Category Archives: LJCC’s Faith Blog

The Secret to Peace this Summer

The Secret to Peace this Summer

The Secret to Finding Peace may surprise you

Finding the Work/Life Balance You Desire

It’s mid-summer, and you’ve either taken your much-deserved vacation or are anxiously awaiting the peace that comes along with it. And for some of you, you’re on your way to your destination right now! You’ve packed and made all the arrangements. You finally get a chance to take that vacation you’ve always desired, and you end up sleeping most of the time.

Why We Sleep” (Matt Walker, Ph.D.) – a recent book out from by a well-respected sleep researcher would have us believe our exhaustion has us poised for a fell. Enjoyment is underwhelming. The relaxation that results in peace is often elusive. As soon as we break from work for vacation, we shrug off the all-time work mentality. But when was the last time we knew, deep down, it is well? (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23) When was the last time it was streaming out of our bones?

Perhaps the key to finding rest in our lives doesn’t come in the form of a plane ticket to an exotic resort. Shocking, I know! But finding lasting peace in our lives means being at peace well after we return to work. I’m not suggesting that you cancel your vacation but consider for a moment that we were created to share. When we’re in a state of desperation, we tend to isolate ourselves. When we entertain others, we create a space where gratitude meets joy. Yep, I’m talking about hospitality.

John Mark Comer, a pastor at Bridgetown Church calls our time of unrest, confusion, and isolation a season for the Church to embrace the world through the reconciliatory work of hospitality. But, how do we find the energy to be generous to others when we don’t have enough power to get through the day?

When everyone else is busy keeping up with the Joneses, consider your life with the eyes of the Lord. Rejoice for what people point at in your life and say ‘look at that.’ If your family is well, or well enough – rejoice. If your children are being educated – rejoice. If you have work that pays you a wage – rejoice and be glad. Hospitality starts with having something to give away. And it ends with being glad. Would you agree? Jesus certainly does.

Jesus eats with people often. The excellent book “Never Eat Alone” (Keith Ferrazzi), comes to mind as a spinoff to Jesus’ mentality, the difference being that instead of social climbing He ate with everyone. Jesus ate with people He barely knew so they would know that God sits down with His people. He also ate in the presence of His enemies. What a stir there would be in La Jolla/University Towne Centre if LJCC came to be known for having our enemies over for dinner to show them God’s mercy. (Romans 12:20) After all, “for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” (Ecclesiastes 2:25)

When you return from vacation, or the next time you’re longing for peace, get real on how good of a time you can have your friends. Better yet:  see how good of a time you can have with strangers and nominal acquaintances. (Hebrews 13:2-3; Luke 14:12-14). If you sit at the table of gratitude and joy more often in your life, your life will be made full to overflowing and likely you will be more rested. Amen.

How will you show hospitality to others?

Share with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! And let us return the favor – we’re turning 13 this year and you’re invited to celebrate with us at our Annual Celebration and Brunch.

An Unexpected Summer Adventure

An Unexpected Summer Adventure

Take an Adventure toward Personal Growth

It’s time to go on an adventure

You’ve turned on your autoresponder; it’s officially time to kick back. After all, summer vacation is one of the best times to be refreshed and renewed. It’s no surprise that we want an adventure on our summer break and that often comes in the form of reading a good book. Here are some intriguing book titles for summer 2018: “A Long Way from Home” by Peter Carey, “How to Stop Time” by Matt Haig, and “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer. While it’s pretty clear that a lot of us want to disconnect from work (and who could blame us), summer is also a great time to better ourselves.

Getting more out of ‘Out of Office’

When we feel that we need a break the most, that’s a cue that we’re missing something important in our lives. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Perhaps loving God means being more wise and discerning like Him. Those who will likely be more prepared to tackle life’s challenges are those who choose to grow (Proverbs 9:9). Here are some books we are reading that can take you on an adventure toward your growth as God intended this summer:

“Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” by Simon Sinek
“Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” by Gregory Boyle
“The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery” by Cron and Stabile
“Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well” by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
“Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People” by Bob Goff
“Paul: A Biography” by N.T. Wright
“How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals About Personal Growth” by Cloud & Townsend
“Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?”
by Gary Thomas
“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson
“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead”
by Brené Brown
“The Words and Works of Jesus Christ: A Study of the Life of Christ” 
by J. Dwight Pentecost
“Thinking About Christian Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Do It” 
by James K. Beilby
“The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society” by Henri Nouwen

Similarly, there are other books we would love to read, so let us know what you’re reading this summer!

Keep growing well after you’ve finished your book

Did you know you can stay connected to us when you’re traveling? We live stream our services every Sunday at 10:45 am and you can also listen or watch the service replays weekly on Mondays or Tuesdays.

How to navigate through transitions

How to navigate through transitions

He is the light that will guide you through change

Finding light in times of need

It seems like transitions are taking place in our lives daily. Think about the many ways we’re dealing with changes right now:  not only are the days are longer, but people are graduating, switching jobs, and even moving to new locations. For many of us, we’ve been here before, but some of us deal with change better than others. Like it or not, change happens. In the past, people handled change by keeping things the same, whereas nowadays we keep things different.

A philosopher recently commented, “stability is no longer the rule, it’s the exception” (Svend Brinkmann, “Stand Firm“). That’s an interesting take on change, but here’s an even more impressive take on change. Jesus was fond of saying things like, “Not a dot, not an iota of these words will pass away until everything is in the field” (Matthew 5:17-18 ESV). In other words, “not even the smallest change will happen until everything in this world passes away.” Jesus says things will not change depending on time, but we also know from Scripture that He does not change:  “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He knows what’s to come, whereas we cannot foresee what’s to come. We can trust God to be who He is until the end of time.

Change in our lives should come from the difference in our lives. What I mean by this is, the comfort we get out of the transition we’re going through should come out of the place in our hearts where the Lord is working within us. Here’s an example of a shift that took place between the Jews and Gentiles, where Paul recounts that Jesus united them:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near (Ephesians 2:14-17 NIV).

So, how do we find stability in the midst of change? The peace we’re looking for in the midst of transition is the change God brings about in our hearts when we abide in Him (Psalm 30:5). We should trust not in the variables that exist in our lives, but in Christ who is a constant, who turns rebels into faithful followers, poor to rich, lost to found, orphan to the favored child, from death to life (John 11:25). Join us as we seek God’s blessing in our own lives as one of His calling.

Actual Self-actualization

Actual Self-actualization

A man reading a book on a rock in a grassy field

Have you noticed people talking about self-actualization a lot these days? It seems to me like it’s the next “go to.” When I was a kid growing up in Encinitas (north of San Diego), self-actualization took place in the form of the commune by the beach where the people looked serene and everyone wondered what they did exactly. Now as an adult, I’m more concerned with the actual definition of self-actualization. In Webster’s dictionary to self-actualize means to fully realize one’s potential. Another way to say this is to pursue a better version of oneself.

Here’s the problem: self-actualization doesn’t work. One reason: it can’t. Here’s why: it presupposes a power we don’t have. We believe as people that we have the power to do anything we want. The people we look up to as heroes are no different. Here’s the problem with that: no human has ever come close to anything like the earth-shattering magnitude and fundamental perfection of getting exactly what we want, except one.

We are bent for self-actualization, meaning we are drenched with longing for that which we don’t yet have. Just because it isn’t within us doesn’t mean we aren’t made for it. So, we do just about anything we can to get what we don’t have: we work longer and take less time off, our stress level increases, and then we get psychotropic medications prescribed to us to deal with the anxiety and depression created by our increased workload. Throw in the caffeine for our exhaustion and Netflix for a bit of enjoyment and we’re higher still.

Yet in the Bible, self-actualization takes the form of discipleship. The way to really find oneself is to aspire to become someone else. Instead of becoming ourselves, we apprentice ourselves to the One we follow. In the Christian story, the Son of God came down and laid down His royal life for one, alarmingly specific reason: because it was the will of someone else. He actualized according to His Father’s will.

We believe the well-known line “not my will, but thine, be done” (John 6:38-40) is the touchstone moment of actualization that both completely changed the history of the world and defines what self-actualization really is:  laying down our lives for our friends. The Son of God submitted His will to His Father and then faced the veritable firing squad on behalf of people He loved. Then He was brought back from the dead by the power of the One who loved Him. Now, anyone who comes with Him can also be changed in this frank and fundamental way. What a wild definition of self-actualization! In the Christian faith, self-actualization is the process of becoming so completely with and like Jesus—submitted and formed into the will of God in the love of God and the people in one’s life—that the good stuff, the love of God and the heart of God, the most powerful force, and powerful thing, comes true.

Come and learn about God’s actualization of His people… It’s a deeply counterintuitive approach to becoming who we are meant to be. And it is absolutely wonderful. Come and see what that means for you at our Sunday worship services at 9:00 and 10:45 am.

