Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rest and Reflection

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
~ Soren Kierkegaard

We all need times of rest and reflection.  In the absence of my posts I believe you can draw the conclusion that I have been in a long period of reflection.  Reflection as to what I am doing with my life and whether or not what I have been doing has been pleasing to the Lord.  I don't seek to find satisfaction for the self because there is no fruit in that.  I do seek though to please the Lord fully with the life He has so graciously given me.  That is why, like Kierkegaard, I find it important to take time and understand the past so that we can live the fullest forward.

I have been home from Ireland for a little over a month now and I have been seeking out the Lord on my past couple years and what He has for me next.  It has been an amazing time of reflection on what I have been able to do for the Lord and how He has so deeply changed me from the man I was into the man that I am and am to be.  

As I gazed deeply into the heart of the Lord what I saw was a loving God who cares about my own hearts desires when they bring glory to His name.  My desire for a long time has been to move back to Portland, the city I love, to minister and war over this beautiful place.  The timing for my return couldn't be better as the Lord has opened numerous doors for me here already and I have finally returned with eyes that no longer see only the strongholds over this city but rather eyes that see the mighty work God is and has been doing here.

The place is Portland, the time is now, and revival is always a reality because the Lord is always in control.  I have no answers to specifics of what it will look like for me here and now... but I believe whole-heartily that the Lord has me here now for a reason and I will find that purpose and go after it with all that I have... and when I can go no further, I will rely on His strength to complete the race.  I give great thanks on this thanksgiving to the Lord who has blessed my heart by finally calling me home to Portland, and I will not let a moment slip by where I don't war over this city to come to know the Lord.  Let the adventures begin... this is going to be an amazing journey.

Please if you have any questions for me about all of this I would love to take the time to fill you in... I pray you all have a blessed thanksgiving and I hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coffee, Journal, and Time

I stare at a half empty cup of coffee that has gone from rather inviting on such a frigid Irish morning to dull and lifeless as the foam begins to harden over the top. My journal sits beside it beckoning me to fill it's empty lines, but the words just won't come. So instead I grab my computer and begin to vent upon technology the whirlwind of confusion that clouds my thinking.

How could two months pass by in the blink of an eye? When did the slender waist of the hour glass forget to keep it's shape? Do I have the right to be angry with her? Well of course I do... It's not my job to keep track, it's hers! But what if she didn't lose shape? What if I just began to do what comes naturally? What if I just became comfortable not paying attention? Is that what happened?

I can't blame her, I can't blame anyone but myself. Our time is given to us as a gift. We choose whom to give it to and what to give it to. I should really keep track of mine shouldn't I? Why do I pay such close attention to my money, my clothes, my material possessions but not my time? Ask me at anytime where my wallet is and I can tell you the exact pocket in my jacket and when I put it in there. Ask me where my computer is and I can tell you what room, what corner, and what I used it for the last 20 times I turned it on. Ask me about my time and the haze sets in slowly. My eyes become glazed over as I strain to recover the details of my currency exchange with the hour glass of life. Isn't our time in this life the most precious commodity we have been given? Is it really so easy to forget that our bank account of life has a set limit that we cannot deposit into? So why am I so careless with my time?

I sit here this morning and stumble over the right words to paint a the picture I wish you to see. Our time is so precious and we should take care of it. We should spend it on others and most importantly on our relationship with God. Wait a minute, that's it right there!

Something begins to crack the rigid pose of my face right now. Something begins to brighten the room as I generously smile at those around me because it has dawned on me.

No we cannot deposit more time into our account of life, but neither can we overdraw it! Our currency is good for everything and there is no limit on how much we can spend daily. Our choices are to do nothing and not spend it, or do something with it. Our Father in heaven gave us a set amount of days to use our account, but not a set limit that we could spend daily! As I realize that I sometimes forget how precious my time is, I will not let a few bad days of ignorance ruin a lifetime of abundant giving.

One of the greatest gifts we can give is our time because it is something we can't get back. Each moment is unique and non-refundable, once spent it is spent. So let us spend it wisely and today give as much as possible to God and to others! I want to look back one day and say, "that was a life well spent." Invest in love, laughter, hope, faith and the things that the Bible says will last for eternity. You only have one account, what will you spend it on today?

The cup of coffee has been drained and the vents in my mind have almost fully cleared the haze of confusion. I think I'm almost ready to take the pen to my journal now. I see more clearly that these two months in Ireland have truly been spent wisely and the smile that began to crack just moments ago gleams so brightly that the curiosity in the room has grown larger than the room itself. I can hear the thoughts from the strangers facial expressions seeking to know what could possibly make a person smile so selfishly. Here's a little secret they don't know that I will let you in on (and probably them too). My smile has become unending and impossible to mask because I realize that for two months we as a corporate body have invested in the most important product a man can spend his time on. For two months we have been investing in the eternal salvation of others... And here in Ireland... Business is booming! I can't refrain now, involuntary giggling has began to protrude through my mouth!

Ya... I'm ready to take the pen to my journal now :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reflect and Respond

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
~William Blake

My birthday was yesterday and while I was taking some time to myself the Lord started reminding me of everything that has happened this past year.  As I sat there thinking about this, I realized that I don't take enough time to reflect on my life, and time.  This is something that I believe we all need to do more of, because something that has become so evident to me is that as we grow older, time flies by faster and faster.  

I realized yesterday that this last year went by in the blink of an eye.  I could not believe everything I had done and how most of it, though a while back, seemed like it just happened yesterday.  This thought doesn't scare me, but it does make me think about how I need to change my mindset about life and the daily choices that I make.  I don't want to be 70 one day and look back finally just to realize that I missed so much and didn't do all of the things the Lord offered to me.  Instead I want to be 70 and realize that I didn't miss a beat, I didn't say no to anything the Lord asked of me, and I don't have any regrets because I lived life to the fullest.

In order to get to this place, it begins with our day to day reflection and choices that come into view from this reflection.  I believe that as we come to the alter of the Lord daily, we must ask, what He has for us today and then we must ask what we missed from Him yesterday so that tomorrow we don't miss the same things.  I don't want to live in the past, nor do I want to worry about the future... but I want to fully live today, which is done when we honor the past, prepare for the future, and see/live in the now.

In this place of daily reflection we must let our mind be transformed by the Lord so that our decisions line up with the plan God has for us... Only in this place of alignment will we truly be able to say in the end, "I wouldn't change a thing."  I don't know about you, but when my time comes I want the Lord to hold me in His arms and say, "well done my good and faithful son, I wouldn't change a thing."  Because when our heavenly Father says that to us, it means we lived in the fullness of what He planned for us.  

This cannot be done on our own.  It can only be seen and grasped when we live a life of complete reliance on the Lord.  The place where Jesus sits on the throne of our heart and we lay it all down at His feet, the place where we say to Him, "I'm all in."  I had a pastor from a church in Colorado ask me what the phrase "all in" meant to me on the missions field and this is what I said because it has to do with coming to the alter daily.

"To be all in means to be 'all out' of the way of Lord in my life.  It is the place we all should be and try to be, but the place we fail to be daily... And so shines forth the beauty of His grace.  To be 'all in' means that my life will reflect the Word and the Spirit daily, truth and power, none of which is my own but Christ in me who shines forth.  Oh how I wish I was truly 'all in' and yet even living on the mission field, I regret to say I don't fully know what it means... but I am learning what it means daily."  

We must reflect on life and our time daily so that we can make changes accordingly.

Be all in today!
Come to the alter daily and ask,
"What do you have for me today Lord?"
"What did I miss yesterday?"
Then learn and live in His GRACE and LOVE

On a side note, as you may have noticed I have been taking a slight break from continuing on the "Delusions of Degradation" series.  The reason being that I have not had a lot of time to really put my thoughts together in the form of a well articulated blog based off of the revelations I have been receiving during my times of study.  I don't want to rush this series and I want to make sure that the thoughts I put down are well thought out and well worded.  I will be stateside in a couple weeks and at that point I will be able to take the time needed, so it might be best that I hold off until then.  Thank you and love you all.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ireland Scouting Trip Update (Video)

This is my first video blog but I thought it would be nice to change things up a bit.  I hope you enjoy and if you have any feedback what so ever or any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you for taking the time to hear what all I will be doing over this next month in Ireland.

(If you want to view the video on a larger scale click the video itself once it starts playing and it will take you to

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Journey of Faith (Ireland update)

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."
~Mother Teresa

It was during a time of prayer that we decided as a team the Lord was calling us on a "faith journey."  A faith journey really just means that we decided to take three days and be lead by the Lord as to where we were to go and what we were to do in those days, completely relying on Him without our own planning or preparation.  We felt that the Lord wanted us to follow Saint Patrick's Trail and hit some of the significant points on this trail, and that the key to our guidance was to worship the Lord everywhere He took us.  What we were to do at these places other than worship and where we were to lay our head at night, we didn't know.  Needless to say we left having no idea what we were getting into and were so expectant of the Lord to provide... and as always He went above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

Day one began in a town called Armagh in Northern Ireland and we felt that we were to visit two different Cathedrals of Saint Patrick, one of them being Protestant and the other being Catholic.  At the Protestant Cathedral we felt we were to worship outside in their garden and this was really significant to our journey because our first worship was to be in a garden and the first fellowship/worship between man and God was in a garden.  With our spirits filled up by the planning of the Lord, we went on over to one of the most beautiful Cathedrals I have ever been in.

It was here at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh that we first began to notice the favor of the Lord.  At this beautiful Catholic Cathedral we were allowed as "Protestants" to worship in the sanctuary with an acoustic guitar.  I don't know how many of you understand the favor of this, but this just simply does not happen and yet God made a way for it.  I don't even know how to describe the emotion that I felt as we began to lift our voices to the Lord in the midst of such a breath-taking Cathedral, but it was one I will never forget.

As if this wasn't enough we continued on our faith journey through Newry and did some worship there before ending day one in Newcastle, or so we thought this was where we were going to stay.  When we arrived at Newcastle, Jaimie began to contact every bed and breakfast possible with no vacancy being the only response.  Eventually she contacted a place right outside of Newcastle that just so happened to be a Christian center but they weren't taking anyone either.  By the grace of God though, the owner of this center asked who we were.  After explaining our situation to him and telling him a bit about us he decided that they would house us, but he wasn't sure if they had rooms for us because of a local Bible college that was staying there for the week.  We decided this is where the Lord wanted us that night and even if we were to sleep on some floors, at least we had a roof over our head.  God is so much bigger than we understand, and when we pulled up to the center it was not just any old building... it was the Castlewellan Castle!

The owner began to tell us as we arrived that for some reason the Bible college had left one wing of the castle open and he began to explain that He knew it was the Lord having ordained our stay before the beginning of time.  Needless to say not only did we stay there that night, but we were invited and decided to stay there both nights of our journey and not only that... they allowed us to stay in the beautiful castle above for free!  Like I said, God's favor and provision had fallen into our laps on this faith journey and for good reason.  So much else happened here but it would take too long to go into detail about it, so if you want to know more please ask cause I would love to share.

Day two began and while it was super significant too, it would take forever to explain the whole journey so I am just going to continue picking the main points that stand out right now (again if you want to hear more I would love to share so please do ask).  On day three we were to end our journey at the end of Saint Patrick's trail which was in a place called Bangor Northern Ireland.  It was here that God's favor continued to pour out and it was here that the perfect completion to our three day faith journey came to fruition.

We showed up at the doorstep of Bangor Abbey, which is rich in missionary history, in the pouring rain and the doors were locked.  Knocking on the front door we found no response until the director of the abbey just so happened to walk out the side door as he was going home for the day.  He saw us in the rain and invited us in for a quick chat.  After we explained who we were and what we were doing he decided to give us a quick tour at the end of which we asked if it would be alright for us to worship in the abbey.  He agreed and told us that he had to leave for a bit but trusted us alone in the abbey to worship (which again never happens for a director of one of the oldest abbey's in Ireland to leave a group of strangers in there alone).  Not only this but after a conversation with some of the team, he decided that he would come back and perform a private communion ceremony with us using liturgy from Iona (which is the community that produced the book of Kells, highly significant to missional history)! 

Right there front and center of the above picture is where we were able to celebrate communion as a family and it was one of the most heartfelt Eucharists that I have ever been able to partake in.  Again it is so hard for me to put into words the emotions that were stirring inside of me at the taking of the bread and the wine, the significance of which I will never be able to describe with worldly language.  But there is no doubt in my mind that communion as a family on the third day of our faith journey, in one of the oldest missional communities in Ireland, was the perfect end.  What started in a garden, ended in a garden... and for us what started in a garden, ended in remembrance of what Jesus accomplished in that garden.  I will never forget what all the Lord blessed us with in those three days... and it still wasn't even fully over because our God is one of detail to the good desires on the hearts of His children.

One of the final blessings that the Lord allowed us to be a part of before our journey was over, was the opportunity to do something in this abbey that had been on my "bucket list" for ages.

If you take a look up at the back center of the abbey you can see over 200,000 pipes that are a part of an organ that is almost 1,000 years old.  For so long on my bucket list has been the desire to play a real organ in a Cathedral, and never in my life did I think it would be one as ancient and significant as this one... that's right, the favor of the Lord prevailed once again and I was able to play that very organ you see depicted in the picture above!

We ended our time and back at the base in Rostrevor we debriefed our journey by asking ourselves what the Lord had spoke to us at every place we worshiped.  While I won't write down the significant revelations that had been placed upon my heart during each session, I want you to know that one of the greatest things I did take away is this... The Lord loves His children dearly and truly cares about the details and desires of our hearts.  He truly desires for us to be cared for deeply and all He asks of us is to place our faith and obedience in Him by listening to His voice and then walking it out.  God is good all the time.

If you have any more specific questions about this three day faith journey, I would love to share more with you, but for now I will leave it at this.  Place your faith and trust in Him and enjoy the ride.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Delusion of Degradation (part 3)

"Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
~ Oscar Wilde

To what might Oscar Wilde referring... our IDENTITY or lack there of.  So many people live in the shadow of others or let others define who they are and how they should live.  They live in the wake of others experiences and others revelation... They know not who they are, who they are meant to be, or even what they could become.

If you have been following along in this series "The Delusion of Degradation," I have described in the first two parts about a season I felt called into by the Lord of diving deep into the whole Word of God to find out why bad things happen, who are the poor, widowed, orphaned, and oppressed, and anything else revolving around these issues.  Not even halfway through the first book of the Bible (Genesis) I began to discover the source for all of this and it is something I began to tap into during Part 2.  

To recap quickly what I am referring to, in Part 2 I described how man was never meant to be the judge between good and evil, and yet when man chose to eat from the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil," we tapped into something that wasn't ours.  To go deeper into this, I have began to understand that we as people, when we took in the knowledge which wasn't meant to be ours, we actually began to take on an IDENTITY that was never meant to be ours.

The root issue that I have began to see in the Word of God between man and God and good versus evil is the issue of identity.  This idea struck me so deeply that I have began to see it's exposure in the Word of God rather frequently, and I now believe this is the main thing we must focus on to answer and understand the questions that fueled this search in the first place.  It is when we are not walking in the identity that God gave us that we begin to walk in the path which was not intended for us.  It is also when we begin to be deceived about the identity of God that we begin to walk away from the truths of life.  

I strongly believe that when we discover our original design from God, which is our true identity in Christ, and when we truly begin to see God for who He is in His fullness, we will begin to see the goodness of God and His blessings flourish on this earth.  I have seen the truth of this already many times in the Word and in my own life, and I know that as we continue this search it will become even more evident to us all.  But before I begin sharing these things, I want to end here for a time of self reflection.  I strongly encourage you to question the things I have just spoken of and reflect on your own experience, your own life, and what you are reading in the Word to see if you find truth in this.  

I don't want this series to be my own revelation from God or my own reflections.  I want your input, your questions, and your discussion.  I strongly encourage you to reflect on what has been said and ask the questions, share what's on your heart when you think of these issues and let us walk in true fellowship (which the Bible refers to as iron sharpening iron) as we discover the truths about life.  Please contact me on my web page and write feedback or questions or even at the bottom of this blog if you have clicked the link that took you to the Blogger website.  However you want to contact me, I want to hear your thoughts.  I love you and thank you for continuing to follow my blog, I miss you all.

"We know what we are.  But not what we may be."
~ William Shakespeare

Friday, September 2, 2011

Focus on Him

1 Peter 5:6-7 "And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble 
yourself under His mighty hand by casting all of your cares on Him because
He care for you."

We have hit the ground running and what a blessing it has been. What have we done? Well on our own we have done nothing except worship the Lord everywhere we go in the city and just ask the Holy Spirit what He wants us to do. What is the result? We have been blessed to see two lost souls come to know the Lord on the first day and have been able to build relationships in all of the places we have gone to minister to the Lord.

 It is crazy the results and the beauty of life when we take ourselves out of the equation and just focus on God. On Sunday we were led to a small church by the Lord and it just so happened the church is connected with the community we are going to in Northern Ireland, not to mention that this church has recently been focusing on missions and just a week into this, the Lord brings them a missions team from America out of no where with no previous knowledge. God is so much bigger than we can imagine and so much more committed to us and this world than we are or ever will be.

