Isla Vista

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you…Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”  (Jeremiah 29:7)

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Mac & Braelyn Montgomery

Incredible news: our worship pastor and incredible friends moved into Isla Vista on Monday!  Holly and I are overwhelmed with joy as two of our favorite people live a water balloon launch away from us, yay God!!

This picture is from Monday as we were moving stuff in…Samuel and Hope helped with the move in – well sort of.

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Jesus Burgers Home

Here are a few more pictures from the last week that the 2011-2012 Jesus Burgers home was together…Daniel, the house leader, made some home videos for them to watch (good o’l family moments from the year).

Thank you everyone who lifted this home up in prayer this year. It has been such an epic year full of faith, hope, and love.

Our heart is to continue to grow family in IV Church so many can find health in Christ.

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Family Time

The summer is such a great time of enjoying one another more!  Here are a few pictures from after the Gathering yesterday in our backyard (aka The Sueno Tabernacle) – dinner & fun.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!  (Psalm 133:1)

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Jesus Burgers – Book

We are in the 2nd round of edits (one more round to go)…Holly and I are loving what we are seeing and are excited to unveil the book in a few months.  We heard great news (tbd what really happens) that Barnes & Noble picked it up and will be carrying it in their book stores.  I was told this is big time by our publishing company.

Jesus is good, and our heart is to make Him famous.

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.” (Psalm 115:1)

“I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” (Jeremiah 31:14)

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Summer Time

Beach day today, all 6 of us made it to Del Playa (the street along the ocean in IV).  We are super thankful to live so close to the ocean and have uncrowded beaches during the summer.  I absolutely love Jesus Burgers, though I am thankful to be able to wake up Saturday mornings and not feel hungover from staying up late the night before.  Jesus Burgers fires back up in September, stoked!

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10 Glorious Years

This last year marked 10 years for the home of Del Playa (aka Jesus Burgers House).  In all my years in IV, I would have to say, this year was the most fruitful and by far the most enjoyable year for me.

All the years were glorious at some level, though some have been more glorious than others.  This year was super glorious for me and I can’t imagine why next year will not be even more with the group that is moving in.  Please pray for those who have  transitioned out of the home and for the new people who are arriving this next week.

This was the only picture all year that EVERYONE was in it (8 guys, 7 gals)…it was taken at our home during a house hangout night (yes it was a silly picture).

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Joanna Joy

The meaning of Joanna is “God is gracious” and she has been nothing but a Joy in our life…we love this girl and all her funny expressions!

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Shiloh (2005-2007) in Isla Vista

Here is a picture of the home/our room where Holly & I served as house dad and mom for 2 1/2 years (05-07) to 20+ people in IV.  Samuel was one month old when we moved into the home and Hope lived in the house for about 6 months.

Living in this home did many transformational things in me.  One main thing it did was it developed leadership, more than anything I have ever experienced.  God literally stretched me beyond what I thought I could stretch, broke me in the best possible way, and humbled me in my calling as a pastor (mostly by stripping the glamor and handing me a towel to wash His peoples feet).

However, if I was asked what was the main thing I learned living at Shiloh (the name of the community house) I would answer: love.  Shiloh taught me that the love of God is not, I will scratch your back now you need to scratch my back kind of love.  Rather, it is a love that gives everything (time, resources, possessions, money, and your entire life away) expecting nothing in return.  This kind of love is what I found from being immersed in countless lives with no way of avoiding people.  This is a love that only comes from Above.  This love, the love of God, was the only kind of love that would work, if I was going to be able to love the people of God day in and day out with a sincere and patient heart.  I could write for the days about our experiences living with 20+ people for 2 1/2 years; including everything from personal stories, having hundreds of people come through our home on a weekly basis, the church falling apart, and taking over the lead pastor role in 2007…but I will save that for another time or maybe a book one day.

 

 

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Graduation

Samuel graduated from 1st grade and Hope from kindergarten a few weeks ago…these pictures were from the graduation ceremony.  I am honored to have the best teacher in the world, Holly Lomelino, teaching our kids about a variety of things (mostly reading to them, math, & science).

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Jeremiah

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.  See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

This picture might not look like God could call this Jeremiah to such gnarly things…but may we never forget that God chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, haha

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”  (1 Corinthians 1:27)

 

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Sueno Tabernacle

We moved this Sunday to our backyard, aka The Sueno Tabernacle.

The IVC family shrinks in size over the summer so it makes more sense to move to our backyard. Some students graduate, others leave to go home, and some head into the nations on missions trips.  We love love The Sueno Tabernacle, as the home feel allows us to thrive even more as a church family!  God is good, back in the church building come September.

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Upper Room

Here are two pictures from our last Upper Room for the 2011-12 school year – incredible night & year!

“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty) …”

 

Acts 1:13–15


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Laying on of Hands

This picture was from Friday night.  We prayed for Erik & Justin, honoring them for leading the Upper Room this last year (the time before Jesus Burgers).  Overall, it was an epic year – tons of growth and truth spoken in love.

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Never Easy

It is never easy saying goodbye to people who you dearly love and whose well-being in Christ you care so much about.  This last Sunday we sent out 12 world changers, seriously incredible people who are going to do great things for His honor and fame!

There were lots of tears, laughs, and reminders of what living a life of faith looks like at times.  When you become family you never stop being family…Holly and I are excited to see all that God is going to do with each of these people in the years ahead.

I like this verse in Acts 17, as it reminds me of Sunday:  “The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind.”

IV is a launching pad into the nations…Holly, I, and many others are called to help develop that, but many others are called to be sent from IVC  into the cities of America and into the nations.

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IVC Sunday Location

Over the last 10 years we as a church family have met in about 25 locations, no joke.  We have met at the beach, parks, houses, prayer shed, my backyard, a theater, an elementary school and other places in IV.  These last two years we have met at the Korean Methodist Church building on our street.

I often remind the IVC Family that church is not a day of the week or a place you meet at, rather it’s a family your belong to.  Holly and I are beyond thankful for how the Holy Spirit has led us over the years, though we must say, we are beyond thankful to have more permanent location to meet at during the school year.  Next Sunday we move to our backyard (aka The Sueno Tabernacle) till we move back to the church building in September when the school year begins!

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Daddy’s Girl

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”  (1 John 3:1)

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Del Playa

The infamous Del Playa (DP) – the street known for partying & Jesus Burgers

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FMLY BND

The FMLY BND was invited to Standford Universityto lead a bunch of people in worship last night…heard it was epic from the crew that went (7 IVC peeps).

Check out the FMLY BND on facebook:  LIKE IT

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.  Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him, bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.”  (Psalm 100)

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Brothers, Friends, & Co-Laborers in Isla Vista

Mac & Erik are two of the more legit men I have ever met…I am honored, blessed, and could not be more thankful to lead the church in Isla Vista with them.  Mac is the Worship Pastor for IVC and Erik is the Upper Room Pastor.  Both of these men are in their first year of marriage, married to two remarkable women of God.  Please pray for the 3/6 of us: wisdom, wisdom, and go ahead and pray for a little more wisdom.  Anything else you want to pray we will gladly take it too.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  (James 1:5)

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No Greater Joy

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”  (3 John 1:4)

As I continue to grow older, both as a natural and spiritual father, I can’t but help agree with this verse more and more.  I really find one of my greatest joys in life is to both see and hear of my children walking in the truth.

* Hope clipped a bunch of flowers on her head and asked me to take a picture of her…this girl is amazing!!  Not to mentioned, she took the picture of Jeremiah and I too – ha ha.

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John 15 – The True Vine

Click here to watch our brother Tucker share about:  The True Vine

“I am the Vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing…If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” (John 15:5-8)

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Joanna Joy

Our friend Derrin took a few pictures of Joanna the other day…Holly and I are in awe of her beauty, precious spirit, and abundant joy!

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Mac Montgomery

Check out these albums from Mac Montgomery…a lot of the songs came spontaneously from the Spirit during times of worship at the Upper Room (the time before Jesus Burgers).  When you click on this link they are the albums on the right of the page under the Jesus Burgers book:

LIVE FROM THE UPPER ROOM & ANCHOR OF HOPE

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Childlike Faith

Life can be serious at times, though I have found that I can make it more serious than it needs to be…children have a way of keeping things simple, light-hearted, and fun.  I once heard someone say that seriousness is not a fruit of the Spirit, ha ha.  It actually offended me when I first heard it, though over the last two years I have grown to appreciate the comment.

I cannot tell you what a blessing being a dad is…and how I am daily amazed by ALL that God teaches me through watching my children interact with me and others who visit our home.  In this picture Jeremiah was sharing with Andy out of his favorite magazine, National Geographic, about owls and other stuff.  I was laughing watching the two of them discuss stuff from the magizine and in awe of the wonder that kids inately have in life.

God is good, and childlike faith helps us to believe this.

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Pray for One Another

This picture is from the Family Gathering yesterday…our Sunday meetings almost always goes to 7pm, and I am usually asking everyone to leave as people love to hangout and minister to one another.  This picture is what that can look like sometimes.  I am very thankful for our church family that loves to pray for one another and believes that when we pray He hears us and responds to our prayers.

“…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  (James 5:16)

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Jesus Burgers – Friday Night

Here are some pictures from Friday night…we had another amazing time serving Jesus Burgers to the city of Isla Vista.  I was able to have an hour convo with a guy who is desiring to follow Jesus, though stuck in addiction.  He ended up crying and confessing Christ, Lord willing he will be at the gathering today at 4pm.  Please pray for him and this city in need of freedom from captivity.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”  (Is 61:1-3)

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Epic Album

Here is an album that was recorded by an Asian American Christian Movement at UCSB…the leader lives at the Jesus Burgers House.  Please consider getting the album for $5, all proceeds from this album will go towards supporting the 12 missionaries that God is sending out from EPIC UCSB this year.

BUY IT HERE

 

 

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