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Monday, December 27, 2004

Freedom & Glory

Take a look at 2 Corinthians 3:7 through 2 Corinthians 4:18, simply amazing. This is the first peace of scripture to jump out at me (mostly due to my lack of motivation) in the past year or more! It has given me a much needed dose of hope. Here are just a few highlights:

3:8 - Shouldn't we expect far greater glory when the Holy Spirit is giving life?
3:12 - Since this new covenant gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.
3:17-18 - Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.
4:7-10 - But this precious treasure - this light and power that now shine within us -- is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can se that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
4:11-13 - Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed God, and so I speak."
4:16-18 - That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an imeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. for the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I hate being needy.

Listening to: Complainte de la Butte - Rufus Wainwright - Moulin Rouge [Original Soundtrack]

I hate feeling useless, needing to talk with people because I feel depressed, never accomplishing anything, be unmotivated, having to fight for every ounce of joy, need to prove myself to everyone. I hate it all. It's killing me, I swing back and fourth from feeling as if I can move on, to simply just wanting to give up. God is constantly talking to me in these times, but at the same time I never go forth with anything, at least I never feel that I have in the way that I was suppose to have.

God, save me from this, reach down deep and heal all these lies and the negative motivators that simply burn me out. I wan to give my utmost for his highest, but I trip and fall, and that just ticks me off.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I want to serve.

Listening to: Take This Life - Shawn McDonald - Simply Nothing

Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever. [1 John 2:15-17]
However, I love this world too much, I realize. As much as I turn away from the things of this world, the more I realize that I have not stopped loving what it offers. I just want to serve my king, yet I fall into the desires of the world, for temporary pleasure, that doesn't serve any purpose except to make myself feel good. Moreover, it isn't a kind of "feel good" that is healthy, it's the kind that steals from others.

Father, may you be glorified by opening my eyes to danger before I fall into it, and by giving me ears to hear the warnings, and a mind to discern your truth. Everything I do that is honorable comes from you. May I serve your kingdom, so it may be furthered here on Earth. Remove my will, transform it into yours and ultimately yours will prevail. Only you can provide what I really need, give me what that is. Forgive me for my failure to glorify and honor you in all that I do, forgive me for stealing what honor belongs to others. Keep me from falling in love with the world and desiring its pleasure. Give me freedom, from the chains that bind me, and the lies of the enemy, let me cry out freedom, true freedom. Your kingdom is forever strong, what a pleasure it is to be in your kingdom, albeit I have done nothing to be a part of it, all I can do is serve, and be served. Forever may the glory be yours, amen.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Black and Color moments

Listening to: Here I Am - Shawn McDonald - Simply Nothing

Sometimes the world (definition - my life) seems so full of color, life, activities, and good. Then without warning, it goes void of happiness, joy, and hope. I find myself without an objective, nothing gets accomplished, because nothing is worthy of being accomplished, or so that's what the voice in my head says. I wish my first conscience thoughts were focused on the King, the one who has the greatest objective of all, love the world. I hate it when I fall into this thought process of negativity, shame. It is so non-motivating, and keeps me from doing anything for the Kingdom of Christ. I just want color in my life, I'm tired of the gray.
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story
The Voice of Truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
And the Voice of Truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth
[excerpt: Casting Crowns, Voice of Truth]

Why do I say the things I say?

Listening to: Don't Hate Me - Jordan Munoz - Jordan Munoz

Oh Lord,
Why do I say the selfish things I say? Why do I respond so harshly? Why is my flesh fighting so hard to stay in control? Why do I find myself in this place again? Lord I do not understand myself, I am convicted, yet I continue to make stupid decisions, or I simply forget that I already learned this lesson and I get stuck on repeat. I am sick of repeating, sick of taking three steps forward and then two back, sick of having to change directions at less than half way through a goal and therefore never finishing anything.

Nevertheless, blessed be your name, even through these trials, for your ways only lead to goodness and prosperity. There is light at the end of this tunnel. The weight of your glory slowly but steadily fills my thoughts, my plans, my life. Nothing of mine would be worth anything without you. Everything of mine is because of your great love. Everyone in my life is a gift from you. May everything I do and say be honoring, glorifying, and a blessing to you.

Thank you for today, keeping me from temptation, forgiving me of my sins and directing me to live a lifestyle of repentance.

PS. My wallett came back! Of course it appeared (from the couch where two of us looked, and virtually turned upside down) two weeks after I lost it, and a week after I ordered new cards. The funny thing is, all of my cards came in the mail on the same day that my wallet and I were reunited...

Sunday, December 05, 2004

It's about time

I have been putting it off, because I'm too self centered and prideful to admit that I have a major issue going on in my life. I've been so prideful of my relationship with Alexis that the fall had to come at some point. I promise everyone that I am doing "okay" which doesn't mean I'm doing awesome, or that I am "over it" it just means that I'm working through it.

So, with that said, the news is that Alexis and I are taking time off from being in a relationship, it has been about a month. We both want to seek God's wisdom and guidance in our lives. I use to think that "taking a break" or anything along those lines in a Christian relationship were down right stupid, it's not like you can "take a break" when your married. However, WE ARE NOT MARRIED, and it is best for us to seek individual counseling for our own issues before we bring it into a marriage, where our issues would be much harder to resolve.

My basic thought process this past month has been; I am SO NOT in control of anything, God has to be in control because I have nothing to control anymore. Besides, when I try to control things (such as with Alexis) I screw it all up.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Let go of it

So, I lost my wallet about two days ago. I have never lost my wallet, I don't want to ever lose it again. So, now I really have lost everything... it is time to let go. God is the only one in control, because certainly I am not. Hopefully when I actually have a place to live again, maybe my stability will come back to normal. I just gotta let go.

Monday, November 22, 2004


Listening to: Psalm 110 (This is the Day) - Shane Barnard - Psalms

These days are my journey
And this journey is my way
This way can only be His way
Because His ways are higher than mine

And I can only follow one path at a time
One stepping stone, one moment is all I can do
He though, can see it all
All at one time, and in all places

I follow Him, and His ways
Because there is love and pace
When I step off His path
There is hurt and shame
His ways are high, his ways let me fly

And so I walk, step by step
And I'll let the light guide me

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Frustrations abound

Listening to: shane bernard - Received - Shane Barnard -

I need a schedule that includes time to myself, time with friends, but most importantly time with God. I feel like so many people around me have guards up, they don't want to go deeper, they just wallow in their own frustrations, and a lot of the time think that I have it all together. This is a vicious circle, that just sends me into a desert and then I become a jerk to everyone around me, and a super-jerk to the ones I love the most. What is God teaching me? What does he want to me to learn through this? So many questions, so many people, it is so overwhelming sometimes.

The problem is that I focus too much on the past or the future and hardly ever on today, right now. I want so much for the future, and I loved so many things of the past, but I don't like where I am at right now. I need some stability, I'm going on the fourth month of living out of my suitcase, with all my things in boxes, and my daily and weekly schedules changing. I also feel very disconnected from my friends, almost more so than when I was in Poland because I am so busy and have very little Internet access that I hardly get a chance to say hi to my good friends. It is driving me wild and causing me to be so frustrated.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Doubts go away

Listening to: All I Bring - Jonny Diaz -

I hate it when I doubt life, God, and people, all it does it put me in a funk, and God knows that a Travis funk is no good. When I doubt the world turns into one big negative rant after another. Normally my doubt is caused by the after effects of some kind of sin, I begin to wonder if I truly am really in a close relationship with God or not, and this is nowhere for me to be even going. I constantly think about Paul when he wrote to the Romans and said, "When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway." [Romans 7:19] and 2000 plus years later we still wonder why we do things I know we should not.

I mention this because I have come to realize that God does not want us to doubt Him, for if we doubt Him we miss what he wants for us. In addition, doubting leads to disobedience, and disobedience leads to sin, one big vicious circle. This past weekend I was at a college retreat with about 25 other college-aged people, the theme was "wanting more" and boy did we get more of Christ, more than many of us have ever experienced. God used many of us to encourage one another, direct one another, and correct one another in many areas. When it came my turn to receive prayer God spoke and said that my doubt has been holding me back, in ministry, relationships, and most of all my walk with Him. I don't want it, I reject the doubt, and I will have faith to move past it and see what happens, if it's wrong I'll find out and learn, but if I don't try I'll never learn. In the end it comes down to obedience… Abraham obeyed and sacrificed His son, and God honored that. I have not done anything as extreme, but I know God has plans just as strange for me, and for all His children.
But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. [James 1:6]

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I want to cherish

The hardest thing for me right now is to truly cherish, to love in return, to be the man I want to be… Please pray. Thanks.

Monday, October 25, 2004

All you need is love....

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.

There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time
It's easy.

All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

Emergent worship... What do you think? My opinion... I love it, it's about the heart anyway, not the words (with in reason of course), or who wrote it, or anything else, it's about LOVE from the heart.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I wish i could blog ...

I wish i could blog right now. This message is from my phone. When i get the Internet at home i'll be back!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

A prophetic exercise

[This post was actually posted on Nov 12, 2005, but to make more sense I have retro-published it to fit in with when the actual even happened]
This past weekend was our intern retreat out on the beautiful Oregon Coast. It was an amazing time, great worship, great prayer, and God was there. Something which I had never experienced before was "prophecy", and this past weekend we did a prophetic exercise. Now, before you go off thinking I've joined a cult or something, hear me out. No one forced us to speak, and no one was yelling, screaming, or making any other kind of strange body spasm, we simply laid our hands on each person and listened to what God was speaking to each of our fellow brothers and sisters. These are the words which came for me:

SPONGE: You are a sponge the yellow-green kind with lots of yuck inside. God is squeezing you, doing whatever HE can to clean you. It hurts. He will clean/fill you with His Holy water. His living water will wash you out. Decay needs to be uprooted. Dirty job but necessary.

BOAT: from Venice. Big staff in water you are holding staff.
Fisherman: This year the year to walk on water. Don’t look around or get frustrated. Cry out your fears, out loud.

WALKING ON WATER, IN POLAND: You were walking on water in Poland. Then you went down and Jesus picked you up. You were the only disciple in Poland. You’re now back in the boat with God in the storm, but God has quieted the storm. God wants to bless you. You are a foundational/pioneering person and God gave you this gift. God wants to heal you from mental and spiritual abuse, or any other. Enjoy the calm that God has made through the storm. The storm is not over. Endure the upcoming test. Be encouraged, you have the heart of Peter, so strong. Peter denied Christ three times, yet the church was built upon Peter.

LIGHTHOUSE: with stairs around the outside of building. Raining, thunder, but you keep climbing to the light. The light house is to warm ships of things coming. You’re wearing a black rain coat, God is that covering, he is with you. God’s given you persistence stronger than others. Because your faith is so strong in God you will press on.

HEBREWS 11:8-10: It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called on him to leave home and go to another land that god would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith – for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent. And so did Isaac and Jacob, to whom God gave the same promise. Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

GOD EAGER TO USE YOU: God is sitting with eager expectation you are willing to serve and that gives God a great anticipation. Tender heart, a servant’s heart. God excited to work in you because you are so open he can do such great things in you and through you.

God is walking with you. You’ve gone through a lot and are being healed. God is with you and your strong faith. God will heal you.

You are a man of integrity. Strong in God. He is walking with you.

Your heart for God is awesome, seeking his face.

PIONEER/CONSTRUCTION: While walking the enemy tried to distract you. God will build foundation, and you will build a house and roof. He has plans of construction with you. You dig very consciencly. You rebuild. You know when they fit. You are a pioneer. Storm come and ruins inside house. So we do the immediate – restore inside. Then storm comes again and ruins inside. God is building the roof so the other work will last. Plan of construction before you.

Technical. You dig stuff out and put together useful pieces. Spiritual mechanic and make things useful. Pioneer.

Up in tree you are a strategist. “Traveling Travis”, missionary, ambassador, you’ll be like Joshua. You will tell people as Joshua did.

DELIVERANCE: Each step of lighthouse is new stage of deliverance. Some steps may seem to go off cliff. You may want to curl up on some steps, NO. Don’t be afraid. But God says “no my son, get up, stand up” You will pastor people. Pastor’s mantle. Open minded. As lighthouse light shines North, South, East, West, God will give you direction to those places. No matter how difficult it is, God has your hand, He is prompting you to GO.

He is your focus. Trust the Lord and run the race. The Lord is your fortress, strength, and shield.

CLEANLINESS: Deut 23:9-14 When you look at refuse you think that stinks. God doesn’t reject you. He sees the garbage and embraces you. God will cover the refuse and get rid of it. God doesn’t see you as unclean. He will not turn away from you.
When you go to war with your enemies, stay away from everything impure. Any man who becomes ceremonially defiled because of a nocturnal emission must leave the camp and stay away all day. Toward evening he must bathe himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp. Mark off an area outside the camp for a latrine. Each of you must have a spade as part of your equipment. Whenever you relieve yourself, you must dig a hole with the spade and cover the excrement. The camp must be holy, for the LORD your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies. He must not see any shameful things among you, or he might turn away from you.

BROKENNESS by the Lord, so he can deliver you. You need to be broken before God can heal you. Get to rock bottom so He can build you up.

You will be Bold. You are a cool surfer that is steady from God, Karate Man. Surfing on a wave with glasses, coolness. Steady, firm, chilling on wave. Intimidate the Enemy. Like a gangster knife fight you scare opponent. You go ahead.

You have an Axe – chanting around a fire like an Indian. “you are a warrior”

PSALM 84:5-12
Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains! They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. O God, look with favor upon the king, our protector! Have mercy on the one you have anointed. A single day in your courts, is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right. O Lord almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Alexis and I

Alexis and I just finished our second week of school and ministry, and boy is it intense. Alexis is learning all the intricate realities of living with seven other girls and I am learning to say, "You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, blessed be your name." Jr. High on Wednesday night was and will be the hardest for both of us since that age group tends to have issues with authority, neither Alexis nor I are authoritative enough. We can see that God will be stretching us, for more patience (how much does one need?), and to see the heart-needs of Jr. Highers. We are also learning to minister together, go to school together, and have a decent relationship that does not drive other people away. So far, we have received nothing but compliments and praise from the other interns and pastors. However, both of us are feeling the need to get away and spend some time with just the two of us. The Lord has an amazing plan for us, I know that this year will bring us closer together and it will either confirm our hope to return to Poland or show us something else. As long as we continue to work together, pray together (which is unfortunately lacking at this time), minister together, and have fun together, I know the Lord will provide what is needed and guide me in loving her as He intends all women to be loved.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Too tired to say much

Tired am I, Oh God thank you for the blessings, and blessed is your name even though the wilderness is encroaching on my life. Though I walk in the desert place, blessed be your name. When your streams of abundance flow, blessed be your name, "When all is right" blessed be your name. Amen.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Exploding with thought

So here I am sitting in a neat little café in Gresham Oregon, just looking out onto Main street (actually it's Main Avenue, but whatever) wondering and processing all the different things and ideas I have learned about this past week. Different things from what my generation needs from the church to what God is doing with my generation and the apparent lack of man to understand what that is.

I am also looking for different Jobs in the Gresham/Portland area, but my heart just wants to focus on ministry. Our weekly schedule makes it very hard to work enough to be able to focus on ministry and not money. I have complete faith in God that I will have enough, but I need to do my part and at least look into all the opportunities. There are so many hurt people in the youth group and college groups that my heart cries out and when I think about working I just can't even stand the thought because it would mean working in the very little off time that I do have.

The Schedule is:
Currently I have school on Mondays from 1pm to 10pm, Tuesdays I have a mandatory (at this time, possibly if I work it'll be different) bible-study at 8pm, and high-school ministry (which can't be changed) from 3pm to 10pm, on Wednesdays Jr. High ministry is from 3pm to 10pm, and on Thursdays we have a 9am meeting, a 12pm meeting, and college ministry from 3pm to 10pm, and on Fridays we have school from 9am to 10pm with 2 hour breaks for lunch and dinner. This schedule makes working a little difficult, I could work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, possibly Thursday mornings with approval, and Saturday or Sunday days (I would like to have two free days, but I refuse to work everyday).

Some think I am being fussy with the kind of work I want to do, it pretty much needs to involve networking and technology, mostly because than I know I could work fewer hours but still get paid a decent wage. If I worked something else, I would have to work every possible hour (in turn burning me out, and leaving no time to study). However, I truly believe that I will find a job that will support me and not burn me out if I stick it out and keep on looking and knocking on the doors that God directs me too. Please keep this in your prayers, so far, I am financially okay, but by Mid-October I must have some income otherwise this kid is in trouble… But I serve the God who is not short of cash, amen? AMEN!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

School, Internship, and life

Alexis and I started school on Monday, it's awesome, the instructors are great, knowledgeable, and passionate about Christ. The internship program is keeping us busy, last night was our first night at the high school service, about 150 high schoolers, the message was on encouragement and I really enjoyed it. Life, now that is a big subject, let's just say it is busy, full of twists and turns, but most of all full of great things.

If anyone is curious about how I am doing in regards to some past issues, let it be said here, that I am on the other side of the fence, finally, however temptation never stops. I feel good and strong about myself, about my sexuality, and about my relationship moving forward with Christ at the center. I cannot even start (because I don't have the time) to tell you about the blessings I am experiencing. Please keep Alexis and me in your prayers, as together and individually as we walk in this new area of our lives. Thanks!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Two months

I have been a transient for TWO months now. I've been living on couches and out of my suitcases for two months. I'm tired, and I'm ready to settle again! Hopefully I have only 1.5 more weeks to go, then I'll have a bed, a dresser, and a place to call my own, for a full two years! AMEN to that! I'm tired, and in less than nine hours I'll be throwing the left-overs of a basement into a huge dumpster. Good night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

In Gresham

Hello. Alexis and I have been in Gresham Oregon since Saturday. However we don't have Internet access at our houses... yet. School starts this coming Monday and then ministry the following Monday. Gresham is a cool little town though, right now I am writing this from Alexis' new laptop (I left mine back at the house) in a cafe which has FREE wireless Internet access, how incredibly cool is that! Anyway, as soon as I have regular Internet access again then you'll get the daily updates again. I miss blogging, it really has helped me process things, and the past Month I have had a ton of processing to do!

Oh, and by the way, I am completly broke, I paid. tuition today, God totatly came through (as if he never did) I thought I would have to borrow $200 from Alexis because last night when I went to register for classes they told me my financial aid information never went through and so I didn't get any, but today as I went to pay the stopped me and said it did go through, and I will be recieving $200/quarter... exactly what I needed for this quarter. AMEN. But for the next five quarters I have to be able to save $2000 for each quarter, that means I have to make at least $1000/month... I'm on a limb.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Moving to Gresham Oregon

Today Alexis and I are hauling out, down south to Gresham Oregon (an eastern suburb of Portland). We've got a u-haul full of stuff on top of the things we took down earlier this week. I'm even bringing my cat, although we are not sure what we'll be doing with her, hopefully because I am sharing a basement with just one other guy she (the cat) can stay with us. If you could keep us in your prayers it would be really nice. It's been stressful lately with packing things up, having to get a million things done, and for me living on a couch for a month has taken its toll. We are looking forward to this blessed time and I know that if I look for God's work I will find it and be blessed.

Friday, September 10, 2004


Sorry for the lame updates but this isn't lame at all. Two of my bestest friends, John and Jen got engaged today! I'm so excited for them, they rock.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Way too much stuff

I have way too much stuff. I cannot believe the amount of stuff that I have acquired in just four years that I have been living out of my parent's house. Right now I have five medium, one small, two large, one extra large box full of my things, and there is more to come. This of course does not count the eleven pieces of large furniture and all the kitchen stuff. All this for just one single guy, the day I have a family is surely going to be the day I simply higher movers or the local youth group. Anyway, one more week until Alexis and I move to Portland Oregon, and she has five boxes of her own.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Prepare the way

Life is so much more interesting to talk about in a public forum when you've got a schedule and see more than just one or two people a day. Let me just say that waiting to get back into ministry, school, and have a job again is not exciting. There are some nice sides to it like getting to sleep in until you feel the sun beaming down on your face and going to bed when you actually feel tired and not because you know you'll regret getting up if you don't go to bed at a certain time. Then reality hits in when you logon to the banking website and see that no money is coming in and you know you will not have any for another month or so.

Some people might begin to second-guess my decisions because before I went to Poland I had it good. I was making a very comfortable amount of money for being just 21. I had a large amount of money in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, and I was putting away almost $500/month into different kinds of savings account. Then God called me to a place of dependence, and that place was Poland. I raised money for a year, through support letters and speaking in different churches. Then I left and served for a year with young adults and helping a new church plant. In that year I always had enough money to live and sometimes bless others who otherwise wouldn't have had enough.

Now I am leaving for Portland, to go to school, where I am only allowed to work 12 hours a week in probably just a minimum wage kind of situation. I am using all of the money from my stocks (not my retirement) to pay for tuition, and I am getting financial aid, but I still do not have enough to pay for more than two quarters. I am now seeing that God is calling me to be more faithful, trusting, and to live on the edge. I do not know why He is calling me to these kinds of places, I wish I knew what he were preparing me for, but I know that wherever He leads me the rewards will be great.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Be real?

I think many people do not know how to be real, and for me it is a bigger problem when we are Christian. We have to look into our own lives and recognize the things that we know do not honor and Glorify God. We have to be authentic with our feelings towards others and ourselves. We cannot be super nice to a person at church and then treat them or talk about them as if they did not exist on other days. If we are to truly be Christ like it means being consistently real. If you read through all the gospels you'll realize that Jesus was the same in all circumstances. Jesus did not treat anyone differently just because they were at church, or just because they were Pharisees. Neither did he act any different around those people, his behavior was the same at all times. He is not afraid to do what is right. We should not be afraid either.

