About Jim

executive director of emersion life

New Day and Time

I believe the church is the people of God, not a place, day or time.  Wherever or whenever the people are, church is.  As the people change, so changes the church.

Well, we are making a change in response to where we feel God wants to connect with His people.

Starting March 3rd, we are moving to Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm.

Our calling is to reach out to those disenfranchised followers in search of authentic worship and connection.

Join us for rich community with God and each other in a context of worship and spiritual engagement.  No facades here, only genuine living and soul refreshment.

If you are in active ministry and need rejuvenation or disconnected from the body of Christ and are looking for a simple faith experience, this is the place to be.

At this time, we do not offer any ministry to children, so you will have to arrange for your own childcare, but should God provide resources in the future, we are open to following His lead.

FOCUS

I take pictures almost every day.  It’s part of my job.  Because I have to take so many pictures, I leave the auto focus on.  The camera uses several focal points to calculate the best distance to set the lens at.  Sometimes there are too many objects at different distances for it to determine and you can hear the lens zoom in and out continuously in confusion.

I think that is what my brain does all of the time.  I pride myself on being a multitasker, but in truth, there are probably too many plates spinning in front of me.  It is great to do many things well, but I would like to do a few things great.

This year I would like to narrow my gaze, reduce the number of plates and improve a few areas in my life.  In other words, FOCUS!

One of those areas is writing.  May Focusthis year be the year of the pen.  What will yours be?

A shift in the universe

Psychologists say that when there is a paradigm shift in a person, it is equivalent to their universe changing.  Core values and perceived reality are the cornerstones of our lives and when those change, our world can come crashing down….or….it can be the start of something new and amazing.

The church has wrestled with issues of diversity from it’s inception.  Eating meat sacrificed to idols, once taught as sin, was now acceptable.  Gentile believers, labor on the Sabbath and women equal to men were all issues that the early church fought over.  And that was 2000 years ago.

Since then slavery, music, baptism, women in ministry, spiritual gifts and same gender relationships have challenged the churches unity.  The funny thing is that none of these are core issues to salvation, nor issues that Jesus spoke against, and yet, somehow, we feel the need to defend them, one way or another.

My background is very conservative, and my paradigm of understanding is being shaken.  I am beginning to see the cracks in the armor and the light of God’s grace is seeping through.  It’s a bit unnerving, but isn’t God known for that and shouldn’t we be used to it by now?

I choose God over my beliefs.  I choose God over my comfort.  I would rather have my world crumble and God have to pic up the pieces of my shattered soul than stand strong on a foundation of misperception, boasting in my ignorance and clinging to safety, apart from Him.

Here’s to a new reality.

Who doesn’t want the gifts?

There is a large rift in the evangelical church (a term I am beginning to like less and less) among those who believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today and those who do not; most specifically, the “sign” gifts (healings, miracles, prophecy, tongues, etc.).

It is, arguably, a gray area in the church, although, proponents on each side would argue otherwise.  They are not issues of salvation nor pivotal doctrines of the Godhead.

So, if they are, at least, optional, then why wouldn’t you want them in your church?  If they are, at best, available, then why wouldn’t you want them in your church?  If they are too messy to deal with, then shut the church down and send people away, because everyone is messy and ministry isn’t easy.  Ministry is not for the faint of heart.

Do I like complicating things?  Not always.  But do I want God, in His fullness, to be present in our church?  Absolutely.  And why would I ever want to turn down a gift from God?  My very salvation is a gift from Him.

Faith of God

I was recently talking about the spiritual gift of faith.  It is an interesting gift in that it is also required in all believers.

As we were trying to understand the difference, I came across 2 Timothy 2:13.  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”

It reminded me of a quote from Count of Monte Cristo.
Edmund says, “I don’t believe in God.”
Faria replies, “It doesn’t matter.  He still believes in you.”

God never looses hope.

I don’t want faith in God.  I want the faith of God.

Good days and great days

Sometimes I go to church and learn some good stuff.  Sometimes I go and feel like something has shifted in me at a deep level.  Then there are those days when the presence of God is so profound that everyone in the room can feel it.  That is what the last couple of weeks have been like.  We are devouring the series on the Holy Spirit and I can brag on it because I feel like I am learning as much as everyone else.  We are so excited about what God is doing.  There is a sense that He is up to something and we are along for the ride.  I am looking forward to how he is going to use us in our community as we move out in our gifting.

Unity of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in the lives of believers.  If you look at the work of the Spirit throughout the New Testament and writings of the Apostles, the predominant theme is for the unification of the body.  Not the gifts, not the fruits, not even the proclamation of the gospel, but for bringing us together.  That is what is at the heart of the Trinity and God’s heart for us.

So if you want to look for a church where the Holy Spirit is alive and active, look for the one united in Spirit, cooperative with the larger Body of Christ and excited about collaborating with other Christians to be God’s expression to the world.  That is where the Holy Spirit is on fire.

Easter wasn’t just for us

We often think of Easter as God’s gift to us and it is, but it is so much more.  When Jesus died on the cross, He opened up the opportunity for us to be restored back to our place in the Garden of Eden.  But more than that, He restored God back to His place in the Garden.  He also restored His own place back to the right hand of the Father and He released the Holy Spirit to indwell us on a continuous basis.

Jesus gave us the chance to reconnect with God.  He gave God the opportunity to reconnect with His people.  He took His place in the seat of authority again and He opened the door for the Spirit to work in us.

Easter isn’t just about what we gained.  It was about restoring original purpose back to the universe.  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Having a bad day?

We all have bad days and even weeks.  I get frustrated when I want to come home and share my bad day and my wife or kids share theirs first and it is worse than mine.  Now I have to set aside my bad day to make sure they are ok.  Ever feel that way.  Well you are in good company.

I just finished a study on the Passion week.  After going over the details of the last days of Christ’s life, I decided it was time to stop complaining.

In the course of a 24 hour period, a close friend betrays Him, a best friend denies Him, all of His friends abandon Him.  He was accused of things He didn’t do, criticized for things He did do and frustrated about the things He couldn’t do in the time He had.

He was hated by His community, despised by His church and misunderstood by His government.  He was beaten to the fullest extent of the law, given the execution of the worst of criminal and forsaken by His father.

I don’t know about you, but I have never had that bad of a day.  And the worst part is He never complained, did it willingly and even after He died, after He said, “It is finished,” and He could have rested, He stormed the gates of Hell to free the prisoners.  He never gave up.

Jesus truly was passionate about His mission and He gives me a reason to be passionate about mine.  It’s time I did a little less complaining and a little more reflecting on what is truly important.

Righteous Radical Revolution of God

“Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root… Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that’s now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.”― Ronald Reagan, The Quest for Peace, the Cause of Freedom

The power of God is not in His destructive ability, although He can tear down mountains, crumble great walls and crack the earth wide open.

The power of God isn’t even in the fact that He can create worlds, bring life to plants and animals, part seas or even raise the dead.

The power of God is best seen in His ability to hold back His wrath from all who have sinned.  In His relentless pursuit of a wayward and fallen mankind and in His ability to transform a worthless soul into His beloved bride.

The strongest resolve is not in conquest, success or discovery, but in love, for the power of love is an indomitable force, stronger than life itself.