DOJO Session #3b: Loving Others

Our recent DOJO was spread over 2 months and was led by Rachel and Dave King. The goal of this DOJO is to practice living out Jesus’ simple command to love our neighbor as ourselves. Here are the notes from the sessions led by Rachel and Dave.

What is Love – the biblical definition

-Patient
-Kind
-Drives out perfect fear
-Protects
-Trusts
-Hopes
-Perseveres
-Rejoices in truth

What is NOT Love

-Rude
– Self Seeking
– Easily Angered
– Keeps records of wrongs
– Delight in evil
– Fails
– False

John 15:12-13 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

God’s example of love: Jesus dies on the cross for our sins. Did he require anything back from us?

1 John 4:17-19

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

THE APPLICATION

How do we actively apply these attributes of love?

We will break into groups of 2-3 and select out certain locations for people to have a list of tasks that they can choose to do 1 or all. The group can decide before heading out. Pray together for 3 minutes in your group when you arrive at location. Listen for God. He may even require you to do something off the list which is even better! They are just starting points. However, while the goal is to always make disciples and love, this isnt’ meant to be a bait and hook type of activity  to get people to sit and listen

We will break into groups of 3-4 and select out certain locations for people to have a list of tasks that they can choose to do 1 or all. The group can decide before heading out.

Pray together for 3 minutes in your group when you arrive at location. Listen for God. He may even require you to do something off the list which is even better! They are just starting points. However, while the goal is to always make disciples and love, this isn’t’ meant to be a bait and hook type of activity to get people to sit and listen :)

1.) Love Beyond Money

- Treat a stranger to coffee or quick lunch at Panera or McDonalds. If the opportunity arises, explain that money shouldn’t be more important that loving a brother/sister. Your needs are already met by God.

– If it’s a hot day, one group can grab a big cooler loaded with cold water and just pass it out.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

2.) Love the Youth

Inspired by Jaeson’s 365 days of love project. Kids love balloons and it’s a simple way of spreading love to a lot more kids because balloons aren’t too expensive and they make anyone happy. Also note that he doesn’t just give it to them, he talks about Jesus with them and teaches them to share.

Mark 10:13-16: And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

3.) Spread Love

This could be used with the balloon version as well. Hand out flowers to people this is why it’s better to do it in small groups but also give them 2 and encourage them to give the other one to someone else out of an continue the act of spreading love. It’s like that one commercial where you see one person do something nice for someone else and someone else sees it and does the same thing–it turns into a chain reaction. Sometimes, it can also help replace an unwanted emotion, such as anger.

4.) Love your neighbor

Loving your neighbor could literally mean your neighbor but also indicative to its own definition, those close to you. There is some nice blank stationery provided by Tiny Prints that everyone can take (1-2 cards) and write to someone that God brings to mind. It can be an encouragement, a note to say hello, or an offering to help. You’d be surprised at the impact a written note can make. If you want accountability to write it, let us know. I will make sure you send it.

Matthew 22:37-39: Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

>>>>

FOLLOW UP STORY:

The 2nd part of our LOVE DOJO was more practice time and there were some very encouraging stories from our forays into the city. We talked to people that couldn’t believe that we would actually give away things with no strings attached. There were many who were skeptical of what we were doing, but eventually gave way to the fact that they were being loved and that was that.

We learned a lot on these mini-practice sessions. A few things we realized:

  • Loving your neighbor isn’t rocket science.
  • Genuine love is rare in our culture… but rarer in places where people have a lot.
  • People always expect you to try to sell them something.
  • The biggest obstacle is often ourselves.
  • A good enough reason to love is because Jesus loved us.

Another story from our love practice sessions here.

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.

Dojo Session #2b: Nurturing Spiritual Hunger [TRUST]

Challenge:

:: Prayer: “Lord, what about my life do you want me to trust you with?”
:: Prayer: “How do you want me to do so?”
:: OBEY

Overview:

Intimacy with God is hard to teach. Because intimacy is something to be experienced, not learned. You can never collect enough data on jumping out of airplane or savoring a slice of tiramisu or enjoying the bliss of being in love. So how is knowledge and experience bridged? It’s bridged by trust.

And the truth is that we can’t love without it. We speak often about “loving God” being at the top. But how can you love someone you can’t trust? The lack of trust will always keep you at a distance. And for many of us who claim to follow Jesus, it’s the exact thing that’s been keeping us from really experiencing God.

Trust [in relation to God] essentially means this: I put my possessions… my worth… my life into your hands. And I will follow your leading over my own. Even Jesus had to do it. Mark 14:36, Jesus says:

“Abba Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

My own little paraphrase is this:

“Daddy, you can do anything. If it were up to me, I’d like not to die. But your way is better than mine.”

It’s a very human moment for Jesus, one we’ve all been through and will encounter again in our lives. When God whispers into our ear and asks, “Will you trust that my way is better than yours?” Will we trust he’s knows what’s best? Will be embrace whatever he’s got whether we want it or not?

If you were Jesus, you wouldn’t want to die either. But why did he die? In Hebrews 12 it says that he did it for the “joy set before him.” What does that mean? Maybe he did it because he knew that his death would bring life to the ones he loved. Or maybe he did it because he just wanted to do what his father told him to do. Maybe both… either way he made a decision. And his decision was that he trusted that God’s way was better than his. And because of that we live.

