Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best Of 2011

I'm not a "resolution" guy when it comes to the New Year.  However, at the beginning of 2011 I did say I intended to blog more and I did.  I actually blogged almost 50% more than 2010.  Still not as much as I wanted, but more than the previous year.

With that, I figured I'd jump on the "Top Posts" bandwagon.  Of the 31 blogs I posted in 2011 here are my top 5.  (For clarification, I ranked them by my favorite and most read... enjoy!)


Over the last couple years God has really been working the importance of gospel community into my heart and mind, but it’s only been this past year that I’ve REALLY got to see it played out.  Over the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to see this group of young adults (that I was blessed to lead within Element Church’s college/20 somethings ministry called theSHIFT) form this community of believers where the accepting & fulfilling love of Jesus Christ was actually experienced and lived out. 

Never before had I had the opportunity to be part of a group that lived and experienced life together, but these people did.  They shared in each other’s successes and failures, in love and anger, gain and loss…they lived life, together, across the entire spectrum.  Now, I’m not typically a formula person, but I’ve been so taken by what I got to be a part of that I have spent the last year trying to figure out the nexus between biblically guided community and gospel centered community.  Before I get too much into it, I think it’s worth mentioning that community IS church and church IS community.  At least that’s how it’s meant to be.  They are synonymous with each other. FULL POST


I am currently in the process of buying the house that I currently rent.  First off…holy junk, I’m gonna be a HOME OWNER!!!  As I make the transition from renter to home owner I started thinking about how it applies to so many of us as Christians.  Here’s what I mean…

As a renter there is no real investment.  Your commitment to the house you live in is limited to the contract you signed.  You pay the rent you are obligated to pay, but beyond that you don’t have to commit anything else to it.  If the water heater goes out, it’s not yours, so you call the owner and they fix it.  Anything that breaks or needs attention outside of normal care taking isn’t your responsibility.  FULL POST


(This was actually part of a series PT2, PT3 & PT4)

First, let me open this post by saying this is about men being Men…and I get to write this post for two reasons: 1 – It’s my blog and I get to post what I want and 2 (and more importantly) - I’ve been this or should I say, not been this. I’m not proud of it, but I was and I’m not anymore. The fact that in the past I’ve struggled through this, skirted responsibility to lead my family and often chose the selfish and highly immature road to personal comfort qualifies me to relate to this sad & pitiful way of life, but does not qualify me to write this post. What qualifies me to write this post is the fact that Christ has called this out in me, led me toward confession and repentance and drastically changed what I understand it to mean to be a man and to lead.

It used to be that I thought a man was the guy that pushed his way through others. FULL POST


This last week I got the awesome opportunity to attend Desperation with our youth group (Fusion Student Ministry – Pastor Andy’s blog HERE & twitter HERE). Desperation is a youth conference put on by New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. Really it isn’t JUST a youth conference, it’s more than that. Now I know that may seem cliché, but there is such a focus on prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit, that it isn’t just an event. I loved being able to go. I went as one of the leader/chaperons. Realistically I probably required a chaperon more than the students, but Andy let me lead… I even got to drive the 12 passenger van.

When we arrived Pastor Andy gave each of the leaders a journal that he had wrote each of the student’s names on their own page. FULL POST

And #1... (Mainly because it's MY favorite, but it IS also my #4 ALL TIME viewed blog.  And because ALL the best things are about her.)

Today…I write about HER!!!!

She is an amazing soul. First and foremost, she loves God; she has a deeply intimate relationship with Jesus and her anointing by the Holy Spirit is readily apparent. Her heart for people is incredible; she extends grace the way that God gives it to her. She is creatively brilliant; she writes (if you want a peek into her psyche check out her blog Daily Offensive…she signs her posts with a heart [update: Her new blog is called sarahmichal, and it's AMAZING!]), she makes jewelry, she’s a photographer, and has an amazing eye for art (I’m pretty sure her brain operates in art mode most times). She has the best sense of humor (she gets my sense of humor so that may not be saying much), a laugh that’s SO infectious, the best Eeeeee!!! ever, and she’s an amazing mom. She is also absolutely gorgeous; she has THE most captivating eyes I’ve ever set mine on and that smile…oh that smile, it melts me every time. FULL POST

There they are, the Top 5 of 2011... enjoy.  See you in the new year.

Headed toward 2012,

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Love

I know it's been a while since my last "real" post, but things have been crazy, busy (especially with the holidays). In this post, being that my lovely bride just had her twenty-****th (it's close to 30 so I'm censoring it for the protection of her youthfulness), I'm going to brag on here for a bit. For the record, this is in no way prompted by the amazing blog she posted about me (HERE). I would have done it anyway; she just beat me to it.

Being that her actual birthday was on Monday, we celebrated it on last Saturday. It was such a fun night. I don't think we've had that many people in our house at one time since the last SHIFT event (shameless plug for the most awesome college ministry I know HERE), which was maybe New Years Eve 2010. In an attempt to make her birthday the best I could, we not only rocked a chocolate fountain, but also a Photo-booth (by the amazing Charity Remington Photography) and cupcake decorating (which I unsuspectingly provided as ammunition for cake-smashing into my lovely's face. she'll get revenge. It's already started, right Denae?) It was a night chocked full of friends, food and fun (I know, I know, cheesy. But, I'm going to be a pastor; alliteration is a key part to preaching, so I have to practice). But I digress, this isn't a blog about her party, it's about her. Not so coincidentally, this blog will probably follow a similar path and feel to the one she just posted. Mainly this is because we have a lot of the same things we love about each other.
Not all of us are lucky enough to marry our best friend. But as for me? I got to become friends with this amazing woman, that in the end. I couldn't live without. Here's my brag list. (and why I can't without her)

She loves Jesus. Did you expect the first one to be different? This is what binds us together. He is the foundation for where our marriage starts, everything it's about and where it's headed. Her love for Him is so evident and I love getting to see it lived out. I've joked that the main way the Holy Spirit speaks to me is through my wife, but the truth is God often really does use Sarah to speak to me (correct me, teach me & reveal truth). I think it's meant to be like that. The way she loves Jesus makes me want to seek Him more. The thing I love the most is that although we have our own personal relationships with Him, we get to share in a relationship with Him together. One of the best parts of my day is after work when we close our "reconnecting time" in prayer together.

She makes us her priority. After Jesus, her family is her first concern. She loves me and our boys fully and without reservation. With me, she makes sure we have time for each other. She also makes sure I have time for myself. With our boys, she's gentle with them and encourages them. Often time she brings calm and balance to the testosterone fueled chaos that is a house full of guys. She takes care of us and it's not a burden. When we got married I offered her the choice to stay home or work outside the house and she chose to make our house a home. and she does it quite well.

She trusts me. As much as I'm still figuring out how to lead my family well, she's confident in my ability. When I have doubts, she reminds me of why she has confidence in me. This is huge for me; it's the trust she has in me that builds my confidence to lead. I don't always do it right and I definitely don't do it perfect, but she maintains a faith in my leadership that encourages me. When I make a decision for our family, she trusts that I'm seeking and listening to God and that the decision I make, even if it doesn't make sense at the time, is what I feel is best for us. And she continues to trust me even when those decisions don't turn out the way I thought or intended.

She reminds me of who I am. This kind of goes with the previous one, but it's a little different. Sometimes I forget that I'm not the same guy I used to be. Sometimes the "who I was" tries to sneak his way into the "who I am". When that happens, it can be frustrating (to say the least). But I have this amazing woman that points me back to Jesus. She helps remind me who I am. And for the record she knows who I was. I've told her it all. I've shared details and stories with her that would make my parents cry. And none of it matters to her. She sees me for whom God has made me and introduces me to that guy anytime I need to reconnect with him. She also reminds me of who I'm called and desire to be. I've not hidden that fact that although I am full time active duty military, I'm not called to this. That's what I do for the time being, but this is only the mean time and preparation for what God has called me to. My wife reminds me of that frequently. Sometimes God uses a still, small voice to remind me of the big plans he has for us; sometimes that voice is my wife's.

She is creative and brilliant. This actually holds a lot of different meanings. It is her unmatched creativeness that has made our house into a cozy little home. I can't tell you the number of times people have said (something to the effect of), "Wow, Bruce. Being married has dramatically increased the attractiveness of your home. Sarah has done amazing work." Prior to marriage, decorating consisted of a picture hung on the wall. After marriage, decorating consists of hours poured over Pintrest for that one more decor idea that will make the house perfect. Here creativity doesn't stop with the house; she makes jewelry, is a photographer (I know. EVERY ONE'S wife is a "photographer" but mine is ACTUALLY really good.), can cook, writes and does the occasional voice over for Element Church promotional videos. OH and she is a fabulous clothing aficionado. The girl can dress. which adds to her smokin' hotness! She's also brilliant. She shines brighter than anyone I know. She is smart and witty and funny. She has a wisdom that never ceases to amaze. She often has the perfect words for the situation.

She's amazing and I'm luck and SO blessed to have her.

Oh, and her eyes. Oh those eyes. I get caught in them every time I look at her.

Happy Birthday, love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Checking In...

It's been a while since I've posted anything (over a month and a half, yikes).  But, just because I haven't doesn't mean there is nothing to write about.  On the contrary, there is a TON to write about; I've just been slammed busy.  God has been quite active in our lives and has been reintroducing me to some simple, but important truths.  In the coming days I'm hoping to post some really cool (HUGE) new.  But, this post? This post is just me checking in so that you know I haven't fallen off the edge of the blogging world.

In the mean time, here's some tidbits of what God has been reminding me of...

Prayer is our LIFE LINE!  It should be the basis for how we approach life (and God).  Philippians 4:6 tells us so.

When we faithfully give our time and money (joyfully), God will indeed, "pour out a blessing so great [we] won’t have enough room to take it in."  (Malachi 3:10)  It's a simple, but absolutely profound truth.

Alright that's just two things, but they're big in the wake of this most recent news in our life.  I'll be back in a couple days.  Can't wait to get the word out there (and I mean that literally).

Can hardly contain myself,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I can do it MYSELF!

I think there are a lot of times that we believe, although I'm not sure how we logic it out in our brains, that we can control sin.  Maybe we don't call it sin in our heads, which is another blog and issue all together, but I'm talking about whatever that temptation we face that we believe is easily controlled if "only we have enough self-control." But whatever we call it, let's be honest and call it sin.  We get this idea that we can control sin and that we don't need God to resist it. 

I've been reading out of the book of Judges right now for my quiet time and noticed that this has been the take on sin for quite sometime.  When God gave the promise land to the Israelites He commanded them to drive the people living there out of the land (many were to be destroyed), to not make covenants with them and to destroy their alters.  However, we see (starting in Judges 1:19-36) the people Israel fail to drive the Canaanites out of the land and instead take them as slaves.  

Judges 1:28 says, "When the Israelites grew stronger, they forced the Canaanites to work as slaves, but they never did drive them completely out of the land." (emphasis added)

The truth of the matter is, when the Israelites grew strong enough that they felt they could run things themselves (pride), they made the decision to take the Canaanites as slaves (because they believed they could control them) and ignored the command of God.

So what then were the consequences of this disobedience?  Judges 2:1-3 say, "1 The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said to the Israelites, “I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you. 2 For your part, you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. But you disobeyed my command. Why did you do this? 3 So now I declare that I will no longer drive out the people living in your land. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you.

Verse 3 tells us that the Canaanites would be a thorn in the Israelite's sides and their gods a constant temptation to them.  Essentially, the Canaanites would be a constant problem for the Isrealites and their way of life would be a continuous temptation, ever drawing them away from God.  

They chose to disobey God because they believed they were capable of controlling the source of temptation, without God.  Eventually this decision will lead to Israels downfall (on more than one occasion).

They were so pompous, so prideful, so disobedient and we think (somehow) we're different.  We've been making that same decision ever since.  How many times do we know (with certainty) that God is trying to remove a source of sin from our lives and we either completely resist him on it, until it consumes us or so ruins things that we have no choice to surrender it to Him.  Or we achieve some victory (whether it be large or small, many or few) in it and we assume that it was our own doing and we allow bits of it to stay, because "we have the self-control" to resist it.  Truth be told, we don't have the power (apart from God) to resist temptation or beat sin by ourselves.

When God wants to take something completely out of your life, the only option is COMPLETELY.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Talks (CALLED Session 3 & 4)

Last week was kind of a rough/full week.  I started writing the Tuesday Talk for Called Session 3, but before I knew it... it was Tuesday again.  So last week we talked about Submission.  The lesson was 100% based on a blog I wrote on the same subject as part of the series "The 40 Year Old."  HERE is the link to that blog.  (Consider this last Tuesday's Talk).

Before I get into this weeks Tuesday Talk, I need to confess.  I didn't write this.  I tweaked it a little, but it's mainly the same lesson that Sean Brink (Leads theSHIFT) taught during Every Guy's Orders (EGO).  As I tried to figure out what we would talk about in Called, I couldn't escape the fact that we're getting ready to start a new series at Element Church directed towards men, aptly named The Man Series, and this was the perfect time to talk about the way we talk.  Because, let's face it, we can sit in church on Sunday and listen to a sermon about being salt and light, Jesus' ambassador and acting like God's Children, but that sermon is proven in the way we act the rest of the week, around others that don't know Jesus.  So here's this week's Tuesday Talk...


One of the most important things we need to know that what we say has the power to tear people down and has the power to build them up.  The way we talk to, about, and around others is fully determined by how active our relationship is with Jesus and whether or not we are submitted to Him.

James 3:9-11 says, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"

Basically, some of us sit in church on Sunday and belt out every lyric of the worship song, then come Monday hurl every obscenity we can think of at "our" team for not completing a pass during the game.  A lot of guys need to not open our mouths until we learn how to use them. We often fail to realize or ignore that what we say effects people because our tongue is a mighty thing.

James 3:3-8 explains that strength.  It says, "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships, as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

With our mouth, we tell crude jokes, sexual innuendos, cursing, and swearing.  It's not okay and shouldn't be a part of us. As I mentioned, we (Element Church) are getting ready to start a series where potentially lots of guys will be coming. THIS IS WHERE WE BECOME THE EXAMPLE! This is where we shine as lights, flavor as salt, be Jesus’ ambassadors and act as God’s own Children.

Here's what the bible says about what not to say:

Ephesians 5:4
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

James 5:12
Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.

Psalms 34:13
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 

Most of us know what not to say, so what then should we say?  Here's what should pour from our mouths.

1. Words of encouragement
Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
Titus 2:6
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.

2.Words of truth
1 Peter 4: 11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.

3.Words of praise
Psalm 35:28
My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.
Psalm 66:17
I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

I can't close this without speaking to husbands.  If you're married or have kids, this is where leadership starts for you.  What you say to your family matters.

To your wife - She needs to hear that she is lovely.  That she is brilliant and desirable and that your eyes are for her and her alone.  Affirm her and reassure her. I heard a pastor say once that it is your job to prepare her to hand her to Jesus one day.
To your sons - He needs to know that they are good enough.  You need to tell them they can do all things through Christ.
To your daughters - She needs to know that she is a jewel in her King's crown. That she is worthy of pursuit.

James 3:1-12

- Pray for The Man Series and Element's 4th Service starting on October 2nd

Put into Practice:
Pay attention to what you say.  Make it a point, at least once a day, to speak a word of encouragement, a word of truth and a word of praise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Talks (CALLED Session 2)

This will be the first of three posts on Spiritual disciplines. Of course I won’t cover all of them in three posts, but I will cover as many as possible.

The first one will be prayer, mainly because it’s hugely important in our Christian walk. I would say that after the consumption of God’s word (reading the bible), prayer is THE most important aspect of our relationship with God.

What I’ve noticed is we get so caught up in our “everything right now” culture that we approach our relationship with God that way. As long as we accept Christ as our Savior, the rest of our relationship will work out. We act like just because we did the “hard work” of accepting God’s FREE gift of salvation that we’re good. As if the work is done, and now it’s up to God. But that’s not the case. We have work to do. There are things that help build our relationship with God that we need to discipline ourselves to do. Prayer is one of those things.

It is so important to not only understand, but believe that prayer is our life line. It is our connection to the Divine. Sadly most Christians look at prayer as either a duty or reserved for moments of desperation. But, it’s neither of those. It’s a benefit of our relationship with God. We get to talk to Him. We get to commune with our God without going through a priest. In order to grow deeper, EVERY relationship requires communication and that’s what prayer is. The bible is God’s means for talking to us and prayer is our way of talking to Him.

I think another problem that a lot of Christians have with prayer has to do with the fact that there are past prayers that they prayed that weren’t answered they way THEY wanted. When that happens they begin to question whether God even hear their prayers. 1 John 5:14 & 15 reassures us that God hears us when we pray. It says:

14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

Andrew Murray said it this way, “Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian.

I tried really hard to figure out what to say about prayer, but then I thought who better to teach on prayer than Jesus. Jesus tells us how to pray in Matthew 6:6-13.

6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Jesus is telling us that we need time alone with our Father. There are numerous times in the NT that Jesus went off by Himself to pray. It is in those moments of silence and solitude that we can focus on God and experience Him.