I know that I have some areas to work at in my life. There are times where I act different to impress someone, although it is fairly rare because I hate acting different than who I really am. But sometimes it just seems that for my own good I need to be a certain way, when in reality it isn't for my own good. When I do that I am letting that person control me and oppress who I really am, and I don't believe that God honors that. I have to be the person God made me and not let others mold me, except for God himself.

Monday, August 30, 2004


I've been neglecting a lot (sometimes disguised as procrastination) of important things these past few weeks. I haven't had a single quiet time with God since I returned, I haven't ridden my bike (mostly because I didn't get it back until this past Friday), I haven't blogged much, but most of all I haven't sought after my God. I've just been winging it, flying by the seems of my pants, letting the wind carry me from one place to another. This is fine for a while, but at some point I have to get on track and seek. I have to make choices to do things even when I do not feel like it, and I have to think about others and what I can do for them, I need to seek humility and correction, I need to see my God. I want to bless my God and I want to bless my people (my people would be those who are around me). Yet I find myself being selfish and centered on my needs, which is not right nor is it how I will find my God.

I am so blessed to have friends, family, and others who truly Love God, Love Others, and Love me. Many of them are too nice to tell me what I need to look at in my life, but thankfully I am convicted of things in my life to change just by the way they live. I want to know what I can change, I want to know where I fail to be a blessing unto God and people. I don't want to neglect anything, but I have a horrible character flaw that unless I have some official role or I know that I'll "get something" out of an event or situation I will neglect it until the last possible minute. I hate this pattern but for some reason it seems to repeat itself over and over in my life. The Lord gives and takes away, I pray that he takes this away from me and gives me the desire to serve and love with out expecting anything for myself.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Hello world... Testing my mail ...

Hello world... Testing my mail to blogger feature to see if it is working yet... Tip has been sent from my cell phone

Monday, August 23, 2004


I realize that I have not really given a good update on my life. So here goes…

Just two weeks ago, I returned from a one-year mission experience in Zakopane Poland and I raised money for one year before hand (and worked and went to school during that year). While I was in Poland, I received monthly support for field ministry. In March, a pastor from Easthill church in Gresham Oregon visited us in Poland. He told me about a program his church has started called "The International Training Program", this program involves two years of schooling and ministry interning. I thought about this program for a while but figured that it would be a bit hard to come home and leave for the Portland area in a matter of four weeks. I ended up seeing this Pastor again at a European youth camp in The Netherlands. This time we talked and I took a step of faith to go, so I am going.

I returned on the 8th of August to Seattle, and I leave for Gresham sometime before the 15th of September. I have one more month of support money coming to help with the transition period and I have taken a couple of side tech jobs. Alexis is also going (on her own prayerful will), this is her last week of working at Kindercare (which she is very excited about). When I get to Gresham I will be seeking a "regular" job in the tech field (I was a network administrator for six years before I left for Poland), however the program limits us to only 12 hours of work a week since it s an intense program of ministry and schooling. I am excited and feel God completely blessing me all the way through. Just yesterday, some friends of mine gave me $600, which was just enough to pay for all the little things that needed to be taken care of. I am also using some of my savings, which I saved up when I was working fulltime prior to Poland, so that the money that people donate is used only for necessities.

Attempting to get a groove

I am attempting to find my groove around here. Since I have no job (and why would I when I'm leaving in just a few weeks), and I have no set schedule, it's a little hard for me to feel like I am accomplishing anything. I've sent off just about all the emails I could think of that I need to do and know what to say, and I've done a lot of little errands to pay off my state-side life (IE my car insurance $898, long story). However, I find myself still without many words to describe to people just what my time in Poland was. I want people to be excited to serve God and go difference places, not only for others but to seek a deeper relationship with Him through the experience of depending on Him. Yet I find myself with a shortage of words to inspire and motivate people. I am sure that in time the words will come.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Testing testing 123 ...

Testing testing 123

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

School, Driving, and Running around

Yesterday we (Alexis and I) got back from our little visit to Gresham, OR (a suburb of Portland) we had a great time meeting new people, catching up with other acquaintances and learning about our new adventure we are about to embark on. Basically a regular week will look like this, Monday - School all day (9 to 9), Tuesday-Thursday Ministry from 3pm to 10pm, Friday - School all day (9 to 9). So that doesn't leave much room for a job, except for the mornings Tuesday-Thursday and possibly the weekends (which I've always refused to work, but we'll see how it works out). It's a two year school/intern program where what we learn we apply in the ministry time. Both of us will be living in two separate intern houses (across the street from each other rather than across the world). These houses have a lot of character and a lot of potential (in other words a lot of work to be done).

So, the next two years are the beginning of a new season of life for both of us. We're both excited to serve, learn, and be a part of something moving forward. This whole thing should lead up to doing more work in and with Poland, if God willing. God has created an amazing adventure for us (us being all Christians) we just have to make the decisions to honor and glorify Him and what he does in our lives is so great and undeserved, yet he loves us to care about us in the smallest details.

I don't know when I'll be able to post again, I'm bumming my friend's wireless/broadband connection at the moment. Hopefully I'll be moving to some place with a better connection other than my parents house for the next few weeks before moving to Gresham. God has blessed us, now let us bless Him.

Monday, August 16, 2004

In Portland

Yes, I went somewhere without telling many people again. This time Alexis and I are in Portland, only three hours south of Seattle not three days east. We are having a wonderful time, checking out and learning all about the school and program we will be going into in the fall. We'll be here through Tuesday. This is the first time my laptop has been connected since I got back, way to many emails, way to many blog updates. I hope when we return Seattle I'll have a better connection at the place I hope to stay at. Thankfully high speed will be available here in Portland. God is great, we are both excited and ready to see everything that God has in store for the next two years of our lives. We know it won't be a walk in the park, however whatever hardships and mountain top experiences we endure will only add to our character and build us up to be closer to God Himself. Thanks for reading and I promise that once I have a regular Internet connection I'll be back to full speed.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Back in the USA

Just a quick note.
I surprised everyone and came back a week early! Surprise! I have been back since 2:00 AM Monday morning. Of course those in Poland have known for about six months. Anyway there's a lot to talk about but I'm on dial-up at my parents (not fun) and I have a lot of other things to do. I promise regular updates will soon come again.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Friday, August 06, 2004

Much To Say

Poland, be blessed!

I have much to say, but I know that few words are best. My heart will always be with all of the people I have come to know here. I will continue to pray for them, to listen to them, to talk to them and write them. I know that I will see them again, not just in this life but in heaven as well. I love these people and I want to see them be history makers for their land. I want to encourage them to seek God's word, truth, and most of all the fruits of his Spirit. Only when a person allows the Holy Spirit to be in control will you know love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You cannot obtain these things on your own power, maybe some of them, but not all. Only when we seek to have them from God will we experience them in our lives. When we recognize this need, we will then be able to be a blessing to others.

I came here to learn about depending on God. Now I leave more dependent on God than ever before, yet enjoying life much more. I truly don't worry about tomorrow, I don't worry about any part of the future. The past five years of my life have been so unimaginable and adventurous that I no longer worry about how I'll be taken care of because God has provided everything. I know I have much more to learn, and life has a lot more in store for me. However, if there is one thing I have learned over this past year, it is do not worry and fewer words are best. I don't have to have the last word, I don't need to be systematic, and I don't need to be in control. God takes care of everything, if I expect, ask, or tell someone to do something and he or she doesn't do it, then that's a lesson for that person and whatever effect it has on me is a lesson for me. God's kingdom does not run like the world, he wants us to focus on our relationship with Him.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Denise has posted pictures from U-Turn Youth camp 2004 on her blog. Take a look, great stuff!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Back from The Netherlands!

Hey Ya'll,

I'm back in Poland with almost a year behind me I have many things to say and a lot to process. However, I'm not in a write-about-it-all kind of mood so I'm just going to give you some highlights from the past week and some things for the future.

1. The week was absolutely amazing, for the Polish group we had some difficulties but in the end the group came together. There are specifically four young woman you could pray for because it seems they have a lot of hurt inside and the love of God scared them.

2. The rest of the group that went came back spiritually renewed and ready to learn and walk with Christ. One of which has been a prayer since about day one of my time in Poland. This person is now a completely different person and I can see the peace of God is beginning to take hold. I love this person so much and I am very encouraged.

3. You may remember Dan Russell who came and visited us in Poland back when Alexis was with me too. He spoke at the camp and I had a good couple of hours to speak to him and the director of his church's internship program. On September 15th Alexis and I are moving to Portland Oregon to go to school, learn, minister, and be trained for God's work. We believe this will lead us to a more permanent time in Poland in the future. The internship program is full time school and ministry, all meals are included, all housing is included, and most of all it's what God put on our hearts months ago. We are so excited. I'll of course miss Seattle, but at least for the next two years it will be much closer.

4. I am completly broke. I have $25 in my checking account, and over $400 to pay back on my credit card. I have over $150 in bills to pay back in Seattle (Car insurance, travel expenses, etc). I don't need a job now though! Amen. But it would be nice to be able to live for the month that I'll be in Seattle and to pay off all this credit expense before I leave for Portland. I also want to leave a blessing to some of the families here, so basically I am begging for money. PLEASE donate. Click donate below or use the PayPal link to the right.

5. Amen. Oh yeah, pictures will be up soon (I lost the cable to the my Digital camera).

Friday, July 23, 2004

To The Netherlands

Listening to: shane bernard - As the Deer - Shane Barnard -

Tomorrow morning I leave for The Netherlands, we are taking 12 young Polish people to the European Foursquare "U-Turn" camp for youth. There will be about 20 nations from all over Europe and some from The States. As far as I know I will not have any Internet access from the camp, but if I do, I will try to post at least once next week. I plan on taking many pictures and will be writing in my journal with the different things I see Jesus doing and where I feel him leading me. Some people from a church in the Portland, OR area will be there and their pastor, Dan who visited us earlier in the year when Alexis was here. Him and his wife run an internship program that is similar to the idea I have had for Poland/Seattle, so I hope to talk with him.

Please pray that I can build a relationship with the one young Polish guy (who doesn't know much English) who is coming. There will be only two guys, me and him, all the rest are woman. Also pray that all the details of returning home do not block my capacity to minister to whomever God puts into my life this coming week. Of course any other prayers are welcomed as I conclude my time with Poland on a mountain top. I'll be back on August 1st, I'll post something and pictures probably by the 2nd.
Ephesians 5:15-17:
Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the evils of these days. Don't be vague but grasp firmly what you know to be the will of the Lord.
On a side note, since moving out of my apartment on Monday I have only been connected to the Internet three times. Two of those times have been on Dial-up, yikes, I forgot the pain of dial-up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

God willing

I realize that most of the time I fail to give God any real authority. I pray and say things like "Let me, make me, make it so" but I don't give Him the authority in my life. I don't say "You may do this, in your will, I give you authority". I realize while I have thought I've given up control I really haven't I've simply just started yakking at God but haven't quite given Him the green light in my life. Granted there have obviously been times where I have (or I wouldn't be in Poland) but those times have been few and far between. I've been reading Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" and the past few days have been about obedience and submitting. He highlights the point that obedience means nothing without recognizing the higher power that you are obeying too. If you do not recognize Jesus Christ as the one you are obeying and submitting to then you fail to give any adoration to your creator. The Lord never insists that we obey Him, in fact no one can claim that God made him or her obey. The moments in my life where I have submitted to obeying God it has been only when I have recognized and revered Him for all that he is and does.

I came to Poland as an act of obedience because I knew that I needed to know God more clearly. Well, I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way. It's a bright, bright, sun shiny day. Only by adoring, revering, and loving Christ can I truly obey Him. Otherwise my life is simply just another religion, rules and regulations without any kind of relationship or life. I adore the Lord because he makes life beautiful, I revere the Lord because he is in full power, and I love Him because he loved (and loves) me for who I am with all my flaws. I have learned that people will only begin to obey the Lord if they know the Lord. Then through obedience they will seek to adore and revere Him and their lives will be fruitful.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Last night at Chimera

This is the last night in my flat (the building is called Chimera). I'm not quite sure what to think. My posting might be sporadic from this point until I return to Seattle and establish a regular Internet connection again. I will try and post every other day either via a dial-up connection or stopping by Carol and Denise's to hijack their DSL connection. I officially have $14 in my mission's account and I will be living out of my suitcases for the next three weeks. On Saturday Denise, Carol and I will be traveling with about 12 other young Poles to The Netherlands for a large European youth conference. This is a 22-hour trip, by bus! I am praying that my back can handle it, yes I know, I am only 22 and complaining of back issues, that is another story. It is kind of sad that I'll be leaving this place in such a short time, I can hardly think about the moment I have to approach the secure area at Krakow International Airport, I know a tear or two will fall.

Friday, July 16, 2004

The time is near

The past two days I have spent preparing to move out of our flat. I've mopped the floor in my bedroom, the kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. I've dusted (more than I ever wanted to in my life), scrubbed, and fought off an army of dust bunnies, yet I keep finding a few stragglers. Overall, it has been productive. Tomorrow Carol and Denise will be brining over their vacuum cleaner to rid the rest of the dust bunny army. We will also take four medium sized boxes and one smaller one to the post office to be shipped back to Seattle full of my winter clothes, and other things I won't need for the remainder of my time here. I am expecting to pay $150 or more to send everything, which is $150 that I do not have and will be put on my credit card (hint, hint).

It's a bittersweet ending to my time here. I feel that I am just now making connections with some of the people here, I certainly have friendships here and I desperately want them to understand that I am not leaving for good. I plan to return, in some capacity, so I know I will see them all at another time. I got a great compliment over at Carly's blog today. If there is one thing that I want more than anything else in the world, is to be a blessing to other people. I want my words, my actions, and even my thoughts to reflect the glory and honor of God. Reading her words made me realize that God has used me in amazing ways, ways I would have never imagined just a short five years ago.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Lifelong friends

Some people are quite cynical when it comes to lifelong friends. But I already know I have some, and they are awesome. I know that no matter where I go, or where they go, or whatever number of oceans separate us, we will be friends. These friends have been the number one factor keeping me from going completely insane while being in this place. I now believe I am making some life-long friends on this side of the world too. Friendships take work, and they take understanding, love, and patience. Some people have a hard time making deep friendships, maybe it's just because of how I grew up, I didn't move much, spent most of my time in our small town, and literally I went to school with the same kids from preschool until high-school graduation, and even some of them I went to college with (and still am).

I know people inside and out, I know where they have been and how they have changed. I am also a people watcher, I observe and watch all kinds of details. I believe God has directed my life in this way for a purpose, and that purpose is to connect with people at a real human level that is from my heart and is authentic. I do not like most sales people because of their all-talk no substance attitude, and in today's society a lot of people are like sales people. So many people want to make a good impression on others that they forget who they truly are and that does not help to develop friendships which are truly supporting. Just be real people, someone will like you for who you truly are.

Thank you Alexis, John, Jen, Matt, Josh, Erin, Nicole, Cindi, Leanne, Ross.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Newsletter number 9, now online

I've just sent off newsletter number nine. I don't think it's anything like love potion number nine, but maybe it'll have a similar effect. I hope so!

Random musings

I go home much too soon, there is just too many people to see and talk with and not enough time. Yet I am so excited to be going home at the same time, yet the same problem, there won't be enough time and still too many people.

God's grace certainly seems like way to much to handle right now. I just have to keep on going and being responsible to my part of my relationship with Christ. Like the Caedmon's Call song "faith my eyes" I will walk with faith my eyes and grace my feet.

I have so many blessings that I take for granted every day. My prayer life hardly includes thanking God for the people and other blessings that he has put in my life. I need to focus more on thanking God for all these wonderful things.

The two things I want more than anything else is wisdom and peace. I want to have a peace that when I am asked a question I don't feel the pressure to answer it on the spot. I want to have the wisdom to sit back, listen, and let God's wisdom speak through me instead of jumping in with whatever is on my mind at the moment. I want to be the old man that everyone wishes they could have a peace of His mind, but I want to be like that today, why should I have to wait? I know in time wisdom comes, but I believe I can seek that wisdom now, and put it to use now. I know that through being slow to answer and having few words of my own, life will only be more peaceful for me and bring wisdom to others.

I am still looking for a job. It would be a wonderful thing to have some of you wonderful people put it up in prayer. There are two possibilities now, both with Christian organizations, even though I was hoping for a secular sector position, but hey, wherever God leads me is where I will go. I will be calling one of the organizations in a few minutes, this is a big deal for me and I am a little nervous. Thanks for the prayers!

To be great in God's light is all that I want.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Cultural poop

Yeah, that stuff, yuck. I just noticed something quite peculiar that I did a few moments ago. I was on the phone with my auto insurance agent (well an assistant) because my car insurance needed to be paid (I let Denise, a missionary here, drive my car while she was in Seattle). After a bunch stress of tracking down a check that Alexis apparently sent for $550, we found out that, first the check has disappeared into thin air, and 2 because I changed the insurance to the "suspend" mode just last Friday I know don't have to pay that $550. Nope, now I only have to pay $471.77 and it isn't due until August 8th! This is a BIG AMEN thank you God kinda of thing. Because neither Alexis or I had the $550, I have about $480 of credit on my credit card, and she had about $300, but we didn't want to pay with our credit cards. And now we won't have to! AMEN.

But, now to relate to the actual title of this post. As Barb (the assistant) told me the great news, I yelped with a "Amen!" inside, but I withheld it from my mouth because I didn't know what she should think. How stupid is this? I'm sure she wouldn't have had a second thought about it, yet I am so programmed (mostly by schooling), to be extra sensitive to people. I believe people need to see us Christian's actually saying Amen, and thanking God, otherwise what are we saying? Nothing. Of course, I thanked her for the great work she did, but God was certainly the one to work out the kinks he knew we didn't have the resources at this moment. Amen! I'm saying it here, AMEN! No more cultural poop for me.

Sunday, July 11, 2004


This is something I'll be expanding on later, however for now I'm going to rant. Fair warning, this is a rant, meaning it isn't all that well thought out and it's very blunt, maybe for some Christian's it is a bit offensive, but I believe in a God that is just and to be just sometimes you just have to say it as it is. I'm going to rant about my sex. Why does it seem that quite a few men have Sex as their main drive to finding a woman? Our physical relationships with the opposite sex should only be a reflection of our emotional intimacy with one another. Sexual intercourse is the ultimate expression of our love towards each other, and it should not be taken as some kind of need that must be fulfilled to live. Many people survive without sex, and they live perfectly happy lives. As a man, I understand the huge desire that can build up, the feeling of "needing" sexual satisfaction, however, I have chosen not to satisfy this desire until I have made the commitment to one woman. I am saving this desire, as a sacrifice (because I could have had sex by now if I wanted), for the one person who deserves to have all of me, not what is left over, and she certainly does not deserve to be "serviced" by me as just one of many.

I am sick and tired of seeing guys go after woman just because they want to have sex. I am sick and tired of hearing guys talk about woman behind their backs as if they were some kind of mission objective. I am sick and tired of seeing guys stair up and down woman's bodies for their own selfish joy. All humans are worthy of respect, raping a girl with your eyes is the same as doing it physically, it may not effect that person, but it will effect all your future relationships. Whatever way we treat woman and sex in our minds is the way we will treat them in our relationships.

I am only speaking from a male perspective so I cannot speak for woman. I know for a fact that men can change, I use to be very similar to these guys that I am talking about. I would constantly feed my lust with images of desire, then go home, and essentially have sex in my mind with all the images I stored. I still struggle with this but not in such a blatant and unashamed way. My desire is to love from my heart, be vulnerable, to serve, and be the man that Jesus is. I have much more to say on this topic, I know change is possible, and I believe that much of the crisis in today's marriages could change if men looked at life with something other than their penis.

Friday, July 09, 2004


In your life there is peace and joy. Although hard times come and the world fades away, you are serene, still, and calm. In your life there is tranquility, of love, of life, and of people. Through thick and thin you shroud your children in peace. In your life we surrender to you, to be unbound from this world's laws. In your life we are full of joy through obedience to you. Only in you are the world's scars used to build character.

Each little battle, argument, and hurt is used by you for your overall goodness that we can only imagine. So many of us have tried to understand your ways, we cannot, we must trust you. We, who have trusted, know, and those who have not, are scared and upset at us. You never said that following you would be easy, simply you said in the end you would reward. Everything that happens here in this life is to build our character.

As lone trumpeters in the wilderness, we call your name for all to hear. We stand up and fight the enemy. We truly are in the enemy's territory. Even in the battles, your peace transcends those who trust in you. We will trumpet until the last day, we will fight until all have heard your love, we will not stop until that glorious day when all have seen the choice you have given them.

Serenity will dawn in those who know you, seek you, obey you, choose you, come to you, serve you, love you, and praise you.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

No, not one person at a time

Maybe I'm losing it, maybe I'm over zealous. But is not our God the most powerful one in all the universe? Is God not the commander of angels? Is God not the one who gives us strength? I want to be his arms and feet, and I want to change the world. More than just one person at a time, I want to make a difference, I want to see God's kingdom on Earth. I want to bring His culture, his ways, and his love to all people. I know He does, but how many of his children truly try and believe? How many of his Children pray, lay down their life, and live their life in such a way that people cannot help but be drawn to the light Jesus has given them? We are his hands and feet, we have no choice but to touch and move. He called us to come, he didn't give us the option. He paid much to high a price for us to not go.

