Thursday, July 30, 2009

David Riley was a Good Man

This was crazy for me to hear that a football buddy from my class past away on July 26, 2009. David Riley was loved which is obvious by the comments on facebook and the support i am sure his family is getting back at home. I just wanted to take a few moments to remember who he was to me since i couldn't be at the service.
David Riley was always Smiling
One Thing i remember about David was that he did not make an extremely tough football player on the surface because he smiled too much. I am much the same way so i appreciated watching him. He definitely fit in with the cool crowd and was tough, but i remember never being that intimidated because you would see him running around laughing about one thing or another.

David Riley had a good Heart
I have not talked to David a lot since graduation, but in the last few months i told him how i was in New Zealand as a missionary and he responded in a manner similar to, "That is awesome. Taking the world for God in a Brent fashion." We didn't have a lot of deep spiritual discussions, but i would never question David's heart for loving others.

David Riley was Accepting
Like i mentioned earlier, David fit in with the cool group when he wanted to. That is why i was surprised one day when he decided that a few songs from my gospel cd "Kirk Franklin presents 1NC" were cool. I liked the music but i thought it was one of those dorky personal likes. All i remember is it either blaring from my car or his at the Jack in the Box parking lot on 2nd street in El Cajon and David saying that he liked the music with a huge grin on his face! :) Then i remember him dancing really quickly to it through one of our portable cd players in the locker room before a Friday night football game. Good times.

David was someone I respected for sticking to what he Loved
Even just writing about David is bringing a big smile to my face. I loved the fact that the football team seemed to hate on the sport of soccer and that David played both... and played both well at that. Their talk never seemed to phase him and the things that he loved.

David was just an awesome guy. He was great at meeting people where they were at and David was also great at just having a good time.
"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones."
Proverbs 15:30

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hillsong Conference 09 Joel Olsteen & Lakewood Service (Pt3)

For my friends who are extra interested about how the Joel Olsteen service went. Thursday night Hillsong gave over the complete service over to Joel, Gloria, and the Lakewood Worship Team. This if the first time they have done this with anyone at the Hillsong conference.

I tried to get a picture with Joel Olsteen for my friends back at Cession, but security was tight and this is the best i could manage!!!

As expected:
Joel Olsteen being overly positive but I was also impressed and admiring of his purpose in trying to be a healer/restorer

I was a bit embarrassed of the production feel to their service. Hillsong is amazing at exhorting and engaging the audience where this felt more like the show. Where both churches have amazing musicians, this service seemed to showcase it more.

There was a lot more "you" empowerment talk than throughout the rest of the conference and it was not the same emotion/prayer of hillsong. It was extremely positive and around self empowerment.

I wasn't sure, but there seemed to be times where Joel was close to preaching a slot machine God where you can make God do certain things by your actions...

Joel and Gloria's delivery style was more Declaring/Telling instead of Exhorting/Teaching

It was definitely not the same as Hillsong and I am not sure whether Hillsong Conference will do something like that again because i hurt mixed reviews from my friends:
  1. One friend walked out because she was laughing at how ridiculous Joel's proclamations were and didn't believe that it coincided with the heart of Hillsong at all.
  2. Another friend felt like he spoke to her in his own way
  3. The crowd as a whole was very respectful of his time by especially cheering and clapping him on and off.
My end impression: Definitely not my style of ministry and definitely extreme in his style of teaching, but i really appreciated Joel's take on wanting to be a restorer and healer. I wouldn't consider him the most balanced or well rounded preacher by far, but i had to wonder whether or not i should appreciate him more for a more positive part of the Body of Christ that he may bring.

Here were my notes from Joel Olsteen's quips throughout the night:

"Don’t magnify the problem magnify our God"
"Never say we won’t have problems but the bigger your problem the bigger your destiny"
Ie. His mom had cancer but put up pictures of herself when she was healthy around the house to give her hope.

life follow your thoughts… so enlarge vision

One guy Joel ran into the midst of turmoil said “I’m too blessed to be stressed”

"Start every morning as thought it needs to be a new beginning"

ie. You water a Chinese bamboo plant for 4 years without seeing results, but its making roots then it can grow up to 80ft in the next year.
It’s not what you have but what you do with what you have

You wouldn’t be breathing today unless God had another victory for you in the future

Prov 15:13
Joel mentioned he’d talk a little more than get to his sermon
Everyone laughed thinking that it was a joke… but he was serious!!! ☺

"You're never closer to God than when you’re helping hurting people"

Encourage one another Good Samaritan. Are you willing to trade places?
Ie. Joel encouraged a stressed out waitress doing a poor job who broke down crying because her child was in the hospital and she couldn't concentrate
“There’s usually a good reason why someone is not up to par”

Prov 15:4 Gentle tongue brings healing
"I want to live my life as a healer"

Jim Baker- The Graham's loved him back into holiness by associating with him and inviting him back to church upon his church release.
"A true friend walks in when everyone else walks out"

Joel wants epitaph to say: "That man was a healer. That man was a restorer."

Joel said he would prefer preaching: Christianity light vs Christianity Heavy
Matt 11:30 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Hillsong Conference 09 One Liners (Pt 2)

There is a lot here, but it is a really interesting read!!!

