Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oh how I luv thee latte....

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

I'm sure someday, someone will come up with a reason why drinking coffee is bad for you or gives you cancer or something lame like that. And then many people will feel guilty for enjoying that hot cup of joe. You will see them huddled around the corners of buildings outside of office complexes, sipping in defiance. You will be forced to endure for the common good "No Drank You" commercials with annoying coffee stained teethed java junkies. I know its drink up while you dont have to bear the weight of societies over the glasses, self righteous, down the nose stare.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

blood & mud...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

"These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat." -Lev 11:13-19

There is this homeless man that has been following me this, memorial day BBQ, neighborhood park and today he was sitting on the bench in front of our church.

Waiting....for me.

I approached him, said his name...I remembered his name, he forgot mine. There he was, a heap of disheveled hair, dirty clothes, that pungent alcohol smell that I kinda like and kinda hate. Then there is the proverbial shopping cart...full of this and that, nothing and something. His had a little kitten on top, cute but dirty...kind of like him.

Then I noticed something, I wish I wouldn't have...he had the wings of a dead bird in his hands. Bloody, torn apart, fingers stained with mud and blood. He had cat food in a bag in the cart...I sat there staring at a man taking apart a dead bird carcass. He looked a bit uncomfortable and explained it was from down the street where a man raises pigeons. He said he thought one of the cats must have killed it. I shrugged and humphed but really didn't know what to say as I sat there looking at the remains of that bird laying on the cement by our church door.

I was sickened. I really dont know if he was eating the bird. But the whole process was something that hung in the air...suspended in disbelief and mild horror. I sat with him...simply because a man who is eating or carving, or carrying around dead pigeons needs a friend. I almost cried talking to him...sickened by the harsh realities of the urban poor. After our time together...I got up to leave. He rose and reached to hug me. I winced inside, slightly frantic as my inner gag reflex made me quite aware that it didn't like the possibility of contacting blood and mud.

He hugged me twice.

I washed my hands and arms furiously...slightly ashamed, but also aware of the holiness in the vile moment.

Sir Richard the Brave Knight: part 3

Sir Richard
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

My son's ongoing movie has episode 3 up on YouTube.
Where he gets the ideas for this stuff escapes me.
I am proud of his emerging talent, passion and creativity.
The dedication is inspiring, he spends hours editing, filming, scripting.

see it here:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

broken but stronger...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

"See these broken knuckles? Broken knuckles are like broken hearts, the more they're broken the bigger they get."

I attended a Veteran Memorial BBQ hosted and run by a friend of mine in a park in our neighborhood yesterday.
There was a live band, BBQs grilling chicken and hotdogs, baked beans, potato salad. There was around 250 people there, mostly folks from the missions, the VA hospital, recovery ministries and the surrounding neighborhoods. Rough folks that have lived hard lives that are written in their faces, clothes and conversations.

But yesterday many were honored for their service for our country. They were treated with dignity, entertained and lovingly fed by a rag tag group of front-liners who love Jesus and love these neglected members of our community.

I watched a lady I know cradle a broken 19 year old man from the gay community in her arms. She counseled, held, loved and I'm sure prayed. Moments like these happen when we make a choice to live out the love of Jesus in practical ways...rain or shine. Oh and my sister is blind too but its so obvious that she truly walks by faith and not by sight.

I pray more disciple will follow the same path.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Who will arise?

Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise, says the Lord; I will set him in the safety for which he longs. -Psalms 12:5

Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted...The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan, break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer, seek out his wickedness until You find none. -Psalms 10:14-15

I truly believe the hope of the world is Jesus. The challenge for the church and for us as Christians is to LIVE in such a way that the world can once again believe in a Jesus they can't see. How we live as a community inhabited, filled and haunted by God is critical in this hour. The beauty of a church living together, serving one another, loving the unlovable, spreading goodness, grace and love is part of bringing about the salvation of the Lord. The gospel isn't only something we preach, it is something we live. It is not just is is a way. A path. The gospel challenges us to live differently in this world. Not simply by not doing naughty things, but by living in a way that reveals another kingdom. Our way of life both personally and corporately should reveal Jesus. He can be seen in a group of people. He needs to be seen again.

For this to happen, it will require a cost to be paid.

For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. -Philippians 1:29

The truth consists not in knowing the truth intellectually but in being the truth... Knowing the truth is something which follows as a matter of course from being the truth, and not conversely. And it is precisely for this reason it becomes untruth when knowing the truth is separated from being the truth, or when knowing the truth is treated as one and the same thing as being the truth, since the true relation is the converse of this: to be the truth is one and the same thing as knowing the truth."-Soren Kierkegaard

Suffering is a part of birth. It is the path towards life. It looks like death but it really is the only way that life is born. God is looking for those who are willing to be used in birthing the works of the Spirit. Those who are willing to carry about in their body the sufferings of Jesus. Those who will endure the pain of birth so that others may live. To travail in the throes of life, wrestle with the terrors of new life. Bleed on the bed of new creation. Mothers and fathers in the spirit, who will submit to the process of God, the cross of Christ, in order to see another generation of disciples grow up in the Lord.

King David prayed for God to arise, to not forget, to listen again and rise up and work for justice...I think the same call is going out to us.

Can't we hear the groaning of the afflicted?

Who will arise?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The hidden power of prayer...

This is a short video from a church in Amsterdam called Zolder. It shares an overview of the amazing things God has done for this church since its planting around 4 years or so ago.

I met the first team that came to scout out Amsterdam, in a youth hostel I was staying in during one of my many prayer journeys to Amsterdam. I realize now the work of prayer the Lord was doing in preparing the way for many new gospel initiatives, church plants and emerging ministries in that city. Over the years I have seen the Lord unveiling His redemptive plan in that city. I rejoice when I hear these reports, I truly bear a deep love for the work of God that is prevailing there. This video only alludes to the tragic fall of the lead pastor to immorality that took place in the early days of the church. But through the tragedy they survived because a church isn't about a man or even a team but...Jesus, who is Lord and head of His churches in Amsterdam.

If you are attentive you will even see Christa at the end of the video in a shot of the worship. She was staying with us a for 3 weeks a few months ago. It's amazing the way God weaves lives, stories and ministries together in ways some people never will know. I have worshipped with this church when they were in the attic. I remember my concern and uneasiness when I sat and talked with the lead guys on their first scouting trip. I remember the labor pains of prayer, the travail of tears that God splattered all over the streets of that city as I walked, worshipped, evangelized and prophesied the word of the Lord to men, canals, homeless people, prostitutes, drug addicts, kids, women, statues, churches and whatever else God said to pray over.

I remember serving various churches and ministries and people by myself with a few fellow travelers and a team from one of our previous youth churches. I remember salvation's, prayers for healing under dark bridges in the rain, dinners with missionaries who serenaded us on strange instruments. I remember the presence of God that was like a sweet incense in the room of a ministry to drug addicts, prostitutes and lost people. I remember the heroin addict who was visited by Jesus in mental hospital and was instantly delivered and set free and put back in his right mind.

But most of all I remember God calling me as a youth leader in a youth group at 18 to a city I had never heard of through a Billy Graham film. I remember walking out of Central Station in Amsterdam for the first time...tired, wild and standing on the edge of an adventure that had more ramifications and manifestations than I ever dreamed.

Mysterious are His ways.

I woke this morning with Amsterdam on my heart and again...God wept.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I believe the church has forgotten its identity. The church is not an institution, a meeting, or a building. It is not something we go to. The church is something we are — an organism, not an organization. Instead of living out this alternative vision, the church has been content to be a broker between the rich and the poor. Both those trapped in poverty and those trapped in riches view the church as a distribution center, a place where the poor come to get stuff and the rich come to dump stuff. No radical new community is formed.  In this model, both go away satisfied (the rich feel good, the poor get fed) — but neither goes away transformed. They do not join together to discover a new way of living.

People do not get crucified for charity. People are crucified for living out a love that disrupts the social order, that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them. 
-Selection from the article: Downward Mobility in an Upscale World by Shane Claiborne

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sir Richard the Brave Knight - episode 2

My sons latest son is the one wearing the vader hat.

