Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Motherly Advice...

If you had a mom like mine, and I'm guessing you did, they were usually right. Mothers have an intuition and an innate ability to see things as they really are. Whether it's knowing you're telling a lie or that you haven't brushed your teeth...moms just know.

As I look back at life I would have been better off had I listened to more of what my mom said. In an attempt to be "independent" I made some dumb choices that would have been avoided had I heeded her advice.

So when you look for motherly advice in scripture you have to turn to Mary, the mother of Jesus. I bet she had some profound things to share which would be beneficial for us today. In John chapter 2, Jesus first miracle is recorded. He was attending a wedding where they ran out of wine, so he decided to take ordinary water and turn it into extraordinary wine. Mary's advice to the servants helping at the wedding was profound, she said "Do whatever he tells you."

That's pretty good motherly advice, "Do whatever Jesus tells you to do." That's the type of advice you should tattoo on your arm so you see it every day. That's the kind of direction you should recite as often as possible. How about you? Who is in your ear? Who are you taking direction from? Who are you listening to? Are you allowing Jesus to speak to the deepest part of your heart? When you hear him, are "Doing" what he's telling you to do?

Mary's advice is probably the best motherly advice you could ever receive....that along with wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Wife is Blogging...

My beautiful wife has decided to enter the blogosphere. She's exited to share stories of Brey life as well as photos and videos of the kids. The name of her blog is awesome "Sweetie Pie Brey" After you read a little of what she writes, you'll soon realize that I married way over my head...

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm proud of you...

If you were to gather 100 men in a room and ask them this question, "what is the one thing you wish your dad would have told you", without a doubt the answer to that question would be...."I'm proud of you". There's an innate desire resting deep down in a man's heart wanting to know that his father is proud of him.

A father's voice carries significant weight. Jesus heard from his Father "this is my son in whom I am well pleased". The heavenly Father was proud of His Son and He took time out of his busy schedule to speak into His Son's life. The fact that it's recorded in scripture in huge....There is a good and natural desire to know that the father is proud of you. Many men reading this blog have never heard their father say those words. A grown man in his 50's will still well up with tears in his eyes thinking about it.

Fathers go and look you son in the eyes, hold them close and speak life into them..."I'm proud of you son". If he's heard it a million times, he needs to hear it again, again, and again. Mother's, if you're in a place where your son doesn't have an active father in their life...let them know how proud you are of them. And to all of you, I wish I could look each one of you in the face and simply let you know that your heavenly father is proud of you!!!!

I want you to do something, it may be kinda corny or cheesy, but recite these words out loud, "My heavenly Father loves me and He is proud of me". Keep repeating those words until you feel it in your heart....I pray that profound truth settle deep into your soul!!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I don't know what it is, but I've always been able to maintain a fairly optimistic outlook on life. Generally I see days filled with more potential than problem and more good than bad. I'm just wired to find the silver lining no matter how big the storm cloud. Many people often ask, "Larry, do you ever have a bad day?". The answer is yes I do, but they're not that often and they don't last that long. I'm not suggesting I'm more spiritual, on the contrary I often times feel like a spiritual novice.

As I've thought about my perspective I have come to realize something about myself. I've realized that when things go wrong or bad things happen I revert to a very simple faith....a simple faith that believes God is still God and things will work out for his glory, despite how they seem. Some days, for me to keep the right perspective requires me to go extremely basic. Some days in order to keep the right perspective I have to go to "a bad day would be if Jesus was a liar". Since He wasn't a liar I can make choices that line up with what He said...what He said defines my truth despite the circumstances surrounding me.

How about you? When your kid is not acting right, do you react from the place of seeing their potential or from the place of only seeing the problem? When you spouse disappoints you, do you react from your insecurities in yourself or from your security in Christ? When bad things happen, and they will, is your response based upon the circumstances or is it based upon who you are in Christ.

One of the biggest predictors of how you will navigate life is your perspective. Look back at your life and the perspective you've maintained, if you don't like what you see make a conscious choice to change your perspective.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A very special baptism...

One of the things that continually amazes me is that fact that God allows Elevation to be on the front row of life transformation. Let me tell you about one such story. Right now you are not familiar with the names of Michelle and Bailey French, but they're an incredible story.

Michelle is a single mother of a 13 year old daughter Bailey. Bailey begged her mom to come to church...pretty cool story....but it gets better. Michelle has a terminal illness. She was in a coma recently and was actually given last rights by the priest...she was supposed to die. It was a miracle, but she improved and came out of the hospital.

