Sunday, January 30, 2011

Missio Lux Missio: Dinner for the Marketplace

Scot Sustad: Giving his initial vision

Jeff Rogers from Kiros Walter: Leader of the One Institute Steve Cockram from 3dm

Thursday night was a picture of the opportunity that Missio Lux gives for everyone to live out their missio (mission), the unique kingdom role that God gives to all of us.

Last night, Scot assembled 30 marketplace leaders all together for a dinner. This dinner was the result of a vision that Scot had almost one year ago when the Lord showed him that he was to bring strategic leaders together to meet one another; learn from one another and to allow kingdom relationships begin to form.

Scot invited Jeff Rogers, head of Kiros Ministries in Seattle, a key connector for the Marketplace to speak. Jeff pointed to many in the room and spoke about their contribution, and then mentioned key national leaders who have come to Seattle because they have heard of the movement happening here. The movement is God's people, all of us, being used to break forth revival in our area.

Next Walter from the One Institute spoke. Walter spoke of a big disappointment in his life that God used to help birth the One Institute which helps identify and equip young entrepreneurial leaders to use their full gifts and talents for the kingdom.

Steve Cockram from 3dm spoke during dessert. He spoke about the triangle of information, imitation and innovation that takes place during discipleship. We have traditionally focused too much on information in the Church, but Jesus did all three: he taught, but he also called his disciples to "follow me and I will teach you through experience....imitation. As we discover our unique calling and style, we are able to innovate and put our unique mark on those that we are discipling.

Scot ended by inviting those present to join him in the discipleship journey by joining a huddle. He passed out gifts: two pictures of a harvest (with a challenge to give one away to someone that we are praying for), and a Building a Discipleship Culture book.

It was an amazing evening and I saw there in great pleasure as I watched the vision of Missio Lux move forward. It's great to spend our missio funds to help the poor, and Missio Lux has many who do that; but it's also a strategic use of funds to bring those that have the potential to use their financial and relational capital to mobilize others to participate in God's great kingdom purposes.

After Scot was finished making his invitation, a man from the boomer generation stood up and said that he had never seen such a thing happen. He noted that a 28 year old had assembled them all for a delicious dinner, good wine, gifts and a challenge to come into the adventure of discipleship. He blessed Scot by his great wisdom and maturity.

We ended the night by praying and blessing one another.

The Blessing Over Scot

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One Huddle Hosts the Taster Meals

I was stressing about how the meals that we committed to make for the Taster would be prepared and served. I decided to pray about it and God gave me a brilliant answer! He showed me to ask one of my huddles; so I asked the Wednesday morning women's huddle.

One of the women was the organizer point person; another picked the menu and helped shopped; another made fabulous to die for desserts; a couple of others came to the Taster and prepared lunch.

When I left for the Taster on Tuesday morning, I had the supplies out for the "huddle caterers" to use. I didn't think of everything, but gave them invitation to use whatever they could find that was helpful.

When I walked into our home Tuesday evening, most of the guests had already arrived. It was a gift to see our house with candles burning, flowers strategically located, a station for drinks, and the counter full of delicious food presented in a tasteful way.

This is hospitality in action. These women in my huddle have been to our home so often that they feel almost as if it is their home. One of the guests saw one women open our refrigerator and it made an impression on the guest that she was so comfortable that she could open the frig to take what she needed.

I believe that hospitality is one of Jesus' most important gifts to the world right now. It takes us into a different space with one another and it leaves a lasting impression of being invited, included, welcomed and valued.

Thanks, Wednesday huddle for your terrific hospitality to the Taster!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Celebrating the 3dm Taster

It was a gift to see it all come together. Picking Steve Cockram up at the airport; praying together before the Taster as a team, watching the expectant guests come through the door. It was worth all the effort it took to bring it to this point.

One of the best gifts of 3dm is their ability to take the Bible and make the concepts from it simple to remember. They say that the Bible is simple, but hard. Simple to learn, but hard to live out. We have made the Bible seem complex but easy.

Understanding the Bible from the lense of covenant relationships and kingdom partnerships helps us to know that God values us as his children and as his kingdom partners. We also realize that Jesus only spoke the word "church" two times in all of the Gospels. One time in regards to church discipline and the other when he told Peter that he is the rock on which he would build his church.

But, from start to finish, Jesus invited, he trained and equipped, and he sent his disciples. Jesus spent the majority of his time investing in 12 ordinary men; recognizing that his imprint on them would multiply to the ends of the earth.

Jesus also spoke the culture of the day. He told stories in themes that people could relate to. We don't live in an oral culture any longer; everything is visual.

As we take the simple themes of Scripture and match them to shapes; they come alive.

I saw the lightbulbs go on over and over through the Taster as we explored the Dual Triangles of Covenant and Kingdom, the Learning Circle for processing what God is saying to us and how we are responding, the Triangle which illustrates a balanced life, the semi-circle which points us to the rhythm of rest and work and the grid of invitation and challenge.

The next step for those that attended the Taster is to be invited into a huddle for coaching, and to join a Learning Community. Please pray for Missio Lux as we determine how God is moving us to engage our next step!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Tree of Life: Our New Life as the Family of God

This fall we explored the inner soil of the tree of life, along with the root systems and how the tree grows with fertilizer, sun, water and special care by the Gardener.

This winter we are focusing on the trunk of the tree as we consider how we live in relationship with our Heavenly Father and one another as the Family of God.

The key passage for our development as children of God is in Romans 8:14-17: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

I can think of so many adopted children that have the experience of knowing that they were REALLY WANTED by the parents who adopted them. Sometimes, however, the thought that the ones who created them, their birth parents, who gave them up, overshadows the reality of being desperately desired.

I wonder if sometimes we as God’s children live in that place too. We find that it’s easier to consider how our earthly parents disappointed us than to remember how powerful God’s invitation to his family truly is.

We have a real life example of this in Missio Lux.

We heard of a young woman who was struggling with an extreme family situation. Her mother had just died and she was taking a bus for over an hour each way to get to school. The school was seeking a family who would provide a home for her for the last eight months of her senior year.

A family within Missio Lux responded with an invitation for her to come and live with them.

They decided that they would treat her as a “real daughter” not just as one who was living with them temporarily. They left sweet notes on her pillow at night, took her to school and work each day, invited her to their social gatherings, and even took her with them at Thanksgiving to a visit with extended family. She got sick and the family took her the dr and nursed her as she recovered on the couch for almost two weeks. This girl was receiving love beyond anything she had ever experienced; she was living out the Spirit of Adoption in action.

However, it proved to be too much for her. It turns out that she had fabricated the whole story of her mother’s death; in actuality the mother was in prison for a short period. One day the girl just disappeared from her aunt’s house and went to live with the family from Missio Lux. Her aunt and mother never knew where she went.

I believe that as she experienced a glimpse of the true family of God; she sabotaged it because all her old messages of being rejected, neglected, and unprotected were in so much contrast that she had to blow it up. The family ended up discovering that her circumstances were vastly different than they had been told. In reality, everything about her story was a lie.

This may seem like an extreme example but I wonder how many still live out of the place of the orphan/slavery spirit rather than discovering the vast love and provision of our Heavenly Father who adopts us into his own family.

Exploring our adoption into the Father’s family is a key development part of our faith. When we truly experience the love our Heavenly Father, we are forever changed. His love sets us free from our previous experience as an orphan.

This week, I invite you to spend time meditating on the Romans 8 passage.

Ask your Heavenly Father what it means to be adopted into his family. Take time to consider what life in his family can be. Ask him to bring you into the full experience of his adopted family.

I end with Paul’s prayer in Ephesians: a prayer that he prayed for all of us that have followed after him. May it become increasing reality in your life.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21

Monday, January 24, 2011

Missio Lux Hosts a 3dm Taster this Week!

This is an exciting week for Missio Lux. We are hosting a Taster for ministry leaders to "experience a taste of 3dm."

We have taken a team of 5 to South Carolina 4 times over the past 20 months to learn from 3dm, and to discover their structure of huddle, missio community and celebration that is helping equip churches and leaders to walk out the two themes of the Bible: Covenant and Kingdom: the Great Commandment and the Great Commission!

It's a gift to be able to invite ministry leaders from this area to discover 3dm too. It's a lot closer to come from Seattle or even Spokane than to take the really LONG journey to South Carolina.

I am looking forward to introducing Steve Cockram to many of my Covenant friends and other ministry leaders from this area. (Steve and his family are in the picture).

I am most looking forward to introducing Peter Sung, the Director of Church Planting for the Covenant and my boss, Kurt Carlson to huddle, as it has made such an impact in our lives in Missio Lux.

One woman that has experienced life transformation through huddle. She came to Missio Lux a broken woman, just moving out of a very painful divorce. However, in the atmosphere of huddle, she has grown by leaps and to hear God's voice and pray it for others; her desire and love for the "trunk" (the people of God) is huge and she shows it in tangible ways, and her passion to share what's taking place in her life with her friends and neighbors and just about everyone she meets, is overflowing.

My dream is for this life transformation story to be all of our stories, across all churches, denominational lines, and across the US and the world. As we discover what Jesus is asking us to do, and then do it; it changes us.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just Like the Hams

I'm still processing some of the things I learned through the recent food packaging event where we packaged 40,000 meals for the Children of the Nations and also collected donations for the local food banks. When you take on a God sized challenge (and believe me a small volunteer team coming up with over $10,000 and getting over 200 people on board in less than a month was a God sized problem) it is a great chance to see God show up and do His thing. In fact, we've had quite a few opportunities like this with Missio Lux. Again, this time, I keep thinking "it is just like the Easter hams."

You see, when we were going to host our first Easter banquet with the poor and disenfranchised in Occidental Square of downtown Seattle, we only had two past experiences to go on. The first time we were there we planned to serve about 250 meals off our BBQs, but the line of hungry people kept getting longer. We ended up running back to various stores for more and more food until we had provided 1,000 meals!

So needless to say, when we didn't know what to expect for the first Easter, a couple of us (namely Rosemary and me) were a little concerned that we made sure we had enough food. I will never forget the night in Pastor Tamara's living room when Rosemary was asking, "How many hams do we need?" I was doing the math in my head: if a ham serves 20 people then for 1,000 people we would need about 50 hams. The questions started: "Do we buy them?" "How many hams will each person actually bring?" "Will we have enough?" But I remember Tamara was getting more and more frustrated with the level of detail the conversation was taking and she put an end to it when she said very frankly, "God will provide the ham" and moved on to the next topic.

At the time I thought she was more than just being a little irresponsible, I thought she was a little bit nuts. I must admit I fretted over the ham. I made sure I bought two to bring and someone else dropped one off at my house. However, the morning of the event my family was busy packing up balloons, tables, signs, and other items, but no one even thought about the ham. Guess what? We had SO MUCH ham! It was as if the ham was multiplying right in the warmers. At the end people were going home with extra ham and food was taken to the local shelters. When I got home, opened our refrigerator and saw those three big fat hams it was as if God was saying, "Do you trust me now to provide what is needed?"

Well at our food packaging event it was clear that God provided. First the money needed rolled right in ahead of schedule as people's hearts were stirred and many missio communities committed their funds as well as individuals making generous donations. As the day approached it became very apparent that we had no control over two things in particular, the weather and the number of people who would come to package meals.

For days before the event the weather was forecasting snow on our big day, then lots and lots of snow. In Seattle when it snows a few flakes the whole city shuts down. We were nervous the morning of the event when it was snowing. Tamara and I prayed (as I'm sure lots of other people did too)and it stopped. Later it started again, and we prayed, the sun came out. Then just a couple hours before we were supposed to start it really came down in big fluffy flakes. So we prayed again and low and behold it stopped. We were so thankful the snow storm didn't start until the next day! I would not have believed it if I didn't see it myself.

The best part was that even with the threat of snow, many people were faithful to come and volunteer and also invite friends and neighbors. In fact, we had EXACTLY the number of people we needed to pack those meals. A few more would have been too many extra people. A few less and we would have had a hard time finishing the job in the allotted time. The participants were amazingly enthusiastic and it was an amazing time!

What God sized challenge are you faced with? Are you trusting that there will be enough ham?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Freedom Goes Forth

I blogged last week about the past weekend: we had signficant events in two of our foundational ministries: Healing and Recovery.

When I woke up Friday morning, I had the same level of anticipation that I had on Christmas morning when I was a child. I knew that the coming weekend would be a gift. Friday night the Healing Prayer Training, Weekend 2 took place: Unlocking the Key of Emotional and Inner Healing.

Part of the joy for the weekend was the combination of the people that were assembling for the training: my dear friend, Terri Parzybok from Living Free Ministries, our sister healing ministry in Denver was flying in with her friend, Terri who is part of the leadership team for LFM.

Several women were driving in from Helena, MT where Muffie and I did a women's retreat in October. The team from Mt. Vernon came down in mass, ready to be healed and to learn to be a healer of others.

Others who are from Seattle came in with the same look of expectancy that I woke up with earlier that morning. We knew that the Lord was going to be present with us and that he would touch us in ways that go beyond our normal experience. The faith in the room was already really high in expectancy of the Lord's healing power flowing forth, because everyone had experienced it at least once before.

I love what happens when we assemble in an atmosphere of faith. It's such a privilege for me to be able to teach about healing when it seems that everyone is like a little bird with their mouth propped open to drink it all in.

It was over too soon. When we stood in the circle at the end Saturday afternoon and lit our candles (representing that we are missio lux: a mission of light to the world), and told what we were leaving behind and what we were taking with one seemed ready to leave.

But, we knew we must leave because we only get to keep what we give away. We have a mission to go and help others stand in the freedom that we have received.

Sunday, despite it being the exact time of the Seahawks playoff game, we had a housefull of people ready to hear teaching from Terri Parzybok from Living Free Ministries. She helped all of us, myself included, pray in greater faith for physical healing. I kept getting texts through the morning of people that had physical needs so we were able to bring those requests and many others to the Lord for his healing power to be released.

I have some friends who have a baby that was born very prematurely. Her name is Svea Lucia. Lucia means "light" in Swedish. That morning the drs. determined that she was coming down with pneomonia. We stood and prayed and proclaimed the truth that Jesus is the healer, that by his stripes we are healed (Is 53). Right after we did this and I was texting the family about our prayer, the sun burst through the heavy cloud cover, shined right in the room for about 1 minute and then disappeared again.

I later got a text from Svea's parents that the temperature was down and that there were no signs of the infection!

The weekend ended with the Martin Luther King holiday celebrating Celebrate Recovery's 3 year anniversary. We ate a delightful meal while I looked around the room and saw a lot of men, and some women, who were sitting together eating as meaningful friends, because they have walked out their recovery together. They are finding freedom as they look towards God and teh support of one another to live a lifestyle like Jesus and 12 steps.

When the large group time started, we worshipped to the original music of the Rag Band who have faithfully come each week for 3 years to bring worship to CR, and then three of the key leaders gave testimonies. They were full of pain becoming freedom as they took intentional steps towards freedom.

Intentionality is the key word. Everything that took place last weekend was people "INTENTIONALLY" gathering to pursue that which Jesus died for and promised to us "If we continue as his disciples, we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free."

The "if" is our part. If we continue to pursue Jesus and his truth, we will live in freedom. It's a partnership with him: we intentionally come seeking his truth and healing, and he comes and brings healing and freedom.

It was a good weekend....I am grateful to be part of all of it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Tree of Life: Moving from a Place of Rest

Missio Lux set aside the first week of January as a time of prayer dedication for the New Year 2011. We wrote a prayer booklet for each day and gathered every morning from 6 to 8 (those who could make it) culminating in a Concert of Prayer Saturday morning where we all gathered to dedicate the year to Jesus.

It was interesting to see what happened each time that we gathered together. We would often begin with some words of praise, but very quickly the room became almost silent as we experienced the peace of the Lord’s presence.

Tuesday night Healing Prayer gathered and when we went into prayer, the same thing happened. Some verbal praises and then a calm descended on us where we all sat in the presence and peace that the Lord gave to us. When we began to process it at the end, almost every single person had received a direction about REST from the Lord.

Saturday was much the same. It is clear that 2011 is to be a year of learning to “Move from a place of Rest.”

I have been reading Exodus this week and when I came to Exodus 14:13-14, I knew once again that I was to pay close attention to Moses’ instruction to the Israelites: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

This morning I read in the book, Blessing Your Spirit Day 4 which starts with the exact same passage and continues to state, “Your Father intends for you to rest at peace in Him as He takes care of your enemies. I bless you with an unafraid heart that will lead you to the place of peace where God will fight for you and you will not have to fight. You will stand or move forward doing the things God has called you to do, and He will fight your battles” (page 10).

The theme of rest, even in the midst of the battles of life, continues to come forward to us. I know that we all love the concept of resting while the Lord does the work, but we need to ask the question, “How do we practically walk this out in the 21st century when life demands on us are so high?”

I am still processing it so I don’t claim to have all the answers but these are my thoughts so far.

In creation, the Lord ordered the day to begin at evening. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day (Gen 1:3-5).

So, it seems that God set us up to work from rest. Our day begins with sleep. It ends with work. This is the exact opposite of how we live. We start our day with work, and end with rest.

The opposite ways are a priority clash to the Lord, I believe. I think it takes place in the differences of life approaches through the Greek system of life versus the Hebrew system that the Lord developed.

The Greek system teaches us that our success depends on our activity, or work. The Hebrew system acknowledges that the Lord is the One to bring the success; that He is actively working to bring about his full purposes.

Job 33 tells us “God speaks again and again…in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in bed.” We need to become more aware of how God works in us, even while we are in a deep sleep.

Secondly, it is when we nurture our inner life and spend intentional time with Jesus that we find that our day has a sense of rest surrounding it because we spent it first with the one that breathes life into us. Taking time to be present with the One who Created us and knows our needs brings us life and rest; no matter what takes place around us.

Another thought that I have surrounds the posture of how we live. Do we have the mindset that “It all depends on me…..if I don’t__________, then we won’t __________.” Fill in the blanks: if I don’t work 14 hours a day, then I will lose my job. If I don’t make sure that my kids have their homework done, then they won’t succeed in school. If I don’t exercise every day, then my body will fall apart.

What is your area where you are filling in the blanks? Last fall I was planting tulips in our back yard. The soil is very rocky and as I pulled out one rock after another, I asked the Lord to “show me the rocks in my life.” The next rock I pulled out was 20 times bigger than any other rock. I thought, What is it?” It took a couple of days to understand my rock.

It was the mindset regarding Missio Lux. I sensed the Lord saying that “I had misplaced responsibility. It isn’t my job to make Missio Lux succeed, it was his responsibility and the more that I acknowledged that, the more we would move forward.”

This was so freeing. I am now able to say to the Lord, "What is your solution to this challenge?” and put it in his hands. Of course, I am not there all the way, it takes a long time to break a mindset and habits, but I continue to make progress. I am actually enjoying doing less and stepping back and watching the Lord do far more than I could ever imagine.

Another area where we can move in a place of rest is in our identity. Who are we? We are beloved children of the King! As we live more and more from the reality of our true standing in the family of God, we are able to recognize the great resources at our fingertips! We have the name of Jesus as our authority, the power of the Holy Spirit as our empowerment, and the invitation to pray for Heaven to come to earth in the Lord’s Prayer.

Jesus told us that we are to pray for the “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If Jesus commands us to pray this; he intends to answer. We can pray for anything that we know heaven carries to be released to our challenges on earth: health, forgiveness and reconciliation, unity and peace, abundant provision, continual presence of the Lord, light and freedom. The list goes on as we are invited to partner with the King to see heaven come to earth through our prayers.

2011: Moving from a Place of Rest:

As we realize that our day starts with rest and ends with work

As we practice intentional time spent with the One who Created us which brings us life and rest

As we live in a posture of recognizing that the Lord is the One who will make things happen

As we stand in our identity as beloved children of the King where we are invited to bring heaven to earth in partnership with him!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Missio Lux Celebrates Martin Luther's Dream of Freedom

This weekend, we won't be doing a march for Freedom Monday to celebrate Martin Luther King's call to live in freedom; but we will be making a way for people to live in freedom two different ways!

Monday, Celebrate Recovery celebrates its third anniversary. Before Missio Lux was even launched from Pine Lake, Celebrate Recovery launched (as a joint ministry between Missio Lux and Pine Lake)!

We specifically chose to start on MLK day because of the symbolism that it represents. CR is all about walking alongside people in their hurts, habits and hang-ups to bring them to the freedom that Jesus died to give us.

Our stories of freedom in CR are many.

One woman, after finding Jesus and safety in her community, took a step when she realized how much her drinking had overtaken her life. She started attending CR and with the help of a sponsor and the support of CR, she is now living a life without alcohol but with the most lifegiving drink there is: Jesus.

Missio Lux has two core foundational ministries: Recovery and Healing Prayer. We believe that when people hit roadblocks in their lives, two of the best ways to move through the roadblocks are with healing prayer and/or recovery.

This weekend, Missio Lux is hosting the second weekend in our Healing Prayer Training: Emotional Healing. It's very exciting that this training finds people traveling from Helena, MT, Denver, and Mt. Vernon, WA.

The synergy of people that God has gathered is one that will be very good for the kingdom!

One of the attendees is Terri Parzybok, leader of Living Free Ministries, our sister healing ministry in Denver. Terri is a very gifted teacher, and under her leadership, LFM is thriving as they see people healed weekly. In their healing, they are becoming free and passionate about Jesus.

I am looking forward to this weekend so much as I recognize that we are intentionally supporting people to live in the reality of John 8:32: "and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free!"

Freedom. Jesus died for us to have it. Let's seek to live in the gift that is available to us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Seattle Fans Rock!

I posted on my facebook Saturday that "Seattle Seahawks won the playoff game, it's the miracle of the new decade!"

It was a game like no other. Tensions were high because Seattle's season record is 7-9, they were the first team in NFl history to get a playoff bid with a LOSING record. They were playing the New Orleans Saints: last year's Superbowl winners. Just two weeks ago, fans were booing quarterback Matt Hassleback's playing and asking for his resignation. It didn't look good for Seattle to win. Many of us just hoped that we wouldn't have to end the game with our tail between our legs.

I don't normally watch football because most of it happens on Sundays. But, it was a Saturday afternoon and it was a great way to hangout with Bill and Molly so I sat down to watch the game. Sure enough, the Saints went ahead 10 points right away.

But, then something happened.

Matt Hassleback started throwing passes that his receivers caught. We went ahead. We continued to be ahead at half time. That in itself is a miracle, but it wasn't over.

In the fourth quarter a player named Marshown Lynch caught Hassbleback's pass and ran an incredible 67 yards for a touchdown. But, in the process, he had 8 people try to tackle him. He avoided them all. He looked like he had angels escorting him down the field because no one could get to him. He was so protected....
It almost felt supernatural at the time.

Yesterday the news came out that at the very moment that Lynch caught the pass, a mini-earthquake was recorded at the location of the old kingdome. It lasted for his entire run, from the moment that he caught it, until Lynch ran past the line for the touchdown.

The world is giving the fans credit for this tremer, pointing to the timing. But, what if, just what if, this tremer came because the supernatural realm showed up. What if angels really escorted Lynch the Hawk down the field?

What if God has a bigger purpose for this Seattle game?

What if he wants the world to experience a true show of David vs Goliath?

What if he wants to speak the parable of the underdog coming out with an amazing story of overcoming?

We often forget about the supernatural realm because we don't see it. However, I believe it is far more real than the world we currently live in because it is the place where God permanently dwells. I know that at times the two realms converge: look at the birth of Jesus and how many times angelic visitations and dreams and visions took place.

I am enjoying the expectancy of what is going to take place through Seattle's football playoff season. We may lose on Sunday and then it will all be over, except the delightful memory of the game against the Saints on Saturday.

On the other hand, we just may see one victory after another until we find ourselves at the Super Bowl ready to win! Let's wait and see.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Missio Lux Grows Up, or is it Deeper?

This morning we gathered for our full gathering for our week long prayer dedication for the new year. As I mentioned a couple of blogs ago, we have been fasting and praying since January 1st for Missio Lux and for our local community and world, for both the church and for the harvest of new members of God's family!

Yesterday word after word came that suddenly children had become sick, other plans came up, emergencies happened, so my expectation for today's attendance was low. (But my expectation for what God was going to do amongst us was NOT low!)

God surprised me with a great number of people, and the faith that they brought far surpassed the number in the room. In fact, a new couple came and at the end, the man thanked God for bringing him to a community of people who prayed with great faith.

I was so happy. I have been able to watch Missio Lux grow into passionate disciples of Jesus Christ. We do have great faith and we are starting to pray for great big things in our prayers!

And, the love that we share for one another is increasing. Our unity is building, especially as we realize that we have brothers and sisters in 4 continents....and that we were ALL PRAYING!

When we keep it simple, God does great things. One word that he has brought over and over to us this week, and in many different ways, is that this year is a year of Rest! We don't need to stive or even battle for the breakthroughs, that the Lord has this covered. Our role is to stand firm and let God bring the victories.

I am looking forward to this....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Challenge of Language in a Dispersed Community

Missio Lux has several challenges in being a dispersed community. Language is one of the biggest challenges we face. Not only do we have several languages spoken in our missio communities with our locations in South Korea, Sudan and Kenya, and Holland, but we also have different cultures in the missio communities in Seattle.

One challenge surfaced this week when we sent out our prayer booklet. For some people the language was very familiar, for others, they were just lost.

Language determines worldview, so it is very important. One reason that we have aligned with 3dm is that they have developed Lifeshapes, a language of discipleship. They are shapes, so no matter what language people speak, they shapes grab you and help you hold onto the concept.

Just yesterday I was meeting with a woman who was speaking about abide: which means to rest and rejuvenate! She was making a rocking motion as the lifeshape of Abide and Bear Fruit is a semi circle that rocks back and forth between rest and work, or abide and bear fruit.

Any suggestions on briding the language gap would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Missio Lux Week of Prayer Dedication

Missio Lux has set this week apart for prayer. We are following Jesus' admonition in Acts 1 for the disciples to go and wait in the upper room for the promise of his Father.

They did just that. They were still looking up into the sky after Jesus ascended and an angel came and basically told them, "Stop looking up and go and pray. Prepare yourself for what is coming."

They didn't really know what to expect as they waited. However, after 10 days, they knew that something powerful had landed on them and as they went out into the Temple courtyard, they received the power of the Holy Spirit and saw thousands of people from all over the world step into a new place of life with Christ. They were reborn and baptized on that day, creating momentum for the New Testament Church to move forward.

We know that harvest is coming. The Lord has been telling us in a multitude of ways to get ready for the harvest! We are responding like the disciples by coming together to wait and to pray, as we prepare for what the Lord will bring us in 2011.

We are following the concentric circles in Acts 1:8 when Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Each day our circle gets wider. The first day, we prayed for ourselves. The next day we prayed for our sphere of influence: our family, friends, co workers, neighbors, and everyone who is important to us. It continues to move out from there; finally landing on asking God to bring the Kingdom of God to the world.

The fun part of this whole adventure is that our missio communities around the world are joining us in this prayer pursuit: Holland, South Korea, Denver, and Kenya and Sudan. Prayer is one of the major ways that the Lord is melding our hearts together!

We are gathering every morning this week from 6 to 8 a.m. Saturday we are all coming together to pray through the morning, ending with a lunch to break the fast.

Why don't you join us?