Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Discussion, prayer, Q&A, scripture, and practical application to your life as a Jesus Follower around the issue of WAITING.
MEETING room is in the community center LOUNGE not the lobby, but the lounge located between the Bayview room and Room 301 right next to gym. It was formally used as the summer intern lounge.
Park on the church building side, walk across the brown bridge, go up the stairs toward the gym, take a left down the hall, pass room 301 and enter in the last door on the left.
Una mas Burritos and drinks provided.
LED BY WALT GERBER former lead pastor from Menlo Park. Pres.
6:30 pm start.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
When I hear people talk about how fathers should get up at the crack of dawn, before the whole family is awake, to read and pray...I'm tempted to feel guilty. Because I'm not a morning person and never have been. The thought of getting up even one minute before Isella does (usually 6-6:30am) is not very appealing! I never hear people talking about how holy it is to stay up late at night and pray-only that getting up early is what really spiritual people do. (I think I'm going to have to change that paradigm). With that said, when I do get up on the early shift (which believe me seems like never compared to how many times my wife does) of course I am talking with God, reciting scripture over Isella, singing, and trying to bring to find ways to praise God and through the day. Even with out getting up early to study, there are still many ways to pray, be devotional, and align your day with God. It's not always easy to read on the early shift, because Isella happens to really like books---and always want to get her hands, or mouth, on them. She is pulling herself up now which means she's falling backwards a lot, too which means hitting her head or other parts of her body on whatever furniture is behind her. So it's hard to keep your eyes on a book when you fear for your child's life every few minutes. Despite that, I managed to read a few pages from the GREEN BOOK today (with Isella close by continually grabbing for the book. I even read the verses out loud and prayed Philippians 1:9-11 over her. I couldn't resist shooting some pics of her eating the book). I loved this reflection below (in light of my last post from Thursday). If you are following along in the green book we are in the third Sunday of Lent found on page 140.
Probably our journey of forgiveness will be impossible unless we realize we can't do it alone. We are not the source of our healing. Truly the kingdom of God is within us as Jesus told us. But that Kingdom is God's presence, and we need God's help to experience that inner glory. As with any deep healing and release, the empowered mercy of God within and around us is ours to claim. We must face the facts: we are vulnerable (woundable); we have been hurt; we need to name our hurt and our deep needs as clearly and fully as we can. Little can change until we have faced where we actually are.
-From Forgiveness; THE PASSIONATE JOURNEY by Flora Slosson Wuellner
May we name our hurts and needs and experience God's love, mercy, and power (wherever it is in a movie theater or a bathroom)! May we experience God's kingdom. May we be a people who eat God's word and live it out! May we be transformed!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Since being married I've seen more chick flicks than I ever thought I would see. And hey--some of them I am actually liking...27 Dresses-Check, Juno-Check, Enchanted-check.
Last night we went out to see another chick flick and in the downtown RWC CENTURY 20 theater lobby they had this cardboard cut out for pictures. With iphone in hand we got a shot. I fell to my knees laughing so hard it was worth the scary results. It was a great release to what happen minutes before....
In all seriousness-- we had just come out of the show from seeing Definitely Maybe (Ryan Reynolds/Abigail Breslin).
I thought I would love it because of the father daughter thing, which I did. Cute.
Acting was really good and believable. But what really got me was the issue of divorce. Although the movie doesn't delve into the pain all that much. It was a typical, Hollywood glamorization that just barely touched the pain and consequences of divorce But that didn't stop God's Spirit from moving in me. (Can God use a movie that doesn't necessary promote him or his values for family/sex in any way?--Well, God did use it) After the flick I went into the the bathroom and just cried. I just sat on a toilet--looking at the ground to see if there were any other feet hanging out beside me--crumbled up toilet paper and just bawled for a good two minutes. It came out of no where, so it seemed, but God was there with me in that moment. I really needed to do it. It was another part of God removing some of Satan's fiery arrows from me. And honestly I wanted to avoid it and cover up my face--even from Wendy. When I came out Wendy looked at me, wondering what took me so long and said, "Uh, are you OK? Did dinner not agree with you?" And I said, "Well, I'm not OK, and it wasn't about dinner." We talked in the car on the way home and I realized there are many layers to this experience (being a child of divorce) for me, and it's good for me to recognize my on-going process of healing and maturing--(and blogging about them is such a good way for me to process and ask for prayer). The movie showed a little bit of the pain a child goes through when parents divorce and last night I was reminded of that pain, and some of the reality that the pain never fully goes away even through adulthood. Although I was only five when divorce first struck my life, I still feel the effects as a 32 year old adult. I love my parents and give them such grace (and all others in my family who have endured divorces, too) for the past. No family is perfect and we all have our dysfunctions to work through and heal. And as I look forward I pray God continues to remind me of his love for me and his power to redeem the past and make right the future! For his glory in my life and now in my marriage and family. God is good and he redeems. Joel 2:25
IT REMINDS me of this song that God inspired in me about 4 years ago!
Since the very beginning, you had a beautiful plan,
we have a way of forgetting, forever your purpose will stand
even when we had wandered, you led us back to your ways,
you are renewing our spirits, you are redeeming our days
LET IT BE FOR YOUR GLORY, LET IT BE FOR YOUR FAME, LET IT BE FOR YOUR KINGDOM
AND LET IT BE TODAY
you are close to the broken, you rescue those in need
oh Father will you forgive us, we want your Spirit to lead
you revealed yourself, you've shown the way
so now we pray in Jesus' name
LET IT BE FOR YOUR GLORY, LET IT BE FOR YOUR FAME, LET IT BE FOR YOUR KINGDOM
AND LET IT BE TODAY
I pray our community comes full circle in finding true redemption in all our pain.
