Archives for category: truth

“Steh Auf!” – 14.Sept.2014

A demonstration led by Angela Merkel against Anti-Semitism took place a couple of days ago at the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin. There were about 8,000 protestors gathered to show their support and listen to what Mrs. Merkel had to say. However not everyone was there to support the cause. There were some distinct “firecrackers” who had their own motivations of using the Anti-Semitism stage to stir things up by protesting, “Free Palestine” and “No war”. As you can imagine, this caused some very strong conversations. The expression, “Schämt euch!” – Shame on you!, could be heard loudly encircling them.

One particular young Jewish man was very bold in confronting these protestors, exclaiming that it was the wrong stage for flaunting their political/war frustrations, when this was clearly an event to show support against the racist acts towards the Jewish population. It was interesting to observe the change in body language and facial expressions of the pro-Palestinian protestors the more this Jewish man made his point that this wasn’t the time or place for them to raise their voice. He and another opposing man even exchanged phone numbers in order to meet for a beer and talk further about the topic.

Although there were some people who tried to start some commotion, everything remained peaceful.

PD5A2567-Edit

…I recently had a vision for a brother of mine who is across the sea and in the land of Germany, so I decided to pull out my old books, paint, wood stain, brushes, pencils and erasers and go to the drawing table.

Through the duration of working on this piece, a few of the powerfully prophetic lyrics of one of my favorite songs by one of my most-liked artists kept repeating in my mind along with this vision:

when the night comes, 
and you don’t know which way to go 
through the shadowlands, 
and forgotten paths, 
you will find a road  

like an owl you must fly by moonlight with an open eye, 
and use your instinct as a guide, to navigate the ways that lays before you, 
you were born to, take the greatest flight…

—White Owl, by Josh Garrels

35 hours of airports and airplanes… let’s do this! done & done.

offigo

Thailand & Cambodia

Off I go for Thailand and Cambodia…

I will arrive Bangkok, Thailand on the afternoon of the 9th, and continue on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the 12th thru the 23rd.

My purpose in Bangkok is just to explore and experience some of the city, sights and culture.

My purpose in Cambodia is to do photojournalism for a non-profit called Steps of Justice; a justice based organization that partners with local churches, communities, and activists to bring awareness, education and practical steps that help people engage in serving the poor and oppressed of the world. I will be with an international team of about 20 other’s.

My primary focus is to capture photos along subject matter of: human trafficking, poverty, clean water, orphans, education and more. These photos will be used by Steps of Justice for a 30-day prayer and action guide as well as for their marketing purposes.

I would really value prayers for:

safety and protection – of myself, the team I’ll be with and equipment/belongings,
health,
discernment and sharpness,
peace and assurance,
insight and wisdom,
that my hands and eyes would be anointed to see and capture God’s story and His heart…,
and that I would be Spirit filled and led,
that the Lord’s glory, love, truth and healing would triumph and shine through us to every person we encounter.

If you would like to stay updated, I will be posting photos daily on Instagram & FB!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, 
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.—Is. 61:1-3

Here I am Lord, send me —Is. 6:8

lettinggoisloving

A lot of unfathomable change can take place in just one year… in just one day, one hour or even one second. In so many ways I’m not the same person from one year ago, notably in how I relate to others and walk out in relationships. It seems unreal and is crazy to me.

I’ve gained self-revelations that have been profoundly humbling and life-giving, and at the same time have grieved my heart and soul beyond words. If only I had known and seen what I know and see now five or ten years ago… but I cannot dwell upon that wish. Thankfully my Lord and Savior has granted me much grace and mercy with myself as I humbly look in the rear-view mirror and recognize the path of devastation I caused upon myself and others. He has given me so much grace and mercy for myself because I was, at a time, blind and plowing through everything and one around me like a bull in a china shop.

I literally didn’t know any other way.
I was operating with dysfunctional and toxic tools of relating that I was trained with and raised to use.
I was surviving in self-protecting habits formed from childhood trauma.
And I was drowning in a roaring sea of fear and lies.

The truth is, I have never known what love actually looks like or how it rightfully and healthfully operates.

I’m speaking of true love, the love of my Heavenly Father… the love He speaks of in His word and commands me to have for Him, myself and my brothers and sisters. The love that triumphs over and destroys fear. A love that is selfless… and I could go on with a long definitive list.

