Friday, April 30, 2010

Leaving Sunday for 3DMinistries Learning Community

The time is quickly approaching for the Learning Community Team from Missio Lux to join the Learning Community Team with 3DMinistries.

Last year, we made a very big commitment to join the inaugural 3d Learning Community! We joined in with approximately 10 other churches to join the Aidan Community; a new style of learning where we come together and instead of a conference or a speaker, we learn from one another.

3Dministries originated from Sheffield, England where St. Thomas, a long Anglican church, discovered the power of doing missional community. The church is still vibrant and making huge impacts into their unchurched culture in England 15 years later.

Missio Lux didn't know about 3 d ministries when we started, but were grateful to discover that their new mission is to help equip, train and resource church leaders to live faith filled lives and to lead faith communities with huddle and misisonal communities as their discipleship base.

This is our third trip to St. Pawley's Island in South Carolina where 3d ministries now operates! It's a big journey, taking 15 or 16 hours to get there, but one that is extremely valuable to our development as a new emerging missional church.

Check out 3dministries new website:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Healing Prayer Worship Service Testimonies

Last night was our monthly healing prayer worship service for Missio Lux. We do this as a resource to our community; to give people a space to worship God in a contemplative setting as well as to pray for any area of need for healing: physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, if it's an "al" we will pray!
We start out by worshiping God for who he is: for his character of love and forgiveness and peace. We speak testimonies of how God has healed us:
This week Judy spoke about how she experienced a touch from Jesus, she was in a crowd and thought she felt the hand of another person on her back and when she opened her eyes, there was no one within several feet of her. She recognized it as the hand of Jesus and fell to her knees in worship. She says she feels very different after this touch.
Anne came to the healing prayer training earlier this year and was planning to have a surgery because she had cancerous cells. She was literally hooked up to the IV yesterday as she waited to have the operation, but the Dr. came in and told her that the biopsy from the previous day came out totally clear, so he cancelled the surgery.
Another couple were sick with pneomonia for nearly two months when they received prayer for physical healing and by the next morning they were totally healed and playing tennis right away!
Cecelia came with a testimony of a completely healed knee from prayer from last month's worship service. She said it hurt a bit more for the next day or so and then the pain completely left.
These are just a few of the amazing testimonies that continue to be shared because Jesus is the Healer and he has been sharing his healing power pretty regularly lately.
If you are interested in knowing more or receiving prayer for healing at the Missio Lux Healing Prayer Worship Service, contact

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Who Does God Say He Is?

I’ve been intrigued with the triangle that the Lord showed me during Holy Week this year. The three points of it are His Name, His Timing and His Character: all are eternal and complete. I’ve written on His Name: the Great I AM and his timing: yesterday, today and forever, and so today, I will complete the triangle by reflecting on his character.

What characteristics would you use to best describe God?

This morning I read Exodus 34 where after Moses told God that he didn’t want to lead the people anymore unless God gave his him presence and his glory and went before him. Quite a challenge, right? Well, when Moses was up on the mountain receiving God’s revelation of the 10 Commandments, his trusted brother Aaron collected gold from the people and made an idol for them to worship.

Moses was so frustrated and disappointed that he threw the very tablets of the 10 Commandments to the ground, shattering them into pieces. No wonder Moses was clear with the Lord, “I am not going to do this spiritual leadership anymore unless you are present and in charge.”

Here’s what happened next: (Exodus 34):

1 The LORD said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.
6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD!
The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.
I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.”

I find it really interesting that when Moses was at a real low point in his leadership and he needed encouragement, the Lord chose those certain characteristics to speak to Moses about himself.

He started with his name, “The Lord, the Lord: spoken two times. Speaking the eternal and complete name of God—renewing his triangle of completeness of name, timing and characteristics.

He then described his qualities starting with compassion and mercy. He was reminding Moses that although Moses was fit to be tied with those that he led, God was filled with compassion and mercy, which resulted in giving the Israelites another chance.

He continues to describe himself as slow to anger, filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Another word to describe unfailing is steadfast, which is the ability to never waver, to always know that you will come through to bring forth the best for the people you love.

God never wavered in his decision to send Jesus to the world as the perfect sacrifice for sin. Even when the people with whom he had just done miracle upon miracle forgot who he was in just 40 short days, God was filled with unfailing love and faithfulness toward them.

We may forget but God never forgets. We may turn away, but God never turns away from us. In fact, his next statement involves us: he tells Moses, “I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.” We are that thousand generation: those that he long awaited to lavish his grace, mercy, compassion and love upon because he forgives inquity, rebellion and sin.

Have you ever experienced God in the way that Moses did at that point in his life?

Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel because you just didn’t see the point?

Have you gotten so frustrated with those around you that you were more focused on their short comings than God’s loving faithfulness and forgiveness?

It’s not hard to do, is it?

It all comes down to where we choose to focus.

If we focus on the behavior of other people; we are looking down and will most likely come to a place of great discouragement, possibility even wanting to throw in the towel.

However, if we look up, we will see the glorious face of God in all his completeness: his Name, his character and his eternal timing. Moses chose to go back up the mountain and receive the 10 Commandments again. He chose to stop worrying about the people and their short comings and instead, looked to God as the One he needed to worry about.

Moses got to experience the glory of God because he chose to look up. He received the promise of God’s presence and power going with him into every situation. He didn’t give up. He persevered and got to experience God in a deeper way because of his unwillingness to throw in the towel and walk away.

Where do you need to look up today? Where are you looking at circumstances or people and letting them decide your frame of mind?

Take a few minutes to focus on the Great I AM, who is the Same today, tomorrow and yesterday, who is full of compassion and mercy, faithfulness and unfailing steadfast love throughout all eternity. See if your vision doesn’t clear and the challenge before you is reframed into God’s viewpoint. Then, celebrate that you are standing in good company, like all the heroes of faith who have come before you!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Huddle Dinner

Once a month, I gather those that I huddle and their families for dinner! We gather just to have fun, eat together, get to know one another beyond our interaction at huddle and to include our families. We come together to recognize how God is working in our lives and communities as well as to pray for another. We didn't want to quit this month, God is doing so much in our lives so there are many stories to tell and breakthroughs to celebrate.

This month, we prayed for Scot who just received the big invitation to go to the One Institute in June.

The One Institute seeks to bring young entreprenarial leaders together in an atmosphere of growth and challenge to help develop them into world leaders.

Scot is just 27 years old and yet he has developed and is running two international businesses, along with his partner Reuben: Adventure Teaching: and The Arrival Store:

Adventure Teaching came out of their experience of becoming teachers in South Korea. Scot was asked by a couple of his friends to find them a job in Asia too, so Scot's wheels began to turn and before you knew it: they had a business of recruiting teachers from the US and Canada to come to South Korea to teach English.

The Arrival Store came out of another basic need: getting set up in a foreign country with the basic necessities of life: a cell phone, power cord, sheets for the beds, comfort food! Before you knew it; the Arrival Store became a reality.

But, Scot isn't just a business entrepreneur, he is a front runner in terms of his faith for his generation. Scot takes seriously Jesus' call to spend time together and to pattern his life after his. Scot leads our community into deeper worship often as he shares the pictures that the Lord gives him for one another as well as Missio Lux.

That's why it was a gift to see most of the men, themselves high level business men, laying hands on Scot the other night, praying for God's blessing and protection over Scot, as well as for the doors of opportunity to open wide.

Monday, April 19, 2010

More True Stories of Easter at Occidental Square in Seattle

From Barb Clayton:
David seemed to be a quiet, gentle man that came to Occidental square Sunday and shared a meal with Kent and I. No one else sat at our table and it seemed like a divine appointment. He recently moved to Seattle from Texas and was looking for a job. Kent and I shared our current situation with looking for work for Kent.

David said he had worked at a Paper factory for several years and thought he would retire there. He was laid off and was not able to find work. His family is in Indiana but he didn’t want to go back. So he came to Seattle because he heard there were opportunities here. We shared how God is in the miracle business and told him about Larry’s story and that he would hear it today. David smiled, he seemed amazed and you could see his spirit lift from the story. It seemed to give him hope. He said he had an appointment and needed to leave.

As we finished our meal I asked if he would like prayer. He smiled, eagerly said “YES,” I always accept prayer. We prayed for David and I saw him wipe away a tear.

As he stood up we mentioned the communion table and he was welcome to participate. He slowly walked to the table and I served him communion. He was so appreciative and overcome with emotion. It was very apparent he was blessed by the food and love on Sunday and that he was deeply touched.

