Monday, March 30, 2009

Elton John - Can You Feel The Love Tonight

It's 1:46pm and I just got home from work about 45 minutes ago and had lunch. Right now, being so soon after the conference, my heart aches because I miss everyone. I keep replaying everything in my mind. Waiting outside for Jamie and Ryan with my suitcase stacked on top of my car, with my Bible and other books I had borrowed from them. Seeing them pull in my driveway out of the corner of my eye, feeling that rush of excitement you get when you see those you love after being away from them for a long time. The drive to Atlanta, the stop at Zaxby's, arriving in Atlanta and catching my first glimpse at the Sheraton Suites hotel where the conference was. It's all so special. I love running the thoughts through my mind, sucking on them like candy. Ugh.

Hearing the alarm go off in the room Joel and I were staying in, hearing his blankets ruffle as he got up to shower. I saw him get up out of bed out of the corner of my eye, thinking how strange and great it was to know it was Joel. I had been up since before the alarm went off, staring out of the big living room window, looking at the big building across the street with the pretty lights. I was anticipating the day.

Having breakfast with the gang all there. Coffee, eggs, sausage, bacon. Need I say more? It was like one big family in one big house. We came down for breakfast only to find all the other brothers and sisters who were there for the conference, chatting and eating and laughing. At one point during breakfast I glanced behind my shoulder to see Steve McVey with morning eyes, laughing and talking with some friends. It was the best home ever. Everyone understood who God is. No one was seeking to bring anyone into slavery. They were thirsty. Not for tips on behavior, but for the living God. They wanted to know him. There was some deeper craving telling them what they had been taught was just not enough. Something was missing. Learning about behavior just wasn't enough for them. They wanted something deeper. And with full bellies, we would go up to the conference room with hungry Spirits.

I miss everyone a lot. The sweetest, but the most bitter time to think on these things is in the morning before work and when I'm home alone and everything is quiet again.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I sort of wondered why Judas was still punished for something that was previously ordained by God. Jesus said, "The Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!"

Then I realized today that it was the intent of Judas' heart that condemned him. It wasn't that he caused Jesus to be crucified. Jesus was in complete control and willingly laid down his life. No one could kill Jesus, he had to lay down his life on his own. Judas considered a little bit of money of more value than the precious gift of God. That, my friend, is unbelief at it's worst. But what really condemned Judas was his refusal of grace after his sin. Peter denied he even knew his Jesus! There is no sin God's love cannot wipe away! The only thing God cannot wipe away is refusal of his love. Judas sinned and then, in his self-righteousness, tried to be the hero of the story by sacrificing himself. He refused to be humbled that he might be exalted.

The hardest thing in the world is letting someone you love, leave you. But love allows that. The love of the prodigal son's father allowed the son take everything he owned and blow it on booze and hookers. That is love at its most vulnerable. It says, "do what you will to me, I will still love you." You know it hurt his father for the son who left him for a life of carelessness. You can imagine his heart ached because he missed him. Not to mention the worry he must have felt. But love would have allowed his son to rape him of his livelihood and leave him with nothing. It was probably in an effort to get his son to love him. The father wanted his love for his son to cause the son to desire him.

Judas said in his actions, "I will not be the beggar! I will not trust in a handout of grace! It's too easy! I will suffer the consequences of my actions! I sinned and I will pay for it!" And so he did.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Boast in Christ's Work, Not Yours

You will say in that day:

"I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

"Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. "Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."

(Isaiah 12:1-6)

...As I said before, Jesus is the hero of this story. Not you. Your efforts are cute, but quit playing savior. Jesus is the only Savior you will ever know.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

When you read Jesus' words in the Gospels, do you ever feel like a revelation and understanding of his words are on the tip of your mind, but you still don't get it? I need more patience and persistence in seeking. I wanna know what it means! I KNOW it's good news and it will completely change the way I view God, but I don't understand!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yeha Noha

Listened to this a lot when God first began to burn in me a hunger for him. It just reminds me of when we first met.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Religious Nuts

Frank Friedmann just mentioned this in a sermon of his I'm currently listening to on Grace Walk Radio. He heard it from Malcolm Smith and I've experienced the exact same thing.

Why is it whenever I tell someone I am a Christian, they immediately start talking about their behavior? Just the other day, a guy who had been drinking asked me if I was a Christian while I took him to buy some beer. I told him yes, I was a Christian. He then said "Oh, then I'll try not to cuss or drink around you." While that strokes my flesh's pharisee ego, I told him I wasn't that kind of Christian; Meaning I wasn't about changing behavior, but trusting in the one who saved me because I couldn't change my behavior. I needed a new heart. I was dead and I needed to be made alive. I needed someone to get to the root of the problem.

But why is the name Christian now synonymous with being good? I thought it was about trusting in the Only One who is good. This whole behavior change thing really *pees* me off because sooner or later you fail. Sure, you claim Christ is the Solid Rock on which you stand, but you deny it in your actions.

Listen to Titus, when Paul is describing religious zealots who profess to know Christ, but deny him by their religion:

"For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work."

So Paul says one of the Cretans, a prophet of the circumcision party, is speaking against the irreligious sinners, calling them liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons. Paul turns the charge around on him. Reminds me of what was said in Romans: "You who boast in the law, dishonor God by breaking the law."

Quit Being Ridiculously Boring

There is no such freaking thing as a super human Christian, so get over it and get over yourself! When you fail, don't pull your hair, gnash your teeth and wonder why on earth you did something so stupid and act as that is humility, when in fact you're unwilling to receive God's grace, allow your conscience to be cleansed and again enjoy your intimacy with God which is your very power to stop sinning and acting like a moron.

To be a Christian doesn't mean to be strong and dedicated, but weak and vulnerable.

Being a Christian isn't about improving behavior, it's about being reunited with God.

The Way isn't the path of self-improvement, it's the path back to the Father through the cross of Jesus Christ.

Christianity isn't about doing, but being in union with the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Adam and Eve were not all about learning to live better and better. They didn't have endless sermons on how to behave. They just enjoyed being in a love dance with the Trinity.

It's about being sloppily in love and infatuated with a most wondrous God. To make Christianity about behavior is absolutely stupid and boring. Stop preaching endless sermons and how to live, because no one remembers them anyway. Instead, teach who God is and what he did for them through Jesus Christ.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Mr. Brueseke tagged me in a post. :)

I'll copy and paste the rules:

Google your full first name (not your nickname) and the word "needs" like this: "Joel needs" and then post the first 10 things that Google finds. You may have to go to the website and do a little reading. Then tag 5 friends (not including the person who tagged you) and pass it on.

1. Matthew needs to bring sexy back.

2. Matthew needs to realize it's possible for him to be wrong.

3. Matthew needs more Jesus.

4. Matthew needs to stop asking questions about Reagan Smith.

5. Matthew needs your help!

6. Matthew needs to stop worrying about things God hasn't guaranteed.

7. Matthew needs surgery again.

8. Matthew needs a new display name.

9. Mat
thew needs at least 30 hours per week of intensive therapy.

10. Matthew needs a new salad spinner

....Tag! You're it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Love not Duty

"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God". (1 Peter 2:16)

It's gonna be warm this week!

Becoming a Jedi

I just wanted to write about the things God has recently done in my life. He has really maneuvered me in and out of certain difficulties. A lot like how he protected Jesus from the crowds and Jesus was able to just walk through them, somehow without being hurt. There are other things other than these that he has done for me, but this is what I am currently excited and thrilled about! I am so excited about my new job!!! I pray I wouldn't let pain slow me down, but do my work as for the Lord and not for men!

It's important for you to understand that to get God to work in my life, I didn't do anything. I just went forward, and he worked. These are seemingly small things to humans, but all things are small to God. But he has lately been working a lot like how he worked with Israel, moving into Canaan. Their only "job" is to move forward in faith and God does the rest. He initiates, I respond. He doesn't expect us to be in control of everything, but rather trust him that when Jesus said, "ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me", he meant it. When he says all authority, that means all. That means no one even gets a job without it being under his control. No one draws one breath on this earth without his permission and enabling.

