Posts Tagged ‘love’

Monday

Posted: September 26, 2017 in Moments of God, Seattle Church Plant
Tags: , , ,

CaptureMonday – I love Mondays. It gives us a great opportunity to walk into the lives of people around us and bring blessing and encouragement to the beginning of their week. Mondays around the offices of Epic Life Church are a bit busy and full of conversation and…let’s just say, “other things.”

This past Monday went something like this. It’s good to reflect on these Mondays.

    1. I got to drink coffee at Victrola Coffee with a great friend of mine, Jared Burwell, who is a pastor of a new church in SkyWay and is reaching the neighborhood in really awe-inspiring ways. He is a great leader and disciple-maker and friend.  New Story
    2. Then I had to run back north and swing into the Wendals Licencing center on 130th to get a new license plate for my new 1984 Honda Prelude. Nice little car with only 50k miles on it. d1b5409086c27a37a1c8c2391e81f797--honda-prelude-It should last another 200k. While there I got to encourage the lady behind the desk who was clearly downcast in her soul.
    3. I stopped through RiteAid to get some vitamin C – a cold is going around my home. For some reason decided to pull out $40 cash from my debit card when I paid for the V-C.
    4. After receiving my new plates with a “What the…” price tag, I received a text from a friend who asked what was happening at the church building. because he was turned away from entering the parking lot by a dozen armed police officers.  ?
    5. Driving down the street the mile back to the office wondering what happened in the Giving Room, I turned up Stone Ave. and saw the aforementioned text in 3D. Yes indeed, there were several officers walking down the street with heavy gear and weapons. But the action was over and upon talking with an officer I learned a man from the streets pulled a very real looking pellet gun, but didn’t threaten anyone with it, and was sent on his way.
    6. I did get to then spend a half hour with officer Jeff Dotson who told me that earlier that month Hector
      Hector

      Hector

      had prayed over him while he was on duty on Aurora Ave. N. He also said he really likes what Epic Life is doing on Aurora Ave. and what we bring to the city that the city just doesn’t get. “They throw money at the problems hoping to fix them, you find problems fix them.”

    7. There is a prayer meeting happening this morning, praying for the neighborhood.
    8. The Giving Room was in full swing with dozens of guests taking advantage of
      Grace

      Grace

      receiving bags of groceries to help their meal planning throughout the week. Grace is busy, leading her team, praying for people, sorting shelves, carrying boxes of food, organizing, and smiling.

    9. Also in the Giving Room are several Brothers and Sisters sharing, helping, caring, disciplining and reading the Word with our friends who spend hours sitting in a community, which they long for, as most live in solitude. Many in a government housing project for the mentally, physically and addicted ill. They smile here.
    10. After the giving room shuts down for the day, a prayer meeting starts back up, clean-up occurs, and then a Bible Study. The people who are caring for our less fortunate neighbors, actually care for them so much they pray for them by name.
    11. Laura has been here most of the morning – counseling. She is a professional and points people to Jesus while counseling through life.
    12. The Preschool has been running throughout this morning – ten kids, several from the Epic Life family and several from the neighborhood. Katy does
      Katy

      Katy

      such a great job teaching, encouraging, caring and loving these kids. It’s a beautiful multi-cultural class. The parents will come in and drop off the kids and come back to get them, sometimes hanging around the office drinking coffee.

    13. One man came in asking for work. Not to be paid, but so he will be able to stop drinking. He wants structure. I showed him some gardening and clean up things he could do. We made a clipboard for him and time schedule. He smiles.
    14. A man, who attended the service on Sunday came back today- looking for some money to help him get back to Colorado. He just had throat surgery and can barely speak. I had just gotten $40 from my debit card at the RiteAid, he needed it.
    15. One man found himself on the yellow couch in the office. Drunk. Ashamed. Hector, Alyssa
      Alyssa

      Alyssa

      and I prayed over him. Encouraged him to allow the grace of the King to wash over him.

    16. Justin
      Justin

      Justin

      spent the afternoon working on the stage upstairs. Tearing an old drum cage apart, making more room, listening to music, preparing for Sunday.

    17. Aaron showed up later, after teaching all day and commuting for more of it, to sand, sweep and paint the stage, because he saw it
      Aaron

      Aaron

      needed to be done and he knew how to do it. He’s our soundman, electric guitar player, and elder.

    18. This morning two neighbors emailed us to let us know an extension cord was plugged into an outlet on our building and strung three houses down the alley. They are the same outlets the men and women of the street gather around to charge their phones, smoke, sleep, shootup, and commit other nefarious acts. We will be taking these outlets out.
    19. I opened the front doors only to run into a man sleeping on the steps next to a little girl’s bicycle. He got up, staggered, mumbled, clearly high on substance. He asked for food, he got some, he stumbled away.
    20. Tonight a dozen or so ladies from the neighborhood will show up for an hour to Zumba.
    21. Some kids and their parents will play in the playground after school lets out, maybe after dinner.
    22. There will be a couple of little girls digging in the sand volleyball court.
    23. Later tonight, someone will sleep in one or more of our doorways, smoke some cigarettes, weed, or vapor, someone else will shoot heroin into his or her veins, a young woman will be left on the cold concrete.

This Monday will end and another will come – have we shared the miraculous love of the miraculous King. Our hands, our feet, our voice, our eyes, all convey love. Share it.

Oh…and there was no race or political bent in this post, yet it was full of many different people from many different family groups, no fingers were pointed, only love given.

Advertisements

ImageI just bought a new car last week, 1990 Honda Accord. It’s black, lowered a bit, fun to drive. Its going to be nice to save some money on gas.

Two days after I bought it was the last day of 2012 and since the world hadn’t come to an end yet I went to pick up the Epic Life mail one last time from my good UPS friend John Apple down at the Oaktree village. Thumbing through the stack of junk, packages and letters I crossed the sidewalk without looking up, hit the remote, and opened the door to my new ride.  As I slid into the driver’s seat my eye caught a girl walking the same sidewalk I just crossed. She landed in a iron chair outside of the UPS store I had just left. As she sat down our eyes connected and the corners of her mouth turned up and she winked at me with a, “Hey Honey…” wink. I smiled back and turned my attention to getting my key in the ignition as fast as I could and powering on my space ship and flying.

But it didn’t start.

I looked up and the young lady was still sitting there and from under her furry brimmed hoodie came another smile. I tried turning the key again but to no avail, the car wasn’t going to come to life and whisk me away, back to my busy life. After a few more tries it was time to call Tony, I know he has Mondays free so maybe he could come get the car started. I looked up again and became aware that I was still being watched.

So… I got out of the car and went and sat down next to her. She said, “Hey there.” I replied, “Hey there.”

And then I asked her how long she had been working on the streets. I was surprised at how fast she moved into conversation about prostitution with me, as she told me she had been working at a regular job but had a girl friend earn in two days on the streets what she would make in a month at a job where she paid taxes. She needed money to live and this paid the bills. She spoke between slow draws on her cigarette, raising and lowering her hand to her scarred chin and cheek.

Then I told her that she is much more valuable than surviving a life of giving her body to be used and living alone in a motel room night after night along Aurora waiting for another guy named John to call her. 

Heather crumbled into her lap and began to weep uncontrollably. 

I spoke of the great and miraculous love of Jesus and the transformational power of Grace and forgiveness and that I have these great friends all around me who would welcome her as part of their family. I then offered to take her home, to spend New Years eve with my family. I would even buy her time if she needed that.

Her sobs where audible to anyone walking past as she relayed the story of her horrendous experience as a child. A kind woman, who passed by two minutes earlier, offered us a couple of lattes as she returned. She had to be an angel. 

Heather declined my offer, said she couldn’t do that, she would only hurt us, and became very skittish of the situation she had found herself in. It seemed time to let her go, so I wrote mine and Kristine’s name and my cell number down on a napkin and told her that no matter when or where, if she needed to call I would answer. If she needed protection I would be there. She quickly folded the napkin in half and pushed it into her purse, while wiping her mascara smeared eyes with her sleeve.

Tony arrived. 

Heather left.

The car started on the first try.

I often have the privilege of speaking into the lives of the young men around me who are hoping and praying that God brings a wife to them soon. This hope and desire can be confusing and often selfishly motivated but it presents a fantastic moment in our lives to learn a great deal about ourselves; things many men never learn.

If a man is in deep pursuit of God I know that God is building into this man at all times. He is creating a man of God, a warrior, a champion who will be willing to lay his life down for his princess and family. If we allow God to work on us there will be a time that you will not recognize yourself if you could stand in front of your past self.  A big part of that re-creation and re-structure is our willingness to be re-created. A willingness to stand aside in humility and offer ourselves to the process. You must lay yourself down, to the side, so that God is then free to bring the abundance on. Think about that verse in Malachi (Malachi 3:10), “Test me! Tithe…give…lay your self down…put your control aside…and give it to Me. Bring in the entire tithe. See if I won’t bless you in crazy ways; overwhelming ways.”  When you are ready to lay yourself aside, God then is ‘free’ to give to you that which is ‘fragile.’ Like leadership, or vision, or creativity, or the lost, or…a woman.  He is free to give you those things that you have the capability to ruin, to destroy, to abuse, to kill.

