a lot of water moving really fast.

January 23, 2007

Waking Up

I love my children. Absolutley.

I also like to sleep and do what I want...which can conflict with my other above-mentioned love.

What do you do? Well, historically I have complained, grumbled, gotten upset, smiled and gotten up at Arwen's AM chirping and grunting.

Two days ago I had a little lesson. The staccato burst of our one year old's gfrowing voice broke the moring air. I lay there eyes open thinking...another cry. I know it's my job to get up. Marci does the night watch, I'm supposed to get up now. Come on, get up now. My body doesn't move. I lay there, eyes open thinking. Marci says something. Okay!

Like a flash it comes. Righteousness! That's what I need. I thought about Ecclesiastes and the message it has.

It is good for a man to find joy in his work. This is a gift from God. I'm thinking now. Yea, what am I wanting to sleep in for? This is my place for joy. Righteousness! Doing the right things from a right heart. Righteousness will bring peace and joy.

Will the covers over my head and a little grumble, grumble get me more rest? NO!

Will a check in my attitude and a littleHoly Spirit infused strength and prayer get me runnin'? YES!

Righteousness is what we need from waking up to going back to sleep. I'm telling you!

December 13, 2006

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea...

This is a strategic withdrawal, the kind that comes from having a plan and thinking through a problem. Jesus was showing his smarts right here. The Pharisees had just set him up. Jesus, like Daniel before him, was regular in some ways; he could be counted on to help someone in need. If someone needed healing Jesus would do it.

Now it was the Sabbath. The Pharisees had carefully crafted a set of restrictions to make sure the Sabbath was NEVER broken. The ship was not going down on their watch and they jealously guarded the law down to its letter. Though not imitated they were heros. Now Jesus had different ideas and different methods for engaging the law. The Pharisees thought it was wrong to heal on the Sabbath. If it was life threatening, "Sure," they said, but if not wait a day. Jesus claimed that he was way bigger than the Sabbath and that in fact the Pharisees and everything they were working toward was wrong. There was conflict.

The synagogue, a place of conflict. It was Sabbath at the synagogue. A man with a withered hand was there. Did the Pharisees plant him? They WANTED Jesus to heal him so they could catch him on a clear law violation and arrest him. They didn't appreciate his new ideas, unmatched authority and popularity.

Jesus made the show. He called the man up and stared the Pharisees down. It's beautiful how he put it. I paraphrase, "What do you think? Is it okay if I do something good on the Sabbath or do I have to do something bad?" He had the power to heal. Jesus was thinking that surely the Sabbath was given by God to promote life. Jesus could give this guy life. Surely it wasn't bad to heal this guy. On the other hand if he didn't heal this guy wouldn't that be bad? Wouldn't he be doing evil by withholding what good he could give? He stepped it up another notch, "I can save this guys life today or not (by keeping your tradition) and let him stay in death. What do you say?" The eyes locked and the tension was heavy.

They kept there mouths shut. Jesus had clearly laid the issue out and they wouldn't answer. He got angry. He looked around at them and was ANGRY. How could they protect there little party at the expense of God's clear desire. This guy's life was at stake and they were missing it. He was angry and sad at their hardness of heart. These men were unmoved by the presentation of raw human need when it came against their world.

Jesus healed the guy and the Pharisees went out right away to call a meeting with the politicians to figure out how to kill Jesus. They were through.

Then Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea. The sea. That's where the crowds were. Jesus was not afraid. He didn't skip the church service because of the big bad Pharisees. He was cramped there. He was always being "watched" and the space was small. He broke custom and went out by the ocean. Huge crowds came out from everywhere. He got a boat from his disciples to push out into the water a little bit because he was almost crushed.

Here was a little bit more freedom and a little bit more room. That's why he got out of the synagogue. It fit him better.

I was thinking about this the other day. What if the school system is like the synagogue of Jesus' day? There are many who need training in Kingdom service. Is the current seminary and Bible school set-up like the synagogue or is it like the sea. Can all those who need to come fit? Are the real leaders of the church able to come during school with jobs and families? What about expense? Are the real leaders of the church able to find a way? Are the seminaries and school systems supporting Jesus' ideas and people?

If not we may find him withdrawing quickly and strategically to find himself where he is not shut down and where the people can all come.

Look in China. Look in India. Look in Africa. Look in Latin America. There are millions of Christians springing up. Are they being led? Absolutely! Their leaders are not quitting church planting, business-running and family-having to go to a campus for some classes that run 9-5. They are pressing ahead by the sea because Jesus is there. Let's find ourselves among the disciples and go away with them.

thanks to RT France for his excellent commentary on Mark's gospel. It is clear, readable and enjoyable. You'll come away loving Jesus more.

