A swarm of thoughts

So much of the time I shy away from writing something on here because I begin to think for people, and most of the time I think they’ll think I’m being too negative, or I think they’ll read it as “complaining”, I just want to let you know (even if you never thought those things) that my heart has never been in those places, although my mood certainly has.  I’m in a place in my life where I’m feeling good and content with where God has me, and at the same time, I’m discontent with where I spend most of my days, stuck up in an office.

The funny thing is, I really like my job, but when I start to think about the time it requires I am not too happy with it, as I would much rather be free to meet with friends, have coffee (or beer), love on people, spend time with my bride and daughter, etc.  However, I still really like the job, and I love working with the people God has placed around me.  It’s kind of a weird paradox, a love/hate kind of issue.  So, overall I am content, but there is definitely something inside me that wants more, and I’m trying very hard to hear what God has to say about that.

I know it is through discipline in Christ that I’ll find fulfillment.  Today I was reading Proverbs 12, and the first verse captured me – “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction” – I’ve always been one to accept correction, to seek his discipline….  that is at least what people could see.  Now that God has been showing me (through marriage) how much more I need to seek his discipline, I have found myself unusually closed up, unwanting to change.

Thankfully, I think God is turning a key, opening a door, and doing new and greater things in me.  I think I’ve began to let him.  It’s hard, it burns, but it feels right.  As seek his healing in these areas I know his promises will become true, and I’ll be more free.

A world without God.

A world without God is a world that I fear to imagine.  Yet many people live in a world without God, they go about day to day, without any more than a fleeting idea of God.  So why am I so fearful to imagine a world without God?  Because I know God, I live with God around me, in me, and through me.  Because even though I fail to obey, and I do things which are contrary to God’s word, I find that the God’s grace is more than just a simple “I forgive you”, it’s a reality in which I know that no matter how I live, my God will be there for me to turn to.  Humans can turn God into so much, from a letter of the law judge, to a magic fairy who grants you everything you ever wanted.  In my experience God is neither, God is mysterious, yet personal, God is loving, yet just.

If I were to imagine a world without my God, I would see a world full of hurt, evil, injustice, greed, abuse, hunger, confusion, and chaos with no way out.  As I make the choice to draw closer to God, I see that the love, justice, freedom, life, authority are not just benefits, but are the way God shows his intense affection for me, for us.  Take away those things and it’s one big world, and a huge void.  I was in that void once before, I never want to go back.  Yet everyday I make choices which are either of the world, or of God.  When I follow God’s ways, I am fulfilled, when I choose my own, worldly way, I am sick, troubled, and empty – not because I feel some “religious guilt” but because I know what the feelings of true satisfaction in God are – they are not easily explained in words, and that satisfaction is what I live for.  If had to choose one word to try and describe it – it would be peace.

Reaching this peace requires a lot of flesh burning, a lot of humility, and in the end a lot of forgiveness.  It’s well worth it, trust me.

The power of family

The Church can be a very powerful thing, when in balance with God’s heart, word, and spirit amazing things happen; things that can bring the hardest person to a place of falling in love with Christ.  This past week I have seen the power of God’s family coming to life, in spite of what could be explosive, hurtful, and misunderstood.  Although there are some very hard realities to deal with, God is showing each of us that His good will is here to bring us a full life.

When we take steps to be Disciples of Christ first, in all ways, even when dealing with hardships in the Church, we begin to see the big picture, the miracles, and truly experience the Church for what Christ intended – A healing family, a loving family, and a living family.

Obligation to love

This Thursday I’m speaking at our young adults group, I’m calling it “An obligation to love”.

We really don’t have a choice to love. Our God doesn’t have the choice, He gave us free will so that we would love genuinely. As a disciple in the teachings, divinity, and person of Jesus, I do not have a choice to do anything but love people. For who they are… human. Everyone sins, we all make mistakes, our flesh is weak. And still I must love, I must accept people’s faults. None of this is a free license to be walked on, beat up, and spat on. No, that would mean I wasn’t loving myself.

