Category Archives: LJCC’s Faith Blog

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.

Y-Malawi

Y-Malawi

Y-Malawi

Y-Malawi brings people together in community with each other and with God. This true, deep, meaningful connection can heal hearts, transform lives and change the world. The central tenet of our work is supporting local African ministries who know their communities and people best. This model results in sustainable development and discipleship that is impacting lives now and for eternity. You can participate by going on a ministry trip.

To contact Y-Malawi, email Phil Jemmett, call (619) 990-5071 or visit their website:

Y-Malawi

The Miracle Cure

The Miracle Cure

Dr. Olson's blog post, "The Miracle Cure," on the LJCC Blog.

There’s a Miracle Cure for nearly everything

Have you noticed how often we think about miracle cures? Right now I’m moving my week around so I can cash in on Turbo Tax’s “50% off Federal Filing Products 3.23-3.27” that is brightening up my inbox right now. Whether it’s purchasing a lottery ticket with the expectation of winning it all or saving money on the next big purchase, we expect little things to solve our big problems.

As a wise pastor wrote famously about marriage, we expect both too much and too little of the miraculous. What’s strange is we don’t expect nearly enough out of the provision God provides us with. Instead, we look for the next business deal. We are deeply skeptical of supernatural and, simultaneously, we as a people are converging on the present moment to satisfy our great longings and rectify the great wrongs. Miraculously. That’s what the definition of a miracle is, isn’t it? When something undone and undoable goes completely good, in an instant.

We’ve given up hope for the miraculous, which somehow means that when we have the innate desire for the supernatural to take hold of our lives, that desire is much stronger. It’s as if in the last couple hundred years of systematically disabusing ourselves of the miraculous we now, with instantaneous gratification, and compromised attention, and ever-present loneliness, find ourselves ever more oriented around that very thing.

Mercy at a time when we need it most

Jesus’ impending passion, crucifixion, and resurrection come at such a merciful time in our predicament. When most of us can’t spend five minutes without worrying, Jesus came and told us “when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) The Bible goes on to say that the Father will take care of all our needs. (Matthew 6:25–34) Whoever thought the cure for our woes was the man Jesus, whose life was taken by people whose sins he was dying for? Whoever thought God actually loved you and me enough to subject himself to giving ‘His only Son.’? (John 3:16)

Whoever thinks, when we are casting about for something to soothe our troubled souls this is what we are really looking for? And if we’re really honest, who among us has the courage to believe the Miracle is true? But there it is. This week the church around the world will be struck down with Jesus as He is crucified for our sins. Sit with the rest of Jesus’ family as He lies in the tomb, and then watch as He’s brought to life. Hear the good news sisters and brothers. The Miracle Cure is alive and real; it’s the living God.

Join us in celebrating the good news on Easter Sunday with services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 am. Blessings to you in this season of the year when all of those in need of a miracle get one. 

Easter Services

The Secret to Healing in the Midst of Darkness

The Secret to Healing in the Midst of Darkness

healing during dark times

Did this time of the year ever drag as a kid? I remember trying to taste summer break and coming up short. Summer and the freedom that comes with it are a long ways away right now. As an adult, this time of year seems to drag on too, as if we’re in no man’s land.

The glow of the New Year isn’t on the radar anymore and it’s all-too-familiar to think in circles. It’s hard to even talk about wanting so badly to have it all together when the emptiness deepens. Anxiety sets in when we’re trying to grab on to something comforting that we cannot quite reach. This emptiness causes us to focus on our fears and it becomes almost maddening. Wasn’t it just two months ago when we sang ‘should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?’ with the hope that comes from a glimpse at the joy of new life? How have things returned to normal, in the painful sense of the word, so fast?

Jesus once warned his friend Peter that he would be tempted to betray the one most dear to him: his teacher Jesus. Being led into temptation can be a somewhat medieval sounding concept. What it means is simply being drawn from doing good to doing bad, being drawn away from the path we were on, to fearing the emptiness of being empty. In the story, Jesus famously tells Peter he would be tempted to deny his connection to Jesus. Peter, of course, denies he would do such only to find himself swearing up and down he never knew the man just days later (Luke 22:31-62). His pride led him to a great fall and he experienced remorse over his decision to deny Jesus. How can we avoid what happened to Peter?

In the season of Lent followers of Jesus prepare themselves every year to go with Jesus to His death on the cross on Good Friday, and His resurrection three days later on Easter. It’s a time of preparation for Easter Sunday. And what better way to give the normal temptations in life a run for their money than by making a “pilgrimage?” In the midst of coming up short and searching, Christ’s story is a journey that leads straight to the turning points in our lives: the moment when God reconciles Himself to buy us back. When He dies for our sins, He opens up a way for our ‘hearts and minds and strength and soul’ to get back on the right track, away from no man’s land, away from anxiety that can set in.

If you would, come and go on this journey that we celebrate year after year. You will not be alone. What’s more, we will be restored on this journey together. Holy Week is one of the weeks of the year when we are made to know that our anxieties, emptinesses, and strivings can be caught up into something much bigger and deeper than ourselves and be made well. Jesus tells us to come and pick up our cross (Matthew 16:24-26). The process of getting it right is to come and lay down our temptations so that we might be raised up in His forgiveness and grace. This time of year may drag on, but not if we’re open to the comfort that He provides all year long. Come and join us as we join Him.

Join Us for Holy Week

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