A Personal Perspective

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ll be honest, in a group setting, I prefer to listen to other people talk than to toss in my two cents. Why? Oh gee, there could be a plethora of reasons, that’s a whole other topic. What I do know is that now and then, while listening to someone else talk, my mind takes a wonderful little walk onto a hardly noticeable rabbit trail that leads to a beautiful and secluded wooded glen with a grassy meadow that has small woodland creatures chirping the songs of…. wow, ok, maybe not that vivid, but in any case…

The other day, a group I happened to be “taking part” in was discussing something. I say “something” because I honestly can’t remember what the starting topic was all about. However, during this topic of strenuous remembrance, one of those adorable little rabbit trails put up a colorful neon sign saying, “WOODED GLEN”… Naturally, I embraced the opportunity and took a little journey in my mind.

As the room faded away and I became rather lost in my own thoughts and mental conversations with…. myself, I was given the privilege of stumbling across one of the most…. well, interesting revelations I think I’ve ever had. It’s not really a “new” revelation when it comes down to the point that it’s making, but the perspective on the topic is what really took my mind on a downhill ride through an amusement park. So, wooded glen…

Have you ever noticed how the Old Testament of the Bible seems to be so much about God’s wrath and seemingly much less about His love? Maybe you disagree, but stay with me here, I’m going somewhere with this, but not literally considering that you are reading this and I am typing this, so location isn’t the key… I digress. As my thoughts unfolded, I began to realize that the Old Testament is a story of a family whose Father had to keep correcting them. You see, God’s actions were not “whatever He was in the mood for” that day. God’s actions were directly related to the actions of His people, His children. He had to act a certain way in order to teach them a certain lesson, or take them on a certain journey.

Have you ever noticed how we “judge” God’s character? So many times, myself included, God is puzzled out and studied through the experiences of other people. Whether it be Billy Graham, Bill Johnson, or the Israelites, the bottom line is that most of what we know about God is second-hand knowledge. Now, did you know that God acts a certain way to certain people for a rather specific reason? Now, I’m not saying that learning through other people’s experiences is wrong by any means, please, go read books by different authors and draw from the teachings of great men, but what I am saying is that God acts a certain way… with certain people… I think you might get where I’m going with this.

You see, our understanding of God all boils down to how we choose to live our lives. Our experiences with God all boil down to how we live our lives. Our intimacy with God all boils down to how we live our lives. Because you see, God acts accordingly to how we need Him to act. Maybe God wants us to understand that He’s full of mercy and love. Maybe God wants us to understand that He is everlasting and eternal. Maybe God wants me to understand that He doesn’t have limits. But here is the real kicker, the thing that just keeps throwing me for a loop no matter how simple it sounds:

Maybe God will teach me through other men, but He’s going to show me Himself… personally.

Realizing the Real

Posted: November 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

So I’ve preached a few times over the years. Once in high school, here and there in the years following, but never really giving it a real ram until 2009 when I embarked on the outreach phase of the whole reason I live where I do. Yes, it was my Discipleship Training School :) However, I had no idea what preaching REALLY was until this past week. Goodness oh gracious.

In the past month, I’ve had the privilege of being asked to preach twice at my small international church here in Targu Mures. I enjoy preaching, so I graciously accepted both invitations (These were the 3rd and 4th times I’ve preached at my church here). All the other times, I sat, thought, reasoned and puzzled out with what topic I should “bring the preach”, but this time was different. As I sat and got a bit lost in thoughts of possibility, an interesting thing happened. God said, “Hey, don’t preach on this, that, or the other.” Naturally, I responded, “O.K., since you’re so smart (God=smart, remember that one), what should I preach on?”

Meditation

Hmm, ok, first off, my very own mother delivers a dynamite teaching on this very topic…. I do not. However, I couldn’t deny the feeling towards this topic whenever I thought about preaching this past week. I’ll be honest, for the first time in my short yet exciting preaching “career”, I was nervous. I didn’t know much about the topic, I didn’t have any major stories of my own concerning said topic, heck, I didn’t hardly know where to start!

Luckily, as I mentioned early, my mother is pretty much the coolest mom ever, and I just so happen to have the very teaching referenced in the previous paragraph on my iPod. So, that’s where I started. The next days were filled with…. oh gee… yeah… bada bing… bada boom… BANG! I read part of a book by Richard J. Foster called “Celebration of Discipline”, I watched a fascinating  and VERY scientific film called “What The Bleep Do We Know” (NOT :Down the rabbit whole, in case you’re curious, that one is longer). I also got my hands on a film called “The Secret” which may seem a little “new agey”, but most of it is solid and incredibly found in the Bible of all places!

I could get into what I learned, but writing a book isn’t on my list of things to do today. Instead, I simply want to point out one of the most simple, yet easily overlooked truths in our daily lives. God is always right. No matter how smart I am, He’s smarter. Without His direction in something that I probably could have pulled off on my own (barely), I would have missed out on an incredible…. INCREDIBLE start to a journey that I feel will never end. I’ll post another time some of my findings, but for now I’m simply in awe of what God spoke to ME through what I preached yesterday at church. I couldn’t even fit everything into 3 sermons if I tried! “Preaching from the overflow” came to life last week.

Even today, I walked into the house lounge where my other house mates sit and guess what I heard….

“Doug, your preaching yesterday is making us think.”

That is stand alone the biggest complement I could have ever received. Thanks God :)

Not Narcotics

Posted: September 14, 2011 in The Life, What I'm Learning

I had a wonderful meeting today… Yes, it was a meeting and it was wonderful. Paradox? Nope, just good people :) In any case, this blog isn’t about the meeting, that would be strange given the title. This is about something that came to my mind in the most random sense. Why random? I don’t know, because I can’t even remember how it came about! Alright, enough blabber, on to the point…

We’ve probably all heard the phrase “drunk on Jesus” or “high on the Most High.” They’re used often, I’ve even used multiple variations myself in the past. However, that’s all changing. It’s not about using drug references to “poke fun” at the Creator of the universe, it comes down to the fact that there is something wrong with the root of these sayings. Maybe this is just something that God is working in my mind, and I don’t want to over spiritualize something so seemingly insignificant, but just buckle up, cause here we go…

Drugs, the kind you get “high” with, are illegal. Duh, I’m not trying to insult anyone’s intelligence, but I want to point out one thing here… God is legal… in most countries, illegal in others. So, God and drugs have something in common? Sure, but wait, I’m just warming up. I heard a song by the band Skillet called “Better Than Drugs” and the lyrics go a little something like this:

You’re better than drugs, addicted for life.

So, God is addicting? Yes, yet another thing that the Creator of galaxies has in common with a vile substance… Ooh, feel that religious spirit biting at your ear lobes yet? Don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this.

Here’s where I got all crazy in my meeting and to stop the PREACH from spilling out all over the table… God is NOT a “high”, God is NOT a “possession”, and certainly God is NOT “one time” or “limited”.

God IS life. God TAKES you high, He doesn’t “get” you high. God is here, there, everywhere. He is unstoppable, undeniable and ever victorious. God does not fail, disappoint, or change. God is deep, He is wide, and He is eternal! Drugs? High? I will say this one time and if I could shout it I would….

Drugs don’t have ANYTHING on MY GOD!!!

What God does is on another playing field, it’s a whole other sport! To compare Him with something that we can understand and explain is MADNESS! I can type and talk and rant and rave all night on this single topic because it’s burning in my spirit like a wild-fire, but I will leave you with this….

God is the real deal, the devil tries, and fails to copy the Creator EVERY TIME.

You want “high”? Then you’ll have to go somewhere else where they serve the cheap stuff.

Be blessed :) and comment, I like comments!

Voices From My Past

Posted: August 25, 2011 in The Life, The Mission

In my life, I have been blessed (and still am) by having a set of wonderful aunts. One lives in Texas, while the other spent the last years of her life, leaving the life she had, and moved to Colorado Springs to be near us, her family. My “Aunt Nean” was someone whom I barely remembered when she moved to Colorado. Sure, she cut my hair while I was just a little guy, still getting it all buzzed right off, but time flew by and our trips to California to see friends and family grew further apart. She then left everything in California and we created some of the best memories while getting to know each other over the following 5-6 years.

