You are WAY MORE than That

Sure, figure out what to put on your body, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

Spend your money on those great shoes, just remember, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

Make your face what you want it to be, but don’t forget, it doesn’t really matter.

You are so much more than your clothes, your shoes, or your face.

Continue reading You are WAY MORE than That

Lead From the Middle

“What brings a fresh future into being is citizens who are willing to self-organize. An alternative future needs the investment of citizens – leaders not in top positions – who are willing to pay the economic and emotional price that creating something really new requires.” by Peter Block in Community – The Structure of Belonging

We are under the misinformation that leadership comes out of position. It may or may not. Position does not make or determine leadership. In fact, John Maxwell identifies position as the lowest rung of leadership (note Five Levels of Leadership). 

What we have not realized is that leadership, the personal investment in change, where we step up to become part of the solution, can happen at all levels.

Continue reading Lead From the Middle

Maybe, Just Maybe, There is More

It is most difficult to bring Christians to the cross of Christ. We are familiar with the sinner’s prayer and from long years past have come to great comfort with solid understanding and knowledge; paradigms are established and lenses are polished to a sheen.

We’ve drawn near to God in comfortable distance and see no need to tamper with this. Our boundaries are secure, “Yes, this near, but no closer please.” We think that the amount of the Holy Spirit that we have right now is good enough, “No more Lord. I’m good.”

Continue reading Maybe, Just Maybe, There is More

New Identity in Christ

I’ve been thinking a lot about identity for as I work alongside and as I observe and experience churches in both rural indigenous settings and in North America I’ve come to see that religion is in many ways about identity.

Each faith expression, each tradition woven through the fabric of our experience of God builds into us an identity. In the purest form I suppose that this is neither here nor there, right or wrong, and yet I am concerned for it appears to me that in many ways our churches teach us identity with forms of religion and not necessarily with Christ.

Continue reading New Identity in Christ

#Justice2014

I was privileged to attend The Justice Conference  via a satellite site this last weekend.

“Justice is rooted in the character of God and flows from the heart of God.” Ken Wytsma

Chocked-full with those leading the way in various dimensions and expressions of justice I came away chocked-full myself with new wisdoms and continued clarity to my own thinking and life and ministry.

In the past I’ve worked through refusing injustice in my own life personally. Since then I’ve journeyed others through the labyrinth of advocating justice within their own lives. Today as I work alongside indigenous pastors I’m joining conversations of justice at the rural indigenous church level.

“Justice is not just about solutions per se, but for us as peace workers it is an invitation to the table.” Sami Awad 

Continue reading #Justice2014

Flipping Some Tables

I don’t think we really get it. Born and raised in the church Jesus Christ has always just been there. And like a well-worn pair of slippers he is comfortable, familiar, easy to get along with.

It has taken me years to realize how radical he was and how radical he intends to be in my life.

But of course radical and evangelical-church-going don’t really go hand in hand.

A few of the rules at evangelical-church-going are this:

  • play it safe
  • come every Sunday
  • look put together
  • protect yourself from bad people
  • dissasociate with anyone who doesn’t believe as we do

Christ came and from the way he lived life on earth his rules seem to be:

  • give yourself away, give your life away
  • beware the ones making the rules
  • eat with the ones who are outcasts (according to the religious system – they actually were never outcasts)
  • make friends with the unlovable
  • rebuke the keepers of the rules

On my recent trip to Mozambique my host pastor kept asking me for more rules. At first I had no idea what he was talking about. Yet as the days went by I began to see that his goal was to in fact make rules for the churches that he oversaw.

On day five I gave him this set of rules, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

He didn’t seem to know what to do with this.

On days ten, eleven, and twelve I began speaking about the church leaders at the time of Jesus Christ. They too were intent on rules, on purity, and putting on a good show. And they hated Jesus.

With a passion they hated Jesus. For Christ came and broke all the rules.

Today, how much of what we do is due to the rules we’ve built in and alongside the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Today, is the North American model of church a modern day pharisee?

It’s worth thinking about. It’s worth exploring.

The thing is I remember being very uncomfortable with relationship with Christ, I just wanted rules, “Give it to me in black and white and I’ll get it right.” When we are not comfortable with relationship we will always default to rules.

We like to be in control. We like to be told what to do. We like to play it safe and there is nothing so safe as black and white rule keeping – except that it is also the surest way to die inside.

The problem with rule keeping is that it extracts a irretrievable toll on our emotions, our thinking, our generosity, our understanding alongside each other, and of our very lives.

The churches that I visited in Mozambique had lost their intuition and understanding of God. They just wanted me to tell them how to be, what to do, what not to do.

This isn’t life. This isn’t relationship with God. It’s not walking with Christ or our Holy Spirit.

Just tell us what to do is the cry of hearts that are afraid, unsure, insecure.

Christ came to do away with fear, to bring surety, and encompass us in security.

Surety and security not in terms of our rule keeping, but in terms of the fact that the living God most high has our backs. That we are kept in the embrace of our Lord, we are tucked into the robe of our King, we are covered by the blood of the lamb, we are loved, cherished, sung about, delighted in.

We have new hearts and God’s ways are written there. Trust this. Live this.

And because of this we can swing wide, reach farther, take risks, walk in uncertainty, move through life without having all our ducks in a row.

Before Christ there was rule keeping. There were those on the inside and those on the outside. Before Christ we lived in fear of being found out.

After Christ we’ve been found out but found beautiful and precious, with lives that are never the same again.

Christ came and broke all the rules and the church leaders hated him for it. He turned everything upside down and inside out. He made everything new.

Is He making everything new in your life?

How is Christ changing the face of your religious habits and rules?

Is he turning over any tables in your life?

Because, if he is not, you just might be missing out on the Christ.

Three Days Only

Next week, for three days I’ll be making myself available for complimentary coaching, consulting or prayer ministry sessions.

  • Coaching – If you want to reach to that next level but you are not sure how
  • Consulting – If you are requesting expertise and advice taken from my own experience and journey
  • Prayer Session – If you need someone to lead you into deeper freedom through prayer

I am making these sessions available to 12 individuals on a first come, first served basis.

  • Wednesday, January 15th, room for 4 sessions; 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm (Pacific Standard Time)
  • Thursday, January 16th, room for 4 sessions; 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm – PST
  • Friday, January 17th, room for 4 sessions; 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm – PST

Each session will be for one-hour.

Again, this opportunity is on a first come first served basis so if you are interested please contact me below and let me know:

1. What kind of session you would like, coaching, consulting, or prayer

2. Best day and time for a session

3. Second best day and time for a session

4. And a brief summary of what kind of help you are looking for; what do you want to go away with. 

I look forward to speaking with and serving you.

NOTE: All sessions are kept in the strictest confidence.