Archives For jesus

An english chocolate company made me cry.
They told a compelling story that was inspired by true events in WWI.

Christmas isn’t just about sharing, but the power of this simple story is truly amazing.
The message of the birth of Jesus and what that means for the world can overcome your circumstances and bring you peace.
I hope to see you at Two Cities Church for some peace this Christmas season.
Christmas Service
December 21, 2014
10:30am
808 4th St
Clovis, Ca 93612

 

Annette is a powerful story of God meeting us in our darkest moments and raising us from death to life again. I love it when she talks about getting out from under her addiction and asking God to take away her obsession to use. She says, “He did and my life was changed.” Annette is part of our Guest Services team at Two Cities Church, part of my community group and a friend. Watch her story.

Donny is one of our volunteers at Two Cities Church, part of my community group and a friend. He was raised Mormon but didn’t understand who Jesus was or is. Watch his baptism story below.

Are You Adopted?

November 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

I came across this video recently and it made me cry.
It’s a simple story about a family.

As I watch this, I can’t help but think about unconditional love and acceptance and how important those things are in our lives. But here’s the deal, most people never find that. It should not be that way. There is a God who endlessly pursues us and his name is Jesus. And when you are adopted into the royal family of God, everything changes.

Want to know more? Come hang out with us at Two Cities Church.
Sundays at 10:30am
808 4th St
Clovis, Ca 93612

Come and See

July 29, 2014 — Leave a comment

There’s a unique group of people who dare to be different. They do things against the odds. They believe so deeply in their mission that they sacrifice time, money, energy and put relationships on the line for that very mission. The best way I know how to describe this group of people is, Two Cities Church. It’s not so much a place, but a people. It’s not so much a destination, but a community. It’s a church. And it’s new. And you’re invited to Come and See what it’s all about. It’s simple. There’s a singular mission. You just have to Come and See for yourself.

Come and See this Sunday
August 3 at 10:30am
808 4th St.
Clovis, Ca 93612
Message: Promises, Promises
More Details Here.

promises

Watch this highlight reel from a recent preview service and then Come and See it in person, this Sunday.

You may also like:
Meet Micah Foster

5 things christian parents should pray over their kids daily

When I was just a little boy my mom started praying over me at night as I slept. The reason, as I recall her telling me, was because she “didn’t know what to do with me.” I had a tendency to overreact about things. I was a kind of hot-headed. I was a difficult kid to handle at times. But instead of trying to fix me, she prayed and she surrendered her parenting to God.

I’m trying to do the same thing these days. Sometimes your kids can drive you crazy, am I right? The screams, the meltdowns, the overreacting. I’ve come to realize most kids go through a season of one or more of these behaviors. We can help create a culture in our home that leads them away from this and we ought to do everything in our power to do that. But we also need to surrender our parenting to God so that He may do it on our behalf and equip us with what we need to get the job done.

Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram that immediately got attention from a couple of old college friends. It’s a simple thing, praying for our kids as they sleep… but we also have a lot to get done while they sleep, right? But what if we all took some time each night and/or nap and prayed while they slept?

So, what should you pray about? Well, there are lots of things you could pray, but for now I’m focusing on five.

5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily

This is not a complete list because the list is endless. But you’ve got to figure out what are the things that are most important to you, that you want for your kids. Here are five things I’ve just started praying over my kids as they sleep. I no particular order…

  • God Protect Their Innocence
    I want my kids to maintain innocence, not only sexually, but mentally and in every other way as long as possible. So many kids grow up out of necessity, way too early and skip out on childhood. I want my kids to have a joyful and fulfilling childhood. 
  • God Change The World and Use My Kids To Do It
    Don’t we all want to be world-changers in once sense or another. I want my kids to fall in love with Jesus so madly that they’d be willing to follow his call to the ends of the earth. I want them to know personally, the mission God has for their lives and I want it to be grand. I’m not satisfied with a little mission in my life and I don’t want my kids to just fulfill some ideas of what might be the call of God on their lives. I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that God has purpose for them and I want them to pursue that purpose.
  • God Give my Kids Incredible Future Spouses and Life Long Friends Who Love You
    We, parents, have a lot of influence on our kids lives… but we won’t always be there. Kids need great peers to help keep them focused and on track. Think back to your teenage or early adulthood regrets (or maybe late adulthood), who were the people warning you not to do that? Who were the ones egging you on? We all need people in pursuit of the same ideals as us surrounding us because if left to our own individual devices, we’ll make a mess of things. So I’m praying for my future son-in-law and daughter-in-law. I’m praying for their families and their friends. 
  • God Help my Kids Follow Jesus All the Days of Their Lives
    What Christian parent doesn’t want this for their kids? I want them to never stray from the path of Jesus. I know they’ll make mistakes, they’ll have missteps, but they don’t have to be huge and they don’t have to be overly painful. 
  • God Give my Kids Immeasurable Favor
    Have you ever felt the favor of God? I consistently prayed for God’s favor in a particular situation (another story, another future post) for over two months… everyday until God gave me favor with this particular person. And that prayer altered my entire life, forever. I want that kind of favor for my kids, their whole lives.