Hillsong ONE-Liners
• Your greatest Weakness may be God’s Greatest Strengths. –Craig Groeschel
• Preaching is telling a story but telling a story isn’t necessarily preaching –Craig Groeschel
• Be Yourself. Lead how you are supposed to… how God has created you to. Brian Houston & Joel Olsteen
• To reach people that noone is reaching you have to do things other people aren’t doing – Craig Groeschel
• Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. So instead of saying “and” say “or” - Craig Groeschel
• How many can come up with $100,000 by Friday? What if your child is going to die and he needs a $100,000 shot to survive? What happened, you just got passionate! -Craig Groeschel
• God guides by what he provides BUT God also guides by what he withholds. –Craig Groeschel
• Your limitations could be your biggest innovations -Craig Groeschel
• Failure isn’t an option it is a necessity -Craig Groeschel
• If people around you don’t have “it”, maybe it is because you don’t have “it”. -Craig Groeschel
• “I became a fulltime pastor and part time follower of Christ” -Craig Groeschel
• You say, “I don’t know how to get “it” back!?! I reckon if it was pretty easy you would’ve done it already. -Craig Groeschel
• Don’ say my wife burned too and I know what you are going through… that doesn’t make me feel any better…. SAY: I have been through similar experience and God was my comfort –Robin
• Psalm 108 singing is not a suggestion but an instruction -Darlene Duchess
• Peter- steps out in faith and fails… calls out to Jesus. He did that with a little faith, Imagine what he would do with a lot!!! –N/A
• The Doctor said I had prostate cancer and I asked him what were the chances he could have assessed the situation wrong. He said, “statistically about 1%.” Ian replied “….well that’s good because I have always been in the top 1% of whatever I do!” -Ian Woods
• I don’t know that I’ve ever found the exactly right person to hire…EVER! –Brian Houston
• If always looking outward always going to be dissatisfied with what you have. -Brian Houston
• Lead and guide don’t govern and control –Mark Ramsey
• If you’re too weak to put the platform up, then you’re too small to stand on it! – Mark Connor
• Success- is you reaching your God given potential instead of having bigger church than the guy next door. –Mark Connor
• Definition of Passion- the degree of difficulty your willing to endure to accomplish the goal –Louie Giglio
• The last word of Acts 28:31 means “unstoppable.” -Jentezen Franklin
• Faith is spelled R.I.S.K. -Jentezen Franklin
• I prayed and asked God, “God, why are you so hard on me in this life? Because your mother is so hard on me!!!” –Jentezen Franklin
• In regards to David and Goliath- God says -I’ll never send you into a battle with a giant with not only enough but more than enough to conquer this. -Jentezen Franklin
• A Leader’s Constant Companion: Pain –Craig Groeschel
• Bird flying south for winter but late for journey so got caught in ice storm that pierced his body and came in for crash landing but snow and ice kept coming and was encompassing him and freezing him. surrendering to death. Cow walked by and stood right on top of him. Then dropped manure and pooped on him. Worst thing ever not only going to die by with this poop, but the warmth was freezing the bird from the snow… started tweeting with joy then a cat heard the tweeting and came and at the bird. Dead. 3 Morals to the story:1. Not everyone who drops manure on you is your enemy 2. Not everyone who digs you out is your friend 3. When you are in deep manure keep your mouth shut
• Could it be that the difference between where you are and where God wants you to be is the pain that you are unwilling to endure? –Craig Groeschel
• The higher you go, the more devils you will face –Joyce Meyer
• Put a dozen crabs in bucket and they won’t escape because when one starts to get out the others will pull him back down. Craig Groeschel
• If you follow Jesus you are going to be persecuted, If your not hurting your not leading. Craig Groeschel
• Quickest way to forget what God thinks about you is to become obsessed with what other people think about you!!! Craig Groeschel
• Why is it that a businessman will make the hard decision of firing someone for money but we are not willing to make the right decision in the church for God… How much more serious is it for someone to hurt the Body of Christ by being in the wrong place? –Craig Groeschel
• God said to me “Don’t blame yourself for the declines because if you do you will be tempted to take credit for the increases” –Craig Groeschel
• There is more in you. Step through the pain. There is more in you.
• Do you have a vision that would inspire culture? –Brian Houston
• Delegate tasks and create followers. Delegate authority and create leaders -Craig Groeschel
• Don’t magnify the problem magnify our God- Joel Olsteen
• You water a Chinese bamboo plant for 4 years without seeing results, but its making roots then it can grow up to 80ft in the next year. –Joel Olsteen
• You wouldn’t be breathing today unless God had another victory for you in the future. Joel Olsteen
• “There’s usually a good reason why someone is not up to par” –Joel Olsteen
• I want to live my life as a healer. I want people to say at the end of my life: “That man was a healer. That man was a restorer” –Joel Olsteen
• A true friend walks in when everyone else walks out
• Jn 1:14 Messages “God sent himself in the flesh, surely the church can! –Dianna Crouch
• I pray: “God bring the right people to us and weed out those who shouldn’t be.” –Joel Olsteen
• You only have so much emotional energy. –Joel Olsteen
• My passion: Empowering people to become all that they’ve been created to be. Joel Olsteen
• In regards to Discouraging Comments: “Everyone is right to have their opinions. If you listen to them though you start preaching defensive… I preach like everybody loves me!!! -Joel Olsteen
• Leadership is following Jesus. –Louie Giglio
• Jesus didn’t create us to do anything greater that to fall in love with Him –Louie Giglio
• I want a story that can’t be told and broke down into intricate detail… it was just God. Louie Giglio
• Do you know you are not the Christ? When someone asks you who you are, what is your response?
• Passion staff often prays: “Dear God, save them from us and give them you” –Louie Giglio
• NOTHING more tiring than trying to be the I AM. I know I AM NOT- it hurts because it drives a dagger right through self!!! –Louie Giglio
• “I AM not but I know I AM.” –Louie Giglio-
• There are about 4 million churches in world and 8 million people in slave trafficking. Two slaves to every church… What is the church going to start doing about this?- Louie Giglio
• How to avoid a spiritual Hangover is to stay drunk on the Spirit; Stay under the influence. Based on Acts 2:13
1. 1st way to tell a drunk is by the way they talk
2. Only way to endure a drunk is to get drunk with them
3. A drunk is never far from a binge
4. When drunk ugly things start looking pretty
5. Drunks have no feelings
6. Drunks have no pride
7. Drunks never like to drink alone
8. Drunks talk a lot; they never shut up
9. A Drunk will give you the shirt off his back
10. A Drunk loves everybody
11. Drunks love to fight
12. A Drunk will do anything to get a Drink -Jentezen Franklin

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hillsong Conference 09 Summary (Pt1)

