Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

The Need for a Man In Between/Authority

I was just sitting here thinking of an old message I heard a long time ago.  There’s such a need for a man in between. 

We just need some Abraham’s & Moses’s.  Some men that went on the behalf of other people.  I love the story of how Moses repented for the people & God pardoned His judgement from falling on them.  Not because of what they did or prayed.  But it was Moses standing in proxy for a fallen people. 

I am on a journey with the Lord.  He’s showing me this beautiful thing of leadership & authority.  That apart from God’s authority we could never achieve God’s calling.  To step outside of God’s authority is to step outside of protection. 

Today in our staff meeting a vision was just even more clearly stated & I’m committed to that mission.  I’m mandated by Christ Himself to make disciples.  Baptize them. 

This coming Sunday as of today I know of 3 young people that are going to be baptized.  I’m praying that they get this concept of authority.

We need people that understand this & when you do, there is no fear to stand in the gap for other people.  I use to be afraid of that.  Now I thrive for it.  The reason I keep doing what I’m doing is not because it’s a profession.  But it’s because of the young people who come from broken home, neglected, misunderstood, abused, lost a family member to death, been misused, abused, raped, molested, beat, starved, hopeless, suicidal, etc…you name it, I welcome it.  Because never will a kid walk away from me & think that God nor myself doesn’t value them.

Listen up everyone, YOU MATTER!  God said He takes care of every little bird in the air.  There’s no such thing as a bakers dozen with God.  You’re not the extra junk thrown in with the deal.  You’re specific.  You have value.  You have talents.  You’re special.  You’re loved!

Love ya,

Josh

Thoughts on Vision from a Christ Life Church Staff Meeting

staff meetingHey Everyone, I just got out of our staff meeting, and I wanted to share a few thoughts that I think would help our leaders, and volunteers..really this is for anyone, esp in the ministry.  If you’ve got a vision for your life, PLEASE READ THIS!  But must caution you, it’s very challenging, but it’ll also put a fresh wind in your sail!

1.Take a stand for Greatness :

  •  What is Greatness?
  • What do consider greatness?  If you could be remembered for 1 thing, what would it be?
  • If you could only do 1 thing with your life & you knew you would not fail, what would you do?
  • Until you understand what it is, you’ll never sell out.  You’ve got to define what greatness is in your  life.

2. What’s the original vision God placed upon you as a child?

  • The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraints.”
  • MEANING: There’s nothing holding them.  And if you don’t have anything holding you, esp in your job, more importantly the ministry, then you’ll easily give up.

         -“Throw your heart over the bar & your body will follow.”- Norman Vincent Pealle

  • Have you  brought the bar down???

3. What’s really at Stake?

  • What is IMPORTANT??

            – Everyday we do our jobs someone’s life is at stake.  There’s someone son, daughter, husband, wife, father or mother that we’re dealing with. 

4. Listen to your HEART!

  • From your heart comes words: love, live, spend.
  • Solomon said, “Above all else…guard your heart.”
  • Meaning:  Out of the wise things he was going to say, the most important was guarding your heart.  You love, life, spend, parent, speak from your heart!

        – Sometimes we try to suppress this vision because God’s dealing with our heart. 

        -We can easily change the outside of our ways, we can act the part, but we start getting messed with when God really deals with our heart.

5. SPEAK UP!!

  • To keep the vision alive- SPEAK UP
  • A Goal is a vision you’ve given a voice to.” -Pastor Phil

        – This is why people HATE goals.

        -When you speak something, you’ve got to follow through.

        – If I could do this myself, then it’s probably not God!

       -God will not ask you to do something you can do on your own.  He wants you to trust in Him!

6. Learn to be Stubborn!

  • Never give up!!

         – Who are people that you admire? – The QUITTERS? NO!!!

              **You always admire those who never give up!

L.G. Hardwick, who is the Sr. Pastor of the 5000+ member Christ Church in Nashville, TN.  He has been at that church as Pastor for 60yrs. as of this year!  He built an amazing church there in Nashville, one of the most prominent in the country.  This is what he attributes his success in ministry to:

  • My success has been, I’ve outlived all my Critics.”- L.H. Hardwick
  • Pastor Brendon keeps telling me that we might not be able to outshine a lot of people.  You might be more qualified, smarter, & better…You outshine me, but I’ll out last you.  I’ll work harder & stay longer. 
  • It also goes back to what John Maxwell says, “Your talent carries you to places your character can’t sustain you.”

I hope this helps someone out.  It really gave me a breathe of fresh air yesterday in our staff meeting.  I was taking notes like crazy.  There are some people you want to follow around with a voice recorder & Pastor Phil is that kind of guy. 

Don’t let this fall on deaf ears, take it & apply it. 

You’ve been challenged,

Josh

Married to My Covenant

I was talking with a good friend yesterday & we were discussing how our humanity is. It’s very frustrating the constant battling & barrage of temptations that our flesh struggles with.  During our conversation an old thought starting coming to me that dealt with the life of David & his famous affair with Bathsheeba. 

If you remember the story of how he saw her showering on the roof top while he was away from battle.  He was at the wrong place, at the wrong time.  STORY OF MY LIFE!  It seems I’m that type of person & stupid stuff happens to me. 

While e sees her, he falls for her….big problem.  SHE’S MARRIED.  So long story short, he has her husband sent to battle & killed. 

Well, they end up together.  Funny thing though was he kept flirting around with Bathsheeba.  And Bathsheeba’s name meant ‘covenant’.  He kept flirting with his covenant.  He would never marry the covenant. 

So Bathsheeba gets knocked up & they have a son.  But his son is going to die.  So David prays, cries, fasts & does everything Sunday school taces us to do.  But guess what?  None of it worked!  Talk about frustrating.  But isn’t that like us?  We screw up & then run back to God.  Then we act surprised when He doesn’t answer us.  And then our excuse is that we’re waiting on the Lord when in actuality God is waiting for us to get our act together.

David’s son dies.  And it’s then that he comes to this amazing revelation.  I’ve now got to bury the past & marry the present (Bathsheeba/Covenant)

When David buried the past (his dead son & sin) & married the present (his covenant) that is when Solomon was born.  And Solomon was the wisest & riches man in history & ever will be.  Even richer than ole Billy boy himself!

MEANING THIS:  “When you bury your past & marry the present; your covenant…that’s when wisdom & riches will be birthed into your life.”

Stop flirting with your calling & anointing.  And this temptation & battling with our weaknesses SUCKS!  For real it’s frustrating & tiring.  But guess what?  The greater the kingdom responsibility, the greater the struggle. 

I heard T.F. Tenney once say, “With every new level comes a new devil.”  It’s so true.  If you want a powerful ministry & anointing, then expect a great struggle.  And if you’re being fought so hard, that means the devil knows your potential to greatness.  He knows his time is short & that you’re going to hurt his kingdom.  The gates of hell shall not prevail. 

Keep or head up.  Look unto Jesus the author & finisher of our faith! Bury the past of all your mistakes.  God is faithful & just to forgive.

Trying my best to keep up the good fight of faith,

Josh

ReFUEL Meeting with Pastor Phil – June 15th, 2009

Last night we had our monthly volunteers meeting with everyone on our leadership team with ReFUEL.  Pastor Phil was our special guest speaker & facilitated our meeting.  I believe we were challenged in such a way that you don’t really hear a lot of Sr. Pastors do.  I appreciate our pastor taking time out of his busy schedule to come talk to our staff.  He really drew some lines down in the sand.  So with that being said, I wish we taped our meeting last night, but we didn’t.  So I’m giving you all my notes publically.  Those leaders who couldn’t make it, I’m asking you to read this & take it to heart.

Here’s the Notes:

There are Special Places on Campus:  (Our Example is the Tabernacle Plan)

1. Educational Spaces

2. Recreational Spaces (which can interchange sometimes with educational places.  Like you can teach in a gym or large room.)

