Monday, December 15, 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Here's a video I was on the "crew" for recently!
It makes you think!
Please Check it out...rate...comment
And forward to all your friends! This film is in the Project Direct: 2009 Film competition! And hopefully on its way to the Sundance Film Festival!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Genuine Encounter With God


Recently, my mother brought to my attention a book she's been reading. The book is called, "Tozer on the Almighty God" "A 366-Day Devotional, compiled by Ron Eggbert." And who Ron Eggbert is, I have no idea. However, I do know a little bit of who A.W. Tozer was; enough anyway, to respect what he said and carefully consider it. Anyhow, I found a little devotional that I thought was worth passing on.

A Genuine Encounter With God

"Is it not true that for most of us who call ourselves Christians there is no real experience? We have substituted theological ideas for an arresting encounter; we are full of religious notions, but our great weakness is that for our hearts there is no one there.
Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experiences must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard. It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear, and no heart to love....
We who experience God in this day may rejoice that we have in Him all that Abraham or David or Paul could have; indeed the very angels before the throne can have no more than we, for they can have no more of God and can want nothing apart from Him. And all that He is and all that He has done is for us and for all who share the common salvation."

At the end of this there is a little prayer included. I do not know who wrote it or any of that, but I do know what the Bible reference is to explain it. The reference is Exodus 3:2. The prayer is this,

"Lord, may I experience Your presence in such a real way today that I'll feel like taking off my shoes, because I'll know I'm on holy ground. Amen."

So there it is. I hope this will bring you to a desire to encounter God, or at least interested in what it would be like to do so. If this does interest you at all, I recommend the book "[extreme]God Chasers."

May you meet God today.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Letting God Use Us

So many times, there is this great opportunity for us to do something. We’re asked, we think about, maybe even utter a half-hearted prayer for guidance, and then…we say “no.”

There are days when we feel like something is missing, as if we have this potential greatness in us, that we’re missing out on using. But even if we had the place to use it, we wouldn’t want to, since we’ve made so many mistakes before.

During times when we are in positions of doing great things, we often chicken out in the middle, thinking “I’m not worthy of this job. Someone better should be doing this.”

And so continues the human tragedy. It’s been around since the days before Christ. Something inside us wants to be better, but we know we can’t. And it’s true: we really can’t do anything important.

But, this is not where it ends! God has a better plan for us. He desires to use us for great things for him, if we’re only willing.

We limit ourselves so much, by thinking that other people can do stuff better than us, and that we are worthless or incapable of doing great things, but that is a lie.

There seem to be three main ways that we limit ourselves:

1. Feeling Too Weak

When we see a job, this mountain of a job put before us, it’s tempting to look at it and say “I’m too weak to do that. Someone stronger needs to.” But really, that is undermining the power of God. He even chooses the weak ones to bring greater glory to Himself. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” We need to be willing to step outside of our comfort zone and do things that we are too weak to do, like it says in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses…for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2. Feeling Unfit For the Job

Other times, we look at what we’re supposed to do and think “This is the wrong thing for me. I’m not good at that. I don’t know how to do that.” But, there were many people in the Bible that would seem like a bad choice for the job they had to do. Josiah was still a young man when he helped lead Israel back to God. Who would think that Rahab, a harlot, would guard the safety of the spies sent from Israel? The world would never choose the people that God does. That’s all just part of His splendor.

3. Having Made Many Mistakes Before

Often, we’re asked to do something for God and our immediate response is, “You don’t want me to do that. I’ve messed up too many times. I’ll make You look bad.” This is totally wrong! The gift of forgiveness is not just limited to securing our place in heaven. We are also allowed to do great things, in spite of our sinful past. Paul was one of these people. He went from persecuting the church to helping lead it. God can do similar things with you.

God isn’t just looking for someone great to do His work. He’s looking for the weak, the incapable, and the unlikely candidates, to serve. In using the weak, He confounds the wise men of the world and by doing so, brings Himself great glory. He desires to use you. Every one of us has a special purpose and it might not make sense, but we must trust that God is stronger than we are and knows where we should be. We must just be available to Him and willing to serve Him.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

[LIVE] Rebelution Tour 2008: Minneapolis Pictures!

I (Jonathan) am currently sitting at the info booth at the 2008 Minneapolis Rebelution conference! Just thought i'd upload some pictures I've taken so far!

View Photo Album

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rebelution Conference-Final Session

Last Session-Collaboration, Alex, Brett and Gregg Harris

Alex started out the last session with three simple things we should be.

  • Not Just Alone-He told us how one horse can pull 2,500 pounds, but two horses could pull a grand total of 12,500 pounds together! We need to work with other people and our efforts will be magnified. "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
  • Not Just With Peers-Just young people doing things together can be disastrous without some mature adult influence. "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."
  • Not Just With People-Companions can be movies, books, websites or magazines. Alex said that in 1998 the average person spent 9.5 hours a day consuming media. That is far more time than we usually spend with human companions. Media is very effective in shaping the culture because most people don't think of them as companions. We need to realize how it influences us and evaluate whether it is positive or not.
Mr. Gregg Harris then came out and said a couple things to the parents. He suggested that families "protect" their evening time as family time and do some family devotional things such as reading the Bible, singing worship songs and praying. He strongly encouraged the families to work together and not be so individualistic. Also, as much as parents need teens to be on their team, teens need parents to have a team for them to be on.

Then Brett took over, giving us list of practical things that we should do.
  1. Have a Hero: He said that a hero is a human shaped target, someone whose character you want to emulate. It is important, though, to have heroes in different areas of life (e.g. spiritual hero, scholastic hero.) We need people to look at that inspire us to be godly.
  2. Make Friends With Dead People: No, this doesn't mean to go hang out at the graveyard. It means to read great books by deceased authors, who lived in different times and cultures and will have different insights into life.
  3. Take Advantage Of The Movement: http://www.therebelution.com/about/
  4. Find The Secret Rebelutionaries: There are sure to be some people that have some qualities of a Rebelutionary that have never heard of the Rebelution. You just have to recruit them!
  5. Walk With The Wise To Become Wise: Brett encouraged us here, to ask a godly older person what they wish they had known and done when they were our age.
  6. Make God Your Ultimate Companion: We cannot feel victimized by the lack of a good family life or a supportive church if we don't have them, because God is always there for us.
All three guys closed out by giving us some final application. We need to throw off weight that's holding us back, stuff in our lives that isn't necessarily sin, but isn't helping us. "You already have a life, but is it the life you want? Are you willing to change something to give you the life you want?" Alex asked. "It may surprise you, but you need to change something in order to change." They gave a 30 Day Challenge to us all. The idea is that you give up something for thirty days, such as watching TV, IMing or some other activity and then add something better to your schedule such as reading inspiring books, or studying the Bible. I'd encourage you to do try it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rebelution Conference Notes--Part 2

Session 2-Do Hard Things, Brett Harris

Brett opened the second session with a hilarious story, telling that when he was around eight years old, he was terrified to take a shower. But of course, he's over that now. He even enjoys showers. Which brings up an interesting observation. Some things that were once terrifying to us are now part of our daily routine.

He then presented a theory: teen challenges are no worse than earlier challenges, such as riding a bike and learning to tie our shoes. He exemplified this idea by saying that teenagers have a greater capacity for doing hard things than young children do. He compared a Dixie cup with a gallon jug. They can both be half full, but even though the gallon may contain more water, they both are filled to half capacity.

Adults have never excused little kids from using the toilet or getting dressed, but the older teens get, the more they are limited, he explained. As we teens grow up, the more we limit ourselves by our tastes and label ourselves with expressions like, "I'm just not a math person," or "I'm just not very social," excusing ourselves to not be diligent in studying or unfriendly. He presented the depressing truth that our culture only expects teens to survive and not thrive. We aren't even expected to contribute to society until we're at least in our 20's. He says that we need to ask ourselves, "have we really reached our limitations?" Also, he said the ifPreCalc was required for higschool graduation, most of us would figure it out. That's sadly true. So often we only do what is absolutely necessary and neglect other important things.

Brett said we need to avoid being like Moses, who didn't want to lead Israel. He didn't try to fulfill the expectations that God had for him, so part of his job ended up being given away to his brother.

Continuing on, he told us that we need to glorify God and that He is not when we only limit ourselves to easy things. "We shouldn't be afraid of hard things just because they're hard," he nearly yelled at us. Easy things don't test our faith in God.

Everything in life takes tremendous effort by someone.

He closed out the talk with a list of what doing hard things looks like in our lives.

