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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Gokee’

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I enjoyed PhoenixONE tonight. I got to worship with all my friends under the stars. I also got to catch up with some dear friends that I have made over the years while on mission in other countries. I met Pastor Joseph “Jojo” while in Kenya at an orphanage. He was brought to the orphanage at a young age and is now the Pastor there. I got to hang with him a couple of times this week and we had some great talks. I also chatted with Suresh Kumar from Harvest India for a little while. He gave a special prayer over us and I’ve always appreciated the role he has played in my life. I have had many great God moments with Suresh over the years. Jeff Gokee interviewed some friends of mine that recently got married – Johnny and Criselda Sweet. They have a great testimony and it’s awesome to see a couple that is sticking it out and doing marriage right. My good friend Ryan Axtell led worship and Jeff gave a pretty awesome message on relationships. After years of working under him in 5th/6th grade student ministries, I have never heard him speak on dating and was pretty impressed with his talk. He was pretty hard on both the guys and the girls, but I felt he did it in love and it was a sermon many of us here needed to hear. Ryan and Sara Senters gave their testimony of having foster kids afterwards and I enjoyed them sharing their heart. It was a beautiful night and a blessing to spend with good friends!

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Pastor Jojo

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Suresh praying for us

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Ryan Axtell leads worship

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Jeff Gokee interviews the Sweets

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Ryan and Sara Senters

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End it Movement contacted me earlier this week to let me know that their road team would be swinging by Phoenix. End it Movement is a movement that was launched after Passion 2013 that is raising awareness for the 27 million being held in modern-day slavery. The road team is traveling state to state hitting churches and universities to challenge young adults and students to be a part of the movement. Tonight they set up shop at PhoenixONE – a worship gathering of young adults from all over the valley to promote unity of the church. I met up with Kyle and David – the guys driving the red and black End It vehicle all over the U.S. Seriously – great guys with a huge passion for this. I felt like I have known them forever with how welcoming they were. I helped run their table and tell the people of PhoenixONE what End it Movement was all about. It was awesome to see all the people who pledged to be a part of a generation that is in it to End It. We also had a ton of accessories and gear that we gave out to help promote this cause.

It was a special night for me as well as Jason and Jessica Williams of Session Nine photography led worship. They are long time friends of mine and I loved being here to hear them lead worship. Jeff Gokee gave an awesome message on Jehovah Rapha – one of the wonderful names of God that means the God of healing and restoring. His message was centered on how we as Christians rarely go to God first when we go through pain and trials. Tonight was a blessing and I’m thankful God used me to be a voice here in my own backyard for justice.

God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds

Psalms 147:2

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Photo by Anna Dufek

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Tonight was a pretty fun night for me at PhoenixONE. I had my own booth set up and was able to connect with lots of people from different churches. I ran into my old buddy Malachi and chatted with lots of friends that I have made over the years. I then looked across and saw that my friend Heidi from Food for the Hungry had her booth set up across from me. She was fresh off her trip to Bangladesh with the FH bloggers. She was there to get people to sign up for the FH Empower Women 5k walk.

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Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell

It’s always a blessing to have my long time friends and worship leaders Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell lead worship for PhoenixONE. Brian always picks a song to get us moving around in our seats and tonight it was Hillsong’s “Break Free”. Tonight’s speaker was Brad Lomenick of Catalyst. I’m a huge fan of Catalyst and have been to a couple of their West Coast conferences in Orange county. Brad helps raise up leaders and Catalyst is a movement that helps equip them through amazing speakers and teachers.

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Brad Lomenick

Brad’s talk was about the four keys to being a change maker (the theme of the Catalyst conference this year). My notes:

1. Understanding your calling

– Our talents and passions should intersect

– Salvation and Vocation

Write down your three greatest strengths and then your three greatest passions

2. Create a legacy

– Your 20’s will establish your 70’s – start creating your legacy now.

– Be Kingdom entrepreneurs – both business and the Bible.

– Own a vision bigger than what is in front of you. Perseverance is important.

3. Excellence – be the best in the world.

– Set a standard of excellence.

– Be good at everything you do – father, co-worker, etc. Work hard and be a good finisher. The world will notice.

4. Be more like Jesus.

– Passionately pursue Him. There are too many average Christians.

– His grace leads to our passion of worship which leads to joy in our lives.

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“Break Free”

I sat with my friend Heidi during the service. She was up next to talk about Food for the Hungry‘s International Women’s Day. The Walk to Empower Women 5k walk at Indian Steele Park is in March. This is a walk to raise awareness of the women around the globe that face violence, discrimination, lack of basic rights, lack of education. Heidi has a huge heart for this and God has taught me a lot about partnerships. Heidi has put a lot of time and effort into this and I’m thankful be a voice to help raise awareness for her. Plus I have the utmost respect for Food for the Hungry and always blessed to be a part of what they are doing in to world.

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Heidi Hatch

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Advent – Day 17

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Tonight was the last PhoenixONE for the year and they had a special Christmas concert put on by Ike Ndolo. Jeff Gokee, Brian Wurzell and Kim Sherman took time to talk about the history and future of PhoenixONE and how we can continue to support the ministry. They are now meeting at North Phoenix Baptist church. I can’t believe it has been two years since we met at the Buttes in Tempe to discuss the beginning of this ministry. They gave us time to do prayer walks around the campus to pray for unity among the churches, the growing movement of PhoenixONE and the city of Phoenix as a whole. A group of us spent time praying for these things and for each other. We prayed for continued strength in our walks with the Lord and to be accountable for each other. I’m really thankful for the people in my life. Afterwards was a time to fellowship and to eat. This was a great time to reflect on Christ and what He is doing with the growing young adult movement.

