Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The week in review.

This past week (Wed - Mon) I completed the "1400 Miles" literally. In the past seven days (plus a couple of extra) I have been back and forth between Manhattan and KC Four times, Tulsa and Wichita twice, and KC and Tulsa once. In that time I got to spend most of my waking time with my best friends some of which I wont be able to see all summer others I will be seeing in eight weeks in Botswana. I had my last day of work. I made new family in Sapulpa, OK. Witness my sister win the state championship in KS 5A softball. Saw her graduate high school and go to her open house. Got to grab a beer with the guy who is always there no matter what, roomie for life, Tom Lynch. And been supported through some tough crap by the greatest family in the world. I also saw off two of my best friends, Ana (the coolest girl ever) and Jess (the rock that keeps me in reality and wont let my head get too big), to Africa for 11 weeks. I have done all of this on little to no sleep.

What I have learned this week: Anna reminded me what it was like to be passionate about something again. Ana showed me how easy it is to be loved. My parents demonstrated amazing patience. Dee Dee (my moms best friend) let me see what it looks like to love from a distance and give support when needed. And 1550 miles on the road gave me time to think that I am the only one who has the power to change the world, I cant wait to get 'plugged' in I just have to go for it. And after three days of wrestling thru John 15 and fighting the idea of what the literal meaning of bearing fruit is I still have no clue.

Control freak or futuristic optimist?

What does it mean to know all? Who is the keeper of infinite knowledge? In life we seem to have this preconceived notion that someone has been granted with the understanding of all. We live caught up in this thought that there are people out there that have better opportunity in life or are the measuring stick of what life is supposed to be about. Is it that we spend too much time worrying and not enough time doing? What if I am the keeper of all knowledge? What if I am actually the only person who can control what I know, how much I know, how successful I am supposed to be, what I can accomplish, or how everyone else is going to view me? What would my life look like if I didnt live like someone knew more than me?

I am the smartest man I know; not in an arrogant, conceded way. I am the smartest man I know in a confident, I can do anything I put my mind to kind of way. I want to change the world, I don't need to sit around and wait for somebody else to tell me how.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The treeless fruit.

As disciples of Christ we seem to have this notion that we can substitute selflessness for development. This week my mind has been burdened again by the thought of, "what does it really mean to bear fruit?" On Sunday night I had the opportunity to sit down and hear the thoughts of about 300 college students on this topic. Over and over again this idea of the importance of the 'fruit' would come up - the idea that nothing else is as spiritually sustainable as 'fruit.'

While I agree that multiplication and discipleship is in turn the reproduction cycle of spirituality. I also believe that we, as Christ followers, allow ourselves to be over taken by the idea of the 'fruit' and spend way too little time concerning ourselves about the 'branch.'

The 'branch' in this case would be us; our development, our righteousness, our training to be disciples, our ability to be rebuked (and then make an effort for change), even an ability to develop others.

Side note: The thoughts that I have right now are all coming in response to John 15.

My biggest question is, "How can we concern our selves with fruit if we dont have branches that are healthy enough to bear?" Please do not get me wrong, I believe and know that we are to be and make disciples, I understand that. I believe that evangelism is of the utmost importance and there is no one way of doing it and without it there will be an extinction of what I believe in. I understand all that. My biggest concern today is that people become so caught up in the idea (which is the greatest idea of all) of living my life solely for others and not having anytime for myself or any cares for me that they forget their own development stages. We cant have the fruit without the branches - we cant spend all of our time focusing on the 'fruit' forgetting to even plant the stinkin' tree. John 15 is one of these mysteries to me and I still dont have an answer to my original question, "what does bearing fruit actually look like anyway?"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Help Wanted!

I just want to start off with some encouragement that has got me through finals week; Click Here

Anyway I have been having this thought about what the perfect ministry could look like a lot lately. Been trying to see how there could be a campus in unity that didn't fear stepping on toes but just selling out alongside one another for the sake of the Gospel. I guess it goes for anything, why is it that we (people in general) cant ever work in unison for a common goal? Why do we always have to fight each other more than the 'enemy'?

A couple months back Cody and I sat down and brainstormed through what the perfect campus revival could look like. What it would take to get campus ministries to whole-heartedly work along side one another. -- How do we keep from 'vilianizing' other groups with the same goals because they aren't doing it our way? -- I am totally guilty of it.

We made up a list that typed out took up almost three pages. It was awesome, it layed out leadership summits and using each others talents and improving on your own weakness as individual ministries.

If this sounds familiar, I think I wrote about this same topic last month when we were brainstorming through this idea. But it has become a topic of interest to me again in light of some recent progress by the church body as a whole.

Yesterday was the deadline for the first ever 'One Prayer' series that's Craig has visioned. He is taking the church to a whole new level with this, forcing us to believe or at least dream that we truly can "keep the unity."

I just hope to see the day when I am not more worried about how other people are doing things rather just joyed that they are laboring for the same cause in a way that I could not.

"What would happen if we were the answer to Jesus' prayer when he prayed make us one."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Finals week.

School is dominating my life. Thursday cant come fast enough.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Called out.

You know that feeling you get when you realize that a decision that you have made is correct or at least is worth while? When you finally get a sense of peace.

This morning I got that feeling about going to Africa. I know I have felt good about the trip, felt like I have God's ok, but there has been a lot of other junk going on this past semester which has made me second guess that judgement. -- Scripture has helped ease the anxiety and time and again shown me direction, throughout my life, but especially has given me direction this crazy semester-- one of the hardest, most emotionally draining semesters of my life.

The cool thing is, is that God reveals himself through His word. As Christ followers we get so caught up in being super selfless (or at least we say we do), almost to the point sometimes that we forget to realize that we are constantly being trained as well. This morning, God called me out. -- I think it is easy to get caught up in the thoughts about going to the nations and meeting needs, going to the nations and playing humainitarian or ministry hero. In the past 48 hours God has opened the door to Rwanda, Kenya, and all of Sudan. With that said we must pack some unexpected stops into the same six weeks we are in Central Africa. This I dont believe is an accident. I think He is cramming John and I with the brutal realities of the world so that we cant get comfortable in one place for a while, so he can show us the selfishness of our lives. Let me explain:

This morning I was reading in Ezekiel (Ez 36:29-32) and it cave me a better perspective on God's plan for me at least for the first six weeks of the summer. Through Zeek He revelaed himself to me in this way; This trip is not about me, it is not for my benefit, it is to be a servant to others, it is to witness Him in real life, it is to see life that isnt easy first hand. I am in need of a wake up call to see just how easy I have and how I have taken advantage of that my whole life.

I am fearful because God has promised in Zeek to, "clean me up" and I have no idea what that means. What I do know is that I am really good at being "dirty" and this new cleanliness is probably going to rock my "world"... in a good way of course.

PS I love Air1.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

us v. the world

"The esteem of the world is not worth the effort." -Above Garden State

Does it seem to anyone else that leadership, at least in the college setting, seems to all fit in the same mold? There never really seems to be that bold trailblazer. To me its almost the status of the position is more important than the responsibility. What could it look like if we were less worried about us and more worried about the progress of whatever we are leading?

What does that even look like? Pure motives in anything are not attainable but we could at least attempt. Attempt with the realization that at some things we will fail, others succeed and just cut our losses and focus on the strengths while improving upon our weaknesses.

If it is true that the greatest leaders were the best followers than why are we trying to waste our time getting caught up in power trips? The realization should be that we are only great leaders because we were nothing, pee-ons if you will, and became something by the example of somebody/something else.

In Titus Paul gives great insight on leadership - "An overseer... must be blameless-- not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he/she must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined."

I guess my biggest thing is that any type of leadership no matter the capacity is a responsibilty. It is something that will effect someone other than yourself (I mean a leader with out followers is just out wandering around anyways, right?). So why is it that we take no regard for others and do our best to try to fit the image of a "leader"?

Someday we wont get caught up in what everyone thinks is right, we wont get caught up in how others want us to live our lives. We will just be caught up in what we know is right, what we believe in.

Check out 'Above Garden State,' they are releasing their first CD in July. Its a pretty sweet sound.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Today I plead Guilty.

Two in one day -- bare with me.

This afternoon at work I was guilty, guilty of second guessing social justice and caring for the poor. The very thing that I preach about and talk about continuously.

