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

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A day like wow!

Have you ever had a day that almost everything went wrong?
let me vent, briefly... Yesterday My computer was on the fritz( no email 4 a week), fixed that and my phone lost all contacts trying to sink with my computer, then my phone went on its own rampage and next thing I know my cable, computer and phone were trying to give me a heart attack! Ahhhhhh!
Then I remembered Luke 10:27:

He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."

So in other words, brothers and sisters, friends please keep your eyes on the prize when you have a day like wow! This text puts it all in perspective...

Until next time,. Be Well!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meeting the people where they are!

Today I spent time with colleges, going to and fro around the city, indeed the state. We spent the better part of this humid June day together seeking to understand how God would use us to grow God's kingdom. Through out the day we made at least five stops looking at new and interesting ministries areas. At each stop we took time out to survey the land and the people there. We found ourselves praying in front of everything from liquor stores to monasteries, asking for God's will to lead and be done. A few times during the day I found myself reflecting on our scripture of focus this evening from the Gospel of Matthew, lets look:

Matthew 28:18-20 18 -20Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age" (The Message Bible).

Today I believe that my colleges and myself lived out this great commission, by going to meet the people where they were. While no one was baptized and no one gave there lives to God, we did evangelize through getting contact information, emails, informing others of who we were, and praying in public. I believe in my heart that someone whom we came in contact with today was touched or inspired to grow in a relationship with Christ Jesus. I trust that our witness in the various communities today made a difference, which is what I believe the great commission is all about. Being difference makers, turning the world upside down, transforming the world! The great thing is that it was only a few of us, and the best thing is that all it takes is a few! Friends today I invite you to live out the great commission by living your faith out LOUD wherever you go and whenever you are awake.

Till next time, Be Well!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Facing Giants!

In our text today the Israel community finds themselves on the brink of a fight with the Philistines people. Here the Israel army faces a giant called Goliath. Let's look at the text:

1st Samuel 17:1-11 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2Saul and the Israelites gathered and encamped in the valley of Elah, and formed ranks against the Philistines. 3The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armoured with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him. 8He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, ‘Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.’ 10And the Philistine said, ‘Today I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man, that we may fight together.’ 11When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

While the Philistines were boasting, big, and bold the people of God the Israelites were afraid! In life we will all meet Giants, the question is will we be afraid to face them or will we face our Giants with courage? How do you face the Giants of unemployment, illness, grades, money and faith? Until this point in our text the people of Israel have been taken care of by God for many years, but it seems that there faith and memory has vanished.

Brothers and sisters when Giants arise in your lives remember what God has done for you and where you have come from. Stand on your faith fearing only what God will do to those Giants on your behalf!

Be Well, Love Pastor J

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Come to Jesus "Just Now!!!"

There is an old hymn that says "Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus just now, Just now come to Jesus, Come to Jesus just now.

He will save you, He will save you, He will save you just now,
Just now He will save you, He will save you just now.

Oh, believe Him, He is able, He is willing
He'll receive you, Flee to Jesus, Call unto Him!

This hymn has been in my heart and on my mind all day and has caused me to focus on Matthew 16:24 for today's reflection. Let's look!

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

Christ has called us to comer to him, picking up our possessions, issues and problems and following Jesus. Christ reminds us not to worry about anything or anyone else and come to him. I invite all of you to remember that Christ is constantly calling us into a deeper and more special relationship. All we must is answer the call just now, remembering that Christ saves, heals, protects, and provides. Telling the world that Jesus does not only do these things for you but for everyone!

"Only a step to Jesus! O why not come and say, Gladly to Thee my Savior, I give myself away!" (Fanny Crosby)

Until next time... Be Well

Friday, June 12, 2009

Saying Goodbye...

1st Samuel 15:34-16:1
Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel. The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.

Samuel and Saul were long term friends, after all Samuel did anoint Saul in his youth to become king. But not God has called Samuel to go and anoint another king, meaning that Sauls time is up because of his disobedience.

Like Samuel there are times in our life where we have to part ways, times where we have to say goodbye. Like Samuel it is alright to grieve over our friends and loved ones, but we must understand that there are times when God calls us to separate from them. God has a plan and purpose for our lives and this plan at times calls us to end relationships and distance ourselves from persons who are disobedient to God.

Today ask yourself the question, who is God calling you to say goodbye to in your life?
Until next time~ Be Well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When I Grow Up! (Mark 4:30-32)

30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

Many of us feel that we are not important, we are not equipped and we are not able! But because you are God and because you are we are able. Your kingdom provides a place of rest and saftey for us, and we grow in you like a mustard seed. We grow in you as those who once we unable to those who are now capable!

Today friends go out empowered knowing that God increases you daily. Go in the strength and protection of God!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I want to be ready....

Growing up, I remember singing the song I want to be ready, it went like this.

I want to be ready, I want to be ready, I want to be ready….

To walk in Jerusalem just like John,

John said the city was just foursquare,

Walk in Jerusalem just like John

And he declared he’d meet me there,

Walk in Jerusalem just like John.

Oh, John! Oh, John! What do you say?

Walk in Jerusalem just like John,

That I’ll be there at the coming day,

Walk in Jerusalem just like John.

When Peter was preaching at Pentecost,

Walk in Jerusalem just like John,

He was endowed with the Holy Ghost

Walk in Jerusalem just like John.

Not only was the tune catchy but it was something about being prepared, something about being ready. This week we have been focused on experiencing God and Christ. It is through these experiences that grow in our knowledge and understanding of God. Our experiences keep us attentive, watchful and ready! let's look to today's text:

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Matthew 24:42-44


Pastor J.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Experiencing Jesus: Leads to New and Eternal Life!

Good morning all, I pray that all of you are healthy and well both in mind and body. Yesterday we spoke about experiencing God, and today we look to the text of the Gospel of John 3 where we experience Jesus.

Let's look to the text:

John 3

Born from Above

1 -2 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it."

3Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom."

4"How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"

5 -6Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the 'wind-hovering-over-the-water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it's not possible to enter God's kingdom. When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.

7 -8"So don't be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be 'born from above'—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."

9Nicodemus asked, "What do you mean by this? How does this happen?"

10 -12Jesus said, "You're a respected teacher of Israel and you don't know these basics? Listen carefully. I'm speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don't believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can't see, the things of God?

13 -15"No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

Nicodemus was a well respected teacher and leader in the community,but he still had questions that could not be answered and a void that could not be filled. So he went to have an experience with Jesus at night while it was still dark! Christ told him that he needed to be born over, to become a new person with new values and new directions.

Friends despite what you have accomplished, or what you have yet to do Jesus calls us into relationship with him through baptism yes! But also through a constant renewing or our mind. Everyday we should change growing closer to God. John Wesley would simply say that everyday we should grow closer to God through Christian Perfection.

So if you are new to the church or if you have been born and raised in the church twenty plus years ask yourself this question daily: How am I better Christian today than I was yesterday?If you are not, then be reminded of today's text and go in prayer to have an experience with Jesus. This is the way to a great life here, and eternal life with God.

Until next time, Love Pastor J

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Experiencing God!; takes away guilt and removes sin!

In today's text for reflection the prophet Isaiah has an experience with God, but because of his sin, and the sinful nature of the people in his life he knows that he is going to die because he is in the presence of God.

This text reminds me of some ways the Church is viewed. Time and time again I have herd people say that they won't come to church because the building might burn down due to there sins or past. Its funny that today we still think like Isaiah, and just like with Isaiah God surprises us with forgiveness and redemption. Let's look to the text!

Isaiah 6

Holy, Holy, Holy!

1 -8 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other,

Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
His bright glory fills the whole earth. The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said,

"Doom! It's Doomsday!
I'm as good as dead! Every word I've ever spoken is tainted—
blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way,
using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I've looked God in the face!
The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!" Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said,

"Look. This coal has touched your lips.
Gone is your guilt, and
your sins wiped out." And then I heard the voice of the Master:
"Whom shall I send?
Who will go for us?" I spoke up,
"I'll go.
Send me!"

In the end it turns out that Isaiah was exactly where he needed to be, in the presence of God. Instead of being ashamed, worried and afraid the prophet should have been rejoicing because of God's grace and purpose for his life. We are the same way in stead of avoiding the Church and a relationship with God; we should run into the presence of God! Gods grace and mercy is sufficient for us also, and God has a plan and purpose for our lives just like the prophet Isaiah.

Friends, know that your past sins and activities are not enough to keep you from experiencing God. God is the one source of completion, redemption and acceptance for all of us. Whatever you are going through, whatever you have done, know that God is calling you into a deeper and stronger relationship where your past is forgiven.

Until next time~ Be Well!