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible for David from Texas. He was feed more than food on Sunday. Please pray for David and that his situation changes and he finds a job to support himself.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More True Stories of Easter at Occidental Square in Seattle

From Dena Nichols:
It has been a pleasure to read the stories What a terrific way to see the bigger picture of God's work on Resurrection Day.

Most of my time was spent praying "on the wall". During this time, I was able to see a group of people gathered at a far corner of the square. It was a privilege to see this community of homeless people connect, care for each other, and just hang out.

I was drawn to one older man who sat on a bench and didn't move or talk very much. I wondered if he was sick and I sensed his emotional wounds had robbed him of much in this life.

A fellow homeless woman pulled out and gave him a wrapped sandwich out of her sack of collected food. She was like a gentle mom watching out for him. It was so touching. Physically, she had one side of her face swollen and out of alignment. By the world's standards she would not be considered beautiful. But in reality, she radiated inner beauty-the truest form of beauty. Her smile was full of kindness and compassion. Christ's beauty and love flowed out of her.

Later, as things were wrapping up, I was able to take the Trader Joe's sugar cookies and hand out little bags to the people that had gathered in that corner. They were so delighted to receive this extra dessert and it was so fun to give them. I think about Jackie's story of the film people donating the fruit and cookies. Cool to see how God weaves everything together. My favorite part was giving this older man on the bench a bag of cookies. He nodded his head in thanks and a glimmer of a smile passed over his lips. I smiled and we were able to make eye contact.

His kind and weary eyes are held in my memory of that day and I keep him in my prayers.

God is good!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More True Stories of Easter at Occidental Square in Seattle

Hi Ya’ll, I’m writing this after I just finished watching the last part of “We were Soldiers” with Mel Gibson. I’ve been hesitant about relating my experience especially after reading about such inspiring stories. After going through the food line I found a table with an empty seat and sat down wondering how to begin.

The discussion was lively; one elderly man who was in need of a second hip replacement, an “ex” marine whose name tag read “Chainsaw” (there really are no “ex” marines), and a young man who had just come to Seattle looking for work.

After a few people left we were joined by Curtis and his two lovely kids. The older gentleman told about how painful his hip was and how he had been postponing his second replacement. He also told about a son who had rejected him and had not seen him in years. I was apparent that this was more painful than his bad hips.

Curtis and I asked him if we could pray for him and he consented saying “I guess it can’t hurt anything.” After praying for healing for his hip problems and healing for his relationship with his son the old man got up and limped away. He did not seem too reassured.

Next we prayed for “Chainsaw,” he was very positive and thanked us for the dinner and prayer. I left him with the words “The Lord sometimes blesses us in strange ways,” and he wholeheartedly agreed. Afterwards we prayed for the young man who was looking for work; he was very grateful and felt uplifted.

This is where the story changes. At the table next to me was seated a young man who we all refer to as “Animal” and another young man who I believe was a friend or acquaintance. They were both loud, obnoxious, vulgar, and disrespectful.

I tried to talk to them and made a little headway with Animal’s friend but no such luck with Animal himself. I was having trouble partly due to my bad hearing but much more so because I fell into an attitude of anger and judgment. How could they be so disruptive and disrespectful of people who had given up their Easter Sunday to offer them a free meal and show them that they were cared for?

I’m not sure how things worked out for the two young men as the service came to an end and I got busy loading up things. I was very disappointed that I did not handle the situation better. Later that night(3:00A.M.) the Lord woke me up and chided me for the way I reacted to these young men and pointed out my mistakes.

Over the next few days with help from the HP team and my men’s study group I was reminded that those men were not the enemy; they were the ones I was supposed to be helping. The enemy here was Satan ,not these young men, they were his victims just as I had once been.

After watching the rest of “We were soldiers” I realized that what I had been involved in last Sunday was a war just as sure as Vietnam or the current conflict in Afghanistan and the other nations in that area.

We didn’t see bodies blown apart or blood flowing like water but we were in a battle for freedom; freedom from suffering, pain, sorrow, death and all the other things Satan has afflicted and attacked us with.

