Tag Archives: sermon

The Planting of the Lord: Are you Getting Enough Son?

No, I did not misspell Son ūüėČ As offspring of the Lord, we can never stop growing and I’m [hopefully] about to blow you away with this analogy [between us and plants] that our pastor Jim Laffoon blew me away with several Sundays ago.¬† I took and will relay my notes verbatim, so some of this will read as if Jim is speaking directly to you. YOUR ROOT “Cursed is the one who trusts in man. ¬†Blessed is the one whose confidence is in Him.”¬† Jeremiah 17:5,7 In order to grow from seedlings to oak trees, our root must¬†be not just in the people of God but in God Himself. ¬†Many of you have a withering because you are looking to the people to give you what God should be giving you. Then there are things that¬†people can do that God can’t…you need both. What I got from this is that many Christians become very dependent on the church for their spiritual walk, but that begins with your relationship with God and the church remains vital to provide community and apparently, the things that even God needs His people to provide for one another! ARE YOU GETTING SONLIGHT? Just like plants need sunlight we need sonlight – the darker your workplace is the more light you need. ¬†Malachi 4:2 SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) applies to spirituality. ¬†Sometimes, you have to just sit in the light. ¬†You can train your soul to experience His presence everywhere. I absolutely adore this analogy. ¬†I imagine that in prayer, we are essentially basking in the Sunlight (sidenote: my auto-correct won’t leave that word alone lol). ¬†Literally with faces upturned and hands open, receiving this essential nourishment to our spirit. ¬†I feel like I can actually feel His Sonlight and I love to bask in it! ARE YOU DRINKING? Jesus is the Living Water. Drinking from the Living Water. ¬†I don’t have any notes for this, but the Living Water ties in very well with the plant analogy and I appreciate this perfect parallel. ¬†To me, this emphasizes the need to bask¬†in the Sonlight and spend time wth Jesus. The SATURATION Rain, river, reservoir – Living Water needs to be drunken once a week. ARE YOU FEEDING? Sustenance: Speaking the Word, listening to the Word – we are in God’s body. ¬†We can feed on God through each other. ¬†“The cool thing about Christian friends, you share gifts with one another.” ¬†-Jim Laffoon Plants need food and we need food and Jesus said, “take my body and partake of it” ¬†The Word of God is also referred to as¬†food. ¬†Give us this day our daily bread, with bread being the Word of God. ¬†And so this emphasizes the importance, to me, of staying in God’s Word. And so, in conclusion, we can think of ourselves as plants. ¬†And as plants of the Lord, we must be rooted in God and His People, we must be receiving Sonlight, we must be drinking Living Water weekly, and we must be feeding on the Word. ¬†Amazing! ¬†God’s messages are everywhere, if we will just have eyes to see His stories, lessons, and miracles! ¬†Thank you Jim, for your incredible gift of speaking God’s Word, through your messages and prophecies. ¬†You are one incredible contribution to our community, this world, and the Kingdom. Let’s go, my fellow seedlings, let’s gooo and Grooow!

Ready to Give It Up…

I usually use this blog as a platform for uplifting words, inspiring anecdotes, and exciting news.¬† Today, I’m experimenting with doing some unloading here on jeanetteeng.com, but even then, perhaps eventually to a greater end.¬† I feel overwhelmed right now.¬† I feel overwhelmed by the looming responsibility of aiding a family in emotional distress.¬† I feel spread thin by a host of invitations to an increasing number of causes and events and efforts.¬† I feel lonely without a family that I can seek asylum or rejuvenation in.¬† I feel offense in unreliable people, unexpected outcomes, and uncontrollable circumstances. This past week found me half-dressed in the back of a cab and calling my gym to request that my microphone be prepped and ready for me so as to shave off even more valuable seconds from my already tardy arrival.¬† In that moment, I cursed this lifestyle that I was living in which I’m often scheduled with appointments back-to-back, checking off a mental to-do list all day, and swirling with a head full of pending projects always.¬† I thought to myself, “Isn’t it time I’ve settled down a little bit more than this by now?!”¬† Why am I still running myself ragged like I was years ago?¬† This past weekend also found me juggling three social engagements with three different groups and executing not one of them fully successfully.¬† This situation left me vulnerable to one of my vices…emotional snacking.¬† And so I found myself popping dark chocolate covered cashews at 2am.¬† I’ve been doing remarkably well on my new diet plan with very controlled portions and I’m loving the outcome so far!¬† My first slippery night left me disappointed in myself, however.¬† Another thing on my mind came by way of an impromptu career assessment that left me wanting.¬† I need to revisit and master the hosting field, something that I have strayed from over the years.
In short, my life is very full and I am very grateful.¬† But with great power comes great responsibility and I am the type of person that takes responsibility seriously.¬† I am sensitive to needs and place it upon myself to answer to them.¬† And it is no coincidence that I pulled out my notes just now from a sermon two weeks ago and read this line.¬† “Your problems are big, but God is bigger.” “Recognize provision and that Jesus is enough.”¬† I just re-read the beginning of my notes where Pastor Adam speaks on “God’s hand in the midst of hardship.”¬† Adam came from a family of divorced parents and he resented having to be the caretaker for his brothers and sisters.¬† But this hardship, Adam eventually realized, was to prepare him for the ultimate task of pastoring two congregations and the New York Jets.¬† Hardships are part of God’s process.¬† And so I can re-visualize these trying times with my family, during which I have to turn the other cheek, bite my tongue, invest time, and give give give, as preparation for something far greater.
It seems that Spiderman and Jesus shared similar sentiments: “With great power comes great responsibility.” and “To whom much is given, much is required.” I can make peace with the idea that much is being required of me right now because so much has been given.¬† I can expect that more will be given to me and more will be required and I shall be that much more prepared.¬† I shall not worry on these things, for worry is synonymous with a lack of faith in God.¬† I will petition him with my requests and set my sights on the positive outcomes that I know he will provide.¬† With confidence and faith I will go about my responsibilities because I will better my family, settle down my schedule, conquer my diet, be a fabulous host, and be game for whatever else God has in store for me!¬† And so, to complete my subject heading, “I’m Ready to Give It Up”…”TO HIM!”

