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Friday, April 30, 2004


My heart and mind are chuck full of ideas right now, mostly ideas for the future, Alexis is thinking about them too. I don't want to say much because I just don't want to right now. The great thing is that I know so many awesome things are happening. I am incredibly humbled to be working for God. Why does God choose us? Why does am does God use us? Since truly putting faith in God my life has been nothing but an incredible adventure, why is that?

All of these questions are rhetorical I "know" the answers, but I have a hard time accepting the ansewrs because it is just all too good. I am who I am only because of God, the old person I was before would have never wanted to give up the American dream. I once was blind, but now I see.

Thursday, April 29, 2004


One direction - The desire to reach the lost
Another direction - In deep-networked fellowship

One direction - On the frontier
Another direction - Seeing old friends changed

One direction - Living in a different culture
Another direction - Knowing the safe places

One direction - The endless possibilities
Another direction - Supporting ourselves

One direction - Leaning on God for everything
Another direction - Having old friends around

One direction - Seeing God work through us
Another direction - ***

One direction - Being apart of something new
Another direction - ***

One direction - Many challenges
Another direction - ***

One direction - Being God's hands and feet in an untouched place
Another direction - ***

One direction wins, another loses.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done here on earth,
just as it is in heaven.
[Matthew 6:10]

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Step by Step

God has lit my path, and these are the steps of my path. Each has great significance in my life, even if it seems small, each one has changed my life and made me the person I am today.

1st Step - Crow Indian Reservation mission trip summer of '99

2nd Step - Accepting Christ to the song "Oh God you are my God" soon after mission trip summer of '99

3rd Step - Co-leading youth group summer '00 - summer of '02

4th Step - Becoming an active part of CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) at Cascadia Community College spring of '00

5th Step - Volunteering to be co CRU leader spring of '02

6th Step - Becoming active in young-adult group at my new church while attending both churches, spring of '02

6th Step - Telling my friend and youth pastor I was sexually abused through middle school spring of '02

7th Step - Lead CRU at CCC for '02/'03 school year

8th Step - Leaving the church I came to know Christ in and making the new church my home church, to be with people my age, fall of '02

9th Step - On the last Sunday at my OLD church I listened to God tell me "go to Poland", fall of '02

10th Step - Becoming very open and close friends with guys for the first time in my life, fall of '02

11th Step - Slowly becoming friends with a girl in a healthy way, spring of '03

12th Step - Taking the huge step, even though I was leaving for Poland to court Alexis, summer of '03

13th Step - Leaving for Poland into the completely unknown to depend on God, September '03

14th Step - Taking the last stand and making a covenant with God to live an honoring and sexually pure life the way God created, it has been very rewarding April '04

15th Step - In process - all will know in time
Oh God, You are my God
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

Oh God, You are my God
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And Step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

This song has played a significant role in my life, and it has once again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Alpine blast...

Hover your mouse pointer over images for more details.

Carol, Me, Piotrek, Denise - the Zakopane gang
Carol, Me, Piotrek, Denise

Martijn and Ellen are a dutch couple planting a church in Wroclaw, about 5 hours from Zakopane.
Martijn and Ellen - The dutch of Poland

A group of Foursquers on a boat touring Lake Lucerne.
On the ship

Swiss building on the lake.

A swiss village on the lake.  Yes the water really was that color.

Piotrek and Carol enjoying the view
Piotrek and Carol

A Swiss village in the Swiss alps.  See I told you the water was that color!

The flags of the Lucerne area and a big mountain.

Another little village it had beutiful waterfalls behind it... three of them!

Sheep near the founding place of Switzerland, what a view.

A true Swiss playing the alpon horn... They tried to make me play... I chickened out...

The flag at the founding spot of Switzerland.  Three men came together at this point and wrote a document declaring Swizterland a sovereign nation.

Praying for Switzerland at it's birth place.

A great little house on the hillside.

No one was able to tell me why the Swiss postal service runs the national public bus system....

My favorite shot... the weather cleared after we prayed... I thoght it was cool.

I'm starting a collection :)

Forwarding thoughts

I can't say a whole lot at the moment, but the European Foursquare conference was a life changing event. I enjoyed Andrew's Forward Slash presentation and thoughts on the emerging church. I think many people at the conference were challenged and blessed by his ideas. Over the course of the conference I got to know a couple of guys from Norway and we all agreed - the idea of "church" needs to change and what Andrew said certainly gave us some ideas.

And in other news - I cannot wait until this evening because I get to talk to Alexis. I'm very excited to talk, just for the sake of talking… I believe God is doing something in our lives and I am very anxious to hear what God has spoken to her. I am still on a high from the conference and I know I won't always feel this way, however I have a new energy that I think will be more enduring than before. God is good.

Bad news though… The electricity bill for the winter came while I was away it is $750! This is not a good thing. It isn't due until June, but from now until then we will be restricting our electrical use so that it is not any higher! A few months ago I posted it would be about $150/month for electrical needs, well I was wrong, it turned out to be more like $190/month. Thank God, I've been blessed with some amazing supporters, however I still don't have this kind of money, I have enough to pay about a third of it and still live.

Basically I'm begging, I'm on my knees humbling myself because this weekend I talked with people about how money really hasn't been an issue, well now it is! It is really a great thing how God does this for us, I see this as a great experience. I will learn, grow, and depend on God more, which is just fine by me, because I know I need it.

Monday, April 26, 2004

And he's back.

I'm back. I'm tired. I'm feeling awesome. I'm excited. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, April 24, 2004


So, here I am in Switzerland for the European Foursquare confrence. It is beautiful. However it is very difficult to use this kezboard (it's a german keyboard). I have a lot of pictures to upload and you will see them on Tuesday. I hope I will get some class work done for my online class.

An amazing speaker is here, and I heard him speak this morning. Many people in the "emerging" church circles know him. His name is Andrew Jones also known as TallSkinnyKiwi! I'll try to talk about him more later.

Be blessed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Not to gloat, but…

I have had some very positive responses and follow-up to my sermon on Sunday. People have been requesting CDs and copies of the notes. Quite a few have let me know they really appreciated it because it brought up the ideas that people need to be honest with themselves and others. Almost everyone had some kind of observation or example to share, it was a great expierence.

I talked about "building a safe fellowship" that includes, honesty, humility, respect, not gossiping, and commitment. People need to be honest with themselves and with others and be open to learning from one another's actions. A fellowship is no place for pride; pride builds walls while humility will build trust and connection. Respect is important because it helps people trust as well and allows new ideas to be heard. Keeping fellowship business inside the fellowship is very important to make the group safe for others. No one wants others passing along a "prayer request" or praying about his/her problems to others. Commitment is important because all relationships take time, it takes time to realize the needs of people, it takes time to get past the "issues" you may have with others, and it takes time to see how to love someone. When it comes to any kind of relationship time is love, and love is time.
When you look at these characteristics, it is obvious why real fellowship is so rare. It means giving up our selfishness and independence in order to become interdependent. But the benefits of sharing life together far outweight the costs, and it prepares us for heaven. - Day 19 Purpose driven life by Rick Warren

PS. I would like to give a huge thanks to the big guy up stairs. Only with you could I ever be where I am today!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Touching the void

Tonight was Sabina's birthday (the young Polish woman who lives with Carol and Denise), she turned 24, and she is a great person to hang out with. For her birthday, the four of us went to see "Touching the Void" - a very powerful and thought provoking movie. There were two points of discussion.

The first point in the movie (this may be a spoiler) is where Simon cuts his friend Joe loose because he does not see anyway out. At first, my reaction would have been to do the same thing, but then I really thought about it, and I decided no way could I cut my friend loose where he would most likely die. I would have chosen to go with him, or use all my might to bring him up and out (as seemingly impossible as it appeared), if we both fell then so be it.

The second point is where Joe has already fallen into a deep crevasse, his leg is broken and it appears he will die. I thought I would rather die than go through all of that, since I have no fear of dieing. However, after the discussions with Sabina, Carol and Denise, I changed my mind. Simply dieing is more hopeless than just thinking your going to die but doing all you can to survive. Simply waiting to die would be the easy way out, even if you know heaven is waiting. Essentially, it is suicide. I do not think this is how God would want me to honor what he has given me. It would be much better to die trying my best and leaning on God to get me out, then it would be for me to give up because I wanted to be in heaven instead, which is selfish. The two men in the story did not have any faith, Joe said, "I do not believe in God, and at that moment, I did not even throw out any "Hail Maries." Yet he pulled through because he made the conscience decisions to keep on going, even when it appeared life was going to end. Human will can be very strong, and with God, I believe it can be stronger and is much less agonizing.

PS. Last night two of my very best friends became engaged! Josh and Erin congradulations! I love you guys, be blessed in your relationship. They'll be married next May! Life at this age is very exciting and I am sure it only can get better in God's amazing hands!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Sermon number two - tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be "delivering" "giving" "preaching" (however you wish to say it) my second sermon at about 11am my time (2am Seattle time). I am relaxed about it. The topic is "building community", and more specifically building a safe fellowship. I have brought together five focus areas, all of which I got from "The Purpose Driven Life" day nineteen. The focus areas are:
    1. Honesty
    2. Humility
    3. Respect
    4. Confidentiality (privacy/not gossiping)
    5. and frequency (commitment)
I'm just asking for a bit of prayer, that I can speak slowly enough and clearly enough that it is translated nicely, and that God's wisdom is heard. I have included a lot of scripture reference, but the base scripture is:
"We have come to understand and experience love because Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves." - 1 John 3:16

Friday, April 16, 2004

Lusty ads going out of style?

Just read an article from USA Today saying some top companies are changing their "thinking" on risqué ads. Companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Victoria's Secret and yes Abercrombie and Fitch are all changing their "thinking". Thanks to Joshua Claybourn's Domain for the heads up.

I have been reading "Every young man's battle" and although I thought it would be impossible to abstain completely from all lust, I have proven myself wrong. It is amazing to feel the change inside of me, I feel physically better because I'm not on sex overdrive anymore. Spiritually I feel more confident and most of all I am falling more in love with the person of Alexis rather than the body. I have made this choice in life, and I know I will not regret it. Sexual purity is very hard idea to grasp in full; it is more than simply abstaining from sexual intercourse before marriage, in fact even after marriage sexual purity is not "easier" to keep.

For me, it has only been a few days of mentally avoiding all lust. However, the rewards are already amazing, I feel liberated in many ways. I am spiritually, mentally, and physically more in tune with God now. This is a dream come true, it is possible I know it. God's promises never fail, his voice is the voice of truth, I am no longer afraid. Choosing to listen his voice, his word, has repeatedly proven to be amazing.
Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. "All of you listen," he said, "and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do!" Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowds, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the statement he had made. "Don't you understand either?" he asked. "Can't you see that what you eat won't defile you? Food doesn't come in contact with your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then comes out again." (By saying this, he showed that every kind of food is acceptable.) And then he added, "It is the thought-life that defiles you. For from within, out of a person's heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you and make you unacceptable to God." [Mark 7:14-23]

Thursday, April 15, 2004

American Dream

All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy
But all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul
But he's moving on full steam
He's chasing the American dream
And he's gonna give his family the finer things

Not this time son I've no time to waste
Maybe tomorrow we'll have time to play
And then he slips into his new BMW
And drives farther and farther and farter away

So He works all day and tries to sleep at night
He says things will get better;
Better in time

'Cause he works and he builds with his own two hands
And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are comin' crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

His American Dream is beginning to seem
More and more like a nightmare
With every passing day
"Daddy, can you come to my game?"
"Oh Baby, please don't work late."
Another wasted weekend
And they are slipping away

'Cause he works all day and lies awake at night
he tells them things will get better
It'll just take a little more time

He used to say, "Whoever dies with the most toys wins"
But if he loses his soul, what has he gained in the end
I'll take a shack on a rock
Over a castle in the sand

Now he works all day and cries alone at night
It's not getting any better
Looks like he's running out of time

'Cause he worked and he built with his own two hands
And he poured all he had in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are coming crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

All they really wanted was you
All they really wanted was you
All they really wanted was you

Casting Crowns - American Dream
Song based on Mark 8:34-37 and Ephesians 5:25-33

This person, this man, this future husband and father, will not let this happen. The American dream is not what it is all cracked up to be, however, God's kingdom is. God's kingdom is built on the rock, this man chooses to live in that kingdom.

The husband I want to be

I want to be myself when I am a husband, I do not want to be one person with my wife and another with other people. I want to be authentic in everything I do, but I want to be sensitive at the same time. I want my wife to confide in me, not fear me. I want to confide in my wife and not fear her. I want to work through problems and not run through them. I want my marriage to be a true marriage, one where each party honors, respects, works with, loves, and that is centered on God's principles. I want to pray together, support each other, be open to her suggestions her ideas. I want to be a husband who strives to fulfill all the biblical values for a good, God-honoring husband. When (and not if) hard times come I will seek God's counsel in working through those times.

I am making a commitment now to be a husband of integrity, I will not say, "I can't buy, but what's wrong with looking at the menu", that is wrong, dishonoring, and only drives impurity into the mind. I will seek wisdom in all I do, and I will live for what is right. I will also strive to always listen, and only "give solutions" when I have permission. I am moving forward up the mountain, I do not want to slip, but some surfaces are slippery, but in my heart, I seek strength from the Lord Jesus.
"But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart." - Jesus Christ [Matthew 5:28]

Listening to: Long Way Home - Bebo Norman - Myself When I Am Real

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The man I want to be

Since last September, I have been in many places, spiritually speaking. However, through all of this I have discovered who the man inside of me is. He is a person God created to be full of life, to be fully alive. This man is created to move full steam into the glorious life of his creator. This man is created to live in God's kingdom, not in his own. God's hands build his kingdom God's hands give life. This man does not build his own kingdom, there is no point, true life comes from living in the kingdom already made. This man wants to step up to the plate and stand on God's promise. This man wants to pray to seek God's face. This man wants to honor woman, to think of them as equals, submit to them in God's ways. This man wants to live in a way that shows the world integrity. This man wants to live sexually pure, with integrity that cannot be taken. This man will be humble with his whole life. This man will treat all people as God's creation. This man wants to be in the light as you are in the light. This man despises his own behavior. This man calls his Lord the rock of his life; he wields a life of grace.
Listening to: Life of Praise - Casting Crowns - Casting Crowns


I tried to make this place look springy... I think its more like "sunset in Colorado", but that's okay.
Listening to: When Love Takes You In - Steven Curtis Chapman - Declaration

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The person I want to be

I want to seek God's face in all I do. I want to be someone who is humble. I want to turn my eyes from evil things. I want to have clean hands, a pure heart, and not lift my soul to another. I want to be a person who is simply "out of this world", yet able to touch the world with God's hands. I want to be a person who cries for others, who can be the breath of God. I want to show the face of God to all others. I want to be his servant, because he is a master of Love. I want to be great in His eyes not in the world's. I want to be known for my Christian love. I yearn to be the hands and feet of God. I want to be pure and holy. I want to be under the authority of Christ and not my sin. I want my eyes to sparkle God's light. I want my body to be a pure and holy place for the Holy Spirit to dwell and work through. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ - Make it so.
Lord prepare me
To be a sanctuary
Pure and holy
Tried and true
With Thanksgiving
I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

Listening to: Amazing Grace - Lincoln Brewster - Live to Worship

Monday, April 12, 2004

To Satan and his world,

In Jesus' name, I declare myself free from your world. I am a child of Jesus Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit - He is my Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ has lordship over me and I submit my life to him and no other. You will no longer have power or authority over my thoughts and me. In Jesus' name, your temptations will no longer penetrate me, they will no longer have any effect on my life. This is my declaration of dependence on Jesus Christ THE LORD and Savior. This is my declaration to you that I am no longer a part of your world, I am a citizen of God's kingdom. It is my desire to only serve Jesus Christ, I will no longer serve lust, for it serves no purpose in His kingdom. I will no longer serve sin, it serves no purpose for His kingdom. You have no authority, you have no power, you have no effect in my life because of the name of Jesus and his ultimate authority, in which he protects me and loves me. You are no longer. I believe in the power of Jesus Christ, therefore I know and expect HIM to lead me from temptation - Satan you are finished with my life. War has been declared and Jesus has victory!
"My Father has given me authority over everything. No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." - Jesus Christ [Matthew 11:27]
(Let's just say I am pissed)

Sunday, April 11, 2004

He is risen

Happy resurection celebration. Jesus returned from his total separation from God and was reunited, we all have a choice to be reunited with God, for eternity. Think about it.

Friday, April 09, 2004

This is Jesus

Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing." [Luke 23:34]

And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise." [Luke 23:43]

When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, "Woman, he is your son." And he said to this disciple, "She is your mother." And from then on this disciple took her into his home. [John 19:26-27]

Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty." A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. [John 19:28-30]

Then Jesus shouted, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!" And with those words he breathed his last. [Luke 23:46]

He forgave of those who did not believe, he gave assurance to those that did believe, he moved with compassion on those who followed, and then he took on the pain and suffering of the world.