One of the craziest things that we have been able to do so far is what I would call prophetic mapping for intercession in which we asked the Lord where in the city He wanted us to go and what He wanted us to do (we should always be strategic in our times of intercession to be most effective, and this is just one way of doing that). This led us to a boat used during the potato famine that brought hope to a hurting people and to two Cathedrals which were key for releasing the sound of heaven amongst the land (which happened to be a word we got in Hawaii) and for planting the original missional communities led by St. Patrick, whose model we are using for the community we felt led to come here and plant. It has been such a blessing to arrive at the land with no plan other than to minister to the Lord and within the first week He has continuously showed us that He has a plan for us and will guide us daily.

There is so much I can say about this first week but I honestly don't even know where to start and I am super overwhelmed by the goodness of God so I would just be continuing to ramble haha... If you would like to hear more please leave a comment or email me and I will gladly share more, but just know that God is so good and wherever He leads you, it will be the place you are meant to be. It will not always be easy (and it's not always easy here), but it will always be worth it! Trust in the Lord and know that He is faithful. I love you all, be in touch!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Delusion of Degradation (part 2)

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for,
forgotten by everybody,
I think that is a much greater hunger,
a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."
~Mother Teresa

We are deceived greatly by our own judgement of the world and others. We put labels upon people as "poor" or "needy" because they don't have some of the same "luxuries" we have and yet their self value shows riches beyond measure... nor do they call themselves needy because the Lord has already provided them with everything that sustains life now and forevermore.

In "part 1" I said I would explain the title of this series, and this is what I intend to do by shedding a little light on human fallibility and where things first went wrong. We are deceived or delussioned as to what deems someone or something as part of a lower , impoverished, helpless class (This happens because our judgment is not the same as God's and we must not live by ours yet we do all of the time). What we must understand, ESPECIALLY as westerners, is that we don't always know what is best for someone else and money doesn't solve everything. As a matter of fact a lot of times it hurts things (for a great book on this you should read "Giving Wisely" by Jonathan Martin). But why then is it so easy for us to judge others and label them, because instinctively we all do it? We look at a "third world country" and think that because they don't have all of the material things we do that they are poor and need money to help and be satisfied. The funny thing is that we usually classify them as poor and the reality is, is that they are truly more rich in spirit than we are. They usually have happier and more satisfied lives than we do (granted I am not saying that there aren't places in great need of food and help because that would be foolish. But I am saying that a lot of the places we have judged as in need of our help, really only need us not to intervene because we can hurt the situation. Again read Jonathan Martin's book for more understanding). We must understand this point to move on because if we don't see who are really the poor, widowed, orphaned and oppressed through God's eyes, then we won't know who were are supposed to be helping.

Where then did our false perceptions come about and where did things go wrong? In the beginning we see that God created everything including man and woman, the first to be Adam and his wife Eve. In the garden called Eden (pleasure), they lived in perfect communion with God and each other. They were instructed that they could enjoy everything in the garden except for the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Why was the tree there if they couldn't eat from it, most people ask? Because without the option to not love God, they could never fully choose to love God. This is a whole different discussion though so let us not get off topic)

The tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil was one that was to give a knowledge that was never meant to be possessed by anyone but God. Only God was to be JUDGE between what was good and what was evil because only God in all of His perfect, just, pure existence could judge rightly. The moment man ate from that tree they gained the knowledge of what was good and what was evil but they did it in disobedience therefore tainting the knowledge itself. From this fallen place, man now believes they have the right to deem what is good and what is bad yet they are doing it through the blurry lens of fallible human error and sin. (This is the shortened version of what this all means)

Now we have man thinking they have the "right" to judge all things from a place of dishonor when only God was to judge from a throne of perfection being the creator of all things and therefore the only one who understands all things. In this false judgmental state we now look at things and let remarks leave our mouth such as, "they would be better off if they owned this, or lived this way," when we really don't know what is best because we don't see the whole layout of a persons life from beginning to end. We really don't know what is best for others which is why we are told not to judge. Even Jesus when He was on the earth said that during this time, "I have not come to this earth to judge it, but to save it." Later on in the story of existence we know He will come to judge from the place of honor being seated as royalty in heaven and being God incarnate... but if Jesus wasn't here to judge, why would we think we have the right to? We don't plane and simple.

Because of the "FALL" and man's existence now through original sin, we need to begin this journey through God's word and not our own understanding. We must start from a place of knowing we can't judge on our own who is poor, oppressed, needy, and orphaned because we can't see the full picture. So let us stop, and like Mother Teresa understand there is "greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat." Reflect on these words and begin to remove the judgement of others and even ourselves as we begin to seek God about His righteous judgement of all things.

"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is
the most terrible poverty."
~Mother Teresa

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Delusion of Degradation (part 1)

Delusion; a false belief or opinion
Degradation; a decline to a lower condition, quality, or level

"The curse of poverty has no justification in our age.
It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization,
when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundance animal life around them.
The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have been struck deep with the reality of social injustices such as poverty, oppression, and alienation. The word of God goes through and through about the poor, widowed, orphaned, neglected and oppressed and yet I have realized that I don't truly know what God says about such things. This has lead me to my most recent endeavor that I would like to ask you to journey with me through.

God is way too big for us to understand fully, but we can still know Him more and more as we go into the word and learn about His character. Recently I felt that I wanted to do something I have never done before. I have decided to pick a certain aspect of who God is and really begin to focus on that character trait as I read through the whole Bible, seeing what His whole word says about focused characteristics of God. For two weeks I asked the Lord what part of His character did He want me to understand more of first (since this is something I will continue to do my whole life). After patiently waiting the Lord began to break my heart for the poor, the oppressed, and the neglected.

