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God the Comedian

March 24, 2011

It’s funny what happens when you ask God for something. It might be a stretch…it might be wild…but when you make it known watch out. There is nothing like seeing God working on my behalf. There is nothing like praying for more details, opportunities, and direction and then having a situation or opportunity fall right into my lap less than two hours later. Walking away from that I was totally shocked. What a glorious and joyous thing it was to be able to feel energized and really fulfilled by something that I participated in. To see the bigger picture and say “Yes, this is what I am made to do.” So now it’s up to me agreeing with God and really beginning to walk with confidence. Challenging but so rewarding.

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Fasting from Self

March 9, 2011

What an interesting thought and well…it’s really a challenge that I’m seeking to understand and follow out during this lent season.  To fully recognize and find my joy in following and serving God, to be a friend of God, and to line up my heart and mind with the thoughts and actions of the kingdom.  To give up any thought, action, or response that is rooted in my “self.”  So life is going to look at little different as more and more things come to the surface.

It’s also interesting that as I turned my focus toward God that He promises to sew back into me.  That my youth will be (and is being ) renewed like the eagles.  That my voice and my passions will come to life and become bold and full because my heart will be aligned with His.  This is such an exciting time.  I can just see God smirking and chuckling because He knows of what is to come. He can see the greater picture and is way more excited than I will ever know.  It’s pretty cool to know that God is excited for me and about me.  It’s pretty cool to know that God wants me to thrive and wants to lift me up and sit my next to Him.  The best part…it doesn’t have to start tomorrow

Surprised By Love

March 7, 2011

In the midst of all of the chaos that I created a couple months ago (really it was years of chaos that came to light), one thing really stood out over and over and over again…my wife really loves me.  Fact.

Yesterday was a very public display of how much she loves me and how much we are loved and cared for by the community that we are a part of here in Seattle.  I must admit I didn’t know what to think when I was called to the front at the end of church but when the lights dimmed and my beautiful wife came walking down the middle row in a amazing dress with a bouquet in her hand I was definitely pleasantly surprised.  To be that supported by those around us.  To be loved by an amazing wife. To have the chance to love such a beautiful, wise, elegant, and yet strong woman is such a privilege.  To be shown such grace, compassion, and forgiveness by her and by our friends and family is something that I have never seen.  It was truly a special day.  We had talked about renewing our vows at some point, but it wasn’t decided.  I can’t think of a better time, place, or way that it could have taken place.  All that needs to really be said is: God is Good!  God is REAL good all the time.

Too Much Faith?

March 4, 2011

Woa!  I am so a dreamer and I just got my rear end handed to me on a plate.  I’ve been processing a few things this week and wanted to write those down but went to quickly read John 2 first.  I’m definitely getting my butt kicked.  Here is the deal:

I find myself in a job where I know I am supposed to be for a season (to learn, to gain experience, to improve, etc) however my mind and soul find themselves on the constant move looking for the areas where God is and where I can be.  It can be hard to focus at work because really the work I am doing doesn’t feel like Kingdom work on a day to day basis, or doesn’t really “fit” what I feel like I’m called to do.  So in the midst of God re-establishing and laying a new foundation in me I’m coming to fully understand that part of the purpose for right now is to grow in being an amazing follower.   To be a well known leader in the world you usually find someone to mentor you, you gain a little experience, and then you blaze you own trail/path and you make things happen.  The mentality totally shifts when you look at it from a Kingdom perspective.  To truly be a leader within the Kingdom of God you HAVE to be an amazing follower because at no point in time can you ever leave the leader.  You can leave, but if you aren’t totally surrendered and in relationship with Christ, it’s not going to be of the Kingdom.  All that being said, I’m supposed to be learning to follow and follow well.

What is happening is that God is building up a foundation where my nature, being, and identity are becoming so centered and intimate with Him that there will be no difference between Jeff the school district employee or Jeff the minister of the gospel.  It’s not like a switch just gets turned on because a title is present.  The current challenge seems to be that my heart cries for me to react but the hours in the day just seem to run out and I can’t be too many places at once.  So even today I was challenged and asked “are you doing anything to really put your thoughts and dreams into use?”Simple question.  Then interpret it after reading John 2:14-26.  I can believe God is big and called me to big things but if I don’t act on those dreams…they just become lifeless.  Dead.  I can believe this or that, but if there is no action then it’s pointless.  So ya, hours may seem to run out but what is my true calling and desire, to work, to dream, or to pursue God with a reckless abandon?  Talk about being challenged.

Part of the challenge is determining today that I must choose to dedicate the time and focus to following and being an amazing follower.  Part of the challenge is to really put some action and time into what God is asking me and calling me to do thus really building it into who I am as a person.  Does it really make a whole lot of sense?  Sometimes no.  In fact I must admit, for the most part no.  I mean, I believe in something and in someone that I have experiences with but I can’t see and even then I know who God is but what I know and have experienced can’t even come close to really imagine the vast love of God.  So ya it is a little crazy. To pursue some big things is pretty crazy and foolish at times.  But I also must say that I’m quite thankful and blessed to have a wife who wants to be crazy and foolish with me.  That we have some close friends who are also willing to be a part of the adventure.  It also doesn’t hurt that we’ve seen examples of Ezekiel and Abraham who set out to do some pretty crazy and foolish things (I mean seriously…talk to a bunch of bones and expect that they are going to rise up into an army or bind your son up and prepare to kill him even though you are supposed to be the father of many nations?  To even believe that he was going to be the father of many nations before he even had a kid is quite wacky but yet it states that he believed and God credited it him as righteousness).  I guess the challenge just keeps growing and we need to constantly re-evaluate what “crazy” really is in this life.  All I know is that God keeps asking us to imagine greater, deeper, and wider and that while there may be some things that look really weird I don’t mind at all if I’m one of those people who just had too much faith.  I’m pretty positive that God isn’t going to frown and look down on that when the day come so I need to do everything I can to put myself in a position for more of God to be revealed and His Glory to transform me.  Amen Amen.  Bring it God!

Free of Control

March 4, 2011

Good thing I don’t have to be right about anything.

Good thing I don’t always have to prove my point.

This is definitely something that has been on my mind and God and I have had more than one conversation these past few days discussing how I am called to act and respond in the midst of an argument. I won’t lie, I have a strong distaste for arguments.  I’d rather be getting something done, being productive and moving forward.  What I’m coming to learn is that God really desires to save the day and save a lot of time, hurt, and tension if I’m just willing to let go and give Him some time to speak.  I mean that in all sincerity.  If I can respond in love, God has told me He will cover the rest.  Pretty nifty and well…definitely adds a whole new level of freedom to my life.

 

Waking the Dead

March 1, 2011

Waking the Dead

It’s an interesting concept and story line you see throughout the bible but it’s also quite the personal challenge to me.  I know of Lazarus being raised from the dead, but I have never witness nor raised anyone from the dead.  I know of Ezekiel being commanded by God to prophesy in the valley of dry bones (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+37%3A1-14&version=NIV) thus raising up a vast army, but I haven’t seen a valley of dry bones become a vast army.  But then I read a passage like James 1:22-25 (the Message):

22-24Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

25But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

That challenges me.

Last week I spent four days intentionally seeking God and asking Him to pull off, burn up, and kill all of the hurts, traumas, selfish commitments, and personal vows that I have experienced or made in the first 25 years of my life so that my true God given heart and soul can be revealed.  Once revealed I could then allow God to finally have access to what He originally created and the door would be open for God to come in and fill my heart to overflowing. In one book I was reading the author talked about embracing the process and how it’s really more like ‘waking the dead.’  My heart, while still showing signs of life at times, was really in a deep slumber, bound by previous choice and unable to really thrive as it was intended.  I really did need to wake my heart from death.

The connection between my heart and the valley of dry bones is really quite simple in my mind and yet it can bring about thousands upon thousands of arguments and controversy.  It’s the question of how much do I want to see and partner with God?  How bad do I want it?  How bad do I want God’s Kingdom to come?  The list can go on but really it boils down to my hunger and my desire.  It’s weighed heavy on my heart and weighed heavy on my mind.  The challenge to pursue God, pursue His Kingdom with such abandon that I am not satisfied until the captives have been set free, every heart has been restored, and His Kingdom reigns is not some feeble, lame challenge.  It takes work and true discipline.  So, instead of finding myself thinking about the choice or debating whether or not I should or shouldn’t really dive in my response has to be “I’m ALL IN!”  So that’s what I said. There is no turning back.  There is just something about tasting true freedom and wanting to savor the taste that I don’t know if I’ve ever really tasted.  Why would I ever go back when I have tasted, I have seen, and I’ve experienced something far better than what I ever had.

Now is the part where I am really jumping into the abyss.  It’s unknown, it doesn’t look like anything that I have experienced before, but at least I know that I’m not alone.  I can’t guarantee very much but I can guarantee that it’s going to be a wild ride, quite an adventure, and it’s not going to look like anything I can imagine.  So God…I can’t wait to speak to a valley of dry bones and co-create with you as those bones come to life right before my eyes.  Bring it God, Bring IT!  Wow me with your love, power, and awe and thanks for waking my dead heart.

World’s Colliding

February 15, 2011

There is an inner tension that sometimes I don’t quite know what to do with. In the past several weeks I can feel things shift in my inner being and I know that in part it is created by what is to come.  Next week I am heading to Spokane for a 12hr sozo intensive at Elijah House.  I’m really really excited about what is to come by just being a part of that process but as it draws nearer I definitely feel the natural and the supernatural colliding inside of me.

The journey I’m on is so much more than one of addiction and really I am so excited to be where I am right now and yet so ready to move.  I am experiencing God’s love in astounding ways (just being able to take the most beautiful woman in the world out to dinner last night and have her want to be my valentine is not only a great example of her love, but God’s love through her to me) as well as in ways where God is challenging me to go deeper and become more vulnerable with Him as my friend.  Two weeks ago I felt challenged to write down a list of “wants” or things that I actually want to do or see happen.  Within a week I had several potential opportunities off of that list pop up. I have been challenged to be a self starter and a follower at the same time.  To learn what it means to follow which at times means to lead.  I’m in the midst of this huge growth and process in my life and it is so exciting.  God is moving and He is moving in me.  It can’t get much better than that.

The shift is happening and really it’s happening faster than I thought.  The hard part is figuring out how I fit in all of it and just letting go of all of the control and power that I once held onto.  How do I participate and yet not suffocate or stress my life into unbalanced chaos?  It’s a huge question and I’m so glad I don’t actually have to answer it.  Good thing nothing is impossible!

Really quick…here is one thing that has been in the forefront of my mind recently and something that I’m sure I will be thinking about quite a bit…What does it look like to merge the fad/popular term of “Social Justice” with “Holy Spirit led believer?”  What does that look like?  How does one operate in this world that likes to talk about “doing good” for others when it’s common place to just ask the Holy Spirit what is really going on and then fixes the problem.  Obviously my passion and desire to help people around the world and unit people to bring about social change comes from the heart of God but have I limited my thought and my dreams by just looking at natural reactions as ‘miraculous’ instead of relying on God to really do the miraculous?  It’s an interesting tension and I’m sure that I’m going to be thinking about it for quite some time but I can tell you this…I’m tired of talking about how we should be doing this or we should be doing that.  I’m so glad that God has equipped us to do what is needed and I’m so glad that God has stirred up something inside of me and is revealing more of who He is as I ask for more.  I will never be the same and I’m glad that if nothing else in my brain comes into fruition I can at least share with someone that I know the goodness of God and it’s POWERFUL and AWESOME.  Pretty simple.  Simply Beautiful!  Forever Changed!