Thursday, June 7, 2007

Jesus mission

It's funny, this should be obvious but it isn't always so I thought I'd take a second to reinforce my core values for you.

For me it's all about Jesus.

I remember like it was yesterday what it was like to be a drunk and mildly suicidal teenager. I remember how completely dark and alone life was.

Then Jesus rescued me. And soon after that rescue he made it obvious to me that he wanted me to be a rescuer as well.

That rescuing has taken many forms as he has discipled me and walked as my best friend, mentor, and coach through the years. I was chaplain for a christian band; started and maintained a rave ministry here in Texas; ran a harcore music club; started a younglife; planted a postmoderesque church; and helped coach and build the foundation for to start a campus here.

It has also been about rescuing families, marriages, hope, drug addictions, sexual exploitation, taking in homeless people and a ton of other things.

But it has had some detours as well. Times when I was solely focused on me. My experiences charismatic or inner-healing. Those things were all great when they were on the side stage, but when they hit centerstage things always seemed to go awry. As if Jesus were reminding me time after time that time spent on these things was always to be secondary from the core mission of my life.

To help unchurched people become fully devoted followers of christ.

As my google desktop floods me with trivial or tragic information I am reminded again of rescue.

  • Paris Hilton needs to be rescued from herself
  • The orphans in africa need to be rescued from thier poverty
  • The rapist who killed that teenager needs to be rescued from his demons
  • and the list goes on...

Not just someday to arrive in heaven...but to embrace the wonder of the kingdom of God now! Your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors need rescue. The incoming freshman will need rescue. All of us at some time will need rescue. The BIG rescue of salvation and the smaller rescues that only come through genuine fellowship.

And Jesus has limited the system of that rescue to a degree. It is limited to OUR awareness, courage, discipline, passion, and perhaps most of all gut-it-up obedience.

Face western christianity experience is over-rated and obedience is almost ignored.

In many ways I at times feel like the most unchurched pastor in America. Like I'm faking it, which I'm not...I'm just so far from Holy or a cliche-pastor that I feel estranged the most being around church people. In particular when they use christian-code language and talk more about thier needs and desires than God's needs and His desires.

Maybe I'm rambling here.

You see I was purchased. Bought...paid for by Jesus. I willingly surrendered myself to slavery in and after that event. My greatest pleasure is seeing His greatest pleasures and passions realized through me. Now candidly, I sabotage that stuff all the time, and turn back to being inwardly focused all the time. But I am never centered, alligned, or at peace when I am in that place. But when I have my eyes fully on him; when his words race through me, when his spirit ignites my gifts...then I am alive. Everything else is death.

When asked "what would you do if Jesus were to come back tomorrow?"

Luther replied "I'd plant a tree."

Why did he say that? Becuase the point isn't to look busy to impress him with some measure of gifts or performance, but to be with Him in whatever he tells you to do. He may say:

  • sleep in
  • play with the kids
  • talk to your neighbor
  • pray for china for an hour
  • invite a freshman out to lunch
  • speak kind words only to your spouse today

Jesus has never said to me

  • watch more mindless sitcoms
  • grip about your boss to your co-workers
  • spend some more time judging...

he just never has...maybe it's just me

So whatever he tells you to Just also remember what he has already said to do.

"Go into all the world and make disciples. Teach them everything I have taught you"

In many ways I am a complex person

But I have a simple mission

And I am praying for you to be ready to do this. To push distractions, media, slavery, and self to the side. And join Jesus as he searches for the heart of EVERY single person in Ashland who doesn't know him.

And while we work on that.

Satan should be getting nervous about Cleveland and the far corners of the earth. Because those crazy people from Ashland are on a mission to save everyone. EVERYONE.

Knox said "give me Scotland God...or kill me" [paraphrase]

That isn't something anyone should say glibly...but when you can say that from the deepest core values of your being not only will you be fully alive; not only will all emotions rush through you like a tidal wave; not only will peace like a river still your panic; but the kingdom will be so real and others needs so imperative that self will be left behind. Read Phillipians. When Jesus left his rights and privilidges behind in heaven he showed us how to really live.

that's life!


Diane Muir said...

OK ... I'm a friend of Holly's from FW - and freak me out! I saw that bumper sticker just yesterday (Jesus is Coming - Look Busy) and texted it to a couple of friends. Then, I saw your blog and just howled with laughter. I've decided I prefer being busy about His stuff, but I still love it!

I'm just lurking ... watching you prepare for a new life. Good Luck!

david sherwood said...


take care of holly for us while we are gone...we love her


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