It also seems that documenting such a process could be dangerous, especially in the world of the church. Religion screams loudly that pastors need to have it all together, and be on the game at all times. Yet i find myself in a constant struggle remembering that the call to Shepard is huge, and yet I am at the core human, dust and dirt. Only worthy of my adopted kingship because of Jesus.
Part of my reflection today was with a buddy of mine, Keith Mason. @Keithmason is a profound musician and scholar, and teaches at Belmont University in the School of Music. Saying he teaches is a poor testimony to all of his talents and abilities, in fact he listed off his plans for his "summer off" and it did not sound any thing like being "off", which he loved. Keith's discussion today, caused me to remember how much i appreciate and love the people from the church i was raised up in ministry. It reminded me that especially as a servant leader, that when the institution begins to fail, I must continue to take myself back to the people. And there is no doubt that most of the human beings that i served, i led, or i immersed myself with effected me positively for the Kingdom's sake. And yet its been a year since Jess and I felt the Lord move us out of that community and into another. In that time i have struggled how to not lose all that i gained for the Kingdom through those people, and yet in a very healthy way move on to what He has for us next. Today's conversation, definitely helped me understand even deeper the complexities of such a process, it also opened up gaping holes of emotion, that i must deal with as the Lord continues to propel our family forward to what He is doing with us now.
Some time before Keith showed up at Starbux for our hang out, i read another chapter of Jud's book, Stripped. The chapter i read was about a young man, in his late teen years, that rededicated his life after much heart ache and personal abuse. Only to lose it in a random car wreck 6 days later. As i read the chapter, knowing i have heard a number of stories like this, i was moved with great emotion. My heart turned immediately to my own boys, and then just as quickly to all the students i have served throughout the years. Oh my God, to lose even 1. I have experienced such a loss, however that pain of possibility can scare many out of ever serving again in student ministry. But my heart is convinced that i am called to serve families, especially students until i am 95. The Spirit reminds me that each of these students are first God's not mine and that His timing is perfect, but the call placed in me by that same Spirit does not want to lose even 1 (1 Peter 3:9). So my reflection continued to grow.
As the day continued, my reflection grew darker for lack of a better term. Not darkness that is evil, but more like darkness that i was finally willing to peer into, and admit reality. Darkness as in loneliness. Which seems silly, considering my next reflection.
As the afternoon wound down, my buddy Daniel decided it was time for me to have a twitter acct., something admittedly i have avoided to protect myself from being a FB junkie, or so i thought. But @danielbelltn and @jeremycarlson knapsacked even hoodwinked my information and set me up in the tweet world. So spent some time with them getting lessons. This brought be back to the church that i spent the previous 10 years of ministry in, and because reflection had been rising, this just caused that next wave of emotions. So i hugged a few necks, caught up with a few friends, and as i left did my best to celebrate that time with them, and try to catch wind for a moment to figure out what the Lord was doing in my world. Being out of leadership in a specific local church over the last year, and instead serving the church (global) in a town, or city, or state causes a different set of emotions and thoughts. So to be faced with so many reflections on that part of my world, i was about on overload.
Here i am 35 years old next week. And it seems for all purposes the Lord is releasing His plan for our next step to us. Which may include the need to move our family to another part of the country. Which has its own duplicity of issues. For a time now, Jess and I have felt that stir, that the Lord may prep us for the next thing somewhere in the Northeast, and we have been excited about that. And yet everyday, our family becomes more tied, more hungry, and more in tune with what God is trying to do in this city as the "spirit of religion" is being demolished one brick at a time. As pastor Clint has said, the "sleeping giants" are awakening, some to be released for the Kingdom, others to be slayed so that they will exist no more. So the Spirit of freedom is being released in order to bring many, many to His Kingdom.
I admit, the amount of weight and consideration of all that i was soul searching on, in my head by 6pm, was to the point of overwhelming. I found it almost impossible to be fully present with my family, and knew that i needed to get out and reflect for their sake and mine. However, as many know, when you have young kids, the timing of such a rest does not always come, right now. So as i begin to breath again, calm begins to enter my heart. Peace begins to enter my mind, and hope begins to rise, Romans 5 : 1-5.
This morning Jess was awakened by a very vivid dream. The details of the dream i cannot remember, however what i do remember is realizing that there was a very heavy battle going on in the Spirit. And that i needed to be more diligent to pray, and be on the offensive in my prayers.
So as i come to the end of my day, with so much thought considered, i realize that now is the time for me to grab that Hope that rises. For the world to know clearly, no, first for me to know clearly, that this home, this family, this heritage it is that of the Kings. And that no enemy physical or spiritual has any authority over what is the Kings. That all that He has created us to be, to serve, to love, and to walk in is for His glory. We are already sealed in His victory. Our lives our not our own, we have been bought for a price, only to be set free. And so our journey will reflect His glory. It is at the depth of such love, such call, that i would be a fool not to reflect. I would be arrogant not to Selah (holy pause) and consider, and i would lack character if i pretended not to fail at all of it often. But that such a day of reflection, may draw all who are willing to be honest closer to all that He is, was and will be. For to you my King be all in all, now let Hope rise...