Wednesday, December 31, 2003

God wants to wrestle

"And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak." -Gen. 32:24

I was awakened this morning with this word from the Spirit
That God wants to wrestle.

He desires those who have some fire within them.
He wants those who have some fight in them.
Where are those who have hot passions?
Where are those who want something so bad they will wrestle God for it?
Where are those who can be broken and still not give up?
God has come to wrestle you...He wants to stir you up.
He wants to see what you got, what matters to you, what you will fight for.

What do you want?
What does your heart long for?
What are you passionate for?

I have been listening to Beethoven lately and last night I watched "immortal Beloved", a movie about his tumultuous love life. In one scene, Beethoven is teaching a young lover to play piano. In the scene, she is playing with no enthusiasm.
He comes up to her and chides her with these words:
"It's your lack of passion that is unforgivable...I must beat you for it."

LOL! I laughed when he said that.
This morning I had to ponder, how we too, can so often live such passionless lives.
Oh God forgive us for living so cold.
Wrestle me until something is lit again that will burn in a manner worthy of the ALL CONSUMING FIRE.

To my friend Darin, who is fighting a good fight against MS:

You will find a fullness in this season like never before.
The ability to drink deeply of everything He has placed around you that is worth drinking from.
Live Full my brother,
eat the best of the land,
love passionately,
think deeply,
play hard,
speak what your heart says to speak.

Embrace the Wind,
and let it's wild strength carry you to wherever His intent is.
Do not fear this storm, it will hold the power in it's fury,
to take you where clear skies never could.

My prayers are supporting your dreams my brother...

Monday, December 29, 2003

Moods of Tiger
"Where is one that, born of woman,
altogether can escape from the lower world within him,
moods of tiger, or of ape?"
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Emotions and passions...
A strange and dangerous celestial fire that God kindled in the breast of mankind.
The heavenly fire can shed penetrating illumination to the depths of ones soul.
But it can consume the weaker life as quickly as stubble is swallowed by flame.
From what fiery torrent did this Divine tongue ignite?
What kind of Mind lights such a fire, knowing the hunger of it?
What wisdom kindles such madness?
What pounding heart released such a thundering company of wild stallions?

A greater love than worlds could ever know...
Yesterday, I preached a message called "Pouring Oil and Wine." It was a message about discovering and releasing the "oil and wine" the Lord has placed within us into the wounds and hearts of those "half-dead" around us.
I read this commentary this morning and found certain parts that really accentuated parts of the word I gave. I have been pondering this line of thought for a while.
Fighting the cultural numbing of our heads and hearts. Learning to awaken more refined pleasures and pursuits. Seeking to not be dulled so much by the artificial that I no longer can be moved by the natural.
I think these parts are worthy to meditate on...

"When stimulation comes at us from every side," he writes, "we reach a point where we cannot respond with much depth to anything. Bombarded with so much that is exciting and demands our attention, we tend to become unable to discriminate and choose from among the many options. The result is that we shut down our attention to everything." That is, we get bored.Over-stimulated and bored, we start looking for anything that will give our jaded spirits a lift.

We must recover a sense of passion and wonder.

"Finding interest and joy in life involves active engagement with the world. . . . The person who wants to be involved with life knows that it is necessary to move toward someone or something, to want to understand and know."

Friday, December 26, 2003

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.
As C.S. Lewis from Mike's Blog
"Herr Capellmeister, I should like to compose something; how shall I begin?" asked a youth of twelve who played with great skill on the piano. "Pooh, Pooh," replied Mozart, "you must wait."
"But you began when you were younger than I am," said the boy.
"Yes, so I did," said the great composer, "but I never asked anything about it. When one has the spirit of a composer, he writes because he can't help it."
-Pushing to the Front" by Orison S. Marden Published in 1911

Wow this short story struck a deep spiritual nerve in me.
Below is the poem that erupted out of the puncture of that nerve.

You are Wonder!
Oh God, I marvel at what you plant within the forming soul.
Every womb is a new genesis, an eden of wonder!
Mysteries hidden like dreams in the fabric of your creation.

You are Wonder!
Like a prophet gardener you sow seeds of destiny in the heart.
Then at the appointed hour of fading dark, you awaken the dawn!
You speak and out from the dirt of our passions emerging as tender seedlings...the fruit of the future.

You are Wonder!
You're answers lay in the countless fields of desire.
Secret pearls...awaiting desperate and searching hands.

You are Wonder!

Amazing story ahead...
My father sent me this short story about a young woman he saw at a Teen Challenge Benefit Dessert.

"They last person that got up was a younger gal about 22-25. She gave a lead in to her song in a very breathy weak voice. I couldn't imagine how she could sing with the difficulty she had just talking. Sounded like someone with acute asthma. Well, the music began and she broke into action singing a contemporary Christmas Carol with dance moves somewhere between Michael Jackson and a soul sister from the black choir. She used the whole stage and had everyone on their feet clapping and shouting.

It wasn't long before I realized she wasn't singing but was lip synching. She did a great job and the singer sounded like Whitney Houston. Her enthusiasm was contagious and she was the hit of the program.
Turns out she was in an auto accident a couple of years ago and her throat was crushed. What I thought was a choker was actually a device to help her talk.

It had such an impact on me how this young woman who was once a very good singer but now had difficulty speaking, none the less took what she had and gave it her all, to the joy of all. It reminded me of the young lad when asked if he had any food offered a few fish and loaves and it fed the multitude.
She too, took what she had left and it turned into a feast".

I think we all are called upon to take what we have and with the touch of God on it...turn it into a feast.
It reminds me of this verse:"God wants you to give what you have, not what you do not have." -2 Cor. 8:12b.
SO many people struggle over discovering God's will for their lives. Many search or are stuck waiting for "something out there" to reveal to them what they are supposed to do. When in reality, if we drink deeply of the great fountain of God with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength; we will find living water will begin to bubble out from inside of us to others around us. Living water flows from our inner man. Out of the heart the mouth speaks and the issues of life are discovered. We are all like Bezael and Aholiab in Exodus 31:6 & 36:2, we have seeds of destiny within us. When the heart is stirred, we are called to go and do the work. What is stirring in your heart right now?
What work have you been slow in starting because you are "waiting" for what you don't have, instead of using what you already have? Are you listening to your heart?
Have you been stuck in the "stirring" phase and not pressed on to the "work" phase?
Do you believe that God has put the "wisdom" within you and that you need faith to begin to use it?
If not you...then who?
If not now...then when?
If not here...than where?

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

"Myth is necessary because of what man is...because man is fundamentally mythic.
His real health depends upon his knowing and living his ...mythic nature." -Kilby

"Mythic stories help us to see clearly, which is to say, they help us see with the eyes of our hearts.
So cast a wide net, and draw in all those stories that have ever stirred your soul,
quickened your spirit, brought you to tears or joy or heroic imagination.
You will need them all, as you shall see." -from Waking the Dead by John Eldredge

Strange how this has been so true for me, right now.
My heart has been smitten, stirred, awakened, rebuked and moved by chapter 6 of the Return of the King.
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields. One of my favorite parts of the movie too.
These lines are echos of my own current reality:
My heart has whispered more than cried:"King's man! King's man! You must stay by him...".

There is so much more that I could say but I guess that tale will be told at other's a pearl of conversation, reserved for hearts that have shed the same sacrificial blood...

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Go figure...
Burning the flag is considered free speech; erecting crosses as roadside memorials is not.
The FCC allows the "F-word" on television, but thanking God at a high school graduation is a no-no.
And some schools freely dispense condoms to kids, but pencils that read "Jesus loves little children" were confiscated from a first-grade class in Virginia.
Fox News: Fox News Report December 23rd, 2003
One Eye Blind
Keep one eye on the past and one eye on the future,
you will only be blind in one eye.
But keep two eyes on the future, you will be blind in both"

(-a russian resistance fighter who survived a massacre from the nazis)
Thanks Gaz for the word to chew on...

Monday, December 22, 2003

"It takes God to love God."
-Mike Bickle of FOTB
The Smoking Section
If you want to reach the world, you have to sit in the smoking section.
Neil Cole, who tried to start a "Christian Coffee House", then realized that the people he wanted to reach already had a coffee house and maybe he should just go there. (From the Fisch Tank

1904 Welsh Revival
"Evan Roberts and his brother Dan and his best friend Sidney were travelling the country conducting Revival Meetings and they were meetings with a difference. Meetings which broke the conventional and bi-passed the traditional – often the ministers just sat down unable to preach or even to understand what storm had arrived in their usually sedate temples."
Thanks to the link from someone over at 24-7 prayerabout the 1904 Welsh Revival

As I was preparing for our BLAZE youth conference this last year, I received some words form the Lord about the 1904 revival. It all started when I looked out my window and saw the neighbors address on their house "1904". I felt impressed to look up that date and the first book I opened had an article on the 1904 Welsh revival. We are approaching the 100 year anniversary of that revival.

I am praying to God to see such awakening this year...
Oh, Lord do it in my day.
The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.
- C.S. Lewis

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Castrated pony or Stallion?

"We castrate the gelding and bid him be fruitful." -C.S. Lewis

"All his life Gary had been a good boy. A gelding. And geldings, though they are nicer and much more well behaved than stallions, do not bring life. They are sterile."
-John Eldredge (The Journey of Desire)

Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic snorting is terrible.
He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength.
He goes out to meet the weapons.
He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
and does not turn back from the sword.
The quiver rattles against him,
the flashing spear and javelin.
With shaking and rage he races over the ground;
and he does not stand still at the voice of the trumpet.
As often as the trumpet sounds he says, Aha!
And he scents the battle from afar,
and the thunder of the captains,
and the war cry.
-Job 39:19-25

What kind of horse are you?
Safe and good but sterile horse
or wild, strong and potent stallion?

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I see dead people...
ooooo see a ghost here
Happy Festivus for the rest of us!
learn about Festivus Here
December 23rd!
What you win them with is what you win them to.
From the GMAN

The Madness of Denathor

The scene in ROTK that has been churning in me is the whole Denathor story line.
The part where he is eating like a pig and asks Pippin to sing to him...

Fat and gluttonous, lips bloodied by the food, the messy juice of the tomatoes, a gory foreshadowing of the carnage on the battle field. It sickened me. The frustration and despair of Pippin singing and yearning to be or see, more than an empty hall, an overindulgent and cowardly king, and a weakening city.

That whole scene resonated with me on a deep level. Singing instead of warring. Warring foolishly. Feasting while others are fighting. Singing while more noble men are taking their last stand. Growing fat while others are writing their destines. Singing about war while others are living it. Hiding in palaces while others are riding towards death.

God speed the days when the kings will ride out to war once again...

LOTR: The Return of the King

Saw the movie today with my son Christian. We skipped school and work ;) to see it together.
The movie is simply AWESOME!
I was moved at so many parts but I think the story line that got me the most was the Eowyn and Merry part of the movie. Seeing the least likely rise to glory and honor on the edge of valor and courage was simply breathtaking.
I am mesmerized by the imagery of her standing against the Witch King in bold defiance. What a potent mythological theme. I was captivated. I will be back soon to see it again, there was just to much to see, absorb and ponder.
What a masterpiece!

'Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may! -Eowyn to the Witch King

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Things NOT to do while watching LotR:

1. Stand up halfway through the movie and yell loudly, "Wait...where on earth is Harry Potter?"
2. Block the entrance to the theater while screaming, "YOU.....SHALL....NOT.....PASS!" - After the movie, say "Lucas could have done it better."
3. Play a drinking game where you have to take a sip every time someone says, "the Ring."
4. Point and laugh whenever someone dies.
5. Ask everyone around you if they think Gandalf went to Hogwarts.
6. Finish off every one of Elrond's lines with "Missster Ander-sonnn."
7. When Aragorn is crowned king, stand up and at the top of your lungs sing, "And I did it.... MY way...!"
8. Talk like Gollum all through the movie. At the end, bite off someone's finger and fall down the stairs.
9. Dress up as old ladies and reenact "The Battle of Helms Deep," Monty Python style.
10. When Denethor lights the fire, shout "Barbecue!"
11. In The Two Towers when the Ents decide to march to war, stand up and shout, "RUN FOREST, RUN!"
12. Every time someone kills an Orc, yell: "That's what I'm Tolkien about!" See how long it takes before you get kicked out of the theatre.
13. During a wide shot of a battle, inquire, "Where's Waldo?"
14. Talk loudly about how you heard that there is a single frame of a nude Elf hidden somewhere in the movie.
15. Start an Orc sing-a-long.
16. Come to the premiere dressed as Frankenfurter and wander around looking terribly confused.
17 When they go in the paths of the dead, wait for a tense moment and shout, "I see dead people!"
18. Imitate what you think a conversation between Gollum, Dobby and Yoda would be like.
19. Release a jar of daddy-long-legs into the theater during the Shelob scene.
20. Wonder out loud if Aragorn is going to run for governor of California.
21. When Shelob comes on, exclaim, "Man! Charlotte's really let herself go!"
The Lord of the Rings is a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; Unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. It was my desire to stay theologically orthodox that led me to avoid being too specific, despite the biblical parallels in the creation story...That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion,' to cults or practices, in the imaginary world...For the religious element is absorbed into the story and into the symbolism.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

Human life is enriched by aspiring to a virtuous, honorable life of valor.
-Dick Staub. reflecting on The Return of the King.
"It's official: Washington State is the country's leading bastion of the unchurched, according to a recent survey. In a massive sampling of 19,761 adults 18 and older during a six-year period, a pollster found that 29 percent of the Evergreen State's populace attend a worship service in a typical week
-- compared with Louisiana, which has a 56 percent weekly attendance, the country's highest."It's always been the Northwest that's been the lowest in church-going," says George Gallup. "It may be the ethos of the state."

Excerpt from this article:

Next to Oregon, WA is the next in line in most unchurched in the nation, that is one of the reasons I value living and doing ministry in the NW.

But I think the difference is in "ACCESS."

The unchurched in the states have a multitude of living, growing, healthy churches to find a real relationship with Jesus. There are countless aggressive evangelistic works that take place in almost every major urban/suburban area or city. There are book stores, radio, TV, videos, movies, missions, multiple social safety net ministries, Christian friends, family and coworkers. Granted even with ALL this going on we are still making a pathetic impact on our culture...we will have to give an account for that to the Lord.

These tools & opportunities are not available in many places within Europe, let alone the other nations of the world. When a majority of missions funds and resources are spent on US mission, I think we need to refocus. Even though the average Christian spends more money on dog food than missions, we still have the biggest piece of the pie.

So I simply seek to stir those who have the pull in their gut to do something about it. Most people don't go, only a few ever will, even Jesus said that there is a need for those who will "GO" into the fields (Luke 10:2).

It's a pretty obvious fact that most people who "stay" really don't "DO" much of anything either...our culture, our churches, our Christian friends castrate or create evangelistically impotent Christians. There is a mass problem of evangelistic sterilization taking place among the saved. Most simply just don't care about the lost, or care but don't allow their compassion to manifest into action.

I am not seeking to be harsh, just real...and the fact is we are losing the war at this pace unless this generation arises to the challenge to obey the last command with a zeal and passion unseen in years.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

A NOW word
God is blushing ordinary things into extraordinary things right now.
Old ways are being transformed to make way for new days.
Joy is overtaking duty.
There is a table that is being prepared and it is in the presence of your enemies.
Your petitions have a greater chance of being granted at the table of wine.
There is something about passion and first love that awakens favor like nothing else. The Lord loves fervent love.
We must get our banquets in the right order: Presence first, Petition second.
What will you do if the Lord comes to your table?
What will you ask for?
Banquets of wine can hang enemies...

Prophetic word recieved in worship & Prayer...

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
In the East the people frequently anoint their visitors with some very fragrant perfume; and give them a cup or glass of some choice wine, which they are careful to fill till it runs over. The first was designed to show their love and respect; the latter to imply that while they remained there, they should have an abundance of everything. To something of this kind the psalmist probably alludes in this passage.
-Samuel Burder.

I have been studying out a spiritual vein of gold that the Holy Spirit has been unfolding these last few months.
It has been centered around the words: bread, wine and oil. Yesterday in my time before the Lord, during an interlude of worship, prayer and prophesy on the guitar, the Lord breathed more illumination. The light has revolved around Esther's Banquet in the book of Esther. There is a lot that I am still allowing to ferment in my spirit but the refreshment coming from this word is exhilarating!

Here's a few prophetic words that came springing out of my spiritual well during worship:
* Esther, you must prepare a banquet of wine.
* Your love, the wine of passion is to be set out for the king.
* Two will come to your table...A King and an Enemy.
* Life and Death, two destinies sit at the table.
* Your petition for the lives of your generation is at stake.
* The first banquet is always about being with the king.
* The second banquet was for petitioning the king.

I am mesmerized by the first miracle of Jesus.
Turning water into wine is such a potent image of that which Jesus was ushering in. What a sign!
John knew the blushing of plain old ceremonial water to the "Best Wine" was a sign of good days ahead.
I wish I could of been there in that moment; watching that wine being poured out.
I am almost positive they allowed that cup to overflow with that mystical, heavenly prophetic wine.
I am sure Psalms 23:5 was whispered out of astonished lips.
My cup runneth over.
Wherefore doth the Lord make you cup run over, but that other men's lips might taste the liquor? The showers that fall upon the highest mountains, should glide into the lowest valleys. "Give, and it shall be given you", is a maxim little believed.
-William Secker.
My cup runneth over.
Or as it is in the Vulgate: And my inebriating chalice, how excellent it is! With this cup were the martyrs inebriated, when, going forth to their passion, they recognised not those that belonged to them; not their weeping wife, not their children, not their relations; while they gave thanks and said, "I will take the cup of salvation!"
-Saint Augustine
Thou anointest my head with oil.
The unguents of Egypt may preserve our bodies from corruption, ensuring them a long duration in the dreary shades of the sepulchre, but, O Lord, the precious perfumed oil of thy grace which thou dost mysteriously pour upon our souls, purifies them, adorns them, strengthens them, sows in them the germs of immortality, and thus it not only secures them from a transitory corruption, but uplifts them from this house of bondage into eternal blessedness in thy bosom.
-Jean Baptiste Massillon, 1663-1742.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Here is our "fine print" on our youth staff application:
Fine print: You will be exposed to constant bizarre behavior and be required to smile and act like aliens haven't landed and taken over teenage bodies. Might be called upon to burp before a live audience. Must often endure high levels of foot & body odor. Must be able to go without sleep for long periods of time and live on junk food and Mt. Dew. Must be able to handle repetitious annoying remarks about ones body or personality. Be trained in the ancient art of Atomic Wedgies or an equivalent method of student behavioral control. Must love puberty, zits, crush talk, bad breath, loud music, cleaning up, driving, video games, movies, loud talking, repeating yourself over and over again, eating fast food regularly, dropping kids off & picking them up at the last minute before everything, wearing ear plugs, spinning your head on a bat or some other maturity crushing event thought up by some demented youth worker. Basically your in for a whole lot of stuff that will create a head & heart crammed full of awesome memories and life changing experiences or they will lock you up in the loony bin when it is all said and done.
To Which race of Middle earth do you belong?
Find out here
Would be theologians...must be on their guard lest by beginning too soon to preach they rather chatter themselves into Christianity than live themselves into it and find themselves at home there.
-Soren Kierkegaard as recorded in his journal, July 11, 1838
Thanks Jimmyfor the quote

Scrubbed off the roots
I believe we’ve lost a down-to-earth spirituality. Over a 2,000-year period, we’ve jerked and tugged the Christian faith out of its original soil. Henry David Thoreau warned that words—when derived properly—come with the earth still clinging to their roots. But the earth has been shaken and scrubbed off the roots of our faith to the point where much of our fruit has become juiceless—as dry and sour as an old lemon.
by Leonard Sweet

I think a lot of what I hear christians speak about is "words without earth". So much is so void of real down to earth issues. I don't want messages with the earth scrubbed off. In fact, I wish there was a whole lot more earth, maybe then we could find real practical substance to walk on.

I had a dream last night and in it, was a former Assembly of God superintendent that I used to work under. He was a real big wig in the AG at the time, a nice guy for sure but generally party line. In my dream he was speaking to a postmodern young guy and was using the word S**t a lot in his conversation. In my dream I was dumbfounded at the "dirt" that was clinging to his words. I know in most circles that dirt would be hastily "scrubbed off" but in my dream it actually made sense. Strange dream.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Wrestling with Dragons...

I saw an angel come down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand.
He seized (gripped and overpowered) the dragon...and bound him in chains for a thousand years.

-Revelations 20:1-2.

Awake, awake, put on strength and might, O arm of the Lord;
awake as in the ancient days, as in generations of long ago.
Was it not You...who pierced the dragon?

-Isaiah 51:9.

Behold, I send you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.
-Jesus (Luke 10:3).

I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions...
- Jesus (Luke 10:19).

I have recently been immersed in the imagery of the desperate battle pictured here.
There are many dragons lurking in our cities; there are so many wolves and lions seeking whom they can devour.

unfortunately there are few willing to go and fight for those who are becoming their prey ( read Isaiah 49:24-26 & Luke 10:2). "Can plunder be taken from warriors or captives from the fierce?" (Is. 49:24). I have wrestled with God about this lately. Even this morning I awoke and heard the call to early morning prayer in my spirit; and yet complained to the Lord about the seeming impotence of these prayers. Does it do any good to weep? Is God really concerned about these "Great Cities" (Jonah 4:11)?

The tragicness of it all, the pain, the hopelessness that so often rides on the winds of momentary victories; it's all so mythic to me.

We stand so close to the mighty overpowering waves that froth and foam with maddening intensity. Their wild dance threatens complete submersion into their dark depths. Yet, still I stand on the edge of sandy shore...and can hear him say...To here and no more...(Is. 51:15)

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Two guys walk into a bar. You'd think one of them would have seen it.
A picture for my spiritual mood right now...
What's Your Fave Christmas Movies?
Mine are:
A Christmas Story
It's A Wonderful Life
And I am going to watch the Chevy Chase one again to see if that's on my list...
Tolkien Who?
I about choked, when she said it. I was trying to ask a secretary at a Christian school if they allowed Tolkien books to be read in their school. I had been invited to speak at their chapel service and I was going to use a section out of chapter 6 of The Return of the King in my message.
She was clueless as to who I was talking about until I mentioned The Lord of the Rings. I was dumbfounded.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Maiden of Rohirrim, child of Kings...
A cold voice answered: 'Come not between the Nazgul and his prey!
Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation,
beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured,
and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.'

A sword rang as it was drawn.
'Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.'
'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!'
...and the clear voice was like the ring of steel.
'But no living man am I! You look upon a woman.
Eowyn I am.
(The Return of the King, Chapter 6, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields)

"She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong."
Proverbs 31:17

Oh, God for an army of such young women...
Those who have traded the hem for a helm,
the swoon for the sword and a glorious and tragic ending over a lifetime of frivolous vanity.

Pulpits without power...
"We tend to love the altar so much that we refuse to set it on fire.
Yet God comes in the flames. Our God is a consuming fire."
-Erwin R. McManus .Unstoppable Force

Sunday, December 07, 2003 who want rain without thunder and lightning.
I am pondering this phrase that I read: Here.
I am still pondering...I will post after my thoughts coagulates into something less fluid.
This above all, to thine own self be true,
and it must follow, as the night the day,
thou canst not then be false to any man.
- William Shakespeare

False to any man...sheesh, I wish...
Why are You like a stranger in the land,
or like the traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?
...Like a mighty man who cannot save?

-Jeremiah 14:8-9

I have been feeling like this for a couple of days.
My spirit has been so burdened by the immense need all around.
I see so many people that are struggling, falling...leaving.
I read in the paper the other day, how WA largest growing "group" is the "NONE" group.
This group marks no religious affiliation in census forms.

Then I look around my church this morning and basically all I see is grey or graying hairs...

All wonderful people...well...maybe not all...

But there is SUCH a hole...a generation is missing.
I saw someone selling these at Portland Saturday Market a while of my students bought one...
Duck Tape Wallet
I have been dealing with a lot of mental stuff lately, maybe this is what I need:
Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie

Monday, December 01, 2003

When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.
- C.S. Lewis
The world is waiting...why are you?
Read Matthew 28:19
"Jesus came to forgive us of our sin, yes, but His mission was also to introduce us to the passion of living. Most people believe that following Jesus is all about living RIGHT. Not true. Following Jesus is all about living FULLY."
-Mike Yaconelli
from: Adam
Oh, how true this really is, so many people miss this reality in their spiritual indoctrination that comes through spoken and unspoken things within our churches and christian relationships. Just look around you, how many people do you know that exude this truth? It saddens me that this is so often the case, we suffer from lack of fully alive people.
I long to be "FULLY ALIVE" in my thought life, my devotional life, my love life, my fathering, my pastoring, my writing, my speech, my recreation, my suffering, my mentoring and in my body.

This made me laugh.
go here
I don't know why, it just did.
Had a dream right before I woke up this morning and in it I heard a verse form Proverbs 31.
So as I opened Proverbs 31, my eyes fell on verse 31, which was the content of what I heard in my dream.
"Give her of the fruit her hands, and let her own works praise her in gates of the city."
This verse spoke to me about getting about the business of writing the books I feel are within me. I spend a lot of time writing but in this new season it is time to take it to the next level.

Last night I also watched a speech by Anne Lamont, a writer. Her talk, really inspired me to get to it, as well. She is a very unconventional person that has had a spiritual new birth. She talked openly about her emerging new life in Christ in very unreligious ways. It was really refreshing to hear and see a writer that is unafraid to speak the truth. the truth of who she is and what has happened to her and what matters to her. It was equally nourishing to hear her do it in a way that didn't reek of christianeeze.

So in response to this prompting, I have printed off all my blog journal and gathered my poems and some of my writings too. I will probably self publish something of my devotional poems and prayers first because they best reveal what I am most passionate in Christ.

Well see where it goes from there.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

We wake, if ever we wake at all, to mystery. -Annie Dillard
I finished "Red Moon Rising" a book about the 24-7 prayer revolution. I really want to discuss it with someone but don't seem to know anyone who has read it yet. If you have, I would really be interested in your thoughts about it. I bought the book on Wednesday and finished it this morning (Sat), that is a record for me for a book with 255 pages. I devoured it!

I identified deeply with this book and my own journey fit right into the story as well. I was amazed at how it was so in line with my own spiritual pulse. I am going to seriously digest this book. I have been looking for the "wine skin" for this season's "wine" and I really sense that the skins are in this book. The last lines of the book resonated with electricity in my spiritual gut!


This site is awesome! What a great use of modern culture, humor and current movie interest to ram home your passion. Kudos! I was raised by a vegetarian and resonate with the issues raised here.
go: Here
Thanks Jon for the link.

80's Lyric Test
I come from the ______ _______under....
Go here if you are up to the challenge.

God & government
In light of the ten Commandment monument issue...check this out: Pics

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The worse moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
-G.K. Chesterton
1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.
* Self-publish one of my mini-books.
* Hit some of my fitness goals.
* Nail down the exact travel plans for this summer's mission trip.
* See break through in youth church
* Find the wine skins for the new wine that the Lord has been pouring out.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.
* Ken
* Michelle
* Cal
* Darin & April
* Clancey

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.
* Play better guitar
* Play the decks
* Better web design
* Rebuild engines
* Check email on my cell phone

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).
* Travel
* Fund worthy ministries
* Establish educational opportunities for family
* Take care of family better
* Spoil my wife

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
* Work out
* Burn incense
* Play music
* TV
* Play guitar
What Would Jesus Play?
Urbana Trivia
How many people in the world live on less than $1 a day?
The Correct Answer is: 1.3 billion.
That’s one out of every five people in the world.

That is an amzing statistic to me, mind boggling.
Then I read this stat and I am left with a troubled heart.

Girls ages 13 to 17 wield a $100 billion global economic impact.

Where is the justice in this?
What responsability do we have as western people, as young people?

Are you G, PG, PG-13 or R?
What are you rated?
This young woman is amazing.
This is cool
This is what the "spiritual type test" said I was like. Do you agree?:

You are a Mystic, known for your imaginative, intuitive spirituality. You value peace, harmony, and inner silence. Mystics are nurtured by walking alone in the woods or sitting quietly with a trusted friend. You may also enjoy poetry, meditation, wordless prayer, candles, art, books, and anything else that helps you connect with God. Mystics experience God best through rich images and symbols. You are contemplative, introspective, intuitive, and focused on an inner world as real to you as the exterior one. Hearing from God is more important to you than speaking to God. Others may attribute human characteristics to God, but you see God as ineffable, unnamable, and more vast than any known category. You are intrigued by God's mystery. Mystics want to inspire and persuade others, and need to live lives of significance. At times you push the envelope of spirituality, helping the rest of us imagine who we might become if we followed your lead. Sometimes you may feel a bit guilty about your need for solitude and silence. If so, you probably have bought into the American myth that says being alone and doing nothing is lazy, antisocial, and unproductive. Stop it -- now. Give yourself permission to retreat and be alone. It's essential for your well-being. On the other hand, don't get so carried away retreating that you become a recluse. That only deprives the world of your gifts and deprives you of the lessons that come from being with others. Some Mystics may have a true vocation for solitary prayer, but the rest of you need to alternate retreat time with involvement and interaction.

Go here and take it too...
Spiritual Types test
Near-tragedy: patrons of Bible bookstore found unconscious, overwhelmed by sheer boredom

OMAHA — In what police are calling a disaster narrowly averted, 12 patrons of Valley Book and Bible store were found unconscious Saturday afternoon, overcome by unbelievable boredom as they browsed.

"I was heading over to the bookmarks and Bible covers when I must have passed out," said one man, still drowsy, as police led him to an ambulance. "My mind went totally numb. The last thing I remember was staring at shelves of commentaries and devotional books."

Neighboring businesses phoned police after nobody left the store for several hours. Police arrived to find every person in the store asleep, snoring or in a half-conscious stupor.
"It was like they'd been gassed," said an officer at the scene. "We aren't letting our guys go in alone. It's still a dangerous atmosphere."

The clerk was found slumped over the register. Patrons lay in the aisles near the Gaither Christmas Homecoming and VeggieTales displays. Police were extracting them one by one and returning them to family members.

One victim's wife became worried when her husband failed to come home on time. Then she remembered he'd mentioned he might visit Valley Book and Bible.
"I just had a cold chill," she says. "I knew what had happened."

All 12 victims were treated on site for symptoms ranging from ennui and stuffiness to excessive prudery, poor taste and soporifera extremus. The city council is considering a rule requiring Bible bookstores to warn patrons of potentially harmful levels of tedium. �

This is soooooooooo Spokane. When it comes to book stores we stink. It's one of the biggest thorns in my flesh about this town. It seems nobody has a unique bone in their body when it comes to expanding your mind and soul. Carbon copies...I simply have no words to describe my inner frustration...I might need to see a therapist.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Hope carries stars in her eyes;
her lamps are not dependent on oil from without,
her light is fed by secret visitations of God,
which sustain the spirit.
-Charles H. Spurgeon (The treasury of David, notes on Psalms 42).

This part of his exposition on Psalms 42 ministered to me. I have found these "secret visitations" to be heavenly perfume. I pray that the fragrance of such encounters would permeate my garments and be carried with me, everywhere I go.

As some of you know, we recorded a live worship CD at our last BLAZE youth conference this year.

We have enough tracks for 2 full CDs and have one CD in the works. We have been stalled in the project because of no money to do the rest of the mixing for the CD.

But this last weekend someone in our church
sowed a $1000 seed into the project!

Now we will be able to complete the CD and will have it for sale at this years BLAZE on March 26 & 27th, 2004!

Isn't God Awesome! :)

We have already completed 2 tracks for the CD and even though I am biased, I really think they are anointed and have been done with excellence. I know you will be blessed, ministered to and ushered into precious moments of high praise and deep worship.

God laid this phrase on my heart in prayer a while ago, as I was receiving light on the current move of God in our life: "Music for the Movement".

God is birthing His purposes for us right now and we are being taken to the next level in the spirit and seeing fruit in the natural as a result. It is exciting!

As the money comes in we will move towards releasing the second CD as well.

Thank you for all your prayers and financial help, it is going towards advancing the purposes of God for this generation!

Monday, November 03, 2003


Fire burning from the outside to the inside out.
There's a feeling leading, pleading.
Follow where it goes,
Excess baggage falling, crawling.
Throw it all away.
My redemption actual, factual.
Happening today.

Holding on, to everything we have.
Say goodbye to everything we love.

I, I, I believe,
That the fire is here today.
I, I, I believe,
Now the smoke in my eyes,
Has blown away. (That the fire is here to stay)

Digging deeper there's a well,
The years have tried to hide.
Blood red freedom in my veins,
Get ready for the ride.

Tide is turning, yearning, burning,
Urging us to go.
Freedom people moving, grooving,
Never turning back.

Feel it, feel it coming on.
Have some fear, 'cos the heat is on.
Watch it comming from the sky,
He's riding in on his chariot of fire.
Feel it, feel it don't give up.
We're holding up this burning cup.
Hear it, hear it shake the ground,
The freedom people make their sound.

-By: Delirious
Written by Stuart Garrard/Martin Smith ©2001 Curious? Music UK

Sunday, November 02, 2003

I prayed with a young man the other night in Martin Hall (a youth detention center), he had cut marks on his wrist.
When I asked him what I could pray with him about, he just said...I am lost.
It was an interesting moment, reaching out and grabbing the hands of a young man who had obviously attempted to end the life I was about to pray for.

Those moments leave tattoo themselves on your soul.

After times like that, I deeply long to touch God or be touched by God that there may be something tangible in the moment of prayer. I long for the "power going out" experience of Jesus, like when the woman with the issue of blood reached out and touched Him. He said He felt "power" go out from Him. What a thought.

As I sat there in that cold, bright gym, I was surrounded by a mass of offenders, rejects, recently redeemed and seekers. It was loud, chaotic and hard to hear but I know that as I held those recently hacked wrists, that Jesus was holding them too. My prayer is that His "power" was released as well; that power went out from Him to that young man. Power to change, to heal, to awaken and come to know his purpose for life. Power to come to know Jesus and His love for broken kids...
What God had intended to be a means of experiencing grace, we have changed into a means of earning grace.
Legalism is seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and acceptance by God through obedience to God.
-C. J. Mahaney

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Mike Yaconelli, ( Co-founder of Youth Specialties) was in a fatal car accident in northern California on Wednesday.
I am so grieved by his death. He was one man of a few, that seemed to touch my heart when he shared his life, thoughts and passions.
The youth ministry world is poorer now, but heaven is richer for sure...
My heart and prayers go out to his family and friends.
He was a voice...not an echo.
"To a person endowed with prophetic sight, everyone else appears blind; to a person whose ear perceivesGod's voice, everyone else appears deaf....The prophet hates the approximate, he shuns the middle of the road. Man must live on the summit to avoid the abyss. The prophet's word is a scream in the night. While the world is at ease and asleep, the prophet feels the blast from heaven...The prophet is human, yet he employs notes one octave too high for our ears...Often his words begin to burn where conscience ends." Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets

Thursday, October 23, 2003

"All people dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of thier mind, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they may act out their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." -Lawrence of Arabia
"Intercessory prayer is spiritual defiance of what is in the way of what God has promised. Intercession visualizes an alternative future to the one apparently fated by the momentum of current forces. Prayer infuses the air of a time yet to be into the suffocating atmosphere of the present. History belongs to the intercessors who believe the future into being. -Walter Wink

This is happening right now in my life and the life of the ministry happening around us.
This is a "NOW" moment!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The average person has 1,460 dreams a year. That's 4 a night.

I'm living in Joel 2:28 right now...seems like out of nowhere I have stepped under the "POUR" part of this verse!
Joel 2:19,23-24 also!
Grain, New Wine and Oil...poured down rain...vats over flowing...
COME ON !!!!
The “dark continent” I am talking about here is not afresh, but Europe. Missionaries from Africa are going to help save Europe from the veil of deep darkness that now grips this continent. This is the bread that was cast upon the waters by the European nations who sacrificed so much to send missionaries all over the world with the gospel. Now, for the sake of the fathers, missionaries from the nations they sent them to are returning as grace from the Lord to help save Europe.
This is another “reversal” but it is from the Lord, and it will turn back the tide of darkness in many of these nations. Even so, some, such as The Netherlands, are in danger of natural disasters soon washing them away if the turning of repentance does not come soon. Pray especially for The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, and France.
-Rick Joyner

I came across this prophetic word yesterday. Strange that at the same season that the Lord is revisting me to renew various dreams and vision (Amsterdam being one of them) that I found this word.
I also got a fairly big macedonian call this week...I am still stunned by it, who knows where that will lead?

Monday, October 20, 2003

...the experience of mystics "is meant not primarily for
themselves but for the good of the whole church."
-Huart speaking about Mother Teresa

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Abortion, like I have never felt it...
I prayed with a young man in a youth detention center the other night.
He cried as he shared how his girlfriend had just been forced to get an abortion.
Her parents pushed her to do it because they were too young and he was in jail etc.
This young man was sooooo broken and was bearing a heavy load of guilt.
We prayed, he wept and I walked out of there with yet another burden.
This generation is facing such dark demons...God help them wrestle.
Please pray for this boy.
Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is…That is why bad people know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.
C.S. Lewis, on the power of sin, from An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, by Rich Mullins, January 1st, 2000

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

“Consciously or unconsciously, one lives not only one’s life, but the life of one’s time … Are our dreams, for example, to some degree facets of a larger, mass dream that is beginning to happen in the world … to put it another way, when God wants to initiate a new movement in history, God does not intervene directly, but sends us dreams and visions that can if attended to initiate the process.” (Walter Wink)

How about France?
In France, which is predominantly Catholic but emphatically secular, about one in 20 people attends a religious service every week, compared with about one in three in the United States.
"What's interesting isn't that there are fewer people in church," said the Rev. Jean François Bordarier of Lille, in northern France, "but that there are any at all."

What a mission field!
Who will Go?
I remember a friend of mine (Fred) who got me started in jail ministry, He used to challenge me with these words:
If not you... then who?
If not now... then when?...

That challenge birthed a new ministry in my life and has resulted in a mighty harvest in the jails.
I live by that challenge.
I've been to France, it captured my heart and stirred my soul.
I am praying for a harvest there and working to raise up young people that will have a heart for the nations. If you are reading this, maybe you are the answer to that prayer?
Would you pray about going?
I know that is bold but in the face of such need, shouldn't I be bold?

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Bare feet

The Unstoppable Force, by Pastor, Erwin Mcmanus

Nothing but the mouse is a Buzz Lightyear, got kids, what can I say...

Chess, but I am amped to play the LOTR RISK, when I get enough cash to buy it.

Charisma, Worship leader, Relevant, Group

Wife's perfume, Healthfood stores, Ocean air, Forest meadows, Coffee

Bad perfume, Moses Lake

The prayer of a sincere young person, tender, open and promising.

Boring preachers, legalism and condemnation, my anger

Right now: It's all Because of You by Tree63

Hurting God's Heart and the heart of those I love.

Coffee is high on the list


14 How many rings before you ANSWER THE PHONE?
2, then the answering machine comes on and that drives me crazy.


Fulfilling God's purpose for my life and becoming a man after His heart.

Nobake cookies, pizza

Both together

You bet, can't wait to put a 302 in my Mustang...






Ba Humbug


I'm doing it.

Having hair would be nice...

Most of the time it's draining out...sheesh, I'm naturally pessimistic but gaining ground through God's help.

LOTR movies, Matrix, Braveheart, Planes Trains & Automobiles, Tommy Boy

Ear plugs, Micah's toys

Not sure

I don't watch sports

Many but this one is one of them:
"I don't deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet."
--G.K. Chesterton



Probably Marc, he doesn't read email :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Some of you may be part of small teams that are not growing or shrinking. The human impulse is to react negatively. We cannot always tell why we go through lean seasons. But I can say this, as I go through scripture it appears that the remnant is always enough to do God's work.
We have committed to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Let us remember, as J. Oswald Sanders reminds us, that those hands and feet are nail-pierced.
In 1908 Orville Wright became the first person to die in a plane crash.
Brian and the Bully...

One of my fondest memories of HS was of a blind boy named David.

He used to wander the halls with his blind cane and actually make it to class on time and everything. But because of his blindness, when he would look at you, his eyes would kind of be half cocked. It was kind of humorous looking at someone and their eyes would be looking at an angle, almost like he was trying to be funny.

I remember one day in the halls as I was walking a ways behind him, I saw someone start to try to trip him and kick his cane.

He was getting bullied.

I couldn't believe that someone was taking advantage of David's handicap. Then all of a sudden one of my "stoner" friends, a guy named Brian (a huge guy); came out of nowhere and slammed the bully out of the way. I could hear him shout at the bully a potent threat and then the bully slinked away...humiliated.

I was proud to be in Brian's friend that day but more proud of Brian for using his brawn to protect the weak.

Brian was a real man in my eyes that day, not for his muscles or attitude but his heart.

I think Jesus was proud of Brian that day too.

I think Jesus walks the halls of most Schools and weeps. The things He sees, the junk He hears kids talking about and the way young people treat each other. I think He sits at lunch tables and watches Christians join in or stay silent and wonders where are the Brians...?

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Gandhi said of the Beatitudes:
''They contain a message that would save the world. What
a pity that Christians have been listening to the message for two thousand years, but
they (the Christians) are like stones lying in the water for centuries, never soaking up a
single drop.''
Mt. Dew Can kill you?
Go here to find out how much it would take to kill you.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Sorry, here's the link to learn about the Lord of the Rings card game:
OK, I am addicted.
I played the Lord of the Rings trading card game last night till 1AM.
We played for 4 hours(9-1AM).
That says a lot about the game in in my humble opinion.
I have dropped a lot of money in this game quick, that says a lot too!
If you play or want to learn, touch base with me the more the better.
to learn more about the game.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she's got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She's got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

Music: U2
Lyrics: Bono

man, this touched me.
I will tell everyone about your righteousness.
All day long I will proclaim your saving power.
I am overwhelmed by how much you have done for me.
I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign LORD.
I will tell everyone that you alone are just and good.
O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood.
I have constantly told others about the wonderful things you do.
Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
-Psalms 71:15 - 18

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"I don't deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet."
--G.K. Chesterton
The mosquito is responsible for more human deaths worldwide than any other animal.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

We always hear "the rules" from the female side.
Now here are the rules from the male side.
These are our rules! Please note.........These are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one. Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are, don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done.
Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine.
Really. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know men really don't mind that, it's like camping.
The world is a dangerous place to live;
not because of the people who are evil,
but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
- Albert Einstein
(Form Mikes Blog:

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Sometimes I wonder if prayer matters...
"The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men."
-Daniel 4:17

"The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes..."
-Daniel 4:25

"Heaven Rules."
-Daniel 4:26

These verses spoke to my heart.
They reminded me of the spiritual pleadings of men of God for their nations.
Priestly prayers, spiritual incense.
The yearnings, the intercession, the groanings from within, the spirit sighs that speak deeper than words.

God gives nations to the lowliest of men, I think I might qualify for that title.
Dare I pray with such boldness, such conviction?
Does Heaven really rule? Does it matter if I pray?

I remember weeping in the early morning hours in a hostel in Amsterdam. Trying not to be too loud as ripples of spiritual birth pains emerged from within and spilled out in supplications for the that moment I believed.

I remember worshiping in the biblestudy room in the hostel with Lee, David and Angie; singing "God is in Control" to a simple guitar. In that moment as the music and the voices penetrated the atmosphere like fragrant incense...I believed.

I remember watching a young woman from our youth church weep at the site of the prostitues in the red light that moment as those tears rolled down her cheeks...I believed.

I remember and it is in remembering that I find myself again and again and that leads me to believe that prayer does matter.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

The first big hook of the season. I've been caught, I dropped the show last season because I just couldn't handle the sexual tension between Lana and Clark (Kiss her you idiot!). But the lost sheep has come back to the fold, last nights show set the hook again, I'm a sucker for Sci-Fi, what can I say. Plus I like Lex's look. :)

Here is a run down of what I will be wasting my time on:
-8 Simple Rules
-Orange County Choppers
-Queer Eye for the straight guy (I know, I know, I shouldn't like it but I do)

Movies I'm anxiously awaiting:
-The next Star Wars
-The next matrix movie
-The Return of the King (this one is really the one I can't wait to see)

Email feels like:
I'm forcing a conversation.
IM feels like:
I'm interrupting someone.
Blogging feels like:
I am talking to myself...
writing a book feels like:
Preaching feels like:
Conversation feels like:
Talking to a dog, their ears perk up when you make a sound but the look in their eyes, just doesn't satisfy.
Have you ever felt this way before?
I have been re-working my "Ancient Paths" game lately.
Taking it from a paper RPG (Role Playing Game) to a hybrid RPG/Card game.
After play testing the whole RPG concept on a few little guinea pigs, I came to a conclusion:
That it didn't scratch the itch I was wanting to scratch. There were too many snags that prevented me from accomplishing what I wanted when I started this project .

Here a few things I have discovered that are redirecting me in the creation of this game:
* I want to play not spend hours creating a campaign to play. When the itch to play comes or the time, I want to be able to play. The card format allows that not the RPG.

* There is just too many things to replicate, create, design to create a completely "sanitized" game. It has gotten overwhelming to try to reproduce or create a gaming system that is unique from the D&D system. In game play minus a few difference, it looked just like a Wizards of the Coast game.

* Card games are cheaper and easier to make. This is true in some instances.

* Card games have less stigma associated with them. This is a big one, there is just so much negative spin in certain circles on the whole issue, of course that isn't true for video games though. You can play butt loads of rpg games online or with your computer or whatever and there seems to be no negative connections. Strange paradox.

So if your interested in this stuff, please pray that I would be able to find the creative game play mechanics that I need to crossover the RPG format to a playable Card game. I like the LOTR card game and want to head in that direction but would love to hammer out a system of play that isn't a copy but stands on its own.
Pray for health
I have been having slight chest pains and a few other naggin issues that concern me.
We do not have health insurance and so that is an issue.
I am sure it's not serious, so don't get worried.
I'm taking it easy, cutting back the coffee, cutting out pop and various other youth pastor foods.
Restarting the PLAN on Friday. (Working out).

A Church or a Crowd?
"One of the fundamental issues of misunderstanding that leads to corrupt churchmanship in our generation is the failure to distinguish between a crowd and a church. The failure to distinguish between a crowd and a church misunderstand everything about preaching, everything about ministry, everything about our task."
"Let us never mistake a crowd for a church or think our business is to draw a crowd."
-Al Mohler

I think this is a often foreign truth to so many within the church and within a lot of leadership in the church.
I know that I have struggled with this thinking paradigm. I must confess that my struggles have come from the scriptures as well as cultural influences on big is better (Acts 2 being an example).

The only place where this kind of struggle isn't seen is in family. It seems everyone knows that in the family, small is better in the sense of being able to nurture, provide for, protect etc......Now granted one persons idea of small is different form the other(I have 5 children) but in principle it is the same.
But that general understanding doesn't seem to translate into many other areas.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

This is a very cool site, a great merging of photography and computer generated interaction.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

"I am chaste and I am now full breasted."
-SoS 8:10

I am writing an article called: Modesty:" the power of a secret" for our youth church newsletter. I found this scripture in my study for the article, it made me laugh! I'll let you come up with your own interpretation. All I can say is there are not too many girls today, that can say the same thing. Most of the styles worn seem to shout a different message.

I love teaching on this subject and am trying to come at the whole thing from the standpoint of life not law. The life in the truth of modesty is found in the power of a secret. Nothing was more alluring to me than that my wife was a "locked" garden (sos 4:12). It was modesty and purity that I found so alluring. It was the knowledge that she was a "sealed fountain" (sos 4:12) and I was going to be the first and only one to drink from such pure streams.

Today most women are not "walls" but doors (sos 8:9-10). They are not private gardens but public squares for all to wander through. They are not sealed fountains but polluted streams, muddied waters by high traffic.

God from God, Light from Light,
True God from True God, begotten, not made,
of one being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.

- portion of nicene creed
"The pragmatic churches have become institutionalized - with some exceptions. They responded to the sixties and seventies, created a culture-driven church and don’t get that the world has changed again. Pragmatics, being fixed, have little room for those who are shaped by the postmodern revolution. A clash is emerging. The younger evangelicals will not have a voice in the pragmatic, fixed mentality. Stay there and your spirit will die (there are some exceptions, pray for discernment). Many pragmatic churches, like old shopping malls are dying. Very few people under 30 are in pragmatic churches. The handwriting is on the wall. Leave. Do a start up church. Be a tentmaker. Build communities. Small groups. Neighborhood churches. Be willing to let your life die for Jesus as you break with the market driven, culture shaped, numbers oriented, Wall-Mart-something-for-everyone church. Be an Abraham and take a risk. God will show up and lead the way."
-Robbert Webber, author of The Younger Evangelicals
It seems to me that a leader is to lead by presence more than being present. To build a movement based on being present will surely die. To lead a movement on presence requires one to leave.
-Joe myers
"We imprison the burglar for breaking into our houses and stealing, but what shall we do with the educated rascal who uses his trained mind and all his gifts to ruin the very people who look up to him as a guide?"

"The greatest thing you can do is to be what you ought to be."
-From: Pusing to the Front by Orison Marden (1911)

Saturday, September 13, 2003

I read this posted on the modern churches door the other day...

Points of Revolution
> hierarchical leadership
> pulpit/pew Sunday only large meetings
> cold-call revivalist evangelism
> quick-fix altar ministry
> full-time professional pastorate
> programmed, departmentalized "ministry"
> tight, dogmatic faith statements
> extra-biblical life rules
> local ecclesiastical isolationism
> "the church" programmatically trying to spiritually form children

In response I wrote something to post on the door of someones house...

Points of the counter re.volution
> Laissez-Faire leadership
> Couch & Lounge when's the meeting, I don't know…did we start yet? Meetings.
> Fuzzy births, I'm not quite sure when I was born…
> Kick me in the head, stop going on and on, prayer requests…blah, blah, blah.
> Self-righteous, prideful, independent, Starbucks ministers…
> Vague, who do you call, where do they live, is there anybody out there ministry.
> Broad, all-inclusive, Oprahish, all roads lead up, whatever suits ya dude…faith.
> Pass the hookah bruth-a…lifestyles.
> Internet based families…nothing but net baby!
> Hey am I my brother's keeper…not my responsibility mindsets.
> Light some incense and a candle man, I'm feeling quasi-spiritual tonight!
> All we need is to hug…come on brothers hug…pass the "com" "unity" idol.

In my humble opinion:<
  It's not about who, when, where or how…
  The church is a people and they can gather in doors or out.
  God calls men and women to feed His sheep, get over it.
  People suck, that's the fact, whether they are sitting in a pew or on a couch.
  Men love to be important, whether they are wearing a white collar or a hemp shirt.
  Church life is sometimes boring…it makes the other times exciting.
  Most of our pain comes from people who just can't stay put in life…
  There's nothing holy about place, its people.
  Love is all we need…and it can happen in the most unlikely places.
  You need Saul; they create David.
  God can be found; by those who are searching.
  Child like faith is simple.
  Young men are not the best leaders…they need to grow up first.
  Young leaders need to be broken of their idealism to birth realism, which leads to wisdom.

All in fun folks...just thought I would skip a stone from the otherside of the pond...
Did you know that half the people in the world are under 18?
'We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God.
Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming a "sub-creator" and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbor, while materialistic "progress" leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.'
- J.R.R. Tolkien

Friday, September 12, 2003

God cares far less about where I am
and what I'm doing
than He does about who I am
and who I'm becoming.
Sad Day...
John Ritter and Johnny Cash died...

Thursday, September 11, 2003

“When you realize that there is an Almighty God on who you can rely, it provides great comfort.
That’s why I read every morning, the Bible and scriptures and Charles Stanley devotionals.”
- President George W. Bush,
USA Today, August 20, 2003, 8A.
Profound thought ahead...
"One thing is clear to me.
You can’t know everything you’d like to know.
You can’t do everything you’d like to do.
You can’t read everything you’d like to read.
You must hold onto some things and let go of others.
Learning to make that choice is one of the big lessons of this life."
-RLP (
Idealism, revelation and dust lattes

So much of what I read on pomo sites reminds me of:

Moses coming down from the mount.
Tablets in hand, face blazing, heart exploding from head above water revelation.
His soul gasping fresh air for the first time...

Then he encounters the people...

A few minutes later:

He's standing in revelation rubble.
He's cramming idol gravel lattes down peoples throats.
Giving local leadership an ass whipping.
Grabbing his sword and ready to spill blood...

A bad dusk to a good dawn.

Where is the reality of John 4:21-24?

It tires me...

I am sure it's sincere
but I often feel like I have been given a mouthful of gravel
instead of ravens meat.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

"Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ;
We do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ."
- Blaise Pascal
The truth of the matter is that the center of God's will is not a safe place but the most dangerous place in the world! God fears nothing and no one! God moves with intentionality and power. To live outside of God's will puts us in danger; to live in his will makes us dangerous.
(p. 32-33) An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God Had in Mind
by Erwin Raphael McManus

Who said anything about safe?
'Course he isn't safe.
But he's good.
-C.S. Lewis
One last thing. Natives usually eat before and after prayer. Maybe that is why we like to pray, because both our spirits and bellies will be full. Next time your church has a prayer meeting, offer to cater a full meal. Then you will know that this Indian secret is true...
"nee pa stau mas?"
native american phrase meaning:
what is in your heart today?

Monday, September 08, 2003

The breastplate of St. Patrick

For my shield this day I call:
A mighty power:
The Holy Trinity!
Affirming the Three,
Confessing oneness,
in the making of all
Through love...

For my shield this day I call:
Christ's power in his coming
and in his baptizing,
Christ's power in his dying
On the cross, his rising
from the tomb, his ascending;
Christ's power in his coming
for judgment and ending.

For my shield this day I call:

Strong power of the seraphim,
with angels obeying,
and archangels attending, in the glorious
company of the holy and risen ones
in the prayers of the fathers in visions prophetic
and commands apostolic
in the annals if witness...

For my shield this day I call:
Heaven's might,
sun's brightness,
Moon's whiteness,
Fire's glory,
Lightning’s swiftness,
Wind's wildness,
Ocean's depth
Earth's solidity,
Rock's immobility.

This day I call to me:
God's strength to direct me,
God's power to sustain me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's vision to light me,
God's ear to my hearing,
God's word to my speaking,
God's hand to uphold me,
God's pathway before me,
God's shield to protect me.

From evil enticements,
from failings of nature,
from one man or many,
that seek to destroy me,
near or far.

Around me I gather
these forces to save
my soul and my body...

Against knowledge unlawful
that injures the body,
that injures the spirit.

Be Christ this day my strong protector
against poison and burning
against drowning wounding
through reward wide plenty

Christ beside me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ within me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ to the right of me
Christ to the left of me

Christ in my lying, my sitting, my rising
Christ in heart of all who know me
Christ on tongue of all who meet me;
Christ in eye of all who see me;
Christ in ear of all who hear me.

For my shield this day I call
a mighty power:
The Holy Trinity!
Affirming the Three,
Confessing oneness,
in the making of all
Through love

If we encounter a man of great intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is with books as it is with men -- a very small number play a great part;
the rest are lost in the multitude.
- Voltaire

Choose an author as you would a friend.
- Wentworth Dillon

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
- Henry David Thoreau

Thanks for the quotes Jordon...
Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends.
- S. Weir Mitchell
(lifted from
Ok, gross thought ahead:
Stretched out, your lungs would have the surface area of a tennis court.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness." -Romans 8:26a

This verse reminds me of Aragorn's musing about himself and his weakness.
"The same blood flows through my veins. The same weakness." -Aragorn
This verse is really the true source of hope isn't it.
The help of the Spirit...for us who are prone to "weakness".
Almighty God has created the mind free...
-Thomas Jefferson
"...while mules are good for work, they can not reproduce."
-Erwin R. Mcmanus (book: An Unstoppable force).

The combination of a horse and a donkey is a mule.
Horses are smart but not as strong as a donkey.
donkeys are stronger but not as bright as a horse.
The mule is a good balance of both but can not reproduce...

Sunday, September 07, 2003

"Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.
But only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries."
--Elizabeth Barrett Browing
"I'm not a preacher and I'm not a pastor. But I feel my career was leading me to make this. The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelize."
--Mel Gibson
"We must remember throughout our lives that in God's sight there are no little people and no little places. Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God's place for us, at each moment."
-Francis Schaeffer
“I am not a King, I am only a singer. Christ is King.”
- Elvis Presley
"I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities. But from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and caught a vision of all Jesus Christ could do with them, on that day I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has had all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.”
- William Booth 1829-1912
"We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake."
C.S. Lewis (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer)

Saturday, September 06, 2003

"Can you protect me from yourself?"
I pondered this scene last night as I lay in bed.
I remembered the part where Frodo said the above words to Aragorn as he extended the ring to Aragorn in his open palm. Each day I see the "ring" extended to me in some form or fashion.
Beckoning to just take it. Simply reach out and embrace it.
It speaks to me, calls me...and there is something within me that longs to wear it again...

I pondered the response of Gandalf to the invitation of Frodo to take the ring. The fear in His eyes, the dramatic and godly fear that trembled on his lips as he pushed away the temptation.

"The same blood flows through my veins. The same weakness." -Aragorn

It flows in all of our veins, doesn't it...the venom, the virus, the plague...sin.

...evil is right there with me...-Paul (Romans 7:21)
...waging war...making me a prisoner...wretched man that I am... -(Romans 7:21-25)
...who will rescue me...? -(Rom. 7:24)

I found solace in the image of Aragorn slowly closing Frodo's palm, hiding the ring in the hobbit's hand.

Rejecting the offer...
Resisting the temptation...
Overcoming the lure...

Confirming the reality of his destiny as one who would be king.
King first of his own soul, then of a kingdom of men...
Sometimes our wise Heavenly Father allows us to lose our dream…to find our destiny.
-Jeanne Mayo

"The tragedy of life is not in the fact of death…
But rather, in what dies inside many of us while we still live."
-Norman Cousins

Friday, September 05, 2003

"I had 5 years of perfect attendance at Sunday School when I was a kid. i got this atrocious gold plaque celebrating it. they spelled my name wrong.
So where has the your rabbit led you?
"This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill: the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill: you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." -The Matrix

So what is the red and blue pill for you today?
Don’t think I believe in any of this growth crap...Right now I’d be glad to change some growth for some happiness.
-Harvey Pekar in American Splendor
A thoughtful thought...
Why does everybody have to be so stupid?
Hummmm...been there.
A song
I can't relive my life
I can't retrace my tracks
I can't undo what's done
There is no going back

I chased a selfish dream
Did not survey the cost
Illusions disappeared
I've found my innocence lost

Some say it's lessons learned
Some say it's a living life
I say it's choices made
Knowing wrong from right

One night I fought to sleep
In my slumber I turned and tossed
I woke to a cloudy day
And found my innocence lost

Innocent child is a beautiful thing
Secure in her father's arms
Sleeps while a mother sings

There's no way to know
All the harm this world can bring
I miss my innocence
Oh, to be innocent

My heavenly Father
The way of eternal love
That overflows with grace
I can completely trust

My broken heart repaired
And all my sin forgot
I can be pure again
In spite of my innocence lost

In his eyes I'm a newborn child
Cuz I accept his love
I have a newfound hope
Though I've found my innocence lost

I can be pure again
I've found my innocence lost
Back to "Simple Things"

-Innocence Lost © Amy Grant.
Sheesh...I quote "Seinfeld" all the time...
I really believe entertainment in a lot of ways has become a way for people to come together. It has, in fact, become--I'm convinced of this--it's become a replacement for religion. And I think that in the same way people used to quote Scripture they're now quoting ‘Seinfeld’
Michael Wolfe,Media consultant (MTV) , New Yorker December 1st, 2000

Hummm...this made me think.
"So many pastors today and pundits today, they’re saying, we’ve got to re-invent the church and get it moving forward, a new kind of Christian for the new kind of age, as Bishop Sean says. But the fact is you look at the scriptures and Christian history, the church always goes forward by first going back. And what we’re after is not re-inventing the church, but reviving the church. And part of revival and reformation is always going back to God’s standards.

This craze to be relevant. And words like re-inventing, and so on, everywhere. And we’ve got to examine these and ask what we’re really doing. And I point out simply, you know, when I first came to the faith, if the church was in bad shape, there would be prayer for revival.

Today if the church is in bad shape, we talk about re-invention. But what the church needs is revival, not re-invention. It’s not something we do by getting up-to-date, it’s something the Lord does by bringing us back to the power of his truth and his Spirit"
-Os Guinness

If you need a refreshing moment in a hectic day visit this flash site for a short music video.
I think it will lift your spirit today, it did mine.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Chew on This baby...
"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers- most of which are never seen- don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving.

People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

(Matthew 6 The Message)
Redemption is the promise that anything sacred, if destroyed, can also be rebuilt.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

The modest water, awed by power divine,
Beheld its God, and blushed itself to wine.
-John Dryden

Wow this touched my heart...
Doug Fields said:
This summer I got so tired of hearing and seeing the results of sin at our summer camp that I wanted to quit everything. One night I actually cried myself to sleep from a combination of tiredness and my hatred for sin. I was so saddened to hear the stories of date rape, abuse, drugs, sex, cutting oneself, suicide attempts, and unbelievable anger.
Click below to continue reading -

Monday, September 01, 2003

WIFE HERE: My husband said I couldn't blog on his page. : )
My wife just said my blog is Brain Barf...
WIFE HERE: My comment was mearly to explain that Blogging shows everyone what you've digested. Meaning, it is the raw essense of your insides. (note to husband: please quote me in context as to not mislead the public that you are a tortured soul with an unloving, unsypathetic spouse... : ) Love you)
This one hit me between the eyes!
I don't believe in student discipleship
"About the books on my shelf - Many of the books I have I have not read, I just want to be the sort of person who has read those books."

This made me laugh, I thought of my book collection and my fathers too.
I pray the choice of books that find their way to my shelves; will be more about the quality of spiritual fiber woven into my inner life, then mere looks.
There is something about the look of a book, the smell and feel of it as well.
Call me strange but there are few things more luxurious than holding, smelling and beholding a well crafted book!
"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."
-Mark Twain
"You must turn, then, back to myth---tomorrow and the next day and the next. Read the battle of Helms Deep; it's chapter 7 of the two Towers."
"You'll need everything that helps you see with the eyes of your heart, including those myths, and the way they illumine for us the words God has given in scipture..." -John Eldredge "Waking the Dead" pg. 220-2.

This was one of those moments that strike you like lightening! If you read my previous posts and have heard me speak at all in the last year, you know that this is exactly what I have been led to do. Even to the point of speaking on Helms Deep! In fact I just recently reread that chapter and posted on it a while back! That's a serendipity do-dah!

I must confess, John Eldredge's books have been powerful tools in my journey over the last year. I just finished his new one "Waking The Dead", an awesome book! I've read "The journey of desire", "Wild at heart" and I'm about half way through "Sacred Romance" (This has been my least fave so far but still good).
"Do you think I am trying to weave a spell?
Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales.
Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them.
And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has been laid upon us for nearly a hundred years."
-C.S.Lewis in "The Weight of glory"
"The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons. But children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

This has been a theme running through out my current spiritual consciousness of late. I have been returning to childhood. Visiting long lost friends that helped me through difficult times. When I first entered the way, I met a lot of legalists who instructed me in their own words or through their actions; that these previous companions were no longer adequate guides for the path ahead. I have found that to be untrue, in fact it was these heros that prepared me for the journey ahead as well as carried me through dark valleys

"I am concerned with a certain way of looking at life, which was created in me by fairy tales, but has since been ratified by the mere facts." -G.K. Chesterton