"In His majesty [I write] victoriously for the cause of truth...for the Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary." ~ Isaiah 50:4 (ESV)
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February 23, 2013: The past 27 hours, I’ve been aspersed amidst a sea of youth, meditating on the meaning of “Relentless Pursuit”. And though my contemplations are still settling, what I can say with utmost confidence is the pulse of this year’s Acquire the Fire is beating with these youth in a profound way. As luminous spheres of light encounter raised hands, God is breathing life like fire upon the altar of expectancy – as an infectious flame uniting desperation among an emerging Jesus culture. Truly God is molding slogan not only into an immediate battlecry, but also as a tangible, long-term reality. How magnificent it is to be surrounded by inspirational prayer, desperate to see spiritual highs offset by real transformation.
When I consider the intersection between the emerging generation and the church, I wonder why theology and discipleship are inadvertently misplaced on the backburner of ministerial priorities, and if somehow, this has any connection to young minds believing God is conditional in nature. While most churches defend missional values, the fact is young people sitting on the outskirts of relational intimacy with Christ are not understanding how God never stops pursuing us. Blame religion. Blame fatherlessness. Blame hypocrisy. The effects of the matter seem unchanged.
However, this trend is starting to break, and as Acquire the Fire sweeps the country, the time is now for leaders to embrace a higher desire to see this side of God penetrate unenlightenment on route to permanent establishment inside the hearts of today’s youth. We may not understand perfect patience; we may not understand the idea of being divinely wooed; we may not fathom the absolute nature of God. But this does not compromise a Savior who is uncompromising, who stands unyielding on our behalf.
To intensify faith, God is calling us to indulge in the work He is doing. If we truly believe God relentlessly pursues each heart and can use a generation to accomplish mighty things, why are we so content on only singing about it? Why are we, as the body of Christ, indifferent to holiness and often shy away from complete surrender by denying God into every intimate corner of our lives? Do we stop to think perhaps that’s what young people really need these days? To have this modeled for them? To have mentors, teachers, family and friends eradicate intimidation of a sovereign God’s love, through the demonstration of wholehearted devotion?
I believe many youth are sincerely hungry for the transforming fire of God – to have a supernatural experience launched into celebratory matrimony. However, it’s easy to this analytical mind to speculate if these kids comprehend what transforming fire really is and what it looks like. I mean, who am I to say I fully grasp such power to effectively communicate and radiate it. All I know is this: to find the answers, we can't simply accept truth; we must run after it. And by running after truth, we recipricate the way God blesses us each and every day.
So as I process my doubts and hopes, I can’t help but want to bridge this divide somehow. I can’t help but want to show young people the joy of everything from Spirit baptism to everyday perseverance, while continuing to grow in the likeness of Christ. But for now, I feel like all I can do is return to basics, and re-emphasize what Acquire the Fire achieved is achieving so well tonight - how God never lets us go and never forsakes us during life’s marking moments.
Colossians 3:1-4 (MSG)
"So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ."
Well, folks. We’re one week past the autumnal equinox…and I think we all know what that means…
…break out the fall décor, have
yourself a very merry pumpkin-space
latte, and check Cameron’s blog for yet another preliminary winter weather
Now, I’m not gonna lie: my forecastlast
year busted badly due, in part, to a screaming Pacific jet and lingering 2015-16
Super El Niño side effects. If
you recall, outside of a few days in January and March, we absolutely
blowtorched from December 23 through the end of March with top 5 positive temp
anomalies for the stretch.
Just look at how nasty these CF6's look...
While it’s hard to imagine a worse winter this season, given the nature of
winters since 2011, it’s only fair to wonder what to expect in the months
ahead, specifically between Thanksgiving and the start of spring 2018.
Thus, as I always do this wonderful time of year, I present you my preliminary
teleconnection grades for the winter ahead...
Back when I was a young padawan studying the Word, I had a bad habit of downplaying geography and time as filler. I figured by skimming over environmental details, I'd better discern the “heart” of the passage without being distracted by peripherals.
However, as I would ultimately find, when we consider what the Scriptures has to say about Christ's ministry, we find every word, pronoun and article carrying strategic purpose and placement. Take John 4 for example, where we find Christ intentionally reaching out to a woman at a well. Before the encounter takes place, we’re given comprehensive context with respect to setting, which connects back to John 3: John 3:22-23 (ESV) – “After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing.John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized.” Now, let’s flash-forward to John 4:1-6:
I’m just goin’ cut to the chase… I don’t give a flying fart1 about “Fifty Shades of Grey”. There I said it. Hope I didn’t offend2… In all seriousness… there’s a lot of talk goin’ on about the
erotic romance novel and drama porn film. But I suppose this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all,
talking about purity and pornography should be encouraged in a time where sexual
compromise is at an all-time high. Granted, it’s heartbreaking to come back to these issues
only to find more people wearing blinders3 covering their
sensitivity to graphic eroticism and relational abuse. But I mean…think about it. Just because culture glorifies the
fetish doesn’t mean my opinion belief in awe-fully4, amazing
sex, as God intended, is invalid. Sure, I may be “old school” in the eyes of some, but at the
end of the day, for something to be good, it also has to be right, just, pure, and
honorable (Philippians 4:8). And I’m sorry, but I’m not going to naively waste my breath
claiming “Fifty Shades of Grey” is …