Summer Teaching Series

Encounters with Jesus teaching slide

What do you expect from an encounter with Jesus?

Imagine for a moment that you’re moving through your normal day and you find yourself face to face with the one who is both Son of God and Son of Man. What’s your narrative? What happens next?

Do the clouds part and the light shine so bright that you can’t see? Does he teach, coach or correct? Does he tell you a story that is loaded with hidden meaning? Or does he ask you about the seemingly mundane parts of your life?

What do you expect from an encounter with Jesus?

A mountaintop experience unlike anything you have ever witnessed before? Maybe. Maybe that’s exactly what we should expect because an authentic encounter with Jesus will change us forever. It will shake us to our core. It will cause us to see our God, ourselves and our world with a completely new set of eyes.

Only thing is…these encounters often happen in the most unexpected places. In the moments when we are not prepared. In the moments that seem, well, unspiritual. They take place at the shopping mall, at a friend’s house, at work, at a party – really, anywhere life happens.

Question: If Jesus bumped into you on the street and offered to buy you a cup of coffee – what would happen next?

Join us at Journey this summer as we find out!

 

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Shocking Math

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I’m not a math guy, never have been. Give me history or psychology any day over algebra! However, I don’t have to be an accountant to understand that the little “x” button on the calculator has more potential to impact a number than the larger “+” button.

Humor me a minute with the following example: If you start with number “20” and you hit the “+” button and the number “3,” you will end up with “23.” However, if you start with the number “20” and you hit the “x” button and the number “3,” you will end up with what? That’s right! You will end up with “60!” Oh, the power of multiplication.

So…what’s the point? Why this review of elementary math? What does this have to do with a blog that focuses on the life available to those to love and follow Jesus?

Shockingly Normal

The short answer is, “EVERYTHING!” Multiplication is the normal way of functioning in the kingdom of God. Think about the characteristics of God that have multiplied in your life. When love takes root, it isn’t simply added to one small component of your life. Instead, it expands almost endlessly. As you come to know the love of God, you transform to be able to offer that same love in endless and sometimes shocking ways.

Question: What if Jesus intends to multiply his kingdom through you the same way? What if your transformation isn’t simply about you? What if it’s also about a handful of people in your life who will be changed because Jesus has taken root in you? And what if your task in the kingdom is more than to simply “show them Jesus” but to model for them what it means to become like him?

What then? Won’t you be amazed by the multiplication of God’s nature in them? And won’t they burn inside themselves to share this change with those in their lives? As a result, the kingdom of God is quickly multiplied beyond your ability to count.

No Longer Theory

Last week, this scenario moved from theory to reality for me while I was attending a Nexus church planting conference. Author and church planter, Ralph Moore, spoke with us over a three day period and challenged a room full of church planters to move from addition to multiplication. As he taught, he told his story that included him personally planting 3 different churches. Over the years those 3 churches directly planted over 80 more churches. And – that’s right – those 80 churches have all together planted over 2,100 churches!

Shocking math is right!

Question is…are we ready to hit the little “x” button?

Ready for some football?

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And so it begins.

Another year of setting lineups and managing our pretend teams. Another year of hilarious rituals, memorized chants and victory celebrations. And, yes, another year of grown men dressing up in their favorite team’s colors as if we are participating in some weird seventeen week version of “grownup Halloween.”

Yes, it’s time to start another NFL season and I can’t wait to hear those all familiar words… “Are you ready for some football?!” How about you? You ready? How’s your team gonna do this year? Have you gone through the schedule? Have you picked your wins and loses? Have you circled the key dates? Tell me…are you ready?

Before the first kick-off tonight and all the high fives begin to be exchanged – can I ask something of us? For those of us who follow Jesus, I just have one request…CAN THIS YEAR BE DIFFERENT?

Can we participate in this passion of ours in view of who we are? Can we root for our team without cussing the refs, the other team or our own coaches and players? Can we celebrate a touchdown or a victory without being a pompous jerk to the guy with the other team’s colors on, sitting across the room? Can we honor the humanity of an opposing team’s injured player instead of excitedly anticipating how this might help our team win? Can we allow ourselves to be entertained and still value people over the entertainment?

You see, for all that we put into it, football is simply entertainment. It is some of the most gifted athletes coming together to perform for our enjoyment. So, enjoy it! Scream. Cheer. Yell until you’re hoarse. But remember the people. The athletes, coaches, refs, and fans – they are all people who have intrinsic value. Don’t miss this! See them. Consider their individual stories. Don’t check your identity at the door. Come on…I dare you…watch this year as a Jesus Follower and you’ll never be the same.

So, are you ready for some football?

10 Word “Christian” Reaction

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In 10 words or less, what’s your reaction when you hear the word “Christian?”

All of us – no matter who we are, where we come from or how we relate to God – we all have an immediate response to the word “Christian.” What comes to mind when you hear this word? What experiences influence your thoughts? Who are the people you see and remember? What is your overwhelming emotion?

I’m asking this, not to spark a rant or provoke a religious defense. I’m honestly not interested in either of these. Instead, I authentically want to know your personal experience and emotion. I’m up for it all. As long as it comes from your heart, this little experiment will be a journey worth taking.

So, here’s the challenge…

In 10 words or less, respond to this post and share your reaction to the word “Christian.”

Father’s Eyes

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How do I describe what I see when I look at this picture?

Beauty? Absolutely. Joy? For sure. Love? Friendship? Connection? Simplicity? Peace? Yes! All of that.

But for me, there’s so much more. I see my daughter who is turning into an amazing young woman right before my eyes. At once, I’m filled with pride, excitement and unbelievable satisfaction. I’m torn between the joy of the moment, the memory of what used to be and the immediate future of what’s to come. I have visions of the little girl who used to stare Button, our beautiful boxer, in the eyes when she stood up. And now, take a look, she has to get on her knees to get a hug from her buddy. Seeing this, I realize that when we have traveled the same distance again, I will be staring directly into the eyes of a grown young woman.

And I wonder…

What will I see then? More than that – what will you see then? Will you see beauty? Joy? Love? Friendship? Connection? Simplicity? Peace?

Will you see what God made her to be? Will you value her as he does? Will you fight for her freedom? Will you love her sacrificially?

When teaching us how to relate to each other, Jesus said: “So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12.) So I can’t help but ask, how are we doing concerning the daughters of our world? On a scale of 1-10, how would you grade out on your treatment of beautiful young women in our culture?

Jesus would and has given everything for them. How about you?

 

Write an Amazon Review

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Reckless Pursuit hit Amazon last week and it’s gotten some chatter…over 11,000 people saw the announcement on Facebook. Pretty exciting stuff. But we’re just getting started and you can help!

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you’ve read Reckless Pursuit, click on this link – WRITE AN AMAZON REVIEW! It will take you to the book page of Amazon where you can rate Reckless Pursuit and write a quick review. It will only take 2 or 3 minutes and it will help to put this story of God’s relentless love in front of people who need to hear it. Thanks for helping to get the word out!

TAKE A LOOK: If you’re new to Reckless Pursuit, you can take a look at the Amazon author page at: amazon.com/author/landoncollard.

If you have any thoughts or questions, let me know – I’d love to hear from you! You can reply back to this blog, message me on Facebook or email me directly at: landon@journeycs.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

Reckless Pursuit @ Amazon!

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Today’s the day!!!

It’s been a year in the making but Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love is now widely available! It can easily be found at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. You can also walk in and order it by name at your local brick and mortar bookstore.

This past year, Reckless Pursuit‘s audience was limited to Journey Christian Community, our friends and people who discovered the book through Facebook. Today, we begin a great adventure. We can now begin to use this as a resource to share God’s reckless heart as seen through his pursuit of us.

For those of your who have already engaged Reckless Pursuit – JOIN US IN THE ADVENTURE! Here’s what you can do:

1. Amazon Review – Jump on Amazon and help to spread the word by writing a quick book review. A few sentences of how the book impacted you and your recommendations can go a long way toward getting this story of God’s love in other people’s hands.

2. Share It – Let your friends know! One of the most powerful influences we have access to is social media. What better way to use this influence than by sharing the unbelievable story of God? Share it on Facebook, LinkedIn, and everywhere you’re connected.

3. Like It – Join the Reckless Pursuit community! Go to the book’s website or to the book’s Facebook page and “like” the book. From there, we can share stories of God’s love changing our lives.

4. Hand It Off – Reckless Pursuit was written with our friends in mind. People who may not know the love of our God or who may have a skewed view of him because of their experience with religion. Grab a couple extra copies of the book and hand them off to your friends who need to see how crazy their Father is for them.

Jump in with us! We have an amazing story to tell. Let the adventure begin…