Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lessons from My Inappropriate Hero! Living For What Matters

There is a story I have been pulled back into repeatedly in my life. It’s a story about a woman who committed a beautifully inappropriate act because she loved Jesus too much. At least that was the opinion of everyone who was there that day. Everyone except Jesus.

Do you ever wonder what it looks like to “love” God? You may have heard that the most important call or command in all of life is to love God and to love your neighbour as yourself. But, giving love or showing love can be vague and confusing sometimes. How can you know when your heart is in the right place in your claim to be someone who loves Jesus?

This woman who stirred up anger from the haters & warm acceptance from Jesus for her awkward act is a great example of how it’s done!

Here is her story:

Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Mark 14:1-11

There is something about her story that pulls me in. Her love for Jesus created a path and an open door into His affection. (click to tweet)  She did a beautiful thing “to” Jesus. When you know that what you are doing means something wonderful to Jesus, it changes you. (click to tweet)

On that day she packed up her most valuable possession (worth a year’s salary) and was determined to find Jesus. And find him she did! Making a scene, she broke open this alabaster (clay like) jar of costly perfume made of burial spices and proceeded to anoint Jesus with it… the WHOLE jar! In one amazing provoking act she captured a picture of the sacrifice Jesus would make within the next week. His blood would be poured out for them and all of us. Jesus would explain that to his disciples as they gathered for the passover feast with bread and wine.

But she also painted a powerful picture of what it looks like to follow Jesus and love him in our everyday lives. In the teachings of the Bible we learn that as Christians we carry in us the treasure of Christ’s presence. Our bodies are referred to as jars of clay. We are fragile and easily broken. But we don’t need to be discouraged or to beat ourselves up over our condition. It is actually for the best.

As very human, well meaning but broken people we are filled and surrounded by the  presence of God through faith in Jesus. This is so that the aroma we give off to our world is awesome (surpassingly great) and all can see that it comes from God not from us.

Back to our story… Our “inappropriate” hero who couldn’t help herself in love received the smile and deep affection of Jesus for her “over the top” sacrifice. He defended her, put the rest of the dinner party in their place and then announced the most incredible thing.

Jesus leaked it to the press… actually held a “press conference” and announced that wherever His story was told she would be spoken of. Her story was now officially part of His. The same gift Jesus gratefully received was ridiculed by the religious crowd when they asked, “Why this ‘waste’ of perfume?”

If you are stirred up with desire to love Jesus more deeply in radical ways, you are in great company! Church at it’s best is a passionate community who “waste” their most valuable treasure on Jesus. (click to tweet)

Why did this unnamed woman  waste her valuable perfume on Jesus instead of doing something “practical” with it? Because doing something beautiful to Jesus was worth everything.

When you pour out your best on Jesus it releases a fragrance of His presence to those around you.

What can you learn from our inappropriate hero?

1. Start each day by asking God to fill you with His love.

You can start each day with this powerfully simple prayer based on John 17:26: “O Father please do a work of the Holy Spirit in my life so that I will love Jesus with the love you have for him. Thank you that you are in me and I am in your family.” – Amen

2. Pour yourself out in service as a gift back to God.

Look for opportunities in your day to serve ALL people (including difficult people) with the love of Jesus. In this way you will be pouring yourself out in love for God. 1 John 3:16 says it so well, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Sacrificially loving others in Jesus Name reaches the heart of God! (click to tweet)

3. Trust God with your name & your honour.

If others don’t understand and the haters start hating, don’t be surprised. But be wise and don’t allow yourself to get bitter or resentful so that you lash back. Instead let it teach you to trust God to defend your honour. Just like Jesus did in the case of our hero on her day he will include you in His story today and forever.

Live THIS day!

If this has been helpful to you, please share it with someone else who could use the encouragement. Also, I would love to have you leave a comment below. Always love hearing from you.

 

5 Tips for Paying Attention to God’s Leadership in Your Day

As a follower of Jesus, you know you have been called to be a light in the world. You may also know that God has invited you to see the world with compassionate eyes. To dig deeper into why we need to “see” our world the way Jesus did, check out “Don’t miss the Spirit’s strategic move!“.

Wrestle with “how” to see the world the way Jesus did?

When he looked at the crowds in his day, his streets, his village, his workplace, etc… He had compassion on them and he longed to see them come alive to God’s new creation and to find their purpose in his mission.

Part of the adventure of following Jesus is…

developing an authentic love for the people we do life with every day.

Sometimes that is easier said than done! There is no way any of us are just going to magically learn to see our world the way God does without being intentional about it.

How can you pay better attention to God’s leadership in your everyday life? The following 5 habits have been huge for me.  But first I want to say:

You are here for a reason and God intends for you to make a difference for his kingdom here and now!

Habits you can start today:

1. Invite God into each day

In the morning invite God into the flow and events of your day. click to tweet Tell him that it is ok with you if he rearranges or interrupts some things if necessary. It has been said that most of our authentic ministry happens in the middle of interruptions. So, don’t be surprised and always be flexible. The blessing will be worth it!

2. Ask God to involve you in what He is doing to reach people

Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would continue to testify to the world about him and that we as His followers should do the same. It is powerful to remind yourself that God is going ahead of you and tirelessly working all around you to reach people in the transforming name of Jesus. Your part in this is to make yourself available. You can pray a simple daily prayer like this:

“Lord, I know you are working hard to reach people all around me. I would love to be involved however you want me to help. This is not about doing things my way. Involve me in reaching people the way you choose.” – Amen

3. Expect that God is attracting people around you to His family 

God’s desire is not only to make people aware of His presence in the world. He actually wants every person to embrace faith in Jesus and to become a son or daughter in his family. Remind yourself daily that His unconditional love is compelling every person you encounter in your day.

