Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stop Posing. Secrets are Draining.

Living authentically is something I would guess most of us long for.  But the truth is that many people don't! The fact of the matter is that many people live with secrets. There is often a valley between who we portray ourselves to be and who we really are when no one else is looking. Sadly, sometimes it is more of a canyon than a valley


Speaking from experience, secrets are draining!  They zap the life out of you. They take the wind out of your sails. Maintaining a false image of the real you takes a lot of energy and focus...becuase you don't want to slip up and give a sneak peak of the real version of YOU. 


Look, I want to share something with you and I hope you hear the heart in it....


The more authentically you live, the more energy and life you will have inside your heart. I have found that the more I live out of the real core of who I am and not the fake me I want everyone to see, the following things happen: 

  1. Relationships stop consuming as much energy and start producing it.
  2. My conscience feels clean, so my eyes can look clearly ahead. 
  3. My sense of security goes up as I realize how much Jesus loves me...the real crap and all. 


Can I encourage you to look honestly at yourself.  Do you have multiple versions of yourself to keep up with?  The "you" you want others to see and the "real you"? Or are you living whole...with integrity? I really believe that the more you close the gap between the public and private YOU and the more you renounce secret and shameful ways, the more God will blow the roof off of your life and use you for the Kingdom. 


Keep real! Don't pose. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Obedience to Jesus = Presence of Jesus

Obedience to Jesus is a theme that has been capturing my heart these days.  I wrote about it here


Obviously, John 14 and 15 take the cake when it comes to Jesus repaeting himself about this obedience thing. Watch this:


14:15- If you love me, keep my commands.

14:21- Whoever keeps my commands loves me.

14:23- Anyone who loves me will obey me.

14:24- Anyone who does not love me will not obey me.

14:31- I do exactly what the Father has commanded.

15:10- If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love.

15:14- You are my friends if you do what I command.

15:17- This is my command: Love each other. 


So, things are pretty obvious.  The print in my Bible for all these verses is in the color red.  Jesus was speaking.  And he was clear in his desire for our obedience.  This is how we actually love him...obey him.  


But, check this out.  I never noticed this until recently.  Not only does our obedience seem to communciate and prove our love for God, but it seems to me that our obedience also welcomes his presence and nearness.  Watch this:


14:1-4- Don't worry about anything or get afraid.  I am preparing a place where we will be together! Presence. 

14: 5-14- I am the way to the Father.  Relax.  If you are in me, you are in Him and have access to Him. Chill. Presence. 

14:15-21- As you obey me, I will send an advocate, the Holy Spirit who will always be with you.  As you obey, I will be with you-- I will never leave you as an orphan. Presence. 

14:23-27- I will make my home in your and give you major peace. Presence. 

John 15- Total connection...branch to the vine. Packed with presence and closeness. 


Then, listen to the famous great commision in Matthew 28: "Go into all the world, make disciples, baptize people and teach them to OBEY and I WILL BE WITH YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH!"


Obedience = Presence. 


Seems to me that Jesus loves to BE where He is OBEYED! 


Your thoughts?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Truth is a Person

While watching the film "Furious Love" a Pastor/Missionary from the Netherlands named Jan Sjoerd Pasterkamp uttered somthing in about one miute that I thought was strikingly profound.  What Greg Boyd says leading into it aint too shabby either.  I went back and grabbed it on video.  Check this out...

IMG_3916.MOV Watch on Posterous

10 Second Rule

What does it actually mean to follow Jesus? Simply put, it means to believe Jesus' message and obey it. So, why is it we don't obey more often than we do?


Years ago I noticed that during the course of my day I'd have an impression from the Holy Spirit to do something I was reasonably certain Jesus wanted me to do. It would be an impression to either do something good for someone or refrain from doing something wrong. It might be to stop for a car broken down on the highway, speak to a co-worker about Jesus, or simply turn off my computer before I ended up at a site where no Christian should go.


Almost simultaneously I would sense another voice whispering to discourage me. "You don't have time to do that – helping that person could get messy – you can't afford to help them right now – stand up for your rights – you deserve it – it's okay, once more won't kill you.


If I listened to this other voice and thought about it long enough, the moment for obedience would pass, often to my relief. It finally dawned on me that by procrastinating on being obedient to Jesus, I was unintentionally teaching myself the habit of disobedience.


