October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
Hey! It’s been a while since an update. Basically I’ll use the same excuse that all bloggers use at some point when they go through a period of silence… I have been very busy ;) Mid way through the summer I ended getting a job doing commercial cleaning… which meant I went to class from 9am – 12pm then work from 3:30pm – anywhere from 12am to 4am. That was a very fast paced season!
Mid way through school, I was approached by the pastor of the church Harvest Chapel that was doing the school and asked me if I wanted a job taking over the media/tech department :D What a God sent oppertunity. Funny thing is that I had been looking for a more perminant job for the past 6 months and was never able to find one. I kept praying to figure out why God was not blessing my efforts. It was great, because when this job literally fell in my lap, God said, “Shane… didn’t I say I would give you the desires of your heart?” That was a cool… because I thought my hearts desire was to get a job working at a bank or resaurant… when God knew my true hearts desire was to do media. Got a good God!!
July 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m and enjoying where I am at so much! Being here in York, PA has truly been one of the most blessed experiences I’ve had thus far in my young life. While here and going to School of Kingdom Living, I’m staying with the Zeller family from the church hosting the school, and what a blessing it has been! Natalie (4), Joanna (6), Miriam (8), and Abby (12) tell everyone that I’m their “summer brother”. They are such sweet girls, and I’m happy to be a stand in brother :)
I have a room mate here… well, he’s not in my room, so I guess he’s just a mate. Matt (36) is a former Army soldier who too is attending the School of Kingdom Living. What a joy to have a brother here to hangout with. We have taken over the third story of the Zeller house, which consists of two simple bedrooms. We are in the urban part of York, PA and the house is one of those older three story city houses, THUS it doesn’t have built in air conditioning. Matt and I are literally sweating this summer out as we sit directly under the roof. It does get rather hot, but when sitting near a fan, it’s survivable. I’m quite happy with my accommodations and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
My consistent responsibility right now is school and helping around the house. To earn my keep I’ve been helping them with putting the final touches on their new house extension. During the week I help Sally (Mrs. Zeller) with little projects, which then on the weekends I help Steve (Mr. Zeller) with some of the more demanding tasks. It’s coming along and it looks like we’ll have it done by the end of summer. Between all of this I am currently looking for a job and I’ve got a few possible nibbles so we will see what happens. It will be a joy to be back to having consistent work. I have also been able to do odd jobs for a disabled man since being here, which has a great way to bring in a little bread.
Life just feels so simple. It’s busy… but simple. I spend a while the other day just pondering what has brought this simplicity about. I now just humbly share what God showed me as I sought Him in this:
In asking Him about what was making things so simple, He brought to mind Matthew 22:37-40 which is where Jesus says that the greatest commandments (the meaning of the law) is love God with your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. I started trying to plug this into the question I was asking… and couldn’t really make sense of why I was given this thought. He then said, “It’s your perspective”. Everything then made sense!
My life right now is virtually stressless! But wait… honestly, I have the same load (amount of tasks needed to be completed each day) that I’ve ever had, but for some reason the load feels different. Through this thought of my “perspective” I realized what stress was. Stress is not about the load, but the desire to do the load. When I think back to “stressful” times in life (like school)… it wasn’t necessarily that the load was overbearing, but my desire to do it. The funny thing is that then when I think about the most “loaded” times in my life… I would probably have to say was the time when I was having fun… like summer camp. Summer Camps are extremely busy times. I would get virtually no sleep and spend ALL day going from event to event, yet I never considered it “stressful”. More energy and time was spent on having fun, yet stress only came when I sat at my desk and did undesirable school work. Even when I think of school work, the homework I enjoyed (like making videos for projects) weren’t stressful, but fun… yet both had deadlines that I had to work to make. My “perspective” or desire determines if a “task” is going to be stressful or not. For some reason… in my current state… my perspective has changed to where things that where “stressful” before, are now things I actually enjoy.
How did this happen and how does this tie in with Matthew 22:37-40? What follows is what was so awesome to see and I again, humbly share it now to give God glory for His work He is doing in my life :) In what Jesus said, the theme was “love”. Isn’t love a perspective (1 Corinthians 13)? As God is drawing me closer to His heart through truth and intimacy, love is starting to be an actual perspective in my life which is changing what I DESIRE! Before I did not truly enjoy hard work (or responsibilities) because there are thing out there that are more fun. Now though, working outside after school, in the sun till sunset, to then be followed by other things that have to be done, is not stressful because love tells me it’s a joy to serve. Working feels more like something I “get to do” vs. “have to do”. I get to serve others :D I get to bless and serve my employer!
An example of the undesirable becoming desirable came today! After church I had to go to the store. Now I didn’t have much energy, and my body felt like taking a nap. For the first time though this didn’t faze me, because I actually wanted to go… because I knew I could bump into people and love on them. I went and was able to pray for a man with spinal bifida and arthritis. After I got what I needed… I actually decided to go into all the stores in the strip mall and just look for people to love on! I then went to another strip mall and prayed for more people! What should have been burdensome and stressful (both going to a store when tired and even being bold with approaching strangers) turned into joy and a privilege!! Something that was undesirable or done out of “responsibility” was now desirable!
What an awesome experience with God! I’m not saying that I’ve got this “love” perspective down… I’m just starting to see the first fruits of it, which is just exciting for me :D As this perspective starts to hit, I’m seeing that “His burden” really isn’t a burden, but a perspective that enables us to live “so that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4). The world can’t live in this love… that’s why stress is a reality… but we are new creatures in Christ who have a divine nature… so shouldn’t we be able to live in a reality of pure joy regardless of “circumstance”? Love WANTS to help, serve, and bless… yet we even see love as “stressful”… why is this? “God is LOVE” not stress! His “burden is light” because we have access to true love which enables us to find JOY in everything!!
What I’ve learned is that if I want this to become a reality, it’s not about “biting my lip” and “changing” my reality… it’s a natural outcome of truth and intimacy with Love itself (God)!!! THANK-YOU FATHER… IT’S YOU WHO SANCTIFIES AND CONFORMS ME INTO THE IMAGE OF YOUR SON!!!!!
June 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
Just the other day someone really close to me said, “Yeah, I thought of (such and such) in the Bible and I just had this random thought…” They continued on to share a really cool perspective on the passage that was really impacting their life. In my whole conversation with them this “random thought” was the only thing they shared that was encouraging them spiritually. Once they concluded the thought, something hit me… so I asked, “So where did that thought come from?” They answered casually, “I don’t know, I just hit me.” This thought that I had which lead to my question is now what I write on.
What is the “voice of the LORD” we see so many times in Scripture? Most every major character in the Bible heard the “voice of the LORD”. Adam spoke directly with God in the garden, yet after man fell in sin and was separated from God, He still kept speaking to man! I’ve had numerous married couples share the “key” to a healthy relationship… which is “communication”. If I got a nickel for every time I’ve heard this, I’d be sitting pretty well right now! If communication plays such a practical/central role in a marriage relationship, how important then is it in our marriage/relationship with God? I’ve been pondering this thought… and I can’t find any reason not to see this comparison as a valid one.
John 10 is such a beautiful passage! One of the over arching themes is that the Shepherd (God) knows His sheep, and the sheep KNOW their Shepherd and follow His VOICE. Strangers/thieves will come and try to lead the sheep astray but since the sheep knows it’s not their Shepherd’s voice, they flee. Jesus later tells us in the Upper Room Discourse that He wants on going communication… that’s why He is sending Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit will be Jesus’ mouth piece to us! Jesus says Holy Spirit will guide us into ALL truth. Later through Paul, God used the book of Colossians to nail down the fact that TRUTH only comes from God… man can not find truth on his own. Man left to his own devices, only finds natural/intellectual knowledge and wisdom but God’s truth goes AGAINST all normal/natural understanding. Things are never as they seem compared to God’s perspective and truth!
Going back to my conversation… after they said that the origin was just something that popped in their head, I then asked, “Do you think that was the voice of the Lord communicating to you?” They could not answer for sure. They never thought of that. How much of us are the same way? How often do we hear and know Holy Spirit’s directly communicating with us? Now I’m not saying “direct” communication means some kind of audible voice… He communicates through our spirits, which then can translate into something like a “thought”. When I talk to friends… honestly, I hardly EVER hear anyone directly tell me that “Holy Spirit told me this” or “showed me this” or “revealed this”. Why is this? God has placed His very SPIRIT inside of us FOR communication… yet we don’t talk or act like we KNOW the VOICE of the LORD. Just about ever sermon I’ve ever heard always includes quotes from famous figures in Church history, which in some odd way, seems to give their point validity. Why then are we so quick to quote others yet not “quote” what the Holy Spirit is literally communicating to us? Now of course saying “Holy Spirit showed me”, doesn’t give it then some kind of magical validity because things only have “validity” if the Holy Spirit tells each of us individually that what they are saying is true.
What then is my point? I want to encourage everyone to truly SEEK to KNOW the VOICE of the LORD!!! God has placed sis very SPIRIT in us, for COMMUNICATION (I think it’s supposed to be heard more than “that one time”… if you know I mean). Some might feel frustrated because they “haven’t heard Holy Spirit before”… and what I believe is that they HAVE heard Him, they just might not have noticed it. Just like my conversation, at the end they agreed that it must have been the Holy Spirit, but they didn’t realize it was until then. When a “random” thought, idea, revelation hits you in a way that encourages your spirit and points you to Jesus, stop and ask Holy Spirit if that was Him. I believe He will confirm it in some way. This isn’t a science, it’s a relationship J Let us be bold to approach the throne of grace and ask for discernment in this area. He is the Father that gives GOOD gifts to His children, so ask what is on your heart!! The beauty of all of this is the more you hear and discern God’s voice, the more you start to hear it and ultimately, live it (that’s my personal opinion… I might be deceived though, haha :) God’s designed us for communication with Him… so live in it :D
June 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
HOUSE KEEPING: Real quickly I want to bring you in on some new changes I’ve made for my blog. If you notice in the left hand side of the Home page,there are now several ways to “Stay In The Loop”. Once can now directly subscribe to this blog via E-mail or you can keep up with me through Facebook and Twitter where I post updates when I publish a new entry on this blog. Also farther down I have a live feed to my Twitter account which as you can see I stay pretty busy putting down thoughts I’m being challenge with. If one sets up a Twitter account (it’s free) one can also receive these “tweets” (messages) via text messages on ones phone. Also I actually put something in my “About” page on the left. That’s all… NOW BACK TO YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION :)
THINGS ARE GOING AMAZING here in York, PA! We just finished our 2nd of 13 weeks of the School of Kingdom Living. Holy Spirit is just alive and active :) Again, the thing is, this “school” isn’t the source of my learning… its just the Spirit just doing HIS work through many different venues.
I just want to quickly share a crazy challenging thought Spirit woke me up too, literally! It was 4am the other night and I suddenly woke up to a lot of darkness. Now granted it was night, but it was a feeling/thought… the kind that drains one of a positive perspective. The thought was basically making me rethink the validity of what the Spirits been doing recently. Isn’t that just like darkness?!
At first I didn’t really realize the thoughts I was having. After a few moments though I noticed what was happening… doubt was making a move. Where darkness is, light has an opportunity to shine… so I started praying and proclaiming in faith, truth. I’m starting to see that faith is proclaiming truth, even when it doesn’t match what you are seeing, hearing, or feeling (experiencing), hence Hebrews 11:1. I was feeling little, dirty, and stupid through the darkness… BUT truth says I’m WORTH IT (Jesus died to restore me BACK to my original value. He REDEEMED!), I’m RIGHTEOUS (He put to DEATH the old, sinful, deceived man, and made me a NEW CREATION who no longer has live in/under the reign of darkness… Romans 6), and I CAN know TRUTH through the revelation of the Holy Spirit!! I didn’t FEEL like any of those truths, hence why FAITH is important.
I literally decide to stand up and just verbally proclaim truth and praise God. It didn’t take long for then my being to start getting excited about what I was claiming in faith, and I could no longer notice the darkness! I’m starting to imagine the problem darkness would have if every time it squeezes a Christian, they go to Papa’s lap in faith and PRAISE through truth. Darkness’s works would then send God’s Children to their Father’s lap! Do you think that maybe that is why God didn’t keep Satan from Eden? Maybe God’s designed man to be creatures that overcome darkness through their position/identity in light? Talk about sticking it to Satan and his rebellion!!
