The fire that never goes out in the night

After discussing leadership last week and after the current FITN banquet last night I am stirred to dig out those old stories from when I was in Fire in the Night.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with FITN, first FITN is an acronym, acronyms are faddy at the house of prayer. By slinging around acronyms we save money in print and in speech. It takes up less space to write ‘FITN’ or ‘IHOP’ and it is much easier to say ‘FITN’ or ‘IHOP.’

Fire in the night is a three – six month intensive that is offered for anyone 18-30 who is hungry to encounter God. FITN gives every individual a chance to experience God each night in the prayer room. From 12am- 6am, when most of the world is asleep there is a couple hundred young adults worshiping and blessing the Lord. This six hour slot enables the hearts of people to sit still before the Lord and hear his voice. It gives people a chance to pray, either contemplatively or screaming on the microphone in intercession(back then scream was the norm, we don’t scream now.)

Fire in the night radically changed my life, as well as the 40 comrades that were with me. This week I want to talk about the impact this internship has had on my life and where I am today, now that it has been over 2 years since FITN.

Random gatherings of sanctified and unsanctified thoughts and desires

This is my brain right now, the Holy, the Flesh and the Jared.

“Money is power but time is life.” I have heard this before but the past few days I have felt the weight of its truth.

“I usually look at myself in the mirror 5-10 times a day.” This is true, only because I am extremely handsome, my mom could back me up on that. And I am starting to see that my uni-brow (caused by the thick black bushiness over my eyes) is evolving faster and faster each time after I have shaved the uni-brow. I think I need to make an appointment to get them waxed (let me know if you know anyone that does underground eyebrow waxing).

“I have spent much time denying the gifts and talents that God has given me.” I have been in this swirl for a couple of weeks. I feel like the Lord is being gracious to me in revealing Himself. He is given me greater confidence to trust in Him in my weakness and to speak the truth to myself and to the world around me.

“Breaking habits is like flossing your teeth.” I am horrible at the persistence that flossing my teeth requires. That mint-waxed ball of string just sits on my desk everyday and I choose to not floss my teeth. This is a bad habit that needs to change, along with many others. Discipline is everyday, doing something everyday, even when you don’t feel it. Plus, flossing your teeth will also eliminate bad breath, which will eliminate ransacking all the gum people when they pull out their pack in public.

“My sports car isn’t as sporty as it was in 1995.” On the outside the Mitsubishi 3000 GT SL (the Jared guy is not me, nor is the car- i just happened to find this on the internet) looks like a cool car that everyone wants. After thinking what I just wrote I realize its 2007 and that is no longer the case. The defect of this car is that it has zero room to take people around in. The people you would take around would have to be 5ft tall or shorter(ask Zack about how comfortable he gets in the front seat). I will keep the car but bear the stigma that it is loosing its sporty flavor.

There is always more……but for now chew on it.

Remembering the Fresh Fire Drama Team as a 10 year old

I’m filled with nostalgia at remembering a decade ago.

Jared Diehl was 10 years old once. That means in 1995 I was in fifth grade in children’s church at Resurrection Fellowship. I love this church more than words can express. My family moved to Northern Colorado for the purpose of wanting a solid church for my sister and I to grow up in. At that age I was an aspiring hockey player(this was the first year I strapped on those skates and hit the ice) and I was also hungry for God(and attention and a million friends).

I joined the Fresh Fire drama team. The purpose of this team was leadership in that the fifth graders led the fourth graders.

Now, I know, this is also the case in high school, except the seniors beat up the ninth graders(that is not really leadership, we call that power tripping cause you are 18).

Fresh Fire were to be leaders during worship time and sermon time by engaging( being focused, so others would to). Fresh Fire would also do a dramatic or comedic presentation each month. Now, drama was my thing because I loved acting and the stage.

As much as I involved myself in leadership and wanting to take myself seriously as a 10 year old(which can be hard) and I was bold that I was large and in charge(4 feet, 6 inches-80 pounds, slicked back hair, buck teeth) I also thought my position meant I could get away with things that those ‘fourth graders’ got away with.

Jared was always getting in trouble for his big mouth. I just opened up my mouth and started speaking. Good things, bad things, mostly jokes that only my friends got. If everyone laughed I kept going and going and going and I would get called on it all the time because the leader of the group could never get through the things she wanted to teach us.

I was the most obnoxious 10 year old and I didn’t realize then that as much as I was only 10 God was teaching me how to lead people and be my funny self at the same time. And not only my humor but words altogether.

Leadership is not about leadership, it is about growing.

First of all thank you everyone for commenting and participating. Everyone had much to say about leadership. I feel privileged to be in leadership on the Night Watch at IHOP. I feel that recently I have really accepted the fact that I am a leader and that I always have been(I could tell you stories of using it for the wrong reasons). This inner settling, called  getting over myself, has been a serious shift in the way that I live my life. I know that I am weak and I will make mistakes but the fear of failing as a leader, and in life, has plagued me for a long time.

What I have come to believe about leadership is that as many people said it is about serving and dying to self and not being the guy that has it all together. Like I said, the  fear of failing is worse that actually failing, which we have a wrong paradigm(IHOP for view) of failure. My mom once said that the only way to get good at making decisions is to make decisions, it is that simple. Most things in life you have to experience and live through the tensions of growing.(except drugs, premarital sex and immorality; you don’t need to experience these things to know what it is like(trust me its all retarded and is sin covered up with the bandwagon of this sick world) 

I only make the ‘except’ point for those people out there that read this blog and here me say ‘experience everything.’ NO! Learn from those around you and if you have fallen, God forgives, stop ‘fitting in.’ God is not mad if you have sinned(He kind of is, just not the way you think, just repent and be cleansed). AMEN.

I sometimes preach when I write and I want to be careful with my words. The point I am making is that whether you are born a leader and you know it or you aren’t sure(does not mean being on stage like most people think) the issue for all of us is growing in His grace and boasting in weakness.

As a person in leadership and friends with leaders, I think leadership is for weak people(yes, we are all weak) but it is for the people that have dynamic gifts to speak and lead and God knows if they go astray that gift is going sour in the world(yes, also true for everyone). So, leaders do have it harder, in that sense, because they have to always keep the standard high for others and use their gifts for others, not for themselves.

What I have found is that the more I focus on growing in His grace and boasting in my weakness the more I am able to lead well. And if I loose all my ‘leadership,’ then I gain Christ. And at the end of our lives that is all that matters.

I hope this makes sense for everyone. I just know that growing can be the hardest thing to do because you have to face the fact that you can’t grow yourself in God, you can’t fix your shortcomings, you  have to choose his ability to grow you in Him.

Much Love to all those people who have told me the truth(it has hurt, but has given me strength to endure)

 

When I wake up today….leadership

When I wake up today, which will most likely be anywhere from 2-4pm…I won’t blog until about 6pm most likely….but then when I actually decide to blog I will compile all these thoughts and give everyone what I really meant when I said “leadership is way more about growing then leading”…cause everyone said really good things, almost everything that we have all asked ourselves about leading.

And to continue with this theme I would like to talk about my life as a leader, before IHOP and currently. I believe I have always been a leader, its just taken me a long time to really believe the truth of that and why God has chosen me for such a time as this.

I will see everyone in 12-14 hours, if you actually look at the clock that is 18 hours off most of the time…..

Jared wants to talk about leadership

This week I would like to do two things with the topic of leadership. First: discuss, second: keep discussing.

I find that when I talk about my experiences and hear from other leaders and friends about this topic I do the most growing.

My current stream of thought with leadership is this: “Leadership is not about leadership it is about growing.”

Let me know what you think this means. Share with me your thoughts.

Crazy fast thoughts in the bedroom, please lock the door

First, listen before the title scares you. Second: I am finishing my discussion on Galatians 5:16-25.

The topic: flesh verse Spirit and everything with it.

I am thinking of this picture to put in your head. The human brain remembers everything(like little kids, or my brain). This is exaggerated but true. The brain can capture a thought in three seconds. So, if you have a good or bad thought, or see an image you will have it inside of you in three seconds. We just have no clue what we remember(that is called forgetting). The point: its there really fast.

My visual and the title: You are in the hallway at a party with your friends. You say, ‘hey retards.’ This is mean, this is stupid that you just said that. Them being your friends now want to hurt you but not because they are mad(if passive-aggressive maybe, probably not friend)….rather they are going to chase you down as fast as possible into the bedroom. You have three seconds to get into the bedroom so you can slam the door in their face and lock the door.

The world and its thoughts is similar to those friends. They are there and you can invite them in by seeing and speaking. And if they, the thoughts, chase you down the hallway called your brain just know that you have three seconds to forget.

To conclude according to Paul: Don’t give the flesh room, focus on the Spirit. The Spirit has the power to slam the door before you can say broken door (assuming those stupid friends lean up against the door and try to break in, most likely they will try to break the door first).