What Keeps you up at night?

Posted: July 5, 2014 by Jarret Hamilton in Uncategorized

Laying awake, watching the glow of the red digital clock at 3AM is not on my bucket list, but it is something that I do a lot.  There’s something depressing about being wide awake when you know the rest of the people around you are sound asleep, drooling on their pillows.  I read that, as many as 1-4 Americans struggle with sleep deprivation, so I draw some comfort in knowing I am not completely alone.

What keeps you awake at night?  When you find yourself staring at the clock, the ceiling, or the TV…what are you thinking about?  Chances are you are worrying about something, and, more often than not, it’s something you can’t even control!  

We lay awake worrying about money (who ever has enough?!?), our kids, our marriage, how much we hate our boss or our job, why vacations are never long enough, how can the Red Sox who won the World Series last year now be in last place, did I remember to lock the front door? You know what you lay awake thinking about.

More and more for me, the sleepless nights are filled up with one question, “Is what I am doing with my life the greatest thing I can do for the Kingdom of God?”  I mean, is my life helping people say yes to Jesus??  Whether that means helping them find Jesus or helping them draw closer to Him.  When this life is over that’s all that really matters. When I stand before God I am not going to care about money or work, I might not even care about the Red Sox, vacations, or anything else.  All I am going to care about is what I have done for the kingdom.

What it comes down to for me is deciding WHAT I am going to think about.  Am I going to lay awake worrying about stuff I can’t change???  Or am I going to think about/pray about what I CAN change, what I have control over?  I have control over what I do for the kingdom, and so when I lay awake, I am considering how to be more effective in making Jesus bigger in the world around me.

So next time you wake up in the middle of the night and you have that “oh boy, I couldn’t be more awake” feeling, ask the question “Is what I am doing with my life the greatest thing I can do for the Kingdom of God?” and then let your mind wander…I promise you won’t regret it!

Walk by Faith

Posted: May 19, 2014 by Jarret Hamilton in Uncategorized

It’s happening!  We are in the beginning stages of starting another church, Generation Church, in Clayton, NC.  It’s crazy to think how all this is coming together and how God is working and moving and making the path more and more clear.  If you want to know more about Generation Church, send me a message, find me on FB or Twitter.  

Pros/cons

If I made a pros/cons list of moving and starting a church, I can promise you the “cons” would win…easily!  I have had the privilege to be at Journey Church for several months and I LOVE this church, this team, and being a part of what God is doing in Raleigh.  I have a GREAT job, financial security, nice house, my kids settled into school, I like some of my neighbors (yeah I said some, NOT all…one guy is crazy), I’m 2 minutes from Dunkin Donuts and the movie theatre, etc.  There are a lot of great reasons to stay put.  The challenge for me, is that I am told to live by faith, and when I hear God’s voice calling me to do something, I have to listen and respond.  He’s been calling for a while…

Walk by faith

I have been meditating on 2 Corinthians 5:7 a lot lately, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”  I like to walk by sight, I mean, I want to live by faith, but faith at times doesn’t make sense…it defies logic.  Walking by sight makes sense, and doing what makes sense, seems like a pretty safe way to live.  We walk through life saying things like, “God, if you will provide the core team and the finances to do it, I’ll be ALL IN, I’ll start a church!”  Well, maybe you don’t say that, but I did.  God responded and said, “You would be ALL IN and THEN I’ll provide what you need.”  I had to say “yes”…yes when there was nothing, when it was a true step of faith.  As soon as I said yes, God immediately started sending things into my path, that have been confirming, encouraging, and supportive.  I wanted to SEE the confirmation, SEE the encouragement, and SEE the support, and then I would respond.  God said respond and you’ll see it.  The best part of responding is you get to see God prove himself faithful.  That to me is what faith is about, do I really believe that He will be faithful??  Do I trust Him enough to say yes?  

What are you waiting for? 

So here’s the question, what does “we walk by faith, not by sight” look like in your life right now??  What are you waiting for God to do, in order for you to say “yes”?  If the only thing holding you back is needing Him to work, then you’re walking by sight…it’s like telling your kid to trust you and jump into the pool, but reaching out and grabbing a hold of them.  It ain’t faith until you’re flyin’ (That’s for you Johnston County peeps).  Maybe he’s waiting for you to say yes, for you to jump…so He can prove himself to be faithful.

Do you care about reaching your city?

Posted: April 9, 2014 by Jarret Hamilton in Uncategorized

I live in the city of Raleigh, NC, it’s a great place to live, nice area to raise a family, and good people to be around.  As great as it is, as a follower of Jesus, there’s a very real challenge…there’s a million lost people.  I hear that in my head and heart a LOT “one million lost people”.  A million people who need Jesus…a million people searching for him even if they don’t know it.

I have been reading the book of Jonah, one of my favorite books of the Bible.  I connect with Jonah in many ways.  He was a passionate guy, who loved God, wanted to serve him, but was also very selfish and stubborn.  His journey was one fighting the tension between self and surrender…I get that struggle.  Anyway, if you don’t know the story you can read it by clicking here.  It’s just 4 short chapters.

I want to share a couple of verses from  Jonah that have been challenging me lately.  Jonah 4 :10-11 says, Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly.  But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

Here is Jonah, and he cares more about a plant that provided him shade than he did about a city full of people.  It’s a selfish moment on his part, this plant provided him comfort (shade on a hot day)…meanwhile he didn’t care about the eternal destiny of a city.

