Friday, March 31, 2006

Beauty and the Beast

erics 001
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. -Ez. 34:4-5

I am a student of people, a watcher, perceiver and it often ends up breaking my heart.

There is a lady at the gym I work out at and I have noticed her many times because she seeks to be noticed. You see, she is very beautiful and unfortunately she knows it. She's blonde, full figured and flirty but in a subversive way. She is also married or at least she wears a big diamond on her hand. I see her float around the gym pretending to work out and making sure she is positioned near the nearest male in heat or at least the nearest male that will give her attention. For awhile I was annoyed by her preening, her perfectly positioned stretches, her bouncy hair and overly perky breasts for a middle aged woman.

Generally the type of woman I seek to avoid but today I saw something else.

As she was talking to some guy near me, I noticed on her upper arms were multiple bruises, perfectly positioned where a man's angry hands would grasp in a moment of violence.

Instantly the woman before me turned from Delilah to Tamar, from temptress to victim, abuser to abused and my heart was instantly opened to the reality before me. What I had judged as a sleazy attempt to get strokes in the midst of a hormone charged room, was really more of a broken whisper masked in the only way this cursed beauty understood.

The beautiful have their very own curses.

While some hearts are starving for the light of affection...some are overexposed and burned to a painfully blistered level. Beauty attracts beasts like an evening light calls bugs from the dark in a suffocating swarm.

Such women often become food for the beasts in our culture and are forced, dominated and severely mauled by the devouring spirit that seeks to scar the beauty of the earth. The lion-like devil that seeks out the vulnerable, the weak, the needy…the broken who have no shepherd.

In that moment I sensed the good Shepherd who as the book of revelation says is full of eyes, penetrating through her defenses and examining the wounds of her soul. He sees all our bruises, diseases, our brokenness and how lost we all really are. In that moment compassion again baptized my eyes and turned water to wine at the glimpse of a simple bruise.

This rainy morning my prayer goes out to this daughter that she would find healing in the hands of the Good Shepherd.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

gutter flower

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
Come, all of you flowers in the gutter,
Wanderers, vagabonds, moral hitchhikers with no place to go, but forward. You can throw away your broken rearview mirror now,
Toss it out the window, were never going back.

Liars, thieves, molested and molester, burned out, dropped out or kicked out…you’re welcome here.

Gutter flower, your beauty is lily like,
resurrections glistens on your face,
You are searched for, precious fragrance of earth,
Heaven’s worn a crown of bloodstained thorns,
to see your rising.

Bruised or broken,
Used or forgotten,
here you are gently found.

Drugged out, phased out, split up or chewed up,
Here you can stand up again.

Calling all gutters to give up the flowers,
Angels are gathering eternal bouquets,
Littering the place of His dwelling,
With hidden beauty.

You are wanted,
Gutter flower,
You are,
His delight.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Official resignation

Last Sunday was our official resignation at New Hope Christian Center as Associate/Youth Pastors.

2006 is our ninth year at New Hope and we have decided that it is time to pursue pastoring in a lead role in the days ahead. Due to the complicated nature of this transition and the overexposed nature of this blog, I will not be posting much of our plans and thoughts about all of this.

Due to an administrator mistake LeeElla accidentally published a web page on my other site that contained ideas about the emerging plans, I have deleted all of it due to the problems it created among some people. If that offended some of you, I apologize for that mistake.

I would also appreciate anyone who is not supportive of the new steps we are taking to please just delete my blog and move on. Nothing good is going to come from hashing out issues or gathering information, gossiping or flaming the site.

My goal is and has been to try to move through this season with as much grace as possible and it is getting harder and harder to do that. So please for the sake of civility and unity let's just refocus our hearts and strengthen our hands on the kingdom plow we are called to push and work for His harvest with passion, vision and enthusiasm within our own perspective fields.

If you love your church, than honor it with your prayers, your time, your money and move on in anticipation of the future.

And to all the murmuring out there:

I have no ax to grind.
I am not seeking to split a church.
I am not angry or a disgruntled person.
I consider my time at New Hope a blessing from God and a fruitful season of labor in the Lord.
I bless New Hope and the leadership and pray for the Lord to grant them the desires of their heart for the future.
I love my Father and Mother in law and some of the other family...(just kidding) ;)
I am not recruiting for the future.
I have taken my hands off of everything and laid it all in God's hands.

I am at peace.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Faces like lions...

The barbarian
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
From the Gadities there came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions and they were as swift as gazelles on the mountains...These of the sons of Gad were captains of the army, he who was least was equal to a hundred and the greatest to a thousand. -1 Chronicles 12:8-14

This is the spirit that is needed in the days ahead. A fearless faith, trained hands, swift feet, courage and maturity.

I believe these men and women are gathering and they are hungry for destiny, thirsty for the waters of life that will spill out of rock. Ready for a challenge and arising out of obscurity. They are image bearers of the Lion of Zion. The come from Ziklag, the wilderness stronghold.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sailboat or train?

I make no apologies for appearing to be sailing instead of on a train with train tracks.

I have never followed a God who seems to paint in straight lines and if that somehow frightens some people or gives them the sense of instability than I stand guilty as charged.

I am a sailor not a conductor, I am not the engine with a trail of people box cars behind me.
I am a simple man hoisting a sail and grasping a rudder with a twinkle of adventure in my eye as I sing a song of joy again. I can breathe the fresh air of possibilities, the open seas beckon with danger and opportunity...the safety of land is receding. 

I am sailing with the winds that are blowing, with a compass not a map.
It is about movement not a destination when it comes to kingdom life.
Not that there isn't leadership or vision...there is a captain on this vessel and he is tuned to the skies, the compass, the charts and the hard earned experience of years of sailing the mighty winds of the Spirit.
But make no mistake about it, the seas and the winds are not predictable and they are dangerous!

We could die :) 
...but we could live too!

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.

Dare we pray: Your Kingdom Come?

And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightening. -Ez. 1:14

I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
-Ezekiel 2:24

In the first few chapters of Ezekiel we get to see into Ezekiel's “Visions Of God”.
They are vivid descriptions of the descending throne and rule of God.

This vision is expressed in images and symbols that awaken a holy wonder and fear. The coming of this heavenly throne made of celestial beings, wings and varying faces, thunderous sounds of waterfalls and advancing armies, mystifying colors and spinning wheels within wheels. The laws of physics are broken in a multi-dimensional display of eternity intersecting with time.

You just know that wherever this mighty throne descends upon the earth; the enemies of God, the gates of hell will utterly be displaced by such an ominous SEAT OF POWER!

I saw this dominion in prayer the other day…it was captured in the swirling images of warring angels, displacing the gates. These angels are the footstool of His feet. The throne of God, the authority and power of His kingdom is descending in a flurry of spiritual warfare within this region.

What do you actually think happens when one prays that His kingdom would come?

What takes place in the spiritual realms when we ask the King of the Kingdom to establish the rule of His kingdom, the influence of His kingdom, the power of His kingdom in a city?  What transpires when He allows His throne to be revealed in a region or a season of time? Dare we ask for such realities to come? Are we ready for the shifting of times and seasons? Will we step into the responsibility of walking out the results of such a coming?


Friday, March 24, 2006

Nacho Libre

Jack Black is filming a new movie called Nacho Libre about a half Mexican wrestler and he posting little video podcasts on Itunes called "Confessionals." He makes me laugh out loud, I have downloaded all three so far...the one of him getting his full chest waxed is hilarious! Oh the agony!

Dreaming Out Loud at last...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
We desire to see God raise up a church for the emerging generation and a church for the fathering generation…to see the two kiss and birth the pregnant purposes of God for the nations. A house where Elizabeth and Mary can live pregnant for a season, with the understanding that when LIFE is present BIRTH is supposed to happen.

Two generations that know how to prophetically speak over the purposes of God being birthed in them and through them, not with jealousy or abortive resentment but with a divine sense of generational blessing. An understanding that a full quiver is a blessing but the arrows are for launching out, not to just fill the quiver.

A church that is being built for the emerging generation too not just the passing generation, Its face is turned towards the future in faith and hope and not the past in regret and longing.

To be a community that has Jesus and His purposes at the center of their life together. To grow a church that has its hands in the dirt of their city but a heart for the world too.

A community that revolves around Christ the Living word and finds its health and fruitfulness in abiding in His written word. A place of freedom, to explore the hard questions with honesty, relevance and fearlessness. To walk together but with purpose, mission and prophetic clarity and power. To restore the pulpit of God that attracts fire again. To see the Word of the Lord preached in simplicity and revelation. To preach the uncompromising WORD OF GOD with the purpose to mobilize and energize not paralyze. To challenge and encourage and to train peoples hands for war.

To be a safe place to be brought back to life. A house of resurrection, where the dead find life, the hopeless hear destiny and the broken are restored back to beauty again.

To advance not just camp. To heal not just pray for healing. To love with an intensity that reflects the heart of our savior. To enjoy our freedom in Christ and abandon the religious yokes that keep people sanitized but leaves a world unevangelized.

To be a community that has found its song. A place of joy, where the spirit of heaviness is cast off and the mantle of praise can be found. Where worship begins in the heart and spills out in our gathering times through song, dance, the arts and creative expression. A worshipping community that understands the power of praise and the intimacy of holy worship in spirit and in truth. That is not afraid of the Holy Spirit but understands godly fear and seeks to establish freedom with order.

A place where wonder can be restored and the mystery is embraced and where the Wind of God can blow unhindered, unfettered and embraced with anticipation. A room where fire can fall and produces believers that spread that life and fire into the community they live within.

A overflowing people who understand that God is the God of outflow…the river of God always flows out into the nations from the temple of God and in fact the closer to the temple…the smaller the river, so the farther out you go...the deeper the flow!

To find Jesus again in the face of the poor, neglected, abused and used, the forgotten, fragile and the lonely. To return to the highways and byways again. To seek out those who sit in darkness and find our place in the wounds of our city. To be close to suffering but able to release life. To be around, within and among our community as a present people.

To truly be a “in but not of” as a flower in the gutter.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gutter Flower

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born. When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, "LIVE!" Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, "LIVE!" -Ezekiel 16:5-6

This is the reason for the gospel, for the prophetic voice, for gathering. Love is calling for an answer. The cities are calling, this generation is a flower in the gutter and she has captured my heart.

The Voice Of Many Waters...

The mountain is on fire and smoke like a furnace has descended on it and the ground is shaking and there is a thunderous voice of rumblings in the spirit. For many it seems to old testament to be new testament but I sincerely believe that this is a test of ascension.

Who will ascend the hill of the Lord?
Who will dare enter the cloud of unknowing?
Who will walk into the engulfing fire and blurring smoke in blind and fearless faith believing that the righteous man walks by faith and not sight?
Who will believe that not even one hair will be scorched in the heavenly firestorm.
Who will advance in hungry anticipation of the words that give life to those who lose their life to gain them?
Who will sell everything to gain the peal?
Who will allow the wind of His word to blow away all security and fill our sails with a godly gail that will breathe revelation, power and momentum to the purposes of God in this city and the world?

These are the words of the Lord: When I cleanse you of all your wickedness. I will re-people the cities, and the palace shall be rebuilt. The land now desolate shall be tilled, instead of lying waste for every passerby to see. Men will say that this same land which was waste has become like a garden of Eden, and people will make their homes in the cities once ruined, wasted and shattered, but now well fortified. The nations still left around you will know that it is I, the Lord, who have rebuilt the shattered cities and planted anew the waste land; I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it.

These are the words of the Lord God; yet again will I let the Israelites ask me to act in their behalf. I will make their men numerous as sheep, like the sheep offered as holy-gifts, like the sheep in Jerusalem at times of festival. So shall the ruined cities be filled with human flocks, and they shall know that I am the Lord.
-Ezekiel 36:33-38

Gaz prophesied a song over this season last week and in it were these words:

Is this the time?
Is this the day?
the past behind
new life embraced

I really believe this is the time...of our choosing.

It's one of those moments that will define the future for many.
It is one of those Divine Moments that we will look back on with either gratefulness or sorrow depending on how we acted on the moment.

The issue is purely in the heart...are you following the voice of God or not?

If you are..than walk fully in it and anticipate the blessing of the obedience, no matter where you gather. The issue isn't whether it is on this mountain or that mountain but whether or not you are walking in spirit and truth. Some say this, some say that...I say what does the Spirit of God say?

Drink the water that HE GIVES and you will not thirst.

Choose man made cisterns and your cities will stay ruined, wasted and shattered.
Choose to follow the Voice Of Many Waters and your cities will "become like a garden of Eden"

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Visional Environments vs. Visionary Leadership

Pastor Erwin Mcmanus says:
One of the most common descriptions of leadership in regard to vision
has been this: the visionary leader casts a great vision and then calls
people to give their lives to it. Even here we betray ourselves. While
I confess it is difficult enough to cast a compelling vision that
rallies people together to move for a common cause, I am convinced that
this still falls short of the imagery that Peter gave us for the
church. Maybe visionary leadership is supposed to do more than cast
vision that captures people, but instead create visional environments
where men and women and even children begin to dream and imagine and
envision a life only possible in God. More here:

Man that resonated with me! I long for visionary environments that
birth God's purposes, not simply a place that seeks to uphold and
motivate people to adopt someone else's dream or vision. How about
becoming a church where we serve the purposes of God that are emerging
among us together as a community of people, as well as leaders. I am a
man motivated by visions and dreams but at the core of that vision is
the longing to see the house of the Lord full of pregnant believers
carrying around the purposes of God and helping midwife those into

I don't want you to carry my dream or vision alone. I need you to help
me birth it but in doing so we end up seeing more than one vision
birthed. Like Elizabeth and Mary we become a house of multi-generations
prophesying the prophetic destiny of the children and ministries within
our wombs. We rejoice and leap from our bellies at the sound and coming
of new dreams and visions. We are not intimidated or threatened by
another's baby but thank God that kingdom birth is taking place!

God is birthing His purposes and in that we rejoice that the devil's
works are under attack by the advancing fragile lives of his pregnant

mouth of fire...

The word of the Lord came to me:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you for my own,
before you were born I consecrated you,
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

“Ah! Lord God,” I answered, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

But the Lord said, “Do not call yourself a child; for you shall go to whatever people I send you and say whatever I tell you to say. Fear none of them, for I am with you and will keep you safe.”

This was the very word of the Lord. Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and said to me:

“I put my words into your mouth. This day I give you authority over nations and over kingdoms, to pull down and to uproot, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.”

The word of the Lord came to me: “What is it that you see, Jeremiah?

'I see a rod of an almond tree (
in early bloom)”, I answered.

“You are right”, said the Lord to me, “For I am early on the watch to carry out my purpose.” (
Or I am watching over my word to perform it).
-Jeremiah 1:4-12

It is interesting to me that as Believers we focus on the “build and plant” emphasis of the above scripture but shy away from the “pull down and uproot, destroy and demolish” parts of the verse that actually precede the building and planting part.

We pray for change and then when God begins to go to work and bring about change we are surprised that He would start to demolish what needs to be torn down in order to build what needs to be built. We are shocked that he would dare think that there would be something in our fields that needed to be uprooted.

Isn't that really the height of pride though, I mean really, the surprising thing would be if He didn't destroy everything we have tried to build or grow. Are we so arrogant or self-assured that we think we have only built with gold, silver and precious stones and there was never wood, hay and stubble mixed in? The season ahead will test what we have built or grown and as He sets it on fire, we will see what is left.

I fear the Lord and submit what I have built to His hands and this season of fire. Let that which has been of me burn and that which is of You shine for Your glory like a house built of rubies, sapphires, emeralds, silver and gold!

Let the shaking begin and let there be a “sound/noise” (Ezekiel 37:7) in the field of dry bones. Let bone come to its bone so that the promised army of God might arise out of death and obscurity, defeat and concealment.

Arrows of God, Arrows of Victory ARISE!!!

Look! I have released a measuring rod like a staff and someone said: Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship in it. (Revelations 11:1).

Listen! I have granted this day to be a day of AUTHORITY,  prophesy but in the spirit of sackcloth. (Revelations 11:3)

Look! Days come that will be a tilling of the ground…the ground will shake at the proclaiming of My words. I am bringing forward a word of witness and “Fire flows out of their mouth and devours. (Revelations 11:5)

The mouth of fire shall speak and that which is not of My Kingdom will be scorched.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The greatest proof of Christianity

The greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can
logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he
will stake his life on his belief.
- T.S. Eliot

Snake handlers

God says: What is that in your hand?" 
Moses replies, "A staff." 
God gives the first command: "Throw it on the ground." 
When the stick becomes a snake, God gives the second command: 
"Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." 
It is a strange time indeed when the Lord asks you to throw your
staff/rod on the ground. 
Especially when the very dream or vision that has sustained you or held
you up on the long journey starts to transform into a snake. There are
Divine moments when what used to be comfortable becomes dangerous. What
used to be familiar becomes possibly fatal. When the things we have
leaned on become the things we have to chase. 
God is turning rods to snakes right now. 
Snakes can bite, they are often poisonous and can wield some
frightening fangs. 
God is asking some of us to take the snake by the tail...a risky
endeavor indeed. 
Grabbing the tail makes you vulnerable to the head of the snake, he is
still free to bite you! 
God's ways are not man's ways...we always look for the safest path, the
easiest road, the way of least resistance and risk. 
But God often commands us to pick up serpents and many times He it by the tail. 
His call is a dangerous that involves risk and danger, not
safety and comfort. 
God wants men and women who have faced fear head on and learned to grab
it by the tail. 
They are snake handlers in the most spiritual sense. 
Is your destiny looking dangerous right now? 
Don't run from it...grab it by the tail! 

Monday, March 20, 2006


Do not desert an old friend;
a new one is not worth as much.
A new friend is like new wine;
you do not enjoy drinking it until it has matured.
-Ecclesiastcus 9:10

I feel blessed to have so many old friends.
There is something irreplaceable about friendships that have endured the test of time.
They are priceless, enriching and in a world that is so transitory...worth fighting to keep.

