Monthly Archives: February 2010

potter.

Read this. This man gets it.

http://www.mlive.com/living/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/04/potters_house_school_superinte.html

yes.

The bottom is never the bottom.
I knew this transition would be hard, but this past week has been far more rocky than I anticipated. Teary eyes, hurting heart, prayerful mind.
I just got off the phone with my dear friend Beau and that conversation combined with the reading I did last night, I think it is safe to say the worst pain is behind me. The devil has no grip here. My heart has a huge capacity to love, and to ache. Because of choices I have made and because of risks I have been willing to take, I have felt this on levels I didn’t know I ever would. This feeling of heartache is so universal, it is something that is as old as the world, something God feels and has felt ever since the creation of humankind. Freedom of choice leaves room for acceptance or rejection. Instead of being angry or frustrated with where the Lord has led me now, I can instead RELATE to him, share in this feeling of sorrow with him.

“In matters of love, it’s as if God has agreed to play by the same rules we do. God can do anything – that’s what makes God, God. But God can’t do everything. God can’t make us love him – that’s our choice.” (sex god- rob bell)

So now, I say Yes. Yes to the question that God asked by sending his Son to this earth, “What will you do with me?” I am saying Yes, heal this pain. Yes, teach me to forgive. Yes, show me how to love like you love. Yes, allow me to find redemption in this story. Yes. I am yours. There is so much for me here in Grand Rapids. I know that this is a way the enemy is trying to mess with me, distract me from this community. I also know where I find my identity and it is in nothing of this world. So I press on. I will learn to trust again, to love again, to risk again… because no risks mean no love.
That is where Beau came in and reminded me that there is so much, even in this day, that God has for us. He brought up John the Baptist (JTB, FTB, ring any bells?) and his passion and counter lifestyle and the way he ultimately F’d the biggest B the world has to offer. I long to be in that, to live in that, to take risks such as JTB did. Preparing the way and the world for the coming of Jesus, ultimately loving others and loving Jesus, no questions asked. In discussing John the Baptist with Beau, something sort of clicked. I felt affirmed in what is ahead… that was healing in and of itself. Nothing else matters. (Also, read Luke 3 for a real look at how JTB can relate to what is happening here in GR. See previous blogs if you don’t know.)

I feel as though I have to acknowledge all of this stuff right now as a way of healing. I am having to dig, to relive in order to press on.

“Our healing begins when we participate in the suffering of God. When we don’t avoid it but enter into it, and in the process enter into the life of God. When we see our pain not as separating us from but connecting us to our maker. And in this chance we’ll find a reason to risk again. If God can risk, then maybe we can too.” (sex god – rob bell)

It’s like loving, continuing to risk, looks pretty much as insane to the world as wearing camel and eating locusts.

when.

Sometimes the past year of my life seems very surreal. So much happened. I saw so many new things, met so many new people, walked on new turf, found myself in a whole new spirituality, began to live a whole new way. It all took place in the matter of months so I am still, to this day, processing what all went down to get me where I am now.
Depending on the day, I am either flooded with memories of where I have been and what I have done or don’t even consider that it at all happened. It is strange how my mind works. How can such powerful events and experiences that changed my life forever be forgotten or neglected so quickly and easily? Distractions. Ungratefulness. Busyness.
I have been realizing more and more that I need to center myself on what I do have, what God has given me, on the life I get to live and the life I have lived. Until I find complete contentment in that, I will always be looking for another life- or wondering why these experiences aren’t more powerful to me today. It is a matter of gratitude. For that reason, I think it is great to remember. I need to remember who I am, where I have been, who I have met, what I have seen, what God has done for me, DAILY. I have to remember all of this because in forgetting, I lose sight of who God is.
So today I am reminding myself YES I did study the Bible in New Zealand for 3 months, yes I spent one week tramping the South Island on foot with one sandwich, twenty dollars and two others in the name of Jesus and His provision, yes I played with orphaned children in Bali, yes I gave my testimony to a bunch of Taiwanese Senior Citizens, yes I went from door to door in rural Cambodia proclaiming the way of Jesus to Buddhist families, yes I looked prostitutes in the eyes and told them that they are loved by a God so much bigger than all of the mess they are stuck in, yes I got to walk where Jesus walked and see, firsthand, the history of the Bible in Israel. All of that was just the beginning, now I see that. God grabbed my heart and opened my eyes to a new way and I can’t deny it any longer. I have to live every day remembering what he has done for me so that I can continue to walk in that light.

mount of olives, israel!

mount of olives, israel! (missing this very MUCH)

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, the message)

bridges.

bridge [brij] noun: (1) a structure carrying a road, path, railroad, or canal across a river, ravine, road, railroad, OR OTHER OBSTACLE. (2) something that makes a physical connection between two other things. (3) something that is intended to reconcile or form a connection between two things.

Sometimes I see things. In prayer, in thought, in contemplation. Last night while listening to The Soil & The Sun at a house show, I saw something. “Raised In Glory” happened to be their last song of the evening and as the words were sung out “Son in weakness raised in power… Son of dishonor raised in glory… Oh King of justice child of David, wash your hands, Son of David, wash their feet…” I closed my eyes and was instantly taken into a state of worship. Everything around me faded away, the music filled every inch of my being. I saw white light, I saw peace, I saw old ancient gates crashing and crumbling down while being replaced with strong, magnificent bridges.
This isn’t the first encounter I have had with bridges as of late. They seem to be a part of what we are talking about here in Grand Rapids. I may be reading too far into this but I know that there is something to be learned here. I wanted to know the exact definition of a bridge so when I looked it up, the words OR OTHER OBSTACLE jumped off the page at me. It all hit me at once just what the bridges mean symbolically.
I have been praying that this community we are talking about and starting to build up is a way to bring a new humanity to this earth. This whole entire vision and dream IS the bridge, satan being the obstacle. We are called to be a structure to carry people out of the world and into the kingdom. We are to reconcile and form a connection between this life we are living now and the kingdom we are called to.
Bridges.

bread.

Jaclyn and I have been adamantly conversing about what God is doing in our lives RIGHT NOW, and it is big. Really big. Every day I get more and more excited about what lies ahead, like jittery excited. A New Humanity is being restored right here in Grand Rapids, right before our eyes and we are called to be a part of it. Heaven is invading earth. Occupying. Seizing. Conquering. (Unceasing Adoration if you will.)
In the past few months I have been confused, distracted, pained, overjoyed, overwhelmed, and rerouted. In the past few weeks God’s grace has taken hold of my heart and what has happened in the past and made a path that is so clearly where I need to walk. So I am.

Long ago, back in New Zealand (literally seems like a lifetime ago) we had a speaker named Joseph Watson who taught on “Destiny & Calling” and prompted us all to write our wildest dreams down in a journal. He encouraged us that nothing is to big or wild, that as children of God we must claim our inheritance and no longer live as orphans. So I did just that. This is what I wrote… (May 2009)
A holistic community. Bringing truth to all nations. Reaching the unreached. Prayer. Worship. Art. Music. Fellowship. Workshops. Opportunities for the lost, poor, homeless, broken. Urban development. Mission support. A bridge to a new humanity. Garden. Sharing. Two by two. Going. Sending. Supporting.

Now, as I find myself back in Grand Rapids, this is all starting to happen. The most amazing part is that I haven’t really had to go after it, it has all come to me. Right now the steps are simple. Prayer, conversation and ideas. I have realized that I have a choice. The Lord has given the earth to humankind (psalm 115) and I am going to be a part of His Kingdom on earth, living under His rule and reign.
Looking forward to having Beau and Phil here at the end of March to love on and exhort the life out of all of this. (Hopefully Dan, Katy, Kristi and Kenny too!)

“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great is your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The ‘worst’ is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly.” Lamentations 3:22-32

an evening in grand rapids.

desensitized.

Just attempted to watch District 9… holy COW. No way. I don’t know what has changed in me (well actually I do have a pretty good idea what has changed) but I just do not enjoy watching the things I used to watch. It doesn’t necessarily have to be blatantly bad or inappropriate, I just hate filling my mind with media-driven violence, war, gore, etc etc. My head hurts.

That’s all.

simple.

Being here is energizing. Greg and Marrianne (new roommates) are seriously wonderful and have really loved on me, so thankful for them! This space is good right now. I have had the chance to do a lot of reading and thinking about goals and what I’m doing with my time here. Me, Jaclyn and Debs have been discussing ideas and sharing dreams about why God has us all here right now… I don’t think it’s coincidence. My heart right now is to really live out all the things I have been learning and to live out all of the things I am passionate about. Start preaching with my feet as Grace Community Church worded it.

I want to figure out how to be church together. My eyes have been opened to a new kind of love and politics and prayer and grace and community and I long for action so bad. There have been several things in the past week or so that have pointed me in this direction very clearly. Later this week Jacs and I are meeting with a fellow Grand Rapids community visionary to discuss the possibilities and steps of what this all looks like, actually. I’m super excited. This includes everyone.

Some other thoughts that I have had today… These all came from watching TV tonight which I usually don’t do. Brought up some interesting thoughts.
-The cheesy Kay Jewelers valentine commercial brought up feelings of disgust/why does our culture value a heart diamond necklace? Is that love? What?
-The only positive thing that comes from me watching TV/media is that it does make me think a lot, mostly about what I don’t want out of life.
-I hate money. I hate the greed and evil it puts in people. (Thank you Shark Tank.)
-Doggy Dentures?

“Christian community is the gift of a life that is worthy of God’s name. Forgetting ourselves, we become the sort of joyful people who hallow God’s name by how we live with one another.” (Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers)