Archives for June 2010

My sheep hear My voice…

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;” – Jesus

The birthright of the church is to hear the voice of God…we as followers of Jesus and children of God get to live our life from hearing what He is saying and responding to what He is doing = what an incredible privilege!

Here are two key questions for those who are following the Shepherd:

1. What is Jesus saying to you (as you read the Bible, play sports, go for a walk, spend time with your friends and spouse, eat with your kids, help a friend move…)

2. What are going to do in response to what you heard?

Like a good father or friend clear communication is important and God is an excellent communicator…I know for me theses two questions are vital to living an intimate life with Him and being satisfied by responding to the voice of my Shepherd & Friend.

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Is This Really Church by Francis Chan

This video is well-worth watching…you can skip the first 20 minutes as Francis is talking about a few things going on in their church.

Over the course of the last 5 years God has ruined me for what is means to be the church…which is why I am always saying we don’t go to church, we are the church. I am so challenged by what I read in the Word, especially the words of Christ and what was happening immediately after He ascended in the book of Acts.

Take up your cross, deny self, and follow me – Jesus

From the beginning one of IVC’s key scripture verse has been Acts 2:42 which says the early church devoted themselves to four things: teaching, life together, the common meal, and prayer.

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Musing About Church…

I read this an article the other day about Christians gathering together…I felt like someone had tapped into my mind and started writing out some of my thoughts:

Psalm 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forever.

Is This What It’s Supposed to Look Like?

There was a commanded blessing that flowed over every word, prayer, chord and melody as we gathered. The unity in the spirit was astounding and created an atmosphere that was charged with expectation and supernatural ease! Like the “oil running down Aaron’s beard” or the “dew of Hermon,” this substance saturated the walls and the hearts of everyone in attendance. Involved with this kind of ministry, you leave feeling refreshed and inspired instead of feeling burned out and weary.

Surprisingly enough, this honest “family friendly” atmosphere sustained a rare accessibility in such large meetings for everyone present to tap into the flow and breakthrough of what God was imparting. As people began to encounter Jesus and His glory each night, the typical “minister-audience” walls that become such a hindrance to the corporate encounter came crashing down! We all were entering in together!

So, I am beginning to ask a few questions now. Maybe this is what the New Testament Church really should look like in our day? Please hear my heart as I am in no way implying that we suddenly and instantaneously found the answer to cure all the problems and issues of the Western Church. But I am beginning to wonder if it is all supposed to look less like a well-oiled machine and more like organic family. Less like cookie-cutter, predictable business and more like a celebration of spontaneous flow-fostering creativity. Maybe more like hands-on mentoring and less like individual performance. After all, isn’t the new wine in the cluster? I strongly believe God is stirring this unity-move deep in the hearts of fathers and mothers and sons and daughters in our day. Church is really beginning to be fun, family and unpredictable again!

Complete article:

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Kids Being Kids

Took these pictures of Hope and Jeremiah the other day…I am never short for a laugh living life with these children.

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Family Time – Wednesday Nights

This last Wednesday was our first family time of the summer…it was awesome! We had a great time outside playing different games, hanging out, and eating together. After dinner we went in our home and worshiped with music for a while, shared testimonies of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, and then I shared a short word out of John 4 about Jesus saying that His food was to do the will of the Father and how our real satisfaction as believers, like Jesus, still comes from co-laboring with God on the earth to do His will.

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)

These pictures are from the end of the night when we broke into small groups, shared what God has been speaking to us about, and then prayed for one another.

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The day has come…

Beginning tomorrow morning and all through next week, tons of people will be around our house buying used furniture that our friend Mitchell has collected this last week from the streets of IV…even though this is the 5th year of him doing this, I am still amazed at all the stuff that is collected and how much money some of it costs. I guess when most of these students don’t pay for their furniture they don’t really value it that much…kind of how I view salvation: to the extent that you understand what it cost God to redeem you back to Himself through the cross of Christ is the extent that you will value your salvation.

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Missional Community . . . Simple

I like this – simple, yet profound:

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Morning Route

For about the last 4 years every Thursday morning before almost all IV resistant wake up I am off to grab the Santa Barbara Independent downtown and bring it back to IV to deliver it…when I got the job I was stoked that the guy who hired me offered me the Isla Vista route, thank you Jesus!

I took this picture on my route this morning, it always serves as a great reminder of the need to pray for this city and for people to come to Jesus to satisfy their endless thirst.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

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Day 10

Today is the 10th day of Mitchell driving through IV picking up everyone’s furniture, bikes, and whatever else makes money…the big sale goes down this Saturday & Sunday, all the signs and flyers have our address on them – it should be a wild weekend!

I took these picture this morning a little before 7am on my way out the door.

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Peace Out Momma

Holly left me with the kids today, as Tuesday is my day off from everything…well at least that is the goal. On dads shift things run a little different, like breaking out the dart guns for a 1 1/2 year old & 5 1/2 year old to go at it without goggles. Not always the smartest thing to do, but its better than a bebe gun war without goggles that I got into a few times as a kid.

Baby J loading his gun

Samuel getting ready to blast Jeremiah or me…Hope was eating her lunch

As you can see the boy is working on his aim

Samuel stoked about getting ready to load up and get me
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Momma & the kiddos

I love watching Holly read to the kids, especially the childrens Bible…Hope is obsessed with the story of David & Goliath these days. Today Holly read them the story Samson, along with a few others. It’s so sweet how much the kids enjoy being read to and all they are learning at such a young age. Both Samuel and Hope have lots of verses memorized, including whole Psalms…one day I will try to post a video of the kids quoting their verses, it’s amazing!

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Knowing and Being Led by the Holy Spirit

By Holly:
This last quarter we had an amazing class at our house taught by an older brother in the Lord named Erik Krueger who has really walked with God a long time and has a level of maturity in the faith that is rare to see.  We were so blessed to have him teach this class in our home for six weeks with about 20 other people.

The class was about how the Christian life cannot be successfully lived out apart from knowing and being led by the Holy Spirit, for He is our connection on this earth to both the Father and the Son.

A major thing that was taught was about how the Holy Spirit is not a doctrine or a power, but the third person of the Trinity, and is God and is holy.  Jesus is our way to the Father, but we are empowered and enabled in our coming and in our living by the Holy Spirit.

He is the One who teaches us and who brings to our remembrance all things.  He is speaking to us, telling us what we need to know for today, for right now.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26

Jesus said that it was actually better for Him to go so that He could send the Holy Spirit to us.

Getting to really know the Holy Spirit and learning how to be led by Him is one of the important keys of the Christian life, because it is in Him we are able to actually be empowered to live like Christ.  We can’t do it apart from Him.

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The Summer

This week is finals, which means next week is the beginning of summer in IV!!! I love summers in IV as we get to downshift into 4th gear, sometimes even 3rd!

Summer is still a very busy time for me as I am spending lots of hours prepping for the coming school year with the DP House, IVSOD, Sunday stuff, etc.

Monday nights, beginning next week, I will be leading a men’s group that I am stoked about…we are going to go through the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan. Then on Wednesday nights Holly and I will host “family time”, which will look in many ways like our Sunday gathering with a little less structure.

I love the summer in IV, thank you Jesus for seasons of change that living in this city bring us.

“They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

This is what Wednesdays & Sundays will be all about this summer:

– teaching (wed nights will be on the Holy Spirit)
– life together (playing, hanging, & being family)
– the common meal (there is something special about sharing meals)
– prayer (for one another & the city)

Over the years I have come to see church more and more not as a place you go to, but a family you belong to…a family united under the Lord Jesus Christ that is on a mission together. I am so thankful to be apart of this family in IV and the mission that is all too clear for those of us that live in the city.

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Samuel & Hope right before bed…it’s amazing how much energy kids have right before bedtime. Baby J goes to bed closer to 7pm, at the latest 7:30pm.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. —Isaiah 54:13

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Let the Games Begin…

Well it’s that time of the year that our good friend Mitchell Greene comes and collects all the couches, tables, desks, book shelves, and whatever else he can find. His drop spot is in our neighbor’s backyard, which is where my shed/office resides…these pictures are from last year. As you can see, it’s quite the phenomenon in the amount of stuff he collects and the amount of money he makes selling it…and let’s just say he makes enough money to come all the way from Memphis, Tennessee to do this sale. I believe this is the 5th year of Mitchell doing this in IV, using our yard each year as a home base…it’s really good we love him so much; however, I should add that Holly really likes this kind of stuff and wishes that she could join him on these truck loads. Praise God for the kids keeping her home bound, since my motto is “When in doubt, toss it out”…personally, I am not a big fan of a lot of stuff.

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Jeremiah Helping Mom With Dinner

I walked in yesterday from the day to Jeremiah helping mom with dinner…it was classic, he was so serious and not looking to be disturbed from this project of stirring beans. I love this kid, such a personality!

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IVC – extended family time

Yesterday was a send off service for about 1/2 of our students…it’s always such a bitter sweet time of the year as we get to send people off as a missionaries back to their home town, and some oversees.

I love the words of Jesus that He prayed to His Father hours before the cross, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” This is such a great reminder that we are called to live lives as sent-ones, regardless if that is to Isla Vista or to Turkey where two of students are going this summer.

These pictures where taken around midnight as some of the family was still hanging out and worshiping the Lord together in our home…Holly and I are really going to miss these incredible people that the Lord has brought into our life!

Faithful men of God…these guys are amazing!

Our friend Tommy playing some of his own music…Annalisa’s face is a good picture of how it sounded.

Apparently what Justin is doing while the guitar is being played makes an epic sound that only you can hear…it looks even more funny in person.

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Another Year of JB’s

Jesus Burgers just concluded it’s 9th year in IV last Saturday…it was another amazing year witnessing God’s love being demonstrated in so many tangible ways from a free hamburger, to a cup of water, to the use of a bathroom, to prayer, listening, & sharing about the good news of Jesus.

I can’t believe next year will mark the 10th year of serving Jesus Burgers in Isla Vista…it feels like yesterday that we decided to host a massive BBQ in Anisq ‘Oyo’ Park and invite the city to it.

Thank you Jesus for an amazing year and all the countless lives affected by Your good news being expressed both in word & deed!

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name be the glory…” (Psalm 115:1)

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Honoring a Loyal Man

This last Friday Holly and I had the privilege of honoring Jacob Reitzin, a faithful and loyal friend, by attending his 30th birthday party…Jacob helped teach a class through IVSOD on prophecy this year with me in Isla Vista.

It was such a sweet night seeing family and friends come together to acknowledge the incredible life that Jacob has lived, being radically redeemed by the Lord about 10 years ago. The highlight for me was watching a 20 minute slide show that his dad put together from birth till present…there is something of heaven watching a life being honored and progress though the many seasons of life. I was stoked to be able to share a few words during dinner time about who Jacob is to me and so many others.

I have only known Jacob for about 2 years now, though in these two years I have learned so much about the Father’s heart of generosity, joy, and adventure. Thanks Jake, for being such a good man and friend…I am stoked for what the next 30 yrs. hold, and I hope your dad will have another slide show prepared for your 60th too!

“Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?” (Prov 20:6)


OC Friends Visit

Our good friends Ryan and Robin visited from Orange County with their 2 kids and about 10 of their friends…Ryan is the young adult pastor at a Vineyard Church in Orange County.

It was such a beautiful weekend sharing life, blending our tribes, and ministering to one another.

Ryan and Robin are two of the most special people we know…when I first became a believer about 10 years ago Robin played an instrumental role in my life and was also the connecting point for Holly and I meeting in IV. As for Ryan, over the years we have built a friendship over the phone, which has been a source of great strength and encouragement for both of us.

Friendship is a gift from above…Holly and I are so thankful that God saw fit to give us two awesome friends!

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2 IV Articles

Here are two articles about Isla Vista:

This one is about IV cracking down on under age drinking:

This one is about how IV effects those that live in IV:

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