4. Remember the 2:1 ratio

Choosing to take the time to really “see” people in your world is a powerful way to pay more attention to God’s leadership. The kind of seeing that picks up on what God is doing to reach people includes listening as well. click to tweet Good listening includes seeking to really understand and a willingness to engage in what others want to talk about more than pressing forward on the point you want to make.  The 2:1 ratio is so helpful in remembering God’s heart for people. You have two eyes, two ears but only one mouth. Watch and listen twice as much as you speak. It will surprise you how much more aware you will become.

5. Pray onsite with insight

As Christians we learn to pray in every place on all occasions. But remember, prayer is not always spoken aloud. Many prayers are quiet or even silent. As you go through your day, develop the habit of silently or quietly praying for those you notice around you. If you keep a journal you can even write your prayers for them. Praying that God would bless them and that His will would be done in their lives is powerful and effective. This will also have a restoring effect on your love for people who show up in your everyday places.

I’m praying that you grow in your ability to watch for God’s leadership in your day. If this has been an encouragement to you please take a minute to leave a comment. It means a lot!

Live THIS day!

 

Don’t miss the Spirit’s strategic move!

Every day we mingle with crowds of people. Instinctively we know that every person is dealing with their own set of challenges. And we are painfully aware sometimes that we are in the midst of the fight ourselves. But, how often do we forget that the Holy Spirit is right in the messiness & chaos with us every day?

In Matt 9:35-38, we read that Jesus was walking in the middle of the same streets and the same crowds as everyone else. BUT… He saw things differently. While everyone else just saw the usual things, Jesus saw the crowds in a unique way and felt deeply for them. He saw that they were lost, directionless, wandering around like sheep with no shepherd!

The lack of meaning and mission in his homeland and his nation provoked Jesus. His heart burned with urgency and deep compassion for this nation that had been chosen by God to bless all of the other nations of the world. They had only managed after hundreds of generations to find themselves in bitterness and misery held captive under the boot of the Roman Empire. In that moment on that day, he launched into action. His strategic move was to call his followers to open their eyes to see things from His perspective. Then He told them to pray for laborers.

Did you know that Jesus expects you and me to hear his call in THIS day? Our eyes miss so much. He is saying to anyone who will listen, “OPEN YOUR EYES”! If we listen and follow the Holy Spirit today our first priority will be to love God by actually seeing people through His eyes. He wants to radically shift the way we see them.

As we allow Him to get our attention, we will be overwhelmed by what is “really” going on around us. We will begin to sense that He is actually saying something and He wants us to listen. The massive heartbeat of the Father is to be up close with every person we will see today.

It reminds me of the prophet Isaiah. You can read about his encounter with God in Isaiah 6:1-13. As he was going through his daily routine of service as a priest in God’s temple, the Holy Spirit grabbed his attention and Isaiah had an intense vision of the glory of the Lord.

Isaiah was traumatized and could only cry out for mercy. God in his mercy sent an angel to purify his lips (with a HOT coal) so that he would be clean. Next, something revolutionary happened at the core of Isaiah’s being.

In Isaiah 6:8 it says;

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

How long had God been saying this? Isaiah began to hear the passionate heartbeat of God in a way that he had never heard it before!

What about you? As you get up out of bed and live out that same old daily grind, God is trying to get your attention. Whatever you do, don’t turn away from Him because you feel unworthy and afraid. Isaiah felt the same way. But he stayed in God’s presence. He experienced the Fathers heart for people as he heard what the Spirit was saying.

What do you hear the voice of the Lord saying in THIS day? When you experience His burning heart for all of us your own heart will be swept up in His mission.

You will be surprised what will happen if you ask the Spirit of the Lord to open your eyes in THIS day!

Tapping in to Unstoppable Life! Want to help??

What an amazing morning of Baptisms!!

It was my high honour to baptize four of our KV East church community last Sunday! As part of the growing church community called Kings Valley Church we are located in Eastside Saint John.

In light of Sunday people have been asking how they can get involved so 

I decided to repost this article from a few weeks ago!!

We are all about “making disciples”! You may be wondering; “What is THAT?”. Making disciples means that we exist to welcome EVERYONE to come ALIVE in God through faith in Jesus Christ.

One of the main points of activation for people is “Baptism”. Through the unique experience of baptism men & women, boys & girls express their faith in Jesus Christ, join the family of God and testify to their lifelong commitment to God and His mission. In other words “IT IS AN AWESOME LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE”!

We are purchasing a portable baptism pool.

We used a new portable baptism pool last Sunday, May 31, 2015 for our first baptism party on site at the Cineplex Theatre on the Eastside.  It worked GREAT! Having the pool makes it very easy for us on location there AND it will also allow us to setup just about anywhere to host more baptism parties!

The total cost of the Portable Baptism Pool is $4500. We have $450 raised currently.

Would you like to help invite hundreds of people

to come alive through faith in Jesus Christ

in the Saint John region?

There are two easy methods that you can use to make a donation and receive a charitable donation receipt:

1. You can give a financial gift “online”. Go to http://kingsvalley.ca/donate/, Click the “donate” paypal button, then when reviewing the donation details, click “Add special instructions to the seller” and add a comment “For the KV East baptism pool”.

2. You can give a financial gift by dropping your donation off at the Kings Valley Church office, 332 Hampton Road in Qusipamsis, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday-Friday.

Your comments mean so much and I love to hear from you. You can leave a reply in the comment section below or email danclamos@gmail.com.

Love partnering with you for God’s kingdom mission here!