Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Friday, May 29, 2009

Are you in the house?

All week People have called and come into my office asking what is the purpose of the church, asking why do we need to go to church. My answer to these questions probably surprising to some were straight forward and simple. I answered each and every one of them saying that we Need To Be In The House! We must go to church to be with the people of God, church is where the community of God gathers; therefore it is the house of God. Simply put as Christians we need to be in the house. Our text for focus today says it better than I can let's look to ACTS 2:

Acts 2

2When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17“In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Friends I ask you are you in the house? Being spiritual is good, being a loving Christian is great but if you never take time out to go to the house of God something is missing. As a Christian we are called to fellowship and worship with the people of God! Are you in the house?

If we are not in the house, then we might miss our blessing, at times we miss the experience of the Holy Spirit. Understand that those people outside the house won't understand whats going with you or in the house. Outsiders and on lookers might question our sobriety and intentions.

However for those in the house, something special is taking place. For those in the hose power is bestowed upon them, they are able to communicate, they are able to get along to, to fellowship and go forward in ministry.

I pray today that if you are not in the house, you come on in and if you are in the house I pray that you stay!

Until next week, Be Well

Love Pastor J.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Who is in control?

REFLECT, on Who you are and Whose you are!

What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.
Oh, look—the deep, wide sea,
brimming with fish past counting,
sardines and sharks and salmon.
Ships plow those waters,
and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look expectantly to you
to give them their meals on time.
You come, and they gather around;
you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back,
they'd die in a minute—
Take back your Spirit and they die,
revert to original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to life—
the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.

31 -32 The glory of God—let it last forever!
Let God enjoy his creation!
He takes one look at earth and triggers an earthquake,
points a finger at the mountains, and volcanoes erupt.

33 -35 Oh, let me sing to God all my life long,
sing hymns to my God as long as I live!
Oh, let my song please him;
I'm so pleased to be singing to God.
But clear the ground of sinners—
no more godless men and women! O my soul, bless God!

Reflect on who is in control!
Love Pastor J

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Waiting on a Miracle

I know that in today's troubled times many of us are hoping and waiting for a miracle. We are in desperate need of a special blessing and something big to happen in our lives. Today's blog is for all people who find themselves in situations like this. Let's look to the text:

Romans 8:22-25
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Today's text from Paul's letter to the Romans reminds us to be patient. To be patient while God works is always a hard task, especially when we feel so desperate. However I still find myself echoing those same words that we must hope for what we do not see and wait patiently trusting God for our deliverance!

Brothers and Sisters be faithful and trust that God is working in our lives and in our situations!

Until Next Time, Be Well!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Have a job to do?

Acts 1

To the Ends of the World

1 -5Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but "must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon."

6When they were together for the last time they asked, "Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?"

7 -8He told them, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world."

Do you have a job to do? Today millions and millions of Christians will journey into churches around the world, to pray, praise and worship God. The tragic things about this glorious day are that 1) it only happens once a week. 2) Many of the persons who will find themselves in their magnificent churches believe that that is there only requirement of God. Many Christians think that the only job they have to do is to go to church.

In our text today Jesus through the words of Luke reminds us that we have much work to do as Christians. The work is to go out, go out to the cities, the suburbs, the rual areas even to the ends of the world preaching the gospel. Friends yes we must go to church, yes we must worship, pray, praise and be filled with the Spirit. But then, we must go out to tell the world all that God has done, all that's going on and especially of the redemptive love of Jesus Christ.

On this Memorial day weekend, after church is over, while you are on your way to the Bar-b-Que, during half-time of the big game, tell someone about the goodness, grace, and love of God. On this day go and be Christ witnesses for it's your job as Christians.

We all have a job to do!

Until next week,

Be Well,

Love Pastor J

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bigger than we can imagine!

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19

These words from the Apostle Paul should remain in our hearts today, because they remind us that we can not even grasp how deep the love and power of Christ runs. So today whenever you feel down, when you get upset and angry reflect on these words from Paul with me. Let's pray that no matter what happens this day and weekend that we come to know and grasp better the love that God has for us. With this love in mind all other failures and distractions are put into perspective. Thank God that God has our back! Yes thank God that God is bigger than we can even imagine!

Until next time....
Be Well, Love Pastor J

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The road of the faithful!

Good morning all, I pray that you are both healthy and happy. As Christians I believe that we all want to be faithful, truthful and righteous under God. However we also know that the road of the faithful is a hard road to travel.

Especially when the world, friends and others constantly remind us that we have the choice of choosing another road! The road of the wicked is not only less stressful but at times seems to be more FUN!

I am so glad that we don't fall for the seemingly easiness of the wicked road and stick to the road that God would have for us. Aren't you? During our times of indecision, and confusion I invite you to focus with me on Psalm 1. let's look:

Psalm 1

1Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers; 2but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night. 3They are like trees
planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

4The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

We all must live our own Christian journey, and chooses which road we will follow. I pray that you and I always walk the faithful road, regardless of how hard it seems at times. Won't you walk with me?

Until next time... Be Well!

Pastor J

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I will trust in the Lord, I promise!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He
shall direct your paths.
- Proverbs 3:5,6


I will trust in the Lord, till I die! The words of this spirit filled song come to mind as I sit here and recap the day and it's events. As the church we often find ourselves singing and reciting these words, but do we really mean them? When the chips fall and the storms of life come blowing in do we still trust in the Lord? When life throws us a curve ball do we still trust until we die? When loved ones die, relationships fail, employment terminates, and friends disappoint... do we still trust?

Today's text for reflection from proverbs reminds that God is sovereign and will direct us at all times. believe me I know during the storms of life it is very hard to trust in God, but trust we must. As those who are called the church, as believers, as persons with both individual and collective testimonies we must trust in the Lord always.

Sisters and brothers I encourage you and ask you to lean on God during the good and bad days! Promise to keep the faith and trust in the Lord always. I believe this faith and trust will indeed lead us into a closer and more loving relationship with God, the church, and the humankind.

Until next time... Trust On!
Love, Pastor J

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What are you holding on to?

I counted how many car, beer, and clothes commercials that came on during the basketball game yesterday. Somewhere around 125 I got sidetracked as well as frustrated. I realized how caught up our culture is on material possessions. We equate our own personal value to all that we own or possess.

In today's short text we are reminded of where our focus should be. Let's look to the text from Ecclesiastes 5:15.

Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.

This text reminds us that we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing, all we have is our faith and all we are known for is what we have done and accomplished while we were here. So in other words where is your focus as you go through life daily? What are you seeking and what are you going after? What are you so hell bent on holding on to?

Brothers and Sisters, today I challenge you to redirect your thoughts and actions around the one paradigm that we all will leave this world as we came in! Therefore we must be intentional about what we are living for, so that our living is not in vain!

Until next time... Be Well, Pastor J

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reaching Out!!!

You have seen them, on the streets. You have seen them asking you for change in front of your favorite store, you've seen them in police cars or behind bars, you've seen them in nursing homes and adoption agencies. They are the marginalized, they are the forgotten and left out, they are the others whom mainstream society does not want to talk about or deal with. They are the imprisoned, homeless, the elderly, the poverty stricken, the parent less.

In our text today taken from Acts 10:34-43 we see Peter preaching to the Gentiles about God's inviting love for all. For all! 34 Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’

Just like Peter came to realize that God's love is for all and that as followers of Christ we are called to reach out to all of Gods people inviting them to experience the love of God! You and I must reach out to those so called others, the ones society has forgotten and remind that God has not forgotten about them and that God loves and invites them into a relationship.

Friends today lets reach out to someone whom our culture has turned there back on. Reach out through service, prayer, kind words, monetary support, tough and hugs. no matter how you reach out, just reach out we must.

Until next time Be Well,
Love Pastor J.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Surface Love?

We are taught and told as Christians from our toddler years on to love one another. As we grow we try to live out loving one another. We tell everyone brother, sister I love you with the love of Christ Jesus. We say these things, but most times we don't mean them. We love each other with a surface love! Surface love is a love that is superficial, a love that in generic and can be replaced by the word caring for the common person or common good. Surface love is a love that is concerned for someone generally but not specifically. Surface love is not the love of Christ Jesus.

Our text today comes from John 15: 18-20

12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

18 ‘If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. 19If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you, “Servants are not greater than their master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

Jesus calls us to love each other as followers of God. Jesus did not love on the surface but to the depths of the soul.

Friends, today I encourage you to start new loving relationships; not founded on surface love but on true love. Love everyone desperately as Jesus would have us love. Love those who hate you, who speak ill of you and those who even stab you in the back. Love all of Gods people.

Be Well!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bus Stop Ministry?

One morning a Christian woman was on her way to work and arrived at the bust stop as she usually did. But this morning was different, there was only one other person at the bus stop, a young man who was crying uncontrollably. The woman asked the young man if everything was alright and he answered with a loud sigh No! They began to converse and the man shared that he had lost his job, his wife, and was loosing his home. The women shared her story of how she used to be unemployed, homeless, and lonely until she visited her church and heard the word of God. She informed the man that God was good, Jesus is real and that everything in her life changed. Her church helped her find a place to stay and soon she found a job, later she found new love. The women was late for work that day, but a few Sunday's later she saw that same man walk through the doors of her church. When she approached him after church to ask why he had come, the man replied because no one had ever explained the love of Christ and the role of the church to me like that before.

In today's text for reflection Philip is able to share his testimony and witness to an Ethiopian, just like the Christian woman in the story. Let's look:

Philip and the Ethiopian
26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopiand]">[eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."

30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.

31"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:
"He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before the shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth."

34The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" 38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Just like Philip, and the Christian woman we must ask ourselves how do we share our testimony, and where. What bus stop ministry experiences have you had? How do you tell others about our risen savior Jesus Christ? God provides opportunities for ministry in the strangest and seemingly insignificant places, therefore today's question is how are we responding to these opportunities?

Brothers and Sisters, let's pray: Today God prepares us to answer the call to witness in all the places we go and to all the people we encounter, being like Philip who ministered to the Ethiopian.

Until next time, Be Well
Love Pastor J.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yes Jesus loves Me, for the bible tells me so...

I vividly remember my Sunday School days and Easter Sunday plays singing the song Jesus Loves Me. I would recite YES Jesus Loves Me for the bible tells me so, at home and in school. It's amazing how simple things used to be back then, in my youth, everything was short and to the point.

Nowadays, with the hectic hustle and flow of life things can get out of control quickly, and at times I have often found myself wondering where is God, and does God really love and care about me? It's not as simple as saying the bible tells me so, we need to see, feel, and believe that we are the beloved of God especially when the world seems to hate us.

Today's text comes from 1st John 4:7-12
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

I find comfort in this text, when I'm ready to act up, when I'm ready to blow up, when I'm ready to give up. Because it reminds me of the gift of Christ and the sacrifice of Jesus, it reminds me of the love of others. The love of my family and friends comes to mind, the love of church members and youth groups, classmates fill my heart. Then I realize again that no matter how hard life can be at times I know love and I know God because of the love I receive and give daily. Therefore I can make it, therefore I can succeed, because Jesus loves me first. Therefore I know what love is and i can go on!

Until next time, Go on in Love
Be Well!