3. Social Spaces (A gym isn’t a social place.  You just stand around & not much to do.  You play there or can set up a speech to learn there. But social is a cafe, coffee shop, lounge, etc…)

4. Sanctified Spaces (Spaces that are set apart)

  • The question becomes…can you unsanctify something? 
  • You can selfishly take something back from God…
  • But it’s the people who decide what the building is used for.  Example is…you can’t unsanctify the Bible.  But you can unsanctiy the use of the Bible.  My actions make it set apart or not.  (CLOSE IT & ITS POWERLESS)

I John 2:15-17 – “Don’t love the world’s ways.  Don’t love the world’s goods.  Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.  Wanting your own way.  Wanting everything for yourself.  Wanting to appear important.”

  • Selfishness
  • Greed
  • Pride

“Practically, everything that going on in the world has nothing to do with the Father.  It just isolates you from Him.”

  • Isolate is different from Insulate.  (Insulate is like a Styrofoam cup.  When you hold it, you’re not effecting the contents of the cup.  A paper cup isn’t a good insulator.)
  • But Paul used the term isolate meaning cut off.
  • Can’t feel God anymore?  What are your influences? 

“The world & all it’s wanting…but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”

The 2 M’s of Youth Ministry

  1. Model – You’re an example.  A role, speech, ethics, moral, manners model.  People do what people see. 
  • Whatever you do in minimum, others will do in excess.
  • You takes your cues from people you model.
  • No matter what you do – you can only fake it for so long.  If you can take it off & put it on, then it’s not too thick.  Your character will reveal itself. 
  • You can fake spirituality & worship…but you can’t fake real love, compassion, mercy, faith, etc…
  • Not what is said but what you do that becomes the most telling.”

        2.  Moré(s)– (Pronounced More-ay)  Latin term for societal norms, customs, virtues & values.

  • Society determines the norms.  (They’re different)
  • Our culture is trying to tell us what is normal. 
  • There are words that change their meanings.
  • If you want to change the culture – change the language.

EXAMPLE:  Murder is now called abortion.  Kill the old is now called euthanasia or mercy killings.  Gay use to mean happy, now means alternative lifestyle.

Moré’s derive themselves from established practices rather than its written laws.

  • Meaning:  Something is done for so long that it becomes the norm. 
  • Perfect example is gay marriage, or people just living together. 
  • We have become desensitized.

Becareful what you say & do…words are powerful.  They’re your authority & power.

  • The question becomes…how far do you move the customs & values to be relevant? 
  • Is saying a cuss word, playing a secular song, etc…is that worth the fight at the end of the day? 
  • KIDS WILL DO WHAT THEY SEE & DO IT IN MAXIMUM.

This word Moré:

  • The English word “morality” comes from moré.
  • The Greek equivalent is ‘ethos’.
  • Ethos means ‘ethics’ in English.

So how do we deal with tough issues?

  • Sexuality (homosexuality)
  • Music (You can’t demonize notes – its the words)
  • Music should reflect Jesus – people ask what about beats? 
  • The answer is what does it do to the morés I’m trying to live?  The beat isn’t bad…you still know the lyrics to that song though.
  • Meantality – why do you think what you think?  What you are at that moment is your mentality
  • Methods– THe message is always constant.  Make sure the methods don’t go too far from the morés. 
  • “The methods determine the morés & what is acceptable.”

II Corinthians 6:17 – “Come out & be separate…touch not the unclean thing.”

  • Don’t be impressed or seduced by the world. 
  • You’re struggling with being tempted by the world?  THEN STOP LOOKING AT IT!

HERE IS A GREAT QUOTE FROM OUR SR. PASTOR:

“I’d rather God accept us than us gain the approval of the world we live in.”

  • Are we trying to buy these kids or win them to Christ?
  • Are we trying to confuse them or make them like Christ?
  • Your opinions better line up with the word of God!

Teach purity, teach truth, search scripture…because we get our morés, customs, values & virtues from the HOLY Bible.

A Life of Happiness or a Life of Meaning?

