Where Chris Tomlin got the idea for that song

I was just watching a talk by Francis Chan.  I know it is almost 5 in the morning but I can’t sleep.  I haven’t slept a lot lately except for today, where I slept almost till noon.  Anyways, Francis Chan was talking about Philippians 4.  It was amazing because He was pointing out the verse 4, which says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!!!” Amazing stuff is packed into that verse.  Chan was talking about how so many times we disregard this verse because of the fact that we don’t see it as a command.  But it is just as much a command as the 10 commandments, probably a harder one to live out. 

I was amazed by the way he talked about rejoicing.  I have always been a happy person, at least I thought so.  But I have never always rejoiced.  That is an astonishing feat in my eyes.  When thinking about this, I start to make excuses such as, “I am just not that happy”, “I worry about spiritual things so sometimes I am anxious and concerned.”  Another aspect of his message was about a later verse in chapter 4.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Do not be anxious about anything.  Impossible.  Well, Paul says in verse 13 of chapter 4 of Philippians, that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”  We are not meant to do this by ourselves.  But man, it is hard. 

Anyways, thanks Francis for your wonderful messages and also, thank you God for showing me how much joy I need to have in my life.  I was reading just a few minutes ago on a blog by Perry Noble, about how Nehemiah 8:10 says that the “joy of the Lord is our strength.”  Chris Tomlin kind of took that line but oh well, it is good to plagiarise the Bible. 

I want to have that kind of strength.  A strength that is contagious because it is changing the way I view my life.  Making me rejoice at all times will get excited and passionate about life.  Oh man, God give me joy.  Francis Chan said one other thing that hit me:  He said that when we fall in love, our problems don’t seem to matter.  They are still problems but we don’t seem to get too concerned.  We seem to be just happy because we are in love. 

Father, make me fall madly in love with you everyday.  I am reminded of the Adam Sandler movie “50 first dates”, and the fact that he had to convince Drew Barrymore to fall for him everyday.  Amazing.  I want to have that kind of mindset going into my tomorrow with God.  Tomorrow, let me get up and receive a passion for You, God, before my feet hit the floor. 

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Walking for the glory of it all

Long walks have been something that I haven’t experienced in a long time and tonight I got to have one.  We had bible study at the Peacheys and it was late.  I didn’t care so when we got back to my house, people left and Tara was riding back to campus alone so I thought it would be good for me to walk her back safely.  After all, I am big and strong and the man.  So I did that and then I walked back to my apartment which is a good 10 to 15 walk at good speed.  I took my time and walked for about a half hour.  It was good and refreshing.  I enjoyed it because I love to listen to music and I had headphones and I got to finish as many songs as I wanted.  I am the kind of person who likes to stay in a car as long as possible in order to finish a song.  I will drive around for an extra 20 to 30 minutes if there is a song I want to listen to over and over again.  It is amazing how much gas I have wasted doing that. 

So from now on, I am going to take more walks to enjoy music.  Getting exercise is not the reason for me, but getting a good song out of my system is.  It is amazing how freeing it is to walk a good mile or 2 and have a song that is changing you to the core.  Well that happened tonight.  “Oh the glory of it all” by David Crowder was the song of choice tonight. 

“At the start, He was there, He was there,
in the end, He’ll be there, He’ll be there.
after all our hands have wrought, He forgives

Oh, the glory of it all is He came here
for the rescue of us all that we may live
for the glory of it all, oh the glory of it all

all is lost, find Him there, find Him there,
after night, dawn is there, dawn is there,
after all falls apart, He repairs, He repairs

Oh the glory of it all is He came here
for the rescue of us all that we may live
for the glory of it all is He is here
redemption from the fall that we may live
for the glory of it all, oh the glory of it all
the glory of it all, oh the glory of it all

after night comes a light, dawn is here, dawn is here
it’s a new day, it’s a new day,
everything will change,
things will never be the same
we will never be the same”

– David Crowder, “Oh the glory of it all”

thoughts from the Ssalonians 1

Insights from the gang of 24-7 summer 07: 

1st bible study – 1 Thessalonians 1

Main thoughts:
1 – “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope” (v. 3) – comes from 1 Corinthians 13 – all things in love.   We should do all things in love, but all things should be done in faith because “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6) and we should have hope for what is to come in God.  And the “hope of glory” which is Christ Jesus (Col. 1:27).  “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).  Let us work with faith, love and hope but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:13). 

