Sunday, December 18, 2005

Good News!

Well I had some good news today. My good friend and roomate Justin was offered a great job back home in S. Carolina where all of his family is. What makes it even better is that his girlfriend Rachael has decided to go as well (I believe the girlfriend status will change within the year). I'm really excited for them. Justin gets his cake and can eat it too. It's always awesome to see God work things out like this.

Unfortunately that means that my good friend and roomate will be moving home soon, but will come back evey 2 weeks to see Rachael until she can move out in April. So I'll have his half of the rent payed through March, but will need a roomate who can afford around $350-$375 a month as our lease doesn't run out until September. A lot of things are changing quickly around me.

It's funny how in hindsight I loved the fact that Kenya was so unpredictable and you never knew what life was going to hit you with next. It kept me relying on God for everything, and now I find myself in a similar situation stateside. I'm going to need a roomate soon this much I know. I'm also a little picky on who I live with. Ultimately the Lord has a plan behind all of this, and will provide for me, and will bless and take care of Justin and Rachael.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfullness to us. You've been so good, and You are always working in our lives to make us more like you. May this stage in my life bring me closer to you.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Don't Waste Your Life

I'm currently reading a book by John Piper called "don't waste your life" and in the 1st chapter he's talking about how C.S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity" heavily influenced him. Here is a paragraph from his book.

"He ahs made me wary of chronological snobbery. That is, he showed me that newness is no virtue and oldness is no vice. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern. This has freed me from the tyranny of novelty and opened for me the wisdom of the ages. To this day I get most of my soul-food from centuries ago. I thank God for Lewis' compelling demonstration of the obvious."

That paragraph goes against everything we practice today in society, both in the business world and in the church. Cutting edge is the ticket, who can come up with the "cool" new thing. There's an old saying that goes something like this: "Today you're in the paper, tomorrow that same paper is wrapping fish." The message is that what may seem like a big deal right now will soon be forgotton.

Why then as the body of Christ do we fight to be so cutting edge, and trendy so that we can be culturally relavant? What we should be doing is looking at the things that have lasted over centuries and are time tested and haven't passed away. Christ is the best example. People aren't attracted to Him because He's new, novel, or cutting edge. They're attracted to Him because He's faithful, and never changes. He's always relevant and His words can speak to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Now am I knocking contextualizing the gospel to fit culture? No, I most certainly am not. The Jesuits did a great job of spreading the gospel because they conformed to cultural norms like clothing, food, manners, speach and all other things that may allow them to reach the people without comprimising the gospel message in any way. What I am saying though can best be summed up by a quote from my friend and co-worker Jim Wimmenauer's pastor when he said "Whatever it costs to bring them in, it will cost more to get them to stay". You give a mouse a cookie, it'll want milk. If we are using things that will quickly pass away to bring people in, they are eventually going to want more. That's human nature. However, if Jesus is what brings them in, then they'll never want to leave as Paul B. correctly replied to the above quote.

So this begs the question. Why are you going to church? If we're honest with ourselves, we may find that it's not always Jesus.
This begs the next question. As church leaders, if people are not coming and staying because of their captivation with Christ, then we are doing something tragically wrong. A church is nothing but a building filled with white washed tombs if the center of our hearts isn't focused entirely on the glorification of God. And if that's where our hearts are as a body, God will be there and I can garauntee that we won't need to going fishing for the fish, they'll jump right into the boat.

Where is your heart looking?

God forgive me for letting my heart constantly put it's gaze on other hopes, dreams, ambitions, and people. Those things are all baggage that I carry, help me to let them all go so I can once again focus on You. If I'm focused on you, I won't need to go looking for action, because the action will come to me. The lost will more clearly see You in my life and once they've experienced You, will never want anything else again. I praise Your Holy Name.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Long Day

Today has been an incredibly long day. I just took a new postition at Ace Asphalt as their Business Development Coordinator and have spent the first day being completely overwhelmed with info.

I know that with any job transition, there is a learning curve, but mine is going to be especially steep. I have reports that are due weekly and must be done along with many other things. Fortunately I have Robert Howard and a few other good men to lean on during this time and train me up. I know that once I start understanding the order of things, priorities, and am able to really get a grasp of things and remember it, then I'll be doing ok. That may take a little while though. This entire week I'll be arriving at work at 6 a.m. for training, and will continue it throughout the day.

One thing is for sure, and that is that I didn't get where I am by myself. It is God and Him alone that is to credit for me being where I am. So I take comfort in that He will help me through this stressful time of intense learning, and hopefully I will exceed their expectations and be able to bless this company.

Lord be with me. Keep your hand upon me and bless everything that I do, that in everything I do, glory will be given to Your Name. Help me to work harder and smarter, and make things more effecient. Help me to quickly understand the new software systems I'm going to be working with. I desperately need you by my side and need you to walk me through this. May your name be glorified in all the earth.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Provision of God

Recently I was invited to a missions conference in Cape Canaveral, FL. This conference is the annual missions conference for Overland Missions alumni, staff, and people who have a heart and passion for the advancement of God's Kingdom throughout the entire world. David Phillips, one of the staff there set me up with a place to stay should I decide to come, and after considering it and talking with David some more I decided I would try and get the time off of work. My thoughts were, if things come together than perhaps God is behind this, if not, then I will continue to wait.

Well last friday I met with a group of Christians at my work (Ace Asphalt(which we do every friday)) and were telling them how I wanted to go to this missions conference and asked if they would keep that in their prayers. Well I found out that getting the unpaid time off wasn't a problem, so I asked that they would pray for a cheap plane ticket despite the holiday season.

Later that day, one of my buddies calls me into his office and tells me that him and another buddy of mine have decided to sponsor me to go there. I was shocked to say the least. I haven't asked anyone for a dime and people are coming to me to sponsor me just to go to a missions conference. I was extremely encouraged that I had they're prayers and support without even asking for it.

So now I'm searching for a plane ticket. What I need is people to pray that I'll get an incredible deal on a plane ticket that leaves during the morning of the 27th so I can arrive in mid afternoon, and leaves around noon of the 2nd, so I don't get home to late. Also continued prayer that God would really speak to me at the conference and that I'd build lots of strong relationships there as well.

Lord, I thank You that You've given me such a great calling and put me around such great Christian friends who believe that what I feel called to do is something that is worth supporting, and that by investing their resources into me, they are investing them into advancing Your Kingdom. Please continue to direct me and give me patience as I walk down this seemingly long road that You've decided that I should walk. Help me to listen and hear You, and obey what You say. I love You Jesus, and I need You to live Your life through me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Power of God

I've recently been thinking alot (I know this is very dangerous) about Paul's conversion in Acts as I've been reading through Luke's historical account of the 1st century church. In 3 days he went from a man who murdered Christians and said that Jesus was not the promised Messiah, to a man who boldly preached and convinced even some of the religious leaders in Damascus that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah. Something amazing had to have happened him to completely change his life like that so quickly. Meeting the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus would be something else, but we're also told in Acts 9:9-11 that he spent these 3 days fasting and praying.

Now we know that Jews knew the Torah well through schooling, but the most exceptional students would go on to know all of the wisdom lit, and prophets as well. This was Saul's world. He was well versed in scripture and didn't believe the claims that Jesus was the Christ. Did Jesus' appearance to him cause the immidiate change or did that power encounter open the door for God to do some work in his life. I believe that it's kind of a both/and type of deal. It's a lot like believing that when we turn the key to our car it will start and then we can drive wherever we want to go, but we really don't know how all this works. If we wanted to be effective advocates and teachers of automobiles then we'd have to learn a good bit about them so we could teach others. This is the same thing with Saul. He was going to be a rabbi/teacher, but now he would be a different type of teacher. One who knew that the OT prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus.

I think Jesus appearance to Saul was the catalyst to his change, but ultimately when he spent those next 3 days seeking God while praying and fasting is when the truth was entirely revealed. After Ananias prayed for Saul and his vision was restored in Acts 9:19 we're told that "at once he began to preach in the syagogues that Jesus is the Son of God."

You may begin to wonder where I'm going with all of this, so here it is. It seems that with most people you can have a casual conversation about spiritual things and talk about Christ. You may get somewhere or nowhere through talk, but generally it's pretty easy to do. Radicals however cannot be reasoned with or talked to. They are absolutely set in their ways and the moment someone disagrees with them religiously, it's time to beat them and maybe even kill them. Radicals are changed by radical things. Something naturally supernatural and unexpected that brings truth into their face like a freight train running into a pinto. The radical encounter with truth knocks them for a loop and then they have to deal with it.

All of this is stemming from the atrocities that have been committed in Indonesia by radical muslims there towards the Christians. I've been thinking a lot about his whole deal, and wondering what it would take to lead these muslim extremists to Jesus. If people who like Paul had nothing to lose went there in the power of the Holy Spirit, preached boldly, showed the awesome power of God by healing folks, raising murdered from the dead, going into villages and sharing the love of Christ with them, can you imagine the impact that could have. Some could die, and I'm sure some would if not many, but for them to know that Jesus is the One True God and that He loves them and is not willing to give up on them even though His own should suffer as He did so that they may come to know Him as Lord and Savior. Wow, how incredible would that be. Could I do that? Is that were God is leading me or should I pursue this position at work? I don't know, but what I do know is that according to Eph. 2:10 God has already prepared in advance good works for me to do. If that should include something in Indonesia then He will reveal it to me in time. If I'm to stick around and work with Ace for a bit more, then He'll show me that too.

Lord I trust that you have the best in mind for me, and you know where my heart is, but know also that if I'm to stay here I will be happy. As long as I have a place in advancing Your kingdom I'll be happy. Lord I ask that you would reveal yourself to these muslims over in Indonesia much like you did with Saul. They are persecuting You just like he did and are trying to make the gov't side with them and prohibit the reading of Your Word. Soften their hearts so that they may know Your truth and respond to it with eagerness. Bless them and the Christians over there. Give Your people in Indonesia strength to endure persecution and death, and yet give them the mercy, compassion, and love to forgive their enemies and pray for them as well. I know that you love everyone regardless of what they've done and You would have everyone come to know You. I ask that this would happen in Indonesia.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Update police, back off

I have a post, back off, I know how to use it!!

