Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You Can't Please Everyone, So...

Don’t waste your life trying to accommodate and placate everybody; you will not succeed. Walk closely with God, realize some folks will understand you, others won’t… and some of those will understand later. People clamor for what they want in this moment, the moment changes and they want something different. You are too strict, too lax… too indifferent, too passionate… not enough like them, too much like them… it never ends.

Simply follow Jesus. Here. Now. Together.

A year from now you won’t be the same as you are today. Neither will I. Growth does that.

Jesus nailed it when he said this:
 Matt. 11:16 - 19     “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: “ ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The 1 Minute Read Series: You Just Do Your Part

A lot of people I've known try to be General Manager of the Universe. They worry that God may not do what He's supposed to do. They fret about somehow, someway things just not going rightly because other people get lazy or mean, etc. Look, you aren't God and you can't control other people. God gave us the power to choose. We live with the consequences of those choices. What you CAN do is make sure you seek out what YOUR part is in following Jesus, and do that. Pray for others and realize God always does his part. So, do your part, pray for others and trust God fully. Then, resolve to be at peace, not give in to fear and - if nothing else - life is a vapor anyway. Why not live with faith in God and the courage to follow him every single day, whatever that means? Dump fear and worry, embrace faith and courage. Not later, right now! May you and I both always simply follow Jesus.

Today Was Awesome!

Today we had a beautiful, powerful, Spirit-led gathering of believers at our house. There was a vibrancy in our time together because the life of God was flowing. People sang, prayed and spoke out what the Spirit was showing them. We were all encouraged, challenged and parted ways with a deep, shared sense of being on the right track with God. This reality of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding the Body of Christ when we come together is central to my family's experience. It has been so for about 5 years now. Our Father wants this for all of us, and we want to share this journey with other people here in Oklahoma City or in other cities. The Livewick Media site has a Resources page with some great house/simple church sites and books listed if your are interested. Ever onward, Steve

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 1 Minute Read Series: Flip It

2Cor. 6:1    As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.

1Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

God’s grace is his power made available to us. How can that be in vain? When we don’t work with him, we hinder the flow of his power in our lives.

Think of someone sitting in a dark room. You ask why they don’t flip the switch and turn on the light. What if they insisted that it was arrogant to think they could do anything about their situation. You tell them that by flipping the switch, they can have light. They insist that it is the power company that is awesome and, well, powerful. True, very true. Yet they sit in the dark. Sound foolish? Silly? People do this all the time when they point to the majesty and power of God, yet sit in spiritual darkness all because they refuse to think, believe and do what God says. They refuse to flip the switch.

The point: Instead of debating the importance of the power company, the switch or the one who flips the switch, why not acknowledge that all play their role and without all of them, you sit in the dark. With all of them, you have light.

Kingdom reality: God’s power works through us as we “flip the switch”, or make the choice to align with his ways... to think, believe and do according to his Kingdom principles. Usually, he is waiting on us to hear, to see... to move... to simply follow Jesus.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Journey to Simplicity

While we all have our own specific journey, the markers on the path from Institutional Church to "simply follow Jesus" are remarkably similar.

1) After much thought, prayer and soul-searching, disconnecting from the IC (i.e. not attending church events anymore).

2) Uneasy freedom (like a cat easing out into the yard) becomes ecstatic freedom (2 year old escaping from the bathtub). No manmade constraints!

3) After the freedom in #2 turns to isolation we yearn to connect with others in His body... but only in a simple/organic/non-heirarchical way.

4) The quest for others who are like-minded begins. This can take a long time.

5) You find others, proceed with caution, acknowledge that we will never agree on every little issue and that how we interact is critical as we seek truth together.

To simply follow Jesus, right here, right now, together... that's the heart-cry for me, and for more and more folks I meet. How we relate to each other is of critical importance... more important than us getting all our theology right to begin with :-)

I would offer the following as a place to start. http://livewickmedia.com/simply-follow.html

Ever onward.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Forget the farce of trying to be a blank slate. Not happening. We have expectations, and we always will.

So, when we interact, we should be up front about expectations.

Waiting for others to share theirs first results in a lot of staring and little talking. We should help ourselves - and others - by being willing to share our expectations and hear what others have to say about them.

Are they reasonable?
Are they fair?
Are they consistent with Scripture?

A friend recently shared the difference between a peacekeeper and a peacemaker. Peacekeepers want peace at any cost... so any disagreement or conflict is contrary to their purpose. This results in staying in the shallow end of relationships. A peacemaker will help people on different sides of a conflict understand each others’ point of view, and find biblical common ground to build on. The peacemaker also recognizes that there will never be resolution of everything, so there will always be some disagreement among folks who leave the shallow end and go out deeper in relationships. Together, we can go deeper in Christ, and with each other, without combat.

Attention more mature disciples of Jesus: this is a key area of responsibility and opportunity for you! As “parents” in the family of God, you must model the grace of God in action when differences emerge between people. We never sacrifice truth to appease egos, but we don’t light sincere questioners on fire either. We seek truth above all, while maintaining mutual respect for each other. Elders, create a safe environment for people to ask questions, to seek answers... to learn and grow as they follow Jesus.

The question is, what are your expectations of others? Of yourself? Are you willing to be the imperfect example as you simply follow Jesus with others today?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kingdom Principles: Listening to the Spirit Together

The reality is that God wants ongoing communication with us, in our spirits. Yes, anything the Spirit speaks to/shows us will be in line with the Bible. But we must know that God wants to lead us and communicate to us right here and now in a variety of ways. 

Listening requires humility and a concern for others. 

Have you known people who talk over others? They stop listening and while the other person is still speaking they talk louder than them at the same time. This is disrespectful and sends the message "What you are saying does not matter."

I usually have an idea for date nights with my wife. But, unless I  want to surprise her I ask what she would like to do. 

When we come together should we talk over God? We can't surprise him with our plan for the gathering. So, should we not ask him what he wants to do? 

The bottom line is when we come together we bring the Lord with us. It seems good and right to yield our thoughts and plans to him on the front end of a gathering because of humility and respect. I dont mean that we need a hollow form or ritual "opening prayer" because, well, that's just what we do. I mean that sincerely acknowledging Him as our head is good, right and has a way of bringing us into alignment with his purposes. 

Also, sitting in silence and just listening to the Spirit is a discipline worth learning. He may share things with you that you are not to share with the group. He may give you a song, or a phrase to share with everyone. He may give you a vision, a prophecy or a tongue with interpretation, or a gift of healing may operate in you to benefit another. 

Simply put: true fellowship, true Kingdom living is boldly and clearly centered on Jesus. HE is our life, our reason for being... And for being together.