A Fresh Look for LJCC

A Fresh Look for LJCC

Transformation Starts in Community

a beveled sign of the new logo

We’re at a crossroads – both literally and figuratively! The new LJCC logo is symbolic of where we’ve been and also marks the beginning of a new chapter at LJCC. LJCC is an intergenerational family of families. The lines woven together in unity represent our commitment to the body of believers here at LJCC and those who have yet to walk in our door. Because at LJCC, we believe we’re better together. We’re committed to meeting everyday people wherever they’re at on their faith journey. Join us in spreading the news by using #LJCommunityChurch

Logo Video

HOMELESS OUTREACH

HOMELESS OUTREACH

Homeless Outreach Ministry

It is important that we remember homelessness and hunger impacts our community all year long, not just during the holidays. The Homeless Ministry continues to feed the homeless men and women lunch at Mission Bay Monday through Friday alongside the Salvation Army.
The words of gratitude heard from those served is what inspires the ministry team to continue. The Homeless Outreach Ministry not only feed men and women five days a week, but they also provide bus passes, gift cards, and a Christmas luncheon. Words of gratitude heard from those served is what inspires the ministry team to continue.

COMMUNITY UPLIFT

COMMUNITY UPLIFT

Community Uplift Ministry

Teens and adults from La Jolla Community Church answer the call to work on residential projects around San Diego. These builds funded by Thrivent Financial are home repair projects to improve existing, degraded homes. Habitat for Humanity provides materials, expert supervision, tools, and lunch. Thrivent Financial fully funds the project fee. Habitat offers two types of revitalization projects that this team serves on. The first build that LJCC participated in was in August of 2015. If you or someone you know would like to serve with John Wilson and the team, let us help connect you with him.

For more information, contact the church office at Info@LJCC.org.

MILITARY OUTREACH

MILITARY OUTREACH

Military Outreach Ministry

The Military Outreach Ministry at La Jolla Community Church supports military families in San Diego while living out their faith and commitment to the Lord.

Each year, the Memorial Day bake sale helps to raise funds for baby baskets and gifts at Christmas to support the Welcome Home program. The baby baskets are given to expectant mothers or spouses of military personnel at Miramar. In the Welcome Home program mothers and children receive gifts donated by LJCC members.

For information, contact the church office at Info@LJCC.org or call (858) 558-9020.

Project Mercy

Project Mercy

Project Mercy

Project Mercy has been improving the lives of the poorest and needy in the outlying neighborhoods of Tijuana since 1991. The San Diego non-profit constructs basic sturdy homes for the poorest families in the outlying neighborhoods of Tijuana, Mexico. La Jolla Community Church participates by sending members from the “Mexico House Building” with Project Mercy. The Mexico House Building team has built over twenty homes in Tijuana over the years, including their participation in Project Mercy’s Baja Challenge.

The reason behind building the homes is simple:  inadequate housing leads to health hazards, plus a strong house is able to withstand environmental hazards. There are no homeless or temporary shelters or soup kitchens for those who are hungry and displaced. Residents fear for their children with each approaching winter because shelters cannot withstand high winds and icy conditions.

Here’s how you can help:  1) be informed, 2) volunteer your time and resources, and 3) support the efforts with your financial gifts.

Project Mercy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency based in San Diego, CA. To contact Project Mercy, reach out to Paula Claussen at paclau@aol.com or visit the Project Mercy page:

Project Mercy

Puente de Vida School

Puente de Vida School

Puente de Vida

La Jolla Community Church ministers to school children in Ensenada, Mexico who attend the Puente de Vida school. Puente de Vida (Bridge of Life) school is a ministry of Rancho El Refugio (Refuge Ranch) in Ensenada, Mexico. The ministry provides hope and a future to disadvantaged children. Unfortunately, the school is currently operating without adequate space. As it exists now the school is operating in shared space and therefore the students often get displaced.

Our involvement has been in partnership with Rancho El Refugio and Lazarian World Homes to build classrooms specifically designated for the school children. Furthermore, students and families who attend the church here in La Jolla minister to the children in Mexico, while also building classrooms. The students who attend the school are largely from the disadvantaged area of Ojos Negros and are children of migrant workers. Puente de Vida is committed to breaking the cycle of illiteracy and poverty in these families by providing a Christian education to their children.

Contact the church office to learn more or to get involved at (858) 558-9020.

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