Well as you can imagine that time of night started off discouraged and confused, but ended up being encouraged and empowered through truth in faith! Once I reached this point Holy Spirit hit me with this thought, “Consider Job, what was Satan attacking?” At first, I thought of his loss of wealth, health, and family, but then this thought hit me… Satan was attacking Job’s truth!! Satan believed that Job would see God differently through the trial… Job’s perspective/understanding/TRUTH would be redefined through Satan’s SQUEEZING of him. Job though DIDN’T CHANGE his TRUTH, but in FAITH held on EVEN THOUGH he didn’t FEEL, hear, or SEE truth… he just KNEW it!
Once I came to this understanding God hit me with this, “So many of my Children, forsake truth or keep from seeking truth for so much less” meaning many of us give in for so much less. Job was hit with so much, yet didn’t waiver… but not all are like that. If reality starts to LOOK or we FEEL different than truth… we change the truth to make sense with our reality. FAITH though believes outside of circumstances.
God finalized this time with Him by asking, “Are you going to be a Job?” Am I going to keep true to what He’s revealed to me even if things might seem to go against it? Am I going to let other’s opinions keep me from embracing truth and living it out? Am I going to let darkness and all of it’s schemes hold me back from seeking truth? Job had Christian friends who were even used to try and knocked him off of truth… yet how many times are we paralyzed by others opinions or logic?
I’m not going to be that! I’m not being “prideful” I’m being CONFIDENT. Where does the Bible ever present confidence in Him as bad? We are called to be confident in humility towards God. I know my heart and I’m knowing more truth, so I can bet that darkness is going to be hitting pretty HARD as I move forward in my identity!
That night darkness tried to make me rethink and redefine the work Holy Spirit is doing. Due to my unity to Light through Jesus, I can, in FAITH, proclaim and praise God… which in turn, changes my reality/feelings. Because where faith is, grace is. Grace to keep running the race and hold fast to truth :D
Let us ALL pursue truth with everything inside of us, and hold fast in FAITH while the enemy strikes us, which in turn leads us to our Father’s loving lap :D
Now that’s the mark of a good night :)
June 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
THIS ENTRY IS LONG… I KNOW!!! But it’s to set up for the rest of my SHORTER posts to come ;)
Well folks, the first week of School of Kingdom Living has completed! I’m walking away with a lot of good thoughts. This “school” is really just three hours a day of discussion (four days a week). There aren’t really any set topics or lectures… it’s very just chill and thought provoking. Some have been concerned that this might be nothing more than a school for indoctrination of doctrines that I and others might not agree with. Quite the contrary, it’s very open and I feel very comfortable with just seeing what Holy Spirit wants to teach me everyday.
I really do not want my posts to be about what the classes are about, but instead what Spirit (Holy Spirit) is doing. So, I’ll just ramble for a few paragraphs about some very thought provoking things that Spirit has been pointing out to me.
This entry actually has nothing to do with class… this is something that just hit when I was reading scripture. Here’s the thought… how connected is absolute truth and time? This thought might sound very deep and intellectual, but most of what I’m learning is very simple, if given a chance to stand.
This is the thought… take a look back at the fall of man. Adam and Eve where living happily in the garden, in fellowship with God, when Satan shows up. What does he use to entice and deceive them into taking the fruit? From what I’m starting to see… he used knowledge outside of the source of truth. He told Eve that she would KNOW good and evil without the consequences. Basically he told her that she could acquire knowledge/revelation outside of the source and timing of God. Granted, he did tell them they would be like “God” so pride played in it, but through the venue of KNOWLEDGE, rather than telling them that they would be like God in power. They both partook of the fruit and immediately they did know the “knowledge” of good and evil but missed the TRUTH that stood behind the knowledge.
