This is my life as an intern at Saddleback Church while working on the Regional Ministries Support Team. Check back regularly for updates, things I am learning and random thoughts about life.

Vision for the Church Blog Post

Apparently I signed up to receive Redeemer City to City month emails at some point in the last month because today I received an email from them with some highlights over the past month. One blog post got my attention De-Industrialising The Church by Felipe Assis. It is a two-part post that I found intriging. Here are the posts, part 1 and part 2. He says that this is just his speculation. If you have any thoughts feel free to share them. I’d be interested to see what people think.

Posted via email from jcvarner’s posterous | Comment »

KNOWN TO BE SAVED and KNOWN TO BE LOST

Short article about an amazing man. If you’re a Christian would you do this for someone? 

http://baptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=37601

Posted via email from jcvarner’s posterous | Comment »

Christ’s Death

This semester I’m in a class on the book of Romans. We’ve been going through the entire book looking at what Paul was teaching in it by the Holy Spirit. A few weeks ago we reached Romans 5 and it has caused me to ponder something about is death. I’ve been pondering verse 12 and some implications of my own thought. Verse 12 reads “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12 HCSB). 

What I’ve been thinking about heavily revolves around the Christian belief that Christ was indeed sinless, that he lived the perfect life free of sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). What I’ve been thinking about is that Christ shouldn’t have died, not in a purpose sense but in a consiquence sense. As we see in Romans 5:12 death is a natural consiquence of sin. If sin had not entered the world, death would not have entered it either. This is a difficult idea for us to grasp because death is so real to us, more real than sin at times. By that I mean we consciously grasp death better than we do sin. Since Jesus never sinned he should never had died. I had never thought about this before. It never occured to me that Christ would never have died. Death is so normal to us that we expect all people to die, which is a quality I mistakenly put upon Jesus. If someone were to never sin they would live forever. Every man’s death is proof of his sinfulness. 

But then we must ask “Why did Jesus die? If he never sinned then why did he receive the punishment for it?” That is because God put the punishment of the sin of men upon him. This is clearly seen in the 2 Corinthians verse I linked to above. If Christ had not taken our sin upon himself he would have lived forever in a human sense. But God in his infinite love for humanity made Christ sin so that we might be made righteouss. We still face death but we also face eternal life as well, depending on if we have faith in God it will be eternally with him and if we do not place our faith in him it will be eternally seperated. 

On this Good Friday, or any day you happen to read this, may you realize the depth of your sin that Christ himself took upon himself. May you turn to him and receive his free gift of salvation. May you glorify the Lord in his glorious death. 

Posted via email from jcvarner’s posterous | Comment »

welovephoneography:

Instawalks can now do double duty thanks to the nPowerPEG!

All that walking you do while out snapping is kinetic energy, and the nPowerPEG can turn that energy back into power for your camera phone, so you can just keep on snappin’. 

Walk, Take Pics, & Charge Your Camera Phone With the nPowerPEG

via Pinterest, with photos from the nPowerPEG web site

Rudy

Last night, the wife and I watched the movie Rudy. We did so at my request. Recently I’ve found myself with an extreme desire to “get in the game” when it comes to serving as a pastor, but the Lord is withholding this for the time being. Not sure why He is, but that does not change the fact. I’ve found myself identifying with Rudy as of late. Two scenes of the film really hit me as we watched.

The first is an interaction between Rudy and one of the Catholic priests at the school. Rudy is in the church and praying when they have this interaction:

Father Cavanaugh: [in church] Taking your appeal to a higher authority? 
Rudy: I’m desperate. If I don’t get in next semester, it’s over. Notre Dame doesn’t accept senior transfers. 
Father Cavanaugh: Well, you’ve done a hell of a job kid, chasing down your dream. 
Rudy: Who cares what kind of job I did if it doesn’t produce results? It doesn’t mean anything. 
Father Cavanaugh: I think you’ll find that it will. 
Rudy: Maybe I haven’t prayed enough. 
Father Cavanaugh: I don’t think that’s the problem. Praying is something we do in our time, the answers come in God’s time. 
Rudy: If I’ve done everything I possibly can, can you help me? 
Father Cavanaugh: Son, in thirty-five years of religious study, I’ve come up with only two hard, incontrovertible facts; there is a God, and, I’m not Him. 

This scene struck me because of two things. The first is the statement about prayer being something we do in our time and God answering in His time. I’m not exactly sure this is Biblical, but I’m not sure it isn’t. I can’t think of any place in scripture where He promises to answer immediately. This was a great reminder for me. Like the woman in Luke 18:1-5 

 1 He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: 2 ”There was a judge in one town who didn’t fear God or respect man. 3 And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 ”For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’ “6 Then the Lord said, ”Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [to help] them? 8 I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?” (HCSB)

Now I know it says that He will swiftly grant justice. But we must realize that this is from God’s perspective, not ours. “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8 ESV) So God maybe swift but it doesn’t appear that way to us, Daniel is another good example of this. 

The second thing about this scene that struck me was the statement about not being God. That is a great reminder. Often we think we’re dictating the situation, but that simply isn’t the case. 

 

The other scene was one with a young Vince Vaughn, yep I said that. In this scene they are at the final practice for the final game of the season and Rudy tackles Vince Vaughn’s character, Jamie O’Hara, and Jamie didn’t care for that much in the last practice. They get into an argument and the head coach, Parseghian, breaks them up and this conversation ensues. 

Ara Parseghian: What’s your problem, O’Hare, what’s your problem? 

Jamie O’Hara: Last practice of the season and this asshole thinks it’s the Super Bowl! 

Ara Parseghian: You just summed up your entire sorry career here in one sentence! If you had a tenth of the heart of Ruettiger, you’d have made All-American by now! As it is, you just went from third team to the prep team! Get out of here!

 

In that moment I had to ask myself “Am I being like O’Hara or Rudy? Do I have the heart, aka the effort/emotion, of Rudy or am I just getting by with my natural talents like O’Hara?” You see Rudy has no natural talent for football, but O’Hara does. Rudy’s devotion to the end goal is what is driving him, O’Hara on the other hand is simply getting by on his natural talents. That was probably the most meaningful moment of the film for me as I watched it this time around. I think I’ve probably got the heart of O’Hara right now, not Rudy. And that needs to change. 

 

I’m not exactly sure how to end this blog post. Here is a question for you I guess “Are you giving you’re whole heart to the task God has given you? And Him? Or are you surviving on the talents He’s already given?”

Posted via email from jcvarner’s posterous | Comment »

In Good Company

Today I read an article by Christianity Today titled A History of Darkness. It describes a condition that Christians have often experienced throughout history that has come to be known as The Dark Night of the Soul. 

If you are a genuine believer, one who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and repented of your sins, I’d encourage you to read the article. You might at some point in your life encounter this condition. But be sure that your separation from God is not your own doing through sin or withdrawal from God. For there are 4 reasons God might seem far from us. 1) We do not have a genuine relationship with him 2) We have unconfessed sin in our lives 3) We’ve walked away from God, which I suppose is a form of sin 4) He has withdrawn the feeling of His presence so that we will come to a truer understanding of who He actually is. 

Here is the article. http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2011/fall/historydarkness.html

Posted via email from jcvarner’s posterous | Comment »