Posts Tagged ‘life’

The Eventual Day

Posted: November 18, 2010 in poetry
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So many important things,

Lose their significance.

When a life is broken.

We travel at light speed,

but forced to stop.

When tragedy is spoken.

We are strong

we are tough

we are indestructible,

except when we’re not.

 

We are taught that we must

succeed and be on top.

We cry, “I have arrived!”

Men pursuing the next

level of recognition.

In that, our worth derived.

We are tenacious

we are rugged

we are unbreakable,

except when we’re shot.

 

Buy the house of prestige,

get the car of distinction.

Producing the right perception.

Extremely clean on the outside

but dieing on the inside.

Because of the deception.

We are solid

we are stable

we are impenetrible,

except when we’re caught.

Some tell us to ignore

our hidden eternal soul.

You’re too young to die just yet.

Pamper your precious body,

make your days full of bliss.

Thinking about the end causes fret.

We’re trying to be strong

we’re trying to be tough

we’re trying to be eternal.

Stumbling at Night we will grope.

Come to find out

our lives are fragile.

In just an instance life disappears.

One inescapable moment

brings life to a hault.

Cutting off the expected years.

We think we’re strong

we think we’re tough

we think we’re immortal,

But we will come to the end of our Rope.

 

There will be a day

when you’re driving along.

Thinking of the days to come.

You will crest the hill

one eventual day.

And you’ll hear the final drum.

Are you strong?

Are you tough?

Are you immortal?

Do you have eternal Hope?

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Just a couple of weeks ago Epic Life Church had an amazing worship night at the AXIS property. It was a night of beauty and wonder as we rocked the house singing praise to God who is more than worthy of our praise.  It is awesome to be able to enter into a night of worship with new believers and new friends. Worship that night consisted of a lot of music, a bit of spoken word and four baptisms. I have to say that mixing baptism with worship music and a lot of fellowship is one awesome event. It all created such an amazing environment for worship.

The four individuals who were baptized were such a blessing to be with too. One had been a Christian for quite some time and had never taken the step to baptism and felt God calling her to do so that night with much joy. Another had been walking with God but had gotten off track over the years and was being called to step back into pace. She is seeing much change and beauty in her life. Two others are new Christ Followers who have just given their lives over to the Savior and wanted to show that transformation to the world. It was a beautiful night of Life, Transformation and Power!

We had just wrapped up the evening and Kristine was heading home when she received a call from one of our neighbors that there was a robbery and beating near our home and the assailant was still at large. Kristine called me and I dropped everything and rushed home to find ten emergency response vehicles in our driveway.  The night of Life we had just experienced was immediately shattered as we found out that a man was beaten with a table leg just two houses away from us and taken to the hospital in critical condition. We now know that this man died from the head trauma. Our night of Life turned quickly to a night of Death.

We are reminded that we live in a sinful and fallen world where death rules and the Enemy comes “to steal, kill and destroy.”  We are literally watching as the world around us that is precariously held together with the facade of a superficial idea of life is in fact falling apart.

As baptism represents the transformation of spiritual death to life, we are constantly faced with Satan’s attempts to bring people from life to death, physically and spiritually. We are constantly reminded that what we are doing, introducing people to a life with Christ, is vitally important here in our own neighborhood and there in your very backyard.

Roughly three years ago God started assembling the cast for the greatest journey of my life time. He began bringing specific young men and women together to become the foundational pieces of a remarkable church that would desire and pursue Transformation in North Seattle by offering people an Epic Life in Christ Jesus. This team was part of a college leadership team along with a couple of others. They have had no formal ministry training. They all moved away from their families and friends to work together to start Epic Life Church.

Three days ago I got to witness this same team in a remarkable meeting as once again changes were happening.  I was privileged to sit around a room with this team and watch them speak about God’s vision for their ministries. They shared victories and problems, dreams and visions with many emotionally laden words. Each person spoke eloquently about their ministry with a beautiful understanding of the Epic Life vision and mission. It was awe-inspiring to listen to, even though I already knew what they were about to say.

