Quote Of The Week

some of my friends crack jokes about how particular and careful i am about my books. so for my response to them, i put up this quote:

“if you would know how a man treats his wife and his children, see how he treats his books.”
– ralph waldo emerson

do you think that’s true? how do you think ralph drew that conclusion?

Quote Of The Week

regarding being an “intercessor”:

the problem with intercession is when you go looking for something. He just wants us to spend time with Him.
author to remain anonymous

what do you think of that quote? what actually makes a intercessor “flaky”? what is the most important thing in prayer?

(LINK) Viewing God Like He Is

great article written today by my new friend tim:

…the God they serve shapes the kind of people they are. Looking at history from what I’ve studied I find that to be very true. Take the Greeks for instance, their “gods” were like them. They had like passions and were deceitful and the husbands were unfaithful to their wives and all sorts of things. The Romans had the same religious system that the Greeks had. Both of those societies drowned themselves in drunken orgies and found themselves dead in no time.


take a look at the entire post cause he talks about the way WE should view/see God. i agree with Him. it’s a very balanced view. i’m also in the midst (prolonged midst…lol) of reading “knowledge of the holy” by a.w. tozer…so i love anything that comes as thought from that book.

be sure to leave a comment for him and show some love!

The “Amazing Grace” Movie


so i am a mess right now. i just watched for the second time the movie “amazing grace” that just came out on dvd yesterday. we watched it at my church (which is where i’m writing at…lol…choir practice). i had seen it in theaters way earlier in the year (it took forever to come out on dvd) but i forgot so much of it. lines that hold so much truth and events that parallel the great battle for an injustice in our land and time…the issue of abortion.

i encourage everyone to see it. it is well done. it is the second best produced christian movie ever made…second only to “the passion” (mel gibson has an eye). so go watch it…$5 at blockbuster…or rent it on netflix. i don’t care how you watch it…just do…and be moved by it.

what did you think of the movie? what parallels can you draw between the slavery issue and the abortion issue? did you know slavery was still an issue? was this a balanced look at christianity’s place in politics and politics’ place in christianity? what did this movie do to stir you to “social justice”?

Black & White vs Color (The New Prophetic Objective)

As I have grown up in church, there has been an ongoing debate about whether Christianity has shades of gray in it or is it really black and white. Are there absolutes? Now I believe there are absolutes with Christianity, but I believe we created an serious issue when we decided that it meant that God was black and/or white. We  started painting a wrong picture of God, a picture that when an issue was “white”, God was sedated and at peace with us. If  a issue was “black”, that meant He was going to respond full of fire and judgment.

This is the mentality that many prophets still use this day. Either God is cool with us or He’s really ticked off and there’s no redemption. He is painted as a very high-contrast God. Think of all the prophetic words you hear and how you feel after you hear them. Many prophecies depress people and offer them no hope.

But 1 Corinthians 14:3-4 says:

But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

The whole purpose of prophecy is to build people up in God, not tear them down.

I believe (and I do state this as my opinion) that although God does have absolutes, He is not black and white. The scriptures define God as “full of light” and brilliantly clothed with colors and rainbows. People who have had visions of God in the Bible (like Isaiah and Ezekiel) did not have a 60’s black and white vision of Jesus. They had a fully fledged color portrayal of the Son of God, color that was linked to emotion!

You can take a dark rich blue and convert it to grayscale/b&w and it will come out black. So what is the difference? The difference is the emotion that the color puts off. Blue is a very soothing color. Red is a very forceful color. Yellow is very happy. Certain colors portray certain emotions and feelings.

So why does all of this matter? My mom used to tell me:

It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.

Well for prophets, it’s both. It’s up to God to supply what to say, but it is up to the prophet to ask God for the right way to say it (the right heart/emotion to speak the word in). There are many who say “this is how God gave it to me” but if it is not strengthening, encouraging and comforting someone, then scripturally you are delivering it wrong.

I have heard many prophecies that are sober that were given in love, mercy and redemption. Look at the book of Hosea. If you glance at it, it seems very judgmental. Yet when you realize that it is the first time that God mentioned His “marriage” to His people, the way He would draw them back to Him and how He would “come like the rain”, you start to realize it’s not a doom and gloom book written in heavy black emotion. It is a book of fervent love, a jealous love that will destroy whatever gets in the way of Him and His people. What an awesome portrait painted in red!

I wanted to say one other thing to any people gifted in the prophetic. When God gives you a word, do not assume the emotion you felt when He gave you “the word” is the same emotion you should have when you declare the word corporately or to anybody. No matter what the word is from God, it must strengthen, encourage and comfort people, no matter how harsh the word might be. Remember this verse:

For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:31-33)

Yes, God requires you to control your emotions.

So, I want to call people and prophets who hear “words” from God to share to others, to pray and ask God in what emotions of His heart you should come in. I promise you that it will be a heart of mercy and humility. If it is not, then you are speaking from yourself and not from heart of Jesus who is the servant of all. Recently, I have given a few people some words that God told me, and it has encouraged not just them, but me as well because I saw them built up and encouraged. Prophecy should build up and sharpen all parties included. Remember, prophets are not the end-all, for:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Sidenote To Quote

i put this quote up last night while i was listening to misty sing at ihop-kc. then this morning i went to work and started listening to the new desperation band’s record “everyone overcome”. (great album!)

they started singing the song “i’m coming your way” by jared anderson. here are some of the words:

with all of breath
with this heart in my chest
with every look in my eye
You’ll know why…

i’m coming Your way
i’m coming Your way
i’m coming Your way

now, i have heard the song before and i’ve always meant it as “i’m coming towards You God.” but i felt God speak to my spirit “will you come My way…My way being the road through the wilderness…My way being voluntary weakness…will you really come My way?”

in 1 samuel 7:3, samuel says to the people:

“If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only…”

samuel was saying that IF you are returning to the Lord…there is a path you MUST take. and i believe that if we long to see God and truly follow Him…there is a path WE must take…and i think it is the very same one…with ALL our hearts…in full obedience.