I personally see TRUTH as being deeper than knowledge. Knowledge is simply information, and anyone can have “knowledge” about God, but it’s when it becomes TRUTH to them that it has a spiritual effect. Truth seems to have an element outside of just “true information” because it directly connects us with God and it is a PART of God. I don’t give simple “information” that kind of power. Since TRUTH is inseparable from God, and we NEED the Holy Spirit to reveal it. It therefore has a spiritual quality which transcends mans “natural” way of acquiring knowledge.
Adam and Even though, sought truth, but since it wasn’t in union with God and HIS timing… they acquired knowledge but missed the TRUTH behind it. Now, I honestly can’t dogmatically say what the TRUTH was they where meant to graspe, but I think Jesus holds the answer. Jesus (and others in the NT) time and time again points to living in a NEW identity… a NEW kingdom that has dominion over darkness. Darkness was on the earth before the fall (aka: Satan) and man was not originally designed to be under IT’S dominion… we were meant to live FREE of it… yet with it still around! Thats what Jesus offered when He died!!! He gave us TRUTH which set us FREE from the darkness to which we had been in bondage. We were meant to be Children of God and where not meant to be under the dominion of Satan.
This is then the simple truth I see… TRUTH can only come to each individual from God in HIS timing! We may try and seek “truth” but if it is outside of the Holy Spirit and His revelation (His timing) we only acquire knowledge. Knowledge doesn’t have power… only TRUTH!!
In conclusion… what I’m starting to see is that I’ve sought truth in my life… but in most cases have only come out with dry, hollow knowledge. Why? Because I’ve sought understanding in things that God hasn’t yet seen fit to reveal to me. All of history points to God having PROGRESSIVE revelation with mankind… and I think PROGRESSIVE revelation also relates to each of us individually. He reveals truths about Himself to me, in a progressive way that ultimately leads me to living the life HE designed me to live!!! He is the revealer of truth… and I’m not called to try and “understand” God or have a “balanced” view… I’m called to SEEK TRUTH, through HOLY SPIRIT, which ultimately puts me under HIS TIMING for EVERYTHING! He knows when I need to understand something and when I don’t. He will GUIDE me… it’s a PROMISE from Jesus!
I have much knowledge about God and His Word but how much TRUTH do I actually know? The Bible is TRUTH… but only when Holy Spirit reveals it. The linguistical “words” in the Bible only have power when Spirit reveals… which He does do a lot because it’s a primary venue of His revelation. When Spirit is not behind the Bible… thats where SO many interpretations come up short. I honestly feel I have a lot of knowledge ABOUT the Word but not necessarily TRUTH through the WORD. What makes me say that? I just know that SPIRIT has not been the sole source of most of my beliefs… it’s been man’s teachings. Are some of them true? Yes… probably so, but I have to receive it from Holy Spirit before I know it’s true, and He reveals in HIS timing. We tend seek an “education” or “understanding” of God through “studying” His word which in many cases is just intellectual. Didn’t Adam and Eve do the same thing… they sought to grow their intellect outside of God’s revelation (outside of God’s timeline)?
I now feel as a child… just running with what I KNOW the Spirit has revealed… which is less than the KNOWLEDGE I have through studying. In reality though I am in the Word more than ever because Spirit is waiting to reveal what HE wants me to see. It’s exciting though and pushes me to intimacy with Him beyond what I’ve ever experienced because I only take truth from Him (I think that is why He set it up this way). Sometimes He does this through the Bible, or through prayer, or through others. He still uses other to reveal truth to me… but I have to know He’s telling me to listen up, which He does do.
I could say so much more… because when Spirit talks… it’s deep and intense! I know that my thoughts are scattered and just this thought alone is book worthy, so I hope it fulfills it’s purpose of just causing healthy thought :) I don’t expect everyone to agree, but that’s the beauty of my walk with God… it’s between me and Him :)
With this understanding of truth, I’ll be sharing more and more about what the Spirit is revealing to me… IN SHORTER ENTRIES, I PROMISE :)
June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s 12:22am Monday morning and I’m hitting the road!! PA, here I come :)
June 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Two new videos from Japan!! These videos are very informational and can really let you know how things have been in Japan since the earthquake and tsunami. Dan Iverson is the missionary in the videos… he is the team leader for the MTW (Mission To the World) team stationed there in Japan.