I had a moment after I finished doing some work at work, off the clock of course to respond to a post that Obie www. made on holloween. I absolutely had to post on that so if you want to see my latest wonderings and rants, go there. Hopefully my wireless will be up soon and the I can post at the wee hours of the morning or late hours of the evening. Blessings to all!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Blessings of God 2

I'm just amazed sometimes at how God really does take care of us and provide for us. This comes to mind because recently I've been looking for a Toyota Tacoma to buy and a buyer for my Scout. Well, I finally found the Tacoma (praise God) and it has been a great truck. There are a few little issues I need to get straightened out, but I'm just happy to not be driving the Scout. Once I bought my Tacoma I was looking for a way to sell my Scout. I knew that it would be a while in the truck trader because it's a vehicle for a very niche market. That didn't give me a lot of hope, so I prayed and had others pray that my truck would sell fast and for a decent amount of money. I bought my Tacoma on a thursday and 2 days later a climbing buddy of mine calls me up on saturday morning and asks how I'm doing and if I'm still selling my Scout. I'm kinda stunned at the randomness of the phone call, but told him about my recent purchase and what I was asking for the Scout. He had moved to Tuscon and wanted something to go offroading with his family in, but his kids were to young for quads. He bought it a couple days later for $3,700 which is a decent price that seemed like something we could both live with. His family is loving the Scout and have been doing a lot of 4 wheeling in it. I'm glad it's found a good home.

The biggest thing is that a friend who didn't have my number and who I hadn't talked to in months calls me up out of the blue and buys my Scout. That's God, no if's, and's or but's about it. That gave me money for a new computer and money to refinance my truck loan in 6 months. God has also blessed me relationally with great friends and family. I pray that I can do rightly by Him and be who He has called me to be. That I can be the kind of son, brother, grandson, friend and employee that reflects the love of Christ and is always willing to serve others. Help me to know what it is like to be a follower of Christ. Teach me your ways, may the dust from your feet cover me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Therapy in Writing

It's so nice to be able to type something out and release what you feel and think, then be able to have the wisdom to know that it is good to get off your chest, but not good to share with the world.

I've really been thinking a lot about the sovereignty of God lately. How He commands everything and how He has orchestrated all of history, using man's decisions both good and bad to accomplish His perfect will. How he provides for the birds of the sky and clothes the flowers of the field, and yet sometimes I wonder if He will provide for what I need. That is a dangerous place to be.

Adam and Eve were when the questioned God's goodness and thought that God was holding out on them. God knew what was best, but let them make their own decisions and 7000 yrs of humanity has paid the price for their sin.

Therefore, though I know what I desire, I do not know if it is good for me or not. Or if I am good for the object of my desire. God ultimately knows what is good for me and His plans are trustworthy. Prov. 16:9 says "The mind of a man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." Also in Rom. 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose." These verses are comforting above all things. To know that God is working out my future despite my plans, dreams, and hopes is very encouraging.

I was watching a Nooma ( DVD where Rob Bell tells the story of how him and his wife were going to look for a kickball for their son. At the mall there was a kiosk that sold these rubber balls that were on an elastic band with a loop on one end for your wrist to go in. Rob put it on threw the ball and tried to catch it but it hit him in the face. His son instantly wanted one, but his parents knew better. The toy may have been good for a while, but they knew what was best. His son wasn't very happy as they picked him up and carried him away. They went to a sporting goods store across the street to continue their search for a kickball and found a whole wall of them in all different colors. Rob told his son he could have any kickball he wanted.

Sometimes I'm like Rob's little boy. I want something bad, it looks like fun, but God knows that it'll probably smack me in the face and then I'll not want it anymore. How often has He had to pick me up kicking and screaming, take me across the street and show me that He had something so much better in mind for me.

As I'm walking through life, I constantly find myself in situations where I have to stop and think, is this the best God has for me, or am I settling for second best? Is this the job that I should be at? Should I be working harder to move into full time missions trusting that the seizure stuff will be taken care of? Should I stop investing so much of myself into a relationship that may never go where I'd like it to? Should I continue investing at work trusting that God will open up the door when the time is right and continue to pour myself into this relationship trusting that God will work things out and that loving somebody selflessly will always produce good fruit, even if it's not harvested by you.

Lord I don't pretend to know why I am where I am, and how to make sense of all the ups and downs in my life. What I do know is that You are constant and unchanging. You never fail me, though the world should crash down all around me, still You will be there. Forgive me for taking my focus off of you and putting so much attention on things that should be second not first. Teach me to live my life as is depicted in the song Keith Green so eloquently sung when he pledged himself, his wife and his son to the Gospel. Give me a heart that seeks diligently after you and is heart after Yours.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Church is a Blast!

What kind of church can you go to where the pastor will only have a vague idea what he's preaching on, is unsure of how he's going to deliver it, yet the Lord totally moves, and the pastor has blast doing it?
What kind of church can you go to where you get to act out the sermon, hunt for clues that lead you to the main point of the sermon, and is highly interactive?
What kind of church can you go to where you can break dance, do the robot, the sprinkler, the lawnmower, the worm, or the disco dance while praising and worshipping God?
What kind of church can you go to and be accepted by everyone?

If you're wondering where this church has been all your life then I'll tell you. The only condition I have is that if this sounds like something that is interesting then you absolutely must come atleast once. This church is the church of our future. It's the church our kids go to.

This past sunday was a total blast. None of us teachers did the responsible thing and called around to see if there was a written up curriculum for this week. We all assumed, and were disappointed come sunday morning. Nonetheless, God used it to His glory. We did something completely different than the typical Adventure Bay hunting for clues deal. We had everyone act out the story of Moses sending the 12 spies into the land of canaan and it was so much fun. We will definitely do this about once a month.

The kids were laughing, participating, coloring, and answering questions like it was going out of style.

It's so nice to be able to escape into the world of a little kid once a week, jump around, roll on the floor and just have a blast and not have to be so serious or concerned about other things. I think I find that I'm most alive when I'm in that state of mind. Absolutely cut loose and just enjoying life. I can't wait till I can do that with my own kids.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Over the Crux

I just found myself relating life to climbing, then I deleted everything I wrote. Must have been smoking something.

Wonderings of a Sojourner. What does that mean? Beyond the dictionary definitions, to what does that mean in life? To call oneself a sojourner and to live as one are 2 different things. Biblicly speaking all who are called by the name of Christ are sojourners, wanderers in this land waiting to go Home. Do we really live like that though? Do I? What things and people have I allowed my roots to get wrapped around? Could I leave the pseudo protection of knowing where I am, pull my roots out of the ground and go to war? Have I already stretched out my limbs and pulled my roots out and begun to walk the war path that has been worn by men and women far greater than I. Do I use seizures as a crutch to not go do what I truly want to do, or is God using it as an anchor to keep me from going wherever the wind blows. Who/what is my crutch? Is it God? Is it work or medical insurance, desire to get married, friends, family, or myself? Why do I feel as if I'm on the crux ( hardest part of a climb) with the end in sight, but I just can't pull off the move. Is it because I'm hesitating to do what I know needs to be done? Do I know what needs to be done? Do I have what it takes to do what needs to be done.

All I want is to get my head above the clouds, breathe the fresh air, and feel the Son warm me. There has got to be more to life than this. If a lion was born in a cage, he never knows that there's anything more to life than a cage. But once he tastes freedom, I mean absolute freedom, he can never be content to have anything less than freedom. Once he's experienced the rush of stalking his prey, chasing it, bringing it down, tearing into it's flesh and tasting the fresh warm meat and blood. The animal in him comes out. He knows that this is what he was meant for. Everything he had known before was a make believe world that ran off of somebody else's clock, but out here in the wild, there's only One timekeeper. To put such in animal back into a cage is the same as killing it. When will the Timekeeper, come with the keys to my cage and let me return to the wild where I was meant to be. Length of life is not always as important as quality of life. I've often said that "if you're not living on the top or on the edge then you're simply existing". I am sick of existing. God's kingdom will be advanced, but not by those who are merely existing. Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. According to an interpretation of this by Matthew Henry, Jesus was talking about a highly regard tradition of zealous Jews that would ascend to Heaven and forcibly lay hold of the Law. This was how passionate they were about God's law and following it. It was looked upon as greater than peaceably accepting the law in the eyes of the Jews. Jesus then may be using this to say that great are those who passionately advance the Kingdom of God and with the direction of God in the Power of the Spirit force the enemy into retreat as they preach the Gospel with boldness to all who would listen.

Lord let me be that way. I'm but an orphan cub adopted into your family, but my teeth are sharp, and I've tasted the blood of our enemy. You've shown Your power to me and I know that it's in me as You are in me. Send me out to let the other orphans out of their cages and to destroy those that have them bound up. Give me courage and boldness so I won't be like the lion in the Wizard of Oz. Make me like You oh Mighty One. The Lion of Judah who can stand against You? Who is left standing in Your presence? Even the mightiest of men wet their pants when they see You. Your whispers turn mountains into valleys and makes the earth tremble at it's very core. Who is like You? Your roar is that which would destroy the universe, nothing created can stand before You. Blessed be Your name and Your will be done. Raise up a people, set them apart for Your purposes, may I be counted among them.

For those who have been counted, and who's blood is covering the earth, who's cries scream out for mercy on their murderers and persecuters, give them and their families Shalom. Give them strength to get over the crux and to do what You've called them to. For my brothers and sisters who are laying hold of the Kingdom and forcibly advancing it, give them courage and boldness in abundance. Send them encourgers to keep them pushing forward. Protect them and provide for their needs.

Praise be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who though separate are One in the same and equally worthy of our praise as God, as LORD, and as Savior.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Backpacking trip to Granite Mtn.

Last saturday we had a great time up in Prescott backpacking up Granite Mtn. It was a little hot for the first half of the hike, but started to cool off once we passed the tree line. Up at the top myself and my 2 friends Justin and Jen took pictures and relaxed.

We weren't up there long when the lightning and rain started coming down hard. The 3 of us ducked under a huge boulder that had fallen onto 2 others, but made plenty of shelter for the 3 of us. The rain and hail lasted about 45 min., but made for a fun trip and a cool story. Unfortunately my 4 other friends got caught 3/4 up the mountain in the storm and couldn't find much cover. Here are some great pics of Justin, Jen and myself goofing around and passing the time in the storm.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Love and Talk

A saying I've said frequently is that people will talk about the things they love more than anything else. Whether this is a David Killough original or I heard it somewhere I don't know. What I do know is that it is incredibly hard to not talk about something or someone you love.

Recently I experienced this first hand and it made me physically sick. It's so much easier to do what what would make one's self feel better, but to operate in someone else's best interest and put yourself aside is very hard.

Jesus said that "Greater love has no man than he would lay down his life for another". Now Christ was referring to Himself in this passage and was forshadowing what would happen to Him. However I disagree with a common interpretation of this text that dying for someone is what Jesus is talking about. I think that's only part of it. To live for someone, and not for yourself is far more difficult. That's what Jesus did, and what I've recently learned is very hard to do. Nonetheless, this is something I want to do.

To invest in someone knowing that there may be no short term benefits, but in the end, you may have a very good friend who you can love and trust.

So I will hold fast to this difficult path I've chosen and continue to invest myself into another and be a friend.
However I cannot do this alone. It almost tore me to pieces a day or so ago. Lord I need Your help. Please give me wisdom in abundance and help me to be more like You in everything I say and do. Give me perspective through the people you've placed in my life and help me to not operate out of my own self interest. I love You Jesus, guide me and lead me.


Well, for the first time ever I've deleted a post. That seems almost heretical to do such a thing, but people far wiser than I thought it unwise to post what I did. Because I have a lack of perspective, I thought it best to trust those who can are distanced from the situation and can see much more clearly than I.

How can I know if what has happened or is happening is good or not? If the outcome is favorable in my sight, is that really good or bad? Things are not always what they seem. An apparent blessing could actually lead to a curse, and a curse could lead to a blessing. How do I know if these things are good or not???

Perhaps in seeking God first and seeking His will I will know.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Guess my blog is ready for some change

So what's the big news in my life? Climbing, ministry through climbing and outdoor stuff, reaching out to international students with my buddy Mike Jacobson by way of a really awesome girl that I've had the privilege of getting to know. Who knows what the future may hold? It's in God's hands and His perfect will, will be accomplished in His perfect time.

I'll post more later. Later could be relative though.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ready for some change

Man it's been along time since I've been on this thing. I'd be suprised if anyone even checked it anymore.

I sure have been restless these past couple of weeks. Wrestling with time management, trying to be content in God's waiting place that I find myself in. Trying to give time to things that will benefit me now somewhat, but even more so down the road, while recognizing that I'm 23, single, and still involved in a lot of college stuff wanting to build relationships with other folks and still go out and do stuff. It seems that when I tell my close friends about this they always counsel towards the prior, but they all happen to be married with atleast one kid. They were where I was once, but they don't think the same way anymore so it's going to be harder for them to understand where I'm coming from. Gets kind of frustrating when people insinuate that what you enjoy doing is what you shouldn't be doing, regardless of why you do it.

Another opportunity has opened up before me. Possibly a chance to go help start up another branch of Reachout Expeditions which would be in Boise, ID and would reach out to trouble teens through relational engagement in a place where they can expereince God away from the distractions of daily life (to take a quote from their web page). Climbing, rafting, backpacking, etc. are just a few of the means by which they do this. I've already told my close friend and his wife about it. Really I'm looking for a small group of people who's hearts are missionaly geared and would be down for travelling together as a small community going wherever God would lead us, teaching, preaching, and discipling with the blessing and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. This maybe an opportunity to use VLI as soon as I finish and also do some extra training at the Boise Vineyard as well.

Also trying to feel out a relationship I've sort of developed with a girl that I climb with. Hoping that I'm not reading into things, getting excited about what I see God doing in her, wanting to know more about her, and to what extent she's willing to give up her life for the sake of Christ. To wait, or move on.

I've felt for a long time that I've been unready for these types of relationships or big changes, but now I'm ready to see how ready I am. I'm ready to pursue relationships with people who will build me up as we go to pour our lives out on the nations, and who I can build up, teach, and learn from in the process.

God I praise you for your patience with me, for your mercy and compassion as you look down and see your child wanting to grow up so quickly and be like his Daddy, when there is so much more to learn and understand, and so much more to unlearn and be rid of. Still I remind you of your promises to your servant Abraham that continue through the True Israel, and are promises to me, I ask you to fulfill those in my life, as well as the prophecies that you have given me. May I find your Shalom in my life, and be a well of living water in the center of the storm of life for those who need to know you and are seeking that which you have so graciously given me. Your Holy Spirit, adoption into your family, hope, meaning, true life, and a mission to accomplish. Please, I beg of you, reveal to me the way I should go. Don't let my feet go to the right or the left, but be found walking out your will for my life. Be my guide oh God of my fathers. Go out before me, or cut me down where I stand and return this flesh to the earth from where it came and my spirit take home to be with you. Let me bask in your presence, and teach me to yada' you Lord. It is not enough for me to just know you. Lord help me make some sense of what's going on in life, and give me the wisdom to make wise decisions, and the courage to do what needs to be done despite the difficulty of the task. I need you in my life, deep inside, beyond the fusion of bone and marrow, but to where spirit and spirit are one. I need your mind, your heart, and the passion that drove you to die for me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

I don't know that I've ever been so busy in my life. It seems that free time is something that I have to make now rather than I have by default. These past two months have been something else. I've seen 2 of my closest friends get married, been in both their weddings, planned both of their bach. parties, changed jobs/careers, dealt with med. ins. company frustrations, dental stuff, working on my truck stuff, looking for a new truck stuff, VLI stuff, lots of hours at work stuff, planning a leadership event, going to a leadership conference, home group, Kid's church stuff, and lots of other stuff.

The above is not a life, but a tornado going round and round whipping me in every direction trying to pull me apart. Trying to maintain some semblance of a life and making time for friends, family and the building of relationships while accomplishing all the other things is impossible. Much of the stuff has come and gone, but more is always there to replace it. I am so ready for Shalom to be over my life. My knees and feet are hurting, head splitting, painful bowel movements, still with epilepsy, dropping pills like any 23 yr. old guy would. This is normal right? To be dependant on drugs to keep me "normal".

I'm ready to be done with it all, and people wonder why no matter how I die, I will die happy, and why I say the sooner the better. Sometimes I feel like Job, wallowing in self pity, woe is me, life sucks, but then I take a step back and pull off the negative lensed shades that sometimes cover my eyes. I look around at what God has done for me. What He is doing in me now, and what He has told me He is going to do and where He is taking me. I learn the lesson of perspective from Job that even though some areas of life seem rather troublesome and painful, God has His mighty hands in those areas, and like it or not He will use them for His glory. Whether it's to demonstrate His awesome power as I'm healed, or to demonstrate His incredible grace as He gives me everything I need to face life and the situations/problems that are in front of me or that I'm currently in. When all is said and done I can say one thing and one thing alone. Though He gives and takes away, my heart will choose to say blessed be the name of the Lord.