The truth do I tell you now I do...

The real reason Yoda was a shriveled up little green dude with stunted growth and a raspy voice...

Holy hugs...

Questions that have bumped around in my brain of late:
Is this what american christianity offers men?
Is the gospel another self help message?
What does real gospel community look and feel like?
Is this our image of Paul and Timothy?
Can christians get addicted to community to the detriment of mission?
Is the internet a sign of the type of community people really want?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Someday soon...

Here is one thing I will do before I die....sea-kayaking with orcas in Johnstone strait.
6 days, four hours of kayaking a day from camp to camp. You will see orcas, bald eagles, deep clearwater with all the sea life it contains, porpoises, humpback and minke whales...sounds like an amazing, fully outfitted and guided trip for only $990 bucks.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Catch the wind

I heard this song on a commercial that I thought was a Bob Dylan tune but it ended up to be a British 60's folk singer named "Donnovan". Love the song.

Friday, May 18, 2007

the fog in our eyes....

The fruit you long for has gone from you and all the things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. -Revelations 18:14

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
-Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five


"It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor's glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare."
- C. S. Lewis

“I really struggle with American Christianity. I’m not really sure that people with our cultural disabilities, people who grow up in a culture that worships pleasure, leisure, and affluence, are capable of having souls, or being saved.” -Rich Mullins

Thursday, May 17, 2007

They are watching....

What I am watching on tv...

Best show in a long time...I am a 24 fan but this season is dragging for me, so I download 24 and watch Heros.
Good stuff.

What I am reading...

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding how God changes lives.
By Dallas Willard
Deep, practical and rich.

What I am listening too...

Darell Evans: Uncharted Waters
Praise & Worship music
A good listen...

Children of Men

I watched this last night...what a dark, eerie, at moments, violent film and the language was way to rough for my liking.
Completely engrossing but leaves you shuddering with a overall feeling of wanting to move into the woods.
The vision of the future portrayed is desperate and gloomy...scary.
I am still trying to figure out the whole "faith" elements in the film...and what was the "Human project"?
The total environmental destruction and pollution portrayed in the movie, made me want to go out and buy a hybrid car.

The Illusionist...

I reluctantly watched this movie the other night with LeeElla and ended up really enjoying it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We are insatiable...

The operating biblical metaphor regarding worship is sacrifice. We bring ourselves to the altar and let God do to us what God will. We bring ourselves to the eucharistic table, entering into that grand fourfold shape of the liturgy that shapes us: taking, blessing, breaking, giving—the life of Jesus taken and blessed, broken and distributed; and that eucharistic life now shapes our lives as we give ourselves, Christ in us, to be taken, blessed, broken and distributed in lives of witness and service, justice and healing.

But this is not the American way. The major American innovation in the congregation is to turn it into a consumer enterprise. Americans have developed a culture of acquisition, an economy that is dependent on wanting and requiring more. We have a huge advertising industry designed to stir up appetites we didn't even know we had. We are insatiable. It didn't take long for some of our colleagues to develop consumer congregations. If we have a nation of consumers, obviously the quickest and most effective way to get them into our churches is to identify what they want and offer it to them. Satisfy their fantasies, promise them the moon, recast the gospel into consumer terms—entertainment, satisfaction, excitement and adventure, problem-solving, whatever. We are the world's champion consumers, so why shouldn't we have state-of-the-art consumer churches? -Eugene Peterson

Liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons...

One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said:
"Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
-Titus 1:12

I left the church after cleaning up at our monthly family movie night Friday night and right in the street in front of my house was a street brawl. A bunch of teens got in a fight, a girl got punched in the head and a some guys got after each other, fist flying, heads getting pounded on the cement...all while my kids watched from inside the house.

8 police cars, two fire trucks and an ambulence...lights flashing, sirens blaring and cops all on edge. You never know around here if something is going to go deadly real's often a powder keg waiting for a match and the cops know it.

Our neighborhood is full of Cretans....evil beasts.

The countless Rottwielers and Pitt Bulls chained in numerous back yards, testify of the spirit roaming in this area. Some of these creatures sound like the mythic blood hungry Grendle as they strain at the edge of thier chains in a fit of rabid horror, practically jumping out of thier skin to taste your liver! Think of the people who have these flesh-eaters as pets and you get my point.

Savegry is a part of life here...many people are cruel, rude, cocky, loud, obnoxious, vile, foul mouthed and dirty. They are always lying, stealing and live lazy lives of drug dealing, jocky box'n and welfare draining schemes. They pump out kids for money, they rip off the state with endless tall tales and pretend to have every ailment under the sun in order to spend another day loafing around.

Yet...God loves them and calls me to love them because He desires that they get saved, cleansed and taught how to live lives that glorify Him and add life not death to the community. Like Titus must have felt, I feel overwhelmed at times by the wild west like reality of doing church here...on the edge of civility

I often lay on my bed at night wondering...can a pastor carry a gun?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jesus, for more than the church...

Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing need, so they will not be unfruitful.
-Titus 3:14

Some of the values I have sought to instill from the beginning as a church in this neighborhood are expressed in this phrase I read somewhere:

-New more than the old
-Edge more than the center
-Lost more than the found
-Going more than the staying

Living that out has been a challenge but one of the areas that it has been fruitful has been during our First Friday events and now with our Family Movie nights once a month. Both of these events have drawn many people that are not Christians. Last night the cafe was filled with over 50 people and the majority were kids from the neighborhood that do not attend a church service yet. Bill and Sue who head up this event, provide popcorn, pop and candy and a movie. Sue is out on the streets inviting, passing out flyers and after the movie the team makes sure each person that comes is invited to the children's program or a service.

I met with a couple for pre-pre-martial counseling last night that came to First Friday last week. He had stopped in when he saw the First Friday sign and ended up coming that night with his fiance and son. That provided me with a chance to share truth and wisdom for them and hopefully help start laying a foundation for a christian family.

These are fairly easy first contact type activities but they help formulate ethos of the growing body. We are planning a neighborhood block party for mid June to celebrate our 1 year anniversary as a church. We want to look for more and more ways to throw parties, engage the families of our community and teach believers that church life is about sharing Christ naturally, reaching out in service and love and being active in walking out our faith not just talking about it all the time.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sell everything you have....

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Paul to Timothy.

Make every effort to come to me soon, for Demas having loved this present world, has deserted me. -Paul to Timothy.

Planting a church is full of moments that you will forever treasure and many that you will want to expunge from your memory if you could. So much of all of it centers around people. Much of that is reduced to expectations and coming to realize that you are not the person other people thought you were and they are not the people you thought they were. That can be a tremendous stumbling stone in the work God calls you too. People will come and many will go. You have to accept it, let it go and embrace the knowledge that it is not only good but best for you.

I have recently been walking my dog every morning around my neighborhood. the beauty of spring has lured me away from the gym and outside. I have spent time admiring the colorful flowers that are springing up all along the trail. Gazing at the trees that have come to life after a long, cold winter. Stopping to breathe in the fragrant perfume that is being released in the woods. Such life, such beauty, all fresh and new for the season.

We appreciate it, not because we have never seen it before but because it comes and goes. It's a grace from God.

New flowers, new trees, new grace...but the subtle difference is: He makes all things new...not all new things.
You can find cycles of rejuvenation al around you. At the end and beginning of each season we have to allow death and embrace life. As we learn to let go, we learn to receive. God has put a rhythm into creation that teaches us how to walk more free. How to empty our mind and heart, how to clean the slate, start over, dream again.

Many people can't seem to see Spring, they only see fall or winter. They cant let go of what was or who they were or were not. They are trapped. I am choosing this season to be open to new flowers, new plantings, new fragrances. Making room to grow something new in the neighborhood. God has some fresh seed. Some of it will grow fast and some of it will not.

I am praying for more soldiers to come. More people who have a desire to suffer hardship, labor, work, plant and reap. People that can embrace the new, sow in hope, reap in sweat. There is so much opportunity around here...the harvest is ripe but in the end, the laborers are few. Uncultivated fields lay all around me. Souls that could be lovingly shaped and grown are being ravaged by neglect. It's a war but few are really engaged in the actual hand to hand combat. They are more comfortable writing checks, throwing up prayers, slapping you on the back and saying well done...better you than me. Choosing comfort over commitment. When did God ever call us to safety?

