Blog Archives

Is Living Like Jesus Second Nature?

Jesus calls disciples to keep entering into this shared life of peace and joy as it transforms our hearts, until it’s the most natural way to live that we can imagine. Until it’s second nature. Until we naturally embody and practice the kind of attitudes and actions that will go on in the age to come. A discussion about how ‘to just get into heaven’ has no place in the life of a disciple of Jesus, because it’s missing the point of it all.

Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
by Rob Bell on page 179

Palm Parade 2011 (video)

When I stepped in to the role of children’s pastor @ Hayward Wesleyan Church almost 8 years ago, I was told about this annual tradition they do with the kids on Palm Sunday. They would get the children to wave REAL palm branches as they walk through the sanctuary to the song “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest.” It is a fun tradition that the students seem to really enjoy (especially @ the 9:40a service!).

A Portrait of Christ (video)

I really enjoy the aesthetic nature of these kinds of videos. They bring out some very creative interpretive elements to thinking about Jesus and such. I am not one to typically enjoy “art” (or understand it!). This kind of “art”, however, I really enjoy!

via Vimeo

What Guys Think About Modesty (video)

Wow. Prepare to be offended to some degree. This world’s system will balk at the content of this message. It will not understand one bit. Seriously, it won’t. They shut the comments off on this video… I read some of them before they turned them off.

But, if you know God and seek to know him through his son, Jesus, and try to live as a member of God’s unique, redeemed, and renewed humanity in light of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit… this message will challenge and encourage you.

I am not advocating this video as Gospel, rather as wisdom. And as we all should know, wisdom is such that it is uniquely applied in a particular context, in a particular situation. So may the wisdom and application you find be run through the grid of the kingdom (upside-down, holy living in light of Jesus).

These are confessions from men in regards to the way women dress. Edifying for both men and women. Allow the Spirit to convict your heart. Men also need to understand that modesty is something for them to consider.

Sermon is titled, “The Soul of Modesty” by CJ Mahaney. I strongly encourage listening to the entire sermon.

source YouTube

Children’s Report on Christianity and Characteristics of Jesus

A couple of weeks ago I had sent a couple of our Main Street Teachers to a leadership class during our Sunday morning children’s ministry hour. As a result, I ended up “teaching” grades 3-6 in small group time that morning after our large group time. I get to rarely do these kinds of things so I asked them to do some assessment stuff for me.

I had them answer a couple of questions: 1) What do they think it means to be a “Christian”? and 2) What are the qualities of Jesus that God wants us to be like? (Basically, what are the characteristics of Jesus that made him, and continue to make him, unique?)

Here are the answers they provided:

Question #1 – What does the word “Christian” mean?

  • Follower of God
  • someone who praises the Lord
  • to be a follower of God
  • to believe in God
  • believing in God and the Bible
  • you follow God and believe in God
  • someone who believes in or follows God
  • you are loyal to the Lord or a follower
  • believe in God
  • follower of God and who believes that Jesus died on the cross
  • to love God
  • to be a part of God’s family
  • a person who believes that Jesus Christ died on a cross for them of his own free will because he loves them
  • believer in Jesus
  • Bible follower
  • believer in Jesus and stuff
  • a person who trusts God and listens to God and believes he died for us

Question #2 – Characteristics of Jesus

  • nice
  • powerful
  • graceful
  • best
  • awesome
  • loving
  • humble
  • caring
  • kind
  • helps others
  • doesn’t sin
  • died for us
  • happy
  • dangerous
  • un-mean
  • honest
  • non-hurtful
  • strong
  • brave
  • helpful
  • scary
  • friendly
  • not afraid of anything
  • sweet
  • cares for people
  • Savior
  • grateful
  • generous
  • cool
  • not afraid to do what he needs to do
  • Son of God
  • one of the 3 parts of God
  • forgiver
  • open to everyone
  • weird
  • smile
  • joyful
  • son
  • Lord
  • cries
  • all powerful
  • compassionate
  • miraculous
  • amazing
  • omnipotent
  • wise
  • does right
  • healing
  • holy
  • perfect
  • everlasting
  • never sins
  • magical (heals people)

When Heaven Came Down and Kissed the Earth (audio)

On Sunday, February 6, 2011, I was given the opportunity to preach on John 1:14. The title of the message ended up being: “When Heaven Came Down and Kissed the Earth.” The worship band, Dutton, has a song by that title, which I borrowed for the sermon because I used their song throughout the message.

When Heaven Came Down [pdf, sermon transcript]
When Heaven Came Down [mp3, sermon audio]
When Heaven Came Down [link to Dutton’s song]
Fully Human, Fully God [preview video link, The Skit Guys]

Jesus in Every Book of the Bible (video)

Doing the Opposite

I saw this video in a post on Elemental Children’s Ministry blog.

I am always inspired when I see various ways the church tries to communicate what Jesus meant when he told us as his followers to “love your enemies.”  I remember thinking about this when I was a kid: “NO WAY was I ever going to turn the other cheek… I would turn the other cheek all right, I would make that other person’s cheek turn RED!”

A constant principle that I see embedded in the Kingdom of God ethic is the idea of doing the opposite.  Doing the opposite of our natural human reaction in a situation, is usually the right “kingdom-kind-of-action”.  I have found that in almost every situation in life, doing the right thing, is almost always doing the opposite of what my natural human reaction is.

This video depicts this counter-cultural principle well…