I look forward to what you have for me, and the adventure that lies ahead. Please heal my body, and give me Shalom over my entire life.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Blessings of God

What a day. Went down to the doc's office and picked up a prescription for 3 months of depakote (seizure meds), and the kind lady gave me some samples to get me by until the meds come in. This means that I won't need COBRA and will save the money that I would have spent. This is awesome! My dad went with me to cosign on a loan to buy a 4 dr. Tacoma TRD, but we won't find out until probably tomorrow whether or not it will go through. I believe it will, but we'll wait and see. So my dad and I went to go grab some Rubio's before the extremely awesome Worship Gathering ( that just ended. While I was parking this guy comes up and starts going off on how cool my Scout is. Asks a bunch of questions which I was of course more than willing to answer, and asked if I'd sell it. I said it was for sale and told him how much. He was stoked, asked for my number and said he'd call me. Now I don't put a lot of stock in words, but I haven't even been advertising, and he asked me if I would sell it, I didn't tell him. Lord help him to buy it. =)

The worship gathering was awesome. I can't even begin to think of other words to describe it. I was singing and enjoying worship and then when they did a song I knew differently I was caught going through the motions. There was a short break where there normally wouldn't have been and my hands went up and my heart went down. I was crushed, stripped bare realizing that my song was from the flesh and was not in Spirit and in Truth. I was being fake. Broken I closed my eyes, sealed my lips, put forth my hands, prayed and waited. I cryed and asked God for forgiveness. I could not open my mouth to sing anymore until it was from my spirit to His, and it was in Truth, and not a product of memory. I waited and prayed. Kathy Lott taught us how to sing a simple song in sign. That was the ticket. I broke down as I signed this song and sealed my lips. I wrote on the wall what the Lord was saying to me then wrote my prayer to Him. The rest of then night I worshiped Him with such fervor and joy. Aah, it was incredible.

Lord thank you for showing me this. Continue to show me these things that are hidden in my heart. Reveal the things in me that are not of You, and destroy them. Make me like You, let me live and worship in Spirit and in Truth.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Beginning of the End

I turned in my 2 weeks this morning. I've been praying that God would be there and would speak through me. I prayed and sang on the way to work today, ushering in the presence of God. The first thing I did after clocking in was talk to my boss. The news came out in a way that seemed as if it was well thought out, though it was all spur of the moment. My boss took it well. He asked if there was a bidding war and if there was that he would out bid ACE. I told him there wasn't, then gave him my three main reasons for leaving.

1. ACE offers advancement opportunities that will teach me more cool new things, help me grow, and provide for me better financially.

2. The immediate and hopefully future financial gains will allow me to put away money for missions, save money to buy a house, and give me the financial support necessary to support a family when the time comes.

3. The end that I believe God has called me to (missions) seems best accomplished by the means of employment at ACE Asphalt. I've seen God's hand on Paul and Robert and I have no doubt that it is also on the company in part because the founder is a God fearing man who is aggressively advancing the Kingdom of God throughout the world.

The day went well after that. I worked hard, efficiently and I felt the Spirit on me. Despite my left foot hurting, I had some bounce in my step.

It will be nice to give my body a physical rest and to treat my ears, eyes, lungs, feet, and everything else much better. Now I've got to devise a way to stay in shape while sitting at a desk. I think a climbing membership is in order.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Blessings, a New beginning, and an End

Recently Paul and Robert have been clueing me in on a job at ACE that they both thought that I would be good at. At first I was unsure because I felt a loyalty to the company I work for, I knew that they needed me, and would do almost anything to keep me. They had taken care of me, and given me two raises one for each review. On the other hand I saw what God has done through Paul and Robert and how He's blessed them there and suddenly I felt like a dog with 2 bones. I was quite content with the bone I had, it was good and treated me well. But suddenly a bigger, better bone showed up and I started wanting that one. I wasn't content anymore with the bone I had. I began to think too much about the other bone and my work began to suffer. My boss even noticed it and asked if I was okay. I had to put an end to it right there. Called close friends and talked to family and had them pray for me. So I went to ACE interviewed with Robert and we decided that until God gave both of us peace about the issue, that we should wait. With people still praying, I thought about it more and more, and asked God to speak clearly. Clearly isn't what I got, but I did began to think in terms of what I believe God's future is for me and how I should go about accomplishing it. ACE seemed the clear choice for better provision financially, less stress on my body (foot is beginning to hurt again), more chances to move up and around, and a chance to learn lots of new stuff on the other side of what I'm used to doing.

So Robert called me today and said that they would like to bring me aboard. When I pass the drug test, ACE asphalt will become my new employer. Now the hard part. Breaking ties with current employer. I like my boss and some of the people at PW Athletic. They are coming into the busy season quickly and my leaving will really put them into a fix. None the less, I know what needs to be done, and I feel with more certainty now that God has provided this job at ACE asphalt for me so that I can give my body rest, so I can save money for missions, a house, and maybe even a family. None of these are possible at PW. It will be hard to tell my boss, but I'm sure he will understand. Many of the others won't. I hope they do. I know for certain that Wayne (owner) will. He's a Christian and will understand that the end goal justifies the means. He knows that missions and the aggressive advancement of God's kingdom is my heart and that I'll do what needs to be done in order to see those things accomplished.

Lord give me wisdom as I talk with Bobby and Wayne. Help them all to understand. I pray that You'll provide them with some more good employees who'll learn quickly and work hard so that the stress of the busy season won't be so great. Please put Your words in my mouth as I turn in my 2 weeks. I know it will be hard for me to say and them to hear, but please be in our midst and give them understanding. Help me be a blessing to ACE and to work hard as unto You. Help me to learn quickly, and never tire from doing what seems so foreign to me as I spend 40 hrs. a week behind a computer. May Your hand guide and direct me, Your mouth speak through me, and Your Spirit be with me. Lord bless Your servant as I walk out my life in humble obediance the best I knows how. Teach me Your word that I may obey, give me an undivided heart that I may love and serve only You. Let me see through Your eyes, though I should never see again. Let me hear through Your ears though I should spend my days deaf. Let my hands heal the broken, weary, and sick, though they should never function right again. Let me feel Your presence though I should never feel again. Lord let me continually live in Your Spirit, though I should never live again. Kill me.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

See, Justin likes the crack too Posted by Hello

Something you won't see very often, me digging into some serious crack. Posted by Hello

Me digging for crack Posted by Hello

Me digging for chalk  Posted by Hello

Sean going for the big jump Posted by Hello

Rock climbing pics of Shawn going for the big jump up, Dustin looking for his next move and me digging for chalk Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Me climbing a 5.10A Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Wonder if he'd want his feeding tube removed?  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Prayers Answered

The Joy of the LORD is my strength. When I am doing the work of the kingdom, I am living as I was meant to live. Life flows through my veins, my heart beats again, I breathe as though I had never breathed before, my mouth is not my own but a well spring of living water for the nations.

In my previous post I had asked God to give me opportunities at work and to make me more like him. I am humbled by how quickly He has opened my eyes, given me patience, love, and strength. Opportunities that were either not there before or merely unnoticed are now there in abundance. I've been blessed by God to tell people about Jesus and how He has changed me.

I was working with some mexican friends and they said that 5 yrs. from now I would see them walking and think "Pinche Mexicano". I told them that this would not be possible for me. He replied with "people change". I agreed, but then went on to tell him as we worked how when Jesus lives in you, and you realize who you are and who He is and what He has done for you and the world, that it is almost impossible to look at someone that way again. To say or think that would mean that I would be saying that about the very person who's image they are created in. That God should overlook them because they're not worthy but I somehow am. This thinking reeks of pride and will quickly lead to a severe humbling.

I've been giving my food and tools out freely not getting upset when people take things, realizing that God has blessed me soo much and that I am merely to be a channel through which He blesses other people. He has given me the life I have so that I may take this life and bless the nations. God is fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant through me this very moment. Guys I used to have little patience for, I'm now going out of my way to help. God is refining me.

God, I beg of You not to stop. Let me be as the woman who spent her life savings anointing your head with the perfume in the alabaster container. I know that as I treat others I treat You, let my life be the perfume that is poured out on those loved ones you died for who so desperately need the joy and hope that comes from knowing You. You were the great alabaster container and you broke yourself open to pour yourself out on the world so that as you died we would not have to. You've called me to love as You did, and to live as You did. To run the great race doing what You have planned for me. Give me the strength to continually say yes to You. Give me the grace to make it through the hardest time, I know the cost of following You. So break this clay jar open that the nations may come to know You.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


I've been really short on time with VLI and other ministry related things taking it all up. Been a while since I've blogged. Work has been really tough the past couple of months. I've been extremely critical of myself, my work, efficiency of my work, and how my review is going to go. Anxiety was crushing me in its iron fist. I brought it up at home group last week (which is going well) and everybody prayed for me regarding those things. The week following I spent a lot of time thinking and praying while at work. I eventually came to the conclusion that my future was in God's hands and that His view of my life is from an end time perspective. He sees the end first then the beginning. I reasoned then that whether things go good or bad in my eyes and the eyes of this world, that it didn't matter. He would accomplish through me the plans that He made for me (Eph. 2:10) regardless of what happened at work and would likely use my work situation as a way to show me where I am to be. I once again feel the joy of the Lord, and find myself singing His praises all day long in the midst of blaring secular radio and loud machinery. My boss told me during the review that he wanted me to give him a couple year's notice before I went on my "mission" (he's mormon). As I walked out, it struck me that I was on my mission. I wish that it would have struck me sooner. Would have thrown him for a loop.

Lord thank you for placing me where you have. You've blessed me with a fine job, good employers, and good pay. You've given me favor unending and undeserved. Change my heart so that I can be a better reflection of you to the guys I work around. Give me moments where I can quickly plant and or water seeds in their lives without neglecting my work. Open the eyes and ears of my co-workers and soften their hearts to hear your words. Heal the many injuries that have occurred to the guys there. Also be with the Pinner family as Obie's dad is in the hospital. May any injuries he sustains be minimal and heal quickly.

Friday, February 11, 2005


My bro is home, WooHoo!!!! This kicks all kinds of things. I am Super Stoked. Also got my AR10 seriously tricked out. It is looking sweet, I just hope I can do with it what I want, cost me enough.

More will come, going to my folks house to crush Luke with a hug.

p.s. Enjoy life and time with family, you'll never know how much you'll miss it when it's gone.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Picture of Jesus

I was watching the Phantom of the Opera Sunday for the second time. The entire movie was excellent but I had a few favorite scenes, only one of which I'll share.

For those of you who've seen the play, movie or read the book, then this will not spoil a thing for you, but for those of you who have done none of the above, go watch the movie, then read this. Anyway, towards the end of the movie the Phantom has Roul tied up to a giant gate and gives Christine 2 choices. Either she chooses him and her love (Roul) lives, or she doesn't and Roul dies. Lose lose situation right? You would think so, but something incredible happens. She sees him for who he is and has pity on him. She sings "God has given me the strength to show you that you are not alone". She then walks up to him embraces him with her hand on the disfigured side of his face and kisses him. Now to understand the enormity of that statement and action, I must share the with you who the Phantom is. He grew up in a freak show being beaten, being shown no mercy, grace or compassion. He got the chance after a show and choked his tormentor to death. A dance student saw this and felt sorry so she hid him in the opera house where he grew up and became a great musician, vocalist, writer, etc.... So now we know that he's a product of society, and though he could have made different choices, it's a bit easier for us to relate to him.

So how is this a picture of Jesus? The way I saw it was that the Phantom represented the world. We were born into disfiguration, and our lives have been a product of our social surroundings. To hide our hurt and pain we put a mask on so that everyone else will not see the truth. However Christ (Christine) pulls that mask off and exposes us for who/what we are, not to condemn us, but to show us compassion and love. When Christine embraces the Phantom, I see Christ leaving glory in Heaven, and choosing to die for us. Christine chose to stand beside the Phantom so that he would know love for once in his life. She did not know that he would fall apart and send the two of them away. Christ chose to take our sins and die a horrible death on the cross, suffering the worst pain He could suffer, which is when the Father turned His face from Him. The Phantom's reaction to Christine's love and compassion is much like anyone's reaction when they first come to know the love of Jesus and the mercy and grace that He has for us. We see ourselves in the light of grace and fall apart at the seams knowing how wretched and undeserving we are of such compassion.

Go see the movie. See if you see what I saw.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Goodness and Mercy

Yesterday was not looking good sometime around 5:30 pm. As I was driving Jared over to where I live for a sort of small group gathering something in my truck started making a lot of noise. I feared the worst, a bent rod, bent valve, or an extremely worn valve guide that just wasn't happy anymore. Due to this unfortunate turn of events I was late to work this morning because my dad had to give me a ride. I also had to get picked up. I talked to a few people at work and one fella who's been around awhile suggested that I take a dowl rod or screw driver up to the valve cover to see if I can hear and pinpoint where the noise is coming from. I fired it up at home and my dad listened to it. I knew it was something on the exhaust side of the engine, but wasn't sure if it was internal or not cause it sounded like valve rattle. Turns out that it's actually in the exhaust itself. Could be a chunk of honeycomb material from the cat rattling around, or it could be a piece of carbon that broke free of an exhaust valve and can't get past the cat. Who knows?

So what does this have to do with goodness and mercy? Throughout the day I pray, and this was one of the things I've been lifting up continuously today. I've prayed with various people on it too. The Lord has answered my prayers. I asked that this would be something relatively minor and a quick and easy fix, and I'm almost positive that this will be a quicker and cheaper than the alternative. If it's a cat, then those get a bit pricey, but the labor is in my hands, not some machine shops. The Lord showed mercy on me and was good to me. Maybe I'm giving the Lord credit for something He didn't have His hands in? Possibly, but all good and perfect things come from Him, and this is certainly good, relative to what it could have been. I can still drive my truck, even though it'll be a bit noisy. I praise the Lord for the blessings He's lavished upon me.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Life and Death

I was reading a Dec. 2nd post from Robert Howard ( and a certain part of it really impacted me.

The part that said "and leave this trailer park of a planet " described in a sort of sense what I've wanted for a long time. For a long time I've looked and even now look at death as a long lost friend waiting for his embrace, knowing that by returning from whence I came, I will finally be reunited with the one I love. I will be able to sit for eternity in the lap of my Father with my head upon His chest as it rises and falls. Hearing His heart beat with love that covers all sin. For a long time I've wished I could take upon myself the hurts and pains of the people I love. Take Jordan's disease and give him my health and strong body and mind, Cela's arthritis for my much improved joints, Kathy's kidney stone plagued kidney's for my healthy one's, and take them with my seizures, messed up foot and other little problems straight to the grave where there will be no pain or misery or 2nd death. Where my friends can enjoy atleast in part the healthy lives that God originally intended for them to have, but sin has kept them from having. And it would allow me to finally enjoy the one life I long to live. The one at the feet of my Father. I've seen nothing this life has to offer me and would be willing to give up any future I may have freely for even one day with my Father. For one day with Him is an eternity on earth.

And I wonder if I'm living as Paul did, longing to die, knowing though that it would be better for others that I live. Knowing that God's plan for my life has not been fulfilled and that my life is meant to be an offering of love for people who know Him not, for people who would gladly crucify Him again, who would drag His people beaten through the streets only to be left for dead in the fields. Knowing still that I was one of those people and it was His love that cut my heart open and made the heart of a killer into the heart a servant. So I shall serve the rest of my days whether long or short, laying down my life at the cross with the hope that as the world walks over me they may step straight into the arms of endless love, mercy, and grace knowing the love that would cause a mortal man long for death so that he could spend eternity in the presence of his only love, Jesus.

As tears roll down my face, I wonder where they come from. Are they because I'm pouring my heart out or because I'm not living daily the life I described. More than likely a mix of both.

Take My Life
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold
Not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use
Ev'ry power as You choose
Here am I, all of me
Take my life, it’s all for Thee
Take my will and make it Thine
It shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is Thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee