Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oct. 26

I recall a year ago at this very time, sitting in my Volvo station wagon under the turning leaves of Centennial Park. I had a piece of paper pressed firmly against the stirring wheel, trying to poetically articulate why I love this season so much. I left the park that day speechless and with a crumbled piece of paper with scribbled writings that were probably illegible. A year later, I am still unable to put words of worth to the spiritual significance of Autumn.

Perhaps it's because I feel most identified with nature and most in tune with his heart when I see that I am not the only being in His creation that is constantly changing, dying, blooming, thriving..... Maybe I find solace in knowing that the nature around me is dying, only to have life again, and am no longer struck with loneliness. It's like listening to a song and upon hearing the chorus you say to yourself, "I know exactly how he felt when he wrote that", and even more, seeing that the friends in the car with you are singing along with just as much passion.

It's also most obvious in the fall that death, while sometimes harsh and painful, is a glorious and beautiful process. I am unfinished, but most importantly, I am in a cyclical process and am not alone. I am not the greatest version of myself but I can hold fast to the willingness to be reformable. Autumn is a season of relief in the fact that death is essential to life in the Kingdom.

As I read this post, these few poorly-expressed thoughts are not worthy of it's subject. But it's an attempt.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Burden of the Gospel

I just encountered this passage in my Grandfather's copy of The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. Tozer explains the contents of my heart that are far beyond my ability to articulate:

The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him for very long; but even if the multiple burdens of time may be lifted from him, the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled one upon another. That mighty burden is his obligation to God. It includes an instant and lifelong duty to love God with every power of mind and soul, to obey Him perfectly, and to worship Him acceptably. And when the man's laboring concience tells him that he has done none of these things, but has from childhood been guilty of foul revolt against the Majesty in the heavens, the inner pressure of self-accusation may become too heavy to bear.
The gospel can lift this destroying burden from the mind, give beauty for ashes, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. But unless the weight of the burden is felt the gospel can mean nothing to the man; and until he sees a vision of God high and lifted up, there will be no woe and no burden. Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them.

The Knowledge of the Holy,
A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Intimacy Precedes Anointing

A recurring theme since I arrived in Atlanta has been intimacy with Father God. I've had the privilege of sitting under Eric Johnson these past couple of days as he has been speaking in our school. Eric is a 6th generation pastor and is the son of Bill Johnson, senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA.

First of all, I believe that I was created to be a temple for God to dwell in. I believe that I as a follower of Christ am called to host His glory and to operate powerfully in Jesus' name. I am a co-heir with Christ and am seated with Him in heavenly places. I believe that His heart is to manifest supernaturally and to reveal his love for us in tangible ways through the Holy Spirit.
With that said, becoming familiar with God’s works is healthy but when we’re more familiar with the miracles than we are with the God of miracles than we’re in danger of losing intimacy. Eric Johnson puts it, "Don't use miracles and signs and wonders as validation. Signs and wonders should be a product of knowing God intimately."

The power that we receive through the blood of Jesus is what distinguishes us from all the other people on the face of the earth (Exodus 33:16). But we have to remember that the only reason that Moses was able to see the glory of God in Exodus 33 was because the Lord 'was pleased with him and knew him by name'. Moses was intimate with the Lord and thus, got to see his glory.

I have an 18 month old nephew named Jonah. There was a season in Jonah's life where the only time he was ever willing to be with his mother Jessica was when he knew that He was going to be breast-fed. He would reach for her and cry for her because he knew that she was the only one who could give him what he wanted. It was a season lacking in real relationship. Over time, Jessica began to feel used, manipulated, under-appreciated, and certainly not loved.

I fear this is what has happened in the Church. We have tasted and seen that He is good and we've had revelation of the beauty of his presence. But unfortunately, I've seen a spirit of entitlement creep into my generation. We in our spiritual immaturity have begun to demand God to move in supernatural ways. Like my nephew, The only reason that we approach his throne and cry out for Him is for Him to give us what we want. We are skipping the foundational process that our spiritual fathers and mothers worked so hard for. In our inability to trust Him, we say, "God, if you don't move when I ask you to, I'm gonna move." This creates an atmosphere where we fabricate power and try to conjure something. I pray that the atmoshphere that I am in as a son of God will react to me, not me react to the atmosphere.

A passage that Eric highlighted on Sunday morning was Matthew 12:38-39.
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you." He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!.."
I am not proposing that we stop asking God to move, I am simply proposing that we go back to intimacy with God and let the power be a product of relationship.
God, be pleased with me and know me by name!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Last week, I took a trip to Chicago to see Jonsi from Sigur Ros play at Vic Theatre. In retrospect, I can't find the words to describe the experience. As the listener,I tried my best to let him take me wherever he wanted to lead me. I tried to exist in the atmosphere of each song, getting inside of his head, feeling what he felt when he composed it. I believe that this was his intention for everyone in the audience. The concert was so emotionally charged that I felt that even the applause in between the songs was an interruption.

As i've struggled in the past week to describe my experience to others, it has always been understood that this was at the core a very deep encounter with my Creator. I believe that Jonsi's music, whether it was his intention or not, is a very profound form of worship. It captures the majesty, sovereignty, and power of the God that gave him the ability to make music the way he does.
It also captures the spiritual longing of the creation to see the Creator revealed.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Low Anthem

On monday night, I had the pleasure of going to see a band called The Low Anthem at the belcourt (my favorite venue). I had seen them live when they opened for Lisa Hannigan last year as well and I don't think I've ever enjoyed seeing a band play as much as I enjoy seeing them.
They have a very pure and yet haunting sound that I can't quite put my finger on. On their most recent album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, they combine folk and blues arrangements with the elegance of chamber music and the fervor of gospel.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


In these past weeks I've been immersing myself into the world of YWAM. So far I've contacted the bases in Brussels, Vancouver, Dublin, and Reykjavik. I've recently been communicating with the director of the DTS in Dublin. Today, I think Reykjavik is the most appealing. I'm fascinated with the culture in Iceland and am excited at the thought of reaching Iceland for Jesus.

At this point, "your will be done" has become my habitual prayer and I'm willing to go wherever I can be used by God. The more I speak to YWAMers, the less I worry about the funds. I'm constantly reassured that if it is the will of God for me to do a DTS, he will provide the money.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Living With Intentionality

The more I think, the more I realize that what I desire most is to live with intentionality.
So many of my peers are making choices rooted in fear or lack of direction. This seems to be the opposite of the thought process Christ called me to.

At this point, every prospective path is scrutinized to the point that I eventually just get tired of thinking about it.

It's in this place that this entry by my brother is quite encouraging:

"Our best chance of moving with the Spirit of God is to loosen our grip on our own future. Ambition can naturally result in planning, and forecasting our own future is often helpful, and in itself, not sinful. But when the plans we’ve created for ourselves become anchors, causing our sails to resist the winds of God’s intentions, then they become barriers to the intentions of the Spirit. But when the prayer “Your will be done” is a fundamental phrase in our prayer life, our plans are never a hindrance, because they’re never beyond the reach of God’s swiftly progressing story of salvation in our lives."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Peace, Be Still

This season has been a season of intense questions.

"What am I going to do after High School?"
"Should I tolerate war?"
"Is God a bully?"

(To name a few)

In the midst of this, I've learned that the "peace of God that transcends all understanding" that Philippians references is not just a peace that we have access to when we find ourselves in perilous situations. It actually means peace that is better than the satisfaction of having the answers. This is the hardest thing for me to grasp.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"I think the fear of God failing us leads us to 'cover for God.'

This means we ask for less, expect less, and are satisfied

with less because we are afraid to expect more."

-Francis Chan