Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

This week I am slammed with papers due, Greek homework, and writing a sermon for Sunday. My desk accurately portrays what my week looks like...a lot going on. Anyways, hopefully I'll be able to write some blogs once I complete my sermon.

God Bless,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If you own an iPhone

For all my friends who own an iPhone, the coolest iPhone charger out there. The Umbilical iPhone Cable, watch the video below to see if in action (yeah it moves!).

God Bless,


Monday, November 14, 2011


     One of the requirements of the MDIV program here at Denver Seminary is to be involved in a fairly intensive mentoring program. Part of the mentoring is working on 'character contracts' which seek to help one develop their character in order to be healthier and more effective pastors. This semester my character contract is focusing on humility. How does one obtain humility, what does it look like, how did Jesus display humility? These are just a few of the questions I have been wrestling with throughout this semester and at times it feels like I now have more questioning about humility than when I started this process.
I was journalist a little bit about this process yesterday and wanted to share some of my thoughts. These are not completely polished or finalized thoughts on the topic of humility, but more just a glimpse of my mind working through humility.

Here he was, God's son, part of the triune God head, in a mans body, walking around in His Father's broken creation. I imagine Jesus was actually hurting in more ways than we often recognize. Here He was in a world that was meant to be beautiful and a representation of God, but instead it was/is broken, damaged, torn apart, filled with sin and yet there in the midst of everything was God's Son in all His glory. How did Jesus walk around day after day in this broken world without crying all day over the destruction of something so beautiful, yet do damaged now? Was it because He was God? Yes and yes. Jesus was able to walk the earth because of His great humility which he exhibited. Humility, humiliation, one can see it throughout Jesus' life. From His mother asking Him to perform miracles before He is ready, as if he were a magician to being spit on, mocked, and crucified on the cross. The question for me becomes am I willing to be spit on, mocked, or crucified for Christ, because these actions take great humility. Some days I think the answer is emphatically Yes! However other days I don't know if I could endure it. Thankfully these are the days Christ upholds me and reminds me that it is ONLY by His strength now my own. Praise God!
  I believe that in our society today humility is not something at carries with it a high value. We believe that one should seek out power, wealth, and prestige rather than humility. As Christians we are called to a different lifestyle, one that is committed to humility, and with this humiliation at times. I am challenging myself (and you) to take some time this week to think about ways in which you are pursuing a humble life? How can you in your humility both become like Christ and also know Him more deeply.
God bless,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

4 cups of coffee later.

My next coffee cup!

That's right, I have had 4 cups of coffee today. Perhaps I am trying to make up for the exhaustion I feel from our whirlwind trip last weekend to Seattle or perhaps I just love coffee. This week is going to be a busy week filled with a ton of reading, beginning a 16 page paper, and trying to memorize Greek vocabulary. Hopefully I can find some time to throw up a quick blog post tomorrow or Thursday, but know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth.



Friday, September 16, 2011

Our need for a Sabbath

On the Sabbath-
we learn that efficiency is
not God’s highest goal for
our life.
-Rob Bell
Hate him or love him, I believe that Rob Bell has correctly described both what our Sabbath should be as well as why we need a Sabbath. Far too often in our lives we buy into the worlds message that the most important aspect of our life is our efficiency. We run around 7 days a weeks trying to cram as much into the 168 hours we are given in a week. We find ourselves complaining about not having enough time in our days or wishing that God would just give us a 26 hour day so we could accomplish more. Rarely do we stop and think about if we are trying to do too much or if we are scheduling God right out of our busy lives.
In the fall of 2010 I was finishing up my job as a youth director after being let go due to budget cuts. My wife and I were packing up our apartment, Amy was graduating college, and we were preparing to move from Portland,OR to Littleton, CO. Needless to say life was chaotic and I felt as though we were constantly busy. It was during this same time that I listened to a lecture Rob Bell had given to graduate level counseling students at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle(there is no relation to the church). Bell was explaining to the students that we all have ingrained in us a need from our Creator for rest in our lives, The Bible is very clear that we are commanded to take a day of rest, a Sabbath every week. As Christians we try hard to follow the instructions we are given in the Bible, however, too often we ignore God's call in our lives for a Sabbath. We come up with excuses time and time again that prevent us from carving out intentional times of rest. One of the things that stuck with me from Bell's lecture was when he challenged the students to take a Sabbath. He informed these students that if they don' t begin taking a Sabbath know, when will they? If you can't find time this week to set everything aside and rest in the Lord then when will be a good time.
I was greatly challenged by this and felt convicted of the fact that I have never taken a Sabbath on a regular basis. As I began seminary a year ago I committed to taking Sunday as a Sabbath. The Sabbath for me would mean a day of rest, a day without the stresses of homework or work. Some Sundays this means that Amy and I go to church and then come home and take a long Sunday naps. Other Sundays I take time to talk with family or catch up on reading. Really there is nothing that I must do except be with the Lord and rest in Him. My Sabbaths have become a time of remembering that I can not do it all, that I need God to help me and am dependent on Him. While taking a Sabbath has at times been difficult, like when I have a huge paper due Tuesday, I have grown to love this day more than any other. God has used my commitment of the Sabbath to refresh me when I am week and amazingly there is always enough time to get everything done.
I want to challenge you this week to take a Sabbath. This may mean that you have to skip watching your favorite show in order to finish everything you need to so you can rest on the Sabbath. Your Sabbath doesn't have to be on Sunday, it can be any day of the week. I believe if you commit to giving this time to the Lord you will find that He will give you all the time you need and your time resting in him will become invaluable. May we all rest at some point this week in our Lord and Savior, and in doing so recognize that it is not all about us. Blessings, Jason

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do you tailor Christianity to fit your needs?

Tailored Jesus?

I read this interesting article a few days ago titled "More Americans tailoring religion to fit their needs". I have been thinking about the concept of tailoring Christianity to our needs, and have been wrestling with the question of how much do we ignore difficult parts of the gospels because they don't fit our version of Christianity. My OT professor, Dr. Danny Carroll, challenged us in class yesterday that far too often in westernized Christianity we often cling to our theology too tightly. He suggested that even when we hit verses that disagree with our theology, we allow our logic to trump the scripture. We twists the scripture to support our own theology rather than allowing scripture to reshape our logic. I was challenged to continually try to allow the scripture to be the basis for my life rather than my own ideas. If you want to check out the article I have posted the link below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the question of how much do we tailor Christianity to fit our needs.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thoughts for the Morning

King Solomon

For one of my classes this semester, Kingdom of Israel & it's Prophets, we are reading very large chunks of the Old Testament. It has been a blessing to be able to read the Bible for my homework, and I have really enjoyed diving into the OT. This morning I was finishing up our assigned reading of 1 Kings 1-11. It is in this section that we see David's son Solomon become King, rule with wisdom, construct the temple for the Lord, build a massive palace for himself(I checked and his house was almost 7,000 sq. feet), and eventually turn away from the Lord. While Solomon was a very wise man as he got older he became distracted by temptations of the world. The Bible tells us that Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (11:3) and that as he grew old "his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God."

I believe that far too often we allow things of the world to distract us from whole heartedly seeking after God in our lives. This passage has got me thinking about what things in my life turn my heart away from the Lord? Is it the shows I watch on TV, the desire to have "enough" money, a pursuit of education, trying to make friends and family happy? I believe that as Christians we must constantly be reevaluating our lives to ensure that we stay focused on God and serving him. This passage has challenged me to think about what areas of my life distract me from God and what areas bring me closer to the Lord. It is my hope that I will focus more on the latter in order to continue drawing nearer to the Lord. May you take the time to examine your own life this week and weed out those things that draw you away from the Lord and focus on drawing nearer to the Lord every day.

God bless

Sunday, September 11, 2011


This morning I once again had the opportunity to preach at 1st Reformed Church here in Denver, CO. I was a little nervous about preaching on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, especially when the lectionary text I chose was focused on forgiving those who have wronged us. Thankfully, God is gracious and gave me the right words to say! I spent most of this week reading commentaries, reading Bibles, writing out ideas, praying, and writing my sermon. I spent the better part of Friday and Saturday holed up in coffee shops trying to finish my sermon. I experienced writers block Friday and thus ended up not finishing the sermon until Saturday at about 12:30p.m. This left me with a lot less time to practice than I had wanted, but God is good and everything went well.

I preached on Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unmerciful servant. I challenged the congregation that there are three things we can learn from this parable.