Why is that? Why did I hesitate? Because I knew that most decisions to obey would cost me something...time, money, embarrassment, inconvenience, or a momentary pleasure denied. By choosing not to obey Jesus, I avoided all of that! Without hardly thinking about it, I automatically counted the cost and the price seemed too high for me.


Then I learned a simple rule that could break that cycle: The 10 Second Rule. Just do the next thing you are reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do, and do it immediately before you change your mind!


Why did I hesitate? Because I knew that most decisions to obey would cost me something – time, money, embarrassment, inconvenience, or a momentary pleasure denied. By choosing not to obey Jesus, I avoided all of that! So the reason I wasn’t more obedient to God? Without hardly thinking about it, I automatically counted the cost and the price seemed too high for me.


Then, I learned a simple rule that could break that cycle: The 10 Second Rule: “Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do.” (and do it immediately before you change your mind!)


“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” -John 14:15


So, I intentionally committed myself to become more sensitive to the leading of God, and to practicing simple, spontaneous obedience. As I did, I began developing the habit of obedience. I actually began looking for ways to follow Jesus daily, even hourly. As a result, obedience became an adventure rather than a duty.


Christian experience over the centuries has proven that godly character is most powerfully shaped by the cumulative effect of thousands of small obedient decisions. And these small decisions prepare us to be even more faithful when major, crisis-of-faith challenges come our way.


Here is the true power behind The 10 Second Rule: Even though every Christian knows we can never obey Jesus perfectly all of the time, that’s no longer an excuse. We do know this: we can do the next thing we’re reasonably certain Jesus wants us to do. This is obedience you can do – obedience you’ll want to do!


This idea has been devloped by Clare De Graaf and also built into a book by the same title.  Link to it here. I have not actually read the book yet.  I plan on it. The very idea as shared above impacts me deeply in and of itself. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If it weren't for Jesus!

I can say with confidence that I love Jesus Christ more today than I ever have in my life! I love his heart.  I love his dreams.  I love his character.  I love his compassion.  I love his grace.  I love his mercy. I love his presence. I love his mission.


Many time in my life, I have heard people say Jesus saved them out of a life of destruction and sin. I can't really say that Jesus saved me OUT of that, but I can say that he saved me FROM it!


I have been trying to get to know me.  And the more I get to know me, the more I realize who I am and what I would be capable of if it were not for Jesus.


  • If it weren't for Jesus, I would be materialistic and greedy owning every new thing I could get my hands on showing no self control in getting it.
  • If it weren't for Jesus, I would be run over top of a lot of people to get ahead.
  • If it weren't for Jesus, I would be deeply insensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
  • If it weren't for Jesus, I would be sexually promiscuous with plenty of women, not the lover of one. 
  • If it weren't for Jesus, I would have never scored the godly GEM of a bride that I did.
  • If it weren't for Jesus, I would be addicted to alot more than just coffee, Apple products and reading. I would abuse tobacco, drugs and maybe alcohol. 
  • If it weren't for Jesus, my aspirations would be centered on money, pride and position...all things that pass away. I would have wasted my life on a bunch of meaningless junk.
  • If it weren't for Jesus, I would be leading a whole lot of people! But, as my Mom always told me, "Thank God that you are taking people to heaven with you.  If not, you sure would be taking a lot of people to hell with you!" I think if it weren't for Jesus, I would be leading and influencing alot of people down the wrond road!


But, because of is an entirley different story.  And today, I just have to tell you how thankful I am that he has saved me and how very much I love him!


He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. -Psalm 40:2

Monday, October 17, 2011

5 Gifts...which one are you?

I have been reflecting on Ephesians 4 lately. In verses 11-13 we see Paul explain that GOD gives out gifts to people for the building up of the body of Christ.  I love this passage. There are whole books written on it.  I blogged about it HERE. Let me tell you what I am seeing in it now.  Something simple. 


I think we all have one of these gifts.  In fact, I tend to think that most of us have a primary operating gift and a secondary or supporting one. (And Apostles tend to know how turn any one of them on in spurts, but are excellent at none.)


