If We’re Careful With Our Words, Life Goes Better

God cares about us. He cares about how well our relationships go with others, especially our family members. So He gives us guidance and direction to help us. The bible shows us that one of the biggest keys to healthy relationships is the words we choose to speak.

Proverbs 13:3 tells us, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

Proverbs 12:18 says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

And Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

From these scriptures we see that the things we speak are huge. When we choose to be careful with the way we speak, we find the best results in life. When we are careless and speak negative, critical or hurtful words, we bring pain and even death to our relationships. So we must believe God. We have to decide we are going to work at it. We have to take this seriously and ask God to help us get it right and do our best to follow His leading to speak wisely, not recklessly.

This battle starts and is won first in our minds. The bad thought comes and it says something like this: “Let them have it verbally. They deserve it. Speak harshly, rashly and give it to them. It will feel good.” But 2 Corinthians 10:5b says: “…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

So here is where we start to win the battle in our relationships and in life. What we do instead of letting fly with our words is catch ourselves, take that thought captive and decide that we are not going to speak those negative words. Instead, we decide at that moment to gather ourselves, calm our emotions and speak words that are wise, words that bring healing and words that will bless our lives and the lives of those around us.

We need to THINK before we speak and ask ourselves: Is it…






If we are careful with our words in this way and follow God’s counsel, our relationships will get better and better and the quality of our lives will increase dramatically. God loves us and He wants this for us. So THINK before you speak, be careful with your words, pray and ask God to help you and He will. You will find that over time and as you improve in this area, you and those around you will love life even more.

Psalm 19:14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (NLT) 

The Best Leaders

1.    The best leaders love God with all of their hearts and put Him first.

It all starts here. If Jesus isn’t first, then everything else on the list below is skewed. The best leader is in God’s Word daily and has a prayer life to stay connected with the One who will lead him/her to become a blessing to all he/she comes in contact with.

2.    The best leaders love and lead their families well.

The best leader knows that the most important people in life are their family members. Family members spell love: t-i-m-e. This means not only quality time, but quantity time. The quality shows up more often with greater quantities of time. The best leaders are careful to be there for each immediate family member and to have something in the tank to give when they show up.

3.    The best leaders love people.

They don’t use them for their purposes, they want to bless, encourage and help them. Beware of the leader who loves crowds and dislikes people. The right kind of leader enjoys being with others, laughing and enjoying life together.

4.    The best leaders are humble.

I like what one of my friends says, “When you walk into a room, are you a ‘Here I am’ or a ‘There you are’ person?” “Here I am” people want everything to revolve around them. “There you are” people enjoy lifting others up.

5.    The best leaders have been given wonderful gifts by the Lord.

This one follows humility for good reason. God gives the gifts of leadership, communication, administration and much, much more. The best leaders realize where their gifts come from and utilize these gifts primarily for God’s purposes. When God’s gifts flow through great leaders, amazing results happen.

6.    The best leaders are disciplined and hardworking.

They are willing to do all the positive things it takes to have maximum success. They put in the hours, they are educated, they are readers, they are learners, not only in college, but beyond. They are committed to being lifelong learners.

7.    The best leaders live pure and holy lives.

We have all seen leaders go down publicly because of a lack of character. It is sad and devastating to the people they lead. The best leaders value purity and character in their own lives. They know that God is the only one who can really help them overcome temptation. They truly believe that life is better for them and for all those they love and serve if they pursue becoming more like Jesus every day.

8.  The best leaders are spiritually and emotionally mature.

The more the leader has the fruit of the spirit in their life, the better their impact is going to be. The best leaders don’t make excuses for their emotional immaturity. They know that anger, putting people down and forcefulness do not bring the kind of good results that last. Patience, kindness, self-control and love are valued as essential characteristics for the best leadership impact. The best leaders are committed to overcoming their past and growing in these fruits for the good of all and for the good of their workplace.

