Tag Archives: follower

Tell It

A few months back, I was blessed to be selected to contribute 4 blogs to 60-Days-of-Second: Please join me on my journey through 4 readings from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Get the “Live Second” book in stores NOW.

Could you imagine if all you ever heard was Jesus?

There are over 250 million proclaimed Christians in the United States. I’m not going to debate that number (even though I could) but use it to show something quite shocking. Stats on the web show that in order for a topic to trend on Twitter, it needs approximately 30 tweets every 5 seconds. If approximately 500,000 people tweeted once per day something about Jesus, He would never leave number one. Jesus would be the most talked about (trending) topic on Twitter every single day. And that’s only 500,000. Could you imagine if 1 million people tweeted something about Jesus. What if 100 million people tweeted Jesus? Instead of Jesus, we get trending topics like #20ThingsIDontLike or #TheEndofTheWorld #122112. Those are recent topics that have trended on Twitter. Other days, it’s the name of the latest celebrity that got pregnant, the most recent famous couple to get a divorce, or both. For a while it was all politics. Food probably lands there from time to time. It is just ridiculous to think that anything other than Jesus would be number one.

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, your Savior if you call yourself a Christian. Through none other will you receive the eternal security that you so dearly hold on to.

So how about personally? What do you like to talk about? What trends in your life? As Christians, we are called to glorify God in all we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). Are we glorifying God when we spend so much time talking about the things that we do? I know I’m not.

Tell It - Wordle

Now let me take a breath for a second so I can say that we don’t need to run around saying Jesus with every breath (though that would be cool). God isn’t asking us to only wear clothes from Christian companies, read books by Christian authors, and watch corny Christian movies (ok, that’s a joke). But really, we just need to think about the things we do and what topics are at the top of our life.

So what do I do to make sure Jesus trends in my life?

I try to wake up every morning before my family gets up so I can pray for 10-15 minutes and then I read my Bible. Sometimes it is a specific devotional (like the Live Second book) while other times I just get into a chapter of the Bible and read a few verses.

I use social media as a tool to share about my faith in and life with Jesus. Not every post has Jesus in it, but I want to be transparent in communicating how I live my life so people see the real me and that Jesus is real in my life.

Professionally, I own my own business so I have a little more liberty than some may to share their faith. All my colleagues and business partners know I am a Christian because I tell them so. I’m the guy that doesn’t drink at business functions and doesn’t cuss with the other guys (and some girls) at networking events, not because I’m a holy roller but because I want to set myself apart from the world when it comes to those things. I have a platform to speak to others and do so with the utmost honesty and integrity so God willing, people see Jesus in me.

The Christian life is not easy. Glorifying God in all you do isn’t automatic. It takes full dependency on the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to let Jesus trend on Facebook, Twitter, at the dinner table, in the grocery store line, while on the job or at school. He is definitely worth the placement!

Thank you for joining me as I shared my story. Now it’s time to share yours.

 


After

A few months back, I was blessed to be selected to contribute 4 blogs to 60-Days-of-Second: Please join me on my journey through 4 readings from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Get the “Live Second” book in stores NOW.

The day after…

“But it is a simple story of what we have seen and heard that people want to hear most.” Live Second, page 78

I really wish I would have read that simple part on August 14, 2006 (the day after I got saved). Instead, I took matters into my own hands and began slashing everything that wasn’t “good” for me. You have to know me a bit to know how true this statement is but to explain it best, when I do something I do it with radical abandonment. Remember my gambling problem in my “Before” story? Yup, go big or go home. So I took that same tact when I became a Christian. No drinking, no friends that were bad influences, no this, and no that. I didn’t want to associate at all with the past. The problem was that I was still at the controls. I could only last so long steering that ship in the storm until I lost control again. I didn’t really have anyone discipling me and was left to what I thought I knew about being a Christian and what I was hearing in church week in and week out. Another part of the problem was that I was in church some Sundays hung over from the night before so I couldn’t hear half of what was being said. I was still blind, leading my own blind self!

That changed shortly before the following August when my wife and I decided to get baptized. God began working in my heart to show me that He needed to lead and I was just to follow. It was a tough concept but one that made a whole lot of sense. If I couldn’t do it before, I couldn’t do it now. I mean that’s why I accepted Christ in the first place.

