Peer Pressure

I’ve been looking for a video for this sunday night as we are talking about making wise decisions, peer pressure etc.  And I came across this gem.

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Definitions

So yesterday in our staff meeting we based our staff devos off of the small group questions for the week.  We were looking Matthew 8, the healing of the Leper.  One of the questions was what did the leper receive from Jesus’ touch?

This story is so powerful on many levels.  But the fact that Jesus was willing to touch this man is amazing.  The society around him would have run away, but Jesus came toward.  Amazing.  When I was thinking about what this man received later on I was struck by the fact that Jesus changed his definition.

I think too often we are defined, or we even define ourselves, by something that we are not proud of, something that brings shame, hurt, disgrace. And we allow it because we all long to have a sense of definition.  We all want to be known for something.  That’s why we have a celebrity fixation, and the party-girls, and the bad-boys don’t really do anything to combat that definition, because they want to be known.

So here Jesus comes to this man who is defined as a Leper, and with that definition there are all kinds of sub-definitions, unclean, gross, contagious, ugly, don’t touch, throw rocks at, outcast.  And in this story Jesus changes his definition entirely. This man is beautiful, loved, accepted, human, clean, touchable.

And I think really that’s what the gospel is all about. Changing definitions.  Jesus came and he has provided a way for sinners to become sons.

What definitions are you holding onto?  What definitions are you allowing to be put on you?  Jesus wants to change your definitions and with his touch heal even the most broken pieces of your identity.

This is really the first instance in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus came and changed everyone’s definition of Messiah, and really their definition of humanity.  And from here on out he is changing and reshaping our definitions.

Transparency

the new Wired came to my house yesterday. And the cover story is about businesses being transparent. Here are some reflections from Mark Batterson:

“Smart companies are sharing secrets with rivals, blogging about products in their pipeline, even admitting their failures. The name of this new game is radical transparency and it’s sweeping boardrooms across the nation.”

I don’t want to overuse the word–but sounds like open-source business. The church doesn’t just need to follow-suit. We ought to lead the way!

Transparency is a judo move.”

Ever notice that people stop making fun of people who laugh at themselves? It’s judo. Ever notice that people stop criticizing people who admit their failures? It’s judo. Ever notice that people believe people who admit their doubts? It’s judo.

I think this is so true. One of the things that I think has given people a bad taste about church is the idea that we’ve got it all together, and we are on some kind of higher plane than the riff-raff below. And one of my goals as a Christian, and a leader is to always be real, and talk about my struggles and the things that I am thinking and praying and wrestling with.

I think this kind of transperancy reminds people that pastors are human too.

Who Am I?

Today I have been wrestling with a thought that I just can’t shake. Who am I? I have been thinking about it over and over again. I met with Dennis Finch and he told me that I don’t have to impress anyone. I just have to let Christ live through me. that is a really incredible thought, and I want to be able to do exactly that. But then who am I? Am I supposed to be somebody? Or am I supposed to be who Christ wants to make me? My goals are not as important as his goals, and my dreams are not as important as his kingdom. Over and over again I need to remind myself that I am to give my whole life to Christ and let him run the show.

I wish it were easy. I wish it were fun. But it’s neither. I think there is a process of breaking that Jesus takes pastors through. Where we have a confidence that we believe is coming from him, and we are fairly sure that we can conquer the world. And then as we mature and grow a little bit, we begin to see that we really are not the hot stuff that we want people to believe we are. We are not as great as we thought we were, we are not the people who can inspire the masses just on our charm and our influence. there is a lot more to it than that.

Right now I am wrestling with what the whole thing is all about. We have been working at Creekside for two years and haven’t seen the fruit that I want to see, and the progress that I have been hoping for. We are just working our way through this ministry and I feel like I can’t get things to go the way I want them to. But as i was reminded today, that it’s not what I want that matters. It’s what Christ wants. So the question is, what does he want? What is he preparing us for today? What is he doing in the midst of all of this?

So I’m praying and praying and praying to try to hear what Jesus want, who he wants me to be. Who he wants our students to become. Where he wants to take us. I’ve been listening to When Will I Run by Andrew Osenga. It’s a great song, the Chorus asks, “when Will I Run to the Arms of God?” And so often we run after what we want, and we aren’t running for what God wants for us.

So my prayer is that I can turn around and Run towards the Lord. Run into his arms, and hopefully, prayerfully, I can bring others along with me for the run, so that they too can feel the embrace of the father. So that they too can know how real and loving and good God is. My prayer is that I would find my identity in God and in him alone. that’s my prayer. So the question of who am I is really going to find it’s answer in the Father. Who am I is not just Jason Deuman, Husband of Kathy, Father of Judah, Pastor of Students at Creekside.

Who am I? I am the Father’s Son, the rest is just details.

Mondays w/ Mitch

“I think they could take sesame seeds off the market, and I wouldn’t even care. I can’t imagine five years from now saying, “Hey, remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank!” They’re gonna have to change that McDonald’s song, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a … bun.” How does a sesame seed stick to a bun? Thats magical! There’s got to be some sesame seed glue out there. Either that or they’re adhesive on one side. Take the sesame seed out, remove the backing, place it on the bun. Now your bun will look spectacular! What does a sesame seed grow into? I dunno, we never give them a chance. What the is a sesame? It’s a street. It’s a way to open stuff.”

-M. Hedberg

Dude Time

last night Kathy had a girls sleepover at our house, so Judah and i were banished to my Parents place.  My mom loves taking care of Judah so that freed me up to really do anything I wanted to do.  So I got to hang out with some of my oldest and dearest friends, Darren, Bryan, Ian and Jake.  We’ve known each other since jr. High, we all went to the same church and youth group.  Darren and Bryan and I were in Salt together, and Ian used to run sound and take concert photos for us.

we went to Red Robin and saw shooter.  It was great to just have some dude time.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to get together with friends like that.  These are guys who know me better than most people.  I don’t have to pretend, I don’t have to mask what I’m thinking, I can just say what is on my mind, and we can tease and laugh and joke.  It was a blast.  I need to do this sort of thing more often.