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!