formats
Published on December 26, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

Part of the fun part of being married is coming up with some new traditions.  Well, this year my lovely wife and I decided that we wanted to try to roast chestnuts on an open fire, just like in the song.  She found some chestnuts at a grocery store, and really, well ok, it was her idea.  And a great idea!

So the plan was set.  We were going to spend Christmas morning huddled around our fireplace, roasting these chestnuts and listening to the song on Pandora.

I found a great site online that told me how to roast chestnuts like a real man.  So I cut my x’s on the flat sides, stoked my fire into some nice coals and began to roast!

Well, not quite…

I realized I didn’t have anything to roast them on or in.  You can’t use anything with teflon.  Do you have any idea how many non-teflon pans we have around here that I am willing to risk on an open fire?  Zero.  So I read in that article that you can use a fireplace shovel.  Perfect!!!

Apparently the author had never actually USED a fireplace shovel, or his was made by a different manufacturer.  You see, when the coals are nice and hot, and you sit a fireplace shovel filled with chestnuts into them, the black that you thought was just blackened metal bursts into flame!  What do you do with a shovel that is burning from one end and running toward your chestnuts on the other end like a Texas forest fire?  You start picking the fricking little things off one by one (and by now, yep, they’re hot!) and putting them on the floor.  By now, your fireplace shovel wildfire has moved halfway across the shovel and you need to decide pretty quick how to put the thing out.  I opted for a “beat it with a not-yet-on-fire-log” method that seemed to work after about 30 seconds of persistent rubbing.  Yikes.

So we decided to try it after the stores re-opened today.

This morning, I got up, ran to the store and got what ended up being a campfire smores roaster for about $5.  Man, was I excited!!

Chestnut roast, take two.  This time, I was ready.  I reloaded my little puppies on there with some new fellers, clamped the sucker shut, and was ready to roast!

Chestnuts roasting on my open fire.

Chestnuts roasting on my open fire.

25 minutes.  Flip them every 5 minutes.  Put them in a bowel with a towel for 10 minutes.  Hmm… they smell kind of like a sweet bread or something.  Peel and eat either plain or with cinnamon and butter (we tried both ways).

IMG_0169

I let the wife have the first one.  She didn’t know what to think.  She said it tasted a bit like bread.  I tried them.  Honestly, I didn’t know how to place the taste.  I had to agree, it’s a bit like a cinnamon roll without cinnamon (unless you had it with the butter and cinnamon).  But there was this hint of something bitter- I can only describe it as a slight parmasean flavor.  Imagine that for a second- cinnamon roll with parmasean cheese.  Not in a good way, either.  It took us about 5 minutes to know for sure, but we decided that we didn’t really care for them.

But hey- it’s tradition.

What a chestnut looks like

What a chestnut looks like

My wife with our new tradition.

My wife with our new tradition.

 

 

 
formats
Published on December 26, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

Man, I’m kind of excited!  My blog was always my favorite place to put my thoughts.  I’m so happy that I’ll have the opportunity to get some of my life out there for my friends again!

Enjoy!

 
formats
Published on April 10, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

Now, over half a year into marriage, I need to give a word of encouragement to those friends of mine who are still waiting for that special someone.

1. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
2. Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding.  (Proverbs 3:5)

I feel so blessed.  So humbled.  All I can give is my testimony.

God did this for me.  He gave me the desires of my heart.  A loving wife who is far and above all I could have hoped and imagined.  He really did it.

You can take my testimony for what you want.  You can claim it as yours or discard it.  All I know is that the testimony of Christ is the spirit of prophesy (Revelation 19:10)

I encourage you to receive it.  To hang onto it.  And to delight yourself in the Lord, because He has your best intentions at heart.  Even when you’re not perfect, and you stumble, and you have bitterness and hopelessness in your heart.  Keep hanging on to Him who loves you beyond all that.

The one thing I have learned about it all through all of this is so bold and certain I can declare it with utmost confidence:

God is in control.  Just relax.  God is in control, and has better plans for you than you can possibly imagine.

 
 
formats
Published on February 18, 2010, by in Uncategorized.

