The Jesus-Hike.

Gasping for Air & Unprepared.

Geesh. Who’s not with me when it comes to processing a lot these days? So many norms are off track and I can’t consume media without asking questions like:

  1. We’re in a mess. So what can Jesus followers do to unite in mission? Especially when opinions are “mine!” and no longer passed thru the filters of communal & biblical wisdom.
  2. Is our shared purpose in Christ now a divided path?
  3. Is our filter contaminated?

I hope we can commit to a journey of listening to Jesus, learning how to follow Him closely and somehow keep our filters (sometimes called discernment) as clean and as breathable as possible.

— Your Choice —

Remember, you don’t have to read anything I post. It’s your choice.

Some will read my thoughts and call me unstable — true :)
Some will read my thoughts and draw false conclusions — I accept.
Some will read my thoughts and encourage me — appreciate it.

— Hiking —

As we hike the paths of life we enjoy beauties, we encounter seasonal challenges, we mourn at the loss of life, and we navigate treacherous terrain. We experience the terrain as individuals, as families, as nations, and especially as communitis like Chattanooga, digging thru pain, fear and many conversations that provoke healing. But WOW, when we reach certain landmarks we celebrate the beauty and the accomplishment, right? Then, with the blink of an eye, we quickly head on to face the next valley or next hill.

Repeat for life. We never arrive when we live.

— Trouble Hiking Together —

As some have recently read in my FB posts, I’m burdened for re-alignment & renewed-focus on one thing — walking with Christ and being his ambassadors along the way (Stop and Read 2 Corinthians 5:18–21). Specifically, the Western Christian Church is all over the map — me included, I’ll admit it first. I/We are not following together as a body. It sorta reminds me of an ancient group of people in the wilderness… There appears to be a lack of brotherly love. We have countless idols. We are habitual complainers. There is clearly a massive self-serving-non-sacrificial movement among us and even worse, 40% of church-goers are biblically-illiterate (according to Ed Stetzer’s research — CLICK HERE).

For those of you who wonder if I’m on a mission to bully, stir up people or play the facebook game with Christians, wonder no more. I’m not. You can either take my word for it or not. It’s hard for me to swallow an accusation so far from my intentions. However, it does makes me search deeper to see how I can effectively communicate this God-burden I’ve had since high school for disciples of Christ to be ambassadors and for the world to see Him by our love for one another. I may not be a shining example but it’s constantly on my radar. So, I beg to know the answer to this: How can we provoke hard conversations that do NOT divide Christ followers, but DO shine a light on our own corruption (not to be mistaken with the world’s corruption — which you and I were once blinded to as well). I’ve come to accept the reality that I cannot leverage facebook or twiter to convince you of my motives so, I’m attempting to climb hard thru the smoke of assumptions and misperceptions.

— Clogged Air Filters —

If we turn off the screens we’re staring at right now and reflect on our personal actions + the opinions that inform those actions, we might just stop swinging and start listening. We might recognize that the filters of our heart are equally as messy and might even be out-of-alignment with God’s mission for His church…even as a “Christian.” Yes, we are all prone to wander.

Truth be told, we all have a God-given-yet-human-tainted filter that process our opinions and our actions. Filters that are divinely created but terribly clogged with disease & death. Things we’ve picked up from simply existing.. It’s time we (Christian or non-Christian) stop and take a good look at our filter. You may even need to go replace your home air filter if you haven’t this year…do it now…I’m about to lol.

- back to the point -

If you do not believe that these filters were divinely created, OK — I get it — but I do long for you to see Jesus as a beacon of hope and waving you towards a better path…with Him.

If you don’t see your filter as worn, tattered and clogged, we don’t really have anything to else discuss right now on this path. When your’s is clogged, I’ll be close by to help if I can.

— Jesus & Clean Air —

Thankfully, my faith in Jesus assures me that He miraculously un-clogs my filter — for free. The cleaning typically starts when I acknowledge my pride and confess that I have been selfishly allowing things to suffocate me. Then somehow, I guess through the Holy Spirit, I’m drawn towards a Spirit-filled life which has refreshingly clean air and I can think a lot more clearly when I’m in that place. I’m not talking about the Spirit-filled things you see on TV or the things that Christians joke about. Rather, I’m referring to a 24/7 hike where I find:

  1. deep sense of purpose…even in chaos
  2. peace and courage…even in the worst storms
  3. desires to notify you of this Jesus…even when you’re not exactly listening.

Can you imagine a movement of people who would stop, acknowledge our mess, let Him clean the filters and then follow His lead? We might radically reshape culture. I wish this reality was in our grasp but we’re not really walking together, are we? I wish I could somehow rally the troops but I have a hard enough time myself — haha. I have to be picked up & cleaned off often but I assume you do too.

— Undeserved Grace & Grip —

When I think about it — experiencing the undeserved grace and feeling the loving grip as He picks me up and brushes me off — actually draws me closer to Him and I quickly recognize that I was:

Overly-confident but now humbled.
Embarrassed but now embraced.
Filthy but now clean.
Suffocating but now breathing.
Wandering but now following.

Always remember that you’re living not arriving. It will make the hike more bearable & breathable.

Love you all.