Ever feel trapped by the machine of excess in your own life and our culture in general? Join us this Lenten season as we stage a mutiny against excess with “The Seven Experiment” by Jen Hatmaker. In the seven-weeks leading up to Easter, we’ll challenge ourselves to think and act differently in our approach to food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress. “Seven” life groups (9-week study) launch on Wednesday, January 27 (6:30-8:30 pm) at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church (next door). Pastor Steve’s sermon series starts on Sunday, Feb. 7! Life groups are open to men and women in any age and stage. Interested? Complete the Life Group Info Form on the patio on Sundays. Most groups will meet at LJCC the following week.
Anyone can participate during the sermon series even if you’re not in a Life Group! Follow along with the sermon series with “Your Guide to the 7 Experiment” booklet (available as a hard copy on Sundays).
Week 1 Food: Activity
Food Drive at LJCC Sunday January 24, 31, and February 7. Did you know that 1 in 7 San Diegans don’t know where their next meal is coming from? Help us contribute to hunger-relief while raising awareness in the community! Please bring items from the list below with you to church for three Sundays and look for the flags and signs labeled “Feeding America” by food bins around the campus.
The most needed items are:
Peanut butter and nuts
Canned fish or chicken white meat
Canned fruits in natural juices or dried fruit with no added sugar
Canned chicken, tomato, or vegetable soup
Whole grain oatmel or cereal
>> NO GLASS PLEASE
Activity: Sort Food at Feeding America on 2/13
Saturday, February 13 from 9:00-11:00 am.
“Food” by LJCC Member, Anthony Moore
Eating delicious food doesn’t just feed your body – it feeds your soul. God made food. It’s a good thing. Pizza, steak dinners, cheeseburger and fries…talk about heaven on Earth! I love food so much, I eat it every day, without fail. Sure, I need to watch my health and all, but I can worry about that later. Jesus wouldn’t want me to miss out on all the delicious, tantalizing, mouth-watering food available to me every day!
Except maybe He does, sometimes.
Food has been vying for the throne of God since Adam first spied that sumptuous-looking fire-engine-red Honey Crisp apple hanging from the tree. Food is right up there with sex, sleep, money, power, fashion, accomplishments, reputation, and “things.” Like many things God created, Satan has tempted mankind to twist it into a sinful abomination, the opposite of what God meant.
God meant for man to eat a warm, hearty meal after his long day; God meant for food to bring people of different nations together. God meant for mankind to thank God every day for providing unearned nutrients that literally grow from the ground.
Man has turned food into something else. Instead of eating appropriately, we gorge ourselves with unhealthy food until we’re sick (ignoring how others around us are starving to death from a lack of food). Instead of bringing people together, we don’t share meals anymore, we eat when it’s convenient for us.
Instead of thanking God for our meal, we complain that our food is undercooked, overcooked, underripe, overripe, too hot, too cold, too slow, too not good enough.
What God meant as healthy nutrients for us, man has turned to consuming massive amounts of food and drink in excess, sinning against God and separating us from His will.
This week, we’re aiming to cut that out.
What do you need to do to get right with God in regards to what food and drink you’re consuming?
Perhaps you set a calorie limit for yourself. Maybe you need to cut out sugar, caffeine, or alcohol for a little while. Maybe you need to practice one of the oldest and best ways to surrendering yourself to Jesus – cutting out all food entirely for a while. Fasting gives you the opportunity to channel your desire for food towards a desire for intimacy with your Creator.
What do you need to do with food and drink?
Since we have access to so much food and there are many in San Diego who have access to no food, why not empty out your pantry of all your canned/boxed foods (or buy from the list we’ve prepared below) and bring them to our Food Drive Jan 24, 31, and Feb 7 to benefit Feeding America? Get all the details above.
Feb 10 Ash Wednesday Service at LJCC from 7-8 pm
Lent: A season of reflection about essentials
Join us for additional activities this week during the Ash Wednesday service.
For all the above activities, share with us using words, pictures, or video on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #AshTag or #LJCommunityChurch.
Week 2 Clothes: Activity
Donate Shoes to benefit Teen Challenge at LJCC Sunday, February 14 and February 21
As part of Clothing week in LJCC’s “The Seven Experiment” church-wide study we will be collecting gently used shoes of all types and sizes for local teens who are receiving hope from Christ to overcome addictions and other life-controlling issues through Teen Challenge (teenchallengeusa.com). Just bring the shoes you no longer wear or have a need for and place in the marked bins. It feels good and pleases God when we reduce our excess in order to give back to those who have less!
Contact Nicole Pearson for additional information on the Shoe Drive.
Week 3 Possessions: Activity
All-Church Rummage sale on February 27 to benefit youth camp scholarships.
In response to the 7 Series week on possessions, the youth team will be hosting a rummage sale at LJCC from 9am-1pm on Saturday, February 27th. All proceeds directly benefit camp scholarships! If you would like to donate items there is a storage shed open for drop-offs from now until the 21st during business hours. From February 22nd-25th the sanctuary will be open for item drop-off. We’re looking for gently used items such as: furniture, sporting equipment, artwork, toys, books, clothing, tools/hardware, etc! Please help us spread the word to your friends and family and thank you in advance for your participation! Contact Natalie Breyer with any questions or volunteer opportunities!
Possessions by LJCC Member, Anthony Moore
“Christians need to live simpler to that others may simply live.” – Anonymous
Stuff. We love stuff. Oh, there’s a sale! What?? I can buy two for the price of one?! Wait. You’re telling the thing I already have is sold in a different color? Honey, cancel our plans – we’re going shopping.
Stuff. We have so much stuff, we rent out big garages miles away from our homes to put our extra stuff, because we don’t have any more room. We have so much stuff, we can’t walk through our living room without tripping over something. There’s something about “stuff” that man just can’t enough of.
