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Posts Tagged ‘mission’

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Francis Chan

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Before Francis Chan came on, they showed us a powerful video of a girl from the Philippines who was sex trafficked at a very young age and then rescued by Love 146. It was very graphic but very real. But despite the what she went through, it was a message of hope. It was the hope of our redeeming Savior and how He came to rescue us. That girl is doing very well now. And you know what the cool thing was, she was here at Passion with us! It was so awesome to see her smiling face among all of us. What an amazing God story!

Here are my notes from Francis Chan’s talk:

God rescued us and puts that same Spirit and desire in us to rescue others

If you want to experience God, go make disciples. Francis and his team are now in San Francisco going door to door telling people about Jesus. We need to let go of our fears and go on the mission He has us on. He gives us the power we need to do so.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations

Deuteronomy 7:9

God’s promises can be trusted. We can trust the Word of God. What we have a tendency to do is let our lack of trust for people spill into our relationship with God. We like to prepare ourselves for the worse and keep our hearts guarded. We see in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 that Timothy is experiencing fear because his mentor (Paul) is about to die. But Paul writes to him and tells him not to be fearful. Paul isn’t afraid of death because he knows of the joy of living with Christ. Even when we are fearful, God will remain faithful. He can’t deny who He is.

We will always have pressure to the end (Rev 2:10). But if we endure, we will reign with Him (Hebrews 3:14). God fights for us so we don’t have to endure this life on our own (Jeremiah 32:40). But at the same time, if we deny Him, He will deny us (Matthew 10:32-33). We like to trust in the promises of God’s blessings, but not in His promises of His wrath and consequences because of our disobedience (Deuteronomy 7:10). An example of this is Pharoah of Egypt in which God promises His wrath of plagues if he didn’t let His people go.

In Hosea, we see how God asks him to marry a whore as a demonstration to Israel how unfaithful they have been to Him. Hosea ends up buying his wife back even though she leaves him. God wants us back despite our unfaithfulness to Him. He wants to cleanse us from our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Be like a child and get excited – we can trust His promises! (Revelations 21:1-5)

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A few months ago, I had an open spot in my calendar and started praying about possibly going on a mission trip. God had recharged my heart for the world with Passion, Catalyst and the Justice conferences and I wanted to be obedient in what he was asking me to do. I had put in applications for Fiji and Africa (two places I have a heart for), but He made it clear that the time wasn’t now. Then this trip to Guatemala popped up and it ended up being the same week that I had time off for. I was supposed to go to Guatemala with my old young adult group Camber years ago, but the trip fell apart literally the week before we were to leave. So I always had a little thing for the country. I filled out the application and was accepted and I sent out some support letters to close friends and family. I think raising support is one of the most important part of a mission trip and I see too many who won’t do it (usually personal pride or idolatry for the mission). I always see it as confirmation if people are believing in what you are doing and are willing to support you in your ministry. I raised my support in a matter of weeks and found myself on my way to Guatemala. The timing of this trip came at a perfect time in my life too. I had no clue what my role would be and I only knew one team member. We had a couple team meetings, but overall this trip was to be the first of its kind (working with animals). All I know is that it was clear that God called me and He had prepared for me to go.

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Prayer has been at the top of the list for our missional community this year. Prayer for direction, prayer for each other, prayer for everything. Us guys got together to lay out the direction for our MC this year. We rebuked the American way of doing things (living for ourselves, making money, etc) and pledged to live out a radical way of life like those in Acts. Our big push is to be out in the community more (my heart) in addition to breaking bread with each other and learning the gospel. But we also dreamed of someday living closer together as a family as the biggest hurdle for us has always been geography. With the housing market so great and the blessings God has been giving me financially, buying a home sometime early next year is becoming a reality for me. How cool would that be to live within minutes of the community God has blessed me with! We prayed for wisdom and direction and to take the first steps in accordance to God’s will.

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“Cities are the center of culture. Often, they are the intersection of art, politics, and business. New City exists to engage culture where it’s created, weaving the story of God into the story of Phoenix.” 

I love Brain Kruckenburg. He has really helped bring a vision to the local art scene in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Whether that be with New City Studio on First Friday’s or with the aaa program (action, advocacy, arts) at ASU’s College of Public Program, he has used God’s gift of creativity as a witness tool to the community. I was invited to attend New City Church this morning by some friends and I have always been encouraged by Brian’s support of what I got going on in my life. I love this church! Right now, Missio Dei is where God wants me and it’s my home and where I need to be to grow in my walk. But NCC taps right into my heart for the arts and photography. I try to stop in when I get a chance to say hi to good friends and to stay in touch with some of the local community events that they do. I’m looking forward to their next First Friday as they are displaying work from behind the scenes of local films.

Brian talked about us being humble leaders and how we need to keep advancing forward. This is done through both mission and vision. We need to always know our mission and stick to it. Vision is inside the mission and sometimes it can change and that is ok. Vision is both biblical and timely and the strategy is us. I sometimes find myself getting caught up my visions and forget the overall mission. I love to dream and God has blessed me with lots of passion and talents in different areas. Even now, God has opened up the door with the arts, photography, cooking and missions in several different areas of my life. But I want to make sure I follow the Spirit’s guidance and only follow the visions that lie within my own personal mission – which is to live a life that reflects the Kingdom.

I finished reading Erasing Hell by Francis Chan on the light rail today. There was an excerpt in the back of the book from a chapter of Forgotten God on the Holy Spirit that hit me:

I think we can all agree that living “according to our sinful flesh” is not what is intended for us as children of God. Yet even so, we often choose to face life’s issues and circumstances in exactly the same way as someone without the Spirit of God. We worry, strive, and grieve no differently than unbelievers. While it is true that we are humans like anyone else, it is also true that we are humans with the Spirit of God dwelling in us. Yet, whether consciously or not, we essentially say to God, “I know You raised Christ from the dead; but the fact is my problems are just too much for You and I need to deal with them myself.”

This has been the story of my life many times over. I can tell you countless of stories of when I was filled by the Spirit and God used me in amazing ways. But then, there are many times life was ‘too hard’ for me to handle and I ended up dealing with it on my own and the result was failure. You see this in the life of Peter. He denied Christ and made all sorts of irrational decisions during Christ’s crucifixion, yet he was filled by the Spirit and spoke a message that saved the lives of thousands of people not too long after that. This is why we have an amazing God who gives us grace. Our mission can only succeed with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. My life has changed so much because of grace and I have so much peace and direction because the Spirit is alive in me.

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