I first started out, believing that if i just applied, God would indeed provide me with a job. He gives his children what they need. If I need food, he will provide it and if I need clothes he will provide them. He does not neglect us. And so I went online and put in applications, talking to my Father and telling him what he already knew I needed. I needed a job, and I needed a new prosthetic, therefore I needed good health insurance. I waited for a call back from the jobs from which I had applied, but was too scared to follow up on it. I also knew they wouldn't provide sufficient insurance to get a new prosthetic. And so I asked God that if he wanted me to have a job, to show me the job he wanted me to have. Not much longer, my neighbor, who lives just behind me, tells me that her company, West Marine, is hiring for lift drivers and that they have quote: "Really good insurance". And so I thought, "Aha!" I suspected this was from God and immediately inquired about it, by putting in an application. I felt totally helpless when I arrived at this huge distribution center with all these cars parked outside. I felt like a 5 year old walking into the world, trying to be a grown-up. And so I picked up the application paper, feeling ridiculous applying for a position such as a lift driver, given the state of the economy, with absolutely no previous experience or no education. I told God I was only going in because I believed He is going to provide for me. I prayed that if I was going to get this job, it would NOT be based on on my qualifications, but on his grace.

So I wait. Mom and I get home from being out somewhere one day and she says there is a message from West Marine on my phone. I'm all excited and I call back immediately and leave a message on their answering machine. I wait a week for a call back, then go up there and they eventually interview me and give me the papers for a drug test. They tell me I will be working at the conveyor belts which requires constant walking. I was concerned about having to walk the whole time, which I would have toughed out, but no less concerned about the pain I would have. And then today I find out that I would be driving a ground lift! So walking will be minimized!

I had also been worried about whether or not I would have been able to go to the Radical Sonship conference in Atlanta with Steve McVey and Paul Anderson-Walsh. I thought I would be working that Friday of the conference. I had also been so excited to meet my brothers Joel, Gary, John and with Ryan and Jamie!! And we were gonna get to meet together in the presence of two speakers who have so helped me find my foundations in the grace of God! But today I find out that we're on four day work weeks!! I don't work Fridays or weekends! WOW! Normally that would not be a plus, but my reliance is not on myself or men, but on God. He has prepared this job for me beforehand, with all knowledge of my needs and the conference.

It may not seem so miraculous the way I have explained it, but understand, I have been waiting for weeks, concerned about these things and then to have it all work out in the end is nothing less than the work of my Father! He loves me and he takes care of me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Interesting Questions

I'm listening to Malcolm Smith and he has said something interesting.

"If I get angry at my anger, what does that do? If I am impatient with my impatience, what does that produce?" Also, what good does it do to be afraid of being afraid??
I want to be aware of the things that are happening in the world and I do not want to be blind when it comes to interpreting the signs. I want to keep awake, with sober judgment.

It is my belief that it's possibly later than we think. It looks like we may be moving toward a one-world government. America is accepting more and more this Oprah type theology. They are accepting homosexuality as morality and they murder infants in the name of convenience. They hate to hear the name of Jesus. They stop their ears and run from God, believing he is out to condemn them. They understand their guilt, but try to stop their screaming consciences by denying the existence of God and sin. If only they would admit their guilt and seek a way out, they would find his grace to be all sufficient. They would understand the Gospel and turn, and Jesus would heal them.

But we, believers in Christ, children of the day, need just to straighten up, lift up our heads and rejoice in our hope in Christ! He has done it all! There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Hold fast your confidence in Jesus' finished work firm to the end, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Christ

I am in Christ. I am in his death and resurrection. I was in Christ when he was on the cross. God included me in him, since he is my Covenant Representative. I don't experience a feeling of dying or death. Why? Because Christ's death was my death! He died FOR me! I don't wait until I finally have an experience of dying. He experienced death FOR me. I don't try to get there! I am there because I believed what I heard. I trusted the Gospel and I was saved in that hope. I simply hold my original confidence in Christ to the end! How hard a work is that? It's my pleasure! I get to be confident in the obedience of the One Man! I am free from self! I am free from a nitpicking mind, meticulously picking apart my actions, motives and words, in an effort to make myself good. I couldn't be good. I needed to be killed and raised anew! I needed to fly, but the problem is, worms don't fly! I needed to become a butterfly. Try as I might, a worm will never be able to fly. I would need to become a new creation to fly. And how do I become a new creation? By struggling to grow wings? Absolutely not! I rest from my works, crawl inside my cocoon, and allow God's power to transform me.

We're struggling to crucify ourselves. Why!? Jesus is the one who was crucified! As I said before - HE is the hero of this story. HE was raised from the dead. He experienced death for me.