I take responsibility to serve Jesus Christ, our God in heaven, and I lay my life down so that by the Holy Spirit of God that I may show the life that he has given me. I will use all that I have to help others, to serve others, and most of all to love others. I am rededicating myself, this is not my first nor will it be my last. I refuse to stop, the people will know us by our love for each other, and people will see that love and they will know it is from God. Unconditionally I shall love, willingly I shall serve, and with all my life I will revere the one who has given me life, both in flesh and spirit.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

In two realities

This time next month I'll be preparing to leave and reenter into a life I've been absent from for almost a year. I am slightly anxious, a little excited, and very excited to see some of my buds again. Truthfully, I am not sure what to expect, the culture shock, the onslaught of questions, and my own expectations are sure to cause me show symptoms of post-traumatic syndrome. I'm not quite sure where I am, if I am here, or if I am there. A part of me feels as if I am just now getting roots here and another part of me is ready to take roots in Seattle. These two realities are fighting inside, but neither one wants the other to lose. The reality is that I am going home, and I will be facing many challenges.

I have some concerns that I know God will help me through, as long as I focus on what he is teaching me. Not by any measure am I some kind "super Christian" and I do not want anyone thinking that I am. A number of times I have mentioned how much I admire, in awe and amazement, the life of missionaries that have dedicated their lives to living outside their homeland. I still do not think I could be a career missionary, however, if God opened the door I at least wouldn't be afraid of it. The strength, the patience, the learning curve, the sacrifices, of being in the field is more than anyone could ever imagine unless they experience it, even if for as short as a year.

Life is going to be incredibly different in just over a month. For the last two years I have been planning, doing, and focusing on Poland. In just over a month I wont' have a specific focus. Sure, I'll be continuing school, developing my relationship with Alexis, building my friendships, but my focus won't be as clear and precise. I feel that being focused is the main motivator for life, you'll notice that most people who are known for something, are focused on something. The most influential people, that I know, are focused. I want to be focused, in my life, my relationships, and on God with all my heart.

Monday, July 05, 2004

My prayer for Poland

Because I love your people, because my heart yearns for your lives, I will not be silent. I will not stop praying for you until your people shine of the Lord's righteousness. I pray for the Lord's light to shine from you as a lighthouse to the nations.

I pray for your people to delight in the Lord Jesus, for your people to revere Him, and for His glory to be known across your majestic scenery. The Lord created you, your people, and the enemy has taken away your dignity. Cry out to God and return to Him and you will experience a life of joy and peace.

Therefore, no one will ever be able to destroy your people and your heritage again. If you live your lives pure and holy for the King of Kings you will enjoy and know what life there is to live.

Never again will foreign soldiers take your people, your land, and control them for their own games. If you raise the Lord as your ruler He will bless you and never forsake you. Your work will be enjoyed by your people and your labor will be wanted by foreign lands.

Oh Poland, your reputation will bring you much joy and abundance when you turn to the God of God's and seek Him as your provider. Let the beauty of your lands be reflected in your people.

Inspired by Isaiah 62

Friday, July 02, 2004

Yet God still uses me…

I just had one of the most fantastic conversations since coming to Poland. If this ends up being the only conversation of its kind this entire time I'm here, than it is all worth it. Just to see someone smile and understand who God really is, and why we are here, and to know that He is the reason; makes me giddy like a little school girl. And even though just last night I was down in the dumps, he has decided to use me anyway. He's cleaned me once again, lifted me out of the dirt, then said "come" and I went. I'm not expecting for the person I talked with tonight to change overnight, but I know that in some way this person felt a little closer to God. For me that is the most joyous thing to see. I want others to see His joy, to feel his peace, and to know that He loves them.

The world can make life so confusing, the enemy make it so unloving, and our minds make us doubt. But the Holy Spirit is strong, if we just have faith, if we just believe it will happen without needing to see the results, then it will happen and in time we can see the blessings. Take my word for it. God is here, and he'll use you, yes you. He used me even though less than 24 hours ago I disobeyed and knowingly gave in to temptation that I know is wrong and harmful. Tonight I raise my holy hands up, and I touch Him. I lift my voice up to him, higher and higher. Lord Jesus you came and lifted me up, thank you. Why do I ever doubt!?


Drastic measures needed? I don't know. Just like clockwork every time I tell someone I'm feeling freedom from impurity, it strikes me down. No matter how cautious I am, no matter how much I emphasize that I know I could fall at any second. While I no longer beet myself up into the largest guilt fest of the 21st century, I still get frustrated, especially when I've tried so hard to not try myself but let God do it. But it always comes down to me taking a little peak, or thinking a little thought, when I am by myself bored. I desire to be pure, to hold all my thoughts for what is honoring and glorifying for God alone. Yet my flesh screams and wins out, and sometimes it is conscience, I simply want that quick little satisfaction, even though I know that it will be followed by hours of torturous guilt and frustration. I know the Holy Spirit is working in me, and every little step it is a little bit easier.

I spend a lot of time doing nothing that helps my own personal walk with Christ and this is a major factor in my ability to resist temptation. This is definitely the thorn in my side. While my recovery time is getting shorter and shorter, I wonder if I am taking His grace for granite? How many more times will I have to go through this before it dies? How much longer can I endure before I simply go nuts? I think it's back to the drawing board, back to reading my Bible everyday, back to praying from my heart, and back to seeking even when I am not motivated. How do I end up in these places? I know how amazing life is on the other side, why can't I just stay there!

Matthew 26:39-41
He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you stay awake and watch with me even one hour? Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!"
This is a bit out of context, I'm certainly not filled with Grief for others nor am I about to be betrayed and left to die on a cross. However, the words are my desire, and I do not want to keep on sleeping and be tempted because I know my body is weak.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

That Love thing

Listening to: Be Near [Radio Version] - Shane Barnard - Carry Away

Mags at Duo is talking about Love. I completely agree that Love is a "doing" word. It isn't just a feeling, nor is it just a mystery. Love is really what makes the world go around. Jesus told us to do something which even to this day seems backwards, Love your enemies. I don't know much about the old testament it certainly appeared that those people didn't love their enemies. But I think in a way it was probably something like this, we love our enemies by telling them the truth. However, there are consequences to not following the truth. Faith isn't as clean cut as we would like it to be, but the best analogy I can think of is this: If you were fishing in a river and then all of a sudden a bridge gave out, would you go up to the road and warn the drivers that the bridge ahead is out? I would hope so, and I would hope that people listened to you. However with faith many people say, well what I've done has always worked before so I'm going to go with what I think is true.

I don't believe it would be loving someone if you didn't warn them about that bridge. Just like it isn't loving someone when we don't tell them, in a loving and graceful way, that the sins they live with have consequences. However, we have to realize that people make choices, and if they make the choice to believe their truth, then we have to leave them alone. Jesus even told us that some people wouldn't believe if after he performed miracles… how true this is. Love is much more than a feeling it is doing what is right even when it won't bring you any love in return. Although as Christians we are not loved by everyone, we are commanded to love even our enemies. We can't love the sin, but we can love the person. Right now, it is sad, but generally people do not know Christians for their love of each other, they know us for our political ties, our hate of "sinners", and the inability for people to distinguish the person from the sin. Next time the kind of Love I have for Alexis.

Reentry - Newsletter 8

I've posted Newsletter 8 you can find it by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Just some thoughts

I don't talk about actual church stuff on here much but I've had some ideas and thoughts floating around so I thought I'd share them and see if others have anything to say. I absolutely love my church back home, there isn't anything particularly different about it from the other thousands of churches, except that the people are authentic, and for me that's a huge deal. It is not an emergent church nor is it very traditional either. They are trying some cool new post-modern ideas like having artists in the sanctuary during the worship time, and they put a big emphasis on worship being a lifestyle not just the first 45 min of a weekend service. Some people would complain that we don't "preach" directly from the Bible. But I'd argue the sermons are because the Holy Spirit is still working in people (imagine that), and everything that I've ever heard in this church doesn't conflict with the Bible, the church enhances it and makes it relevant to today's culture.

One of the reasons I am so excited to return to Seattle is that many of the ideas that have been swarming in my head will finally be allowed out and become tangible works. Alexis has an internship right now for the young adults group and I am so stoked and ready to get plugged in I'm nearly ready to jet myself over there. If "the church" is to survive, I realize that we have some things to change and some ideas to get rid of. I would say one of my biggest passions is seeing brothers and sisters of Christ working together, helping each other, and showing the world our love for each other. I don't see a lot of this these days, even in my local fellowship. I can't seem to get away from the fact that the early church had fellowship nearly everyday! Can you imagine how life would be if we did that today? That gets me pumped!

Now, when it comes to church planting, the idea we have in the States works for the States. America is a much different place than Europe or any other part of the world. We simply think differently and the kind of churches we have (as long as they are sensitive to the Spirit) work great in the States. However, I think we need to focus on local cultures. Many American Christians haven't got a clue what the emergent church is, I think that's okay, America isn't in the same place as the rest of the world. Generally speaking we are still trustworthy of institutional churches and things like that, we'd better stay in tune with the people though if we are to change and not fall behind. There are pockets that are beginning to resist, one of these places I believe is Seattle, which is somewhere near the top (last I heard it was number two in the nation) for non-church going people of any faith. While my local church seems to be growing (no official membership but around 1200) despite this statistic I hope that it continues to be sensitive and alive.

If Americans go outside of the American culture, then they (including myself) need to realize that we have a much different mentality and we must assimilate into the culture we go to. My prayer for the church here in Poland is that it is distinctly Polish, meeting the needs of the Polish people and culture. Church attendance (and I believe the only attendance they track is in the Catholic church) is dropping across Poland and trust in the church has dropped 40% since the fall of communism. Life here is changing, the people are changing, but the church isn't, none of the denominations. I'm sure there are pockets of Christians doing wonderful work, and I'm sure their fruit will multiply but we Americans need to drop our ways and try new things, wild and crazy things. The work I'm doing and help here is different, but it still has American roots, we are trying to make it uniquely Polish and centered on the Kingdom culture. Our goal is to have Polish leaders and pastors the ground is hard and the state church (the Catholic church) is very strong and has a lot of political and cultural connections which will do anything to slander a non-catholic church or fellowship (sometimes including the Charismat Catholic movement). However there are some amazing people in the Catholic church who are on-fire for God and are trying to change the church from the inside, keep these people in your prayers. We can all work together if we try.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

A tribute to One Year with Alexis

My apologies to those not on a fast connection, the clip can be played with Windows Media player and is just under 10mb in size. It should stream so you don't have to wait for the whole thing to download before it plays. This took me almost all day, I started at about noon my time and finished at about 11pm.

The music is Three Doors Down's "Here without you" from the "Away from the Sun" album.

She deserves more, but some land and water separate us right now. Enjoy the show.

Habbo Hotel

So thanks to the Tall Skinny Kiwi I've found this really cool virtual world. It's called Habbo Hotel. There are plenty of people who don't know God, but there also are a lot of Christian rooms to explore. I've been checking out TSK's rooms "Boaz Lounge", "Suddenly Seminary", and a 24-7 prayer room him and some buddies have set up. Check it out. It's neat, it's geeky, I like it.

Monday, June 28, 2004

So many ideas

And not enough time to think about them and put them into words for all the world to see! I'm so excited for life, yet there hasn't been anything human or Earthly to cause this! I have a ton of ideas floating around in my head. Well… Anyway. As of today (my time) I've been courting Alexis for a year! A whole year! Already! I'm blown away. She blows me away. Life blows me away. How can things get any better than this? But God promises even more! He's all I want and all I need and he is everything to me!

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Plans for the future . . .

I don't know what the future holds in store for me, I don't know where I'll be living when I get back to Seattle nor where I'll be working. The only thing I know is that I will be with people I love and that is the most important. I am amazed how missionaries survive in places where there are not many, if any, other Christians around. Maybe I am amazed because I am an extrovert and am energized by conversation and fellowship, being in the field this past year I have experienced way to many alone times. I have gone literally days without speaking to another Christian in person, there have even been a few times where I haven't talked a single person for over a day. This is like a nightmare for me where I become unmotivated and restlessly bored all at the same time. Of course I am here with other American missionaries but having other people my age and people that I have deep relationships with is very important for me. I love Carol and Denise and I now consider them very good friends, but it just isn't the same without the guys that I have come to know as brothers. If there were one thing I could change about my time here it would've been to have one of these brothers with me. Nevertheless I know it has all been God's plan and now I am now more independent and content with being alone and meditating with God.

The only thing I know for the future is that I will finish my schooling, hopefully finishing my A/A at the end of the coming academic year. Then I want to transfer to some kind of bachelor program, what that my look like I have no idea. I want to create some kind of internship/exchange program for developing ministry leaders, it would include sending small groups over to Poland (and possibly other places) to do ministry and hopefully would have people from Poland come to Seattle for the same reasons. In the past year, I have learned more about God and myself than all my years in Seattle and I believe this is true because I was out of my own culture and had to depend on God. I want to help others have this same opportunity and to provide the training and leadership in a dynamic way.

And while all of this is happening I hope to get married, have kids, and be actively involved in doing God's will. I want to bless God, enough of me asking for his blessing upon me, it's time for me to bless him by honoring and glorifying him. However this program turns out I never want it to be just "program" I want it to be a place of strong fellowship where everyone feels like a brother or sister to everyone else, I want it to be real and authentic, and I will not be in control, God will.

Friday, June 25, 2004


I'm feeling pretty good these days. Nothing particular has contributed to this feeling. I'm incredibly excited to get back to Seattle, but it also is a little scary. I'm not quite sure about how I will survive there, culture shock and being without a job is going to be tough. However, at the same time I know it will all be just fine. I've officially applied for two jobs now, one I haven't heard anything probably because I can't actually work until August 16th so that's going to be a big factor until I get a bit closer to that date. There are many more jobs that I'm interested in but they specifically say "must be ready to hire in two weeks", which I am not.

I've been thinking a lot about how amazing life is when you truly choose to follow God even when it doesn't make sense. There are still things I find amazing like "love your enemies", "love your neighbor as yourself", "if someone takes your shoes, give them your jacket" all of these things are so opposite to our nature. But the more we do these things the more character we build and the more our lives are blessed. It all starts with trust, and I'm far from trusting God enough. I still do many things under my power, I still rationalize things that I simply don't need to. God is the light in my life, now I just need to let him be the headlight in my life now.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

It's all about standing

I think life is all about standing for what we know is true and right. Truth is not relative, there is an absolute truth, there are absolute rights and wrongs. This is not to say that we go around telling others what is right and wrong. No, instead, we should go around showing people with our own lives what is right and wrong. No one can make someone follow Jesus, people make the decision for themselves. I have to make the decision everyday, if not every moment, and sometime I simply don't I just follow my own desires. I believe that when Jesus calls us all to "come" it means that we personally go to him. Only Jesus does the calling, we cannot. By answering His call, responding, and growing with him we can be witnesses to others for the good life. We have to simply stand in Jesus' name. Stand and do what is right, let others see it, then others will be able to come too.