“I don’t have that much stuff,” you say to yourself. “I have what I need, that’s all. What’s wrong with that? This is just another way the church can make me feel bad about my things.”
In Matthew 6, Jesus told us not to store our treasures here on Earth. He knew we’d be so tempted to do that. Stockpile our things, buy more security, get more items to look better, live more comfortably, and be satisfied with having things.
That’s not what Jesus wants. In fact, the reason He instructed us to put our treasures in Heaven instead was because He knew mankind thrives with a lack of stuff. Conversely, mankind stalls, trips, and ultimately stagnates with more “stuff.”
That’s what the church aims to do this week.
What “stuff” do you need to get rid of?
Does the idea strike an unusual amount of resentment and resistance in you? Do you feel like this very idea is an affront to you – making you feel guilty about your possessions, making you feel like you’re sinning?
If so, that might be a sign that Jesus needs a deeper and more intimate hold in your heart.
As Christians progress in their faith, there is a natural decline in interest for earthly things and an increase in interest for heavenly things. That’s the natural progression
– as we grow closer to Jesus, we begin smelling the aromas of heaven. We begin hearing the soothing melodies of the angels. We begin laughing to ourselves about our circumstances when everyone around us is panicking, because we know Jesus is
Lord of all.
What’s more important to you – having lots of nice “things?”
Or growing in deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ?
Purge all of the things you don’t use or need anymore and bring them to church for our Rummage Sale on February 27th!
Week 4 Media: Activity
All-Church Hike Saturday, March 5th at 9:00 am
Piedras Pintadas Trail at 18448 W Bernardo Dr, San Diego, CA 92127
Church caravan departs LJCC at 8:15 or meet us there at 9:00 am
Moderate difficulty / approximate 2-hour hike
Things to bring:
Sneakers or Hiking Boots
We look forward to seeing you there!
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7.
“Media” by Anthony Moore
Let me guess.
Being a good Christian means giving up media, completely. All my usual outlets – ESPN, Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, the movie theater, YouTube – are all bad. God wants (and has wanted) me to give all these up. Specifically, He wants me to donate my expensive TV, cancel my subscriptions, buy a flip-phone and bask in the wonderful environment man was “supposed” to be in: a life completely devoid of technology and media.
Well, that’s not gonna happen. But I’d better volunteer to “stay off ESPN for a week” or “fast from my Twitter account” for the next 7 days to make it look like I’m participating.
…if this is you, then we are kindred spirits, you and I.
This is what a “media fast” always meant to me. It meant church leaders encouraging (but never telling directly, no sir) that media is 100% bad, and if we want to be better Christians, then we need to cast away our media shackles and embrace a life of quiet solitude, where we practice woodcarving, leather-working, and 2-hour-per-day meditation sessions with worship music playing softly in the background.
Fortunately (for you and me), this is not what the church thinks. This is probably not what God has in mind for us. It’s true: we can still go to Heaven and watch ESPN *gasp*.
You’re smart enough to know media can (and does) have a negative impact on you, in many ways. It can damage your relationship with your family by taking your attention from your spouse and children and focusing on watching through the 3rd hour of your current television marathon. It can damage your relationship with God, isolating you from His presence and making the idea of “meditation” (whatever that means) seem unproductive and silly.
Ask yourself a few questions. How has being too plugged in to media distracted you from real-life relationships? How can you redirect your media and technology time into time invested in relationships?
Read 2 Corinthians 10:2-5. List everything Paul said our weapons could demolish.
There are many obstacles and distractions the world throws at us – fear, anger, lust, selfishness, laziness – and many of these stem of excessive media consumption. God doesn’t want us to live in absolute solitude, away from our friends, family, and peers we interact with online; however, God does want to spent quiet, meaningful time with us, which cannot happen if we let media steal all our time away.
Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. Zechariah 2:13
Week 5 Waste: Activity
Gather plastic bags and make plarn for Homeless Mats at LJCC on Saturday, March 12th. Bring Your Plastic Bags for “Waste” Week! As part of “Waste” week in The Seven Experiment, we are collecting plastic shopping bags to make sleeping mats for the homeless. Keep plastic bags from polluting God’s creation! Bring them to church March 6 and March 13th and place them in the marked bins. Then come to the sanctuary on March 12th from 10-11 am so we can learn from Suzy Wilbur how to make the “plarn” for the mats, which is Step 1 of the 3-step process for making the mats.
Activity Leader: Suzy Wilbur
Week 6 Spending: Activity
Attend the FREE Thrivent Financial Workshop on Biblical Generosity/Saving/Spending, on Saturday, March 19 in the LJCC sanctuary.
Activity Leader: Nicole Pearson
CHANGE: MAKE ONE. SEE A DIFFERENCE.
Everybody’s talking about one thing they can do differently to improve different aspects of their financial life — whether that is saving first before spending, having a balanced spending plan, bringing coffee from home, not buying the shoes that you didn’t really need, and so on.
What if you did one thing differently?
Join us for an informaal discussion and refreshments on Saturday, March 19th from 10-11 am when you’ll get the facts to make informed decisions, exchange ideas with others, and choose to do that one thing.
Register firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to attend.
Giving Jar Challenge — Remember the Giving Jar you received on Christmas Eve?? Now is the time to use the money you’ve been saving to bless others as we wrap up Spending week in “Seven”. Bring the money you’ve collected in your jar and place it into our big Giving Jar in the sanctuary foyer this Sunday and we will use it to raise money for our Benevolence Fund. You can also use the money to be generous to others or give it to a cause.
Week 7 Stress: Activity
Activity: Pick up a Holy Week Devotional at church on Palm Sunday.
Activity Leader: Diana Powell