So there you have it, 5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily.

You’ve probably got your own version of this. I’m curious, what are you deepest desires for your kids? What are you praying over your kids as they sleep?

You may also like:
5 Tips to Kickstart Your Prayer Life in 2014
Secrets Every Christian Parent Should Tell Their Kids Daily

Have you ever, because of what you see in the world or as a result of your own experience asked, “How can there be a God?” I have and so has Mauro. If you haven’t, it’s probably either because you’ve never really given much thought to the existence of God or you’re too scared to face the conclusions you might draw from asking such a question. I’ve asked it and so has Mauro.

Everybody man has a “Father Wound.” It’s because we’re imperfect fathers. It’s because our fathers and their fathers were imperfect. It’s part of the broken-sinful nature of the world we live in, but the story doesn’t have to end there. Everyone can find a perfect father in God and my prayer is that Mauro’s story helps you comes to terms with God’s perfect nature.

Mauro’s story starts with Catholic High School and his relationship with his own father. He had a difficult time and didn’t feel like it was possible for God to be a father, because he was comparing God to how he felt about his relationship with his dad. But then something changed.

On November 22, 2013 I had the pleasure of baptizing Mauro at the first ever baptism gathering with Two Cities Church.

Interested in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ?
We’re interested in leading you into that relationship.
Interested in getting baptized?
We’re interested in baptizing you.
Contact me for details.

Interested in knowing more about Two Cities Church?
You can find us Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 5pm at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Old Town Clovis.
808 4th St., Clovis, Ca 93611

Come catch a glimpse.

You can also see more about Mauro and Chelsea in this video.
Mauro & Chelsea [WeAreTwoCities Video]

Watch Cady Hurtado’s story here.
You may also like An Atheist Prayer.

An Atheist Prayer

January 9, 2014 — 4 Comments

“Thoughts in a prison” an atheist prayer by Micah Prewitt.

I came across this song the other day. It’s by a friend of mine, Micah Prewitt. I haven’t seen him in years but he did help out with the music in a student ministry I was leading a few years ago. He now lives in France pursuing music. But his gut-wrenchingly honest song got me thinking…

You don’t have to be an atheist to cry out words like these. There’s probably a time, no matter what you do or do not believe, that you’ve faced a question like this one, “Are you real or are you no?”

Many people face this question when they feel forgotten or overlooked by God. Some people face a faith crisis when circumstances seem to be out-of-whack with what we’ve been taught about God or His character. It doesn’t take much research or googling to see all the awful things happening in the world and so it doesn’t take a genius to know at some point we’re all going to face this kind of question and perhaps say a skeptical atheist prayer.

In fact, it takes a lot of courage to ask a question like this. Especially if you’ve been raised to believe in God. But it also takes a lot of courage for a life-long atheist to pray that same prayer, coming from a different perspective. Here’s my challenge to you all:

  • If you’re an atheist and you’ve never prayed. Pray it. Just try it. Pray it as if you’re actually talking to someone. Ask, “Are you real? If so, show me.”
  • If you’re an atheist who has prayed this before. Try it again. I dare you. Ask, “Are you real? I know I’ve asked before and I didn’t see any evidence that you’re real. So, I’m giving you another chance to show me.”
  • If you’re a Christian and never had a faith crisis, you’re faith is on shaky ground. You’ll have a faith crisis one day and if you have the courage to ask God this question and you come out the other side with your faith intact, your faith will be undeniably solid.
  • If you’re a Christian and you’ve been through this whole process, I challenge you to pray, “God, I know you’re real. I know you’re there. Help me live as though I truly believe that.”

No matter who you are. No matter what you believe. There’s a time in your life where you’re going to face the God question. You’re going to say a bit of an atheist prayer, “Are you real or are you no?”

So tell me. Has your faith weathered the storm? Have you come out stronger? Have you lost faith altogether? Be honest. I want to hear your story.

5 Tips to Kickstart Your Prayer Life in 2014

Photo Credit: gospeltoday.com

Let me start out by saying something I might be hanged for… I DON’T BELIEVE IN PRAYER.

That’s was liberating. I feel better now. It’s hard to keep that kind of secret, especially when you’re a pastor.

If you’re a Christian, you are probably getting more angry by the second as you read this. Let me challenge you a little bit. What does prayer do? What is prayer? Why would you believe in prayer? Praying, in and of itself is nothing more than talking or thinking coherent pleas, praises and promises to someone or something. Have you ever heard the phrase, “I pray you.” That kind of talking is mostly gone from our language, but it’s telling that “prayer” isn’t anything spectacular in and of itself.

