Monthly Archives: November 2010

10 “Thanks-filled” steps in the Hennessy’s Future

What I see for our Future

Disclaimer:
A few of the latter listed items could change in a moment if God changes our thinking or clarifies it further. Plus, what I think our future will be like doesn’t mean a thing, if it isn’t what God plans. However, having a vision or goal to strive for drives you and many of the things I will reference below, I do feel are a stirring from the Lord.

We will:
1. Stay under the Headship and leading of the Lord and the men and women God has placed us under.

2. Keep our marriage and relationship with our kids elevated above all other stresses, tasks, callings. And when other things try to push their way in….see it and put it in check!

3. Raise funds personally and be “tentmakers” as to support and invest into our own ministry work. When we finally took the blinders off that had said, “ministry is where our paycheck comes from” and saw that God will bless business too, we have had our socks blown off! God is revealing to us how He can use our talents to make the money that can fund our ministry rather than continue on the struggle of never enough money to fund what God’s called us to do!! We don’t want to wait on a big tither or donor….we want to be those people!

4. Open a coffee roasting house in whatever city God leads us to take root. Use the knowledge I am gaining from managing La Java to reproduce effective practices in our own place. Not be a “Christian” coffee house…just be a socially & environmentally aware coffee house and allow the culture to develop.

5. Provide a Lifeskills Care Center merging the concepts of Life Skills International, which changed us forever emotionally, and Life Care which functions like a body of believers with a focus on emotional and spiritual health. This would not be overtly “Christian” either as to encourage people of all kinds to come for help and support.

6. To then hold Sunday gatherings to worship and hear the Word preached. To provide a place to love God and each other corporately. To offer sound teaching for kids and make them a priority because most couples “come back” to the Lord and church for the sake of their kids.

7. To see our “secular” jobs at the Coffee house and Lifeskills become a feeder to our gatherings on an individual, when they ask basis. We would need the patience and perseverance to build a relationship with them and wait for the leading and opening God will provide to take them a step further….into salvation and fellowship with the body of Christ.

8. To have many friends and peers in ministry come work with us. To get to do life together. To all be able to fulfill our callings in different ways as to reach different people. To not have any process or program in a box but to let God-given dreams sore and reach people in unorthodox and perhaps more effective ways.

9. To know our city and be a part of every facet of it. To be a benefit to our neighborhoods, local businesses, city government, volunteer efforts, festivals, schools, and its economy. To be aware of our surroundings and never try to “separate ourselves”. We will dive in and be IN the world, not OF it personally.

10. As this continues to unfold, we will be patient to not determine the time, city, or partners we will work with. We will wait on the Lord, knowing He has it all mapped out for us. We will just strive to be ready in His sight for Him to reveal it.

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Hello Pharisees!

Are you a “Jerk for Jesus”?
A positive greeting…or more of a slam? What caused the highest compliment before Jesus time to become the worst slam??

Today in church, the guest speaker, Dale Oquist, opened by saying just that: “Hello Pharisee’s!” He went on to deliver an UNBELIEVABLE message that I must get out there. It is how I have felt every day for at least 3 or 4 years now and haven’t been able to put in words like this. Probably because I was looking for my words not just using THE WORD as he did so well! Many of you will love this as you read book after book about the shift that is needed in the church, in religion, or in the Christian community. I took notes as fast as I could type on my blackberry:

The History: In 175 BC- Pharisee training began. Jewish men rose up to follow the Word of God. They studied and followed 613 laws of Judaism. There were 100’s of Pharisees but it took a lot to become one-they were elite people!

Characteristics of a Pharisee in the 1st Century:
1. Hunger for God’s Word
2. Passion for God’s Glory (to make Him look good)
3. Zeal to share Him with others (they didn’t have to be pushed to share-the book of John referenced, “you will go over sea and land to convert just one”)
4. Committed to Spiritual disciplines, people of prayer and tithes.
5. Obsession with holiness, didn’t want to be defiled (to be a Pharisee meant to be pure and separate)

We know they changed because in
Matthew 22 and 23 Jesus says, “Woe to you Pharisees…..”

So what happened?
In Revelation 2: “To the angel of the church of Ephesus (Present day Turkey).
I know your deeds and hard work and perseverance, you can’t tolerate evil people, you have persevered with patience, endured hardships, not grown weary….” This was a strong solid church. The setting was during a generation of idolatry in a pagan culture. Yet, Jesus says in verse 4, “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. You have fallen, repent, or I will remove my lampstand from you”.

They hadn’t lost passion or zeal and
He wasn’t talking about them losing excitement. He was talking about their humility and love for others….their care for the ones who hadn’t met Jesus yet.

Present day example:
“If you go to lunch with a person and they are nice to you at the table but rude to the waiter-they are not a nice person!” Pharisees know all about church and law but they become Jerks for Jesus!

Truth without grace mixed in….not attractive. A Bible scholar who is jerk to others is a bad theologian.

They equate loving someone with approving with how they live. Don’t we too, DAILY?!!

Rom 12-9: says, “Let love be without hypocrisy”.

Mark 5:24 (my cliff notes version): A large crowd pressed thru to Jesus. Woman bleeding for years, touched His cloak, He felt power go out, “who touched”, He asked. He looked to see who and woman came and fell at His feet. She trembled with fear and told Him it was her.

Why was she trembling with fear?

Reason: She knew Leviticus 15: Jewish law said she was defiled (impure), if impure touched pure-they would make them impure (defile them). She has defiled a Holy man! If Jesus were a Pharisee, how would He react? He would scold her! And say, “Now I have to go through the purification process, get her out of my sight!”

But…
Jesus said, “daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be free from your suffering”.

The uncontaminated cleansed the contaminated…flow is different with Jesus.

Holiness is so strong that the power of His purity cleanses us. We think the world can pollute us. “Secular music will defile me, I can’t have anything to do with those kind of people”! We separate ourselves out so far from the world.

In Mark 7:6 Jesus said, “Isaiah was right; “They honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me, and in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” They laid asside THE Commandment of God to merely hold to human rules and traditions! “The more religious you act, the more evil you become,” He continued. “Listen to me, Jesus said, “nothing outside you can defile you! It is what comes out of you that defiles you! It’s what’s in your heart that comes out that defiles you”….being a Jerk for Jesus.

“You take your traditions and call them Mine! They are not”. How many of us idolize our traditions and our families preferences and call them God’s!?!
(See the, Taking the Lord’s name in Vain chapter in Shawn’s book, “Cracking the Commandments” downloadable soon at www.ShawnHennessy.com)

The delima is solved by:
1 Cor. 13: “If I speak in human or angelic tongues but do not have [agape] love,” (unconditional love), I am only a jerk for Jesus. “If I have the gift of prophecy and know it all…but don’t have love,” I’m a jerk for Jesus. “If I have faith and give all to the poor, but no love” I’m a jerk for Jesus!

You can have an answer for every theological question yet if you write them off if they don’t believe as you do, you are a Jerk for Jesus. We think if the way others vote is different from us, it is WRONG and struggle with them.

And then think God loves us more for doing these things.

We think, “If you woulda just done what I did, you wouldn’t be in this mess”! (in a condescending tone).

He cleansed 10 lepers when only 1 said thanks. It is just what Jesus does.

In the story of the prodigal son, the elder party is harder to convert than the lost Son. Have you left your first love (agape) unconditional love? If you don’t repent, you are in danger. We got more arrogant and don’t even know it.

Pan back to see the bigger picture to see how far you have fallen to see what you have become.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Stanky Ugly Unforgiveness

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping it will kill the other person. Not only is that sad on our part, but how insane is it when, many times, the “other” person has moved on without a care in the world.

I preached this topic for my first message as a Youth Pastor back in 2005 knowing that many of the teens I was now spiritually responsible for had good reason to hold a grudge. This made it imperative that I preach a Word that would set them free. They could not
stay bound to the injustice they had faced on my watch! Many suffered abuse and would leave church each Wednesday night only to suffer it again. Their forgiveness had to be given for past offense and extended in advance so they wouldn’t become frozen in fear forever. Some students had even been hurt by previous Pastors and leaders and until they forgave and let God miraculously heal their heart, they would be spiritually crippled forever.

A grudge that we hold against someone ties us to that someone. Forgiving is not letting them off the hook or conceding that they were right. Forgiveness is God’s scissors that cuts the rope that binds and connects us to our “enemy”. Forgiveness is also God’s getaway car that gets us out of a mess and into a new area of our life.

Sometimes your emotions follow your actions. I must ACT and choose to forgive….then the emotion will change. We can’t wait until our emotions lead us to forgive or we will NEVER! After all, our emotions were the very part of us affected through offense and offense hates to let forgiveness flow freely.

You or I may be one decision away from breaking from our old cycle. There is no denial in courage. You have to admit you have unforgiveness in your heart and step into the courage required take action against it. The most common command in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid” or “Fear Not”. It is listed more frequently than any other command in scripture.

Stanky-Unforgiveness is just Ugly! It affects our stress which affects our sleep which affects our adrenals, which affects our belly fat production, which affects our attitude, which was already affected by our bitterness through unforgiveness. Whew! What a cycle!

Soon we have nothing nice to say or think and we want to avoid people, situations, and even taking care of ourselves. Cancer has been linked to negative emotions, sense of self and stress. All CAN and MAY come from unforgiveness.

I have been hurt and truly offended! I don’t want to be linked to the person to whom I have the hardest time thinking a nice thought about! My unforgiveness and bitterness keeps them close to my mind and heart.

A friend of mine, John Godzich recently said this about negativity:
“Mud sticks to the hand that throws it.”

Forgive someone today….then if you have more people to forgive, you can forgive them tomorrow or next week. The longer you put it off, the worse off you are…doesn’t matter to them, they don’t even know. Wash your hands today & cut the rope!

-“Been There Sonny”
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