(1) We are sinners,
(2) God gives us grace,
(3) By extending forgiveness to those around us, we can truly experience the grace of God in our own    lives.

I had a blast preaching, and I am really beginning to enjoy the routine of preparing and delivering a sermon. If anyone is interested in seeing my manuscript please just let me know, and I can e-mail you a copy. I tried to video my sermon but the battery on my flip camera died.

I want to end this post by sharing a funny story that happened while I was getting dressed this morning for church. Sometimes our ability to laugh at ourselves can be just what we need to release some tension and calm our nerves. I had put on my slacks and dress shirt and decided that I should wear a tie. Now I only know how to tie one tie knot, and I have been using this exact one since the 9th grade. The only knot I know how to tie is the half windsor knot, it goes something like this,

Well this morning I decided that I wanted to use a different tie knot since you know, I am preaching and should be well dressed and have the perfect knot for my tie. I decided I should google how to tie a full windsor knot, as they project power and confidence. I read a step by step instructional online and even watched a video. I knew that now I was ready to tie my tie. I tied it while watching the video and when I was done I just laughed. There was no way my tie knot projected confidence or power! I showed Amy and we both laughed pretty hard. I know you are dying to see what my knot looked like, good thing I took a picture.
Needless to say, I don't think I have mastered the full windsor knot. I ended up just trying my good old half windsor knot, and I don't think anyone at church noticed or cared. Hope you all had a great weekend, God bless!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why is preaching still important?

(St. Paul preaching in Athens)
I have been thinking a lot lately about preaching in the North American Church and questioning why I have such a deep passion for it. As I was driving home from visiting a new coffee house(St. Mark’s Coffee House) on Saturday night with Amy we began to talk about preaching in church, and how I was excited to hear one of my favorite professors preach at Mission Hills Church the next morning. I was excited to hear this particular professor preach since he is the main preaching professor at Denver Seminary. This got me thinking and talking with Amy about my passion for preaching and how I hope to one day be a very Godly and impactful preacher.  
I have really felt that God has been giving me more of a desire to preach throughout this last year. I haven’t really been able to put my finger on why this is or what this means for my future as a pastor, but I have definitely been interested in the idea of a preaching pastor However, while talking with Amy I realized that part of the reason I am passionate about preaching is due to the fact that I am passionate about reaching people for Christ. I want to see people live more authentic and Godly lives on a daily basis. It hit me that as a pastor one of the main areas you are allowed to speak into people’s lives is through your sermon on Sunday mornings. Sure you will get lunch with people in your congregation throughout the week, but the majority of people will not have time or seek out meetings with the pastor during the week. 
I believe that most of the people who do seek out additional time with pastors are often those who have a good relationship with the Lord. I realized that I want to preach because I want to inspire people to grow closer to the Lord. I want to challenge people to think through what they believe and be able to articulate it clearly. I want to teach people to understand the Bible clearly and to recognize the importance that the Bible still has in our lives today. And most importantly, I want to preach because I want to serve God whole heartedly with my gifts and talents, and I believe this is an area he has gifted me in and is continuously cultivating in my life.
As I look towards beginning another semester of school in the fall I am trying to be wise with my time off this summer. I am reading some books on preaching, I bought the videos from a conference on the art of preaching and I am watching some podcast of impactful preachers. My prayer is that through spending the time researching, reading and listening to preachers I will be able to cultivate the gifts God has given me. If you have any suggestions on books to read related to preaching or preachers to listen to I would welcome any and all suggestions. God bless.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Price of Neglect

     Recently I have began to read A.W. Tozer's The Price of Neglect. While I was home in Seattle my brother John gave me this book and suggested I read it. I had informed him that I have not read anything by Tozer, but have heard a great deal about him. I started reading Tozer's book last week and was immediately struck by the importance of what he is saying. I believe that right away he challenges Christians to stand up for the truth found in scripture and raises important questions that we must wrestle with as we look at the future of both Christianity and the church. The chapters are short and being that I feel it is very important, I have written out the first chapter from the book for you to read and wrestle with yourself. I would love to hear any thoughts you have on the topic or Tozer's work. 

The Price of Neglect
Plato has somewhere said that in a democratic society the price wise men pay for neglecting politics is to be ruled by unwise men.
This observation is so patently true that no one who values his reputation for clear thinking is likely to contest it.
In America, for instance, there are millions of plain men and women, decent, honest and peace loving, who take their blessings for granted and make no effort to assure the continuance of our free society. These persons are without doubt far in the majority. They constitute the main body of our population, but for all their numbers they are not going to determine the direction our country will go in the next few years. Their weakness lies in their passivity. They sit back and allow radicals and those in the minority but who shout the loudest to set the course for the future. If this continues much longer we have no assurance that we can retain that liberty which was once purchased for us at such appalling cost.
The price good and sober Christians pay for doing nothing is to be led by those highly vocal minorities whose only qualifications for leadership are an overweening ambition and a loud voice. And there have always been and always will be such persons in the congregations of the saints. They know least and talk most, while sane and godly men too often give up leadership to them rather than to resist them. Later these same docile souls may shake their heads and lament their captivity. But by that time it is too late.
Within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and dismaying trends away from true Bible Christianity. A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of Scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world--and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition. And this in spite of the fact that the Bible-honoring followers of Christ lament among themselves the dangerous, wobbly course things are taking.
So radically is the essential spirit and content of orthodox Christianity changing these days under the vigorous leadership of undiscerning religionists that, if the trend is not sopped, what is called Christianity will soon be something altogether other than the faith of our fathers. We’ll have only Bible words left. Bible religion will have perished from wounds received in the house of her friends.
The times call for a Spirit-baptized and articulate orthodoxy. They whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost must arise and under God assume leadership. There are those among us whose hearts can discern between the true and the false, whose spiritual sense of smell enables them to detect the spurious afar off, who have the blessed gift of knowing. Let such as these arise and be heard. Who knows but the Lord may return and leave a blessing behind Him?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Glimpse of Seattle

I just got home from a wonderful time in Seattle, WA with family and friends. During my trip I had the chance to go visit the Edmonds waterfront which has always been one of my favorite places to spend time praying and discerning God's will. I will look forward to posting a new blog tomorrow, but for now I need to get some much needed rest after flying in late tonight. 


Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to preach to the masses?

     I have been thinking a lot lately about how one can most effectively preach in a typical church setting. How does a pastor convey the truth of scriptures in such a way that the congregation is not only captivated, but moved to action. For many years I have sensed that  whatever pastoral role God is leading me towards will involve preaching. I have a deep passion for preaching and believe that it is an important and useful aspect of our church worship services. Despite my belief that it is still crucial to our growth as Christians, I also believe that there are many preachers who lack inspiration and passion. The question for me is how do preachers allow their sermons to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, passionate, Bible based and meaningful to the point that listeners are moved to live more authentic and Christ based lives? Is this even possible or are my expectations too high?  
     This week I am back in Seattle visiting family and friends, which also means figuring out where Amy and I want to worship on Sundays. Last Sunday we visited my good friend Mark's church and really enjoyed their small, intimate service. This morning we decided to worship at the church I grew up in (which is always a mix of emotions for me) and worshipped with Amy's parents. The pastor who preached was a woman, in here late 30's, who at times sounded more like a stand up comedian than a pastor. I know that it is difficult to preach, especially in front of hundreds of people, but I find as I study the art of preaching it becomes more difficult not to critique the sermons I hear. All in all this women preached a good sermon and I listened attentively to the entire sermon, however, 8 hours later I can barely remember anything she said. Why is it that we can spend hours of our weeks preparing sermons, stressing out over if our illustrations will be effective and preach our hearts out only to have the congregation leave unchanged.
     I have within me a burning passion to be more effective as a preacher. I don't know what this will look like or how I will achieve this, but I am determined to someday, by the grace of God, inspire people through my preaching. I hope and pray that God will use my words to pull people closer to Him. If we, as the Church, are to bring people to Christ and help others understanding the living hope we have in Christ, we must tirelessly search for the most effective ways to reach people, including how we preach the word of God, which must be the foundation for all else. I am excited to use some of my free time to study the art of preaching. I plan to read a couple books about this topic, listen to some amazing preachers and look at the style and techniques of their sermons and watch some videos from a conference on preaching. Hopefully I will find the time to continue writing out some of my thoughts about this topic here on my blog as I continue to work towards one day becoming an effective preacher.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Life in Seattle

Amy and I have been back in Seattle since June 17th and will be here until June 28th. It has been so nice to spend a lot of time with family and enjoy some cooler weather. This trip has been full of many joyous occasions such as meeting my favorite nephew Liam and being the best man in my older brother Joel's wedding. Needless to say due to the chaos of our time here I have fallen behind on my goal of reading the entire Bible in 90 days. Once I return to Denver I will need to spend my time studying Greek and reading my Bible in order to meet some of my goals for the summer. I am off to go see family and enjoy some Thai food tonight, but I've posted a few photo's for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Great Morning

On Monday morning Amy had to work so I was left home alone for most of the day. Being that it is summer and I have been being a little lazy while I look for a job, I decided to be productive on Monday. After Amy left for work I spent some much needed time with the Lord which was extremely refreshing and good for me. Whenever I really want to have a good quiet time with the Lord the three elements above help ensure it, especially my Bible and journal. I have been reading through Leviticus lately and despite it sometimes being a little bit slow with all the laws God is giving I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have decided to attempt reading the entire Bible over my summer break. I found the Read the Bible in 90 days plan here and am attempting to follow it. Life has been busy the last week or so as I have been working on finishing up a paper for my one and only summer class and I have fell slightly behind in my reading. To read the Bible in 90 days requires you read about 12 pages every day which is pretty intense. While I am behind I am still going to push forward to seek to make up some ground once we return from Seattle. Hopefully I will take some time on this blog throughout the summer to share what I have been learning as I move quickly through the Bible.
God bless!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Finding Your Voice-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I’ve been working on finishing up a great new book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer that came out last year. The book is fairly large (608 pages). It was written by Eric Metaxes and is titled Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and is very well written. I have read bits and pieces of Bonhoeffer’s works throughout the years, but have never read a biography about him. I’ve been wanting to know more of his story than the little pieces I have always heard about (like his role in trying to assassinate Hitler), and this book has been perfect in providing this. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a influential Christian in Germany during  the 1930’s and 1940’s.
As I’ve been thinking more about the topic of finding your voice I have been greatly encouraged by the way Bonhoeffer chose to speak up against one of the most violent men in the history of our world. Bonhoeffer’s opposition towards Hitler during his era was rare as most people (pastors included) chose to not speak up against the evil Hitler represented. Bonhoeffer was willing to risk his life to speak out against Hitler by encouraging other Christians to stand firm in their faith, even in the midst of evil.
My prayer is that as I grow in my relationship with Christ and become more the man He created me to be I will also learn to speak up for truth. I hope I will be willing to speak out against injustice and fight against evil, even if it causes great loss. My hope is that you too will find your voice and stand up in defense of the Christian faith, proclaiming loudly the goodness of our God in all areas of life.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What kind of missionary will you be?

Last week at church they played this video during the worship service. I thought it was very well done and was encouraging in how it suggest Christians should live. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Updates Soon

Sorry I haven't posted anything new recently, but I have been super busy with school. I am currently sitting in the library at Denver Seminary working on a 16 page Inductive Bible Study paper on 1 Peter 4:1-11. I have a couple of blog post I have been working on which I will hopefully post sometime next week. For now I will leave you with the passage in 1 Peter my paper is on and a picture of my desk in the library. God bless.

1 Peter 4:1-11 (New International Version, ©2011)

Living for God
 1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finding your Voice

When I created this blog it was with the intention of having a place to process my thoughts, ideas, or questions regarding my faith. I have neglected it over the past 5 months largely because I have not had the capacity to process much outside of my seminary classes. I have been learning a lot about the church, my beliefs, and the vision  I believe God is giving me for the Church. I believe that after having finished my first semester of seminary I am moving out of the fog and into a space where I have the capacity to begin putting my words to paper. 
I want to take a few post to look at historical Christians who have found their voice and been willing to raise it for what they believe. Too often I believe that our churches (and Christians in general) have been unwilling to stand up for our beliefs and voice the truths found in scripture. In a society that all too often drowns out the voices of reason with those of fame and fortune I believe that many more Christians need to find their voice and proclaim their beliefs boldly. Last week I saw the movie “The Kings Speech” and was reminded that I have a voice and it is about time I begin to use it to stand up for my beliefs. My hope is that through looking at the courage of other Christians to speak the truth we may be inspired to boldly proclaim Christ to a world that so desperately needs Him. Please check this blog for some new updates to come over the next month. God bless.

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