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Me with some of the orphans in India

Jeff Gokee is always good at coming up with gimmicky ways of raising awareness. I guess after being a youth pastor for many years, he’s good at it. Staches and Buns wants to raise $10,000 for the orphans at Harvest India. One way they are trying to raise these funds are by asking some of us men to grow mustaches and for the ladies to wear their hair in a bun. I’ve never really grown a mustache, but it is ‘Movember’ and I thought I’d try. Plus I like telling the stories to people about going to India when they ask me about it.

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PhoenixONE had an amazing kick-off night that I won’t forget. It started off when I walked in I saw this amazing sunset outside Phoenix Historic Presbyterian First right before the event started. I felt God telling me to prepare my heart because tonight was going to be a big night. Downtown Devil captured the event in this article.

The guest speaker wasn’t announce for tonight’s kickoff beforehand. After worship was provided by Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell, Francis Chan of Cornerstone Simi Valley came out to our surprise as the guest speaker for the evening. Francis Chan is known for writing popular Christian book Crazy Love. I first heard him speak at a Passion conference back in 2007. Ironically I went with my friend Shauna who was also happened to be with me at Passion ’07. This was an awesome way to kickoff a new season of PhoenxONE. The audio of Francis’ talk can be heard here.

Here are my notes from tonight’s talk:

Take Courage

  • We are sons and daughters of God and we represent Him.
  • The world will believe when they see a fearless church.
  • Live in a manner worthy of the gospel.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

– 2 Timothy 1:7

  • The enemy gives us a spirit of fear.
  • God puts the Holy Spirit in us. God Almighty is with us.
  • We honor God’s word when we believe in it.
  • Do you believe he gives you not a spirit of fear, but of power?
  • Something in us changes when the Spirit enters us.
  • God gives us a spirit of power, love and self-control.
  • Some Christians will say they don’t sense Jesus with them.
  • Are you out sharing your faith with others?
  • In Matthew 28, Jesus says He will be with us when we go out and make disciples.

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

– Acts 1:8

  • We all long for the spirit of love. We need to practice it in our local church.
  • Imagine if the world saw that life of unity in our churches.
  • With the spirit of self-control, we have the power over sin. We can overcome it!
  • God promises He will never let you be tempted beyond what you can handle.
  • When we gather, we are supposed to enCOURAGE one another.
  • Even Paul asked for prayer.

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

– Acts 4:29-31

THE PHOTOS BELOW ARE BY SUREFIRE PHOTOGRAPHY

(Photos from Facebook event)

Shauna

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Bob Goff spoke at PhoenixONE tonight. He’s a riot and really got the crowd going. He has a New York Times bestseller book called Love Does and donates most of the proceeds to help out was victims in Uganda. After the recent tragic news of director Jeff Gokee’s son being diagnosed with leukemia, he asked if we could lift him up by body surfing him through the crowd. It was an amazing night as my good friend Ryan Axtell led worship. His message for the night – Be not Afraid! Don’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary for God.

Lifting up Jeff Gokee

Ryan Axtell leads worship

– Below are some notes from the talk 

BE NOT AFRAID – Romans 8:31, Genesis 15:1

Do something for God! Look for evidence of Jesus. Stop listening to the people who put fear into you and listen to those that will speak truth into you. Don’t be typical – give forgiveness! Do something out of the ordinary for God!

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PhoenixONE

“…may they become perfectly ONE, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:23

Historic First Presbyterian

Tonight was the first ever launch of Phoenix ONE at Historic First Presbyterian in downtown Phoenix. Phoenix ONE is a citywide worship gathering of young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s connecting as one body in Christ. Their mission is to be a unified movement of local churches coming together as ONE to reach young professionals for Christ and connect them to a local faith community. Phoenix ONE’s executive director is Jeff Gokee.

Phoenix ONE director Jeff Gokee

I loved how the setting was in an old historic church. The director of Charlotte ONE, Dave Hickman talked about breathing life into these old churches. Charlotte ONE pioneered the CityONE Network and Phoenix is now following in their footsteps. The hope is that many more cities will follow. Dave really hit on the topic of the church reaching this world as ONE. He shared several scripture verses stating that Christ meant for us to work in unity (1 Corinthians 10:17, Ephesians 4:1-6) and that this is really the only effective way to evangalize this world.

I personally am excited to see where this ministry will head. I know tons of amazing people behind the scenes working to make this happen. My prayer is that we see the church look beyond its walls and work together to reach the greater Phoenix area. We are already too divided as a body and we need to come together to spread the good news of Christ to this generation as ONE.

Downtown Phoenix

The real job of every moral teacher is to keep bringing us back to simple principles which we’re so anxious not to see – C.S. Lewis

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During our “At the Movies” series at Cornerstone, Jeff Gokee interviewed Dr. Suresh Kumar from Harvest India on stage. Suresh compared life in India with clips from the 2008 Academy award-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. They also talked about Cornerstone’s recent trip to India and our future partnership with Harvest India. Here is the documentary that was shown on stage.

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