What About Monday?

It might be more fitting to talk about Easter. Bloggers usually pick current events/news/events to give ‘their opinion’. I want to still blog my thoughts of Noah and Captain America. But this is burning in me right now.

I have been going to church since before I was born. I said the Lord’s prayer of salvation when I was five years old. For 23 years now I have been listening to sermons and engaged in worship services. I have been going to summer and winter camps since 8 or 9 years old. In my church we were considered charismatic. We allowed ‘freedom’ in expression, to say the least. We allowed prophetic(a later post on what that means) words to be shared. My mom was among many prophetic words given at our church. I even shared words myself. The church culture I grew up in had room for multiple expressions of our faith.

My last two years of high school(2002-2004) were filled with many encounters with Jesus. Prayer and intercession were integrated in very intentional way. Our youth group(Generation Christ) held prayer times before all services and we made our own prayer room that would run 72 hours at at a time a few times a year. Camps and retreats were filled with much laughter and ridiculous stories as well. Camps always moved me to want more from God. Every Sunday night our church had “revival prayer” meetings. Sometimes my mom would get so “drunk in the Spirit” that I wasn’t sure if she could drive home. This happened a lot before I could drive. I by no means was perfect as a teenager. I got in more trouble with my Christian friends(the McCrew-which came from The original Ruckus Journal). But, at the end of the day, there was an ache for more of God. There was a conflict that lived in me. The conflict became the question: how do I give all to God? Everything from the pulpit made is sound like intimacy with God was the most important aim of one’s life. The Apostle Paul’s words echoed: one thing I do, I press on to know Christ!

Maybe you know where this is going. Maybe you don’t. But for anyone that has done church for a long time one will start to ask a few transferable questions. Meaning, what does this have to do with daily life? And how do I do this in my life(or my context)? How do I take the camps, retreats and encounters at church and actually let it change me?

Its easy to say it with grandeur and 10 feet over everyone’s head. Its easier to call people to it. Its simple to make it sound like whatever you are hearing is the most important message to respond to. To make a long story short, I spent 8 years in Kansas City, responding multiple times a week to either repentance for sin, or a call to a way of life. The call was either: we repent for pride, lust, or dullness and it was also: yes, I will say yes to the prophetic word. I will say yes to the IHOP-KC prayer room. I will also say yes to believe that it is more than just this prayer room I am in. This message is for the world. Or at least, it is for my generation(people my age) or this nation(for over 300 million people). Now, we know that all of America is not saved. And we also know that not everyone that is in church is living for God in a way that is of 100 percent obedience to Him. I have spent much time on this blog talking about fullness and the fear of the Lord, which will also come out more in the future.

But what about Monday? What about daily, hard, mundane, freeway slogging-life? What about your marriage? Whether it be falling apart or thriving. What about kids that I have? What about my little niece or nephew? What about my siblings? What about my parents? What about…

I think, at this point in my life, I am more concerned with how to live then what should I give. I am more concerned with the 15 hours of the day that I am awake. I am more concerned with not just the present-time word of the Lord, but with integrating God into my daily life. And I believe that most of you reading this are also concerned with this too. My context is my church. I have a great church community. I am still new to the community I am in. As I just mentioned, IHOP in Kansas City was my community for 8 years. But I feel like in our hype culture in America we respond to the hype or the big picture with few skills and wisdom to how to actually live what we just heard. If faith without works is dead, then just hearing a message does not suffice. It goes way beyond just hearing. Mark 4 gives us the parable of the sower and the seeds and soil. Three out of the four types of soil show us that we can hear the word but it cannot take root. Only the “good soil” will bear any fruit. The parable of the talents in Mathew 25 reveal to us that each person is responsible for what they do with what they have been given. The gravest mistake is perceiving God to be “a harsh man” and burying your talent and not doing anything with it.

God seems to always judge based on our response to the message. Where our heart is that is where our treasure lies. I feel that my church years have caused me to fall back on the fact that I will probably just hear the message again next week, or in a few days. Because I go so much, so no problem. This is not reality. This is not how life works. Hearing only does not mean anything. Not hearing at all, obviously, is worse then never hearing.

But, it seems like the logical response is that God judges based on what we do with the message. Go and do! Go and build! The great commission: go and make disciples! First, we are disciples. Second, we go and teach and build and add to the Kingdom of God by making other disciples. That is as basic as tithing. But, the challenge is how to live. Does the message carry over into the average working class person, or the average parent with kids. Sometimes mom’s feel guilty because their ministry is raising children. They almost need a Mother’s day message once a month. I don’t say that lightly. I mean life on Monday really is life for people. Church is helpful to attend. And I believe we are to be at church as much as we can. It always helps to be around other Christians. To encourage and build up and love on each other.

But, in just going to church a lot how does the message apply and effect you. How does the message apply to the way you relate to the people around you. Being in the world can easily get overlooked by just thinking your ministry applies to the other Christians in your life. Galatians says “be good to everyone, especially to those in the household of faith(paraphrased)” So, yes we take care of our brothers and sisters in the faith, but we also can’t neglect the world around us.

A prayer life does not just mean going to a prayer meeting, or a prayer room. That helps and can be less distracting then being alone at home, but learning how to fellowship with the Holy Spirit in your personal context of work, family and driving this is also just as valuable, if not more important.

I am concerned that we are simply just showing up. The old adage: 90 percent of life is just showing up. But the other 10 percent is called reality. And its very important for us to embrace wisdom and revelation. To really ask how God is to come into our daily lives. He really is present in everything we do. In movies we see and music we listen to. Its never a good idea to just see and hear whatever you want, but God can speak anyway he wants to.

Monday application means: what is hard for me? What are the dynamics that surround my daily life and how do I, in the grace of God, work around the conflict and go through the trials. I don’t believe God takes us out of struggles. I believe He causes us to go through them. A life of power is a life of conflict. It may not be new levels new devils, but it will certainly be new resistance with the increase. Monday and daily life requires us to filter through hype or anything near it. I realize that some hype and some rallying around a message is a part of our entertainment/performance culture. Some of it just can’t be avoided but whatever is of substance that is what we want to hold onto. Everything else will most likely be forgotten after a few days.

Some practical advice(for applying messages to your context)

1. Keep a journal. Even if you are not a writer, writing really helps. I am always writing things down because I know I will forget things I hear. Even if it is not a lot to write down just the fact that you write it down means more than just listening.

2. Daily bible reading. I have been not doing so good at this in the last couple of months but I encourage all to get in the word. Everything we test and discern with should be tested through God’s word. If we don’t know it then we parish.

3. Godly friendships. Marriage might change your friendships but the principle remains the same. We all need righteous friends in our lives. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.. iron sharpening iron.. a friend closer than a brother!” Community means more than just you trying to figure things out. We all need at least one person that can speak into us. And we all need at least one person we are speaking into. Processing how the message applies to you is needed with the help of friendships.

4. Hyped up not because. Take what is true and actually means something in reality. Throw away anything that just makes you feel good for a little while. There is power in truth and power in us to do it daily. We can totally overdo the spirit of being rallied behind something that sounds good but has little power to our lives. Remember what is true not the emotion of the moment.

5. Prayer. I ask daily for a Spirit of wisdom and revelation. I ask daily for wisdom. If its not daily then its a lot of times in a week but my goal is to pray it daily. Talking to God before we talk to others is very valuable. This is however, a practice and an exercise. We practice talking to God and it gets easier or more involuntary over time.

Hope this post helps us take what we are hearing and do it. And ask the right questions to get us to living out what we hear.

 

 

City I Live In

Nostalgia finds me,
In this city of lights
And brights and fist
Fights—desert I was
Born in, Scotsdale sun
Scorching fun, tossed in
The waves of the common,
To and fro in the throes of
Change, make me grow,
Make me know, make me
Not grow old without knowing
Love, love that changes, love
That rearranges—city takes
Me now, cities that don’t sleep,
City of celebrity, city of stars
In the pavement, L.A. smog rises,
Rises around me now, I went with
Her into the crowds, into the hands
That are held, into the plans of
Future, but past was with me,
At last was with me—I ask to
Redact this ordinary life, I ask
For impact, for power, for a shower
Upon me of grace to overcome!
I must die, and dying might happen
Soon! I am barely 30 and barely sturdy
In the city, for it calls my name, chalks
Me dead on the sidewalk, neon clicks
Vacancy in the twilight—I must live
Right and have a life that means
Something—city life speak to me,
For if I can burn in you, then all
Can burn around me—which flame
Will they go, will they choose—
Can I be the mediator of good
News? Change it now, change
The city I live in

Easily

The comma and full stop language is from a Coldplay song, everything else is reflecting on this time I am spending in the prayer room tonight.

I am easily swayed
I am easily entertained
I am easily into things
Being easy, I am in pain,
Just sitting here before you,
I am thinking of all that has
Never satisfied and how I lied
Daily before I came to you,
Empty was I, tragedy was me,
Sad, low, depressed, beyond
Repair, I hear it tear deep down
In me I am easily not into you—
I sit and sit and wait and wait,
And hear and act as if you are
Not seeing me—but I torched it
Today, the things of yesterday,
The things that get in the way,
Disaster has been a master that
Has been ruling me—control, you
Demand—you understand I say
Back to myself—
Is love on the shelf, or is love in
Front of me right now, new year,
New time, new you, new view,
New easily needs to disappear
From me—I don’t want easy,
Cause it was hard just to say
This, to write this, to live it..
Really, really live it, I do that,
I redact that, I am a comma,
And you are the full stop God!
I exist to be with you—I am
In need and I don’t need it
To be easy, I torched those
Distractions, I faced those
Dissatisfactions, I burned the
Coming attractions—I easily
Could have kept it close to
Me—that which is not of
You—but I lay it down
Now, easily, I lay it down
So that one day sitting
Before you might be
Easy—for now it’s the
Hardest thing I have ever
Had to do

Soul Digging

Soul digging

For a new kind of living

Moth and rust and all

Sorts of lust creep in

And beckon within,

Try to divide again,

Now warring and

Thundering come

To my attention,

He demands my

Affection,

Soul digging,

Soul searching

Depths of darkness

Heart a harness

A master at holding

On, a master of

Survival, a King

At getting by,

A reason now

To cry, can

Fullness come

Into this life, and

Defeat the lie,

Can the King make

His reign over this

Life of mine?

Soul digging

Soul finding

Accepted,

Loved, that

Is success,

Let me bask

And boast

In this

Man

Man whistles
Man drizzles
Like rain, circles
The drain
Doesn’t question
Doesn’t change

Above the clouds does
God sit, in tune with
All tunes, man fades
In and out man does
Shout: where is God when
Nothing good happens

What is God all about
Above the sky daily
Good, daily seeking
Man out

Man whistles in the wind
Man daily sins and says
Instead: should I die or live?
God sits, God speaks
God leaks out mercy
God does this daily

Mercy falls and man draws
Near

Man no longer whistles in the
Wind, man is no longer
Consummed with sin
Man sees God is near
His voice we do hear

Pen down
Arms up
If God is good then
Why are we not
Worshipping?

Man stops questioning
And worships instead

Daily Noise

The power of daily prayer.

Daily noise

Blip goes the daily noise
Beep goes the daily noise
Screech goes the tires on
The freeway, smoke goes
The fire on the getaway,
The flame and the sound
Come together now
As daily living is always
Endless giving

I’m seeking for perfection
Beep goes the money machine
Cha ching makes us sting
Heaven sees and sings
The smoke of the past
The flame of the future

Around His throne is daily noise
The prayers filling bowls of
Incense, man and his persistance
The smoke of resistance

I seek to make a ruckus
I seek to pray til life changes
My smoke, my noise rises
Daily and for that I stay daily
In a place of His sound
In a place of found

For everyone has a sound
Whether lost or found
The smoke passes and He
Pulls the ashes, a flame of
Noise surrounds the throne
And I stand as a man
Making a ruckus until
He comes

In Time

I am making it my aim to post a poem a day. Since I skipped yesterday, here’s two for the day.

Thoughts in a prayer. I want the fullness.

In Time

There’s a breach

In my reach, there’s

Water on this beach

And quicksand beneath

My feet

And mercy and righteousness

Kiss in me and show me the

Path to glory

 

Can the relenting of the mind

Change in due time

Can control come back to my life

And make me now think twice

Can I dream now of paradise

I am up there with you a thief

On the cross, take away the dross

You tonight, I need the resurrection

In sight

 

Please, O Lord, draw your sword

Reveal to me the steps of death

And dying to this selfish life

And all that makes a man

Think twice, let once an

Appointment be my ointment

Let death be a glorious transition

Kill this ungodly ambition

Give me new ignition

One that has your attention

Real Desperate

Bags under these eyes

And bags by the door and a heart

That wants more, and always so sick of being tired

And so tired of being sick, and its really clear that nothing

Is clear and the unseen realm is in the helm of this mind and

I got wasted time mounted up upon the mounted sermon you spoke of

And the red letters slip inside these feathers of the brush of paint drops

You have now past me, from the flame of 06 it slips in and stays in like

A holiday inn I am childish and free and eating the spree you have laid

Before me, dear true love plays in repeat and clothes always spinning cause

I am always sinning, and it splits inside me now and oceans of gaps are between

Us Lord and desperation has been the new aspiration but lately its now sweating

In perspiration and I know not of the things that drift between us and the days of

That getaway Ocean of motion had between us, and Hamlet cries out on these pages

And life’s engagements now keep me pacing, and to many times I have had no words

To rhyme but I keep writing Lord cause you are so inviting, and what you’ve placed

Inside the man you’ve created me to be is not worth anymore more waste but haste

In made and I am not made at all, in fact I am poor now and broken before you, and

Anxiety well that left years ago because you now Lord take the place of all that

Worry but sweet desperation not to be alone in this world or forsook by you now

Sweats in these pores and the mores of the kingdom now add up and I feel always

Screwed up by eternal things and time now spent on nothing less then regret, so

Purify my hands Lord and my mind and all the time spent on me and I, and purge

Now a new surge of eternal things and dirt no longer sits in between us, rather I

Ask for the bags to go, for no more time on no sleep now sits between us, so

I ask you Lord: make me desperate for you, real desperate

Voices

This is me trying to hear His voice, in the midst of all the distraction.

By the door now I have been waiting

In sweet desperate anticipation, tears lightly lately

Do accompany me, and weakness sweats inside of me,

She looks so gallantly at me, that voice of wisdom sweats inside

Jezebel’s dwelling place, she plans and sets the pace inside my heart,

A barometer of altitude sweats in me because now that voice is speaking to

Me, all these years I have been listening to you and now you speak in a way

I do not know, so I row and row for more understanding because you still speak

And wait for me—love cost everything and still I am here and sing, suffering

Desperately was I in 2008 when I released from the gate of sleeplessness

And waves of fatherlessness hit me because I was loved wrongly, out the door

He must go because its been to long now, and the release came a year later

Now we all need a loving father and a better getaway out of this place,

So we drove down highway 5 with much drive and ambition trying to

Now change my condition, for night sweats kept me in constant regret

With a balmy breeze of the cigarette and we clicked into a new gear

Because I was living in fear now, pillow cases dissipated and insomnia

Anticipated more hours from me, as I sweated nightly with drunken stupor

To guide me I now love thee more because suffering now accompanies this

Testimony, for Lord you gave all the glory you had to give and still you learned

And suffered instead and took the place of my grace to live in this Lexus life

Inside me now, for rich is what you have, poor was your choice and weakness

The voice you still speak in because you love that sweet discipline, for I have

Been alone now for to long, whispering in dark movie theatres alone now,

Watching kisses and love on the screen while feeling very uncertainly unclean,

Lord, now I still write in such a mess because I confess I need your holiness and

Touched am I all the time because I am always inside wasted time and space inside

Myself and she calls out with all the right highlights to drive me down this road

Of departure, wisdom she is out there somewhere and I am here still digging a hole

For the future home of wisdom to build upon and you desire that the walls start

Building upwards because raptor is not in here and an early exodus is not your

Style, for the wheats and the tares they split in me now, darkness dissipation inside

My hesitation, now in perfect calculation you require all of the home I’ve built for

You now, so Lord come and prune and fine tune my life because selfish isn’t in your

Dictionary, rather I stare at the symphony of the death of me and you up on that

Cross pushing me to be better and give it all so we can be together, for it matters

Now my weak life and that love from wisdom still speaks to me now

 

Evangelism, A Youthful Zeal

I feel that over the years of my life that God has bestowed upon me the “gift of nostalgia.” An ability to recall the marks and memories of past events that have stayed in such fresh reflection. I feel most of it has come out in poetic form more than prose. But I want to expound on this subject as much as the power of prayer because they are both connected.

Evangelism is simply the proclamation of the Kingdom Of God to those who do not believe. Our responsibility, I believe, is to cry out for the power of God to destroy the ploys of the enemy over the cosmic battle that Paul refers to in Ephesians 5 and 2 Corinthians 10. In Christ, we have the power to destroy lies and strongholds over regions and specifically, souls. Proverbs 12:30 says, “he who wins souls is wise.”

A story: When I was in my youth group in Colorado I was blessed with a man, Bob Gabelman, who was so committed to preaching the Gospel to everything that lives and moves. He was so passionate about winning souls. Once a week we would crash Foothills Fashion Mall and witness to people in the mall. Most of the time, it was a lot of pacing and hesitating but past those hesitations I would finds myself exounding on the power of the cross. This, yes, is the power to those who are being saved.

I would find myself come alive preaching the Gospel and never wanting those nights to end. I remember like it was yesterday a monday afternoon where me and a friend couldn’t just wait once a month but we had to win more souls for the Kingdom. It was youthful zeal but God really met us in that place of hunger.

I don’t fully have evangelism figured out. All I know is that God desires all men to be saved and according to Paul, specifically his prayers, we are called to equip the saints. Paul shows us that to truly win souls we actually need to cry out for ourselves to carry the power of God.

Out of that place then we are empowered and we have something to say to the lost. We have the power of the Cross present with us at all times.

To Conclude: how much of our lives should be devoted to seeing the lost saved? How much of ourselves are afraid and timid to approach the average Joe on the street corner. To drive through Troust avenue and see the vileness of man. Do we just assume the crazy personality types are the best people for the job or should we all make an effort to expand the Kingdom? And are we simply just waiting for the revival or are we the revival?

Tell me what you think…