2 – “in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father” (v.3b) – we are to do all things in God.  Not for God, but in God.  Amazing thought if you dwell on it. 

3 –  “knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you” (v. 4) He chose us, who cares how it happened – predestination/free will doesn’t matter.  He chose us.  Let us know that intimately.  Let us be acquainted with that idea.  He chose us. 

4 –  “for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power” (v. 5a) – in power.  It came by His power.  It came to change our very hearts.  Changing us to the core. 

5 – “in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (v. 5b) – probably because the gospel came in power, it comes with full conviction to change us and the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance all that we must know to follow God more. 

6 –  “just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”  (v. 5c) – we changed because of God.  We have been on a journey into more of God and we are doing this for your sake.  Not only our own but because we want to help others grow in God and to get a more accurate glimpse of God. 

7 –  “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord” (v. 6) – imitation is what Christianity is all about.  “Follow Me” is what Jesus always says.  We are to “be an example to all the believers in …” (v. 7) Fill in the dots to finish where you think you are supposed to be. 

8 –  the Message says it best here: “the news of your faith in God is out.  We don’t even have to say anything anymore – you’re the message.” (v.8) We are to be the message of God to the world.  St. Thomas of Assisi once wrote, “Preach the gospel at all times if necessary use words.”  Ouch, that is convicting. 

Let us be people who are so into God that we can’t help but share our lives with others.  Paul defines what life as a Christian should be:  “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8). 

home videos

So today was filled with church services.  I led worship this morning at the Ridge.  Good stuff there.  Everyone was into in my opinion.  Then I went to Central Community Church.  I love the people there because a lot of them have been friends with me for a few years.  I have been able to see them in a long time so it was good to join in their worship service.  It is also good to be a part of a worship service where I don’t have to do anything.  

But the reason I am writing right now is to talk about the most random thing in the world:  Home videos.  I love them.  I love the fact that people make them.  I used to love America’s Funniest Home Video until Bob Saget left.  He made that show.  But anyways, I went to a party in Asheboro where this group of guys in high school have been making a series of videos called “Project Flameshirt.”  One of the guys has a ton of flame shirts.  Yep, shirts with flames on them.  Hard to find according to many.  Rare.  So the movie is a thriller, 24-type, drama extravaganza.  Pulse-pounding excitement.  The gist of the 6-part series is a group of guys who want to take all the flame shirts from the one guy.  It makes no sense at all. But joy is bestowed to the audience gathered inside a tiny room meant for 10 or 12 which is occupied by 50 to 60 people. 

It was packed.  Very packed.  It reminds me of the early church in Acts.  How they jammed in homes to hear about God.  To experience God together.  Being in a place that is overflowing is a sign of God to me.  It is a sign that He is big and that He can’t be contained by anything or anyone, or by any building. 

But that is the spiritual part of this.  What this party of home video/movie premiere reminded me of was making videos freshman year of college along the same lines.  We made a video that was about being ninjas caught inside of a room and all that we had to do was be the last one out.  We fought each other for hours just to get a 2 to 3 minute clip.  It was amazingly fun.  I will always remember those times and the bond that was made because of it.  I loved it.  Ninjas brought me friends. 

Home videos.  Yay!!!

Originality

Part of searching is about taking that first step in the direction you feel God calling.  Well, that is a step I have taken.  Very exciting things are going on in my life.  I feel God calling me to a new place and I am praying through the steps to take as well as trying to discern His will.

“Life comes at you fast, if you don’t stop and look around sometimes, you might miss it.” – Ferris Bueller – spoken like a true prophet of this generation

It is amazing to hear all the confirmations that have been coming my way lately.  It is really stunning to me.  Well anyways, I will keep everyone posted with what is going on.

“Chasing Daylight” by Erwin McManus is the book I have been devouring over the past few days.  I got it because of a reference from a close friend and mentor, whom I shared with my present thoughts and situations.   He said that as I precede further this book is a must.  He was right.  Very much on target.  So far, not very far into yet but whatever, McManus is talking about how we so often act like God’s will is to do specific things and take the one and only path He has put out for us.  But many times, God doesn’t care as much about the specifics as much as He does about the heart.  There are many ways that things can play out and He cares about us doing it for Him and about us being passionate about Him.

“When we are passionate about God, we can trust our passions.”  
Amazing quote.  Over the past few weeks and days, I have been praying for God to show me the one thing that He wants me to do.  Get me to a place where my vision lines up, where my passions line up.  I have been essentially looking for the perfect place, which doesn’t exist.  I want to be at a place where God has put me around people who want what I want.  It is to change the world for God.

A friend said something to me yesterday that has been ringing more true in my ears today.  He said, “We all need to get to a place where we are all going the same direction, therefore if one person succeeds, everyone succeeds” (my paraphrase).  Community.  True biblical community is what my heart is for.

Another insight, so far, from “Chasing Daylight”:
“For a lot of us the most spiritual thing we can do is to do something – to turn right when we want to turn left.”
Lately, in my life I have been doing the same old thing.  The routine of life has gotten old to me.  Ministry has not been exciting for a while.  And for that I am excited because has given me a spark that is changing me to the core.  No matter what happens, I have a renewed view for God and for people.  Life is hitting me and it is making me weep with joy.

Last quote for today:
“If God has placed [something] on your heart, He must want you to take responsibility to make sure it happens… God [has] not called [us] to do what He has placed on someone else’s heart; He burdens the heart that He calls.” 
My vision is not someone else’s.  I can’t do what God has told someone else to do.  I have to do what He has called me to do.  This is hitting me so hard.  I dropped the book when I read that.  I took a shower (time of insight and divine revelation) and God kept revealing the truth of that statement.  I will never be the same now that I have read that.

I am to be me doing what God has called me to do.  I am not to be someone else.  Or to do someone else’s job.   I am Jason Bunch and I am the first to be me.  The world needs me to be me and not a copy of another.  I will never live up to a copy of the original; I must be the original.

lyrical prayers (how australia continues to affect me)

lately, my life has been up in the air.
not knowing where God is calling me but eager to get on the path.

i have made some huge decisions and i feel as if God is honoring them. i don’t really know where i am being called but i have accepted the calling. what this looks like, i am not sure. where i go, i don’t know. Lord, but where i go, lead me.

“we found our voice
we found our cause
we’re on our knees, the carpet’s worn
we join our hearts
with distant shores and sing to You Lord”
– joel houston –

this is where i am at. unsure of the future. my future decided by Him and not by me.

find my voice, find my cause. show my how to speak but show me what to speak up about. put me on my knees. lead me to the place where i pray for you to move with all of my being. wear my knees out with prayer.

we join our hearts with distant shores and sing to You, Lord. amazing stuff. give me a heart for missions, remembering that missions is my neighbor as much as it is someone overseas.

“when you stand the tall trees and mountains bow
when you speak the fiercest of oceans is still
and i see the sinner seek devotion
the lost become chosen, and i fall to my knees.

i will take up my cross and follow, Lord where You lead me.
i will take my cross and follow wherever You go.”

– marty sampson –

i want to trust in You with my life because You are worthy of being trusted. You are worth it all. i want to take up my cross and follow wherever You go. i want to but i don’t know how. give me strength, Lord. i want to trust in You, and not rely on what i know. amen.

Devotion

I’ve been running, trying to be one who sees
I’ve been working, salvation out on my knees
There is nothing better than knowing
That we are redeemed
I’m believing trusting in creative hands,
I am praying for our world to bow to your plan
And this one thought is unmistakable
I take up my cross and follow you Lord