Quote Of The Week

regarding “following jesus” and staying/waiting in the place of prayer:

His way is a wilderness
it has always been a wilderness
His way is weakness
it is voluntary weakness
(-misty edwards)

good word to chew on. xref it with matthew 5. (the beatitudes)

Lullabies & Suffering

We were talking in our 20’s class about the end times and our lives when my friend, Mark, started talking about what God told him:

“My greatest gift to this generation will be the gift of suffering.”

When he said that to the class, everyone was like “oh great” which is the usual American reaction when someone talks about the long periods of suffering that are coming. But I believed what God told Mark and started sharing what has been stirring in my heart recently.

I believe the greatest fight of our lives will not be against Satanism or religious extremism. I feel that the greatest fight that will face this generation is against the spirit of slumber. That spirit that says “peace, peace” when there is no peace. I’ve recently have realized how protective we are when it comes to radicial Christian devotion. Someone starts speaking of the missionary lifestyle and we have to console people to take it with a grain of salt, like we are already radically following Jesus. But that’s the point: we’re not. We’re far from it.

Jesus spoke that to me:

“If you think you’re too extreme, look at the Sermon on the Mount. Are you fully living it? No, you’re not and that means you are not extreme enough.”

Yet we feel like we need to defend ourselves against the “waves of deception” coming at us from these radical statements. The issue is that the “deceptions” are coming from the directly opposite place from comfort, from the lullabies of life. Right now, there is a song being played over the American church that is making people fall to sleep and dream of things that aren’t true.

It was happening back in the Bible times:

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:17)

I can’t imagine anything worse in life than being on the road to destruction and hell and thinking you’re on a train to heaven and thinking you’re doing all right. Yet that’s what is happening right now. People are being lullabied to sleep thinking they’re alright and “have need of nothing.” Now contrast that with the Sermon on the Mount (God’s discipleship course):

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

Jesus declares that the ones who will inherit eternal life, the kingdom of heaven, are those who are poor in spirit. That means they realize that they are doomed and have no hope or resource to save themselves. They have the realization that I am “blind, poor and naked” and nothing I have can save me from this condemnation. That is why the next beatitude is:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Those who truly realize how bad and evil they are live a life of mourning. God’s comfort and grace is promised to those who live a life of mourning. Sadly I think that most of the time I’m doing alright; that once I was really bad but now I’m better and cleaner. This is partly true, but compared to where God desires for me to be, I am evil. God’s heart breaks that I am still stubborn and rejecting His will for my life. But for so long I never knew that. Why? Because I was sleeping my life away.

That’s where God’s greatest gift comes in. He loves us so much that He will do anything to wake us up and keep us up. For this generation (which I’m a part of) that means a life of suffering. We are like a lobster in a pot of water that is slowly heating up. We are being cooked to death without knowing it. But in God’s mercy He throws us up against the side of a really hot pot and we yell “ow!”. Then we realize where we are and what is happening to us. The problem is that if we don’t do something immediately about it once we’ve been awakened to the issue, then we will quickly fall back to sleep in the warm waters and peaceful lullabies.

James (5:5-6) writes the church and starts rebuking the “rich.” then he brings charges against them:

  1. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence.
  2. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
  3. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

I look in my life and think how much I have dwelt in self-indulgence. How much I have fattened my heart with things that sing me lullabies? How many times I have murdered (which Jesus defined as hating and speaking evil about) righteous people; those who were righteous, living the Sermon on the Mount. They didn’t resist me, they turned the other cheek.

It’s time that we as a generation close the music box and start to wrestle with this spirit of slumber that would try to destroy this generation.  Paul talked about our generation to Timothy and gave him the answer:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:3-5)

“Be sober-minded and endure suffering”. Let us take that advice and see where it leads us. If we really believe that we are living in the last few decades before the return of Christ, then doesn’t it make sense that this spirit of slumber would be fighting the church so fiercely?

May we be like Paul. Let us fight the good fight and finish the race and not be found sleeping on the side of the road.

Relevant Programs Or Ancient Paths?

so i was reading a blog yesterday and i stumbled onto this article.

the article was talking about the recent survey that willow creek community church did to see how many people were being discipled. the results floored them. (read the article for yourself)

i’ve believed secretly that as great as relevance is and as great as it is (supposedly) “needed”…it is not the end-all. in fact, i am seeing it become more of a hindrance to discipleship than a help. more churches are doing what they can to become “seeker-friendly”…but what they are finding is that less true conversions are happening.

in reality, discipleship and teaching how to live the christian life is offensive. love, mercy, grace and compassion can help it become less of an offense, but Jesus constantly said and did things that offended those trying to follow Him. He would say afterwards “blessed are you if you are not offended because of Me” and other phrases (“will you to leave me?”) that showed that it wasn’t an accident that people got offended.

the sermon on the mount lifestyle isn’t user-friendly…but it is God’s “discipleship 101″…i am praying, that in my life, i wouldn’t water discipleship down and make it a sweet lullaby…discipleship is a fight to the death…the death of me.

 what do you think about the article and these comments? how do you feel about “seeker-sensitive” churches? do we have a “too-easy” view of christianity and discipleship?