Saturday, January 24, 2004

What if He doesn’t have a purpose but, possibilities?
What if God’s plan is emerging and liquid not static and set?
Lord, help me to find the person and not the point.
Passion and not purpose, You and not it.
Written here

This thought has been clanking around in my noggin for awhile.
I'm speaking a message this Sunday that dances a bit with this issue.
"The Little Bird- Finding fulfillment and purpose in ordinary things" -based on Psalms 84:3.
Basically a message about learning to discover life in the midst of real life.
Learning to build your own "nest".
Walking in day to day life...awake.
Having open eyes of the heart.
discovering a day that is more full of God, than a future of could be.

Friday, January 23, 2004

The River's Pupil
1.23.04 - Eric Blauer

The Lord provides even men
who lose their way with pools
to quench their thirst.
-Psalms 84:6

There is something about deep waters,
that beckons to my soul.
Deep calls to deep, the psalmist moans.
It is a truth that echoes most alive
in the presence of a river,
that has gathered itself together
in a watery womb.

Meandering streams in fading summer's light,
Gentle fragrances of meadow flowers soothing crinkled brow.
The melodic whispering of stately mountain pines,
is as intoxicating as any of earths pleasures.

The mystery of it's dancing colors
and shimmering light,
like a sirens call,
has often lured me into her cool waters.
Whether in season or out,
The pull of the depths
Has quickly overtaken my more sensible self.

I'm a fool for the deep.

The soul is seen in ones eyes, they say.
And like the beautiful eyes of Eden,
a river's pupils…
are her pools.

The spell cast by her glances,
And the touch of her invigorating hands,
has more than once,
helped this lost man
find his way again.
"Let's quit fiddling with religion
and do something to bring the world to Christ."

"I want to preach the gospel so plainly
that men can come from the factories
and not have to bring a dictionary."

They tell me a revival is only temporary;
so is a bath, but it does you good.

-Billy Sunday

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Most delicious!

Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved Thee!
And behold, Thou wert within and I was without.
I was looking for Thee out there,
and I threw myself, deformed as I was, upon those well-formed things which Thou hast made.
Thou wert with me, yet I was not with Thee.
These things held me far from Thee, things which would not have existed had they not been in Thee. Thou didst call and cry out and burst in upon my deafness;
Thou didst shine forth Thy fragrance,
and I drew in my breath and now I pant for Thee;
I have tasted, and now I hunger and thirst;
Thou didst touch me, and I was inflamed with desire for Thy peace.
-St. Augustine
One of my faves

Ah! reign, wherever man is found!
My spouse, beloved and divine!
Then I am rich, and I abound,
When every human heart is thine.

A thousand sorrows pierce my soul,
To think that all are not thine own:
Ah! be adored from pole to pole;
Where is thy zeal? arise; be known!
-Madame Guyon

This is a portion of one of Madame Guyon's poems, which you can read here.
If you have not read her book: "experiencing the depth of Jesus Christ" I highly recommend it. It's one of the top five books and authors that have most influenced my life.
Here is a list of others that have been instrumental in shaping my spiritual life:
Watchmen Nee's books: (The normal chrsitian life, the spiritual man, countless others)
Testament of Devotion by Thomas Kelly
Guyon's books
Gene Edwards books (Tale of Three Kings, Divine Romance, Revolution, more)
Augustine (confessions, various writings)
Pushing to the Front by Orison Sweet Marden
Anything by John Elderidge (Wild at heart, The journey of desire, Waking the dead, sacred romance)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Jacob never loved Leah
Genesis 29

Ministry...or life for that matter, is a marriage to both Rachel's and Leah's.
It's polygamy at it's most holy state.
We are all "married" to that which we are passionate about and that which we do not love.
But we are called, or at least we could if we embraced it..."bear children" from both.

Most of my struggle in life stems from this reality...can I find life in Leah's eyes?
Am I willing to embrace the Leah's as well as the Rachel's?
Can life emerge from my relationship with both?

Even that which on the outside looks unattractive has the potential to produce life...

Sunday, January 18, 2004

-revival is not enough - new structures are needed for new people, not more people for same structures.
From Tall Skinny Kiwi

Duos qui sequitur lepores, neutrum capit
"He who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other."

"Scientists estimate that there is energy enough in less than fifty acres of sunshine to run all the machinery in the world, if it could be concentrated. But the sun might blaze out upon the earth forever without setting anything on fire; although these rays focused by a burning-glass would melt solid granite, or even change a diamond into vapor.

There are plenty of men who have ability enough; the rays of their faculties taken separately are all right, but they are powerless to collect them , to bring them all to bear upon a single spot."
-Orison Sweet Marden "Pushing to the Front" 1911

Voltaire called the frenchman La Harpe:
"An oven which was always heating, but which never cooked anything."

"The mind must be focused on a definite end, or, like machinery without a balance-wheel, it will rack itself to pieces."
--Orison Sweet Marden "Pushing to the Front" 1911

I think we live in a time where most of the "fighting men" have or need to, die in the wilderness (Joshua 5:6-9).

There needs to arise a new generation who desires the new land of promise above the comfort, security and familiarity of the old land of slavery. Those who are willing to embrace the dangers of freedom over the predictability of slavish servitude. Those who will dare to let go of the getting by, to leap into the shadowy arms of possibility.

We are surround with those who have grown content to wear the sword; but are not willing to use it.

Where are the Joshua's who know that to gain the promise you have to cut off the dead flesh of the past?
Leaders who will bring a nation to the flint knife and call a generation to radical sacrifice and bold testimony to the wild passion of a new future? (Read Joshua 5:7!).

There is little blood on the altars of our meetings and so there is little new land taken, few giants slain and a dim sound of victory in the camp and hardly any Calabs and Joshuas.

Often those who have been "led out" of the old are not the ones to "go in" to the new.
It doesn't have to be that way...but isn't that the story of humanity?
It doesn't have to be this way but it most often is.

Oh God roll away the shame of our slavery and awaken the spirit of possibility, of faith, of courage and of passion within the hearts of your people in this hour!


Just in case you might think of Iraq as "only" an oil rich nation, ruled by an evil dictator for 30 years, whether it has been supporting terrorists or may not be very important, here are a few important facts regarding the important history and roles that this nation has played down through history*

1 The garden of Eden was in Iraq. (it sure doesn't look much like Paradise on earth today thanks to Saddam)
2. Mesopotamia which is now Iraq was the cradle of civilization!
3. Noah built the ark in Iraq.
4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq.
5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq!
6. Isaac's wife is from Nahor which is in Iraq.
7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.
8 Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq.
9. Assyria which is in Iraq conquered the ten tribes of Israel.
10. Amos cried out in Iraq!
* Jacob spent 20 years in Iraq--Genesis 27:42-45 & 31:38
* The first world Empire was in Iraq--Daniel 1:1-2 & 2:36-38
* The greatest revival in history was in a city in Iraq--Jonah 3
* The events of the book of Esther took place in Iraq--Esther
* The book of Nahum was a prophecy against a city in Iraq--Nahum
* The book or Revelation has prophecies against Babylon, which was the old name for the nation of Iraq--Revelation 17 & 18
No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated it than Iraq.
And that is the rest of the story.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Words that Burn

"Only thoughts that breathe in words that burn,
Can kindle the spark slumbering in the heart of another."
-Orison Sweet Marden from "Pushing to the Front" 1911

"For I am full of words; the spirit within me compels me.
Indeed my belly is like wine that has no vent;
it is ready to burst like new wineskins.

I will speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
-Job 32:18-20

I love the book of Job, even though it's primary tale is tragic and produces a nervous anxiety in me.
"God isn't safe but He is good" C.S. Lewis wrote.

Life is far more mystery than anything else, and the book of Job though it pulls back the curtain to show a bit of light behind the scenes; is still quite a complicated drama that leaves one with more questions than answers.

But I think one of the things that intrigues me the most is the wild circle of hot debate;
that is found among Job and his friends.

Passionate opinions and fiery accusations are sparking off the pages.
Men wrestling with God and each other...true Jacobs.
You can almost hear the hissing of hot pokers sinking into flesh in their interchanges.
Sparks are flying, veins are popping, eyes are smoldering.
Propriety and manners are thrown to the wind; as the deep cauldron of emotion boils up out of the depths of human misery and confusion!

The heart and the mind like a well forged hammer; raining down blows on the hardened steel anvils of friends souls.

A circle of men, a gathering of minds, a war of words...Ah what delight...What danger!

Most of our gatherings are void of such passion, frankness and clear opinions.

We are sissies, mamas boys who can't handle oppositions, conviction and contrary winds.

We want smooth waters not making waves.
Safe and predictable clear skies not stormy seas potent with power enough to fling us to farther ports.

We want soft and quiet words fit for tender minds and fragile hearts.
We want the power of lightning without the frightening thunder.
And we wonder why people sleep in our gatherings...