We enrolled in a new believer’s class at our church and began to learn the foundational aspects of Christianity. I started to see how I could apply what I was learning to my life by letting God lead. We enrolled in another class a few months later to get deeper in the word and prayer. I started memorizing scripture. My radical behavior started being used to pursue Jesus. I was soaking things up like a sponge.

Fast forward to August of 2011 where while sitting in Haiti on an 8 day missions trip, I was presented with an opportunity to pray about planting a church with a pastor I had grown to love (the same pastor that was guest speaking the first day I went to church and got saved).

Fast forward to August of 2012 where  I entered a Biblical theology and pastoral training program with Mars Hill Church in Seattle as I began seeking to answer the calling I believe God has on my life. Just two weeks later my family would embark on a journey to help plant For His Glory Community Church in Claremont, California (www.forhisglorycc.org) where I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as executive pastor alongside two of the most Godly and amazing men I have ever met.

FHG-Logo-Final

What have I learned (and am still learning) along the way?

  • Jesus loved us enough to die for us (Romans 5:8)
  • When God wants us, He will grab onto us and not let go (Daniel 4:35)
  • We must allow Jesus to be Lord over our whole life (Romans 10:9)
  • No matter where we are in life, God’s plans are greater and He will blow our minds (Isaiah 55:8)
  • Jesus loved us enough to die for us (Romans 5:8) YUP, I SAID THAT ONE TWICE

Join me tomorrow for “Tell It”, the next chapter in my story.


The Moment

A few months back, I was blessed to be selected to contribute 4 blogs to 60-Days-of-Second: Please join me on my journey through 4 readings from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Get the “Live Second” book in stores NOW.

“Those of us who follow Jesus have all had a moment of realization.” Live Second, page 77

In a moment my eternity changed!

It would be cool to say I had an apostle Paul moment (“As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me.” Acts 22:6 ESV). I mean seriously! Well I can’t say that happened to me. Actually, there really wasn’t anything tangible about my experience that day. But to give you the best perspective, I have to back up a few days.

The week leading up, I was in Chicago on a business trip (I’m from So Cal). On the last night a big group of us went out and partied pretty hard. We got back to the hotel, went straight to the bar and proceeded to continue the festivities. I was hanging with the guys and flirting with the girls while overindulging in cocktails until the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully I made it to my room solo and crashed for the night. But I woke up to a different sense than I had ever felt. It was as if I knew I needed to change something. A little bit of what my friend Dean had shared with me over the years started clicking. On the plane ride back home, I started asking questions of one of the guys I was on the trip with who was a Christian and lived it well. He was a great husband and father. I asked him what the whole church thing was about and what it meant to be a Christian. You see, I grew up going to Catholic church and made most of the sacraments but I never got it. It wasn’t ever real to me. Darren had a great way of politely sharing things and this conversation was no different. He didn’t lay down the law and tell me give up my junk, he just shared a few basic thoughts and told me to find a Christian church close by my house so I could hear for myself.

The night I got home I shared with my wife that I felt like it was time to check out the whole “church thing”. She agreed and we figured we would go that Sunday. My friend Dean had been telling all about how great his church was and it was close by our house. He shared about how good the pastor was and how laid back the church was. But when I told him we were going that Sunday, he said he had other plans. That could have easily derailed the process as my wife and I were going to have to go on our own but we figured we might as well give it a go anyway.

That Sunday morning we walked into Calvary Chapel East Anaheim and were excited to see what Christianity and the hyped-up pastor were all about only to find out the pastor was out of town. Now for anyone that has invited a friend to church, you never want the pastor to be gone when the new people show up. I mean the guest pastors are never as good, right? Wrong! The Bible says in Isaiah 58 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” God knew exactly what He was doing that morning. The assistant pastor spoke and nobody else had to be in that church that morning. His message was clearly from the Holy Spirit, through the pastor, to me. I heard in a gracious and loving way how everything I was doing was so backwards but in Christ, it could all be redeemed. I heard that it wasn’t too late for our broken marriage. I heard that by accepting God as my Father, I could become the image of Him to my daughter.

There was no altar call.

There was no call to pray a prayer.

But God was calling me to Himself. I could feel it and I had to respond.

In a quiet moment inside my heart on August 13, 2006 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Join me tomorrow for “After”, the next chapter in my story.


It’s All I Want To Hear

Could you imagine if all you ever heard was Jesus?

There are over 250 million proclaimed Christians in the United States. I’m not going to debate that number (even though I could) but use it to show something quite shocking. Stats on the web show that in order for a topic to trend on Twitter, it needs approximately 30 tweets every 5 seconds. If approximately 500,000 people tweeted once per day something about Jesus, he would never leave number 1. Jesus would be the most talked about (trending) topic on Twitter every single day. And that’s only 500,000. Could you imagine if 1 million? 100 million? Instead of Jesus, we get trending topics like #20ThingsIDontLike or #CyberMonday. Those are just today’s most recent trends. Other days, it’s the name of the latest celebrity to get pregnant, or divorced, or both. For a while it was all politics. Food probably lands there from time to time. It is just ridiculous to think that anything other than Jesus would be number 1.

He is the Savior of the World, your Savior if you call yourself a Christian. Through none other will you receive the eternal security that you so dearly hold onto. 

So how about you personally? What do you talk about? What trends in your life? As Christians, we are called to glorify God in all we do (1 Cor 10:31). Are we glorifying God when we spend so much time talking about the things we do? I know I’m not! It’s time I examined my life and so should you. The examination has to take place every day. I ask you join me in praying a simple prayer now…..

“Father forgive me for the time I have wasted on selfish and futile things. May I always live to honor and glorify you”.

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, the dinner table, the grocery store line, your job or school, it’s time Jesus is trending number 1 in your life.


Impossible Earnings

After church this afternoon, we headed over to the quad at the Claremont Colleges to engage the community. While walking around we noticed a guy on his knees, burying his face in the grass every minute or so but we figured he was praying so we kept kept walking as not to interrupt what he was doing. After talking to a few other people, we made our way back over towards he and his family.

The man was extremely polite, eager to share with us about his upbringing, his profession, and his faith. There was no heated discussion, no debate over view points, not even push-back from me when he blatantly discounted my Jesus as a mere man. He went on to talk more about the dedication he has to his faith.

He memorizes his entire religious book. He prays at least five times a day, saying exactly what he is told to and in the same direction he is always supposed to point (yes, direction). He gives of his time and money to those that need it more. He respects others. He worships his god. Then I asked him.

“What happens after you die?” 

“Hopefully I have done enough to earn a good standing with God” he says.

Done enough? Good standing?

How about no chance!

I responded “The Bible says that none is righteous, not one. We all sin and fall short.”

“I serve a merciful and just God” he says.

No matter how hard we try, not matter how much we do (or don’t do), we will never earn one sliver of good standing with God. The same God that has mercy on all must also be just with all. Justice means we all pay for our sins. Thankfully mercy came in the way of Jesus.

Without spinning circles with this man, I shared one sentence.

“Through Jesus, you can be sure of your standing with God”

With that, I thanked him for his time, greeted his wife and kids and went on my way. You see, there was nothing I could say in that moment to get him to feel what I feel.

ONLY GOD SAVES

What breaks my heart is he will go about his life doing everything he can to earn the impossible.

I only pray God changes what my conversation never could.


Who Do You Want To Be?

We all want to be somebody or something. Whether that is a successful business professional, a great spouse/parent or a ministry leader. But any time we strive for an identity in an area like that, we set ourselves up for more stress and frustration that it’s worth. The successful professional will have many bad deals, the spouse/parent will have numerous bad days and the ministry leader will not always be able to keep up with those they serve. Then what? Then we turn to less than desirable ways of coping. Unless we don’t strive for an identity in any of those things. 

Our identity should be in Jesus Christ and Him alone. When our identity is in Jesus, we don’t have to strive to “be better”. We don’t have to get down when we struggle or fail. We know that we aren’t expected to be anything other than who God made us to be (Genesis 1:27). We know that when we struggle or fail, Jesus is right there to pick us up (1 Corinthians 1:4-8). 

So who do you want to be?

As for me, I want to be a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ.