So Random

7 07 2010

“Some people call it ‘chance’.” One of my supervising brokers stated to me when I told him of the multiple conversations I was having with people regarding real estate, before I’ve gone through any training. From meeting a couple who are moving over from Spokane, to an owner of a restaurant listening in on the convo to let me know that he may be interested soon. From an individual who is selling their house to the county, to the 200+ views on jasonthomashomes.com logged in 2 days, without content. Is it just chance? Perhaps. But could it be more?

I believe that I am undeservedly blessed. That despite my failures, shortcomings, constant struggles and straight up defiance, God continues to love and provide. Like I’ve stated before, that isn’t always financial. And most of the time I think we go through struggles and hard times to help us realign with the love of the Father. I choose to believe that as I continue to give my life to following Jesus and learning to live and love as he does, that I will be blessed so that I can be a blessing.

Today, while prepping for a youth min message, I met a real estate agent who is moving into Bonney Lake from Alki. We talked about RE for a bit, but ultimately found out that he has gone to church, but never really been too involved. He took down the time and location for Open Life’s sunday gathering, and proceeded to say they would be there this sunday with his family. Is it chance?

I choose to believe that it was a setup encounter, to initiate conversation with someone that God is working on. In fact, I’m trying to believe that every person I meet is a setup encounter. A moment in eternity for me to be Jesus’ love for someone he cares about. Regardless of belief, orientation, race, gender, past, vocation, etc… each person is predestined for a relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit will cultivate, and I will love.

A random post. But something I’m thinking about today.

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Resurrection : The Video posted by Rob Bell for Easter

2 05 2010

Rob Bell put this out for Easter, I posted it on my facebook profile but thought I would add it to my blog for future reference. Creative communicator.





It’s a God thing!!…or is it?

29 04 2010

Last night, while working through an assessment and exam on Microsoft Access (Not a hard program, but it’s main flaw it that it’s designed by MS) I needed something to keep my mind working. Often times when using PC programs I tend to get frustrated with it not responding the way a mac would, and it really irritates me. So to keep my mind fresh, I will listen to music or a podcast to allow a balance to occur. Which is what I did last night.

I was listening to a new podcast from Rob Bell @ Mars Hill and he starting ranting on a thought he had while speaking. Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh it was such a God thing!” or “I know, we were so blessed, such a God thing.” I’ve always found it to be an interesting statement, and one that seemed to be so simple and yet just thrown around.

Why is it that only times of “American styled blessing” do we say it’s a ‘God Thing’? I know that the Bible says “every good and perfect thing” comes from God, and I would agree with that statement. But what about the suffering? What about the sacrifices we often have to give and live through? Couldn’t those also be ‘God Things’? We don’t like to say that because we can never imagine a God who asks us to sacrifice, but isn’t that just what Jesus asked us to do if we truly want to follow him? Without sacrificing our own desires and way of life preferences, we can’t truly pick up our cross and follow him.

Therefore, I propose that we stop labeling everything that has a material benefit for us and things that go as we had expected or desired them to as “God Things” and begin to think of life as a God Thing.

Often confusing.

Sacrifices often more Sacred than Blessings.

Money is not God.

Love those who Hate.

Hope for Humanity.

God’s Blessings are Rarely Financial.

Always worth it.

I appreciate Bell. He thinks the way I want to. What is the truth behind the truth? This life isn’t about you, it’s not about me. It’s about a powerful, all present and knowing God who created the earth, and everything on it. It’s about knowing Him, learning to live in unity with His spirit and love. It’s not about fighting to be right, but rather to live a life of sacrifice.





NEW STUDY!! Coffee truly makes you slow down!

15 04 2010

Today I had the privilege, nay, the honor of having coffee with one of my close friends- Micah Cruger. It was a fabulous ‘heaven meets earth’ moment as the barista handed me my free Pike Place Drip (second for the day) in honor of my Revolution Mug. And then I found out they were giving out free coffee for anyone with travel mugs today, which sort of shattered my celebratory moment. As Micah and I sat conversing about life, love and mysteries that surround the world in which we live, I found myself feeling a bit absent minded- distracted from a normal mental thought pattern you might say. It could have been the fact that I have been cramming real estate classes, or the fact that I read Mark Batterson’s book “Primal” in a grand total of 2.5 hours yesterday, but regardless, my mind felt a little disconnected.

This had nothing to do with Micah, in fact, he probably helped me back into reality, but what I discovered is that maybe philosophizing, thinking, worrying and pondering about ecclesiological issues too much can cause discontent with the life and journey for which God has created us for. This isn’t to say that we stop asking questions about purpose, like “what were we created for? What does Jesus’ death truly mean for all of creation? How does the church live in such a way that the Spirit of God permeates everywhere the church is?” But maybe it’s time in my life, and perhaps yours, to turn off the philosophy for a moment. Just for a short while. Just long enough to look around, realize that what God created is good, and his will is going to be accomplished. That he is constantly revealing himself to mankind, and that above all he has a longing for a loving relationship with his creation. So maybe the church leadership that you are going to doesn’t seem to do things exactly like you want them to, if it’s not major doctrine issue, let it go and just move on! Most likely we are all in this with the heartbeat of God beating inside of us for others to experience the relationship we have. Worship environments are going to look different. Life choices may not be the same. Vocations won’t all be full time ministry. That’s okay!

So- for this post, and for today. I’m reminded to take a moment to relax. Press the pause button on my philosophical journey of ecclesia musings and just know that he is God. Above all – we are to love him with our heart, soul, mind and strength…and the second is just as important. Love our neighbors as ourselves. This pretty much wraps up what Jesus thought was important….Love God. Love People. Drink Starbucks. Make Disciples.





I love America and I love being an American. But, I am a Christian.

24 03 2010

“I love America and I love being an American. The energy of Americans, the ability to hew out lives often in unforgiving land, the natural generosity of Americans, I cherish. But I am a Christian. I cannot avoid the reality that American Christianity has been less than it should have been just to the extent that the church has failed to make clear that America’s god is not the God we worship as Christians. If I am right that we are now facing the end of Protestantism, hopefully that will leave the church in America in a position with nothing to lose. When you have nothing to lose all you have left is the truth. So I am hopeful that God may yet make the Church faithful even in America.”  *Excerpt from Stanley Hauerwas’ Essay on America’s God

CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE ESSAY

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School, delivered this lecture at Church of the Incarnation, Dallas, Texas, on March 7 as part of a weekend of events cosponsored by the congregation and The Living Church.

Thought provoking essay. I am not posting this to say I believe 100% with the author, but rather to engage in the thought. Long read, big words, not recommended for everyone! -Jason

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For the price of a beer a week…liver stays cleaner & child is given life.

15 03 2010

The other day, Sheena and I went downtown Seattle to view an exhibit called ‘Bodies‘. A strange and informative exhibit where you view real bodies that have been preserved, giving a glimpse into what our bodies look like under the skin. As a nurse, she loved it! She could barely contain her excitement as she pointed out parts of the body, remembering names and functions. My main concern was…this is all gonna keep working inside me right? I was assured that it would for awhile!

Before this we hit up a fabulous chowder spot, using a coupon to get half off our order. If you are ever downtown, you need to go to Pike Place Chowder!

It was between our chowder tasting and the bodies exhibit that our lives were changed. We were meandering around, in and out of different buildings, just enjoying the day. As we stepped onto the corner across from the exhibition hall, I caught the eye of a guy who appeared to be selling something. Another glance across the street told me that there were a couple of them out here! I looked back at him, and he laughed, started walking towards us, and said “uh oh! Don’t make eye contact!” Then, because sometimes I am actually a nice person, I asked him “why not?”

Convo starts up, and crazy enough, Sheena went to the same high school as this guy. He lives simply, is in a band, just got a small house with buddies and offering it as a halfway house for homeless guys, plays his guitar at the market for extra money to sponsor a little girl. When he was broke, without a job, he was persuaded to sponsor a child who had less than he had. Did he really need a new pair of shoes? Couldn’t he give up a beer every week? Caught on the day he wore his $70 jeans. It’s because of that little girl that he stands on the corner. He is an advocate (yes, he is also paid) for Children International. He loves Jesus and his way. And today, it’s our turn to feel guilty.

Sheena and I have always talked about sponsoring children around the world, but it was always that. We talked about it, said we should do it, and waited until we were making more money to do it. Well, here was a guy, who lives on less than we do. Doesn’t shop or eat out near as much as we do. And he can sponsor a child. Sort of made our excuses seem lame. He was only sharing his story with us because he knew Sheena, but in the end, we told him we’d like to sponsor a child. Should have seen his face! He lit up! “Seriously?! Like, right now?!”

All that to say, our ‘adopted’ (sponsored) girl’s name is Rosalia. She lives in one of the poorest areas of Guatemala. She is 10 years old, and has 7 siblings. We like to think she is apart of our family now, as well as her physical family. For $22/month we are providing for her basic needs. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22) If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you? (1 John 3:17)

We aren’t rich. We aren’t perfect. We aren’t without reasons that would keep us from giving. But we are blessed. We are being redeemed. And we are loved beyond all units of measure.

If you have ever thought about giving out of your blessings to help a child around the world, I encourage you to check out Children International. Check out their website here. Yes, there are other “Christian” organizations out there, but this is the one we have chosen to partner with – and we will do the work of sharing Jesus’ love with Rosalia. If you would rather, World Vision, Compassion International and Latin American Child Care are incredible organizations. (Rosalia pictured below)

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Double Shot of Jesus – and a crazy woman.

8 03 2010

My mom and dad were recently on a cruise, and brought home some fantastic coffee, that when finely ground, makes a beautifully smooth dopio (2 shots of espresso). Cup in hand, and a buzz to follow…I post yet again.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, February 25th. That day brought me a mixed bag of feelings. On one hand, I was thankful to God that I was able to spend another year of my life, on this earth, with the woman he has blessed me with. On the other hand, it was a reminder that existence in this human form is not, necessarily, forever. At some point, this all ends.

While the work of moving is never fun, moving does bring with it a series of adventures and new opportunities for good memories. We weren’t able to bring both cars over, so I booked a flight back to Spokane to pick up our second car, and drive it over to Kent. This flight just happened to be on my birthday. I took along a book I’m trying to work through, quite slowly, by Alan Hirsch, and my iPhone- full of tunes and podcasts with which I planned to immerse myself into. Everything was working out to plan, until I sat in my seat on the plane.

Somehow, and for some reason, God wanted to get my attention. Next to me sat a woman who chose not to trade with another person so as to sit by her husband. Her reasoning is that he wasn’t going to talk to her anyway. ‘Warning Flags’ started waving frantically. She proceeded to tell me her thoughts on how now days, everyone plugs in their headphones, closes their eyes and tries to ignore everyone around them. “We don’t know how to talk to each other anymore!” She looked at me, holding my iPhone with the earbuds out in my lap, and said, “You probably want to just listen to that too.” At this point, Yes I did! And we hadn’t even pulled away from the gate yet!

I fought the urge to ignore her, and instead entered into an hour long conversation about anything and everything she could think of. I’m pretty sure I heard her life story. However, towards the middle, it started to get interesting. The topic moved into Religion. Her husband was into New Age, she had been raised Catholic – “but with all those priests doing things to little boys”…how could she believe them anymore? I told her that I was actually licensed as a Christian pastor, to which she stopped me, looked straight in my eyes, and said “I could tell.” Weird! I made a mental note not to put off that vibe anymore! Well, we had a good talk about life, about historical christian faith, about who Jesus was, what the church was supposed to be about, and ended up connecting her with a good church in Sandpoint.

While I was overly annoyed that I was unable to just listen to some music (that, and Horizon usually has good beverages but was overwhelmingly lacking on this flight), I was forced to engage a real person. She actually had a valid point. Most of us don’t know how to talk to each other anymore. For some Christians, the only reason they know their neighbor is in hopes to invite them to church. Is that really what Jesus meant by..”Love your neighbor as yourself?” I’m probably more guilty than most when it comes to real relationships. I find that I am more introverted than extro. It’s actually hard for me to hold conversations in a small setting. Jesus’ spirit is reminding me, this life doesn’t last forever here. He gave three commands, none of them included “Go to Church.” But Loving God with everything, Love my neighbor (physical/figurative) deeply, and Make Disciples who love him.

My encouragement to you, and to me, be willing to engage in conversation. Take off the headphones. Look away from the computer screen. Initiate a conversation that leads to sharing life.

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