9.    The best leaders are not consumed with desire for attention or notoriety.

This one can be subtle and hard to detect in our own lives. We need to ask ourselves, “Do I need to be recognized to be okay?” The best leaders focus on their private lives being solid and their public lives being lived out for the good of others. When they see in themselves the desire for personal attention and notoriety, they confess this to their spouses and close friends and ask them to pray with them that their hearts will be in the right place. They know that if they can get this down, God will be glorified in a greater way through them and they will still be able to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives and reach their full potential.

10. The best leaders enjoy life beyond their work.

They understand that they need time away periodically (their day off, rest, vacation with their family and sabbaticals). Like a computer that has too much input, they know that God has wired them in such a way that they have to hit the reset button regularly. They believe that if God rested, they surely need to as well. So they develop a good rhythm for their lives that includes the balance of work, worship, rest and play. These things lead to a greater enjoyment and better results in their family life, work and all of life in general.


bright light

The following scripture has been on my mind the last few weeks. In Luke 11:36, Jesus said: “If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” (NLT)

The definition of the word floodlight in the Greek language is: Like a portable lamp or candle that is very bright and full of light. Bright like lightning which illuminates an area with a bright glaring shining light all at once.

Jesus wants us as believers to live in such a way that our lives can be totally lived out before all who are watching us and show His goodness through our lives.

In this passage I also like the thought of “no dark corners.” This means nothing hidden, no sin that is secret that will only bring pain. God gets pretty serious about these things in His word. Here are a couple of areas where the bible show us how to live as shining lights:


Ephesians 5:3-4 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (NIV)   

Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.” (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Avoid every kind of evil. (NIV)

Purity in the area of sexuality is important to God. He doesn’t want us to be tripped up by this or any other dark corner in our lives. He wants us to live in a way that will glorify His name and bless others.


Proverbs 16:28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends. (NLT)

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come to visit you I won’t like what I find, and then you won’t like the way I will have to act. I am afraid that I will find you quarreling, and envying each other, and being angry with each other, and acting big, and saying wicked things about each other and whispering behind each other’s backs, filled with conceit and disunity. (TLB)

The Greek for “saying wicked things” and “whispering behind each other’s backs” is: defaming, secret, whisperings. If you have to whisper it, then perhaps you shouldn’t say it at all.

Have your heard about the church gossip Mildred, who was a self-appointed monitor of the church’s morals? She always kept sticking her nose into other people’s business. Several members did not approve of her extra-curricular activities, but feared enough to maintain their silence. She made a big mistake, however when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon.

She emphatically told Frank (and several others) that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing! Frank, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny.

He said nothing. Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house, walked home …and left it there all night. Of course Mildred is fictional. But don’t you love Frank? LOL!

We need to be especially careful with our words concerning others and concerning leaders.

Psalm 133:1, 3b 1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 3b …For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (NIV)

The result of living pure and following Jesus in these ways and others will be:

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (NIV)

Living with no dark corners in our lives will result in glorifying God and having an impact “like a floodlight” for Him!!!

Aloha From the Hawaii Pastor’s Practicum

hawaiiI am in Honolulu right now at the New Hope Pastor’s Practicum. What can I say? It really is about the conference, but it sure is beautiful here. My purpose for coming here is to learn. The bible says in Proverbs 4:7: Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom. If it costs everything you have, get understanding. (NCV) One of the important principles of life and ministry is to be a lifelong learner. I am here this week to learn from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro and New Hope Church.

Here is an overview of their influence for Christ: New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii has over 11,500 in weekend attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most innovative churches in America with Outreach Magazine listing them as one of the “top five churches to learn from.” New Hope is known for redeeming the arts and technology. Over 3,000 attend services each week via the Internet. New Hope has seen over 73,000 first time decisions in Hawaii since its inception 29 years ago.

Pastor Wayne is a church planter at heart with over 140 churches planted in the Pacific Rim countries of the Philippines, Japan, Australia and Myanmar. Nationally, he has planted churches in Hawaii, California, Washington, and Nevada. He has authored twelve books, including such classics as Doing Church as a Team and The Divine Mentor. Pastor Wayne is also the author of the Life Journal, a bible reading, devotional tool, which is being used by thousands of churches worldwide.

As you can see, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro and New Hope Church have accomplished a great deal for God and as a result of their common priorities with Horizon, which include Pentecostal roots, a relational style, being a multi-site church and having a worldwide missions emphasis, we have chosen to come here and glean from their rich history and wisdom in the work of the Kingdom of God.

Would you pray for me, Pastor Brad, Tiffany Ordonez and our spouses as we receive this week from Pastor Wayne and New Hope Church? Pray that God would teach us and bless us with His vast knowledge and His great wisdom. Pray that we would receive all that God has for us through these wonderful servants who have been so successful in reaching the lost and discipling the found.

I believe that the best days for Horizon Community Church are ahead of us. I am here to learn and grow and be the best leader I can be as I go forward. Thanks for partnering with us in prayer.

Proverbs 2:2 …turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding… (NIV)

Grace and Truth,

Pastor Stan

Horizon Hosts Donnie Moore for a Youth Summer Camp

Donnie MooreIf you are middle school, high school or college age, this camp is for you! Horizon’s Summer Camp 2015 begins this Sunday, August 16. It will be an unbelievable time of worship, praise, and powerful preaching from Donnie Moore and his Radical Reality team and I believe a great move of the Spirit is going to happen. The Bible says in Acts 2:17: “In the last days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.” (NLT)

We still have room from more campers and would love to have you there. Camp begins this Sunday, August 16 and ends on August 20, and will be held at the Washington Family Ranch. This week long camp will be filled with all kinds of activities; basketball, volleyball, skateboarding, rock climbing, disc golf,  hiking, swimming, zip lining across the lake, and driving go carts, just to name a few. Parents, sign up your youth! Click here to register.

Also, Donnie Moore will be preaching this coming Sunday in our morning services. Bring a friend and they could find the Lord in an amazing way!

Don’t Miss Dick Foth and Donnie Moore

Foth, DickHorizon Community Church, have I told you lately how much I love you? Well, I love you!!! What a tremendous group of people at HCC who love God, love people and love the world.

Donnie Moore

This Sunday, August 9, in our services, one of our favorite speakers, Dick Foth, will be with us. You won’t want to miss Pop Foth bringing the word. His style is relational, humorous, warm and powerful too. Don’t miss it and bring a friend.

Next Sunday, August 16, Donnie Moore is with us, bring another friend. :)  It’s so exciting to see God moving in our midst these days. See ya soon!

Pastor Stan

Horizon Has Added a New High School/College Age Youth Pastor

Otteson, Elliot and SarahI am thrilled to let the Horizon Community Church family know that we have added a new youth pastor to the current team at our Tualatin campus. Elliot Otteson has great experience, having worked as an intern with Solid Rock Church and most recently at Sonrise Church in Hillsboro where he led a dynamic youth group. He is a graduate of Southeastern University, which is a great ministry school. Elliot’s wife Sarah is a graduate of our own Horizon Christian High School and attended Hillsong’s College of Ministry (Australia). Sarah is also the daughter of Brad and Ann Brucker, our Sherwood campus pastors. I feel so blessed to have this great couple join us here at Horizon. The youth of our communities are going to be amazingly blessed!

Please take note that Pastor David Conlee, our former high school and middle school pastor, will continue to work with our middle schoolers, but has had his portfolio revised, as he is being promoted to also be the Director of Media Ministries for Horizon Community Church.

Our new high school/college (18+) pastor, Elliot will be introduced in all three services on our Tualatin campus on Sunday, August 30, and he and Sarah will begin ministry with us in September. I am so excited for the young people of Horizon. This couple will be an incredible blessing to our families.

