The Problem with Freedom

Standard

Memorial Day, 2014
I don’t know that I’ve ever given Memorial Day it’s true respect. Quite honestly, I don’t know that I can without having experienced the life of a soldier. But to the degree that I’m able to say thank you, today I honor the lives of those who fought and died for the right for us to live in freedom.

Unfortunately, I think we’ve messed up freedom for ourselves. The goal of freedom isn’t to re-enslave ourselves, but that’s what we’ve done. The goal of freedom isn’t to live in constant conflict with one another, but if you look at Washington from the lens of the media, that’s what we see. The goal of freedom, as I see it, is this: to empower life. Yet, what we have done, in many ways, is to empower death–to render freedom powerless by installing a mantra of control, the exact antithesis of freedom–rendering the lives of those who paid the ultimate price for freedom far less valuable.

When a prisoner is set free after decades behind bars, he finds freedom baffling. He finds it difficult to navigate the dozens of significant and insignificant choices he has to make daily. In some ways, it becomes preferable to default to being controlled again in order to remove the weight freedom brings. It’s the same in our lives when we choose to surrender our rights as American citizens to those who wish to decide for us what is best and what is not. When we, as a society, chose to defend freedom by sending our young men and women of to war, did we intend to negate their efforts by living in a system that surrenders it willfully?

On this Memorial Day, determine to live free. Determine to make choices that empower life. Determine to honor the lives of those who paid the ultimate price by fighting our own fight to remain free.

No Connection

Standard
view of the bay

This is the view from our porch in New Harbor, ME.

What does it take to slow down and think? How are thoughts supposed to form accurately in a world where our attention is diverted in 100 different directions all at the same time day after day after day?

Sometimes it takes being disconnected from the world. Sometimes it takes silence. Sometimes it takes getting away.

Thank goodness for vacations.

The Pursuit

Standard

It’s about learning who you are. It’s about reaching deep within to draw on the character of your soul to display your very best. It’s about preparation paying off.

The pursuit is what keeps you alive. The pursuit means there’s something better, something more, something greater.

Pursuit gives you purpose.

When the pursuit ends, it’s time to nurture. And begin a new pursuit.

Heidi Baker and Iris Ministries Needs Our Help

Standard

Iris Ministries Needs a Quest Kodiak Plane Many of you have undoubtedly been affected by the ministry of Heidi and Roland Baker. Heidi is the author of “Always Enough” and leads Iris Ministries in Mozambique, Africa.

They have started thousands of churches and see incredible miracles on a regular basis simply because they step out and believe that God is who he says he is. Their plane crashed last year (no one was injured) but the plane needs to be replace by 4/20/2012 in order for them to continue to reach the most remote places and tribes in Mozambique.

Bethel Church in Redding, CA has asked for the financial support of those who are blessed by its ministry and the associate pastor, Kris Vallotton, has released a public letter.

Please read and share this post to any and all of those who may be willing to support such this cause.

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing on behalf of Roland and Heidi Baker and Iris Ministries. Many of you are aware that their ministry plane crashed last year. Miraculously, no one was hurt in the crash, but the plane was destroyed. This plane was used to carry out many different kinds of ministry, especially large “bush conferences” where many thousands of people converged on old, dirt landing strips that are spread all over Mozambique and other African countries. The power of God showed up at these remote gatherings, resulting in thousands of people giving their lives to Christ. But it’s impossible to effectively continue this kind of ministry without a plane. Iris is eager to return to these isolated locations in Mozambique, and on into central and North Africa, to fuel the revival and spearhead evangelism there.

The plane that best suits the needs of Iris Ministries is called the Quest Kodiak. This is the first plane ever designed specifically for missionaries who work in rugged conditions, such as jungles. The total cost of this aircraft is approximately $1.63 million. The Bakers have already paid $741,000 towards the purchase of the Kodiak, but they are in need of an additional $680,000 to take possession of the plane.

Most of you probably know that it’s not Heidi and Rolland’s style to ask for financial help for anything. But because of the urgency of the deadline, which is April 20, 2012, and the amount of money needed, I asked them if I could have permission to help raise the money for the plane.

I thought that if we could get 680 people to give $1,000 each, it would be an easy way to pay the plane off, so I started the “680 Club”. Bethel Church is going to give $10,000 towards the project. Iris would be very grateful for ANY SIZE gift that you give towards funding this amazing project. Please visit www.680club.org to view a video with more information and to donate to the Iris ministries plane project.

Thank you so much for your time.

Much Love,
Kris Vallotton
Senior Associate Leader
Bethel Church, Redding Ca.

Being called to greatness

Standard

The World is waiting and watching, hoping and praying that you will make decisions which produce life. If you are alive today, you have the ability to affect the world around you and it is waiting for someone like you to make a choice to be great.

How do I know this?  Because I have greatness called out of me every day. The people in my life, the books I read, the words that tumble around in my head are all calling out saying, “You are made to be great. Your words are powerful; your actions change lives. Do what is inside your heart and the world will never be the same.”  This may sound ridiculous, but hints of this theme are in our faces all the time.

Look at the movies in Hollywood.  Some of them are about as useless as a third shoe, but movies like The Matrix, Spiderman, Independence Day, Iron Man and even Transformers have story lines that show the main character going from a normal to great throughout the course of the movie.  All of these messages strike a chord in us because we know we were meant for something more.

Why do you think the sequels fail so miserably??  Because the screen writers don’t know what to do with a character that has stepped into their greatness!  We’re so used to seeing people fall flat on their face after they obtain greatness, that it seems like utter fiction to portray someone as wholesome, honest, and respected.

How many celebrities fall short of the glory we bestow upon them? Recently, we’ve seen Michael Jackson fall prey to his apparent addiction to pain pills.  Steve McNair was shot to death when alleged mistress got jealous of another woman, who was also not Steve’s wife!  Spiritual leaders like Ted Haggard and hundreds of priests are accused of gross sexual misconduct.

With all this in our faces and in the back of our minds, it’s no wonder that we are weary of living a life of victory.  Besides that, we all know how imperfect we are ourselves.  When the choice to make decisions that produce life or produce death stares us in the face, it’s often easier to choose death simply because of the expectation that a good decision puts on us.

But that’s a lie.  Truth is that we don’t have to succumb to pressure of the world.  If we believe in Christ, it is our nature to do good.  That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Believe the words that get spoken over you. You are great. You are meant for something amazing. The world is grateful when you make decisions that produce life and in doing so, you bring the rest of us a step closer to realizing our own greatness.