February 11, 2019
“There are two sides to every story.” Sound familiar? In our relationships with family, friends, or coworkers, it may be hard to see the other's perspective, but for them to work we must see their side of the story. Humility tells us it's best we seek to understand before we seek to be understood.
Launching “Make or Break,” a new collection of talks on why some relationships last and others don't, Pastors Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson share “The Other Side.”
When we hold onto the reigns of our past we're led to our defaults. We tend to go back to where we've felt the most comfortable, even though it's not our calling. Peter experienced this when he went back to fishing after denying Jesus three times. Fortunately, Peter got to share his heart with Jesus. And like that, their relationship saw restoration. This example proves we should also lend others the chance to speak, to build empathy for them despite feeling betrayed.
Instead of fighting for ourselves, we should fight for the relationship. It may be challenging to shift perspectives, but when we get over ourselves not only can we make our relationships whole, we can make them holy
February 4, 2019
When the weight of life becomes heavy, we forget to step back and reflect on the good things God has done. Sometimes it’s easier to complain than it is to be grateful. On the final week of the collection of talks, “For Such a Time as This,” Jamila Pereira speaks on the subject, “Party with a Purpose.” Jamila reminds us that the victories God has granted should cause us to celebrate constantly. Esther’s story also reflects our need to be grateful and not to remain silent.
In the Book of Esther, chapter nine, Mordecai encourages the Jews to commemorate Purim—a day originally intended to be one of genocide, transformed into a day of salvation. Instead of choosing grief, the Jews were challenged to cherish God’s redemption. For us, too, even when the odds are stacked against us, we can celebrate the triumphs of our never changing God.
Esther inspires us to change our perspective. Our strength lies within sharing our testimony and celebrating, even through hardship. Lives are impacted when we courageously share our unique testimony. Because God uses all things for good, turning loses into wins, we can party with a purpose and be confident he has called us for such a time as this.
January 28, 2019
From childhood, puzzles have been part of our lives. As we grow, we encounter complex puzzles, with more pieces. If we step back and observe, the puzzle of life is the most challenging. With over 7 billion pieces we call humanity, trying to fit together, life can seem overwhelming and unsolvable. But, God sees the bigger picture and is ready to solve it through us.
Continuing the collection of talks on the Book of Esther, Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. shares the message titled “It’s Time for a Turnaround”.
When we read the events in Esther’s life, we get to see God’s way of putting together pieces that may not make sense on their own. We learn he has a “slow-fast” timing. He takes time developing situations in our lives to then turn things around, moving suddenly when the timing is right.
God uses complexity of our lives to create a breakthrough. In the context of his providence all the pieces fit. No matter where we are in our journey, we can be sure the Lord has a larger vision for us that goes beyond what we can see at the moment. We are here for such a time as this.
January 21, 2019
One could argue we live in a quick fix culture as we’re flooded with ads of quick fixes for our credit, our diets, and even our looks. But, what if we flip the script on what society expects on quick fixes for our lives and do a “fast” fix?
As we continue our study of the Book of Esther, Pastor Dawncheré Wilkerson brought a message titled Fast Forward. A fast is not a quick fix, it is not a diet, or a formality we do once a year, and it is not meant to fast forward through tough seasons of our lives. Pastor DawnCheré shared that a fast is to prepare our hearts to fasten to the heart of God. In Esther’s case, a heart of courage to go before the king for the deliverance of her people.
A few things happen when we fast and seek God’s heart: We get a perspective fix – it shifts how we feel about our problems to faith in God’s word. Our priorities also get a fix, where we put first things first – our time in the presence of God. And, we get a pace fix – we can get comfortable in our familiar pace until it’s interrupted by a fast to hit a reset for God’s purpose.
January 14, 2019
Time is a valuable commodity that is shared by individuals of all walks of life. If you stop and talk to different people, most will say something similar - they’re busy. Everyone gets 168 hours a week to divide among their priorities, so what does your “busy” really consist of? Two non-negotiables are sleep and work, both consuming an average of 56 hours a week. But there’s another 56 hours that remain - are you spending that time or wasting it? It’s the perfect opportunity to spend that remaining time working on your passions.
In the second week of a collection of talks titled, “For Such a Time as This”, Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. preaches on the subject “Timing is Everything.”
When your capacity is shrinking and calling is expanding, it reflects you being challenged and feeling some discomfort with where you are. Your calling will never allow you to stay complacent. But it’s your fear that demonstrated the task at hand is bigger than you and requires help from God. Putting your faith in God’s ability will allow his peace to assure you that now is the right time to press forward to the path he’s called you.
