Adventure Makers, Gospel, life making, The Mucky Stuff, The Plans He Has for You

Let Down Your Nets

He does not call us to the easy, you and me. He never promised it even once. Put out into the deep, He says. Put out into the deep, let down your nets for a catch.  No, He does not call us to the easy. But neither does He call us to the small. His desire for us is to have a bountiful catch. More so than I could ever want for myself. More so than you could ever imagine for yours. But the call requires the necessity of the deep. And so we must, in order to have gain, reach deep into deep. We must go into the unknown, the unseen, the murky, and reach down for a deep, deep catch.

He is calling me to deeper waters. That I know. He spoke those words over me two months ago. He did not promise to tell me the name of those waters, or how far I would go. But He did promise not to leave me or forsake me in those waters. And now I am here. Knee deep, wanting to go farther, and yet, nervous. Nervous because I do not know if I have the faith or the trust to walk into the murky. Nervous because I know that no matter the outcome, it will be hard, and I do not feel strong. Nervous because I do not have a finish line in sight, and I don’t know how much endurance I can muster.

I never thought I would be back here. I never thought I would be called to this place again. This place of hurt and pain. And it needs no name, because we each call it something different. But we all know that place. That place that needles at our side. That place that keeps us awake through the longest night. That place that brings tears over and over, deep sighs, and long frustrations. That place that makes us ask, “why” in a multitude of groans. Yes, we all know that place.  

And we don’t always want to go. And we certainly would never walk into those waters if we saw what was to come. And yet He calls us. He calls to you and He calls to me. Soft and full, He calls us. He calls us forward into waters we would not go into otherwise.

And that call requires the necessity of the deep. It is required, it is mandated.  We must, in order to have gain, reach into the deep. For there is no gain in the shallow. There is no adventure in the shallow. There isn’t even room to store in the shallow. No, for by its very definition gain must require depths. And that is what He wants for us: Gain.  Gain so much farther out of my scope of imagination than I am capable of. Gain so far from the realm I deem important. Gain that is ever inexplicably more. Gain that refreshes and replenishes what that enemy sin took from us. Yes, His desire for us is a bountiful catch. An abundant catch. I came that they may have life and have it abundant. And in the deepest places of your heart you know, that it is your desire as well. And in the deepest places of your heart, you hear the whispers for more. And you wake up with the ache of a soul that longs for more. And you walk through days with a soul that lunges towards the hope for more.  And as the sun sets into night, so does your gaze onto the more that is to come. In the deepest places of your heart, you hear the whispers for more. Because we were made for that catch. We were created to know the bountiful.

But to know that catch, to understand what it truly means, we must go to places we have never been before. We must reach down into the deep. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls. Your waves have rolled over me.

No, I don’t want to go. It may not be the inspirational answer, and it may not be the christian answer, but I do not want to go. Because it is different, and it is scary, and it is dark. It is a place I have never been to before. And it is a place in which I must give up everything. But when we go to the deep, it is there and only there that we find life abundant. And when we go to the deep it is there and only there that our hearts no longer whisper for more. And when we go to the deep it is there that we find our catch.

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon,”Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as you say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;”

We do not just find our catch, we find abundant catch. We find a catch that fills us. We find catch that spills over into the lives of others, and fills them as well. And we are seized with amazement at the One before us, the One who lead us to that catch.
No, He does not call us to the easy, you and me. And He never promised he would. But there is more to experience than the easy. There is adventure. There is a love story. There is life. You need only to put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.

John 10:10| Psalm  42:7| Luke 5: 4-9

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A New Day, Adventure Makers, The Plans He Has for You