There are 2 different paths in life…

You can either have a life of happiness or a life of meaning….BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH…

They lead separate pathways in life:

Life of happiness – live in the present, no thought of before or what lies ahead

Life of meaning – condemned to wallow in the past & obsess about the future

It’s a decision everyone has to make. One might argue that a life of meaning is truly happiness. But a life of meaning is truly a lonely road. So in the true meaning of happiness is lonely happy? Myself, much like many other this day are at a crossroads…which life will I choose?

I keep thinking about Christ’s walk for a life of meaning…was his life a life we really are wanting to take?  We may think living a life just like Jesus Christ is happy…but is it? 

I sometimes feel convicted by the over romanitcizing of all the happy clappy things about Jesus.  Because I often neglect the moments of intense sacrifice, incredible loneliness & many hardships & temptations to overcome. 

A Follower of Jesus Christ,

Josh

I DON’T want a Relationship with God!

I knew the headline would get your attention.  But I’ve been thinking…”Do I really want a relationship with God?”

Coming from a broken home I’ve seen what relationship can be.  BROKEN!  Relationships vary from all types.  Relationships can be great!  But somewhere along the way the relationship becomes strained or stagnant…possibly & sadly even break!  Relationships can become abusive, inspiring, using & demanding.

Wow there’s a thought…a demanding relationship. 

So I have come to the conclusion…There is NO way in my right mind that I want a relationship with Jesus Christ!  I will never tell anyone to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I apologize to all those who I have told that…

I WANT SOMETHING BETTER THAN RELATIONSHIP!

I want a thing called “ONENESS” with Jesus Christ.  Jesus said it this way… “I am the vine…I’m in you & you’re in me.”  (At least that’s how it’s supposed to be)

Relationship is great…but the thing is…you can only be so close to a person.  In relationship you’ll never truly know every part of that person, what they’re really thinking & all the secret parts. 

But when you’re in oneness with God, that means you’re in the mix, that so called, “vein”.  You know where God is moving & headed.  There’s no question about it.  No hesitation with anything.  You know what the Spirit is thinking. 

This isn’t a church thing either!  We drill people into thinking that as long as you go to church then you’re safe.  And people equate salvation with the church.

But oneness is an every day thing.  Day in & day out.  Relationships can hurt you.  I hear they can make you or break you.  But oneness will always keep you.  Because God always picks me up where my limitations drop me off.  And God will never leave me where the world drops me. 

Desperate for Him,

Joshua O’Bannion

My 25th Birthday & random thoughts

So here it is, my 1st official blog!

I’m sitting here just reflecting on the past year of my life.  Year 24 was a very crazy year for me.  There were very high times & low times.  I made some incrdible friendships & relationships that will last for a lifetime.  On the other hand, had some relationships end, which reallywasn’t a bad thing at all.  I ended moving across the country from Parma, Ohio to Tempe, AZ.  Never would’ve imagined that.  But in each of these moments I learned some valuable lessons that I would not replace.

I keep hearing this scripture over & over in my mind…

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”

In some strange way it there really is a reason for everything happening.  Even the so called “non-interventions” of God.  Even when it seems we get hurt, fall flat on our faces, no matter what its God opening up something new.  It’s like a new door opening up to an entirely new stage in your life.  I think it’s best put… “There are no coincidences, it’s just God’s way of remaining anonymous.” 

It’s amazing how God will truly answer prayers that seem meaningless or simple.  There have been people that have come & gone, and there will be more people that will come & go…just figure out who is going.  I’m concerned for the ones that are pushing away, because I know they should really be staying & not leaving.  It hurts, but I’m complete amazement at the way things work themselves out.  Everything has a reason. 

You’ll meet some people that may do you wrong, but it opens up a door to someone they knew that you needed to meet.  And the only way you could meet that person was to go through the bad one. 

I’ve just got all kinds of thoughts racing through my mind.  For the 1st time in a long time I’ve got this motivation that I’ve been missing for a while.  Everyone goes through a down time & hard time like a drought.  But just remember this….

“When you have a set back, don’t take a step back, because God is planning your comeback!”