I work at a local bike shop in Manhattan as a mechanic, while at work I was building a bike for a guy who did not pay for his bike. Our gracious manager had worked out a deal to get this gentleman a new bike because he could not afford a new on other wise. That was cool but when I had to put his old rack on this new bike it became a complete inconvenience. Racks are a pain to assemble especially ones that are literally 20 years old and completely rusted. -- Yes I am guilty of complaining about giving something to someone who is less fortunate, giving someone something that will give them something to be proud of.

Its that easy to get caught up in the world. Please learn from my mistakes, lets learn from each others mistakes.

Social justice, a cohesive global community; wont happen over night but we can be a people that starts to hold themselves and the people around them accountable. Our accountability will be the driving force to make us a generation of change!


Our worth only amounts to what we invest our lives in.

Over the last few days I have really accepted the fact and realized that the rest of my life probably will not be spent in America. I think I have said this before but yesterday it became a real thought.


I think I might try to make a sub-category or a branch of 'WhatDoTheyNeed?' called "1:27."

The vision for "1:27" is not just to care for orphans and widows but also living out the second half of the verse (james 1:27), which is 'keep oneself from being polluted by the world.'

So "1:27" wont just care for the widows and orphans, which it will totally, it will also be a massive campaign to bring awareness about the family-less. Keeping ourselves from being polluted by being informed, by realizing the need, by promoting social justice, not being drug down by the norms of the world -- the "If I dont think about it, it isnt really happening" approach.

If we are all created equal then why dont we start acting like it?

Just another idea for the brainstorming sheet. Drop a comment let me know what you think about the 1:27.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Rents and Life

There are two things on the agenda for tonights blog:

1) Does anyone remember Big Ball Sports clothing company? I wore this stuff when I was middle school (the brand name has a whole new spin now than it did when I was 11). Anyways I am at my parents house prepping for a speaking engagement that I have tomorrow and I am sitting in my old room and I have three stickers on my old window; a :big ball sports," "no rules" (I wasnt even cool enough for "no fear"), and a kc cheifs sticker that i distinctly remember came off a Joe Montana Halloween costume helmet. I dont know what is funnier the fact that I stuck stickers of my favorite brands on my window when I was younger or the fact that they are still on there... I guess they just match the Mighty Mouse emblem still hanging on the outside of my bedroom door.

2) What are we living our lives for? I will have much more on this thought later on in the week but I am sitting here in KC bouncing this through my head over and over. Tomorrow I am delivering the baccalaureate sermon for North Platte high school and I though I had the speech down, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to tell them, until today. All i could think about today was "what are these graduates going to try to live their lives for?"

People, we ARE the generation that WILL bring change. I guarantee that. The world should brace itself for social justice, world unity, and a cohesive global community -- You can ney say all you want but the rest of us WILL make it happen!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I was sitting in KSU Student Death Center aka Lafene yesterday and while in the lobby I couldnt help but notice the old homecoming posters framed on the wall. They were posters that ranged from the years 1987-1991 ish. the posters were interesting to me mainly because of the crazy marketing slogans. For example:

"I like the State in U" (HC 1990), "Changing our ways: its a K-State craze." (HC 1989) or even the state slogan; "Land of Ahhs" circa 1989.

These are all catchy yet extremely lame slogans. Which could only make me think one thought, "Are people more cynical about stupid slogans now than they were, lets say, 20 years ago?"

In the recent past we have our share of stupid slogans, i.e.:

"Magic in Manhattan" (HC 2007), "Wildcat flashback" (HC 2005), or without a doubt the most ridiculous slogan of all time property of the great state of Kansas which is; "Kansas. As Big as you think!" (2008)

My thought process leads me to wonder why 'as big as you think' should cost millions of dollars to come up with? I think that the recent homecoming slogans are very cheesy and are trying too hard. I think that marketing something doesnt always have to be cute... its actually ok to be real.

I just wonder since the style in the early 90's was tacky if the students were ok with horrible, tacky slogans as well.

"Changing our ways: its a K-State craze." REALLY, what does that even mean? Thanks K-State and the state of Kansas, just keep wasting my money on horrible PR campaigns.