Archive for March, 2007

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SECURE IN WHO YOU ARE

March 30, 2007

I remember searching for who I was or rather what I would be to other people starting in junior high.   I wanted to be liked and cool and wanted to fit in.

 

On an airplane to Florida with my family I discovered the comedian Steven Wright.  I still remember two of his jokes to this day.  He said he wasn’t sure how he did it, but once when he went camping somehow he got poison ivy on his brain, and the only way to scratch it was to think about sand paper.  He also said he once met a guy with wooden legs and real feet.  I memorized as much of his routine as I could, and I became the “funny” guy, making people laugh at the lunch table. 

Soon I discovered that since I weighed next to nothing, I could run for a long time.  So

then I found my identity in being a runner.  This lasted a while until my knee began to decide it liked to travel in the form of several dislocations to areas other than its intended home.

At some point God began to break through to me that my worth and identity would only find rest and realization in Him…and that all other passions in my life were not meant to define me, but rather be an expression of my identity in HIM by the way I participated in those passions.

I also began to discover that Satan would love to pin negative identities on me.  Sinner, failure, lazy, weak, whatever…

In high school I discovered a love for music, specifically four part harmony.  Very quickly this turned into another false me, one that I had to fight constantly for the right perspective on.

Today is no different; I am constantly faced with the temptation to label myself based passions or shortcomings.  But that’s wrong! Who I am will only find its resting place in being a forgiven child of God.

My question to you as you read this…..how do you define who you are?  Are you at peace with it?  Is your answer wrapped up in your passions or failures or your past circumstances? 

I think our relationships will grow when we don’t label each other either.  When I don’t see you as your profession or your outward appearance, but as a creation of Christ, I will treat you different, and you will treat me different as well. 

There are countless verses in God’s Word about who we are in Him…I’ll leave you with a few from 1st Corinthians.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

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recharged

March 20, 2007

I went to the men’s retreat this last weekend just dying to have a deep connection with Christ.  I needed space…I needed quietness, I needed time…away. 

I needed to choose…whether or not I’m living for Jesus or not..whether or not the reason I’m living is for Him or not…I needed to choose again whether I’m going for "it" or not.  "It" being sold out for Him or sold out for me.

Stu Weber spoke…and God used his words to kick me in the  butt…to remember to keep the main thing the main thing.  He used His words to encourage me and center me and realign my thinking.

I also got to face my fear of heights….which I’m quite intimidated by…by jumping off a telephone pole and grabbing a bar out in the middle of nowhere…I included a picture of it here.  I won’t tell you how many minutes it took to jump off this…let’s just say I think I got tan up there.

Jay_pamper_pole

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Forgiven Much

March 9, 2007

It’s a rainy Friday morning and I’m in a weird mood.  I’m hungry.  Spiritually hungry. And physically hungry but what else is new?! I spent most of this last week struggling to find connection with God.  I struggled to get in the Word, struggled to pray.   I’m always amused at myself when this happens.  Amused because of how foolish I can be when I venture into days on my own strength.  The image that just came to my head is it’s like a little boy running out into the middle of a war scene like you see in the movies.  Picture a four year old and the most epic battle in Braveheart.  Kinda like that.

Today I read about the women who came and poured perfume on the feet of Jesus. (Luke 7)  He was at a Pharisees house, eating dinner, when this prostitute came in.  The scene astounds me, as I imagine I would react with as much discomfort as the Pharisee did.  But I LOVE what Jesus says to the man, about why this lady was showering Him with love.  Because she realized how much she had been forgiven for.  And the Pharisee didn’t.

Who will I be today?  The self-righteous Pharisee who can’t see through his own pride, or the humble sinner who has at least some clue of the reality of God’s forgiveness in his or her life?  Who will you be?

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Forgiven Much

March 9, 2007

It’s a rainy Friday morning and I’m in a weird mood.  I’m hungry.  Spiritually hungry. And physically hungry but what else is new?! I spent most of this last week struggling to find connection with God.  I struggled to get in the Word, struggled to pray.   I’m always amused at myself when this happens.  Amused because of how foolish I can be when I venture into days on my own strength.  The image that just came to my head is it’s like a little boy running out into the middle of a war scene like you see in the movies.  Picture a four year old and the most epic battle in Braveheart.  Kinda like that.

Today I read about the women who came and poured perfume on the feet of Jesus. (Luke 7)  He was at a Pharisees house, eating dinner, when this prostitute came in.  The scene astounds me, as I imagine I would react with as much discomfort as the Pharisee did.  But I LOVE what Jesus says to the man, about why this lady was showering Him with love.  Because she realized how much she had been forgiven for.  And the Pharisee didn’t.

Who will I be today?  The self-righteous Pharisee who can’t see through his own pride, or the humble sinner who has at least some clue of the reality of God’s forgiveness in his or her life?  Who will you be?

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10 reasons people hate to go to church

March 5, 2007

I just got a beautiful color ad in the mail from a local church…Harvest Christian Church in Troutdale where I live.

www.harvestworld.com

The ad gives the top 10 reasons people don’t go to church…and then a short caption about their church.  Very clever, and very engaging.  Way to go Harvest!

Here is the list with their responses.

#10 The Music is Boring.

Answer: I think I might have been to that church too. Ours has never been called that.

#9. The Pews are hard.

Answer: 4inch foam padded chairs…very nice!

#8. All they do is ask for money.

Answer: We don’t even pass an offering plate.  (I wish we could change that at Sunset too!)

#7. If I went to church, the roof would cave in!

Answer: They have building codes for that one now.

#6. I went to church once but didn’t like it.

Answer: I had a bad taco once…but I still go out to eat.  Give us a try and see what you think.

#5. They will give me a name tag or ask me to pray.

Answer: No name tags, no standing and introducing yourself.  You are our guest….grab a coffee from the lobby..come in and relax. 

#4. Christians are all hypocrites.

Answer: I suppose some are. That’s a shame. Come visit Harvest.  No pretense……No show…..No claim of perfection.  Just real people serving a real God!

#3. Christianity is just a big crutch. 

Answer: If a crutch is something you lean on and depend on for real life struggles and issues…..then I guess it is.

#2. Sunday is my only day to sleep in.

Answer:  There are a lot of good churches in town with Saturday evening services…or…come to our 2nd service at 11am

#1. Christianity is just a big list of fun things you are not supposed to do.

Answer: Oh, I have a great answer for that one. To read it or get great info on our beliefs or on ministries, go to: www.harvestworld.com

Way to go Harvest…love the ad…and love what you are doing to reach out and engage the community.