If you’re not a Christian, you’re probably agreeing with me, but here’s where you might disagree…

I don’t believe in prayer, but I do believe in the one I pray to. I believe that God wants to be in relationship with me and you. I believe that praying to Him is part of growing that relationship. I believe He has the power to change my life, my relationships, my world… but He’s not interested in just changing my life or circumstances. He’s interested in redeeming all of the creation. He’s interested in His plan. He’s interested in involving you and me in the greatest story, the greatest adventure and the greatest mission… to be an instrument of His divine purpose. So that’s why I pray, to spill my guts to him and seek alignment with His will for my life and my world.

Maybe you’ve never learned how to pray. Jesus gives us a template for that and Andy Stanley does a great job unpacking that in this short clip.

If you’ve found your prayers to be a bit dull or feel like they’re hitting the ceiling, Don’t Start off Asking. Here are 5 tips for kickstarting your prayer life this year.

  1. Start Your Day With Prayer.
    Here’s a practical reason this is a great tip to kickstart your prayer life in 2014, it frames the way you think for the rest of the day. It also goes great with reading a bit of the Bible. Sounds simple, sounds easy, but is anything but easy for me. I’ve got two small kids and my wife and I both work from home, so we switch off watching the kids while the other one works. That makes it difficult to get right to prayer and the Bible in the morning. But the days I do it prepares me to handle the stresses of the day.
  2. Write Your Prayers.
    I used to keep a journal of thoughts. I have volumes and volumes of little moleskin books that I’ve written in as I travelled Europe and the United Stated while in college. I tried to keep up the habit post college, but it turned into a book where I jot down things I need from the story, or notes from a meeting or doodle. But recently I picked up a new moleskin and dedicated it to prayers. Let me tell you, it’s a different experience when you write your prayers. It causes me to concentrate more. It causes me to think about what I’m saying and not ramble. I causes me to pray with purpose and resolve and I like it.
  3. Go On A Prayer Walk, Run or Bike Ride… While On Airplane Mode.
    Leave the phone at home or put it on airplane mode (if you need the clock function) and walk, run or bike as you pray. For me, when I stop to sit on a bench, I get distracted, unless it’s a secluded place with no people. But if I keep moving, in a rhythm, my prayer keeps flowing. Something about doing something mindless with your body, like running, means my brain works overtime and can concentrate better. I found this to be especially true when it was also a test of endurance. The longer the run, the harder I prayed. Imagine that.
  4. Get Outdoors.
    This one goes hand and hand with number three. Just get outside. Get into a different environment. Go to an area of town or country that you don’t usually go and you might find yourself in a better mind frame to pray. For me, nature is a way I experience the presence of the God more than in a room by myself. My favorite place in the world is Yosemite National Park, especially, at the base of Yosemite Falls. I love it there. And somehow I feel close to God there. So, find a place, outside and try it out. Getting outdoors might just help you kickstart your prayer life too.
  5. Get On Your Face, In Your Closet.
    Sometimes nothing but getting alone, in a dark place, with nobody else to see, on the ground, on your face… is what you might need to kickstart your  prayer life. It’s humbling. It’s different. You’ll vacuum more. And you’ll rise from that prayer a little different, by the grace of God.

So there you have it, 5 Tips for Kickstarting Your Prayer Life in 2014. It’s not a complete list and I can think of a few more like, “Be Specific” that should probably go on this list. But that’s what’s working for me so far in 2014.

What’s working for you?

Lost.
Depressed.

Almost everyone can relate to those two words. I’ve felt it and chances are you have felt it, do feel it now or will feel it at some point in the future.

Cady’s story starts like this, “I was lost and depressed…”, but it doesn’t stop there. She has an incredible story of redemption. And there’s something incredibly redeeming about telling the world where you’ve been and how Jesus has rescued you from that. You may even share her experience and I pray that this story somehow, creates renewal in you, creates a sense that freedom is possible and Jesus loves you too!

On November 22, 2013 I had the pleasure of baptizing Cady at the first ever baptism gathering with Two Cities Church.

Cady is a child of God. She is redeemed. She is forgiven and she is forgiving. She loves Jesus and has recently started volunteering at Two Cities. She is no longer lost and depressed. She is no longer defining herself by those words. She is now a daughter of the creator God! She serves Jesus because he first loved her.

I love the part where she talks about not intending to, but finding herself in a church talking to a pastor. That’s the divine direction we all need, a guide, a nudge, an intuition to do something out of the ordinary in order to find an extraordinary relationship with Jesus Christ.

Interested in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ?
We’re interested in leading you into that relationship.
Interested in getting baptized?
We’re interested in baptizing you.
Contact me for details.

Interested in knowing more about Two Cities Church?
You can find us this Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 5pm at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Old Town Clovis.
808 4th St., Clovis, Ca 93611

Come catch a glimpse.

glimpse cover fb