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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.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Nothing I imagined

I'm not quite sure how I feel, but I'll use the best words I can think of. Life is just incredible, we may think fairytale lives are not real. I challenge you to think about it. If you're Christian how could your life not be a fairytale? I mean you have a knight in shining armor and you have a dragon to slay! It's incredible. We have so many little decisions in life and each and everyone of them adds to the story. It is so unreal, so never anything I ever imagined.

For the Christian, life is an incredible adventure, one that never ends. We should live fully alive because Christ is fully alive. While the dragon seems to never be slain, while we walk in the desert place, and while we do what we don't want to, our knight in shining armor knows that in the end the dragon is slain and we are rescued forever. Yesterday is gone, all our mistakes are gone, this life is gone - grab onto what is eternally good, your character. This life I could have never imagined, yet it is mine, and that I rejoice in.

All Glory, Power, and Praise unto you my God.

Monday, June 21, 2004

My Bipolar faith

I do what I do not want to do, and I do not do what I want to do. That essentially sums up my life right now. I've made these stupid rules for myself that will never lead to any kind of victory. And every time I try and set a rule I just fall, and it is always when I think "I'm doing pretty good, I've kept away from that place for a while" and then boom, I fall, more flat and hard than the previous time. I'm feeling bipolar in my faith, one moment I see, I believe, and I love. The next moment I grab what feels good, what fufills the moment, and what is self-serving.

I'm beginning to realize that rules really have controlled my life, even if I never admitted to it and always rejected rules before. I really just love to set up these little things called "goals" and I know a lot of others who do this too. These have basically hidden a lot of rules, I set a goal to not do this, or to do such and such, well most of the time I fail at said goals. This leads to discontent, angry thoughts, and disappointment. God gave us one rule in the very beginning; do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is it, one rule. It wasn't disguised as a goal or anything else, it was simple. I've taken way to many bites of the fruit of that tree, I know way to many things which are good and evil and I compare and contrast it all. I simply want life. Where did that fruit go again? It's found in Christ.

Saturday, June 19, 2004


Not sure what to think of this, we are having a thunderstorm right now, and I just kind of jokingly asked God "are you mad at me?" and the largest earth shaking thunder roared. I'm giving the sermon tomorrow at church, it's going to be on The Body, based on the passages I've kind of talked about this week in 1 Corinthians 12-31, the thing is, I haven't got any real hard core notes yet. Is God trying to tell me to get on it or something? I'm going to get up early and work on it, we'll see what happens. Huh… I don't know. By the way Carol has a good post up, I've been expierencing similar thoughts about a different person.

Friday, June 18, 2004

And so I digress

So, maybe I've been a little critical of my surroundings, people back home, life in general. However, I know where I stand and I say those things for a reason. I realize I sound cynical but sometimes I really feel like I am on the front lines, and it's hard. I know I had many expectations, even some which were too high and because of those I've been greatly disappointed. However, I whole-heartedly believe in aiming for the stars and accomplishing something rather than aiming for something I know is possible. Yes this leads to disappointments but it also leads to greater accomplishments. So, I am going to try and see those accomplishments and the positive things.

As for the craziness happening back in Seattle with my stuff, it's all working out, I knew it would, I just needed to let out a bit of steam. Sometimes we just have to do that, and granted this is a public forum and maybe I didn't say things very nicely however, everyone back home knows that I am a pretty level headed person. Believe me, I'm not going to go about things backwards and blame it on others, it's just the frustration of having to deal with things I thought were already taken care of. I want to apologize to those that I may have upset, and I purposely kept most of what I said vague especially when regarding the people involved, don't assume you know who I am talking about. Some parties involved have been awesome at doing what they said they would do when I left, and for those I give thanks.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Mass Transit should equal Monorail for Seattle

I am a huge fan of Monorail. I do not like the fact that Seattle is getting monorail and light rail and how stupid to have two different kinds of technology? Especially when monorail's ongoing costs are much less, yes it is more expensive to build, but far less to maintain. Just do a search on monorail technology and you'll see the benefits. Sound transit (Seattle Metro's transit authority) has not answered the monorail question as it says it has. I would do a lot of linking to all my resources but I'm not feeling well so maybe later, believe me it is there. Here is one article that represents my view precisely.


Yesterday I mentioned that God called me to a place of dependence, and that place is here in Poland. Well, I am learning an awful lot about truly depending on Him for everything. However, there are two things I miss so much and I'm afraid it is an issue of maturity on my part. Last night I found a streamed video of a young adult/singles group in Atlanta called 7:22, I was incredibly blessed by this. It had musical-worship, with songs that I haven't sung since Seattle. It had a speaker who knew how to talk to my generation, my heart, and most of all I felt the energy of God in that place, although I was watching an event recorded back in May. What does this say about me? Why does corporate musical-worship energize me so much? I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to be one of the few ways that spiritually fills me up.

I absolutely love musical-worship it is in those times that my heart is completely open to God. Music touches my soul as nothing else does, and it is by music that I found God. I know that the only way that I have survived this long without a weekly time of musical-worship is by my MP3 player (which God has used in a number of ways to speak to me). However, it has been a huge drain on me spiritually to not have regular times of pure musical-worship. Maybe I'm not depending on God to fill me spiritually in another way, maybe I'm stuck in only relating in one way. I've learned to depend on Him for so many things while here, from money, ministry, being physically alone much more than I am use to, and in relationships. I would have never come if I had not obeyed and depended on God to bring me here.

The time is drawing near for me to leave for home. As I sit here and ponder what it is I have learned the list is not long. I have learned the life of a missionary and it is not easy, it can be a very draining way to live. Being in another culture, away from friends, family, and without a Christian support group is incredibly draining. The enemy has a huge stronghold in many of the areas where missionaries go, that is why they are there and why they need your prayers and support in practical ways too. Yet a missionary's life is very exciting too, I have seen people come alive and change in the time I have spent here, that is rewarding, that is why there are missionaries. Ultimately of course we would love to see a Polish person take on the ministry, because only he or she will be able to fully reach this culture. Although this time has been far from any kind of vacation or "magical experience" I would never trade it for anything else. The Lord has blessed me immensely and I believe the blessings are still to come for many years. I am only twenty-two, there is still much to be done in my life, and God will use me for much more, now is the time to stand and be counted, not ten years from now.

I will stand up now,
I Will not step down
I will do my best to wear this crown
But I need You as You guide me through today

You wake up out of bed
Walk out of your castle,
and then you lift up your head
When will you wake up and see
it takes more than just you to get through this life. Going around the town,
maybe someone had brought him down
Different maybe, but not the same,
everyone thinks.

I will stand up now,
I Will not step down
I will do my best to wear this crown
But I need You as You guide me through today

He's going out there now,
and all the things he has found,
everything around is new.
No more holding back as the crowd looks from afar
Everything he has is You.
[Everyday Sunday - Stand Up]

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The body part II

Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body? Suppose the whole body were an eye--then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything? [1 Corinthians 12:14-17]
These verses follow yesterday's verses. It shows that all of us have an important role in the whole body. I sometimes get lost in life here and forget where I am, and why I am here. Some think that what I am doing here is the ultimate call of any Christian but sorry to tell you I don't think so. The ultimate call for any Christian is just obey what The Lord puts in your heart. For me that meant doing what was offered almost two years ago, to go to a place and depend on Him. I don't think I have fully learned my "dependence" lesson yet but I think I am a lot closer than I was before.

Yes, it would appear that I came to Poland for a selfish reason so I could get something "out of the experience" and that was surely my main reason. However, I think because of the pain that Christ, God himself, endured for each one of us, who are we to choose who is to go? We are the body, we must go, we must do, and we must obey. We love Christ through our obedience and through our obedience he shows His love to us. In addition, he doesn't only show His love, he pours His love and uses us to show the world his goodness and love. However, it is all our choice, everything we do, He cannot command us, he can only ask us, otherwise His love wouldn't be love.

While some of my brothers and sisters that I love dearly are making poor decisions, many more are obeying and serving with full hearts. Many more, many of whom I do not personally know, are doing all they can to support the kingdom and that I know they will be blessed for. I have not expressed my thankfulness to any of these people publicly and I am ashamed and embarrassed by this. So, right now, I want to thank each and every person who has prayed for me, supported me, given advice, shown me the truth and guided me in His light. I am forever thankful and I pray for God's peace in your lives. He has used each of you to further His kingdom in some manner, be it in my personal life or some other way, His kingdom is alive. Maybe those parts that I think are "sick" are just not supported enough. If we are the body…

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The body

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit. [1 Corinthians 12:12-13]
I'm beginning to wonder if the Body of Christ has a cold or something. It seems (at least in my circle) that people are just falling away, unwilling to help others in the body, and are simply not doing anything to show they are a part of the body of Christ. What's the deal? Where's the love we are suppose to be known by? In my opinion the parts of the body are not working together anymore, they are all doing whatever they please. This doesn't make for an effective body. If we are his feet, his hands, his words, than why are we not walking, touching, telling?