She’s partially the reason my hair is so long… but I digress.

While in Colorado, she starting going to church again, she starting talking about the Bible again… she started believing in Jesus again. She had a story, a life, and not an easy one at that. She had been through what most never consider and few can sympathize. My wonderful, nephew loving, hair cutting Aunt Nean, longing for “home”, passed away in December of 2009. No one saw it coming. I remember the news… too clearly… (tissue anyone?)

She wasn’t married, we were who she had, but she did love to talk. She would talk and talk and talk until your ears would fall off. Sometimes about conquests and sometimes about, well, everything else. Have you noticed that some people just need people? They need to know that someone out there actually listens, that someone cares.

Why do I start a blog on such a note? Why tell of this woman’s last years?

I got a call from my Aunt Nean last night…. before you jump to conclusions and begin to puzzle out how she faked her own death and had EVERYONE fooled… NO, not literally :) A woman called the base looking for information about YWAM. This woman loves to talk, a lot. She talked, and talked, and talked, and before I knew it, what I thought was going to take 3 minutes… turned into 20.

She didn’t have an easy life, her past seems unforgiving, and her present is complicated, but she loves Jesus. She’s searching, slightly confused (aren’t we all?) and had absolutely no problem telling me ALL about it!

Then it hit me.

She needed someone to listen, to care. It was SO simple. While my friend was sitting at the bus station waiting for me to come pick him up, I was “stuck” on the phone. While thinking about how time was leaping out of my window, God said 1 thing…. “pray, she’s lonely.” So, with the time ticking away, I asked if I could pray for her before we got off the phone. (side note, that’s a good way to end a conversation…. with most people).

It wasn’t the most powerful prayer that most people (that I know) have ever heard, or the most informative, but it came from my heart. You don’t sit on the phone with someone for 20 minutes talking about life without starting to empathize. Speaking peace and understanding, calling people out to encourage, it was what some might call “text book”, but again, it wasn’t from a book, it was from my heart. Do you have any idea what that did for this woman?

I took 20 minutes… 20 MINUTES out of 24 HOURS and listened to someone who I’ve never met and with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I was able to bless and encourage someone I’ve never even met. I made a difference in 20 minutes. Maybe this isn’t the biggest accomplishment, or the greatest revelation that anyone has ever heard, but it comes down to one thing….

My Aunt would be very proud of who I’m becoming.

The Point in the Preach

Posted: August 14, 2011 in The Mission

Greetings to the barren wasteland known as my blog!!

Yes, it seems like an eternity since my words were last published in digital form, but alas, I have returned! Blogging seems to take the back burner in my daily life on most days, especially lately. With things like electric guitar effects, food, teaching and being single on my mind, it can be hard to make the planets of the blogging time/space continuum align at the right time. However, it appears that the cosmos favors my fingers at last….

Now that’s out-of-the-way..

Recently, a new church was started in Targu Mures, and international church lead by a Nigerian pastor. During the first service I was sold. He prays with authority, he preaches with passion, and he loves basically everyone. The special thing about this church, though, was that it reminded me of MY church, Joyland. There was something there, you could feel it… it was… oh, yes.. THE PRESENCE OF GOD! Such a wonderful thing, and honestly an essential component to the Christian life.

However, 2 weeks ago, Pastor Emmanuel had to return to Nigeria for a month for the birth of his child. So, who was going to preach? Well, the first week was a colleague of mine, and then this last week was, yes, you guessed it, ME :) My roommate, Isaac, was left in command and he believes that I have a gift for teaching. I enjoy doing it, so I have no problem with this particular accusation.

What did I teach on? Well, have you ever heard of David? David who? THE David, ya know, king of Israel, man after God’s own heart, writer of Psalms, that David. It wasn’t focused on him though, it was focused on the men that he drew to himself while he was running from the man that he would someday replace…. David’s Mighty Men.

To paraphrase II Samuel 23, the Philistines were camped out at Bethlehem, and David at the cave of Adullam. He was looking over Bethlehem and 3 of his mightiest men came to keep him company. All he did was breathe a desire, a longing for water from a very specific well by a certain gate of Bethlehem, and the 3 might men took of running. They didn’t form a committee or draw straws, they just took off. They then proceeded to break through the enemy lines, draw water from that very well, and run all the way back to David, which was no small hike.

David didn’t ask these men to do any of this, he didn’t need to. These 3 men were so committed that they would risk life and limb for their leader to simply have a drink of water. If it made David comfortable, they would take on armies, which they had in the past if you read the entire chapter. These men didn’t even come to him as soldiers, they came as outcasts from their own homes! Men like this flocked to David and he empowered them to become those of whom stories are made.

Now, when they began running, what did David think? Did he call after them? Try to get them not to throw their lives away? Hmm, I doubt that. He knew who they were. In modern times, he would have pulled out his iPhone 4, checked the time and figured that they’d be back in an hour or two… poor little Philistines. He then would have proceeded to watch events unfold via satellite stream.

Now flip that coin, what did the Philistines think? 3 men? Whatever, bring it on, the must be crazy or have a death wish… WRONG! Bear in mind that these 3 men have killed thousands of Philistines between them. Do actions like that create reputations? If Chuck Norris was running towards you, would you notice? DUH!! They probably went crazy! Maybe there was a rookie or two thinking this was gonna be a walk in the park, until a veteran came up and suggested he should just lay down and play dead. You don’t challenge Bruce Lee to a fist fight… it’s just not practical.

The point is, these 3 men knew who they were, how they were, and who’s they were. They were Mighty, Skilled, and David’s. Those 3 things made them some of the most dangerous men in the world, but without application, they are just 3 characteristics of a movie star. What truly made these men mighty was their actions. They took what they were good at, that thing that David empowered them with and used it to serve their king with no reservation for their own lives. THAT, my friends, is why they were mighty.

David had a view-point of these men, just like God has a view of us. David saw these men as the mightiest of his army, the bravest of the brave, so likewise, these men saw themselves the same way. So how does that affect us today? Well, how does God see you? In God’s eyes, what are you capable of? What is God’s potential for you? The beautiful part of this is that you actually have direct access to God, in which you can ask, and He will respond. You’re His child, not his next door neighbor. You eat from His table, not his garbage bin. So why not, go and ask. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

Just remember one thing, ask.. and then listen.

Purposefully Plagiarized

Posted: June 7, 2011 in The Life

As a choice few of you know, a few weeks ago we had a team from YWAM The King’s Lodge in England on their DTS outreach with us for many amazing weeks. They worked along side us and we all had an incredible time :) I tell you this to tell you this…

On one of the last nights of their occupation of our YWAM base, we had a going away/see ya later/ be blessed party in honor of their time with us. A week before, I was challenged with the opportunity to write a speech for this epic event. Many days of turmoil followed as I filtered through different ideas to attempt to “bring the house down” in my usual way, or so I like to think…

Amidst this struggle, a light appeared at the end of a tunnel in the form of one of my room mate, Christopher, who had a small nugget of genius in a storm of stupidity… my own that is. With no further delay… I give you… umm… whatever this is:

“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they were made, you shall prove yourselves once again able to minister successfully,  to ride out the storm of long train rides, and to outlive the menace of visa waiting periods, if necessary for years, if necessary in England, Germany, France, Hungary, or individually in Romania itself.”

At any rate, that is what you have done. That is the resolve of God’s Kingdom-every man of them. That is the will of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The The King’s Lodge and YWAM Targu Mures, linked together in their cause and in their need, have passionately pursued all souls on Romanian soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Cold Valley and many old and famous hospitals have many sick, lonely, and orphaned people fallen victim and under oppression, we did not flag nor fail.

