Amazing to me how God has used young people throughout history to do big and significant things.  All of them flawed, messy, and completely human.  He’s never stopped using them and we can count on them being used even more in days to come.  We have decided, if Jesus gave a command in Matthew to go to the world, that’s all the permission needed and we aim to tell young people they can and should do what God puts in them to do!

Listen to this from Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, may it inspire you too!

Do Not Fear!

Interesting time we are living in.  For us and many we know just in our city, the economy challenges have forced reevaluation of all we do and how we do it.  Though difficult and even painful it does help bring eternity in better focus for sure.  We are here for a short while, this isn’t our home, and there’s always a bigger picture than our own present circumstances and reality.   God’s plan and timeline are vastly above and beyond our finite understanding and focus.

For our friends dealing with cancer, unsure of what’s next-we can only imagine what perspective they have.  For marriages void of any hope and struggling for breath-though I’ve been there and know the pain-my words won’t alleviate the need for a real miracle of heart, and that’s what it takes.  For kids we know across the world that pray to have food today-most have no idea what hunger and poverty feel like.

We listened to our old Pastor recently who brought front and forward a powerful reminder that the time we’re in is unlike ever before in history.  Words foretold in the Bible are happening more and more rapidly, coming true though it’s taken many years.  The truth is still that God will return for His People, those whose names are written in the Lambs book of life.  And there are things He said would happen before then to clue us in and keep us on the ready-looking for His return.

My struggles blind me more than I care to admit from the bigger picture.  Life isn’t about happiness and peace all the time.  Though I’ve lived the life of faith for years it’s still a fight to trust that my needs are really in His hands.  Though I’ve lived the marriage miracle we still have to fend off issues and communicate through the mire.   In my spirit-my innermost being, I know and believe wholeheartedly in the power of God; to provide, heal, save, set free.   But like Paul, I still do the very things I know better than to do.  It’s a human struggle and condition and it’s called sin!

I remembered the words and tune to REM’s hit “Losing My Religion” just the other day.  “Here I am in the spotlight, losing my religion.”  That’s all I remember so I don’t truly know what they were trying to say, but when I heard it the first time around years ago I was offended by just that one line and assumed it meant disavowing their belief in God.  In my young religious mind I reasoned they were back sliders and passed some critical judgement I’m sure their way.  One thing I’ve learned the hard way is (you don’t know till you know) and it applies to life period.

Here’s what I think now.  In reality we all need to lose some of our religion, especially if it’s contrary to the religion Jesus lived out instead of preached.  What he did say using words even still is not what we always want to hear or do.  So when I think of the time we’re living in and get past my own crap on a daily basis here’s what I believe and see clearly.  My trials and struggles are tests, I have the option to succeed or fail.  The outcome isn’t what it’s about as much as the process and journey and how I navigate them with The Lord.  My faith can’t be conditional and contingent upon my preferred or expected outcome, beyond the assurance that I can expect God to do as only He can and wills to do in every circumstance!  It’s my faith and trust He desires.

One part of the big picture is, we shouldn’t be so offended at how others carry out their religion and lives.  You could even argue what business is that of ours anyway? A Christians responsibility is not to judge but love!  One at a time we make the difference and all along the way we’ll have trials and tribulations.  That’s what we signed on for and Jesus Himself promised, but also to be with us till the end of the age-which is coming sooner that we think.

My prayer is to be driven by a courage not fear, faith not sight, and love not criticism!  This generation needs hope more than religion, no religion saves souls-only Jesus.  May it be His hope and love they see in all who call ourselves Christians.  And may our perspective go beyond present reality and circumstance to include His view of humanity and need to see His light is our lives every single day.

(Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”)

Exodus 20:20

Cold Snowy Day

Lovely here in Nashvegas today, snow on the ground and cold!  And…………It’s my Anniversary, 2nd to be exact.  The 2nd time I married the same wonderful woman!

Here’s what my lovely Patty Lane posted today, thought it may encourage you too!

“On this date, I married the most amazing man, Tom Lane, for the second time!
As our pastor married us with some of our closest friends gathered, he said these words I will never forget “The Lord does His best work in graveyards….He resurrects the dead. It’s what He does.
Our marriage was deader than dead…I mean REALLY DEAD as some of our closest friends can verify…but He did a miracle in our hearts through our decision to finally surrender and through what we fondly call the “blessed blunder” of our dearest friend Nancy Demus.
(the blunder is another story that I won’t go into but I believe Nance is smiling from heaven right now!)
I write this to give hope to anyone (married or single) that feels numb…that feels dead. He can give you a new life…He can give you a new heart. He will give you back what you have lost to the locusts. Remember…He does His best work in graveyards.
I thank Jesus for rescuing messy people like me….He gets all the glory! I thank our dear friends and family who never gave up hope and fought on their knees for our marriage!  Thank you Pastor Jim for speaking such incredible words at our ceremony.  We repeat them all the time to people who have no hope.
I love you Tom Lane…Happy Anniversary, babe! You are a treasure to me.  (guess you’re stuck with me now…hee hee)”

Incredibly thankful for all that God has done in our lives and marriage-Love you too Patty Lane!

Catch up

It’s been a busy travel season and I’m home for a while now.  Our latest trip was to S. Africa with a team of 28 staffers/leaders from Revive.  It is always an honor to be with them anywhere!   Our team helped run the annual YFC Youth week with kids from all over S. Africa region, what an amazing experience it was.  As always we come away being very blessed and inspired.

So now it’s catch up time at home!  We are in another unique season, don’t know exactly what it means or will look like but we feel it.  Patty is working hard on Revive 2011 which will be here fast.  I’m detoxing a bit from the numerous trips across time zones and date lines, it always takes a while to readjust for me.

Much love and a very Happy New Year to all of you!