Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Strong Willed vs. Stubbornness

So I was having this thought late, late last night.  This was inspired by a very close friend.  I was thinking about my friend & actually I have a couple friends like this.  But this random thought came to me.

I was thinking about the difference between being a stubborn person & then a strong willed person.  I feel we blur the lines between to two.  When really there is a major difference between the two!

Being stubborn is being stuck on what you feel is right.  Scripture says in 1 Samuel 15:23 – “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and STUBBORNness is as iniquity and idolatry….”

Stubbornness is idolatry?

I started thinking about that.  Really being stubborn is a refusal to change based on selfish and limited knowledge or ignorance.  You really are putting your self & ideas first.  There’s no real humility in being stubborn. 

Stubbornness to me is being coupled with rebellion. Its manipulating. Here’s how: You believe You’re right everyone’s wrong.  And to prove it you start manipulating others to try and believe your point of view.  When in actuality you might have a skewd view of reality.  But because of your perception, it’s your reality. 

Strong willed doesn’t need the approval of trying to convince others.  Strong willed is knowing plainly right from wrong. Our doctrine for example is something to be strong willed with. Its unchanging, know what we believe & feel based on biblical truth. 

Truth is absolute when it’s based on scripture. 

There’s nothing wrong with being strong willed, just make sure it’s something you’re not being stubborn about.  Because you might be wrong…& if you’re wrong on the issue, then you’re not strong willed.  To me, if you’re standing on truth, you’re not stubborn.  But if you’re standing on something false, you’re not strong willed. 

Just a random thought,

later!

Self Convo: Going to Church

So I was thinking, since I’m saved, do I really have to go to church?

Why wouldn’t you?

Well, I don’t think I need to go every week!

But isn’t going to church something you’re supposed to do since you’re a Christian?

I mean it doesn’t really say that, plus sometimes it’s the same thing over & over again.

True, but going to church is where you get up lifted.

Not really, they’re just always telling me not to do wrong & what I’m doing wrong!

Ouch, seems pretty negative. 

Tell me about it, it’s like saying, “DON’T TOUCH THAT BUTTON!”  I just want to touch it more!

Then maybe you should go because of the great people there.

Have you ever been to church?

On occasion.

Then you haven’t been to mine, the people there are stupid.

What do you mean?

Mean, arrogant, stuck up, hypocritical, crazy, hopeless, no fun, brainless, faithless, passionless, apathetic, lethargic, no vision, negative people.

Wow, sounds like you’re being pretty negative there.

I guess they rubbed off on me.

Didn’t Jesus say He loves His church?

Yeah, but does He really love it the way it is?  I mean it’s pretty ugly!

Whoa, now I know Jesus said the church is like his bride…so you just called Jesus’ wife ugly!

Never looked at it that way.  Lord, I apologize.

Well how about I just join of one of those TV churches?

Bu who will you call when you have marriage problems.

Dr. Phil of course!

No, seriously, not going to church is like a student who doesn’t go to school, or a soldier who won’t join the army, a citizen who doesn’t pay taxes or vote (got a lot of those in America)

Ok I get it.

It’s like a salesman with no customers, a captain without a ship, an author with no readers…(Pretty much like this blog L)

Another thing I don’t like is how guilty the church makes me feel…& then I get to pay for my guilt every time they pass that gold shiny offering plate.

Not going is like a tuba player without an orchestra, a football player without a team, a bee without a hive, a banker without money, a doctor without parents.

Are you done yet?!

Yeah I ran out.

It’s about time.

Well, how will the church get any better if you just sit here complaining about it?

What do you mean?

Think about it!  If everyone sat & complained, then the church would stay the same & never change & get better. 

I’m not just complaining, I’m not going & then when it gets better I’ll go!

My point exactly…it’s never going to get better unless you make it better.  The people make the church what it is.

Good thinking, I like that idea, I’ll go just to change everything!!

Hold up sparky!

What is it now?

There are actually some sincere people there as well, & you don’t need to change everything.

Why not?

The church doesn’t need a new program or idea, I’m sure there are plenty of ideas.

Then how will the church change?

Being consistent.

Huh?

I know it’s foreign to a lot of Christians.  But just doing what you say you’ll do.

I’ll try my best, but what if I mess up?

Too late, you already messed up because you’re running late for church!

Oh ok, gotta go…good talk!

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.

Running Away with the Gates

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Well everyone from ReFUEL, I just wanted to say hey & hope you’re all having a great day!  Just wanted to let you know our new podcast will be up later in the day.  We had a special guest with us this week.  It was Eugene Scott, so be sure to check it out! 

