Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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This Blog Has Moved

September 9, 2009

Visit me at http://paulrichardsononline.com/

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Walk Inside

September 4, 2009

Earlier this week I went out for lunch fully intending to go through the Drive-thru and get back to the office. Upon seeing the line of cars I changed my mind and went inside. I actually do this quite a bit. Going out to lunch and moving from sitting at my desk to sitting in the car is not exactly rejuvenating, so I will get out of the car for a walk. I was reminded of a little lesson I thought I’d share.

I was inside for approximately 8 minutes. In that time I was approached about an opportunity for our church to reach out to a group of folks in an area we don’t have great exposure, was invited by a local high school to partner with them on a couple of items, thanked for helping out on the Community Makeover, and given the chance to invite someone to West Ridge who doesn’t attend church anywhere. One morning this week I didn’t ‘Pay at the pump’ for the gas in my car. As I continue to build relationships with the local gas station employees I was given another opportunity to talk church and life with someone who is clearly not a follower of Jesus.

Ok, I don’t do this all the time, but I will continue to try to do it more than not. If I always stay in my car then these conversations never happen. Outreach or Sharing Christ is not a program, it’s a lifestyle that stretches us as disciples of Jesus.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul

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Why am I in Brazil

August 25, 2009

As some of you know, we have been praying at West Ridge Church now for many months about new Missions opportunities. I have had conversations about a dozen different great works by godly leaders in a dozen different countries. Many others have pitched mission opportunities to me in places where God is working. I’ve put a lot of prayer into a lot of different places I’ve never been. A couple of these conversations have stayed with me. I have felt God saying, you have to go see this. Sooner or later I have to get out of the office

So, I’m in Brazil. I’m near Manaus. Less than 200 years ago it was one of the wealthiest cities in the world. The whole world came here for a commodity – rubber. In 1920 some aggressive folks from Europe came and took steps that made this trade move, and many things moved away with it. One thing remains – the River.

We would refer to it as the Amazon. But here, just before the actual Amazon begins there are two, the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes. Once they collide the Amazon begins. Down that river there are groups of people who have retreated deep into the jungle to hide from – well – everyone.

Up until the 1980’s there were groups of people making their way into the Amazon killing tribal people because they are different. They are strange. They have peculiar customs, and unusual ways of looking out for one another. They were killing them completely out of fear. And now that same fear has created an environment where no one from the outside is allowed into these villages. It would mean certain death. And in these villages there are over 90 unreached people groups. Each have their own language as can be with hundreds of dialects. Groups of people who have never heard that there is a God who sacrificed His only Son to have a relationship with them.

So how will they know? That’s what I am here to learn about. Recently, a group of Brazilian Pastors secured over 200 acres just a couple of kilometers off of the Amazon River. I walked the property today.  It is breathtaking. From this place they plan to recruit men from the villages down the river, and train them to take God’s message with them. It is a big, multi-faceted vision! What do they need from us? That is what I’m here to find out. Other churches are here from our Atlanta community. This may be another opportunity to work together in meaningful ways.

I am looking forward to seeing even more in the days to come.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul

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Eyes Wide Open

August 3, 2009

There are so many lessons and thoughts going through my head after our Community Makeover Weekend. A Messianic Jew made a statement to me a couple of years ago, and it continues to motivate me to do what I do.
He said, “The poor are invisible to the middle class.” Ever since that time my car rides are different. I don’t just see things differently, I look for things. More often than not, I see need after need. Across every community there are those who are widowed, disabled, out of work, in need of some home repairs, some that have not eaten today…even in the suburbs.

My prayer for all of the 3500+ volunteers from this weekend, and those they influence is that their eyes will be open to the needs all around them, and that you will never be the same.

Everyone Belongs,

Paul

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Holy Naivete

June 15, 2009

I just returned from some sabbatical time that I was granted by West Ridge Church. It’s given to our Pastor/Director Team members every five years. The focus of these four weeks was family and renewal. I have been asking God to restore me to some healthy life rhythms. I had let things get pretty unbalanced recently, and I think it was starting to show.
One of the things I did to renew my spirit was listen to my favorite worship tunes. One of my favorite worship CD’s is from Mars Hill Bible Church. They sing a song called, ‘Enchanted’. Unfortunately, Disney has monopolized the word and turned it into a princess movie, but that is beside the point.
Two words stick out from that song every time I hear it. You guessed ‘em, ‘Holy Naivete’. The word naïve and most of the synonyms are generally used as negative descriptions, but it has some positive meanings. One is this, “Admirably straightforward and uncomplicated, or refreshingly innocent and unaffected.” Another definition is “To have an excessively simple and trusting view of the world.”
For me I want this phrase to be a description of my personal faith. Even when we are trusting God for the ‘big’ things in our life, faith should be relatively simple. Faith that there is a God that can do whatever he wants. Faith that says this same Creator God has plans to prosper and not to harm me, and a hope and a future. Faith that knows even when the Father is silent, He is not absent.
I want to commit to not allowing life’s practicalities and busyness to crowd out my faith.

God give me the gift of Holy Naivete.

http://www.musicatmars.com/worship/lyrics/Enchanted.pdf

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Could This Be True Of Me?

March 5, 2009

I am posting a reading from My Utmost For His Highest. March 4th and 5th he unpacks one of my favorite verses, Acts 20:24. I thought this was powerful. ~Everyone Belongs, Paul

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself.” Acts 20:24

It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis.

What do I really count dear? If I have not been gripped by Jesus Christ, I will count service dear, time given to God dear, my life dear unto myself. Paul says he counted his life dear only in order that he might fulfil the ministry he had received; he refused to use his energy for any other thing. Acts 20:24 states Paul’s almost sublime annoyance at being asked to consider himself; he was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received. Practical work may be a competitor against abandonment to God, because practical work is based on this argument – Remember how ‘useful you are here, or – Think how much value you would be in that particular type of work.” That attitude does not put Jesus Christ as the Guide as to where we should go, but our judgment as to where we are of most use. Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His.

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Wanna Be In A Movie?

February 18, 2009

I got a call yesterday from a hollywood casting agency who are giving us a unique opportunity. On February 28th and March 1st the movie, “Get Low” is being shot in Dallas, GA. The movie stars, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Tim McGraw (no idea he could act) and Bill Murray. 

We have been invited to advertise for extras in our church. Our church will be given a small kickback for everyone who attends, but this will just be a fun experience. Saturday, February 28th will for sure be a long day. You will start early in the morning around 7 AM ‘ish’ and it will be a 10-12 hour day. You are a volunteer (the kickback is not that great) so you can leave anytime, but that is what they need. The movie is set in the Depression Era and you will will be given instructions for how to dress and prepare.

If you would like to be a part, please send an e-mail to extrascastingatlanta@gmail.com. Include your name, the church’s name, and your phone number. You will be sent further instruction.

We have no real idea as to the further content of the movie. West Ridge is not responsible for it, or endorsing it. Just go have fun!

Everyone Belongs, 

Paul