Great days ahead for the new and improved, epic Horizon Youth team!!! Think Orange!!!!  www.horizonfamilies.org


Pastor Stan

Horizon to Launch a New Campus in 2016 in Lake Oswego

Last year as part of Kingdom Builder’s at Horizon we launched a multi-site plan. We currently have three campus locations in our “One Church in Many Locations” strategy. In March of 2016, we will launch a new Horizon Community Church in Lake Oswego, Oregon. We have already employed a new campus pastor, Steve Minton. Steve has been an evangelist and, more recently, a senior pastor in Corvallis, Oregon. He also has a positive history and relationship with us at Horizon Community Church and Horizon Christian High School. Steve has a great heart and a wonderful touch of God on his life. We are thrilled to have Steve and his wife, Sue, joining the team in September of 2015.

Why are we doing all this? Because we want people to know that they are loved by God and that Jesus Christ will bring blessing to their lives and give them eternal life in heaven.

For years I have had a burden for the people of Lake Oswego. We at Horizon have decided that we want to lift high the name of Jesus Christ in this wonderful city. He has said in the Bible:

John 12:32  “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (NLT)

Jesus loves all people and says:

Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. 30 The teaching that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” (NCV)

We want to bring the peace of God and the blessings He gives to whosoever will come in Lake Oswego.

We are currently prayerfully and actively seeking a site for the location of our new campus in this city. Will you please pray with us for an incredible impact of the love and power of God in Lake Oswego?

And most importantly, will you pray, and ask God if you are supposed to join those who will be attending this new Horizon Community Church campus in Lake Oswego? God is up to something amazing and you can be part of it.


Pastor Stan

Horizon Receives a Three Million Dollar Pledge

2015 - Fine Arts, Gym, Youth Ministry Building Drawing

What a great journey we are on here at Horizon Community Church! This year the people of Horizon pledged $1 million to Kingdom Builders, or missions! That means that we will build another house in Cambodia to rescue young children from sex-trafficking, that we will help build a warehouse for food for the hungry in Ethiopia, that we will significantly increase our monthly support of over fifty missionaries whom we partner with around the world and much, much more.

We have such a big vision. It includes significant facilities for our high school and church, as well as a heart to transfer the DNA of reaching to the world and caring about the needs of our community and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with all who are associated with Horizon. We all know that we can’t accomplish what the Lord has given us to do unless He shows up in great ways.


Recently God has moved upon the heart of one of his servants to generously pledge $3 million toward a new building on the Tualatin site. I believe that our Kingdom Builders pledges are one of the main reasons that the Lord is blessing us with this incredible gift.


The new building will have a gym and a fine arts center and will serve the youth of our high school, church and community well. It will be a facility that God will use to transfer the vision to student’s hearts to reach the world with Christ’s love. We still have much to do to see this building come into existence, as more than twice this amount is needed to erect the structure. However, we are extremely excited and grateful to see that God is using a catalyst giver to motivate us to start raising funds toward the completion of this facility. We are hopeful and prayerful that the building could be completed in the next two to three years.


I want to thank God for his wonderful provision. The Bible says this in 1 Chronicles 29 after great gifts were given toward God’s house:


1 Chronicles 29:10-14:  10 “Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 14 ”But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. (NIV)


We give God the praise and glory for this wonderful pledge and I ask that you will pray with us for the completion of the facilities that God has given us the vision to build for His children, His purposes and His glory.




Pastor Stan


In Times Like These

How are we to respond in days like these when morality is being shifted and reshaped by the courts and public opinion? The scripture below is directed primarily to preachers and speaks to such times and what our approach should be:

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NLT) 1 “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NLT)

I plan to continue to preach the truth of the bible in love, come what may, because God’s word is the truth and the greatest source of blessing for now and for eternity.

Pastor Stan

Click here to check out a great article by the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, George O. Wood.

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