Sometime later is when Brittany came to Elevation and gave her life to Christ. It radically changed her world and she had a new passion. She was gripped with the fear of "what if", what if my mom dies before she gives her life to Christ. So Baily begged her mom to come to church with her and on Easter Sunday, Michelle came to Elevation where she gave her life to Christ.

Fast forward a few weeks and now a dying mothers wish is to be baptized with her daughter, it's what she wants to experience with her daughter more than anything else. The disease that Michelle suffers from is one that causes all her bones to fuse together; it's a slow painful process. The bigger problem is caused by the medications she takes to treat the symptoms, it wipes her immune system. She went into a coma because of an opportunistic disease that ravaged her body due to the suppressed immune system.

So this past Sunday we had the privilege of baptizing Michelle and Baily. We gathered around 100 of our volunteers to celebrate what God has done in their lives. I love what we get to do...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Yesterday Elevation hosted THR3E....it wasn't a conference, it was an event. No frills, no worship, no vendors and booths. It was stripped down raw in your face nuts and blots of our first three years of ministry. There were so many things that happened, let me highlight THR3E:

1. Our volunteers honored the 174 pastors that were there from around the country like I've never seen before. It was an HNL when it comes to honor! I am so proud of our people. Many took a vacation day to serve from 6:00am to 6:00pm.

2. Pastor Steven "shucked the corn". I have seen him preach hundreds of sermons, but I have never seen him more in the zone than yesterday. It was an amazing thing to witness and experience.

3. The Pastors that came from around the country walked away blessed and blown away. It was an incredible thing to see happen. Something shifted yesterday, something that will have a profound ripple effect around the country!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Intro Video...

I think we have an amazing staff at Elevation. From top to bottom it's a bunch of gifted people who love God and love people. Our most recent hire is a guy named Adam Hobbs...the guy is annointed with video. He put together this video which we used as the intro for all of our Easter worship experiences. Check it out, I promise it will be one of the greatest things you'll ever see....

Elevation Church Easter Opener from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Looks can be deceiving....

Sometimes first impressions can be spot on and sometimes they are dead wrong....After watching the video, be honest - how many of you expected that?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 09 Recap...

This past Easter weekend easily became one of my top 5 Elevation moments. It was an incredible display of God's mercy and grace. Here's a recap of the weekend:

Saturday Night: We had a one time Easter only Saturday night worship experience at our Providence campus. Going into the weekend we guessed that we'd see around 400 show up...We did have 400 ish show up, but that was in overflow because the auditorium was filled to capacity. It was a first century church moment with people cramming in to hear the message. All total over 1,400 people came out Saturday night to hear the gospel.

This was Overflow Saturday night!!!

Sunday: We are all about the numbers at Elevation, the number of marriages God can put back together, the number of people who experience salvation and the number of people who experience the mercy and grace of Christ. There were two BIG numbers we were asking God for going into the weekend:

We were asking Him to blow out minds and bring 7,000 people to our campuses to hear the gospel and He blew our wildest imaginations....7,8999 showed up.

Salivations: As a staff were were not advertising the number we were praying for, but we were aggressively asking Him for 700 people experience forgiveness of their sins...guess what, He blew that out of the water as well...740 people professed faith in Christ!!

Monday: Absolutely exhausted in the best way possible. The best way to describe it is "a Holy hangover"....

God is Good!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Been out for awhile...

OK...I've taken an extremely long break from the blogosphere. For my faithful readers I know it's been a dry spell of inspiration. But there's good news, I'm working back into the flow and will begin posting regularly.

As I ease back into the blog, let me illuminate the absence of entries. The more I learn about myself the more I realize how unbalanced I can be. At Elevation we move at the speed of light. Titles, job descriptions and responsibilities change quickly. I've learned that as I add new things into the mix, things of less priority need to have less time allotted. Over the past few months as new things have been added I've been intentional as to how I allocate time....thus the blog has received less attention.

One of the healthiest disciplines a person can develop is to learn what to say "yes" and "no" to. Protecting priorities through healthy boundaries is a wonderful discipline. How about you? What is getting more attention than warranted? What needs to move up the list? What needs to be done with excellence but is muddling along with mediocrity because of a lack of attention?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Perspectives with Rest....

Over the past 6 months I made conscious efforts on several fronts of personal growth to develop discipline in certain areas. During Christmas break I realized there's another discipline that I need to engage in, one that I need to practice regularly and that's the discipline of "Rest. Rest is something that I tend to avoid mostly because of my highly addictive personality and "need" to stay busy. But I realized over Christmas break that with focused rest I come back more refreshed. I used to view rest as sitting around doing nothing and eating non-stop.