This is What you have all been waiting for!
Here is my 3 part series on Hillsong Conference!!!
It was held in Acer Arena
Here is the view from the top

Hillsong Speakers:
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Joel & Victoria Olsteen- Pastors of the largest and fastest growing US church with 40,000+ attendees
Israel Houghton & Lakeword Worship Team (Joel Olsteen’s church)
Craig Groeschel- Founder and Sr. Pastor of
Jentezen Franklin- Sr. Pastor of Free Chapel Worship Center
Louie Giglio- Teacher through Passion and now pastor
Chris Tomlin- Musician
Brian & Bobbie Houston- Sr. Pastors of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia
Darlene Zschech- Worship leader and pastor at Hillsong Church
Hillsong United & Brooke Fraser- Praise and Worship Band
Christine Caine- Speaker
Donna Crouch- Executive Pastor over Hillsong CityCare
Joel A’Bell- Works alongside the Houston’s with Hillsong campuses
Delirious (Web Streaming)- to say goodbye and thankyou as their time as a band is ending

The Conference Breakdown:
(I took notes on all of these so let me know if you want more on a certain sermon or all of my 15 pages of notes!!!)
TUESDAY: Unshakeable
NIGHT Session: “It” Craig Groeschel

WEDNESDAY: Unshakeable Faith
1. ROBIN- Wife burned badly
2. DARLENE DZECH- Miscarriage
3. Guys son ANDREW died of cancer
4. IAN WOODS healed of cancer
Brian Houston and leaders on “Selecting and Releasing the Right People to break Growth Barriers”
NIGHT Session- Jentezen Franklin
1.Jesus is with me 2.God is at the bottom 3.I Have Faith For This

THURSDAY: Unshakeable Hope
MORNING Session- Craig Groschel- A Leader’s Constant Companion: Pain
AFTERNOON Session- Brian Houston
Creating a Culture that Facilitates vision
AFTERNOON Session- Interview Giglio
NIGHT Session- Joel Olsteen "Being a Healer with Words" & Lakewood Service

FRIDAY: Unshakeable Love

MORNING Session- Jentezen Franklin: Drunk in the Spirit
MORNING Session 2 Dianna Crouch: Going Good Samaritan
MORNING Session 2 Joel Olsteen Interview
AFTERNOON Session: Louie Giglio: I AM not but I know I AM
NIGHT Session: Louie Giglio- It’s Time to go out

ENGAGING- I was impressed with how Hillsong did corporate worship. It didn't feel like a performance but more like worshiping and engaging together. (CAUTION: I took a lot of pictures that make it look like a production, but when you are there it doesn't feel like it or isn't encouraged to be from the stage)
HUMBLE- Impressive Humility: The "screen time" was shared as different music leaders led different songs so that it was not about one person ie. Brook Fraser- a great and popular musician led one song and the rest of the time was more in the background just helping lead instead of it being about her. They talked money and products but always in terms of people, heart, and strategy so it never felt like they were trying to sell me something for profit

NERVOUS LEADERS Most leaders said that they were worried/nervous/insecure about preaching and leading at the beginning of ministry. It was good to hear these people are real human beings.
TV View- At Acer Arena most people were probably looking at the screens. (estimate) 75% watch screen and 25% watch person on actual stage. Interesting take when you choose what to show… (different level of service ministry)
PARTICIPATION- You really decide whether to receive, participate, engage, and be open to the music and messages or whether you would rather watch and disassociate
SPIRIT OF PRAYER- There was a real spirit of prayer around the time we were led in music
I appreciating Hillsong's exhortation and humble spirit. If other people were touched or connecting with God through prayer in the same way I was, then that was definitely a house of prayer.
GLORY OF GOD FOCUS- There was constant mentioning of the "glory of God"
PREACHING- Lively/joking/emotional/highs and lows. I am usually skeptical about preachers that encourage you to say stuff, but i found that when some of these speakers did encourage me they were encouraging a response that was already inside of me but i was too lazy or unsure of how to respond out loud.
VISION- I loved the vision of these guys (Giglio, Houston, Groschel, etc.) You can just feel the passion in their words and stories and proclamations. I Need to get a little more excited… dare I say passionate about what I am preaching.
Church Culture Shock- It was crazy going from the lively Hillsong Conference to a very somber reverent Chrysalis service to a small but anointed Lismore church worship service. Just crazy to go through completely different styles and sizes of worship services in a matter of 2 days.
SEEING FRIENDS It was awesome! I saw all my friends amongst 20,000 people the first night without contacting them: Leon, Lena Jean, Kim, and Jake.
They had a section reserved on the floor for Power House- The Young adults ministry to "bring the energy" and to just "go all out"
The Last night they Brought in the teens for a combined service