December 04, 2006

Family Baskets

A family is like a wire-wicker basket.
First, it is holey. A wire-wicket basket, by design, is holey. This is what it means to be wire-wicker. Families are also holy by design. They belong to God and godly families are available to him for whatever he wants.
Second, it is full of things. Baskets are meant to hold things. Families also hold people. People can be loosely associated, but this is very different. Baskets often jumble things together that are not very similar. For example, we have a basket with a picture frame, a clothes-pin, a CD, adhesive envelope seals, letters, bills, and trash in it. These are all dissimilar yet held together by the wire-wicker basket. Families are often holding many things together that otherwise would not be together. Is this by design?
Third, wire-wicker baskets are available in different sizes and shapes. Families also come in different sizes and shapes. Some are large enough for motorcycles, although this kind of basket might more properly be called a "cage."
Fourth, a wire-wicker basket is strong and paintable. Families like-wise are very strong and have endured as an institution since they began. They recieve different looks from people to people and from age to age.
To conclude, wire-wicker baskets are similar to families so much so that apart from some key differences, they are the same. Thank you.

In case you're reading to closely....JUST KIDDING!
No, really. Families are an amazing, wonderful, life-sustaining kind of thing from God. WE should work to uphold our own and other people's.

October 17, 2006

Woo HOO!

I'm excited because Marci and I will be taking a trip down to Texas this Thanksgiving holiday.

This is no ordinary trip. We will be assembling a team of people and ministering the gospel while we're there. My parents are involved with Hope Community Church in Plano, TX. We asked if we could use their building to host a 12 hour prayer meeting. They said yes!

Well. What can you do for 12 hours? Friday noon to midnight will be packed full of opportunities to engage the Lord. There will be teaching, music, prayer promptings and ministry time. Our hope is that people will be able to meet the Lord in a deeper way.

I like an illustration that Dallas Willard gave in Spirit of the Disciplines. He noted that you may dump a cup of water on your head every day for your whole life, but never get clean. Over the course of time those cups add up to thousands of gallons, but the daily effect is minimal. You just don't get clean. It takes a certain volume and intensity to break through in certain things. We think it's like that for certain things in the Kingdom as well.

We want to provide an opportunity and some understanding for those who might not otherwise experience something like this to expose themselves to the Lord.

More to follow...

October 11, 2006

God in a Body

God is invisible. He doesn't have a body. He also is everywhere at once...until you read your Bible.

Re-read Genesis chapter 3.

Notice that Adam and Eve heard God coming. He was walking in the cool of the evening.


What is this? God in a body? There are several surpirsing things in the first part of Genesis that show God invading time and space in a marked way. They are called theophanies and several of these appearances are in the form of a human body.

Read Genesis 18.

These things are NOT abnormal. Our strange Greek philosophical idea about God has led us to skim over some things that the Bible says about God. The Hebrews had no issue about these stories. The Hebrews were more concerned with WHO God is rather than WHAT God is. The Greeks saw it reversed.

The Hebrews want to know if God is angry, or close, or trustworthy.

The Greeks want to know if his being changes, or if he is omniscient.

These are overly simple, but the point is made. Different cultures ask different questions. If we want to read the words of the Bible, the Jewish Bible, it would help us to learn the questions the Hebrew had.

Who is God we begin to ask. What does he do? We find a God who early on was close to his people, communicating and even eating with them. This is wonderful.

October 08, 2006

The Lord's Prayer

I've been experimenting with actually praying the Lord's prayer. His guys saw him praying and then said to themselves, "He really seems to get answers..."

They asked, "Could you teach us to pray?"

This is a beautiful thing to me because the disciples are REGULAR people like I am a regular people. They asked if it was possible for them to be taught to pray in some way that measured upto what they saw in Jesus.

Jesus answers, "Yes, say this..."

The rest of what he said is now called the Lord's Prayer. It actually works as a prayer. You can go to CCEL.org and pull up a massive 238 pages on the Lord's Prayer by Thomas Watson, a Puritan concerned to teach people the "basics".

I'm in love with the idea of actually learning to pray in such a way that Jesus' otherwise outrageous statements become true of my life.

"Ask anything in my name and it will be given to you."

September 11, 2006

I'm Back.


It's been a while,
but I'm back with some words
It's like 70's style
NOT like milky curds.

Thank You.
Basically what I'm saying is that the absence has not issued in a stinky chunk style milk that should be thrown away. What I do mean is that like seventies style clothing I've kinda come back around with a Post Gen X twist.

What do you think?

About Me

Someimtes I feel like I was made for distant lands and agricultural awareness. You know, the kind of guy that carries a machete and fights bad guys all in the name of God.