All posts by Jacobs Well

Step by Step: Steps 10-11 Lee

Steps 10 & 11 show us how to do what’s under your control so that you can do what’s not under your control. It’s like playing sports or music. Gameday doesn’t happen without day after day of practice. Yet somehow we think spirituality just happens by osmosis. Steps 10 and 11 offer a game plan to practice so that when the hour of temptation strikes we are ready and equipped to win.

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Step by Step: Steps 10-11 Kilzer

John Kilzer, leader and pastor of the Way, at St. John UMC in Midtown, shared on Step 10 and unceasing prayer at Jacob’s Well.

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Click here to listen to an original song by John Kilzer.

You can listen to and purchase more of Kilzer’s music here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/john-kilzer/id663508

Step by Step: Steps 8 & 9

Our message on Steps 8 & 9 come from Genesis 4 and the the story of Cain and Abel. Maybe Cain never felt like what he offered was good enough. He always compared himself to his little brother and felt like he didn’t add up. Then God showed favor on Abel’s offering and this threatened Cain’s identity in a major way. All he wanted was to be accepted, is that such a bad thing? But he was rejected and Cain didn’t deal so well with rejection. In Cain’s mind he may have thought he only had two options, either radically readjust his identity or eliminate Abel. It was too much for him and found him on a bad day. Sadly, Cain decided that Abel could no longer continue to exist. Cain murdered Abel because he fell prey to what he could not master.

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Step by Step: Steps 6 & 7

Step 6:  Were Entirely Ready to Have God Remove All These Defects of Character.
Step 7:   Humbly Asked Him to Removed Our Shortcomings.

When we get ready for God to remove our character defects and ask Him to free us from sin, we are lining ourselves up with God’s law and the way things were meant to be.  We can’t break the laws of the universe, but we can break ourselves on them.  Because we’ve used our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh for so long, we’ve made a mess of our lives.  We like to find out how to live the hard way.  We’ve tried to find an easier, softer way but we could not.  Now at the crossroads we are ready to try it God’s way.  And soon we’ll find that freedom in Christ is more glorious than we could ever have imagined.

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Step by Step: Step 3

As humans, we find ways to deal with life and what it throws at us. If things aren’t going our way, we try to control things, or at least do things to make us feel like we’re in control. Jesus spoke to the essence of Step 3 when He said in Mark 14:36, “”Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.”  We have to  let go and let God.

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Step by Step: Step 2

In this sermon Dr. Maxie Dunnam preaches on Step 2, the time when we must come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

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Step by Step: Step 1

Step 1:  We admitted that we were powerless, that our lives had become unmanageable.

The first step to begin walking in the Spirit is to admit that we are not in control. . .that we are powerless and not the ultimate manager of our lives. Tonight we reflect on how Adam and Eve’s grasp for power led to their Fall. Like Adam and Eve, we cover ourselves up by justifying our actions or judging others who seem to be worse off than us. Through these self-deceiving practices we come to believe that we are all-powerful. The good news is that God is in control and when we become vulnerable and let go, we discover a Power far greater than ourselves.

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Step by Step- Introduction: Desires & Deep Needs

In Step by Step we won’t dwell on the problem as much as the solution.  We’re not concerned about what we keep turning to as much as why you keeping turning to it.  We believe that all of these things that form anonymous programs, alcohol, drugs, relationships, are just symptoms of a deeper problem.  And when we get to the source, to the root of our problems, then we can find true freedom.

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Christmas Reciprocation- Recipollution vs Reciprocation

Mary’s Song, the Magnifat, has been ranked among the greatest poems ever written, a reciprocation of God’s might & mercy. The mighty will fall and the weak shall be lifted up all through a God who shows mercy to the humble and justice to oppressors. How can we reciprocate by showing mercy to the lowly and fighting against oppression and injustice?

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Christmas Reciprocation- Blessed to Be a Blessing

When you hear good news, you have to share it.  Mary journeys to see her cousin Elizabeth and they share stories of how God is at work and are encouraged by one another.  We are blessed to be a blessing and our serving is reciprocal.

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Christmas Reciprocation- Impossible Empowerment

When we are driven by guilt, obligation, or trying to please others, we get burned out and are limited by our own negative feelings. When God motivates us to serve Him in response to His goodness and grace, the possibilities are endless.

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Ruth- Cost-Benefit Analysis

This Week’s Passage: Ruth 4:1-12

Naomi’s closest relative in town considers the proposition to take on the field and see’s it as a win-win, until Ruth is brought into the picture, then determines that he will lose more than he’ll gain. The selfless and loving motivations of Boaz stand in stark contrast. Rather than looking at costs and benefits, he acts out of law and love. What is your lens to making decisions, a self-centered cost-benefit analysis or a commitment to turn your will and life over to the care of God?

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Ruth- Love Wins

This Week’s Passage: Ruth 3

Naomi devises a plan for the young, attractive Ruth to marry the older, distinguished Boaz. The risky and bold plan consists of creating a sexually-charged environment and relying on Bo’s integrity and love to win in the end. And in the end, love does win. Like Yahweh does for Israel, Boaz sweeps Ruth under the shelter of his wings, not as in a porno, but a beautiful story of redemption. Bo is an image of Christ, our redeemer and bridegroom. What risky and bold plan will you concoct to find shelter under the wings of the Most High? How can you take a leap of faith into your bridegroom’s loving arms?

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Ruth- Bo Knows

This Week’s Passage: Ruth 2

Naomi in utter despair and Ruth who has nothing, yet gives away everything are a couple that appear to be ready for the grave, yet from God’s perspective are ripe for harvest. By “chance” Ruth meets Bo and everything suddenly changes as he is as extravagantly generous with her as she has been with Naomi. In our lives, when things look like they can’t get any worse is when great miracles often happen. Even though we don’t see it, God works through the circumstances of our lives and is extravagantly generous with his faithful.

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Ruth

Saturdays in September & October 2012

Don’t forget, we’re meeting every Saturday night at 5:00 & 7:00 for worship. Childcare and Kids Community are available during the 5pm service.

Ruth is the story of an unlikely girl doing some extraordinary things for the sake of others. It’s the story of self-will run into the ground and God’s will prevailing through redemption. Join us over these 6 weeks at Jacob’s Well as we study the life of Ruth. In each service you’ll find engaging stories, weekly communion, urban sound, refreshments and coffee, and all welcome and accepted.

Come as you are and leave with hope for tomorrow.

Date Sermon
September 8 When Bad Things Happen
September 15 Where You Go, I’ll Go
September 22 Bo Knows
October 6 Love Wins
October 13 Cost-Benefit Analysis
October 20 Finale

Ruth- Where You Go, I’ll Go

This Week’s Passage: Ruth 1:6-22

When the women get to the dead end of where they were headed, they must turn around and begin the return journey. But which home will they return, Moab or Judah? Ruth surprisingly clings to Naomi and turns to her God, her people, and her land. Ruth surprisingly acts like Naomi’s God in her selflessness, faithfulness, and love while Naomi reacts to their circumstances with bitterness and despair. When hard times hit, will we turn back to idols or our Father in heaven? Will we seek to serve others worse off than us, or throw ourselves a pity party? God’s faithful love invites us into relationship with Him and God’s faithful people invite us into relationship with others.

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Down is the New Up: Jesus kept going Up

Looking to heaven we see Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, exalted King of kings and Lord of lords. Trust that God is in control and that he is good and is coming to put his hand on your shoulder to encourage you, to comfort you, to speak to you and reveal to you that down is the new up.

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Down is the New Up: Two Sons

The story of the Prodigal in Luke 15 which shows us two ways to try to get high in life. One is the way of the younger son, seeking happiness and fulfillment through immorality, breaking all the rules and doing whatever you want. The way of the older son is also seeking happiness and fulfillment, but through a different approach, following all of the rules and getting high on the attaboys and feelings of accomplishment from doing what’s right.

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Down is the New Up: Jesus’ Lowerarchy

Maslow’s Hierarchy is about the gravity of the earth, what comes up must come down. Psychology 101 says that all people must climb up the pyramid to get to the top of life, “self-actualization.” In reality, pursuing satisfaction in worldly things only leads to emptiness and longing for more…

Jesus’ pyramid is flipped upside-down. We follow Jesus down providing for the needs of others, rescuing victims of violence and abuse, accepting others as they are in relationships across racial and economic lines, building respect and confidence in our neighbors living in poverty, and denying ourselves as we seek to carry the cross.

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Down is the New Up: 1st & 2nd Adam

‎”There are only two stories, the story of Adam and the story of Jesus. The story of Adam, symbolized by ^ is the story of self-will, one who climbs up only to fall down. The story of Christ is symbolized by v and is the story of God’s will, a descent into our messiness and sin and a surprising ascent into heaven. . . Adam tells the story of the failure of trust, the failure of obedience and the failure of love. . . Jesus tells a story of perfect trust, perfect obedience and perfect love. Our journey leads us out of the broken story of Adam and into the unparalleled story of Jesus.” – 2010 Spring Reader of Asbury Theological Seminary, edited by JD Walt.

Click Here to Listen to the Second Message in This Series.

Descent- Down is the New Up

Saturdays in July 2012

Don’t forget, during the summer we’re meeting every Saturday night at 7:00 for worship. Childcare and Kids Community are in full effect.

Down is the New Up

We try to climb up the ladder of success but fall on our face.  God comes down into our messiness to show us love and transforms us into the kind of people who get our hands dirty to love others.

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost?”  – Jesus

Date Sermon
July 7 Part 1- The Gravity of Heaven
July 14 Part 2- The Story of Adam & The Story of Jesus
July 21 Part 3- Maslow’s Hierarchy vs. Jesus’ Lowerarchy
July 28 Part 4- The Search for Happiness & Fulfillment in the Parable of the Prodigal Son

Down is the New Up: The Gravity of Heaven

The gravity of earth says that what goes up, must come down. The gravity of heaven, proved in the resurrection, is the good news that what goes down, must come up.

God has spent the history of the world coming down into our messiness to show us his love and transform us into the kind of people who go down into the mess of others to love them.

Click Here to Listen to the First Message in this Series.

Compassion Party on the Road: Reaching Out to Memphis’ Homeless

We had an extraordinary night out on the streets Wednesday night, 5/30/12, on CPR.  God was moving in an awesome way that was so evident.  At one of our stops there was a Hispanic man that shared with us that his best friend, that we also know,  had been assaulted, and was in a coma in the hospital.  We talked and prayed with him.  After the prayer he said, “your prayer and touch as we held hands made me cry.”  He said, “I never do that.”  He said that he wants to change his way of life and stop drinking.  He did not know what he had felt, but he knew that it was powerful.  We told him he had felt the presence of God.  He threw his beer away and plans on coming to Jacob’s Well. One of our other stops on Summer Avenue we saw another one of our friends, Michael.  He needed something to eat and drink and we talked for a while. He shared with us about another one of our friends, Johnny an elderly man with a cane, was killed crossing Summer Avenue a little over a week ago.  This was so hard to hear as I listened and could see the hurt and tears in their eyes.  As we continued to talk with Michael he decided that he wanted to get off the street and go into Safe Harbor, a Christian based mission that helps folks to get connected back into society and to work.  Wednesday night Michael was off the street and excited about getting another chance.


These were just two of the particular things that we witnessed not counting the seeds that were planted that we never even realize.  God works in mighty ways.  He orders our steps and directs our paths.  He reveals Himself to us and gives us hope and encouragement.  It is an honor and blessing to be His vessel!  We stand in awe of You, Jesus.

Judgmental – Arrogance & Anxiety

James 4:11-17  Being judgmental is tied to arrogance and anxiety.  Who do we think we are as human beings?  We take on the role of God and think we know what’s best for our neighbors when we have trouble managing our own lives.  We think we know the future when most of us have enough trouble getting through the day.

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Judgmental – Root of Our Issues

James gets to the root of our issues by helping us to look at the desires that lead to many of our struggles.  While we too often spend our lives running from our problems, James gives the good news that when we resist the devil, he will flee.  What power there is in the name of Christ!  Resisting comes by humbling ourselves, admitting our powerlessness, and submitting and surrendering to God.

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James 4:1-10

Judgmental – Wisdom

Wisdom is more street smarts than book smart, more revelation than information.  Wisdom takes an idea and applies it to life.  Worldly wisdom teaches us to rely on ambition and jealousy to get ahead and then to cover up with lies and boasting when we get behind.  Spiritual wisdom offers a different way that leads to a pure heart, yielding to others, and other upside-down ways of living.  Listen to James 3:13-18 and get wise.

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Judgmental – Controlling the Tongue

Our words hold the power of life and death, so James teaches to tame your tongue.  Our tongue can bring large harm through destructive means such as gossip and anger.  Yet rather than bite our tongue, the gospel teaches us to give our hearts to Christ and discover an inside-out spirituality.  As our hearts are transformed, our words follow suit.

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