Saturday, July 30, 2011
This is the 10th year year of the Jesus Burger House - 8 guys on the bottom, 7 gals at the top. Today the guys from the house and I (minus our friend Larry) spent the day together eating, hiking, playing bocce ball, and talking about next year. I keep saying it's an all star group living at the home next year...please be praying for those living there as their lives are being poured out daily for Christ and His kingdom.
"How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity...For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore." (Psalm 133)
at 9:31 PM
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This last Sunday we had a father in the faith visit us from Nigeria...he encouraged our hearts to believe in the God of our fathers and to trust Jesus with all of our lives. Samuel is a pastor of a church in Nigeria, he also started a school there that began with just a few students and now is around 1,000!
This summer has been such a gift as we have met each Sunday in our backyard to worship the King of kings together with music, testimonies, prayer, teaching, and eating together...God is good, faithful to His church in IV and growing His kingdom that has no end!
"There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this." (Isaiah 9:7)
at 1:06 PM
Friday, July 15, 2011
Embracing the love of Father is crucial to the health of any child of God...Jesus said in John 17 that eternal life (not a duration of time but a quality of life) was to know Father God. The knowing that Christ is referring to here was an intimate knowing, not just a head-knowledge about Him, but genuine heartfelt knowing. We as humans were created for intimacy (in-to-me-you-see)...to know Him as our Daddy, our Papa, our Abba, our Father, and for Him to know us by name as His son or daughter.
I believe the greatest need in this generation is for fathers to step into the role that God designed them for, and in so doing giving their children identity, safety, value, worth, provision...making it easier on the child to understand what Father God is like.
The OT closes with a profound verse, reminding us of the importance of family and heart connection between fathers to sons and sons to fathers.
"“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”(Mal 4:5-6)
at 4:31 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Our friends from the Palm Springs area came and visited with us Friday through Tuesday...we met them at a family camp in San Diego 2 summers ago and have visited each other about four times now. They have 5 girls, the oldest is 7 years old and the youngest in 8 months, as you can imagine they're full! On Sunday the parents, Cory & Becky Jo, led worship at our gathering (may I add with an 8 month old strapped to the mom) and it was awesome...the presence of God showed up and refreshed the IVC family! We are honored and thankful for the gift this family has been to us and how they love God so powerfully as a family...the only thing that was hard in the 5 days was saying goodbye.
at 7:38 PM
Monday, July 11, 2011
The Bible open up in a marriage (Adam & Eve) and ends in marriage (Jesus & the Bride)...and from eternity past God has always been Father God...a Father that has a heart for many sons and daughters!
God the Father is the God of covenant. Covenant the relational bond of unconditional unity. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the cross not only forgave our sins, but it restored us back into a covenant relationship with God. A covenant is the only form of relationship that God will enter into with humans, because it's the only type of relationship that offers complete safety, security, and trust. God the Father promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us, not to mention that His love never changes (it remains the same on our best days and on our are worst days).
"...for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down!" (Heb 13:5 AMP)
Children in the natural flourish were there is covenant between dad and mom. I strongly believe if the church can understand covenant, not solely as a doctrine, but as a lifestyle, we will begin to see lives, cities, and nations changed for the glory of God! Jesus said that the world would know we belong to Him because of our love for one another - covenantal love, sacrificial love, love that expects nothing in return, love that comes from heaven into the heart of men and women that have said yes to Jesus.
The other day we had a gal over who was sharing her life story...it was filled with divorce, broken covenant, and separation. Samuel was listening, and I could tell he was a bit confused, he finally asked me while she was talking, "what is divorce daddy?" For my children that word is not in their vocab, nor do they even have an understanding that people would do such a thing...may we as the church learn to enter into covenant relationships with our spouse, friends, and His church...we live in a society that wants intimacy without covenant, benefits without the willingness to sacrifice, and love without commitment. In a covenant you are called to always give 100% of yourself, scratch someone else's back regardless if they're scratching yours, and give and continue to give, expecting nothing in return...Father help me and help us your children to understand covenant.
"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16)
at 11:31 AM
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Over the last week or so God keeps bringing Isaiah 40:31 across my path...the promise in this verse is astonishing, in that those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength...ponder that for a bit (selah)...NEW STRENGTH...strength you never had and never would have if you didn't wait upon the Lord.
Often in life we want to take things into our own hands and do it our way and in our timing...waiting requires trust, trust that God's ways and timing are far greater than our own ways and timing. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 8:5, "...for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure." I believe waiting is a posture of our hearts toward God where we live surrendered, where we take time to reflect, and where we ask and wrestle with God through real life issues and questions. Waiting is relational. Waiting on God takes trust in Him.
My prayer is that I would be a man who knows how to wait upon God, trusting Him and relying on Him, not my own wisdom and strength in life.
If we want to soar like an eagle we must learn to wait upon Him.
"Yet those who wait upon the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."
at 11:56 PM