Relationship

One Should Die, the Other Submit, but They Both Rebel

When sin entered the world it ruined the harmony of marriage not because it brought headship and submission into existence, but because it twisted man’s humble, loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. And it twisted woman’s intelligent, willing submission into manipulative obsequiousness in some women and brazen insubordination in others. Sin didn’t create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.-John Piper

Ephesians 5:22-33

First thought…Not again!! Part 2

As the recession has done so well, it limited opportunities for the company towards the end of the year. Hit the pockets of our biggest investor pretty hard, and eventually, we ended the year signing no athletes, and me without a job.

So, where do we go from here? That is the biggest question of my life for the last four and a half years. From turning down a coaching job and residency with the Athletic director at my alma mater, so that I could take my first shot at the NFL, to now, having moved to this city, which I love, to plant a church. Where does anyone go from here? When you put it all on the line every time, and the unexpected happens.

Here are some thoughts from my experience…first, trust Jesus (if you say you do), I mean really trust Him, and know that He has your life in His hands. Believe me, I know that this is sometimes a tough pill to swallow, but it is in those moments, when your back is against the wall, that you find out if your faith is real or superficial.

Second, keep open lines of communication with those people who speak into your life, who encourage you, will pray for you, and help to give you strength. For me, that is most certainly my wife. If it were up to me, in my weakest moments, I may have quit ministry long ago, but she sees so much in me, and she lets me know, and she pushes me to pursue Jesus at all cost. My parents and other parents (in-laws), who believe in me, and encourage me to move forward…just keep moving forward.

Third, journal, often. In the Old Testement Scriptures you can read of several places where the Jews built monuments of stone to memorialize what God did for them and through them in moments when He showed up bigger than life. Journaling for me is often the outlet for this. Where I have built monuments of words where the impossible happened because God showed up so big in my life (ex. the NFL, even getting the agent Job, meeting financial needs when the books just didn’t add up) there are so many more. But, in moments like now, I go back and look through these monuments to help remind me of what a great God I serve, and how much Jesus loves me, and is concerned about me.

Finally, don’t stall out. Keep pushing forward until something opens up, and pray for the wisdom to take the opportunities you should, and cast aside the ones you shouldn’t, knowing, again, that Jesus has your life in His hands (again, if this is how you believe). If you are not a follower of Jesus, this can still apply, maybe your first display of trusting Jesus, as I mentioned above, is to simply trust Him with your life, and then see what happens. I promise, He doesn’t disappoint.

This is my story, and I will continue to live it with faith and diligence. As such, I am off to look for a job, prepare to teach this Wednesday night to our new small group, and pray for direction from Jesus for where to go from here.

What about you?

First thought…Not again!! Part 1

September 1, 2008, I wrote a rather lengthy post on transition, you can find it if you want to read it…I suggest you do if you are in any kind of transition.

In light of that post, here we are again. Not in the exact same sense, but I do find myself in a peculiar and wondering/wandering situation. When I moved to Atlanta to plant Renovation Church everything seemed to be falling into place. We had a core group of people who were already gathering and just waiting for us to engage. I had a great job, doing something I loved (in case you missed it, I was working as a sports agent), and the outlook for the future looked incredible. We began making plans for inviting families to gather, I was traveling recruiting athletes…it was the perfect situation.

There are several details that I will exclude in the following paragraphs for the cause of Christ, and me not being an idiot an shaming His name through any angry writing. So we go on.

There almost immediately began to be some issues within our core group. My understanding of who and what the church is, and the role of a pastor in this organic movement differed greatly from that of two of the central leaders in this group. We wrestled with it, discussed, and soon realized that we had very different visions for where we wanted this thing to go. I wanted to launch a new church, they wanted to start a monastic group. If you don’t know the distinction between the two go here.

I loved their sense of community, and desire to avoid becoming institutional, but the Church is the redemptive agent of God, and we can not just cast it aside because she is messed up. We have to love her, protect her, and be a part of reforming her. She is Jesus bride, and you can’t love Jesus and hate His wife!

Needless to say there began to be a drifting which became a wedge, which became a general separation. We (me and them) have done a fairly good job at keeping the relationships in tact, but amiably went our separate ways, with several families caught in the middle. (still figuring that out)

selah

Random Update

A few days ago I wrote a post 3PEOPLE.  3IPODS, 1 Tiny Weight Room. It was pretty funny, but the deeper message of course is that we have forgotten how to connect to people. Well, here is an update. I struck up a long conversation with the guy in that little scenario, and he was pretty cool, and dang talkative. I didn’t get to finish my workout, BUT, we did make a connection, so it was worth it. Just thought I would share that with you guys.

Transparent

Sunday night in our community we discussed the issue of transparency…how, our culture and society has  impressed on us the idea of the masks that we live behind and walls that we build around us. That it is nerly impossible to see who anyone truly is, or what they are truly facing.

This tears at my heart because it is our hiding and lack of trust that isolates us and drives us into corners that we often can not find our way out of…it is like life becomes this giant maze, of walls that we have built around ourselves, and you never know what each dark corner will hold, or what each turn will bring.

The only way to eliminate the internal loneliness and feeling of facing this reality alone is to find people that you can be absolutely transparent with. People who you can show all of yourself too, every wound, every hurt, every issue, every fear…everything. It is only in being transparent that true relationship can exist…otherwise, everyday is Halloween, the mask are just different.

Genuine

Today, through a series of seemingly random events, I had the chance to witness a young man named James be baptized. It was deeply moving to say the least… especially considering I know his story. James has been Buddhist his entire life, but today he made a public profession of his love for Jesus.

The path to this point is so special, and I could elaborate, but I won’t. The two most significant factors in this story is that his introduction to Jesus was not one that was overtly evangelistic. Kyle befriended him and began to invite him to young life gatherings, and over time he saw the love that Kyle and some others had for Jesus, but also how they lived their lives differently than most. Not to say they were perfect in anyway, but above all, they were genuine.

He continued to come around, and be engaged in their conversation, and be a part of their lives, but never made a decision to begin to follow Jesus, until a week ago. This is the other incredible dynamic to this story…it was his Buddhist mother who told him that he must choose, to either follow Jesus, or be a Buddhist, but he could not continue to do both, because his whole heart belonged to neither. You see, she had seen how wonderful the Christ followers surrounding James life and her life had been to their family. She experienced the genuine love and kindness that they showed, without expectation of receiving accolades or acknowledgment…She had simply seen what it means to live out the way…and so, even though her faith has not yet changed, she instructed her son to choose who he would follow, and he chose Jesus.

I have said this many times in many ways, even using this unique and interesting venue of a watered down on line diary, but the fact remains, it is only by living out our faith in genuine surrender, do people truly become dynamically influenced by them, and then lives are radically altered…

So, will we live this faith? Because our lives are an open book, and everyone we engage or encounter is reading… who will be James in your story?

Holy Hip Hop, Random Connections, and The Kingdom

Just got home from the local Gospel Music Television studio where they were filming a Christmas special featuring hip hop artist. Da Truth; Fanatic; and Ambassador were there…straight rippin it…and it was great to meet these guys and put faces to the music that has kept me going through a lot of changes lately. It’s amazing the seemingly random connections God will put in your life. I say that because the guy that invited me to go is Sho Baraka, hip hop recording artist and member of 116 clique. If you don’t know who they are, hit the link, if you do, go buy their new albums. The music is not only hot, but it is pure truth.

Sho is a cool cat, and I hope he doesn’t mind me giving him some blog love, I feel a brotherhood with him and his brother Dhati, who is also planting an expression of the Church here in Atlanta. I feel like God is doing something huge that we can’t even fathom yet.

The kingdom is so real, and kingdom minded people will change the world, not those who compete for buildings, cash, and people. I can’t wait to see what God will do with all of this.

Leading When they Don’t Show

So we talked the other day about my former Chameleon Community, and the big question I would be left with is, “How do you lead a group of people when you don’t know when they will show up?” The answer is that you get into their lives…you become a part of their everyday, then the large gathering on Sunday, Thursday, or whenever loses primary significance in helping to shape their lives.

This is difficult, time consuming, and sometimes distressing, but it is worth every moment. The list could roll for a while of the number of people who very rarely actually “showed up” to the large gathering, but considered ZAO, and subsequently me a primary influence in their lives. So when things get difficult, or they get disillusioned, they still give me an opportunity to speak into their lives.

But here is the catch, in order to do it this way, you have to care. This can not be a job, or a nine to five, this has to be a part and function of your everyday as well. As a leader, you lead by serving the people that trust you with their hearts, and you trust them with yours, and God does incredible things relationally in that tyoe of dynamic.

Does She/He Complete or Compliment You?

Relationships are messy…not always difficult, or trying, but in one way or another, they require work. This is how they continue to grow and improve. This principle is especially important in marriage. I would like to address something though, that maybe has been talked about before but has obviously been missed by my generation

One of the most famous lines in movie trivia is Tom Cruise from Jerry McGuire when he says to her, “You complete me.” This line and the idea of it has seemed to burn itself into the minds of people all over the world, because they are daily looking for the “one” or the person who will make them whole or complete them, but this totally off center and not at all what was intended

In Genesis God does say that the two will become one, so in a sense we have even come to believe that the bible supports the idea of someone completing us, but let me turn the prism a little to get a different view. It would be a completely natural process for two halves to come together and produce one, because .5 plus .5 is 1. But, humor this idea, it would be incredible, no supernatural for 1 plus 1 to equal 1. And thats the way it was intended to be.

God does intend for any indvidual to complete you because thats His job. He wants to complete you, make you whole, make the Shalom of His presence rest on your life. People don’t complete us, they can’t, because in order to be the completion for someone elses life you have to have the capacity to do so, and we don’t.

We are meant to simply compliment each other. To take those places where God has already brought completion and make them shine, make them more beautiful, make them more radiant. As long as you look for someone to make you complete person you will never find it. You know this to be true because several girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, or wives later you have yet to find what you are looking for.

Go to the source, and find your worth, your completion, then look for love, and find someone who compliments the incredible stuff God has already done in your life. 1+1=1…what a concept!