Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Luke 14:12-14 shows Jesus sitting at a banquet prepared by a religious leader. Jesus starts a discussion about who the leader could invite to his next dinner. He tells him that maybe it would be good idea to not always invite those whom he knows will return the favor and hence keep the circle of recognition going: ie you invite me, I invite you, you invite me, I invite you.  Maybe instead it would be a great idea to invite those who can’t pay you back…you know…those people who are poor, homeless, lame and just not part of the high society.

I have read over this passage several times and actually have preached on it many times too. But this time God opened my eyes to see something that carried much more weight than I had seen in the past.

In verse 13 Jesus says (paraphrased), “Hey man, listen up…when you host an elaborate meal invite those who can’t pay you back.”  

Did you catch what he was saying. Jesus was basically saying that when you premeditate a banquet, when you think a month earlier that you will be hosting a meal and sending out invitations and then going out and buying the food and preparing the meal. When you set the table and pick out the wine. Do this in such a way that you are preparing the table for the elite crowd you usually invite, but don’t invite them. Prepare the meal, pick out the wine and set the table with creativity and thought and your finest, even when you are inviting those who cannot pay you back.

Do we do this?  When was the last time you were serving at a soup kitchen for the homeless and the table was set with the best crystal and china and silverware?  Whenever I have been involved in serving the down and out we get out our best paper plate, paper cups and plastic forks set on a clothe-less picnic table in a non decorated cement floor room where the servers are standing behind the counter slopping the meal onto the plates as the marginalized shuffle through the line and sit alone but together on the bench seats where only “they” are relegated to.

I know we don’t mean anything bad by this treatment…but I don’t think what we are doing is what Jesus had in mind.  The next time we serve our community at Epic Life Church, in the Garden or at One Cup, let’s bring out the best we have and “host an elaborate meal” in Jesus’ name.Image

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Just got to work in the Community Garden on Aurora with a group of Starbuck’s employees, Four Seasons Gourmet, NSCC Sustainability Club and Epic Lifers.  It was a Great day and we got so much done. It went from dug up and messy to level with boxes and retaining walls as we add on to what was accomplished last summer.  Good stuff.  Here’s a couple of pictures and an article from KOMO News.  Community Garden Article. 

Tony and I getting some things ready for the work day on the 11th.

After our work with the local Starbucks Employees and managers

Thank you for you prayers, encouragement and support as we transform this plot of land, that once was a crack house and taking lives, into a garden full of life and full of the Love that only Jesus could provide.

If you are unable to work in the Garden physically but would like to help with the financial portion of this project please send a check:

Community Garden

c/o Epic Life Church

10002 Aurora Ave N – #36

PMB 5501

Seattle, WA 98133

Thank you. Stay tuned as we finish the project up this spring.


I just got home from a small party some of the Epic Lifers threw at a small garden space located on Aurora tucked between the Cicada tattoo parlor and the Easy Smoke shop and directly across the street from the newly established “Dancing Bares” club, a very seedy strip club. We have been given this space by the owner of the land to do with what we would like, so in this space of darkness we are in the process of creating a space of light and color. Tonight the lights were strung over the space as we gathered with a few of the local homeless around some live music, food and conversation.

We are praising God for this moment that began one year ago as we began speaking with the skeptical owners, creating relationships with the business owners and being present on the street. And actually three years prior to this event, prior to moving to Seattle, God shared a vision with me that we would be entering a city with no color and seeing color come to the homes because of Jesus’ blood. Tonight, after being “opened” for less than a year we were gathering with the homeless, the recently drug/alcohol free, the recently released from prison, families and singles who were gathering to bring glory to God. I believe it was a true picture of our favorite verse, John 10:10 “…I have come to give an abundant Life.”

We are positioned in a fantastic place on a not so fantastic highway called Aurora, which is full of prostitution, drugs, abuses, homelessness, human trafficking and everything you can imagine that may come with these. We are in the middle of establishing the Church on the very street that represents the beginning of John 10:10, “The thief has come to steal, kill and destroy…” At this young stage of the life of Epic Life we meet in a theater located in the middle of this darkness and God is giving us great influence and a beautiful name in and amongst the neighborhood. We are seeing men and women come to Christ and be baptized from seven different nations, young and old, affluent and poverty stricken, Lost and Returning. It is truly beautiful.

Sunrise

I love the sunrise, to see it you must get up early. Many people miss the sunrise because it forces you to go out of your way to see it. Those of us who have seen it know the beauty and will find ways to be present when this miraculous event happens.

I see the world around me in the same way.

I have recently gotten to walk with Ben Carlson along Aurora and introduce him to what God is doing on our street. Ben is visiting us from South Africa where he works with the Navigators and is a professional coffee taster. He has a lot of vision for life and future, and talking with him gives me a huge shot of encouragement.

As we walked from the AXIS to the garden space along Aurora and I got to introduce him to business owners and homeless men and women and show him where we minister, sparks started to fly as we praised God for his greatness. We entered the garden space and started envisioning the space green and with a small stage for music and tables and chairs and umbrellas for conversation and a coffee cart where we could sell or give away java to the “customers” of the Space.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if this space was where we held a Bible study for whoever may be walking on the street? Maybe very late at night or really early mornings. That gives me the chills just thinking about it. How about small concerts just for the purpose of bringing music to Aurora? Maybe some vegetables that are growing and people have the freedom to snack? Then Ben says, “Maybe this is your coffee shop that you’ve been dreaming about? It doesn’t even need a building!” Maybe? Oh yeah! What if the tattoo parlor next door actually started partnering with us and looked forward to us being there? Or opened up their back “yard” space to join up with the garden space for a larger venue?

The “what if’s” are huge, when you allow God to push it…

So…on another note but not really, we are at a place financially as Epic Life Church where we are living in the negative, you know – the red numbers. This is a scary place to live, that is strengthening our faith and resolve. But just because we don’t have the finances and resources to pull off dreams doesn’t mean the dreams stop coming. In fact if anything the dreams are growing and God is asking more of us. So we are trusting him in our poverty and owning this new Church as a community in greater ways than if we hadn’t found ourselves in the negative.

Praise God for people like Ben and the business owners who may not even have a personal relationship with Christ and those who are walking Aurora and those who are on our Finance Team with beautiful gifts and leaders who are moving forward even in difficult times and for a church Body who know what they are here for and vision, pure God-driven, life-infused, transformational vision.

“To see North Seattle transformed by finding an epic life in Christ Jesus.”

Find ways to “see” the “sunrise” in your world. It is beautiful and miraculous!