Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Journey

Some people have been asking me recently “What is the World Race?”

One of my team mates captured it perfectly:
The World Race is an 11 month pilgrimage around the world. It`s a journey of abandonment, transformation, and learning how to give everything to God. 
(Thanks Jenny)

This is a journey that takes you around the world and back. Helping everyone from the orphaned children in Moldova and sex trafficked girls & boys in Cambodia to the families and villages rocked by Joseph Kory’s army of child solders aka the LRA.

This is a journey that will forever change lives, of those whom we are helping and those who are going. Venturing from places where talking about the Gospel is illegal to the largest slum in Africa.

Placing someone to the frontlines of loving others, giving all of yourself, and truly seeking God. To where there’s nothing left of you and the power that you continue on with is only the power of God.

This is what some people could view as “extreme” Christianity, but I’d say “Go big or go home”. There’s so many people that God is showing me that need help. Weather that’s drilling the village a well or being the arms an orphan runs to for a reminder that there are people in this cold, dark, fallen world that still love.

I can’t not go

As I jump off this cliff of life known to some as the American “Dream”; I leave everything behind myself, in faith that God will change me into the man He would have me be for His glory.

I ask for support, in prayer, in time, and fiscally. I can’t do this alone without a base of people who are willing to give & serve along side of me. If you have the means and call to go, the GO! God will do great things through you. If not then send others to go.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

With all your heart, mind & strength.

And he answered,  "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…
Luke 10:27a

Martin Luther, the great Reformer, said, “Actually, the key is to understand that if we obey the first two commandments, we won’t break the others.”

This is the only commandment given by Jesus in the New Testament. The way I view commandments is not what you have to do for God, rather what you get to do as an overflow of the heart because God saved you. I want to look at this commandment and break it down.

To love the LORD with all of your heart & soul:
I look at this, and I know that the heart & soul are different, but I think they sing in tune with each other. This is the part of you that dances with or blasphemes & grieves the Holy Spirit. The reason I believe it is mentioned twice is to emphasize the weight of this.

To love the LORD with all of your mind:
This is what would fall into the category of doctrine, theology, hermeneutics, etc. This is an area that I am very passionate about. To study the scripture with the hopes of learning more about what God has revealed about Himself to us, similar to someone one in a relationship reading over love letters or, more appropriately for today, text messages from their loved one.

To love the LORD with all of your strength:
This is loving God in everything you do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 puts it this way: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This would include things like missions, local & abroad. That you display the grace that God has shown you through your actions. James said that “Faith without works is dead”.

All three of these things are how faith manifests itself, through grace, in our lives; to be without one can be a very dangerous thing.

To love God in heart/soul & in Strength:
This would be to negate loving God with your mind. With this you wind up with people who are spiritual, where they’re “tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching” (Eph 4:14). These are the people you want to get asking the questions, that time reading scripture would benefit greatly; as well as having a friend who can answer these questions with them.

To love God in heart/soul & in Mind:
This would be to negate loving God in action. This is someone who will go to church on Sunday mornings, possibly partake in fellowship, but the rest of their week, their life, is unchanged by God. This can be a problem in the American Protestant church as it stands today; where people are Christians Sundays from 9am-12am. I would again point to James 2:17
To love God in Mind & in strength:
This is to negate loving God with your heart & soul. This is the basis of “religion”. Where someone can explain to you, in depth, the doctrine of propitiation but it never has an impact in their life. Where someone can rely on their works & knowledge to get them through but their heart isn’t in it. This is where I have the biggest struggle. I always need to check myself to see if I’m reading the Scriptures to learn more about God so I can have a better relationship with Him or to check myself to see if the Scriptures & Theology have become a functional idol. These would be like the Pharisees, referred to as “a brood of vipers

If we fall into one of these categories, we need to come back to God & ask him to fix us, to renew us in heart, mind, & body.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Give me your eyes

Brandon Heath has a song called “Give me your eyes

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me your heart for the one's forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

I’ve prayed this over and over; I can’t help but look around.

Here’s what I see

Kids dying of lack of access to water, sanitation, & food
Orphans crying out for someone to love them
Children stolen from the villages to fight in a war that is not theirs
Haitians living by the tens of thousands in tent cities
Men acting like boys
Women acting like prostitutes
Fractured families & broken homes
Religious people in despair because they broke a rule
Prideful religious people turning away people
The lost seeking to escape further into the darkness

It greaves me
Down to the core
It greaves me

Before I had the stance of I am just one person, what can I do.
I closed my eyes.
I covered my ears.

Josh Wilson’s “I refuse” nails this:

I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

I’m just one person; all I can do is impact those lives near me and anyone who God puts in my path. I know the answer that can help them all.

Kids dying of lack of access to water, sanitation, & food
Generosity of the church to help those in need & knowing that, one day, all of their needs will be met (Revelation 21:4)

Orphans crying out for someone to love them
The love of the Father above (Matthew 19:14)

Children stolen from the villages to fight in a war that is not theirs
Redemption & healing for ALL though Christ (1 Timothy 2:3-5)

Haitians living by the tens of thousands in tent cities
Joy through suffering in Christ (Philippians 1:29)

Men acting like boys
Becoming Godly men with responsibility, compassion, humility, honesty, etc (Watch this)

Women acting like prostitutes
Becoming Godly women with faith, wisdom, strength, honor, etc (Watch this)

Fractured families & broken homes
Drawing the center of the home around the One who can never be broken (Colossians 3:17)

Religious people in despair because they broke a rule
Strength, knowing that salvation is an ongoing process that God does in us (Philippians 1:6)

Prideful religious people turning away people
Humility, knowing that salvation was done for you, not by works of yourself (Ephesians 2:8)

The lost seeking to escape further into the darkness
The light of the world (John 8:12)

This is the Gospel, that Christ is the answer for all things, but know that there are people who will speak against you. There are those who would imprison or kill you if you bring this message. There are people who will oppose you; they will be your enemy. Love them, pray that God would save them and let their hearts be melted by His love.