It amazes me how easily people will abandon those they have said they love.
How quickly we move on to some other relationship, church or friendship.
Our lack of community within most churches is because of our hollow and shallow relationships with each other. We are starving for companionship but painfully inept at nurturing the ones around us that could be far more satisfying.

I laughed today when I heard a local pastor on the radio say:
"If you don't say parenting is the hardest job on the planet, than you are not doing it right."

So true and it is also true with real relationships, they take work and they will be tested.

I hope you are able to drink deeply from the good wine of friendship and experience mature relationships they are one of God's remedies for a lonely life.

I am sending you grain, new wine and oil

"I am sending you grain, new wine and oil
enough to satisfy you fully...
He sends you abundant showers
both autumn and spring rains as before.

The threshing floors will be filled with grain
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil...

You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord God
who has worked wonders among you..."
-Joel 2:19, 23-24, 26

This was the promise given in October of 2003...I act promptly on it now, God forgive me for allowing other things to push in front of walking out this word.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

make room for this time.

Our friend Gaz from Bournemouth England sent the song at the bottom as a part of an email to me today, little did he know the timeliness of it.

God is bringing about many new things in this season and yesterday I attended a city wide prayer meeting sponsored at the Spokane Healing Rooms. During that prayer meeting a woman gave a prophesy that she said was for a few people in the room. It had to do with the dead child and how we need to know that God was bringing back alive things that had died. That as we throw ourselves on those dreams and pray, God will breathe life back into them.

I was instantly moved by the Holy Spirit and began to weep in the prayer room. In a room full of old ladies, gray hairs and rag tag believers from every status of society it was slightly humiliating but the Lord weighed down heavily on me. I began to interceded through silent groanings and deep pain for the many young people that I have seen enter into spiritual death over the last few years. My father's heart broke and a deep well of pain and longing spilled out in hot tears of supplication without words. Wave after wave poured out of my scarred soul.

I knew that I had received that word...which means that I intend on acting on it not just hearing it. The difference in bearing fruit from a word is on whether or not we simply hear it or obey it. Those who act...activate the promise...those who hear only...will only hear other peoples stories of how it came to pass for them. There are countless "words" waiting for the germination of faith and action to set in motion the growth of destiny. Prayer is not enough...become the answer as far as your faith will allow.

I had told someone the other day that the spiritual pregnancy of 2005 nearly killed me, literally. It was a very hard season of brooding over the purposes of God. Much died, so that much could be born in this new year. Much was taken, so that more can be given.

"The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears, The place is too cramped for me, make room for me that I may live. -Isaiah 49:20

(Here is the song from Gaz, notice the parts he put in bold):

Out of the desert
Will come the rivers flow
into the cover of darkness
the brightest light will show
out of the womb of the morning
will come you youth like dew

Is this the time
Is this the day
the past behind
new life embraced

I hear the Lord say to my Lord
come sit at my right hand
until the enemies crumble
all under your command
all of your troops will be willing
upon the battle day
see now your army arising
in majesty arrayed

Is this time
Is this the day
the past behind
new life embraced
no longer desolate
let this be fertile ground
-(godrey birtill - album - fertile ground)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blaze 06 final poster

Blaze 06 final poster
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
Here is the final BLAZE poster for this year's youth conference. I will have the promo video up soon for anyone to check out as well. Thanks to LeeElla for another great job!

less of me

less of me
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
218 and counting...

fat me

fat me
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
Over a year ago, around 250 pounds

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You will least for a while...

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do,
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
-Some times attributed to Mark Twain though unlikely.

What will we look back on twenty years from now and wish we would have
attempted to do?

William Wallace said it in a little different way in Braveheart when
rallying the Scots to engage a seemingly impossible battle that would
most assuredly kill many of them.

William Wallace said:
I AM William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my country men, here,
in defiance of tyranny.
You've come to fight as free men, and free men you are.
What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

Against that? No, we'll run, and we'll live.

William Wallace:
Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least for a
And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to
trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one
chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our
lives, but they'll never take...OUR FREEDOM!!!

many of us are not really living, we are existing, not overcoming, just
surviving. We are not walking in freedom but boredom, we no longer
hunger and thirst for what really satisfies and we are to distracted to
care anymore. We are retreating, like an army walking backwards.

What are our BOWLINES right now?

What is tying us to the dock, the familiar, the predictable, the safe
How many of us have settled for a "safe harbor" instead of embracing
the life the Spirit of God beckons to us to dare to live?
How many of us have settled for less than God would have us experience
because of our laziness, complacency, unbelief, past pain or present
pressures? What has you tied down? Is that a God binding or is it a
fleshly chain that has you watching other people sail and you stay
secure but empty?

A wind is blowing right now and if you hoist your spiritual sails it
promises to move you. It may move you in internal ways or it may
reorder your life on a more visible way but it will take you somewhere
guaranteed. Are we willing to be moved?

Will you be wanting to trade your days in the years ahead?

I want to live with no regrets today...that is true freedom!!!

blogging here again...

I am trying to find out how to put a comments application on my mac
site, I can't believe they put out a blog software with no comments
application...who put this together? So for now I will continue
blogging here and posting my vidoe and podcasts (which are audio blogs)
on my site. Oh I love technology...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Healing prayer in the YMCA

Yesterday I was a the YMCA working out and during my exercise I was
listening to a POD song called "Strength of my life". As I was
listening to that song I entered into it in a fresh way and the
anointing began to bubble up from my spirit as I worshipped in my head.
I have been in this situation at the Y before, where praise and prayer
merge together and I find myself starting to slip into the spill out
zone, sometimes I begin to weep but luckily it looks like sweat or that
I am a wimp and can't take the work out :)

Yesterday something different happened though, as I was singing, the
actual words slipped out and I sang it out loud, just the chorus but it
still caught me by surprise. There was people milling around but I
wasn't watching them. Then this thought came to my mind to raise my
hand in worship. OK, that was a weird thought, not the normal place to
engage in charismatic worship! But it was strong and I felt compelled
to do it, so I did, twice, not long but enough to look totally odd.

After the work out I was in the locker room and there was an elderly
gentleman from our church who was crouched over on a bench. I could
hear him murmuring or praying or something. He had his head in his
hands, it looked odd but I moved on and showered. As I came back in, I
noticed a couple YMCA staff around him and realized he was having some
health complications.

I dressed and came over to him and kneeled down next to him, he had
been in the sauna after working out and when he came out, he passed out
and woke up on the floor and then vomited in a garbage can and was
currently being soaked in towels and trying to regain his strength. He
was not looking good. I laid my hands on him and he asked for prayer,
which I had planned to do. I prayed for him with the two staff right
there and one of them even laid his hands on him too. Afterwards he
regained his strength and we took him to the hospital.

I had forgot about the quickening and the raising my hands in the gym
until I was running this morning.

I wondered if the Lord called those hands up for a reason this morning.
A man in that locker was going to need those hands laid on him and the
anointing was being stirred up before the need. It reminds me of the
scripture that says...before you called, I answered. In that case,
before he needed prayer, God was preparing the answer.

God's power...By my hand...preached it on Sunday and called to
demonstrate it on Monday! Amazing God.

so true...

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love
you back!
Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart
but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.
It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like
someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget

Friday, March 10, 2006

new website and new email

I am working on moving my blog to my new website that is part of my new apple computer software. You can check out the new site at:

Let me know if you can view it well on your browser, I have a Mac now and I am not sure how it will look for you PC people. But I have a multitude of new tools and dillywackers to use on this software, so more than likely I will move my life to this new site. Everything is integrated on my computer now: video, podcasting and videopodcasting, email, website, blogging, pictures it is amazing...I love my mac!

You will see a lot more stuff on my site in the near future, which might please you or confirm to you that I am a megalomaniac.

I will also be using a new email address too.

I will be phasing out my account soon.

Dusty VS. Thor

Check out an old Ground Zero Youth Church video of Dusty Bertch taking
on THOR the beast of a dog that our friends Roger and Kim Brake used to
have before he died.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

a vision

The wind was whipping across my face.
Dense fog and clouds hugged the coastline like ancient fires seeking to
cloak the shore.
I was in a boat, the waves crashing over the bow, the darkness giving
way to light.
I was not alone but I was first over the bow when the ship struck
Swords came shrieking out, shield strapped on my arm as I plunged into
the oncoming mass of men.
Up through the wall of opposition I fought, sword swinging, bodies
crashing into each other with fierce aggression.
Forward we pushed up the beach, slicing, slashing and plunging bloodied
steel into anything that stood in our way.
Like a mad river channeling its way down a mountain side we fought
towards the castle.
Great men apposed us, strong men sought to thwart us with steel and
stone but each one fell before me.
On through the great door, into the dark hall, kicking, thrusting and
swirling in a ever increasing path of death.
There he stood, a menacing lord, a dark force to be dethroned...the
prince who was to fall.
I slammed into him over the dead bodies of those who had violently
sought to hammer me down.
With a strong blow and side glancing move with my shield I cut him down
from the side.
He fell in defeat and I placed my foot on his head and pushed the crown
off his forehead with vengeance.
I turned and could see my own face...bloodied, weary, angry and

Can pastors be friends with their leaders?

Great article about creating a culture of friendship among leaders and
facing the age old idea that leaders are loners head on.
I so admire Erwin Mcmanus, I want a Erwin tattoo.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Stuff to mobilize not just move you...

Rumblings are more felt than heard and certainly never seen.
They come to you through the soles of your feet into the depth of your
Only then do they open the eyes of your heart.
They speak of a shift that is about to take place.
-Kembr, The Perils Of Ayden

The journey chose him, but the adventure was his to choose.

Adventure: is an undertaking or enterprise of a hazardous nature.

Jesus...invites us to come and follow Him. He is inviting us on a
divine adventure. He's calling us to be spiritual pioneers, explorers
and even warriors. To respond to this calling is to accept that you
will be a sojourner relinquishing the security of being a settler. To
follow Him is to choose to forever be an alien and stranger in this
world. You will never be the ideal citizen or even a permanent resident
of this planet we know as earth.

You have no control over when you die or (most often) how you die; but
you do have control over how you live.

Risk that God respects is fueled by a passion for His purpose and a
willingness to subjugate our lives to His mission. Prayer moves from
God what is Your will for my life? to God, what is your will and how
can I give my life to fulfill it?

There is a...Dividing line between those who SEE their divine
opportunity and those who SEIZE their divine opportunity.

For a follower of Jesus Christ, what it means to live on the edge is to
stand at the epicenter of where the kingdom of God confronts the
kingdom of darkness.

If your church is full of members, you get an occasional missionary. If
your church is full of missionaries, the rest is just about geography.
Most churches don't send missionaries because they don't have any.

You can not advance the kingdom of God with people who are in retreat.

We are both warrior and weapon.

The group may have been moved but they certainly were not mobilized.

It is not enough to assemble, you have to go to war.

Engage in an adventure so compelling that it causes the awakening of
the dead in spirit.

(Selections from Seizing Your Diving Moment by Erwin Mcmanus that have
been stirring me up)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Wow!!! is all I can say about last nights 2 hour 24 episode.
It is not very often that I am stunned by tv, but I was totally stunned twice last night. I think my jaw dropped and I said Holy Crap twice out loud, which I rarely say, because only Hindu's think crap is holy.

Jack shooting that woman in the leg was brutal and completely surprising and then ol Edgar...oh man, not Edgar. The body count was relentless last night, they were cleaning house.

24 is simply addicting.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

real men and sex

John Cassavetes said:
I don't understand all this interest in nudity. This desire to bare it all. Bodies are boring. It's our imaginations that make them interesting. Every woman looks better with her clothes on than naked. I tell my daughters that.
Playboy is the worst - to try to make it sophisticated for an audience to swallow; then, ten years later, they come up with a few pubic hairs. Isn't that wonderfully daring? I loathe Playboy. They just do it because there's money in it. Because we live in a Puritan society.

We've become a voyeuristic society. I also think we're starting to lose faith in the idea that one man and one woman can totally please each other in bed. Sex is becoming something of a community activity; more and more people have to hop into the sack together in order for all of them to achieve sexual satisfaction. That kind of thing finally robs sex of all its deliciouis and very private pleasures. When sex becomes commonplace, when the girl you want is trying out half your suburban community and the same is true of you, where are the romantic and secret pleasues you need out of sex?

I don't like sex to be ordinary and rational and organized and sane. That was what kept me away from meeting Elia Kazan [Director of "On the Waterfront]. As a young man, I saw him with these three girls going upstairs in a club. I never wanted to have anything to do with him after that. Maybe I would have liked him. Maybe I am a prude. But it just shocked me. I want more out of life - more than the knowledge that I can peform.

(Thanks Matt for the quote.)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I saw a fierce man today...

I saw a fierce man today.

He wasn't chiseled like a Greek god.
He wasn't handsome like a TV preacher.
His name was probably Harold or Norman, not Brad or Collin.
He had a fat gut that hung over his shorts and a really nasty scar on his arm that looked like someone poked a pencil into his pudgy flesh.
He wasn't white but Hispanic I think, something other than normal for Spokane.

He didn't seem highly educated or well versed in all the cultural do's and don'ts that are so important with all the suburbanites that frequent the YMCA. He wasn't wearing a Speedo or any of those other stylish swimwear accessories that make you look so sporty.

He was just average.

At least that is what I thought until I saw him at work.

You see Norman came into the pool pushing a severely handicapped man in a wheel chair. I watched him from the hot tub where I was soaking after my hour plus pursuit after the coveted Greek god chisel.

I watched him strap on water weights to this feeble mans legs and pull him out of his chair and lower him in the water on the handicapped lift. I watched him hold this man up in the water from behind, while he placed a few floaties under his arms to help keep him from sinking in the water. Norman had to hug this man from behind and walk him  through the water for exercise. He had to hold him or he would crumble into the water and drown on his own. He had to keep pushing the man's chin up to keep him from going face down in the water. The man was completely unable to do anything much on his own, he was a puppet in Norman's arms and Norman just walked him around in the pool.

I sat there wondering how much Norman was paid to walk this man around in the pool. I wondered how many people would think that this was a waste of hard earned money. I thought about how many people would probably rather just see that invalid in a bed somewhere watching TV and eating applesauce. There was another woman on the side of the pool helping too. She was telling the handicapped man to pick up his feet, hold up his chin and encouraging him to keep walking.

Here was two people spending their time on someone who couldn't say thank you or respond with much more than a cock-eyed look and a guttural moan here and there. You will never know them and are most likely asleep at this hour anyway. But as I watched those two people serve this helpless man who probably will never accomplish anything much in this life in the eyes of the world…I realized something.

Norman was a fierce man.

Real life…real manhood…is servanthood.

The fiercest life is a life of loving sacrifice.

I wept in that hot tub, tears of repentance, tears of admiration and tears of determination to love fiercely again. To hold others in my arms that might never accomplish anything other than what I am able to empower them to do together. I saw a real pastor in that pool. It isn't glamorous, it' doesn't pay the best, it is hard work with little recognition, it's a life of service and sacrifice and some people will drown if we don't walk with them in such a way. God calls some people to simply hold others up, to walk behind them, to encourage them and be their strength.

Little did Norman and his friend know that God was using their simple life to affect the kingdom of God. That they were preaching to a pastor by walking in the pool. Little did Norman know that today he would help a man see his calling in greater clarity and be used by the Holy Spirit to awaken compassion in a wounded heart.

God works in mysterious ways and He truly uses the weak things of this world to confound the strong.

Sons of Thunder, pulling chariots...

James and John…the infamous Sons Of Thunder as Jesus called them.

They were strong fisherman that seemed to be your classic type A personality, always pushing for results, aiming for the best spot at the table and not afraid to call down a little fire on anyone who didn't seem to meet their expectations.

They were hungry for adventure and risk and obviously had dreams of living out an Elijah like ministry of power, confrontation and victory over those who resisted God. They were so intense and pushy that even the other disciples began to feel indignant with them (Mark 10:41) after hearing them boldly ask for seats next to Christ in His glory.

They were brash and not afraid to ask for what they wanted and when challenged by Jesus with the cup of suffering they both declared they were willing to drink it and I believe they were serious.

Because real men want a challenge, they hunger for something that tests their merit. They like a fight, especially one that has rewards attached to it. Men like to win something. They long to rise, to ascend, to mount up, to rule and exercise dominion.

And live it they did…James was the first disciple to seal his testimony with his own blood, slain by the sword of Herod (Acts 12:1-2). And John lived a life of trials, imprisonment and suffering for the gospel, even though he lived to a ripe old age and died in his bed.

But in all their manliness they both needed a fresh revelation of what true manhood was and how to live a life that spreads life and not death. Jesus didn't castrate them and then bid them fruitful as C.S. Lewis put it, He harnessed their stallion like passion and redirected it into a life of service and sacrifice.

He taught them that the greatest among men is one who serves the lives of others, who puts the needs of the least fortunate at the forefront of his agenda. He taught them to go for the first place but God's way…the way of sacrifice. He didn't soak their drive with religious wet blankets but spurned them to dream bigger dreams and push for justice and mercy and take dominion over the chaos around them and strive to bring light in darkness. He didn't hamstring their ambition, He sanctified it and formed it into a sharp arrow for God's purposes.

We need men who thunder.

Not fleshy displays of bravado but strong, clear voices of truth that utter prophesies like thunder witnesses that lightning has struck. Real men echo the movement of God's actions on the earth. They can prophesy what God is doing, they can see and they can speak with authority because the Father is speaking to them.

They can drink the cup, because they have heard the call.

Jesus doesn't want to hamstring you but harness you like the fiery horses that pulled Elijah's chariot, you too will be one who pulls the purposes of GOD in this last hour with pounding hooves of power and bridled hearts of smoldering passion.