aarron began reaching out to his network of contacts with a much clearer vision of what God may be doing with this ministry:

“leading men, women, and couples to overcome barriers to intimacy with Christ”; this time, with greater alignment between vision and strategy.

In a nutshell, we hope with God’s help, to:

  • engage the eyes and ears our broadest audiences with our shorter, “That Day” script;
  • translate those to hearts and minds with our Clean Slate (Gospel Driven Productivity Workshop);
  • encourage hands and feet through one on one discipleship and coaching from there.

Cool News!!!

To that end, we begin a pair of That Day performances on April 16th and 17th that will lead to a three week Clean Slate Workshop series at Greater Heights Baptist Church, here in Cumming. To join us at either, go to www.thatday.info.

We’ll need all available help to make this happen; so, if you feel like you’re particularly gifted with marketing, social media, or just good-old-fashioned prayer, we’d love to invite you to be part of our street team. To lend a heart, hand, or lips, send email to volunteer@seasonsoflifeministries.org. If your gift is giving, we’d like you to know the most challenging months for this ministry are typically May, June, August, and November. So, if you’re a strategic giver – join us anytime, but keep those specific times in mind and prayer. This month, I’d encourage you to pray God keeps us on track with all we have ahead and that He raises up 3 new regular monthly supporters at $50 and $100 each.

Keep our Stay in the Word community in prayer, as well. Though we haven’t been wildly promoting the app, we’re approaching 50-100 users between IOS and Android combined. If you don’t yet have the app, check out what the buzz is all about!

As always, thanks for your prayers, “shares”, and encouragement!

in Christ,

Aarron & Cristine Pina

Me, Freaked Out… and Why:

2015-10-09 15.51.28

Me – Freaked out. For great reason.

Last Month

After 8 years, September saw us on the verge of cutting way, wayyy back to part-part-time ministry and me going out and getting a full time job. Some of that is still a possibility; I’ve cut way back on one on one and leaned efforts into maintaining our SOLM apps, That Day rehearsals, and Clean Slate coaching. In the meantime, I’m entertaining a couple of career change ideas that will keep both my family and the ministry afloat. Plot thickens…

Then, THIS happens…

A friend and I were discussing “That Day” and landed on a performance date of Friday, November 13th, here in Alpharetta! For a long time, I’ve been ITCHING to create a compelling, SHORT (90 sec.), trailer video for That Day… So, we did it. And, it… came… out… AWESOME. (see below or click here)

We released the video to YouTube and social media and in just a couple of days, we’re at 100 hits. Now, it typically takes a while (especially when an event is 5 weeks away) for advance ticket sales to gain strong momentum…

Apparently, that’s not the case with “That Day”. God must have a faster plan:

This morning, 30 tickets blew out the door before I could even eat lunch, and a number of people have spoken with me about bringing their small groups to the Midway Community Church event! To GOD be the glory for THAT!!!

What I’m Freaked Out About?

With less than 300 seats at this venue, I’m a bit freaked out that this performance will sell out pretty quickly. So, I’m giving all of you a heads up – if you’re planning to come and don’t buy a block of tickets next week, CALL ME or shoot me an email to let me know to protect your seats. Some of this is out of my control and if you’ve got unchurched (or even churched) friends that you want to bring to see Dan Matthewson’s wild story, I don’t want them to miss out.

What You Need to Do (in No Particular Order):

  • Decide to be an organizer – organize a group to come see the show. (Hey, you did this for the game last week, give it a try for something about Jesus, mkay?)
  • Share the video with your friends, coworkers, staff, small group, etc.
  • Buy a block of tickets here or at thatday dot info.
  • Have a fantastic time and talk about it often.
  • Call, text, PM, or email me if you’re planning to come but can’t buy your block next week.

See you on… That Day.

I Can Only Imagine?

In 2001, Mercy Me released the song “I Can Only Imagine”. The writer reflects on the day we all meet Jesus face to face for the first time. Within a few years of its release, it was all over even the Adult Contemporary charts. Why? Because we all wonder what that day will be like, don’t we?

The same year the song was released, Tim Stevenson wrote a book about a fictional character – Dan Matthewson – who comes before the “bema seat” for judgment to receive rewards “for the things done in the body, whether good or bad” 2 Cor. 5:10. Stevenson’s book about a day in Dan’s life takes a pretty smart stab at what judgment day could actually look like. Will it look more like a board meeting, a jury trial, or could it be more like one, big Oscar party?

Over the years, many have taken to the pulpit or the stage to tell Dan’s story. Beginning in 2010, I had a chance to be one of them. Over the past few years, we’ve reached a whole lot of people in the metro Atlanta area, giving them an entertaining look at what “That Day” could be. Dan’s a result oriented guy – moving up and today, he’s at the top of his game. But, like you and I, his plans for this day are often interrupted by people and other pesky “distractions”. Things get a bit tense for everyone just about the time God throws Dan the ultimate interruption… the judgment seat of Christ.

What’s My Biggest “That Day” Battle?

It takes me a lot of work to prepare for what amounts to a 90 minute “monologue”. As an actor, you have to keep the audience engaged and by grace and a lot of clever technique, we’ve done just that. Do you know what’s even harder for me? Getting people to understand they need to see this story not because I’m in it, rather because it’s vital truth for our souls that impacts our every day decisions. After our last performance, a friends’ comment told me we really hit the mark. He said his greatest regret was that he’d only brought some of his immediate family to the show, but “…next time, rather than asking people to come, we will go get them and bring them.” Thanks, David!

Can You Imagine?

When I teach our Clean Slate workshop and coach people on productivity, one of the key reference points used to help them sort through the “trivial many and decide on the vital few” is the rewards we may receive (or forfeit) at the judgment seat. It’s a crucial filter for every Christ follower to apply. But, without a vivid picture of that day in mind, it’s a more challenging exercise. What would it look like if everyone around us lived every day with eternal rewards front and center? Well, October is coming and That Day is coming to Alpharetta, GA.

If you’re interested in taking a look at what That Day might look like, we’re building our guest list for a special October showing. To be considered for an invite, fill out the form below. We may have an inside line on the tickets… 😉

Change is Good?

Eyes on the Numbers

In our household, I’m the numbers guy – “Guardian of the Financial Spreadsheet”. So, when change comes along, I tend to be the most emotionally impacted by the ramifications: need new tires, classroom supplies, low on peas and coffee, torn dress shirt – you get the point. I’m responsible to calculate the need, lead in prayer for provision, and trust God with His reply and timing.

What’s More Important, Time or Money?

After over 6 years in “ministry as usual”, shifting the balance of what the ministry does on a day to day basis doesn’t only impact my financial spreadsheet – it impacts my calendar, dramatically. Most often, change requires both time and money. When the ministry has most often run “short” financially, it’s hard for me to decide if I’m more “nervous” about the investment of time or the investment of money. Ever been there?

Clean-Slate-Date-StampedWhat’s Different?

Seasons of Life has almost always been a “free service” ministry – there’s only a few things we’ve ever charged money for, and discipleship has never been one of them. It’s always been (and will probably always be) foreign to us to sit down with someone(s), listen to them, point them to scriptural truth, pray for and with them, and then say “Ok, that’ll be x dollars.” However, four wise men in my life have recently (in the same 10 to 14 days, wow!) counseled me, without my asking them, to amp up two existing programs that we do charge for, and focus attention on them: That Day and “Clean Slate“.

Support Badge

The “Now”:

I’m freshly encouraged by the registration numbers in for our April 18th “Clean Slate” workshop. But, this is a small, “pilot episode” and it will be a while before the ministry begins to see a sustainable financial impact from this emphasis on bible-based productivity coaching. I have opened up for promotion 8 dates in this year’s calendar for potential “That Day” performances and will begin marketing this more actively this month. Again, this leaves a gap between the ministry’s current financial situation and a more sustainable future. Including first quarter shortfall and current April needs, we’re less than $11K away from everything being “current” come April 30. This includes staff salary, replacement printer drum & toner, email marketing fees, and support for a couple of local “Speak Life” families in immediate need.

The Match

We currently have a $4,000 pledge in the mix. If we receive donations and pledges meeting that by Tuesday, 4/15, we’ll receive all of that match. That means, to move April forward, I’ve got to ask any and everyone to help us bridge the gap with donations or pledges by then. Please, help out in any way – individually, as families, businesses, or small groups – to make this happen. We’re super grateful for the work God has put before us and very grateful for everyone who continues to support discipleship, Speak Life, Clean Slate, and That Day.  Equally, help us connect people with programs by sharing the links for “That Day” and “Clean Slate” with people you know who could benefit from either.

To Help Directly

Please consider using your online banking service’s automatic bill pay to support – it’s usually free for you and for us. See our support page for details on that and consult your bank’s online banking page to set it up as either one time or regular monthly or quarterly giving. Otherwise, you can also use our online support page to give securely via debit/credit card. If you’d like to pledge toward our matching gift, simply email us at support@seasonsoflifeministries.org and let us know your intent. Thanks, SO much for your support!!!

in Christ,

AP