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

So many guys are afraid to pray because they think they don’t have the right words. They think they sound funny or odd. But Jesus is telling us that it doesn’t matter what you say. He says not to babble on just for the sake of talking, because God knows what you want before you even ask for it. Billy Graham said that “Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.” So talk to Him like it is. This is how Jesus instructed us to pray.

9 Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

This is a fairly well known prayer model that I learned early on and it covers all the stuff that Jesus prayed. It’s called ACTS.

AAdoration is to adore God, to worship him and to fulfil the commandment to love him with all of our heart, mind and soul.

CConfession allows you to clear up the things in the relationship between you and God which are displeasing to Him. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us.

T Thanksgiving. God is always blessing u and so we need to be constantly thanking God for his blessings.

SSupplication is to ask God for our needs and the needs of others.

Bottom line is that prayer is a discipline. We have to dedicate ourselves to it. If we are to be men that lead, we first have to seek Him who leads us.

Matthew 6:6-13

Pray through the ACTS model of prayer.

Put into Practice:
During your prayer time, spend some time being quiet. Don’t focus on the way you talk to God, just talk to Him and let Him talk to you.

In Him,


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We Are Not... Called!

I posted the first "devo" for Called yesterday (Here). It was the focus of what we talked about yesterday and my main hope for this community group. As God birthed the vision for this group I felt Him keep leading me back to Psalm 45:16 & 17. It says, "Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands. I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever." I felt like God was telling me that we are meant to be Kings like our Father. That we are meant to lead and rule and when done like we were created to, like Jesus, honor would be brought to His name and nations would praise Him. That is my hope. That we would realize we are kings like our King and that when we lead it is meant to bring honor and praise to His name. So that was the first part... essentially.

The other part of what we talked about is what our group would be. Or rather, what it would not be. As I was writing the vision for this group I really tried to articulate what it would be and kept coming back to what we were not. So here's what we're NOT...

We are NOT a Club. We are not there to simply hang out. Although we will fellowship, my prayer is that we commit to and develop meaningful friendships. Friendships that resemble brothers more than anything else. A brotherhood that you can call at 2am when you need prayer or when you need someone to rejoice in blessing and victories.

We are NOT a Bible Study. Not in the traditional sense anyway. We will study God’s word and seek what He has for us as individual leaders and as a group. We will seek not just to know more ABOUT God, but to KNOW God more. We will seek His purpose and His presence for us, our family and our city.

We are NOT an Accountability Group. We as a group should not expect more from each other than God does. Accountability is a vitally important aspect of community, but it can’t be forced or it won’t be authentic. It has to come as a natural result of developed trust. We’ll move towards accountability as God moves us. But accountability is more than just “Don’t look at porn”. It’s accountability to reading God’s word, to prayer, to family time, work commitments, sexual purity in and outside of marriage, responsibility, etc…

We are NOT a Community Service Group. Our goal in this group is not to go out and change Cheyenne. Our goal is to seek Jesus and let Him change us. When that happens we can’t help change our city. Pastor Jeff once told me, if we seek God to set us on fire with the Holy Spirit, people will come to watch us burn. The thing about that is, some will get too close and when that happens,they too will catch fire.

So, that's Called... or not Called.

I'm not,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Talks (CALLED Session 1)

Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands.  I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.
~ Psalm 45:16 & 17 ~

There is so much in my heart for this group. With that said, in Session 1 I simply shared the vision that I felt God had given me for this group.

First and foremost there are some things that I know:

First, God so desperately wants the men of Cheyenne to rise up and be the MEN and leaders He created them to be. It is our job to CHANGE and SET the spiritual climate of our homes.

Second and I want to make this point absolutely clear, God ABSOLUTELY honors when women gather together and seek Him. Ministries like WOW do amazing work for the Kingdom. Here at Element we have some absolutely phenomenal woman prayer warriors and I don’t want to discount or down play any of the work that they do and the power they possess. But, imagine what would happen if the men took up arms for them. I truly believe this is not their war to fight. There are some great biblical accounts of women heroes, but biblically it is the men that are meant to be the guardians, the watchmen, the warriors. The women in our lives should be comforted with the knowledge that their men are willing to and do take up arms in defense of them, their families and their homes. THIS is what we, as MEN, are Called to.

Lastly, Every great revival (and I know I’m saying EVERY and that may not be entirely accurate, but it’s mostly true. And besides, I’m sure there were lots of strong women involved) started when men got together to pray. And they weren’t coming together to pray for revival. They were coming together to pray for themselves, for each other, for their families and church and city. And here’s the thing, God heard them and honored their commitment to answer their calling to lead.

Psalm 118:5 the writer reminds us that God answers us when we pray. It says, “In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free.” Make no mistake that we, as Men in the church, should be in distress for our families and for our city. We live in a city that stands #1 in the nation for divorce, where we rank 23rd in the nation for teen pregnancy (we have a 65% state wide teen pregnancy rate), where 10% of our state lives in poverty, we have an out of control drug problem (with I25 being a main thoroughfare for that problem), there are people addicted to pornography, there’s abuse and all sorts of other crap. We LIVE in a state of distress. And when we get together and cry out to our God, He answers. And His answer is freedom. We receive freedom not to sin, freedom to lead the way we’re called to and in that He equips us to change the spiritual climate of our homes and of our city.

- Psalm Psalm 118:5 and reflect on what is means that our God not only hears our prayers, but answers them.

-  For God to make clear and solidify our calling as leaders and to point out areas where we lack in our leadership.
-  That the men of Cheyenne would rise up and lead their homes, work places, churches and the city.

Put into Practice:
- Set time aside each day (it doesn't matter when) and spend it in prayer to our God.  Remember, it's not about the things you say or how you say them, but just that you talk to Him.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Introducing...Tuesday Talks!