Update on Nicole

Last I heard the surgery went well and even ended earlier than expected. Then I received a phone call at about 5am my time, her heart was tweaking and so they rushed her into operation again. They seemed pretty confident, but it was a life or death kinds of situation, that's the last I heard, I'll be calling later this afternoon to see if there is any new news, thanks for your prayers. UPDATE: She's home resting well, thanks for the prayers, and I'll be calling her soon and I'll give another update.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Maybe I shouldn't go to Finaland?

If I ever visit Finland I better find out if it has mandatory military service, and what the criteria is. This pour young man from Seattle is out of luck.

Prayer request

Please pray for one of my very good friends. She is actually the one who led me to know Jesus. She will be going in for heart surgery in just over four hours in Seattle (7:30am Seattle time). She has an amazing will, just pray that she knows God hands are with her, and the surgeon's work is guided with wisdom. I do not know any of the details, such as the type of operation or the risks involved, but I know if something horrible happens, I will be devastated. I know her walk with the Lord has not been the most stable, but her faith is strong, she knows God is there.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Be real two

Why are some people not able to be real? Maybe they have been hurt by someone else (I think all of us have to an extent), we are afraid of showing a true self because it might be rejected; being real requires honesty on a higher level. I can understand someone who is truly trying to protect themselves, and is not acting fake. Most people are not fully open with just anyone because that would be (in most circumstances) plain stupid. We need to be in a deep relationship to be completely open and honest; we have to feel supported even when conflict occurs. However, there are still people who even when offered these things, reject them, and they try to please, make peace, and avoid conflict at all costs, including the loss of friendships. It is these kinds of people who drive me crazy, they are the ones who are hurting others by their actions, and it is these people who need to understand what deep relationships are. Most of these people, in my observation, have not opened their hearts for healing; instead, they work hard at keeping others out of their heart.

The reason I am as open as I am (and I think I could be even more so), is that I am not afraid of people knowing everything about me, there is no "dirt" on me, yes I have sins, oh well we all do. If admitting my sins to another person helps them to see that I do have compassion for them, then there is no reason to hide the sin. There is never any reason to hide sin; I want my friends to know, because in admitting my sin I have support and accountability to prevent it in the future. Being open and honest about my feelings, my sins, my life, has allowed me to be healed (or be in the healing process), and allowed me to help others seek healing and guidance. It is very hard to take those first steps of openness, but the rewards are more than I could ever write in words.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Just be real

If there is one thing that bugs me more than anything it is a person not being real. Thus, I am really bugged, because it seems most people do not know what is to be real. Being real means taking responsibility for your own actions, sometimes it even means taking responsibility of something that was not yours in order to help another. A real person will be honest about his or her emotions and will not hide them or let them stew until they can only explode. Being open and honest is more than just speaking your mind, it is knowing what to say and how to say it so it edifies others; to honestly love someone, you see their need and you show them the way to fulfill it.

The worst part about this "being real" deal is that when I sense someone not being real with me I just don't want to even really know the person. I know this is hypocritical to my own thoughts, but really, who wants to befriend someone who hides what they are feeling, who says one thing but does another? Being a peacemaker (which most Christians are good at playing that role) is not being real; it is simply trying to make the emotions go away. Only once the emotional needs are met and healed will peace ever prevail.

Thankfully I have a handful of friends are unreal because they are so real with me and with others. They have no problem letting me know when I am out of line, they are not afraid of confrontation, this is real love, this is God's kinds of love. Unless we can confront reality, how will we ever be able to know love? If saw someone who was about to drive off the end of a bridge into a river 40 or more feet below I would warn them, right? Well I see people all the time doing that very thing with their lives, and I see even more people say, "Well it doesn't effect me, they can do what they want, it isn't hurting anyone". No, it is not right and I will not let it happen anymore, at least I will warn them, after that is there choice. Be real.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Life moving along - random update

I have been a bit quiet here, simply because there has been a lot to do. We finally got a meeting place that is not inside my apartment, it's about the same size as my bedroom here (slightly smaller than the living room, where we were meeting before) it'll be just fine for a while, plus it's a place we can meet anytime and we now have an "office" its great. Today we painted, and we are still paining, lots of crazy work left to do. Thanks for the prayers and the support, things are looking amazingly awesome here. I also started school this week, an online class at Cascadia (in the Seattle area) looks like it will be an interesting class, the instructor is instructing from Mexico. I've had some thoughts running through my mind, I want to post them on here soon, just got to get in the right mindset and have the time. God is good.