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Best 30 Seconds Ever

Posted by on 1:14 am in Family | 0 comments

Best 30 Seconds Ever

  I led a team-building exercise recently where I instructed everyone to think for a moment about their favorite memories. We took a couple of minutes in silence to catalog a few of the most magical snapshots of our lives, and then I narrowed the search further; “now consider what 30 seconds you’d most like to live again.” A lively discussion followed as everyone shared their favorite 30-second memory. After 24 years of marriage, four children, countless adventures, challenges and joys, there were several 30-second snapshots that came to my mind, but one seemed to float above the rest. My brothers and I had the chance, years ago, to travel to Hawaii for a guys-only surf adventure. I’m the oldest of five boys, and it’s an amazing gift to be great friends with all of these…well, men now. Before many of us had families of our own, this long-shot blast to Maui, with our clothes taped around our surfboards as padding during the flight, made an indelible mark in my memory, seeming to somehow weave itself into my DNA. I’ll never forget catching the biggest wave of my life at Honolua Bay on that trip, but it was the small moments, the rambling, spontaneous, gloriously unplanned days we shared as brothers that made the deepest impression. On one of the last evenings together on the island, we were heading south along a two-lane country road with the ocean on our right, and we spotted a pristine, empty surf break through the thick palms. We jumped out and hit the waves as the sun was getting low in the sky. Sure enough, this spot was perfect; small but glassy peelers crashed one after the other, and there was no wind, and no other people for miles. We shared the waves, swapping boards, goofing around, passing around a straw hat, and laughing at all the inside jokes collected between us throughout the years. As the sun finally sank below the horizon, we all caught a last wave in and sat on the beach for a moment, catching our breath in the fading light, watching another epic sunset send streaks up across the sky. The temperature between the warm air, the sand, and the water was seamless, undetectable. Our swim trunks weren’t dry yet, but I wasn’t cold at all, even as darkness grew. My brothers and I had nowhere we needed to be, nothing to do, and no reason to rush off. Just resting on the sand, slightly damp, joyfully exhausted, and perfectly content, watching those last colored strands of sunlight fade into the tropical evening…that’s my favorite 30 seconds...

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JFB sighting! June 9th!

Posted by on 7:20 pm in Music | 0 comments

JFB sighting! June 9th!

We’re back! Pete Dawson on electric guitar will be joining the three of us, rounding out the classic JFB line-up on June 9th in Bellflower. We’ll be featuring a full-band set of original songs from over 20 years of music making. We’ll be focusing our song set around the theme of prayer and excited to revisit classics like “I Will” and “Stay”, as well as bring to life the newer songs “Here With You” and “In My Weakness”. There will be a couple other worship bands kicking off the night, and we’ll close the evening with a set starting at 8:30. Hope to see you there!...

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Lent Meditations (AUDIO)

Posted by on 2:12 pm in Faith | 0 comments

Lent Meditations (AUDIO)

Lenten blessings, everyone! Remember when you had to wait a week for your favorite TV show to come on? On-demand streaming has taken away a bit of the drama, patience, and anticipation of a slowly unfolding storyline, so to recapture that (and help us experience Lent more deeply) I’ve created seven, weekly audio meditations. These are imaginative exercises based on Scripture which take us through Jesus’ Passion Week, leading to his crucifixion. They range from around 5-10 minutes each, and are designed to lead to further reflective prayer afterward if you have time. Just choose a moment each week, grab your favorite blanket or comfy chair, maybe brew up a warm drink, settle in and hit “play”. You could also listen along during a daily activity, like a car ride or preparing a meal in the kitchen. Don’t skip ahead and binge-listen, though! I pray these are a blessing and guide you these seven weeks to a more intimate connection with our Savior’s love and sacrifice for you. Week 1 (3/1-3/5) http://justinfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lent-Week-1.mp3   Week 2 (3/6-3/11) http://justinfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lent-Week-2.mp3   Week 3 (3/13-18) http://justinfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lent-Week-3.mp3   Week 4 (3/20-25) http://justinfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lent-Week-4.mp3   Week 5 (3/27-4/1) http://justinfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lent-Week-5.mp3   Week 6 (4/3-8) http://justinfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lent-Week-6.mp3   Week 7 (4/10-15) http://justinfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Lent-Week-7.mp3   EASTER (4/16)...

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WHY do we do this?

Posted by on 7:23 pm in Faith, Music | 0 comments

WHY do we do this?

