Week three at G42 involved some difficult intellectual wrestling. Ted Hanson spoke on “New Covenant Realities” and I struggled to grasp much of what he said, because the message was presented in a much different way than I am accustomed. Ted, an incredible man of God, strongly challenged us to live based on what brings life to others instead of simply what is good or right.

He believes the new covenant enables us, in our relationship with God, to live out of what makes us come alive and what brings life to others because ultimately life, specifically eternal life, is the goal. We do not want to bring people to Jesus simply so that they can go to heaven. Life’s purpose, Jesus taught, doesn’t consist with being saved, living a good life, and then going to heaven when we die. Jesus taught about how to bring the kingdom of heaven to those in desperate need here on earth. Now, I’m not saying that doing right or good is a bad thing, but that something better exists. Living in an active relationship with Jesus far surpasses simply living in accordance with the rules he has given us. If we are in tune with his voice, he enables us to choose the best from multiple good choices.  So the question is changed from “Is this good or bad?” to “Of these good choices, which one will bring more life to others?”.

Ted HansonI’m still struggling through this and checking it against scripture, but I agree with his heart. We need to live from the desires Christ has placed on our heart, in an intimate relationship with him, so that our fire burns recklessly in this world overcoming the darkness as we shine. We do not overtake darkness by turning off the darkness, but by turning on the light. I certainly don’t have it figured out yet, but the journey continues and Christ leads the way.

We finished the week with a trip to downtown Málaga, so I leave you with a few pictures of that trip.
Unroll the rest

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Internet Explorer 6 users will be happy to know I’ve fix a couple major problems with the rendering of this site, and have removed the ie6 warning page; however, I still HIGHLY suggest you upgrade to a newer, safer, faster, better, browser. Also, I’ll also be making a new post tomorrow called “The Wounds We Receive”. Stay tuned.

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I am a small, insecure, weak child. I wander around the world looking for someone to: comfort me, speak encouragements to me, help me learn how to be grown up. I look around for people who can show me what it means to be a grown up. The world is a big scary place. Who do I trust? Who will take care of me—will anyone? Can I live up to other people’s standards? Where do I get those standards?

I am a small, insecure, weak child, but like most children my heart and mind are open. I’m constantly learning, growing, and changing. I want to explore as much of this world as possible. I want to taste new food, climb new hills, and ride down new roads. But like a child, I’m also vulnerable to being hurt. I care about what my peers think of me. I’m disappointed when they don’t like me. I’m crushed when they ridicule me. Where do I turn to get affirmation? education? comfort? identity?

Most children turn to their parents and it’s during the critical years of childhood to adolescence that their words hold the most weight. I had good parents. They taught me right from wrong. They raised me to respect and honor people. They fostered an environment where I knew I was loved, but they weren’t perfect. They divorced around the time of my adolescence and I never really learned who I am, and I believe this has shaped my life in many ways. I think the divorce taught me to be a peacemaker and to be loyal, but most of all, not to create waves that are too big for the situation.

These traits began to shape my identity. I became passive for fear that speaking up might break the system. My identity and purpose were never spoken over, so I became confused about them. Am I Kevin the husband? Kevin the computer guy? Kevin the American? Kevin the son of Larry & Marilyn? Or am I simply a mixture of them all?

A journey of identity began my freshman year at VT, and it hasn’t ended yet. I remember walking across campus and praying that God would make me into the man he wants me to be, the man I am supposed to be, and the past five years have all fueled that prayer. Whether at Tech with Authentic Manhood, or my summer in Yellowstone on project, or my year in Colorado with Focus on the Family and Summit Ministries, all have contributed to God’s plan to make me who I am supposed to be.

I’m still don’t understand my identity, but I’m much closer now than I was five years ago. I believe this is one of the reasons God has me here at G42—to continue learning from him. I need my creator to speak life over me and show me the way I am supposed to go. I want to be so secure in my identity that the words of others do no harm, because I have the word of the Lord in my heart, and he has made my identity plain. How many people do you know that can simply walk into any environment or sub-culture, change their appearance and language, and still be completely comfortable in being them? My guess it not very many. I want to be one of those people, so that I may say with Paul “I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”1 However, I think to get to that point I must be completely confident in my identity.

My journey has begun. Do you know who you are? Strip away all titles, jobs, hobbies, parents, relatives, or spouses and ask yourself, “Who am I?” Then ask God, but be careful, he might just show you.

  1. 1 Corinthians 9:22
Posted in Examined Life, Major, Personal, Questions | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Becoming All Things to All People

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