They were speaking this night because of a new team that we have created called the Development Team. This new team will be a group who help the ministry leaders succeed, by encouraging ministry growth and supporting deliberate balance between the ministries of Epic Life. Its a wonderful idea and will be a fantastic team that will help Epic Life build a firm foundation. The beautiful thing is that this team is made up of Seattleites and myself. In other words, God has raised up men and women from Seattle to lead.

As I sat in this meeting listening and watching these leaders from Minnesota speak and encourage each other and interact with this new team, I sat in awe.  They were so mature and gracious and wise as they encouraged the Development Team about what they were doing and how good it was going to be. There was NO defensiveness or pride or protecting of territory. None.

I have been in few meetings where this happens. But at every Epic Life meeting this is the norm. Our meeting are all but boring meetings, they are always Epic! God has truly developed an amazing team and is now adding to it.  This speaks so strongly of the massive ministry God is establishing here in North Seattle.

Way to go; David, Jeff, Kari, Shelli, Averi, Casey, and Sam!

It was a typical day at the local community college Campus Crusade for Christ club meeting, a group that has double in size since the beginning of the year, but when doubling means adding only thirteen new students it’s still quite easy to recognize those who wonder in who are a bit out of place. A bit out of place was the perfect description of a young man who walked in just a minute late. He found a chair and sat down with his head slightly lowered, trying to not draw attention to himself.

After a slightly awkward “ice-breaking” game the conversation quickly turned to the topic we all came to discover and discuss. As words were exchanged back and forth across the room like a game of tennis between two seven year olds, my attention was turned towards the exposed arms and neck of the “slightly out of place” young man. Flowing fonts in your typical tattoo green spelled words that I couldn’t quite decipher. Maybe they were written in a different language, maybe I couldn’t read upside down.

When my eyes moved from his skin art to his eyes it dawned on me that he not only looked out of place but felt out of place. At times throughout the conversations his down cast eyes would fill with tears, but never did they run over.

Soon the hour club meeting of CRU drew to an end and I made a point of getting myself in front of the this tattooed, muscular, bald man. We chatted a bit about him being at the college to get his GED and then to get a practical job that will help him care for his wife and three children. “Three children?” Was my thought. At 25 years of age he has quite a family. Soon his conversation turned to his wife of seven years and their extremely rocky marriage, his being in and out of jail, and about his restraining order, which didn’t allow him to see his wife or children.  I remained intune and concerned for this young man, who was feeling remarkably comfortable sharing his story to a complete stranger.

Then he told me that he is very concerned for his wife, whom he really loves. “Why are you so concerned?” I asked.

“She is pregnant and going to have an abortion.” He replied.

Without thinking, without rehearsing my reply in my head I blurted out, “We will take the child, don’t let her abort. We will take the child.”

He looked at me, not knowing what to say.

Giving him my cell number and email, I asked, if not begged him to call me later that day and then encouraged him and his wife to break his restraining order and come to our home together and talk.   He had to run to a class. I put my hand on his thick frame and prayed a prayer of protection and wisdom on him.

Later that day his wife called me and as she told me her name I recognized it as the cursively fonted tattoo on the back of the young man’s neck. I was ecstatic that she took that gamble.  We made an appointment for that Saturday morning with both of them at our home.

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009, 10:30 am rolled around and they drove up, and walked across our lawn and into our living room. For the next 3-1/2 hours we listened to their story, the journey that they have found themselves fighting for life through. Patiently they both shared their side of the story. Then Kristine and I poured into them. We loved them, affirmed them, encouraged them, counseled them, and shared the love of the Holy Father with them.

Their faces showed the transformation that only the Holy Spirit can bring to a person.

Tears.

Smiles.

Relief.

Hope.

Forgiveness.

Strength.

At 2 pm, after a prayer of grace, they rose from our couch a new couple. They will continue to have pain and struggle through the coming months, but they have agreed to meet with us and start on a different journey, one of healing and re-creation.

She had an appointment at 1 pm that same day at the abortion clinic, but she walked out of our home at 2 pm with hope and a new found desire to raise their new baby.   This child will change the world!

We are seriously in the business of saving lives and God allowed us to have a first hand experience that saved the life of an unborn child and the lives of a man and woman and their other three children.  This family has a long road of healing ahead of them but God is going to use them and their stories in ways they can’t even imagine as they share with others and are part of saving lives themselves.

Thanks be to the Great Life Saver!