To love God, is to give him praise, allow him to speak into my life, and obey Him in his commandments (to love Him and people). To love people is to treat with respect, listen, have sympathy for, speak encouragement, and most of all speak a life of truth. If I notice another brother with red flags in his life (IE, spending habits, the way he talks with girls, etc) than to truly love him I must confront him out of the relationship that I have. Confront someone is not shaming them, it’s not condemning them, it’s speaking truth where it counts (as Jesus did w/ the woman at the well). If a friend is always seeking to be with people, and is feeling lonely when not with friends, than I may probe into the priority prayer in their life.

For our culture, these ideas usually prompt the response of “it’s none of your business” or “that’s personal”. Yes, I know, and because I love you I want to see you grow in that area. The key to all of this is relationship though, and speaking gracefully, the more grace, and the more relationship we have, the more our love for Him and others can be shown.

We must stop being afraid to love in truth. This is what I believe worshipping in truth and spirit is.

How to stay steady…

HA! I have no idea. Everyday is a new day, and each day brings its ups and downs. But, I choose to remain dependent on God and inter-dependent on my brothers and sisters in Christ. I choose to allow my bride to love me, nurture me, and be my helper, and I choose to be vulnerable with her through my ups and downs, and her ups and downs.

For when I fail any of the above, the downs are never padded and feel like I’ve fallen hard onto concrete and ups take me way out into an orbit beyond Pluto. Neither of which is very healthy.

So I’ll stand and remain balanced holding onto what God has shown me, told me, and provided. I’m here to serve, love, and be loved.

and oh yeah, keep it sweetly simple (new version of KISS).

Am I a jack or do I just feel like one?

As I have grown up, moved out, moved on, and moved away from home I have always had a lurking voice and feeling that I’m “just a jack of all trades, and a master of nothing”.

There are certainly some things that I’m close to a master, my career for one, but even in that I sometimes feel stupid for not knowing things at times – but that’s all of us in this field of I.T., there is just too much to know, it’s better to be specialized.

So, with a baby on the way, there’s just one more thing to try to measure up to “good dad”. Now I “know” that I don’t have to measure up to anything, and I know my wife will think I’m just being hard on myself (which again, I “know” I am) and at the same time I am keenly aware of areas that I need to work on. I know that in God’s eyes, it only takes effort for him to call us “good and faithful servant”. This is what I need to focus on… another step by step moment.

My internal conflictions

A quick list of things that I’m struggling to grasp right now in my life and walk with Jesus.

  1. Raising funds without sounding like a broken record/beggar (see previous post, didn’t the apostles help the beggars though , but they didn’t enable them to continue in poverty, right?)
  2. Dicipling a generation and/or individual people that are not open to confrontation, either they are afraid to confront others about moral issues, or they don’t allow others to confront themselves. The big defense: DON’T JUDGE ME! Where did this reaction start? Where did loving someone into a closer relationship turn into condemnation?
  3. How to love people through differences. I’m a person that loves to disciple people, hates to offend, yet I am a disciple of Jesus, which Jesus naturally offends people. Sometimes I am so passionate about discipling on things like, the importance of living above reproach, all are called to ministry (we all have gifts for the kingdom), the blessing of living and walking in moral authority, that all I want to do is either ring people’s necks who blatantly live lives contrary to this, or I just get depressed and grieve over the state of people I love.
  4. A regular, near daily, prayer-life. A prayer life that focuses on God, and his relationship to me and others, not just a selfish, me-centered prayer life, but one that is about moving forward and listening (such as listening about these four areas).
  5. Added 10:05 – The conflict of our needs, and other’s resources. This is a completely jealous conflict ion, but one none the less that I struggle with. Alexis and I pour a lot of our resources into our calling, our time, our money, and our relationships, it’s all about our calling for discipleship. All around us though we see people spending their time and money on their own desires, cars, houses, that in our opinion (and judgmentally) are well beyond what they need. Why does a single 24 year old need a new Mercedes? Why does a single 25 year old spend over $600 a month in entertainment? Just some thoughts.

So those are the four, now five big things in my life that I feel stuck on right now. I don’t expect to just “get it” one day, I expect though to process through these things, some of them probably for the rest of my life (2 and 3). But I do expect for me to take responsibility in these areas, to do the hard things and ask, to address people on things when I feel conflict yet all in Grace and with the basis that no matter the outcome my care for them won’t change – that my friends is how Jesus lived.

Updated 10:00 am. – Each of these things I think is related to surrender, we/I need to surrender and allow God and his church to do it’s work, unhindered. We have to live as examples, so if we do something that isn’t above reproach – that is against the path that Jesus has called us to live – we must surrender it. It’s not easy, it’s a self-less act that says I will follow my Lord, even though my desire is something different. Sometimes even our God-given desires are not the right path, for the time. I know this, I’ve lived it, I’m living it right now. So instead of crying about it, I’m living my life on the path, and it’s full of blessings! A CHILD! A BABY GIRL. That wouldn’t be such a blessing if I/we had gone on our own whim on our own path.


There’s this man I know who has very strong convictions, not just “religious” ones, but ones that help people be better people. He normally thinks the best of people and most of the time he sees hope in their lives. As he encounters people he strives to bring them into deeper relationships, most of the time it’s relationships with people that go awry. Sometimes though people have either a philosophical problem, or a knowledge problem when it comes to them and God. It’s these questions that this man has a tough time with, and lately, it seems to be more difficult to address these.

You see, this man is no ordinary man, he’s a disciple, he knows the Lord Jesus, and he loves the Lord with his whole self. Yet, there is a deep dark corner of his life that breaks through all to often. He’s been incredibly open, spilling his entire life story to everyone he ever meets. He’s been honest with those he is closest with. Everyone who knows him usually describes him as a “man of faith” or “a Godly man” – yet he’s not so sure. He’s accepted God’s grace to fill these dark corners. One at a time the light has pierced the darkness and the good news has inhabited those places. But then the bugs come in, the house cleaners leave, and darkness begins to creep back in.

The man screams, he fights, he doesn’t understand why it seems impossible to keep these places in his life filled with God’s light. The voice of the world, the enemy, says life isn’t worth living if you can’t live up to Jesus’ standard. But the spirit makes it clear that live is still, and always, worth living.

This emotional roller coaster he feels is beginning to take its toll, anger, frustration is met with passionate repentance. Repentance is met with overwhelming temptation, temptation is met with the power of God. There is victory in his life, then there is defeat. Victory… defeat… victory… defeat. When does it end?

He screams to his Lord: Father! Father! Why do I feel forsaken? Where does my tempter go? Where is your strength? I “know” you, I live for you. I declare victory in your name, I speak in your authority NO MORE DEFEAT. I want your connection, I want your spirit to fill mine. Praise your name that you would use me, I am but a man, a broken vessel, simply willing to be used by you! Help me oh God, help me to know and understand within my soul the strength which is in my weakness. Change me oh God.

And with that the man sought after the glow, the dim subtle glow deep within his heart. The tiny burning flame that pierced the dark place. He fanned it, and added fuel to it. He sat by it, he listened, he wept, he felt the flames warmth. As if on a bitter cold winter night, in solitude with just his creator, the man stared into the flame and pondered these things.

This man, he is no normal man, this man is a child of God. Any child of God is not normal, he is uniquely crafted for a mission bigger them himself, and far “under qualified” in the the Accuser’s and world’s standards.

My missions cloud of ideas

This is simply a list, a cloud of ideas that somehow I want to, eventually, incorporate into our Poland missions, both our short term, and our long term trips.

  • Genesis process – how to prevent addictive cycles (drugs, alcohol, sex, food, avoidance, and much, much, more) before they happen, and how to deal with current addictive issues.
  • Wounded by shame and healed by grace – Shifting from a shame based lifestyle/paradigm, to a grace filled one. Deals with child-hood issues that filter how we view the world, and most importantly our relationships with others.
  • Healing of the father wound – How the absence (either spiritually, mentally, physically, etc) of a father affects our relationship with our Heavenly father.
  • Boundaries – How to create healthy boundaries that actually promote amazing relationships, creating doors/gates and not walls. Not allowing the guilt trips of others to control you, nor allowing the guilt of your past to control you either.
  • FMO/FWO (For Men Only and For Women Only) purity groups. Not just sexual purity groups, not just accountability groups, not just “post-crisis” groups, these are groups that hold us to the high road. Groups that promote grace-filled truth telling, holding us to our priorities for the call that God has you in that particular season, weather that be a stay-at-home mom, or dad, an employee, a minister (which we all are), a disciple of Christ (which we all are), a friend, etc…

As I mentioned above, these are all a “cloud” of ideas, the actual time line for these things is not in stone, although elements of all of them will be used on all occasions. I will always put myself through these processes each time, as I know God has something new to reveal through them each time. How each thing will look, I have no clue, but I do know that these areas are trans-cultural, it’s kingdom culture based, it’s biblical, the delivery will certainly be different though.

Thoughts, comments?

Intern retreat round 2

[This is a retro-published post, actually posted on Nov 12, 2005 – I wanted these words to be posted into my archives on the right day to line up with my life at that time]
Again we went to the amazing Oregon coast for our intern retreat this year. This time instead of each Intern prophesying over each other a lady named Barb Jackson came, taught, and randomly prophesied. It was amazing, and what God said through her to Alexis and I (we received the word together) is nothing short of amazing – we were crying like babies at the end, because God totally rocked our world. The rest is history:

When we go as full-time over there. That will happen. We are in training, and it’s been rough, the finances haven’t been right, but they will come, we will go, but not before we are sent -don’t go before sent… If we go before we are sent we will come back, bruised as in ACTS 19. The enemy will try to make us think we can’t wait (within 6 months), don’t listen to that voice, remember this WORD. Be faithful in all the training, in the right time, humble ourselves under his hand, and he will exalt us… God will Send us out with ordination and with supporters, commissioning, start with house church, evangelize the area, a few contacts will give us the hands and lift up the resources. God says we will be known in that place as the people with the word of the LORD. It’s not going to be a “regular house church” People will know they can get their needs met, physically, spiritually, word of prophecy over the people, healing, words of knowledge and wisdom, food, the vision will be. Churches will grow fast, split so fast, we will need to split into two… won’t get a building big enough…. Just a handful in each. Churches where his voice will be heard. We will know the time for marriage…. There will be a right time for marriage, God will unite us. Don’t jump ahead. TWO will put ten thousand… God has given us the green light the word for our lives, the time, and method are still yellow lights… caution don’t run ahead. wait until the light is green. Those who are over us in the spirit will tell us the green light at the same time we sense it in our hearts. Be cautious The enemy will try to stop us in our tracks. Just like the enemy tried to tell with Peter told Jesus not to go to Calvary… but the timing was right, the timing will come. We will have that green light. God says there will be nothing at that time he will withhold. John 14:12-13 – Us who believe on him… God will be accelerating our training, we will be stretched, and feel like we don’t have enough time… Burn the oil at midnight if we must. For a time and a season we need to push in… be obedient, obey, obey, obey 3x. God will take us both down to the third obedience, where we will sow our lives for those people. Sow our lives for those people, we will love them to the end. They will know the love… that love will require our lives. That love will go through our whole lives. Our message will be the love of the father’s heart. As we go forward in obedience to him… we will fulfill the father’s heart. He will say “well done, good and faithful servant”.