Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thoughts about me

Fear of what people think about me. It can be downright restricting.

That's why I'm giving it up this advent season.

I know most people don't give things up for advent (it's more of a lent thing) but I think Jesus is calling me into the deeper places. Maybe I caught a mountain parasite or maybe my time in the Rockies has forced me to re-evaluate my priorities.

Sometimes I catch myself wondering what people think about me? I want to appear smart or capable, somehow thinking that God and people will be pleased by my courage to fight.

But this season I'm going to try to seek the thoughts of Another. I want to follow the One who calls me to be still when the voices around me clamour to be heard and drive me to the same. I want to heed the call of the One who invites me to expose my brokenness rather than arming myself to fight for, or against, the masses.

So, you can think what you want. I'm not scared.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fun in the Mountains

Erika and I have been in Alberta since Tuesday.

Our main purpose for the trip was to attend the Church Planting Congress. One of the most powerful moments came during a time of communion at the end. As the band was wrapping up their song one of my pastor friends from Alberta reached over and pulled Erika and I in close and prayed over us.

It was a prophetic moment that we haven't fully understood yet. Nevertheless, we both left the conference believing that God is up to something.

Since then we've wandered through the shops in downtown Banff, sipped Starbucks lattes at the top of Sulphur Mountain, and navigated our tiny rental car up the snow-covered road to Lake Louise.

When you throw in the tax savings on retail purchases (Alberta only charges the federal tax) it's easy to see why God calls so many people to Alberta.

It's too bad I'm not one of them.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family medicine

Amazingly, the Mills clan now have a family physician in our area.

We started looking for a Doc shortly after arriving in the area in 2007. We weren't overly aggressive about searching until last winter.

Our 8-year-old is prone to strep infections. After multiple emergency room visits, Erika started praying. During one snowy visit, a new-to-town, super-nice physician introduced himself to Erika and Shawna and asked if we had a family physician. Erika said, "no". So he volunteered to enlist our whole family as his patients.

We took our forms into his office and after two or three unsuccessful follow-up calls that went unanswered, we gave up. It was strange but we assumed that his patient list must not have room for us.

Last week we received an out-of-the-blue call from his office. I'm still not sure what prompted them to call us. Nevertheless, the receptionist asked if we still needed a family physician. We told her we did. The rest is history.

We met him on Wednesday. He is warm, friendly, and he took a lot of time to answer questions and check us over. And the best part is that every computer I saw was a Mac.

I don't even care if he knows stuff about family medicine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update on change

A couple of weeks ago I announced that I was going to start praying for change.

What I didn't say was that I invited the rest of our staff team to join with me. And since my invitation, we've met three times. We spend 1/2 hour talking openly about the transition and 1/2 hour praying for God to bring change during this time of flux.

Some have been too busy to set that time aside, others have forgotten about the opportunity, and a few of us have made it a regular part of our week.

I can't speak for the regulars but for me our times of praying have only fueled my desire for change.

I think my longing for something different, something fresh, is emerging from my study of the Scriptures. The more I teach and preach, the more I'm driven to study and reflect on the way of the early church. It leads me to questions like why the Jesus followers of the first century were so gospel crazy? How could the New Testament disciples lead a movement of nobodies that has now become a collection of organizations that pride themselves on having a solid leadership hierarchy?

And then there are deeper questions, ones that haunt me, like what am I becoming? How far am I willing to go as I walk with God? Am I willing to follow Jesus in the way of downward mobility that, for Him, ended on a cross? Or am I more interested in jockeying for positional authority?

I'm praying that the change starts in me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

HappE Birthday

Happy Birthday to my favorite person in the whole world.

No, not me; Erika.

Last night we laid in bed reminiscing about when we first met. I think God had something to do with it. We were both raised by parents who spent a lot of time reminding us that we the greatest thing since sliced bread. Maybe even better than sliced bread. As such, we were a bit self-centered. We probably still are.

Nevertheless, our worlds collided about 10 years ago and we both decided that our lives would be even better if they united.

We've made a lot of great decisions, that was one of our finest.

Since then, I've had the time of my life getting to know Erika and her mysterious ways. She has taught me so much about compassion, right-brained living, spontaneity, coffee, leadership, Jesus, and living by faith.

I can wait till we get old and we can share our dentures with each other.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lay it down

This morning we sang the song "Lay it down" during two of our worship services.

The words of that song resonate deeply with the questions I'm currently asking: questions like, "Who am I?", "Where is God calling me?", and "What is God asking of me?"

Personal recognition and ambition often get in the way of God's calling in my life. For example, I like to see my ideas, no matter how far fetched, become reality. In the process, I can get trapped with my fists tightly clenched around things that aren't God.

I'm reminded that Jesus isn't found in what I'm clinging to. He's in the place where I lay down the things I hold most dear.

It's only when I'm prepared to lay it all down that I can explore the wonder, beauty and freedom that comes with following Jesus perpetually into the unknown.
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