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Monthly Archives: June 2012

I was on break, sitting there on that red bench, looking out into the parking lot realizing the importance of consumerism (sarcasm). I started to look past the parking lot and saw the mountains of Burbank gloating with its rich houses and beautiful sunset as its neighbor (my neighbors yell and beat each other, at least that’s what it sounds like). So ya, I was a little jealous of that mountain.

As I sat there I started to think back. I remember walking home from school and just listening to every sound. I remember observing the leaves blowing at my feet, the crunch as I stepped on top of them, and having that warm feeling inside, that holiday “spirit” knowing Halloween was quickly approaching. Besides the candy and cheap costumes, I’ve always loved Halloween because it meant Disney Channel’s count down to Halloween filled with semi funny, super not scary movies (I’ve of course grown out of that phase). I remember just feeling so good inside knowing that this was the start of the “good holidays” – it only gets better from here. I remember having pretty much no cares aside from homework and how good I was going to be at kickball tomorrow. There was no “WHY” in anything I did. Whenever I did anything, it was just because I could.

Just then I was rudely yanked out of my daydream like a kid being pulled away from something that caught his eye by his mom. Sitting there, back to reality, I started to realize that I wouldn’t be going to Africa this summer. I decided to rack my brain for ideas on what I could and should be doing this summer. I only had about 5 minutes before I had to go back and bag diapers and alcohol for the next 6 hours. Then I had an idea! I sent Pastor Scott a text, a text asking if I could be his body guard. He said no, but that I could be an intern. “Just as good,” I thought to myself politely. I had been praying for something and I felt like this could be it, I mean, if the whole bodyguard thing wasn’t going to work out. I was excited. I was moving out to San Dimas to intern for Lifehouse and I felt good…

“What…did I get myself into?!” I exclaimed at myself, as I realized I poured way too much coffee in the filter. It was Sunday morning again and I was in charge of making the coffee. “I have just ruined church,” I thought to myself. “Don’t worry Max you still have plenty things you can excel at this morning,” I reminded myself. The signs still have to be put up, the nursery has to be moved, the chairs have to be set up, the PowerPoint has to be perfected, the slides, the kids….how do Linna and Scott do this? And have kids? And have jobs? And volunteer for random things? This is simply crazy. I stopped and looked around and everything and everyone was moving so fast…

I start to see families walk in, with huge smiles and beautiful kids, and I’m filled with this warm feeling inside. It reminds me of when I was a kid. I thought to myself, “Family.” I took a deep breath in. This…is church.

When you’re a kid, walking home, you enjoy life more because everything is done for you, the street you walk on was paved by others, your meal at home was made by someone else, you don’t have to buy your own clothes, there’s no budgeting, or bills. I had nothing but time to observe when I was a kid. These past two summers of my life have not been about me at all, and I’m glad. I’m learning to live life not focused on how I can serve myself, but how I can look out for the interest of others, and serve them. Church is about our relationship with God and our relationship with each other. I’m learning that life only gets busier, and amidst serving others in our church, our jobs or whatever it may be within our routines, we can’t forget God, we can’t forget others…we can’t forget WHY we do things. It’s up to us to stop and listen and appreciate the leaves blowing in the street.

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Our goal at Lifehouse is simple – Life. Together. That takes on many different forms. We have potlucks and go to baseball games, we get coffee with each other, pray together and go see movies. We do LIFE!

Another simple way that we do life together is by sharing with one another what we are learning through spending time with Jesus. Every month we put out a reading plan for people to follow if they want to. There are three options: snack, meal, and feast. Whether you have five minutes or an hour, any of these options offer a daily dose of God’s Word. It’s cool knowing that the people I go to church with, that I’m doing life with, are reading the same thing as me. When we talk about it later it’s awesome hearing the different ways that God is speaking to us as individuals from the same passages.

Recently we were in Romans 16. As I read I came across Romans 16:19:

“Be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.” 

I was immediately reminded of a song we sang in Sunday school when I was a kid (it somehow ended with all of us kids jumping up and down, stomping Satan…). Being a child I didn’t really understand what I was singing. However, when I read this more recently I was struck by what Paul is saying in this passage. Here’s what I wrote in my journal:

I think in general I’m pretty innocent when it comes to pure, unadulterated evil. But what about good? This verse says I am to be wise as to what is good. How much am I actively seeking what is good that I may be wise in it? Or am I just avoiding evil?

Most of us probably don’t go around thinking about the kind of evil we want to accomplish in our day. In fact, avoiding evil (like stealing, murdering, etc.) has become second nature to the point that we don’t even think about it. But what about the flip side? What about doing good? Has doing good become second nature to us? Not only that, are we wise in what is good? What does that look like?

So many questions! In the midst of all those queries, though, here’s what we can know: God is good. GOD is GOOD! He desires for us not just to avoid evil, but to be actively seeking Him because he is the ultimate good.

What is God teaching you right now? We would love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below to enter the conversation. Let’s do life together!

This summer I get the chance to be in an internship with six other people at Lifehouse. As an introvert, this is huge. Some people connect well with others in social settings, but for me I happen to connect with people by spending one-on-one time with them. In social settings, I feel challenged to get to know others, as groups tend to be very intimidating to me. The other interns are really helping me to learn how to overcome this. We spend almost every night together eating dinner and doing devotions. My whole life I have been used to doing things on my own, but with this internship, I am learning how to share my daily life with others doing life together.

Pastors Scott and Linna are committed to doing life together as a church. Last week, when we had our church barbecue, I realized how much our church, as a whole, is working toward this concept and how this gathering encouraged me to connect with others. While at the park, I ran around with the Picinic and Martz children, ate lunch with Heidi, chatted with the Peters, and threw water balloons at the Clark girls.

I had an amazing time at the barbecue because I was hanging out with those who have become my family. I am so thankful for this internship because I am learning so much and being stretched in many ways! It has not been an easy journey because of my introverted tendencies, but I am so glad that I have committed to doing life together with Lifehouse.