Friday, September 28, 2007

God has got a strut

I always wondered why i liked the sky so much
Then i Read Psalm 19:1-6
(if you get a chance while you say the first line, clap your hands above your head and slowly spread them while you watch the sky open up between your hands. it's beautiful)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

The skies are God's glory:
When Paul poses the question, "Were there people who did not hear the gospel?" in Romans 10. He uses these verses as the answer. The sky isn't just nice to look at... It is God's Glory preaching and telling the whole world He is so big that they need to stop and search his depths!
this isn't small. the sky is a BIG DEAL!!!

Like a Groom going to take the bride he is confident he will marry
Like a Champion that is confident and sure to come in first...
The Sun proclaims God's sovereignty, glory, and greatness as it rises and sets each day!!!
He is walking out everyday like "Awyeah... today is the day i show i am the man in more ways than one is the day i show who is was and always will be the best anywhere and everywhere!"
The sky can seem ever distant and overwhelmingly present. The sun can give me life or kill me. It can dazzle me or it can freak me out. One moment i think it is completely controllable and the next storm i know it is not. Sometimes i can go the whole day without consciously noticing it, and other times i can't escape it. Sometimes the stars seem so close i can touch them and other times they seem so vast that i feel miniscule. Sometimes the sun is so bright i have to stop driving and other times i have to run for shade and still other times i wonder whether it is even there on a cloudy day. The sun can determine weather i have the resources for food to eat or not. The moon can determine what mood i will be in. The sky can always give me direction both day and night. The sun is unreachable yet his predecessor is accessible to man. The sun runs the universe. If the sun were too close i would never be able to grasp its capacity, and only from a distance and from what i have been told can i begin to grasp how powerful it really is.

The sky and sun so often reminds me of God and my relationship to Him. I hope i never stop standing in awe.
I don't have a verse that has hit me on this one yet but...
i also have wondered why i like water so much.
It seems uncapturable as the light dances on the water. It can be dark desolate untamable and scary one moment. It can be colorful, bright, tantalizing, fun and beautiful the next and still calm, innocent, serene, monotone, perfect reflection and compliment to its surrounding the next. It gives life as well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why am i not better at Evangelism?

Yesterday the SpringLake Wesleyan Staff watched a video on evangelism and it got me thinking about why i feel i fall short in this area. Here were my thoughts. Not saying they are all legit, these were just my initial thoughts:

Evangelism Pushes For Me:
  • I believe God and the Bible have truth that bring life and make it so much more clear
  • I believe there are hurting people who need the gospel
  • God offers a change, purpose, transformation that goes beyond human capability
  • I want nonChristian people to feel loved, accepted, wanted, and needed yet challenged, equipped, heard, understood, and pressed to commit and be a lifetime searcher/follower of God
  • Potential of a life of love, giving, and living for something that goes beyond us.

Evangelism Hold Ups for Me:
  • Confusion about knowing what truth is for everyone's needs and what truth i have interpreted just for me or my personality (extrovert-meeting everybody)
  • Not feeling like i have given TRUTH(God in the world/not just the US) in all the world a fair chance. ( small mindset idea)
    • Solution: start with what i know for sure
  • Relationships are too much of a time investment, i have a lot of ambitions, and too little time to invest(So sad, seems so wrong, but so the mentality)
  • Not having others of the same heart, friend/involvement group, that i would feel are where i would bring my nonChristian friends
    • Church solution these days: Small groups
  • Want it to be something i can't wait to share with people. (It hasn't transfered from me to something people HAVE to HAVE NOW the way i think it should)
    • Solution: Need to understand what it means to me
  • Balance between investing in non-Christian relationships and going into the world vs. getting them involved in church or a body of believers and not being apart of the world
  • Believing the local church has something to offer me or my friends
  • I don't want it to have to rely heavily on reading/praying (individual alone time w/ God)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Half Asleep

So somewhere in college i started only halfway sleeping. Ever since i started to analyze and process or just had too much going on, i found myself leaving my light on while i went to sleep in hopes that i would sleep light and wake up early. What i found is that it worked, but i am becoming someone i don't want. I feel like this sense of work never being completed has carried over into a lot of my life. Where i used to hit the bed and sleep hard or go and play hard at a sport, i find myself second guessing whether there is something better i should be doing with my time and never being able to completely enjoy just enjoying living. There is a fine balance there. Maybe it started with the personality tests that said i was great at living in the present but horrible at planning for the future. Maybe it was the sense of there never being enough time to do and experience everything i wanted to in college. Whatever it was, i want simplicity back and i don't know if i can have it. When you realize that each of your choices and actions are forming habits or have the potential to prepare or set you back for the future it is hard to take decisions at face value. Yet my strength is in living not planning. I think i am going to form my business this way. God will be my boss and give me direction and vision. Family and close friends (My future wife someday) will ultimately be the one to bounce ideas off of and help me discern the choices and action steps to getting there. And a secretary to hash out the details of how to complete the action plan since i dislike details. That will be sweet! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Great Week of Blogs

I took a two day vacation with God to pray through raising support.
I have a lot to tell about life and what God has been teaching me.

Click Here To watch a video of my vision of returning to New Zealand that i just posted on my missions website( I share a little bit... actually i share a lot(it's a long video!) of the reason i am heading back.

I am excited about Blogging the next two Weeks
Here are some topics to come:
  • God's Has a Strut!
  • Why are Fortune Cookies so intriguing
  • What i wish i'd known when i was twenty
  • The first Youth Night & Fall Retreat
  • Biggest Life Regrets
  • The Good Things happening in New Zealand.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Learning to Trust God

I recently read this verse which i found awhile ago and really liked it.

If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

This is how i feel

i often feel crazy for going back to new zealand.

I believe wholly in the vision and my call, but it is Christ compelling me, and not my consistent temptation to doubt.

It has been good learning how to trust God:
knowing that money is not a big deal to God, and He has the resources if i really need them.
Knowing that God watches me with love.
Knowing that Jesus holds truth others need.

Trusting God, Happenings, and life

This is where i am staying right now.
Recently, Kerry and Rae from the church plant ShoreGrace in New Zealand that i worked with the last 7 months visited Michigan and i was able to catch up with them over dinner! so good.
I was recently able to go to the Wesleyan West Michigan Zone breakfast with all of the senior pastors to share about my return to New Zealand. It was so encouraging to be around these men with a passion for people and the Lord. So good.

I received my first support for my return to New Zealand so far. I will be focusing hard on that from here on out, but really just getting the ball rolling in terms of actually seeing any results.

Monday, September 10, 2007

So i have been craving Surfing since i left New Zealand. Since i wasn't getting in the water, i found this hill to skate down that sufficed my pain for awhile! The video is blurry but you get the point.

Then it happened. Gail force winds coming to Michigan and 3-5ft waves coming through.
So i got out my board and drove down to Holland, Lake Michigan. It was great.
I jumped off the pier behind the sets. Paddled out with Dan E and about 20 other surfers at one point,
and enjoyed surfing in about 70 degree fresh water on about a 70's day outside. Love it!
If you were to ask me if i ever thought i would be a surfer more than 5 years ago, i would've said highly doubtful. If you would've asked me if i ever thought i would be a surfer who surfed on Lake Michigan i would've just laughed at you in disbelief. Well Here i am!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The More i get to know God the more i don't think i trust Him

I surfed on Lake Michigan yesterday. More to come on that post tomorrow.

Recently i read an excerpt of C.S. Lewis out of the Devotional Classics by Richard j. Fosterp(6-10). C.S. Lewis expresses how our approach to life often starts with our fleshly self. One problem with this approach caught my attention when C.S. Lewis said, "But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes. in fact, we are very like an honest man paying his taxes. He pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on. Because we are still taking our natural self as the starting point." What i realized was i was somehow this man!?! My whole life plan is centered around his calling right now and yet i heard myself saying, "Yet after this i hope, there is still time and money for me to pursue my own goals. ...I hope there is time after i give to people for me to play, pursue success, and to explore/travel. I actually have had two friends even catch me in this mindset and talk to me about pointless worldly goals and total surrender of my life. C.S. Lewis says the answer is to not start with self and give 90% but that God starts by asking for us to give all of ourselves, 100%. So how do i approach this problem? What it comes down to for me is this, Either:
1. i have just not committed these pursuits to God and put them subject to his opinion and sovereignty yet
2. I am holding on to my own pursuits that are not of God
3. I have a poor view of God that does not trust Him with pursuits that i enjoy, value and even need at times, because i feel that God doesn't "understand" if they do not appear ministry driven.

In regards to #3, why don't i trust Him? Why would God not value or want me to enjoy the things i do? Flippancy, Fun, Challenges, Goals, etc.

Answers to come in the next few days

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Discovering Your Life Purpose

I ran across this blog How to Discover Your Life Purpose in 20 Minutes and i found it very interesting. Basically, the idea is sit down with a piece of paper with "What is my True purpose in life" written at the top and just write whatever comes to your mind until some statement makes you cry and that is your life purpose. Here is some of my thoughts from that below.

Right here to the left of the pier there will be 20 or so surfers and boogie boarders on Wednesday as sporadic 1-3ft white capped waves fill the water. You can count on probably seeing me there!

Purpose thoughts:

What i feel are the most common 3:
80. To get married and be successful and have fun- this is what i feel i am measured by. It seems that this defines you on the surface and that is as far as it goes in most relationships unless you get close. The Three purposes in life!!! ha. So i am getting a 33% on the scale of life. i have got the fun/adventure thing down haha. Almost like the Wild at heart idea: Every man has a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.

The Purposes that were closest to making me cry:
23. to be able to profess my God and faith with full confidence
69. to want to have something i want so bad that i hurt for it if i don't receive it.
71. to want something so bad that i can dedicate my life to it and not be ashamed or second guess myself. I can 2nd guess myself even it it is the right way and the only way i am going to not be ashamed is if my confidence rests outside of the people around me so i guess just that first part again.
127. To enjoy, share, and work through life together while becoming part of something greater than ourselves

I thought it was an interesting idea!
I am on a constant search for truth and God and to know where i fit in. Sometimes i wonder if people wonder why i don't use more scripture on my blog. It is usually because this is more a journal and i believe that i proclaim truths i know in the Bible to be true often just through parallels of how the world works.