This is a shameless plug for the best new conference of 2008 – the first annual Christian Juggling Conference. The Christian Juggler’s Association has been around since the mid-90’s and I believe that a conference has long been a desire of the leadership. Now, we get to see that desire come to fruition with this great opportunity for learning and networking coming this July. The dates are July 11th-13th and the conference will be held at Vineyard Community Church in Lexington, Kentucky. The exciting thing is that the International Juggler’s Festival is being held in Lexington, Kentucky the following week. So jugglers can attend both events if they like, since they are back-to-back. David Cain, the Juggler 4 Jesus, is the keynote presenter. There will also be open gym time, workshops, and an opportunity for real-live ministry in local churches on Sunday morning. This is so exciting! For all the details, click here. I’ll see you there.

New You Tube Videos

I just posted a couple of new videos on YouTube. They are the first two videos listed on the left bar of this blog page. I just met with a great buddy of mine this morning for some fellowship and accountability. Wow, I have missed brother-to-brother fellowship! I had some great brothers-in-Christ while in college, and even a few friends in seminary. Now that my wife and I have moved to Virginia, it has been tough to find some close friends. I feel like this friend I met with (whom I knew from years ago) has been an answer to prayer. Let us not give up meeting together! “As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another” – A Biblical Proverb

Other People’s Grocery Lists

I found a very entertaining book at my friend’s house last night. It is a compilation of real-life grocery lists discovered at grocery stores across America. I guess this author found the lists himself and collected lists sent in by fans. Here is the website (www.grocerylists.org). This is a fascinating subject – the left behind information that says so much about who we are as humans – doing something mundane as keeping lists for buying food.

Ezra: A Biblical Hero

Since I still have this web address, I’m going to keep this blog and write about slightly different topics than what I discuss on the “Great Idea Blog for Children’s Ministers

So I’ll blog about things like what I’m studying currently in the Bible or just about anything else (humor, random thoughts, etc.).

Here’s my first comment about Bible Study – I’m looking at Ezra in the Bible right now. He is one of my Biblical heroes. I love the description of Ezra – he was one who both studied the Word intensely (in order to teach it) as well as one on whom was God’s hand. Think about that. How often does it seem that people think these two are mutually exclusive? Some people think that seminary somehow squeezes the heart-felt sincerity of faith out of young, aspiring pastors. On the other hand, some people think that seeking the living, active, touch of God’s hand in today’s world is too “spooky” and must be tapered with “sound learning.” I want to be bold enough to believe that we can have both (just like Ezra). We can have both the touch of God’s hand as well as a learned mind fit for teaching and observing the Word of the Lord. “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind.”

-Jesse

Looking for Jesse "the Juggler" Joyner?

Hey, thanks for coming. I have shifted all my web presence elsewhere to a new website and new blog. So head on over to www.jessethejuggler.com

Have a great day!

-Jesse

1 Samuel 25 Condensed Version

Samuel dies
People mourn
David moves
To Maon
Nabal’s mean
Got lots of food
Abby’s nice
And in a good mood
David sends
Ten men to Nabal
They ask for food
Instead get shoed

David hears
Of this let-down
Sharpens his sword
To kill this clown
Abby hurries
To gather food
Before Dave kills
Any of Nabal’s dudes
Abby falls
At David’s feet
And pleads for peace
Pleads for peace

David puts
His sword down
Abby’s courage
Deserves a crown
Nabal parties
All night long
Has a stroke
After dawn
Abby’s a widow
But not for long
Cause Dave likes Abby
They marry and are happy

-by Jesse Joyner

West Palm Beach

Sarah and I are enjoying some down time in West Palm Beach right now. I’m juggling at 2 churches while on this trip, but most of our time is spent hanging out in the area. Our primary purpose for coming down was to let Sarah shadow a counselor at a place here in town called the Hippocrates Health Institute. And that is what she is doing from 9am-4pm each day. I’m just relaxing and scoping out the area during the day to plan some nice evening activities with my wife.

We were blessed to find FREE housing through a contact we had at Asbury Seminary. A family is letting us stay in their side apartment (used by the mother-in-law during the winter season). So we have a private bath and private entrance. Last night, Sarah and I got to walk along the boardwalk in West Palm. It is a very pretty ocean city and there at very few visitors and tourists this time of year.

Crossing the bridge over to Palm Beach, you get into the more ritzy part of town. We drove through and saw Beverly Hills style mansions. While driving we got caught behind a man driving a Bently with the top down and a magnicifent black poodle in the passenger seat. He was stroking the poodle’s fur at one of the traffic lights. Welcome to Palm Beach, FL!

We’ll be back in Virginia next Wednesday and we will begin the unpacking process in our new apartment. See you later!

-Jesse

August 2007 Recap

Hey folks, I just finished an August tour that took me from Indiana to Ohio to Missouri to Pennsylvania. I got to minister at a Wesleyan church, an Assemblies of God church, a Baptist church, a Missionary church, and two Salvation Army venues. By the way, the Salvation Army is a church – they are very emphatic about that.

Though I have fun memories from each of the places I went to, I would like to especially share about my trip to Missouri. First of all, it was for a Kid’s Crusade at an Assemblies of God church. I grew up in the A/G denomination, so that brought back some fun memories for me (Royal Rangers and such). While at this church, I met a lovely little girl and her grandmother. The girl was about nine years old and she was blind. The grandmother wanted me to pray for Jesus to heal her eyesight. This girl has been blind since birth and can only see faint representations of light and dark. Nonetheless, she was cheery and joyful in spirit. I stood there at the altar with the request to pray for her – and I did. As far as I can remember, I have never prayed for God to heal the blindness of someone. I had just recently read the story of Jesus healing the man blind from birth. He healed him both physically and spiritually. So I know God can do it.

But this is me being honest here – it is so hard to believe sometimes. Jesus said in the book of John (chapter 14) that we will do even greater things than what He did on earth. What in the world does that mean? Lord, please give us a clearer understanding of these “greater things” and how to pray for healing in your name.

That brings me to the other experiences on my Missouri trip. I got to visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. That was a really neat tour through history. I learned a great deal about Truman that I did not previously know. I also got to see the grave of he and his wife Bess. I can’t imagine the stress of being the president over both the dropping of the atomic bomb, the founding of the modern state of Israel, and the onset of the Korean war.

Then I spent an afternoon at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. That was quite the experience. I have been there before, but only briefly. This time, I spent some time in their 24/7 prayer room. This place is incredible. There are people leading prayer and worship around the clock every single day. So I was able to step into a very peaceful place of worship led by some very talented musicians. And the neat thing is that they were not putting on a show or preaching to us. They were just up on the stage singing to God and praying. They were “lead worshippers.” Perhaps the best way to lead worship is simply by example.

That’s it for now. I’ll do another update for September when it rolls around. Sarah and I are moving to Richmond, VA in a week. Then we’ll be in Florida for labor day week. See you soon!

Book Review: The Parable of Joy


The Parable of Joy: Reflections on the Wisdom of the Book of John by Michael Card

I have not yet finished this fine book, but I love it enough to share it as a strong recommendation. I am actually using this as a daily reading in the mornings. Michael Card, the prolific and poetic singer/songwriter, writes this book in the form of a popular commentary on the book of John (in the Bible). Card himself is a Biblical scholar who loves to study and learn about the historical background to Biblical passages. He takes what he has learned about the book of John and presents it in this book.

The book is separated into different sections of the book of John (some short, some longer). Each chapter is a different story/section of John. He begins each chapter with a very readable translation of the text with footnotes that give historical background. Following the translation, Card then gives some paragraphs of prose that explain the meaning of the related passage, either by means of commentary or by means of storytelling as if he were an onlooker during the days of Jesus. I very much enjoy learning from Michael’s wisdom. Now I am a fan both of his music as well as his writing! Get the book someday and enjoy.

Seasoned Storytellers

Storytelling is an art form. And some of the greatest storytellers are the ones who do it naturally, without trying to be an artist at it. This especially includes people from the great generation who were born before World War 2. I spent last evening having dinner with three people from this generation. I believe all three of them were born in the 1930’s. I sat and listened to them tell stories about everything from early telephone technology to the Cuban missile crisis. They told stories with such joy that I was on the edge of my seat at their descriptions of life long ago.

There are a few reasons why their stories are so intriguing. First of all, they are from a very different era of history than myself. They can give first-hand testimony about life back then and very easily take me there in their sincere accounts of what they remember. Since it is their story, they feel the feelings and laugh the laughter all over again of the things that happened to them. Secondly, the stories they told were the ones that stood out among thousands of things that have happened to them over the years. So that means the stories they relate time-tested and worth telling over and over again. Finally, when you are listening to a 75-year old tell you stories, you are listening to someone with 75 years of life wisdom. That alone is worth spending time in their presence.

Though I cannot tell the stories as good as they can, let me give two examples of the things they were telling me. First of all, they told me about early telephones. Apparently, it was a luxury in the 40’s to have a private phone line. They said that many people had what was called a “party line” (I love that title). That means that when you wanted to make a phone call, you would first talk to the operator, then he/she would put you through to the party line. Once you were on the party line, their could have been several other people on the line at the same time, and you would have to wait your turn to say what you had to say to the person you were trying to get a hold of. So, you would hear the business of other people in town. Last night, Al said that when he was younger and on the town party line, there was one lady in town that seemed to always be on the line. I guess some things never change. But back then, if you loved the phone that much, you couldn’t always be private about it!

The other story that stuck out was when Al told me about the time his wife, Joan, had their first child. He was about 22 and she was about 19. They lived in rural Iowa at the time, which was around the mid-50’s. Joan began having labor pains in their trailer out in the country. They had only one neighbor. And this neighbor had the only phone between the two houses. So Al went next door to call the doctor about what to do with Joan’s labor pains. But Al was young and inexperienced in how to deal with a wife with labor pains. So when he arrived at his neighbor’s house, the neighbor (who did not know about Joan’s labor pains) cordially offered Al some coffee and cookies upon arrival. So Al sat down and leisurely had some coffee and cookies before calling the doctor. Then he finally called the doctor. When the doctor heard about the labor pains and how intense they were, he said, “Get her over to the hospital right away.” On the way to the hospital, Al stopped again at a friend’s house and had a turkey sandwich. When they finally arrived at the hospital, Joan’s mother was pacing the hallways, looking for her daughter and ready to kill her son-in-law. Fortunately, she did not kill Al and Joan had her baby. And they will never forget the humor of Al’s inexperience in “husbandry.”

So, go find some wise elderly folks and prompt them to tell you some stories from their past. Keep listening and perhaps you will get caught up in a world you never knew – but one that you can enter into just by listening to some first hand testimony.