Posts Tagged 'Jesus'

What I’m Reading

The Art of War: Sun Tzu

  • About: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is as timely for business people today as it was for military strategists in ancient China. Written in China more than 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu’s classic The Art of War is the first known study of the planning and conduct of military operations.
  • Comments: Reading through this under the lens of fighting off Satan and spiritual warfare. You’ll never look at a relationship with Jesus and the “battle” the same way ever again.

Essentials of Prayer: E.M. Bounds

  • About: E. M. Bounds is the foremost authority in the knowledge and intimacy of prayer. This book will elevate the reader in the mode and practice of prayer far above any other… All due to the hours of devotion spent by Mr. Bounds.
  • Comments: After completing The Necessity of Prayer, this work follows suit. A new outlook on prayer follows anything read by E.M. Bounds work. While Essentials is good, The Necessity of Prayer might be one of the best books I have ever read on the subject.

The Measure of a Man: Gene Getz

  • About: Gene Getz delivers the newly enhanced message of what it takes to be a man of God. Men will gain encouragement for what they can be in Christ as fathers, husbands, and mentors to other men.
  • Comments: Two chapters in and excited for what’s to come. Love anything that talks about principles; this work is right up my alley. Anxious to get into discussions with other men about the material, hearing their thoughts regarding these biblical principles.

How to Win Friends and Influence People: Dale Carnegie

  • About: The rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
  • Comments: Great book with so many good takeaways. Reading it again under the lens of biblical leadership and weighing the truths inside against scripture to test validity. Never take one’s opinions as gospel, let the Bible do that!

Fight: Craig Groeschel

  • About: Craig Groeschel helps you uncover who you really are—a man created in the image of God with a warrior’s heart—and how to fight the good fight for what’s right. You will find the strength to fight the battles you know you need to fight—the ones that determine the state of your heart, the quality of your marriage, and the spiritual health of your family.
  • Comments: Often times the material feels dangerously close to John Eldredge Wild at Heart study. However, I’m super excited the guys at church are getting a lot out of it so I’m going on the trip as well.

What are you reading?

-jordan

Kalahari Retreat Tweets

Always awesome to be a part of a movement for Jesus. Blessed to be a part of this event!

Check out more of Kalahari 2014 here: https://www.facebook.com/kalahariretreat
-jordan

The Mindset

Scripture passages: John 8:2-11; Romans 6:7; Romans 6:11; Romans 6:14; Romans 6:18; and Romans 6:22

You are either serving sin or serving a risen Savior.

There is no in between.

We used to serve sin, now we serve a risen savior!

We cannot live in sin if we have already died to it.

-jordan

Embracing the Curiosity of the Christian

A view from the good seats (at the feet of Jesus – Matthew 18).

-jordan

Momentum One Day: Francis Chan

About Francis: Francis Chan is the best-selling author of books, Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Erasing Hell and the host of the BASIC.series (Who is God & We Are Church). He has also written the children’s books Halfway Herbert, The Big Red Tractor and the Little Village and Ronnie Wilson’s Gift. Francis is the founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, and is the founder of Eternity Bible College. He also sits on the board of directors of Children’s Hunger Fund and World Impact. Currently, Francis is working to start a church planting movement in the inner city of San Francisco and also working to launch a countrywide discipleship movement. Francis now lives in Northern California with his wife, Lisa, and their five children.

Session Notes and thoughts:

  • Ephesians 5 speaks about the mystery of marriage. Marriage is all about Christ and the church.
  • Understand the need to get alone/away from everyone else. Get alone with God and His written Word. 
  • People will lie to you. Avoid this by seeking out what the Bible says. 
  • 1 Kings 22 – It’s possible for 400 people to lie and have one person speaking the truth of scripture. Do we hear HIS (God’s voice) or do we seek the affirmation of others?
  • We are not the center of the universe. 
  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111:10 – If we want to be smart we must understand the fear of Jesus.
  • Satan talks us out of our fear of the Lord. His purpose is that we live outside of the fear of the Lord.
  • Fear is fear. FEAR the LORD.

