The Burden of Being a Leader

Jeremiah 28:15-16

15 And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie.16 Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will remove you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have uttered rebellion against the Lord.'”

God calls leaders and teachers to a higher standard. It’s a responsibility, a calling and a burden.

Roughly 13 years ago I felt God calling me into ministry. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew it’s what God was preparing me to do. As I learned more about what it meant to be a leader and what God’s standards are for leadership, the fact that leaders are called to higher standard.

The words that we speak as leaders  are words that people live by. As leaders in the church we are looked at as the mouthpiece of God, so when we speak people hear them as the word of God. Man, what a responsibility. What if I mess up, what if I’m wrong, what if that “feeling” from God that I had was just bad Chinese food?

My prayer is that by the grace of God, I will be sensitive to His voice and that the words that I speak would always be the words of God. I pray that I never forget the significance of the call that God has placed on my life and never take for granted the fact that God uses me to be his mouthpiece to His children. Thank you God for the grace you give and privilege of being your child.

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Passion Week – Wednesday

Passion Week:

is the week starting on Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday. It’s the time where Jesus entered Jerusalem until the day he resurrected from the dead. That’s this week! We want to take time this week to remember what Jesus has done for us.

Sunday – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Monday – Jesus teaches in the temple

Tuesday – Jesus teaches in the temple

Wednesday – Jesus teaches in the temple

Luke 21:37-38

What would you do if you had 3 days until you died? Most of would answer that we would travel or spend time with friends. We would go skydiving or whatever dream we always wanted to do.

What did Jesus do 3 days before He died?

Jesus did what He came to earth to do, He taught people about what it meant to follow God. He spoke in the temple, he taught in the streets to crowds of people and to anyone who would listen. Jesus stayed true to His mission even in His last days on earth.

When I see how Jesus spent His last days, it reminds me to make the most of my life and to continue to do what Christ has called me to do. In my life that mission is to raise a family that loves Jesus and to instill the importance of following Christ and loving others to students in my ministry.

What has God called you to do? Are you doing it?

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Passion Week – Tuesday

Passion Week . . .

is the week starting on Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday. It’s the time where Jesus entered Jerusalem until the day he resurrected from the dead. That’s this week! We want to take time this week to remember what Jesus has done for us.

Sunday – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Monday – Jesus teaches in the temple

Tuesday – Jesus teaches in the temple

Luke 21:1-4

Jesus is in the temple observing people. He sees people as they come in to give their offerings to God. He probably see people from all different lifestyles giving their money to God, but the person who sticks out in His thoughts is a poor widow. She was a widow, so she had very little income, if any at all. She drops in two small coins into the offering bucket, while everyone else is putting in large amounts of money.

Jesus comments that her gift is worth more than anyone else’s because her giving hurts more. It’s more of a sacrifice. For example, when someone has $10, it’s easier to give $1, you won’t notice it as much as you would if you had $1 and gave 10 cents. When you give when you have little, the sacrifice hurts more.

Jesus is teaching us that sacrifice hurts. He shows us the ultimate example of this just a couple of days after this by giving His life for us.

Jesus teaches us that sacrifice hurts. What are you sacrificing to follow Christ? Does it hurt?

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Passion Week – Monday

Passion Week . . .

is the week starting on Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday. It’s the time where Jesus entered Jerusalem until the day he resurrected from the dead. That’s this week! We want to take time this week to remember what Jesus has done for us.

Sunday – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Monday – Jesus teaches in the temple

Luke 20:9-19

Jesus tells a story about a vineyard owner who sends his servant to collect his share of crops from his vineyard and the farmers working at the vineyard kill the servant. Then the vineyard owner sends his own son and the farmers killed him too so that they could keep the share of the crops.
In this story Jesus is telling the Pharisees about how they have not welcomed God’s son, rather they have treated Him (Jesus) badly and are going to kill him because they want the control of their lives and of the lives of the people around them. They were willing to disregard Jesus for their own gain.
How have you disregarded Jesus because you wanted to what you wanted to do and not what Jesus wanted?

