It’s loud out there, in the paths of this life.
Opintions and tensions and genuine concerns surround us.
It’s been a good trial run for me to quit coffee drinking for 45 days. Yesterday we enjoyed a little family walk to the local coffee shop and I enjoyed breaking my fast from coffee. This morning I enjoyed another delightful cup of coffee which helped me with getting back into a 4:30am devotional routine. There is something extra precious about a real early routine when raising young children, especially with rhythms Carrie and I are seeking to establish. Amelie just turned a year-and-a-half yesterday, which means intentionality is especially critical with two little walking, talking, mess-making gems around our home now. Jackson has become such a joy in how he wants so badly to please us and his own cravings and yet to do well at the same time. I love my family so much and Carrie and I are learning how to keep the LORD and our marriage, the mission of Jesus & others’ good, our children’s future and education, and so much more up and clear in our minds and hearts. How does a family with young children stay centered on God’s priorities with so much noise?
Looking to Jesus we can see the answers we need in the midst of all this noise.
We had a little foot-washing experience the other night, and it will always be a memory in our rhythms, as I intend to lead us into that tradition from time to time. Carrie and Jackson sat on the couch as I washed their feet and taught Jackson of how our Master, Jesus the God-man, did this for us, telling us what true leadership looks like.
Carrie and I enjoyed dialoguing about rhythms of Jesus’ way among us, and another thing that comes to mind in this path of purposeful embracing of humility is simplification. For the next month-and-a-half/45 days I intend to reduce, reduce, and reduce some more in my use of time, my thoughts, my words, my emotional outbursts (ha ha), my belongings, until I more and more am simply resting in the rhythms Jesus’ way of life modeled for us who know in our knowers so-to-speak that we are His disciples, His followers even if to death in this life. I truly believe this is how we can encounter eternity in each day and Jesus’ very real presence in the Holy Spirit and in refreshing fellowship and fruitful ministry with other followers of Jesus.
This Sunday will be my last Sunday of more formal ministry in a traditional church. Sobering thought! My wife and I will be partnered with our friends Raf & Diane Renteria for a year +/- in their home, Kaleo Community Church, and then Lord-willing we will be heading into years if not the rest of our life with Jesus Missionary Communities, the most simplified and yet ambitious approach to domestic missionary life I’ve ever sensed God’s voice to as clear as it has been in the last couple of years. My dad teased me lightly the other day about how I feel I hear God’s voice so clearly. It hurt a little at first but then really was a good reminder. Truly, it’s all in the Lord’s hands and mind, whatever our lives amount to humanly-speaking. If the Lord wanted to take us home right here and now, I’d be right along with many of you saying, “Yes, Lord Jesus, bring us HOME!” Our truest HOME is the LORD JESUS HIMSELF, so whether we are perfectly hearing His voice in any specific moment is less the concern than where our attitudes are toward the Lord and His clear call on every believer’s life. Holiness is hitting the mark of God’s purposes. Jesus was and is perfectly holy and modeled the life God calls all of us to, a life of simple and clear focus on God’s purposes for us in response to Jesus’ death on the cross for us.
I’ll close this post by simply posting am image of the words and chords for a song I did this Sunday for Calvary Baptist Church where I’ve been serving, and I’ll be leading it again this Sunday. It’s called Speak, Oh Lord…