Category Archives: Church

Messy Stories

Faith is a never ending messy story of how we live out our relationship with God.

Tonight, I taught a class on how to live your life on mission, as part of our joining our church. Last week was part one. Tonight, was part two and we talked a lot about our faith story.

I shared with the class my faith story and how my story hasn’t ended. I told them that I still don’t have it all together. I still don’t have all the answers.

One of things I look forward to most is hearing everyone that’s in the class share their story with each other. They share in small groups where God has brought them from and what God is doing in their lives right now.

It’s amazing to hear God at work in people’s lives. At work in families. At work in messy situations.

I was reminded last night of how messy our journey is. I was reminded of a few quotes from “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli

“Spirituality isn’t about being finished and perfect; spirituality is about trusting God in our unfinishedness.”

“…it turns out that what disqualifies you and me from “spirituality” – the mess of our lives and our crippledness – is what most qualifies us to be chosen by Jesus… Some of us actually believe that until we choose the correct way to live, we aren’t chooseable, that until we clean up the mess, Jesus won’t have anything to do with us. The opposite is true.Until we admit we are a mess, Jesus won’t have anything to do with us.”

The power of our story is that our story is a beautiful mess. A mess that is filled with real people, real situations, and real questions. A mess that is beautiful because it is filled with real people, real situations, and real faith.

As we talked tonight, I was reminded of how messy my faith journey has been…and of how it’s not missed yet.

I’m so thankful for my journey and where God has led me too.

I’m so thankful for the church I am in that allows people to lead a beautifully messy journey as they discover how to follow Jesus.

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Redeeming Prison

prison

“God has a process. As an addict, the only thing I could think about was getting high. I had no process. It took 2 years, 9 months, and 9 days for me to discover God and his process.”

Last night I sat with a few guys. One of them just got out of jail.

He told me about how he ended up there and how he never wants to go back. He told me about how seeing the homeless in New York City called him back to God.

He told me he dreamed about going back there and telling them of God’s deep love for them. He told me he dreamed about going back there and telling inmates that they didn’t have to fall into the cycle. He told me he dreamed of handing out Bible and food to the homeless.

12 days out of jail and  he  was dreaming bigger and deeper then most Christ-followers would ever will.

I don’t know it was the silence of prison, or the length of his time, or the reality of prison that affected him.

But as I drove home last night I couldn’t help but believe.

I choose to believe in God’s power to heal and restore and redeem. I choose to believe that a broken system does not hinder a God bigger than the system.

I’m reading a book that tells me I can believe in redemption…not just for my soul but for my world.

Our church is starting a partnership with the local prison. Because we believe. We believe in redemption and restoration.

Do you?

Getting Busy and Cheating

T-Shirt-Not-Now-Im-Busy-705334

Being busy always makes life more complicated.

No matter if it’s extra hours at work, or more than usual amount homework being busy tends give us bad attitudes, bad priorities, and bad habits.

When I am busy I start to procrastinate on the important things of life for what seems important in the immediate. When I am busy I start to pull away from what really matters to spend time on what is fleeting.

When I am busy I start to focus on to do list’s rather than on people.

When I am busy I forget. When I am busy I ignore. When I am busy I miss out.

It’s not that all the things I am doing that make me busy are bad, in fact, many of them are noble and good things. But many times in my hectic schedules and over worked life I forget what really matters.

Getting good grades is important, but not at the cost of loving others or loving God.

Working out everyday is important, but not at the cost of spending time with my wife.

Working hard is important, but not at the cost of my soul.

I don’t want to lose my wife, my love, and soul in the midst of my busy life. I refuse to allow schedules, due dates, and time restrictions to rob me of what matters most!

I guess…I’d rather cheat on work, school, and fitness than my wife, my God, and my soul.

Hiding With The Baggage

hiding

There’s a story in 1 Samuel.

It’s a story about when Saul is announced as King of Israel.

When he’s announced…they can’t find him. He’s hiding among the baggage.

The first king of Israel. He stood head and shoulder above every other man in Israel. He was a giant in his own right.

But he was hiding.

Leaders who start off hiding never really come out from behind the baggage.

Whether its  hiding among them baggage, consulting witches, or offering sacrifices when he wasn’t supposed to, Saul couldn’t seem to get away from the baggage of his insecurities and fears.

When are leader is controlled by insecurity and fear, they will always hide because of their fears and insecurities. It even looks like leadership sometimes. They will make decisons, people will follow them…but all along fear and insecurity will run their lives.

Get rid of the baggage!

Get rid of the fear and insecurity!

Stop hiding! Embrace transparency!

The sooner we stop hiding, the sooner our lives begin to find fulfillment.

Mission Trips and Planes

“Missions doesn’t end the moment you get on the plane, it just changes locations.”-@kmattison

Mission trips tend to be spiritually high moments. We see God work in ways we’ve never imagined. We see God use ordinary people like us to do the extraordinary. Sometimes these experiences can lead us to question our faith or even the purpose of mission.

But.

Maybe mission trips, like the one we just were on, is supposed to be a launching pad rather than a week long trip where we eat weird food.

Maybe what mission teaches us most is that ‘I’ am not the center of the universe. Maybe it teaches a that God can use ordinary people to do the extraordinary no matter where they are.

My prayer is that Belfast becomes a launching pad to unleashing God’s love and hope into Butler.

May we always believe in a God who uses ordinary people to see the extraordinary happen. May we continue to practice a faith that launches us into a mission that costs us self but unleashes hope and love.

Kids Club Party part 2

Mote pics from the party today!!!

Kids Club Party Setting Up

Big party for Kids Club today out in a park.

Here’s some pics of us setting up: