Who needs front doors?!

•06/09/2010 • Leave a Comment

This last weekend I had a great opportunity to speak at our Sunday night service at Cornerstone. I really felt impressed to talk about Luke 5:17-26. It is the story of the paralyzed man.
One of the predominate characters in the story are the friends of the lame man. If they were not persistent on getting him to Jesus, would have this man had an encounter and have been healed by Jesus. It said that at first they saw the crowds and that they could not get into the house. So, they went to the roof and lowered their friend down into the very place where Jesus was standing. There was no way that Jesus would not have encountered the paralyzed man then.
The main thought that I can not get out of my head now is who do I take to Jesus. Do I journey along side people to lead them to Jesus no matter what obstacles may be in the way? Am I persistent that their need is greater than what the physical challenges may be in my life or even theirs. May I be a man of God that He uses to lead people to the healing that Jesus has to give.
I think secondly, do I surround myself with people who will do the exact same for me? Do I have people in my life that will also take me to Jesus when I need him the most?
Who are you taking to Jesus? Who do you surround yourself by who will lead you to the presence of God?

I heart DERRRY!!!

•05/25/2010 • 1 Comment

As of two weeks ago.. I moved to a place that has always been so dear to my heart! Derry, Ireland. So, from now on I will be posting from this great city.. Be expecting great photos and thoughts on living life internationally. I think you may be in for a real treat!!!

ANGER!!!

•03/04/2009 • Leave a Comment

dv16670231   One of the challenges with living in Los Angeles is sitting in traffic. It is so frustrating! Your day has to be planned around the traffic schedule of the city. Mondays are the worst! I have class in Azusa at 5:00. This is not super far away, maybe 35 miles?!, but when you drive from Hermosa Beach at 4:00 the 35 miles turns into 3 hours of sitting in your car at a standstill. I now have to leave at 1:00 for a class that starts at 5:00!! AGH!! This makes me angry so many times. But why am I angry? Am I angry because I am just inconvenienced ? Am I angry because I am going through some huge amount of stress and anguish in my life? Or is it just because I am inpatient?

  I always think back to the story of Jesus in Matthew where He gets angry. He comes to the temple to meet with God, and the people have turned it into a storehouse. No longer is it a place where people come to learn, commune, and be with God, but now this meeting place has turned into a merchants haven! This makes Jesus angry. I mean very angry. Why? I think its because the original purpose for the synagogue was being questioned. Its purpose was not for profit on items that were sold on the street, but it was a place set apart for God. When things are not used for their original purpose, I have to believe that this injustice makes God angry.

  I was watching a video with my small group last night, and this question could just not leave my head… “What makes me ANGRY?” What is it in my life that makes me so frustrated that I can not even handle it? Is it sitting in traffic? Ummmm…. Not really?! It’s when I see teenagers throw their integrity away just to be cool… Or its when I go to skid row and see people living on the streets and have no way out…It’s when I see “religious’ people shun others away just because they are different and do not fit into the mold. And I could go on and on.. These are the things that are not God’s perfect plan for our lives and others! They are things that we have allowed to get out of whack, just as the synagogue was not supposed to be used for a market place.We were designed to love, but that just does not seem to be the case here… Honestly, these are the things that makes me Angry! I’m to the point now in my life that I am just tired of being angry about it… I believe that God allows me to get angry about these issues because HE wants me to do something about it!! I cant just sit on the sides ticked off, I want to be apart of a movement that puts an end to these types of injustice!! 

  So, my question for you is, “What makes  you ANGRY?” really… what ticks you off!!! 

  And secondly, what are you doing about this anger!? 

Let me know your thoughts…

-JourneyJosh

Stuck in a Rut…

•01/30/2009 • 3 Comments

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  Have you ever felt like this?! Have you ever just been stuck? I don’t mean stuck in the snow or even stuck somewhere in the sand where you can not get out, but stuck in the routine of all that is going on around you. It is almost as if you know exactly everything that is going to happen tomorrow and even the next day just because everything is planned out in advance for you. You begin to miss the anticipation and even the joy of new things. 

  I recently have experienced a bit of these thoughts and emotions. I have put a daily schedule in my life to make me balanced both physically and even mentally. It is great actually, but it can lack anticipation and excitement for what the next day holds. It gets boring and monotonous. It makes me long for the next big thing for and exciting event to happen off guard! I think schedule and balance are great and we should all have it to some degree in our lives. But how do we break up the cycle so that we anticipate and long for a fresh new day of possibilities!

   Through this experience of fighting monotony, it made me think about my walk and dedication to God. I recently finished a class in my master’s program on Spiritual formation. This class focused on steps and even elements that must be apart of our life for Spiritual maturity. I long for these things, and I find myself wanting more and more of all of these elements in my life. But my questions is, how do I keep my daily walk with the Lord fresh and exciting?! How do I wake up everyday ready to tackle my life and my walk with God with much anticipation and excitement! I don’t want to be stuck in a rut with my relationship with the creator of the universe. I want to always be desiring more and more of Him.  I just do not want my time with Him to be simply routine. I want to always long for freshness and excitement!

What are some ways that you keep rotuine and anticipation in your daily life?

In your walk with God, how do you desire Him daily?

What are ways that you are working to understand this idea of anticipation for life and God  always fresh and exciting?

Thoughts on Lament and Christmas?!

•12/16/2008 • 2 Comments

I love the Holidays. I mean its a time of celebration and even anticipation. The anticipation begins the first week with setting up the Christmas tree and builds with each party and event. There is nothing like it. But as I think about the greatness of Christmas, it is easy to forget so many who do not share these great expectations. Christmas to many around the world and in our neighborhoods can me despair, pain, loss, and poverty. As we walk around looking at the lights and join in the carols and drinking the warm apple cider, there are many who can not be apart of this anticipation. This could be the first Christmas without a family member, or the first Christmas were there has not been enough money for presents or even rent. 

In my class last night, we had a guest speaker talk to us about the idea of lament as a apart of our spiritual formation.  We talked about the idea of what it means to be in a state of grief or sadness because something is just not right. He used a great definition of the word Lament and the hope that God can bring to these situations. He said, “Lament and hope must always go together. Lament insists that things are seriously wrong. Hope, on the other hand, maintains that God is committed to putting them right.”  God wants to put all things right. What is not seriously right in your community, neighborhood, or even your church?

A huge portion of the Psalms is devoted to this idea of lament. There are many Psalms that expression adoration of the Lord, but there is also a large part of Psalms that question where the Lord is in troubled times. Is this not the realities of our lives. There are times when we can feel like the Lord is so near, but yet other times when we feel only distance and isolation. James l. Mayes writes about the Psalms and says, “The assumption behind all the psalms is that YHWH’s royal pleasure is found in the shalom of all who belong to his realm. Shalom means a wholeness and a rightness of existence that has physical, social, psychic and spiritual dimension. All of the troubles described in the prayers (suffering accusation, alienation, and hostility are disruptions of shalom.” God longs and desires to show up in these areas. He longs to bring Shalom to areas of life that are dark and desolate. But we must lament…

When is the last time you were really able to lament about injustice in your life or community. When was the last time you cried out to God for Him to bring Shaolm (wholeness and completeness) to theses things that are not right? These situations are everywhere, but we may disguise them with our Christmas carols or parties. Maybe God has called us to lament and cry out to Him to come in show up in our own worlds. And maybe its just okay to not feel the holiday cheer because things are just not right? 

I hate to be a downer and spoil the fun. But can we just think about the idea of lament? What are we crying out to God to bring His Shalom to in our communities and our lives? n56905388_31909273_3385

Jesus and Santa Claus

•12/05/2008 • 2 Comments

This is so so so good!! 

 

Let me know what you think!

Hollywood

•12/04/2008 • 2 Comments

 

I think it is quite humorous how our society is obsessed with celebrities. It absolutely makes me laugh overtime I think about it. It is everywhere we go… from the checkout lanes in the supermarket to the numerous television adds and even now on the Disney channel. We have become a people who love to imagine and live our lives through people on the television. Why do we do this? Why do we elevate people to such high status?

I wish that I could say that I am not affected by this high celebrity status, but I am probably the worst of them all. Just last night one of my good friends took me to a pre-grammy show that featured artist like John Mayer, BB King, Christina Agulerra, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, and others. I absolutely loved it!! Every time the word Jonas Brothers even was shown on the screen or they were actually walking around, every teenage girl started screaming or crying!!I love seeing them up close and being apart of the Hollywood scene. I was so caught up in all of it that I even went to bed and dreamed that I was in church and the Beckham’s came and sat next to me and we chatted like good old friends! RIDICULOUS I know! We love putting people who have no spiritual authority at all on pedestals just to watch them fall after divorce, drug addictions, or whatever else they can get their lives involved in. I just dont understand?!

In the Book of Exodus, God gives Moses the 10 commandments. These were not just suggestions for the Israelities to consider, but commands from God given to His people. I think its interesting that the very first two commandments were that they were to have no other gods before the one true God, and they were to not make idols in forms of other gods and worship them. It also goes on to say that God is a jealous God and that He demands our full attention.

In the thoughts of celebrity and Hollywood lifestyle, have we done this. Have we made these characters into idols? Have we allowed them to become something that media has just put in our faces to take the place of the one and only God who demands our full attention?!

In Deuteronomy 6:5 it says that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. I want this to be my desires. Not the lastest tabloid.

What are some areas in your life that you have made into idols?
Do you become obsessed as much as I do on the celebrity culture?
Is Deut 6:5 the cry of your heart?734710302

 
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