Sunday, March 31, 2013


I started packing my house up tonight. It’s been nearly three years since I moved in here, there’s a ton of stuff that’s been left by the five roommates that have been here during that time and a ton of my stuff.

            It’s nuts to think that in the next month I’ll finish a semester, move to a different state, and get married (to a fantastic woman of God). It’s crazy to think that in four short weeks Wichita, where I was born, and raised, and saw two churches started, and went to school, and made memories, and grew as a Christian, it’s crazy to think it won’t be ‘home’ anymore. Putting my books in boxes and my coats in a trunk made me finally realize what was going on, and it’s awesome and sad.

            This is the time of my life where Gen 12:1-3 is true, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Not to be great or to be known, but merely to follow my God where he is taking me… where he is taking us (I’m not just a single anymore).

            God is incredibly good; he’s incredibly crazy too. He’s made the sun and stars, and men and women and called us to live fully and freely in him. He’s sent his son to save sinners, which’ll always be more astounding than moving to another state and getting married. We always must return to the one simple and wonderful truth that God has saved sinners like us and then called us sinners to be one and worship him while we proclaim Jesus to each other, the world, and eventually our children. That’s crazy.

            It’s Easter. This morning Jesus rose from the dead and on Friday he was murdered by you and for you. He crushed the serpent’s head on Friday and this morning he took death by the throat and killed it’s sting. And therefore it is appropriate that I start packing my things into a box tonight, as an act of worship to my exquisite God who calls us dead to live and us whores to purity – that’s a recklessly extravagant God, the One who saves the un-saveable and restores the un-restorable and establishes the un-established as his children.

            We worship a living God who can make impossible things come to life – who can make fiction reality and kill the dragon of our sin.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Good Friday Post

It's Good Friday, somber and happy. Go give Psalm 118 a read and watch this video:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Relearning Process

Last year when I resigned from my job I told the other pastors that I needed time to "relearn" what I believe.

Let me explain: my faith had become professional; my belief in the gospel had become a daytime thing and a nighttime absence. It was a coping mechanism of sorts – telling people to believe and believe and have faith and endure while my own soul crumbled inside because – for some dumb reason – faith was for the masses but not for me.

What’s more is I felt like I had been bleeding and dying for the church since it started. But that’s dumb too – cause Jesus has already bled and died for his church, that’s not the pastor’s job, the pastor’s job is to point people to the Lamb that was slain, not to be the slain. So in essence I had made the church my god and my faith was the sacrifice to make her live…

Then God broke me. (But y’all know that story.)

When I said, “I need to relearn what I believe,” I had no idea how God was going to do that. In my head there was a picture of rereading every book I’d ever read about God. Then January happened. Then Mackenzie happened – engagement happened and soon enough marriage will happen.

He’s re-teaching me everything I ever learned. He’s taking me – some kid – and sitting me down and saying, “Be a man, follow me.” And I have to, there’s no way to not now. The only way to be a lion-hearted and lamb-like husband is to cling to the old rugged gospel and know the blood of the Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, has covered my wife and I.

I never would’ve expected God to teach me like this, but that’s how he does things, isn’t it? In ways we don’t expect. We think he’ll take us and mold us gently and neatly, but then he does it and it seems so messy and dangerous – but it has to be messy, cause we’re a messy sinful people. He forces us to trust him, in pain and in joy, to look to him and be still and know that he is God and we are not. And he will be steadfast, immovable, and unchanging the same God that Abraham followed and the same God that burned in the bush and stood in the fiery furnace. He will be, “I AM.”

The Rest of the India Thoughts

12) sat in a class in an Indian university. This is no WSU

13) missing the fiancé. Like a lot.

14) this lady said, "from time in memorium," like 5 times. Cool.

15) fall comes after winter in southeast Asian countries. Fun fact

16) an Asian man just bathed me in Off repellant.

17) sombundombu - good bond

18) this kid stole the Internet for three days. Indian justice. I know where the fire ants live

19) you know the white guy sitting on the fence telling people what to do? Yea that's me this trip.

20) Chinese people singing songs from Mulan, ironic

21) leaving is gonna be dang hard.

22) learning, learning, learning

23) Aquafina water makes their mouth dry?!?

24) this fella bought underwear in India. He came to India and bought underwear?

25) went to an Indian prison.

26) Indian girl with a Chinese accent?!?

27) I'm practically an international shipping mule.

28) I hate leaving this place.

29) "I'm gonna miss you." - P. Yesupadam 

30) the next time I see them I'll be getting married to my love.

31) time to be a man.

32) the premier access folks get two lines for the check in counter. Hey united wouldn't it be more exclusive (not to mention smarter) if there was one premier line and 2 economy (cattle car) lines? Or do the lowly masses get to fight for scraps still? (Plus all the folk in that line are white - i feel judged.)

33) is it okay that short guys flying first class makes me mad?

34) I've gone through 6 different x-ray machines. 

35) just swallowed a mosquito, in the Mumbai airport, inside.

36) somehow got upgraded to economy plus for my long flight. God gives yo!

37) this family travels with a bread bag of PB&J sandwiches - their kids will be the next Einsteins.

38) one of the most exciting thins about returning from India is using a Q-tip. Kinda gross but whatever.

Monday, March 25, 2013

India Trip Thoughts (Pt. 1)

Give this video a watch and help us raise the money needed to build the hospital with Love-N-Care Ministries!

1) something about having an African American flight attendant is always awesome.

2) my passport picture looks like a child... Or a different person entirely.

3) this is the first time I've ever seen anyone actually look at the safety card when the lady said to do so.

4) first solo international trip. But Idk if it counts since I've done it twice before.

5) poo, I forgot to get gushers.

6) it's amazingly comforting to see Indians.

7) I slept for 8hrs on the plane. Never done that before.

8) this flight is full of folks who've never flown before.

9) had my picture taken 20 times at the domestic terminal

10) the providence of meeting an American man here to offer wise advice about being a man in missions.

11) India is home!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Returning and All

As trimmed my beard today in preparation for two weeks back in India and a wedding I was singing for I listened to Spotify and Aaron Shust's song, "My Savior God" came on. And while I climbed into the shower to the refrain played again and again, "My Savior loves, my Savior lives, My God he was, my God he is, my God is always going to be."

Then the image of Abraham ran through my mind, the same God, exactly the same God, who he worshiped and trusted and followed with all the hope of his life is precisely the same God who loves me who I follow and who we all, as saved sinners, follow and are loved by. The same God that Jacob followed is the same God we follow. The same God that David followed is the same God we follow.

Are you catching my drift? Are you seeing the commonalities? Are you understanding that this God who always was, who had no beginning and will have no end is the God who created the world, who lead our forefathers, who made a way through impossibility to redeem a people to himself for himself?

It's astounding to think of the reality of those stories we've been told from the Bible. The ones about men like Gideon who told God to make the fleece wet then dry and tested God at every turn. The ones about a kid killing a warrior with a stone. The ones about a massive flood, and about a people being set free. The one about God coming to earth as man and redeeming his people.

The world knows truth when it sees it, then it tries to recreate it in other forms, semi-true forms but lacking the necessary God. Sure gods in other religions did nifty things, but those gods all died and never returned - but here is the true story, the true reality, that Jesus Christ saves sinners by his death and resurrection. Believe it. Believe it with all your heart and all your strength, a heart and a strength given to you by God.

(P.S. pray for my trip, please and thank you!)