From August 2010 to August 2011, my life did not feature any options. I was stuck. I was limited. I had no choice but to take what was on the table in front of me. The realities of graduation were here. I had bills to pay. Seminary was beckoning. Excitement was here, but adulthood had fully beckoned.
I knew two things for certain - life was meant to be lived out in Fullerton and I did not want to be a full-time student.
Then I couldn’t find a full-time job. I was so restless. It was such a season of stretching and character refining. God began to move in ways it turns out now He was not. Restlessness grew.
My options were limited.
Then, unexpectedness happened.
Then, I was offered an opportunity to join staff with CRU.
Then, 6 weeks later I started working a full-time job.
Now, I sit in intentional seeking. I have gone from having no options to three options: join staff with CRU and go to seminary part-time, keep working full-time and go to seminary part-time or go to seminary full-time and work part-time. I have options - again.
I am not afraid to risk. I’ve been pursuing an idea for 6 months. Parts of me are still uneasy - yet, it’s not because the thought of raising support. There are other things that I am uneasy about. Over the course of years, I have fallen in love with the local church, specifically, my local church. My commitment as God moves and sends me out is to the local church. I don’t want a para-church to steal me away - no matter how enticing the opportunity is.
"Good, better or best - don’t take the crumbs" has been my mantra all week. I want the best. I know God longs to give me the best gifts imaginable. There is an option emerging that to me, is the riskiest and most complex of them all.
What I know, is that no matter what option God fully opens before me, my local church, must be at the center of this decision.
The best, is my local church, RockHarbor Fullerton…
I was perusing the internet tonight when this article was presented to me. I am not a soccer fan, so I don’t ever click on those articles to read - but when the headline was about a coach missing his son’s wedding, I was intrigued. So I clicked.
Honestly, this article fascinates me. Let me share with you the most insightful bit:
Pierfilippo told the Independent that his dad missing his big day is “absolutely not” a problem and that the family finds the whole thing a bit funny. Plus, since Pierfilippo and his soon-to-be wife already have two kids together, strict Catholic Fabio only considers the wedding a “formalizing” ceremony anyway.
This European culture is a little farther ahead of us in America - but even then, I still feel as if this scenario is not a far fetched thing that could happen in America.
I’m just curious, how does this article hit you? What does it say about marriage? What does it say about weddings?
I guess this is just further proof for why I don’t like soccer…
“When once we realize that through the salvation of Jesus Christ we are made perfectly fit for God, we shall understand why Jesus Christ is so ruthless in His demands. He demands absolute rectitude from His servants, because He has put them in the very nature of God.
Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life.”—Oswald Chambers (via tbexy)
As I sat through the night last night, I sat and observed my brother, friend and mentor - Dan Allan. I heard him talk and share from his heart. I was drawn back to my two summers with him, in community, on mission. It stirred my heart with the reasons why CRU captivated my time in college. It stirred my soul with reminders of how God used CRU and this man to change my life.
Good, better or best?
Occasionally, a person is blessed to meet someone so amazing, so filled with the Holy Spirit, so in love with Jesus, who has encountered Jesus is such a special way that you just want to spend as much time with them as humanly possible. For me, this person, is Dan Allan. If I can be half the man and leader he is, I will be greatly humbled and honored. When he speaks - passion and wisdom flow. When he listens - the Holy Spirit glints in his eyes. When he moves - his intentionality is obvious.
Good, better or best?
Not having to leave my community, my home of Fullerton, my local expression of the church - RockHarbor Fullerton - still being able to be trained up by another man who I am humbled to be equipped by and learn from, is definitely good.
The combination is better then what I could ever wish for.
But, is it best? I refuse to take the crumbs. Deep down, the more I seek, the more I see, this opportunity is not crumbs.
The words I received last night and prayer and have been sitting on ever since were not a yes or a no - but simply: "Be ready, my son."
Good, better or best?
Father, your son is ready. My hands are open. Don’t let me take the crumbs.
Earlier today, a great friend and sister of mine from RHF sent me a text. In it, she said some pretty amazing, God inspired things. It’s so good, I’m just gonna quote her:
We make our decisions based on good, better or best. Praying a posture of surrender over you. Praying open hands. May you have the discernment to see what category this job falls into. And the courage to receive only God’s best for you. Whatever that may be. Don’t take the crumbs.
The bolded words have been marinating through my head all day. As this opportunity lies before me, as I’ve been processing this adventure for 5.5 months - I have been pursuing this opportunity in the posture of this text. Hearing my friend say it in these words, at this time, reinforced how faithful and genuine God has allowed me to be in this season of exploration and waiting.
Ever since I was told about this conference - this weekend - God had me circle this weekend on the calendar as the quote on quote “magic time period” of when full clarity and vision would come. I have come in expectant. After night one, God has already met me.
Tomorrow I’d be with the CRU staffers from the PSW all day if it was up to me, but alas, I have to work. So, I’ll be seeing them at around 7pm.
6 moths ago this was not even a dream I could have imagined. 5.5 months later, it is a dream that has been pushing me to draw closer to Jesus. Today, it is one that captivates my soul. Now, it is one I wait eagerly for God to fully open up the doors.
The time has come to finally bring clarity and speak the details of what God is up to. I have waited patiently and purposely for this time to come before I release this information, but now the time has come to open the vault and let the dam flow.
This week I will be hanging out in Anaheim with staffers and leaders from Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) that work on the campuses of the Pacific Southwest (PSW). My friend, brother and mentor has been allowed to bring vision and oversight to this team of men and women. He has asked me to join this team.
This week I will be spending Thursday & Friday night, all day Saturday & Sunday morning with this team. I will be watching and praying. I ask you to do the same. I have an interview at 2pm on Saturday. I have been waiting for God to part the ocean of my soul. He hasn’t - slowly clarity is coming.
I ask you to join me in praying for: wisdom, vision, clarity, discernment, faith & the ability to take holy risks.
My week will be long. I don’t expect God “to show up” for He is already here.
He has been in this journey since before I knew I was on it. So I am not waiting on God to show up - He has been waiting, lovingly, patiently on me.
God has allowed me space to process and seek. He has allowed me the grace to go against my nature, desire and tendency of jumping before I know all the details. This will be a week to remember.
(As you are praying or reading this, please, please, please message me or comment with whatever you hear, see or feel. I would love to hear from you regarding this!)
"I hold my life loosely so You can hold it tight."
A couple of months back, when I was wrestling with God through life, me and Him were having a conversation. In this conversation He reminded me of the phrase I cling to as the earth spins - "hold your life loosely". Then He added to it the idea how I practice this not because I do anything, but because by holding my life loosely, I see I don’t need to hold it tightly because God is already doing that.
Holding my life loosely allows me to see how tight God is holding my life.
I think this is beautiful.
I am made free by this.
I am opened up to take holy, Jesus shaped risks when I live out this truth.
Now, after months of seeking and praying, my life has been laid open before me. I have let go. Of course my God has been faithful. Did I ever anticipate anything else?
For the duration of this I have been marinating on the Psalms. I have been using these honest, prayer poems to guide my time with Jesus.
To let honesty flow.
Community has stepped in to help me go to work on my soul. They have dug my trench with me and have not left. They have brought healing and life.
I am ready. My life is held tightly by His grasp. I will step out in holy risk.
I have been hiking this adventure for a while now. The exploration has last five months. During this time I have been camping out. I have waited. I have sought. I have explored. Questions have been asked. Scenarios have been run through. The summit has been approached. I can see it.
Thing is, even though I can see the summit, I don’t know what the summit actually is. At the top of the summit there is a thick layer of fog and haze. I know it is up there. I can see it - the tip is barely showing. Yet, the full glimpse of the summit is not yet here.
The time has come to climb the summit, despite the lack of clarity.
The fog will not be lifted until I climb the summit.
Logically, this makes sense. Of course I’ll know what is at the summit when I climb the summit. Though, I really, long to know what is there now. I don’t want to go through all this effort to see what is at the top of the summit, when for all I know, it may not be worth the trip.
I want it easy.
This is not my natural bend. Yet, for this decision, for this adventure, I am feeling the need to be extremely cautious. I am seeking wisdom and advice from perspectives and places that vary considerably. For five months, I have been sitting on this. I have been seeking and praying. I have been asking mentors, friends and brothers what they see God up to.
The common thread - excitement.
Two good options lay before my path. They will back me no matter what.
"I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless." Psalm 101:3b
My prayers and seeking have centered around this verse. God is revealing. The summit is here. The haze will go away.
“Kids, you can’t talk yourself into falling in love. It doesn’t take days of deliberation. When it’s real, you know pretty quickly and with absolute certainty. I had forgotten that but I was about to be reminded…”—Narrator, How I Met Your Mother