“The same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay.”
An old Puritan saying

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Would you give up your salvation?

I’ve been taking some time off from blogging to focus more on my reading, listening to sermons, & reading. I would suggest some books:
Humility by C. J. Mahaney
True Religion by Palmer Chinchen

I came across a very heavy passage in my time in Scripture.

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Romans 9:1-3

Go back and read it again & let it sink in. Paul, writer 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament, said he would be willing to be cut off from Christ (grace & salvation) to see the Israelites saved. Would you be willing to give up your salvation if it meant that one person would have grace shown to them?

Who would it be?
Would it be your brother or sister?
Maybe a son or daughter?
Your parents?
A close friend?
Would you do it for a total stranger?

Would you be willing to die? Would you be willing to spend your life living, so someone might know the hope, love & peace of the one, true, living God?
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

This is what Christ did, as part of the Trinity, came into creation adding humanity to His divinity. He lived the perfect life as an example to us; teaching us to love God with all of our heart, mind, and body. Then we nailed Him to a cross. As he died of a heart attack, he cried out in a loud voice:


Unjustly the Father poured our His wrath on the Son, so we could be justified. He did this so that Christ’s righteousness would be ours. He laid in a grave for 3 days, then rose up conquering death & the flesh. He died so that you might put your sin to death & live in Christ for all eternity.

Salvation doesn’t start when you die, and it doesn’t end when you die. It started when God knew you in eternity past & plays out into eternity future. He knows everything about you, everything you have done, everything you’re doing and everything you will do. It is an ongoing process.

And I am sure of this, that that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6

Keep the faith, knowing that God has worked in you, is working in you and will continue to work in you, but don’t get a big head about this. Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), but be grateful & praise Him.

Go tell others, bring them hope, love, joy & peace.
Go show others, serve them, through trials & persecution.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


There is a light in this dark world
We are all mirrors
We are built to reflect
But what will we reflect?
Turned to the perfect angle we reflect the light into the world
Turned full back to the light we cast a shadow
How will we reflect God’s light to this world?

We are imperfect as mirrors
We are broken
We are dirty
But even the dirtiest, shattered mirror still reflects light
The light does not wait for the mirror to become whole
The light does not wait for the mirror to get repaired
God wants you to come to Him dirty & broken
So that He can make you clean & whole

One day the stains on our surface will be wiped away
One day the cracks will disappear
One day we will be transparent
To show the light perfectly

How can you reflect God’s love to someone?
What did He do for us?

He laughed.                                                                                        We laugh.
He loved.                                                                                             We love.
He cried.                                                                                              We cry.
He prayed.                                                                                          We pray.
He gave.                                                                                              We give.
He taught.                                                                                           We teach.
He sent.                                                                                               We send.
He died.                                                                                               We die.
      He rose.                                                                                      So we will also.

We are to reflect Him, so that He will be made know through us.
God has chosen you.
Reflect Him.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Reincarnation aka the art of procrastination

Reincarnation, the idea or belief that when the body dies the sould will leave that body to be bourn into a new one. There are many times I wish this was true, think back on how many times you have thought “I wish I could go back and change that” or “I wish I had done something different there”. I mean my life is riddled with areas I wish I could change. Situations I wish I could have changed the outcomes, love I wish I had chased, time waisted on futile persuits I wish I could have back. I know that who I am today has been shapped by the potter’s hands and I wouldn’t change a moment of it, some lesions are hard learned.

I will give the Buddhist & Hindi are correct when they say “Life [without God] is suffering”, but reincarnation is the art of procrastination. If someone told you that you could go back, you could try again, it would be cool, but it would also say that your choices in this life don’t really matter. So if you do really bad, its not really that bad; adversely this means that the good things done in this life aren’t really good. So there’s no real reason to do good. I mean, let’s look at this logically.

If you believe in reincarnation:

If you haven’t done anything with your life other than sit on the couch, eating potato chips, watching TV, letting the world pass you by then die of a heartattack from clogged artries. Cool, maybe you’ll come back as a physical trainer, climb mount everist, go skydiving, etc

You missed that connection with the girl you really like, maybe you can catch her in another life.

There are those who are lonely, maybe if they kill themselves they’ll have a life with more friends.

There are starving children in Africa. Good, they’ll die soon and maybe they can be reincarnated as an obease American child.

A person was born with a disability or handed a bad lot in life, well maybe they did something bad in their last life.

There’s something in the back of your head screaming “NO! THAT’S NOT RIGHT!”

Reincarnation is a scape goat to free yourself from conviction & responcibility. You won’t feel convicted if you didn’t do something or did do something that wasn’t “right”. It frees you from responcibility of doing the “right” thing.

Conviction comes from God, to ignore that feeling inside of you saying “this is wrong” is to ignore God.
” And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
John 16:8

We need to make the absolute most out of this life. Help as many people as we can. “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,”
Hebrews 9:27

I hope this lights a fire under your butt. There are people suffering out there, they need help.

The end point for a for someone who believes in reincarnation would be “let them die” or “kill them and put them out of their misery”.

The end point for a follower of Christ would be, “They’re dieing. We need to help them.” The proper response is to get up and GO! GO! GO!

Live your life like you’re dieing, cause you are.