Breath

I sat in my car on one of those evenings that was a mesh of late summer and early fall. Hand on the ignition I looked up just before starting the car. And that was as far as I could get before letting the sunset take me away. I looked up to a fluffy sky.  I sat in my car and stared as cool blues and warm oranges floated into a stuff similar to grandmas whip cream and jello salad. Colors melted into a sunset as clouds smeared and puffed. It was beautiful. So beautiful it took my breath away and my thoughts with it. I remember as I sat there watching those perfect clouds. Clouds so gauzy they looked as though they had been painted on. Clouds so perfect and still they deserved an audience, a crowd, anyone to sit and see the perfect, frozen scene that streaked across a Tennessee sky. And it was only after giving that sky what it so rightly deserved that I realized the ballet that was before me. Because those clouds were anything but still. There was no frozen scene in front of me. But rather one of constant change and movement. Those perfectly painted clouds, the ones that should have been on canvas rather than sky, those clouds were moving, dancing before me in pirouettes and rond de jambes.  And perhaps to some it was barely movement, perhaps to some it was a crawl. But even the slowest movement is still movement.

And I sit here now, in a coffee shop on a cold, windy Tuesday and I think back to that day. That jello salad day. I sit here now and I think of those clouds. And I wonder if they felt still. If they felt stagnant. Did they know where they were headed? Did they know they were moving? Did they know there was life, despite the appearance of it all? I sit here now and I wonder, did they feel like me? Because I feel still. And I feel stagnant. And I feel stuck. Stuck on a canvas I never wanted to be on, framed into a pretty picture that isn’t so pretty after all. And truth is, I want a different picture. I want to feel life. I want to move. I want to move light years ahead of where I am now. Truth is, I don’t so much like where I am in this picture I’ve been given. And so I sit here in this coffee shop and I think about those clouds, and I wonder. I wonder if those clouds knew they were dancing. And I wonder. I wonder if those clouds knew they were beautiful. Even in the stillness, no, because of the stillness, did they know how beautiful they were? Did they know that they were stunning. Did they know they could capture the attention of one girl at first glance. Drop her jaw from its hinges and her keys from the ignition. Did they know? Do you know?

Because we, we are like the clouds. And we move. Sometimes so fast we can’t even keep our heads up. And other times so slow we can’t decipher if distance has even been made. But we are moving. We are not stuck. And we are not still. And no matter how stagnant we may feel, we are moving. In an ever present fluid line we move forward. And it is in no effort of our own. And it is not because of anything we do or do not do. And it is not something we can accelerate or stop. Because we do not move of our own volition. We move because of Him. He moves us. Blows us forward with each breath, with His breath. And He breathes into us the breath of life. Into our lungs. Into our soul.  He speaks into our life, and breathes into our soul.

Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.

We move, and we move forward and we live by the very breath of God. And just like He blows breath on those clouds, He blows breath on us. And we move. And perhaps there are days that you feel time blurs before you. And perhaps your heart can’t take another beat of measure. Perhaps you think it’s too fast, and you must slow down. Or perhaps you feel stuck. Perhaps you are tired of the same scenery and the same picture. Perhaps you feel that in your heart of hearts you cannot take another day in the same spot. And perhaps no matter your speed, your heart is overwhelmed. And this world, whether fast or slow, is too much. And perhaps. And perhaps. And perhaps.

But take heart. For He has overcome the world. And your story, and your movement and your speed, it is not by chance. And it is not forgotten. And it is not without purpose. But it is beautiful. And it is stunning. And it is bringing forth life.

You are not forgotten. And just like those clouds on that jello salad day, you have an audience. For He sees you. Dancing into your destiny, He sees you. Causing breath to enter you, He sees you. Watching as you come to life, He sees you.  He sees purposed movement. He sees a beautiful awakening. He sees life. He sees life abundant. So take heart beloved. Feel His breath and come alive. 

 

|Ezekiel 37:5-6| John 16:33|

 

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Adventure Makers, Healing From the Inside Out, life making

Constant Humanity

I don’t get being human. I don’t get emotions and chemicals and spirit and soul and mind and thoughts and feelings and screw ups and get rights. The only thing I get about being human is that it is hard.

It is hard.

Trials come and temptations go and sometimes we get it right but most times we don’t. How many times have I asked myself when I would finally get it right? How many times have I longed for more years on my resume of life. Years that would give me more experience. More maturity. More understanding. More knowing the right move to take. But humanity is never an easy question. It is not an arrival.  We don’t get to the right place by chance, or years, or any other accomplishment. After all, how can we. We are not the remedy.

