2015 Easter Celebration & Egg Hunt

We will be celebrating Easter again for the second year at Newhall Park San Jose. With families from our community residing in the area, it seems to be a fitting place to celebrate and meet new friends. Join us for this FREE Easter Egg Hunt and celebration of Jesus with us on April 5, 2015 at 10:30am. RSVP is not mandatory but would be helpful. All are welcome to join! There will be an epic egg hunt including a separate egg hunt for the younger kids. There will also be crafts, food, and new friends to make. Rain or Shine!

You can RSVP on our Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/509084622563772/

Map of Newhall Park in San Jose.

loving on the neighborhood

In response to our Generosity Challenge, one of our house communities prayed and asked God what to do. And He began showing Mayra images of kids in the neighborhood that she used to live in. And how many of these kids have few positive influences and basically nothing to do the entire summer.

So the group began doing free bi-weekly BBQ’s in June – food, crafts and games for the kids and just hanging out with whomever wants to come out. It has been an incredible experience and we’re looking forward to how God will continue to lead us. A few highlights:

  • Indian, Asian, Latino kids all playing cricket together.
  • Meeting an African refugee family in the neighborhood.
  • Praying for people who need prayer.
  • Magic shows for the kids.
  • Over 200 hotdogs BBQ’d.
  • Hearing about the struggles of the neighborhood.
  • Listening to people’s stories and meeting people from over 8 different countries.

We’ve been doing every other Thursday and will be transitioning to weekends. We’ll be going again this Thursday [8/5], but contact us at info@ihaven.org for what day we’ll transition to. Come on out and share a dog, play some cricket and just be Jesus to a neighborhood.

This week:

August 5th – THURSDAY – 6:00-8:30p [come anytime]
Meeting in front of 2299 Pasetta Drive, Santa Clara

Some more photos HERE and HERE courtesy of Luis.

what he’s saying…

A question for you… when was the last time you heard God’s voice? Maybe it was just moments ago, maybe it’s been a while. But stop for a moment, quiet your soul, clear your mind and ask:

“Jesus, what do you want to say to me right now?”

And wait.

Repeat at lunch.
Right before your presentation.
During your coffee break.
Right before you talk to your boss.
What is he saying?

If you’re willing to share, put it in a comment below. Thanks folks.

Poems

This week in our Tuesday house group, we reflected on Isaiah 49 and 50 by contemplating on it, and then proceeding to write a poem. Writing poetry helps us think, articulate, and conjure our reflections in a way that is free, creative, and expressive.

What you see here is our thoughts, put on paper, expressed through words, deeply personal and uninhibited. For that reason, we chose to make each one anonymous. They are, in essence, meditations of the heart.

Sometimes, I wake up with regret to start my day
sometimes, I start and pray for a hopeful day
asking God to help me go through the motions.

I think alone
about what is to come
or analyze what went wrong.
Could I have said something more
so they could’ve known how I felt?
I bottle it up inside and
it lingers.
I know how I feel, but do they?
If you could only understand
how I want to be reached out to.

Saved, loved, accepted.
The Lord has forsaken me.
I’ll not forget you!

In pain and torment I cried out
and in the silence, came the dreadful doubt
to my dismay, I saw myself waste away
the consequence of a payment I couldn’t pay

And yet like a mother you came to me
broke the chains and set me free
to run and conquer and bring the light
the love of God that sets everything right.

There are happy times.
Times of being loved, of comfort
of being secure and being protected.
Times of belonging.

I can do anything, be anybody
I have infinite amounts of enthusiasm and
optimism.
Times of promise.

There are sad times.
Times of trouble, of despair,
of being hurt and being
abandoned.
Times of confusion.

I fail miserably, shout out loud!
I despise my circumstance and
lose faith, mostly in myself.
Times of darkness.

After every dusk, there is dawn.
It happens every time
without fail.
Flowers spring from the ground
at the first sign of winter’s deadlock easing.
It is for sure.
Happy and sad, time moves forward
and I am heading into morning.

I wonder how a mother or father cannot love
the child they bear?
I wonder why a child feels like he
does not have a purpose?

Do they not realize he is a miracle?
Does he not realize purpose was given
to him before he was born?

Though a mother and father may forget,
God will not forget those hebrought
into this world.

To you who are hopeless,
put your hope in the Lord and He
will not disappoint.
Do not wallow in your darkness and
wonder where God is. God is light.
And while you cannot control where the light
comes from, you can control how
much light comes in.

Let it in, then you
will find purpose.