Friday, February 15, 2008
It was so cool to partner in ministry with my wife Wendy and share (in our crammed living room) with a bunch of our young adults, all who are trying to figure out God's design and authentically live for him in our community. I love it and I was so proud to see these men and women taking their relationships and purity seriously.
I could have gone all night talking about these issues--and teaching from my own baggage, but we have Isella's internal clock to deal with early in the morning so we obviously had to end.
Here's some of our notes from the night
Overarching concept: God has called us to a life that honors him. If we know God’s love, our actions will reflect who he is in all of life and all of our relationships. God’s design from the beginning has been one man and one woman in an emotionally, sexually, and spiritually intimate relationship (one flesh) called marriage. We as God’s followers must seek to understand God’s design and live it out faithfully as a means of loving him and loving others (Great Commandment) in healthy community. This is known as a standard (Bull’s eye) that we seek after not because we have to, but because we want to, knowing that it honors God but also has benefits for us and those we are in relationship with. We have an absolute truth from God’s word. Although not every explicit detail has been spelled out for us in scripture we can appropriate God’s truth practically in our life and relationships (and help each other, too)! Remember our life is about experiencing (feeling) and choosing love and this puts us in partnership with God. This puts us accountable to have discussions with our friends and dating partners to prevent from creating bonds (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) that were only meant for marriage---and a good, healthy, God-honoring relationship is worth waiting for!
FLAME-Rob Bell Video recap: Three types of love in the Hebrew: Friendship, Commitment (marriage), and Erotic. We need all three for healthy sexuality! See Video below (10 minutes in length)
Verses we referenced tonight:
Song of Solomon
1 Corinthians 6
Ephesians 4 & 5
1 Thessalonians 4
Resources used in our conversation:
(All of them and are available on amazon.com for under $15).
What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood defined according to the Bible By John Piper
Relationships by Drs Les and Leslie Parrot
Boy Meets Girl & I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Boundaries in dating by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Love is a Choice (Letting Go of unhealthy relationships) by Hemfelt, Minirith, Meier
Thrill of the Chaste, Finding fulfillment while keeping your clothes on by Dawn Eden
Should I Get Married? By M. Blaine Smith
Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships by Chip Ingram
Broken Image by Leanne Payne
All of these books have aided in our relationship before marriage and continue to be resources we reference for others and continue to go back to for ourselves in different ways! To those who participated tonight, thank you! Wendy and I loved it and we will continue to pray for you. Don't forget to take another (or deeper) look into the packet with all it's articles and worksheets. There are great pages in there for those needed healing of past sexual sin, those wondering about current compatability, and those considering marriage. These are great conversation starters and reasons to pray together as a community! Spur one another on toward love and good deeds (purity!)!
God is Good! God's design for relationships is Good. God loves relationships!
God loves sex (in marriage)!!!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
We are also currently now on page 128-DISCIPLESHIP in our GREEN BOOK readings. Since we are in the season, called Lent we are preparing for Easter (Lent is the 40 days before Easter--which you can read about on Page 126 in the Green Book. One word you'll need to know is Catachumen: a person being taught the elementary facts, principles, etc. of Chrisianity).
Here's a fave reflection of mine from this week's reading. It is used for the response prayer on 129 and quoted again on 133. Make this personal for you. I have added my own in parenthesis.
(Abba Father) Take, Lord, and recieve all my liberty(free will) my memory (the good of old and the pain of the past), my understanding (my gadgets, dreams, expectations, discouragement) and my entire wil--all that I have and call my own. You have given it all to me (my family, my ministry, my community, my giftings). To you Lord I return it. Everything is yours (my money and my time) do with it what you will. Give me only your love and grace. That is enough for me.
Craig R. Dykstra's reflection on the Church on page 133 is completely encouraging and challenging.
The blessing prayer on page 130 is very eye opening. Great to use hand in hand with SEEK GOD FOR THE CITY.
Don't forget lots going on!
Thurs-Valentine Dinner at Fallon Fellas
Friday-Young Adult Discipleship night at our house!
Check in at our calendar online!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
PCC's Worship Gatherings
As I spoke, I was reminding not only the church but I was reminding Myself three times today that God gives good gifts, even in our pain or tragedy God is still good. It is the goodness of God that motivates us to be persistent and bold. I love truth!
Usually we all go out and hang out at La Tartine after our 5:30pm Sunday night worship gathering. After being so tired from a great, long day, I was ready to go home and just relax with Wendy. But I was encouraged to show up at La Tartine because someone said, "You're going to get a gift." Of course this aroused my curiosity and I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat anyway. The crazy thing is all these great friends of my mine--the young adults who call our community home got together and pitched in to treat me. Just because. Some shared some verbal encouragements and thanked me with a toast and then presented me with huge box. I prepared myself for some hand-stitched quilt or scrapbook to pop out (don't get me wrong--we all could use another quilt) but when I opened this huge box --what was disguised inside was an iPHONE!!!!!!!!
I was shocked, tripped out, speechless, and sooo totally thankful! About a month ago at our retreat we had an iPhone conversation. I casually joked that I "admired" this new technology from afar but realistically it wasn't in our budget. I never thought I'd own an iPhone!
And now I do. This is a sweet gift. We have a sweet community. It was so funny because the baristas were hanging out over the counter watching the whole thing happen. Watching me open it and asking if it was my birthday. Um, no it is in June and Christmas was two months ago.
Hugely thankful! I love being a PCC pastor. I love our community. Thank you!
Now, I have to learn how to work this gadget....