Hungry, CAPS LOCK ON, HUNGRY FOR JESUS, what are you filling up on?

Long and caps lock and run-on and on sentences capture you but what I want to capture you is the person behind your actions. Is there a motivation for getting up in the morning. Is the world just surviving? Are Christians more burnt out then ever before? I want to say I don’t know enough to say yes or no, but I do know that hunger has been awakened and you are on this journey with me. I should be working on homework from college but I must mention the season I have been in and where it is taking me. Read, and be encouraged!

Hunger is a gift. Hunger is an involuntary movement in us that is necessary for life to continue. Being hungry for food and thirsty for water are two motivations that will never fade away. Even if you fast you will have to break the fast and respond to the hunger pains. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs caps off at the first and foremost one:Physiological needs. Men and women must eat.

Spiritual hunger, however, I think can get pushed way back in our minds. Because we don’t see God with our physical eyes and because we live in such comfort(mostly in America) then we easily fall out of the happiness formula. Happiness, in Jesus’ terms, comes down to living with a constant need for Him. The beattitudes (Math. 5) tell us to hunger and thirst, so that we may be filled. And it also tells us to live in poverty of spirit, so that we may have the Kingdom of God.

Both physical and spiritual hunger should drive us to feasting on what will satisfy. That classic verse in Jeremiah calls whatever won’t satisfy as a “broken cistern.” A place that won’t carry the water you need to carry you. Jesus says that in order for the wineskin to carry the wine, well, you get the idea; hunger, thirst, and fast. Fasting will help grow and stretch the wineskin.

My caps lock letter effect is saying one thing: I am in need. There is more and more is something that has taken years( about 10 years now) to cultivate. When I first moved to Kansas City in 2004 I had a rude awakening. It was rude because I thought that my upbringing in church=being on fire for God. I also thought that attendance in church=wisdom and revelation.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury let me let you in on some secrets to hunger. Begin with the lowest part of you as the starting point. Start out each day recognizing that you are in the early stages of giving your all to Jesus. May I remind myself and everyone that everything matters. Every reach in your heart, every single inclination that reaches out for God, everything that is a part of seeking Him counts as treasures in heaven. Let no one be condemned in reading this. Let us just examine our ways and turn all of ourselves back to God.

Here is what is happening inside of me. I am looking back at the past 10 years and it feels as if I am starting over. I never really think we start over. I think His mercies are new touch us so much that it feels like we start over. It can feel like each day is blank page and God just keeps providing the paper. It is so glorious to run into the arms of His mercy. O, how we need it. I am sure some recent poetry has reflected both the need for His love and His mercy.

But we are starting at a point in time where the past starts to fade away. We look at the successes of our twenties( myself looking back 10 years ago) all the way until now( my full testimony to be shared another time) and I say, wow, I am alive in God. I am at a place where I cannot get enough of teachings( Kris Valloton, Mark Driscoll, my church, IHOP-KC, exc.) and anyone who wants to say something can. I am here and I am ready to live it. I am ready to do more than listening. I am staring at the book of James. Let me not just hear, let me do. It is not works to work for more of God. Let me say it twice: it is not works to work to have more of God. Works, in the negative sense, denotes love and self-righteousness. Works( as a sin) means we are trying to earn from God that which is a free gift. We know that by faith we are:
1. Justified
2. Sanctification has begun( a constant work)
3. Glorification( now the hope of heaven and the resurrection)
4. And hunger and thirst work in and out of all three of these.

I am hungering for the day when there will be no more death, no more sorrow and no more pain. Who wants to stay in this fallen earth forever(the creation groans passage). Who wants to carry this body of death forever? I will miss blogging when I am gone but that is about it. And lets be real, we will still be writing in heaven.

This may feel a little all over the place but there is a burst in me right now. I want to provoke you to a deeper place. Look at what you are doing in the secret place of your heart. Look at your praying, reading of scripture, worship, giving and relationships. Look at where you need a heart expansion.

To quote Todd White: “You can have as much of God as you want!”

Praise God. Let us lay a hold of God. Fill up the Ipod with teachings. Fill up your ears with worship. Fill up your mind with the word. For most of us, what we need is Godly people in our lives. My generation longs for fathers and mothers. Find just one person that will disciple you and find at least one person you can disciple. Start with these small things and work towards a heart expansion. I don’t mean doing more busy work in the name of the Kingdom, or in the name of church growth. I mean serving with a glad heart and all the while expanding yourself to a deeper place of love and hunger.

I look back 11 years ago when I was 17 and my youth pastor(love you Brett!) called us to a violent pursuit of intimacy with Jesus. I did not get it right away and I have had many people tell me to grow up, tell me to give myself and not waste the precious years of our youth. Seasons change. People change.I say that to say that I have no regrets. I have no regret in me for pushing it in those early years. That will produce character and joy in you that can only come from fullness in Jesus.

Not everything goes according to our plans. But the good news is that in and out of season we can be ready for whatever the Lord has. I believe it starts with filling up on Him, seeking first the Kingdom and coming to a place of hunger and thirst.

Let’s do this!

Endless Attempts

Endless attempts
Man’s seeking security
Man’s dodging eternity
Forever an endeavor no
Man lives by, exits to the
Sky and its highlights,
Up and up man wants to
Go, making an endless know
All to what will be pursued
And ensued upon, man attempts
To save Himself, to throw God
On the shelf, to disregard His steps
And His ways—man takes endless
Attempts to get to God, but cost He
Says do you have it? Sacrifice, are you
Willing to carry it? Death, love, light,
And dark, are you willing to carry
A spark—and flames you want they
Will consume you—purity you will
Have to have, eyes of light will keep
You bright—my endless attempts
Are to know you God, not to live
Without you—let me know that
I know that I am attempting to
Be in love and burn in that love
Over and over again—I need it
Daily!

God I See You, Part 2

More on God seeing us. Inspired by the song from Mumford and Sons when they say, “Come down from your mountain and stand where we have been, you know our breath is weak and our body is thin!”

Choose one, choose me, say it over
That it isn’t over, that the end with you
Is where I begin, waited, sifted, patiently
Adjusted, eyes have seen what can never
Be seen again, changed, on the mountain
You have stood where I’ve been, you have
Seen me frail, seen me travail, seen me avail
The force of hell that sinks deep inside of me,
Choose to stay, choose to stand, choose to be
A man, chose to understand, o, affliction where
Have you not stricken me? where have you not
Hit my life, hit with a strike, made me think
Twice of this life of offering, now I see that
God you see me and I choose to stay and
Be, I choose to live, I choose to give—more
Of myself, more of me, all of me, you died
For it, so let me live with it—that thing
Called flame and fire and desire and fear—
For only you can guide me, for only you
Can take this cup and all its suffering,
Must death be the only way, for I cannot
Wait very well anyway—must it be that
I suffer and die daily when all is hazy,
When the mind gets crazy, when the
Culture is a vulture of death flying over
Me—my flesh be the corruption with
Eyes that pierce the light, let me get
It right, let me love you in the night,
So come down from your mountain
God and stand where I have never
Been-stand and see me, stand and love
Me, stand and receive me, stand and
Let me fall in front of you, so—you,
Only you can pick me up—for
I know now that I am just dust,
And I will rust and die one day,
Let it not be said that I wasted
The small amount of air you
Gave me—all to breathe, all
To see you God, all to see that
You will never be like us,
You will just be with us,
And love us, like us, enjoy
Us—let me believe that

Out For Me

Older Reflection.To all who struggle with brain chemistry.

Chaos it lives inside of me
Chaos it calls out to me,
What am I led by, what am I guided by,
Ocean tide, call my name, sweep me away again
Its that swell again, its that hell again, its that mind again
Always asking nervous questions, nagging me to change
Nagging me to rearrange a new life, one that is not pain
And suffering, you see the buffering is what makes me
Press into Him, makes me climb the mountain with hands wide open and I am wondering why all the time when I should no longer be full of shoulds and woulds
But rather be faced with mercy calling me, mercy falling

Me, leaves racking, soul still aching, good-byes to the seasons of life they change inside me all of the time, feet not on this hardwood floor anymore, cds on repeat
All the the more, hot shower and an hour of torment feels

More then dormant, lying awake chest burning and many
Petitions, guilty has stamped me and shame has had it out for me, standing now has become a hard thing to do for falling is the end of the line for me now to give into
Death—to try to past that test, the halls of the unit they don’t unify me they defy me and

Repair

I have a new petition for now no more recognition

I have a new proclivity to do all I can to give you glory,

For Lord lately my eyes have been down Sunset Boulevard

And how life is to hard and narrow and rarely ever friendly to the life

I want to live, but you beckon me through a broken body on the cross

To not live for myself and the hype of the ripe reputation in me, for my name

I have always loved and the mirror I do fear does reveal the tare in me to vegetate

In the wrong garden, and my heart does harden and beg me to pardon myself

For eating the apple daily has become an occupation in me to reject a new Savior

In me, for the earth is in need of repair and the islands now in despair and the Savior

Very clear far from here and my locations and provocations have been removed

With corruptible spectacles and seeing  you Lord, that has been rare, for vision

Has perished in the teenage wasteland, and required a new plan now, for the earth

Does require a new birth in me, now Samuel’s words echo and reverberate in me,

To many times what I say falls to the left and to the right and does not keep me up

At night, for powerless has been my weapon and relevance the new harbinger

Stored up in me, for now you require a new view of me, one that requires me to

Slowly die now and never lie now, but embrace blood not my own to now atone

For the sin I cannot remove, for the despair and the repair is not always the creation

Around me, but me Lord, in need always I do plead, so let the resurrection slowly

Come and fall around me, up late always, lights on now, up always in need of new

Revelation, always in need of repair

Giving God Everything

I have tweeted this more times then I can count, and maybe its just a few times, but this thought fills my mind constantly. I am always thinking: what does it cost to follow Christ? What does God require of me? I feel the latent answer within the answer is simply: everything.

The fullness of the answer is that fullness is the answer. Giving God your whole heart seems to not be lessened by any other force within us or outside of us. Jesus calls to us+ we respond= our response is giving Him access to all of us. When we surrender everything we are only helping ourselves help ourselves. Its not that God does not love us if we don’t surrender. No way! I do believe by grace it is a process but I think the process gets aided along in much betterment when our response is the fullness of what He asks of us.

What does everything mean and look like?

Very potent question. Everything is Math. 22:37-40. The greatest commandment is to love God with all of you. All of you:

1. Mind: literal thoughts in the conscious and unconscious of your mind. Thoughts being taken captive is not just spiritual warfare protocol, rather thoughts in their entirety are consumed in purity by God. The emphasis on pure thoughts comes from a surrendered mind to renewal and holiness. If our mind is corrupt, its only a matter of time before our actions reflect poor colluded thinking.

2. Soul: will and emotions. The fall of the heart and the twisted emotions within us lead us to believe that we can act in selfish ambition before the Lord. Surrendering our soul I believe simply requires giving ourselves to a renewed mind and renewed lifestyle. We are asking the Lord to transform us into His Image.

3. Heart: the guarding of it is most necessary. Our hearts is what we commit into His hands so that we may continue to offer it up as sacrifice before the Lord

Point in saying all of this is: fullness and surrendering everything is the quickest way to get our hearts to burn before the Lord. I think the fastest way to have a heart that is alive is to have an open spirit about where you are surrendering. Most times we lack the surrender and stay on the fence, wondering why we are so tepid in our faith. But God! He is asking for more then just a day a week, or a 2 hour Sunday service, or a two hour IHOP prayer meeting; He wants, He wants it all. And all is how we get going alive. Alive is where I want to be.

Lastly, everything to the Lord is a sign of the Fear of The Lord. This has been mentioned before on this blog but the fear of His name really does refine us to the point of acceptance and love before the Lord. Its not that our surrender means God loves us more, it means we open up the door to feel it more. Love is empowering and the opposite of that not happening is when you aren’t feeling that love anymore. That is the prayer for my life, that I would not do that. I am 26 years old and I am only still beginning to know Him more and surrender more.

Fame Inside

For all the dark things have taken over

And the red couch of fame is taking His name

And repeating fame, for the nails on the cross they drip

Down in front of my colluded vision, for the fever of the stars

Has brought jail bars and the collision of the most High has been

Slipping inside me now—for what has been of waste makes haste to

Stay number one again for deism is searching in me, knowledge in college

Has been educating me, now a sinner and a singer I still am, singing my own

Duets with multiple regrets in me, now I search in weakness for the lampstand

Inside my hand is fading out now and oil required is fading into the night,

Hear he stands at midnight, and my lust for fame drips down again inside my

Brain, door slammed and searching I am weighed and found wanting again,

Visions of the Most High inside me again, for only one man has been deemed worthy

And the Bieber fever lifts from me for only one man deserves to talk about Love not

A kid on stage can replace my need for love and romance, for I sit and rehash it out

With the man upstairs, to long for to many years I’ve been disconnecting in pop

Culture stats and webstreaming images that replace Christ to this bank heist now

I am in need of getting out of poverty now but seldom do I see that it’s what you

Require for stars and red carpets they will eventually die out now for there’s only

One train I am rolling out of now and pretty sure I’ll be face down apart from the

Resurrection, I might die in inspection of the Holy Resurrection, nails in those hands

Down on my mainframe now, scars to prove there’s only one way out of Hell

Now and inside me not so well do I wish upon the wishing stars that waste is

Before me and flames accompany that awful conversation, for waste is taken

Seriously and my worship of anyone else without the Holy One attached to it,

So please Lord, forgive me for forgetting you so easily, as my breath does sustain

Me, help me see before the oil in this lamp is on empty and the doors are shut this

Very night

Inside Me

Conflict inside and out, pacemaker keeping me alive today,

Heart is a bust and I must combust into rust again and live

Again inside myself now, Christ the King in between my ribs,

Years of the abuser in my ears, whispering in fears causing

Human tears to fall and convince that His love has disappeared

But I grip that which I cannot feel and put this faith into action

And demand satisfaction for these eyes to express inside of me

Now, men try to understand the many Valentine’s of these times

And love is played always daily on the airwaves but inside me now

Is a King on a throne up above hovering over my fears and cares

Inside me now, that hope does stay inside me and above me and

A someday guides my day—casted off this flesh does become

At the risen Son, sky splitting soon a departure, not just a hopeless

Rapture inside me now where I float on a cloud and make it say

What it doesn’t say but hope is a must for me to understand I make

My claim that its in a man—blood in hand, palms proving the plan

That will happen again—blood still inside of him now breathing as

Human as me, but living ever clearly for that Day

A Plain Lie

This is a reflection on the teen years. My friends and I smoked in my mom’s car when I was 17. And instead of owning up to it, I covered it up and lied to mom.

A plain morning in the background,

A rainy night it did seem but in reverse

I did live, covering up what I did,

Cigarettes in my hands and a perfect

Plan, hotbox car full of melted tar,

We didn’t get very far as we filled up

The car, ado lessons they sure were

Hard, not on paper but in life it was,

17 and clean from lies it did seem

Then 6am, then Safeway days, bagging

and sweating over the current condition,

smoke filled car, smoke filled lives and

lies became the friend, how that was the sin,

and mom came and the febreeze left a sneeze

and a staredown in here, flight attendant stripes

now in full throttle, turbulence became the release,

lying out of my lips then broken hips hit me, to my

knees I went suddenly in repentance and remorse

and she said it stern, this time you need to learn

how to yearn for what is true, o it was so true

I had no clue, then the plain morning came the

Next day, sheets I claimed to be mine and a sorrow

Filled Valentine later that year, first kisses past me

Now and a life of lies inside me, smoke it was but

Lying because—I lived in fear of all that wear and

Tear and lied some more in front of her and she caught

Me in mercy and consequence filled me, will it be like this

When I meet Him that day—or worse because mom has

A little bit of sentiment and I don’t want to be late to

The heavenly appointment, books opened and my life

Wide opened—for now, I face Him somehow and remember

That mom is not as bad as God but even Him is not the

Problem, its my lying life that needs correcting, so now

I take a bow and get real low and learn to speak with

True words now before the smoke rises up forever

And what I do carries on forever!

 

Daily

This is a prayer I’ve been praying. Hope you relate to coming back to Him daily.

Daily

Been transgressing recently,

Daily in fact been munching on the apple in the tree

Of life in front of me, been eating at the Garden of Eden,

Now hair is receding and chest beating, so suddenly and

Regularly it has become that I have become numb and

Thirsty for mercy cause lately I’ve been selfishly persisting

At the bite of the apple, the tree of life floating in the distance

Now a Cherub guarding the pathway into the veins that bled

So I could overcome, sweating as a reminder, heat always a

Good thing, the burner behind me, now a retainer in my mouth

For I have no words to express the mess of the transgression

Inside of me now, words of life, not in repetition, Holy will

Now in the intuition and he ain’t touching my condition nor

Changing the volition, male and female both fall apart now

And I split again inside my sin and fall down before Him,

Holy is the way, creativity has brought some severity, for

I have all the perfect poetry for standing perfectly guilty,

Now blood stains fill the carpet and I am left to harp on it,

Now a harbinger of mercy is needed to set me straight but

All that’s left is me at the gate—narrow you yell, that’s the

Way out of Hell, living hard but hardly living I seem to keep

Hearing my own voice all the time, then you pull the car around

And drive me out of this town, into new ways of Holy living,

See all I need to hear is that its worth waiting, all the pure and

Undefiled motivations they have been left on the side with guilt

And shame and all the wrong names, what I’ve forgotten is the

Only begotten and the way of death He already died for me,

Crucified I have become upside down on my own cross, get

Down from there Peter, you got to suffer another way, and

Love rooted deep makes me come to you with the ash heap.

Renewed and loved no more wasting it again, for selfish I am

And that’s not pushing you away, still I am eating the apples

Of transgression, daily munching, daily combusting, but now

Daily I am coming back to you again—please renew, I push

Delete and put myself back on my feet