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All posts for the month April, 2013

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The year was 1992. I was spending 6 months as an intern in Nigeria with our missionaries, Bill and Kathy Kieselhorst. They had saved up a couple years worth of vacation dollars to buy a small two person sail boat. It was Bill’s pride and joy. Their two 15 year old twin boys convinced Bill and Kathy to let me take them out on a local lake with their sailboat. I had done very little sailing and really had no clue what I was doing, but the boys assured me they knew what they were doing.

We get out on the lake and it is so windy. The boat keeps capsizing. I’m doing my best to try and get the sail in the right place, but with no avail. After about the 8th or 9th time of this stupid boat capsizing, I was done. The last time the boat went over, when we got it turned over the mast, the boom, and all the rigging was gone. Somehow it had come loose and sank to the bottom of this lake. I would later discover that this is one of the deepest lakes in Nigeria and only one diver in that region had ever went to the bottom. All that to say, the boat was now a permanent shell of itself.

The drive back to Bill and Kathy’s was one of the worst moments of my life. I drove up to the house, Bill is working on his garden, sees the boat and looks baffled as he sees the condition of the boat. I think it took him two days to talk to me:). We now laugh about it (well, I do…I think Bill is still a little confused about how that could have happened).

Wind Power. Is there such a thing as too much wind? We pray for a move of God. We desperately want His presence. But we often want it our way – a safe, gentle breeze that blows softly in our lives. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes God comes in a gale force wind that shakes the foundations. I’m thankful that Jesus is described as a rock of refuge that we can run to. But make no mistake, sometimes the Spirit of God blows strong.

What would you rather have: 1) The strong, uncontrollable wind of God or 2) A nice gentle breeze without God’s presence? Is there an option 3?

My prayer today is to say “Yes” to however God chooses to come. My job is to wait for Him, to ask for Him, to invite His presence into my life. Holy Spirit come.

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Have you seen the movie, Tommy Boy? There’s a scene where he is stuck on a lake without any wind. I don’t know much about sailing. Matter of fact, the one time I went sailing the boat sank (true story). Do you ever feel like your life looks like that scene or even worse, maybe your boat has sunk?

We are starting a series at Westside called Fresh Air in a couple weeks. It’s about the wind of the Spirit blowing upon, in and through our lives.

Do you want a fresh move of God in your life? Do you need direction? It’s time for us to put our sails up and catch the wind of God. There is more for us. We don’t have to live sub-par lives. We can live in freedom and joy by simply inviting the work of the Spirit into our lives.

Next Thursday, May 2nd, Westside hosts The Well conference with Phil Wickham and Andrew Palau. It’s going to be one of those wind-catching moments. Hope you can join us – thewellconference.com.

Asking Jesus for a little wind please.

But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. (1 Kings 12:8 NLT)

One of the reasons this transition between Pastor Ken and me will be successful is the integration of older advisors and younger advisors. It’s not one or the other.

Rehoboam was 41 years old when he became King and I am 42. The temptation for any new leader is to bring in his own advisors and only listen to them. What might have happened if Rehoboam had integrated the two groups? The younger advisors would have gained wisdom and the older advisors would have seen that their influence went beyond just one King.

Pastor Ken and I together created a Servant’s Council made up of older and younger advisors. They provide stability and counsel to both the present and future vision of the church.

Who are you listening to? A small group I attend is a wonderful mix of older and younger. My dad leads it and with him is an older couple that have served many years on the mission field. Their two daughters and husband attend as well. The other day one of the younger husbands commented how amazing it is to have the wisdom of my father and this missionary.

We need each other. One of our church values is: Age is Beautiful. Which age? Every age. Does your life display this value?

After a quick study of 2 Corinthians 4:8, here’s my translation: We are pressed but not crushed, we are at a loss but not lost.

Evan Earwicker, our high school pastor, shared a great word at First Wednesday last night. He reminded us that we may be surrounded by trouble, but around our trouble are the armies of God.

You might feel pressed in, pressured, barely holding on and Jesus comes and reminds us that we will not be crushed. We will make it. You might be confused at your circumstances, wondering why God hasn’t come through for you yet, but take courage, you will not lose.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT)

This is one of our theme scriptures for this year as a church. It describes people who have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

– We can now see the glory of God
– We can now reflect that glory everywhere we go and in everything we do
– We can become more and more like Jesus as we allow the Spirit to change us into the image of Christ

This is the essence of what it means to be a Christ follower. We are not perfect, but we are in process. Step by step, day by day, are we being transformed?

Dear God, today help me recognize your glory. Help me reflect your glory. Especially tonight at First Wednesday service. Help me to be a conduit of your glory. Reflect yourself off of me. I have so many areas I need to change in my life. I submit those to you and ask you to forgive me and reshape me to be more like you. I need the help of your Spirit.

And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him (Samson)…(Judges 13:25 NLT)

To stir means that the Spirit began to make him uncomfortable. Has that ever happened to you? You become dissatisfied with your life, agitated at what you do. God sometimes disturbs our routine life to help us move into what He has for us. It doesn’t always mean a new job or a new location, but it almost always means He has an assignment for us. And I’ve learned over the years to say ‘yes’ more and more quickly because if I say ‘no’ or ignore Him hoping he will go away, I just get more and more agitated. My life gets more and more uncomfortable.