Over Christmas I did it a little differently. Previous vacations I would work while others were napping or late at night while people were asleep. It was semi-productive, but not restful. This vacation I actually did not work....novel idea I know.

The upsides over the first few days back at work are tremendous. Stepping back I actually see things a little bit differently after disengaging for a few days. If you're like me, you can't turn it off....you don't go home and stop the work because of the time of day. Rest is truly a discipline and was a struggle, but the benefits are incredible. Sounds crazy, but for me rest is hard work!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve at Belk....

Last Night Elevation Church held Christmas Eve services at Belk Theater in the heart of uptown Charlotte. We filled this beautiful 2,100 seat theater three times and saw the largest attendance in our history as we had 6,006 people worshipping God. As amazing as that was, something more incredible happened. Pastor Steven preached the gospel and 414 people responded and gave their life to Christ!!! Words don't describe what took place last night, but there was a shift that happened...something changed. I've never seen our people leverage their relationships like last night. Mothers did everything they could to get their sons who were far from God there to hear the gospel. Teenagers brought their friends. Daughters brought their dads.....people leveraged their relationships and their loved ones walked away transformed through the power of the gospel. Talk about an amazing Christmas gift!!!

Praise God for last night and hold on Elevation Church because something broke loose....2009 is going to be amazing.....the best is yet to come!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Faith Defines Our Suffering....

One of my favorite series we've done at Elevation is itunes. During one of the sermons Pastor Steven talked about suffering and I was recently reminded of a powerful statement that still resonates in my spirit is "our faith defines our suffering....suffering does not define our faith." It was an incredible creed of the christian faith. Where's my faith in troubled times? Is God still great in tragedy? Is God still good in the midst of struggle? Is He still loving when your world is falling apart?

Elevation has lost a wonderful part of our family. Danny Kellas, one of our volunteers at Butler and a close personal friend passed away yesterday. I'll share more about Danny later. Below is a photo of my friend when I had the privilege of baptizing him last February....this Friday I'll have the privilege of preaching his memorial service...

Does your faith define your suffering or does your suffering define your faith?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Best kept secret on the internet....

I'm always looking for something cool and free on the Internet. Several months ago a friend turned me on to Pandora. If you're not familiar with this free application, you've been missing out. It's a free music player where you build your own "radio stations". Just type in your favorite song or artist and Pandora will play songs of that same genre. One of may favorite features is the shuffle which is a random play through your selected stations.

Here are my current Pandora radio stations:
-O Holy Night (getting ready for Christmas)
-Brooks and Dunn (for when I'm in the mood for a little country)
-Dave Matthews Band
-Bee Gees (yes, I love 70's music)
-Heart (one of the greatest chick rock and roll bands of all time)
-Chris Tomlin
-Hezekiah Walker (makes me feel like I have rhythm)
-Poison (the ultimate 80's rock band)
-Hillsong United
-The Police
-Hall and Oates

Try it, you'll love it....happy listening!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Exceeding Expectations....

I don't care who you are, all of us have expectations. It doesn't matter if you go to the bank, the DMV or give blood at the Red Cross...you have an expectation for the experience you are about to encounter. If you're going to Outback and you order a steak, a nice juicy fillet, you expect a certain caliber of meat. You expect a certain standard of steak commensurate with previous experiences at other Outbacks and the dollar amount you're about to spend. When the steak is finally put in front of you and you take that first bite, all the anticipation and expectation come to the test. If the tantalizing taste experience exceeds your expectations you get that satisfied smile on your face and exclaim "WOW", what a great steak. That's your response because it exceeded your expectations. On the other hand when you take the first bite and it's underwhelming, you're left with a scowl on your face as your taste buds are crying with disappointment and you exclaim "Crap, that's not what I expected."

Everyone walking into church on Sunday morning have expectations. Rightly or wrongly, pure or perverted....they all have expectations. The amazing opportunity that is in front of us is to create WOW moments and exceed people's expectations. When you understand what God has put in front of you, you begin to strategically allocate resources and plan to create a WOW experience.

With the people walking through your doors, have you stopped long enough to try to figure out what they are thinking, are you listening to what they are saying and are you trying to gain an understanding of how they are feeling? When you do those things, you are trying to enter into their world to gain an understanding of their expectations. God has put you in the place of being His hands and feet to a lost and hurting world....do all that you can so they walk away saying WOW because they have experienced the love of Christ through you!!!