If you’re going to experience Jesus… you will need to follow him. If you’re going to follow him… you will need to trust him. Go places that you may not always want to go. Do things that may not always make sense. Believe in things that may not have happened yet. But in that you will experience God and the breadth of his character and the depth of his love in ways you may never have before.

It’s a hard teaching – but the essence of Jesus, what he did, what he’s about, his call for us is this:

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Essentially it means this:

“Following Jesus… trusting him… will lead to your utter destruction. But your utter destruction will lead to life. Life for you and for those around you.”

Blessings to you this month as you hear his voice and begin to ruthlessly trust him with everything that you are.

Questions? Comment!

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

Dojo Session #5: Life on Mission Pt.1

CHALLENGE for the Month:

1. 10 Minutes Daily – PRAY > LISTEN > OBEY
2. DAILY
check in with your Zealot group to discuss 1 question: How have you been obedient to God today?

OVERVIEW:

In order to respond to God we must hear his voice. In order to hear his voice, we must pray. Prayer and hearing are aided by giving simple daily attention to what God and Satan are doing in our lives. But when we hear Him, we got to say YES, Father.

PAY ATTENTION > PRAY > LISTEN > OBEY

>> Spiritual Warfare – Dave K. started our time by asking, “Why does Satan attack us?” He shared about a recent attack where he couldn’t move in the middle of the night and needed to pray for release. We all came to conclusion that Satan attacks us in order to intimidate, scare and cripple us from living the lives God has called us to.

Rachel K. shared about a video she saw on YouTube that showed some students praying for healing in Disneyland and doing crazy miracles, helping people see Jesus. Her question for us, “Why aren’t we [Haven or anyone else] seeing the same miracles among us?”

>> Faith and Obedience – We dialogued on the “why’s” and realized that ultimately we are NOT OBEDIENT when God prompts us to do something… whether that’s praying for healing or encouraging/exhorting someone or any other form of risk where God has to deliver. Most of us are afraid of making mistakes or making a fool of ourselves.

But we all agreed that God will lead us to places and circumstances where we must trust Him and He must deliver. These opportunities deepen our faith, expand our vision of God and miraculous happens. See video link above.

>> Hearing God and Just Doing ItSo how do you know when God is calling us to do something? Our first obedience is to the Bible. Read it, do it. Stop assuming you know what it means and skim over. Read it, ask God to show you something and then do it. We pick and choose and avoid doing what the Bible says. If you start doing what the Bible says you’ll never find it boring.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit prompts us to do things… ie. words of encouragement for people, tangible acts of love, prayers of healing, etc. If you feel the Holy Spirit pinching you to do something… DO IT. We want 100% certainty, but most of the time we won’t get it. Why? So we’d learn to trust God more. Don’t be afraid of failing or making mistakes. As you continue saying “Yes Lord, I’ll do it.” your view of God will get big real fast. The more you say “Yes”, the more you’ll see him. The more you say “No”, the less you’ll hear his voice. Say “Yes”. And then do it.

Looking forward to hearing stories of obedience and miracles from this coming month.

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.

Test of Fire

Thanks to Alan and Luanne for investing in our couples… I am more and more convinced of the critical need for whole and intact families – especially for our generation. We are experiencing the fall-out from the lack of whole families as we speak. Read this interesting article in TIME.

A short story from Alan about being a man for our wives and families… timely exhorting and very Alan-esque!

THE TEST OF FIRE

We were sitting around the other day with our adult children when the subject of future spouses came up. I mentioned how I would find the right man for my daughter. As the family braced themselves for another Gospel According to Al, I proceeded.

First, in the middle of nowhere, I would build a campfire. All men are attracted to fire, you know. Then I would find a place away from the fire to observe who it will attract.

  • Man #1 comes up to the fire, sits down and begins to warm himself and stay hunkered down. Not good…
  • Man #2 comes up to the fire, sits down for a bit. Then he gets up, goes out to gather more wood and come back to tend the fire. Better…
  • Man #3 comes up to the fire, sits down for a bit. Then he gets up, goes out into the wilderness. When he returns, he has one arm full of wood and the other arm full of meat…

That’s My Man!

My observations?

Man #1 is worthless. He comes into a nice situation, does nothing but fill his needs. He will either move on to another location when the fire dies or just freezes in the dark and die. I call him a sluggard to nth degree or worthless pile of pud.

Man #2 is better. He observes and takes the initiative to maintain the fire. He goes out to gather more fuel and tend to the fire making sure it does not get too big or too small. This one has potential.

Man #3 is a lot like Man #2, he observes the situation, assesses the needs of the future and goes out to fulfill those needs. He recognizes that there is more to life than just the fire and brings things in to maintain not only the fire but also the body. A Keeper!

Men, this is how our marriage relationships are. Your marriage/relationship could be like Man #1 – you just ease back after the wedding, not do anything and just let things happen around you without you doing anything about it. Your marriage/relationship will be like the fire and eventually it will burn out. You’ll either move on or just die.

Or like Man #2 – you work at your marriage and when things come up, you go fix it. Always steady, making sure things do not get out of hand where you cannot handle it. And if told to do something, it gets done.

But, Man #3 – not only do you work on your marriage, but you strive to make it better. You want to do more than just maintain. You want to begin building on it, feeding it, giving it strength and growth. You look far enough ahead to know what it takes to maintain the marriage/relationship now and in the future. You put forth the effort without having someone to tell you all the time. You share what God has given you into the marriage/relationship.

Want to keep that fire burning?
Want to keep that marriage hot?
BRING ON THE MEAT!!!!!