January 7, 2019
God has opportunities for us in 2019, and when he knocks at our door, it’s best we answer.
In this collection titled, ”For Such a Time as This,” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. introduces the book of Esther in his talk, “When Opportunity Knocks.” The book tells a true Cinderella story of a woman who followed a God opportunity, going from orphan in exile to queen in the world’s most powerful kingdom.
Sometimes we can miss God opportunities because they often present themselves as obstacles. Rather than taking the challenges on, we get stuck complaining. Or we may suffer from a lack of preparation. In either case we lose sight of the opportunity. Yet, if we patiently prepare for our purpose, living like God’s already doing what we’ve been waiting on, we are better positioned to recognize and act on opportunities.
Although problems come our way, God’s providence makes it possible for his perfect will to happen. Esther may have started off with little but her faithfulness made way for God to bestow her the honor of saving so many. Her opportunity prepared her for greater. And it is the same with us. Though we may not understand it, God uses our struggle to propel us into opportunities bigger than ourselves.
December 31, 2018
Happy VOUS year! Nearing 2018's end, we mark the lessons learned, challenges faced, and blessings received. Pastors Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson reflect on this past year, with the "2018 Year in Review" video, to show us how far we’ve come as a church community.
2018 was a year of expansion for the VOUS Church family. We all celebrated as Pastor DawnCheré preached with "a baby in one hand and a Bible in the other"—our pastors' first child, Wyatt Wesley Wilkerson, was born. Also, we grew as our Sunday services spread across two locations, JDD and iTech. With space made, more people were able to hear the word of God and apply practical lessons to their lives.
The year contained many impactful talks, from the "God Dream," "VOUS Values," "Love Lies,” "Are You OK?", "Worth Dying For" collections and more, that will stay with us forever. Viewing the talk highlights here, we're able to remember how they made us feel and see how much we've matured since putting the lesson into practice. There's no doubt the messages to come will be life-changing.
As we welcome 2019, remember God is on the move and is ready to help us achieve more than we’ve dreamed. Let’s aim high and never stop working towards our goals. The best is yet to come!
December 24, 2018
Christmas is a time of joy and coming together with the people we love. The wonder of this season is reflected in the carols that fill the air sharing the Christmas story of a father’s love that he gave his only son, in the form of a baby. These carols bring comfort to those who hear them but the irony of the Christmas story is that the first one was anything but comfort.
Imagine a teenage girl bringing the Son of God in a less-than-ideal environment—a stable’s manger. And, next to her, was her husband, who despite the culture’s custom, married her because of a promise that whom she carried was God’s gift of salvation. Many of the characters surrounding this Christmas story had to move beyond being scared from the appearance of an angel telling them of an out-of-the-norm promise of how they play a part in God’s mission for humanity with one assurance: To not be afraid.
Pastors Rich and DawnCheré Wilkerson, in their message "Scared but Gifted," reflect how that Christmas story of 2,000 years ago from Luke 2 impacts our lives today. That God has given each of us gifts, but we might see them as insignificant because they come in the form of seeds requiring us to steward even when we are scared. Not only that, those gifts are wrapped in unexpected covers – packaging deemed problematic that will take a process to unwrap for the gifts to manifest. But those gifts, as with any harvest, manifest in time. Our part in the process of managing God’s gifts, and working out the packaging they come in, is to trust in God’s timing for them being fully fleshed out.
December 17, 2018
Have you ever felt as though you are running alone through the journey of life, as people watch from the sidelines? We often worry the race may be over and we’ve somehow been disqualified, with our reputation ruined. In this message titled “Keep Running,” Sadie Robertson reminds us we were chosen by God to keep pushing forward because our reputation has nothing on our redemption.
With the weight of life on our shoulders, it may be easier said than done to “keep running” but Sadie tells us to remove anything that hinders us from the race, to take our eyes off the crowd and fix our eyes on God. Furthermore, if we put our trust in the Lord, he will sustain us through the race. By following this guidance, we can persevere and become an amazing testimony, not because we’re qualified but because we’re willing to allow God’s love to be our fuel and firm foundation.
We see this clearly in Mark 4:14-20 with the story of a demon-possessed man who was delivered by Jesus and kept pushing forward. People who were once afraid of the possessed man became amazed by Jesus’s ability to transform him from the inside out so that he could just “keep running” and become a living testimony.
Yet, why should we keep running when it feels like we’ve no energy left to keep fighting? We must keep running because, in the midst of all our trials and hardships, God can meet us right where are to remind us the best is yet to come and we never run alone.