Ravaged, ruined, rejected
Damaged, distraught, dejected
Battered, bruised, bereft of comfort

A pillow, a blanket, a warm embrace
Here, there is none in the dark, this lonely one
Pain, He becomes; His frame, overrun; His life to be unspun

No pillow, no blanket, no warm embrace in this empty, lonesome space
To look death in the face, and overcome
In quiet strength and grace
Deep within a trace

Of flint
Ready
To make sparks

I work hard and gain nothing from the earth,
The Lord is my reward, He shows me what is of worth,
Being a blessing to other Christians is noble indeed,
But God calls us to bless non-believers and plant the seed,
Has your mother forgotten you? Have you forgotten her?
God will never forget you for his love always endures,
If anyone messes with you they mess with the Lord,
And no one wants to mess with the Lord,
Do not think God is too weak for He will show you his strength,
Walk in the dark and do not fear,
Trust in God, He is always near.

Birthday Brunch for Jesus

This year’s Christmas worship will turn into a big birthday brunch to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We’ll have a handful of friends from the Victorians coming over and celebrating the fact that there really is HOPE in this world… and it begins in Jesus.

The house communities will divvy up the potluck duties – so check in with your house community. But there should be plenty of food, so bring your buddy and your grandma and come on out to celebrate this Christmas together.

Le Petit Trianon Theatre
72 North Fifth St. – UPSTAIRS
San Jose – 95112
9:55am  – SUNDAY – December 20th

Question to ponder for this Sunday… “How have you seen new birth in your life this past year?”

More info? Contact us at info[at]ihaven.org.

Generosity Challenge

Our heart has always been to find ways to live out the Gospel of Jesus and find tangible ways to love our city. With the way we’re setup, we have the latitude to allocate a larger percentage of our funds back out to loving and serving people. We tried version 1 of this challenge last year with varying level of success. This year we’ll try again and use the money that God has blessed us with to bless others. Here are the guidelines and parameters:
GENEROSITY CHALLENGE v.2
>> Objective: To find ways to “act justly and love mercy” [Micah 6:8] within the community that we live.
§ Practice hearing God’s voice and being generous;
§ Develop an eye for people who are poor, marginalized, neglected, under-privileged;
§ Find creative ways to make our resources matter to those who need it; and
§ Put our faith into action.
>> Summary: Each person in the group is expected to give towards the challenge – if you tithe regularly, use
your October and November giving and put it towards the challenge. Total up the amount for the group and Haven will match what you’ve collected up to $5,000. Listen for what God wants you to give and give it.
The hope is NOT that we would just donate money, but that we’d pray, seek God’s heart and see our local
community through his eyes. Find opportunities to tangibly love those around us and use the money to
serve people. The goal is always to love God and people.
>> Suggested Pathway:
1. Pray – Pray for God to see people who are marginalized,
neglected and experiencing injustice.
2. Investigate – Investigate the needs of these people.
3. Discuss – Discuss tangible ways to serve, love and
empower these people.
4. Devise – Devise a concrete plan [objective,
costs/materials, date, required personnel].
5. Pray – Pray for God to revise, adjust and provide in
regards to the plan.
>> Sample Ideas [not limited to]:
§ Building Handicap Access Ramp for People
w/Disabilities;
§ Establish and Resource a Computer Lab for a
Community Center in an Under-Resourced
Neighborhood;
§ Helping to Renovate a Food Bank or Shelter; or
§ Prepare and Give Out Street Survival Kits for Homeless.
>> Other Parameters:
§ If project requires, Haven may provide more funds upon request.
§ You may choose to donate some money to a charitable organization – however do NOT donate more than 50% of it. Use a significant portion to put you into your community.
§ Invite in your friends/coworkers to join in your challenge.
§ Compete Project by March, 2010.

Our heart has always been to live out the Gospel of Jesus and find tangible ways to love our city. With the way we’re setup, we have the latitude to allocate a larger percentage of our funds back out to loving and serving people. We tried version 1 of this challenge last year with varying level of success. This year we’ll try again and use the money that God has blessed us with to bless others. Stories to come of how God will use and challenge us. Here are the guidelines and parameters:

GENEROSITY CHALLENGE v.2

Objective
: To find ways to “act justly and love mercy” [Micah 6:8] within the community that we live.
  • Practice hearing God’s voice and being generous;
  • Develop an eye for the poor, marginalized, neglected, under-privileged;
  • Find creative ways to make our resources matter to those who need it; and
  • Put our faith into action.
Summary: Each person in the group is expected to give towards the challenge – if you tithe regularly, use your October and November giving and put it towards the challenge. Total up the amount for your house community and Haven will match what you’ve collected up to $5,000. Listen for what God wants you to give and give it.

The hope is NOT that we would just donate money; but that we’d pray, seek God’s heart and see our local community through the eyes of God. Our heart is to find opportunities to tangibly love and serve those around us and catch a glimpse of God’s heart. The goal is always to love God and people.

Suggested Pathway
:
  1. Pray – Pray for God to see people who are marginalized, neglected and experiencing injustice.
  2. Investigate – Investigate the needs of these people.
  3. Discuss – Discuss tangible ways to serve, love and empower these people.
  4. Devise – Devise a concrete plan [objective, costs/materials, date, required personnel].
  5. Pray and Listen– Pray for God to revise, adjust and provide in regards to the plan.
Sample Ideas [not limited to]:
  • Building Handicap Access Ramp for People w/Disabilities;
  • Establish and Resource a Computer Lab for a Community Center in an Under-Resourced Neighborhood;
  • Helping to Renovate a Food Bank or Shelter; or
  • Prepare and Give Out Street Survival Kits for Homeless.
Other Parameters:
  • If project requires, Haven may provide more funds upon request.
  • You may choose to donate some money to a charitable organization – however do NOT donate more than 50% of it. Use a significant portion to propel you into your community.
  • Invite in your friends/coworkers to join in your challenge.
  • Compete Project by March, 2010.

Questions/comments: info [at] ihaven [dot] org

India 2009

Last call for people interested in our project in India… more info below:

Hey Folks,

Just wanted to officially say that we’re preparing again to for India in November. Some of the finer details are in the works as far as what we’ll be doing and exactly what the dates will be. But it will be the around the first 2 weeks of November for around 10 days.

This year we’re likely bringing some medical professionals for basic medical care and training. We’ll definitely be doing a multi-day youth program for elementary aged students like last year. You don’t need special skills, but a willingness to work on a team and give of yourself for 10 days. You may have some roadblocks you’re thinking of right now… and in my experience, almost 99% of those are fairly easily worked out or God provides miraculously [faith?]. I already have had a donor give $1000 to support whoever goes to India… it’s confirmation that God does want us to go.

I’d like to have a confirmed team by 2nd week of July and begin training/ticket purchase by the beginning of August. Let me ask all of you to pray… just ask God simply… “Do you want me to go?”… if no, then no problem. If yes, then fantastic. If maybe, give it a few more goes and then let me know that’s where you’re at.

More details to come – but check out Dave Shin’s video montage from last year’s journey to India for an overview of last year’s trip.

A Journey to India from david shin on Vimeo.

Learning_Community:Couples

Let’s face it – we all need some help…

We say stuff we don’t want to. We do things we wish we didn’t. We forget to put down the toilet seat and lo and behold your lady drops in in the middle of night. That’s no good.

To stem the tide of what we call the “midnight splash” and to just learn to have healthier marriages/relationships, Alan and Luanne will be hosting their quarterly Learning_Community:Couples for all marrieds and engaged ppls. Be there…

9am – THIS Sunday – June 14th
3059 Silver Estates, San Jose
MAP

AND yes… the HOM signature brunch is in full effect… bring your appetites, notebooks and a willing heart to listen and tackle the hard questions. We will definitely have childcare… but ONLY if you let Alan know ASAP [alhom[at]sbcglobal.net]. Definitely invite friends… the Hom’s are at their best when cooking for the masses!

Dojo Session #3: Loving Others

Challenges for the month [explanations below]:

  • LISTEN – Show love by listening [and asking good questions]. Give your opinion ONLY when asked.
  • ENCOURAGE – Write at least 3 notes of encouragement to to 3 different people. 
  • WELCOME – Find 3 ways to welcome a stranger. 

Overview:

1. SURRENDER – For many of us, what’s holding us back from really experiencing God is a simple need to surrender. Surrendering has the connotation of “losing” – and in fact it is. It’s saying to God, “Your way is better than mine.” And sometimes we don’t see this until we’ve reach our “end”. If we’re wise, we won’t wait until then. The first thing that we surrender to [and rediscover over and over again] is that He really does love us. It’s no hoax. Check out the passage about the father and his young son in Luke 15:1-24. 

>> Additional challenge as you read this: would you pray right now… “Father, your way is better than mine.”?

2. LOVE OTHERS – The natural outflow of God’s love for us is a love for those around us [John 13:34-35]. Love always moves outward… doesn’t control, let’s go so it can give life to others. The Bible is loaded with verses that direct us to love one another. And each one gives a glimpse of what Jesus first did for us on the Cross. We focused in on 3 that are a lost art in our world of attention deficit and immediate/self gratification.

>> LISTEN

Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ [NIV].

There are many ways to carry each other’s burdens. But one way that crosses all cultural and gender boundaries is listening. We don’t know how to listen. In conversation, we wait for the moment we can get our own opinion across. We give trite solutions to complex problems – and we think we’re doing them a favor. But most of the time, we just need a listening ear. It’s an expression that we’re willing to sit with someone in their pain, without judging… it’s putting their needs above our own. It’s a huge way for us to bear one another’s burdens. It’s a glimpse of Jesus bearing our burdens on the Cross as well. 

CHALLENGE – Listen! In your regular conversations commit to NOT giving your opinion unless asked. Instead listening intently, reflect responses and ask good questions.

>> ENCOURAGE

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind [MES].

You ever have someone give you a compliment? For something you did or said? It felt good didn’t it? You felt alive, huh? One of the reasons it felt good was that we were recognized for the good that God has built in us. Someone recognized a small portion of our potential. We live in a world that is waiting to point out our faults, to highlight the areas we fall short. Let’s take advantage of the power of encouragement… and do what Jesus first did for us… give life and give it abundantly.

CHALLENGEWrite out 3 notes of encouragement to 3 different people. Point out things people do well, their heart, character… things that others may not notice. 

>> WELCOME

1 Peter 4:9 – Show hospitality to one another without grumbling [ESV].

The word hospitality has the connotation of “welcoming a stranger,” helping them feel like family. It’s not just heating up some bagel dogs for your buds while they’re watching the game. For those with homes, you can open a room to someone in need. For the rest of us who don’t own homes, how can we welcome someone and help them feel like family? How about:

Buying the new guy at work lunch?
Or a cup of coffee?
Giving someone a ride to work?
Including someone new into your weekly poker game?
Bringing over a pie to a new neighbor?

Be creative… you know how. It’s bringing someone from the outside into the safety of your own world. It’s sharing what you have and helping this Silicon Valley be a little less lonely. Yes, it’s a risk on your part… but Jesus did it for you… bringing you into his world, welcoming you when you didn’t deserve it. We can do the same for others. 

CHALLENGEFind 3 ways to welcome 3 different people; people you may not know as well, people on the margins, people that could use a gesture of welcome and embrace.

We will talk through all these the next time we meet… I’ve already been hearing good stories from people. Continue to just do what Jesus has done for you. Blessings to you this month as we go out and listen, encourage and welcome. Share your stories in the comments.

Community Update

A few things to look out for:

SJSU Formula SAE Unveiling [THURS April 2nd – 5:30pm]
Our friend Ken is a part of the student chapter of the Society of Automative Engineers at SJSU and we recently hosted a small BBQ for the group a few weeks ago… feeding hungry students as they finish their project for their upcoming competition. They’ll be doing an unveiling on April 2nd @ Club Auto Sport [521 Charcot Avenue, SJ], 5:30-7:30pm. We got to see the beginnings, come check out the finished product. Contact Ken for more info [abigail_854[at]hotmail.com].

Learning Community: Healthy Marriages [SAT April 4th – 9am]
We will be restarting our quarterly learning community where we will  discuss having healthy marriages. Our heart is to equip couples to live well and nurture healthy family environments. Alan and Luanne Hom will be leading the discussion and childcare will be provided [RSVP w/Alan if kids are coming]. We’ll meet at the Hom home [3059 Silver Estates, San Jose] and begin at 9amwe will be having brunch afterwards. Engaged couples welcome! So bring your spouse, your questions and your appetite. Contact Alan for more info at alhom[at]sbcglobal.net.

DOJO Session #2 [SUN April 5th – 9:30am]
Check here for a summary of Dojo Session #1 and here for a summary of the Dojo. REMEMBER:

  • The entire Bible points towards Jesus;
  • The result of Jesus’ sacrifice – we become his SONs and DAUGHTERs;
  • Share Jesus and ‘Why you believe it’ with 2 people [Philemon 6].

Meet @ 9:30am at Dave and Rachel’s house [923 Alegre Place, San Jose, CA 95126].

EASTER?
Click HERE.

Summer Softball League
If you’re interested in being in a recreational softball league this summer, Alan is looking for some recruits. Ask your friends, co-workers and the retired pro-baseball player neighbor that you know. Contact Alan for more info [alhom[at]sbcglobal.net].