I saw myself asking the same questions that I have heard from non-believers such as "why do bad things happen to good people," and "why doesn't God just break in and fix things Himself?" These are not bad questions to ask and I truly believe that I have some good answers for this, but I want to know more deeply what God really says to these questions and why oppression, poverty, and such things still exist.

I believe Dr. King was right when he said, "the curse of poverty has no justification in our age." It is time this and other injustices stop... but in order for this to happen we must understand why they started in the first place and how they are correctly dealt with according to God. Only through the JUSTICE of God are the INJUSTICES of the world going to end!

So begin this journey with me as I start in the beginning and travel through the entire Bible understanding God's heart for the poor, widowed, orphaned, oppressed, and understanding how God says we are to deal with such injustices. This is going to take some time, but I truly believe that by the end we will understand the heart of God more, and in doing so we will be able to come against the injustices of the world in a more precise and powerful manner.

This is "part 1" of many posts to come about what God reveals as we go through the word of God. There may be other posts here and there about separate revelations that come to me and I will also continually keep you updated on my life as our team leaves in 8 days to go plant a missional community in Ireland. But know that this topic, "The Delusion of Degradation," will continue on so please journey with me as God reveals wisdom and knowledge on this. Please also during this time leave comments and messages about what you discover as well as we go through the word of God together. (By the way, I will explain the title in "part 2" so continue to follow my blog)

Isaiah 1:16-17 "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless,
defend the orphan, Plead for the widow."

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Waiting on the Train

"God what is wrong with you?"

"God where are you?"

How often in the midst of persecution and struggle do we ask God, "where are you? What is wrong with you?" First and foremost we must answer these questions and the answer is much more simple than you might think.

There is nothing wrong with God and He is always with us!

There will always be hardships in our lives but we must know the truth of who God is and walk in faith that He is who He says He is. God promises that He is always with us and that He will never leave us. God is perfect, just, and right, therefore, there is nothing wrong with Him. Just because we don't have an answer to a situation does not mean that God does not have the answer. We tend to limit the knowledge of God based on our own knowledge and this is not the type of thinking we need during hard times. Instead we must meditate on the truth and a big part of the truth is this.

1 Corinthians 10:13 - "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you
can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you
can stand up under it."

Now you may be wondering how temptation is related to hard times or persecution and this is what I have come to realize...

...In the midst of persecution or hard times, we have the TEMPTATION
to think that life is all about ME and therefore our response is,
"Why is this happening to ME?; or I deserve better."
(otherwise known as the temptation of pride)

Do you see what happens there? The focus comes off of the Lord. We take Him off of the throne and put ourselves up there saying that I deserve more or I deserve better. So we must rewind and remember that if we really believe what we say we believe, then this life isn't about me and I have already received more from God than I will ever deserve. The order of priority according to the Bible is God #1, others #2, and then myself falls somewhere down the line after that. It really isn't about me, it is always about God and others.

Self-pity is a form of pride and we are called to be humble. At the point of being humble and not proud we see the grace of God poured out. Both in the book of Peter and James we see God say that He will "humble the proud and pour out grace upon the humble." Grace is a train that the humble must wait to board in God's timing.

In times of persecution and struggle we must humble ourselves before the Lord, remember that He is always with us to get us beyond the temptations that come against us, and believe that the God of everything will judge righteously as He says He will. Grace is a train that will take us away from persecution and to the Lord whenever we truly need it. He is the conductor and has the timing. Be honest with the Lord but do not let self-pity sink in. Let this be our conversation with the Lord during those hardships...

... "Papa I don't think I can do this on my own."
"My child, when does the train pull into the station?"
"When the conductor says it will."
"Yes and amen. I control the train of grace, and my timing is always perfect. Be patient and humble for I have rescued you from the darkness."

Let us endure pain and suffering together as a loving family in Christ
knowing that the Lord has the answers and the timings.
A life of faith in the grace of God truly is enough
and the answer is always yes and amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

As He walks into the Room

"A religious person goes through the motions without Jesus."

How often do we lose sight of Him?

I heard a story once of a group of leaders in YWAM going intently after God to find out where He wanted them to lead their teams for outreach. After some incredible worship they went deep into a time of crying out to God to reveal locations for where He wanted to send them. They cried out and cried out, pressing in harder and harder until one of them screamed out and all came to a halt. Tears streaming down the young woman's face she soberly uttered the words "stop, stop... we have to stop."

Shocked and worried the rest of the group stared at this young woman desperately wanting to know what was wrong. One of them approached and asked the question that was lingering in the tension. "What is wrong?"

Trying to regain her composure she looked at the other leaders and released the most heart-breaking phrase a follower of Jesus could ever hear... "In the midst of our own agenda, trying to get God to meet our desires, Jesus just walked through the room and not one of us noticed Him!"

How often do we come to church, or prayer, or even worship with our own agenda? How often do your spiritual disciplines revolve around yourself and what you can get out of them instead of Jesus and what He wants for you to get out of them? Did you know that one of the greatest releases of the Holy Spirit upon mankind came when a group of believers went after Jesus' heart without an agenda?

We see in the beginning of the book of Acts that in the upper room, the apostles and other believers came together to worship and pray without a time constraint, without an agenda, and without selfish pursuits. They had no idea what they were waiting for or when it would come, they simply gathered together to truly go after Jesus because He, at the end of the gospels, had asked them to. We tend to want the "upper room experience" without living out the "upper room lifestyle." I have mass conviction in this area because it is something I have fallen into all too often. We must learn to pursue the Lord and pursue the spiritual disciplines without our own agenda and without taking our eyes off the Lord. Get His heart and let that be your guide... we have the greatest guide possible dwelling inside and that is the Holy Spirit. Stop and listen to what He is telling you to do, when He is telling you to do it.

Let Him be the one who sits on the throne of your heart
and you will never want to leave His presence...

