Monday, June 22, 2009

Pursuit Beyond Program

1 Timothy 1-2 Devotions: June 19 and 20

Chapter 1: 3-11 Was rich this morning! Specifically in its reference to the use of the law. The Law as verse nine says is for the lawbreakers and rebels, ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious. One of the most massive mistakes we make with the law is making it for the righteous. We try really hard to keep it, to run from the sin it reveals, and focus on the law as the vehicle or the standard of holiness. We need new some new perspective. 2 Timothy 2:22 Says, "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." This one of the things Paster Elijah was showing us yesterday, it first says "flee from youthful passions" Then secondly says, " pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. So often we focus on fleeing, which is instigated by law, rather than the pursuit of God, which is inspired by grace. When caught up in the pursuit of God in faith and by grace it causes a dual effect on our lives. First, we are running after God then secondly, as a result, we are fleeing from sin and unholiness. The focus should not be on sin or upon fleeing but rather on the one who has saved us from sin the pursuit of him. The worship, the focus and effort should all be unto him to make him paramount on our lives. When this happens sin is not only left behind but it is not given the same focus we allow it when fleeing from it.
The commission we were given from Elijah who is the new youth pastor at GC was simple and powerful, make this summer a pursuit. A pursuit that goes beyond program, beyond requirements, and even beyond previous sin issues in our lives. 1 Tim 6:11 "But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness."
So what are we pursuing? How do we do it? Practical application anyone? Well, I think one of the most powerful pieces God impressed upon my heart is that of pressing on. Phil 3:12-14 "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ has made me his own. Brothers I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." I believe it is time to forget the past of the sin that used to master you and I. It is time to press on and make it mine! Practically that means it is time for me to place God as the only one in my scope. For the last four years it has been God and this, that, and the other. Not that God was not still center stage but in this summer he is the only one, the only thing. Memorization has become something high on my list of valuable disciplines.
Psalms 27:4 "One thing have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and inquire in his temple." One thing... Strange concept for me. The power in having vision that is singular i that of unity. Division=double vision. I have had up to 8 visions pulling on my heart and it caused such turmoil and ineffectiveness that I have become willing to lay down things that I love and surrender them to the vision of God for my life. He has proved a much better visionary than myself and he is faithful. When he says seek first the kingdom and all these things will be added to you, he means it! So it is a one thing summer, it is about pursuit and not about fleeing, it is about grace and not law.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Notes on Green Jesus

Green Jesus
Ken Johnson
June 14, 2009

What is green? To prosper and foster life and the process of becoming more and more alive. What is good gives life. Bad=decrease in life. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly. Inside of the environments we are exposed to some will allow you to blossom, others will keep you alive but not allow growth and others still will kill you. (Smog) Jesus left the environment of heaven which is total purity to come into our polluted home and allow an option of purity. So what do we mean by green Jesus? The definition of an environmentalist is simply one who is anti pollutant, pro purity, and believes philosophically that the environment effects us and should therefore be protected. Jesus is the most green thing that has ever happened to earth, inside of sin or impurity the wages are death. Inside of Jesus there is life, growth, renewal, and forgiveness. We are called to be green, to be keepers of the earth. Gen 2:15. What can we do to practically to be green?

How about bringing a reusable mug when getting coffee, or your own bag when shopping, or taking less trips by planning out your driving to reduce gas expenditures.... Be green. Foster life in the environment and in people.

As my very wise mom was saying this morning when talking about our lawn, "It just takes maintenance, the yard, the house, relationships... they all just need faithful ." Especially in my transition out of home I see the truth and value to being a faithful keeper. There is such value in a little extra effort to manage our stuff.

Come on church! Lets rise up... The concept of being green even in its over used and extravagantly praised position in our culture is only a counterfeit of a Godly principle.

Monday, June 1, 2009



Understanding becomes
Needlessly complicated when
Obvious is
Truthfully the
Unexpected, and
Subliminal constructs
Instill confidence and inspire
Vivacious joy.
Evidence of the Unobtrusive

Undone. Revised

Monday Tuesday WednesFriday
Sat and Sun I come undone

We go on breaks and stay up to late,
thrown into the motions, while emotions
find new fuel for there longing to be free.
two months two days, I gra du ate.
May 1, the fateful day we sign our lives away.
Or we continue to flounder in a free flow pattern.
Make some money, hunt for a honey
to mine out meaning from the menial.

Monday Tuesday wednesfriday
Blast! Here comes Thursday seeking revenge
despite our best efforts
yesterdays activities remain memories clouded by
day to day to day
One to two, three to four
please sir, can I have some more...

Bailout, word of the year yet we get no attention
left treading water, left to wonder
when the political game reaches the practical
beyond distant fame, someone to blame.

Stuck in a lame video game
jumping through hoops, level to level,
in a world with no emotion.
I shot you for bonus points.
Stole your gun and your girl.
just to take what I could.
it's a fleeting romance
a futile adventure

Monday Tuesday Wednesfriday
Sat and Sun I come undone

Touchable Theology

Touchable Theology
Upon the streets and in the fields, in the ghettos and in the hallways of Universities it is not hard to find those that love extravagantly, fight viciously, and do not settle for the love of “Christians” that has been tied down with the ropes of religious practice and mindless tradition. As you walk the streets of Seattle you will see the homeless and abandoned, you will see power in the buildings that pierce the sky. Down on the docks the cranes move endlessly the trade of an empire, the life flow of this massive city.
I traveled only hours away from my comfy home in the Bend and my eyes were opened, I was challenged. I looked into the faces of the poor and homeless and not only through Seattle’s display of her wide array of colors but also through a book, Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.
My accomplices in crime were my awesomely awkward, skyscrapishly tall, and always glee filled friends Kyle and Jesse. Kyle is like seven hundred feet tall, blond, a fellow senior, and man of prayer. The kind of guy who engulfs you in his long arms as he hugs you. Jesse is comparatively tall, Dutch, and hilarious! These two along with my wonderful dad were the team, our mission: To explore and experience Seattle and the little university of Seattle Pacific.
As we drove we rocked out to music as long as my dad could handle, then read out loud the thoughts we deemed worthy from our various books. While we journeyed, read, and rocked, we also dreamt and prayed about the next four years of life. In the thoughts we read I began to get uncomfortable, being challenged by the thoughts from this Shane Calyborn guy who lives out what the bible says like he really believes it. He challenges people to give away there things and follow Jesus. To love like Jesus did laying down his own life to love those that to society were untouchable. To Live to serve, give, and feed the hungry giving names to the faces of the homeless and hurting.
These concepts are all based on the bible that I read each morning, concepts that I know well and even preach, so why only now does this revelation come? I am now uncomfortable with my life and its bubble. I seemed to be gliding a little to the ground that it began chipping away my insulated shell of theology.
After hours of being trapped in the car with my thoughts and all their turmoil we finally reached our first stop in Portland where we were to have dinner with some wonderful friends of mine. After we had begun discussing the possibilities it came up that Mackenzie (one of my wonderful friends) loves to make lunches and feed the poor. In fact it was Her favorite activity when friends come over. Everywhere I looked I could not escape! It was like the prodding of the Holy Spirit saying, “Hello? Do you get it yet?”
As we sat down for our wonderful meal we discussed the homeless, the 36 thousand a year it takes to go to college, socialism, funding, compassion. We argued and laughed and then I stopped painfully realizing the real content of our conversation. We sat at an expensive meal talking, arguing, and debating about how we should love those who don’t have anything while living out a much different conversation of a bubbled up and insulated theology. Where is the contact point?