Wednesday, March 30, 2011

an answer in korean

i technically should be studying/preparing for a particular word but i am distracted. last night at our tuesday night encounter meeting i spoke with a woman from south korea. she has been sent here by her company to translate for the branch of her company located right here in waterloo. oddly enough she told her company to place her temporary residence at a specific location because she was wanting to be close to the brussels house of prayer. she had found ninth hour on the internet and saw a house of prayer which seemed to encourage here a great deal. this is magnificent in itself.

last night we began discussing her church situation back home in south korea. she is greatly distressed due to an enormous amount of frustration at not being able to find a church home. she has seen a lot and i don't feel i have the time to share everything here. but i thought about what god had told me before i moved here and the specific people group i would be ministering too. it is amazing that i was able to minster to a korean in belgium. leave it to god to bring an opportunity for us (ninth hour) to sow a seed to an individual who is not even european. this is how god did and even now does things across the globe.

i was reminded of when paul was wanting to go to a certain region in asia minor in order to preach the gospel but, acts 16:7 states that, the spirit of jesus did not permit him. we find later that due to a redirection paul runs into lydia (in a place of prayer no doubt) who becomes the starter of a home church in the area that god had forbidden at that point to go. this is remarkable that god crosses people's paths, directs steps, and relocates individuals all for the sake of furthering his kingdom. i prayed with her for discernment upon her return to korea to locate a church that speaks to her the truth of god. we also prayed that she would find all those negative influences that discouraged her faith would suddenly be shaken off of her. i didn't tell her to start a church but i did tell her that we, as a team, are standing with her even all the way over here in europe.

god is so good to those who heed his direction, and to those who don't, unfortunately, they miss that what god is doing is for their good.

Monday, March 28, 2011

how can this be

i was privileged to attend a youth retreat this past weekend for a friend of mine who is a youth minister on this side of the pond. it happened rather quickly as he invited me to speak at the retreat a little more than a month out from the actual retreat. i asked god for everything specific. the theme of the retreat was do hard things.

this was an anglican church so it was composed of mostly brits. it was quite fun interacting with unfamiliar faces and meeting new people. i needed to do this and towards the end of the retreat i found myself using phrases that they used and sort of resorting to their style of humor. it did seem quite serious when we would get down to the "meet with god" bit. a quiet hush would come over the campers when we would enter into a time of worship and prayer. this DID bother me but because of the fact that i didn't know these people i was not wanting to step on any toes. "americans" already have a way of making their presence known and leave it to me to defy the stereotype's just to prove them wrong.

the sunday morning we were to leave we had one more time of breaking away from the bigger group and i had time with 2 guys. the leaders were free to find any scripture that they felt would be good to read together. because of the nature of the individuals i felt it was necessary to read ephesians 1(especially the bit about the eyes of the heart being opened to know the calling, inheritance, and power of god towards us). as i read this over and over to them and asked these guys to tell me in their own words what they thought it meant i was shocked to realize they had little to no understanding of the value of the christian walk. it was quite frustrating to me and i felt the best thing to do was to pray. i told the boys i would start and then they would say a prayer and then i would end it.

there was quite a disconnect. i was amazed that one of the guys couldn't even get a word out. he started out saying, "god i pray..." and that was it. i thought he was thinking and contemplating but he was at a loss for words. this is the picture of what is taking place in europe. i am not wanting to "take the mick out" on him (as they would say in england) but this young man grew up IN the church. prayer should be the language he only knows better than any other language.
sadly this is the state of the church, an illiterate, and seemingly powerless body of christ. but that is just it, once they gain literacy that power is attainable.

father, my prayer for this nation is not to embarrass them, nor to shame them but for them to be shocked into the revelation of YOUR desire to move in power across this land. reshape this church, refine this generation, may their illiteracy not frame what people, secular and religious, say or how they define their existence by.

Friday, March 18, 2011

no no no before that

what a great reminder today of who's foundation was laid first on this earth. in genesis 1 please read what the first four words are. if you have the truly divine scriptures (as i do) you will be reading from the new american standard (of course i am joking). however the text states, "in the beginning god..."

before the troubles of my current state. before the rough edges that cut my character and temporarily mark me in this life. before the jagged corners of my existence were able to justly condemn me...




1 john 4:8 tells us that god is love. before our form and all the void that influences us, god knew us and was present in our foundation. because of this he has a richer and deeper claim and a governing authority in the decision of our fate. all the while in our existence god will continue to remind us of what is good, just as he did throughout the discourse of genesis 1. he is the author of goodness; the inventor of its mechanisms and only the author knows how their concepts operate best.

before the corruption that transformed what god created as good into possibilities of evil...
god was

during eve's entertainment of what would be the demise of us and likewise in the pursuit of disobedience...
god was

and to this day long after the seed of corruption has sprouted to produce a massive quantity of evil and destruction by our choosing, and by our earthly fathers...
god was and is

rejoice today that his claim on you predates that of your sin. he has not left you without a way to find him and reclaim what he has created for you to share with him. the power of the work of jesus christ (and only jesus christ) demonstrates for us that he has chosen to purchase us back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

he is there

psalm 3:4,5

i awake today because the lord has heard my cry and i could peacefully sleep and because he sustains me throughout my day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

yes, i will pray again

praying for revival in the land of belgium is very much apart of what i, along with ninth hour, have been doing the last 2 years. at times it gets mundane and tiring. it seems the same words are repeated over and over and over again. it defeats me.

i am glad i do not rest my assurance in the natural because i would be long gone from this place. my hope has its aim on something that god will reveal when he is ready to reveal it. in the meantime, there are new faces every week that are finding out what god is doing and they are stirred too to seek god daily. we all have sadly witnessed what takes place when the earth decides to shift plates around geographically. a catastrophic event is sure to happen whenever there is shifting of any realm. shifting is taking place right where we stand and if you are not careful you will miss it. as opposed to dramatic change in the floor, as in an earthquake, shifting in the spiritual realm seems to be the answer to a consistent prayer. every encounter we have with a group of people gathered here there is one more who opens there mouth and proclaims that they have felt something different. every encounter we have here in our gatherings one more is finding out that they too are carrying something, a message, a token of the favor of god which cannot be contained. i rejoice with them because with every encounter they can easily observe the indisputable fact that god is doing something inside their hearts that cannot be manipulated or duplicated by man.

with that revelation i will wake up tomorrow and proclaim from the rooftops what i have been proclaiming the last 2 years. it will be the same thing over and over and over.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the works of love

what is it that really binds the temporal and the eternal? what is it other than love, which therefore is before everything else and remains when all else is past. but just because love is the bond of the eternal and just because the temporal and the eternal are heterogeneous, to the earthly prudence of temporality love may seem to be a burden, and therefore in the temporal world it may seem a great relief to the sensualist to cast this bond of eternity away.
...a fool's conceit hides for him how inconsolable his life is. that he 'has ceased sorrowing' we will not deny, but, nevertheless, what gain is this when salvation consists precisely in his beginning to sorrow earnestly over himself!
-kierkegaard of course

Monday, March 7, 2011

don't help me daddy

dutch is growing faster than i can say laissez faire. he is wanting to do everything by his self nowadays. get dressed, put on his winter clothes, open the car door, load his motorcycle into the back of the car, and even go to the bathroom ALL BY HIS SELF. i love this and there is no objection to allow him to do things by himself but we certainly must allow an extra 30 minutes for him to accomplish his task. amongst allowing extra time we must weigh the pro's and con's of letting him wipe his own butt. i absolutely have no objection to letting HIM wipe his rear clean. i couldn't be happier to let him do this. wiping one butt is enough for me. what i do have an issue with is the amount of toilet paper he uses to accomplish such a feat. i am an echo of my own father. i can remember the moment he taught me how to take more advantage of the amount of toilet paper i use (trying to keep his money in his pocket). i used to just roll it into a ball, as dutch does now, and was only able to use it once. you should hear him he is so proud of his ability. my dad taught me the method of folding it into a square. this allows me to be able to use it at the most 3 times at least 2 times. so my conundrum is wiping his butt myself or letting him do it but knowing that the toilet paper is quickly being used at an incredible rate (my kid goes "poo" 4 times a day). so i beg you to please let me know what is a better end of the deal: to ensure that my grocery budget stays at its comfortable location or i rest, letting my son use his share of whatever he needs, and allow him to wipe his own?