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.
Posted in Books, Christianity, Church, God, Hope, Jesus, Local, reading, Religion, Soul, Spirituality
Tagged Books, Christianity, Church, mission, Religion, Spiritual, Spirituality
Mote pics from the party today!!!
Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Hope, Jesus, Love, Ministry, music, Pictures, youth, youth ministry
Tagged Christianity, mission
I have has lots of people ask what we will be doing in Belfast.
While we are in Belfast, we will be working with the Rock Community Church and Go Kids. Rev. Jonny Caldwell is the director and pastor of these two amazing works in the heart of Belfast.
I have known Jonny and his wife for 5 years. They have gathered around them an amazing team of servants, who work full/part time jobs as well as being a vital part of the work being done in Belfast.
We will primarly be working on The Shankill Road, which was at one point one of the most dangerous streets in Europe. But through prayer and the work of groups like Go Kids, peace and hope is being brought to Belfast.
We are going over to Belfast to, first, serve. We desire to assist Go Kids and The Rock Community team in anyway we can. We will be a part of a kids VBS program, a football camp, a hip hop dance class, and street ministry.
We are sooo excited to watch God work as we serve.
May Jesus be seen in our eyes and our hands.
May we have courage to live boldly and humbly.
Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Hope, Jesus, Love, Prayer, Soul, Spirituality, youth, youth ministry
Tagged Christianity, mission
In America we love terms like missionary or missions or the latest phrase to appear in Christianize-missional. The are an attempt to express the churches desire to be involved in sharing with others the story of Jesus but giving to missions or being missional is just part of understanding what it means to live our lives like God desires. Well reading in Luke 8:27-39 , I read this…
When Jesus stepped out on the shore, a certain man from the city met him. The man was possessed by demons and had not worn clothes for a long time. He would not stay in a house but lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he shouted, fell in front of him, and said in a loud voice, “Why are you bothering me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you not to torture me!” 29 Jesus ordered the evil spirit to come out of the man. (The evil spirit had controlled the man for a long time. People had kept him under guard. He was chained hand and foot. But he would break the chains. Then the demon would force him to go into the desert.) 30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He answered, “Legion [Six Thousand].” (Many demons had entered him.) 31 The demons begged Jesus not to order them to go into the bottomless pit. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on a mountainside. The demons begged Jesus to let them enter those pigs. So he let them do this. 33 The demons came out of the man and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned. 34 When those who had taken care of the pigs saw what had happened, they ran away. They reported everything in the city and countryside. 35 The people went to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone out. Dressed and in his right mind, he was sitting at Jesus’ feet. The people were frightened. 36 Those who had seen this told the people how Jesus had restored the demon-possessed man to health. 37 Then all the people from the surrounding region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave because they were terrified. Jesus got into a boat and started back. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged him, “Let me go with you.” But Jesus sent the man away and told him, 39 “Go home to your family, and tell them how much God has done for you.” So the man left. He went through the whole city and told people how much Jesus had done for him.
The crowds rejected Jesus.
He killed the herd of pigs. What might happen if he came near their home? So they asked Jesus to leave. They were afraid of what might happen…they rejected him over some dead pigs.
But. The demon possessed man turned follower of Jesus could do what Jesus couldn’t.
He could go home.
He could go to work.
He could go tell others what Jesus had done for him and could do for them.
Its as if…
“Missionaries are people who take the story of Jesus where it normally can’t go. They are people whose lives have been transformed by Jesus and go to the homes, jobs, and schools-they go where Jesus isn’t allowed to go! I get to do that!”-my journal
That’s you and me.
We are missionaries.
We get to go where even Jesus couldn’t go.
We get to go to coffeehouses, living rooms, and offices where Jesus normally is rejected, where he’s pushed to the margins…and we get to bring Jesus to them via our lives.
Our lives become our testimonies.
How we talk matters.
How we smile matters.
How we love matters.
How we live matters.
Our lives become our testimony…and so how you treat others today becomes Jesus to them.
- Are you bringing Jesus where he normally can’t go?
- How you live matters, does it matter to you?
Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Hope, Jesus, Life, Local, Ministry, Religion, Soul, Spirituality, Theology, youth, youth ministry
Tagged Christianity, Ministry, mission, Spirituality, youth ministry
In doing some prep for this weekend series:Be the Change, that we are doing at The Remedy I was looking over the story of Jephthah.
Jephthah had a history.
He was the son of a prostitute.
His half-brothers hated him so much that when his father died the drove him out of the land where his family was, so that he couldn’t live there and so he couldn’t have any of the inheritance that was his. So he left.
But then he became the leader of a ‘band of rebels’. Some translations say ‘gang of adventures’ or ‘worthless fellows collected around Jephthah’.
Who are your band of rebels?
David had them…the 3 and the thirty.
Jesus had them…the 12 disciples.
Paul had them…Silas, Mark, Timothy, and Luke.
Sure, all these bands of rebels had issues. Jesus had betrayers. Paul had deserters, and David had murderers. But the truth is life is much better when lived together. When lived as a band of rebels. It’s why we relate to the stories of “Band of Brothers” or “Braveheart”…they lived together, fought together, and died together.
Who is your band of rebels?
Posted in Church, God, History, Hope, Jesus, Life, Ministry, mission, Religion, Small Groups, Soul, Theology
Tagged Church, Ministry, mission, Spirituality
“One day long ago, God’s Word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.” But Jonah got up and went the other direction to Tarshish, running away from God. He went down to the port of Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board, joining those going to Tarshish – as far away from God as he could get.” Jonah 1:1-3
You probably remember the story from Sunday School or VBS: Jonah ,a prophet in the OT, was told by God to go to the city of Nineveh. Jonah was told to go Nineveh to warn them about God’s judgment and though he ran from God (chapter 1-2) once he finally does go to Nineveh (chapter 3) he rescues (saves) an entire city. We learn a few things I believe from the story of Jonah that apply to our lives.
1. Our Mission
God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and reach its people. God throughout the Bible has been using people to accomplish his purposes on earth. In the NT we see that Jesus invites us to take part in his mission: seeking the lost and helping the sick. Just like Jonah each of us who choose to follow Christ have been given a mission. We have been called like Jonah to reach a lost and dying city (a lost and dying world). God calls us just like Jonah to be a missionary to our Nineveh (Butler). He calls us to invest our lives (our time and energy) into helping rescue our city. Choosing to accept this mission for your lives is the greatest thing you can ever give your life too. God doesn’t assign this mission to the experts (the priests and prophets) only but rather extends it to all the people who dare to believe that God can rescue our Nineveh.
2. Our City
Facts about Nineveh:
• One of the capital cities in the Assyrian Nation (world power)
• Known for their cruelty, idolatry, witchcraft, and wickedness
• Would kill all the men and rape all the women
• Sand trap method
• About ½ million people (including women and children)
• Epi-center of art, commerce, and innovation
I have found that running from my Nineveh is running from God, that if I ignore my city, my community then I am ignoring God. Just like Jonah we have been sent on a mission from God to a city where people are in need of hope, life, love, and truth-they are in need of who God is. Our city is in need of people who will become a Jonah to their city. Imagine if you would listen and respond to God’s call and go to your Nineveh. Jonah though unwilling at first saved an entire city because we did God’s work in his city. What if we did the same? What if we did that in Butler? What if you did it in your school?
Our Big Fish Moment
We are all faced with a decision, will be run like Jonah and hope God sends a fish to rescue us, or will we embrace God’s mission and love our city.
I have an exciting week ahead of me and our students: In less the 14 hours in a 15 others and I will be making our way to Detroit to take part in a 4 day long inner-city mission’s trip to the cities of Highland Park and Hamtramck. We will be involved in community outreach such as; community service, door to door evangelism, and give out backpacks with school supplies. I’ve been a part of this event for past several years and I always look forward to it.
I will be bloggin’ from Detroit daily and check my flickr feed and my twitter (located on the right side of the page) for pictures and updates.
- Would you pray for us as we go…
- Pray for those we will meet.
- Pray for life-change in our students.
Posted in Church, God, Jesus, Ministry, mission, Prayer, Uncategorized, youth, youth ministry
Tagged mission, Religion, youth ministry