Posts Tagged ‘Juanita Rasmus’
The Jesus Way Conference – part 4
Recovering the lost content of discipleship… (Final Session and going home)
So, let me tell you about the awesome blessing my King showered upon me today before I share highlights from this morning’s final worship session. Okay…we dismiss from the conference sessions and I head back to the hotel to complete check-out. I get my bags and make my way outside to find a ride (either shuttle or taxi) to the airport. I had saved $20 for this ride; I knew the shuttle cost eighteen dollars, but thought I’d check taxi rates only to find they were $22 – $25. I started back inside the hotel to order up a shuttle when I heard a gent holler out his window, “Hey need a ride somewhere?” As it turned out it was a fellow pastor at the conference who lives in San Antonio and he offered me a ride to the airport at no cost, AND I got a wonderful conversation about what Jesus was doing in his life and ministry (pray that God would bless and lead his church plant – his name is Jerry www.bluejeanchurch.org). Thank you, Jerry, for the ride and the Jesus conversation!
Next, I arrive at the airport and get through check-in and security; I stop at the gates display to find my flight when I look over my shoulder to see Pastor Joshua Choonmin Kang standing next to me! I turned to him grabbing his hand and thanked him for his ministry and blessed him for being an inspiration and mentor in my own spiritual journey. It was wonderful to meet and offer a blessing to him. I’m floating along pretty good about now and thought I’d grab a salad or something with the $20 that Jerry saved me, so I stopped by one of the many eateries in the airport. I ordered up a salad and looked for a place to sit when my eyes locked on Eugene and Jan Peterson! I stepped over to their table and asked them if I could join them for lunch. We had a wonderful conversation reflecting on the awesome morning of shared worship we had just left. We talked about family, ministry, and the Jesus Way! What an incredible joy to be able to converse with these incredibly gracious and humble servants of God; so winsome and down to earth. I learned a lot just sitting with them for the short time we had; both of them asking me questions about my family, my ministry, my children, and genuinely caring enough to try to take the time to get to know me for a minute…just a Jesus minute…experiencing the unity that comes from the kingdom of God…here…now. Man! The gift of conversation and caring is enormous as it relates to “what God is doing in the here and now…” I thank you, Lord Jesus, for this lesson; and thank you for the privilege of it coming from the Petersons.
Ok, so back to the final session…
We started this morning with liturgical readings, singing, and chanting ending in a celebratory rousing Celtic praise chorus with interpretive dance. I was simply blown away by the presence of God delighting in the worship of His people. I could barely utter words as tears just streamed down my face shouting hallelujahs and “I Worship You” to my King. Following our worship we heard testimony from Juanita Rasmus. One word; outstanding! I was touched by her authenticity and “rawness” as she let 2500 people peer into her soul and see some of the glorious work that God has done in it. Juanita introduced John Ortberg who shared some concluding thoughts about The Jesus Way. Oh my…was this some good stuff; again, my mind just started working double-time and my thoughts were fused with the words that John was sharing. While he didn’t use these words, the sum of his message was “i”Crucified, and for that, I can relate (no wonder my soul was resonating with his words). What follows is my interpretation of John’s words which my heart seized upon. If I have taken anything out of context, I apologize, but this is what my soul was hearing as it was “cracked” and the life of Jesus was flooding in. My notes follow:
You are not your project; you are God’s project. The Jesus Way is the way of the Spirit. His message is icrucified!!! I love you Jesus!
Out of your belly will flow living water-the belly is a deep place; it is the most inner place…the locus of our soul. To be cut off from the Spirit of God is to be on the cusp of death. The Bible begins with the story of a river and the Bible ends with a story of a river. JESUS IS THE RIVER! Jesus desires to run through us.
Our culture is capable of enormous deception…our church is part of our culture. What does that say? How often do we quench the Spirit of God when He is leading? When we shut Him out even a little, then we shut Him out a lot…we grieve, offend, and quench the Spirit.
Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and all your strength…
People should have the freedom to experiment with their spirituality and the disciplines because spiritual maturity is handcrafted by God and not mass produced by man.
A “round table” conversation with Chris Webb, Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and John Ortberg followed John’s talk on The Jesus Way. We ended the session with more worship with the community; an awesome ending to an awesome 4 days! I have much to take home and God has already started new work in my soul. I fully submit to Him with renewed vigor. God, Lord Jesus, may it be unto your servant (me) according to Your will. Always, and forever, I am Yours to do with as You will. Love, Your servant, Jeff. [Amen]