PERSONAL SIDE THOUGHT: Why are we so concerned with being “right” and focus our efforts so far away from what the Bible says? Why do we love to be “right” about everything? Has a quest for knowledge breaded an arrogance that we don’t even know exists inside our souls?

  • We often fear Satan more than we fear the Lord. Satan kills, Jesus restores.
  • Working out our salvation with fear and trembling is the beginning to all understanding. 
  • Many of us never started with the fear of God. That is why many of us do not have a deeper relationship with Jesus.
  • There needs to be a moment in time where we fall facedown in our relationship with Jesus.
  • Everyone is second when it comes to Jesus.
  • The days where it was fun to be a Christian are over. The world is now hostel to those who are believers in Jesus christ and the Bible. 
  • Proverbs 3:7 “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”

Francis, like always, and his message from the Lord could not have come at a better time…

-jordan

Vault Conference Notes

About Vault: 

Vault is a conference on how to do church … for people who don’t like church. There are many books and conferences on how to grow a “successful” church, but unfortunately they’re not focused on how to reach the unconvinced and cynical. Read more about Vault here.

Speaker: 

Vince Antonucci

Vince Antonucci became a Christian out of a completely non-Christian background and ever since his passion has been reaching the “lostest of the lost.” He was the founding Pastor of Forefront Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a church where 72% of the people who attend were previously unchurched non-Christians. Vince recently moved to Las Vegas where he started a new church, Verve, in the heart of Sin City, just off the Vegas Strip. Vince is the author of I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt (2008), Guerrilla Lovers (2010), and Renegade (2013).

Notes:

Session 1: The Call to Reach God’s Lost Children

  • Vince started by telling his story. Interesting that his mom was Jewish and hs dad was a professional poker player. How in the world did those two meet?
  • God has countless number of lost children wondering around… is anyone going to help these children back to their Father?
  • Jesus message “Return to me.”
  • The mission of every pastor and church planter are not good at helping people get back to God.
  • Does the church truly have an “evangelistic DNA”?
  • We can’t pass on DNA that we don’t have.
  • Don’t lose the rhythm of God’s heartbeat for lost people. How do we get ourselves around lost people?
  • The longer we wait to reach the lost, the harder it is to reach the lost.
  • Churches are like steak restaurants for PETA activists.

Session 2: Programming Church Services for People Who Don’t Like Church

  • Principle 1: Uncross your arms –  Change people’s posture. Help people unfold their arms!
  • Principle 2: Wear their Shoes – How does it feel to go to church when you have never gone their before?
  • Principle 3: Bring a Guest to Dinner – What do you do that’s acceptable to you but hard to swallow to an outsider?
  • Principle 4: Be on Your Game (Joe DiMaggio) – Every service should be done like it’s someone’s first time.
  • Principle 5: Check Your Influences – Are you going to other churches to get things or are you accessing what lost people are interested in in order to change what is secular into something that could be sacred.
  • Principle 6: Use their Culture – What are people engaging in that you can access?
  • Principle 7: Don’t Use Your Culture – Be careful about the assumptions you make, your assumptions make your crowd.
  • Principle 8: Authenticity – Who is this person and is he anything like me? We need to let people access the unconditional love of God.

Session 3: Diving into the Chaos

  • It’s not your job to clean up someone else’s mess. Lead people to experience the love of Jesus and their sins will start to pass away.
  • Create the right conditions to grow which is an arena for grace.
  • It’s easier for most Christians to judge people instead of love people.
  • People who are far from God have been living with the enemy for so long they have forgotten what it’s like to experience the love of God.
  • There will be some people who accept grace as a reason to sin. It’s worth the risk.
  • If people think you like them, they will listen to you.
  • We need to be more comfortable in our communities instead of our churches, involved in people’s lives who need Jesus the most.

Session 4: Radical to Radical

  • If you want a radical follower, you need to find someone who is radically lost.
  • Radically lost people become radical followers of Jesus.
  • We are all about igniting a revolution and not starting another country club.
  • We must be compassionately connected to those far away from the Lord.

Session 5: Questions and Answers

  • Courage comes from a genuine love for people and seeking their best.
  • Courage to talk comes from courage of conviction.Are we offering people a better way of life?
  • What is the most loving way to say things to people?
  • Point people to evidence to help change on a level that is beyond yourself.

Session 6: No Splanga, No Glory

  • You’re willingness to rist is your potential return.
  • When we stare at our risk we are giving into our fear.
  • Lives are impacted when we do things for the kingdom of God.
  • It’s totally worth doing what God wants you to do. Stare at potential return and it will help you overcome fear.

An Excerpt from Henri Nouwen on faith: “The Flying Rodleighs are trapeze artists who perform in the German circus Simoneit-Barum. When the circus came to Freiburg two years ago, my friends Franz and Reny invited me and my father to see the show. I will never forget how enraptured I became when I first saw the Rodleighs move through the air, flying and catching as elegant dancers. The next day, I returned to the circus to see them again and introduced myself to them as one of their great fans. They invited me to attend their practice sessions, gave me free tickets, asked me to dinner, and suggested I travel with them for a week in the near future. I did, and we became good friends.

“One day, I was sitting with Rodleigh, the leader of the troupe, in his caravan, talking about flying. He said, ‘As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher. The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him in the long jump.’ ‘How does it work?’ I asked. ‘The secret,’ Rodleigh said, ‘is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe, I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron behind the catchbar.’

” ‘You do nothing!’ I said, surprised. ‘Nothing,’ Rodleigh repeated. ‘The worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher. I am not supposed to catch Joe. It’s Joe’s task to catch me. If I grabbed Joe’s wrists, I might break them, or he might break mine, and that would be the end for both of us. A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.’

“When Rodleigh said this with so much conviction, the words of Jesus flashed through my mind: ‘Father into your hands I commend my Spirit.’ Dying is trusting in the catcher. To care for the dying is to say, ‘Don’t be afraid. Remember that you are the beloved child of God. He will be there when you make your long jump. Don’t try to grab him; he will grab you. Just stretch out your arms and hands and trust, trust, trust.’ “

Great day drinking from a fire hydrant.

-jordan

Momentum

My daughter likes to repeat herself. She says the same thing over and over again until she gets our attention. Her most recent appeal has been to push her on the swings. Being that she is so young, she’s unable to swing by herself and therefore needs assistance. She wants a “big push” to gain the proper moment to feel the maximum wind flow through her hair. She will literally sit in the swing yelling, “Daddy, come push me!”

The other day I tried to pass off the responsibility by calling my wife over to give her some momentum. As she neared towards the swing, without reservation, my daughter pushed her away and said with great demand, “No! Daddy has to push me!”

“Daddy has to push me”

Unsure why she wanted me to push her and not my wife was a foreign concept. Therefore, without hesitation I walked over, secured her in the swing, pulled it back as far as it would go, and then let it rip. She shouted with excitement over the exhilaration.  My wife looked at me without pausing,

“You push her a lot harder than I do!”

So it is with Jesus. How many times have we sat longing for God to come give us a push?  To do something great in our lives that no one else can do. We may of had others push the swing at times but for some odd reason they always came up short, leaving us sitting still begging for our father to come to the job the right way.

I’ll never forget the first time our daughter went to the top. She was nervous how high we were climbing.  Fear coursed through her fingers as she clutched the swings chains tighter. We often want the thrill of flying but forget about overcoming the fear to get going or the trust it takes in the one pushing the swing.

“If we call out to Him and trust Him, He give us the greatest encounter we could of ever experience.”

What we must cling to is that when we call upon the Lord in faith, He will not only come to our aid, but He will also help us get over the fear of getting to the top. Even better, if we call out to Him and trust Him, He give us the greatest encounter we could of ever experience. He will “never leave us or forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5) as He is the momentum that keeps us going for eternity.

Where are you?

  • Are you sitting on the swing waiting for that push? “Call upon the name of the Lord” (Romans 10:13). Stop looking for someone else to do the job that only God can through His Son Jesus.
  • Are you terrified because God is bringing you to the top of the pendulum? “Don’t fear” (Isaiah 41:10). The Lord knows what He is doing. Embrace the fact that He is in control.
  • Are you enjoying the ride? Is life going great and you just can’t get enough? Awesome. (John 15:11) Don’t forget that when you lose momentum, ask God to give you another push and don’t be terrified when He takes you to the top to start over.

The best is yet to come! 

-jordan

Backyard Battlefield

In my younger years the neighbor kids and I used to play army in the backyards of our neighborhood. We would chase each other around glorious gardens shooting make-believe bad guys with artificial ammunition. We were soldiers. Warriors. We loved every minute of our fairy tale firefight.

Kids playing war outside

While my friends loved hand-to-hand combat, my own internal exhilaration came after moving troops in various directions. In the heat of battle I barked orders in the heat of imaginary firepower. My fellow soldiers would then go out and win the war under my direction. I hated fighting on the front lines. They loved it. I would rather be in the background tactically figuring our how demolish the enemy while they put in the blood and sweat on the battlefield. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I fought but my passion was in the tactical approach.

I’m sure you might be thinking how much of a pansy I was for not going our to
slay the imaginary enemy. Thanks for the confidence. However, the friends on
the frontline loved every minute of being in the battle while I loved being on the back lines. After some time there was a realization that evaluating the situations as a whole gave a better ability to be victorious by attacking the enemy in the right way. They needed me to scout out the enemy. They needed a leader.

People need a leader.

We all do. In life some people want to be on the front lines while others would
rather facilitate victories. There are leaders on the frontlines of hand-to-hand combat and there are leaders who gather various points of view to maximize the potential of the team.

People needs a leader

Remember Jesus? Remember Jesus sending out the twelve disciples? He sends them out, giving them “authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (Matthew 10:2). He doesn’t have to be on that front line because the disciples are going to experience a better victory if they are faithful with the orders from their captain. They know the the mission is going to be one of great difficulty. Jesus himself says, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.” (Matthew 10:17)

What a rush; for both sides!

What am I getting at here? I’m glad you asked.

There are so many implications for these two stories. The question I would ask is, “Who are you?” Do you like being on the front lines or are you more of a background leader who facilitates through stimulating, listening, observing, capturing, promoting, clarifying, and summarizing? How has God gifted you?

If you’re a frontline leader keep fighting and taking direction from your superiors. Your captain is most honored when you follow his directions closely and carry out the mission in precise detail. If you’re a back line leader, don’t lead with your opinions. Draw out conclusions from the people you are leading through listening and learning so that when you do need to summon an attack you can state your position with more conviction and clarity.

War is an art and as such is not susceptible of explanation by fixed formula.” General George Patton Jr

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12

-jordan

It Doesn’t Get Better

While I’m against bullying, I have a HUGE problem with allowing individuals to live in their sin and lie to them that life gets better when you remain in a state of sin.

Are we essentially saying:

  • It’s okay to be an alcoholic…
  • It’s okay to swear to your parents…
  • It’s okay to beat your wife (some people think this is okay)…
  • It’s okay to look at porn…
  • etc. etc. etc. etc.

Because after all… it gets better.

Thoughts?

-jordan

Easter Testimonies

A few testimonies shown at our Easter Service this year at Community Gospel Church.

Jacobs Story.

Brandi’s Story.

Mike’s Story.

“I may be weak, but Your Spirit’s strong in me!”

God is alive!

How was your Easter?

-jordan


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