Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prayer to Suffer, Pt. 1

I have an optimistic vision for the future of the Church. The youth are rising up and preparing to take their place in the leadership. They are no longer satisfied with this thing we’ve made, this hypocrisy. They are longing for the gritty, honest, hard, sold-out truth.
They are looking to throw aside rituals, the politics, the rules, all the baggage, even themselves to chase with full abandonment, the new dream. The Christian Dream.
This generation has seen where the American Dream has led Christianity and they are done with it. Instead, they want to give up on that manifesto and seek biblical truth and biblical driven dream that makes up a true Christ-follower. They are believing whole heartedly that they are to die to themselves, carry their crosses and seek God above all else.  They want Jesus and only Jesus. None of the “fluff”.
They want nothing to do with the prosperity gospel. This group plans to to take the church to its knees and begin again with a true gospel-driven, Acts living agenda. We aren’t talking about a division or a new sect. We are talking about a revolution from within. There will be no compromising. It’s Christ or bust.
These people are patriots to God. Willing and hoping to lose it all to Christ’s glory. I’m one of them. Interested?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen

Leader or Servant?

Leadership, something I’ve always revered. A leader, something I’ve always wanted to be. I asked and thanks to God, I received. He has blessed me with a some excellent leadership opportunities over the last few years. I want to dispense some of those things, I’ve learned in my short time in those shoes.
Jesus was and is, a leader. No doubt about it. He led His disciples, He conducts over all creation, etc. However, for most of the bible, beyond public speaking, you see very little “leading”.  What do you see?
Instead you see a servant. He puts others over himself numerous times. Why is that? Well first look to Mark 10:45. Now there is your reason: he wasn’t here to lead. He was here to serve and to sacrifice. That may make you speculate, so was he a leader? Well, it’s clear all throughout the Word that Jesus is, most certainly, a leader.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Testimony to God's Work in Me

I want to first off apologize for not being as diligent as I should be with this. I've for the first time in my life become busy. Something I asked for and something I've received. That's a blessing and at times a challenge. I've begun leading a bible study on Tuesdays and Fridays in the local mall's food court. Most of what I use is off of here. This now makes my schedule, which use to be only busy on Sundays and Wednesdays, busy every day and night except Mondays and occasionally Saturdays. I'm working this in though! God has called me to this, and he still is! It's a lesson in managing time, prioritizing and such.

Also I promise I'll post stuff on my mission trip soon. It was such an epic week and so jam packed, that it has now ran together and blurred so much that it's hard to keep straight. It will happen though!

What I want to talk about tonight though, is a some things God has done for me as of late. This isn't to boast about myself, but to boast on the Lord and His love. All of this is to His glory, not mine. I'm trying to fulfill Jeremiah 9:24. I'll do my best to make the least of myself if you do your best to focus the most on God, deal?

I'm not a writer. Sorta. You see I grew up with a hatred for writing. It made my hand hurt, it was boring and I was much more interested in other things. Also, I had a huge issue with handwriting. Teachers cursed my handwriting for years. Even in 8th grade, teachers tried to give my parents those book that teach you to write. It was embarrassing. It's been improving slowly over the last few years but I'm still incredibly self conscious of it.

Over the last year or so though, I've been transformed. It started with letters to a friend, then grew into letters to myself over thoughts. This led to essays more articulated on those ideas. Those ideas led to declarations, which led to sermons, bible studies and this. I could of never seen this coming or planned it, but God took a weakness of mine and made it something of His own. I look back and I see signs and hints at this path he's put me on, but I wouldn't believe it, if not for the fact I'm living it. To be able to encourage others with words and ideas, is a blessing, but more than that, the true blessing is the Lord. The fact that He chooses to use me and in such a way that I can in no way take credit for!

This leads me to my next point. I grew up in a neighborhood with very few kids and far away from town and others. I lived a very solitary childhood as an only child. I became incredibly shy and timid. I've always been uncomfortable in crowds, talking with strangers, and speaking up. I also had issues when I was young with pronunciation and even had to be in speech therapy. Speaking was not a talent of mine or so I see it. God on the other hand, chose differently and it has been his will to change that.

I never believed I would become something of a speaker. Now God has blessed me with so many things. I'm a legitimate voice of advice in a bible study I attend, God has called me to lead a bible study of my own. I've received an internship with my church which will give many opportunities to speak before others. I've shared Christ with perfect strangers and I've spoken with boldness and authority that I sat down shaking, because I was surprised with my own speech.

Yet I realize now, it's not myself who speaks but Christ in me. As I grow in Him, I become less and he becomes more. I am able to do more, because I'm disappearing and the Spirit that lives in me is being revealed in greater view.

Many compare God to an ocean and how we see but the shore of the waters of His infiniteness. It's very true. As I dive in and become lost in my God, others become found by Him. I know it sounds strange, but I'm finding more and more the aim of a life for Christ is to get lost. It's only then we are found.

My point here is simple. You have hopes and dreams and ideas and visions and goals and all these things! We all do! If you want to accomplish them, quit trying to do it yourself. Give in to God. Worry first about him and losing yourself in Him and two things will happen. Some of those things you wanted, will disappear and you won't care that it happened.  Other things you wanted, God will equip you to gain or receive. He also may give you things to do that are beyond your dreams and so much more fulfilling.

I am a modern day remake of story of Moses. I have all the classic themes he had and God has made me into something he wants. Like any good remake though, I'm my own story and have my own twists and turns. I'm a work in progress. So are you. God is writing a masterpiece at the center of it is Jesus and we all play an important part of in it. Regardless of what you are going through, beyond what you can or can not do, past your own understanding God has a story for you. He considers you important enough that He let his main character be murdered so that you could have a significant part in His work. Everything that holds you back, no longer holds you back. Your story is unwritten friend. Time to let the ink flow.

Much Love,


P.S. Yes I rambled a bit. Deal with it. =)

"The mercy of God is an ocean divine,
A boundless and fathomless flood;
Launch out in the deep, cut away the shore line,
And be lost in the fullness of God." - A hymn
"Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed." - Blaise Pascal