retreat!

Walk

Men’s and Women’s Retreats: September 24-26, 2010

We’ll doing a Fall men’s and women’s retreat this year with a bit of a twist. The men will be doing a monster backpacking trip in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The goal? Commune with God. Put ourselves to the test. Learn to rely on each other and God. It’s going to be epic.

The women will also retreat… retreat to a house in Santa Cruz. They will not have a speaker, but will focus the time on how God has brought RESTORATION and life to our broken lives. There will be several women sharing their stories. But everyone will have an opportunity hear, share and journey through what God is doing in our lives.

SIGN UP NOW… we need to begin prepping for the weekends. Invite friends and checkout all the info on the following links:

MEN’S HIKING TRIP

WOMEN’S RETREAT

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.

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.

India 2010

Friends,

Wanted to share that we will be going to INDIA again this coming November. We have had a friendship and partnership with the Bible Faith Mission in the state of Kerala that is led by and serves the Dalit [untouchable] caste people. The primary goal of the mission is to empower and equip Dalits with the Gospel of Jesus through church planting and affordable, high quality education through the BFM school. It’s a grand mission and it’s our privilege and joy to come alongside them and be a part of what God is in doing in India.

Some of the things we’ll be doing in India this time around:

  • Children’s and High School Camp
  • Pastor’s Training
  • Teaching and Speaking in the BFM School
  • Visiting Families and Listening to Stories
  • Letting God Challenge Us… and Doing What He Says

Some info and stuff you’ll need:

  • Raise Your Own Funding :: ~ $2500
  • Be Able to Take Off For ~ 14 Days in Early November [specific dates determine by cheaper airfare]
  • Need a Good Attitude – No Whiners
  • No Need for Special Skills – But Willing to Use Whatever You Have

Let me ask you to do this:

PRAY… quiet yourself down and ask God very simply, “Do you want me to go to India?” Listen. And believe it. If he says yes, contact us at info@ihaven.org [or call us at (408) 63H-AVEN] and we can give you more info. We will need to know by August 21st.

Want to read more about what we’ve been doing in India? Go HERE.
Want to sponsor a student at the BFM School? Go HERE.

Thanks friends… more questions, please let us know: info@ihaven.org.

whoopsies about the comments…

It’s been a month or so since we did some house cleaning on the site. Sorry… it felt like… well… like we didn’t clean our own house for month. Old pizza, mildew rings, etc. You get the picture. We had to delete a ton of comments, most of which was spam. If you left a comment in the past month and you’re not an online pharmacy or a have an exclusive webcam, then it likely got swept away with the other junk.

So go ahead and try commenting again… and we’ll be more vigilant to monitor and approve the invaluable stories, encouragement, critique from our web [and regular] community. Thanks.

A few significant updates coming soon! Stay tuned!

Sundays?

One common question we get is this, “Why don’t we meet every Sunday?” And a common followup is, “What are we supposed to do on those Sundays?”

There’s a larger and longer response to the first question that we’ll tackle later. But for now, a simple response is this: there’s a greater goal of helping all of us nurture greater intimacy with Jesus and follow Jesus intentionally into the world to live out what he teaches us in the Bible. And believe it or not… we may achieve this by doing less, not more.

But let’s tackle the second question, “What are we supposed to do on those Sundays?”

Jesus says this

Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” [Matthew 22:37-40]

The pace of Silicon Valley lives is hostile to genuine relationships. Both with God and with people. There is so much pressure to achieve and produce; we have so much and yet have so little. We’re surrounded by tons of stuff and yet we’re so alone.

So what to do with those Sundays?

Love God

Spend time with God. Really. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Not through a sermon or a choir. It can happen that way. But it can NEVER replace… you and God, together, face to face. These times will fuel greater intimacy with Jesus. These times will unearth areas where you’re mad at God and the world and begin a process to heal. These times will lead you to see the world differently… through His eyes and not your own.

Truth be told, we need to hear his voice daily, every moment. We need time daily to enjoy God’s embrace and embrace him back. But Sundays can be a jumping point into your week, to refresh, refuel and respond to a God that knows you inside and out and has way bigger dreams that you could ever have.

Don’t know how? Try this:

  1. Carve Out Time – At least an hour. Take your time. Turn off your phone, computer, pager, fax, dog, etc. You’ll need some time to quiet your soul. Parents take turns taking care of the kids. Serve each other by giving the other some time.
  2. Talk to God – Try this, “Father, thank you for loving me. What is your heart for me today?” And then listen for at least 2-5 minutes.
  3. Bible – Choose a book in the Bible to read and start from the beginning. If you’re lost, try John. Ask God to show you what He wants. Read about a chapter [slowly] and listen for God as you read.
  4. Journal – Write down what you’re learning, what you feel God is saying to you and whatever you want.
  5. Pray – Talk to God. You can. In your normal voice, no need for big words. Share your heart with him and be quiet for a moment so he can speak to you.
  6. Repeat – Throughout the week [sometimes in smaller time increments] and on other Sundays we do not meet.

Love People

What else might you do? Love people. We’re so busy that we often do not have time for people. Not just do stuff – but be all present, listening, engaging and being with people. Especially with people who have yet to know Jesus. How can our lives intersect with other’s lives? How about cooking breakfast, helping a neighbor paint, taking a hike with a friend? Help someone out or invite a few friends and go do something. It’s not rocket science… you know what to do.

The key is this… how will you give away the love Jesus gave you? Jesus said this:

“Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” [John 13:34-35]

So give it a go. Find simple ways to love people, be friends and be open to how God might use you to bless people with the message of Jesus or simple acts of love.

So if you’re thinking to yourself… “man, no Sundays… sleep in! AWESOME!” You’re missing the point. Really.

Questions? Comments? Objections? Throw ‘em out in the comments. Thanks all.

HAVEN EASTER

“Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” – Jesus

Friends,

We’ll be meeting all together next week in three different gatherings for Easter-Holy Week. It’ll be homely and intimate, communal and revelrous… and as always food will be involved. Here’s a run down:

Tuesday – March 30
Sergio and Lisa’s House – 45 Ede Lane, Milpitas7:30pm
Dinner on your own – light refreshments afterwards.

Friday – April 2
Billy and Lisa’s House – 3607 Place de Louis, San Jose7:00pm
Dinner after our gathering – kid’s care available.

Sunday Morning – April 4
Meet @ Montgomery Hill Park Near Evergreen College – Go HERE6:30am
Brunch @ Alan and Luanne’s – 3059 Silver Estates, San Jose – 9:00am
Lunch w/the Victorians – Next Door to LPT [72 N. Fifth St., San Jose] – 11:45am

Thanks all – see you there and check in with your house communities on what to bring for food.

More info – contact us at info[at]ihaven.org.

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!