One year ago marks a pivotal point in my life that I now commemorate. A point where I exploded free from cursed walls that I had exhausted myself and failed continually at getting past. My eyes and heart were blinded by ebony veils that kept me stuck in an unhealthy and vile pattern I detested. Long story short, those veils were miraculously and thankfully removed by my Redeemer, and over the course of a year thus far, my life has been a healing process of being completely stripped bare and learning for the first time what true love is and how to walk out in it. What does being stripped bare look like, you may ask? For me, it was being stripped of all relationships and being hidden quietly with Christ in solitude for nearly a year, so that He could gently open my eyes and heart to one revelation at a time. Hours adding up to days, and days adding up to months of painfully sitting alone and still to be “re-programmed”, while filling up countless buckets with tears. I’ve not wept more in my life than I have these past 12 months.

I believe I have enough words to write a book about the refinement, goodness and truth I’ve gained in 365 days, but to highlight and extend upon one personal revelation out of the many I’ve come full-circle on is…

Letting go is loving. 

Before I share thoughts on this idea, I would like to acknowledge that I don’t have this all figured out – these are my personal revelations up to now. I am daily being enlightened to additional truths of what letting go looks like, and further challenged to continue risking steps forward in doing so.

Letting go has been the theme of my life for three and a half years now, and only recently have I begun to embrace the heart of what it means. It is the single most courageous act of love I am challenged to walk forward in every day of my life. Simultaneously, letting go is the most devastating, painful and seemingly impossible deed I’ve ever been burdened with, yet doing so is radically liberating.

The tighter and longer I hold on, the more I’m vying for control and my will be done, while creating greater heartache for myself and all who are involved. When I openly let go, I am freely able to  give and unconditionally love. There are many scenarios of letting go, but one example to follow this thought is:

 Think of when someone hurt you intentionally or unintentionally. As you hold onto that hurt, bitterness takes root, pride is welcomed and encourages you to judge and avenge yourself, and fear invades and locks you in to withholding love. On the contrary, if you let go of and forgive the wrong, it is a true act of love. It is a humble acknowledgement that we are all human and the one(s) who have hurt us, as well as ourselves, are broken human beings coming together from different walks of life, doing the best we know how with what we’ve been given and trained to use. Letting go in this scenario is a willingness to see beyond ourselves, admit that it’s not about us, erase all debts and expectations and confess that we hurt people too. We need their grace to let go and forgive just as much as they need ours.

Letting go of wrongs incurred upon you from others is one scenario; letting go of lost/ended relationships and of desires, hopes and dreams are two others. There are many detailed scenarios of letting go that I believe (at this point in my revelation) would nest under one of these three.

To let go of a desire, dream or hope does not mean that I stop desiring, dreaming or hoping; it just looks different. It’s difficult to put into words this idea, but desires, dreams and hopes that I’ve let go of, remain alive in my heart, but they are held loosely in the flat palms of my hands pushed upward as far as I can reach towards Heaven. It’s being okay if I don’t see or experience the desire/dream/hope come to fruition in my life on earth. What if God has something beyond my limited capacity to dream that is better than what I believe to be good and desire?

All together letting go is creating room for something new to be birthed. It’s respecting God’s will, in addition to other’s free will. It’s acknowledging that it’s not about me, and that it’s okay to not be in control. It’s radically liberating (to illustrate this point: I exhaust myself when I fight against a current and still end up moving with it in the direction I don’t necessarily want to go. When I let go, my perspective takes a 180º turn off of myself and I’m able to freely move forward, take in the beauty of everything around me and give to others). Letting go is a monumental leap of courage and a sprint of faith and trust towards what is uncomfortably right and true.

So as my story proceeds, I simply take each day one at a time, seeking to be educated, refined and strengthened in true love. May I freely and unconditionally love my God, brothers and sisters with everything in me as I wait patiently for my ultimate desire to be fulfilled – Heaven. Until then, my God alone continues to be enough for me even through letting go of all of my unfulfilled desires, dreams and hopes, lost and broken relationships and woundedness. May His kingdom come and His will (not my own) be done in my life on earth as it is in Heaven. Thank You, Abba Father.

{{psalm: one o’seven}}

“If we continue to carry upon our weary souls the guilt, shame and condemnation of our past sins & faults, or we continually project it upon others for their past sins & faults, then we are believing and voicing that God’s humility, grace, forgiveness, healing and redemption are not possible or enough for both ourselves, and our fellow brothers and sisters.”

—thoughts (truth) stirring in my mind