Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crisis of the heart is a good thing


Think about the word crisis. I suspect we can all remember a crisis in our life. I also suspect the memory is not a good one. Perhaps we remember a time of painful trauma such as; loss of a job or dream, fear, divorce and broken relationships, or personal failure that caused harm to ourselves, others, or the ones we love.

Now consider the first definition in Webster’s.

Crisis (n)
1. A stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, esp. for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.

Quite a different picture when you allow this ‘event’ to impact your world for the better!

Is there something in your life that you desire would change for the better?
Is there something that burns in your heart that you wish God would reconcile?
Are you addicted to something such as; self destructive behavior, drugs, or coveting that you want changed?
Is your relationship with Jesus cold and reduced to intellectual concepts?
Do you desire freedom from what holds you captive?
Do you seek healing from what ails you?
Are you keenly aware that this life you are living surely does not resemble this “life to the full” Jesus says He desires for us?

My friend this is a crisis of the heart. This is opportunity! This is a good thing!

I encourage you to stop. Stop avoiding, distracting and ignoring. Go to the source of Life.
Jesus is a person. He speaks to his siblings. He will give you everything you need for the crisis! He will provide! How ridiculous the notion that God would lead us to the well and not allow us to drink. How mean that we would have to achieve some level of wisdom before He would allow us to be His friend. How sad that a God would withhold Himself until such time that we are wise enough to grasp doctrine.

This is not the God I have come to know.

If these longings for life are from God, would He not provide a conclusion worth reaching for? Would He not provide the means by which you will discover what the chains are that hold your heart captive?

I’m not saying it’s not scary. I’m not saying it will not confront us in the darkest recesses of our mind and heart. I’m not saying it’s always fun.

I am saying that if in fact He is God and capable of all things, He can restore your heart. I am saying He will download a new operating system by which we can discover; that right here and now, we can have and live, “Life to the Full.”

In my life, I have found it worth it.

Crisis is stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined.

A crisis of the heart is a turning point toward a new trend called life.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Opportunity

Met a man.
To be honest passed judgment before he said a word.
Kind of missed it
The opportunity
He wasn’t aggressive enough I guess
I was there, but a little busy
Re met him
I listened.
Pretty cool guy
He came to my garden looking for Jesus in guys to hang around with
We sat
Probably 45 minutes
He talked, I talked, and we talked
He listened the first time
He didn’t miss it
The opportunity
He created it
The opportunity
He made himself available
That’s the opportunity
I did too
The second time
Glad I did
He’s brave
He stayed
He could have disappeared
And I would have missed it
The opportunity

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I suspect many people come to a church service seeking something they do not have or want. Consider these things people may be seeking:
All these things speak to unfulfilled perception of need. Sometimes the need is desperate. I can identify with the empty, broken longing, the urgency, and the exhaustion.

How about Rest? In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus speaks regarding peoples perceptions of Him as they interact with Him in their search for God.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I believe Jesus said these things because He knew something about a deeper need for some people, and His Spirit considered these words important enough to make sure they got included in the Bible.


Do we offer rest?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Demonstration of His love

Do you think it is correct to say that when an individual enters into relationship with Jesus, some demonstration of love will result? Be it: service in a fellowship of believers, engaging in relationship for another's benefit, or helping meet the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual needs of another, I see it play out every time. As I rifle through the people I have known in my life that I have concluded are in such a relationship, I cannot think of anyone who did nothing and simply assumed a posture of 'waiting it out' until heaven.

The one constant I conclude is evident is Jesus.

He's just like that.

I believe as we disciple people in Kingdom living we should include the notion that when he is ready, Jesus will lead us into this type of demonstration. To me it's exciting! Like Christmas morning. I can't wait to see the gifts someone receives.

Yet we must be cautious, if we are not careful, people may think a demonstration is a criteria for a relationship with Jesus rather than a result.

I believe He came first for you and I. To offer freedom and healing. As a result of that freeing and healing, we find life and as I look at what that life typically looks like, it always ends up in that freeing and healing being given to another.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Camp Gideon 2010

Camp Gideon 2010

A few years ago, some of us men were led into the wilderness. Jesus spoke to us there. We believe there is biblical precedence that God meets men in the wilderness, when he is away from his normal realm of influence. Think about Moses, Abraham, Elijah, the other prophets, and Jesus….

We also believe there is significance in men, gathering as men.

Our annual adventures began innocently enough. “Lets do a retreat and call it an ‘Advance’” (because men don’t retreat, cute huh?). We secured a camp named ‘Gideon’ which is owned by our denomination. It has an older structure with; a nice industrial kitchen, a large room with lots of tables for eating or whatever, a living area with a fireplace and questionably comfortable furniture, three or four bedrooms containing five or six double bunk beds each, bathrooms & showers. All this on 165 rolling acres with paths, beaver ponds, streams, mature forest and grassy fields. It’s located south of Canton near Carrolton and Mechanicsberg.

Some of us get there Friday about noon. We cook the food ourselves. We have a late dinner Friday, (about 7:30), because some guys get there later. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, and breakfast Sunday. There’s junk food and always coffee in the pot. We leave about noon Sunday after we clean the place up.

We hang around a lot. Usually there’s a ‘guy flick’ Friday night, you know, battles fought, beauties rescued, adventures lived. Guys are on their own there, some read, some work on stuff, some sleep, seems like there's always a conversation going on. (I think I want to play cards this year.)

We intentionally go without a plan. No guest speakers, no hard agenda, no workbooks, no expectations other than the hope that Jesus will join us there. If there is one thing we encourage men to do, its to go for a walk, alone, with Jesus, and ask Him to speak to you with the expectation that He will. Inevitably, men come back with a story, and inevitably it seems some get shared when we sit around Saturday night and wrestle with God and each other. Wrestling with God...., that’s always a highlight. Sometimes we argue with each other, but always, we love.

Some of us host it, but Jesus is the leader. If a pastor shows up, he’s just a guy. No man is higher than another. We believe Jesus is capable of meeting and providing for each individual man’s needs right where they are. We do share our story if we feel like it, but that occurs as the Spirit of God leads. We don’t expect that we can ‘fix’ each other, we don't try too. That’s not our job. If someone has some wisdom for you, you’ll know it.

Jesus always shows up. He has every year, sometimes in quiet, sometimes in conversation, once in a book, once in a movie, a couple times in the kitchen, sometimes in tears, always in the woods. We’ve seen and/or experienced mental, emotional and spiritual healings. We’ve seen friendships formed. We’ve seen release from oppression, delivering of commissioning, and rest received. We’ve seen the receipt of energy to return home to our garden. We’ve seen God in the lives of men who seek Him.

If you come, you’ll be on your own because you’re a man. Do what you want. Come, rest, wrestle, eat, whatever.

This year we’re going March 12, 13 and 14. The cost is $85.00 and you bring some small thing (bread, pop, chips). Scholarships are available. We’re collecting money and taking reservations now. Come by the church on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning or reply to this post with your information if you need to be contacted. Pastor Adrian can also put you in touch with us.

Bruce Polovitch
Keith Marino
Steve Grace