So after this particular battle was over I picked myself up off the ground, dusted myself off, licked my wounds and began to prepare for the next battle. I learned that the only way to learn how to minister is to minister. We learn from our mistakes and our failures but I know that in the end we will have the victory because we have the Everlasting Father as our Lord and King. Mel

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More True Stories of Easter at Occidental Square in Seattle

From Joshua:
I had many amazing experiences that day, but the 'best' one was when God worked through my mother and I to lead someone personally to the LORD. His name is Jeff and he is 28 and was just released from 3 years in prison.

When the group was preparing for the service at Occidental Square and they had the chairs facing the 'stage', my mother saw him and began speaking with him. I then said that I liked his shirt (which was plaid lime-green and white). As we spoke, we told us how he was released from prison the day before (Saturday, 3 April). My mom asked, "Are you a believer?"

"No," he responded, "But my grandma was; she always went to church. I lived with her when I was 13 and I really loved her.

He then proceeded to show us that he was accepted into a school in order to learn how to be a professional deep-sea diver. The music began, and so did the service, so I didn't talk to him and I didn't think anything else of it at the time. Then, as we were about to leave (about an hour and a half later), my mom said, "I want you to pray for Jeff." My mother had been talking to Jeff and sensed that he was wanting to give his life to the Lord. She said to him, "Jeff, I believe this is your today to receive the LORD."

"Yes. I do too," he responded. My mom then went and found me and brought me to pray for him.

So then I led him in a prayer of repentance to Jesus Christ, and that He would come into Jeff's life and transform him by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was amazing! He was so eager and innocent in his prayer! Then, we continued talking to him for about an hour, just to encourage him in his new faith and life.

It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have had! To be able to preach the love and salvation of Jesus Christ and then to see someone personally respond and begin a new life in Christ. So cool!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stories of True Experiences at Occidental Square, Seattle

As more of the project coordinator of the day, my two kids and I were more of "floaters" after they so diligently gave of their time and energy to help with setup that morning. Once that was accomplished we were the three musketeers out to make a difference as best we could.

On our journey my children and I made three wonderful connections, one of laughter, provisions and friendship.

We sat down with a table of spirited men, Rudy, Chico and a few others. They chatted openly about their appreciation of the yummy ham, they were so happily eating and asked if I made the food and if so, could they move in with us:) I of course, had them all chuckling as my daughter immediately jumped on that letting them know mommy does not love to cook, but thank you for the complement:) I continued to share a story with Rudy about how I had a special cat at home named Rudy and how we came to select his name last Christmas. He was taken back by the story and I could tell we immediately bonded with this young man. He was so pleased! The kids and I did not want to go, yet we had to make room for the other guests!

Next, we met two gentleman who approached me about the fruit and cookies from Trader Joes. They are filmmakers who come each Sunday to drop off fruit, snacks, and all kinds of treats at the square. What a blessing! Given our big celebration, they didn't want to intrude on that Sunday, so Cortney and I made a decision to take the fruit and cookies thinking those items would be perfect to give away after the celebration. As God would only know, we ran out of cake, and the Snowman cookies were exactly what was needed to complete our dessert after all. He does provide, and he knows exactly what we need. That was so comforting to me. Everyone got what they needed and more. His work happens right before our eyes... Sometimes the little things are the big things....

Friendship, I met a gal, who had lost her husband not too long before, she was such a kind woman. Loving and full of sweetness. I could both see and feel the sorrow in her eyes, they looked like green marbles. Someone you want to love, hold and take care. Someone I will never forget, and someone whom I will pray for and think about everyday.

I was also reminded that it's the people I see everyday that need love and support as well! I am thankful for everyone who helped out! written by Jackie

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reflections on The Great I AM

Have you ever gotten a call to do something that seemed completely out of reach? How did you respond? Were you able to quickly act and move forward with confidence, or did you continue to assess the situation and consider all the ways that you couldn’t be the right person for the job?

Welcome to the life of Moses.

He knew from the beginning of his life that he was special. Adopted by the Princess of Egypt and raised in the Pharaohs’ Palace, but also having Jewish roots that were a detriment to rising upward in earthly success. When Moses sought to become the Deliverer of his Jewish people, he failed and ran away to live for 40 years hiding out in a desert herding sheep.

Moses was stunned one day to see a bush burning but not burning up. As he took steps forward, he heard his name spoken, “Moses, Moses.” He said, “Here I am.” Then the voice identified himself: “Don’t come any closer, take off your sandals for you are on holy ground. I Am the God of your ancestors.”

The voice continued with even greater surprise, “You, Moses, are to go and lead my people out of Egypt.”

Moses responded with his own version of I AM by asking the question, “WHO AM I to appear before Pharoah and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”

We find the struggle of all humanity in this exchange.

Moses is standing before the “Great I AM: the God of yesterday, today and forever: the God who created the Universe and who will restore all creation on the final day.” And, as God stands before him in all his glory, all that Moses can see is himself and all he can ask is, “Who am I?”

Like Moses, we struggle to look into the face of God and remember that he is the God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt after one divine appointment after another, and he is the God who sent his Son to take us out of slavery.

He is the One who can accomplish the impossible. But, he doesn’t like to act alone: he chooses to work through the people he has created to bring the impossible from heaven to earth.

Our hang-up, however, is where we choose to focus the “I AM.” Is it on ourselves by asking, “Who am i,” by focusing on what we can do in a human realm and making ourselves small.

Our, do we believe the GREAT I AM?

Are we, like Moses, willing to walk towards our burning bush and take off our shoes as we acknowledge that we are in the presence of the GREAT I AM?

Are we, like Martha and Mary, willing to acknowledge that Jesus can heal their brother of four days of death because he is the GREAT I AM?

Are we, like the Apostle John in Revelation, willing to see the GREAT I AM standing on the throne as both the Lamb Sacrificed and the Great King?

Moses eventually stepped into his call to become the One who would proclaim the GREAT I AM to the most powerful man on earth. As he begins to near the end of his life, Moses knows something much different than he knew at the beginning of his call: that unless the GREAT I AM goes with the Israelites, they shouldn’t move forward. He tells God, “Unless you go with us, how will we know that your people and I have found favor with you on earth?” (Exodus 33)

And, the Lord answers him, “I will be with you.” This is the future promise of the GREAT I AM: as the Lord is the SAME yesterday, today and forever.

We, like Moses, can trust God in his character of faithfulness because of his name, “I AM.” He will be with us as he was with Moses, as he was with his Son Jesus, as he was with the apostles as they moved out to form the New Testament Church.

Like Moses, every one of us has an invitation from the GREAT I AM. That invitation is to know him: as the God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He wants to show us his character of faithfulness and presence with us. He won’t ever leave us because he is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrew 13:5,8).

Like Moses, however, we won’t know the GREAT I AM unless we accept the challenge that he puts in front of us: that is, to live out our divine purpose: the reason for which we were created. It is when we discover our divine purpose and begin to walk in it that we discover that the GREAT I AM is truly who he says he is and he is completely faithful and present with us.

Will you accept the invitation? Will you embrace the challenge? Ask Moses if he is glad he did. The book of Exodus ends with the consecration of the Tabernacle: “The Cloud covered the Tabernacle and the glorious presence of the Lord filled it.” Moses’ work is complete, he fulfilled his call.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Kingdom of God Comes to Earth at Occidental Square

Myself and Dreamer at Occidental Square

Some people wonder why Missio Lux would choose to go to all the work to prepare a meal, haul tables, stoves and coffee pots, as well as massive numbers of chairs to a concrete park on Easter day when we could be celebrating in a church building with all the trimmings of a great Easter Celebration.

This is why: his name is Dreamer. He lives a life full of anxiety. He is homeless and is never at peace. But, he told me his story about his day on Easter. He said that he was having a day of extreme aggitation on Sunday, but the moment that he stepped on the Square, he was filled with peace --and he enjoyed an Easter meal, celebration and community in a place of rest, free from the anxiety and aggitation that normally plagues him every day.

It's so Jesus to give us gifts like he gave to Dreamer. He filled the entire Occidental Square with his presence. In fact, it's the main reason that we go to Occidental Square. We believe that by showing up, by bringing our physical presence to different places, we are releasing Jesus'presence into whole atmospheres.

Dreamer confirmed it. Many others did too. Next year we've already decided that we are going to be the listeners to many of the giants of faith that are disguised as homeless and poor. We have so much to learn from their lives walked out in a moment to moment faith as they see Jesus provide big and small miracles each and every day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sheldon and the Storm

Sheldon and Tamara at Occidental

His name was Sheldon. He came to the communion table after the Celebration Service and was bending down over and over in great distress. He said he was so angry that he wanted someone to be hurt. I asked him if he knew Jesus and he said no. He kept saying how angry he was over and over. I kept speaking Jesus’ name over him and giving him the picture of life and peace. After a time he said that he wanted to be free of his anger and to be at peace. I said, “Just say ‘Jesus, come to me.’”

