Archive for April, 2010

the way you make me feel

April 22, 2010 2 comments

Love breaks out in the most peculiar places.  When it is real and not expected it can WRECK you!  Patti and I were at Michael and Kathy’s back in January.  Crazy time to visit Michigan, but that is besides the point.  When we were not doing stuff with the staff or around the church, we were usually chilling out, enjoying the HBO produced 50th Anniversary Rock N Roll Hall of Fame concerts.  Say what you will, some of the old boys and girls can still light it up!  I’m just saying…

One of the superstar performances was by Stevie Wonder.  He was joined on stage by John Legend for a tribute to Michael Jackson.  They sang “The Way You Make Me Feel”.  Of course, that is one of MJ’s best and Stevie was busting out some major grooves with his version.  Incredible!  Then, in the second stanza, (you can see for yourself by going to the link at the end of this post) LOVE hits Stevie.  Whether it was a thought about his friend, or he saw an image of MJ, or whatever happened, love melted Stevie in that moment.  For about 30 seconds he lost his composure…right in the middle of the song!  It was one of the most spiritual moments I have seen in a long time!  I cried like a baby.

I know MJ had issues.  Lots and lots of issues.  But, I never walked in MJ’s shoes, so I cannot really relate to all the stuff he dealt with.  I do not know one thing about MJ and Stevie Wonder’s relationship and I really don’t care.  It was all too evident that Stevie Wonder loved that man.  It felt like I was witnessing something that was holy and not of this earth.  It dawned on me that God makes sure that someone loves us.  No matter how we see ourselves or how dysfunctional we are; or whatever we are going through, somebody out there loves us.  That concert became “church”.  The real “church”.  Thanks Stevie, for the way you made me feel!

*** S E E   V I D E O   H E R E  ***


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necessary honor

April 16, 2010 1 comment

Patti and I spend a lot of our life juice on people we absolutely adore.  Working with THE WORLD RACE affords us the opportunity to see the world and walk through the transitional process that changes young men and women forever.  It is exciting and glorious.  A fabulous experience!

The tougher part is when a kid comes off of the race.  Some make decisions quickly and move on to another aspect of training.  Most go home.  So, they’ve been living on top and under 50 something other individuals, sharing everything, serving everything that moves, living in tight community, dialing into covenant, preferring everyone over themselves, praying at any hint of a need, worshiping like crazy people and basically killing their well developed narcissism.  Then, they go home…to family…to old jobs…to old friends…to the way things used to be.  Only, the ex-racer is now different, sees differently, thinks differently… it’s all different.  Because it is different doesn’t excuse the need to honor at home in the same manner one honored in the field.

If you are 20+ years of age, still living at home, driving your dad’s car (he’s buying the gas and paying for the insurance), eating your mom’s cooking, sleeping in a bed in your parents home, one might want to consider that they are a GUEST in that home and act accordingly.  Most parents are more than willing to accommodate their kids transitions and development.  But, adults living with other adults requires that the “guest” in that home honor and respect all levels of interaction.  Because it is the household where you grew up, makes this MORE important, not less  important.  If there are rules and those rules seem over-bearing or unreasonable, I’m sure you can find a nearby apartment complex that would love to have your business!  Or, you can apply all that you  have learned, all that is right and deserved, in that place where you stay.

You changed on TWR.  Is it obvious to everyone but your parents?  The honor is necessary.


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the “suck zone”

April 9, 2010 5 comments

One of the best scenes in the 90’s movie classic “TWISTER”, is when Dusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is explaining to “an innocent, but soon to be wigged out of her ever-loving mind” Melissa, about the “suck zone” of a nearing tornado.  Of course, Hoffman plays the part perfectly, and Melissa sits bewildered as Dusty describes the natural vacuum of a tornado when it is tearing up the countryside.  It’s very funny, but I’ve been thinking about the “suck zone” in reference to mentoring and discipleship.

