Don't get me wrong, I've wanted to blog, I simply "haven't had the time."
Short explanation: I've been processing life and growing in God.
My heart has been yearning to change, in nearly every way.
Ever since I found my purpose (however rough it may still be) and started this blog, my heart has been seeking change. Spiritual, emotional, and habitual change.
Ground Shaking. Interesting statement, seeing as how it both has to do with being, and with doing.
I believe that as a Christian, that is being a temple for the Holy Spirit, everywhere I go brings Christ. What I mean is that I may be in the most hostile environment, and God can still work through me no prob. Just my being there can change the entire situation for the better. Not because of me, mind you, but because of Jesus. I believe that my purpose, being a Ground Shaker for Christ, ties directly into this belief.
That's the being side of things. I know who I am: I am a peaceful, free, and stupendous man who's mission is to influence, restore, and improvise honor and wisdom in myself and others, and I do this through being a Ground Shaker for Christ.
So what about the doing? I think that as a Christian, and more specifically as a Ground Shaker, it is my responsibility, nay, my honor, to influence those around me through the way I purposefully act, lead, show respect, and even joke.
I think one without the other is futile, and I also think that in order to do, I must first be. Pretty deep huh?
So how does this relate back to anything?
Like I said, my heart has been yearning for change. I had felt like a corked bottle of champagne; I had all this stuff I wanted to share, but wasn't sure how uncork myself, much less pour myself out. Putting it in Focus terms (for those of you that care) I felt like I had all this medicine to give away to some village across a river, yet no way of getting it there.
Then winter camp happened.
As I say that I cringe. I've built up some kind of wall when it comes to winter camp experiences. In the past, I've experienced winter camp as an awesome place to get close to God. Sadly, when I return from such an awesome trip, I've found that realty hits me like a brick, and I once again grow distant from Him. At least that's been my experience up until this year.
Lots of cool stuff happened at winter camp (see previous post), but bottom line was this: I asked God to free me up; to uncork me. Somewhat expectedly, somewhat unexpectedly, He did. It was as simple as that. One moment I was worshipping with anchors on my heart, the next I wasn't. I was hesitant at first that this freedom would be a temporary fix. What I've found, however, is that God's freedom is permanent. He is always true to me, I just have to accept it.
That was stage one: freedom. Stage two came just recently.
I have an amazing friend by the name of Austin Townend. There's singularly no other human being who can make me laugh as much, as hard, and as often as him (with the possible exception of my father.) We've had fun times together, and he even made me a merch/myspace editor of his Hardcore band, Bless the Martyr!
Every once in a while him and I will have an intense conversation; a heart-to-heart if you will. Such was the case Saturday night/Sunday morning (we talked well into the 4am margin.)
I won't tell you everything that we talked about, mostly because it would be incredibly out of context and would take many, many other posts for you to fully get where we are coming from.
I will tell you, however, how this plays into The Rays of Sun that Blasted the Inversion of my Heart (thought that would make a good title due to the weather in Boise lately!)
Warning: I'm not going to pull any punches.
We talked about the state of the Church, specifically that of Vineyard Boise (my current home church, his old one. He now attends the Meridian Vineyard.)
Firstly, we both agreed that the people at the Vineyard (assume I'm talking about the Vineyard Boise) are awesome. I immensely love everyone who is on leadership, and hold no grudges; have no withholds.
We also agreed how there seems to be a spirit of some kind of fear or holding back. From what we've seen lately, people are able to grow to a certain extent, then can grow no more. I personally am not sure if this is directly due to the leadership, or simply the spirit of the congregation as a whole. Regardless, I feel it.
I've seen this spirit not only manifest itself in the main service, but also in the youth church, and even in VCHSC (the elementary through high school that I attend.)
I mean a couple things by a "spirit of fear or holding back." Firstly, I don't see people ON FIRE for Christ. People raise their hand in worship, yes, but how exactly are they uplifting the church? I see people apply for programs, and volunteer for events, but even in that I see no FIRE. I see works. And I know that works without faith, faith in Christ, are dead.
As James 2:19-20 puts it (Message):
"19-20Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but
then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something
wonderful? That's just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use
your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two
and not end up with a corpse on your hands?"
Basically I see evidence of spiritual deadness creeping into my church. Whatever the cause of this deadness, the cure is simple enough to guess. Jesus.