:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: change

The METHODS must always change…the MESSAGE must never change!

When I read a great post and I can’t make it any better…I just post it and give credit due to who wrote it.  Way to go Hugh McLeod!  If you’d like to check out more of his stuff…gapingvoid.com 

I love to read his material and reclaim it for the local Church.  I am honored to get to be a part of leading the local Church everyday.  It is not easy.  I must remain a learner the rest of my life if I intend to be effective.

The post that Hugh McLeod wrote below is incredible truth for what the Church needs to understand, develop, and while at it, never grow weary of doing it…unapologetically!

__________________________________

“We’ve all heard the saying, “business is change” a million times before. We all get it.

But do we, really?

It used to be, you’d fight like hell to get to the top of this one hill, and once you made it, you’d spend the rest of your career, enjoying the view from the top.

That worked fine, back when the world wasn’t changing every 18 months.

18 months!

That’s how long it now takes the old rules to no longer apply.

So you need to be ready. More importantly, your people need to be ready.

That’s what being a leader means now. Making sure they’re ready. Rock on.”

__________________________________

Let’s go Church!  Our message is always Jesus; crucified, risen from the dead, and returning again.  Let’s obey Him, all the while flexing everything else, so we can help as many unforgiven people truly experience forgiveness from their creator!

Trent


Trajectory – Shift Happens

One decision, one person, one integrity problem, one accident, one encounter…and your entire life trajectory can be altered for eternity. We are all just one decision from having our entire life trajectory being altered for eternity. I have never in my life imagined living in Orlando Florida. I planted a church in Phoenix Arizona and dreamed to be the Lead Pastor of that Church for 40 years and then retire and pass the baton to one of my sons and ask to have the Church broom so I could be the Church Janitor and best cheerleader the new pastor could dream of. To be perfectly honest I hate the phrase, ‘If you want to make God laugh just tell Him your plans.” I hate it, but I get it.

I am completely dumbfounded, flabbergasted, blown away, that I now live in Orlando Florida. My family’s trajectory change has moments of thrill and moments of chill…yah…the bad kind of chill. One decision… has me living 2,180 miles from anything I have ever known and facing giants and obstacles that make my skin crawl, my heart ache, my blood pressure to rise, and my heart to beat faster for the thrill of the challenge. One decision led to this. One decision that I know I was supposed to make. How do I know that I was supposed to make it? Because God told me to. It was so clear that, if I had to make the decision again, knowing what I know now, I would have to make the same decision because God was that clear. Steve Jobs said that we can never connect the dots looking forward, only looking back. Others say we all have 20/20 hindsight.

So the average comfy Christian would reply to my paragraph above, “Its okay, Trent…God must have wanted you to live in Orlando Florida and have you doing what you are doing now…or… what happened wouldn’t have happened, its all God’s plan…so let go and let God.” Isn’t that convenient. I’m not a Calvanist and I think that answer is a copout. Its wrong to place all the blame or responsibility on God. Its easy to blame God for the disasters/trajectory changes going on in your life. When you blame God nobody else has to accept responsibility. The phrase, “God’s Got This” is true but that is different than saying God caused this. Want an example?

Adam and Eve. Did God plan and intend for them to break His rules of not eating of the specific trees in the Garden of Eden? Did God tell Himself before He created Adam and Eve….”Hey I’m going to create this thing called people and I am going to love them because I made them in my image to be like me…but in my plan I’ve got this little fun twist I want to play around with…I’m going to cause them to screw it all up. I am going to watch them become ashamed of each other and then I plan on watching them kill each other and then I’m going to kill my own Son to pay the price for their screw ups and how fun it will be…because I”m gonna blow them all away by raising my son from the dead after I kill Him! God leans to His right and asks His Son…”Sound Cool, Jesus?” “You up for this great plan, Son?” Jesus says, “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, Dad.” God replies, “Oh, Jesus…don’t be a bad sport. You can do it! Think of the adventure!” So God proceeds with his “will” and for thousands of years orchestrates rapes, gangster murder, divorce and hate, suicide bombers, as He leans back into His memory foam love-sac and from His game room in His gated community called Heaven, xbox 360 controller in hand, intensely playing through His favorite game called Life. Press X for Jump, Y to knife, UP arrow to receive prayer, DOWN arrow for eternal punishment…

Too cynical for you? Yah…me too…I’m in a sassy mood. Its been a rough week. It all makes we want to scream from my roof top that Life was never intended to be this way. If you can read through my cynicism there’s actually a good lesson here.