One of the basic truths we know about the word “El Shaddai” (a Hebrew name that describes one of the relational function’s of God), is that He is provider.  It also means “the many breasted one”.   I figure that most of my readers are older than 13 years of age, so I am willing to be moved to the beautiful imagery of a newly born infant naturally sucking for nourishment from the mother’s breast.  As that newborn “latches on” its mother, a signal is conveyed to her body to begin producing milk, thus meeting the baby’s nutritional need.  No, I am not a lactation consultant and the point is not to weigh the value of breast-feeding verses bottle-feeding.  The point is, that more milk comes, more nourishment arrives and avails itself to the baby, in conjunction with the baby’s pull and suck for more milk.  I’ve noticed that mentoring and discipleship works a lot like that!  The transfer can only happen as long as the spiritual son or daughters  commit themselves to enter the “suck zone”.  There has to be a spiritual hunger and desire to pull on the mentor to get the proper nourishment.

Ever noticed that when Jesus asked Peter, James, Andrew and John to “follow me” that he didn’t beg them.  Jesus never demanded allegiance or devotion.  He didn’t phone them, text them, email them, stalk them or scurry around them all the time, trying to get them to pay attention.  Something inside of the disciples told them that being with Him had purpose to their destiny.  Of course they saw some crazy things, but the bulk of their discipleship training was  (OJT) on the job training.  They were with Him.  They chilled with Him.  Walked with Him.  Ministered with Him.  He answered their questions, often scratched His head about how clueless they were, but always gave them the truth.  He talked to them about life, about another way to think and live.  It was not a roaming seminary where He taught theological constructs.  It was all about how to do life.  The greatest thing they saw is how He loved and that He required them to love each other.  I imagine they all felt important and significant around Him; even those who would betray and use that inside communion with Him as leverage for dark works.

I hear lots of talk about spiritual sons and daughters and their love for spiritual parents.  I have young men and women who dial into Patti and I, all the time for help.  We are glad to do it and it is a huge part of what we do in our ministry.  But, the only way it works healthily, is for our spiritual kids to “suck and pull” for what they need.  We cannot chase grown men and women for our place in their life.  We have to wait.  Once, they go to the “suck zone”we can freely and willingly offer what we can to help in their growth.

I sat with a young man this week, to talk about helping him work through some tough life issues.  He was told about some reading I wanted him to do and some paths I hoped we would venture down together in his personal deliverance and healing.  I asked him, “What percentage of this mentoring relationship do you see  that you are responsible for?  He said, “I’ve always thought it was like, 50% me and 50% you?”  He raised his eyebrows when he heard me tell him, that is was more like 90% him and 10% me.  He is the one asking for help and direction.  He was told, “I can NOT chase you, inquire if you have done your work which I requested you to do, call and arrange our meetings.  You have to want this bad enough to pay whatever it cost to be mentored and helped.” The disciples left EVERYTHING to go and follow their master.  They didn’t have it figured out, they had no guarantees; they just went.

If you’re talking about tornadoes, the “suck zone” is a scary place.  When you are talking about discipleship and mentoring, the “suck zone” is the requirement of trust for all the machinery to work and flow properly.   I do not think that was an easy thing following after God with skin.  In fact, I think they had their moments where they longed for their old life and comfortable “go no where” routine.  It might still be scary for you to risk 90% of the effort, but it is how most relational “kingdom” leaders are raised… probably 99% to 100% of the time.


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we need hairy men

April 1, 2010 16 comments

I’m done with the current trend in men’s fashion magazines.  Slicked-chested, over feminized, boy toys that are more concerned with the wardrobe and hairdo than the actual content of their life.  Dude, no one lays on the beach, in their whitie-tighties, trying to look sexy… it’s frikk’n ridiculous!  I know that the models are more than Madison Avenue dress up dolls, but geez, where are the hairy guys?  This may just be the rantings of a 52 year old guy who has lost his hair,  actively growing his middle and looks every bit of his age, but I live in a world where I see awesome God fearing, passion filled young women, who are beautiful on the inside and out, who crave and desire having a real man.  I don’t necessarily equate that to some rude bubba that won’t pay attention to details, but it’s nauseating to continue watching this effeminate wave of our culture drown out the value of being a man.  I wished this just touched fashion and personal grooming, it does not.

One of my best friends talks about the “slutification of women and the wussification of men”.  It wears me out, but that is the game, especially in “church” culture.   There is nothing wrong with men having a nurture side, but I really also think that it needs to be ok for a man to be a man.  It’s a complicated problem and I may develop this more later, but just let me say for now:  we need hairy men?  I cannot say it any louder:   Where the hell are the hairy men?


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