Where are those who can speak, write, sing with such a blade that with a few sharp slices...
we are left bleeding on the floor and begging for more?

In job I find such a reality and it makes me long for more dangerous conversations.
More open friends, more people with bellies full of fermenting wine.

I think life would be more sweet to drink but for now... I read.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Heaven's Darling

This poem emerged out of a time of private worship and prayer revolved around getting a fresh vision and passion for the Bride again. One can tire of the earthly toil of attending the "church" if one isn't often "carried" to a high and lofty place to see the "Bride."

I pray today, that you would be able to be carried to a place where you can see the city, the river, the tree, the leaves, the fruit, the light, the gold, the jewels, the pearls, the angels, the music, the thunder, the lightning's, the voices, the sounds, the terrors and the joys of this one who is the passion of our saviors heart...the church, the Bride.

Heaven's Darling

Oh mighty eagles of eternity
Riders of heaven's winds;
Take me to a high and lofty place,
Far above my earthly vision.
Carry me to the place,
where the eyes of my heart can see.

Reveal to me the Great Lover's passion.
Overwhelm me with the most beautiful woman.

The favorite,
the darling of heaven,
the descending

Let the sparkling jewels dazzle me again,
The tribes of the earth,
Fitted gracefully across her brow,
The glorious crown of redemption.

The dawn of eternity, illuminating gem,
No temple needed, because the Sun of Love,
Is the eternal Lamp within her breast.

The wreath of Eden is woven about her,
A simple leaf brings restoration to the nations,
And wipes away every tear.

In her path falls the fruit of God,
Sweet nectar of the celestial vine;
Given to awaken the holy hunger,
Hidden in the desires of man.

From her belly pours the streams of life.
Copious, gushing rivers spilling recklessly outward,
Lovingly sprung for the desperately thirsty.

Her journey is lavished with glittering gold.
The idols of history melted down,
For a simple path.
The richest of men's wealth,
Freely wasted,
for the humble soles of her feet.

She walks with the Light of His face,
Spreading over the wasteland of humanity,
Where she treads, night has fled.

Her dominion, a quite wake,
washing the curse away, like a fading memory.

His life…her unfolding, unending future.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Wild Wind

"Prophesy to the WIND, son of man, and say to the WIND, Thus says the Lord God:
Come, O WIND, come from every corner and breathe into these slain that they may come to life."
-Ezekiel 37:9

"The wind blows (breathes) where it wills;
and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going.
So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (Wind)." -Jesus (John 3:8)

There is a wild wind blowing...
Gathering mighty winds again!
Thundering tempests, gentle blowing...
Heavens womb, carrying the seeds to the four corners!

Uproot, chase the flame, let fury and passion be unleashed.
Lean down and breathe on us.
We dare to inhale Your breath!
O foolish am I to try to grasp it, contain it, control it.
I must simply be in it...embrace it and yield to it.

May we be awakened to Your might,
like those standing within the eye of the hurricane...
frighteningly unaware of what is about to be unleashed,
but wildly hungry for Your holy madness.
O! WILD WIND! Blow once again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Actively Waiting

But there is none of this passivity in scripture. Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing. That's the secret. The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun. Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it. A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, who believes that this moment is the moment.

A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her. Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary were very present to the moment. That is why they could hear the angel. They were alert, attentive to the voice that spoke to them and said, "Don't be afraid. Something is happening to you. Pay attention."
- Henri Nouwen

From: thanks Jordon
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the
life in your years" - Abraham Lincoln

Monday, January 12, 2004

My little cup

I cannot offer You glorious kingdoms,
palaces of gold,
walls of rubies or gates of pearls.

The wealth of the seas,
The treasures of the deep,
a kaleidoscope of colors to robe you with,
is not mine to command.

The magnificence of temples, heavenly spires and intricate altars,
are not within my power to build for You.

I can't weave the songs of heaven,
celestial music You already have without end.

But one thing I have,
that isn't found in all the heavenly expanse...
the wine of my love,
I give.

I desire to be a better wine
in the end,
than the beginning.

To age well,
and be a chosen drink,
in the closing of my days.

You prophesied a more glorious draught at the dusk.
A wine that would surpass the glory of the dawn.
Better wine for latter days.

I desire to be the cup You choose to drink.
Let the wine of my love,
be Your drink,
in the days of Your abstaining.

I prepare a banquet of wine,
I set a table for two.

A simple and humble offering I give...

Drink, until you are drunk,
with my love.

"Your love is better than wine."
-Canticles 1:2

Sunday, January 11, 2004

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
-Helen Keller (Good quote Jake!)

Mere Shadows

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink
or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--
things which are a mere shadow of what is to come;
but the substance belongs to Christ.
-Colossians 2:16-17

Mere shadows...

I wonder how much of our life in Jesus is an interaction with "mere shadow."
Not the reality but a form of it.
How much have we been content to live with and assume it was the real thing but in reality it's something we are not supposed to settle for but press on to find the real substance.

I don't want the perfume of Jesus...I want Jesus!

Don't give me shadows, I want substance.
I don't want ideals...I don't want dream land.
Don't give me a life of pretend, I long for substance.

How much of the Christian life is lived in "mere shadows"?
We spend so much time pretending we are more than we are.
We are actors, playing parts we have memorized but have not really lived ourselves.

We hide in shadows. We speak in veiled conversations.
The curtains of our hearts are only slightly cracked.
We don't really love fully, we are safe, predictable, sanitized.
We couldn't greet one another with a holy kiss because we have forgotten how to kiss.
Were are the lovers...of God and men?

We are so nervous with each other...we couldn't sit at the last supper and drink wine because we all are afraid what we would actually say; if our inhibitions, our defenses were actually down.

No one lays on the breast of God in our gatherings anymore; such public display of affection, such unreserved passion is foreign to our tables.

Where are the weepers, the prophets of tears?
Where are those who have so much pain, suffering, wrestlings, thundering geysers of emotions within their turbulent souls that they cry rivers of tears over cities again? Where is the tender embracing arms of the heavenly hen, who longs to gather under her wings those who are unloved, unwanted and abused?

In mere shadows do we live...

God hasten the day when your people will cast of a life lived in shadows and embrace the light of who you really are and who you have really created them to be.

Oh God may I dare to come out of the life of shadows and begin to walk in the light.
Help me to live the wild pursuit of unashamed nakedness before God and man.

May I embrace my life in You with complete fearlessness and become one who fears nothing other than life less lived, than you intended it to experienced.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
-James 1:17

Thursday, January 08, 2004


Golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.
He is clothed in dazzling splendor.
We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty...
-Job 37:22

This verse reminded me of Paul's coversion:
A light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions.
We all fell down and I heard a voice... -Acts 26:13-14

"There waits for every soul a message and a revelation direct from the Highest. It will not harmfully clash with the message to any other, but it is distinctly his own and it will give him an orbit as distinctive as that of each planet, but in beautiful harmony with all the rest." -(From: Inspired words for the Inspired Life).

There is a Light that's greater than all other lights.
Dazzling in it's splendor, a light that can blind one to all other things.
A light that comes into dark places -John 1:10
A light that has the power to transform the heart of man.
The light that "illumines every man" -John 1:9
A light that "darkness has never overpowered" -John 1:5
A light that "gives Life" -John 1:4
The "true light" -John 1:9

So often we are like Paul, traveling with our companions and we all encounter a great light but each hears their own voice. Many impacted, one transformed.
Like a city of blind men and yet, and few with sight...the sun can dawn, but only a few behold it's beauty.

I'm so trying to find "my orbit" and the "beautiful harmony" of a life lived in it's perfect place. A life full of appointed glory and purposeful place. A life in concert, yet fully independent. A life connected, yet gloriously unique. A life full of light.
A life of light: moral, spiritual, intellectual and physical; a life birthed from THE Father of Lights -James 1:17

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

"As evangelistic results in the United States and throughout the Western world reach all-time lows, perhaps it is time to ask whether the problem is the message or the messengers."
from: Irresistible Evangelism: Natural Ways to Open Others to Jesus by Steven Sjogren, Dave Ping, and Doug Pollock


"Studies show only 17% of Americans read the Bible regularly
-President Jim Russell, (quoted in Pen & Sword, Nov/Dec 2003, Vol 11, No 6, pages 4+)

While 84% of U.S. adults interviewed by Barna called themselves Christian, people termed the following actions "morally acceptable":
cohabitation (60%)
adultery (42%)
sexual relations between homosexuals (30%)
abortion (45%)
pornography (38%)
the use of profanity (36%)
gambling (61%)

Hummm...I thought these stats were troubling.
"The Spirit empowers for a purpose, not just for an experience." -John Wimber

I like this thought but I also think there is a danger in seeing it to ridged. The "experience" of sex is a good example, was it created for "a" purpose or many? I think most would agree that there are many purposes for sex beyond procreation. I think some people have a real hard time with the fact that God created sex. experience is a real problem for some types of people. They just can't handle the fact that feeling good or greaaaaaaaaaaat can be godly. -Me
"He remains a fool his whole life long, who loves not women, wine, and song."
-Martin Luther

Oh, I could say a lot about this quote but people get all uptight when you speak about such things. All I can say is I agree Martin, thanks for having the guts to write it down!

"Beauty is the gift of God"
- Aristotle

All I have to do is look at my wife to find the truth in this.

"When a building is about to fall down, all the mice desert it."
- Pliny the Elder

Our churches attest to this reality and yet we are so timid on the edge of such obvious truth.

Quotes lifted from Liquid thinking
About three in the morning as we were continuing instant in prayer the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exulting joy and many fell to the ground
-John Wesley

“I want to boldly assert that it is my happy belief that every Christian can have a copious outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a measure far beyond that received at conversion, and I might also say, far beyond that enjoyed by the rank and file of orthodox believers.” From A Treasury of A.W. Tozer
"I kept on crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day in the City of New York – Oh! What a day, I cannot describe it; I seldom refer to it. It is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for 14 years. I can only say, God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask him to stay his hand.”
-Dwight L. Moody

"The Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through me. Indeed, it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love…. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings; and it seemed to me, as these waves passed over me, that they literally moved my hair like a passing breeze."
-Charles Finney, 1821

In This Corner...

"Gird up now your loins like a man, and I will demand of you, and you declare to me." -God (Job 38:3)

God calls Job to wrestle with Him.

In the end of it all, Job realizes that he was rambling on about so much that he thought he understood but in reality he should of shut his mouth. After all the "talks" God shows up.
After all the spewing of opinions, views, thoughts, rants, accusations and preaching...God comes.
After the fermenting wine is all spilled out...He shows up.
In all of our "wisdom" we have proved that we really should "take back everything we have said."

There is a wrestling going on right now, like Jacob I have spent a lot of energy trying to wrestle some blessing from God's hands. Like Job, I've spoken a lot of words, thinking I knew what I was saying, but in the end realizing, I was talking about stuff I didn't understand. God wants to change our names, change our walk and bless us in ways that we didn't perceive.

Like Paul, we have been rushing head long into our imagined "destiny" thinking we have been serving the purposes of God and then find out that we were actually blind. What "goads" have we been kicking against that are actually Jesus's instruments; to push us somewhere we never thought we would end up?

What have we been "wrestling"; thinking that if we could just master it, we would be blessed but in reality it's just going to defeat us. And really, that defeat is what is going to bless us.

We have been seeking to steal, take, manipulate, persuade, force a blessing and in the end we find out that He isn't "for us or against us" but for the purpose of God.

Like Jacob, Job and Paul, I find myself on the ground and in the dust...humbled, broken, dazzled by revelation light.
I hear a new voice, I hear a new name, I see in ways I have never seen. The direction I was going no longer looks the same.

The road no longer the road there.

Monday, January 05, 2004

We want to be of service, not just a service
The reality is that much of what we call ministry today is really administration. It’s about adding things—programs and strategies and rules. In my 22 years as a pastor, I often administered more than I ministered, if that makes sense. I’ve come to see that I was an add-minister more than a minister.
-by Spencer Burke

Wow how true these words are. The road out of this quagmire is the holy grail. Learning to live it, is the challenge of my life.

Considered philosophically, all that a great visionary leader does is awaken and harness the dreams and visions of the members of a given community and give them deeper coherence by means of a grand vision that ties together all the ‘little visions’ of the members of the group. The fact remains that no-one will be prepared to die for my sense of purpose in life’’
-p.188 "A Call to Missional Revolution" by Andrew Hamilton

I long to be this kind of person and leader. So often the opposite seems to be true in the church. We seek to harness people to our dreams and visions and then raise hell when they won't "die" for our dream. It produces frustrated leaders, I have been such a leader in my more self-focused times.
Angry, because you won't be what I want you to be...
Arghhhh! It's maddness, really.

Spit in God's mouth
"Many academics possess "a lot of degrees but no temperature."-Dick Staub

I thought this was witty. I meet a lot of people that seem to fit this, they are smart people but it's rare to find people with passion that touches me. I love passionate people, no matter what form it takes.
I think Jesus said it best: Be hot or cold, if your lukewarm, I'll spit you out of my mouth.
I know that is an extreme statement...but I didn't say it, Jesus did.
I want to live such a life, that when God takes a taste, He wants to swallow it up!