Friday, September 24, 2010

Mother Mary Come To Me


When It comes to Mary we seem to have some major swings in our approach to her. Either we worship her as a mini god or we totally disregard and ignore her. Jesus did neither of these. He loved her & cared for her & made sure she was cared for when he left. He never worshiped her, but only gave praise and prayed to his father in heaven. So, lets do the same. Lets honor her as a mother (as we should honor our own) and lets learn from her.

Why did God choose Mary? Well…because He’s God and He can do anything He wants. Was there anything more about her that the Lord looked at and said, this person will be the vessel for bearing and caring for my son on his journey to earth. She was a teenager who had little to no experience in the mothering department. Her credentials were un impressive at best by the worlds standards. But she had something that caught God’s eye, the thing that I believe God saw in some one years before here, Abraham.

God comes to Abraham and asks him to take him at his word and move away from everything he knew (he also asked him to do some other crazy stuff that is to painful to talk about right now.) And what did Abraham say, YES. What did Mary say, YES. She was willing to not just believe God, but to walk her belief out to faith, like Abraham. This is what the Lord saw. A willingness. A Yes. Faith. A willingness to not just believe He was going to do what He promised, but to actually walk out the promise with Him.

Faith is not being sure of what’s over the mountain and being ok with it. It’s having no clue what rest over the mountain, but knowing who told you to go and being ok with whatever awaits you because you know the one who told you has only good for you.

Mary didn’t earn a part in God’s story, He invited her in…as He does with you & I. The story isn’t about Mary’s faith but in fact is, and always is, about Gods faithfulness. That He will accomplish what He sets out to do.

They were not the star of the story…Mary, Elisabeth or John….It was about Jesus.

Mary would carry Him, Elisabeth delighted in Him, John prepared hearts for Him. We now carry these things out in our lives.

Were not called to be the story, but to be a part of His…by carrying Him into the world. By delighting in him and preparing hearts to receive His Spirit. Its not about your disqualifications, but his love & blood that makes you qualified to be a part.

The story isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful. Messy but lovely beyond measure.

- Jerrod

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What are you doing this summer?


Summertime is here: it is a time for many of us to slow down. Many are done with school, going on vacation and just flat out ready for a breather. If you are like me life changes big time- my kids don't have school, therefore if they are not entertained or kept occupied they break things, each other, or they simply drive me to a place of near insanity. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and I love spending time with them, but if my parenting goes on a vacation its not good for anyone in the family. So I am having to look at this summer with purpose. Daddy Day Camp is now in full session and I am determined not to let our kids fall victim to jut another lazy summer of getting on each others nerves.

Tonight I preached a message from John Chapter 5 on not allowing ourselves to fall victim to letting our spiritual life go on vacation. Life has a way of lulling us into a place of familiarity that we aren't willing (or able) to leave regardless of how much we want to. So the question is: What are you doing this summer. Are you looking forward to checking out for a few months, are ready to jump on board what God is doing all around you and allow yourself to be used by God to make this a summer like you never have experienced.

I am ready, are you? Buckle up, its going to be a wild, but worthwhile ride!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Psalms 62

Found this to be incredibly uplifting in worship today

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Venture

This next week will be my last week as one of the Pastors at Crossroads. It is truly a bittersweet time. I am thankful for the opportunity that I was given to plant Elevate as well as to serve with a great team of people sharing the Love of Jesus with this community, I will miss meeting with them on a weekly basis. The excitement of the new venture however is revolutionizing my life and my trust in God.

A few people have asked what this means to Elevate, the answer is simple- Elevate will continue to operate as normal and I will still continue to lead our amazing leadership team to reach out to the young adult college generation of this community. There is going to arise the need for people to step up and start taking ownership of Elevate and what happens each week.

The reason I am leaving my position at Crossroads is to Plant a new Church in Exeter called Orange Valley Church. I look forward to sharing much more in future of post of how I arrived at this point in life, to take this bold (possibly crazy) step of faith to leave the security of something safe to the challenging unknown.

I am looking forward to what God has in store for me, I am a firm believer that he is the one who orders our steps and I am blown away where he has led and how he has provided this far. We have the responsibility of preparing and planning but ultimately we need to be listening to his voice and receive our direction from the Holy Spirit.

Look forward to sharing much in the near future. have an amazing day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lots of Change, and some things the same...

If you haven't heard yet, its official. I (along with others) am going to be planting a Church in the Exeter area called Orange Valley Church (orangevalleychurch.com)

This has been a interesting journey which begin to progress rather quickly as it became apparent that this was where I believe God to be leading me. The great thing is I'm not alone! One of my best friends in the world Alex Reeder is going to be joining me, as well as Eric McIntosh will serve as the Worship Arts Pastor (myspace.com/viraavenue.com).
Two other friends Kevin Starling and Adam Bravinder have also committed to developing the leadership structure for this amazing new venture.

Couple of things I want to make sure an get out there:

1. From the beginning this was done in with full disclosure to Crossroads Community Church where I have been on staff for the last 4 years. I amd my family have been blessed by this church and will always have a special place in my heart. I or Alex are not leaving because of anything that was are wasn't being done- there is no issue, simply pursuing what God has placed before us. We are very thankful for and leave in good standing with Crossroads and will continue to Pray for and encourage them in their work in Visalia as we launch out in Exeter.

2. Elevate will continue as normal. The vision for Elevate began in my heart years before we opened. I will continue to lead the elevate team, and I am just as excited about the future of it as I was when we began four years ago.

Excited about what God has in store looking forward to amazing things...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Missional Church

Stumbled upon this video- sums up what the missional church is: Love it!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Living by Faith not Fear


For the past year I have been learning a lot from the life of David, I have also be teaching a lot and talking a lot about moving from living out of fear to living in faith. Well its easy to say you want to live that way, and easy to say when you aren't facing major life changing decisions. So the time has come to learn to walk in faith and you know what it kind of stinks... its not comfortable, there aren't any guarantees, people misunderstand you, you doubt yourself, and friends leave you... but what I have to keep telling myself (because my emotions, and sometimes logic are screaming something else) that I have to pursue what God has placed in front of me regardless of the odds against. He hasn't called me to comfort, he has called me to life obedience and continual life transformation.

I read an Article Blog Post from Perry Noble today that Challenged me to be a Leader like David, not Saul...

Ten Signs A Leader Is “Losing It!” March 25, 2010

I’ve been reading through the OT lately and have been challenged by the downward leadership spiral that Saul went on…here are TEN signs from his life that point to a leader “losing it.”

#1 – The ministry he leads moves from being about the name of God to the name of the leader. (Compare I Samuel 14:35 with I Samuel 15:12!)

#2 – He gets impatient with the process that God is taking him through and thereby tries to “make something happen” rather than waiting on God’s timing. (I Samuel 15:5-10)

#3 – He makes self centered leadership decisions that slow down the people he works with rather than empowering them. (I Samuel 15:24–notice the references to himself in this verse.)

#4 – He refuses to completely obey God because it places him in uncomfortable situation. (I Samuel 15:1-9)

#5 – He allows fear of man to trump his fear of God. (I Samuel 15:24)

#6 – He refuses to take action and deal with the obvious issue in front of him…and if anyone attempts to do so he is quick to tell them they cannot! (I Samuel 17:32-33)

#7 – He cannot celebrate the success of others. (I Samuel 18:8-9)

#8 – He tries to discredit/destroy anyone or anything that looks like it is successful apart from him–Saul actually became more obsessed with destroying David than he did leading the kingdom! (I Samuel 18:10-11)

#9 – He resorts to trying to see the spectacular apart from the presence of God. (I Samuel 28)

#10 – He refuses to deal with the fact that his jealousy, insecurity, disobedience and self reliance is not only going to cost him…but cost others as well! (I Samuel 31:1-3)

(end article)

Love this Article, #5 is the one that seems to kick my tail quite often. Its kind funny (not really) that God is putting me through areas of my life, or allowing me to go through things that cause me to actually live this and not just keep it around like a nice little nugget of truth.

Alright time to step away from the keyboard, where it is easy, and to go out in the world and actually let it be a part of who I am and how I live.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love what my good Friend Jon Serrins is doing



check out his project buyasongchangetheworld.com
Love it when people just dont talk about things but match their passions and giftings up with their calling and just do something. Jon is one of those people. Looking forward to what God is gonna do through a great guy with a awesome passion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dreaming



Dreaming.

I am a dreamer, sometimes I catch myself just drifting off thinking about what could be or what could've been. I also am a pretty crazy dreamer at night, the kind with talking and walking involved- freaked my wife out a lot in our early days of marriage. Now she just gently grabs me and talks me out of my sleep-drunk stupors.

The sad thing is that I have allowed myself to get to busy and to practical to dream a much these days. I am reminded that much of the things that have been memorable and effective in life adn ministry have come through dreaming up some things.

I just finished a little dream-storming session with my buddy Jerrod and out of this has come a idea that I believe is going to revolutionize our ministry and community as well.

The wheels are already being put in motion and we are now putting feet to a dream that started with a goofy idea. Can't wait to share more soon, but gonna get some more ducks in a row before we let the cat out of the bag.

its gonna be awesome... its Crazy, its not normal, Logic would probably advise against it, and we have no Model to follow- Perfect!!!

Got a note from my Pastor this week that was extremely encouraging it said "If God has given you a dream, the worst thing you can do is nothing." Well said. Now its time to start running with this dream and putting some structure to this crazy dream- hopefully without taking away the possibility of more dreaming.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Call to Action


Inspired by A Post from Perry Noble- Pastor of Newspring, (perrynoble.com)

A Call To Action February 26, 2010

Deuteronomy 1:7-8 jumped out at me the other morning…as I had this thought…

God has NEVER led anyone to the point of indecision…it’s NOT that we don’t know what to do most of the time…but rather we know EXACTLY what to do, but in order to obey it will cause us to break out of our comfortable routine and actually put forth some effort.

God had promised the Israelites the land they were going into…He had spent years preparing them for the takeover…but when it came time to make things happen He didn’t tell them “Sit here while I go do it all,” but rather, “Break camp and advance…”

Translation…

“Break camp…” – Get out of your place of comfort.

“Advance” – In other words…DON’T try to keep things the way they are…there are MUCH better things in store.

I love how God doesn’t call His followers to be passive…to sit back and do nothing. We serve a living and active God…which means if we seek to imitate Him then the same should be said of us.

So…any decision that you’ve been putting off that you KNOW He’s clearly spoken about?

“Break camp and advance…”

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

pics of my boys





Worship- Soapbox rant

From Consumer to Consumed from Dan Stevers on Vimeo.

I get so frustrated sometimes with people's concept of worship (with myself mostly.) We live in a time where "Worship" is exploding, its everywhere- Heck, even Skillet and Kutless gave up Metal for an album or two to get in on the action . ( It may even have its own award at the Dove awards.) It is generally defined by what kind of music we like and what personality moves our emotions the most. In leading a worship gathering I cant tell you how many times I have heard people say that they hate it when we break up "worship" to have people greet each other. If you think about the logic on that it's pretty goofy- basically, the concept is- this time of music is when I connect with God and when you have me connect with other people if ruins my worship mojo. I know that this is a pretty broad stroke but it does show the consumer mentality that is running rampant within the body of Christ. I love what Matt Redman's church did when they realized that people were worshiping the "worship" and the leader's style- they cleared the stage and got into the word until they felt that they could use music as ONE of the forms of worship, and could worship with a genuine heart in all area's of life- not only when the music was just right.

I believe that the worship God enjoys the most is not when our emotions are being cajoled and our senses are being tickled, but when in the difficult and mundane times of life we call "You are God, and I will worship you" (without a guy in skinny jeans and a scarf with a guitar is crooning in front of us.)

OK so this may be a little harsh, (hope you catch the sarcasm and satire,) but I want to challenge myself, and anyone else who is willing, to begin to look for awkward moments (ADD moment- visualizing the most interesting man in the world, having an awkward moment, just to see what it feels like) to worship God. Can you imagine how someone would react if they just finishing cussing you out and you fell on your knees and started shouting praises to God, or the people who observed it. Or when you are enjoying a great burger at In & Out you start sharing with your friends how great God is. God's heart would be extremely full and proud of his most prized possession- you!

I think we all would agree that Worship is not about us, but the question is- do we just say that because we are supposed to, or do we live it?

(Can I possibly use any more parentheses? even got a few two finger quotations in.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jerrod Blogged.

Being I have allowed myself to get to busy to write, Jerrod is picking up the slack for me. Here is the link to his post:

http://jerrodturner.blogspot.com/2010/02/just-stay-in-tower-please.html

Monday, February 8, 2010

Elevate Guys - Time to man up

video

Alright Guys, time to jump in a group and be a man of integrity and second chances.


Choose a time that fits for you. See you soon.


Monday 7pm- Jordan Dudley 936-2039

Sunday Afternoon 4pm- Phillip Barnes 334-7786

Sunday Afternoon in Tulare- Andy Tiner 805-7913 (in Tulare)

Monday- 7pm Jordan Dudley 936-2039

Tuesday Nights- 8:30 PM- Glenn Larson 730-3442 (After Elevate)

Wednesday Nights 6:30 Joel Hedlund 731-2975

Thursday 1:00 PM Michael Burnias 309-2930

Friday 10 AM- Andrew Short 679-3046


Friday, January 29, 2010

Elevate Reading Challenge



Hope the reading is going well for those who are taking the challenge. Here is an Blog Entry form Jerrod. Feel free to send in your writings. Elevate 30 day challenge blog will be up shortly.

Day One - John 1

John the Baptist got IT. A crazy wild man of the desert, who may have looked a lot like a televangelist does to us these days. Big hair, loud booming voice, and making some monstrous claims to anyone who would listen and offending a lot of people. John chapter 1 verse 20 captures John’s heart, “He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” He didn’t have a savior complex. He wasn’t trying to be something he wasn’t. He was aware of who he was because he was aware of who Christ was.
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ”


People wanted to know who this wild man was not because he was a joke or not a big deal, but because he was making waves in the pool and people were listening…and starting to believe.

When was the last time someone mistook you for a prophet or a reincarnated man or woman from the ancient days? When we live with an awareness of the true identity of Christ then we will live in an awareness of our true identity. We aren’t the star of the show, this epic story of life isn’t about us, it started long before we did and it will last longer then our minds can even imagine. Our job then becomes to be “the voice of one calling” and “making straight the way for the Lord”. The world is not rolling out the red carpet for our return…all creation will roll it our for Him. We’ve been called to get an early jump start on this. Start calling and start making straight paths. Don’t stand in the spotlight but turn it towards the one who deserves it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010



Great Article from John Acuff at Stuff Christians like

My thoughts on this article:
Right on the Money. I also think sometimes as Christians we are so results based we don't care about the Journey- we just want to get to where we think we should be spiritually, relationally, occupationally, etc.
I truly think that God values the journey every bit as much if not more than the result- we should too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Devestation in Haiti and The Glory of God.


Its been interesting to see the response to the tragedy in Haiti. From the pouring out of compassion and kindness of people to the controversy surrounding comments made by Pat Robertson. I will admit I spent a some time worrying about distancing myself from Pat Robertson's and clenching my teeth in anger because because I don't believe his views truly represent God's views on this tragedy. Donald Miller wrote an article that really helped and encouraged my thoughts on this particular subject.

Thinking through this and wondering why such devastation seems to happen in area's that are already ravaged by poverty, got me asking the every familiar question "Why, God?" I know God is sovereign and that nothing happens without his knowledge and permission, but it often becomes difficult to manage that with the God who would sacrifice his own Son on our behalf. We can do what Pat did and quickly blame it on a vengeful God who is punishing people for the sins of their ancestors or we can look to the Bible.

John Chapter 9 helps bring some resolution to my heart.

1. As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
2 "Rabbi," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?"
3 "It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world."

The disciples response was like Robertson's, basically- who should we blame? Jesus' response was that this happened so that the Glory of God would be revealed.

I believe in a God who is bigger than tragedy, who is so big in fact that he can receive glory out of every situation regardless the magnitude. We are here on this earth for one reason alone, for the glory of God. I look forward to Christ receiving incredible amounts of glory by the response of his people. A window has been opened for the followers of Christ to proclaim who he is, not by how smart we are or how we explain things, but rather by acting as he would act.

Matthew 25:35-36 (New International Version) 35For 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, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dance Machine

video
This is my 3 year old Jackson dancing at Church. He is constantly teaching me about what being a genuine follower of Jesus looks like. I am working on slowing down and enjoying life more and caring less about what people think about me and gaining their praise. This is one of those moments. I think this is part of what Jesus was talking about when he said having a faith like a child. Jackson didn't care that there were 1200 people around, he just wanted to dance. I think there are a lot of expectations (most of them false) placed on people on what being a "Christian Includes." These expectations often lead us into a mundane relationship with Jesus based on obligation rather than a free relationship that makes us want to dance. Last night my family were all in the living room and a graet song came on TV, my response was to scream out "family dance party" we danced and laughed and made a memory I will have for the rest of my life. Do yourself a favor and take some time to dance today.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Things I learned while taking a Social Networking Sabbatical


In early December, I decided to take a challenge and take a break from social networking (i.e. Twitter, facebook and blogging) I don’t think I was necessarily an addict (first sign is denial…) but I felt I needed to take a break and focus on some other areas of my life that needed attention, specifically in the relational area. Here are a few things I learned during this break.

1. The importance of replacement.
-If you intentional stop doing something, if you don’t replace it with something better, that void will be filled. If it is not intentionally replaced with something worthwhile, things of not so great value slide in very quickly. Early on I was amazed at how quickly the social networking time was replaced with Sportcenter, mindless channel surfing, and funny youtube video’s. Not bad stuff, but not exactly character shaping either.
2. The power of Social Networking.
-Although I realize the World Wide Web survived just fine without my presence I was surprised and encouraged by how many people commented on missing me. Other than just feeling stroked by a pat on the back (we’re all above that… right?), I am challenged to use this powerful tool to make an impact for the kingdom of God. Blogging is a powerful opportunity to put what you are learning into writing. This often makes it more real, practical, and best of all applicable.
3. The importance of intentional relationships.
-I am excited about using the www tool, but it was refreshing to seek people out to sit down and have some solid face to face time to connect, rather than the facebook “drive by’s.” Don’t let technological networking take the place of meaningful relationships. There’s nothing like looking in the eyes of a person when you tell them how valuable they are to you- when’s the last time you did that?
4. Power of God’s Word
-That should be a “Duh” statement for a pastor right? The truth is a lot of times pastors and people in leadership can begin to think that it is about themselves (OK, sometimes I think its about me! I won’t deflect!) Honestly, I have nothing to offer except that which Jesus chooses to release in me and through me. We find out who he is through his word, and we get more to share the more we are around him. One of my main purposes for taking this break was to get deeper in his word. Wish I could say I did better, but the extra time I did devote was extremely valuable. I am going to make sure and begin setting aside a daily time that cannot be used on preparing stuff for other people, but rather allowing Gods word to seep deep in my life.
5. My impact on my Family
-Once again not earth shattering news here, but taking a little extra time to be intentional creates huge life change, especially in my young boys. Taking the great and tough moments in life and using them to teach is something I am beginning to get a new perspective on. My Family is and will always be my primary ministry, I am looking forward to what God has in store through them, and that is not going to come by posting something nice about them on facebook.