This verse is a challenge to me because I see that selfishness in my life, I mean I don’t care about shade…but I care about other stuff, and I allow things to be more important to me than people.  As a pastor I see so many “followers of Jesus” and they don’t seem to care about REACHING our city!  We know we are called commanded to make disciples (help people follow Jesus), but we care more about money, fame, our hobbies, a promotion, our reputation, our privacy.  Just like Jonah, we sit in the “shade of comfort” those things provide, and we fail to open our eyes and see the people across the street, the co-workers, the class mates that God has placed in our paths.

God asked Jonah a rhetorical question, “Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”  the obvious answer is “YES”, and the point being made to Jonah is that he should too!  God felt compassion on Nineveh, he feels compassion on Raleigh, and whatever city you live in.  That’s a fact…the question is “do I?”  Do I care enough about my city to abandon the “shade of comfort” and do something about it?

 

Things that annoyed me in 2013

Posted: January 1, 2014 by Jarret Hamilton in Uncategorized

I have read a lot of great posts about looking ahead to 2014, and remembering fondly the events of 2013, and I know I should do that, and probably will at some point, but not today!!  Today I want to share with you the things that annoyed me most in 2013.  I am just going to list them randomly, if you are guilty don’t take it personally, Jenn and the kids are notorious violators too, as am I from time to time, but the beauty of posting is I can have a double standard…

  • The word “totes.”  We can thank the texting world for this beauty.  I always thought “totes” were slippers old men wore.  Seriously people “totes” is only 2 less characters than “totally” and you have a smart phone now…so it’s an inexcusable word from here on out.  With that you can includes “probs”, “def”, and ever wonderful “k”.  I guess slapping the “o” on the front of “ok” is just too much work.
  • “selfies”.  My rule for pictures is if I am not in it I don’t want to see it.  I don’t need to see your “selfie” at the mall, at a restaurant, on the couch…in the bathroom.  Just because a bathroom has a mirror does not mean it’s there for “selfie’s”…I even find the term “selfie” annoying.
  • The word “literally”.  By far the most overused word of 2013 is literally.  I would rant about it, but if I get started I may “literally” never stop.
  • Excessive numbers of pictures of your kids/babies.  Now let me give some clarification here.  Your kid is cute, and posting occasional pictures is ok and even encouraged.  However, we don’t need to “watch your child grow up”…the hourly photo of the bundle of joy pouting, smiling, drooling, crawling, hugging the dog, driving the car, changing the oil, are unnecessary.  The maximum number of baby pics is 1 per day.  Any more than that, just put them in a photo album like our parents did when we were kids.
  • The text message “ROFL”…are you really in a business meeting rolling on the floor laughing??  if you are, don’t text me that, take a “selfie” and post it to Instagram…that is a selfie I would totes care about literally a lot. K? ROFL!

I am sure there’s lots of other things too, but I’ll post them later.

Stuff JJ Says

Posted: December 18, 2013 by Jarret Hamilton in Uncategorized

Earlier this year a friend suggested to me that we should start a Twitter account for the stuff our 7 year son JJ says, we did, and it’s @stuffjjsays.  He is a sound byte waiting to happen.  As the year is coming to a close I wanted to capture some of the high-lights and share them here.  Feel free to follow @stuffjjsays, he loves when someone new follows him.

  • Did anyone else notice Home Alone 1 AND Home Alone 2 are about Christmas?
  • Made in China, why is everything made in China?
  • No one really knows what the fox says
  • Is it illegal to poop in a urinal?
  • Have you ever licked the floor or your sock?  I’ve licked both…
  • If air was heavy it’d be hard to lift your arms
  • Things would be better for me if I had 18 arms
  • Dad, for a big man you move on cats feet
  • Hannah leave me alone I’m getting dressed, that’s what a man does
  • Can you suntan your eye balls?

The kid asked some pretty deep questions…

 

I’m telling I parked here!!!

Posted: December 5, 2013 by Jarret Hamilton in Uncategorized

Last night we got a chance to go to the NC State basketball game, it was a really great time for our family.  JJ got there and when he realized it was where the Hurricanes play too he went into a hockey trance for about 30 minutes…he’s Canadian, and proud of it, so he loves his hockey.

Anyway, we parked, went into the arena, enjoyed the game, and then when we left we went to where the car was parked and it was gone, or so we thought.  Turns out we got turned around and exited out the doors on the opposite side of the arena.  Now if you know me, I’m not the most patient, rational person, so a lot of things were running through my mind.  A few of which included:

  • Someone stole our car!
  • They must have changed the alignment of the parking lot or the arena while we were inside.
  • Whoever designed the parking layout of this stadium is an idiot!!
  • It’s Obama’s fault
  • Am I being PUNK’d
  • My kids talk a lot when I’m agitated
  • we should have given them up for adoption
  • they cost a lot of money
  • Jenn is looking gooood….

In the end I remembered that we parked in section 1C, and we were standing in 6C.  In an instant I realized that it was my mistake, and was immediately glad I avoided berating the arena staff for failing to keep my car safe. 🙂

As I was driving home I got to thinking about life, we all make mistakes, and more often than not or first reaction is to blame someone else, and our last resort is to evaluate and accept our responsibility in it.   I walked out of the arena, couldn’t find my car, and immediately thought of everything imaginable except, maybe I made a mistake.  The best reaction is to always identify and accept personal responsibility, your problems might be resolved sooner if you stop blaming others and accept personal responsibility.

This has been a random thought with Jarret…HAHA

 

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We had a great time sharing our American traditions with some awesome friends! Thanks guys for taking the time to come and see us.

Image  —  Posted: November 30, 2013 by Jarret Hamilton in Uncategorized