I heard him say the words, “Jesus, come to me” and I got to see the Kingdom of God in all its fullness. Instead of rage, Sheldon was filled with peace. It was instantaneous and it was complete. The storm left and the sea calmed. Sheldon prayed and asked Jesus to become his Savior. He took his first communion. He got his first Bible. And, right before Fran the videographer left, Sheldon gave his whole testimony on tape.

Sheldon. A man transformed by the Kingdom of God present in the world.

(this is a picture of Sheldon getting his Easter lunch).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter at Occidental Square

How do I even begin to process what it is like to spend Easter at Occidental Square?
It is truly one of those opportunities that you can only fully experience--but for those of you who are wondering and asking the question of what does it look like to live out the Kingdom of God, I will try to describe. Of course, this is only my slice of the experience, the other hundreds of people present would describe another piece of the pie.

It's a journey to go to Occidental Square. This year we got the permit approval in early February. Getting a permit to feed the poor is almost impossible these days as last year the mayor and city council shut it down. But, they left the door open for holidays, so we could go for Easter. We celebrated as Occidental Square represents our life as a missional faith community.

This year we felt the Lord called us to be present on the 5 Sundays through Lent to pray for what God wanted to do on Easter. Each week different teams of people went, each time getting confirmation that God was really HAPPY that we would be coming as his sent presence into the world. All of our pictures of the day included sun, and we were given the gift of a dry, rainless day.

What is Occidental Square like?
It's a big concrete park with totem poles. It is in the historic district of Seattle called Pioneer Square. It's often filled with homeless people passing away the day. But, just as many tourists come to take pictures of the totem poles and seek it out as one of the suggested places to visit in the tourism brochure. In the summer, different groups come to perform and hang out on the square, and restaurants spill over onto it. Shoppers cross through it from one area to another. So, the population can be very diverse--a representation of the different walks of life: poor and rich.

Why does Missio Lux feel drawn to Occidental Square?
Lots of reasons, but one of the main ones is that this is the land that Seattle first started on and so it represents the origin of Seattle. It also has the population of the greatest poor and disenfranchised surrounding it; I know of 5 shelters within a block of every direction, so it helps us to fulfill Jesus' call to care for his beloved ones, the poor.

What do we do when we come?
Eat. Play. Serve. Pray. Befriend. Worship and Celebrate. We don't come just to serve a meal to some homeless people. We get in line with them and then share lunch together to follow Jesus' directive in Luke 14 to go into the highways and biways to find the forgotten and lost.

It made me so happy this year to see how many Missio Lux families and how many of the poor became one over a meal at a simple table. Conversation is becoming more natural and connected as we continue to come.

Many remember us and genuinely look forward to our coming. They wish we would come more often: (so do we, wish we could!). Peace comes over the Square in tangible ways. This year a man named Dreamer said that he was feeling really agitated all morning but when he stepped onto the Square, he was filled with peace and he could feel the entire atmosphere shift.

We had a focused celebration time this year. We worshipped by singing, through giving testimony~our friend, Larry Larsen came and told about how he was dead and now he is alive! We explored the Scripture of Jesus' resurrecting Lazarus to proclaim that he was Lord over even death, and that just days later Jesus himself would not stay in the grave, but he, too, would LIVE!

We also invited a young 17 year old with an evangelistic call on his life to speak. The reason we invited Joshua was that he is the great, great, great, grandson of David Denny, the founder of Seattle.

David Denny's dream was to see Seattle truly become a City on a Hill--a Christian community. He didn't see that dream realized but perhaps Joshua, his descendent will. That is our prayer in Missio Lux. . . We believe that God is busy at work restoring his creation to his original purposes and that we as his people get to be part of it.

okay, tomororow more personal stories of Occidental Square. Would love to hear from more of away!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jesus and his friend Lazarus

I have fallen in love with the story of Jesus and Lazarus. There’s so much more to the story that we see at first glance. This is what we know from reading John 11, the only book in the New Testament that records Lazarus’ miraculous resurrection.

Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, were Jesus’ let your hair down friends. He would go there and hang out to rest and regroup after many of his journey’s and important times of ministry. They all just loved to be together; living life as friends.

So, it was strange when Jesus heard that Lazarus was really sick and about to die that he waited two full days before he left to go see him. When he got to their home, it was too late. Lazarus had already been in the grave for four days. Martha spoke to Jesus and told him that if he had been there, Lazarus would have lived. Mary spoke the same message.

Notice how much of this story is about timing. Jesus waited after hearing the message of Lazarus’ illness. Martha and Mary stated that “if he had come earlier, the outcome would be different.” They had faith to believe that Jesus could work a miracle if he was present, but couldn’t fathom how one would take place after Lazarus’ death.

None of it bothers Jesus, however, because he knows that they, along with his disciples, have an opportunity to step into a deeper realm of faith as they learn that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus told Martha, “You don’t have to wait for the day of heaven: I AM, today, right now, the Resurrection and Life.”

I AM: the same name that God gave to Moses when he asked who he was. I AM means that “I AM Eternal: I live today, tomorrow and yesterday.” I AM has the same interpretation as I WILL BE THERE.

God is timeless. He is the One who created time and he does not have to be bound by time as people do. Because he is timeless, Jesus was able to go to Bethany four days after Lazarus died and speak to an open grave telling it to give up its dead.

“LAZARUS, COME OUT!” Jesus shouted. Jesus knew that Lazarus would come out because Jesus is the Sovereign Lord over all creation: even death. He is not bound by time, by circumstances or by his character. His character is life and resurrection, and he demonstrated that very clearly by calling his friend from death to life.

Why do you think that Jesus chose to resurrect Lazarus? It could have been a host of reasons: he loved Lazarus and wanted more time with him; except in just days, Jesus himself would be laid in a grave. Maybe he didn’t want Martha and Mary to become destitute as they would without their brother’s provision. Perhaps it was to demonstrate to the doubters that He was truly God.

I wonder, however, if Jesus chose to resurrect Lazarus as a message to those that he loved. He knew that in just a few days time his friends would be suffering beyond description when they saw him hang from a cross and die. He wanted to assure them that he was I AM and in that he was the same yesterday, today and forever. His character, his name and his timing transcends all boundaries, making it possible for Jesus himself to move from death to life, destroying forever his enemy of death.

Where are you challenged to believe that Jesus is the same today as he was at Creation or when he walked the earth?

Do you believe that he is present with you, even when you can’t see him?

Do you believe that he cares about your heartache and grief as much as he did Martha and Mary’s broken heart?

Do you believe that he can raise the dead, just as he did with his friend Lazarus?

We have an invitation to know Jesus beyond the boundaries of what we can see. Faith is being sure of what we hope for: certain of what we cannot see. Take some time this week to consider the story of Jesus and Lazarus and ask your loving Father to show you the heart behind what took place.

As you experience more of the Father’s heart for you, then take courage and ask the questions of where you struggle to believe beyond what you can see. Identify with Mary and Martha in their limited eyesight, until they fully experienced the GREAT I AM RESURRECTING THE DEAD!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kingdom Partnerships: Bread of LIfe Mission

Thursday night I got a call from an employee at the Bread of Life Mission. They had just seen our flyer about Easter at Occidental Square that day and realized that we were both throwing a party at the same time, same day and almost same location!

Many organizations would have just said, "Oh well, that's too bad," but Bread of Life Mission responded in a kingdom way. They called Missio Lux to see how we could partner together for the day instead of competing against one another.

We set up a conference call for the very next day. When we spoke, without being asked, Bread of Life Mission fully laid down their plans to support Missio Lux' plans. They recognized the work that we had done at Occidental Square before and wanted to bless us this Easter.

They went the extra mile by not only cancelling their event so their men could attend ours, but offered to let us use the rest rooms in their building (always a challenge to find a restroom), borrow their chairs and even make us a jello salad for the day.

I knew in that conversation that the relationship between Missio Lux and Bread of Life Mission will continue to grow and flourish because we have mutual respect for one another and the work that we are doing; we have the same desires: for people to know Jesus loves them through action, and we have enjoyed partnering together in the past.

They invited Missio Lux to join them for another Celebration on Memorial Day. They are going to honor homeless veterans with a big BBQ and party. I would love to be there....who knows what God is going to do next?