Personal Musing: What we have here is a failure of engagement blamed on a little thing: A virus

Yes, there has been a lack of fresh content on here for some time. It is a failure and wrongdoing on my part. My apologies for that, it has not been what God desires, rather it comes from letting self settle back and not engage in things I need to engage in doing. There of course are reasons for the inaction but still not what God was leading. Now that being said, the biggest reason in the lack of engagement and new writing is this writer has been sick. Either there has been one ongoing long-standing virus or there have been several back to back. So, I got sick. Still, could have engaged in even simple small posting and the re-engaging has been slow going for me as getting healthier. The main point in lesson, is the small things every day matter. It is real easy to get wrapped up in self and pull back, disengage, or not even think about others. Now, there are things, be they ever so small that have profound impact. One simple virus can cause a man to feel ill and to be fighting energy and motivation on an ongoing basis. Small things can lead to choices. Just one more day; do it tomorrow; wait till feeling better; and other rationalizations to failing to engage. See we all need to be obedient, even when we do not feel like it. Things are tough. We focus on self and own comfort or we sit back. Now all that being said, God does have us take times of rest, but sometimes we stay at rest when need to be moving forward and engaging. So, am taking steps to move forward. There are things that need to be done, words need to be written, people need to be reached and help. If do not engage and move forward and get done what needs to get done, it is to my loss. So need to engage the forward movement as God brings changes and pressures around to push and nudge toward changing and engaging. It is a difficult thing and uncomfortable when folks ask what have done to move forward, and you know you have not been doing all you can be doing or should be doing. Well, I need to engage, need to move forward whether I feel the energy or not. Here is a truth, when move past the barriers of self, and do what God is directing, there is joy and freedom from obedience. When there is lack of obedience, there is a drain and we can even be interfering with God is seeking to do. So, the past couple months this one man has had a virus, but there are deeper issues and selfishness and a failure to obey. So I need to take steps of obedience and will see what God will do.

Musing on Days of Awe: Repentance and the End of Self

For those that do not know right now in the midst of what is known as the “Days of Awe” (Yamim Noraim). It is the ten days between the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).   The focus of these days is on repentance for the day of meeting God and being cleansed was coming.  Now we have had the day of the great atonement, the once for all  sacrifice, yet I believe God still works in accordance with his time table.  Personally at this time God has led me to focus on some things He wants me to change.  Things that are not easy for met to let go of and turn from, but it is for me to follow and obey.  For me this stirring within and the choices that are being made are not some self motivated need to change. It is listening to God, looking at where I have been in past year and having to make changes.  Either follow as God leads and be blessed, or keep going with what pleases self and suffer the consequences.  If there is to be progress there is to be letting go and turning from that which holds back.  Actively walking in faith involves the “throwing off” of sin that entangles” (see Hebrews 12:1).  It is not easy.  For the things that need to be repented from are things that have let become engrained and perhaps deeply lodged.  God wants to set us free and lift us up to follow His ways. To do so takes actions of repentance. Actions of being freed from that which holds back, the areas of self and the idols that we turn to for life apart from God.  So if you do not have any area in your life being stirred during these remaining days, take time to pray and listen to God to know what God asks you to turn from at this time; then simply follow through. It will be a difficult thing but also truly healing as it is letting go of the ways of self and walking in step with the Holy Spirit. There is no better way.

Living in Surrender to the Holy Spirit: The example of Francis Chan

Back on April 18, 2010 Francis Chan announced to the congregation of Cornerstone Church where he served as a teaching Pastor that he was resigning to follow God in ways and places not yet known.  Francis Chan has authored two books, Crazy Love and Unforgotten God that really give a sound exploration of worshiping in spirit and truth.  Here with his choice and action He shows he is willing to follow God.  He is engaged in what Mark Batterson has referred to as the Wild Goose Chase, the adventure of walking in the Holy Spirit and surrendering fully to God. Francis could have easily continued what he was doing. He has become a very successful teaching Pastor and has spoken words that have challenged others. This blog  even has some of his video clips posted, one being recent.  But it is worthwhile to see a man following God’s call and answering it.  God tells him to move, and in faith he does.  He could easily have stayed, tried to put his own effort into maintaining what had already been built. Instead, he chose to follow God.   It serves as a challenge to each of us to even daily move in following God’s lead even if we do not understand.  God will always see us through to His promises, for He is faithful. God has things ahead for Francis Chan. But guess what God has things ahead for you and me.  We need to start by simply following God’s lead and walking in obedience.

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Here is the letter he sent Cornerstone Church:

Dear Friends,

For those who have not heard, this past Sunday I announced to Cornerstone Church that I will be transitioning out of my ministry in Simi Valley. It was a rough Sunday as there were many different emotions floating around the room. In short, Lisa and I believe God is calling us to take a step of faith. We believe we are supposed to move into a major city such as LA, San Francisco, or New York. Every time I fly into a large city, I am struck by the sheer numbers and feel pulled to try ministering in that environment. I encourage you to listen to the podcast from this past weekend to hear more details. If for no other reason, my wife spoke some very powerful words that every believer needs to hear.

It has been an amazing 16 years as pastor of Cornerstone Church. When we started gathering, I doubt that any of us dared to dream that God would use this church to have such an impact on Simi Valley and the rest of the world. I think most of us were just hoping it would survive. God had bigger plans than we did. The Lord has truly shown us His grace, that we could be used as His instruments to bring glory to the name of Jesus.

The plan is that I would teach at Cornerstone through the end of May. During this time, I will be sharing the lessons most important to me. I have taught thousands of times over these years, and now I hope to re-emphasize what I see as most important. I will also be at our prayer meetings to beg our God to do even greater things in Simi after I leave. For those who have questions or just want to talk, you can catch me at the prayer meetings.

I’ll continue to write and give you more information as the Lord continues to guide the elders and me. Like I said at our services, I’m still not completely sure of everything, but it feels great to be living by faith.

Once again, here is my family’s rough plan for our future

April/May = speaking at Cornerstone
June/July = speaking around the U.S.
August/Sept = Praying and walking large cities to seek God’s leading.
Oct-Dec = Serving in a third world country
Jan 2011 = launch a new ministry as an extension of Cornerstone

Thanks to everyone who was a part of this amazing journey in Simi. Thanks for all the love and encouragement my family and I have received over the years.

Francis

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24