Friday, December 21, 2007

Top 5 Jubilee Moments of 2007

So many good things have happened this year that it's hard to limit it to five, but here's my top 5 Jubilee moments of 2007. Let me know yours!

5. Oneblaze in St. Louis, July 17-22

4. Any Sunday we had a baptism, January 21 (2), April 15 (5), May 20 (3), June 3 (2), September 9 (5), October 14 (3), and December 9 (1)

3. Acts 13 Meetings, September 27 & 28

2. Terry Virgo at Jubilee, March 4

1. First Meeting in our New Kingsighway building, April 1

Looking forward to many more great moments in 2008!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Going to Be Good!

Last night I peaked in on the volunteer choir who have been practicing for the last month. Not only was I inspired by their passion and dedication, but was very impressed with their performance.
You won't want to miss this Sunday. Bring your friends!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

New Website

We have a new website. You can get a sneak peak by going to

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Christmas Present Worth Giving

Jesus coming to earth IS the biggest news event in all of recorded history. Whether you believe in Him or not, you will not find anyone who has had more books written about or more songs sung about than Jesus. In fact, history itself literally hinges on His birth (BC and AD).

The reason for this unprecedented fame is the meaning for which He came - to save the world from sin. Many, however, are skeptical of the facts and benefits of the Son of God taking on flesh. Luke who wrote one of the four gospels can relate to their doubts. He was initially skeptical, but came to believe just as he had heard.

For anyone you know who is skeptical or wants to be reminded of the beauty and wonder of this powerful event, the best Christmas gift you could give might be an invite to join Jubilee Church on December 23rd. We'll begin at 10 am with 45 minutes of traditional Christmas music and a 30 minute message from the gospel of Luke.

You can download this graphic to pass onto your friends in an email. Be sure to include our address or this link to google maps.

Monday, December 3, 2007

1 John Study Week 8

To download a copy of the 1 John Study Guide Week 8, follow this link.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Loving Each Other Like Family

One of my favorite times of the week is when my little family gathers around the table for breakfast. That usually happens for us on Saturday mornings. This morning I was basking in the joy of that moment. I said to Rachel and Ella (Simon was sleeping), "I'm so glad to be with my family." To which Ella replied and I quote, "We're missing a kid. Where's Simon?" As if to say, "This is great, but it's incomplete without Simon." And she's right - wonderfully right. And it brought me great joy that she would want Simon to be included.

I think it's similar with God's spiritual family (the church, us). He loves to be with the gathered family. He enjoys it and looks forward to it as should we. Therefore, the call to gather together (on Sunday or any other day) shouldn't be viewed as a legalistic command, but rather a time of joy and love and celebration of the gathered family of God. And I think He loves it when we say things like, "We're missing a kid. Where's ______?" Not as an accusation, but because it's just not the same without them! When we say it like Ella did, what could be more loving?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Action Track Sign Up This Sunday

Action Tracks
Winter/Spring 2008

Action Tracks are a key part of GROUP LIFE at Jubilee Church. Action Tracks are small groups that meet twice a month and around a specific subject or task. They are specifically designed to encourage community and will be easy environments to grow together. They are short term (3-4 months) so everyone starts at the same point.

Please look over the choices below. NOTE: there will be limited numbers per track but don’t worry if you didn’t manage to get in the track of your choice, there is always next time.

1. Marriage Enrichment
Whether you are newly married or you’ve been married for a number of years, this group will offer tangible help to strengthen your marriage for years to come. This track uses the Alpha Marriage material. Participants will watch a video as a group then couples will pair off for one-on-one discussion. Childcare will be available upon request.
Start/End Date: January 9, 2008 – April 23, 2008
Location: Kingshighway Building
Day/Time: Wednesday, following the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7 PM
Cost: $10 per couple (includes two manuals)

2. Good Sense
Good Sense seeks to offer solid, biblically-based teaching and practical, easy–to–use tools for developing healthy financial habits in a relaxed and interactive environment. This will be a classroom format, but one-on-one help is available upon request. Childcare will be available upon request.
Start/End Date: January 8, 2008 – April 22, 2008
Location: Kingshighway Building
Day/Time: The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7 PM
Cost: $10 per person (includes one booklet)

3. Turning Point
Turning Point is designed for those people who would like to work through negative patterns of behavior or thinking, or tension in their most important relationships. This track will be based on the book Boundaries written by Cloud & Townsend. You will have the opportunity to discuss this topic with others (divided up by male and female).
Start/End Date: January 8, 2008 – April 22, 2008
Location: Kingshighway Building
Day/Time: The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7 PM
Cost: $10 per person (includes one book)

4. Bible Study Methods
This track will explore 12 proven Bible study methods that will enable you to study the bible on your own. This is a great track for those who know very little of Scripture as well as those who would like to learn new approaches. Childcare will be available upon request.
Start/End Date: January 8, 2008 – April 22, 2008
Location: 601 S. Harrison, Kirkwood (63122)
Day/Time: The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7 PM
Cost: $12 per person (includes one book)

5. Community Service
This track is designed to serve the needs of the Southtown community. This group will spend most of it’s time serving the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and Rise Together Ministries. Childcare is not available.
Start/End Date: January 12, 2008 – April 26, 2008
Location: Will change week to week within the Southtown area
Time: Saturday morning following the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month
Cost: $0

6. Angel Food
Angel Food partners with churches and community organizations throughout the country to provide grocery relief. For $25, you can receive a box of food containing both fresh and frozen items. Food items are top quality and are produced by major food companies. This track will organize, develop and help administrate this service to church members and the surrounding community. Childcare is not available.
Start/End Date: January 12, 2008 – April 26, 2008
Location: Kingshighway building
Time: Saturday mornings (Specific Days TBA)
Cost: $0