As Pastor of Worship at Grace Community Church in Seal Beach, I have the opportunity to plan our worship gatherings each week, working with a pastoral team and other creative collaborators. It’s a joy and a privilege and also a great challenge: How do we keep things fresh but also stay true to a liturgy (the “work of the people”) that helps us know God better and appropriately respond in worship? What elements need to be there each week, and which ones could we leave behind? WHY do we even do some of this stuff anyway?? Our Worship Community recently gathered to reflect on these questions, and here’s a few nuggets we discovered. This video also did a great job of prompting us to really look hard at what we do and why we do it… Each of these liturgy elements below are activities we do fairly regularly, and the descriptions and reasons behind them are taken from The Worship Sourcebook and Desiring the Kingdom. We decided that each one, when done properly, helps us worship God in spirit and truth, and that they really do matter after all: Call to Worship “An invitation to be human” One function of the invitation is to express welcome and hospitality. We worship in the joyful context of our renewed relationship with God in Christ. These words may be spoken with a gesture of open embrace and a genuine smile to convey the warmth of God’s love. Another function of the invitation is to call the community to the unique activity of worship. The primary activity of the worship service is for worshipers to participate in the gift exchange of worship itself, by hearing God’s Word, by offering prayers and praise, and by receiving spiritual nourishment offered at the Lord’s table. The call to worship establishes the unique purpose of the worship service and reinforces the “vertical dimension” of worship—an encounter between God and the gathered congregation.   Invocation “Utter dependence on God” These petitions express longing for God as well as deep dependence and humility. Invocations acknowledge that the power in worship is a gift from God rather than a human accomplishment, and they explicitly confess that we approach God only through Christ. The term invocation implies that the congregation invokes, or “calls upon,” God, but it should never be inferred that we are the ones to invite God into our presence, or that God’s presence with us depends on our invoking the Lord. God is present before we begin! Our prayers of invocation celebrate and acknowledge God’s presence; they don’t produce it.   Confession and Assurance of Pardon “Brokenness, Grace, Hope” Our God longs for honesty and holiness within the promise-based relationship God has established with us in Christ. In a culture that avoids talk of sin and culpability, regular prayers of confession foster honesty and openness in our relationship with God. Just as a marriage cannot flourish without honest confession, so our mar- riage-like relationship with God cannot flourish unless we freely and honestly express all facets of our life: hopes, fears, sins, desires, thanksgiving, and praise. The call to confession invites us to honest expression within the context of our covenant relationship with God. God’s grace comes to us, creating a relationship with us in Christ in which honesty about our...

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FOUR New Chapters!

Posted by on 10:26 am in Faith | 0 comments

FOUR New Chapters!

Advent greetings, friends! Have you noticed that “advent” forms the first part of the word “adventure”? And what could be more thrilling than diving deep into a journey of freedom, of following and becoming more like Jesus? That’s why I’m writing Trailmap; to serve as a guide to spiritual adventure, to map out a way toward true connection with God that previously might have been reserved for monks, missionaries, or “holy people”. This is contemplative Christianity for regular folks, an intimate experience for the rest of us. My vision through the last two decades of ministry and a seminary degree in spiritual formation has only become clearer with each new bend in the road. Will you join me on the adventure? For any contribution amount, I will offer a first-glimpse of Chapters 1-4, complete with prayer exercises and devotional reflection questions. These 55 pages bring to light fresh insights on prayer, devotional resources, and finding a personal path to spiritual wholeness, and this end-of-the-year charitable donation is tax-deductible and goes toward a great cause; our passionate calling to strengthen the soul of the Church and develop fresh ways of reaching out. Thanks for considering joining us in this way… Advent Blessings to you this holiday season! So, click the button below and continue the adventure! Of course, you can always support our nonprofit through a check or use your credit card over the phone. Here’s the info: Justin Fox Ministries 2356 Edgeview Ln. Midlothian, VA 23113 (804) 318-6477 …and you might be asking yourself, “Why would I pay for only part of a book that is unedited and unpublished, anyway?” It might help to think of it more like a free-will donation that comes with a personal thank you letter (that’s four chapters long!). What’s fun about this is, these pages are “uncooked”, un-marketed, and not undiluted by focus groups or branding companies. This is un-distilled, raw content from the heart. You can’t put a price on that, so we didn’t. Any amount triggers a PDF copy to your email…and we mean any amount, so don’t be shy and don’t be embarrassed if you’re only able to do something very small. It’s all good and all goes to Kingdom work! Thanks...

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A new chapter…

Posted by on 9:25 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A new chapter…

I have been encouraged to write a book for quite some time now, and that season has finally arrived! To keep things interesting and moving along, I’ve decided to release one chapter at a time on a donation basis. So here’s how it works: I will be sending out the first sneak preview of my new book Trailmap…to Spiritual Adventure. Each contributor in the next 30 days will be emailed an unedited, straight from my heart, first-draft version of Chapter 1; “The Invitation”, which includes instructions on a unique form of prayer and reflection questions to jump start your own conversation with God. Every donation amount matters, and every dollar goes to strengthening the soul of the Church and helping this ministry develop fresh ways to reach out. So, click the button below and begin the adventure! Of course, you can always support our nonprofit through a check or use your credit card over the phone. Here’s the info: Justin Fox Ministries 2356 Edgeview Ln. Midlothian, VA 23113 (804) 318-6477   Thank you for your partnership and...

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FALLing into grace

Posted by on 9:51 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

FALLing into grace

JOIN US on Saturday, October 17th Our next one-day retreat is coming up, and I’d love to have YOU there. Come experience another restful (but intentional) day with Jesus at Still Waters Retreat Center in south Chesterfield. “FALLing into grace” is an ecumenical, inter-denominational, open retreat for anyone who’d like a little peace and quiet in a beautiful setting with some prayer encouragement and reflection opportunities. This is a restful, contemplative day – a “choose your own adventure” type set up, where you’ll get the space and freedom to spend time with God in whatever way you choose (with lots of options to get your creative wheels turning). There’s even a canoe! Bring your lunch (a fridge is available), and we’ll have coffee, water, and tea provided. $25 covers the retreat space fees and instructional materials. Payment is made online through CRM, our missions partner organization (you can also pay with cash or check on arrival). Pay and reserve your spot HERE I will send out more info and directions to everyone who registers and/or signs up. Find out more about our team @ CRM HERE See pictures of Still Waters HERE See you on the...

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