Because at the end of the day, it is ALL about JESUS!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Circuit Riders

"And what be your payment for this endeavor?"

"Grace here and glory hereafter if he is faithful!"
~Francis Asbury

I am sorry that I have been so delayed in updating you all as to what I am doing but I have never been so busy and consumed with the pursuit of God as I have been now. For those who don't know, I am a part of something that has never been done here in YWAM in over it's 50 years of existence. We have began a week back what is known as the "School of the Circuit Riders." Let me give you a quick intro into the who the original circuit riders were before I go on.

John Wesley (founder of the Methodist movement) had embarked upon America in the beginning with other Methodist evangelists who became known as the Circuit Riders (including people such as Paul Revere, Francis Asbury, and many more). Their pursuit was to save the lost, refine the saved, and train up both groups to continue this move. During their time almost all of the population of America came to know Jesus Christ and have an intimate relationship with Him (one in which their desperation upon His presence and love for God dictated their every move). They were devoted unto death of this pursuit seeing as how many of them died before the age of 30 due to the grueling lifestyle of riding on horseback the same circuits non-stop preaching the gospel everywhere they went always. While I could go on forever about this, what I want to share is where we are at now.

About a year ago the Lord began to spread a world wide message that said the "Circuit Riders would ride again!" Well here we are training up a Gideon army of 300 to do this very thing spoken about. I tell you I have never been a part of something more intent on the pursuit of God and the pursuit of Revival. That is what we are seeing happen at this very moment and if you believe with me in faith, I tell you then that the greatest revival we have ever seen is about to sweep the earth including America. We will become a nation who pursues the heart of God again and it is happening now. I wish I had time to tell you everything that is already happening here in Kona, on the mainland, and around the world... but I don't have the time so I ask that you believe with me in faith that God is moving in a way we have never seen and that Revival is happening NOW!!! (if you want to hear more about what God is already doing call or email me and I would love to share the amazing testimonies)

I ask that as all of you think about my time here over the next four weeks before I take off to Ireland to go ride a circuit in Western Europe for over two years, that you would pray faith over all of the nations and believe with me that Revival is now. Over the next four weeks I will be consuming myself in the studies of freedom, revival and salvation because these are the messages that we as the new breed of Circuit Riders are going to carry to all the nations. Please pray aggressively during this time for a path to be made for all who carry Revival including yourself because the battle will be won in the place of intercession and the eternal before we see it in the physical. I love you all and I thank you for being on this adventure of life with me over this past year. It is crazy to think that everything truly just began for me a year ago and look at what God is doing through me now... He is so good and so much bigger than we will ever know.

"Preach faith until you have it; then you will preach it because you have it."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ireland at the End of the Crooked Path

"I looked back down the crooked path and saw the

How did I get here? Have you ever thought like that in your life? I wouldn't be
surprised because I think we all have.

A little over a year ago I felt like God was calling me to take six months out of my life to join YWAM and then go back to working in the lab in Portland. (It's funny how He only shares what we can handle at the time without overwhelming us.) During the first four weeks of YWAM I knew I would be coming back on staff. At this point I called my folks and told them I wouldn't be coming back to work and that I really felt like I would stay in YWAM. Seven weeks into YWAM I had the opportunity to go on staff with two different DTS' (Discipleship Training School), "Awaken" and "Fire and Fragrance." This turned out to be one of the hardest decisions of my life and at the time I didn't know why... but I ended up choosing Awaken, even though I still felt Fire and Fragrance too, not knowing God's full plan for my time in YWAM.

January of this last year I came back to Kona on staff with Awaken. Being one of the few staff here I had the opportunity to work with the school leader of Fire and Fragrance while I waited for things to get going. It's funny how His plan looks crooked to us, yet it is straight according to heaven's perspective. While helping with ministry in Fire and Fragrance I began to see things in my own life that were holding me back, places that the enemy had hold of. I had some leaders pray with me about this and went through a time of strong deliverance in which I was more free to hear from the Lord. The night this happened I had a dream from the Lord in which He instructed me that I was to be a part of this new school called "Circuit Riders." Reluctantly I took this to Andrew the school leader for Awaken and had him pray and see if he felt it was from God. Andrew confirmed this and more by telling me that he felt the Lord was saying for him to release me completely from Awaken. At the time I didn't want to hear this because I "knew" I was supposed to staff Awaken.

Two months ago I went home to Portland for a month or so to gain perspective and I was really loving it hoping and praying that the Lord would bring me back there soon. I truly thought that he was going to bring me back for good in December. Well it turns out that He saw things differently than I.

Upon my return to Kona a month ago I still believed I would do the 5 week "Circuit Rider" school and then jump into my staffing roll with Awaken and lead a team to Ireland (the Lord spoke to me about going to Ireland in February but I figured it was for outreach with Awaken) for three months then return to Portland in December for good. I had it all planned out but was missing what the Lord was saying. I had heard the Lord yes, but not fully... I was still getting in the way of what He was telling me.

Three weeks ago in the midst of unrest and turmoil in my heart, I laid it all down before the Lord and told Him I would do whatever He wanted me to do as long as there was peace and rest in my heart. This is when He laid it all out for me.

He told me I was to go to Ireland... that I was a part of Awaken... that I was to do Circuit Rider... that I would go back to Portland... BUT NOT HOW I PLANNED IT, RATHER HOW HE PLANNED IT!

As you might notice this is the massively condensed version of the story... but all of this to say the following:

I will be going to Ireland after the five weeks of
Circuit Riders for two months and then I will return to Portland.
I will only be in Portland though for a couple months,
at the end of which I will be moving to Ireland for at least 2 years!
I will carry the heart of Awaken to the community that we are planting
out there and I will always be a part of the Awaken family because
it is with them I did my DTS and with their blessing I go out to
pioneer this community centered around the presence of God!

With all of this said, I know that many of you might still have questions and I don't blame you because I shortened this story like you wouldn't believe. So please feel free to email me or call me with any questions you might have about my decision. In light of this decision I really need long-term support both prayerfully and financially so if you are interested please contact me so I can share more of my heart in all of this. I love you all and life is crazy... but living life for God is so very worth it.

Who would have thought that I would be where I am?
Only God can see the beginning, middle, and end... isn't it time
we trust His voice?!?!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Crooked Path

Have you ever felt like God is taking you all over the map with
no real destination or end in sight?

I want to encourage you in these times to grasp the perspective of heaven
and know that God is good all the time.

I too found myself recently in a time like this not knowing where the Lord was taking me. I have now reached the other end and when I look back, everything really does make sense... yet while it was happening I thought the Lord was either contradicting himself or just trying to make me look crazy. The reality is that neither of these two things were or ever will be true.

If there is anything I can really say to you in these times of what might seem to be "the crooked path," it is to just keep following the Lord's voice and know that He sees the beginning, middle, and end all at the same time always. Not only this, but I believe that God really is more committed to the journey than He is to the destination because it is during the journey that He gets to really work on our hearts and it is when we rely on Him the most. From heaven's perspective we see things outside of time and we see why God wants us to experience certain "events" along the way. So it is only from here (heaven's perspective) that we can really understand the crooked paths to really be straight ones in the eyes of God.

So why do I share this with you now? First of all I am sharing this because I want you to know that everyone goes through times in their lives of obedience to the Lord in which we feel that it is unnecessarily crooked until we get to the end. So I want to encourage you that instead of going through these times being bitter toward the Lord, we should all go through them getting everything out of them that the Lord wants while being joyful and knowing that He is truly faithful to His promises and faithful to the end.

Secondly I am sharing this with you to set you up for my next blog in which I am going to take you through a summarized version of the last year in my life and how I ended up where I am now, and where I am going in about seven weeks. Through my testimony I hope you will see the fullness of God's promises and words even when they make no sense to us at the time. I am truly excited to let you into this journey and to let you be a part of where God is now taking me!!! It is truly an exciting time to follow the Lord!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Above Reproach (by Cassidy Green)

A holy calling has been placed on our life,
in this world that lives by grief and strife.
We should live like the holy other,
Jesus wasn't just our better brother.

He's a standard for living that we've failed since the day we came from our mother.
It's time we step up!
It's time we didn't make excuses!
It's time we lived for more!
It's time we get to the core!

I want to uproot these lies,
the things satan so cleverly puts in disguise.
He's infiltrating the youth by sugar coating non-truth.
He's a damned cavity to our tooth!

I won't stand for this anymore,
Lord please break down societies closed door.
We've locked our hearts and lost the key,
it's probably still with that temptress named "pornography."

So just break it down.
We're so tired of being lost,
God we just want to be found.
And once you're in please cultivate the ground,
dig up the roots that choke up that sound...

The sound of your lips that grips our hearts and flips life back around.
Thank you Jesus,
thank you Jesus.

We're facing you again because you broke off the chains of our sin.
As we weep it's the hand of your love that lifts our chin.

There you are Jesus,
we see your shining face again.
Our tears keep falling as we look into your eyes.
But it's not caused by shame anymore,
no we are done with those lies.

I cry now from your sight.
The most beautiful display of love that didn't fight.
You laid your life down for a sinner like me,
You died and rose so that we could be free.

A holy calling has been placed on our life,
in a world that lives by grief and strife.
We should live like the holy other,
the one who sacrificed his life as a loving brother.

So I stay true to this lover,
there won't be any other.
It's time to step up!
It's time we didn't make excuses!
It's time we lived for more...

Remember the man Jesus Christ,
he's worth dieing for.

Please bare your cross,
losing your life for Him isn't loss.
It's all about seeing things from heaven's perspective,
eternity has a way of changing our objective.

Stop living out the mistake filled stories,
instead manifest all of God's glories.
Because a holy calling has been placed on our life.
Bought by Jesus blood we're called to be His wife.

The bride of Christ,
it's eternities greatest heist,
cause he took authority over death and gave us life.

In this world that lives by grief and strife,
I will live like the holy other!
It's time we honor our holy brother,
and live like God is our only lover!

My Apology

Dear Friends and Family,

I write this letter to you because I feel convicted by my attitude towards some of my blogs. I have not been fully committed to those of you who follow this blog because I have not been committed fully to each post that I do. So first and foremost I ask for your forgiveness for not truly putting as much time and effort into articulating the revelations and ideas that I write about. It is not to say that I don't believe in what I write, but I feel as if I have been giving you my supporters the half-hearted shortened version. So again I ask for your apology in this.

With that said I want to let you know that from now on I am going to make sure that I put in the time and effort to fully get across the idea that I am trying to portray. No more taking the short-cut for the sake of time. I want to be fully committed to you as you are fully committed to me. Thank you for supporting me for what has been a year now! Crazy how time flies and know that I am going to update all of you on what my next step is very soon. I miss you all and thank you so much for your prayers and support.

In Him,

P.S. I hope you enjoy some of my poetry above this post that I have decided I am going to start sharing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

God is on the Move

God is on the move... are we?

A couple months ago I had decided that I was going to go home for about five weeks to see family, friends, and go to some weddings. I figured while I was home I would get to rest and just relax but I had no idea that God had other plans.

I have been asking the question a lot lately,

"Where is God in America?"

Foolishly I actually believed that while God is moving in mighty ways around the world He was not moving in America. That was until I reached the mainland. From day one I began to see the hand of God in my family, friends, Church community, and everywhere I went. From the smallest of towns like Albany, to the hardest places like Oregon State University, I saw the hand of God moving in a mighty way.

I believe there is deception in America and the lie is satan saying, "America is a lost cause and God is not moving here." I break this lie off in the name of Jesus!!! I saw God move! I saw lives get impacted by the presence of God, people are getting healed, others are getting set free, and others are entering the eternal glory that comes from becoming an heir to the Kingdom. Enough of this lie that God is not moving in America because He is. The question though is this...

"Are we moving with Him?"

Ask God what your part is in America. If you don't think that He is moving then repent from unbelief and ask for eyes that see the truth. That is not a word of condemnation but one of redemption. I know because that word was spoken over me. God wants to use us in America so let us let Him!

There is a generation rising up that is walking in what has never been seen before! Just open your eyes and you will see the reality of this. The blind are seeing, the deaf are hearing, and I tell you the God given truth...

The dead ARE being RAISED!

Don't ever tell me that the Christian life is boring... it is the most exciting and only lasting thing you could ever be a part of. I cannot apologize if this message is a bold one simply because we cannot sit back any longer. There has to be a sense of urgency in the body of Christ in America. With great revelation comes great responsibility. The truth has been revealed. We are responsible to ask God what our part in this movement looks like. We cannot turn a blind eye any longer... let us go for this with all we have.

I tell you the truth... God is on the MOVE!!! Are you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don't let the End designate our Beginning

Why would you wait till this point?
Why would you wait till when you think the world is going to end to share?
Was this not a mandate for the everyday?
How far does your love reach?

I ask these questions in lite of the recent news and events. We see people thinking that the world is going to end in 2012 and now people think it will end this Saturday. First and foremost these are not my thoughts and beliefs so again this is not an "end time" message. The message that I want to get across rather is something that has been bothering me when I see all of this stuff on the news and hear people talk about the end.

Why would we wait? Why would we as Christians wait until a month or so before we think the world is going to end to start getting serious about sharing the gospel with those who don't believe? Should this not be something that is of high priority in life day in and day out no matter what is happening with the world? Out of the extent of love should we not be sharing with those who don't know how much God loves them and what will happen to those who don't believe? I've quoted this before and I will do it again because I think it is so true and so powerful.

A very popular atheist, Penn from 'Penn and Teller', said, "How much would you have to hate someone if you as Christians truly believe what you say you believe and you didn't share that truth with them? If you really believe that all non-Christians are going to hell, how much do you have to hate them to not at least tell them what you believe?"

How far does your love go?

We as Christians have been forgiven so much and so we have a better understanding (although we don't fully grasp) of the love of God and therefore we should be displaying and sharing this love with everyone we can all of the time. We should not just wait until we think it is the last minute of life as we know it and try to get out there really quick for some "brownie points" with God. Instead we should be doing this all of the time.

Now I am not judging and saying that all of those out there who are proclaiming this to be the end times and sharing the gospel are trying to earn some last minute points with God. I believe that many of them have truly used their lives to share with unbelievers even before this point. And to be honest about it, I do think it is loving that if you really think the world is going to end to take the "last bit of time" and share the gospel with non-believers. But BE CAREFUL that the message is still the true gospel (which could be a doctrinal paradigm to be true to the word and know the exact date; but that is another discussion in itself). The real point of this is don't wait till you think the end is here to share... share every chance you get. I get frustrated when I see an influx of the message simply because we think the end is coming. The truth is our end could come at any moment so why not use every moment for His glory?

To clear up some statements real quick here is my stand-point on everything:
1. I don't think the world is ending this Saturday or 2012
2. I do believe though the earth is groaning for the coming King and we should take such things serious
3. I don't think those preaching the gospel on the streets because they think the world is ending Saturday are bad people at all and I am happy the gospel is getting out, but I hope their message is one of redemption and not damnation
4. I believe we should all be sharing the gospel every chance we get and not wait till "the end"

What in this life are we waiting for to share the love of God?
Don't let the "end" designate our "beginning," share every moment you get!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Confess with your mouth

"Whoever confesses me before men, I will also acknowledge him
before my Father in heaven."
~Matthew 10:32

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,'
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved."
~Romans 10:9

These are not simple words but rather a powerful promise... the only problem is that I believe we have simply lost the reality of true confession. I don't like being the one who says it, but I know it needs to be said.

We are not saved by a cross tattoo on our body nor is it a confession of Christ before men to copy and paste a message on facebook in your news feed saying, "I believe in Jesus." I am not saying that either of these two things are bad within themselves, rather I believe it actually means that you are willing to be held to a higher standard because you have marked yourself for Christ. Don't mark yourself if you are not willing to pay the price.

I say these things because so many times I have taken the easy way out and while I don't believe that being a Christian is supposed to be necessarily a "hard thing," it will make you uncomfortable at times because it goes against all that is "popular" to this world. We are supposed to be living for a kingdom not of this world which means that we truly must stand up for what we believe or else an unbelieving world is only going to continue and see "Christians" as a bunch of hypocrites that can play the part but when push comes to shove they would rather not be uncomfortable.

When you bear a cross on your arm or a tattoo that declares you are a Christian, then you have to live to a standard that represents the reality of a walk with Jesus. If you put up a post on your facebook wall that declares you are a Christian, then your life better reflect that of Christ or we are only continuing to blind the world from the truth. Whatever you declare with your lifestyle, the clothes your wear, the bracelet that says WWJD, the bumper sticker on your car, and even the things we write in a blog... none of these things can replace the fullness of what we are called to. They are not bad things within themselves, but we must realize that such things only hold us more accountable to make our lives look like Christ, they do not replace a life of imitating Christ! If your life and the things you say in public do not reflect the little Christian "trinkets" that we surround ourselves with daily, we are only making the body of Christ look that much more fake and weak.

Until you are willing to live the life of Christ, and profess His truths to this world
with your mouth and actions,
don't decorate the outer-self as if you are...
First comes a life of obedience and love, then the rest will follow.