No zeal found here.

•February 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Over the last few months, since coming home from Texas, I have been searching for a good church to attend and worship at on Sunday mornings. As my search became frustrating and fruitless, I became more frustrated with my situation as a christian. Why can’t I find a church that I get excited about all week long?I realized I was coming up with lame excuses to not go to church and replace it with something else. I just became more and more frustrated with this search, and to make this even more an urgent search, I’ve now become a spiritual leader of my new family. Not only do I feel like I need to attend church, but I feel a sense of responsibility to make sure my wife is also getting a Sunday morning experience with the God that created us.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a great job ignoring this frustrating search for a good church. Coming up with excuses not to go to church was something that became more of a regular for me and I pretty much threw in the towel on the search for a good church. I’ve been pretty frustrated with “lame” churches in the area I’m in and figured I wouldn’t find a good church until I found a good job at a church I really enjoyed.

As I read in the book of John and reading about Jesus going crazy in the temple when people were exchanging money and selling animals. He was flipping tables over and making whips out of cords and driving these people out of the temple because they turned the house of God into a market. I was pretty pumped to read that and was cheering Jesus on like I was watching my favorite Bruins player fight a hated Montreal player. But the next line in this story quickly caught my attention and cheering turned into a quite pondering on what I had just read. “His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 

Then and there it hit me, there has been no zeal in me about the Church. I’ve spent some much time thinking many churches are lame and not worth going to, but I realized it was because I had lost a zeal, enthusiastic devotion, for the house of God. If there is one thing I’m really good at, it is making it seem like this is not my fault and blaming the churches for not appealing to me. I had learned to find a zeal for meaningless things in my life, replacing the zeal for the Church with random stuff in my life.

As I am learning to have a enthusiastic devotion for the Church, my love for people and the church has grown. I have always been a people watcher and I have noticed I’m not the only one who has lost their zeal for the Church. As I sit in a Sunday church service, I notice stone faced Christians who would rather be at home sleeping or watching their favorite sports team. If you are running out of energy in your life or struggling to find a place to attend church, try having a zeal, an enthusiastic devotion for the Church. Instead of blaming churches for not appealing to you, blame yourself for not getting excited to worship the God that created you and from His grace we have all received many blessing. If that doesn’t give you a little zeal, maybe it’s time for a personal check on where we find our zeal for life.

 

-Jordan

Texas, The great unknown.

•August 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a long time since I’ve wrote on this thing. Hope all is well with everyone. 

Most of you know I’ve been doing my internship in The Woodlands, Texas. So far it has been a great experience. It’s almost been 3 month since my arrival here in Texas. When I showed up here, I had very little idea of what to expect. I knew the name of my supervisor and the name of church I would be working at. I knew a little of what my job would be like. For the most part, I had no idea what to expect. 

I’ve always been the type of person to go where it is comfortable for me. I would rather go to a place where I knew the people, the area, and what I would be doing. Like most people, I would rather know the plan and what is going to happen before I go somewhere. What can I say, I like being comfortable. For that reason, I believe I ended up here in Texas, also known as the great unknown. 

The more I think about where I came from to where I am now, its night and day. I came from a place where I made a schedule and was O.K. with it. Wake up, go to a job I didn’t really enjoy doing. Then I would either go over my Fiancés house or go to my home. Then repeat. Finding a smile from a stranger was almost impossible. A church member stoping you and talking to you about how your week was? Unheard of! This was going to be my summer until I went to the frozen tundra, also known as college. Then came Texas. Phew! 

Not that I hated being home or anyone there, I just needed a place to go where I felt like I was doing what I was called to do. I’ve been blessed with a close and loving family, but it was time to branch out and try a new area. Here I’ve had strangers smile at me, church members ask me about myself and how my week was. I’ve had co-workers invest in my life. Showing me how to improve, grow, and become a better leader. I’ve seen teens in a new light. I’ve seen them struggle, seen them grow, and even make mistakes I made when I was their age. I show up to work everyday and feel like I’m where I’m suppose to be. I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable here, I still have a lot to learn and know about where I’m at. I will say I am happy where I am. 

I’m not here to say going home is terrible, but if I ended up living down here in the great unknown, I wouldn’t  be upset. If you are where God wants you, you’ll be taken care of. Even if the situation is new and unknown. Being comfortable is nice, but it can also trap you into never growing and bettering yourself. Faith is a crazy thing. Walk in it. 

Be the church, not a denomination

•April 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

“Be the church, not a denomination.” This phrase came into my mind today during class today. It continued to grow in my mind. What does this mean? How does this apply to my life and future ministry?

I have given a lot of thought about what the church looked like to Jesus. What would Jesus think of the Church today? Would he be happy with what has come of the Church? To really get an answer to my question I looked in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. In this chapter Paul talks about the role of the Church, and the members which are apart of the Church. After much reflection I realized the Church as a whole has defeated its own purpose. We no longer work as one to see the Kingdom of Christ advanced. Instead we get caught up in doctrine, theology, and the color of the paint.

Let me point out something before I continue. I am not against different views in theology or doctrine. I am against different views of theology or doctrine when it causes people to ignore the real issues in the world and it forces people to argue amongst themselves. Having knowledge about theology and knowing doctrine is important to the Church, but it often times separates God’s people. Churches split, denominations crumble, and at the end of the day, we still don’t know anymore about God than we did when we started. It’s impossible to gain knowledge above what we can comprehend about God. When it comes time for me to find a church to minister in, I’ll take into consideration their doctrine, but at the end of the day, if the church is Wesleyan or (insert denomination here), and I am not, it will not hinder me from picking that church to work at. If a church is off with the dogma of Christianity, then obviously I will remove myself from that option.

The point I’m trying to make is the Church needs to focus on building each other up and loving those who are in need of Christ. If the vision and focus is not on Christ and advancing His kingdom, then is it a church? No. The world has many church buildings, but no functional churches. Is this what Christ envisioned the Church to be like? I would venture a guess and say no.

 

With Love,

Jordan.

Giving up Chocolate for Lent.

•March 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In the midst of this Lent season, I have had something on my mind regarding Lent and how Christians treat this season. This has been on my mind since Ash Wednesday. I have been thinking and wrestling with this thought for awhile and I feel like more people need to consider what I have been thinking about. Hopefully this can help more people ask the harder questions to make themselves closer to God.

After studying for one of my classes, I was shocked to see so many different seasons in the Christian calendar that I didn’t even know or recognize. In class we had to go to a catholic service for Ash Wednesday, this was the first time I had ever been to a catholic service in my life. It was a unique experience and I enjoyed something different. But while I was sitting in the pew thinking about Ash Wednesday and the Lent season, it dawned on me. This was the first Ash Wednesday service I have ever been to. This is the first time I have recognized the beginning of Lent. I grew up in the church and this is my first time recognizing the start of a season on the Christian calendar. Shame on me.

“Dang! What am I going to give up for Lent? Soda? McDonalds? Dessert? Chocolate?” This was my thought after the service was over. What could I give up to recognize the season leading up to the death of Jesus Christ? As I was debating with myself on what to give up for Lent, I was reminded about my negativity and hatred in my heart. I couldn’t give up negativity and hatred towards people for Lent, that would be to hard. I want to give up Chocolate or soda for Lent, I can do that. Little did I know, but God was demanding a life transformation on how I looked, talked, and acted around people. Giving up chocolate for Lent was not going to get me closer to God. I was not going to be reminded about what God did for me. I was not going to be reminded about what Jesus did on the cross. I was going to do something easy for me. Chocolate was something I could give up and still feel like a “Christian” for the Lent season. Giving up chocolate for lent was a selfish act.

PLEASE! If I think for one second God would be happy and pleased with me giving up Chocolate for Lent, then I need a new focus on who God is. Unless you are a glutton, chocolate is just a easy way out of recognizing what we need to deal with in our life. If we really care about becoming closer to God, we should take every opportunity to get closer. Yet we seem to make ways to get around facing our sin and finding something easier. God did not call me to give up chocolate for Lent because God gave up everything for me. What keeps me away from being one with God? What hinders my walk with God? Not chocolate. Hatred and negativity about life, and the people who bother me. That is what separates me from God (Among other things).

After the 40 days of Lent is over, I pray that my attitude would be adjusted and that this Lent season would be the first Lent that I actually grew closer to God. Lent is not just about 40 days and then it’s over. When you give something up to become closer to God, Lent is just the start to a life transformation. So let me ask you this question. Does giving up something easy in life when we should be giving up everything that separates us from God offend God? Are you ignoring the separation in your life and filling it with chocolate?

 

With Love,

Jordan

I am a Christian. Surprised?

•September 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Long time since my last post, but I have been working through a lot. I have been trying to work on what I wanted to talk about next. I felt this feeling of needed to pour out my feelings, just so most of you can read what is going on in my head.

Ever since coming to Bible College I have felt this feeling that was surprising to me. It hurts to say and I’m still trying to figure out if this is me or the environment, not only here on campus, but in churches and clubs all across North America and the rest of the world. That one feeling can only be summed up in a sentence, “I feel like less of a Christian since coming to Bible College than when I was before I came.”

Don’t get me wrong, I know for sure that the LORD has been using so much here to help me grow and become a better person but this feeling of being less of a Christian has puzzled me for so long. Now, I admit I can be hard to handle, over-bearing, a little uncensored, and straight up stubborn, but that does by no means make me less of a Christian then the next person. Over the last few years, I have hurt relationships and have been told I should not be going into ministry because of who I am. That stuff hurts to hear, but fuels the fire. So why is it I have these feelings? Is it because every move I make can be watched, critiqued, and remolded? Maybe it’s because not all of my theology lines up with John Wesley? For whatever reason it is, I still have the feelings of not being good enough to be a Christian.

So I raise this question, If I should not be in ministry because of my faults, how do my faults differ from the faults of my accusers? As much as some would like to beat me with words, actions, thoughts and rumors, my goal is to love. Straight up love them. It might be tough love, but it’s love I am offering because we are called to love, not tear down.

I know my faults, I will openly tell you what I need to work on in my life and where I need to grow in life. I feel many Christians have certain view of how people should look, behave, and sound. When that is broken or altered, it’s game over for that person. Well, sorry, but I might not sounds like the typical Christian, look like the typical Christian, and even behave like the typical Christians, but I’m still a Christian. Proud of that, never will tell you differently.

So, for those who feel like you need to do ‘this’ and not ‘that’, I challenge you to live like the creation God has made you.You are not who the church says  who you are, but who Christ says you are. So, if you want to dance in worship because that’s how you worship the God of the universe, than dance! If you lean on the Calvisnist side of theology, thats fine. If you’re Arminian, that is fine. Be who you are in Christ and let it shine.

I’ll do the same, because I am a child of God!

All in love,

Jordan

When I’m gone.

•September 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I hope you all had a great day today. Luckly for me, I only had one class today.

With some of my down time I decided to watch a movie and relax for a bit. I happened to notice the stack of movies my roommate had and picked out, “Big Fish.” A movie I had watched once when it first came out on DVD in 2003. Needless to say, it was like watching the movie for the first time. After the movie was over it got me thinking about my own life.

If you have never seen the movie, the story line is about an old man who is about to die and he re-tells stories from his life. Although these stories catch everyones attention, his son  does not like the stories because he thinks they are all made up and false. As his son does more digging to find out if the stories are true, he finds more and more evidence to prove the stories his dad once told were true. After believing his father, his dad passes away. But, out of all the scenes in the movie, the final scene made me think about my own life and how it would look when I passed away. The movie ended with everyone from his pass send of the old man with great big smiles and they all were touched by him in many years throughout the years. All had a different story to tell about this man.

I would like to think that when I pass away, people who I touched would be there to see me off with a smile. But all night I have really wondered what the end of my story will look like. What will my legacy be? How will the people I meet send me off?

After spending time in thought about this topic, I have come to a final understanding of what I want to know for. Many people in this world have their lasting memories through the people they have left behind, mostly rooted in money, success, fame, or other worldly things. But, since I’m looking to be a youth pastor, those memories most likely won’t be an option. Even if they were, I would have to decline. When people send me off, I want them to look back and see that my legacy was rooted in the cross of Jesus Christ. My life was a direct effect affect from what Christ has done in my life. But the nagging question that still remains is, “Is your life rooted in the cross, and will people be smiling because of what you blessed them with in your life?”

 

Much love,

Jordan

Ready for round 3

•September 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Here we go! Another round of college. So much has happened over the summer. Some things life changing, some things not so fun. But for the most part an awesome summer. Highlight of my summer was becoming a fiancé to the most beautiful woman in the world!

As this school year comes into being, many things are racing through my mind. What is next for my education? How will I do this year as a student? Where will I go for my internship? Can I finally prove to myself that I am a better student than average? So many thoughts and questions. But, if I’m being honest, so many more questions arise in my mind. What will I do after school? Do I stay in a church or move the my ministry beyond the church? So many questions but time is flying by.

As I usually have going on in my mind, a million thoughts at once consumed my mind for the last week. For some reason I felt overwhelmed by all of these questions and thoughts. What is the LORD doing? I have been seeking peace, stillness, and patience in my life. I have been seeking out the LORD and what He wants for me.

Those last few sentences are a lot easier to put down on this blog than to actually do. Why is it so hard to just put all my questions and thoughts in His hands? Call it lack of faith or selfish, but I always feel like I need to know what is going on in my life. Is that wrong? Does anyone else struggle with this? How do I become more discipline in this area?

I challenge you to become more honest with the lack of faith issue you may have as well. I know the LORD has a plan for me and it is way better than I could ever write up. But wow, I just want to know what is going on in my own life! This should make for a growing year and an amazing year for me.

 

Much love!

Jordan