Monday, March 28, 2011

new blog

Thanks for coming... but I'm blogging over here now: http://jesusbiz.com

Thursday, April 29, 2010

God is crazy

I just wrote the following as an email to someone and decided I might as well post it here since I never update my blog anymore...


God is just crazy.
I mean, he loves me and you, so thats something.

Plus, its just crazy the way he works things out so perfectly.
Like the fact that I (a person who loves Business as Missions and reads about church leadership, movements, etc in my free time) am now working on connecting DaySpring (a Missional Business) and churches (churches!) in ways that are mutually beneficial with the goal of expanding God's Kingdom. I mean seriously, is he kidding. 

Its just more clear to me every day that God makes us a certain way to fulfill a certain purpose for him. And also that he puts certain things in our lives (people, events, hardships) that help us fulfill that purpose.

All we have to do is stop trying to fulfill our own plans and surrender to his! (much easier said than done. :) )

My prayer "...not as I will, but as you will..." (Matthew 26:39 - Gethsemane)

Monday, March 15, 2010

the baton

So, I've heard "Wait" for a long time.
This weekend I had a pretty cool encounter with God where he passed the baton to me and said "Run".

I'm glad I waited, because I'm not the best "runner" and would have fallen on my face and lost.
I'm already tripping up, but through God's grace I'm still standing, and running.

And the difference is I'm not running to win, I'm running so he'll win.
And he will win.

When I cross the finish line, he'll be my only prize and we'll celebrate together.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Closed Country


This is a guest post... enjoy!

-----------------------------
The Closed Country
There are places in our world where the name of Jesus Christ is not to be preached. These places are commonly referred to as "closed countries". To speak the name of Christ is forbidden by the government and rejected by the people. Many United States Christians fear to step into these places for a number of reasons. They may experience isolation from the love and fellowship they know and desire. It requires that they must leave the comfort of their home. They may not be fluent in the language and religion of the local people. Christians may see people dressed exotically or even inappropriately. Some may worry about the unknowns and unusual circumstances they may encounter. Their children may not grow up with even one Christian friend. Their children may be forced to forfeit a Christian education from a bible-trained scholar who teaches the foundations of the Christian religion. Sounds difficult?


“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
- Matthew 18:20

I look around and I feel as if I am only one Christ-follower in my closed country. Many United Stated Christians are fearful to enter my country. The government forbids me to speak the name of Jesus. The people here do not want my ways forced upon them. I have to wait for the few opportunities for God to open someone’s eyes to see and ears to hear. I do not speak the native language of half the people and I feel alone each day and long for a fellow believer to share my struggles.
I have seen the oppression of the demonic forces in this world and I have watched as they attack the innocent because they are weakest. The children of God are the minority here. They are not allowed to learn about the Bible from me and it is unlikely to find someone who will tell them.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
- Matthew 28:19-20

“I have made you a light for the nations, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”
- Acts 13:47

Go. That command doesn’t require that you purchase a plane ticket to a far away land (although please do if you feel led!)
I am personally inviting you into my closed country. Please come and bring your children so that we can be two or more gathered in His name.
Don’t hide your light from the nations. Especially ours.

Sincerely,
Public School Teacher
Northwest Arkansas
United States of America
---------------------------------


I'm thankful God is so good and personal and that he leads each of us in the best way for our unique circumstances.

-Jesse






Friday, February 5, 2010

Identity

Below I've listed truths about what it means to be a Christian. Unfortunately, many Christians don't live this way or take these truths to heart and it is evident in our churches and our world.

I personally want to read and re-read these truths until I move past comprehension to application. I want to know it in my heart and show it in my life. So, I am going to try to read a few of these each day. Please join me in this if you'd like. Maybe print them out or bookmark this post and read a handful of them every day or every week. 

As you start to internalize these truths from God's word, they will absolutely change your life.
Each time you read them, you will be brought to worship, as you are reminded how great our God is.

This list is taken from Neil T. Anderson's "Victory over the Darkness".

(roll your mouse over the scripture references to see the text)

 

John 1:12I am God's child.
John 15:15As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus
Christ.
Romans 5:1I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17I am united with the Lord, and I am
one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20I have been bought with a price and I
belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27I am a member of Christ's body.
Ephesians 1:3-8I have been chosen by God and
adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14I have been redeemed and forgiven of
all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16I have direct access to the throne of
grace through Jesus Christ.


Romans 8:1-2I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28I am assured that God works for my
good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39I am free from any condemnation
brought against me and I cannot be
separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22I have been established, anointed and
sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6I am confident that God will complete
the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7I have not been given a spirit of fear but
of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18I am born of God and the evil one cannot
touch me.

John 15:5I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true
vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16I have been chosen and appointed to bear
fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16I am God's temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6I am seated with Jesus Christ in the
heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10I am God's workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12I may approach God with freedom and
confidence.
Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ, who
strengthens me.


Wow. Praise God. Seriously, how can you read these and not....

"The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity!"
(From Victory Over the Darkness , by Dr. Neil Anderson)

Shout out to Freedom in Christ Ministries for having these on their website when I Googled for them...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

CH 3 - The Canon of Scripture, Part 2

(This is one post of a large series where I will copy down the key points of each chapter as I read through Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. I will be copying many lines word-for-word and also shortening and summarizing some points in my own words. I hope that this can be useful for others as a quick reference but it is not meant to in any way substitute the personal study and investigation of the Bible and these important topics.)

B. The New Testament Canon

The writing of Scripture primarily occurs in connecting God's great acts in redemptive history.

Apostles are given the ability from the Holy Spirit to recall accurately the words and deeds of Jesus and to interpret them rightly for subsequent generations.
John 14:26
John 16:13-14

Those who have the office of apostle in the early church are seen to claim an authority equal to that of the Old Testament prophets, an authority to speak and write words that are God's very words.
2 Peter 3:2

Paul
1 Corinthians 2:9
1 Corinthians 2:13
1 Corinthians 14:37
Paul claims that his directives to the church at Corinth are no merely his own but a command of the Lord.

The apostles have the authority to write words that are God's own words, equal in truth status and authority to the words of the Old Testament Scriptures. They do this to record, interpret, and apply to the lives of believers the great truths about the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

We have most of the New Testament in the canon because of direct authorship by the apostles.
But 5 books, Mark, Luke, Acts, Hebrews, and Jude, were not written by apostles.
Mark, Luke and Acts were commonly acknowledged very early.
Probably because Paul was close with Luke, the author of Luke and Acts and Peter was close with Mark. Jude also had the virtue of his connection with James and the fact that he was the brother of Jesus.

The intrinsic qualities of Hebrews must have been a big part of convincing the early readers, as they continue to convince believers today, that whoever its human author may have been, its ultimate author can only have been God himself. The majestic glory of Christ shines forth from the pages of the epistle to the Hebrews so brightly that no believer who reads it seriously should ever want to question its place in the canon.

It shouldn't surprise us that the early church should have been able to recognize Hebrews and other writings, not written by apostles, as God's very words. Had not Jesus said "My sheep hear my voice" (John 10:27)?
It should NOT be though impossible that the early church would be able to use a combination of factors, including
-apostolic endorsement,
-consistency with the rest of Scripture,
-and the perception of a writing as "God-breathed" on the part of an overwhelming majority of believers,
to decide that a writing was in fact God's words and therefor worthy of inclusion in the canon.

In A.D. 367 the Thirty-ninth Paschal Letter of Athanasius contained an exact list of the twenty-seven New Testament books we have today. This was the list of books accepted by the churhes in the eastern part of the Mediterranean world. In A.D. 397, the Council of Carthage, representing the churches in the western part of the Mediterranean world, agreed with the eastern churches on the same list.

(The final part of CH 3 is coming soon....)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's All About Jesus

The more we get to know God, the more we recognize him.

This may sound like an obvious statement, but it continues to blow my mind, every. single. day.

As I invest more of myself into my relationship with Jesus, I am beginning to see God and his unbelievable story in everything and everywhere.

Now, I'm still much like a child learning to ride his bike for the first time. I've still got training wheels on and I'm just so excited to see that when I pedal, the bike moves; and I'm not falling down... yet. I've got many miles ahead of me and hopefully I'll even cruise into the sunset on a Harley, but who knows- I might still be on training wheels.

So if you're still with me after that analogy, my point is that this post will not be completed today, or ever, because my understanding of God's hand on our world is still so small. While it increases every day, not until I am with him, will I really get it.

You know in the movies when a person can't get someone off of their mind? They see this person's face in the reflection of their sink, in the mirror, and on every body they walk by on the street. It's like this person is everywhere and they aren't going to be able to avoid them, no matter what they do.

This is kinda how Jesus has been for me lately, except in a less freaky way.

I can't hear a story, watch a movie, walk outside, talk to a friend, or even work without seeing Jesus in it all. Its quite ridiculous and incredible at the same time.

You might say to me, "He's obviously trying to get your attention and show you something".
And I would reply, "I think it's that he finally does have my attention, and that he's showing me everything... and how it's all about him."
Yes, he is trying to tell me something, he's ALWAYS telling me something. It's like a floodgate has been opened up and I'm drowning in him.

He says things like "You see those birds, I know them well, and 'you are more valuable than many sparrows,' and you see the way they are going about their lives joyfully playing as they gather food? You should do the same; live purposefully and joyfully always and in the very same moment, because they can and should coexist". And joy fills me and I praise him.
He'll say "You see that billboard, I know how many hairs are on that man's head".
And I'll praise him.
"You don't like the way that reality tv show ended, you don't think that person deserved to win?Well did you deserve salvation?" And I praise him because I don't, but he gave it anyway.
He says to me while I'm working "the key to success in that project is authentic relationships, just like an authentic relationship with me is the key to your spiritual life, and an authentic relationship with people is the key to evangelism and discipleship. Oh and by the way, do those 2 things well, Love me and Love others, and you'll be obeying my commands".
And I'm like "Woah, that's heavy and that's huge. I'm just writing an email here!!"
And he whispers in my ear... "Well, it's all about me. Even your emails."
And I praise him.

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