So today I get a call from a friend. We’ll call her Betsy. Betsy has a similar anointing as I do in worship. We have been through a lot together and worshiped together a ton. Good and bad times.

Apparently, we’ve both grown. God has been moving the church here in Rochester to get together and worship more. As he has been leading many of us to do this, the old way of doing things resurfaces first out of habit. In the past, we would focus first on the music, and secondly on the people so that the worship “experience” would be very touching to people, and, honestly, so we wouldn’t be annoyed at not being able to “flow” in the music. We would never say this outright, but I’ll be honest. This is how it happens many times.

God’s not into that. And we’re finally starting to understand this.

The people around you that want to lead worship with you are more important than the “quality” of worship itself, and God will not be happy about what you’re doing “for” Him unless you allow everyone with a gift and a passion to present it to him and each other. He’s the one hanging out with the broken-hearted and the oppressed anyway, why push away the “least of these” in giftings?

Yes, he may “show up” and touch the lives of his people, and even us leading worship, but ultimately, he is calling us to a better way. His way. The way where who is saying or playing or praying is far more important to us than how they are saying or playing or praying.

Am I perfect at this? Not even close. Love is unnatural to our sinful pride, and our flesh. I feel like I am losing far more battles than I am winning. But I am winning some now that I never would have entered before. And I will win most of them, if not all, before long. Because I love God. And because He loves me. And He loves people. First. Foremost. And everything else doesn’t even register on his priority list.

Until we get this we will never “be one as He is one.”

 
formats
Published on December 20, 2009, by in Uncategorized.

Sometimes in life you have goals- especially when you are young- that after a while you start to recognize the danger and risk associated with them.

I’m slowly starting to believe that I will never climb Everest. I feel a bit angry, frustrated, and a tad bit relieved to say it.

I like pushing myself past some limit that other people will say “wow” about. I’ll just be honest. I also think it would be a really cool to do, and that it would be a beautiful view.

But maybe I’m not as immortal as I once believed. I know I have strong angels surrounding me, but I would feel SOOOOO stupid dying climbing a big rock just to answer “yes” to a lie detector test question “Have you ever climbed Mt. Everest?” or amaze my friends.

Anyway, a recent frustration. I’m not 100% convinced I won’t attempt it now, but the percentage points are dropping.

 
formats
Published on December 16, 2009, by in Uncategorized.

Let me tell you what my life is like now. I own a house. With another guy, who is married to a great lady. That makes three of us owning this one house. We started this “community” lifestyle 2 years ago where about 20 of us (now) live downtown Rochester in a neighborhood called “Kutzky Park”. We started it for a variety of reasons, and in the beginning was not in a state anything like it’s present state. But the focus has always been about two things, and two things only: Jesus, and relationships.

We believe that Jesus didn’t die just for our sins, he died for relationships.

We believe that it is not enough to give money to the poor. Charity is good, but as Shane Claiborne said, the problem with Charity is that the poor go away fed, and the rich go away feeling good about themselves, but there is no relationships created between the two.

Right now, I have two homeless people living at my house. It used to be I would say that to try to get people to see how “spiritual” I am. Right now I don’t have the energy left for that shit. I just love these people. I want to store up riches in Heaven, and more than anything, I want to see both of these men where God wants them. One we helped get out from under a bridge, and one was a “couch-surfer” we like so much we have been blessed to have him stay on. There are from two different paths of life and are here for 2 different reasons. But really, it’s only 1 reason. God wants them here, and we are trying to love them. I say “trying” not because it’s hard to love them, but because my own pride, ignorance, and fears keep me from seeing them like Jesus does sometimes.

I can’t tell you the complications in keeping things focused on simple love with 6 grown men living together from such varied backgrounds. But so far, it is good. It is just plain good.

Jesus didn’t have a house, but he had homes everywhere He went.

Whatever happened to “give us this day our daily bread?”

I will die an ordinary radical. Somebody who, thank God and halleluiah, has lived only for the sake of Jesus and community. (The two are not equal, but are absolutely intertwined).

I just got back from a three-week trip to India and Nepal. I can not, and do not want, to live without the simple position of time alone with Jesus ever again. America- there is a spirit over us that causes us to put every possible distraction above time alone with the Lord. We covet these distractions more than the God who loves us so much he gave everything to save us and be in relationship with us. I include myself in “America”. At least, I WAS like that. I pray to God that I am now changed, and that I can live opposed to this powerful torrent of distractions in our culture that wants nothing more than to rip us from the arms of One who loves us more than anything.

I know this blog post is a random mash of feelings and observations, oftentimes unrelated, but I’m too at peace and not willing to make it flow better for you right now, dear reader. Grab from it what is good, and just try to digest what I have to say separately from the rest of the post if necessary. I’m going to ramble.

I have been quiet since I came back. My old, social, talkative self has not resurfaced. I feel oddly out of place with all of my old friends.

I don’t know why.

Was it the kids in the railway station in Jaipur with broken legs that fought with each other? Was it the other homeless kids there that I gave a piece of candy to, only to have them run 10 yards away and have a fistfight break out for the candy with other homeless kids? Was it my fucking lack of ability to do anything more than hold as many of them as I could, and give them love?

How many kids have to die of hunger, disease, and literal “survival of the fittest”- even with kids their own age- before the governments of nations will wake up and HELP?!?!! Have you ever really SEEN survival of the fittest??? I did- right there.

The answer if it was left to governments- it would take an eternity. Because governments are not the answer. We are. Governments change only as a result of people’s expressions and prayers. This is why I will fight. I will fight for that boy at the railway station that I just held onto when the other, older kid went around punching him for no good reason. I will fight any government that says “YOU CAN’T TAKE OUR CHILDREN” when they starve begging for candy and rupees as tourists travel from seeing camels to the Taj Mahal. I WILL FIGHT UNTIL MY DYING BREATH TO BREAK THIS SYSTEM. (And it WILL change!)

Thank God this has been solidified in me!! There are SO MANY people, GOOD people, that want to adopt!! So many more that could be ENCOURAGED to DO SO!!!!!! And I have within me the power to change people’s lives by promoting this- adoption. I pray for the political partners as well as the media partners to change lives!!!

I can change the world. Not because it sounds cool- because of that one kid I held at the railway station. Because of the abuse I saw. And because it is what Jesus has allowed me to do.

One final note- to the governments of the world that charge thousands of dollars to take children off of your streets, all the while abusing them and allowing them to be abused in any way possible- I’m coming for you- with a vengence- and with the power of the Holy Spirit!!!! You WILL change!!!!

 
formats
Published on October 10, 2009, by in Uncategorized.

Fall is my favorite time of year.

I was amazed tonight, as I had a cup of tea and a side of mac and cheese at Perkins with two of the lovely ladies I have the honor of calling friends, that the colder weather of fall can turn a normal cup of tea into what I can only describe as a cup of comfort. It’s just amazing.

Yet another reason why fall is my favorite time of year!

 
formats
Published on July 28, 2009, by in Uncategorized.

God’s been working in some very cool ways lately! Shouldn’t be a surpise, as that is the only way He moves, but I’m particular excited to be plugged into His heart!

There will be a day coming when instead of fundraising campaigns to build a bigger building, there will be fundraising campaigns to help a smaller congregation of a different denomination reach their full status in Christ’s body. That is the day when the church is no longer a collection of individual entities, but rather a living, breathing body of Christ. No longer will we use the excuse “our body” or “my flock” as an excuse when the Bride is suffering in different parts of her body. Money will have no stranglehold over us. Money will have no stranglehold over us.

This will challenge and affect pastors more than any other current office.

I can see the Spirit pouring a foundation that will allow the Bride of Christ to truly move in her anointings. I don’t believe this will happen without a true communion in the body of Christ. AND NOT JUST GIVING THIS LIP SERVICE!!! Be VERY wary of brushing off God’s heart for communion and unity in His Bride! If a congregation doesn’t function as the church of Jesus in Rochester, rather than the mentality of 150 different churches, it will miss the move of His Bride. It will happen (and is happening) for those who truly live like one body, however. No matter what their numbers.

I am so encouraged. I can see God moving withing congregations to get out of their walls and share their talents and resources like the book of Acts. All which would have been a dream 5 years ago.

I can’t emphasize enough that when God gets a hold of the money of the congregations in Rochester, there will be no telling what He will do. You want to see miracles? Expect and pray for the day when “churches” no longer consider money, but instead only desire to see Christ’s body be raised up in its entirety! (I put “churches” in quotes because there is really only 1 church, not because these congregations are any more or less part of the Bride of Christ. They are!)

It’s got to happen locally before it happens on the earth. (Actually, it will happen at the same time.) But our focus needs to be on our family right next door. AND THAT CANNOT HAPPEN WITHOUT TRUE, VULNERABLE RELATIONSHIPS.

I know I lost some people right there. You should reread that sentence. If you don’t have any deep relationships outside of your own congregation, let alone withing your congregation, then you are missing out on where God’s moving. In your heart, you will see Christ’s Bride as only a sliver of who she actually is. And you will not only miss it, but you will be responsible for missing it. If you believe that nothing about Christ could be better than what you see or experience where you are, and so don’t pursue the church outside your four walls, you are guilty of pride. It’s not about you. It’s about Him. If you’ve truly found Christ, then you don’t move in fear, and you go wherever you can, doing whatever you can, to build up His body in your city. You still can maintain your accountability and heart ties, but you will miss Christ if you are not pursuing His heart for His body.

And He wants you desperately to have a coffee with a brother or sister from outside your box and find out what He has put into them and how you can help them. Actually, that’s just all gravy after the most important fact- He wants you to learn how to love them. Truly, unequivicobly love them. Please don’t be arrogant. Jesus loves His Bride, and she has needs right now in your own city! I think you will find He passionately loves His Bride and doesn’t care what “church” they go to. Just serve her without caring what “title” she holds or what “level” she is at according to your biased judgment! (Actually, guaging somebody’s level and corresponding it to your service of them is quite against God’s heart!)

I’m encouraged because I’ve been talking to a group of people who believe in a Christian school of creative arts. They have the same vision I have. I threw away the start to my school of worship about 4 years ago when I realized that the Bride as I saw it truly wasn’t ready for that kind of anointing, and it couldn’t handle the responsibility. But things are changing- RAPIDLY. I know multiple leaders now who are not interested in money as much as pooling resources. As is the case with God, the “last”, in other words- the smaller congregations of believers, will find it easiest to transform into this kingdom mentality of dealing with finances and collective resources.

The word “mine” needs to be stricken from congregation’s vocabulary, or they will miss one of the greatest blessings God has sent to this world since Acts. It will not only be a blessing of the manifestations of God, but it will be a blessing of love. The kind of love that makes you hurt with those who hurt, and mourn with those who mourn, and give your money away to somebody just because they don’t have enough and you love them. I see an imbalance that is being corrected by the Spirit. Many people pursue the gifts and desire love. The Bible, and the voice of the Spirit whispers ,”pursue love, and desire the gifts”. Pursuit is more rabid, of a higher priority, than a desire. It won’t be easy for some people to change, because they will have to push past their fears, their pride, their control, but when they do, halleluiah, they finally they will see with the eyes of Christ.

Oh, God! It grieves me so to see how your Bride treats itself!! I can see how you love us regardless, Lord. I give my life to You and to Your heart.

I don’t have all the answers. But I am committed to being a member of every church in Rochester. I will no longer claim allegiance to any “individual” church, nation, etc. I claim allegiance to Jesus. And that’s it. I want to serve. I commit myself to love. I respect authority and honor others. And I freely give myself to the Bride of Christ and a world who desperately needs to hear and see the power of love and grace. I give you and all of His Bride freedom to speak to me openly and honestly so I can be in better pursuit of Him and His priorities. Please take me sincerely on that.

Do Your will in my life, God.

 
formats
Published on July 15, 2009, by in Uncategorized.

God,

Thank you. Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much for this life. I can’t believe how blessed I am!

You are so incredible. Thank you for NEVER letting go of me!!! You are a STRONG, STRONG, and GREAT Daddy!!!