7. English as a Second Language (ESL)
South St. Louis city has a growing immigrant population. One of the greatest challenges facing these people is the language barrier. This track will strive to teach immigrants the English language. To be a part of this track, it is only necessary that you speak English.
Start/End Date: January 9, 2008 – April 23, 2008
Location: Kingshighway building
Day/Time: Wednesday, following the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7 PM
Cost: $0

8. Connect Series
The Connect Series is the Jubilee Church membership track. Those interested in learning what it means to be a member or would like to become a member should choose this track. After completing this track, those who feel joined to the mission, values and leadership of Jubilee Church and have been baptized by emersion are welcomed as new members.
Start/End Date: January 8, 2008 – April 22, 2008
Location: Kingshighway building
Day/Time: The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7 PM
Cost: $0

Be Careful What You Teach Your Kids

Some of us can afford expensive stuff for our kids this Christmas and some of us can't. A couple of weeks ago I unpacked in a message (Heaven on Earth) how Jesus might warn us in overspending on presents, but after further reflection, I realized that example was directed at those who might be able to afford expensive gifts. I then started thinking of those of us who can't imagine overspending at Christmas because, quite frankly, we can't afford it. I want to briefly unpack a danger for parents who don't have a lot of money. Here it is - DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR NOT BE ABLE TO BUY EXPENSIVE PRESENTS!!! Jesus taught us that life has NOTHING (absolutely nothing) with material possessions (Luke 12:15). According to Jesus, you don't put your kids at any kind of disadvantage in experiencing all that life is meant to be by your lack of funds. However, if you are apologetic about what you can't afford, you might inadvertently teach them that they are missing out on something that money can get them (but Jesus says they're not). I know sometimes we like to dream about winning the lottery and "what would it be like if we had a million dollars". Jesus says that it wouldn't cause you to experience any more life that if you were dirt poor.

Here's a new approach. Teach them the life-giving effects of Kingdom seeking (read Matthew 6 and Luke 12). Instead of dreaming about what if you got - dream about what if you gave?

1 John Study Guide Week 7

To download a copy of Week 7 of the 1 John Study guide, follow this link.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Here's Something to Celebrate

Recently Jubilee hosted a basement sale and raised $677. Those are the facts, but here's the really exciting part to me. Behind it all was a woman (Maxine Wooldridge) who spear-headed an effort among several others to collect household items and sell them to benefit our Gift Day. We use the money we receive at Gift Day to help us in our mission to the St. Louis area. Here's what's great about what happened.

1) There was a big display of passion for God's mission in St. Louis
2) There was sacrifice and creativity.
3) Because the first two were present, it envisions others to get involved.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where is John Lanferman? Who is John Lanferman?

A common question among newer people is who is John Lanferman and what does he do? Because he's here, he's not here. I would like everyone at Jubilee to know John and be aware of what he's doing. It's more important than you might think.

John Lanferman is the founder of Jubilee and oversees the Newfrontiers family of churches is the USA. Almost three years ago, he turned over the primary leadership role of Jubilee Church to me due to the fact that both Jubilee was growing and Newfrontiers in the USA was growing. So John spends his primary energy traveling amongst the churches to help and encourage them. However, for him to function at full capacity in this role - he needs our help.

I encourage you to keep up with John's schedule by subscribing to his blog. He depends upon our prayer support.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Must Attend if You're 18-29

Clear Vision is something you must attend if you're between the ages of 18-29. It's for marrieds as well as singles.

This is why you must attend:

1) You will experience some of the most inspiring teaching of the year
2) You will experience phenomenal times of worship
3) You will be envisioned for the future
4) You will have a lot of fun
5) Quite frankly, it could change your life!

The early bird rate ($30) is good until 11/20. After the 20th, the standard rate ($40) will apply. Drop your form in the mail by tomorrow or contact the office at to make other arrangements.

Thanksgiving and the Kingdom of Heaven

Yesterday in my talk, a theme that was woven throughout the message was that the Kingdom of Heaven can be experienced now. That it starts with us when God shines His light on our dark soul and we get more and more and more and more until the other side where we experience the fullness of heaven. This is a topic that is worth our investigation.

I think the best way I can explain it is to talk about Thanksgiving dinner. Rachel and I will do Thanksgiving at her brother’s house in Bowling Green, MO. And we’ll show up there about noon, but won't eat until 2 pm. And here’s what’s going to happen. As soon as I open the door, I’ll be greeted by the amazing smell of turkey, stuffing, and apple pie. Now, the complete fulfillment of Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t happen until 2 pm, but I will experience what that meal will be like as soon as I open the door. And do you know what I will do? I will groan. My stomach will groan and complain and seek after a greater experience of that thanksgiving dinner. To the point that nothing else will satisfy. I'll be offered carrots to hold me over, but please. I don’t want carrots. I want to rip off one of those turkey legs. How can eat carrots when I know there’s turkey? So I'll go seek a taste - a nibble here and a nibble there.

Paul says something similar in Romans 8:23, "...but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." And what Paul is saying is that there is something deep within us that cries out for something beyond this world. Our spirit craves heaven. And the good news is that we can experience heaven today. And so in the teachings of Jesus (like the one we looked at yesterday in Matthew 6:19-23), He’s showing us the way to experience more of His Kingdom - heaven. Following Jesus means going down a path that leads deeper and deeper into the richest kind of life we could live.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

God Eats Mexican

Last night was a holy moment for me. And it didn't occur "at church", or in my prayer closet (both great places to be by the way), but it occurred at a little Mexican restaurant in Fenton, MO called "3 Margaritas". And just to clear the record, I didn't drink 3 Margaritas.

