Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just because...

...I have a cell phone, it doesn't mean I have to answer when you call...
...a text message will tell me what you want and doesn't give me the option to not answer a call, doesn't mean I have to respond to your text message... cell phone lets me know you've emailed me, doesn't mean I have to respond...

sometimes I want to eat dinner without interruption...
sometimes I want to enjoy my evening without thinking about work...
sometimes I want to leave technology at the door...

...although, if I really believed that I would have...

...turned my cell phone off...
...not replied to the text message...
...never read the email to begin with...

Just because the world has changed, and people think that if they call your cell phone you have to answer, or if they text message you, you should answer, or emails should be taken care of after 5 and before 9, does it mean we have to adhere to it?

Imagine if we suddenly found ourselves unable to contact someone until when they show up tomorrow morning, would what we want to know really be all that important??

I guess progress is something that has it's pros and cons... just a thought

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Still got life.... Still got words...

Can anyone tell me why the last time I wrote something on this blog was on a cruise boat where I was probably paying $0.50 / minute to access the internet and now when internet costs me $0.0011574074 / minute (average based on a 50.00 / month internet charge and a 30 day month) I haven't written anything for over 2 years.

I find that every time I promise I will write I rarely write, so I will make no promise today, because that would seem the demise of anything future that I might do (in my past experiences). However, to continue to live life not believing that my past experiences will become my future, I will make this statement, "I'm gonna do my very best to put my thoughts on page often, because it helps me."

A really smart person (My wife....yah, I got married since I last wrote here) said to me, and many others, "complaining to the people around you gives you few friends and even fewer results, but sharing your heart with God, as ugly and painful, angry and sad it may be, will bring freedom, release, comfort and incredible results..." So this page might just be me venting to God, somedays it could be me just sharing my simplest of thoughts (wait for it...they get pretty simple sometimes), and other days it could just be reciting something someone else said that I want to write down so i'll remember it. No matter which way it goes, i'm bookmarking this page so i can come back to it often, in fact, it might just become my homepage so I remember to stop and think, ponder and write.

Love to all, all for Love,

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Drink Him???

Why do the preachers tell us to ‘drink of the spirit’? What on earth do they mean? Can you tell me how to drink something that doesn’t ‘physically’ exist? Can you show me what it is like to ‘drink’ of something that is not of this world? I can think on this all day, and argue with it all day long too. We’re good at that aren’t we? Arguing that is, with ourselves, with God, with those around us about what is and what should be. I’ve been arguing for years; mostly with myself and God. I don’t do much of the arguing with other people type thing, although, admittedly I can be quite hard headed, so if I’ve ever argued with you, please forgive me if I have offended you.

Ok, so back to ‘why drink?’, “Got Spirit?” (I can come up with cheesy Christian slogans all day long, don’t tempt me...). But really, when I started to think all about the Spirit of God, and what His purpose is, what it is to ‘be in God’ and what it means to ‘be saturated’ yet also to ‘drink’, it started to dawn on me about what it is that this all means. I guess it’s probably a little deeper than I’m going to hopefully explain it here and now, but I might be able to scratch the surface of some things for myself. I’ve also noticed that I’m writing a lot right now, and yet I’m leaving those things that I’ve written on paper only, and not walking them out. So, I am not openly calling myself a hypocrite, because I never say I’m perfect, Lord knows I’m furthest from it. I think it was Paul who said “I am the greatest of all sinners…” I can agree with him (as in “I am…” not “yes Paul, you are…”) Anyways, here’s a quick challenge to myself and you (if there is a you in the world reading this) that we need to seriously start taking what God has revealed to us and put it into practice. We need not to just simply realize what is happening in this world, or in ourselves or in the Kingdom of Heaven and share it, tell everyone, but to actually live it out. That is one of the reasons I admire my pastor’s John & Carol so much, because they live out what they preach. They aren’t perfect, none of us are, and if anyone says they are, I’ll slap ya, and if anyone gives John or Carol heat for someone saying they aren’t perfect, I’ll slap ya too, they are the closest and greatest model for intimacy with God that I have ever seen in any persons, they inspire me more than you could know, and I love them dearly. Well well well, where did that sentimental moment come from J…I’ll have you know I’m sitting in this big part of a cruise boat practically in tears thinking about the Spirit of God, how he shows us things, and yet we sit and write about it, talk about it, and so few of us put this stuff into practice. Knowledge alone will kill a man…wisdom is using what you know to live how you ought to live. Remember that. People who carry knowledge are given just another reason to argue. The Pharisees were great at arguing, cause they had their faces in books all day, they were brilliant, studying the stuff from day one of their small fragile lives, yet they never put it to practice, they thought that knowledge was everything. Faith without works…. (need I say more?)

And once again… Rob off topic, say it ain’t so.

The Spirit of God, I will now compare Him to water. It’s been done before, so shouldn’t be a major stretch of the imagination for you. I need you to think about water for a while then I will later relate it back to the Spirit. We can all agree that we, as humans need water to live, right? Water seems to be one of those things that we must have, within a few days we die without it. So, we can also agree that not only do we need it to live, but without it we are dead and it will be a very quick decline into death if we do not get water into our system. (for the time being, let’s leave fasting out of this, I agree with you all that ‘all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me’ so we will, for now, leave fasting out of this simply because my point will make much less sense if you come back at it with “yah, but what if God tells me to fast water for a week, I can do it”. First of all, I don’t know if he will say that to you, second, make sure you ask someone that you are in counsel with about that one, and thirdly I’m comparing water to the Holy Spirit, and I know that God will not ask you to fast the Holy Spirit, so we are safe for now.)
Water not only keeps us alive from the inside, but we need it on the outside. If we drink water, our body is lubricated from the inside and we are somewhat ok, but if we have water on the outside, our skin stays clean and alive. Water on the inside doesn’t mean that the outside will fully live, and water on the outside definitely doesn’t mean that you are ok on the inside either. What I’m trying to say is that without water you are dead.

Water in of itself is great to look at, it holds such beauty. One could go to the beach of the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Antigua (I say there because it happens to be where this cruise boat I am on is parked…so don’t’ get mad at me for that J…oh, by the way, my tan is awesome). Anyways, close your eyes, now you can’t read what I’ve typed. Shoot…ok, read this part, and don’t close your eyes, and let your imagination draw the picture for you, if you have a hard time visualizing with your eyes open let me know and we’ll pause for a moment so you can picture this after you read it. I know you love it that I just wrote that like you are all here with me and I was speaking to you….now let’s get moving, class is almost over.
Picture yourself standing on a beach, palm trees around you, beautiful sand for as far as your eyes can see, and then you look out over the waters. It catches your eye because the sun just shone off of the water from where it is off in the distance, and the brightness of it all almost blinded you, but the beauty of it just captured you. You look around, and no one is around, so you sit down on the beach (not that no one being there determines whether you will sit down or not, it just makes the story a little nicer to visualize, go with me would ya). As you sit down and stare out into the distance of the waters, you are absolutely captured by it’s beauty, and you wonder why. It’s simply just water isn’t it? Yet something about these waters just envelopes you and you continue to gaze into the distance. You find yourself letting go of all your thoughts, of all your inhibitions, of all your fears and worries, because for some reason you have just found peace, and it’s penetrated your very soul. Seconds become minutes, minutes become hours, yet you never notice the time slip away as the sun slowly sets and the moon rises, the colour of the water changes a million times over as you stair out over it, letting it saturate your eyes. The night is no less beautiful, as you don’t miss a moment of this. Long into the night you stay there, sitting on this beach staring into the distance of this beauty you couldn’t describe if you needed, because it’s not only something you see with your eyes, but it is something that you have started to feel in your soul. There is something beyond visual that this water does to you, it calms you, it brings you peace, and it seems to restore your soul.

You could go home, but you’ve only experienced one facet of this water, the visual, the outer part of its beauty. You have been there and seen how good it is, tasted of its visual beauty so to speak, and you could easily go home and feel quite content with your day and night. You think about the sunrise, and you could stay for that, will it be as spectacular as the sun set? Will it look the same, or will the winds move the water and make the reflections all that different this coming day, will the water ever be truly the same if you were to stay here forever? One day the waters could be violent and rough, taking on a life of it’s own, moving to and froe, making all things that get it it’s way moved and broken before it’s power. It’s not just nice to look at but it is powerful and awesome, fearful yet peaceful, beautiful and lovely. This water takes on more than you ever imagined, it seems to move like it’s got thought of its own. But like I said, you could leave, walk away, and be quite satisfied by your day.

But would you really be satisfied?

Let’s journey down ‘leaving’ for a moment.
You get up and walk away from the water, you have enjoyed your time there, but you don’t want to get wet, you don’t want to step in, it looks frightful to be honest, and really, you don’t have time, you must carry on in your day, in your life. Life can’t be all this beautiful all the time can it? You must walk on, you must get back to your busy. You leave, and all the day long you sit there and wonder what it would’ve been like had you gotten in the water, and you can see nothing other than the waves crashing on the shore, you’ve seen it’s beauty, you are contaminated by it’s awesomeness. You are alive in ways you never thought possible. The next day is the same, oh if you could only get back to that beauty, but no, you must work on, you must take care of the ‘things of this world’. You can’t take a place like that with you, it’s a once in a life time thing, or maybe a ‘vacation’ at best. A few days go by of the same thing, and you don’t even realize that in those days you are thinking about what you saw and what you experienced less and less and eventually you are not thinking about it at all. You sit in your cubicle, or at your desk, or stuck in traffic and you have let it all slip away. You work, you sleep, you argue with the wife, because you’ve let the peace and the comfort that the beauty of that moment gave you, you’ve let it all slip away, and you didn’t want to, you didn’t mean to, oh Lord you didn’t mean to, you would have held onto that all the days of your life if only you knew how. But now it’s just a faint memory.

It’s true, I tell you it’s true, having been on vacation for 2 weeks now there is nothing that can remind you what vacation is like except for vacation. The beach can not be just a memory, but you must go back to the beach to truly understand what the beach is. You are not in the moment of your revelation until you are back at the point of the revelation. Memory alone does not suffice. You must live out what you have experienced, and the only way to do that is to be in the place where the revelation can come. I’m sure you have noticed that I’m not just speaking about water here, God help me if you only think I’m talking about vacation and a beach, and there is more to write, but I must stop here for a moment and explain what I am saying, because I do not want you to get confused. I know how a reader thinks, I’ve been in sessions of teaching where someone has said something and there is the smallest room for doubt and that is the thing that will take my attention and I will sit there and argue God and myself about how what the person just said made no sense at all because there is room for error and misunderstanding. Thanks for the analytical mind. But I do thank God for it, because he who doesn’t think on his own is led blindly by those he trusts, and our trust is, unfortunately, sometimes misplaced and taken away.
So, I have been talking to you about this beach, and how you don’t fully remember the beach until you are on the beach again. You are also thinking about the world revelation I threw in there, or at least I am, and thinking (but, we don’t have to stay in the same thing we received 3 years ago do we?)…You are correct, what we walked in yesterday, the revelations we have received, we must carry, and move on, we must continue to grow, having new revelations. True freedom comes from compounded truths. What I am able to believe today, makes room for what truth will come tomorrow. (oh I like that)

Bill Johnson says that the inconveniences of today, become tomorrows normality. As in, making time for God today, when I don’t necessarily want to, makes room for tomorrow to have the same time, I’ve done it now, so I might as well do it again, and maybe I’ll push on and add 5 minutes, taking it to a new level so that the next time I’m a little more daring, because I’ve done it before. Maybe I prayed for a headache and someone was healed, tomorrow I don’t need to ask “can God heal a headache” I know. Today’s attempts and challenges become tomorrow’s everyday deeds. But, we can not live in yesterday, we must remember what happened yesterday, walk in it today, and press on for what should be our normal life tomorrow. Does that make sense? I am not saying “stay on the first beach and learn only what God showed you there”. By no means am I saying that, the revelation that I am speaking about, the experience that I am speaking about, as you remember I am relating the Holy Spirit to water, is that we must always go back to the beauty of God, the beauty, and awesomeness of staring at the face of our God, being captured by his awesomeness.

I’m going to take it a step further.

You wake up one morning realizing that you have been letting the beauty of what you saw slip, you are almost infuriated with the whole thing because you wonder how that could have slipped, you start to remember how beautiful that time was, and all the revelation you got, all the beauty that you beheld in your eyes, all the peace and comfort that you felt. It was amazing wasn’t it? Something clicks in you and you turn to your life and say, “this will wait”, and you get up and pack your things and head to the beach again. You get there and it takes some time, because at first you are worried about what ‘life’ is going to think of you, about what your boss will say, about how the world that you live in will be affected by your oh so reckless trip to the beach. Finally after a day or two of worry and troublesome thoughts your mind clears and you are able to sit there in the silence and the noise of it all, where it seems that violence and peace meet, where it seems that the most brilliant and awesome sounds and noise meet with the perfect, most still, calm peace you’ve ever felt. You are finally at peace again, you are finally absorbing in this beauty and wonderfulness that you see before you.

This time, because of loosing it the last time, you are a little more daring, and you think that maybe, just maybe, if you get into the water you might be able to hold onto that precious beauty that you see. You stand up and walk down to the water, let the calm waves just slowly roll over your toes, and it is cold, but refreshing, you’ve never quite felt something like this, standing on the edge of reality and infinity as you look out and see nothing but water, as you look out and see nothing but what could easily sweep you away if you let it, and quite possibly even if you try to ‘not let it’. You walk into the point where your wet up to your knees, and you are amazed that not only is this water beautiful but it is refreshing, it seems to bring life with it, beyond it’s beauty. You’re curiosity overtakes you and you dive headfirst into a wave that comes crashing down on you. Oh you have never felt such life, you have never felt such pleasure and joy in so quickly a moment. You revel in it, you take it all in, you stand in the power and the greatness of this water as you continue to stare out at its awesome expanse and beauty.

You get out and the sun warms you, the water feels so great as it slowly drips off your body. You dry off and think “now that’s a day I will never forget.” You go home, thinking that you are good for a very long time, thinking that this particular moment has just brought more peace to you than any world or problem could quench. (I know we don’t ever really totally feel that, but there seems to be a moment where we feel ready to challenge and take on the world again, right?) So we head back home, and the same thing happens as last time, we feel amazing, we have had such a wonderful time and the memories are fresh in our mind as we begin to tackle the things of life. Then we get into a fight with the family, we get to work and not only have things been waiting for us, but it seems that they have stacked up another pile of things for you to take care of in your absence. It is wonderful isn’t it? This world is a tad draining on us all. Oh sure it lasts for a few days, in fact, I think it lasted a little longer this time, the memories have compounded, the beach is amazing, the water, oh my goodness, when you dove into that wave head on, by far one of the most exhilarating things you have ever experienced. Those memories are vivid, colourful, they bring thoughts of peace and pleasure, joy and comfort, yet, there almost seems like there could be more. You know you had an amazing time, but there was still something missing, and now you can barely hold onto what you had while you were there.

*note* - I know at the beginning I was talking about the ‘Atlantic ocean’ I use that purely because that’s where I am right now, and there is nothing quite like the power and awesomeness of a 20 foot wave crashing into a wall of rock (I’ve got pictures, you’ll see them soon). But for this next part, please think of this ‘ocean’ as pure, untampered with, and not salty, as in, pure filtered water, just like coke does and calls it nestle “pure life”

The next time you work up the nerve to get back to the beach, and this time it isn’t so long because you learned from your last time that you must have this beach more often than you thought, you must have the experience of this water in all of it’s goodness more and more, you waste no time in getting into the water. The look of it was amazing, the beauty of it transformed your mind, changed your way of thinking, brought such peace and restoration to your very soul, but being in it made you come alive, gave you reason to move and to frolic about, reason to dive head first into this water, to give yourself to its waves and greatness. This time you are in the water, and feeling it move you about, and a wave hits you and you get a mouthful of this water, and the purity of this liquid slides down your throat. You are suddenly given energy you didn’t have before, you are feeling like you could conquer the world, this thing, in front of you, behind you, all around you, saturating your very being, overtaking you and now filling you up. You are swept out in its power, taking water inside, yet you are not frightened, there is a calmness about this water, and it’s freshness brings you life. Remember, you are reading a story I am writing, so don’t try to argue about salt water, and under currents just yet.

You walk out of the water onto the beach, you are full of water, you are soaked in it, you are still looking back at it…

We can not live without water. We’ve learned that, we are good on that point. I’ve written this hoping that it demonstrates the importance of the Holy Spirit, that it shows the need of Him. That we are in need, not just want, but absolute need, we can not live without Him and we must remember that always. We will make it, and by that I mean we will be dried out, parched, crusted, dying old men by the time we are 30 if we do not let ourselves be taken by His power.

So, I’m walking away from this story with 3 points…
We must gaze at the beauty of God.
We must rest in the awesomeness of His presence.
We must drink deep of His life giving water.

It’s like being in relationship with a beautiful woman. Forgive me if I go off track here and you wonder why I’m such a crazy person. But there are 3 things involved in a relationship (many more, I know, but three for my point). (1) Seeing the beauty of this woman (I’m going to add talking and the non-touch related relational things). (2) Coming in contact with this person, a hug, a kiss, holding her hand as you walk on a beach…lying next to her, holding her. (3) Knowing her (in the biblical sense, yes). Now, before you all shout and get up in arms calling me a sex minded freak, let me back this up with what I believe to be scripture.
One of God’s first commands to us, if not the very first was to rule the earth and ‘be fruitful and multiply’. Well, I know of only one way to make that one happen (I’m talking the fruitful part, not the ruling part). So, please do not think that I’m just a crazy young sex minded lad that thinks talking about sex is kewl… (it is…but that’s besides the point).

Drink deep of the relationship of God. Let his life go deep into you. He is an intimate, loving, all encompassing lover who wants to absolutely cover and lavish his presence, love and beauty all over you. And he wants to bring you life, from the outside to the inside to all around and all through everything you do.

I’m going to tackle something I do not have an answer for yet, so this could be very interesting. How do we ‘drink’ of the Holy Spirit?

I get looking at Him. You can see the beauty of God all around, go to a beach, you will be staring at the very nature of God, and even deeper still, when he opens the eyes of your heart, into the spiritual realm, into the real of vision and dream you will see the face of God, you will see His beauty and the images of that are worth holding onto for dear life.
I even understand Staying in His presence. I have been there, I have felt him this very day, more than once, there is definitely a availability to be in the presence of God that brings life. We need it. We crave it. Our skin dries out if we don’t get it.
Now, the trickier part is when we hear statements like “breath of life”, “you’re the living water”, “Drink deep of His presence”… my pastors have said that more times than I can count, all of them, and I’ve got sayings like, “Don’t think, Just drink”, we’ve been in a whole movement on the ‘new wine’, God pouring out His Spirit on us in an absolutely intoxicating way. But what does it mean to ‘drink’ of the Spirit?

I’m going to jump back a bit. We’re in Genesis and God has just formed Adam out of the very dirt he just created. He’s a nice looking man, a little dirty, but that’s ok, there’s a stream he can wash in, although he might just turn to mud, we better give him life. Now, I’m quite sure that by this point God has created the atmosphere and there is oxygen, air and such floating around (which you can not see…more on that later). But it is there, that’s another thing we can’t live without that can be likened to the Holy spirit, invisible, all around us, we can feel it in the wind, and we need it to live. Someone should write a book all about the metaphors we see in life that represent the many facets of God. I heard a song once “every time you move your eyes, a new song, a new sound, every time you move your eyes, no songs of worship from your throne”, I loved it because it is so true, every time God moves we have the opportunity to see something we didn’t see before, experience something we didn’t experience before, feel and taste and touch something we haven’t before. There is more to God than meets the eye my friends, and we’ve just only started to taste of all that He is.
So, Adam is lying there, a lifeless form, and at the moment that God breathes into him, he wakes up, he becomes alive and takes his first breath of the air that God created. If God, being spirit, created Adam (flesh) and it was God’s breath that brought Adam to life, and the air of this world that keeps him alive, I wonder what is in the air that we have not tapped into recently. Do you think the very being of God could be found in a molecule? Don’t think me new age, because for the next 2 minutes I am only asking questions that maybe might just make you think about how much of God we have not seen yet. The bible says that if the people will not worship the very rocks will cry out. Yet I’ve heard people, a lot of people say that it is God in us that compels us to worship, does that mean that if we will not worship, God in the rocks will compel the rocks to worship? Is that why when I stand on a beach, and look out over the ocean, at the beauty of creation, I feel God more than if I’m staring at a cement building that some guy built? The pyramids are great, built for a king, but the mountains hold truer the presence of the King of Kings. Pools and fountains are lovely, built to show beauty and creativity using what God has given us, but the ocean, likes, streams, waterfalls, springs of water declare the goodness and greatness of the Lord of Lords. Think on it for a moment, when we breath in what keeps us alive? Is it more than just water, and food? I think it might be.

But we are talking about drinking and breathing in the spirit of God. So, for now, I will leave those questions on the table and if God tells you that I’m a lunatic, throw it out the window and don’t read it again, but if it makes you think about how great God is, embrace it and go on this journey with me to find out how vast, how great and how wide the love and the presence and the reality of God and His Kingdom actually is.

Drink deep of the presence of God. Father, what do you mean, when you tell us to drink deep of your spirit, what do you mean when you tell us to take all of you inside of us. I know that you are around me, I can feel you, I know that I’ve been talk that accepting Jesus as my saviour puts him inside of me, but what does it mean to carry you on the inside, to get more of you, to drink you in, to have you as my breath of life. I believe that it is so much more than just the first breath you put into Adam that first day of his life, and the rest of us just get ‘air’, a created thing, there is more to it than that, there is an ability and a need for your eternal, spirit, not of this world, to be breathed in, to connect with our spirit. How do we connect spirit to spirit, is it as simple as breathing in, is it as simple as taking a drink of water? What do you mean to drink deep of the presence of God.

I’m going to share something with you that makes sense to me, but possibly only because it happens to me. When I know the presence of God is in the room, and I want him to get inside of me, I can actually see, in the spirit (in my ‘minds eye’ if you will) a cloud around me. It is like standing in a dense fog. The bible says he is all around us, never leaves us, and we can breath him in. What does that look like? Vapour is a liquid that has been turned to ‘gas’ but is still water. Steam is still water, just as ice is still water. If you are resting in the mist, the fog of the presence of God, what is it that you are breathing in? And there the spirit just hit me, I can feel it all around me, there is something about breathing in that presence of God that brings life. If we can breath it in, I’m sure we can drink of it to. I know that this might be hard for you to think about, but close your eyes, (again with the closing of the eyes…leave them open, sorry) picture in your minds eye, in the eyes of your heart, with your spirit, that you are where are, but now ask God to allow you to see the Kingdom of God around you, and let me know what it looks like. I feel the warmth of a sun brighter than any I’ve seen, I feel a mist of water all around me, I feel rain dripping down my face…and I see endless pools of water for me to drink from. I see a whole lot more, but we just don’t have time for that now, do we? J

Obviously I do, I mean, I’ve been sitting here for hours writing this thing, stopping, reflecting, resting, and drinking coke (I started with a latte though, thank you Linda, Laura and Susan – group effort for sure on that one). I am going to have to go get lunch at some point to, but I’m enjoying this all to much.

I started out hoping I would find an answer to ‘drinking’ of the spirit. I get the concept, I get the need. We die without it, plain and simple. But I’m still on this quest, this journey to find the fountain of youth as it were, to find the presence of God that is thick enough to drink.

Like I’ve said in the past, the more I read and the more I write, the more I look around the world and think on the things of this life and the Kingdom, I realize the absolute importance for the presence of God, and the relationship we MUST have in him. I will not be able to answer the question “how do we drink of the spirit” until God shows me how to drink deeply of Him. I believe I have in the past, but I believe there is more, and then again, maybe we are not meant to understand these things. I’m not trying to build a theology around such things, the Spirit of God is way to complicated for that, and yet in a way all to simple because we ask him to come, and he does, he responds to invitations. Won’t you chase that with me, make time for the invitation; make time for the pursuit. He will answer the call; he’s faithful and always willing.

My only hope is that this makes you not only think, but pursue this. To be honest, making you think to much, as I said knowledge can do, might just kill you. You might just find yourself contemplating over a thing so much that it drives you to dryness, which is definitely not my hope in this matter. I am hoping that when you see this, when you see the reality of the situation, when you see that there is an absolute, biological need for the presence of God (He is spirit, and He breathed HIS breath into Adam that gave him life) that you will hold out for nothing less than the absolute presence of God, that you will join me on this journey of trying to get the cup that holds the water of life, and no I don’t think it’s like Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, just not that simple, although, possibly even simpler.

As I said earlier, near the beginning of this, be weary not to reflect and think, and talk to others without actually doing what you are thinking and writing and reading. It’s about taking that knowledge and putting it to use. Faith without works is dead as the Bible says. My friend Stuart preached an amazing message a few weeks ago about taking what you believe, and doing it, because believing something alone, does not mean you are doing it. We must have action behind our words. I don’t know what it all means when it comes to things like “drinking of the Spirit” but I’m quite sure God will show me. I might just have an answer to write some day soon.

May God bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cheesecake....the new mashed potatoe

So, i've been on a cruise for the last 4 days and it's been absolutely wonderful. My tan is probably the sexiest thing that any of you would ever have the privelege of seeing, but because it would take entirely way to long and way to much money to be uploading pictures on the ships satellite internet at millions of micro-cents per minute i'll save that for another some good pictures of Puerto Rico as well..

I hope the world is good, I have been lying in the sun and eating cheesecake and steak... together... why not...i am on a cruise..


The Signs we Look at

What are the signs you are looking at? I was thinking earlier today and started to think about what it is that pushes us towards or away from God. I’m reading C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” (good read), and in it he is basically breaking down what it is to ‘be a Christian’, or in other terms ‘defining Christianity’. I started to think about what it means to be a Christian. He mentions that we are to ‘love God’ yet we can not find such feelings in ourselves (which I don’t fully agree with, but I will get to a point using that statement somewhere), he also was saying how we are able to ‘love’ God in the same sense that we love another person. He is speaking about how to ‘love one another’, including our enemies, and says that we can not ‘conjure’ up feelings of love, for love in this sense is not a feeling, but an act, and in that sense we are able to ‘love’ God. He brings to the table this question, (and also to think on it) ‘“If I were sure I loved God, what would I do?’ When you have found the answer, go do it.” This is what got me thinking, what is it that I am doing and how is it getting me closer or further from ‘loving’ God.

It is a fact, whether you believe it or not, and I am not here to argue this point, that God loves you no matter what you do. Sin, prejudice, distance, past, future, murder, blood, sacrifice, pride and anger will NOT change God’s love for you. Some might think, “Well why not, dude, if my friend hits me in the face, my feelings are going to change about him…”, to you I say, “aren’t we all glad that you are not God.”

So, we are left with, “If I were sure I loved God, what would I do?” and then we are supposed to do it? What does love mean? I must ask your forgiveness for last year I stated I was going to go on a journey of Love and hopefully find a definition of what Love is, but alas that fell short and I am left still wondering, a year later, what Love actually is (in it’s fullness).

The two questions I hope to bring something to the table on are what I just stated, as well as what I earlier wrote “what is pushing me closer, or pulling me further, from God?” This is where I bring in the title, “signs”. Everything that is put in front of us carries a sign about where it will direct us (and I can be wrong, so tell me if I am), and my question is what signs are we looking at. My brain is a little scrambled with thoughts, so this might come out a little odd. I think most things have 2 signs, one that points up (ultimately), and one that points down (also ultimately). I look at food, it points to good health, good nutrition and bodily prosperity (one could say my body has prospered greatly, but we will not go there for now :P…); whereas food can also point to gluttony, un-self-control, selfishness etc… So, which sign are we looking at when we sit down to eat? I use food as the first example because it’s an easier thing to understand. Let’s jump in a little deeper. You see a girl you like (or if you are a girl, a boy you like) and there are going to be two signs, one that points to a God centred, unity of one-ness, or a sinking whole of lust and perversion of the very things good in a relationship. The signs might not be so subtle either. It’s not always ‘extremes’ yet, remember that I said these signs will direct you ultimately ‘up’ or ‘down’.
A relationship may start well, because you are in love, and love is good, relationships are good, a man and a woman becoming friends and caring for each other and growing in that friendship / relationship are all good, but suddenly you find that your ‘relationship’ with this friend has taken away from your time with God, or you’re need to get alone and ponder, reflect and pursue your dreams, and thus you have slipped away from the other sign that says, “in a relationship you become one, therefore putting the effort of 2 people into their respective and ‘together’ relationship with God, as well as having a best friend that will hear your heart, share your visions and dreams, someone for you to grow with and learn with, someone to help you, lead you and follow you, someone to be there for you and be a sign themselves to point you to God. Here I am speaking in a marriage situation and we aren’t starting there, but for my point I will jump ahead, because the end result of a relationship is marriage, unless you are just wasting time with someone that is not your spouse (another blog perhaps, but with my limited relational expertise I will leave that one alone, so don’t leave angry comments about that).

Let’s take it a bit further and talk spiritual. Is worship pointing you towards God, or is it just a song, that is slowly deadening your ability to enter into the presence of God through song and expression? Is the preaching you are hearing pointing you towards God, or pointing you inwards and causing you to focus on yourself more, leading you away from the presence of God? I am not asking these questions, because it is good to take a moment and step back and ask these very questions of ourselves once and a while. We must keep ourselves in check, as we must also have people around us that do so. If we are not growing, what are we doing?

Let’s go back, although I truly believe this is going even deeper into the subject of what signs we are looking at. How many of us really think about what we are going to do? And by that, I mean EVERYTHING we do. You can say when you wake up you go downstairs and have a coffee and get ready for work and leave for work, and there were no signs there at all.

Is coffee good for you? (I won’t give up coffee anytime soon, so I’m not saying find out it’s bad and let me know, because I don’t want to know for now…, just killed my own thoughts…) Will you have to much sugar in your coffee, to much cream, are you reading the sign that points away from health (up) and brings your body into just a tiny (albeit seemingly insignificant) bit more ruin?

What time did your alarm go off? Are you meant to get up and pray, get up and read, get up and praise, or are you looking at the sign of ‘just a little more slumber, just a little more sleep’?

Did you see your wife and give her a kiss and tell her that you are madly in love with her? Did you read the sign of building that relationship, or did you let something slide and is that a point for good or a point for bad?

C.S. Lewis states, “An apparently trivial indulgence of lust or anger to-day is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible?” (Mere Christianity)

This is why I say everything matters, everything is a sign that points up or down. You could also say everything is a step on a road, and it is which fork in the road that you choose that makes the difference.

I haven’t written this because I have all the facts, I have written this to verbally process what is going on in my head right now. I am thinking about all the things that I do in a day that amount to nothing, I am thinking about the pack of cigarettes sitting on my counter just a food and a half away, I am thinking about the worship service earlier that I ‘had a hard time engaging in’. Does all of this mean that we must micro-analyze everything we do? I believe not. What I think it means is that we must pay attention to what we are doing and why we are doing it until we no longer need to worry about how to do something. When I was learning how to play bass guitar, I had to look at every note I played, and could hardly keep it together. It was challenging, it was frustrating at some times, and I didn’t always want to keep playing that instrument. Now 16 years later (yes I’m being honest, I have been playing for 16 years) it takes only a fraction of the mental and physical concentration it took for me to play when I started. I can now not look at the notes I am playing (albeit I will make mistakes sometimes, ask my friends) I can now sing when I am playing (not to shabby an accomplishment for bass players) and I can run lines I would not have dreamed possible 16 years ago, with hardly needing to think about it. I can also go to some people I know and sit in absolute amazement as I watch them play bass because it blows my mind how good and developed they are. It is incredible. What I am saying in all of this is simply that as we are able to continue at living right, continue at doing the right thing, we think less and less about what we are supposed to do. The danger in this is that we are equally able to do the same thing with sin, and the things that draw us away from God and our relationship with Him. I’m sure at some point you have noticed that you are ‘doing well’ and then something goes wrong, or you do something wrong, for whatever reason you end up sinning or stopping something good you were doing, and then a second day you slip and eventually you forget how good you were doing in the first place, but you also don’t even realize how you’ve continued to do wrong, or continue to walk away from God. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this in your life, but I definitely have noticed this in mine. It’s happened many a time with cigarettes, it happens when I hit about beer 10 in a night, I forget that I’m not supposed to drink that much, yet, I start not to care how much I drink.
On the upside, I haven’t had a smoke since yesterday morning (I started writing this yesterday morning, by the time I was finished writing till about half fway through the last paragraph, I went for a cigarette, and realized it was time to try again, to put my best foot forward, so while I still had that resolve and power inside of me, that strength that is not my own, that I felt empowered by, I went straight to my room and ripped apart a good dozen smokes and left them in the trash. Doing well at this life and at our continued pursuit of relationship with our God and finding His heart for us and our destiny, does not mean we will never fail, what it means to ‘do well’ is to get your ass off the ground and get back on the horse. Sometimes, admittedly we stay on the ground for quite some time before we realize we are supposed to get back up. Thankfully, if we are willing, God will continue to pursue us, continue to nudge at our hearts, remind us to get back up, remind us that He is there with us to help us along.

If there can be one encouragement about ‘doing the right thing’ in life, it is that God is there to help us do right, not condemn us when we do wrong. And he is just as close, if not closer when we do wrong, because He is there to pick us back up, to wash us clean and help us back up onto the horse to continue riding into what it is we are meant to be living in.

Try doing the right thing and see how it makes you feel, I guarantee you will feel something you like, more than what accompanies sin. I was amazed at how fee, comforted and more alive I felt simply by throwing a pack of cigarettes out, yet, last night, I was fighting the need/want for a smoke because in the moment, a smoke is so ‘physically’ gratifying (for me, all you kids out there that hate the taste, be thankful, it’s one less thing you need fight). But the sinking feeling in my heart of breaking the personal rules that God gave me, every time I have a cigarette is so much worse than the ‘physical’ torment of getting through not having a cigarette.
I don’t know what it fully means to seek comfort in God when we are going through a hard time. This I am still learning. I had a hard night last night, and suddenly I wanted to waste away, give up, go get drunk and buy a pack of smokes, there is a way to get out of that and get into the redeeming, helping, comforting presence of the Holy Spirit, there is also just going to bed (which is what I did, after watching a bit of a movie). In retrospect I should have spent some time letting the Holy Spirit comfort and reassure me, He does it so well, but I fought (by not giving in) to get through a night full of temptation, incredibly easy access (I am on a cruise boat…booze, smokes and time wasting is everywhere) and came out on the other end having fought a good fight.

Thinking about this I am seeing some incredibly hurtful and good things in there. The resolve to fight is something we need, we are in a war and we need to fight for our lives, for our friends and our family, for those around us, and for this dying world. On the other Hand we must not try to do this in our own strength. I did last night, and I made it through the night, but I must be honest with you when I say that if I needed to fight that way 2 or 3 nights in a row, I would fail, I know that. We must, in these moments turn to God. There is a part of us that must fight for what we know, but when we fight, we must cry out to God for support, comfort and help. I didn’t do that. Did I get through the night? Yes. Do I feel incredibly different for fighting so hard? Not really, but I know I feel better than if I had given in, of that I am sure. How would I feel given I turned to God and asked His support and comfort?

Spiritual warfare is an interesting thing. The Bible says we do not war against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers that are not of this world. Yet, last night those ‘principalities and powers’ were using very physical things of this world to try and get my spirit to a place of decay and destruction. Like I said earlier, one little moment of lust or anger today, what does it open up for the enemy to do? I know I haven’t necessarily stayed on topic this time, but do I ever? Stick with me, I think we can get somewhere. The Bible says, “Resist the devil and he MUST flee”, but it also says, “call on me and I will answer” “I will rescue you” etc… etc… The Psalms are full of David crying out to God asking for comfort, and asking for Him to fight the battles for Him, yet when push came to shove he picked up a sword and hacked Goliath’s head off. So, don’t tell me we get to sit back and just ‘call on the name of the Lord, and we are saved’. I agree, if we call on the name of the Lord, we will be saved, but we might just have to listen when he says, “go pray” or “run away” or “pick up your sword and take that giants head off of his shoulders”. Are you willing to fight? Are you willing to not only rest in the presence and comfort of God, but stand up when need be and fight for your life, and the lives of people around you?

I fought last night, I should ALSO have asked for the comfort and support of my God and my Saviour, that would have been the ideal situation. The more we spend time with God, the more ready we are for battle when it comes. Remember Jesus, he spent 40 days fasting in a desert, and when the devil came to tempt him the bible does not say that angels came to minister to him, it says they came to minister to him AFTER he was done fasting. We must fight, it is in us to do, be ready for it. Train today, for the fight tomorrow. Spend your time in the word to prepare yourself with the necessary truths to ‘resist the devil’, spend time with the Holy Spirit so that you notice less sin around you, and it tempts you less. When I am in the presence of God, I am not thinking about cigarettes, or pornography or alcohol or any of the other sins I have struggled with over the years. But when I do not spend time in the presence of God, those things stick out much more than when I am soaking myself with God’s presence.

It is time for us to get the truths, and the truths lie within the pages of the bible, they lie in the mind of God in whom said the spirit would reveal the mysteries of Heaven to us, they lie in relationship with our God, revelation of our salvation through Jesus Christ, and our relationship with people on the same path, so we can share in revelations, and hold each other up. It is time for the Kingdom of Heaven to be unleashed on earth, and that only happens when those of us, that have been given the kingdom (and believe me YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE KINGDOM) are willing to step up and bring it to the situations we walk in.
Believe it, it is in you, continue to press on because you are worth it. I am worth it, and I must continue to tell myself, and to hear it from others because I have a sometimes slippery mind. Keep your chin up, keep your eyes open and your hands ready for battle. We were NOT given a back plate because we were never meant to retreat.

The Power of a word...

Why is it that when we need to say something, we often times don’t say anything at all, and when we need not say anything at all, it is so very hard to keep our mouths shut? I started thinking about this while I was staying with a couple friends of mine, or a couple friend, married as they are, becoming ‘one’ as they say. Anyways, far be it from me to wax intellectual about marriage and relationships of which I know not. So, back to my point, I was visiting this wonderful couple, in whom I find 2 of my absolutely closest friends, both just in a friendship sense and in the bond of a highly spiritual aspect as well, and one evening they got into some conversation that made them both go quiet for the next half hour. I’m not calling it an argument, because like I said, in the context of a relationship I dare not make any call as to what is, or what should be proper conduct or even just what is or should happen in that relationship. Being single me whole life, in my opinion, rules me out of the ability to ‘call that one’, as a referee calls a match I suppose.

So, we’re sitting in the car on the way to dinner with some friends, and the first half our of the ride is damn near completely silent, and it gets me thinking. Firstly my brain headed towards the question, “why do people just not say “I’m Sorry” when it seems that a simple gesture of apologetics would correct the wrong. Now, I’m not saying that in every case an apology is needed, ONLY an apology is needed, I don’t necessarily agree with that. I believe sometimes we need time to just step back and let be what we need let be, or take some time to ourselves to get our head and thoughts and heart around what has just happened and back into a right frame of mind to be able to apologize in a right manner. And that was my second thought, where the title of this little rant comes from “the power of a word…”, being that we have become increasingly flippant with our words, our apologies, our words of affirmation and comfort, etc… Do I say “I’m Sorry” because I feel it is the ‘right’ thing to do? Have I said “I love you” because you expect me too at the end of the phone call? Am I associating all of my words with an actual thought, or has this world, and the throwing back and forth of such phrases and words made my words to the people that matter most automated?

I guess the questions this brings up are:Why do we not say what we should say, at all?Why do we say what we shouldn’t say at the wrong times, or even say what we should say, but at the wrong times?
Why are we saying what we aren’t feeling…are we meaning what we say?
Why does it take so long for us to say what we should say, if we are going to say it at all?

There are probably other questions floating in my head, but it’s early and I don’t know what they are, they might just get out sometime later on in this little writ.

Let’s tackle the first…Why do we not say what we should say? Well, there are multiple reasons I suppose, I think I can best, and probably only speak out of my own life and experience, as I can’t answer for you, or you, or you (wow, very lofty of me, assuming at least myself and 3 people will read this…). Assume for the next bit that I am not talking about ‘taking time’ to figure out what to say, or taking time to deal with your heart etc… like I was talking about early. What I am saying here is ‘when something needs to be said, why do we not say it?’. I think the simplest of reasons would be our good friend pride. Pride covers a multitude of sins, and I do not mean cover in the sense of getting rid of, but rather encompasses most of what we deal with when it comes to relationships. I will not say what I need to say, simply because I am trying to prove a point, I am right, You are wrong. Get over it woman, I have the right answer. He’s such a jerk, I’m not saying sorry to that asshole. Mom just thinks she knows everything, always down my throat about stuff, she doesn’t deserve my apology. I can’t believe dad would be such a hypocrite, he went through the same thing as me, yet seems to act like he has no idea what I’m going through, I will not say I’m sorry to that… etc…
We believe we are right, we are offended by someone, we think we’re smarter, or we just don’t want to admit we are wrong. That’s the biggest probably, not wanting to admit we are wrong. I must appear strong, so I am not taken advantage of. I must appear ‘all together’ because if I don’t, someone will exploit my weakness.

I’m going to share something that God spoke to me a while ago, it made more sense when it comes to things like this than I’ve seen in a while in relationships. He said “give honour over awkward…” I didn’t get it at first, I thought “what on earth are you talking about, I’m not awkward… and why are you dragging honour into this?”. Then it slowly started to sink in. It was first in the context of a girl I really liked, yet at the same time, was dating my best friend (she was, not me lol…) and it was a little awkward for us all in some ways, they knew they weren’t supposed to be dating, and they were anyways, and God started to talk to me about this honour over awkward.
Imagine for a moment that you are sitting on a park bench with a girl (and you are a guy) or you are a girl and you’re sitting with a guy, doesn’t bother me none. Now, you are struggling with this person as to ‘how far is to far’ or something of the sort. You feel inside that you should talk about it, it makes sense doesn’t it, it’s not going to get resolved if we don’t talk about it, but what will he think, what will he say, will he stop liking me, will he think that I’m just a party killer and leave me for someone that will be like he wants? YET, at the very, exactly, precisely same moment the person you are with is thinking the exact same thing about you…
So, instead of thinking that what you need to say will make things awkward, believe that what you need to say will be honouring to the other person. The interesting thing about honouring someone is that sometimes they don’t know it. If for instance a young girl offers herself to me (extreme, but go with me), she will undoubtedly no think of me saying no as ‘honouring’ her, but in my saying no, I am preferring her because I don’t want her, or myself to go through something that we will regret. So, in saying no I will think “oh man, she is going to hate me, it’s going to be so awkward, it is going to be so horrible, she won’t talk to me again…”, yet, that is simply a trick of the enemy to get us to do something we were not supposed to do.

Honour over Awkward. It could almost be said “Honour = Awkward”. Are you willing to be awkward? Are you willing to honour someone no matter what the personal cost?

I started out talking about things that get in between relationships, and I want to get back there just for a moment. I want to encourage us all to follow what the bible says, “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” Or however it says it, I always tend to forget what it says exactly, but the meaning of it is simply, “get dealt with today, the dealings of today…” Do not let the enemy have a hold on your relationships for more time than he ought to. Deal with these things. A friend pisses you off, talk about it, get it out there, don’t hold it and harbour it. It is a dirty ship that will make the waters of your soul murky at best. Be willing to honour people instead of continuing to hold onto things in fear of ‘awkwardness’.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bad things happen...

3 of 3...i promise, i'll be quiet for a couple days now... these 3 posts don't tie in so much, so no need to feel you need ot read all three or you will miss something, also no need to read them in order...or read them at all...hope you're having a good day and have a smile on your face...

Why is it that when we think we are going through a hard time, God has disappeared on us, or that He has turned his back on us, or simply that we are ‘under attack’? Thinking about things this evening, I was reminded of how Jesus went through suffering and death, and it was the ‘good’ thing we NEEDED him to do. We would not be where we are today if God had not sent His son Jesus to earth as a man, lived his life and gave it up through a horrible death on a cross.
So, we do not understand why good people die, or why bad things happen to good people. Yet, do we think that Mary and Joseph, knowing now what we know about Jesus dying for our salvation, would have complained and turned their backs on God because their son was killed by a mob?
We expect all good things to be from God, and we should, the bible says that very thing, “All good gifts come from the Father.” And “if we as evil parents know how to give our children good gifts, how much more does our Father in heaven know how to lavish on us…” (a little out of context, that verse is referring to God giving us the Holy spirit. Although is there any greater gift than the ultimate counselour, the power of heaven, and the comfort of a King, love, joy, peace, understanding, all the ‘gifts’ of the spirit. To inherit the Spirit is to inherit his ‘gifts’, so in the sense of receiving from God, we have actually received all we need and more through the receipt of the Holy Spirit. But I drift a little from where I am going to make a point; We MUST expect goodness and good gifts from our God. However, what we must not discount is that there are things that happen in this world that do not look ‘good’ to us that the Lord allows us and even leads us into to bring us into a new area of our lives, or to teach us something we can only learn in that place of difficulty.

You can read all you want about a bullet wound, but until you have a bullet flying at hundreds of feet per second (or however fast a bullet travels) lodged into your leg, you have not fully understood what a bullet wound is all about, let alone the fact that different places of receiving that lodged bullet would mean more or less pain, and quite possibly your death. What did Jesus need to learn from being in the wilderness for 40 days without food and water? I once fasted for 40 days. The first 7 I was eating just fruits and vegetables, then I felt God saying I needed to only drink liquids (no restriction but alcohol), and then after 4 days of that only to have water. By about the 30th day or so I was in the hospital, sicker than I had ever been. I wish not to do a 40 day fast again. For the remainder of those days I restricted on what I was eating based on what I felt the Lord was saying to me. I don’t say this to gloat or to say I did something great. I say this to put a little severity to the situation that Jesus went through. How hard it must have been. I know I will never do a fast like that again unless I have the ability to walk into the wilderness for 40 days like Jesus did. If you must continue to work, and drive, and play, and live outside of seeking God for 40 days, then your fast will be harder than what Jesus did, so I recommend not doing so.

Now, having said that, I don’t want to actually say that Your fast would be harder than what Jesus did, simply because I do not want to belittle what Jesus went through, and to also point out that I was not there, have never done a 40 day fast and have no idea how it is going to affect my life. Maybe one day I can share with you how it does affect my life. (don’t get all ‘oh but you’re not supposed to say you were fasting’)…We know Jesus fasted didn’t we? And the bible tells us to on several occasions, including Jesus telling the apostles that “this one only comes out by prayer and fasting.” Meaning, we must fast, and if Jesus can talk to his crew about it, I can surely encourage and be encouraged by you all. Now lets move on.

Paul was sent through the ringer on multiple, horrifying occasions to end up in Rome to preach the gospel. Jesus was ‘bruised for our iniquities, by his stripes we are healed.” Out of bad things, good things happen. Do not despise the bad things that are happening in your life.

Job walked through hell and back, and in the end he had more than he had when we start his story. God told Jacob to sacrifice his only son, that’s pretty bad right there, I don’t care who you are, that’s a trip right there. And I could even go as far as saying that is ‘bad’, and God himself told Jacob that. But in the end what happened? He was blessed, and Isaac was blessed etc…

What I believe the issue is, and I think that almost everything I write goes back to this point somewhere in my writing, is simply that we do not understand the heart of God fully to judge whether we are in a thing of God or if we are ‘under attack’. Jesus spent 30 years getting ready for his ‘ministry’, he also retreated to solitude with the Father on more times than we can account for, as well as doing so in the middle of teaching or preaching or healing the masses. Relationship is the ticket to understanding what God is doing in our lives. I believe that full heartedly.

Jesus didn’t always understand it either. “If this cup can be taken from me…” That is a desperate plea, from a man on his road to being killed by the brutality of a mob. He also knew what He was supposed to do and what He was going to endure, and because there was no other way to have this happen, He walked that road and gave his life for us. I don’t know about you, but I am thankful that something bad happened to someone good. You could say that I am thankful that someone’s son was killed, that someone’s brother was killed, that someone’s teacher, mentor, best friend and companion was killed, right in front of them, as they cried, and sobbed in horror, without understanding the full extent of what was going on. I can only imagine what was going through the disciples heads when this happened. They never put it together until then. Jesus told them he had to go away, He told them to their faces, and yet when it happened, what would have gone through their heads. I can tell you what might have gone through my head. Maybe something like, “oh my goodness, were we right in following this guy all this time? Was he really the Messiah? What is going on? Who do we turn to, he was everything we knew, I am not ready for him to be gone…”

That’s another very interesting thought. How many of Jesus’ disciples cried out “it’s to early, I can’t do this on my own yet, we need you Jesus, I need to learn more, I need to have you here with me, there is so much I don’t understand.”

I’m sure we have all felt that way a little on some level or another, wondering why we have been thrown into something so early, kicking and screaming, “it’s to early, I am not ready.” Life is about being thrown into the deep end and learning to swim on your own. Life I said before, you cannot only read about a bullet wound to fully understand the ins and outs, the pain and the draining effect of a bullet would until you have a bullet lodged in your leg (or anywhere else). It is in the act of doing what you have learned about or read about that you gain an appreciation, or I guess better said, an understanding about what it is you have just done.

I can read all about healing and setting people free, I can learn all there is to know about casting out a demon, but until I actually step forward, see someone possessed by a demon and step up to the plate, exercise the authority in Jesus Christ that was given to me and cast it out of the person, setting them free, I do not know what it is like to cast a demon out.

I am as guilty as those I speak to, and some of you may not be guilty, and to you I say good on ya, keep up the good work, I, as well as God and those of us around are proud of you and inspired by you in what you do, but I am guilty of sitting in a corner waiting for the world to come to me, rather than stepping up to the plate and swinging. “Pony up” as the cowboys used to say… (did they really say that?, and I can only guess it means ‘man up’). I’ve stepped onto more trails than I planned. I started with a simple thought that I’m rather glad something bad happened to someone good…

Don’t be afraid of the hard times. Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me. If we are to pray that, then there must be a time we will be walking through that valley. But we are instructed to no fear, because greater is he that is in us, than he that is in this world who opposes us.

The reverse of all of this is true as well. I’m pretty sure I have asked this before, “why do good things happen to bad people?”. Well I can tell you that I’m glad that a good thing (salvation) happened to a bad person (me), because that’s where my supposed ‘goodness’ took over, and yet most days I wonder if I can actually claim that I am one of the ‘good’ ones. We have all had, and continue to have our stints in the world of sin, and we are also all offered the free gift of redemption, salvation and forgiveness through the death of Jesus. So, next time you look at a ‘bad’ person and wonder why something good happened to them, remember that the very same thing happened to you, and your good thing, salvation, is far better than their good thing on this earth.

For the sake of good, a bad thing had to happen. And for the sake of a bad person a good person had to die. We can only inherit what we are willing to receive.

Do not despise hard times, but instead turn to God for comfort and salvation through those times. Ye though I walk… remember those words always. It is in those words that you will find comfort. There will be times that we walk through hard times, walk through things we do not understand, but we must ask what goodness is on the other side of that darkness.

God, I choose to not despise the ‘bad’ things I find myself walking through, but instead, I will endeavor to press into you, to find your face and to seek your presence, your friendship and your companionship; to know you as father, and to know you as Saviour. To understand the fullness of your presence, the reality of you living in me, the reality of your spirit being within me, and “I in you, You in me, even as Jesus is in You, Father.” Help me to realize the times I am in, and when I don’t, to continue to trust in you and trust that you have good places for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a future and a hope. All to your Glory God…

The Next Step...

Another one, eh? if you like.... 2 of 3

I often sit around and think about what the next step of life is going to be for me. It seems that over the last 5 years I’ve found that where I am in my life I’ve been running from one stage to the next and never actually settled down. It’s been a blessing and a problem all at the same time. I’ve realized recently that it’s been because God has kept me that way and I’ve been in His graces for the most part. He showed me a vision a while back that I’ve been in a season, for the last 5 years, of training, a time of Him opening my eyes and seeing His Kingdom; the greatness of it all, the wonderful expanses of His Kingdom, All that He has to offer. And in that time, I’ve seen more than I ever thought imaginable. Yet, it has only been recently that I have realized that this has been God’s design for my life in the last 5 years. I thought for a long time that it was just an evil curse and there was something wrong with me. I thought that because I hadn’t ‘settled down’ where I was, I was sinning in some way, or that I wasn’t living in God’s design for my life, and then recently he showed me that he has had me in a planters pot and has been revealing the expanse of the Kingdom in a way that grows the tree, and now it is time to plant that tree, going out of the planters pot and into the ground where I can grow in the inside, where I can develop the intimate, deep rooted relationship with Him that I so desperately need.

Do not despise the stages of life you are in my friends. In these stages we will sometimes battle confusion and depression, but stick with the wonder and teaching of God. He has you where He has you for a reason. I am not saying stay somewhere that you do not feel like God is having you stay. I urge anyone who feels ‘out of place’ because of spiritual unrest (in your heart and not just a ‘I’m not happy so I want to leave) to seek God and ask him where he is to have you. Sometimes, like a friend of mine that I was recently talking to, He will tell you to stay where you are, as a teaching ground for you to learn something that you wouldn’t get somewhere else. I have spent many a time in this stage, learning and not understanding. I went through a time last year where my 2 best friends left the city I was living in to move on to where they felt God was telling them to go. I felt abandoned and left alone, I had no reason to stay where I was (physically), but God had other things for me yet. I knew that I was still supposed to stay where I was. And today, I am still there. Ok, not entirely true. Today I am sitting in one of my best friends houses in Puerto Rico, with the door wide open and the warmth of the evening air filling the room as I listen to the ocean slowly role in against the beach; one of the most beautiful sounds and experiences I know. I often feel I am called to this island at some point in my life. It is a beautiful country with an even more beautiful people. God will reveal that to me in time if that is meant to be part of my destiny.

I say the ‘next step’ because often times we think of our ‘destiny’ as a moment we are trying to get to, something we are to achieve somewhere down the road in our lives and it is our ‘destiny’. Destiny is not a place, it is not a time, it is not a moment. Destiny is our lives. Destiny is fulfilling what God is calling you to do in the very moment you are in, at all times, not just some distant ‘moment’. I mentioned that destiny is not a moment, and then just defined it as a moment. Don’t get confused. Moments are something that we tend to think only happen once and a while, but God has given us a destiny to fulfill at all times, in every moment of everyday. When I am ‘in my destiny’ I am finding what God is wanting of me at all times. Jesus only did what he saw the father do, only spoke what he heard the father speak. That is living in our destiny.

I don’t know where I’m going with what I’m writing right now, except that I feel this urging in my spirit to think on what I want in my life.

Every once and a while you will have someone come up to you and ask you that fated question, “So, what do you want to do with your life? What are your dreams, your desires? What do you see yourself doing in 5 or 10 years?” and so on and so forth. I often hear these questions and my heart sinks. I honestly don’t know. There has been something about the heart of dreaming that has left me, and I can only pin point it to the scripture that says the enemy has come to kill steal and destroy. What has he come to kill and steal and destroy? Well, the verse continues to say “But I have come that you may have life and life to the full” or life more abundant as some versions say, meaning the enemy has meant to kill, steal and destroy the opposite of life. When we have life, we know what we are ‘living’ for. When we stop and ask ourselves “what do I want to do with my life?” and come up short, it makes me sort of think that there is something missing and I am not living in that ‘life more abundant’. Something has been stolen from me. And I’m left asking, “how will I find this ‘life’?”.

A pastor of mine (I’ve had a few over the last few years) told me once that God hasn’t shown me what to do with my life because if God had shown me the extent of my ‘destiny’ (meaning how far God is wanting to take me) I would become scared and fearful because it’s farther than my mind can reach.

I agree, and I’m only shortly into this journey of my life. Turning 25 in only 22 days might be why I am thinking these things. I have done and seen more in these last 5 years than I had hoped to see in my entire life. Although, I guess if I am honest I have never let myself dream at all. I always flipped back and forth when I was growing up. I Don’t think I ever wanted to do one single thing with my life for more than a year at most. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, a graphic designer, etc… (2 opposite extremes almost). And when I came to where I am now 5 and a half years ago I had no idea what I was stepping into.

I thought I was keeping a promise to God to get my life sorted and step into a life of servitude and church duty at best. I had no desire for ministry, no desire for God or the word, no desire for worship or preaching or teaching, counseling or the rest of it. I had no sight for what God had in store for me. And here I sit, about to embark on a cruise for the 3rd year in a row as a ‘worship leader’. I don’t say that to boast on position or ‘look what I am now become’, but I say it to say simply, God has a plan. God has a destiny for us all. My destiny is not being a ‘worship leader’, BUT, being a worship leader is instead just ‘part’ of my destiny in God. My destiny in God is to be a son. To be a beloved son, that knows his father more and more as he lives and grows in this life. If Jesus has come to give us life and life more abundant, then we must seek hard after this life, and we will need to fight for it. In a great epic movie we see people coming into their ‘destiny’ often. William Wallace in Braveheart, came into his ‘destiny’ as he stood up for his people. Robin Hood comes into his destiny as he stands up for the people around him against the tyrant prince. The stories go on and on, and in a book, or a movie there is only time for ‘one’ viewing of a persons destiny. Gandolf from the Lord of the Rings is a good example of someone who has and is living out their destiny, although in the end he “retires” and I don’t believe that there is, for any of us, retirement from our destiny, just as there is no ‘vacation’ form it.
Your destiny is not just the season you are in, and the foresight that God has given you over the years to see what the Kingdom has for you does not need to be accomplished in this very time. That is a thing that often confuses me. I tend to look at life as having to be played out in the next few months, because of a dream or vision that God has given me. God started to talk to me a couple years ago about becoming a pastor, yet, I have no sight, or foresight of this happening any time soon. So, why is God showing me that? Because it is ‘part’ of my destiny. We mustn’t get locked into what we are doing in the moment so much that we think that is our destiny for life. Destiny is more than what we do, it is who we are.

And I’ve just hit it haven’t i. Destiny is not what we do, it is who we are. We are ‘destined’ for greatness. What we have done is great, but that does not equal our destiny, it means that we, living in our destiny, have accomplished great things.

I am rambling and have no idea what I’m saying….

I wish only to live in God’s destiny for my life. Call it my destiny, or call it God’s destiny, I don’t really mind what it is called, I just pray that I am living in it as we continue to see His Kingdom come on earth as in Heaven. There is more to this life and I wish to have it… God grant me life and life more abundant, help me lay down what hinders this life, and help me grasp what will bring this life to fullness. All for your glory.

I Forsake who I am for Your sake…

The Other Door...

So, we get 3 posts in one day...because i'm on vacation, haven't had internet for a few days, and have had lots of time to just sit and think and soak up the's the first....the other door...

Have you ever stood before a door that shut on you? This could be any door, a door you want to desperately get through, a door you think you are supposed to go through, even a door that others have told you that you are most definitely supposed to go through.

I’ve been there. In the distant past, more recently, and currently… And I’m sure more to come. These are the doors that life puts in front of us. I say ‘life’ because God may not have ‘put’ that door in front of you, but rather allowed you to see it and walk to it, with intentions of you learning form the experience (whatever it be).

These are doors of destiny, and we must start asking ourselves which destiny we want, which door will we go through.

I’m writing this because earlier today, sitting in an airplane flying from Buffalo, NY to JFK (NYC) I realized that often times when we see a door shut, we continue to stair at that damn door and wait for it to open. This the case more often than not, especially when it is something we want very much, in our human, fleshly nature. One could very quickly get confused and think I am going towards saying that God is a mean ol’ man that likes to get our hopes up and shut doors. This is not the case at all. Nor is it the true that God maliciously sends us on rabbit trails in order to teach us a lesson, or teach us something in our lives.

If we look closely we will see that God does in fact put doors in front of us, and if we will keep our eyes, spiritual eyes, open, we would see these doors a lot better than whatever it is that we are staring at.

I’ve recently found myself rather, how do you say…. smitten, with someone of the female variety. I’ve known since I first saw her over a year and a half ago that she was not the ‘one’ for me, in fact I clearly heard God say “don’t even bother liking her…” I will admit, that is a weird thing to hear God say. But God speaks to me rather frankly when I’m spending time in His presence and our relationship is developed. He puts it like it is, because that’s how I need to hear it. Now, instead of looking for ways to deal with this situation, follow the door of ‘walking away’ in front of me, I have continued to stair intently at this other door. Don’t get me wrong, this girl is absolutely fantastic, wonderful, lovely, deserving of the world and gorgeous like no other. Oh, and we get along like you wouldn’t believe. In my head, the human side that ignored the ‘walking away’ door, I’ve got it all figured out, it should work perfectly. I’ve always been a believer of embracing your feelings and not killing your heart, and I feared that if I did just try to ignore this wonderful woman, that I would in fact be ‘killing’ a part of my heart that I shouldn’t. After all, we’ve been taught (we in the circles I run with) that it is not good to build walls and kill our hearts. I thought I was doing a decent thing.
Well as we all know the male heart can be one to run away with itself. I find myself thinking about her the odd time, and time passes and I continually get to these points (yup, it happened more than once) that me and her would talk about these ‘feelings’ I had, and conclude it wouldn’t work. I even went as far as telling her what God had said to me. Now before you get the right idea…I mean ‘wrong idea’, she doesn’t like me, so that’s a good enough reason for it to ‘not work’ right there, but what I’m talking about is the identifying with what you feel, as a man, for a woman, and dealing with it properly. And in my head, I couldn’t very well live my life feeling this way about someone and not letting her know. It’s done wonders for my ability to talk to women. It’s also been a very hellish road at times. A few months ago took me to one of these moments again, and this girl, wonderful as she is, told me, “rob, honestly, I wish I liked you, you are amazing blah blah blah…” ( I don’t say blah blah blah in disrespect to her, I say it cause there was more said that I can’t remember and that probably doesn’t need to hit this page…). AND we as men, who have been ‘rejected’ know what that whole conversation is like. We take things differently that usually it is said. It’s good to know that a girl doesn’t like us, there was definitely no hope left in that statement, “I wish I did, but I don’t”, so I can move on right? Well throw in the stories of friends of mine, close personal friends that had a girl say something quite similar and he said, “that’s ok, I still like you…” and one day she wakes up and says, “oh my goodness, I love the bloke…” Add the story upon story of the older men and friends of ours that have told us that they had to ‘not give up’ because as a man you’re supposed to ‘win’ the girl. Even a girl will say that, she wants to be pursued. So does ‘no’ really mean ‘no’…who knows. Anyways, to continue on, with these things in my head (and not the fact that God told me not to bother) I didn’t fully give up. I thought I had. I honestly thought I had moved on and we were just going to be good friends. Time goes on and in a moment of drunkenness (yah, I’ve been drunk, sorry to break it to you in such a heart / relational post), standing at a bbq in the snow and rain, blurt out to her, “…and I love you…”

Wow. Shock to me, and HUGE SHOCK to her. She looked at me, hit me and said, “say what?”

The story goes on, that was over a month ago and I’m sitting here trying to deal with the fact that I really do like this girl, a whole lot, and really think I would go the lengths to ‘pursue’ her. Again, my argument has been, ‘it’s not good to ‘kill’ the feelings, right?’. That is very true. You shouldn’t kill feelings, you shouldn’t bury them, like I had. I thought for sure we were fine, so did she, things were going well, and then out of nowhere this things explodes in my face, and since that moment that I opened my mouth at the bbq, I haven’t been able to shake her from my mind, my dreams and my thoughts.

Then I was reading a book the other night and it hit me. The author was writing about a quite similar situation and said, as a man, we are attracted to beauty, to God’s creation, and especially to women. It’s in our system, God said it, “it is not good for man to be alone…” AMEN to that, I feel the affects of being alone more than ever, it’s a lonely thing, and God was smart when he said that (still is too…)
BUT, our attraction to beauty must come second to our dependence on God. He gave us a heart that is full of life and seeks more of it, is enthralled with beauty, and I was left saying “HOW DO I GET RID OF THESE FEELINGS…”

I’m pretty sure now that we can’t get rid of them. That you can’t out of your own power in any way, minus brain-washing yourself, to not like someone, but if God has said this is not the right one, or if she has said that she isn’t the right one, or if you just know that she isn’t the right one, you must go past what we as humans can physically and mentally do, and turn to what we can spiritually do. In turning to God and saying “God, take my heart, I’m hurting and my heart continually goes towards this…” He is able to come in and change our hearts.

The other side of it is where this post started. I pose this in a question: “What door are you looking at?” I’ve been looking at this door (this girl) and wanting to walk through the door of ‘relationship’, of ‘love’ etc…

Another way you can say this easily is “where is your focus? Are you focusing on God, or are you focusing on what is around you.

I’ve brought this to the table in respects to a woman I’ve fallen for. But the same can be said about most situations. And I’m pretty convinced (and might be able to find it in the bible if I knew where, but someone can correct me if this isn’t actually stated in the bible) that when God shuts a door, he is faithful to provide another one for us to walk through. Or as some would say, when God shuts a door, he opens a window.

The door being shut doesn’t mean it goes away, in fact, a shut door is more visible and ‘taunting’ than one that wasn’t shut before. Put a wall in front of a guy and he’ll want to climb over it….put a door in front of us and we’ll want to tear it down. And if our focus sticks on that door, it’s like if you stair at anything intently. Try it… Take a moment and stare at something it can be anything…I’m staring at the corner of my laptop screen right now, and if I stare at it long enough…letting my eyes focus on it alone, eventually the rest of the world around me will fade into darkness and all I will see is what I am focused on.

Where is the other door? What is the other door? I want to give you hope today. Hope for a better door. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favourite, if not my absolute favourite verse in the bible, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.”

Me staring at this door will get me hurt, I will continue, like I have 3 or 4 times run into it full on and realize that there is nothing for me on the other side, and that it is someone else’s door to walk through. Ease up your gaze and ask God to refocus you. He will be faithful to point you in the right direction.

Do Not assume you know what door he will point you to. In a relational sense it’s a little easier, I know at least that he will point me in the direction of a woman. But maybe, just maybe (and I don’t believe this, cause I’m to awesome to stay single for my life) but maybe he’s pointing me to a door of whole-hearted 100% commitment to Him, without earthly attachments. It could happen. I hope not, but it could happen.

I’m thinking more of doors that deal with our life around us and questions we ask about what we should be doing, where we should be going, when we should be going… The se are questions that are not easy to answer on our own. In fact I would not want to answer them on our own, we run great risk of messing things up when we take our life into our own hands. So, this is what I propose to you. Ease your gaze and lift your eyes to God and as you’re staring at Him, He will ‘direct your path’ and lead you to the doors you must knock at. “seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened…” Seek God, and let him point you to the doors you are to knock on, and it shall be opened before you.

Did the ministry door shut because God wants you to go to a different ministry? Or maybe, just maybe he wants you to take the business world by storm, or wants you to focus on your family for a season. Having the door shut in one area doesn’t mean that the next door will even be in that area, be open to His direction.

Did your business proposal fall flat because God wants you to go into a different business venture? Or is this your opportunity to break out into the ministry side of God’s calling for your life?

Did the house in Winnipeg fall through because you are supposed to find a different house, or because you are supposed to move somewhere completely different, or nowhere at all?

The questions that direct our life, the questions that we ask time and time again because we get uneasy.

What door are you focused on? Focus your eyes on him, and the doors will not matter so much, it will just be a matter of walking up to them, holding your Daddy’s hand, and knocking, and seeing His power unfold.

I am not saying this is ‘easy’. Nor am I saying that this comes without fight, but that is a post for another day. We must fight for what we want, the violent take the kingdom by force, I believe that as much as I believe in being a young child with all my money bet on the power and strength of God.

Keep your chin up. There is another door.

I’m telling myself the same thing at this very moment.

“God, I give up these doors I’ve been staring at, the doors you’ve either told me to walk away from, or have not put in my walk. I’m asking you to forgive me for being a stubborn, bull headed charger that is trying to break through a door I am not supposed to even knock on. I thank you for using this situation to not hurt me, but to show me your truths and to continue growing in wisdom and knowledge. Help me to ease my gaze and focus solely on You, where my help comes from. You have plans to prosper me, help me trust in you for those plans. To you be all the Glory, and let your Kingdom come and Your will be done in my life and the lives of my friends, family, and those around me…”

Monday, January 29, 2007

Time, Space and whatever the two shall make...

So, if you'll forgive me for a second...i'm going to go have a smoke....brb.

alright, now that we've gotten that taken care of we can type. Don't worry, i'm sure at some point in this blogging of time we shall hear me spout on about addictions and my current cigarette habit and how that's been a passing yet griping thing over the last year.

ok...firstly i would like to say, aren't we all glad that google didn't make this site cause we'd all be posting pictures and comments about peoples dirty nose drippings.

secondly... back in november of 2005 (or there abouts) i wrote a post, a big long one too...and did that whole pin my heart to the wall and said "look at's's hurting...yet it's alive" and i got spam for it. spam in my comments, and at that point i got that warm tingly feeling only a quality spam artist can provide. I also decided that i would switch that great feature on my account to moderate all comments on my blog. For the following 13 1/2 months i wondered why no one was commenting on my blog. I thought people just stopped reading and eventually i gave up. Thought "if all of this in my heart isn't doing anything for anybody, what's the point of it and what's it doing there..."
then something compelled me to log into my blogger account today and lo-n-behold it had been taken over by the good people over at google, who make real websites :P. anyways, they also decided that it was time to remind me that i had 30 (count them, starting with "1" and ending with "30") comments that i needed to moderate and agree or disagree to...

so, i've spent the last good 45 minutes reading what you have all said to me over the last year and a bit, and i'm next to being in tears because of the heartfelt and lovely things you have all said to me. Do i blog for comments... no, but there's something to be said when a friend stands beside you and says "dude..i feel that shit....i feel it too...everyday...ur not alone".

Having said that, I must apologize and ask your forgiveness....please forgive me for neglecting (albeit quite un-intentional) all the comments you've posted to me over the last long period of time.

At this point i want to make the same promise i made just 12 months ago and say "i'm going to blog once a week, just to mentally process"... but i won't make such claims, because that in of itself might just doom me to failure...

it did another thing for forced me to look back over the year and see the state of my heart on several occasions...some of which reminded me of promises and commitments i failed to withold. others reminded me of pain and hurt that i'm either free from, or still struggling with.

The heart is a funny thing. It beats on, everyday, it takes it's licks and keeps on ticking... it survives and thrives...and it gets hurt, often leaving us bruised, bloodied and hurting on the side of the road. My last year and a bit has taken me on a wild and painful journey, full of excitement, newness and conquering. I've recorded my first live worship album, i've loved and been rejected yet again, i've been convinced of success, and convinced of failure. I've lived on. I've stood on the edge of cliffs and jumped, and flew higher than i ever thought possible, and i've also fallen lower than i ever thought i could or would...

So, was 2006 a success? you better believe it. God took me through it, and i'm stronger on this side of it than i was walking into it. because i succeeded all the time? hell no, but because i bore my teeth, let out a cry of pain and torment, and walked off the field of battle, i wasnt' carried off, i walked off.

reading those posts over the last year make me think of things...things like:
- "God told you to stop smoking (told you i'd get here)...why the shit are you being such a moron and continuing on?". - failed
- started a diet - failed
- started at the gym - failed
- determined to break addictions and habits that have gripped me for years - failed
- record CD - success
- read a few good books - success
- learn more about heart and God - success...

ya know...within the failures i see success. I was reading a book earlier and it was talking about how everything we go through brings us to a place of strength because we are faced with a challenge. I realized i can't look at everything that comes at me as God turning His back, or me getting depressed about stuff. These things come at us to make us test bring us closer to a God who will do anything with, for and through us given we give him the opportunity to do so.

Steve Long was preaching on sunday about Paul, how God told him to go to Rome, and he kept giving him prophetic words from people, but everyone interpretted those words as "beware, don't go"...yet God had already told him that he must get to Rome.
one could look at that story and say Paul had been forsaken, was put through torture, almost killed, numerous times..and for bring him out on the other side stronger and more reliant on God's grace, mercy and strength than ever before. What if he had given in at some point. said "ya know what, i think i'll take that 'prophetic word' and head for the hills..."
well we wouldn't know christianity as we know it today.

I've taken so much of what i've gone through in the last year as heart ache and torture...of unexplainable, uncharacteristic pain because i'm a failure. But it's been trial and testing to see how i will walk out on the other side of it. Will i walk out stronger. Closer to God, more reliant on his grace and mercy, His salvation. More confident in His greatness and Kingdom.

If i've learned one thing this year, it's that God is great, and worthy to be praised. He is the King of Kings who sits on the thrown of all heaven and earth. And we, if we can tap into that can see His kingdom come and his will be done in a way we never thought possible.

I've failed, a whole hell of a lot. who hasn't? but on the other side, I'm standing here knowing that God is great, He loves me and his plans and purposes are good. (Jer 29:11)

I have one hope for you all for 2007, myself included. That we take these challenges that life throws us head on. That the warrior that is within us stands up and fights for what we believe, what we know and what we want to see come down in our lives. I don't know what 2007 will look like, but i know that it will have it's successes, it might have some of those failures i'm afraid of. It will have love, it will have hurt and pain, yet more healing and grace because of it.

I'll blog, how often i don't know, but I'm convinced there is something in taking time to see what will happen when we sit and let our hearts spout out their insides... do it with me, sit and pour out..let your heart come alive in it's depth and wonderful beauty. It's scary, reckless, horrible and wonderful beauty. hell, you don't even have to be deep :P...just live with me...

Let's have success, and be proud in our God who gave us that success.
Let's take our defeats and our failures and learn from them, grow and continue to fight despite them.
Let's give our hearts another chance, to love, to grow, to rely and to respond.
Let's laugh.
Let's cry.
Let's look up, look high.
Let's call for the Kingdom and watch it rain down. because as a good friend of mine says..."Lord, when your Kingdom falls...NOTHING else matters....NOTHING can stand against your Kingdom God...We cry out for you Lord, We cry out for you Lord....Let your Kingdom Come...Let your will be done..."

if you look throughout 2006's posts, you'll see alot of Kingdom...the same will continue, for the kingdom is at hand...not just around the corner, not waiting to be seen, but in our call forth, to bring down, to see it come and to cry for the Will of God to be done...

Let's reach for something we didn't thinkg possible.
Let's climb high for a ledge they told us we couldn't grasp.
Let's believe the truth no matter how insane it may sound.
Let's do what we believe, because faith without works is dead.
Let's hold fast, and strong, let's cry hard and long...let's walk through the fields of battle, and walk off the other, not carried.

I'll help you if you fall,
will you help me when i fail
I'll cry when you are sad
Yet my heart will still rejoice

Your heart is worth the fight
Your heart is worth a song
A song sung by angels...
A song sung loud and clear.

I'll stand by you
I'll stand with you
I'll stand when you need a friend
I'll stand when you need a smack in the face to get back on track

Here's to 2007
Here's to life and love and war and strength.
to all those who have fallen before us
to all those we will raise from the dead...