I hugged a young single mother yesterday, who was crying because her father had told her he thought she was a low life mooch. She is on welfare. She wants to be someone more for her daughter and for the Lord. She wept how she felt that she had no one to encourage her. She has dreams and is writing out a business plan to fight to get somewhere else than where she is in life. It's a battle...she is fighting alone. There are enemies to that fight all around her down here. Druggies, old friends who want to drag her down, boyfriends that want to knock her up and knock her out of the race. She needs reinforcements.

I send out a call to anyone who is reading this, wherever you live.


"Find a need that breaks your heart, and break your back to meet that need."

Sell everything you have.

Give it away and come.

Embrace a fall and winter to experience a spring in your life.

Poverty will release you to enter a season of fruitfulness you have never known. A man's life doesn't consist in what he owns. that is a lie. Reject it. Be a Timothy not a Demas. Soldiers dont choose where they are going to live or fight...the Commander does. Where is Jesus telling you to fight? let's bust open some gates, take the fight to the edge. Remember gound is only taken when solidiers are willing to lose it all and even die. handed and making a fist...and pick a flower and pick fight!

There is ground to take.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A gift...

I asked the Lord a week ago for help...I needed a break, a chance to catch my breath...a sabbath.
Two days later someone handed us a set of keys to their cabin on Diamond Lake. They said we could use it anytime.
I knew the Lord was listening to the cry of my heart.

This is the view from the was so refreshing to sit and breathe in the cool lake air. To open my bible at sunrise and awaken the day with fresh words to my soul. I slept and napped, which I hardly ever do during the was a simple but needed grace. I walked early in the morning and saw 3 deer, how do they hide with those flipping white tails that look like someone waving a flag that screams "here I am?". I was startled by a huge great blue heron I spooked out of his marshy breakfast area. I almost caught glimpse of a humming bird. I saw 8 turtles sunbathing on logs, geese & ducks and a strange water bug that plays dead when he thinks you are watching. I watched a falcon dive into the water for fish. I was serenaded by a symphony of feathered singers. I was mesmerized by seeing the stars, clear and bright in the reflection of the night sky on the lake...two celestial heavens, one above and one on the water. I watched lots of fish leap from the water, I am brining a pole next time. I was visited by a cat in the early morning, he just wanted to say hello and asked for a few strokes.

We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass---grow in the silence; see the stars, the moon and sun, how they move in silence. is not our mission to give God to the poor in the slums? Not a dead God, but a living, loving God. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us. All our words will be useless unless they come from within---words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness. -Mother Teresa

Thank you friends for the gift of quiet, you dont know how priceless it is to me.

Death by ministry


300 was a dark, bloody, raw and sensual film that has mesmerized
thousands of young men and many preachers.
Here is one pastors take on it:

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Suspended reality...or just real ministry in the real world?

Here's a snap shot of an evening at Jacob's Well...

A jedi with a hand made light saber, a cloak and a Darth Vader tattoo across his back, ears with plugs and enough metal to drown with if you fell into a pond...but this Jedi can weave a story, entertain a child and has a flicker of light in his coming to life eyes.

A man who calls himself a "drunk, bum"...he's dating a married woman. I encouraged him to find a woman that would just be interested in him, he replied" Why do that, then she would always be calling ME!

Skulls, tats, smokers, drinkers and a dog visiting an art gallery.

Toothless cussers, ex-abusers, piles of excuses and slightly drug tainted illusions...tales of rape, abortion, murder and redemption...down here you find that Jesus has called a few Hell's Angels to be disciples.

Sitting with death...a man breathing his last few days of life. Emphysema and cancer, hard living catching up...prayers for the dying, hugs for the wife watching her lover slip into eternity, granddaughter's tears sliding down her soft cheeks like hope running away scared.

Wandering people off the street end up being guests...find a preacher and set a time to talk about getting married.

Welcome to our world...I feel like I am this neverland?

First Friday...on the other side of the tracks

Last night was our 4th First Friday...on the otherside of the tracks.
Avery Willman and Daniel Ryan were our visual artists for the evening.
These two pieces are my favorites from them.
It was a more edgy First Friday, a very cool night.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Re: the republican debate last night....

John McCain's performance last night summarized in 17 words:

"I'll follow you damn kids to the gates of hell if you don't get off my lawn!"


That made me laugh out loud. I think Mitt Romney stood out above the rest. 

Where Van Gogh went...

I found where God let Van Gogh live after he died...on Jupiter!

Here is a secret worth hearning...

Spirituality is not a formula; it's not a test.
It's a relationship.
Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy.
Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection.
The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of
our lives.
Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of
spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but
because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the
one who is present in the tangledness of of our lives. Spirituality
is not about being fixed; it is about God being present in the mess
of our unfixedness. -Mike Yaconelli (Messy Spirituality)

The secret...

I have a friend in Spokane that has been struggling in his walk with Jesus.
He hasn't been going to church regularly for years etc and recently found this video and now the book.
He said it changed his life. I read some of the book and realized its "New Thought" dogma...old stuff repackaged into something for our generation.
I was grieved.
I have been trying to think about how to approach him without throwing water all over his new found change; and driving him away. I am hoping to find a way to help him respond more fully to the real light; not this vague reflection, partial truth, shadow light. There is something more than "selfish desires" that resonate with him in this teaching.
He comes from a big church that is now no longer in Spokane. He was brutally disillusioned by legalism that found its way into a lot of the teaching and upbringing of the families and young people there. They were sincere but sincerely wrong with parts of their gospel.

I think the message in this book has freed him from the looming judge that always has his thumb and check list.
A change that I do think God is at work in bringing about but the work isn't ended. God is leading him out of the shadows, sin, false gospels and into greater and greater light and life. The light in this book is a perversion of grace instead of the gospel of grace. It's like he is falling off one side of the boat while trying to lean away from the other side of the boat.
I pray that he would be able to find a "balance of freedom" that enables him to ride in the boat and journey in joy and peace.
Your prayers and wisdom and action are required as we confront in love this false gospel. All the while understanding that what many of these people long for is not a kingdom but ultimately they are longing for the King.

The new age/new thought gospel focuses on a creating your own kingdom with you as king.
The true gospel presents a King who gives you a kingdom that He creates, designs and controls.
One kingdom has a garden with a snake and lie in it; and fruit that does seem good for food but in the end drives you farther away from paradise. The other Kingdom has a garden in it with a tree of life and fruit that grows every month and fruit and leaves that bring eternal life and healing for the nations.

Our nation needs to hear the true secret: Christ Jesus is the way to true, liberating, joyous life.

Pray for my brother in Christ and me as I look for the oppurtunity to share the gospel more fully with him.
I love him and desire for him to come to a fuller knowledge fo the truth he already has in Christ.

Our gospel is in a book as well...God help us to read it, live it, share it and help people move away from these false gospels and embrace the gospel of the Lord Jesus.

It is the real good news...a secret worth sharing

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you." - Fran Lebowitz

an act of his own...

It is tragic how few people ever 'possess their souls' before they die. 'Nothing is more rare in any man,' says Emerson, 'than an act of his own.' It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are some one else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Christ was not merely the supreme individualist, but he was the first individualist in history. People have tried to make him out an ordinary philanthropist, or ranked him as an altruist with the scientific and sentimental. But he was really neither one nor the other. Pity he has, of course, for the poor, for those who are shut up in prisons, for the lowly, for the wretched; but he has far more pity for the rich, for the hard hedonists, for those who waste their freedom in becoming slaves to things, for those who wear soft raiment and live in kings' houses. Riches and pleasure seemed to him to be really greater tragedies than poverty or sorrow. And as for altruism, who knew better than he that it is vocation not volition that determines us, and that one cannot gather grapes of thorns or figs from thistles? -Oscar Wilde

like leaves falling....

"A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come - people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, " one stood with me, but all forsook me....But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me..." (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails. When "important" individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do - to look into the face of God for ourselves."
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest