The Genius of Jesus

First, I am so grateful to have found Hillsong. I actually only learned about this place because a woman I met salsa dancing invited me. Go figure. Of all the places. Welcome to Phoenix, where one of the biggest leaders in the social dancing community, Lawrence Garcia, is a good Christian man. Also, as much as I love you Erwin/Mosaic, tuning in occasionally on YouTube is just not the same as being there in person. Gotta have an actual physical community of other human beings to see at least once a week, preferably more.

I'll be honest, shopping for a church has not been easy in Arizona. At least not for me. It was so hard when I got here. After visiting 6 churches, and striking out 6 times because of all the negativity, I got depressed and gave up looking for a while. Eventually I tried going to a church on my university campus, and was basically snubbed by some guy working there implying that I was only there to pickup on girls. Are you kidding me!? Then I thought I might have found a keeper a few miles away recommended to me by someone I met at a coffee shop, but after almost 2 months the pastor said some anti-gay people stuff, in explicit sincerity, and I couldn't go anymore.

If you've been around my blog much, you'll know that I had a rather challenging unconventional childhood, between being a lower-middle class 1st gen American of a Spanish war refugee, only child, skipped two grades in elementary school, mostly left in-front of the television as a kid, Dad got cancer when I was 14, died when I was 16, very socially awkward, most of my friends from K12 have some kind of rap sheet, have been in jail for DUIs, drugs, one's in prison for murder... IDK was my town that bad, or was it just that no one wanted to be friends with the weird immature kid? At least I had a few positive experiences between the Boy Scouts of America, the Masonic youth group DeMolay, and Olympic Marksmanship that he led me into. Anyway, my first day on campus in undergrad was my opportunity to redifine myself as "Dan," and not "that kid who was skipped two grades."On that day I made my first new friend at orientation, who was coincidentally gay, and black, and Jewish. All at the same time. You don't want to know what that guy's been though, and he still manages to be a decent human being. He was kind to me. And also has a great sense of humor. =) So, if you've got a problem with him, then you've got a problem with me, and you better pick your words carefully -- as is your responsibility when you hold the microphone.

I don't care how many more passages of the Bible someone has memorized, or how many more years of experience, or whatever, I'm not going to study how to be a better man under the leadership of someone who's more deaf to God's word than I am. He said, "God's voice is perfect, but all of our hearing is flawed." Then he said homosexuality is a sin. To which I respond, rape and incest are sins, and you need to get your priorities straight about what you're preaching about up there.

Rape and incest are not acceptable. Rape and incest are not acceptable ways of bringing new human life into this world. Jesus would not condone rape, and God's condemnation of incest is self-evident by the massive deformity/illness rate in people born of incest. Rape and incest are not acceptable ways of bringing new human life into this world.

If people can enjoy various forms of art and entertainment for pleasure, if they can get a massage all over 99% of their body for relaxation purposes, then what's the difference with the last few inches? That's the way they do things in the Netherlands, and people there seem to be just fine. Much better for your health than a lot of other generally accepted leisure activities. As long as it's between consenting adults, and done with a certain degree of temperance and humility -- please -- then I'm not going to pull out my proverbial yardstick and compare virtuosity/sinfulness with my neighbor for how they enjoy their leisure time. It's none of anyone else's business. Don't shove it in my face, and I won't go snooping through your belongings/data. If you think it's a sin, fine, don't do it! It's that's simple! In the meantime, pick something else to preach about because we've got bigger problems to deal with and you're making it worse by alienating people who aren't hurting anyone and would otherwise be supporting the community / cause -- of love and service and peace.

We had a guest speaker from Australia on March 18th who gave an excellent sermon about "brainless Christianity," taking risk in life, and reminded us that "You can care for someone without approving for their lifestyle." That God believes in life -- after birth. That no matter what, life has risk. To avoid being small minded and petty. Following Jesus is not safe, but it's the most rewarding place to be.

If you're familiar with my blog at all, and have made it this far into this post, then you can tell I take my logic extremely seriously. And when it comes to my personal/professional/spiritual/etc. development, I apply the same principles. 

I'll follow Jesus. I'll study the Bible with other men and women, combine the scriptures with all the other knowledge and experiences we've developed in the 2,000+ years since, and try to relate it to the world and circumstances we live in now in order to live in a more Christ-like manner and create a more heavenly world for ourselves and our neighbors.

I learned from epic super genius and cleantech/sustainability investor Andrew Chung, when he gave a presentation at the Cleantech Open almost a decade ago, how he reads a thousand business plans a day. Number not exact, but point being, as he said, he throws most of them away at the first sentence. Most of the rest after the first paragraph. And then only finishes about half a dozen before lunch. He doesn't waste his time reading things that don't make sense. And I don't waste my time listening to philosophers who don't make sense.

After about two months of really enjoying every sermon at Hillsong, I said okay, these people are geniuses. They know what they're doing. They know the word of God better than I do. They're engaging the community, they're creating a positive uplifting environment, and a more heavenly world. Sign me up. I want to be a part of this.

And what a coincidence, we just finished a series on "The Genius of Jesus" last weekend! My notes below. Hope you enjoy. 

  • Pastor opens with joke about life being re-arranged, after having a baby life was never going back to the way it was
  • Kids change us in the best and worst ways.
  • They will break you of selfishness.
  • Everything irreversibly altered when Jesus came to the world. God has called you to be an agent of change and build a better self:
    • 4 things
      • 1. The genius of Jesus is seen in his intentionality. Jesus lived a very intentional life, about:
        • Learning
        • ...
        • Lifting lives of people
        • Travel
        • Serving others
        • Forcing events that led to death
      • 2. The genius of Jesus is seen through his creativity.
        • Craftsman: Carpenter or stone Mason
        • Creative in his ministry, etc etc
        • Problem solving. We all solve problems.
        • 3. Unconventionality
        • Christianity is counter cultural and unconventional. Jesus built that up.
        • You are a counter cultural force for good. Stand up, stand out, for who you are and what you believe.
      • Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you...
    • 4. humility
      • Laid aside his divinity in order to live as a man.
      • People changing from humility is the greater power.
      • Humility places us in a position to depend of God, and then he shows up.
      • How could your life / career improve with more humility?
    • You already have the mind of Jesus.

