Category Archives: Bible

I’m Sorry I’m a Christian

This caught my eye today. Be warned, there are a couple f-bombs.

Saying Goodbye to Mexico (For Now)

I’m back from another amazing trip  to a foreign country. This time it was Mexico and despite it’s extremely close proximity, it was my first time there. Going into a trip like this, I try not to have many expectations. I try to be prepared to engage in a new culture but that is about it. I just ride the wave that God’s pushing.

We went to Rocky Point and let me tell you it is kind of a sad place. It’s a city saturated with awesome ideas that were never able to come to fruition. It is riddled with skyrises that have done nothing but rust for the last couple of years. Apparently, when the American economy stepped in sinking sand, we all stopped traveling down to the rocky point that was fantastically popular only a few months before. Because of that, all of the people, who came up from other parts of Mexico to get an easy job in construction, brought their poverty with them.

With that as a backdrop, God did some really great things on this trip. The reason we went was to build a house for a family but the purpose of the trip was far more expansive. Originally, we were to build a single house for a certain family but because another church group was there at the same time as us, we constructed a double-wide home for another family. The two-and-a-half days of construction were filled with hard work, futbol (and football) with the kids, and an incredible cross-cultural fellowship with our Mexican neighbors. It was an amazing experience to work alongside dozens of Mexicans who deeply care for their neighbors as Jesus commanded. There was a very distinct sense of hope and joy and an incredible ability to communicate silently through that. The construction ended with a dedication and expression of gratitude that was awe-inspiring and tear-jerking.

God is doing some crazy things through our facilitating organization, One Mission. They are empowering the people to be able to provide for their needs by using their tools and working alongside them. Plus, they enable Americans to be a part of it, thus knitting the two cultures together. The Body of Christ as it should be. An amazing thing.

Once we were done with the house, we were able to visit a family for whom another New Valley group had built a house about a month ago. The family had added on to the house, converting it from a single to a double. They had completely furnished it and considered themselves wonderfully blessed. They new they had so much and have committed their lives to giving. “To whom much is given, much shall be required.” Seeing this, I had two thoughts. 1: It’s really cool to see what has happened because a group was able to come down and build this family a house. They have capitalized so well. 2: If he knows much is required of him because he was given a house that’s not even as big as my parents bedroom, then how much more is required of me?

The last morning, we had a debrief time on the beach in which we all shared highs and lows. The lows were admittedly trivial and sometimes humorous. Among the highs were building alongside the Mexicans, playing with the kids, seeing the other house, communicating through the language barrier, and experiencing the beauty that can only be found in simple places.

I am so thankful that I was allowed to go on this trip. As is His way, our Father accomplished mind-blowing things while we were there. And He hasn’t stopped since we left. He continues to work yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

What KIVU Is All About

I apologize for not having anything up yet for the Morocco trip. I’ve been working on a video and my editing stuff has stopped working on two different computers. I hope to have stuff up before the end of the week. In the mean time, check out this promo video for Kivu. Kanakuk Colorado, the summer camp I’ve attended for the past five or so years is branching out under the new name Camp Kivu. I’m way stoked about the move. Kanakuk has been an awesome experience in my life and a major player in my walk with my Father. However, the change will allow for some super excited new things to happen. The video is really good and explains the vision perfectly.

The Power of Preparation

Next Wednesday, I leave for Morocco with my Dad and some of my closest friends. It’s gonna be a great experience no matter what happens. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to prepare and plan for it. I haven’t started getting things together or anything like that but I have been praying and reading and hanging out with the guys I’m going with. 

Usually, when I go on a trip like this, I just go. I don’t really prepare myself that much, I just jump in. Now part of that is because I usually go with a lot people that either live far away or that I don’t know. Another part of it, though, is that I usually don’t function that way. I just go into things and see what happens.

This trip is different though. We’ve already had a couple of meetings to discuss the trip. We’ve prayed together and spent a lot of time together focusing on the trip. It’s been really cool. I really do think it’s a good idea to go to God and ask Him to prepare the way. Ask Him to give people dreams and to open their hears for what is to come. I really do think it makes a difference.

We have another meeting tonight and I hope that it proves to be fruitful!

what’s our role in the Solution?

A couple of days ago, I woke up to a wonderful dream. I was sitting on a street corner with some old friends and we were talking about the problems in our world and what our role was in the solutions to those problems. It was a great discussion. Sadly, that’s all I remember. No details. No divine revelations from God. Just a good conversation.

Even though I can’t remember anything specific from the conversation, I can’t help but think about it. For a couple days now, it’s been taking priority my mind. There are so many problems with our world. At K-CO, we talked about what breaks our hearts and how those things propel us to move and shake. At one point, we split up into groups. Each group talked about a different issue that broke their heart. Conversations centered around things like Genocide, Poverty related issues like lack of Clean Water and Malnutrition, Medical issues like Malaria and AID’s, Sex Traffiking and the Objectification of Women, Abortion and Divorce, Depression, and many other issues that span the globe.

I wish I could have been a part of each group. My heart breaks for all of the issues. These are the things that break my heart. The things that make me move.

I don’t think any grand ideas or bold revelations came out of those conversations. But they were good conversations to have. To get people to think about the problems and what they can do to help. My generation is a pretty cool one. We care about a lot of issues. We are not prepared to sit by as people hurt. We may not be quite ready to change the world but we’re talking about it. We’re moving towards it. We want to get there and we’re working at it. We want to change the world for the better. We want to be a part of something bigger. Something Godly. Something good. We want to help people.

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“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Muslims, Christians, and Jesus

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In preparation for my trip to Morocco, I’ve received a lot of reading material regarding Muslims and overseas work and stuff like that. I haven’t really read much of it but I did read a book that is not on the “required reading” list by Carl Medearis called Muslims, Christians, and Jesus. The Medearis’ are family friends and Carl and my Dad are pretty close. Though I’ve never actually met Carl, I feel like I know him farely well because I’ve listened to him talk numerous times. The Medearis’ lived in Beirut, Lebanon for twelve years trying to follow Jesus, all the while collecting many incredible stories.

Carl is one of the most intriguing story tellers I’ve ever listened to. I’ve heard his stories over and over again and they haven’t gotten old yet. He is all about trying to follow Jesus. Carl is not the smartest or coolest person I’ve ever seen but it doesn’t matter because with him it’s all about Jesus. Everything is about Jesus. Jesus is the answer, not the cliche.

Carl is a refreshing breeze on top of everything that is wrong with the religion of Christianity. Instead of reading biblical texts, he tells stories from his own life that illuminate truth. Instead of trying to convert people to another religion, he builds relationships focused on Jesus and lets God do what He does. Instead of defending his faith with sound theological answers, he speaks to the heart.

The book is kind of an introductory course into the world of Islam. Living in the Middle-East for twelve years has given Carl incredible insight into the religion of Islam and the people it includes. Instead of highlighting the differences between Christianity and Islam, he focuses on the things the two have in common. Namely Jesus (surprise right?) Muslims believe that Jesus (Isa) was a prophet of God (Allah) and that he was sinless, righteous, rose from the dead, was aided by the Holy Spirit, was God’s preferred messenger, was near to God, was blessed, performed miracles, had the title Christ, and is God’s word. God gave Jesus the New Testament, in which is guidance and light. God taught Jesus the Bible and wisdom. All of that is in the Qur’an. WOW!!!

So with all that in mind, why would a Christian (“little Christ”, someone who follows Jesus of Nazareth) skip right to the end of the story when talking to a Muslim (“one who is submitted to God”, someone who respects Jesus very much but does not believe He is God). Why not just talk about Jesus’ life and His teachings and build a relationship on that.

While this book definitely focuses on relationships between Muslims and Christians, it has a message that all Christians need to hear no matter who they have relationships with. Take a time out from the religion of Christianity and discover who Jesus really was and really is. You might be surprised at what you find but you won’t be dissapointed. I don’t think that was the lone message or even the main message of the book but it’s what I remember. If you have the chance, definitely check it out for yourself.

The Bride and the Bridegroom

I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot recently. It’s just one of those big, bizarre things in life that gets my mind spinning. I’ll warn you right now. There will probably be no logical order to this post (maybe a little but not much), just a bunch of random thoughts.

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Marriage is so cool! A man leaves his own family and begins a new one with the woman he’s chosen to love for the rest of his life. They become one. What a weird but great concept. They are so close to one another. They can tell each other everything and not worry about coming off foolish or lame. They devote themselves to each other. Eveything they do is a gift to the other. They are best friends, passionate lovers, and soulmates.

It’s not always like that though. In fact, it’s probably not like that more often than it is. It really sucks when marriage is done wrong. Either the people don’t know what they’re getting into or Jesus is not at the center of the relationship. How can you expect marriage to work out if Jesus is not at the very center of it. Marriage is a representation of His relationship with us, His followers. Jesus gave up his life for the church so that it could be holy, pure, and unblemished in His sight. Husbands should do the same thing for their wives. Give themselves fully so that their wives can be holy, pure, and unblemished, the most special thing in his eyes.

Like any relationship, a good marriage will still have ups and downs, for sure. But that doesn’t mean any of the other stuff just flies out the window. It still applies and as long as Jesus is the focus the marriage will probably come out stronger than before.

Phil Wickham has a song called Divine Romance. It’s a great song about our love with God. It’s completely weird to think about at first but as a follower of Jesus I’m the bride and he’s the bridegroom. He gave his life so that I could be holy, and blameless, and awesome in His eyes. When the bride goes to be with the bridegroom, there is a wedding feast. I absolutely cannot wait to go to heaven and see Jesus and be with Him. I’m in love with Jesus and I just want to be around Him. When I first started thinking about all this, I couldn’t get over the whole male/female thing. But once I was able to pull back that curtain, I was able to see yet another part of the Almighty Creator. It’s really quite hard to explain in words.

I really look forward to marriage. The other day my Dad asked if I was in the B.U.T.R. club (Bachelor Until The Rapture) because I didn’t have a girlfriend. I said no way. I very much am in anticipation for the relationship that is marriage. But that doesn’t mean I’ll get married at an early age. I love the freedom that can be exhibited through singleness. I love to go to cool places and do crazy things and not have a job. When God shows me that it’s time, I’ll embrace it. Until then, I’ll embrace the life I have.

Whenever I see people getting married, I think about what it would be like. I’m so glad I’m only 17 and don’t really have to worry about it (not that anyone should worry about it) because it’s so bizarre. The thought of completely giving myself to another, while not far away because of the presence of Jesus, is daunting and frankly kind of scary. But it is good.

I know lots of people who are doing marriage right and I am so thankful for their modeling. Thanks Mom and Dad especially. Love ya’ll!!!