Posts Tagged ‘jesus’

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.44.34 AMOver the next 6 days that Im in Cambodia I will be posting on things that I see involving poverty and trafficking. Cambodia is a beautiful country, filled with wonders and overflows with the heart of Jesus. But, because sin is in the world it is also filled with the horror of extreme poverty and human trafficking. Here are some of those things that desperately need the love and justice of Jesus.

It is 8am in Phnom Penh and most of the city is already at work, including the young girl that waved at me from the bar I was passing on my way to the cafe. 8am and the bars are already open, and not only for drinking, but for the selling of girls for sex. As I drove by I caught this girls eye. She waved at me like she had been taught and most likely prayed that I wouldn’t stop, but would just wave back and drive on by. 8 hours in Cambodia (5 of those sleeping) and my heart is already broken.

This is not the life that this girl dreamed of when she was a child. Working for sex under the watchful eye of her pimp early in the morning. Somewhere along the way her dream of life was stolen from her. Maybe by an uncle or friend, but most likely from a family member, as usually is the case. Was she tricked into this, or did she voluntarily go thinking that this is the only way she can make money for her family? Either way, she is stuck and needs to be set free.

Cambodia is filled with NGO’s fighting for girls like this. Fighting to give them a new life, filled with opportunity, dignity and hope. But, its not enough. There needs to be more ministries fighting for these girls. With over 50,000 sex slaves working in this country a few NGO’s is not sufficient, there needs to be more.

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aaron

On Saturday January 2, 2015 Hawaii Aloha (a boat with YWAM Ships) capsized off the Kona coast. 5 crew were on the vessel, four of them made it to shore, but my friend and co-worker Aaron did not survive. Who is Aaron? Below is a quote from his sisters blog that shares beautifully who he is.

“Aaron’s impact on us is huge. That fearlessness, living everyday to the fullest, loving those around you, and I mean ANYONE around you. Not just the people you already care about… He shows us that it’s never too late to change. He may have only lived 24 years, but he lived, ferociously, through more struggle, triumph, transformation, rejection, love, loss and adventure than most people ever will. His story and how he spent these last few years will have an everlasting affect on anyone that knew him, especially my family. We knew he was special, and he was finally so happy. If there was ever a time to go out, it’s at the top of your game, when you’re at peace with everything, and completely accepting of the fact that you have no control. You just need to let go. Four people survived and Aaron may not have, that’s exactly how he would’ve wanted it. If he did go, he went out smiling and euphoric knowing that he was not alone.”

I was thinking about my life the other day. Usually when I see a 24 year old I think “thank God I don’t have to go back there.” With Aaron it was different though. I would see his life and think “man, I would love a do over, his life inspires me to charge hard.” This my friends is what we all should aspire to, being that person that moves others and challenges others to live more fully.

Aaron was someone who loved God and loved others (the two greatest commandments). He loved others with all he had. This is why he worked with YWAM Ships, because he wanted to serve the isolated communities in the Pacific Islands. He was someone who did justice, who cared enough to go, and ultimately gave his life for what he believed. I pray that his life moves my life to be lived more fully and intentionally.

Thank you Aaron, you are missed my friend.

To read more on Aaron and receive updates please go here and sign up to receive updates.

 

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Today is the 1st day of Advent. I remember as a kid going to church during the advent season, my favorite part was the lighting of the candle. It meant Christmas was coming. It meant each Sunday was in preparation for Jesus birth. There was high anticipation, excitement and life. The advent season for me as a kid meant lots of family get togethers, winter break, by birthday, Christmas and more. I am not sure if I truly understood the meaning of it, but the culture and practice of it made a huge mark on my life.

This season press into what advent is all about, looking to Jesus and His coming into the world. Take time each night to light a candle and pray this benediction. This benediction is from Celtic Daily Prayer, and is one that I have repeatedly prayed during the advent season.

God of the watching ones,
give us Your benediction.

God of the waiting ones,
give us Your good word for our souls.

God of the watching ones,
the waiting ones,
the slow and suffering ones,
give us Your benediction,
Your good word for our souls,
that we might rest.

God of the watching ones,
the waiting ones,
the slow and suffering ones,

and of the angels in heaven,

and of the child in the womb,

give us Your benediction,
Your good word for our souls,
that we might rest and rise
in the kindness of Your company.

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“Good and upright is the Lordtherefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” Psalm 25 ESV

This morning I woke up and read Psalm 25, mostly because it’s the 25th of the month and each morning before my feet hit the ground I read the Psalm for that day. I was struck by verse 8 as it reminded me of a song that I used to sing when our family attended Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I couldn’t shake the song or the verse, so when I got downstairs I played it as I got the kids ready for school. You can listen here.

I was saddened by the recent and not so recent events that have brought Mars Hill Church and specifically Mark Driscoll into the spotlight once again. I am broken over the sin, the hurt and the deception caused to many from the eldership of the church. In some ways it’s not surprising what has happened, but it still sucks (for lack of a better word).

Our family began attending Mars Hill Church in 2004, when it was just a small congregation of 1100 people. We attended for about 3 years  in a time when our family was going through a lot of brokenness and pain. When I look back at those two years I see some of the things that caused the most recent events at the church, but I mostly look back  and remember the healing and health that came into our family as a result of our being there.

In that place we met Jesus. Through the worship and teaching we grew, healed, and were prepared for what God had for us next. We learned how to study the Bible, how to empower and release leaders and mostly fell deeper in love with Jesus. We are thankful for those times and we have no regrets from our time there. Even in the bad and the broken their can be healing.

We just wanted to point out some of the good things that have come out of that church and hopefully will continue to come out of that church for many years to come. Thank you for the times where you brought the word of God into my life Mark Driscoll. Thank you for the times where you led us in Worship Tim and the other worship staff. We will continue to pray for you as you go through this season.

Peace.

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churchToday I went to worship at Birch Hills Lutheran Church. When I got into the building there were only 7 people there, including the pastor. Needless to say I was a bit nervous and anxious to get out of there as I thought it was going to be super awkward and boring. This church is my wife’s mom and dads home church, so we come here each time we are back in Canada. A few minutes before the service began 3 more people walked in, so with our family there was a total of 15 people there.

To clarify, I am writing this post because my anxiety about the service being boring was way off. Actually, I was super moved by this small group of Christ followers who gathered together for 1 hour today. I was moved because they didn’t care that there were only 15 people, they were there because they were committed to the church and to Jesus.

At one point during the service, I believe it was just before communion, I felt fully overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed as Jesus showed me that It doesn’t matter how many people come to your service, it doesn’t matter how flashy it is, it only matters that Jesus is worshiped. This my friends is life changing. I am thankful for my time this morning with the few. God really did use it to change my life.

Cheers.

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