Trajectory Shift. Your’s might shift tomorrow. Everything you’ve been doing for the past 13/20/60 years could be completely annihilated before your very eyes…tomorrow. If it happens you’ll be put in a trajectory change that will make you question everything you thought you knew about life, the people around you and leave you screaming, Why?!” Ask yourself… Do you trust that person you are about to make the deal with? Do you trust your spouse? Do you trust your dad? Do you trust that taxi driver as you jump in the back seat. Do you trust the engineer who just built the bridge. Do you trust the man who put the bolt in the truss hanging over your head in that giant football stadium? Do you trust the driver on the other side of the dotted yellow line? Do you trust the councelor who is meeting behind closed doors with your child? Do you trust the guy working under you as he sees the rungs of the ladder above you? Do you trust the spiritual mentor you’ve had in your life for the past 20 plus years? Do you trust your preacher and how he handles the church finances? Do you trust the man dressed up in a SWAT uniform carrying a gun across the parking lot of the movie theater? Trust and Trajectory shifts…they go hand in hand.

Its tough to walk the fine line of trusting someone, something, and at the same time making sure everybody signs the dotted line of security.

In God We Trust…everybody else pays cash and signs the agreement.
I’ve learned in the past year about trust and security and trajectory shift. God is the only one we can fully trust without thinking much about it, without worry, without stress. He always has our best interest in mind, even if it doesn’t feel good. Everybody else…you will have to choose to trust, it will require some security backup like contracts and waivers. Even then its a finicky trust. Its a trust that if all parties aren’t seeking the best interest of each other it will end up in a trajectory shift in your life that will take your breath away and you will be bothered by it the rest of your life. Shift Happens!

I chose to trust. 20/20 hindsight proves that it was a blind and naive trust. I didn’t have anybody sign the agreement that I wrote up. I didn’t get perfect clarity before I committed. I feel like a dummy. I trusted. I quietly pulled back the paperwork, folded it in half and slid it in my back pocket. Oh…I’d like that 20 seconds of time back. I believed in the idealistic dream that everybody has everybody else’s benefit in mind. You see…it takes two to make a plan work right. It takes all parties listening to God and behaving like God to make God’s plan work. Even one entity thinking only for themselves and the deal is bust. Trajectory Shift starting in 10…9…8…

I do not blame anyone, but myself. I don’t blame the other party. I most definitely do not blame God. I’m just heart broken over all the shift! Its a load of shift. I’m sick to my stomach…frequently…about it all. What does a man do now? I know the answer to that question!

You get up, shake the dust off your clothes and put your feet on the ground and start over. What else can you do? It doesn’t work to keep laying in the dirt bloodied and pathetic. It doesn’t work to listen to the voice of the critic. It doesn’t work to listen to the voice of one who is celebrating as you suffer the shift. You get up! Tomorrow arrives consistently everyday. Time keeps ticking whether I want it to stop or not. I must choose to fully grasp the shift and make the most of it. Shifts make for new beginnings, new places, new plans. Pain and trajectory shifts are twins. Pain doesn’t mean its bad, its just reality. Trajectory shifts means somebody didn’t get what they hoped for. That causes agony, but new beginnings too. My trajectory shift has landed me in another part of the country and feels like another part of the world. My trajectory shift has me realizing that everybody is the same whether you live in Arizona or in Florida…Uganda or Peru…Jerusalem or Paris.

I am truly understanding for the first time in my life what the Bible means by all Creation groans for the return of the King, Jesus Christ. I used to think only weak people groaned for the return of Jesus. I’ve realized its just the opposite. People who really haven’t faced a crushing trajectory shift in their life, who sit under the umbrella of false security and false contentment are the soft ones who don’t understand why people groan for the return of Jesus. If you aren’t groaning for the return of Jesus you have the “blessed” position of comfort and a life truly unaltered. You’ve gotten your way for too long. To this type of person, it is alarming to think of Jesus returning, for life is too good to have it all end now. Death terrifies this type of person because life is too good. What a crazy, wild, out of control world we live in…its quite thrilling if you think about it. I guess its all how you view life.

I am astonished at the patience and love that Jesus carried with Him every minute of the short time He lived here as one of us. He encountered such selfish people. On rare occasions we can see when He encountered a person that “inspired” Him. It was usually a person who had faced incredible hardship and trajectory shifts in their life. It takes my breath away when I think about how much restraint, that God the Father must have, to NOT send His Son back down here to settle the score once and for all and end the nonsense, the selfishness, the clamoring for power and privilege and position. Fighting for who answers to who. Scheming to get what they want when they want it. I want to scream…Jesus…please stop the madness! God’s patience is maddening to me and at the same time a beautiful gift to me. And you!

Its enough to make a pastor throw in the towel of ministry to go work at Home Depot. But…

No chance.
I’ll never quit.
Yes…I said it…Never.

I have been crushed. The crushing has made me smarter, harder, more aware. I’m not sure if all of those things are good or not? I assume it depends on how I use those knew weapons from this day forward.

Time tells all things. Trajectory shift changes all things.
For now…the trajectory has shifted. Shift happens. I can handle it. It just makes me weary. I must rest…for tomorrow is guaranteed to begin. The sun will rise. The Son will return. In the mean time….
I’ll try not to screw it up. If I do…that’ll change the trajectory again. Trajectory change wouldn’t be so bad if it was just me that it affected. The trajectory shift I experienced a year ago…because of one decision,…affected more than 20,000 people. Their trajectory was altered, even though multitudes of them will never know. I wish it would have just affected me. I faced an incredibly scary decision just a few nights ago that I had to make. I made it and my trajectory has shifted again. This trajectory shift has affected nearly 1000 people. In the next few days and weeks all involved with experience more trajectory shift because of the choices of a few.

I wonder if there is a viewing room in Heaven where we can someday go to see what should have been or what could have been if all parties would have just acted like Jesus. I don’t think an actual room exists, though, because the Bible says there will be no tears. Sitting in the viewing room of what should have been, would make any viewer watching their “should have been life” flash before their eyes, cry. If there was such a room, it would have a no vacancy sign on because it would be full of those who insisted that their life stay the same. It will be full of people who clawed and fought for only what they want. The video playing in that room will terrify those who refused to change, stretch, grow, give and risk. If you haven’t faced tremendous trajectory shift in your life, it will only be a matter of time. I think there are two kinds of people in the world. Those coming out of a crushing trajectory shift and those who are getting ready to enter a crushing trajectory shift.

As hard as the trajectory shift is…the shift is actually a gift from God. This wasn’t all in God’s plan. I will never know what God had planned in the plan before this trajectory shift. I will be thought provoked for the rest of my life wondering what could have been if everybody would have stayed in God’s will.
The things that happened has caused God to have to change His plan. It has caused God to pick up the ashes
What does a man do in this situation?

It makes him simply say…What now Lord? Here I am use me.

Trust God that He didn’t cause this trajectory change. Man did.
Trust God at His word that He’ll make beauty from ashes. He will.

The Shift is a Gift!

May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.
Carry on.

Trent


Medical Wednesday in Africa

Just when I think I’ve seen it all and can ‘t be caught off guard in Africa…today did it. 

Woke up this morning…still no water in the plumbing.  Had to get a big jug full of water from the front desk of the hotel and pour it into my toilet to be able to flush.  Did I mention in all the plumbing problems yesterday that I discovered that I can take a Water Bottle shower in 3 and 1/2 bottles?!   Try it at home for your next shower.  If you can do it…you qualify for the next Missions Trip to Africa!  LOL

Breakfast was the same as yesterday…eggs…scrambled and hard boiled…or you could ask for the staff to make you an omelet.  Bacon…Its good too…but thats a no brainer…I’m not sure I”ve ever had bad bacon.  Coffee, fresh fruit.  The bananas here are to die for…they  have so much taste.  

I had to eat a really quick breakfast because I found out last minute that the Medical Team was headed out to a remote village to help people who needed medical attention.  We drove out into Africa for 2 hours.  Rough roads, packed bus…made for a pretty uncomfortable ride.  As we pulled up to the village there was a brick church building where all the chairs were pulled out and the  main room is where we set up camp.  We had boxes and boxes of medical supplies, medicines and we were ready to take on the crowds.   As they began to pour in…what I saw is just sheer helplessness.  I mean…what would you do if you had 5 children…beautiful children…and they had temperatures of 104 and you had no doctors, medicine, vitamins, our cleanliness?  You wait for years for someone to offer some hope.  
The very first patient that came in was a little girl of around 9 years old.  She had this huge infectious sore on her forearm that was full of puss and anything else gross that you can imagine.  The mother told us that she had the sore on her arm now for 2 and 1/2 years.  The little girl was so brave as the medical team used a scalpel to begin to cut away the infectious skin.   She had no pain medicine.  She would cry out in pain…but not move a muscle.  She trusted us so much and knew that we were there in the name of Jesus Christ to help her. So brave and tough.

  I could type on for pages at the different types of people and problems that walked through the doors begging for any help they could get.  I’ll tell this one story…in comes a man with his 2 wives.  He has 16 children…8 of them are with him.  They all have raging fevers and are malnourished.  Both the wives have STD’s from the husband.  The 8 year old girl had the same STD..which means she was raped…maybe by the man of the house.  The youngest of the two wives was basically a skeleton with skin and she had twin boys.  The boys were just one year old.  Had we not intervened today…one of the little boys would have died in our arms today.  He was barely alive and the mother simply said they have no food and no money and she can’t support her babies with milk because she is malnourished too,  We spent time first saving the babies lives.  Giving them water, electrolytes, some bananas, medicine, etc.  With in about 2 hours the baby began to come to ‘life.”  We had some people run in to the town village store and buy some food, baby formula and we spent time teaching this family that they must begin to provide food and use some common sense or their babies would die.  We will not leave them hanging.  Hope 4 Kids will work with them until they are self sufficient.  H4KI will train them and not just be a welfare program for them.  That is what I love about H$KI.   

 We saw children with cancerous mouths, epilepsy, Malaria, Aids, ring worm and all kinds of skin diseases.    

I’m not a medical person, but before I become a pastor I was desiring to be in Sports Medicine, so I was fascinated all day today watching a team of people with medical backgrounds be their very best for Jesus Christ.  Nurses, Doctors, Dentists, EMTs, Physical Therapists.  Amazing, sacrificial people.  

I helped mostly with the dental hygienist.  Which means I held the flash light so she and a local dentist could pull teeth, clean teeth and sometimes just gasp at the condition of some peoples teeth problems.   The hardest subject on the dental side today was an 8 year old boy who had his far back molars on both sides rotted out and they had to be pulled.  We numbed his mouth and proceeded to pull.  I had to hold his arms and legs from flailing and we all cried as his teeth were removed and the whole village could hear his screams.  I swear he was cussing at me when we were finished but it was in some African dialect and I pray someday maybe he’ll thank me.   Man…he was mad!  Poor little guy.  

The best person we helped on the dental side was an 86 year old woman.  She was maybe 4 foot tall.  Her dark skin was wrinkled and leather.  She had a total of one molar left in her mouth and it had to go.  She literally jumped up on the desk, laid down and opened her mouth and we gave her some quick numbing meds and pulled.  She jumped down and went about her life.  I would love to hear her stories.  Born in 1925 in Uganda Africa.  Wow.  She smiled went home.  All she had left were her top front teeth.  All other teeth are missing.  I couldn’t help but to say to her as she left…”No more Peanut M&Ms for you!”  We all laughed…she didn’t understand a word I said.  

We did this all day long.  From early morning until 7pm.  We didn’t have lunch and not one of us complained.  We got back to the hotel around 9pm…had a great dinner.

And yes…Hot Showers!  The Water problem was fixed!!  

I wish you were hear with me.  It is life changing in a way that I never could have comprehended.  Many of you are wondering what I am going to do now that I have resigned from the Parkway/CCV merger.  I will not make a decision right now, because it would be an emotional decision.  I will be back in the US soon.  Spend time with my family and make an educated decision that is led by God.  When I know…I will share it with you.  

I hope your Wednesday is good.  Serve the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. If  you are reading this…I really do have a strong love for you and I want you to be your very best.  Your very best can only be achieved through Jesus Christ being your Lord and Savior and you doing what Jesus has commanded you to do.  

I will sign off with this….AWINJO…the meaning is this.  “If you hear it…you must obey it.”

“Go Into all the world, make disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”–Jesus
Trent

PS…I saw Tom Eggum’s name tag today and he had 4 different names in the African language on it.   I asked how he got the names and what they meant.  He told me that you have to eat a White Ant and then the African people will give you your African name.  Tom told me to make sure I rip the wings of the ant off first, then when you put it in your mouth you grind it up good or it will grab the inside of your throat and try to climb out.  

I want an African name.  The first chance I get.  I”m doing it.  I’ll video tape it.  
Stay tuned!


Mirror, Mirror on The Wall…

In a previous blog I wrote about how you are your own boss and I am my own boss. Are you being “bossy?” If you and I are our own boss then its not good to “stick it to the man.” You’re the man! Are there times in life, maybe often times, where we think we are doing good, because its what WE want to do, but in all reality we are actually preventing something better for our lives, thus  hurting ourselves?

Proverbs 16:9 says, “we can make our plans but the Lord directs our steps.”

What if God has something really amazing for you or me, but we are so focused on what we FEEL is right, that we actually miss out on what God intended for us? My feelings and my fears (same thing aren’t they?) have a tendency to guide me. My fear says, “if you do that, you will lose everything that I love.” Our mistake is that we think, when fear says “I” that its actually talking about us. We think whatever fear loves, we should love it to. But, fear loves comfort, safety and loves things the way they’ve always been.

If we really think about it, fear screams at us when we are considering stepping out of our comfort zone. If we are guided by our fear, then we will always get what we always got…because we will have always done what we always do. (please read that again)

If we obey our fear, then we will remain in our comfort zone. Comfort zones are comfortable, safe, un-dangerous, un-impactful, un-difference making, un-influential, un-inspiring. But safe!
What if your fears are actually lying to you? What if you gave ear to your fear, and then went ahead…carefully, intelligently, alert-ly, and stepped through your fear?
Isn’t it fair to say that God, throughout Scripture, asked people to do things for Him that scared the crap out of them? What if Paul, James, Elijah, Esther, Job, Samson, David, Stephen, or Jesus would have obeyed their fear?
The Bible says that Perfect Love casts out all fear.
Playing it safe is…well…safe. My fears continually tell me to play it safe.
I think my fears are a like a liquid mirror that I stand in front of and stare at the reflection I see, admiring my life as it is, enjoying what I see and the familiarity of it all. It looks and feels so comfortable. In the movies…every “liquid mirror” has something amazing on the other side. Curiosity says, “stick your head through the mirror and take a look.” Fear says, “stay right here, look how good you look, you like your life like it is.” So, today, I’m going to stick my head through that liquid mirror and take a peek at what my fears have been hiding from me and keeping me from. I have a few good friends who will try to force me through the mirror.  We all need friends like that. Somehow they see through the mirror better than we do ourselves.  So, I’m not going to just stick my head through it, I’m going to push my whole body through the liquid mirror.  There are no guarantees on the other side of the mirror, except the fact that you will no longer just be standing and admiring what you think is right and good for you. So I say…Let your fear guide you…but in a different direction than normal? Fear usually gets strong when I have multiple choices before me. Fear WILL guide us. So the next time fear rises up in your life, and is telling you to go in a specific direction, turn in the direction it wants you to go and then do an “about face”…180 degree turn and march on. It won’t be the easy direction. It won’t be the safe direction. But it will be the HOLY and right direction.
What is fear telling you to do right now?
Take a look in the mirror.
Better yet…
Conquer the mirror!