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When things are looking bad, here's what is really going on behind-the-scenes...

They will be My people, and I will be their God.  I will unite them behind a single desire and purpose: to revere and worship Me forever for their own good and for the good of all who will come after them.  I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop blessing them with good things, and I will put in them a fear and respect of Me so they will not turn their backs to Me again.  It will be My great joy to do good things for them, and you can be sure that I will devote Myself completely to planting them anew in this land. - Jeremiah 32:38-41, The Voice

This powerful promise of God to His people is awe-inspiring.  The Father never gives up on His children.  If anything, He promises increased blessing to His kids.

I have a six-year-old and a one-year-old.  I love giving them presents on their birthday and at Christmas.  As a Daddy, I want to give my best to my kids.  

In our household, we don't wait until a few weeks out from Christmas or a birthday to begin shopping for presents; that's bad budgeting.  Instead we pick up presents year-round as special sales and clearances cycle through the year.  We already have all the kids' Christmas presents bought and stored away!

After we quietly purchase a special gift, we carefully place it on the top shelf in our bedroom closet.  This ensures that at just the right time, we can surprise our kids with a gift and share in their joy.  

It's funny, we might be out at a store with the kiddo's and one of them will see a toy or a book that they really, really want.  They'll ask and plead with big puppy-dog eyes.  As their Daddy, I LOVE when they ask me for a special gift.  And then I'll calmly say, "Not today, not yet."  Sure, they might experience disappointment in the moment, but I know what's coming.  On their special day, I'll whisk their presents out of the closet where they are safely prepared and parade it to their smiling face.  It brings me great joy to bless my kids.

And that's how it is with the Father.  He says that He will never stop blessing us with good things.  When we're going through a rough patch or things are looking bad, we can trust that our Father is simply shifting things around behind-the-scenes to bring us something better.

It brings the Father great joy to do good things for us.  He loves to hear our prayers and petitions, knowing full well that the blessing we're requesting is already purchased and awaiting its big reveal at just the right moment.  

What a great Father we have!

 


The School of Kicking Butt for Jesus Leadership Academy

Our church start-up just turned three months old and already has been attracting a number of young men who want to learn the ropes of church leadership in hopes of one day entering full-time ministry.  Adam and I love pouring into these young bucks and throwing them into the furnace (because its in the heat of serving on Sunday mornings that fine metals are formed and Jesus is experienced most intensely!).

One of the themes I'm trying to model and bang into their heads is the idea of being completely and sacrificially sold-out to the cause of Christ.  Half-hearted, wimpy applicants need not apply.  

While reading through Acts this morning, I stumbled upon the first recorded appearance of another young buck, Timothy, and the depths of his personal commitment to expanding the gospel's reach:

"Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and CIRCUMCISED HIM because of the Jews who were in those places..." (Acts 16:3, ESV)

Holy cow!!  Timothy was feeling called toward reaching people far from God, which is awesome.  Paul brings the young guy under his experienced wing, enrolling Timmy in
The School of Kicking Butt for Jesus Leadership Academy.  On Day One, Paul looks him over, sees a potential cultural hurdle for reaching the Hebrew masses, and basically says, "This is gonna leave a mark."  

Dang.  Now that's being completely and sacrificially sold out to the cause of Christ!!  
When you're willing to go under the knife and take your voice an octave higher, you're sold out to the cause in my book!

This is completely counter-cultural to the Millennial Generation's world of instant downloads, gratification at the click of a button, and "Selfies."  To be sold out to the cause of Christ is to be willing to, um, cut off anything that hinders the cause.

Acts 16 presents questions for all the Young Bucks out there, aspiring to be the next St. Paul or Spurgeon or Chandler or whatever:

  • Do you have that same passionate intensity for the things of God?  
  • Are you willing to do whatever it takes to smash hurdles between someone far from God and the Message of Jesus?  
  • Do you cling to comforts or embrace the pain? 
  • Are you sold out to the MALL or to the CALL?


 


Erasing Clark Kent

LifeatLifeChurch

I am having a BLAST teaching our current series, Erasing Clark Kent

You can grab the messages on iTunes here.

Two videos to share here.  

First, I was laughing SO HARD when we filmed this:

 

Second, our Band is off-the-wall tremendous.  

They covered 'Kryptonite' and rocked our collective faces off:

 

 


Flip This Facebook

HouseFlip
Ever see those shows on HGTV where they take an unkept house overcome with weeds and flip it into something more beautiful and useful?

That's what I just did with my Facebook.  I flipped it.

Don't get me wrong, Facebook is awesome.  It's a tremendous tool for connecting and communicating.  Heck, a large part of our church start-up's success has been on the back of Facebook.

My problem hasn't been with Facebook; my problem has been with me.  I've had a flimsy Facebook Friend policy of accepting every Friend Request.This resulted in:

  • Tons of Extra Noise: I am not interested in seeing pictures of what everyone is about to eat and a "Selfie" sounds like a rejected name for a deformed Smurf.
  • Game Requests: I don't play games on Facebook because they all have titles featuring "Diamonds" or "Jewels" and let's face it, I'm a dude, not Liberace.  Jewelry-themed video games don't interest me.
  • Message Interruptions: I'm a pastor and leader, therefore I have the spiritual gift of people-pleasing, so frantically trying to reply to the constant onslaught of messages was wearing me out.

And so I flipped my flippin' Facebook.

JonathanHerronFacebookFollowJon

I transformed my personal profile into a Page that still allows me to connect and communicate with everyone interested in Life Church and Cannonball, but that also protects my sanity.  

The only part that weirds me out is that Facebook requires you to "Like" me and become my "Fan."  Those terms don't jive with me, but it's the price of admission to use Facebook Pages, I suppose.  So push pass those terms and embrace the fun we'll have along the way.

I also set up a new, private profile for Friends.  If we share flesh-and-blood (family) or we closely do life together (a small, small handful of real-life friends), we'll connect there and I'll check in once a week or so.  But the real party is now at Facebook.com/FollowJon.

So there you go.  I flipped my Facebook.  
And for what it's worth, you can find more ways for us to connect here.

 



Three Leadership Tips from the Miami Heat

350x-8

The 2013 Eastern Conference Finals were INTENSE as the Indiana Pacers forced things all the way to Game 7... and the Heat won!  

At the end of the day, here are a number of Leadership Tips from this Finals series:

  • All great leaders play injured.  
    Bosh hurting?  So what.  Wade's knee?  Suck it up.  Nursing wounds?  No time for that.  Whatever it is, stop focusing on the pain and refocus on Christ!
  • Nba_g_chris-andersen_mb_300Everybody needs a Bird Man.  
    Chris Anderson may have been suspended for Game 6, but his emotion and passion in Game 5 was contagious!  Sometimes we all need to tap our inner Bird Man to get the team rallied for flight.
  • Less Michael Jordan and more Magic Johnson.  Everbody wondered which LeBron James would show up in crunch-time for Game 7: the solo-wonder Jordan or the ball-sharing Johnson.  It was the latter.  And the Heat won.  Together, big teams win big games.  Solo acts are lonely... so share the ball more.
  • BONUS TIP: Experience trumps moxy.  The Pacers are still learning.  That's ok.  After you've been tested and refined through the Heat of many epic battles, you are better prepared for the game ahead.  Embrace the losses and learn from them. 

So true in church-world:

And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.

They will call upon My Name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, 'They are My people';
and they will say, 'The Lord is my God.'"
- Zechariah 13:9 

 


Life at Life Church: Erasing Clark Kent, week one

LifeatLifeChurch

Our June message series kick off was killer.  
No kid grows up hoping and dreaming of becoming Clark Kent.

This series - Erasing Clark Kent - is the difference between maintaining a miniscule existence or unleashing one's God-given potential!

LifeChurchMichigan  LifeChurchGreenRoom  

The Man of Steel is remarkable for his sense of HONOR 

Honor is about HOW you carry yourself and WHO you represent!

"The man who walks with INTEGRITY walks SECURELY" - Proverbs 10:9

Righteousness guards the man of integrity!

LifeChurchLobby
LifeChurchSaginawMichiganworship

Integrity comes from the root word integer which is a whole number.

A number with no fraction is a whole number.
A life with no fraction is a whole life!

JonathanHerronLifeChurchPastor  IMG_0437

Sunday marked 77 Days since launching Life Church Michigan.

In less than 3 months, we've seen 30 people become Christ followers
and 13 people go public with their faith through baptism!! 

Moving forward, this series is shaping up to be something very special.  
Looking forward to next weekend!

Week 1 of Erasing Clark Kent is available on iTunes now!

LifeChurchStage