Monday, June 14, 2004

Résumé time

Another weekend spent on job-searching stuff. It is a bit strange getting into this. Before coming to Poland, I had had only one employer my entire working career, and I had that employer for six years. Who at the age of 22 has had any employer for six years? So, this is all new to me, but I'm going into it full swing. Although I can't actually have a face-to-face interview until the 16th of August I'll be applying for jobs until I get one set up, I figure if they want someone bad enough they just might wait. And, if I keep on trying it doesn't hurt, even for the same company. I've posted my résumé on and and I have had a few hits on each. As of tonight, I also have my résumé online for the general public to see, so if you know someone in the Seattle area who is recruiting an experienced support engineer just direct them to my résumé. Thanks! Be blessed!

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Responsibility… What's that?

Remember that MXPX song? I think it had far much more effect than I ever gave it credit for. Last September when I left Seattle to come here I left my things in my apartment with some guys I use to hang out with from church (they're Christian…), that was mistake number one. You see, now that the lease on that apartment is up at the end of June they are freaking out about some things. The first being all the furniture that is mine, most of it is with an old roommate of mine at his apartment (this is fine) but all my bedroom stuff has now ended up in another part of Seattle because that friend moved out last weekend and took my stuff with him. This wouldn't be a big issue, except that I still have stuff in the apartment which is now going to go to a third place, this is not what I desired nor is it what I want to come home to. I had (or so I thought) explained to each of them what I wanted to be done with all my stuff, however, they are now just seeking the best options for themselves without consideration for my situation. What to do? I don't know. There also is a problem with the cable bill, which is still in my name (second mistake, but I wanted to keep it so I could transfer it to a new place when I got back, because it is the basis of my email account and web space through Comcast). You see, the cable bill is a month behind, and if I want to transfer it to some place temporarily or suspend it, it is going to be hard to get someone to take the responsibility.

I've been calling these guys for about two weeks trying to get something figured out but they don't want to, it's always "such and such hasn't talked to me." This kind of stuff is driving me crazy, someone had better take responsibility, soon. Not to mention that when I checked the cable bill (I might regret this, but it couldn't be a secret for too long) online I found some interesting "pay-per-view" items… yes porn. Now what do I do? I don't know. I need the bill paid before I can do anything with it, I don't even care if someone takes the responsibility for it, just someone do it. Maybe I have the wrong attitude, but shouldn't other brothers in Christ help out a brother, especially one living off the support of others? Yes, this is one big rant, and maybe I'll regret it, but right now, I'm upset.

All I want is for my stuff to preferably be in one place, if not just two; but three, and three that are spread all around the Seattle metro, NO THANKS. I'll be calling some other, more responsible people to see if I can get them to move my stuff to a storage place or something. It's a bit hard coordinating it all from here so hopefully someone will take the responsibility. Alexis is being a huge help through all this but has limited time and resources to do much.

So if you could all keep that in prayer that'd be great! In other news... I sent my résumé in for a "Support Engineer" position last night, already got a positive reply for more information, so that would be great to be in prayer too. Thanks for everything, your all great!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Wondering thoughts

I'm trying to walk the straight and narrow, but at times I'm not quite sure where I'm going. I struggle with the fact that God is using me because at times I don't feel that I am all that he wants me to be and shouldn't be using me. Each day I have to convince myself that He sees something in me. How could He love a person like me? I know He says He has a plan for me, but some days that plan is out of reach. I'm having a hard enough time telling my friends from enemies. I need His strength, I want his strength. I've been a fool for so long, I thought I was so strong. I want to be a child, but those days are gone. I have followed the plans I thought were from you, but all you wanted was for me to be still. Where is the path, I seem to have lost my way.

God be near. Your nearness is my good, be near oh God. I want your fullness and brightness in my life again. I want to trust in grace through faith. Give me a taste. I want to feel your embrace. I need to hear from you. I want to see your light rise on the nations, I want your glory to fill the Earth. You said ask and I'll give you the nations, Oh Lord that's the cry of my heart. Fill this Earth, fill these people, be near. How amazing your love, your grace, your mercy, that we may be called yours. How lovely is the sky, the ocean, the Earth, that it is our home and your creation. How wonderful your plans and how wonderful faith is when we trust in you.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Looking back

I was feeling nostalgic today and so I looked up some of my old posts. I've also added to my sidbare a few of them, along with my testimony. I'm surprised at how different they sound from my posts now. Have I really changed that much? Some of them were just corny, but others sounded so much more in love with Christ than recently. I want to feel that again, I want to be in that happy place again. I know we go through different seasons so God can show us our character and hopefully we will improve on it. However, reading some of those entries made me yearn for my friends, for Seattle, and for the simple times.

