Thursday, July 29, 2010


It's been said before, 'change is inevitable', it will happen, is happening. All we have to do is simply look at the world that we're living in. Social media has transformed the world that we live in and how we communicate with people.  Newsweek reported how, 'The Digital Revolution Changed Our World' Click here to see the article. The article reports that by 2010 iTunes has had 10 billion downloads. iTunes didn't even exist until 2001.

Just recently Amazon one of the nation's largest book sellers announced that in the last three months E-books (entire books that are downloaded to your computer, phone, or ipod) have out sold hardcover books!  Even Amazon's CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos seemed shocked (to some degree that is) when he said it's, “astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months,” You can read the entire article from the New York Times here

Mr. Bezos's comment leads us to another very important point about change, it's not only 'inevitable' but it's happening 'fast'! Honestly I believe most realize it, though perhaps some try to resist it.

Now if you're a Christian we would all agree that God's word never changes. The sacrifice of Jesus, His un-changing principles are for all time and will ever be. Yet the means/method by which the gospel is proclaimed is so diverse and is ever changing.

Public evangelism is still a great method to proclaim the truths of Gods word yet even that is changing with so much free video content online for people to watch. People more than ever to some degree don't like people knocking on their doors asking them religious questions. I got to be honest I don't like it. With so many religious services being live streamed, video archived, and of course the multitude of people who podcast sermons, God's word is getting out, in a multitude of ways. 

So perhaps here's one key that seems obvious but perhaps not so obvious to all.  Try all kinds of methods as long as they are not against God's sound principles, methods that will be relevant to your cultural context where you minister. This goes for all of us who call ourselves Christians and want to reach people for Jesus. We must not be married to methods but married to Jesus and the mission He call us to fulfill in His strength. With that said it's important that we be ready to make changes when changing things will help fulfill the mission of Jesus.

So tell me do you agree? Are their changes that need to take place in your church in order to be able to reach more people for Jesus? 


image from [powerpointsermons]

They Didn't Forget His Bones

image from Group VBS
This week has been a busy one putting onVBS for the 30-40 kids that have been coming every night. I surely appreciate how so many (from my church) have helped minister to all these kids.

The theme is taken from the story of Joseph in Genesis (chps. 37-50). For the last two years we have used the curriculum from Group Publishing, they really put out some good stuff for VBS. If you want to take a look at what they offer click here.

This year I was the chosen one to play Joseph:-) Everyday the kids learned one Bible point from Joseph's incredible journey. Such as 'God gives us hope', 'God gives us special abilities', and 'God helps us to forgive.' Yet there is another lesson that the VBS kids won't get this week. One that perhaps we need to reflect on here.

The last words of Joseph recorded just before the book of Genesis ends and are said to his brothers are these: "I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Then Moses (the writer of Genesis) tells us that Joseph also said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place."

I don't have the room here to fully expound on the story of Joseph yet I highly urge you to take an evening before you go to bed and instead of watching some soapy (my invented word) show :-) read this story for it plays out to some extent like a soapy movie with a great ending.

So here's the lesson that I believe Joseph's story reminds me. Joseph though second in command of all of Egypt, having all the luxuries he could want, in need of nothing, being able to supply his family with everything never made Egypt is real home. He was always a pilgrim awaiting the land that God had for Him!

Joseph embalmed his father Jacob and at his earlier request was taken to Canaan to be buried. Joseph then makes a similar request that when God comes to their aid that they not forget his embalmed body and take him with them. Joshua 24:32 confirms that when God did come and deliver the Israelites from bondage and they took the land Joseph's 'bones' were taken with them and buried as requested. Interestingly enough in the book of Acts 7:14-16, Stephen is telling the story of Israel and he mentions essentially the same thing about  Joseph (and his father Jacob). Then in Hebrews 11:27 it says,

"By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones."
It's no coincidence that Joseph's story is particularly mentioned in the well known chapter of faith in Hebrews and the fact that although much more could've been said about Joseph and his faith in Hebrews what is mentioned is one verse speaking about what he said right before his death.

The bible makes clear that Joseph though living in a land that had everything he need (even during the famine thanks to God) and more never forgot that Egypt was not his land. Our land here in the US of A with all it's 'stuff' is not our land, yes we praise God for what we have here and now, BUT it pales in comparison to what we'll receive in the land to come!

In the midst of your trials that you may be going through, in the midst of your victories and perhaps for some, great prosperity, don't forget God is in control and by faith we await our land that He has promised us.

By faith we will get there even if we're buried and all there is left of us is our bones (if that) when that time comes, Jesus will say, "Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." (Matt. 25:34)

Do you yearn for that land or are you to content with living in Egypt?


Monday, July 26, 2010

Lots of churches died 30 years ago...but no one turned out the lights....

Image used by permission jugglerpm
(the guy takes some amazing pics)

Ok, so first things first. The title of this post was taken directly from a post from Ed Stetzer's blog. He's  LifeWay's lead researcher and missiologist.  You can and should read the post here.

Stetzer's blog post is an adaptation of his book (Co-written by Warren Bird) Viral churches. The book "outlines the best practices in church multiplication movements and reveals the common threads among them." The book is on my reading list but in reading his post and the full article mentioned at the end of the post, it has stirred some thoughts and questions at the same time.

So here goes...has being missional truly become part of the DNA of your Christian experience/journey and along those lines has it become part of the church you attend? (that is assuming you gather with other believers to worship and praise God regularly)

Why does it seem at times that so many churches prefer to remain in the status quo, not reaching their community/sphere of influence, not winning souls but insist that nothing has to change? If we are truly to be missional, empowered by God's Spirit than the status quo could never be acceptable.

Lastly Stetzer on his blog post states under #3 "More Roots in Historic Biblical Discipleship"
"Too often a church can't multiply its leaders because it has too few robust disciples. Instead it has lots of dependent believers who take a consumeristic approach to their faith and ultimately are shallow in character development..."
I would venture to say that the above comment applies to any kind of church be it traditional, contemporary, it's a disease (the consumeristic approach is to some degree simply coming to church to see what I can get from it, instead of an approach to come together to give worship to our Lord and Savior) that seems to have affected all. When it comes to being missional, disciple making is key, I wrote a post about this last month you can view and comment on it here.

So what do you think, is the church (in general, the one you attend or have attended) being missional or is there still a lot of work to be done? Should churches that are not truly being missional and producing fruit for the glory of God...well turn off its lights and start over?

Once again I continue (and will do so in every post until the campaign is over:-) to ask that you prayerfully consider giving (if you haven't already) to my Charity:Water campaign to raise funds to build a water well for those who are in need of clean water. Click HERE for all the info.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

MyCharity Water campaign update

I thought I would update everyone on how the mycharity water campaign is going to help bring clean water to those in need by raising $5,000 to help build a water well. First though, a few have been a little confused on how they can help. You can click here to go to the website. Then click where it says 'donate to my campaign': sometimes the obvious is not so obvious :-) See the image below...

I've never done something like this before and I praise the Lord that I'm doing it (with all of your help!). As you can see from the pic above nine people have donated to the campaign so far and we have raised $235 and helped 11 people receive clean water in just 13 days! The campaign goes for a total of 90 days (77days to go!). Below you can even see those who contributed (if they put their names) and how much.

Thanks to all who are helping with this campaign to bring clean water to those who need it. Lets get this well built! Once again click here to donate and let your friends and family members know through facebook, twitter, email, and hey even old school...word of mouth:-)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Story Of Bottled Water?

A few days ago I saw a tweet from famed P90X creator Tony Horton which intrigued me. His tweet lead me to watch the video below.

The video begins by saying that, "this is a story about a world obsessed with stuff..." To which if we are honest with ourselves is correct. The video proceeds then to speak on the issue of the title clearly states "The Story of Bottled Water"

I hesitated to some extent in sending this, and though to a certain degree I may not agree with every angle in which the video presents the issue. Nonetheless some very strong points are brought, to which I'll let you be the judge.

One of the reasons I decided to go ahead and spread this video through my blog is because it does briefly mention the issue which I have been campaigning for, that is helping the over 1 billion people in the world that don't have access to clean water.

There is 78days left on my campaign as of the time of this post. I continue to request that you look into this issue and prayerfully consider giving. Click here for all the info!

So watch the video and let me know what you think? Should we stop buying bottled water?


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Greatness Of Our God

Starburst Cluster
taken from HubbleSite
A while back I was going through some 'things' as they say. I walked outside that night looked up and saw just a beautiful night sky filled with stars.

Then it just hit, I believe God was simply speaking to me. The God who put all those stars in the sky and knows them by name is the God that loves me and is in control of all things. Even when it seems that everything is out of control.

Isaiah 40:26 (ESV) says,
"Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?
He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing."

The Psalms say, "He determines the number of the stars, He gives to all of them their names." (Ps. 147:4 ESV) If God knows the stars by name (that alone should cause us to pause and think) then without a doubt God knows your name and my name. He is a Great God.

Hillsong is an amazing Christian group that recently released their new album entitled "The Beautiful Exchange" One of the songs on the album is called "Greatness Of Our God" 

Check out the music video along with the lyrics of the song below.  May you remember that we serve a great God, and regardless of how long you've been a Christian there is so much more for us to know of this great God who is in control of all things and along those lines...knows your name.

Lastly of course I have to continue to ask that you prayerfully consider giving to my Charity: Water campaign to help those in need of water. Click here for all the info and take a look at my post that launched it.

Here's the video (if you receive this via email/RSS click here)

Greatness of Our God

Verse 1:
Give me eyes to see
More of who You are
May what I behold,
still my anxious heart.
Take what I have known
And break it all apart
For You my God, are greater still.

No sky contains,
No doubt restrains,
All You are,
The greatness of our God.
I spend my life to know,
And I'm far from close
To all You are,
The greatness of our God.

Verse 2:
Give me grace to see
Beyond this moment here.
To believe that there
Is nothing left to fear.

That You alone are high above it all.
For You my God, are greater still.

No sky contains,
No doubt restrains,
All You are,
The greatness of our God.
I spend my life to know,
And I'm far from close
To all You are,
The greatness of our God.

Brigde: 2x
And there is nothing
That can ever separate us.
There is nothing that can ever
separate us from Your love.
No life, no death, of this I am convinced.
You my God, are greater still.

And no words can say, or song convey,
all You are the greatness of our God.
I spend my life to know,
And I'm far from close
to all You are,
the greatness of our God.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Reasons Why People Don't Go To Church

College Drive Seventh-day Adventist church
(The Church I pastor)
I'm always interested in reading about why people don't go to church. I've written about it before to some extent, you can read that post here. There's obviously much to be said about this. The Seventh-day Adventist church (the denomination in which i'm a pastor:-) states that we have over 1 million members in what is called the North American Division (this includes Canada) you can view full states from the years 1998- 2008 here.

The question though is how many (of the over 1 million) actually attend church on a regular basis? Granted it's not an easy statistic to get because for one sometimes it can be difficult in attaining the information.

So what are some of the reasons you or someone you know don't go to church (on a regular basis)? Let's talk and be open and honest...

Check out this short video about this very issue...then I would love to hear what you have to say!

Lastly I continue to ask that you prayerfully consider giving to my ongoing campaign to raise money to build a water well, to bring clean water to those in need. Click here for all the info and to donate, we need your help!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Charity Water: The Scott Harrison story

Scott Harrison
Founder/President Charity:Water
(photo taken from website)
I want to start by saying thank you! Thank you to those who have donated, and thank you to those who have blogged my post that launched this Charity:Water campaign to raise $5,000 to build a water well where needed.

Some may have never heard of the organization Charity:Water. Who started it (you may have watched the video on the campaign website)? How was it started? The story is actually fascinating to me. It just makes me see once again that God works in many ways. Although the video below can be found at the Charity: Water website I've posted here so that you can have easy access to it (as always if you get this post via e-mail/RSS feed click here to watch it). So take a few minutes (about 15) and watch Scott Harrison the founder and president of Charity: Water speak.

As of this post we have raised $115 toward the goal of $5,000 the campaign will last 90 days, we have 85 more to go. So please help bring clean water to those in need.
Click here to donate to the campaign. Any amount will help! Now check out the video...

Luxury Lab - Scott Harrison of charity: water from charity: water on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dying of thirst?

Have you ever said this, 'I'm dying of thirst'? If you're like me you most likely have. But I've vowed never to say this again, at least not unless I'm like the millions that really are dying of thirst because of a lack of water.

According to Richard Stearns president of World Vision U.S. in his best selling book 'The Hole In Our Gospel: What does God expect of us? ' he states,

"As many as 5 million people die every year of water-related illnesses. A child dies every fifteen seconds of a waterborne disease. This creates a no-win situation for millions of parents in our world today---they can watch helplessly as their children die for lack of water, or they can watch them die from diarrhea, because the only water they have is tainted." (pg. 137-138)
This aspect of people needing water has been on my mind for some time (especially after reading Stearns book) it's devastating to know that I can get clean water anytime I want without even thinking of it twice.

In our house we normally always have bottled waters around, filtered water, etc. For what ever reason I realized that we had run out, so I simply began drinking water straight from our sink. In just about an hour I began feeling sick to my stomach and ended up in the bathroom for some get the picture! I though was able to solve my problem easy...millions cannot!

Stearns also points out something many of us perhaps don't think of. Along with a lack of clean water women and children spend hours simply trying to get water.
"...women and children in developing countries invest two hundred million hours a day fetching water. That's equal to a full-time workforce of twenty-five million people fetching water eight hours a day, seven days a week!"(pg. 138)
So I think you get the picture, it's a heart wrenching picture. BUT we can do something about it. In my last post I told you that, "God wants more out of all our lives!" Before that post in "My time in Atlanta..." I mentioned how wonderful it was to see Young adults serve the community in Atlanta.

With that said I truly feel that we could do something even if it's something comparatively small to the tsunami water crises. I have teamed up with Mycharity: water to begin a campaign to raise $5,000 to have a water well built in an area in which it is needed. PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP! 100% of all donations goes for this cause! Take a few minutes and check out my campaign website and please, please prayerfully consider giving and spreading this website to all your friends and family.

Here is the page URL:
Please send this link to everyone you know, we are trying to raise $5,000 in 90 days, check out the site and a beautiful part of this is that once the well is up we will be able to see it, according to the mycharity:water website.

We can't do everything but we can do something! Friends/family lets do this!


image from [powerpointsermons]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Balance Beam Christianity?

I believe that God wants more out all of our lives! I've been living lately in this tension, God wants more from me. Today I came across this clip from Francis Chan. I've seen it before and as I saw it again I said God is speaking to me.

Are you living a safe Christian life? Are you living in your own safe Christian routine? When I read the bible I don't see anyone that God has called living a safe, non-risk taking life. On the contrary it's a dangerous, to some extent unknowing, risk taking experience in which all we do know is that God is sovereign and in control.

Watch the video (if you're getting this via email/RSS feed please click here to see it) and then answer the last question!

Are you ready to let go and walk on that beam (metaphorically our Christian journey) knowing that no matter if you fall and fail, you get back on it and live fully for God?

image taken from [Meredith_Farmer]


Saturday, July 10, 2010

My time in Atlanta...

Image from ANN-July 3rd, 2010
A week ago today I was in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with nearly 70,000 other Seventh-day Adventist. During the same morning I also spent some time worshipping with over 3,000 youth/young adults. By that evening it was all over. Impact Atlanta/GC Session was over. It had been a good but long two weeks.

I had been wanting to make a post but honestly I needed some time to unpack everything that happened during those two weeks. A lot went on from helping were I could, to attending discipleship and leadership training, meeting up with old friends and new ones, and one of the things that I looked forward to the most was the evening worships.

It was also incredible to see many young adults lead out in nearly every aspect of what went on at Impact Atlanta. They served Atlanta in various projects with passion and grace and they worshipped with adoration and joy.

Here then is one of the main things I got out of it all, it may not be new but it's deep (bathos:-) are you word...


That's right GRACE! It's fitting because the theme of Impact Atlanta was GRACEfull and the theme for the GC Session was 'Proclaiming God's grace', so the fact that one of the main things I got from everything was...GRACE...shouldn't be a surprise right?

Yet when I say I got out of my time in Atlanta 'grace' I mean the following: I realize that I need to show more 'grace' to those around me, for God has shown much 'grace' to me!

I accept God's's enough! Yet this grace is a living power that must work in our hearts to do His will, to touch hearts for Jesus, to change culture, to change those around us, not through our power but through His powerful grace being proclaimed through our lives.

Are you GRACEfull? Are you proclaiming God's grace?


P.S.: Stay tuned this week, I have a challenge for us all...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

President Paulson's report

Well it's been busy here at IMPACT Atlanta/GC Session in wonderful hot Atlanta, GA. It's been long days with not much time to blog. But here I had a few minutes to send this video that i've been wanting to post. It's Jan Paulson's president (well now former president) report. It's well worth your time to sit and watch it.

For those who are Seventh-day Adventist this will perhaps give you a different picture of our worldwide church and maybe even challenge you. For those who read my blog who may not be Seventh-day Adventist I certainly encourage you to also take some time and watch the video and I would love to hear what all of you think.

One note the video takes about 40 seconds to come on so when you click play be patient and if you get this via RSS/email please click here to watch it.

GC Session 2010 President's Report, Jan Paulsen from Paul Kim on Vimeo.

Blessings Javi

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