But while I was eating my "Burrito Macho" and laughing with good friends, God showed up to me in a powerful way. And overwhelming impression I felt, was that this is how He longs to relate to me! Relaxed, laughing, two-way conversation, trust, memories. The Creator of the Universe is huge and powerful and the supreme authority, and yet He so desires to relate to me in such a real way.

Maybe your feeling a little dry and formal when it comes to you and God. It doesn't have to be that way! He doesn't want it to be that way! Ask Him to meet you in a fresh way. And just a little practical advise - don't just look for Him in a church building or your prayer closet, I learned last night that He eats Mexican too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Support Jubilee by Getting a Bargain

This Saturday you have the opportunity to find a bargain on clothes, household items and more in our building's basement. For those who have participated in setting up for this event know that there is a lot (and I do mean a lot) to choose from. The items have been donated by a few people who have recently starting attending Jubilee. All proceeds will go toward our Gift Day.

Doors open at 7:30 am.

Monday, November 12, 2007

1 John Study Guide Week 6

To download Week 6 of the 1 John Bible Study, follow this link.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Identity Crisis

"I can't change. This is just the way I am. I need to be true to myself."

There is actually some truth the above statements. We do behave according to our true nature. This is a part of what the Apostle John is trying to get us to understand in his first epistle. " know that everyone who does what is right (righteous) has been born of Him (God) (1 John 2:29)." "He who does what is sinful is of the devil...(1 John 3:8a)".

This is why who we are must change! This is why we need to be born again. In our natural birth, we are born into a life of sin. It's not so much that we do sin, but it is actually a part of our nature - we are born with a sin nature. And, therefore, the inheritance we receive comes from the father of sin - the Devil. Our destiny is his destiny. It is a life in the bondage of sin and an eternal death.

Now the good news is that we can receive new birth. We can be born again because Jesus defeated Satan, sin and death on the cross. And when we receive this new birth, we receive a new nature. We become "new creations". We don't just add Jesus to our life, but we become an all together different person on the inside with new desires and motivations. And our inheritance changes because we now have a new Father. It is an inheritance of freedom and eternal life. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." - praise God!

So, yeah, in sense we must be true to who we really are. That is why who we are needs to change. And God offers the world new life and we receive it when we trust Him.

And the appeal to those of us who are children of God is to be true to our identity. That is, "to walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7)". See sin and Christ for who they are - one a destroyer of our lives and the other the Savior of our lives. So when sin creeps up in our lives (and it will), see sin for what it is (destructive) and repent and receive forgiveness.

God is good!

Monday, November 5, 2007

1 John Study Guide Week Five

To download Week Five of the 1 John Study Guide, follow this link.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Heart of Worship

Every once in a while I hear a story I must pass on. Today, I'm proud to have my wife Rachel as a guest blogger. Enjoy!

I have a vivid remembrance of being in a church service standing next to my grandmother singing out of the old, musty hymnal. I remember the sound of her singing and how silly I thought she sounded because her voice was sort of high pitched and off key. But it didn’t stop her from singing out in a volume that I could hear quite well. If you’ve ever heard Olive Oil on the old Popeye cartoons, that might give you an idea of her singing voice. I loved her too much to say anything, but I had a hard time keeping my laughter in check. I must have only been about eight or nine years old, but I remember thinking, “why would she sing out when she has such a terrible voice?”

But today, God gave me a whole new vantage point to that memory. My Grandma Florence has always been a quiet woman, slow to speak and not at all confident of her abilities or wit. But one thing can be said about her; she is a woman in love with Jesus and her life has been given completely to service to him. I believe God’s chest swelled with pride and joy at the sound of her singing because her heart was totally given to him in worship and she was unafraid to sing praises to her Heavenly Father even though her talent didn’t measure up. To Him, her song was angelic because it was her heart he heard. God doesn’t ask for perfection…all he wants is our heart. The real, raw, off key beauty of it.

My Grandma had a stroke just after her 80th birthday and entered a nursing home a fraction of the person I've grown up knowing. I’d give almost anything to hear that crackly voice singing Amazing Grace. And one day soon, I’ll have my wish…

Saturday, October 27, 2007

1 John Study Guide Week Four

Follow this link to download Week Four of the 1 John study guide.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Blessing of Being Sick

Nobody likes to be sick. Besides the fact you feel horrible, you're taken out of the game. You can't work, you can't play - it's miserable.

This past week, sickness hit our household pretty hard. First my daughter Ella, then me and finally the one that holds it all together in our house - Rachel. When mom goes down it gets scary. Kids end up wearing clothes that don't match and it's cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner - and macaroni and cheese for desert.

Anyway, with all the pain, trouble and chaos sickness brings, I did notice this week there was a blessing in there for me. For almost 36 hours, I didn't do anything except lie in bed. No emails, no cell phones, no meetings, no nothing. My family even kept a safe distance (which was hard). But there was one person who was with me the whole time - Jesus. Being sick gave me the opportunity to be close (or more aware that He's close) and spend time with Jesus. We talked about my family, we talked about Jubilee Church, we talked about me, we talked about Him, we talked about St. Louis. I didn't need to be sick, but I needed that time with Jesus. I needed Him to remind me that real life is in Him and not what I get done.

We have got to slow down every once in a while - otherwise we'll miss out on life.

Monday, October 22, 2007

1 John Study Guide Week Three

Follow this link to download a copy of week three of the 1 John Study Guide.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can You Walk with Two Broken Legs?

A person with two broken legs is completely dependent upon someone else to get around.

A Christian is completely dependent upon prayer to get around. And a church is dependent upon prayer to do anything. At Jubilee, we believe that prayer is foundational in the life of a Christian. And we further believer that prayer is foundational in the "corporate" life of the church. Meaning, it is not enough for members to have an individual prayer life, but it is crucial - let me repeat myself - it is crucial for members to come together in prayer.

In September, I laid out for Jubilee the mission of the church. Then I talked about the importance of being an owner of that mission. How God doesn't just want us to be like the hired hand who holds loosely the mission, but one who is like the Shepherd who owns the mission and takes it very, very personal.

Us coming together in prayer and claiming loudly our dependence on God is powerful according to Scripture. In two weeks, Jubilee will be having a week of prayer that only happens 4 times a year. Here's how that week will go down.

Leaders will gather on Tuesday night to pray (10/30)
The City South and County Discipleship Communities (DCs) will pray on Wed night (10/31)
The City North and Wentzville DCs will pray on Thurs night (11/1)
And THE WHOLE CHURCH will gather on that Friday Night for a time of celebration and prayer.

A man with two broken legs goes no where on his own and a church goes no where on her own either. She needs God. The members of each local church need to come together in prayer.

If you call Jubilee home, I want to ask you to make these weeks of prayer (that will happen four times a year) special times and priorities on your calendar. It's one of the more important ways YOU contribute to the mission of this church.

Monday, October 15, 2007

1 John Study Guide Week Two

Click this link to get the week two study guide.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Lessoned Learned from a 3 year old

Since having children, a whole new world of learning has opened up to me. Watching them talk, play and interact with others has taught me principles of life in new and fresh ways.

For example Jesus says in Luke 18:17, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter."

Now before children, I knew the principle was to have child-like faith. Got it. Checked that one off the list. But my kids show me this principle every day. Like just two days ago we were getting off a boat onto a dock and there was about two foot of space that I could span but my daughter could not. So she had to be handed to me. And I asked her, "Do you trust daddy to catch you?" And she said yes with a smile that I'll never forget.

This got me thinking. I want to trust God like that through transition periods in my life? When I'm going from one place to another, but there seems to be a gap that I can't span on my own, I want to trust God with out blinking an eye. I want child-like faith. I want to live with the attitude, "My daddy can do anything!" What about you?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Being a Man

The essence of masculinity as defined by the Bile is taking responsibility. Jesus, the ultimate man, took responsibility for whole world. That is why I think men should gather together to pray regularly. They should take responsibility for their families, their neighborhoods, their cities and their church by praying for them. Men should be standing in the gap for such things. We should not take a back seat or cop out of this pursuit. That is why I am going to gather any man that wants to to join the elders twice a month on Wednesdays at 7 am starting this Wednesday at the building for Men's Prayer. I don't care if you have never prayed before - now is a good time to start. If you can make it, see you then.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Week One Study Guide

For those who want to follow along with the series in 1 John, follow this link to download the study guide for week one.

Aligning Yourself With Truth

Do you ever wonder if you're on the right track in life? How would you even measure something like that? What is the plumb line? The Apostle John answers these questions in his first epistle (letter). He writes this letter during a time when many false doctrines and teachers were trying to infiltrate the church and confuse young believers. They were offering alternative ways of thinking and living that were contrary to God's word.
Maybe there are some false teachings that you have picked up in your life and they caused you to get out of alignment? Maybe there are some things you have believed and put into the practice that you thought would bring you the peace of God but have brought pain, discouragement and disappointment? I believe the study of this book will help you rediscover truth.
Join us this Sunday (th 7th) as we will start our new message series in 1 John. If you want to get a head start, we'll be looking at 1:1-2:2.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Very Excited Part 2!

Unbelievable! It was simply unbelievable how clearly God spoke. For those who were there know what I'm talking about. Last night was one of the most exciting meetings that I have ever been a part of. God used our friend Keith Hazel, along with Sam Poe and John Lanferman to kindly and clearly speak to His people.

I don't know how last night can be topped, but tonight we'll give it a shot!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Very Excited!!

This morning I had the privilege of getting a taste of Jubilee's Acts 13 meetings happening tonight (9/27) and tomorrow night (9/28) as Sam Poe and Keith Hazel joined our Midwest Pastor's Prayer time. For anyone who is skeptical of the gift of prophecy, I challenge you to come check out these meetings. I was absolutely floored by the goodness of God. That he loves his church so much to give us such a gift (Ephesians 4:11-13). God used these men (and others) to speak words of encouragement, strength and comfort. I expect the same tonight and tomorrow as we gather together.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jubilee is Making An Impact

Some of my proudest moments are the stories I hear from the community of how Jubilee has been a blessing. This is a report I received from Alex Kerford who had recently attended a South Kingshighway Business Association event.

Bryan, I felt very proud to be a part of Jubilee today. Many of the business owners and leaders knew about us and thanked me for all the good work we were doing. One guy named Frank told me that we have had a very positive influence in this community and that the work we have been doing has not gone unnoticed. Several others spoke very highly about the OneBlaze week and how much that meant to them. - Alex K

Let's continue to look for opportunities to serve our communities. If you haven't signed up for an Action Track yet, you might consider one of our serving groups.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Importance of Prophecy

I've been looking forward to our upcoming Acts 13 Meetings since the spring when we scheduled them. And if I was lacking at all in enthusiasm, Rick Hein's talk on prophecy last Tuesday sealed the deal. If you weren't here, following this link to listen to it.

The Acts 13 Meetings will take place on both Sept 27 & 28 at 7 pm at our Kingshighway location. Everyone is welcome and childcare is available.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

When You're Here, You're Family

I heard recently (through the grapevine) about some confusion surrounding our "Family Meetings". Some had thought the meetings were just for families. Let me clear that up: they are not just for families - they're for everyone who calls Jubilee home.

Let me just quickly explain why we use the word family anyway. We believe and hopefully practice that the church isn't just a place where people gather together once a week on a Sunday, but do life together. That we don't just affiliate, but fellowship. That we don't act like a club, but a family. A family with brothers and sister, aunts and uncles, cousins, spiritual mothers and fathers, grandmas and grandpas. We aspire to be a family.

So when we give events names like "Family Meeting" or "Family Weekend", it's not just for biological families, but for the entire spiritual family. Because when you're here, you're family.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's Thursday...Two More Days

Hope you all are making plans to get over to Willmore Park this Saturday for Jubilee in the Park. There will be food and a lot of fun between 11 am and 4 pm. The park is located along Hampton and Jamison or you can follow this map for directions.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Time to Get Trackin'

Whether you have been at Jubilee for ten years, ten days or ten minutes, Action Tracks (ATs) are something you'll want to involved with. For those unfamiliar with ATs, they are small groups of people who gather twice a month around a topic or task. They run in terms of 3 to 4 months. The purpose of them is to provide a pathway for community, and an opportunity to grow in a particular area.

ATs will begin the second week of October, but signing up for them will start this Sunday (9/9) after the meeting in the lobby. You will have the choice of a 1 John Bible Study (city and county locations), Essentials to Christian Living (city and county locations), Marriage Enrichment (city and county locations), or ministry groups (city locations only). People who can answer any and all questions will be posted in the lobby as well.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On Vacation

I won't be publishing a blog this week. On vacation. See you next week!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Does Your Life Resonate with the Word of God?

I recently received an email from one of our member's, Jennifer Whitmer, and she wrote something that I think would be an encouragement for you to get "in tune" with the Bible. Here's what she wrote:

When I teach music, I wear a tuning fork around my neck. This tuning fork always sounds A440 (the musical note A above middle C). It never changes the note it sounds. Before I start a song, I sound the tuning fork to get my note.

Another great thing about the tuning fork is that is will make other objects sound A440 if they touch. If you place the tuning fork on a chalkboard or desk or guitar, the object will vibrate with the tuning fork and produce an A. This is called resonating. Each object has a different timbre (own unique sound quality), but it is still resonating the note A. Every instrument has a uniquely designed resonating cavity to sound all the same notes, but with its own timbre. A violin will resonate the A in different way than a trumpet, but they play in tune together.

God’s word is like the tuning fork. It is the “pure milk”, the unchanging way to life with God. We should live life with a passion to be in tune with God’s word, constantly going back the word and allowing the spirit to show us how to be in tune with the Word in every situation. Like finding the different keys and starting notes, our life is based on the one true note of God’s word and His character displayed through His word. Checking our pitch against His truth is “looking intently at the perfect law.”

When the true word is touching our lives, we resonate His truth in the unique way he designed for us to display His glory. Our lives are uniquely designed “resonating cavities” that vibrate with the word of God in the timbre He designed for us. The church is composed of all different timbres, but all in tune with God and His word.

We should long to be in tune with Him. Walking closely with him, vibrating what He vibrates, resonating His truth and grace and love.

James 1:22-25
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

1 Peter 2:2
Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's 10 PM...Do you know where your money is?

Financial stewardship couldn't be more Biblical. As Americans (probably the wealthiest nation of ALL TIME), we can get lazy in watching our spending. Disposable income has never been higher, but neither has personal debt. Household debt is 126% of disposable income and our savings rate is -0.7%! (that means we actually don't save) One of these days, we'll all give an account of what God has put in our possession including our money. Do you know where your money is?

Here's a link where you can learn ways to keep a better eye on your spending.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Relationship Incubator

If you are interested in deepening your friendships at Jubilee, getting involved with Family Night-Inn is a great way to do it. Greater depth of friendship can be experienced in one night than 52 weeks of "HI's and BYE's" on Sunday. Listen to what of our members Heidi Sever has to say.

Ben and I participated in Family Night-Inn by
hosting a married couple. At first, we were a bit
uncertain how it would go, but 5 minutes after our
guests arrived, all fears were forgotten and we were
having a great time. We hosted John & Kara Russo, who
we knew very little. We had a fun evening visiting,
getting to know each other and playing games. They
taught us Canasta. And they creamed us playing
Sequence. The following morning, we fixed a big
breakfast together and I taught John how to cut up a
mango, which he had never tasted before and kept
calling a papaya. It was a great experience and
created wonderful memories. We are looking forward to
Family Night-Inn again this year. It is such a
great opportunity to create and enjoy deeper
relationships within your church family.

So it doesn't matter if you have been at Jubilee for 10 days or 10 years, married or single, young or old, you can participate in Family Night-Inn on Sept 7th. Sign up on Sunday via your communication card!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What Your Kids Must Have Before Going Back to School

You may have bought pens, papers, folders and so forth, but you may be missing the most important preparation of them all. You see, learning, completing homework, and graduating to the next level is one thing, but there is a greater test they will face (which we all face) that is a spiritual one. Will they make the right friends? Will they get swayed by the wrong crowd? Will they experiment with drugs, alcohol or sex? Yes, you can in part help to avoid these things through loving instruction, but you won't be there every moment of their life and our adversary is waiting for them around every corner seeking to kill, steal and destroy. But there are weapons we possess that are mightier than our enemy!

Consider Job and his early morning routine found in Job 1:5, "...Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them (referring to his children), thinking, 'Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' This was Job's regular custom."

Here's the picture. Job has some kids that are not always in his presence. Knowing the threat that is the prince of this world, EVERYDAY he makes sacrifices on their behalf just in case they might be swayed in the wrong direction. This was his REGULAR custom. The result: Satan couldn't touch them. Check out what Satan says to God in Job 1:10, "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?"

As parents we can learn a lot from Job. We have been given the role of priests for our children - making sacrifices of prayer and praise on their behalf. We would never send them to school without pens, pencils and lunch money - let's not send without prayer either!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Free Table

If anyone is in need of a table - my neighbor is donating one. It's oak, round, and expands. No chairs, however. Call the office if you're interested. 314.832.9033

15 Minutes That You Don't Want To Miss

Some of the most exciting minutes of the week for me happen between 9:45 am and 10:00 am on Sunday morning. These are precious minutes for me because I get to meet people I have never met before - some of whom have never been to Jubilee and maybe church period.

What happens in these 15 minutes is such a big part of what it means to be the church. Showing hospitality. Showing philoxienia or "love of strangers". This can't happen once the meeting gets started and it rarely happens after the meeting because we are picking up our children and a lot of times newer people are ready to get home so we miss our opportunity.

Between 9:45 am and 10:00 am on Sunday morning are 15 minutes that you don't want to miss.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Be In the Know

If you are in a Jubilee Church life group, looking to join one or think you might be interested in one at some point in the future, you'll want to be at our next First Tuesday on August 7th. I will be unveiling exciting new plans for group life.

Be in the know!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Must Read

If you have never read God's Lavish Grace by Terry Virgo, you must. Recently a friend of mine who is reading the book said that it's helped to realize that he doesn't have to be paralyzed by guilt because it's not about following the rules, but a relationship. Terry has a unique way of making this truth clear.

You can request a copy through the office ( or order it through Amazon.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Feedback from the Community

One of the service projects we engaged in last week was helping the Czech Educational Center. They recently sent us a letter of appreciation. To view it, follow this link.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Top 4 Messages

One of the real strengths of Jubilee Church is the team of teachers we have. But since you already have access to those, I wanted to give you my personal top 4 messages not given at Jubilee Church (in no particular order):

"Doing Missions When Dying is Gain" by John Piper - If you want to listen to a message that will stir your passion to get out there and do something for God, this is the message. You can listen to this message by following this link.

"The Five Things I Know About People"
by John Maxwell - I listen to this about 4 times a year. It's that good. You can purchase this CD by following this link.

"Reigning in Life" by Terry Virgo - If you have never heard Terry preach on grace, you need to listen to this message today! To receive a copy, contact the office at

"The Cross" by CJ Mahaney - He is simply the best at communicating this central message of Christianity. To receive a copy, contact the office at

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What an Unbelievable Church!

I have had the privilege to witness some of the most phenomenial servant hearts and teamwork I had ever seen during this Oneblaze week. So many Jubileeits gave all they had in time and energy as a living sacrifice of worship that was a huge blessing to this community and the Oneblazers that were here. Even more, it was a high stress environment due to the magnitude of the responisibility, but all I ever saw were A+ attitudes and lots of team work.

I am so thrilled and privileged to be a part of such a giving community.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Experience Can Ruin Your Perspective

The other day I asked my 2 year old daughter, "Do you know what daddy does for work?" She thought intently for a moment and then with a 'eureka-type' expression blurted, "You go to the church building!"(she loves the church building because of the toys in the nursery) "That's right" I said. "And what does daddy do there?" She replied, "You play!"

I was devastated. All my daughter thinks I do all day is play. But then it occured to me that in her world, that's what the church building is all about - playing. There's no corporate worship, there is no preaching of the gospel, there is no fellowship, there is no counseling, no administration, no serving, no prayer - there's only playing. Why else would you go to the church building? And then it occured to me that her experience had completely shaped her perspective. And her perspective shaped her view of me and the Church.

I wonder what your perspective is of the Church? How has your experience shaped that perspective? Is Church a once a week gathering or a vibrant 24/7 community? Is it irrelevant to daily life or is it the hope of the world?

I have found that our experience can ruin our perspective and can be very dangerous to how we live in the present and hope for the future. You see, experience is often contradictory to the Word of God. For example, we can receive prayer for our sickness and not get healed and have that experience shape our view on whether or not God heals. Or we can look at the Church and see where it has let people down and has let you down and that experience can ruin your perspective of the Church. The Bible says that the Church is the precious bride of Christ. The Bible says that the Church is God's one and only plan to administer and proclaim the message of salvation. God has high hopes for the Church. How can we disregard the Church knowing God feels that way? Well, we've had some bad experiences. But my prayer is that we don't allow our experience to fog our view of truth. May we learn through the power of the Holy Spirit to allow God's word to shape our perspective more than our experiences.

Friday, July 6, 2007


I hope you didn't miss John Lanferman's message two weeks ago on prayer. It was the clearest explanation on how to pray that I've ever heard. For the sake of your own prayer life and our prayer life together please follow this link to download that teaching.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Get Out Into the Rain

It has not rained much year. It has been difficult to keep plants alive and I have noticed where my lawn was turning brown. For those that want to keep things green, last week’s downpours were a welcomed change. My parched plants in the backyard got their much-needed drink and my grass is looking a little greener. I did notice, however, that our plants hanging underneath the front porch were still looking haggard and dried up. You see since these plants were sheltered from the rain, they didn’t get watered and as far as they are concerned, it was as if it didn't rain at all.

This got me thinking about spiritual matters and my own life and your life. Without the continue shower of God’s presence, our lives can shrivel up and lose spiritual vitality. The good news is that God presence is always raining. We just need to get out there and enjoy it and receive the benefit of doing so. However, sometimes we stay underneath shelter while God’s presence is pouring. The result is we begin to lose life like the plants on my front porch. At those times, it seems as though God is not really available. And we grow cynical and hard and callus. What we need is to be reminded that God is raining down his presence all the time. It is just a matter of us getting outside from underneath our shelters to receive from and experience him.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Free Donuts


Support your youth and get free donuts. Our youth will be selling punch cards from Krispy Kreme. Each punch gives you a free dozen with the purchase of a dozen. The cards are only $10, which means with the use of just two punches, you get your money back. You can bless your coworkers by bringing in a couple of dozen.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Church Being the Church

The primary function of the church is to be a visible display of God's wisdom (Eph 3). A place where different people of different backgrounds and preferences love each other, serve one another and partner together to finish what Jesus started.

Most people can point out when the church seems anything like God's wisdom on display, but I want to tell you about someone at Jubilee who I think demonstrated why the church is a great place to be.

I recently heard of one of our single women gather together a bunch of moms and their toddlers for a brunch and toy giveaway. Seems like a simple thing, but let me tell you why it was a great thing. 1) It was unselfish. She put something together that wasn't intended to serve her, but served those she invited. She doesn't have kids. She's not a mother, but she wanted to serve them and build friendship regardless. 2) It was inclusive. It wasn't just her close circle of friends. There were people there that are close friends of hers, but there were also people she barely knew (not for long). 3) It was not initiated by the elders. For the church to do something, it doesn't have to happen in our four walls nor does it have to be leadership initiated.

This is not the only example floating around out there. Several others are taking an active interest to build into one another lives with a serving a loving attitude. Way to go church!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Developing a Heart of Worship

Worship is seeing the glory and wonder of God and responding to it. I believe the more we respond to God with a heart of worship (expressed in variety of different ways), I believe the more God reveals to us about who He is, which ignites an even greater response. I think that is what you see in the life of Paul - both a growing desire to know God and a growing desire to empty himself (worship). Paul arguably had received more revealation of God in recorded history (by virtue of his writings), but effectively says in Philippians 3, "I want to know more." Paul saw God as someone who can do more than we could ever hope or imagine (Eph 3:20); who firmly saw our salvation as God's doing an not ours (Eph 2:8) and lived with the complete assurance that nothing could ever seperate him from the love God (Rom 8:38-39). This propelled him into a life of worship. A life of emptying himself (2 Tim 4:6-7). He was quick to say that his present sufferings (they were many - see 2 Cor 11:23-28) weren't worth comparing with glory that will be revealed (Rom 8:18). So he forsook everything else (worship) and kept his gaze on Christ. I think the more he let go of what would steal from God the worship due His name, the more he was able to see the beauty of Christ. I think this was the pattern that grew like a snowball in the life of Paul and can be the pattern of your life if you " on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" - a wild-eyed, child-like pursuit of Him!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Bible Reading Plan

If you're looking for a Bible reading plan, you can download a free sample at this Link.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Why Reading the Bible Doesn't Work For You

For years pastors have pounded on people to read their Bible and pray, which is great advice - perhaps the best advice you'll ever get. But it always comes off like "eat your vegetables and floss your teeth." Both are things you know you should do, but few actually look forward to it.

In the future, I'll address prayer, but for now let's talk about why the Bible isn't working for you.

You Don't Do What it Says
When I talk to some Christians, I am amazed sometimes how little thought they give to what the Bible says. I'm not talking about the little nuances of Scripture, but the big, obvious stuff like forgiveness. I don't have the time to recount all the places in scripture that directly point to both the benefits and the need for us to forgive other people. Jesus preached about it in the sermon on the Mount, he told parables on forgiveness, and instructed a disciple to forgive someone not just seven times in one day, but 7 times 70. Here's the point, if Scripture is coming at you at all angles telling you to forgive, but yet you don't forgive, reading more Scripture doesn't seem to help because your heart is hard to its truth. What you have done is built up a "resistance" to scripture. Months and years of not doing what it says leads to layers and layers of pessimism, skepticism, guilt, shame, anger, pain, and legalistic attitudes toward scripture that encases your heart. Outside a work of the Spirit, truth has a hard time making it where it needs to go - not the head, but the heart. If you want Scripture to work for you, you have to do what it says. Who hires a high priced lawyer and ignores the counsel? Who goes to the doctor and throws away the prescription? Friends, we have a gift from God that is a "lamp unto our feet". It is priceless advice, yet even more a love letter from the throne of grace, the lover of our soul and the creator of the universe.

You Only Listen to Part of It
Many people find that Scripture doesn't work for them because they only listen to part of it. This is closely related to the first reason. This happens when you bend Scripture around your worldview. If you are from an Eastern culture or you're a conservative Western, you embrace verses that support the family and speak out against moral failure like sexual immoratlity. However, the idea of "turning the other cheek" can almost sound preposterous. "Eye for an eye" you say. If you are liberal in your worldview, you love the "turn the other cheek" stuff and tolerance, but "no sex out of marriage? How regressive!" When you listen to all of what scripture says, you find that it attacks all worldviews that are counter to the Kingdom of God. And when you realize that, you find that Scripture provides a source of wisdom like none other and you begin to crave what it says.