The ultimate in a man’s life is his sexuality. When you have given that over to God and he can count on you not to destroy the fragile flower of a Godly woman….you are then ready to receive that great gift.
So, “Are you ready?  If God brought a woman into your life do you have the strength to protect her? Protect her trust, her body, her faith, her intimacy?”  That is the question that you must answer. If you are asking yourself this I truly believe you are on the precipice of an amazing discovery in your life.
There really isn’t anything more beautiful and attractive than a woman who is completely in love with God. A woman who pursues God with abandoned worship is the most gorgeous woman on earth. (The same goes for a man.)
Sadly we decide the pain of being created in God’s likeness and being prepared to receive the fragile gift is much too hard to we take matters into our own hands. We go find for ourselves someone who we can put up with. But because we didn’t do the hard thing up front, the hard thing will be lived out with much pain in the future.

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.


The Real Thing

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

1 Corinthians 13 is not talking about a facade of love, a fake love, an inconsistent love that we put on and take off when it is convenient for us. This passage is talking about the Real Thing…

The thing that lasts and never comes off.

The thing that doesn’t smile and then scoff.

The thing you can count on.

That you can rely on.

The thing that doesn’t go away when times get tough.

The thing that doesn’t shut down when you call it’s bluff.

The thing that lasts longer than a kiss or caress.

That doesn’t just desire to get under that dress.

The thing that doesn’t allow life to become a mess.

And doesn’t lie and cause all that damn distress.

The thing that is patient and kind,

And doesn’t mess with your mind.

The thing that doesn’t envy or boast,

Or burn your heart like whole wheat toast.

It’s not arrogant or rude,

Or insists in its own attitude.

The thing that is not irritable or resentful,

Or rejoices in all things that are evil.

But rejoices in the Truth,

The honest, the naked, the unvarnished Truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends,

but that all depends.

If the love your talking about is Him!

That thing is Love with a capital L,

for Love and for Lord yeah you can tell!

It’s him!

Church, wake up!

Grab your second cup.

Can you hear what I’m displaying?

Get on your knees and start praying.

Ask Him to teach you the way.

To show you how to speak, what to say.

I’m talking about you,

and me,

and we.

Look in the Mirror.

And be the Hearer.

Love is first of all an action, an unconditional commitment, a promise that is never broken.

The cry of affection

the need of love,

can only be filled,

by the One above.

Desire and temptation

on confusion corner,

a hottie mired in trash

with cash as a mourner.

Eyes that see love

that’s twisted and marred.

Hands out to be helped

running into the barred.

Cute is a curse word

Mute is the Christ Herd.

Sex is a rusted tool

There is a man, the fool.

Standing on curb to get

the care of a stranger,

Climbing in a red sedan

with a typical stranger.

A hotel room

A cigar flume.

A defiled bed

a curse word said.

Out in five,

like a bee from a hive,

the dive,

she will strive,

to revive

her heart.

Done in five,

like a bee from a hive

the dive

he will strive

to revive

his heart.

Hurts go deep,

like the sting of a wasp.

Both caught

in a death grasp.

both seeking affection

both getting rejection.

no protection

no direction

no reflection

in need of protection

in need of direction

in need of reflection

the love

the hate

For self has no soul

like a cereal bowl.

Is the Hope available

to a girl in tights?

Is the Hope achievable

to a boy without fights?

transformation?

reprobation?

salutation?

Hope out numbers

the enemies plunder’s.

God’s hand can touch

Gives life to lifeless.

Heals broken hearts

makes hands strifeless.

Transformation?

Yes!

Re-creation?

The Best!

He captures the tear

trades faith for fear

when you run he’s near.

He takes the pain

turns it into joy.

Like a baby child

with a new found toy.

Sister you don’t have

to wait for the money,

to get your love

from one who calls you honey.

There is One greater

who loves you more.

Reach your hand out

and open the door.

to Freedom.

Mister you don’t have

to give out the money,

to get your love

from one who calls you honey.

There is One greater

who loves you more.

Reach your hand out

and open the door.

to Freedom.

To the dance of Forgiveness.

To the glorious Whiteness.

All sin is taken away,

and you become whole.

You never pay for

the redemption of your soul.

You see before you the power

The Man died at just the right hour.

He demonstrated

Proclamated,

Manifestated,

His own love

for you.

While your were

still a sinner.

Buried in self,

and pride

and anger

and hatred

and lust

and the list goes on,

He died for you.

Cause he loves you.

Experience Grace,

Like sunshine on your face.

Just one taste

Gives transformational haste.