  • Pastor jokes that he had to go to google to learn how to use emojis bc he was using them incorrectly and offending people when he began.
  • Baptism is an important part of God’s plan for your life
  • Jesus was Baptized as a sign of his humility and surrender.
  • He begins his journey in humility and ends it in humiliation
  • Common philosophy today about getting power as attacking
  • The only way you can get to God’s kingdom of heaven is to serve your way there
  • Humility is the new way, the new power.
  • Is it possible that i’m too full of myself? I’ve got too much good for God? Empty yourself...
  • God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.
  • Pride says, I don’t need you.
  • Water Baptism is how we go public with or faith.
  • We don’t practice infant baptism, or sprinklings because it’s not in the Bible. It’s okay, but we prefer to do it for people old enough to be aware of their sins, and their faith, and consciously intentionally put faith in Jesus.
  • Those who believed and accepted his message were baptized.
  • Jesus was without sin. He was sinless.
  • We aren’t made righteous through baptism, we’re made righteous by believing.
  • So many of you are trying to earn and maintain your own salvation. It is given to you simply for your faith.
  • His old life was cut off (as a carpenter) and he began his new life as a minister.
  • I have decided to follow Jesus and there is no going back. The old life is cut off.
  • I’ve seen people cut off from old habits, washed away from guilt and shame. It’s not the water. It’s the act of faith filled obedience.
  • We live new lives with the old cut off.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Dan Burillo and Lance Coddington, people smiling, people standing Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, water and outdoor

  • A lot of people miss the obvious
  • E.g. how many people think of Jesus and think of generosity?
  • Everything in his life radiated with generosity, inspiring others to rise up and contribute generosity
  • Proposes 2 definitions:
    • A) lavish, plentiful, liberal, abundance, above and beyond
    • B) that plus urgency, readiness to give at any moment
  • Parable of workers in vineyard. God loves people just as much who are late to the party.
  • We can see the generosity of Jesus in his: Teachings, works, ethics
  • Love your enemy
  • If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Zing!
  • Every generation finds their own excuses for not following parts of Jesus.
  • Why don’t more people live generously? You can give, but not be generous. E.g discipline, tax write off, etc etc.
  • 3 reasons:
  • 1) it’s counter intuitive (fear of scarcity) - one gives freely & grows richer; another withholds and suffers want.
  • 2) generosity is more than an action. It’s a way of seeing, thinking, and living.
  • 3) not something you do just once. I’m giving consistently, You position yourself to receive consistently.

  • How he brought us an unconventional kingdom
  • The most important message, Matthew ch5, and longest message
  • Some of you have been taught that God doesn't want you to be happy.
  • Constitution on Christianity
  • Everything is counter intuitive. 
    • Jesus: poor in spirit, mourning, meek, righteous, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, persecuted.
    • Ego: getting my own way, avoiding loss, fighting for my rights, making my own rules, intolerant of those not like me, looking good before other people, my feelings come first, celebrated/honored/appreciated. 
  • Jesus had a profound understanding of the human condition. Master communicator, teacher and listener.
  • Even if they don’t acknowledge him as savior, he is the greatest moral teacher of all times
  • Seeing in the crowds, he went up on the mountain.
  • Blessedness to happiness. Basically overcoming various challenges.
  • Q: what will it take to make you happy?
  • E.g. google will auto complete it for you
  • E.g. happy and you know it clap your hands.
  • Eg How many people you know who get money, fame, status, stuff, trips, married, kids, retired — and then are still not happy.
  • So many people think when I ____, then i’ll Be happy. What’s your ___?
  • E.g. psych today, survey most people relegated happiness to external circumstances.
  • Doesn’t think happiness and joy are separate things. God wants you to be happy and joyous. Going to talk about them interchangeably.
  • If you live with integrity, God will lift you up.
  • So why are so many of us not happy?
  • “Happiness is not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.”
  • Pursuit of happiness lessons:
    • It’s in being rightly related to God.
    • E.g. victor frankl’s man quest for meaning. Realized they couldn’t take my attitude. The last of human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude.
    • No one can control the way you experience anything but you.
    • God’s definition of happiness is to ...
  • 1. Happiness is not the result of my circumstances.
  • 2. Happiness is not the result of my relationships.
  • Jokes about people looking for relationships, overly specified, over outcome dependent.
  • He doesn’t do counseling any more. Another joke about thinking things that he's not supposed to say as a pastor.
  • Nobody can take your happiness.
  • Your happiness is tied to God. This is so true.
  • Stop chasing the emotion. Stop looking for the emotion.
  • Just say i’m Going to be big enough to be responsible for my own soul.
  • 3. Happiness is not the result of my resources.
  • A lot of the happiest people live in the most devastated places.
  • Maybe for some of us, the biggest barrier to our happiness is our blessedness. We’re cranky if we don’t have our food in time, whereas other people around the world are just happy to have food.
  • This is the deception of Instagram. Our desire to have what we think we need.
  • 4. Happiness is not the result of being someone else.
  • We will never be happy trying to be someone else. You are who God has made you to be, and you are enough. Not saying you shouldn’t seek to grow and improve. But you are sufficient, you are adequate, you are enough.
  • Jesus on the mountain, said we couldn’t do what the first man on the mountain told us what to do (Moses), told us the next things

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