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Saturday, May 12, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Here is a quote I read from the author's blog yesterday...I could not agree more:
'God wants to bring each of His children to brokenness, a condition which exists when we have given up all confidence in our own ability to manage life. Before we can cross over into Grace Land, we must come to the end of our self-sufficiency and recognize that we will never accomplish victory by our own strength. To try is nothing more than a religious performance and God loves us enough to spoil our performance if necessary.'
Monday, May 7, 2012
The family is top priority in our life. Nothing is more important or will have more impact in life than how we steward the gifts (children) that God gives us. People come and go, get pieces of your heart and life, but nobody carries your heart like your own children. Our lives belong to God and our heart is that our kids would see that - two lives that love Him, one another, and have given their life away for the gospel and fame of Jesus in the earth.
"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children," (Proverb 13:22)
Sunday, May 6, 2012
A week ago my friend Chris Curry flew me out to Arkansas to do his wedding (Chris came to Christ at Jesus Burgers many moons ago).
I am amazed and beyond thankful that God has let me participate in officiating marriages and witnessing a miracle of 2 becoming 1. Please pray for Chris & Christina as they begin their journey of life together.
Friday, May 4, 2012
5th - 2 session beginning @ 11am (lunch around 1)
6th - IVC @ 4pm
* 4th @ 6686 Del Playa
* 5th @ 6737 Sueno Rd
* 6th @ 892 Camino Del Sur
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Today I am in Little Rock, Arkansas for a wedding I am officiating at 3pm. My buddy Chris, who came to Christ at Jesus Burgers, is getting married to a beautiful woman of God named Christina. Please pray for them, super stoked for the wedding!!
Here is a video Chris did the last time he visited us in Isla Vista: http://jesuslovesiv.com/portfolios/encountering-love/
Friday, April 27, 2012
Last Friday night we put out our new sign and saw about 30 healing or so...it was amazing!! Not sure if it was the new sign, the date being 4/20, or just God making His Son Jesus more famous in IV...regardless, it was amazing and we are excited for tonight!
Please pray, as Jesus told us that one of the signs that will accompany those who believe is they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover - yey God!
And these signs will accompany those who believe: "In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues...they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Thursday, April 26, 2012
In this picture everyone besides the one guy with the beard (Derrin) and the gal in the purple (Carly) are gone..I think this picture is from 2007 or maybe 2008. Our friend Alexa Wan took this shot, we miss her too!
God is good, always sending us some of the most genuine and incredible people that I have ever met...I must say though, things are changing in IV and people are beginning to plant deeper roots with us!! Such an answer to years of prayer, thank you Jesus for those that have heard Your call to dwell in the land cultivating faithfulness with us!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
One thing I absolutely love about raising our kids in IV is how exposed they are to so many people...as one of the only families in the church with kids, and the only one in IV, our kids get tons of love when people are around...we are so thankful for this, as the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child" or family and a church family!!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to:
- Proclaim good news to the poor
- He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted
- To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners
- To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God
- To comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion
- To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes
- T bestow on them the oil of joy instead of mourning
- To bestow on them a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."
I love this man!! Andy Do, anyone who knows him knows their life has improved because of him.
I met Andy on the UCSB campus over 4years ago. He was in a wheel chair so I went up and asked him if I could pray for him...typical Andy, he was like, "Yeah, go for it man!" I wish I could say he got up out of the wheel chair with his broken leg and cruised around, but he didn't. However, even a greater miracle happened as Andy started coming around and soon gave his life to Christ.
Andy lives at the Jesus Burger home now and is one of the more sincere people I know...beyond thankful and grateful for God's divine appointments in life..you never know what God can do when you step out to love someone (love does).
We were short staff on Friday so I was asked to work the grill for about 5 minutes or so - ha ha
It was my first time back on the grill in probably four or five years...thankful to have such an awesome church family that serves with so much love & joy. I love what God said would happen once the Spirit was poured out in the last days, "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew." (Psalm 110:3)
Sunday, April 22, 2012
I love this woman and I could not ask for a better wife to do life with...she is the wisest person I know, has an incredible, beautiful heart, and continually pours out the love of God over our children day in & day out.
Relationships teach us to love, situations teach us to trust.
God has not given me a relationship or person that has taught me more about His unconditional, sacrificial love than Holly...my wife is not glamorous in her love, she is simple and faithful. It is real, tangible, and has changed countless lives.
The Bible calls a wife a helpmate. Holly's faith in Jesus as been her greatest help to me. We have been through wars; a deeper bond has formed between us through the battles of leading the church together and raising kids both in the natural and spiritual. Situations are invitations into trusting God, thankful my wife, like Abraham, has never wavered in unbelief over the years in IV but has grown stronger in faith giving glory to God the whole time (Romans 4:20).
I love you Holly Meredith Lomelino! And your middle name means ‘battle lord’ or ‘lord of battle’ - ha, ha.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
The Christian fraternity did 24hr prayer last week in the prayer shed. I get so encouraged knowing other ministries in IV are using The IV House of Prayer to lift up prayer on behalf of the city of IV.
Please pray for AGO and for God to bless these honorable men:
This was taken on our first Halloween in 2002..so crazy to think back on these days!! No wall, a wack fence, massive grill, and no clue what we were doing...His grace is sufficient!
"And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (2 Cor 12:9)
Friday, April 20, 2012
Jake Hamilton from Jesus Culture will be with Isla Vista Church for a three day conference. Come experience the glory of God together through worship, teaching, and time together.
May 4th - 6th
4th - Upper Room & Jesus Burgers beginning @ 8pm
5th - 2 session beginning @ 11am (lunch around 1)
6th - IVC @ 4pm
* 4th @ 6686 Del Playa
* 5th @ 6737 Sueno Rd
* 6th @ 892 Camino Del Sur
Thursday, April 19, 2012
we do not grow weary" (Gal 6:9).
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
The Divine Burgers of Del Playa
Amanda begins, "It was Friday night, but the weekend had already set in a day earlier. Still, the prospect of another aimless adventure in the lawless corner of Isla Vista was enough to leave me hungering for more. Word on the street was that Jesus Burgers was the go to place for a late night fix. Sure, there was a chance that you may have to tolerate a few bible worshiping know-it-alls but it was worth it, right?
I wasn’t totally sold on the idea but my roommate, who, God bless her soul, LOVES food, had already factored this stop into our game plane for the night. Several strong drinks later I found myself waiting, rather contently, in a line that seemed to stretch forever. Still, I didn’t mind slowing down for a minute because (surprisingly) there was no cutting in line, no steroid-induced fist fights, and, for the first time all night, I had plenty of room to breath. The intoxicating smell of fresh ground beef assured me that this was right where I wanted to be. And I could tell that the smiling faces of those serving me felt the same. Gosh, I thought. This is easier than I predicted. I don’t have to engage in a theological debate to enjoy the welcome occasion of a home-cooked meal? Well if that’s the case, I'll be back next week, and Ill bring my friends with me."
By my calculations, (neither accurate nor dependable, dear reader, but included here to imply my tender consciousness is, like so many others, bound by time) this fateful evening took place in the autumn of 2005. Amanda was living in Tropicana Gardens. (If you've never paused to wonder why otherwise well-intentioned parents willingly drop their prized young pupils into a veritable lion's den of alcoholic bliss and debauchery, may I offer this perhaps obvious explanation: the dorm in which, for the next several years they'll be crawling home to on learned hands and knees and enduring hangovers of Joplinesque proportions, is named after orange juice, America's most enduring symbol of health and tranquility.) This would have placed Amanda at 6686 Del Playa, the spiritual home of Jesus Burgers, mere weeks after I had gone. But we would meet again.
Before there was ever a Jesus Burger, there was a college bible study called Reality that wanted to reach the youth from UCSB. (Note to self: You're doing good so far. Almost like a REAL historian, and also so brave. But seriously, you don't remember anything about Jesus Burgers. Why don't you act like a REAL college student, and see what Wikipedia has to say.)
The page "Jesus burgers" does not exist. You can ask for it to be created, but consider checking . . .
Bogus! Nothing on Jesus Burgers on Wikipedia? We'll see about that. I'll just Google it. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, but right now I'm only interested in why a group of otherwise broke Christians are giving away free food. Here we go. The first listing goes to IV Church.
“Jesus Burgers” is a ministry that started in 2001 when college-aged believers were bold enough to put on a worship night in Isla Vista’s Anaisq ‘Oyo Park. They served free burgers, mostly to the homeless, and began to push back the darkness in the community through on-site service, love and devoted prayer.
That's right. Who's working around here? Someone needs to port this into Wikipedia. I do remember the love and devoted prayer—that was the part I was, at one point, blessed to arrange. Imagine for a moment the mental state of the average young adult visitor at 11 p.m. on a Friday night, Pacific Standard Time. The weekend would have begun for them, most of them anyway, twenty-four hours before, on Thursday evening—the weekend's spiritual birth.
Now imagine the mental state for those of us called to serve. Our party began, on most nights, several hours before, in a small surf shed a mere seventy-five feet off the main drag. In addition to offering protection from the wind and rain, it had become for us a well-worn house of prayer. I say well-worn purposely—not to speak of any effort put forth on our part, but rather to reference the savage, unpredictable, unmistakably beautiful presence of God in which we were frequently bathed. Why the Lord came to visit us, and why He stayed, it's hard to say. I will say structure was (and is) not important. Looking back now, it's hard to imagine a time that I felt more loved. But who am I to say, simple man that I am? I only know that God was there, that we, as a family, felt loved in a miraculous, electrifying way, and that the goodness of our Father was (apparently) apparent to those we'd later see, and later serve.
I've never been much of an evangelist, but that hardly mattered. We were loved, as I keep saying, and each of us naturally fell into his or her respective role. For a few of us (hardy souls they were) that meant manning the grill. But let's get back to Amanda. What she wouldn't have known at that time, dreaming of the future and enjoying the glistening Santa Barbara sun, is that another young women, Erika El-Ansari, was also at Tropicana Gardens, serving as the Assistant Director of Student Life.
"I first met Erika when, like many other freshman girls, I encountered roommate trouble. With as much exposure as I had to rebellion and the random acts of undirected youth, my first college roommate had new lessons in store. She was already enjoying her fifteen-minutes-of-fame on a hit reality MTV show, and I sensed she was accustomed to being center stage. On move-in day she took to rolling a joint in our bathroom, in plain view of my already-suspicious mother, no less. This was very likely not going to work. After a week of tiptoeing around her need to RAGE twenty-four-seven, I sat down with Erika to discuss my options.
Within minutes, her kindness turned my defensive shell into a puddle of tears and for a few minutes she hugged me with a familiarity that reminded me of home. That wouldn’t be the last time we found ourselves together, finding a way forward.
Months later, with a new roommate in tow, I was well accustomed to dorm life. There were important rules that were not to be broken: no jumping in the pool from the second story balcony, no sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack after closing hours, and absolutely no candles. There were others of course (that we chose to ignore), one being a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol. This was unfortunate, because under-age drinking was what did I best. To prove it my household I had constructed an eight-foot beer pong table that had, upon it's saturated top, a colorful mural of our previous outings. Upon this table were held countless tournaments; weekly testaments to noteworthy that the staff at Tropicana was forced to attend to our beloved treasure, and without hesitation they asked us to dispose of it.
My personal punishment for housing this paraphernalia was to meet with Erika and discuss my propensity for testing boundaries. Even under these less-than-ideal circumstances, she me met with the same enthusiasm as before, and within minutes had be sharing more than I had planned. There were going to be consequences, she explained, but beyond that she wanted me to know that I was a welcomed member of the community, and as such, I was cared for. What I couldn't have known at that time is that Erika had been paying attention to me for a whole different set of reasons, and praying regularly for me—in fact, each time she passed my door. Years later, when, by chance our paths crossed again, it became clear that own path to Christ was in many ways (how many ways we'll never know) an answer to her prayers.
She admitted to participating in intense spiritual preparation before each freshman class stepped foot into Tropicana. She, and others, had anointed the door handles of each room, and prayed over each new semester's roster of names. With such a transient population, I feel I have a rare privilege in seeing the fruit of her work. But there it was, evident in me.
The intimate friendship that we now share began long ago, when she loved me with an unconditional love. I am often thankful for her, and grateful that she can now see the before and after—the glory in which I now reside and the place where I was delivered from."
So who is this Amanda? In short, one of my dearest friends. To say that we're all children of God is not to say that we act that way, but Amanda Rose O'Hara unfailingly tells the story of her Father's love from one day to the next. She tells it to the homeless, the transgender population, the patients with AIDS that she works with in San Francisco's notorious Tenderloin district. She has told it to an orphanage full of parentless children living on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was apparent the first time I met her, and it shines ever brighter as the days roll past.
I include her story here, instead of my own, for the simple reason that she saw our community from the outside. Anyone who knows me knows I prefer an outsider's opinion; at one time it was my own. It has a certain validity that can't be prearranged, unless of course you love someone from before the time they were born—unless that opinion began to be shaped for them within their mother's womb. I would call that a permissible arrangement, some might call it destiny.
I also include it because Amanda's simple and unguarded relationship with her heavenly Father continues to display for me His infinite and unbroken kindness. She has taught me He can only love. It has a purity which I rarely see, and an appreciation that can only be found in someone who knows what it's like to have the murderous deceiver so close outside your door. Of her coming to Christ, she once told me, "It felt like God reached inside my chest and held my heart in His hands and said, 'I made this. I made you. And it's time to come home.'"
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Our friend Heather, who lives at the Jesus Burgers House, was healed Friday night at Jesus Burgers!!! She got in a bad bike accident and had minimal mobility in her arm. As a result of the accident she has had multiple surgeries. She said this morning that she was 70% healed...this instant healing is an absolute miracle!!
God is so good, Jesus is alive!
"You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38)
"...as He is, so also are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Max entered the watery grave last Sunday after our Sunrise Service and rose out of the grave as a brand new man in Christ Jesus...it was so powerful being in the waters with him and experiencing God's presence and pleasure over his life...ah, God is so good!!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
After the sunrise service we baptized our new brother Max and then everyone headed over to our home for breakfast - such an epic day and so thankful that as Christ was raised from the dead we too have been raised to walk in the newness of life.
"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Elizabeth Greene (Koppa )
We Were Beautiful
We had decided it was best to meet every Saturday night in the girls’ apartment upstairs. There were six of them renting the top floor, and six boys on the floor beneath them. They were a strange bunch, all huddling together in the middle of the coastal college town. Isla Vista was the ideal place to party; it was lined with beaches you could walk to, board-shorts and bikinis, more beer than you could dream about, and some twenty thousand students all just looking for a good time. Every house was a party. People were known to travel from miles around, just to walk the main strip and drink themselves from one keg to the next, stopping occasionally to observe some live music or a fight breaking out by the curbside. It was a medley of immorality in the disguise of higher learning, a mess of twisted teens and twenty-somethings shoved into a square mile of bicycles, brand names, and burrito joints. Local teenagers, thrilled by the rebellion, would come into the city on the weekends to waste themselves in the festivities. We came there to pray.
It was Jacob’s idea. He was the dreamer. Of course it wasn’t really a new idea at all, but it was new to us and full of excitement and pregnant with possibility. At first he didn’t really have much to offer; none of us did. I mean as far as “stuff” goes, money and resources and fancy cars and things. Jacob was barely scrapping enough cash to afford a one-bedroom apartment in some guy’s attic and keep a quarter tank in his sputtering geo-metro. And Jacob had two kids. Mostly that was how it went with all of us, except for the kids part. We were bound together by two commonalities: we were Christians, and we were poor (or whatever “poor” really means in suburban America).
To be honest, that was pretty much all we had in common. I don’t think I’ve ever met a more eclectic bunch in my whole life. We were students and surfers and losers. We were teachers and waiters and politicians. We were engineers and visionaries and dropouts, artists and prophets and letdowns. We were beautiful.
We were a bunch of untamed hooligans who had found something worth fighting for. Hope. Love. Justice. Grace. We had something to believe in together. So we decided to sit for a couple hours in the girls’ apartment on Saturday’s and pray. It was not in judgment that we felt compelled to make a difference in the city, but in compassion. After all, most of us had just recently found our way out of the party scene. We knew why they were out there; we were just like them, wandering around searching for something to satisfy, something to hope in, someone to love us. So we sat upstairs and kid named Chase would play guitar for a little while and we would stutter through some sort of primitive dialogue with God, trying our best not to be distracted by the neighbors blasting “Thriller” from their balcony. We would pray and pray and pray. Sometimes we would shout and scream and plead with God. Other times we would sing and dance and the girls might cry into the carpet. And every week midnight would roll around and we would find ourselves amidst the same pain, the same sin, and the same disappointment in the faces of people walking up and down that street. And we decided that maybe praying wasn’t enough. Maybe it was time to be the answer to our own prayers. We knew what we had to do. We had to make hamburgers.
It was brilliant.
We would pray and make hamburgers and tell people about Jesus. Soon the belligerent masses were lining up in our driveway, ready to receive. By the end of the second year they came with expectancy, some eager for the burgers and others merely for the conversation. The grill became the perfect platform. Of course it was always about something bigger than burgers; it was a way out. It was holding back the hair of the girl choking on her own vomit in our front yard. It was pulling a warm blanket over the boy that was passed out on our living room couch. It was driving home the girl on the street-corner because if we didn’t she’d end up in a stranger’s bedroom. It was feeding the hungry, nursing the sick back to health, and protecting the weak from schemes of the strong. It was kneeling down to serve a community. With every burger that was flipped and smothered with ketchup and mustard and handed off in the driveway, we were finally learning how to be Christians.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
"Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Romans 6:3-4)
This morning was our 10th annual sunrise service, followed by a baptism, and then our IVC family breakfast...the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the believer's victory over death, sin, and the devil! God wins, Jesus is alive!!!
* more pics to come
Saturday, April 7, 2012
This is a picture from Del Playa today...the city kind of feels like Halloween weekend as tons of people came to IV for a party known as Deltopia. This picture was taken from the Jesus Burger House this afternoon.
This party used to be known as floatopia, but the police blocked off all beach access...partiers then decided to move it to Del Playa and call it Deltopia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floatopia
God loves IV and made this city for His glory...we wait for the day that pictures like this are because everyone came from all over for a Jesus party on Del Playa!
Friday, April 6, 2012
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’"
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’"
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." - Jesus
* and don't let the picture fool you...the guys are full of love and joy too, they just took a bad picture - ha, ha
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick." (Matt 9:12)
Frank gave His life to Christ this last quarter and got baptized a few weeks ago...his heart is so sincere and he is hungry to know God more. God is good, changing lives and setting captives free!
"In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!" (Jesus)
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
We are in awe of ALL He is doing in our midst...His gospel brings great joy and changes lives! If we really discern the gospel right it should always be good news of great joy!
but the angel reassured them (speaking to the shepherds). "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!" (Luke 2:10-11)