As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. [2 Peter 1:3-7]

I ask to know your desire, to have that fire again. I ask to have that same intimacy I had with you through people in Seattle to be done here in Zakopane. I want to be intimate with you as I felt I was before, I know I am here not only to serve you but to know you more. Thank you for all you have provided. I give you praise for providing all that we need when we need it and for walking me through these hard times. I thank you for letting them happen now instead of later in life and I ask to receive everything there is from it. In your name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

What's next to do?

Listening to: Fear - Strange Occurrence - Another Day to Start Again

I've been trying to read My Utmost For His Highest for quite some time now. I don't read it every day as I would like but for the most part I get to it about three or four times a week. The latest entry for June 8 was "What's next to do?" speaks directly to the area I have been failing in. John 13:17 is the basis of this entry.
Be determined to know more than others. If you yourself do not cut the lines that tie you to the dock, God will have to use a storm to sever them and to send you out to sea. Put everything in your life afloat upon God, going out to sea on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and your eyes will be opened. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the calm waters just inside the harbor, full of joy, but always tied to the dock. You have to get out past the harbor into the great depths of God, and begin to know things for yourself-being to have spiritual discernment.

When you know that you should do something and you do it, immediately you know more. Examine where you have become sluggish, where you began losing interest spiritually, and you will find that it goes back to a point where you did not do something you knew you should do. You did not do it because there seemed to be no immediate call to do it. But now you have no insight or discernment, and at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of spiritually self-controlled. It is a dangerous thing to refuse to continue learning and knowing more.

The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you create your own opportunities to sacrifice yourself, and your zeal and enthusiasm are mistaken for discernment. It is easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfill your spiritual destiny, which is stated in Romans 12:1-2. It is much better to fulfill the purpose of God in your life by discerning His will than it is to perform great acts of self-sacrifice. "Be hold, to obey is better than sacrifice. . ." (1 Samuel 15:22). Beware of paying attention or going back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something that you have never been. "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know . . ."(John 7:17).
All I have to say is that this is exactly where I am at. Praise God for using something to get to me… maybe I do need some more absolute silence as Reid suggested in a post today. This song that I am listening to fits perfectly with this post, Okay God, I get it!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

It's a summer cold!

this is an audio post - click to play

Where are we?

I hear many people say "the church is not a building, it is the people." But, what does that mean? Michelle at Seeking Serenity brought up this interesting passage. In Exodus 20 it says that we should not build our alters out of cut rocks and we should not have stairs so that others do not see our nakedness.

The altars you make for me must be simple altars of earth. Offer on such altars your sacrifices to me--your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there. If you build altars from stone, use only uncut stones. Do not chip or shape the stones with a tool, for that would make them unfit for holy use. And you may not approach my altar by steps. If you do, someone might look up under the skirts of your clothing and see your nakedness. [Exodus 20: 24-26]
All over, especially in America, you see many magnificent church buildings. They have huge auditoriums, specially lit stages, and huge video projection systems, how does this help us to know God? I think it may help attract some people who like to be anonymous in a crowd, because it's more comfortable than a small home group, over time (a long, long time) they may get to the place where they live there faith on more than just Sundays. However though, in my experience, and especially with people my age, I do not see people worshipping God with their lifestyle.

I think the institution has killed discipleship and accountability. Many people will argue that we cannot force this onto people, but I think we also cannot ignore it and let them feel all good inside, just because we are too afraid that we might offend them. I also do not see enough leaders taking the initiative to train up more leaders and disciples. We have built our altars out of cut stone with many tools. We have many stairs (both physical and metaphorical) just to "enter" the altar.

Yet, Jesus taught in the synagogues, I believe because he went where the people were comfortable learning about God. This may still be true today, I met God in a church that met in a high school music room, God can be met anywhere. I think each of us needs to be aware of our culture and the emerging generation, what is important to us, to them? In Seattle I know many people my age who are comfortable going to an old cathedral with a service of monks (there not really monks but that's what most people think) singing just to "feel" a "higher being." This tells me that even my generation wants God, they just want to find Him on there own, not there parents, and certainly not someone else's experience. Unfortunately, many people are not the type to just go into a church and really try to see God, they see the people and their mistakes, but they do not see God. This is why I believe we (the entire body) should work and live among the world, but be in strong fellowship (the early church virtually lived together and saw each other everyday!).


I want to be effective in my generation and culture. I cast down my idols, give me clean hands and a pure heart. Let me not lift my soul to another. Let this generation be a generation that seeks your face! I ask for forgiveness for my transgressions. I ask you to help raise up leaders and disciples who are willing to live there life 24/7 for you. Help us build true altars from our hearts for you Lord with our lives and our relationships with others. I give you thanks for everything in my life, including these hard times, you have never left me although I have doubted. Cast down your enemies and show us the way to build your Kingdom. Let it be in your name!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Marriage thoughts...

I ran across some verses that, in my Christian walk, have not been discussed much. Paul is instructing the church in Corinth on Christian marriage…

Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife. Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife who is an unbeliever and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a Christian woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for him. (But if the husband or wife who isn't a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.) You wives must remember that your husbands might be converted because of you. And you husbands must remember that your wives might be converted because of you. [1 Cor 7:10-16]
This suggests to me that marriage is an incredible life-long commitment for the Christian marriage, even in difficult situations such as being married to an unbeliever. Thankfully God does want us to live in peace and if it comes down to it we can do what is needed. I have a very high respect for those who are married to non-believers, I can only imagine (since many of my friends and family are not believers) what frustrations arise.

The other passage is in first Timothy:
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead. They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanksgiving by people who know and believe the truth. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it. We may receive it gladly, with thankful hearts. For we know it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. [1 Tim 4:1-5]
This is along slightly different lines but it makes me wonder about today, many people no longer "believe" in marriage. It is something which God did create, for one man and one woman (please I don't want to go there, and I will turn off comments if it does). But today people are not living by this, it just makes me wonder about the "last times." I know we will never know and he will come when we least expect it and we should always be ready, so I will be, but I think a little curiosity (in wisdom) never killed anyone.

PS. I've changed the commenting system, I'm now back to Haloscan full time, I got it to mimic the features of Blogger's system but with the great features it has always had.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Job Searching

I spent my spare time this weekend job searching. I'm mostly just poking around at different job search sites checking out what's available in Seattle. A part of me wants to work for a Christian organization and another part, the stronger part, is saying to work in the secular world. Plus, for the skills and experience I have, there isn't much out there in the Christian world. Therefore, it looks like I'm going to be a missionary in my own backyard, at least for a while, until God calls me elsewhere.

I've looked at a couple of places, one being Resolute an IT solutions provider, and the other Microsoft, I think you know who they are. I've submitted my résumé to Intercristo, a Christian job search agency. I have a great peace though that I will have a job that is challenging and will move me into the next season of my life.

PS. I've added a couple of new links under "departures" some interesting articles and things that I've found over my months here. Also, Carol (one of the missionaries I work with here) has just started her own blog over at "Time for Coffee" stop by, have a cup and chat. Over the next few weeks she'll be moving into this blogosphere give her a big welcome.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan 1911-2004

We knew the day would come. I had barely started elementary school when he left office, however I will always admire his style and charisma. May his work continue to bless our nation, and may his words always have wisdom for generations to come. The Lord has taken him home at this time for a reason, he has moved onto the more beautiful side of life. We all will slip away into eternity, what have we done with our life here? Seize the day and know that we were meant to live for so much more.

I had barely started elementary school when he left office, however I will always admire his style and charisma. May his work continue to bless our nation, and may his words always have wisdom for generations to come. The Lord has taken him home at this time for a reason, he has moved onto the beautiful side of life. We all will slip away into eternity, what have we done with our life here? Seize the day, we were meant to live for so much more.

To add to my dreams that I posted yesterday, I sometimes dream of being the President of the United States. Not for the power, not for the fame, not for money, and not even for the chance to travel. I dream of being President because I believe in making a difference, a positive difference, THE difference. But I want to see a world changed for Jesus, some may say that a Jesus freak could never be elected.

The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. [John 14:12]

Friday, June 04, 2004

This is how I feel right now . . .

Listening to: Innocence - Seventh Day Slumber - Picking Up the Pieces

Am I leaving life behind?
Was I living life at all?
Will I still need to run and hide?
Or have I really found the answer?

Over and over again
I am spiraling into nothing

What I mean is I don't know
Exactly what it is I mean
The things I don't wanna do, I do
What I wanna do, I don't

Over and over again
I am spiraling
[Seventh Day Slumber: Spiraling]

This is me . . .

Must be some mistake
'Cause I'm not worth the price you paid.
With every passing hour
I convince myself that you saw something in me.
But I can hear them still,
As the whispers laced with hatred fill the room.
Guess I'm wasting my time
How could you love a man like me?

Lord I need your strength
'Cause I am weak and falling to my knees.
Who is on my side?
'Cause I can't tell my friends from enemies.
Filling up with pain.
Bitterness controls the air I breathe.
What am I fighting for?
Do you have a plan for me?

Must be some mistake.
'Cause I'm not worth the price you paid.
[Seventh Day Slumber: My Struggle]

I played the fool so long
Thought I was so strong
All the while You knew it wasn’t true
Rerunning in my mind
Memories of another time
When all I ever lived for
Was You

Make me the man You want me to be
Make me the man You want me to be

I’ve been listening all my life
Words are spoken all the time
I have heard the liars and the true
Voices twisting in the air
Sweetly sounding so unclear
But nothing can replace a word
From You

A child is but for so long
Turn around those days are gone
Nothing can replace the years of youth
I have swallowed lies
That tasted true
The plans I thought were sent from You
When all You wanted was for me
To be still

The burning in the heart
Of man’s deepest desire
Is rising like a flame

The burning in the heart
Of our deepest desire
Rising like a flame
Burning higher and higher
Burning in the heart
Of our deepest desire
Is to know You
[Phil Joel: The Man You want]

Listening to: Running Away - Seventh Day Slumber - Picking Up the Pieces

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hello World!

this is an audio post - click to play

I have a dream

I like to dream about all kinds of things, I would like to think it's all spiritual, but frankly it isn't, I don't know if it is "wrong" for a Christian to dream like this, I'm leaning towards the "it's not setting your sights on heaven" edge… I'll look into it later, for now I'm going to dream… Yes, I am satisfying a fleshly desire, but is it all that fleshly?

I wouldn't mind living in a house like this one. My dream housePainted and designed in strong colors, each room would have its own theme and the furniture would match. We would have art featuring all the places we've been and the people we know. It would be a place where many people could come together and discuss things, play games, and have parties. It would be inviting, comfortable, and safe.

I would like to have a job where I interact with people in a new way every day. Where I could work in a team and help build projects and improvise on ideas. I want to work in an environment that promotes creativity and designing. I want to be a leader and a follower.

Whatever neighborhood I am in, I want to help create a sense of community in it. I want my neighbors to know they are always welcomed and we will host neighborhood block parties. I want my neighborhood to truly come together and know that they are like family.

I want to connect people with other people around the world. I want to build a program that connects people in my city with people in other parts of the world to depend on God. Some kind of internship program that exchanges people to serve cross culturally, in this way they learn to see God in a different way and take it back to their home countries where they can be more effective than any foreign-missionary.

I want all kinds of things, but I believe they are all interconnected, somehow, some way. I can dream right?

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Feeling pressured

I feel this strange pressure to write something on here. Hmmm… Well I'm not going to give into it, or have I just by posting this? Well, huh. Whatever, now I feel like talking…

So, Thanks for all your prayers as of late, life seems to be taking on a good direction and Alexis and I are doing quite well. There are a lot of things people take into relationships, some good, some not, some just completely opposite from the other person. Getting to know a person who you just might marry is a lot of work. I think a lot of people have no clue what it takes to really do what it takes for marriage. So many people think "We are perfect for each other"… and they don't take any second thoughts nor do they even try to figure out what problems may lay ahead. I certainly was blind-sided for a while with these past issues, much of it was pride on my part, and the rest was simply that I was raised differently and had different expectations and didn't quite know how to handle the problems. So, now I know and I will always seek wise counsel before acting on my own feelings, which many of them I had no idea why I was feeling that way, I just was… scary. Now I know and I know something similar could happen again but now I know I'll need to really investigate me first before trying to fix her.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Lacing up

I got a new pair of shoes on Friday and I have always wandered how to lace up shoes in that cool straight across way. Well, I found a lacing website, imagine that…

While I was lacing up I was thinking of how this could relate to our walk with Christ. There are many different ways and techniques to lace up a shoe, but only one purpose, to keep the shoe on. There are so many different ways of worshipping God, so many different doctrines, and different Christian "pedigrees". However, Paul instructs not to divide ourselves over these things, we shouldn't get all tangled up and forget that the purpose is to keep the shoe on. Our purpose is to live in this world, but not of it.