We’ve both been to colleges where we were involved in life-giving ministries and deepened our walk with God. We’ve both changed our career path because we were touched by something different. A desire deeper than simply financial success; the main driving factor behind our previous choices. We want to change the world. My experiences in Yellowstone National Park on Summer project during the Summer of 2005 became a foundational aspect of my life. I realized for the first time I wanted to spend my life with others. I wanted to live in community–open, honest, ugly, beautiful, loving, vicious–community. Since that time God has continued this work in me. I began reading deeply from the Bible and any other theology book I could get my hands on–spending most of the money I made on reading material.
Then, in the Spring of 2007 my journey took another pivotal step. I moved to Colorado Springs and became a student at the Focus on the Family Institute (now renamed Focus Leadership Institute). Here my journey continued as God taught me a more biblical worldview. The institute showed me the power and importance of being a Roaring Lamb. It gave me a foundation from which I could begin to launch out into the world. It also introduced me to a deeper level of discipleship. I was blessed to go on a biblical studies trip with Ray Vander Laan immediately after finishing my time at FFI. On that trip my life was further shaped by focusing on Jesus’ method and message. Jesus’ method: relational discipleship. A deep level of discipleship where rabbi and disciple live life together. The goal being to be like the rabbi. Jesus spent all of his time pouring life into his disciples. He wanted them not to simply learn his message, but to to be his message. Jesus deeply understood the importance of our being made in the image of God, and he wanted to make sure the disciples were as much like him as possible. Jesus was the best example of human being to ever walk this earth, and that is also our goal: to be like him. On that trip another strong focus was Jesus’ message: the kingdom of heaven. Jesus’ message wasn’t simply about going to heaven. The goal of the Christian life isn’t simply to get to heaven. Jesus prayed that the father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The gospel is a gospel of restoration and redemption. The message of the kingdom is about bringing that life, as much as we possibly can, to earth. This in no way means utopia. We will always have sin, evil, and death in this life, but just because something is, doesn’t mean that it should be.
Immediately after returning from Israel and Turkey I started working at Summit Ministries. At Summit, I learned the importance of knowledge and academics in the Christian life. Summit exists to see high school students learn how to logically articulate a defense of their faith.
So, what has G42 added to my foundation? It has taken many of the life lessons from before and reinforced and amplified them. G42 Leadership Academy has shown me my true identity. My identity as a child of the King. It has also opened my eyes to the power of the Holy Spirit and my ears to the voice of God. G42 has shown me the issue isn’t right or wrong but life or death. It is possible to be right and still bring death to a person’s spirit. G42 has shifted this mentality in me. I now look for opportunities to listen to the voice of God and speak his words, because his words will always bring life. G42 provided an environment where I was able to understand that I am loved. I am loved and accepted by God, and through this acceptance I no longer act like the second brother in the parable of the prodigal son. I now realize that the whole farm has been given to me. God has lavished many gifts and graces on me. He speaks intimately to me, and he inspires passion in my heart. I’ve realized that God delights in me.
And now, more prepared than I’ve ever been, Jen & I will leave Mijas and go to Bellingham, WA. Bellingham will be our home for the next 8 months where we will be serving Abundant Life Church, School of Eagles, Awake & Arise, and Anderson Creek Lodge. This will be a time of service and preparation. We were challenged by George Ridley of Lightforce International to go and serve someone else’s vision as a time to prepare for our own. So, we will be doing exactly that…serving.
So how does all this apply to birthing vision? Simple. All of these things have led us to this point. A decision made so that Jen & I will live differently. With an open heart and open home, we want people to live with us through thick and thin. We want to invite people into our home, into our hope, and provide a safe place where rest and restoration happen, because you can’t have one without the other. We desire our children, both natural and spiritual, to rest confidently in their identities, rest confidently in their creator, rest confidently in their gifts and anointing, so that they may use their rest to bring restoration in the realm God gives them. We want to pass the torch to the next generation that they may continue our ministry and bless lives. We want to foster an environment where generations can rise up to take their place in God’s Kingdom and powerfully love people. We pray that through our love and God’s Spirit we touch hearts, change lives, destroy darkness, and train reinforcements. This is the dream God is building in our hearts and our spirits. Will you join us?