Tuesday, April 20, 2010

new blog site...

The blog has moved. Please click here to visit the new site!


It's been ten months since I began blogging and it has been such an awesome experience. In the past couples months I've listened to your suggestions and tried creating a blog that was more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

I'm so excited to announce that tomorrow I'll be moving to a new spot!

Here's a small snippet of the promo video that will be on the page as well:
The video was produced by the ever-amazing Drew and Chad from Shade Tree Films. They are totally amazing and if you need any video work, they are the best visual storytellers I know. Check them out! (Note: the video that made me fall in love with their work is actually a wedding video but they did such a good job at capturing the feel of the moment that I wanted to use them for my personal video. Check out this page on their blog and watch The Kidds wedding. Uh-maz-ing!)

Thanks for your continual support and love. I look forward to more conversations, debates, and comments to push us about thinking differently and living wisely.


Monday, April 19, 2010

guessing leads to caffine fix...

I'll be posting about the awesome conference in San Jose later, but I have something to announce!

If you can guess what it is, you'll win a $25 giftcard to Starbucks and an eHug ;)

Happy guessing...

*Edit to post: AP from Los Angeles and Suzanne from England have tied :) Both answered the correct guess: a blog design! Email me your addresses and I will send the crack cards, er, I mean coffee cards your way ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

post-it project...

When we compare our lives to others, it may be disillusioning. But there is a healthy introspection that comes from acknowledging what you have in light of the blessings God has given. Therefore, give back.

In the midst of the craziness of life, I don't want to forget my commitments to serving a cause greater than myself. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I have been invited to go to Africa this summer to partner with Mavuno church in Kenya. This adventure is exciting and nerve-wrecking all at the same time. In order to be a participant on this trip each member is required to fund raise 100% of their financial support.

There's a nasty little monster that hangs on my shoulders and his name is Pride. I hate asking for help--especially financial help. But the premise and core ideology of Outreach is to invite others to join in on our journey. With your financial help you're able to participate in this adventure with me. The Post-It Project will give you a small way to be where I am.

For ten days a group of youth from Orange County will join with a group of youth from Kenya for total world domination! Well--something like that. Here's some vision for the trip:
If you want to help and support the trip, here are some simple steps:
Go to http://www.marinersoutreach.org/giving

Click on the link that says "Give towards a Faith Adventure"
Step 1: Fill in your information.
Step 2: Designate Faith Adventure Donation
Team Member Name: [Bianca Juarez]
Trip Name: [Kenya, June 2010]
Step 3: Fill in your account information.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100 words on the granola syndrome...

Beware of the Granola Syndrome in church. Yup, you heard me, thee Granola Syndrome. People walk into church as a fruit, a nut, or a flake.

A fruit: healthy, alive, bearing other fruit.
A nut: enough said. (We know those people so we'll just stay PC on this one.)
A flake: tried God, didn't work, gave up. Yes, a flake.

Here's hope for the nuts: nuts can bear fruit! But they need to be rooted, grounded, and watered with Living Water.

Our responsibility is to spread health within the walls of our church. For the building is not the church; we are the church.

So--what are you? A fruit, a nut, or a flake? Keep it real.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

rituals, check lists, and burnout...

May you experience the love of Christ, through it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. --Ephesians 3:19

There needs to be a followup; an explanation of sorts. After reading yesterday's comments (I read every single comment), I couldn't help but feel an addendum had to be added. Though no one said it, perhaps I was too harsh. My intention was not to add one more item to your checklist of holiness nor was it my aim to compare our "performances" against other Christians. My goal was to simply say, Life is hard. Hang in there and you'll see results.

Desirous of encouraging us complainers, I think I may have perpetuated the failure cycle we as Christians fall victim to:
Performance --> Rituals --> Checklists --> Failure --> Guilt --> Withdraw --> Emptiness*
We don't need to do more "God-stuff," as Doug Fields would say, we need connect with God.

When we connect with God (John 15:15), we can admit that we are jacked-up sinners who will fail and complain (Romans 3:23), and come boldly before Him to ask for mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:15-16a). Doug also put a list together about connecting with God that I would feel selfish for not sharing it with you.

Connecting with God...
It's not about ritual... it's about a relationship
It's not about performance... it's about presence
It's not about a "show"... it's about showing up
It's not about "have to"... it's about "want to"
It's not about guilt... it's about grace
It's not about form... it's about friendship

Love you. Pray for you. Grateful for you.

*Cycle produced by Doug Fields

Monday, April 12, 2010

life change hurts...

Life change hurts. But if you want change, deal with the pain. Period, the end.

It's no secret that I love to workout and strive for the great new exercises to try. I've found an awesome gym near my house that offers amazing cross training by a fitness coach who not only loves what he does, but loves his clients. He not only cares about changing what you look like, but he cares about how you feel.

At 5:30am a small group of women arrive at NextLevelFitness before the sun comes up because we want to change. We are committed to change. We are paying for a change. But there's a woman who habitually complains about every circuit we do.
Push ups? Come on! Run around the building? It's cold. Lunges? My ankle hurts.

A few weeks ago the workout was particularly challenging. As we switched from one station to the next, we were all tired. Kathie was so tired she crawled to the next station, I leaned over the ab bench trying to catch my breath, and the other women adjusted to their new station. The Complainer? Well, she refused to do the next station: push ups.

What I said: [inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale]
What I said in my head: Look honey, we all are hurting. We have a choice as to whether or not we want to change. If you don't like it, don't come. So just shut up and get do the push ups!

(Not only am I unsympathetic at 5:30am, I'm have a low tolerance for complainers.)

Hebrews 12:11 says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." I couldn't help but parallel her complaints with our own complaints in spiritual living. We ask God to change us, mold us, break us so we can be used, but when he does, we complain and fight back.

If we simply trust him and do what is needed to change our lives, Hebrews tells us it will produce a harvest of righteousness.

Today I saw the fruit. At the end of our arduous workout, Joe decides to kill us (aka give us one more circuit). Oh yeah, it had push ups. I was waiting for a comment from The Complainer, but she got on her hands and began doing push ups. Like REAL push ups. I watched her out of the corner of my eye and was so proud of her! All the workouts had paid off and she realized the instruction for our trainer was right and beneficial.

How can you daily submit to change? Are you The Complianer or are you a trainer? Whatever station you are at, keep at it! Whether your instruction comes from life coach, pastor, mentor, or daily biblical instruction, listen. I promise you--the results are worth it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

friday video blog: imparting vision...

Imparting Vision to Gen Y from Bianca Juarez on Vimeo.

J. Vernon McGee says, You should never stand behind the pulpit without being able to say, "Thus sayeth the Lord." I wish I would have heard this quote before I responded capriciously during a recent interview.
Reason #829,827,410 why you should pray before you sit down and open your mouth.

If I am going to say anything, if I'm going to impart knowledge to anyone, if I am going to steal someones time, it should be under the auspice of giving away God's goodness. In an era of entertainment and diversion, how do we impart a vision and hope to our next generation that they are not forgotten.
We need to take ordinary and mobilize them to do extraordinary things because of an extraordinary God.

My words to the next generation are not to read a book or follow 10-steps, but rather look at my generation and the generations before and do what we COULD NOT DO. For the mistakes we've made or the foundation we laid, do your part.

For those in my generation or the generation before, what are we doing to live our and create a legacy? We only have on life to live and soon it will be passed. Only what we do for Christ Jesus will last.

What can we do? What are you doing? Do not fret. We are ordinary people serving an extraordinary God.


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