I had to take the train in everyday
This is the walk from place to place

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Other US Musings

I Went for a Run today and this is what i observed
  • Looking Right-Left-Right instead of Left-Right-Left
I got so used to running in New Zealand that i find myself looking right first when i should be looking Left. I have to work on that while i am here.
  • Cars Stop for me when I run across the Road
It is nice to have the right of way again as a pedestrian. I was scared sometimes running and dodging cars as i would jog across roads in NZ where there weren't crosswalks.
  • Women look me in the Eye
Girls/Women/and men (all strangers) usually look up and say "hey" and some even wave from their cars instead of walking past girls/women who constantly do the ground stare and walk by without even recognizing my existence.
  • Places smell and feel Different
Neither is good or bad. But even as i got into LA things just felt and smell different. As i went for a run i realized how nature outside and the dirt here smell different than in NZ/Australia. Also the humidity is light now but still much more thick than in NZ. The Temperature is around 75F or 24C right now.
  • Taco Bell still tastes good
It wasn't some magical experience, but it made me miss the late night runs there. It seriously is one of if not my favorite fast food restaurant and i might be desperate enough to consider starting a branch in New Zealand if i were to live there long term! :)

Longest Trip to the US ever!!! and what i have noticed so far.

It took me 36 hours of travel time to get home!

It is 5am here in the US and i'm not tired because its 9pm in NZ and 7pm in Australia!

My travel path:
Lismore to Ballina to Sydney to Auckland to LA to Phoenix to Indy to Plymouth, IN
In New Zealand time that is I:
Departed Wed 7:00am and Thurs @ 7:30pm arrived

I have been nonstop with people and activities in Australia so that is why i haven't been able to recap Australia and Hillsong yet, but i will hopefully do that in the next few days.

I slept, journaled, was taught how to make origami swans, talked, and watched 3 movies on the flights home.

Things that are weird:
  • I didn't realize that I continually tried to water down my accent to imitate wherever I was... I found myself doing that in the American airport and then realized i didn't have to because my accent didn't stand out anymore!
  • Forgot i bought my laptop in NZ and needed the US adapter!
  • I already had taco bell at 3am on the way home
  • People dress different and have shorter hair but the shirts and t-shirts might simply be that...
  • It's HOT compared to NZ and Australia! good hot.
  • Time is going too quick, i can't believe i am here.
Going to bed now.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

made it to australia

i have had very limited internet so i am just now getting caught up!
First off i made it here to sydney safe with no problems.

I made it for the whole Hillsong conference which has been amazing so far.
I will update you more on the conference content tomorrow but it is 2am after a long day so i want to do it justice and will blog tomorrow as well. Below are a few pictures to give you a quick look.

opening screen
acer arena where we meet.
breakout session
brian houston and louie giglio
sunset outside arena
late night park fun

vegetable section
fruit section with rockmelon (cantalope) and paw paws
the girls: Monica, Amy, Kirstine
opera house
being exported
taxis everywhere!!!
downtown drive
where i am staying.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Thought and A Smile

I was reading a book that was talking about the confusion and problems of how will people know how to read the Bible? This line below was really encouraging to read.

"The Bible is a most efficient of book. We must remember its purpose: It is God's message to a fallen man." Francis Schaeffer

I have been studying like crazy this week.
I have watched this over and over again because it makes me smile
plus it makes a GREAT quick study break.