Wednesday, July 1, 2009

my apologies... and my shot list

let me begin with i'm sorry. i've allowed too much time to slip away from my fingers. the days have been long a weary at some points, short and sweet at others, and yet the Lord has found a way to stay the same amidst them all.
please forgive me for not posting as often as i once was, or would like to for that matter. there is much to tell and little time to do it in. so i will have to overlook my first desire in scripting out everything for you, and compromise it with a list.

1. i have found a job. i work in a restaurant/coffee shop/bar called "B&O Espresso"

2. i am currently serving in two youth groups. i love these groups so much, and am beyond blessed to have them in my life.

3. i've found a love for bars
-to better explain, i have met many people that i have been able to build relationships with and preach the gospel to. not just once, but many times over. the Lord has opened doors to love on the people who love the darkness(please keep me in prayer)

4. i love the gay community
-i work in a job where i am the only straight man working the floor. i love all my co-workers very much. they have grown near and dear to my heart, and i am grateful that the Lord has allowed me the opportunity to love them with His love(really, please keep me in prayer)

5. i love my Jesus. more and more i am learning to be more than a conqueror in Him. when things are falling around me, He permits me to sing, "you will never let me go" When i know the world is standing against me for the truth i hold in my heart it only beckons me to say, "i love You, i need You" a heart of worship has been the gift received from the Lord, and the offering given from me.

That will have to end the list. Times have been hard but God has been faithful. the face that i LIVE in seattle is still taking a toll on me. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter... Seattle! all holidays and birthdays are here in the pacific northwest.

My encouragement to you all is to remember that heaven is your home, no where on this earth. i know that for me, i have no desire to take root anywhere on this earth. i am a tree and Jesus is my source of water, i will be planted by Him and Him alone, wherever that may be. work unto Him and not unto man, that you may store up all riches in heaven.

I apologize, i must go. this will have to suffice for now. until next time. (SOON) I love you all and am blessed to have you in my life.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

take your heart...

I apologize that it has been so long since my last post... there has been much to do and even more to think about. i hadn't decided what to write until now, and my words have come to this...

Rise up.

Family, i would be speaking out of hypocrisy if i didn't first BEG for your prayers on my behalf in this exhortation. For i am in desperate need of them. The Lord has declared that He desires a generation to seek His face, to lift their eyes and behold the King of Glory. I know that we are not the first generation to receive such a call, nor do i think, if time permits, we shall be the last. Yet still, we are here NOW. Our God desires to use each and every one of us for a mighty work to bring Him glory. but the question still remains, "will we rise up to meet it?"

God has clearly saw fit to send such an invitation, meaning He knows that we are able. make no mistake, i do not say that we can do this on our own. But God has clearly stated that He is strong and able to do such a work THROUGH us. But still, is our heart willing?

I know that my heart is not. Mine cowers in fear, in doubt, in selfishness, and most of all-- in hypocrisy. There is a man that still breaths so long as i give him breath, so long as i allow his old heart to pulse blood through, he will live. i know i'm a failure, i know i am, and i wish i weren't... sin... it's painful, its discouraging, its embarrassing, it RIPS me apart, everyone of us from the inside out! BUT GOD... He has chosen to simply say, "I know, just repent and let's move on."

Why do you think that we are constantly reminded in scripture to SEEK HIS FACE? because God knows that we so often have our gaze upon ourselves, our own failures, our own anything! God wants us to see JESUS, because in that place where our eyes are fixed on self, we can't see the fullness of grace that is ours to hold. We can't see Him, His love, His mercy, His eagerness to forgive... We must not be distracted by us, we must allow our eyes to be lifted by grace and LOOK fully into the face of our King of Glory.

It is only by this that we can rise up... Our God desires US, He is jealous for US. Not for what we can do, but for who we are. Yet, in spite of who we are, He desires us to be a part of his plan, to partake of the good works HE has set before us. Please family, let us bring our hearts to the Lord. Taking any and everything that hinders it from being fully his, and let us look into His face. For when we see His beauty, we will no longer need to beg, "Lord take this from me..." For when we see Him for who He is, we will see our hearts rightly, and we will together wonder why we held onto them, as they were, for so long.

To be clear, out God wants to do something incredible in this time that we are living. Simply meditate on that, and now consider the fact that He wants us to be actively involved. Something bigger than i could ever explain is coming, its going to be waiting for us. Will we rise up to meet it? May we raise our eyes and see His face, may we become a generation that seeks Him fully.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

not just when , but how...

In life, we look for, and love "check points," markers in life to let us know that we are on the "right track". i caution all of us to truly take into account what it means when this life of "check points" is carried out to its end.

Please know that God is intimately concerned and involved with where you are going and when you will get there, but something that He is just as concerned with, is HOW you get there.

Sometimes in life, we go through a season where the "check points" are easy to identify. we know what they are and when they will arrive, but because of this, we grow lazy. because we know exactly when the current chapter of our life will end, we don't care whats written on the pages leading to the event. God does not share this mentality. I know and understand that it gets weary running the race, but there is a reason Paul exclaims, "i have fought the GOOD fight! i have FINISHED the race!" We MUST look at HOW we are fighting and HOW we are running. truly, by the scale of time, we cannot bring the markers in life any closer to us, but our God is outside of such limits and desires that all of our lives be in CONSTANT surrender.

I have just arrived in seattle, and have only been here for two days time, but i have already learned a great deal about myself and my Lord. i owe it all to God's grace and willingness to speak to me at ALL times. i was recently ill, as some of you know. i began to get sick the week i was planning to set off to seattle. KNOWING that this was spiritual attack from the enemy, many loved ones and i immediately went into prayer. my symptoms grew worse as the week progressed, and eventually grew to be the worst (or so i thought) thursday night. after a night of the worst sleep i could imagine(or lack thereof) i was sent off at 4:30am with love and prayer to seattle(thanks girsl). half way through i made my way into Red Bluff, where i was welcomed with love and open arms. however, my symptoms continued to grow more and more severe. i ended up sleeping at the Ferguson home friday night, and remained there all of saturday, being tended to by a very loving family. sunday morning, ONLY by God's grace, i woke up refreshed and ready. I felt incredible! a total miracle of the Lord! i got in my car and finished the trip that day.

Now family, here is the HOW that i am so concerned with. i KNEW in all certainty that my God was going to heal me. but i also know that He was testing me. i praise my Jesus that by His grace through my sickness i did nothing more than seek his face and sit at his feet! it was such a blessed season and an amazing time to prepare for what was in store. as i sought the Lord in my illness i began to see things about myself that the Lord saw fit to remove. and by His grace, (i know, ALL 'by His grace') those things that once were, are no longer!

I was going to make it to seattle either way, i was going to be healed eventually, but God was concerned with HOW i was running! was i running by my own ability, or was i running in a constant limp, where everything is dependent on His grace and love?

The Lord has not merely brought me to a new place to reside, but he has brought me to a new place in Him. i pray that we all continually take into account HOW we are running. do not stop being faithful simply because you can "see" your next turn. I urge you, keep pressing into Your Jesus, because He so longs to press into you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

saying goodbye...

"love one another, as i have loved you..." Words uttered from the lips of a man not just leaving, but going... going, to his death.

I now hold a better understanding as to why Christ said what he said, LOVE. there is no greater commandment than to love. as i make ready to leave, in what seems like moments, i want to leave behind LOVE. I pray that i have been faithful in all things, but most of all in love. in loving my God, my brothers and sisters, and those i may have only been able to afford a smile. i leave a charge, pleading that those who are either remaining or going-- LOVE. Please, love one another as i have loved you. i pray that my love has not been a love that falters under circumstances, that allows bitterness to go unconfessed, that permits division to find its way into the body, but has been the true love of Christ. Love one another as Christ has loved us...

Family! We are a FAMILY and Christ is for ALL of us! there can be no division in this house. i beg you, put petty comments aside, let immature gestures be forgiven, and may love cover the multitude of sin. we disable ourselves when we allow our pride to rule our hearts. maybe we have been "wronged," but how much more did we wrong Jesus, and how much more did He have to forgive? Family, do not harden your heart to this truth, and do not seek to find justification for the anger that wells up inside you. See the cross and be humbled by its love, and in that humility, see Jesus, and His ability to love us. for family, we are the ones that are truly undeserving of the redeeming love that comes from God. may such a love transform our hearts, and cause us to have grace, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness...

Still, saying goodbye is more than just leaving, its going. Christ didn't just leave one with the charge, He continued to walk in it and carried His-- OUR cross, to Golgotha! where they crucified Him.

And now, i am blessed to go to a place where i will learn more about carrying my cross. I will find new riches in the love of my Jesus, as i live the life that He lived... A life of love. In denying myself, taking up my cross, and following after Him, i will go deeper. i will discover new levels of intimacy and further explore the heights and widths of His never ending love.

All this love He has stored up, waiting for me. waiting for me to come into that place where i can receive it. as he does for all of us. may we all put ourselves in that place where we can be loved, and in turn love one another as he loves us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

yes, our spirit does cry out...

My family, we have victory... with arms extended high it is clinched in our fist. Just as David had slain Goliath and attributed the victory unto all of Israel, so did Jesus conquer sin and death and grant us the prize! But do not forget, that though we fight from victory, that does not mean we do not fight at all...

Too often do i give in to the old man. The new man is desperate to draw breath, yet so often i suffocate him. i drown him in the waters of my own sin, sorrows and self-indulgences. He is yearning to live! To walk in the light as he has been fashioned to do. To bring glory to the Father in heaven. To proclaim the name and victory in the gospel of Jesus! That is the SPIRIT that rose Christ from the grave! THAT VERY SAME SPIRIT LIVES IN ME!!! It LIVES in US! and yet daily, i deny its power, daily!

I don't want that! I want him to live. i want the flesh to be that of the past. instead of giving him a feast for every meal, feeding him with my selfishness as he laughs at my guilt for doing such. I long to starve him. To make him so weak and weary that he would have no way in moving me. I want the bread of life to fill me. the pure living water to be what satisfies me. i want to run to my God when i hunger or thirst and trust He will satisfy my everything!

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of forgetting to fight! In times of trial, temptation, warfare... Do i fight? and when i do, do i fight in the flesh or in the Spirit? Yes, i know what it is to take hold of the victory that is given me in the time of battle and see it through... but i also know, all too well, the pain of loss, of defeat. to give in to the enemy's schemes. to grieve the heart of my God, and uplift the roar of the devil himself. I ask it would no longer be so, but that by His grace and mercy He would daily carry me in His love and wrap me in His full armor.

Are we not tired? Do we enjoy the despair and depression that comes with the weight of sin? Are we taking pleasure in the song that is sung by the shackles of this world? Why Christian? Why do we rebuild those things that Christ has destroyed!

Live in the freedom that you have been given! We are loved! No longer do we have to sell ourselves, comfort ourselves, with the mocking merchants of sin. No longer do we have to carry the stench of flesh! Family, we are brought into glory, we are the aroma of Christ. We were dead but now are alive! If Christ can conquer all, can He not conquer your sin? Can he not heal you of the hurt it has brought you? Can he not mend the heart so that it beats in rhythm with His own? He is Messiah! Saviour! GOD! And He loves you.

Family, let us no longer be tossed and turned, defeated by the powers of darkness, but let us take into account what God has done, and IS doing in our lives. Let the Lord search our hearts and expose any wickedness within, that we may be led into the way everlasting!

Let us fight the good fight, let us finish the race, let us keep the faith.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A prayer...

My God i beg for mercy upon your church. For too long have we been idle with our hearts towards the Lost. Yes, with our tongues we ask you would save, and with our flesh we may offer truth, but God there is lack! We are not broken. Our eyes are blind to the weight of sin, our hearts are numb to its pain. God WE BEG that you save us! Remind your bride that She was PURCHASED by YOU! That she was not worthy in herself, she was not fit, but she found grace, mercy, and love in your sight. May we, Lord, have the same compassion for those who are still without you.

God, we lift up those who are bound by homosexuality. God we plead for your eyes of LOVE! That we may see them as you do, as people who were fashioned in Your image, but living without HOPE! God may they see their WORTH! God, though we are a wretch without You, and nothing more than children of wrath, you still saw that we ARE worth the BLOOD of Christ! God, they are not cheap, they are not worth what someone will idly give for physical or emotional affection. THEY ARE NOT CHEAP! They cost You Your SON! God, may we see that we are ALL humbled by the Love of the Cross!

God, may the chains that weigh them down be shattered by Your glory. May we be Your willing hands and feet to run swiftly to the sick, and aid those in need with Your healing blood.

Lord we are arrogant and foolish. We are far too prone to remain back, "clean" and "pure" in our own eyes, and the eyes of those we aim to please on this earth. Daddy may we NOT CARE! May we not be concerned by any means what the people around us think! I pray our reputation of vanity on this earth would be abandoned God! That we would aim only to live for YOU and none else! God, you reached down into this filth and saved us, how can we NOT desire to do the same for those whom we are no better than?

Fill us with your Love, and in that love may a humble boldness be established in our hearts. May we know and understand the humility that comes in recognizing the cross, but may we see the authority in Who we represent as we stand on the FOUNDATION OF THE CROSS!

God, I ask that you would send this laborer out into the harvest! I beg you to reach down Your divine hand of love and mercy and touch these lost hearts, and prove Yourself a loving God to them.

You take the heart of stone and make it flesh, do that work Lord, i pray. We ask in Jesus Holy, Precious, and Saving Name, Amen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

live where you are, not where you'll be...

No matter where you are, if you are the Lords, then you are the Lords...

Life is not meant to be lived in the days of tomorrow. it is meant to be filled with the moments of now. you can not live in china while you are still on Hot Springs Rd. Though you may be called to go to such a land, you are first called to LIVE!

Be about your Father's business... His business is LOVE. if you ever wish to find the treasures of your calling in latter days, learn to seek them now. Cherish the intimacy available to you with your Saviour, and lavish the overflowing love on all that are around you.

For how can you truly love those whom you have not seen, if you can't love those that you have seen? Yes, i encourage you to keep the burden that is given to you for a land in need, but do not let that burden consume you. it is a blessing from the Lord to experience such a love, but if not kept in its place, it may deprive others of all that the Lord has given you for the "now" and in turn, deprive you of the testimony the Lord desires to build in your life.

You are where you are, and you are the Lords. You do not live for a calling, but for the One who has called. Seek His face, so yours may shine and bring Him glory.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

getting where i am going, and what brought me to going at all...

London, Paris, maybe Tokyo... wherever it may be, so long as Who i am with remains the same, contentment and satisfaction will remain mine, for i am His.

Nearly 5 years ago i chose to embark on a journey. a life filled with adventure. a life filled with the ultimate highs. where weak and lame are brought to a place where clouds are at their very feet. yet in the same breath, the mightiest man of valor is brought lower than the darkest seas. For he sees, the man that he really is.

Redeemed into this life, i am choosing to count all things as loss, that i may gain more of the One who i call my Love, Christ. though i am young and foolish, my God has saw fit to use this foolish thing that i am, to confound the wise.

I first thought, as many sometimes do, that i could make my plans, ask the Lord to bless them, and that would suffice. No. The Lord directs our steps and The Lord has a plan and a purpose for his children, and that is to love Him and to love others.

I won't be telling how i arrived at that place 5 years ago, or how i arrived at this place now. but i will tell you how i am getting where i am going, and what brought me to going at all...

I was taking a two week leave from all that i was committed to, simply that i may have a break to regain focus on life. as time pressed on and i prayed what the Lord would have me to do, nothing rang clear in my heart. so i continued to seek his face in hopes i would know in time. one week before i was scheduled to depart for wherever i was going, the Lord spoke-- Seattle.

A foolish and dear friend of mine was used in my life to give me the conviction i needed to go in confidence. i was to pack my things and head north to Emerald City.

I had made my attempts to get connected, but they came to no avail. yet, my Lord had said to GO and i would not deny his call. the evening came and i was on my way. in two days time, i had arrived.

My God had heard all my prayers on that quiet trip, and He answered them in abundance. Immediately i was welcomed into a family, a family that acted as though they had known me and been awaiting my return for so long. i grew to love them tenderly, and they me. as the place for them in my heart grew and grew, the Lord pressed upon me to count the cost of all that would be left behind, if i were to stay with this new family of mine.

Days went by with laughter and thanksgiving, yet my heart was still burdened to know my Daddy's heart. as i weighed everything on the scale of my life, i realized i need not worry, for i am being pruned. i have been blessed for my faithfulness in abiding in the vine of Living Grace. rich fruit has come from this life, and as any trained vine dresser knows, pruning must take place, so more fruit may grow.
I take heart in knowing that this fruit is an eternal fruit, that it is not in vain and not to waste. i will be with those that are being cut away from my life in due time, and that is beautiful.

So now, i continue to fix my eyes on the Planner, not my plan. For He is the One who keeps me faithful, He is the One that has called me to such a life, and He is the One that will carry me through.

I ask for your prayers on my journey, and tell you, DRAW NEAR to your Saviour. That is the purpose of these stories, to further open your eyes to the Love of your King, as i tell you how He has loved me.