This last week started the new season of community at Element Church.  Starting this Tuesday, I'll be leading a Men's prayer group aptly named Called.  I don't want to go to deep into the vision God gave me for this group (that would ruin session 1 on Tuesday morning), but I'll tell you that it is focused on the calling God has placed on every man to lead.  As men we are Called.  We are called to be men of character, men of conviction, men of righteousness and Men of Honor (shameless plug for my friend Shane's group and Blog).  We are called to be leaders. In our home, in our work place, in our churches, and in our cities.  I'm super excited for what God is about to do in the men of Element and and Cheyenne.

Here's the deal... Called will be on Tuesdays (starting this Tuesday, September 6th) at 6 am in the Element Church Well.  All dudes are invited!  And, because I feel like I need to chronical what God does in Called and in an effort to write on a more frequent basis, I plan on posting a blog, every week called Tuesday Talks, on the stuff we cover as a group.  I'll include some sort of devo and maybe a weekly challenge or something, we'll see how it develops.  So stoked for Tuesday!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lazarus At Your Door!

First off, let me say that this is by NO means meant to call anyone out. This is 100% based on what I feel God has challenged ME with over the last few days. If you feel a twinge of conviction, it’s not me doing it. With that said, normally I don’t feel a need to defend or disclaimer stuff I say, but I felt it was important this time.

So the last few days Sarah and I have been presented with the task of helping one of her friends find a place to stay for a couple weeks, while she waits for her new apartment to become available. We’ve asked a couple of people and so far no luck. Keeping in mind that there are some absolutely valid reasons for not being able to accommodate her staying (i.e. accountability, etc…) and I’m not challenging any of them. Anyway, I was talking with my father-in-law about the difficulty of finding a place for her to stay and he brought up the parable of Lazarus at the rich man’s door. (Ftr, he’s a stinking smart guy. I’m really blessed to have him as a father-in-law. <--Heh, brownie points!) I’ve read that parable a number of times and have always read it as conveying the importance of listening to those that preach The Truth of God (that being that Jesus died to save us from our sin and reunite us with God). I’ve always read it as a warning to “listen AND act now, because later is too late.”

There are so many different commentaries as to why this parable is important and what Jesus meant by it, but as I talked it out with my father-in-law, it hit me a different way (mainly because he presented it differently). He pointed out that Lazarus, a poor man who was covered in sores (v. 20), lay in a place that the rich man had to pass routinely (probably multiple times) throughout the day. What’s significant about that fact is that the rich man never noticed him, never once offered to help, and never gave a second thought to him. That is until they sat across from each other, staring over the chasm of eternity. Then the rich man noticed Lazarus. I'm not going to speculate as to what the rich man's sin was that landed him on the far side of eternity, separated from his God. But, by his own request for Abraham to send Lazarus to “warn” his five brothers, Jesus makes the point that the rich man refused to listen to the teachings of Moses and the prophets. So where does that leave us as it applies to our Lazaruses and listening to what Jesus taught? Here's some of what He said:

On loving each other: So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. - John 13:34

On serving others: And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ - Matthew 25:40

On our status among others (and serving): And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each others' feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. - John 13:14-17

Here it is. We are called to love and serve others. Even when (and I'd add especially if) it is uncomfortable for us. To truly be love and community for others, we have to give generously and sacrificially. That's where Jesus lives. We say we follow Jesus then refuse the ones He loves. I follow a God that, in human form, lowered Himself to that of a low servant and washed His disciples' feet. Who hung out with the least of these and loved them. Who told us point blank that He came for the lost, broken and hurting. If that's the Jesus we follow, why do we make excuses and choose not to actually follow His example?  How do people that don't know Jesus experience His love?  Through US loving them with the love He gave us.

Even as I type this I am challenged with the excuses that I had for not reaching out and we (Sarah and I) are going to remedy that tonight.

Opening the door to my Lazaruses,

Friday, August 19, 2011

Where From Here?

As I write this I am bombarded with thoughts of the countless number of “I knew it” comments I’m sure to receive. But “know” this, you didn’t know. I didn’t even know what the future looked like, only God did and being that I desire to be obedient to Him, I was always open to ANYTHING and ANYWHERE HE moved me.

With that said I know that many have spent the last few years hearing me say that I felt like God was leading me to separate from the military at 17 years and forgo the guarantee of a forever retirement check and medical insurance. I’m not recanting that. Over the last few years I felt lead to that and I believe that God would have absolutely honored that decision and provided for me had I done so. Sometimes I think God asks us if we are willing to do certain things without expecting us to (the whole Abraham and Isaac story). Maybe He asks as a test; maybe He asks just to get us thinking like Him. Regardless, I’ve prayed, fasted and cried out to God for confirmation to stay in the military or go and He just didn’t confirm either way. Sometimes I think God gives multiple ways, all of which glorify Him, allows us to make the choice and uses and blesses us with which ever we choose.

So here’s how this thing went down. Over the last few years and up to this point God has confirmed every other major calling in my life with scripture. Here’s the list:

     -   Call to ministry
     -   Call to theSHIFT
     -   Call to inner-city ministry
     -   Call to Element South Campus
     -   Call to my gorgeous & lovely wife, Sarah
     -   Call to Oakland, CA to plant a church (I’ll get into that in a sec)

All confirmed with scripture. I’d put them on here, but they are scattered about in various journals I was writing in at the time. But separating from the military… never confirmed. So where does that put us? For that I need to back up a little. The decision made about the military is largely connected to our call to plant a church in Oakland, CA.

After God confirmed that call in my heart to Oakland, Sarah and I attended a church planter’s assessment in Las Vegas, NV. It was an amazing couple days, we met some truly wonderful people and God connected us with some people that I have no doubt will have a face in our future ministry. Prior to going to that assessment, Sarah and I talked about everything we could think of surrounding us being capable and ready to plant a church in Oakland, CA. Here’s what we discovered:

1. We’re absolutely NOT capable. We know we’re called to it, but it has to be ALL God because if it depends on us, it fails.

2. We’re scared to death. This is not only a big calling, but a dangerous one. God is asking us to take our family to the 4th most dangerous city (in 2009) in America. We don’t fit the demographic and I cannot relate to a lot of the issues faced there, except that we all need Jesus. But it doesn’t matter. God will use us, protect us and sustain us. We trust Him.

3. We’re not ready. There is a difference between being called and being called and ready. God has absolutely placed a burden on my heart of Oakland, CA (ftr… I’ve never been there. EVER.), but there is some preparation that has to take place before we answer that call. We need to spend time allowing God to prepare us as a married couple. We need (and want) Him to season our marriage and build a strong foundation for us. We need to spend time allowing Him to prepare us as a family. Our call is ALL of our call. It isn’t simply my call, but our call as a family. Our children need to be prepared as well.

So we went to Las Vegas knowing this and God used Vegas to confirm all of that. The assessment team didn’t tell us anything God hadn’t already revealed to us. We came back from Vegas sure of our call and sure that we needed time to prepare. With that said, we know that we are at LEAST 2 to 3 years from starting any ministry. Once that realization was made, we began talking about what that meant for getting out of the military. We started to discuss the logic of separating in June 2012 and not being ready to plant a church until at least 2014. The question that came up was, “What do we do for the 2 years between?” Do we give up a guaranteed job and look for another job for those two years? Do we stay in the military an additional 10 months to get retirement and then pursue the ministry God has given us a heart for? Realistically the choice to stay in the military is obvious. Knowing that we are at least 3 years from planting a church, why would I give up a steady job for the uncertainty of no job for two years prior to moving to Oakland? The choice to stay in the military all the way to retirement was largely based on how that would affect my family. Because I was unsure about my job in the military and whether it would require me to leave my family for up to 4 days a week I was not certain I would stay. Had my job moved towards me having to do that, I would absolutely separate in June, because I’m not willing to sacrifice my family for anything.

So, here’s where we’re at.

We are staying in the military.  I have some guarantees from my leadership that provides my family and I the security we need, not only financially (or medical insurance), but stability wise too.  We have 3 years 10 months left and then I will retire with 20 years of service (and not a day more… maybe a day or two).  After we retire we’re moving to Oakland, CA (we’ll need a team… hint, hint) to serve the people there.  I have a whole blog on the vision God has given me for Oakland, so that’ll follow in the coming days. 

In the mean time, we will most likely (and I say that because God can do whatever He wants) remain in Cheyenne until we retire. We’ll continue to serve at Element (where ever God and Element need us), and we’ll continue to prepare ourselves and family for what’s to come.

Love to you all.  I look forward to the next few years.


Monday, August 15, 2011

You Are Known (Recap from Sunday's Fusion Message)

Pastor Andy invited me back to teach at Fusion last night. I stinking LOVE hanging out with our youth. We have an amazing group of young people in our church. I’ve said it before and I hold to it, this generation is poised for great things and I’m stoked to see what God does in and through them.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the stuff that I shared with them. I talked about the Samaritan woman at the well. That encounter with Jesus can be found in John 4:4-42. I have read the story of this conversation so many times before and there are SO many lessons that can be drawn from it.

For one, it is so obviously a passage that talks about salvation and how it’s offered to everyone (equally) regardless of whom you are or what you’ve done. It also addresses the power of testimony and evangelism. And as near as I can tell (someone correct me if I’m wrong, like I even need to say that), the Samaritan woman was the first person that Jesus declared who He was to, which is a sermon all its own. Did you get that? A Samaritan WOMAN! Jesus told a Samaritan woman that He was the Messiah before He told anyone else! Crazy. But that’s not any of the stuff that I felt God saying to me. This time it was about being KNOWN.

As people we have this desire to be known. We want others to know us deeply and intimately. We spend time with those we love and share our hearts so that others might know us. The joy and fullness that comes with realizing another person KNOWS you is indescribable, but pales in comparison to the joy and fullness that comes with the realization that you are known by the Messiah. You are known by a King, by the Creator and Savior of the world, by our God.

So here’s the take-aways from last night:

1.  Jesus knows everything about you.

When Jesus encountered the woman for the first time, He asked her for a drink of water, to which she questioned why He (a Jew) would ask her (a Samaritan woman) for a drink. There was some very deep and rich dialogue between the two about living water, then Jesus tells her to go get her husband. Her response and Jesus’ response are seen in verse 17 and 18.

17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

She didn’t exactly lie to Jesus, but she did try to hide her real situation from Him. But, here’s the thing, she didn’t need to tell Him anything because He already knew. He told her about her circumstances and the best part is, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter where she had come from or where she currently was, He didn’t condemn her. He understood her pain and offered the same living water to her that He offers to everyone else. A Samaritan woman, the lowliest of the low, was given the same offer of life as everyone. Once the junk she was trying to hide from Jesus was exposed, she was ready to hear what Jesus had to tell her, but not before. Jesus knows us. He knows EVERYTHING about us, so maybe it’s time we ask ourselves:

     -  What am I trying to hide from Jesus?

2.  Jesus will reveal Himself to you.

Once she opened her heart to Jesus and laid it exposed before Him, she was ready to receive what He had for her. And can I tell you that He didn’t split hairs. He was VERY clear. Verse 26 says,

26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”

He flat out told her who He was. Jesus used the same “I AM” as God did in Exodus 3:14 when Moses asked God His name. He said tell them “I AM has sent me to you.” Jesus straight said, “I AM HE! I AM THE ONE YOU”VE BEEN WAITING FOR! I AM THAT SAVIOUR YOU WERE PROMISED! IT’S ME!”

And here’s the beauty part, He offers us the same thing to us. The Bible is God’s declaration of who He is and who Jesus is. But Jesus also reveals Himself in other ways. In His creation, or the way that someone extends love you, or helps you in a difficult time, through the study of His word, in prayer, or even through the blessings we might receive and often (though it seem odd) through our times of suffering. Jesus is active in our life and wants to reveal Himself to us. Once you open yourself to Christ, you should be looking for ways that He reveals Himself and ask:

     -  How is Jesus showing Himself in my life?

3.  Jesus wants you to tell others about Him.

Once Jesus told her who He was, she couldn’t keep it to herself, she had to tell others. Jesus told us to go and make disciples (other Christ Followers). Jesus reveals Himself to us so that we will tell others that are hurting and lost. The woman was so excited that she left her water jug. After Jesus revealed Himself to her, she wan back into the city saying,

29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”

(Ftr, I think it’s funny that Jesus flat out told her and she still said “Could he possibly be the Messiah?” HE JUST SAID HE WAS! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!! But, maybe we all do that with Jesus from time to time. I do, sometimes.)

There are lots of ways we can tell others about Jesus. One of the best ways is to live what He teaches us. Our lives should reflect Christ to others. People should see Jesus in us. So maybe we ask ourselves:

     -  How do I tell others about Jesus?

4.  Jesus will use you to reveal Himself to others.

Once we start telling others about Jesus, He will use those encounters to reveal Himself to others and we get to be a part of that! Part of our relationship with Jesus is meant to involve other people. If we are fully surrendered to Him, Jesus will show Himself, to others, through us.

And when that happens, hopefully people will respond to you as they did to the woman:

42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

So we should be asking:

     -  How am I letting Jesus use me?

The last thing I left the students with was this:

There is nothing you can do to save others from anything. You are not their savior and you’re not meant to be. But, you can introduce them to their Savior.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Long Walk

I actually started writing this almost 2 weeks ago.  But with Cheyenne Frontier Days, my time to do anything but be an honorary carny was limited, so it's been sitting (unfinished) during that time.  Should this bare any resemblance to Pastor Jeff's sermon Sunday (which was amazing btw), it's not wholly intentional.  Of course God often speaks to my heart through our Sunday morning teaching so there will be some that is gleaned from Sunday's sermon.  But, being that we serve the same God and this is something He has been moving Element towards, it makes sense that He would be speaking the same stuff to different people's hearts.  
~Ftr, this happens a lot~

This was originally meant to be Part 3 of "Who Needs 'Revival'?", but it took a different turn, so it's not.  Part 3 will come in a couple days... In the mean time, read this.

I have a friend that recently texted me something that caught me.  The topic of his text was ultimately the importance of testimony, but he started it out by saying that so many new Christians lack hope and asked how we can best address this issue.  Then he said, "many younger (not age, spiritual maturity) Christians have not taken the challenge to trust in God and lean on Him so that they could have the honor of seeing God move in their lives."  I don't pretend to have the answers, but I do know if you seek God, He will show Himself to you.  The Holy Spirit draws hearts unto the Father and needs nothing from us.  

But there is still that one thing.  There is still the tiny issue of the commission that Jesus issued to all of us.  He said we would be His witnesses to the world (Acts 1:8) and commissioned us (or gave us the authority to) make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19).  Pastor Jeff delivered an amazing message on discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus (check it out HERE).  One of the closing points he made was that once we fully surrender all of us to Jesus, and WILLINGLY take up our cross, Jesus carries it with us.  He walks beside us.  In our surrender we get ALL of Him.  All of His strength. All of His victory. All of His purity.  All of His love... All of Him!  This is the amazing truth of Christ.  So knowing that truth, how do we address the concern of the "many younger Christians that have not taken the challenge to trust in God and lean on Him so that they could have the honor of seeing God move in their lives"?  

That's where the great commission comes in.  Once someones spirit is awoken to the truth of Jesus' love, they begin a walk.  It's important to remember that just because someone feels the Holy Spirit's drawing and responds to it, doesn't mean they get or understand the decision they've made.  This is where discipleship becomes vital.  At first the walk seems lonely.  And it is.  It's long too.  This is the way I've seen (and experienced personally) the new Christian walk happen.  First, you make the decision to follow Jesus and everything starts out amazing.  You're swept up by this idea that the living God loves YOU.  Despite all the wrong you've done, you're loved and accepted.  You feel peace for the first time in... who knows when.  You're reading your bible and talking to people about God and out of nowhere the things you used to do BC (Before Christ) become significantly unsatisfying.  You start feeling like Jesus wants you to give stuff up.  Maybe a bad relationship or a habit.  At first you thing it's for the better, but eventually it becomes harder and harder and more painful to let go of it and you can't understand why you "just can't let it go".  Eventually the "Jesus thing" just become too hard and it just fades out of your life.  You allow the BC stuff seep back in and they choke out those early "feelings".  You don't see Jesus "work" for you, so it must not be for you.  It wasn't as easy as you thought it would be, so you return to what you know.  That's how it happened for me so many time.

I so desperately wish that the church would get into the habit of telling new Christ followers this,

"The decision you've made to follow Christ is the best one you'll EVER make, IN YOUR LIFE!  It's amazing, but it's hard, especially at first.  It does get easier as you learn to obey Him, but He told us that we'll experience trials and we do.  So this next season of your life is going to be hard.  He's going to ask you to give up stuff and ask you to take on some stuff.  He's going to completely change your heart and the very core of who you are.  It's going to hurt because you have to die to be reborn.  It will suck a lot; there's no telling how long that season will be and realistically, He changes you continually, forever until you're made perfect.  But for all that initial pain.  Through all the first parts of tearing the bad away to replace it with His good, it's worth it.  Because NONE of the pain that comes with Him changing you can ever compare to the love that you feel when He's close to you.  If you faithfully commit yourself to Him, He'll be faithful to you.  He takes all the junk from you that keeps you from experience Life and this is what you get: Love, Truth, Victory, Glory, Righteousness and so much more.  And you know what?  I've been there and I will walk with you in this season, until you experience the majesty of the Lord and KNOW it's real.  And I'll do that because I know it's hard.  Then when you've experienced His glory, I'll walk with you just to keep you company and we can sharpen each other."

Because of His love, Jesus can't leave you unchanged.  He wants better for you.  We are meant to look like Him.  The truth is that He commissioned us to make disciples, because we are disciples.  As disciples we are meant to embrace and assists in spreading the teachings of Jesus.  For all the places that Paul brought the Good News, he never simply taught about Jesus and left them to their own journey.  He would disciple someone, (Timothy, Titus) building them up in their faith and leave them there to disciple others.  Then, even if just through letters, he remained in a giving relationship with them.

How do we address the issue of the many young Christ followers that have not yet taken the challenge to trust in God and lean on Him so that they can have the honor of seeing Him move in their lives?  We lead them, journey with them, teach them, share our testimony with them, encourage them, cheer them, weep with them and love them.  We do that  until they get to that place where they can look back and see the string of victories given them by Jesus., until they have seen and recognize His glory and  until they have experienced His undeniable faithfulness.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Desperate Prayers!

This last week I got the awesome opportunity to attend Desperation with our youth group (Fusion Student Ministry – Pastor Andy’s blog HERE & twitter HERE). Desperation is a youth conference put on by New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. Really it isn’t JUST a youth conference, it’s more than that. Now I know that may seem cliché, but there is such a focus on prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit, that it isn’t just an event. I loved being able to go. I went as one of the leader/chaperons. Realistically I probably required a chaperon more than the students, but Andy let me lead… I even got to drive the 12 passenger van.

When we arrived Pastor Andy gave each of the leaders a journal that he had wrote each of the student’s names on their own page. He asked the leaders to pray for the students and to write our specific prayers for each student on that student’s page. I thought this was an amazing idea. I did pray for the entire group, but I felt led to pray some specific stuff for those 11 students that rode in my van. Here are my prayers for those students:

All of them:
The first thing that I prayed for them is that all of them would aggressively seek purity. Of course I meant that they would maintain sexual purity and that they would “flee from sexual immorality.” But I also prayed that they would seek purity for their hearts (emotional connections and what they attach themselves to) and purity of mind (what they subject themselves to in entertainment and the stuff they choose to believe).

The ladies:
The first thing I prayed specific to them was that they would believe what God says about them. I prayed Psalm 45:10 – 15 over them. This is what it says:

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The princess of Tyre will shower you with gifts. The wealthy will beg your favor. The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the king’s palace!

God is telling them that they are royal daughters of the King. That they are beautiful and that God delights in them. That all they need to do is come to Him.

Second I prayed that they know and accept that they are worth being pursued by their King and that they can find their approval in Him and not anyone else.

The Guys:

My first I prayer for them was that they know they were made to be leaders. That when they lead the way that God desires them to, people will be led to Christ. I prayed that they know they are able to all things in Christ when they submit to Him.

Second I prayed that they know who God has called them to be. That they would grow into men that resemble Jesus. I prayed Psalm 45:16 & 17 over them. It says:

Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands. I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.

God is telling them that they are sons of the King. That they are meant to be kings. That when they lead the way God has called them to nations will praise God.

A lot of my prayer for the group had to do with where they find their identity and worth. I want so desperately for them to find it fully in Jesus. I got to see this amazing group of young people truly and genuinely engage God. Some had a more outward expression of that interaction, but you could see all of them enter into that place where they met with Jesus. Sadly a lot of people discount this generation. They say that there aren’t a lot of opportunities left for them, they’re too lazy or unmotivated, but the young people I saw are headed to the heart of Jesus. This generation is poised for great things and I’m stoked to see what God does in and through them.

In the end, my prayer remains that they would leave Desperation wanting more of Jesus, not because of an emotional response to a moment of passion, but because they encountered Him; but because they beheld His majesty and glory and they can’t do anything but seek after Him! Look out world… they’re coming!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who Needs "Revival"? Part 2 (Guest Blogger: Thomas Hogan)

This wasn't meant to to be a multi-post blog (never is), but I got to talking with Thomas (Blog love HERE) and here's part 2.  We had this brilliant idea that it would be a "conversation" of sorts.  I post one, he posts one, I post one, he... well you get the idea.  So as much as this is a conversation between us, feel free to add your thoughts. Here's Thomas' thoughts.

First reference previous post (HERE).

Revival is for the dying folks. They literally need to “be revived.” In this context it fits that if you have a dying body or a dying vision, that only the resurrecting Spirit of God can bring them back to life. The last blog was an indictment on using the word revival with little to no regard of its actual implication. A great point is made when we consider that the active vibrant life of the believer in Christ is in no need of “resurrecting”, because it should already be experiencing “life, and life more abundantly”.

A more appropriate word for what the church as a corporate body desires to see is “an awakening”; a literal groundswell of salvation and drawing of hearts back to the Father. Like the old worship song “Salvation Spring Up From the Ground”. When we refer to “revival” this is the more precise idea we are thinking of. The idea of a dying church is very unattractive but also appropriate in some cases (I pray not yours).

Of Course, this is only half of the story. If revival isn’t what we truly need (unless you are dying then by all means desperately seek out resurrection) then what is it inside of us that cries out for an “increasing measure”? I believe that the Power of God and the life of God are organically attracted to seeing the “Movement” of God.  

[Practical application of that statement:] God gives us His power when we ask for the Holy Spirit. As we submit our lives to His will and grow in obedience, the Holy Spirit begins to move more actively.

The combination of life and power create a stirring in us to see the active will of God played out in the community around us (spiritual and physical). This is a rudimentary introduction to what we refer to as “missional”. That early church saw revival because it was new to the life of God. And they saw “an awakening” that affected everything around them because they fully committed themselves to the unique call on each person’s life.