Your Flesh Resists It
Galatians 5 says that what is flesh is opposed to what is spirit. Your flesh resists the reading of Scripture, but your spirit cries out for it. Your flesh would rather watch TV, mess around in the yard or play golf. It is important, therefore, to strengthen your spirit and not your flesh. Don't starve the spirit in your life. Feed what your spirit craves. But know that you are in a battle with your flesh who will fight you on reading scripture. Don't give in!

Terry Virgo has some great Bible insight on his website. Link.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Is Your Summer Too Short?

Growing up I was convinced that in the summer the clock moved around the dial a little faster than normal. The school year lasted forever, but the summer went by so fast. I always wished there was something I could do to make them last a little longer. While there's nothing that can be done to extend the actual days, there is something that can be done to extend the memories - share the love of Christ.

The summer offers amazing opportunities to interact with others. Host a bbq with a few friends from church and a lot of neighbors. Build bridges with people. Strengthen relationships. And as the Holy Spirit guides you - speak!

Bring Christ into the picture of someone's life and will extend your summer fun into eternity!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Community Anyone?

We are lonely people. We feel it all the time. We feel it when we come home at night and the phone doesn't ring. We feel it when sadness kicks in and no one seems to care. We feel it when we are still at the office at 9 pm. We feel it when we go to bed alone. It's not that we don't try to relate to others, but that doesn't seem to satisfy us. We get disappointed when people don't meet all our needs (even though they were never meant to - that's God's job). The problem is we really don't understand what community is and what it takes to have it. It's a buzz word these days, but the reality of community seems to elude us. We need to get a grip on what community really is.

Community flows out of who God is.

The Father, Son and Spirit live in perfect relationship while on mission together (mission is important to experiencing authentic community). So if you want to tap into community the way it was meant to be experienced, get close to God. Repent (right now) of the sin that stands in the way of you relating to God. If you are experiencing loneliness, I'll bet anything your walk with God is less than stellar.

Here's some more about community that I borrowed from a friend:

Community is experiencing Christ through one another.

Community is knowing and being known, serving and being served, celebrating and being celebrated. Community is hanging out with Christian friends and laughing about stupid things. Community is gradually opening up our true selves to people and letting them see who we really are. Community is telling each other the truth in love.

Community is not just being "nice."

True community involves being in a bad mood and still being pleasant to others. Community means asking for help. To be in community means to be in need. To feel other peoples' pain, that's community. To think more about what others need, that's community. Community involves crying and looking foolish in front of others. To be in community means to be uncomfortable at times. Community involves risking our image. Community is not just eating together. Community is not seeing people at church. Community is not saying, "Fine" when asked how you are doing. To be in community involves using your phone a lot.

To experience community is to arrange one's life in such a way that fellow members of the church are seen not as a burden to deal with, but friends with which to do life.

Community is seeing church as a family to belong to, not a service to go to. Community involves simplifying one's lifestyle in order to welcome others.

Community means sacrificing time and money for those who need either. To listen more than you talk is community. To work out all conflicts and never hold grudges is community. Community is the way of Jesus who related to and lived with twelve very imperfect men when he could have accomplished his mission and lived his life without them. Jesus showed us how to do community by who he was and how he lived.

Let's be a church that just doesn't have the word community listed in our brochures and website. Let's be a church that experiences authentic community and models it to the world around us.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Get Outside Yourself

We learn in Scripture that we are created for a greater purpose than satisfying fleeting pleasures (read Ecclesiastes). Moreover, we learn that our life is more than just about our life and our lifetime (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 48:13, 71:18, 78:4). We have been created to effect those around us in our generation and generations to come. If you have been a Christian for a while, you get that.

Well the same is true for churches. Jubilee doesn't exist just for Jubilee. It exists for people outside of Jubilee. And not just people in St. Louis, but the nation and even the world. That is why it is critically important and a privilege to be a part of the Newfrontiers family of churches (go to for more info). It's an opportunity for us to tap into something bigger than ourselves. To be a part of a worldwide, grace-filled mission-minded group that is reaching all different kinds of people. Starting churches in places where there is not a current expression of the body of Christ, feeding the poor in Africa and raising up a new generation of leaders that will live on well beyond our lifetime.

This is why next week, we'll load up our cars and drive to Central Missouri State University to live in dorms for a couple of days, eat cafeteria food and pay money for it. So that we can band together with other wild-eyed, grace-filled, mission-minded people who want to make a difference beyond themselves and beyond what any one local church could do (regardless of size). It costs us something to go outside ourselves, but the payoff is huge and the direction Scripture pushes us toward.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


We have no idea what it's like to live in a country like Zimbabwe. It's pretty much unimaginable for us. We all got bent out of shape last year when the power was out for a few days. We wanted blood from Ameren. In Zim, they have a massive power outage every day and sometimes go without water. Here's a news article to read about the situation:Link

For those of you unaware of Jubilee's relationship with Newfrontiers, we are connected with over 500 churches in over 30 nations including Zimbabwe. And our relationship with Zimbabwe is not an artificial one or simply a name on a list. They have come over to be with us and we have been over there to be with them. And even though financially, we have more, it's feels like they have given much more to us. It's truly a blessing to be in relationship and on mission with them, as well as our other brothers in Newfrontiers.

Be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe.

It's a blogitty blog world

OK, OK, OK I will try blogging. Just because I'm young (31) it's assumed that I somehow should "be one" with technology. We'll I'm a bit of a late adapter and a little bit old school. I just hope I get used to it before blogging becomes a thing of the past.

Anyway, for those who subscribe, I hope you find this helpful. If it's not, please send in your protests and I'll put it asleep.