  1. Fighting Sin In Our Lives: Sinning is always far too easy, and it really doesn't produce anything. If we directed all our "hard things energy" into this one area, it would be the greatest.
  2. Battling Discouragement And Complacency: God has designed us to grow stronger as we're challenged. In that sense, we have an advantage if things don't come to us naturally because we get a better "workout" and we will come through our tough times as a stronger person. God doesn't call us to be the best around, but to be the best we can be. In the same way that we cannot get discouraged, we can't ever think we've made it. There is always growing to be done.
  3. Doing More Than Is Required: When you fail, it is because you haven't worked out enough, not that you have some negative traits. Going beyond what is required and expected of you will prepare you for the big tests you'll later face.
  4. Getting Over Fear of Failure: G.K. Chesterton said: "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." Failure is really not wasted if we rely on God more because of it. We also get stronger even we fail, as long as we try hard.
  5. Doing Hard Things Looks Different For Each Person: Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so what may be hard for one person may not be for another. There are also very different roles for males and females.
  6. Hard Things Are Often Little Things: Sometimes it's easier to study hard and ace a test than being nice to your siblings all day is. It's a matter of importance, not magnitude. We must remember not to overlook the little things.
  7. Doing Hard Things Is The Best Life.


Rebelution Conference Notes--Part 1

Here I am, posting for the first time on this amazing blog! I hope you enjoy it. These are my notes from the Rebelution conference last fall, expanded a little.
Session 1-The Myth of Adolescence, Alex Harris

Alex started out by telling three stories about young men from different centuries: George, Dave and Drew. At age 17 George had the commission of surveying the entire Culpepper county in Virginia, a three year project. He had to survive very harsh conditions in the winter and unsettled wilderness during this time.

Dave, when he was only 12 years old, was put in command of his own ship. At one point he was in change of capturing an enemy ship and bringing its captain back to the US.

By the time Drew was 17 he was the sole provider for his family after his father’s death.

These three boys grew up to be George Washington, David Farragut and Andrew Carnegie.

Alex pointed out that although these are extraordinary feats for our time, these were not very extraordinary actions for their time. But do we know any teens these days that could do such things? Which leads to another interesting thing he said: the first use of the word “teenager” was in Reader’s Digest in 1941. What were people ages 13-19 before then? He continued to explain that until the last two generations, there were only two groups of people, children and adults. Childhood was spent preparing for adulthood and as soon as a young person was physically grown, they were ready to be an adult. At the beginning of the nineteen hundreds only 10% of people over age fourteen attended highschool, but labor and compulsory education laws soon changed that.

Alex then quoted 1 Corinthians 13, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I understood like a child and I thought like a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” He then said “Paul didn’t say, ‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I understood like a child and I thought like a child. But then I looked like a man and sounded like a man (Alex did a very funny deep voice), but I still acted like a child.’” Then jumping high into the air he made a very comical childish grin. Just as a side note, the Harris twins are very funny and the audience laughed several times during each of their talks. This illustration seems funny at first, but it is a frighteningly accurate depiction of the ideas of our culture.

Somewhere during this talk (I think I got everything out of order because I had nothing to take notes with for the first talk), Alex told the story of how people in Africa keep their elephants from wandering off with only a thin rope tied to a stake in the ground. This may not seem strong enough to keep the mighty elephant from braking free, but the bonds in its mind are. These shackles were first formed when the elephant was just a baby. The masters would chain the young animal to a thick tree and for the first weeks or months the creature would strain against it, but inevitably giving up. After that, the chains weren’t needed. The elephant tried and gives up forever, the restraints in its mind fully in place.

He then said that we teens are often like that with the culture. We have these expectations from the culture, low expectations, that are only thin rope, but we think are holding us back. Leaping across the stage, Alex encourages us to break free and encourages us to be all that we can be, expecting more out of ourselves than just making our bed and doing a daily chore, as one study suggests is appropriate for a teen. We can be better than the culture expects us to be and we can be better than we expect ourselves to be. That’s what the Rebelution is all about: rebelling against low expectations.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Once again it has been way to long since last posting on The Change! I see in the previous post I was planning on writing something. I once again became too busy with other things to get to it!

Hopefully things will change now! For I have an announcement! The Change now has a new author. I addition to what I have to write (little as it will most likely be), new author, Katrina (author of Jesus FreaKatrina), will be writing for The Change!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Change is Back!

Readers! I would like to apologize for time that has lapsed since the last post. I am here to inform you that blogging will soon continued once again (and hopefully much more regularly).

Thank you to you who have continued to visit The Change despite my long absence in writing!
Check back soon! I am hoping to have a new post ready sometime this week! (Lord willing)!

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