My description/understanding of each:

  • Apostle: Visionary leader. Pioneer willing to move ahead and take risks. Often the first one to speak up and the first one to stand up.  They are usually the radical type. They will be the first one into the island and the first one out. They are kinda like the engine---or the front bumper of the car. May get themsleves in trouble easier than others. Many Apostles are Pioneers.  Some run over top of people.  But they inspire us!  They call us ahead.  They see the mountain and are ready to take it on! Usually very engaging and captures the attention of the room he/she is in. 
  • Prophet: Sees God. Hears God. Speaks up for God. Tuned in to the spirit more than most of us. Sensitive to God's voice.  And then shares what they sense.  Often see pictures, visions, and dreams.  Maybe these folk are a tad like the instrument panel in the car and tell you what's up, what's ahead--often stuff you did not see at all. May scare people at times by being too whack. But they carry a deep spirituality that we all love and are inspired by.
  • Evangelist: Madly in love with Jesus, won't stay quiet about it and must tell everyone they can.  Carries heavy burden for lost people. Mouthpeice.  Like the horn of the car, perhaps. Tend to get carried away too quick and leave with too much undone. Need to care about discipling too, though they forget it sometimes. Fired up for Jesus. Usually have a story to tell about how much they love the Lord. Stand out and speak up. Usually emotionally charged--and it's good--it's refreshing!
  • Teacher: Love to correctly talk.  They want to share, but it needs to be accurate stuff. They are not a fan of some of the other loud mouth gifts that have no idea what they are saying.  These poeple love when they can help people "get it"!  They long for truth and want to share it.  They can tend to be cautious and thinkers. Maybe like the GPS in your car. Play a guiding role. Offer a voice of wisdom that is deeply needed.  Keep other gifts out of trouble if the other gifts will listen.
  • Pastor: Lover of people.  Oozing compassion.  Tuned into YOU and the details of your life. Good memory. Deep lover.  Shepherd.  Can care too much and become entangled. They are really into the relationships being formed inside the car. Side note: Most of the Pastors you have met are not Pastors according to this definition. My heart breaks for them as they are forced to be someone they are not for a paycheck. 

We need all of these gifts in the church.  For some crazy reason, we do not encourage these ministries to be actively and evenly carried out in the church. Please reread the last sentence. I know what I am...I think.  Who are you?  Do you see yourself here?  What do you think of this stuff?  Teach me something.  Comment or email me. Interested in what you know. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

African Creed

Today, my friend Brandon shared with me a section in a book he is reading.  It WOW'd me!! The book: Christianity Rediscovered by Vincent Donovan. The section was entitled: "The African Creed." It was a Masai version of the Nicene creed written by African Missionaries. Check this out:

We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created man and wanted man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the earth. We have known this High God in darkness, and now we know him in the light. God promised in the book of his word, the bible, that he would save the world and all the nations and tribes. 

We believe that God made good his promise by sending his son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left his home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He lay buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from the grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord. 

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through him. All who have faith in him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love and share the bread together in love, to announce the good news to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A 5 Minute Video of a 13 Day Journey

Watch this.  It captures at least a fraction of the trip we just completed.  What an expedition in mission and discipleship for us all. Enjoy. I wish I could tell you all of the stories behind these images.


Mozambique Journey 2011 from Noah Kaye on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Update from Swaziland


I have terrible internet, so while I've got a (weak) signal let me update you. I'll just give some short statement highlights.

Our final days in Mozambique were relationally and spiritually significant.

John's Dad was begging us to please leave this God at his house. He said he'd never seen a God like this. We prayed Luke 10:6 over him as we departed. As he received Christ's peace, it remained there.

We had a total of three run-ins with the corrupt Mozambican police. We almost lost our vehicle once to them. The final time just short of the border we had quite an incident where I stood up for what I believed was right. God rescued us. Period! Bottom line: they are highly corrupt and want to rob foreigners blind.

We received a warm welcome in Manzini, Swaziland. Swaziland only contains one million people. Over 30% of the country is HIV positive-- highest of anywhere on the planet. Though, the country is 99% Christian. Go figure that one out. I've got one hint for you: under-discipled perhaps?!

Today, we traveled to a very poor and rural area to encourage a fairly new church in the faith. This church was started last year as a result of Darrel Hostetter's Luke 10 journey. Darrel is a gracious and pastoral EMM staff member whose family spent 12 years ministering here in Swaziland. He's the reason we are here today. He asked me to visit while we were ministering in Southern Africa.

This morning, I taught and John and Ernest testified of God's saving power in their lives. These guys are waking in passion and anointing. They make me want that new believer passion again.

Tomorrow we are leading 2- three hour seminars/gatherings on simple church planting--Discipling values and Biblical church values. The rest of the guys will assist with some of the teaching. Excited about what lies ahead tomorrow.

We are 24 hours drive from Cape Town now. We plan to depart early Tuesday morning, sleep on the road Tuesday night and be back with our families Wednesday.

Please pray for me. I really, really miss Tricia and Davis!!! And pray for them too. I think they miss me as well.

Pray for the rest of our journey--ministry, conversations, safety. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.

Much love!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Story on Forgiveness


Yesterday, while traveling in Mozambique from Chibuto to Chokwe, we passed something strange. Along the side of the road there were four boys gathered around a fifth boy. As we passed, one of the guys noticed what was happening. One of the boys being punished and humiliated. He was being forced to squat rapidly and continuously.

At their demand, I stopped the car rather quickly and driving into the dirt, made a u-turn returning to the scene of the incident. John, Ernest and I got out of the truck and asked what was going on. Indeed, the boy was being punished. The cause: he let the cows eat too much feed. Since they were gonna get punished too, he was gonna get double. Here's the sad part. The boy was weeping as he squatted. The desperate kind of cry.

John immediately began advocating for mercy for the boy. "Think of the times you've been forgiven. It's clear that he gets the point now. Please forgive him and let him go." The ring leader stormed off into the field rather upset at our intervention. Then, within 30 seconds something happened in him. We think the Holy Spirit spoke to him. He turned around, came back and forgave the boy.

The pastoral love and care in John's eyes and heart as he fought for the boy to receive grace was moving. He held this boy like a loving Father and stood up for his release. One of the most powerful things I've seen in a long time.

I'm beginning to believe that there is almost nothing on earth more beautiful than making disciples who faithfully follow the Holy Spirit...and getting to watch them do it.

This moment was like a Luke 10 journey meets the story of the Good Samaritan. We could have just kept driving...but God spoke others plans and these brothers listened.

(Look closely at this picture- it's worth a thousand words.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Update from Mozambique

We've been here in Mozambique for two days now. I wanted to quickly share a few updates. (Posting this blog from my phone which is the only internet I can access at this please pardon errors.)

It's been a precious time so far. Staying with locals in their home is a far, far different experience than meeting with them in the day and heading back to your hotel at night. Far different and far more meaningful and impacting. The food and welcome have been rich. The concrete floor has felt perfect thanks to the little mat I brought. The outdoor bathing has actually been very refreshing and freeing! Never been naked outside before. ;) I'm just thankful there's a wall to stand behind or these people would've been scarred for life. Selecting and killing two chickens last night was fun. 2 hours later we were eating them. (See pic of Mr. Machavo about to slice the poor thing.)

Yesterday, we held an unannounced DBS in the yard of John's Dad. 20 people attended. Mostly young men 18-30 years old curious about why we were here. It ended up being very special as John, Ernest and Shawn shared with their childhood friends how Jesus had captured their hearts in the last six months.

After this, we attended a local church in this village. It was a traditional African experience. They asked us to share greeting. I did. Then, John, who was interpreting for me followed after me. He stood there in front of hundreds of people that watched him grow up and boldly proclaimed his love for Jesus and the church. Then it happened. John spoke too boldly. With passion, he told the church that Jesus does not require that people come to him with money and certain behaviors or clothing. Rather, he accepts people and loves them as they are and then uses the Holy Spirit to grow them. He declared that the church needs to do the same. At that moment, the Pastor walks up and whispers in his ear. John concludes his sharing within 15 seconds. I was so proud of him and the courage he had. He didn't mean to offend and has had a sweet heart about the incident. We've encouraged him and given it to the Lord. Our job is to be sure that we never begin to think we are better and have it all figured out.

Tomorrow, we pack up and travel another 300km north in to Mozambique to visit more family and friends of Shawn and Ernest. Pray we would be a blessing. Pray especially for wisdom for Shawn as he approaches his Muslim family to share about his new and radical love for Jesus Christ.

I smell the fresh fish on the fire even as I type this. So, I better tune back in so I don't miss out. Thank you for your partnership and prayer for our journey.

Love you,