And now, as you enter into the 2nd of the passing phases of your outreach, I say this:

You shall go on to the end,
You shall minister on the seas and oceans,
You shall minister with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, you shall minister on the Isle of Man, whatever the cost may be,
You shall minister on the beaches,
You shall minister on the landing grounds,
You shall minister in the fields and in the streets,
You shall minister in the hills;
You shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, the U.K. or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then the Kingdom beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Heavenly Host, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the Kingdom of God, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

 

There are too many inside jokes to even attempt to explain, but 2 visas took some time to get, but actually came very fast, but it was complicated.

I feel also that I should give credit where credit is due… click here and read the last paragraph. Yes, yes…. Thank you very much, I’ll be here all week!

A Monetary Mindset

Posted: April 25, 2011 in The Life, What I'm Learning

Arise and SHINE…. it’s not REFLECT!”

Truer words are rarely spoken. This is one of the pivotal ideas that I’ve been learning through an incredible, multi-faceted walk with God over the past few months. If my life were in a book, which it may be someday ;), this point, right here and now, would be the initial conflict. That point that makes a person over-ride sometimes better judgement and priorities to press on to where they can have some sort of closure and a form of sleep in light of the recent excitement.

The introduction and character development are in the end phases of my life in some ways. Right now, in a culmination of knowledge and experience, a surge is beginning to pound in the center of my being, my heart. Through 23 years of great parenting (made possible by Steve and Theresa White), awesome teaching, and un-paralleled mentorship, a new “conflict” is commencing.

What on God’s green earth am I talking about? Well, it all began with some outrageously priced oil and a set of feet that a very wise woman saw only fit to be washed with something as personal as her own hair. Yes, John 12:3. On a wonderful walk on this beautiful day to the wonderful place of meditation known as the Targu Mures McDonald’s, something landed on me like a landslide.

It is a commonly known teaching that what Mary did this day was an act of worship. There are a few characteristics that I feel qualifies this as worship. It was firstly without restraint. She put her entire being into this thing, it also cost her incredible amounts of money, and it was at the feet of the Son of God with a heart of love and sacrifice. Now, if that isn’t worship, then please email me to correct the impending heresy… Much thanks ;)

Now, how did this story of old change my way of thinking… I realized how pure a form of worship was witnessed here. Mary took a monetary thing and used it to honor her Savior. She didn’t go out and sell it as the “rich young ruler” was instructed in an earlier encounter, but used it. Jesus was happy about this too! She didn’t just pour this liquid gold on the ground, or some random homeless man, but the King of Kings and son of the Most High. This is where she focused her efforts, resources, and possibly most prized possession.

There are people who get a mindset that if they have something of great monetary value, then the best way to use it to give glory to God is to give it away. First off, the practice of selling what you have and giving it to charity isn’t wrong, there are people who find God there, much like this rich young ruler would have if he were to follow Jesus’ instructions. However, this is where God becomes to amazing to me. He is so incredibly individual. He has a plan and a purpose so specific to each person, even the way that we encounter Him is special. He only appeared in a burning bush once.

I can only put this in a way that bears witness for me, but here I go.. My guitars (6), pedal board (effects), and amplifiers are my oil. My hands are then my “hair”. With every note I play, I focus it at the feet of my God. To put it into perspective, I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12 and the equipment that I play on from a day-to-day basis is worth approximately $2,000. More than half of this was a gift to me, which actually causes me to place an even higher value upon them. For example, I can buy a DD-20, but I wouldn’t see my friend Jason Everman every time I hear an echoed note or effect.

So how on earth does this relate to Mary’s high-ticket oil?

How I use it.

I take what I have, what I value most out of all my possessions, and intentionally focus it towards my Creator. I don’t use it for fame, glory, or even a paycheck (although I sometimes wish!). I have a love for music and playing guitar through multiple, expensive little boxes and one big, expensive box. So me taking that and “pouring” it upon my Savior in worship, a consummation of a relationship, is to me one of the beautiful expressions that I can offer to my King.

People then wonder why I like to play guitar alone……

So, where does this leave you? It’s simple, what is your oil and how are you going to wash Jesus’ feet?

My Biblical Basics

Posted: March 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

What is the Bible?

Basic? Maybe. Controversial? Usually. Useful?        DUH!!!!

In light of some recent conversations with some respectable people with who I happen to be acquainted, I have been inspired to simply answer one question:

What is the Bible to me?

This actually took a great deal of deep consideration to intellectually record my thoughts and truly answer this question for myself. I don’t know what you may answer, or most people for that matter, but after some debate , deep conversation, and getting to know the inside lens of my glasses on more than a few occasions, I feel that I’ve come up with part of this vast subject. Again, this is just me, it is by no means reflecting the opinions of…. well, anybody else :)

The first leg of my journey, or page in this case, started with the question of, “Why do I even read the Bible? God still speaks, right?” This was simply answered. It’s called being a homo sapien. Or for a less taxonomic word… human. I can be wrong, I can misread pretty much anything if it’s surrounded by the right circumstances. Basically, I’m not God, so I need to read words that were inspired by God in order to make sure that all these thoughts in my head are even from God! Now, God still speaks to me with various lines of communication, but the Bible is like…. well, this goes into my next point…

Have you ever done any construction work? Wood working at all? As I’m sure that many other circles use a very similar tool, these areas are where I learned to value the wonderful advantage of owning a “square”. A square comes in many forms, but always one purpose: it keeps your lines straight, usually for 90 degree angles. With that being said, how does this relate to the Bible? Well, it keeps me straight. When I hear something, or someone tells me something, no matter their reputation, I use this “square” to weigh their words. See, if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Heb 13:8), why then would He stray from what he has already said? That is one of the many things that God will never do… contradict Himself.

Now, I know that there are entire denominations in this world that believe that the Bible, notably the King James version, is the only way that God still speaks to us. I want to be very clear in my beliefs. God speaks however He wants to speak and I can’t even begin to list the different methods that He uses to get His message on the table. This goes back to my previous statement… Homo sapiens. Don’t worship the Bible, worship God, but use what God has put at our fingertips as He intended us to use it.

But why read it every day?

This feels slightly easier to answer. You see, God put his heart on paper for us. What more can I say? This is history, God’s history with us. When we want to understand our country, what do we do? HISTORY CHANNEL!!!

So, to sum up this entire blog into a single phrase, the Bible helps me to make sure that I’m living my life on the straight and narrow (Matt. 7:13-14). Yes, a very broad topic that I have only taken a sip of the barrel…. peace.

The Poor Man’s Penny

Posted: February 28, 2011 in The Life, What I'm Learning

It’s not the amount, it’s the principle and the heart behind it.

Some of you may have already conceived what the title of this blogs means. I’m sure that most (if not all) of you have heard the story of the widow’s 2 copper coins in Mark 12:42, but I had a similar experience my final week in America before my return to my mission in Romania. There were no widows involved, and 2 coins would have doubled this particular donation, but there was a homeless man…. and one rather shiny penny…

This was the second year that I was going through my last week of church before the long trek over the mass of water known as the Atlantic ocean. Praise and worship was the usual, which mean out of the world at my church! However, this week was a bit different because it was my send off week. After the music stopped, Pastor Larry called me to the front. I joked and said, “How do I follow that,” for the presence of God was heavier than 2 barrels filled with pure platinum. Larry then said the coolest thing….

You’re not following it, you’re right in the middle.

Those words hit me like a hurricane and all I had to do was let the wind carry me like a kite without a string. After delivering one of the most radical testimonials of my life and explaining who I am “in 5 minutes or less”, multiple members of the church surrounded me with faith, love and the power of an everlasting God for my send-off prayer.

The prayers were nothing short of outstanding, but I would expect no less from this crowd of crazy people ;) However, it wasn’t until after it was all said and done that the most amazing revelation walked up to me….

After the dust had settled and people were returning to their seats, a bearded homeless man put himself in the path between me and my seat. He said that he was outside asking God for something that he could give to me, for he had no money or material possessions of any value. He looked down and saw an outrageously shiny penny lying on the ground and knew… this was it.

I’ve been given more than most in my life, but when this man took my hand and gave me what could be considered worthless piece of copper in most circles, something hit me.

…. this poor widow has put more than all those who have given….

Up to that point, money was at the front of my thoughts on most days, and usually because I don’t have enough of it. However, that night, something changed. A new understanding of where money comes from poured out on me in a deluge. Then that’s where the big one dropped….

Where’s your penny, Doug?

With people donating to me on a regular basis and me struggling to get by financially, it’s slipped my mind more than a couple times to give to someone else out of my blessing. I’ve been holding back what God has been giving me. It was at that point that I said NO MORE holding back, no more fear, no more worries. My money isn’t mine, it may buy my food and my clothes, but I’ve never owned it, especially in the past 2 years.

God gave me the keys to His car and I drove it around like I owned it, an all too common mistake. That car gets us from A to B, but without gas in the tank and keys in the ignition, then you’re not going anywhere (no hot wiring, don’t get smart with me!). If you recognize and understand who owns that car and who pays the gas and insurance, then maybe it won’t be so hard to give that annoying brother a ride to soccer practice from time to time when Daddy asks you to….

Well now, the current dilemma that I am experiencing is what I should write about. It’s not that I don’t have the subject matter in which I believe you, the reader, would be entertained, the issue centers around the fact that I cannot seem to select which subject matter to base this post on. You see, it’s been more than a minute or two since I have last blogged and I have probably learned more in this past month than the rest of the summer all rolled into one. So you see? What do I write on?

Aha.. I found it..

Love

A broad topic? Maybe. Sure, I know that I could type for weeks on this single topic and still not cover all that there is to be taught, well, I wouldn’t even get close. So why on earth would I choose such a broad topic to blog about? Well, this is what I’m learning about, that’s it. No, literally, love is IT! Love is the beginning, the end, even the in between. I’m sure you are all familiar with the fact that we all need to love and be loved, that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is theology. Love is theology in it’s most basic form. This is the point where all theology needs to begin… and even end. You see, God is love, God created us out of love, Jesus commanded us to love in both of the 2 greatest commandments. So, what’s the big deal? Well now this was explained to me in the most peculiar way… through small children who half the time didn’t have a clue what I was even saying….

I recently finished a book by Heidi Baker titled “Compelled by Love”. In this book, Heidi goes through Christ’s most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, and explains the beatitudes, but from a perspective that she learned from the poorest of the poor, the children of Mozambique. THE key to her ministry is love. One of the things that she is famous for is healing the blind and the deaf. Did you know that she was learning how to love a long time before any of that happened? Now, the question I had to ask was how. How did she get to the point of healing and love that she is at now?

Many Christians’ dreams are to heal the sick and the blind. However, something that I learned is that so many of them want to skip the most important step! One has to learn how to love. There is a point where a person runs out, what you can do physically and emotionally just ends, it’s done, gone, finished. That is it. When you are laying face down on the desert floor, you bottle is empty, your tongue is dry, and your body is beaten and bruised… that’s it, that is where God shows us how to love.

God has to get the “us” out of the way before He can really show us how He loves. This is hands down the most important concept of my personal Christian walk. Love… always… period. Harder than it sounds, don’t worry, I know it’s easier said than done. You see, last month, I prayed for God to teach me patience. He did, it was rough, but I learned a great lesson about love.

Now, for sake of my poor little fingers not falling off, I want to jump to the next idea. How did Heidi get to the point of healing the deaf and the blind? Well, how did Christ do it? That’s the real question. You see, Christ is in us, Heidi Baker is not in us, Christ is actually in Heidi Baker.. what a thought!! Now, what did Christ do? What was involved in His healing ministry? It’s quite simple when you think about it…

Matthew 20:34
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

This is not the only place that Christ had compassion and then healed. I once saw a minister that would cry with people before praying for healing. Maybe, just maybe God needs to really teach us how to meet people where they are, how to relate with them before He gives us this crazy power from on high. If there is one thing that can destroy a ministry faster than a snap of a crack in the teeth of a canine, it’s pride. Once God teaches us to love, without any thought of self, then we learn how to have compassion.. then we learn… and then…

We do.