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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why go anywhere when there are so many lost people here?

Recently I've had the topic of "why go anywhere when people are so lost here?" come up in conversation a number of times. My opinion on this topic (and sometimes very hot) is that most of us are pretty comfortable in our own back yards. I have not many people are who evangelists on their own, the kind of people who can, just by nature, talk to people and gracefully tell them about faith in Jesus. If that were true then missions wouldn't be needed, we'd all either be believing, or always talking about our faith. The truth is, this just isn't how Jesus has made the church. Some people have it in them to move around, experience new cultures, and most of all, have a tendency to reach a different culture much easier than their own.

For me I have noticed that I have a much easier time talking to Poles about my faith than I do to other Christians here in my own workplace! Not to mention non-believers. We are all made different, some are feet, some are eyes, but we all have a job and a mission. The church was designed to function on interdependancy of its members. When this failes, the church does not move on, when it is working the church moves. It's biblical, and it's proven.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Politically stupid and harsh, yet true.

From the Warsaw Voice.
PM Kaczynski says Poland would have more power in EU if Germany had not reduced the population in WWII

Warsaw, Poland
June 22, 2007

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on public radio that Poland is essentially challenging the new EU voting mechanism on grounds that Poland would have a higher population if Germans had not killed so many Poles during WWII."If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million," Kaczynski said. "We are only demanding one thing, that we get back what was taken from us." While the PM's comments have a good deal of truth to them - namely that Poland would be a very different country if not for WWII - they are very undiplomatic. The EU is considering a voting system that takes into account each country's population - it says a majority is formed by 55% of member states accounting for 65% of the EU's population.Poland has proposed using the square roots of national populations to narrow the voting power gap between large states like Germany and smaller ones.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Blogging community

Recently I've been intrigued by a few posts on other blogs, one recently got me right where God is working on me. As I see where God has placed me (and my wife) I realize that it is nearly a miracle to be invovled in such an amazing group of people in the real world, and that it appears that the many Christian's mind sets are very boxed in. It all brings me to John 17.

This guy ticked me off.

Back in February Alexis and I were in Seattle enjoying ourselves in the wonderful mess that is Seattle traffic, and we ran across this motrocycle driver who went straight between us and the cars in the next lane, at quite a high speed. When I honked at him (since it was quite dangerous at that point) he turned around, let go of both handle bars and pretended to cry, then took off at an even higher speed. But yesterday the Washington State Patrol finally caught the guy, best of all they took his motorbike away!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I don't know what to say...

There is an Episcopal priest in Seattle claiming to be both Muslim and Christian... As I am a far cry from Episcopalian I have a hard time saying that she is a true believer in who Jesus is and what he did and does for us.

While I do believe that the extreme basics of Muslim and Christianity (in terms of the way of life and surrendering to God) are similar, the main issue (which many water down because the reality is too difficult to stomach) is the heaven and hell question. Hell is not what Hollywood pro trays, and it isn't what we traditionally have made it, it is complete separation from everything, for eternity. That is the issue, and that is why Jesus made it simple, accept him and his sacrifice for us and our fallen nature, or deny him and live in a fallen state alone forever.

In the article she talks about how she was moved by the Muslim leader's prayer, and kneeling to the floor and surrendering his entire prayer and body. This is not unheard of in Christianity, maybe in Episcopalian circles, but certainly not in the book of Acts and the first believers. At the church my wife and I attend this is completely accepted, and it is encouraged, while many don't feel this need since our musical worship time allows us to express in many ways, within order, to surrender our entire lives to God as a daily walk. I could go on, but for me this is my life with God, it is complete surrender, and being reminded to do that... not as a works related issue, but as a lifestyle, and the blessings and relationship with God has been nothing short of stunningly amazing.

Actually I do know what to say, and I've said it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Authentic submission

All I have is my own experience to speak about, but grieves me to see so many people, Christians and not, who don't understand submission, meekness, and humility. Even the Lord, with all of his power, submitted, was meek and is meek (he even allows us to do our will despite his power), and was/is humble (even though he has all the reason to tell us off).

Some may say that my life looks religious, it's a far cry from anything religious, I don't do what I do because I feel guilty, or I might, or I'm trying to "earn my way" for anyone, anything, heaven, nor God. I do what I do because when I do things my way, my life just isn't full, I find myself climbing and going down, I look around running towards something but ending up where I started, and I try to get close to people and end up further away.

I am submitted to my job, not to "show off", not even to "move ahead", I'm submitted because Jesus says to love your neighbor, and when you do, peace is at hand. I am meek, meaning I am confident yet do not overuse what I know or what power I do have, because encouraging others and helping others helps everyone. I would like to say I'm humble, and with most external things I am, I know where I could exert myself but I restrain, because after years (and much more time is needed) of climbing up and going down, I have learned that turning the other cheek, not gloating about myself, and living in a fallen world and not complaining has brought a peace that only comes by living humbly. I mess this up on an almost daily basis, but even catching myself allows His light to shine.

For me, I submit because I have learned that serving others is extremely rewarding, not in a material way (although the Lord has blessed us immensely, and I know it has been because we choose to submit to His will and serve our neighbors, and because he's gracious, that's actually the first reason). The blessings of submission lead to life long relationships, peace, understanding, authentic forgiveness, and keep us where we belong, focused on the Lord, Others, and it allows Him to use us and provide for us.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A little somethin...

He called me out
And I could not believe
He called me out
To touch for Him
To walk for Him
But why me?
Why then?

Why now?
For no better time exists
It's his will, let mine be beat
All my woes, all my foes
Are taken by Him

And so I will go
So I will touch
'Cause it is He who I trust
And it is He whom I am in


I am never going to school again, unless God says so. I will only go to another classroom to participate in conversation and learn that way, I do not want to ever, voluntarily, write another paper, do another project, or whatever else school may throw my way. I hate it, and the stress just isn't worth it!

This comes out of my frustration that I've procrastinated this last quarter for my one last credited class... although we graduated last year we had decided that we would take Biblical Counseling II this year (classes are only offered once a year), even though we don't need it, we took it anyway for credit since maybe someday we will continue... (at this point I don't think so!). By the end of tonight I will have started, written, and completed in full, an eight page paper, a two page paper, and about 70 pages of a workbook. Woe is me.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Poland plans...

Some more ideas...

  • Intern traning program - this is actually the framework for everything else. It will be church, it will be fellowship, it will be school, all in one. Live together, pray together, eat together, Acts 2 meets Ephesians 4
  • Mission trips - trips with Poles and others, to other places outside of Poland.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My missions cloud of ideas

This is simply a list, a cloud of ideas that somehow I want to, eventually, incorporate into our Poland missions, both our short term, and our long term trips.

  • Genesis process - how to prevent addictive cycles (drugs, alcohol, sex, food, avoidance, and much, much, more) before they happen, and how to deal with current addictive issues.
  • Wounded by shame and healed by grace - Shifting from a shame based lifestyle/paradigm, to a grace filled one. Deals with child-hood issues that filter how we view the world, and most importantly our relationships with others.
  • Healing of the father wound - How the absence (either spiritually, mentally, physically, etc) of a father affects our relationship with our Heavenly father.
  • Boundaries - How to create healthy boundaries that actually promote amazing relationships, creating doors/gates and not walls. Not allowing the guilt trips of others to control you, nor allowing the guilt of your past to control you either.
  • FMO/FWO (For Men Only and For Women Only) purity groups. Not just sexual purity groups, not just accountability groups, not just "post-crisis" groups, these are groups that hold us to the high road. Groups that promote grace-filled truth telling, holding us to our priorities for the call that God has you in that particular season, weather that be a stay-at-home mom, or dad, an employee, a minister (which we all are), a disciple of Christ (which we all are), a friend, etc...

As I mentioned above, these are all a "cloud" of ideas, the actual time line for these things is not in stone, although elements of all of them will be used on all occasions. I will always put myself through these processes each time, as I know God has something new to reveal through them each time. How each thing will look, I have no clue, but I do know that these areas are trans-cultural, it's kingdom culture based, it's biblical, the delivery will certainly be different though.

Thoughts, comments?