Tuesday, August 18, 2009
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.
You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”
No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.
- A Portion of the book of Hebrews
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I took a trip to Arizona this last week and meet a woman named Margarette, she was a woman that had been through the ringer of life and was still standing. I was reading a magazine from a christian environmental group and ready for the quick trip when i felt this woman staring over me to peek at what i was reading. "what is that?", she said with hope in her eyes. I told her "It's was an environmental magazine..."
the hope began to fade from her eyes...
"...a christian based environmental magazine." I added. And the hope quickly flooded not just her eyes, but her entire body. Everything in her changed and she shifted towards me ready for share time. "i knew you were a believer, well i thought...well i was hoping!"
We went on to discuss her amazing life journey of being married to a man who did not believe but she was fervently praying for him through his battle with addiction. She was in her 60's and had been running a web design company. She told me about html code while rummaging through her apps on her new iphone.
I was impressed.
but what was most impressive of this woman was that she LOVED to talk about the Lord. What He had done, what He was doing and what He is going to do. She had battled through some of life's toughest situations and still had her eyes fixed upon Jesus. She spoke of the beauty of God in her tomato garden and the hope of Jesus she has found in the bruised and broken people she has encountered. No matter how many times the world has told her its not worth it she has stood up and shouted with the fire of love in her lungs and said "My hope is built on nothing less. Than Jesus' blood and righteousness"
When we were getting ready to leave the plane she grabbed my arm and said, "This is the greatest gift, to share in Gods goodness with those who have seen it and those who desperately need to"
These are the stories worth sharing.
Monday, July 27, 2009
This is an interesting season of life. The kind that makes you wonder what the Lord is doing and if He is even aware of what is going on (blasphemy, I know). So I asked Him. And my mind immediately went to Chocolate Chip Cookies. Why? Great question! I didn't know at first. I started to think about the ingredients for the cookies and there filled with amazingly delicious things. Butter. Sugar. Flour. Simi-sweet chocolate chips. But then I thought about Salt and baking powder. These are key ingredients in chocolate chip cookies. Now I love cookies, with a passion that burns deep in my soul, and could eat them everyday, but I never have a hankering for a spoon full of salt or baking powder. But if those ingredients were missing form the recipe the cookies would not taste as good. The Lord is cooking something in my life and I do not know what it is. I do know it is good, because He is a good god who gifts us good things and moves with infinite love and compassion towards me. He is the master baker and I have to trust he knows the recipe and not just a recipe but the perfect recipe for this season. Although there are ingredients that taste real salty and I wonder if He has added too much, I must believe He knows what He's baking and that it will be wonderful and leave me full of wonder. The fact is that without these few things that hurt and leave me dazed and confused this new season would not be as good, these are not just flipped ingredients, but necessary ingredients and some of the most valuable. In fact in Roman times, the emperor would pay the roman soldiers in salt because it was so valuable. So instead of running or winching at these salty ingredients as a burden I should embrace them as invaluable and a gift in and of themselves.
here's to the master baker, who I trust to have the best recipes, know the right measurements of ingredients and has the perfect timing for all things.
.....looking forward to sharing the cookies with you when there done.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I've been training for a Triathlon that's coming up next Saturday in the bay area. Because of this training I bought something that I never thought about buying before...a gym membership.
The gym is an interesting place, filled with interesting people...
You have the Muscle Heads, these are the guys wearing Tap Out drinking no-explode who spend more time looking in the mirror holding the weights then actually lifting them.
You have the Business man with a impressively large stomach that is solid like a cannon ball, watching CNN on screen 7. Sweating profusely on the treadmill.
You have the young determined post college girl going 90 miles an hour on the elliptical machine her ipod screaming Kelly Clarkson into her ear drums.
I find myself watching these people more then actually training for the triathlon that is lingering just around the corner. And it hit me the other day...The gym is a house of worship.
I began to hear it all around me, people are worshiping. Loud. Whether it is there own body or self image, or whether it is there husband or wife that there breaking there back to try and keep a figure that will in turn keep there spouses affection alive and well. Worshipers. Filling the house of worship called Evolutions in Tulare.
It then hit me, what am I worshiping? I sat in the back yard last night looking at the stars and asking myself, What is the object I am glorying in most? What has the most wait in my life? What am I sacrificing for? The answers that came were scary and exciting. The truth is we were all made to worship. We will worship something. Food, Self Satisfaction, Money, Power, Husbands, Wives, Kids, Sports...we will give glory to something in this life.
I’m unsatisfied with giving glory to myself, I fear rejection so I pour everything I have into making you like me, making people around me like me, Ill go to any length to make this happen. And I am unsatisfied with it.
Tozer once wrote that it all starts with a "hunger", I hear my stomach growling for more than food, affection and satisfaction in popularity. The pains of needing a true savior are kicking in. And I'm loving were it's leading.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!
Fill in the valleys and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves and smooth out the rough places.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all people will see it together.
The Lord has spoken.'
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I made the comment to myself, so myself answered. "Why?"
"Good question myself."
"What if you just got better at loving people?", said I.
"That's a ridiculous question!" Myself snapped.
Myself shuffled in the seat and replied, "Don't over spiritualize this."
"What does that even mean?" I quickly rebutted.
Silence filled the car. The tension began to melt between Myself and I. Finally Myself swallowed enough pride to say, "What if I just got better at loving people..."
the end. (or is it?)
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
"There's one sure thing, nothing stays the same." "Change is inevitable."
I've heard these words spoken multiple times in my short life. And unfortunately I believe them most of the time. I have placed trust in those words. That nothing is stable, nothing is sure, nothing is sound. And it's easy to believe when it looks like everything is changing. I've rented more tux's in the last few years of my life then I planned on and been to more weddings then I can remember. And I’m getting ready for several more this year. One in particular, my friend Chris. This is a bit different because I not only have a great friendship with Chris, but I also live in Chris's house. He is getting married in October, and let me pause to say I am thrilled for this new chapter in his life His fiancé Kathleen is amazingly wonderful and Chris is going to be a fantastic husband and father someday, it just means that I will be packing up my stuff in cardboard box's soon. It's kind of fun the adventure of change, but also a bit overwhelming at times. And the phrases of "nothing stays the same" ring true in times like this. Or if you loose a job or break it off with a girlfriend. And I start to believe that Nothing stays the same, until I hear Jesus say, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." Hebrews 13:8
That's the kingdom I belong to. one that does not change. One that is completely different then what this world does or says or believes. It's just like Jesus to turn our logic upside down to reveal his glory.
so I may move a dozen more times before I finally go home, but it doesn't matter because i'm only visiting the land that changes daily for a short time, but my residency is in a kingdom that has not changed, does not change and will not change.
Monday, March 30, 2009
We took a group from the Elevate Community to Moro Bay this weekend for a Surf Camp. It was totally refreshing and invigorating to be next to the ocean and sleep on rocks and sticks and smell of campfire smoke and eating trail mix and getting to know people you see every week a little bit better.
Saturday we went surfing all day...it didn't start well for me, well it started better for me then it did Tommy. Tommy Got his big toe toenail ripped of by his surf board. No Bueno! i didn't have that happen, but I also didn't see the ocean form a top my surf board either. mostly i saw it from underneath it. Finally after lunch i went out with determination and finally road a wave and then another and another and another for the rest of the day i wondered what was so hard about this before. There was a moment when it was just me out on my board no one else around but me and the waves and sore arms and looking out i saw these huge blue waves role in and i thought to myself...i could get sucked under by one of these things and i could do nothing about it. You don't tell the ocean when to let you go or when to be let up for air...it tells you when its done with you. The power of this thing made me sit in wonder of the Lord, the unknown power that rest in his will i know little about. The God who created this rolling ocean of power also raised men from the dead and conquered death itself with one fatal swoop. I said i was sorry out loud for the times in my life where i doubt that God can do something or he is even knowledgeable on how to get a job done. When we submit to the authority of Jesus Christ we don't get to tell Him when to slow down or when to let us up for air...we just trust He knows what He's doing and allow Him to sweep us away. Scary. True Adventure. Better then finally standing on top of my ten dollar surf board.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Yesterday I went 6 hours without worrying about my cell phone, e-mail or running off to anyplace other then the bathroom. I spent the day at Potwisha sitting on a rock next to the river with Jonathan & Joel... it felt a lot like I was on a hiking trip with my dad. Instead of having my pops point out things around us and turning them into a life lesson I felt like the Lord was sitting on a rock with me all day pointing out things and turning them into life lessons. It was very Andy Griffith...just not in black and white.
(Thoughts on some of the life lessons to come..)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
We live in a time where you can be almost anywhere in the world at any time. Get on Skype and your chatting with a friend in Mexico and the same time texting your parents in Arizona all the while sitting with your brother in a sandwich shop in Visalia. We show up everywhere but here and now.
You can only do what you can do with what you have when you have it. So let's both stop trying to do the opposite. Next time we have coffee...I'll be there...all the way there.
"Be a simple kind of man. Be something you love and understand. Be a simple kind of man. Won't you do this for me son, if you can?" - The Skynyrd
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Back to Back birthdays! Today is my moms birthday...All of my memories of when I was younger are filled with smells. Smells of Christmas, Fresh laundry, Cookies, Brown Sugar, Perfume hugs, Hot fresh bread...all thanks to my mom.
My mom apologizes sometimes for her parenting methods and not being the best mother she could have, but the more I think about it the more I realize that although she may not be wrong about much I think she may be wrong about those statements. The truth is we do what we can with what we have and what we know in life. My mom showed me what love looked like with flesh and bone. What compassion and sacrifice means to a human heart. How to give and give and give and give and give even when it looks like there is nothing left to give. My life is different, my life is better, my life is brighter because of my mom.
thank you mom. for doing wonderfully with what you had and what you knew and still giving today. I love you...happy birthday mom, teacher, friend.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Today is one of my best friends birthday...His name is Robert Jacobo Jr. I met him when I was 2 years old in Tulare, CA where we grew up together building forts in each others backyards, playing with army men, watching power rangers, staying up late at night talking about girls and making videos that only we laughed at. We also feel in love with the Lord side by side and I learned what friendship was through the last 23 years. Robert moved to Mexico 3 years ago, he got married (to beautiful Lucero) and now has an adorable baby boy (Nico!) Life is full of twist and turns, ups and downs, surprises and mundaness, but I’m thankful iv gotten to experience these things with him.
happy birthday bubba...may God bless and guide you this new year and may you come to know just how much you are loved by the savior of the world and by your skinny white kid friend down the street.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one” - C.S. Lewis
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
We're starting small groups at Elevate..there is a group meeting almost everyday of the week, so if you have a day free check out www.ellev8.com to sign up for one. If you have Saturday mornings free then come to 210 at 10:30 for the group I'm leading. If you don't have Saturday mornings free you should get them free so you can come. end of story.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Went surfing with this weekend and I found out some things...
1. surfing is hard.
2. I throw up when I taste the ocean.
3. Sharks don’t always eat people when you get in the ocean.
4. if you react in fear to a wave you will get hurt.
5. you don't tell the ocean what to do, it tells you.
6. surfing is beautiful.
Bradford and I met up with Loren, Andrew, Rachel and Michael this weekend and attempted to surf Moro. well I attempted Loren succeeded. But despite the sand I'm still digging out of my ear and my constant be tossed like a rag doll by the waves it was a beautiful experience. I found a beautiful display of Gods Peace and Gods Power in the ocean yesterday. it was a great reminder that God is all in one. he is not full of peace sometimes and then full of power the next. or full of grace at one point of the day and full of truth and justice the next. He is all those at the same time. what a beautiful adventure it is to get to know the Lord. thanks for the reminder Loren.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Sweet reminder: I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."
Friday, January 2, 2009
I was reminded of what a gift my parents are and what really matters in this life is not things. not money. not retirement packages. not vacations. not how long we have. but relationships are the greatest gift and the highest treasure in this life.