Party Jesus

Barn Party Group

What’s a good Christian supposed to do at a party?

Certainly, he shouldn’t have been at the party in the first place, that den of sin. Ok, maybe he’s the designated driver. He should sit in a corner carefully watching his friends (who he will be righteously driving home later that night) but he better not look at a girl. It might weaken his witness, ruin his testimony. If anyone DOES see him though, they’ll see the perfect example of what an American Christian looks like and they might say “good for him” but they will want nothing to do with him. Mr. Christian didn’t talk about Jesus. He didn’t show love or share life but yes, he had resolve.

Mr. Christian did what American Jesus taught him to do and it didn’t change anyone’s life.

I wonder if I should watch my step as I write this.. Continue reading “Party Jesus”

Advertisements

Time to carry on

20130404-023516.jpg

A lot had been going on in my mind lately which happens to be in stark contrast to what has been happening in my every day life. To get to the point, it’s all about music. I’ve made a lot of coffee in the last year and a half, but not a lot of music and it’s starting to slowly kill me, I swear. I’ve created such a hunger and deep appreciation for music, that it has become a love-hate kinda thing. Music REALLY moves me, it gets that burning coal, welling spring kind of feeling flaring up and if you don’t know what I mean, it’s probably comparable to starting and ending a relationship simultaneously. The indescribable joy overtaken by incredible loss. You know you’ll eventually make it through but for the moment, it’s a stormy sea of emotions, and you’re hardly a skilled sailor.

So why have I been making coffee for the last year and when the heck will I move to the Czech Republic already? Good question. Ask God, I haven’t gotten a clear answer yet but i’m trying to be patient. I’m also trying not to be stagnant in this season of no direction. Last year, I worked at Starbucks and from the day of my interview, I said I would be leaving in the fall to return to the Czech Republic and I actually did. Early 2012, I was planning on returning to the EXIT Tour to resume playing drums and make steps toward full-time ministry in that culture. As time went on, plans were changed, the EXIT Tour was put on hold but we still made plans for my trip, with a different priority. I attended a week long conference and spent the next week living with a former czech tour-mate Jena, and meeting with the right people to determine my future overseas. My time was fantastic, i had a blast thanks to Jena, and my trip was extended for three weeks so that I could help with the EXIT Tour in Slovakia. Most of this stuff has been mentioned in my previous update from a while back but here’s where we pick up where I left off.

I was contacted after I returned home, and it was decided the best course of action for the present situation was to hold off on inviting me to be a full-time missionary to the Czech Republic.

The door closed.

Where does that leave me? I’m a little confused but in a way excited about the opportunities I would have now that God was holding me back for an undetermined amount of time. I wanted to play music and now that I knew I wasn’t headed the direction of the missionary for the moment, this door seemed to open. Don’t get me wrong, this was tough. For three years, I was determined and willing to move my life to another country and in a moment, the road just vanished. I was frustrated, but the time came to carry on, to find new direction. This is my current state. I’m suspended in the air of “where to go from here?”. I’ve considered many possibilities, admittedly let some fleeting desires creep into my thoughts. What if I got a nice job, settled down in a nice house, made my life comfortable and still put much of my effort into supporting other missionaries who are able to go? There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to be a supporter rather than a goer.
My friend reminded me of this today by quoting John Piper. He said “There are only three kinds of Christians when it comes to World Missions: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient.” The truth is, God has not given me the same overwhelming desire to send as he has to go in the past. I just want to be comfortable, but thats not acceptable. I am burdened to go. The question now is where?

Music is the platform, the gospel is the reason, “where” is the question.
Recently, i’ve contacted many people i’ve had the pleasure of knowing in the music industry to seek out a group looking for a drummer, and it just hasn’t worked for the moment. I still have complete confidence that eventually God will provide for me in that direction, but my battle is what to do NOW. How do I be a good steward of my time? I have plans to intern at my church this summer which I am incredibly excited about. I’m looking to buy my first car and come Summer’s end, I’m considering the idea of moving to a location more suitable for playing music. There are many things I would want to do if I stayed here and I still just might. The next step is a little too dark for comfort. Or maybe my eyes haven’t adjusted yet.

Thanks for reading, I truly appreciate those friends out there who have supported me, asked me so many questions and have just genuinely been interested. I’m on the brink of something bigger and I can’t wait to figure it out! I hope to at least make use of my website, even if I don’t have such exciting stories as I did when I created this. I’m receiving a keyboard for my iPad in the mail this weekend so that should help a lot. the one I’m current borrowing to write this update is the only reason I decided to do it.

Thanks again, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Despair

I started a project and i’m failing to complete it. I wont let it get the best of me this time, I WILL be a blogger, I will journal my life, I will post it online no matter who sees it. I read a tweet today that said “Don’t do what you do for compliments, because when they stop, so will you.” Its by Jon Acuff my favorite blogger. Reading his blog is what made me want to write out my thoughts through a blog. I don’t get compliments necessarily but I don’t want them to be the reason I stop. I think i’m noticing a lack of self-motivation to do the daily grind..to get down to the things that need to be done. I want to wake up every day and ask myself how I can be productive that day. I WILL do that..

I can’t imagine what it feels like to lose someone you love. I’ve never been through it, consider me lucky. I’m not looking forward to it but that day will surely come and I hope to God that peace is made before that. There are a lot of human emotions to experience in life and I’ve had my fair share of good ones over bad ones.. The one emotion I think i’m least looking forward to is despair..I can’t say i’ve fully experienced it. I’m getting a taste of it though.. despair is one of those emotions where you realize you had the opportunity to make things right, and you chose not to. It says “Its too late. You can’t fix it now.

Those are my thoughts when it comes to my teeth..don’t worry they’re still there! But I messed up taking care of them when I was growing up, when I didn’t care and now i’m paying for it. The one thing that can’t repair itself in my body and I didn’t take care of them. People who see me now wouldn’t believe I had braces because my bottom teeth are crooked too, but I did. Two years of metal in my mouth and I didn’t want to wear my retainer, so they receded. I could have had nice teeth.

I realize there are a lot more serious matters in this world to worry about and appearance isn’t one of them but oddly enough, i’ve been learning a lot lately from this awful feeling of.. “I know I could have prevented this.” If i’m lucky enough to have kids and they read through my blog, I want them to learn from my mistakes. I don’t want them to make the same ones. They will have plenty of their own to learn from.

Here is a page from the daily Bible study book called “My Utmost For His Highest” that talks about despair.
I encourage anyone seeking real wisdom from the Bible to read the thoughts of Oswald Chambers written in this book.

The initiative against despair 

Rise, let us be going. My betrayer is at hand.”
Mathew 26:46 

Oswald Chambers 1874-1917

The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done it

produced despair. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say – “It is all up now, it is no use trying any more.” If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink into despair; and Jesus Christ comes and says – “Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.” Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.

There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said – “Arise and do the next thing.” If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.

Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.

As we are

You will someday be. – Bones. What a morbid but beautiful reminder from the future. from the past. A warning. From bones long buried, to bones still walking and destined to be buried. For dust you are, and to the dust you shall return. We will all be the same when our day comes, eventually bones buried in the dirt. Why do you walk this Earth then? WHY. ARE. YOU. HERE? what becomes of us? To build up treasures for what? Certainly not to take with you..

Are you walking in the valley of dry bones? I pray thats not you because there is life. There is reason and hope.

4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
(Ezekiel 37:4-10, New King James Version)

Life is but a vapor, here and gone in an instant. What are you doing?

14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:14, New King James Version)

bone church in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

Perfect harmony

Jesus is one glorious perfect melody. to live in harmony with Him means to make him glorious through us. We can never be His melody, but we can harmonize. Not to say that we add to the glory of God, that is to an infinite all powerful God. People sometimes refuse to see/hear the beauty of Gods grace through 66 books but they can be attracted to Gods glory through us and the beautiful chord that is created when we are in perfect harmony. That is, not to forget, GOD’s glory through us, never ours. There is no glory in a harmony with no melody. in fact, a harmony HAS to have a melody to be considered a harmony. otherwise, what would we be harmonizing? you may be harmonizing Gods melody, but when done without Gods melody present, and done for selfish ambition, something is missing. empty.

I don’t want to be a bad harmony. nobody likes that. its off putting, distracting from the real melody happening. better to not harmonize at all if I wont stay on pitch. We’ve all heard those ones. We’ve all been those ones. Don’t try to sing louder than the melody, it doesn’t sound good. don’t get in God’s way.

I apologize if you have ever heard a bad harmony from me, I know i’ve been one. I apologize if you have ever heard a bad harmony from someone else.
I will not apologize if you refuse to even listen because you are missing out on the most beautiful composure in history. the story of God’s love for us as a father for his children. it’s a story well worth listening to and knowing.
Ultimately, singing along.

   
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Colossians 3:12-14, New King James Version)

What can $5 do?

Ill tell you what it can do! It can buy me a foot long sandwich. It can buy me 5 Arizona Teas, 10 if you had the coupon I had at Walgreens! It could buy me one of those “define yourself with your drink” Starbucks coffees. $5 could buy ME a lot of things. What would you do if you were given a crisp 5 dollar bill? (Because crumpled ones are worth less)

Now what if you told yourself that the $5 someone just gave wasn’t your money, its Gods money? Spend it on what Jesus would spend it on..the game changes..my mind changes. I don’t want to spend it on Starbucks when I could spend it on the guy who sleeps on the sidewalk.

Now tell yourself (myself) that ALL of your money..is not yours. Instead of using that $5 someone gave you to do Gods work..use your own $5. Double up. Now you’ve got 10! And you can do simple math..
This is more of a lesson to myself, but I hope to share it with you what I’ve been learning. Sunday morning when I went to church at the Well, the lesson was about being a missionary wherever you are. What could you do with a measly $5 that you gave to God? What if the church body thought like that? They gave us time to read a booklet about an upcoming event to serve while music played.

Inside each booklet handed to thousands of people spread over multiples campuses was a crisp 5 dollar bill. “

“This is not your money. This is Gods money.”

40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
(Matthew 25:40, New King James Version)

Missionary at Heart

At heart, I AM. a missionary. I have a burden for people who don’t have joy and confidence in the God that created them. What kind of person would I be if I had the cure to all the worlds diseases and cancers and didn’t share it but held it for myself? What if what I had really wasn’t the cure to cancer but I BELIEVED it was? Does it make any difference? How confident am I that I have the answer? I guess the real test is how far I will go to tell someone I have the answer whether I do or not. From that point on, it’s their choice whether to ask questions.

The Great Comission – every missionary-to-be’s go to verse of the bible. Go and make disciples of all nations. The word “Go” looks good on missions conference banners along with “of all the nations” but what about the other part? The bible says “Go, therefore to all nations?” God wants us to be tourists? no.

Jesus spoke to his disciples and said make disciples. Teach them my ways.
The point is if you are a disciple, set apart for more than salvation, to sacrifice your ways for His ways..
Make disciples where ever you are. You don’t need to make plans to do Gods work. It’s in front of you. They surround you.

“Lo, I AM. with you always, even to the end of the age.” My favorite part. I know from this, that if I do choose to GO My God is with me. He does not abandon.

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20, New King James Version)