What’s your life vision? We need one to get through life with some sense of purpose. Living just to eat, just to survive, is not living. Animals do that. God made us in his image as noble creatures with great creative ability. Take a few minutes to write your vision down. This one comes from 24-7 Prayer.

The Vision
So this guy comes up to me and says “what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?” I open my mouth and words come out like this… The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.

You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won. They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport.. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence. They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying. What is the vision ? The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground The whisper of history in the making Foundations shaking Revolutionaries dreaming once again Mystery is scheming in whispers Conspiracy is breathing… This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.

Young people who beat their bodies into submission.

Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter! Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive inside.

On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centres. Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

via Seth Barnes

What’s your life vision? We need one to get through life with some sense of purpose. Living just to eat, just to survive, is not living. Animals do that. God made us in his image as noble creatures with great creative ability. Take a few minutes to write your vision down. This one comes from 24-7 Prayer.

Redefining Radical

I grew up the son of a Pastor, a true shepherd. I grew up honoring my earthly father by learning all I could about God. I could quote scripture and had sound theology. And I really thought that’s all there was to being a Christian. I had lots of knowledge about God, but very little relationship with him. I could sit through my Dad’s best sermon, leave feeling great about myself, and then head out into the world and live a life that didn’t reflect the things that I learned. I was comfortable, comfortable with my life in the world. I enjoyed the things of the world and desired them above all else.

And I think that this defines the modern day church. We know what we should be doing, but desire the things of the world more than the things of God. We want the hottest car, the biggest houses, and the coolest clothes. Not that these things themselves are evil, but desiring them more than God is. We desire the shiny trinkets of this world rather than the beautiful jewels of the Kingdom of God.

We watch the same movies and tv shows as the rest of the world. Our eyes are filled with sex and violence. We listen to the same music as the rest of the world. Our ears are filled with language that curses our God or that would embarrass sailors of previous generations. We allow these types of media to shape our world view, and then wonder why our world seems to be so hopeless.

We fill spare time on Facebook telling the world about our last trip to the grocery store or our dog’s last bowel movement instead of sharing the miracles God has been doing in our lives, or encouraging one another.

We (I’m including myself here) are in LOVE with the WORLD.

We are in LOVE with ourselves, and can not get enough!

But there’s emptiness, there are holes in our hearts that entertainment, alcohol, or women (or men) cannot fill. Sure entertainment might distract us, alcohol may numb the pain, and women will comfort us, but these things will only work for so long. Their effects are not permanent or lasting longer than a blink of an eye. If these are the things you are using to self medicate, it won’t be long before their effect wears off. You’ll need more and more, but the holes are never filled, only made larger.

I’m not saying this to condemn you, but to beg and plead with you to WAKE UP!

My heart’s cry is to be radical, to shake off the scales that this comfortable life has put on my eyes to keep me from seeing my wonderful and loving God in all his glory and splendor. When I say that word, what comes to mind? Do you think of some guy in Time Square with a sign that says “The end is near”, how about a monk, or some fire and brimstone preacher who thinks that you and your dog are going to hell?

What I’m trying to say is that knowledge of God is good, but it will never save you or me. Jesus came so that never again would there have to be an intermediary between God and His people. But still so many of us want our pastors to become this intermediary so that we can go about our lives like Jesus never came. Let the pastor do the praying, let the pastor feed the poor, let the pastor do the evangelism. Let’s break down this barrier we’ve self imposed to save our comfortable lives.

So what is the new definition of radical? To me it is seeking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! Laying down our comfortableness with this world and seeking to be uncomfortable in the Kingdom of God. Seeking to hear God’s voice! Seeking to see God’s face. Seeking to be a sign and a miracle to the people around, your co-workers and friends. Give till it hurts, rest secure in the provision of God. Give to the poor, feed the hungry, get discipled, and begin to disciple.

This isn’t easy; the world has brought us up believing the lie that we are to live for ourselves. Today we need to make the conscious decision to die to ourselves, to stop seeking the “deadly addiction of esteem”. Live the radical life that Jesus called us to. The world has permeated us in ways we are not even aware of, but the Lord can restore us. He can re-kindle the fire in us, to be brighter than ever before. He can do more than heal our hearts; he can (and does) give us brand spanking new ones. He will renew our minds cleansing out the junk we have put in.

Break out of the cultural norms, break out of the Christian norms, and let your heart’s cry be “Come Lord Jesus”. Develop the personal relationship with God that he so desires, love him with all our hearts. Let’s pick up our cross and follow after him.

The Challenge – Change the world!

We live in interesting times. That’s something we all wish for but never quite understand. Mostly because the word interesting is very vague, it can mean fun and exciting and it can also mean weird or strange. I say that because we live in a day and age where at the click of a button I can instantly communicate with millions if not billions. Go back a few years ago and we would have had to buy time on a local television station or a network in order to accomplish that, go back before that and it was radio. And pretty much any time before that reaching millions with any alacrity (quickness) was unheard of. The women and men who worked tirelessly for woman to gain the right to vote, had to travel all around the country speaking, debating, and hand out pamphlets just to get their voices heard. Before that abolishonists  had to do something similar to have their voices heard. They worked for years and years to change the minds of their neighbors and then their countrymen. In order to bring about some of the greatest changes the world has ever seen. Women won the right to vote and the opportunity to be seen as equals. Slavery was abolished. Wars were fought. And it began with a battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

Today we are still faced with bias and racism the battle for freedom still has to be fought for some. As the dream for racial and gender equality inches closer. Our society becomes more and more focused on technology. Lightening fast communitcation now allows us the ability to talk with anyone anywhere at just about any time instantly. We have email, IM, twitter, google, iPhones, and laptops that keep us up to speed with the world around us. News and information is everywhere we look. But the dreams of a utopian society are still a far off.

Why is that?

Why are more people depressed than ever? Why are there more divorces? Why are more people popping pills to keep themselves healthy, alert, and even happy?

Where is the church in all of this? Why has Christianity seemed to have taken a back seat in modern day society? We have hope and joy more abundantly, but yet we become like the chameleon. We try to blend into society. What we want more than anything is to be normal. Even when normal is not looking so hot. Rather than change the world we sit back tell everyone we saw it coming first. We hate the ones that have been rightfully placed in authority over us. Rather than praying for them we puke and buy guns.

Does our trust really lay with Christ? Or do we trust in our own strength, in our firepower, or in how we are right morally?

The time has come for the Church to quit playing church and become the Church (the bride and body) that she was meant to be a kingdom of heaven. I’m trying not to bash, but it’s something God has really placed on my heart and not just for our land but for all.

So how does this happen, how do we change the world? Do we give more money? Do we give more of our time and energy? Do we read our Bibles more? Or Do we just need to lengthen our prayer time from five mins to twenty? And while all those things are good, the challenge the God has placed on my heart can be done on facebook or twitter. And it is simply this: Encourage one another. 1st Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So encourage each other and build each other up”. Rather than using modern technology to inform the world of your latest trip to the mall or how good the movie you just saw was. Instead post something meaningful. Post what God has been speaking into your life, post the scriptures that you have been reading, post something you saw that really encouraged you, post the victories Jesus has led you through. Or post the things that you are struggling with and see the outpouring from friends and family as they come to support you in your time of need. But more than that read what your friends are posting look for areas that you can help them look for places that you speak an encouraging word into their life and lift them up out of the lies of the enemy.

Changing the world has never started from the top and trickled down. Instead it has always started on the small scale, (2-3 people) and be brought up to the top with fire and conviction the likes of which is rarely seen.

So change starts with you, change the outlets that you have been so marvelously given to be outlets of encouragement, love, and joy. Chase away the spirits of depression and suicide from our instant-craving society.