A thought occurred to me of just exactly how much destiny is over the head of my generation! 

Think about this just for a second…

God gave a prophecy to Abraham, & we are part of that same family…

Genesis 22:17 – “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;”

Samson fulfilled this prophecy when he carried away the gates of the city where the Philistines were.  The gates of the city was where politics were debated, Proverbs said that a virtuous woman would make her husbands name known in the gates of the city.  The gates were the protection of the city. 

So if you possessed the gates of a city, you pretty much possessed that city!  You could have access to that city & take it over…

I have never walked down the street & had a gate jump up & smack me in the face!  The only reason you have a gate is to keep things out & protect the things that you possess…

There is the same prophecy that was spoken again in the New Testament to be fulfilled…

Matthew 16:18 – “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

MEANING:  There is a strong message of destiny echoing through time directly to me!  HELL CAN’T KEEP ME OUT!  And HELL CAN’T PROTECT WHAT IS POSSESSES! 

I make a strong statement when I say this, “I REFUSE TO ALLOW ANYONE TO USE THE EXCUSE THAT THEY ARE A LOST CAUSE!”  – Don’t make me pray about something…IN JESUS NAME, I’m coming for you!

I’m going to take the gates of my city, TEMPE IS MINE!!!!

So I challenge you to be God’s answer to hell’s challenge…Start taking the gates down…

The Membership Linebacker

Well, our media team is at it again.  Here at our church we finally found the answer to increase our membership.  We got our very own membership linebacker! 

By the way, membership is this Sunday following 2nd service. 

To people who signed up for media team don’t forget about the lighting seminar on June 13th!  Spots are pretty limited, so let me know if you want to come.  Saturday from 8-Noon.

ReFUEL Poems from May 24th

Jesus Thumbs Up

So I hope everyone had a great memorial day. Mine was rather eventful from fixing my car which broke down over the weekend, moving into my new house & then off to a pool party. From which, I am very sore from!

Well, ReFUEL was amazing on Sunday. We had a blast with BBQing on the grill…we had 39 students. We missed some of our regulars that weren’t there!

During the service we did this group time, each group had a certain name but then had to write a short poem about how cool God is…

GROUP #1: The Detonators

“Our God is an awesome God!
He reigns from heaven above with wisdom & power.
God is so beautiful to me
He is the M&M of the Christian world.
One way Jesus, Your the onle One I could live for.
I’m desperate for You.”

GROUP #2: The Chocolate Rabbits

“God You are so cool
We come to worship You at ReFUEL.
It’s like eating ice cream in the pool,
Anyone who disagrees is a fool.”

GROUP #3: The Veterans

“God is really cool,
He won’t play you like a fool.
God is really great,
He does not have hate.
God is like a gravy biscuit,
Just like a tasty trisket.”

GROUP #4: The Gangsta Church

“God is smart, He saves your heart.
He helps us get through stuff, He’s more than enough.
He’s cool like Kayne West, you can just forget the rest.
I really love the big J.C.
Because He wants to save you & me.”

Just wanted to tell all you guys at ReFUEL, you guys rock!  Keep up being CREATIVE FOR CHRIST!

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

F.R.E.E.

nataile & Josh

Well folks, my friend Natalie Lopez & I am are now proud owners of our very own 365 Card from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  We get free coffee (which I hate coffee) & a free doughnut everyday for a year. 

I love things that are free.  Pastor Brendon woke me up this morning & told me free doughnuts were still available.  Well, you don’t have to tell me twice, I’m husky & love doughnuts!  Free & food when put together are magic words for me.  I’ve woke up early for free denny’s pancakes, free breakfast, free chik-fila & now free doughtnuts.  I’m not even a morning person!

But it’s just amazing that many people will wake up early, drive for miles & wait in lines for hours for something free.  If starbucks was giving away any free drink, I guarantee millions (including I) would wait for our free starbucks!

My question then comes, why do we chain ourselves up spiritually when God calls us to freedom?  Simply put, Jesus said, “I have a better life for you.  It’s full of peace & joy.”  Granted it’s not problem free, but does come with free peace, joy & freedom. 

I get so frustrated with myself & others like me that put ourselves in bondage.  The thing that God keeps troubling me with is, “Neither give place to the devil.”  My Pastor talks about it all the time.  That even though our heart is filled with God, Satan comes & takes a small piece of our heart.  And even though we kick him out, we still will battle with him in that area for the rest of our lives.  Because he knows how to get in.

My prayer today would be to live like I’m free.  Not careless or ignorant believing I can do whatever I want to do.  But living free through Christ!

Living Free,

Josh

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!”