Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Questions For God!

I am so pumped about the Questions for God series beginning this Sunday!!! Do you ever wish you could ask God just one question? At South Bay we acknowledge we don’t have all the answers, but we believe that it is important to address questions we all wrestle with. Bring a friend and join us on Sundays over the next four weeks as we look into some of humanity’s deepest “Questions for God.” 

September 27- What is My Purpose in Life?

October 4- Why Are There So Many Religions?

October 11- Why is There So Much Pain and Suffering?

October 18- What Happens When I Die? 

Questions for God from South Bay Church on Vimeo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reflections on the weekend

This was a great weekend for the team at South Bay Church. There were many highlights from the weekend that are noteworthy so I will give you my random musings! 
* The weekend began at 8:30 est on Friday when I left the east coast from a pastor's training event. I had the opportunity to be around some great young pastors and learn from some of the fastest growing churches in the country. It took me 16 hours to get home and I finally landed in SJ at 9:30pm. 
* On Saturday and Sunday Over 50 people representing South Bay served throughout the course of the weekend at the Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival. South Bay helped with setting up and taking down, cleaning up the park, and playing in the Kid Kingdom area of the event. Included in the 50 people was an incredible team from Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, TX. Lake Pointe is our primary sponsoring church and has done wonders in helping this church take off. Over the last year they have sent 6 different teams across the country to be a part of work. Every time they send top notch people! 
* I am consistently amazed by all the people who served this weekend. You guys had a great attitude, showed Jesus love and made a huge impact on our community! Please know that you are changing people's lives and making a huge difference! You are a part of a mighty movement of God that is going to change the world!! 
* It is always so incredible to be a part of our city's events. We believe that this is one of the best ways for the church to serve the community. Every time we serve it is amazing to see the responses of people in the community and city officials. 
* We finished up our Losing My Religion series with a message titled, "Stop Judging, Start Loving." I talked about how love is really what will change the world not judging. A Christ follower should become some overwhelmed by his or her need for forgiveness that we become overwhelmed with love for others. 
* Said that it is easiest to judge people in areas where we are strong. Yet we let others of the hook where we are weak. Kind of funny the way it works. There is a little hypocrisy in that! When I realize that I am not the judge but Jesus is and that I am not perfect but Jesus is, then there is much more love that flows from my life! 
* Challenged everyone to bring 1-3 friends next week for the kick off our "Questions for God" series. We as a team are praying that we would have over 200 adults there this weekend and that God would do amazing things in our midst! More on the series tomorrow! 
* South Bay Church is making progress, we had 190 people there this week, still hanging out around 200 people. Every week we continue to have good number of first time guests and people making decisions to follow Christ. There is a ton of great momentum! Now we are praying that God would really help this church go to the next level of effectiveness! 
* Excited about the fact that we will have an ad for the Questions for God series in the San Jose Mercury, the Santa Clara weekly and the Santa Clara University newspaper this week. Also, we have several banners up all over town that will be publicizing the launch of the new series. Please pray that God would move tremendously in people's hearts and help us get the word out!! 
* Looking forward to the biggest Sunday yet at South Bay on 9/27!! Don't miss out! Be there and bring a friend! 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Morning Download

Sunday was a good day for us at South Bay Church. We continue to make tremendous progress in many area of the church. Here are a couple of highlights of the day yesterday. 

* Losing My Religion part 3, "from hypocrisy to authenticity." 
* Taught from Mattthew 15:1-20... Jesus problem with the pharisees is that they valued their interpretation of God's law over God's law itself. 
* Traditions and man made laws tend to focus on external modification. God is focused on heart transformation. 
* The traditions were established to protect man from breaking God's commands, but eventually kept the religious people from experiencing God. 
* God is more concerned with what comes out of your mouth than what goes into your mouth! When you focus on the heart you get transformation. 
* We should learn to pay attention to our hearts... Greed, jealousy, pride, selfishness... asking, "What is the root of that condition of my heart?" 
* People often are not honest about their hearts and try to act like their disease of the heart doesn't exist. This deception leads to great sickness in all areas of our lives!

In addition to all this: 
* 185 people were in attendance on Sunday. We had 15 first time guests! People are doing a great job inviting their friends and spreading the word about South Bay!
* One person made a decision to follow Christ for the first time! 
* Sign ups for small groups continued. Still waiting to get those numbers. If you've yet to sign up for a group make sure to get into a group! Click here for groups info. 
* Next Sunday is the last week of our Losing My Religion series. Make sure to be there for the conclusion of this great series!
* I am so thankful to God for all that He is doing in our midst! We believe that we are so blessed to be a part of something that is soo much bigger than our lives! I can't wait to see what he continues to do as we move forward. 

PS... The questions for God series is just 2 weeks away! This is one you want to miss as we address some of humanity's deepest questions for God!! 

Swimming in a Dumpster

This morning I went swimming in a dumpster in search of an iPod and expensive speakers. Here is my reasoning... Last night after a newcomer's dessert for South Bay Church it was one of those rare instances where it is raining in the Silicon Valley. Rather than getting Archie's designer u2 version of the iPod and our church's nice desktop speakers wet we placed them inside of a plastic bag. A trash bag might I add. Between the clubhouse of my apartment and the trash shoot outside my door I began thinking about other things. Like changing the world, getting work done on Monday, and on and on. Unfortunately I forgot about the fact that I was holding close to $400 in electronics in my hands. This morning when we were hauling everything back up to the office I asked Filipe, "where are the speakers?" Well I immediately realized, "they are in the dumpster." So Archie and I took a quick trip back to the dumpster at North Park apartments. I dove in head first trying to find this valuable bag. I soon discovered everything my neighbors had eater over the weekend and the distinct smell Asian food makes once is has been processed and placed inside of a diaper. But I was willing to get dirty for this valuable item... And, by the grace of God I found this bag of goods. With only a minor ding in the iPod! We are celebrating listening to music on the iPod this morning. What a reminder of how God is with us as human beings. He stooped down out of heaven into the throws of humanity for the sake of finding our wayward souls and thus displayed his immense love for humanity! What a great reminder today. We have a good who stoops low because we are of infinite worth in His eyes. He is willing to get his hands dirty for you. The big difference between me and God in this illustration... God is not forgetful. We don't get lost because God forgets about us, but because we forget about Him. Let us be reminded of His love and desire for us to know Him today! 

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Effects of Leadership

Recently I've been reading through the Old Testament prophetic books. These books can be ardous and painful, yet if trudged through diligently can provide great insight into the waywardness of humanity coupled with God's longing for us to return to His heart. Repeatedly the prophets challenge the nation of Israel to repent and return to God. In many instances they first give exhortation or correction to Israel's leaders, who were always the starting point of the nation's digression away from God. It never ceases to amaze me the effect of one leader's life on a whole organization. One leader's pursuit of God or sin can eventually tip a whole group of people toward or away from God. In this vein, last week I discovered a challenging and encouraging passage that rocked my world! God speaks to King David very powerfully about the effects of leadership! 2 Samuel 23:3-4, "The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: 'When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.' In essence God is saying, "when a leader has the fear of God and a passion to lead in a way that honors the Lord, he will bring light to his followers and growth to things he touches." The bible gives us constant reminders of the significance of the call to lead. We should take it seriously and be reminded that our decisions effect every one of our followers. The standard is raised when the baton of leadership is placed in your hand!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

South Bay weekly update

Don't miss week 2 of the Losing My Religion series this Sunday @ 10:30am

Start of Small Group Sign Ups from South Bay Church on Vimeo.