the ‚Äúparable‚ÄĚ of the pastor and all the prostitutes

Pastor Bruce told an unforgettable story yesterday to illustrate loving the unlovable… There was a pastor in Hawaii, his name was Tony.¬† One night he couldn’t sleep at all, just tossing and turning and finally he just got up and went for a walk.¬† He ended up at this hole-in-the wall coffee shop and sidled up to the counter and said, “just give me a coffee and doughnut.”¬† So here he is at 3:30am, at a mom-and-pop joint, with his coffee and doughnut.¬† In walk some prostitutes, loud and rambunctious, dressed like prostitutes, and they sit on either side of Tony.¬† So here he is, a pastor, at 3:30am, at a hole-in-the wall, with three prostitutes.¬† They’re talking animatedly, and then one prostitute says at one point, “You know, it’s my birthday tomorrow.” And the others tease back, “What do you want us to do, throw you a party, get you presents, what?”¬† And the first woman says, “No, no, no, I was just saying that it’s my 39th birthday.”¬† And after a while, they leave, just as abruptly as they came.¬† The pastor turns to the short-order cook and asks him “Do those girls come in here all the time?”¬† And he replies, “Yea, yea, yea, every night, 3:30am, when they’re done with their shift (sidenote: i guess prostitutes work in shifts?!), they come right in here and get some food, every night, same time.”¬† Then Tony asks, what about the girl whose birthday is tomorrow, does she come in every night?”¬† And the cook answers, “Oh, Agnes!¬† Yea, Agnes comes in every night, 3:30am, like clockwork.”¬† Then the pastor proposes,” What if we were to throw her a birthday party at 3:30 tomorrow?¬† I’ll go buy some decorations and we can get a cake and when they come in, they’ll be so surprised!¬† How about that?”¬† The cook thought quizzically about it for a moment and then offered, “That’s a crazy idea.¬† But I think we should do it.”¬† And so the next evening, Tony pulls up with decorations and soon after, prostitutes come pouring in to attend the party. (apparently, word had spread!) They get everything ready and then at 3:30am, in walks Agnes and her friends and everyone screams, “Surprise!”¬† A dumbfounded Agnes blows out the candles and when asked to cut the cake, she pauses, staring at it, and then asks,” Do you mind if I take this cake home to show my mom?¬† I’ve never had a cake before.”¬† And of course, Tony graciously tells her to do so and off Agnes runs with the cake and then there Tony is with a room full of prostitutes!¬† So what does one do?!¬† Tony take the opportunity to say, “Well, I’m a pastor at church here and I would like for us to pray for Agnes.”¬† Suddenly, the cook chimes in, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re a pastor?! What kind of pastor are you?!¬† Here you are, in the middle of the night throwing the prostitutes a party…I thought maybe you were trying to get a quickie in there or get a freebie or something.¬† If you’re really a pastor, then I want to know of what church; because I’ll join that church”¬† And Tony told them which church in Hawaii he pastored and that night, he gained some followers. The point of this story?¬† Get out of the rules and get into LOVING PEOPLE.¬† If more people showed their love like Tony did, I bet you that we would have a lot more people going to church. Bruce said that we get into trouble when we compare ourselves with others.¬† Just like Cain and Abel ended up embroiled in envy and spite and violence, so will we suffer if we delude ourselves by thinking that our sin is greater than God’s love.¬† Our acceptance isn’t based on our sins; it’s based on God’s love.¬† Oftentimes, we don’t accept ourselves.¬† And that makes it impossible to accept others.¬† But if we use God’s love towards us as the guideline for how we are to love others, then we should love everyone. Religion by rules is what got the world into so much trouble.¬† It’s faith by living sacrificially that is what God wants for us.¬† Jesus crossed the universe to show us His love.¬† So do we have to get up.¬† Oftentimes we sit at home thinking, “Woe is me, nobody loves me.”¬† So, do something about it.¬† Reach out to your community, grab a cup of coffee with someone, look for the love, build the love. Small groups are not meant to be bible studies for Christians.¬† They’re meant to be times to outreach and form relationships.¬† It’s all about the relationships formed. Again: Get out of the rules and get in to loving people.¬† We cannot mess up so much that He doesn’t still come running after us.

march madness…at church

At church yesterday, the message opened up with the opening song of a football game.¬† Of course, Pastor Adam had something up his sleeve again!¬† He had invited some of his “friends:” football players Kenyon Coleman of the Cowboys and Ryan Neill of the Rams, to come share their stories with our church.¬† I was captivated by these men standing just several hundred feet from me, who had succeeded against incredible odds, as they testified about God’s role in their life and victory. Kenyon Coleman towered at 6’10”, 310 lbs, and 31 years.¬† He boasted 9 years in the league, 7 years in his marriage, and 3 kids and a beautiful wife in his family.¬† He spoke about the “epidemic” plaguing our nation today: this obsession with “making a name for ourselves.”¬† Everyone from the reality stars of “Jersey Shore” to kid with no sort of musical legitimacy who wants to be a music producer, is chasing after making their names “known.”¬† But this epidemic is nothing new.¬† In Genesis 11, the Babylonians wanted to build a tower that reached the heavens and said, “Let us make a name for ourselves.”¬† Kenyon said, “God is more devoted to your dream than you are.¬† But he doesn’t want you to love the dream.¬† He wants you to love the Dreammaker.”