We are not the remedy. I am not the remedy. I want so much to be. I want so much to get things right. How many times do I turn around to see that once again I have fallen. I made the wrong choice. I fell into the wrong action. Or rather, I walked deliberately into the wrong action. I am not the remedy. And this sin, this sin that entered into my humanity, it is the disease.

I remember the day that my doctors told me there was no other medicine to take. I remember the day they told me I had taken them all. In a world full of instant gratification and never ending choices, I was an exception. This disease was an exception.

“What do you mean I’ve taken them all?”

“What do you mean there aren’t any other options?”

It didn’t seem possible. Not in this culture of the world is my oyster. This world full of never ending possibilities and full life adventures. In a culture that says you can never have enough, that there is always another way, it is hard to accept the word no.

“There is nothing else we can do for you.”

The end of the rope had been met. There were no more options. No more remedies.

And how often does humanity feel the same. We strive and struggle, seeking options and opportunities that we never really know if we are going to meet. We strive and struggle because we think we are the remedy. We are the better. We are the hero. But we are not the remedy. We are not the better.  We are not the hero.

He is our only remedy. He is our only better. He is our only hero.

He is the lead in this story. We are not the lead. We are extras, walking back and forth on a stage. But no one comes to the theater to see the extras. They come to see the lead. To see the plot. And we, we are not the plot. These stories of ours, they are not the plot. His love, His death, His sacrifice. His blood, offered to us, changing us, flowing through us. Giving life and power. That is the plot. That is the story. And that is the remedy.

It is not my fixing. My power. It is the power of Him in me.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. For it is the power of God for salvation. For remedy. It is His power in us that brings remedy. For in it, in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; just as it is written, But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

We live by faith. As righteous men we live by faith. We live for the main character. For the plot that changes everything. We live for the gospel, and through it gain power, salvation, remedy.

We do not just pray for revival. We do not just hope for revival. We live for it. We live in it. Through the power of the gospel. Through the power of salvation. Through the power of God. Power living in us. Power flowing through us. Power remedying our ever constant humanity.

|Romans 1:16-17|

 

 

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A New Day, Adventure Makers

Hum Drum Adventure

Sometimes I get caught up in the big and forget to live the day to day. I have longings. Big longings. I want to be a part of a bigger something. I want adventures. I want stories. I want soul stirring, epic thrills. And then I wake up and instead of that I get Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or on and on and on. Day in, day out. And I think, surely I am made for more than this. Surely. Surely there is more on the horizon. Surely there is a better place than this. Surely.

But what if there is not? What if this is what we get? What if this is what we have?

The music plays. The melody comes alive. I hear it. I hear it. Don’t let it get you. Don’t let it get you down. Rhythm strums in my ears, in my mind, in my soul. There is more. And it is here. Do not be fooled. We are not waiting for epic. We are a part of the epic. We are not waiting for adventure. We are a part of the adventure. It is here in this place. It is here in this day. In this sun rise, in this traffic jam, in this coffee shop, in this deadline, in this cubicle, in this minivan, in this waiting. In this conversation, in this quiet, in this loud, in this hum drum, in this busy. It is here. It is in us.

The epic is in us.

The adventure is in us.

The bigger story is in us because He is in us. Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. He is in you. Epic is in you. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by the same Spirit living within you. He is in you. And He will give life. He has given life. Not just breath, He has given life. Soul-stirring, epic thrill-having life. In the Monday. In the Tuesday. In the on and on. In the hum drum. In the busy. In the day in, day out. He gives life. You, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. We are in the Spirit. We have received the Spirit. We have received His power. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses.

The bigger story is in you. You are the holder, the place keeper of epic. Because He is in you. And He is the bigger story. Do not be fooled. Do not let it get you down. That lie. That lie that this is all we have. Because this is not all we have. This is what we have! We are the epic. We are the adventure. In this day. In this deadline. In this waiting. In this dot, dot, dot. It is here.


1 John 4: 4 | Romans 8:11| Romans 8:9 | Acts 1:8

Don’t Let It Get You Down, Johnnyswim. March 2, 2015. Web.

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