Friday, April 30, 2010

Giveitaway, Giveitaway, Giveitaway Now.

I got to serve communion for the first time last Sunday at Jacob's Well, after a solid dub sesh and message from the great TR.  I know from the evening's conversations that I am not alone when I say it was a bit of an emotional experience.  There's something about offering people the bread and wine that opened me up to a new revelation of urgency for sharing the Gospel and establishing the Kingdom on earth.  

"Christ's body broken for you, and his blood shed on your behalf."

I've taken the sacrament so many times, and just never even thought what it would be like to offer it to others.  It's been kind of a given, taken for granted.  But my lovely preggo sister-in-law Whitney asked me to step up to the plate, so there I was.  For some reason I was nervous at first.  I think I just felt unqualified, as if offering the sacrament to others meant separation, that I had something they don't.  But as I started I was just flooded with the reality of the priesthood of believers, and that's the beauty of it.  We're the same.  But I do have heaven within me and around me to offer.

I feel like I walked out awakened, with a new boldness and confidence.  And I'm just so ridiculously excited to take this show on the road again.

But, more on that tomorrow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear God, Thank You for Seasons.

North of Queenstown, New Zealand
April, 2009

Life is starting to take on another shape, following a sort of inertia into your goodness.

The beginnings of undisclosed projects are drawn up in spirit, and fruit is growing from the ashes of old self, ripening. Every bit is to be savored.

A life comprised of moments spent in communion with the Creator is such a treasure. There's just no more time for anything but your glory. There's no option but to tend to it with everything, and ruthlessly unload all that's not implicitly prescribed.

Even looking to the right and to the left, as people and things are passing away, you remain so deeply within, all around, without tarrying. Fastened to the rails of provision, your blessings are overpowering, and your gravity compels.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Manna from Poison, or My Relationship With Arby's

In 2005, I found myself one night in possession of an Arby's Market Fresh Chicken Salad Wrap for dinner. Now, mind you, I freaking NEVER eat fast food, but this was a really hurried situation, and I was like "Market Fresh? That hardly counts."

I take one bite and think to myself "this tastes weird." I take a second bite, and before swallowing turn to my company with a horrified look, dispose of the bite in my napkin and exclaim "this sandwich tastes like effing DEGREASER."

We both examine more closely, and the sandwich CATEGORICALLY has some heavy duty cleaning chemical in it. We're talking undiluted. And sure enough, within ten minutes my neck and chest are turning red and my throat is swelling shut.

So, I do what any sane poison victim would do - I get the manager on duty to sign a document vouching that the establishment has indeed fed me a sandwich with some foreign and foul substance in it. Then off to the clinic.

The Doc says, "Dang man, you're getting chemical burns all through your digestive track." They flush me out and send me on my way, but I spend the next THREE MONTHS in and out of the hospital with gastrointestinal issues, esophagitis, and some residual general gunk-in-the-system situation. We were trying all kinds of meds which were only aggravating the problem. So, I finally said enough's enough, threw out the meds, quit seeing the doctor, and did a thorough system cleanse. Just raw fruits and veggies for a few weeks and some other stuff to speed up the process. I was already feeling better within DAYS. Holla. Looyah. And as I reintroduced regular foods to my diet, I had the opportunity to really examine my diet and how different foods affect me.

The situation revolutionized the way I look at food, and I'm so much healthier as a result.  I refer often to the scenario as the strangest blessing of my life, as it has allowed me to know specifically how my body processes all kinds of foods, specifically.  I'm no longer at the mercy of what I eat, clueless concerning the reasons I feel the way I feel.  My tastes and cravings now constantly change to match the specific needs of my body.  It's liberating.  

Meanwhile, as this process is unfolding, I hired an attorney who, long story short, went around and around in circles with Arby's corporate before finally presenting me with a final settlement offer of $800 - only enough to offset about 1/3 of my accrued medical bills. I kind of told them to hose off, since I didn't even know how I'd be affected long-term and didn't want to absolve them.

Eventually, after realizing I was happy and healthy again, I decided to drop it altogether, thinking that even bitterness was a result that I was unwilling to tolerate, like the last lingering poison in my system.

Okay, now fast forward to a year ago when the story gets REALLY crazy. So I've made it to India and I'm working my tail off trying to spread a bit of love and gospel around the globe. I've dropped just a bit more coin on the whole excursion than I actually have. I've never really believed in money anyway, so no biggie, right? I decide to give my birthday away on Facebook causes to the school I was working with in Jaipur. My lovely friends and family came through and totally paid for their new building addition so the school can double in size. And the SAME WEEK, a mystery donation came in to my journey in the EXACT AMOUNT of my remaining deficit. Cool how G works, right? But there's MORE.

After some sleuthing, it turns out that the donor was an old acquaintance of my Pops, who had just happened across my page and felt compelled to contribute. It turns out the money she donated came largely her husband's job, at none other than ARBY'S CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS.

Someone wise remarked "I am constantly reminded of how incredible God's workings are intertwined in the several random, yet meticulous details of our lives."

Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

So good. I've been meaning to blog this for a year.

Another Go 'Round.

This shouldn't come as a surprise.

I'm heading back to the furthest ends of the earth, cultivating the gospel hidden by Christ within me, and hitting the road to share it with everyone I can find.

This is the illogical path. But it's where my heart finds peace, so it's the direction I'm moving.

The money is not there. The support system seems questionable. There's lots of work needed to make it happen.

14 months into the apostolic journey, and I'm still not very good at explaining this thing. I hope it's never explainable. God must open our eyes to other dimensions to get us to swallow the gospel, and the need for its delivery. If I ever "get it," I quit.

Won't you please join me on this absurd journey of love and joy? Help me spread the blessing and provision and peace like a lovely virus throughout all the land?

I'll keep you posted on the details. I'm calling on you, because I can't do it alone.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grand Rapids.

View Journey 2010 in a larger map

Click around the other points in Michigan to read about some of my other adventures while here.