Sing a New Song

contained and sealed
is my heart for you
your love revealed
is grace anew

death was conquered
and life prevailed
you did not falter
your grace avails

when wrath was mine
you took my pain
when blood was poured
twas yours instead

the life i live
i live through you
your blood divine
poured out for mine
because you loved
and love me still
the son made flesh
to heed your will

among the scoffer
i am the worst
but you see past
and find me first

renew the joy
that comes when saved
restore the rock
for a heart instead

i long for you
though sinner i am
my savior Son
The Son of Man

the life i live
i live through you
your blood divine
poured out for mine
because you loved
and love me still
the son made flesh
to heed your will

How Nike gets it right

The thing about desperation is that it only changes when you yourself make a move.

I have been finding myself in desperate need for my Savior. I have been praying for God to move, I have been asking for some miracle, I have been asking him to show himself in my life. See, I have been needing a transformation in my life from waking up to sleeping…a change of colossal size needs to happen, so i have been praying for it.
Then the answer…

“JUST DO IT…”
(no particular order)

“I need to read more Lord” -So, do it.
“I need to love my wife better”- So, do it.
“I need to serve better”- So, do it.
“I need to wake up earlier”-So, do it.
“I need to spend time in prayer”-So, do it.
“I need to be about my city, my people”-So, do it
*the list goes on*

I ask the Lord to move, he gives me life.
I ask the Lord for a miracle, he gives me breathe.
I ask the Lord to show himself, he allows me to see beauty in creation.

The Lord provides answers…we must understand that when we pray…it is not us talking, it is us listening and submitting to his will…

God is Sovereign…but man must be responsible.

so…just do it!

“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! ”
-Psalm 43:3

God, a lover of Art

“Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship,to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver-by any sort of workman or skilled designer.” Exodus 35:30-35

-The Lord is the giver of gifts.
Scripture says that “every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17)

-The Lord is an Architect of Beauty.
“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1)

-The Lord appreciates Art.
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord, being the Orchestrator of creation and design, has made it very clear that gives skill. This skill could be a skill of visual art, or melodic creation, either way, he gave it. Furthermore, because he gave that to us, we are left with one choice, to give it back and do it to your fullest capabilities. Like the people called in Exodus to the building of the tabernacle, the LORD (Master) has called you and I to the crafting of melody to bring him Glory. As we stack the harmony like carefully woven linen, we are also constructing a “place” of Worship. Be encouraged artist…be encouraged and create for it is good to give thanks! The Lord has called you by name to do so.

Psalm 92:1

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High”

Is Your Area Code a Place for Mission?

This morning while I was up and doing some Scripture reading, I realized something.  I had my trusty IPad, my (not my favoritebecauseitsnotaniphone) smart phone and my actual, printed ESV Study Bible.  I had 3 different venues for my Scripture reading.  I thought to myself, ” Man, this must be overkill!” I was reminded of the places that have 15 people huddle up with a chapter of the new testament.  Or the girl in Kyrgyztan that had her Bible burned while at school.  My heart went out to those people.  I was reminded of a conversation a very good friend of mine and I had when he came back from work.  He is a tentmaker in a place where he could be in physical danger…so not much will be said about him.  At any rate, we were engaged in a conversation about Mission.  His statement was interesting and threw me off-balance.  He said “Does America deserve  to hear the Gospel?” A bold statement coming from a Jesus loving missionary.  I asked what he meant by that.  He goes on to say that there are Churches in every corner, there are Christian Book Shops all over the place, there are people talking about Jesus in the street corners with a bullhorn.  What does America do? They throw it away like 3 day old left overs.  He started telling me about the people he works with…who literally risk their lives to read a Bible (see the connection now?) I then ask him.  “Does _______ deserve to hear the Gospel?” his response “yes!” I asked him again, this time I stated it differently…”Does ANYONE deserve to hear the Gospel?” He paused…I replied “Not ONE person DESERVES to hear the Gospel”

See, not one us is in any way good standing (outside of Jesus) with God (Romans 3:10), not one us is entitled to anything (Psalm 24:1) , not of us has God as our debtor…he owes us nothing.  So no, not one deserves to be saved, not one deserves to dwell in the house of the Lord…not one.  So, who is to say who deserves to hear the Gospel…Did God die and make us God?? NO! GOD IS ALIVE AND IS KING! We are called to share the Gospel, and “make disciples of men” (Matthew 28:16-20) not to whom we think deserves it, but to who we know needs to…and that is EVERYONE.  Just because there is a Church in every corner does it mean that the speak truth, just because there are Christian Book Shops all over the place does it mean that they speak/sell/stock good materials with truth and just because a guy with a bullhorn is yelling about Jesus…does it mean that he is speaking about Jesus.

Is your area code a place for Mission? Yes…If you are not on mission in your town, what makes you think you’re ready for international waters? If you are not on mission to speak about the Gospel…then my mission is talk to you, my heart goes out to you.

Fear and a Sovereign God

While on my honeymoon with my dear wife *whom is a blessing from the Lord* we decided to go shopping one morning.  I the midst of that shopping i noticed the taste of blood in my mouth (this had been happening for about 3 days).  At this point I was injected with fear.  “What ifs” flew around my head like locust storming a field, my head was cloudy.  I asked my dear wife to pray for me to fight this fear, though the prayer was not in vain, we thought it smart to head to the hospital.  We drove to the hospital where the symptoms starting becoming more real as I spoke about them.  Almost as if I spoke them to creation with every syllable that dripped out of my  mouth.  The fear became more real.  I was being plugged in left in and right with rubbery things and needles, I felt like a lab rat.  The pain in my heart was being intensified with the faster beating, the pain in my chest was becoming more of a brick on my chest, and the blood…well the taste of blood is never fun.  They took me to a room and in that room my mind started playing tricks on me.  Voices I’ve heard before came back to life and brought along friends.  My feet shook and my body could not stay still no matter what I tried.  My sweet wife sung hymns as we both prayed out to our Father (this moment was monumental in our relationship) The doctor came in and said they will be checking for two things “A blood clot in your lungs or Cancer”.  My spirit went numb…my legs stopped shaking, my hands went cold, and my eyes could not connect with anything…or anyone…I WAS AFRAID.  They then proceeded to prepare me for my cat scan and took me to the room.  I remember my wife smiling with misty eyes, and I remember saying this…”The Lord works things out for the good of those whom he has loved”

After the cat scan I returned to the room with no fear, but constantly repeating Isaiah 41:10, Romans 8, Psalm 27, all scriptures against fear and dismay.  I was at peace…shalom.  See the difference between peace and shalom is this: Peace offers comfort in that instant, and will be shattered with the next trial.  Shalom offers peace in the fact that Jesus is KING! No matter what the situation Jesus is our comfort! That is shalom! Thats what I felt.  The doctor came in after what seemed weeks (it was about an hour or so) and said things looked clear and that I had a bad peptic ulcer.  For the days to come fear still seemed to dominate my every morning and my every night. I went to the hospital again for bleeding where they sucked out some blood from a tube going through my nose.  The feeling of this was disturbing…I was then sent to another doctor who then scheduled and endoscopy where they found that I have whats called GERD.  Along with that I have gastritis and a hatial hernia.  They prescribed medication and I still have yet to go to the doctor to see the full extent of it.  Physically I feel better…mentally I am a mess.

Fighting the fear of death has been the biggest battle of my life that I have faced now twice.  See the thing about fear is that it does not come alone it comes with a myriad of symptoms.  Symptoms such as depression, anxiety and many more.  The Lord gives us a specific command in the gospels and all over the old testament.  In fact, it is one of the most used, if not the most used commandment in scripture…”FEAR NOT” and its never given as a “im looking down on you right now” statement. It in fact is given as a “im by your side. The Lord tells Joshua “Fear not for I am with you” as to comfort him! Here is the comfort that we have…The fact that God is King, Jesus is Lord, and the Spirit dwells within to provide shalom! This is my battle, but this war has been won! I wear my breastplate with honor, my helmet with joy, my feet are ready, my belt is fastened, my shield is lifted, and my sword…well…I am happy to swing my sword! Prayer is not to be left behind, it is the forefront of everything.  So, this is not a wall where I get to ask, but a stepping stone to be closer to my daddy…

The outcome of whatever is going on is still up in the air, but here are 3 truths I know to be absolute:

>Jesus is alive

>Jesus is king

>I am his

Today, fear not for he is with you!

Psalm 27 “The Lord is the light and my salvation of whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?”

“When Noise meets Harmony”

Ladies and gentlemen if I could have your attention please

I’d like to tell you a story of how noise meets harmony

And in this case harmonies name is Christie

 

Born on the 25th of September

A day her mother will always remember

For given to her was a gift from above

To be cherished, to be protected and to be-love-ed is she.

 

Born to a family that loved her much and loves her still

And with that kind of love there is enough to spill

But still

Not quite like I do.

 

She wore what she wished and ate what she liked

She did whatever would bring her delight

And she grew

 

Now in high school and smarter than most

She flew right through them consider them toast

And she met college

 

4 years of brutal times and some great ones as well

And she moves forward from this as you can tell

 

And now the noise…

She moves to the valley to save sweet lives

Only STOP to realize it’s her own that is saved

And only by grace and only through faith Ephesians 2:8

 

She meets the noise that rattles her eardrums…

That’s me

A broken saved by grace faithful sinner but loved by a sovereign God who chose me, who chose her, who chose us!

 

And I met harmony

 

As if meeting her was not enough shock

She gladly threw a rock

And I , well I stumbled and fell…for her

 

So harmony, dearest Christie

You are the Ruth I’ve been waiting for

Strong and diligent

You are the Sarah I’ve dreamed of

Beautiful and lovely

You are a heart after the 31st proverb

A heart after Gods own

And that you have clearly shown

 

And I have been called to serve you to die for you to love you

I have been chosen to protect to provide and to pastor you

And I will fail you! But Jesus won’t! So I’m thankful

 

Though death may do us part you serve a king whom guards your heart and you will dance still! So I’m thankful

 

And this is the story of noise meeting harmony

And with Jesus being our melody

Will you Christie make music with me…

Forever?

Will you Christie chase the Cross with me…

For the rest of the speck that is our lives

Will you Christie do me the honor and the pleasure…

To be my beloved

Wife.

 

 

5 Things I’ve learned from 5 year olds.

Me, I’m a teacher. I love it and hate it all at the same time. I pray for a heart that revolves around Jesus and for an attitude that radiates Jesus while at work. I teach 5 yr olds, I have breakfast with them, I sometimes have lunch with them but I ALWAYS have issues with them. Through out the day the relationship that the 5 year olds and myself as the teacher have ends up being parallel to the relationship that was given to me by Jesus with Jesus. Here is what I’ve learned about myself.

1. Constant redirecting

“Focus” Telling a student to focus is a constant in my life. Then I am reminded of how many times I have lost focus on Jesus. How often does the Lord have to tell us to “Focus”? (Matthew 14:30 Peter lost focus of Jesus)

2. Dependence

The dependency of a student in kindergarten to their teacher is immense! From working around a computer to the unbuttoning of the pants. Oh! The dependency to our Savior is much greater! We were dead in our transgressions but Jesus saved us from sin! We are dependent on Jesus because we can’t do it ourselves! (Galatians 2:20 we depend on Jesus and his finished work on the Cross)

3. Patience

One of the qualifications to teaching kindergarten should be “Tremendous Patience”. Every time I have to excercise patience (and I often don’t) I stop to think of the tremendous amount of patience that the Lord has for me! I mess up all the time, I drop the syrup in the morning, I break computers, I forget where I need to go and what I need to do ALL THE TIME! I am reminded of how much patience I lack, and how much patience He has…and I am thankful. (Mark 4:40 “have you STILL no faith?”…patience)

4. Joy

As a 5-year-old you don’t have much to worry about. You don’t sit and worry about what you will wear the next day, what you will do, where you will go…you pretty much just do. You are as joyful as they come, whether it is from talking to an imaginary friend or from getting a sticker. I learned that I am nowhere near as joyful as they are, and I miss it. I have so much to be thankful for, so much to be joyful for because of Jesus and his good gifts and I miss the picture…BE JOYFUL…(James 1:2…PURE JOY)

5. Love

No matter what the situation they know how to love. They hug you, they give you high fives, they miss you when you are out. They know how to love. So, I ask myself…”Do you love in such a way”?…I don’t…Father teach me to love the way a 5-year-old does. (Mark 12:31 “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself”)

All in all, my students have taught me more than I could ever teach them…

are you being taught?

3 Things the Gospel is Not

Working through much junk of what we have been taught the Gospel is, I was made sick to my stomach. The Gospel that is being shared in America today is NOT Gospel. Health, Wealth and Prosperity is not what the Gospel is. It is not a new car in my driveway, it’s not a “rub the lamp to have the genie make your wishes come true” theology.

The Gospel is not your story.
It is the Gospel that MAKES your story good news. Your story DOESN’T make the Gospel good news. So, stop sharing your story as gospel and start sharing the Gospel in your story.

-The Gospel is not the flavor of the week.
You don’t go into a Gospel driven church and ask for what tastes good this week! It is NOT an ice cream shop. Gospel is forever and Gospel is truth and truth offends. Stop asking for the palatable and pray for the transformation that the gospel brings.

-The Gospel is not selfish.
“hide it under a bush oh no! I’m gonna let it shine.” Truth spoken by a childhood song! Stop hiding the gospel in your life and share what has been freely given to you! do you light your lamp and cover the light? Or, does the light light up your room?

The Gospel is The Father sending his son Jesus to a fallen world (because of sin). Jesus taking off his kingly robes to wear the garments of a servant. Be born of a virgin, grow in wisdom and in stature (Luke 2:52) not counting equality with God something to be grasped (Philippians 2:6), lived a sinless life for 33 years, and was murdered on the cross by people he created in order that we may taste freedom through his completed work on the cross! That is why we live, that is why we breathe, that is why we get to be a part of his story…he is the Hero we were all waiting for!
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2nd Corinthians 5:21

I am not a Blogger

So, first off…I am not a blogger. I have never blogged in my life (is blogged a term?) I really enjoy writing and I really enjoy being able to think through thoughts while writing. At one point I was writing and sending out encouraging emails and such and it was recommended to me that I start a blog. This was about a year and a half ago. So, here I am. Lets see how this goes.