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Passion Week – Sunday

This is a blog series that I’m doing for the junior high ministry that I’m a pastor of, so I thought I’d share it here.

Passion Week . . .

is the week starting on Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday. It’s the time where Jesus entered Jerusalem until the day he resurrected from the dead. That’s this week! We want to take time this week to remember what Jesus has done for us and what He was actually doing today, 2000 years ago.

Sunday – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Luke 19:28-40

Today the people of Jerusalem praised Jesus by laying down palm branches as a “red carpet” welcoming him and praising Jesus for what he’s done and what they THINK he’s going to do. They THINK He’s going to save them on their terms, but Jesus has other plans as the rest of the week goes on, we learn what He is really calling his followers to.

The people of Jerusalem praised Jesus for who He was. How have you praised Jesus today?

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The Giver of Life

This is a post that I wrote for the blog at my church South Valley Community Church that I thought I would share here.

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Currently, I’m sitting in a comfy chair drinking my morning coffee at Starbucks. I get here relatively early, so I usually don’t have to stand in much of a line. About 10 or 15 minutes later, the line gets considerably longer. As I’m sitting here watching people join this line that will probably result in them being here for about 10 or so minutes in order to the the coffee the drink to fuel the caffeine addiction they have created for themselves (myself included), it got me thinking about what we spend out time on.

As a pastor, I’m always encouraging people to spend time with God in prayer and studying the Bible. The most common excuse that I hear is about how people don’t have time to spend with God and yet, we spend at least 10 minutes in line for our morning latte, huh.

In John 10:10 Jesus talks about how He has come to give life, and give life to the fullest. We spend so much time looking for life in the bottom of a coffee cup, sports, activities, working out at the gym, hoping that it will give us enough energy to get through the next few hours or the rest of the day, yet we don’t spend 10 minutes a day with the one who actually created us and gave us life. Jesus gives us insight and opportunity into how we each are uniquely made and what gives us sustaining life and purpose.

What if instead of looking for life in things that are temporary, we looked for life from Jesus, the giver and sustainer of life. The one who will never leave or fade away and will always be there. Join me in evaluating not only HOW we spend time in our life, but more importantly, WHERE are we looking for life?

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I walked out on my small group

So, this last Wednesday night, I walked out of my junior high small group.

Now before you get mad about how I’m abandoning students and child endangerment, let me explain. I have about 8 guys who would be considered the “cool”ish guys of their class. With that, they tend to joke around and talk a lot. That’s nothing new, I’m used to junior highers. The problem is that this last year, it’s been more and more of a distraction, and it’s not like it’s just one guy, it’s all of them.

So, this last Wednesday, I couldn’t take it anymore, it was like herding a group of cats into a swimming pool, so I needed to do something that would catch their attention. Thoughts like yelling at them and punching them all in the face ran through my head, but those didn’t seem appropriate (or legal), so I didn’t do that. I was just simply quiet for about a minute and when the talking and joking around didn’t stop, I simply got up and walked out of the room for about 5 minutes.

When I came back into the room, there was utter shock on their faces. They said their apologies, but I continued to explain to them why I did what they did. I explained that I really want to spend time hanging out and being goofy with them, but my number 1 priority was to encourage them and help guide them spiritually. We talked about what was appropriate in group and consequences of disrupting the rest of the group (which includes warnings and duct tape, but hey they’re junior highers, it’s o.k. right?) etc. I’m hoping it was a turning point for our group and next week will go better.

It got me thinking about how our relationship goes with God sometimes. Sometimes we get so comfortable in our lives as Christ followers that we forget about the role God wants to play in our lives. We get comfortable going to church, talking like a Christian, acting like a Christian, that we forget that God wants to be there to help guide and encourage us. We never turn away from God, but we don’t pursue our relationship with Him either.

Then, BAM! something in our life happens, maybe is acquaintance, maybe it’s God trying to get our attention, I don’t know. Whatever it is, something happens that reminds us that we need God’s love, encouragement an guidance.

So how are you missing God’s role in your life? God calling out to you, trying to be that encouraging guide in your life, we just need to stop and listen to His call.

Isaiah 9:6
6
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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