Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jesus IS Reality!

If you're a Christian and a music fiend like me, then you're probably familiar with the group the Newsboys and their hit song called "Reality" from the mid 90's. The chorus goes:

in reality
that comes from above
God is calling
there's no bigger love
It's his reality that welcomes us back
Trust and obey
there is no other way

Simple, and yet to the point. Effectively, it's saying that Jesus IS Reality! Although "Reality" has always been one of my favorite Christian songs, it very recently took on an even deeper meaning for me personally.

I've always believed everything happens for a reason and there's no such thing as a coincidence. God's weaving his intricate framework more than we will EVER understand! As many of you know, my Pastor, Francis Chan announced on April 18th that he will soon be leaving my church of nearly 12 years, Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley. Three days before that, I heard through a good friend about a church in L.A. called Reality. I checked out the website that same night and listened to their Pastor, Tim Chaddick on some podcasts. And I was simply blown away by the depth of Tim's messages and how well I was able to relate to him. His passion for the Lord actually reminded me a lot of how Francis spoke of him! I was so impressed by Tim's messages that I talked to Francis' wife, Lisa about him and Reality that same night Francis made his announcement. I asked her if she had heard of the church and Tim. She thought she had, but she said I should really ask Francis. Not coincidentally, the day after Francis' announcement, I noticed another good friend of mine was friends with Tim on facebook. My friend remarked "I've been wanting to check out Reality for a long time." Like me, he had heard Tim's podcasts and was blown away by the reality and depth of his messages.

The next Sunday after 9 a.m. service at Cornerstone, I had an opportunity to chat with Francis. Of course, I asked him about Reality and Pastor Tim. It turned out that not only did he know of Tim, but he was meeting with him, Britt Merrick of Reality Carpinteria, and several other pastors in San Francisco two days later! Another two days later, Britt and Francis shared lunch. In the days that followed, it became very clear to me just how much of a mutual admiration the two pastors had for one another. Two great men of God who truly walk by faith! Britt said in his BIG GOD page on facebook:

"Just had a wonderful lunch with Francis Chan who wrote the cover (and first) endorsement for BIG GOD. He is such a wonderful brother and man of God. His cover endorsement for BIG GOD was far too generous... I love this man."

The following Sunday, Francis spoke of Britt's 5-year old daughter Daisy and the story of her grapefruit-sized cancerous tumor. More importantly, he spoke of how genuine and authentic Britt's faith had been in the seven months since the cancerous tumor in his daughter was discovered. Francis quoted some of Britt's words to him about his faith in the Lord during the service, stating "I will love YOU! Regardless of what happens. I'll STILL love YOU!" Talk about an AMAZING faith!

Yesterday, Daisy went in for 3 1/2 hours of tests to see how the treatments had been working. A few hours later, Britt twittered this message:

"Got the news: There are no signs of cancer in Daisy's body!!! Thank you Jesus. Psalm 94:17." Talk about a blessing! PRAISE THE LORD!

JESUS IS REALITY. WE EXIST FOR THE GLORY OF HIS NAME. This is how the bottom of the Reality church website reads. I've already made mention of Tim's Reality L.A., and Britt's Reality Carpinteria campuses, but there are actually three other Reality churches in California - Ventura, Stockton and San Francisco. There's also one in London. One of the great things about Reality is that you can listen to all of the sermons online. Simply go to iTunes and download them for free! This church has a vision, one which all of Christians can learn from and hopefully model to others. I've been truly been blessed these past few weeks in learning about this amazing church and look forward to learning more about the Reality family of churches in the weeks to come!



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