vision

Everyone has dreams. Even those that are told they are not allowed to dream…secretly, they have dreams for themselves.

What I love about a dream is the amount of passion that is behind it. Whether you are driven by love, soul or God…the passion that can ignite a dream to fulfillment is beautiful and sometimes intoxicating…even magnetic.

For most, that dream turns into a vision for the future…a preferred future. For others, it is a calling by God to be something or someone for Him.

In that vision, what is your heart most longing for?

If you hang around me long enough you’ll hear a couple different things…at least I hope you do, because it feels like I have myself on an auto loop repeating everything over and over. *Yes, I know I get annoying.*

Maybe there should be a test for my conversations. The first question will be ‘Please circle the words that you heard the most in our conversation: God’s Kingdom, mission, Kingdom work, iced tea, Isaiah 58, Acts 1:8, coffee, Duke basketball…’ The list could go on, but the point is what are you talking about and what do others hear? How is your vision for you or your surroundings being articulated to those around you?

My calling is to live sent. Be the church. Be a missionary in a lot of different contexts. For me specifically that means discerning God’s will, going where he leads and pulling others along for the ride. This also means…all of my vision folds into living sent and guiding others through those steps.

That creates problems when you run across people who don’t speak your same language or understand how a calling looks and feels. For them…that vision is ugly, uncomfortable, scary and confusing.

Whereas, what you see is beautiful…enticing…fulfilling…adventurous…

Once you capture vision, you get the opportunity to make choices based on that end game. At times those choices will be hard, but because it feeds the vision, you have reasoning to point to while deciding. Could make life decisions easier…

Because when your life falls under a vision everything points back to that one dream with crystal clarity. But if you lack vision…what direction are you really going in? What are you drawing others to? Where is your passion? How do others see your heart?

Frosty Vision

And it’s not always the vision for your life…sometimes it is a vision for those around you. I truly hope that the things I am a part of, the people I meet and those who actually listen to what comes out of my mouth, understand that I believe that all of us are called to live a life of sentness. That they will see mission isn’t a scary thing…or something else to add on to everything else. That mission is about community and being in relationships with others. That mission is a shift in the way you see the world…your family…your church. That they have a mission impulse that was embedded in them from creation.


This morning when I got in my car to come to church…there was frost on the window. Normally, an annoying thing, but this morning I found it as a thing of beauty. There were several ways to look at it…of course, annoying. But there were four different layers. The frost on the window, the dirty window, the tree behind the frosty window and the sun shining through it all.

Vision is a lot like that window. You can focus on what is right in front of you…or you can focus on the dirty aspects of your life. You can focus on what comes next. Or you can ultimately focus on what is shining through it all.

Here’s to being able to point back to radically living for God and finding vision, even when the frost is annoying.

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the older the better

I do a lot of reading. A lot. However, right now, my book list is longer than time I have to read.

Last week I got incredibly giddy because a professor of mission I adore was finally on Twitter. He tweeted: ‘Only when we cheerfully and faithfully bear the burden of sorrow, anxiety and pain in ministry, can we boldly ask others to follow – Newbigin’.

Read that again…

I asked Michael Frost where that Newbigin quote came from, and he told me ‘The Good Shepherd.’ Since I’ve wanted to read Newbigin anyway…I ordered it.

It came today, and on the back cover it says $2.95. That’s not what I paid for it…but it led me to the copy right date that was 34 years ago.

I love how God moves us closer to his intent. It is different for everyone, but it has been going on since the beginning of time. Frost talks a lot about the universal reign of God. And Newbigin has a lot of Kingdom talk going on…where could I possibly go wrong?

What I love is that with all of the books out there right now about mission this and mission that…I opened a book 34 years old and got excited about what was in the pages. As I flipped through the book today I found this…

“The ministry of the church as a whole should be manifestly and explicitly both a ministry of love and service and compassion, and also a ministry of proclamation and enlistment – the proclamation of the coming reign of God in Jesus, and the enlistment of men for the service of that reign.”

Can I get an ‘Amen’? The two are not separate…at some point you are going to have to say something. Even walking alongside someone and participating in a ministry of presence…at some point you are going to have to point to the Kingdom of God verbally.

I actually hate that part…my words get very jumbled, and as I think ahead…I get mixed up.

But…

It is in the moments that I acknowledge God’s presence and let him use my mouth, in the moments I don’t remember all I said…those words are pretty good, I think…

And it’s not quoting scripture I spent months memorizing. I’ve never been a good memorizer. It is about knowing what you believe in, and why you believe it. What made you choose Christ in the beginning? Why do you still choose him in a culture that says there are a million ‘gods,’ not just a God?

I think my submerging into ‘sent’ verses, combined with everything I’ve been reading, truly changed the base of my mission platform. I work toward the Kingdom of God returning to earth…because this is not what God intended for us. He didn’t intend for us to cry. He didn’t intend for us to suffer. Or watch friends die from disease…

He didn’t even intend for us to ‘get it’ all of the time…

“We cannot abandon our conviction that God’s reign is embodied in the person of Jesus, and that it is his dying and rising along which can make sense out of this world in which good and evil are so tangled together. We can commend that conviction to others only as we are willing to do as Jesus did – to take the form of a servant. When Jesus has finished all of his teaching about the Kingdom of God, and when his disciples had still not ‘seen’ it, he did one thing which was the final and irreplaceable manifesting of what that Kingdom is: he stooped down and washed their feet. It is when the Church is in that position that our message of the Kingdom will be credible.”

I serve a Savior who lived on earth, taught of the Kingdom, served those around him, then died…and rose again. Now that’s an awesome story to share with a friend…

(And, I only read 2 chapters!)