She danced his head off

why_is_life_unfair_top-400x215

Got to read a lil bit about John the Baptist today – we’l call him JTB for short. Ever read about some of his final days of life?

Well, let me break it down for you.

JTB was bold and faithful to the point of sharing the truth that it was unlawful for King Herod to marry his brother’s wife – we’l call her RoRo. And so RoRo hated JTB and wanted him dead for calling them out. However, Herod liked JTB, liked listening to him, even feared the spirit in him, and so protected him – by putting him in prison. What? Doesn’t seem like much of any real protection if you ask me, but thats whats he did.
.
Well, RoRo had a daughter, and one festive day she danced her way to the King’s heart and got him to grant her any wish she desired, sealing it with a Kings oath. And just like that RoRo got her wish – the head of JTB on a platter.
.
Herod was sad about this, but he had given an oath in front of all his guests, and sadly, even for a king, we see FEAR OF MAN is a real joy killer and task master.
.
Another interesting point in all this though, is…Life in general is not fair; its the nature of the broken world we live in, but even more so, as speakers of truth/followers of Jesus, we will be unjustly treated in ways that bring about some type of suffering; physical, emotional, financial, other, just like JTB, even up to death, ’cause he lived the truth…and a girl danced well.

It is in these times we ever more so want to hold fast to the hope we have in Jesus, and verses like 1 Peter 4:13 -19 that encourages you to rejoice ’cause joy is yours when His glory is revealed, and the Spirit of God especially rests on you.
.
Anything interesting stand out to you in the story?

Advertisements

To reach the unreached.

Remembering one of many incredible life moments in Zambia with my amazing team from #citychurchsd that reminds me of the joy found in obedience to GO and be disciple makers, teaching about Jesus and empowering them to go do the same. Trekking through series of waist-high water ways to reach a people group that did not know Jesus and as such wasn’t giving him and God the worship deserved.

Will you go? Will you send and help others go?

Photo cred: @gabriel_abbott

#goodtimes #adventures #GodAdventures #zambia#zambeziriver #rei #hiking #trekking #overlandmissions #overland#untilallhaveheard

#metoo, #ihave, #Hehas

A post I shared some time ago; just re-read and i’m encouraged with renewed hope, figured i’d share on here as well.

 

To all that are a #metoo, I know there is probably a lot of this going around now, but I AM SORRY. My heart aches this am, because I am part of the problem, and #Ihave. The grace and often unheard truth in all this though is, it doesn’t end there. There is a person who understands both #metoo and #ihave, and he has redeemed both, with life, joy, and freedom.

This person is #Jesus and he has paid a HEFTY price that undeservingly redeemed the brokenness in me that would have me seek out comfort and satisfaction in actions, thoughts, and words outside of life found in him, some of which have, in turn, caused you pain and hurt. He has also done the same for you to bring you to #freedom in him; Freedom that pulls life out of the hurt.

So, as important as acknowledgment and awareness are, let us see that even more, #Hehas redeemed it all and he beckons you, and me, and everyone to experience the life and freedom that comes with what he has done. #freedom #hope #redeemed #restore

Fully funded & packing up…Again!

It’s about that time to load this pack up again. Thanks to all you that supported with prayer, encouragement, and/or monies, I am officially fully funded…infact over. THANK YOU!

Will be off to #españa in couple days, and will drop an update when I return. #gregory #missions #jesus

 

 

…”Missions exist ’cause worship doesn’t”…

 

Outdated command…or is it?

The #2 commandment, you know, from the 10 that were given to Charlton Heston, I mean Moses. 

Does this even apply to us today?

I haven’t recently thought about God and carved, or made something to represent or capture who he is,  so how does this apply?

God wants us to take him as he is, as he reveals himself in scripture, not as we IMAGINE him to be. All of scripture reveals all of who God is, and he wants us to know ALL of who he is, as he is. 

There will be things we like

things we love, and 

things we don’t understand, or even things we don’t like. 

To leave any bit out, or change to make more palatable, is to lose aspects of God, and what we have left is a carved image. God is jealous for you to know ALL of him.

Our imagined but just as real carvings of who God is, at best, is a “futile, bastardized version that merely gratifies our desire to #worship as we please” and hides more of God than it reveals.

Our carved images hide more of God than they reveal.

It is not a bad thing to want an image, it’s about having the correct image. 

Jesus is THE fully revealed image of God to us, and the fulfillment of this #2 commandment. In Jesus we get to know ALL of God, and can worship him as he is, and as he has revealed.

God is Jealous for all of you, and just as jealous to give you all of himself. 

Sunday #edumacation and #revelation

Validation & Approval: 2 sides of a masterful coin

Speaking to my co-worker, he shares details on how he is known to occasionally wake in middle of night to run script and get updates on tracked progress of his individual goals. He points reason to how this “validates” his worth, and let’s him know he is approved.

Google or Bing validation and approval, and there are a ton of research and articles that talk about how most of us are somehow affected, and even more, how a need for them is instilled in us from a young age.

Thinking of validation and approval even as I write this, and maybe even deep down, the validation I seek from putting these thoughts to paper or the approval I look to get from it, a few words come to mind: to be found legitimate and authentic = validation; and to be accepted and agreed with = approval.

I clearly see the hold and whirlwind of emotion and insecurity that takes place when I seek validation and approval from my work, my relationships, my environment, even my family. It truly is a masterful coin that enslaves. 

…but then I am reminded of the Gospel of Christ and the price paid, and as such the free gift of God’s approval and even more, his validation. He reminds me I’m legitimate, I’m authentic, I’m accepted, and he’s pleased with me (regardless of my past) – he agrees with me.

This is the narrative and gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for me and you. In Christ, this is your story.

Our response? Let’s fight to value God’s coin of approval and validation more than anything else, and let it free us up to live life without restraints, condemnation, and fleeting happiness.

Freedom = No master?

“Freedom does not come from not having a master, but from serving the right one”

Do you agree? Why/why not?

We started a new study today in church, going through the book of Exodus, and I find myself quite excited about it. Looking forward to all the new revelations and how it all points to Jesus.

This thought on freedom is one from the study I thought I’d share. 

A penny for your thoughts?

New eyes: loving where you live

I recently found my love for photography again, and I have since began trying to see Austin Tejas, this beautiful city I call home, With new eyes, through the lens of a camera.

Because I also love candid type portraits or pics, and my favorite trusty lens is a 35mm (this means I need to be very close), I’m learning to “kindly” invade people’s personal space 😬…seems easier to do outside good ‘ol US of A. Come to think of it thoug, It actually isn’t bad in Austin. I tend to have lots of people gladly welcome me into their space or even voluntarily call me out to take their picture, especially among the night life crowd. A fun, interesting city for sure, with plenty of opportunities to love people and share/do life with them with positive impact.

I’m loving Austin more everyday…and not like we need anymore people, but if you haven’t been, what are you waiting for?

What’s your city like, and how you loving it?

Well, here are a few of my favorites so far. Enjoy, and check out Flickr.com/kempee23 for a few more, and more to come.

**btw…forgive me, haven’t figured out alignment for pics on here yet…the gallery just doesn’t come out as created**

  

 


  
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4053-0

we won’t move without You

Over the last decade, I’ve been blessed to be a part of a some amazing journeys, a few of which have become part of some of my favorite life adventures thus far.

For a few of them, i’ve had to make hard decisions like stepping away from career, leaving myself exposed financially and “employmentally” – yes, just made that up.

Decisions to leave the familiar, often towards an unknown end. Decisions to dream, risk, and pursue. Decisions that often beg the question…What are you doing?…Are you sure?

It’s even worse when you can’t say with “complete certainty”, or even a very high % that God OK’d the move.

Over this same time, I’ve also come to grow in knowledge of God, and my identity as His son, because of “work” done for me through the blood of Christ. I have come to own it that I have the mind of Christ, because I have the Spirit of God in me. The Spirit that “…searches everything, even the depths of God” – 1 Cor 2:10

As I better understand and reflect Jesus’ heart and continue to let him complete the good work he has started in me, I recognize that, even more so lately, I lean more towards making a move and doing something, rather than waiting…when it comes to making what seems like big life decisions.

At a recent gathering, we sang the lyrics of “The Lord our God” by Kristian Stanfill. The chorus reads…

we won’t move without you

we won’t move without you

you’re the light of all and all that we need”

You see, I sang intentionally and deeply, but as I sang, I began to think about all this; Did I really believe the words I was singing? Keeping in mind obedience NOT sacrifice, intentionality in seeking wisdom and clarity in His direction, prayer, the Spirit, the Word, and a check with my community of believers and mentors, I thought about it.

Reminding myself of God’s sovereignty, and not using it as an excuse for lack of prayer (at least trying), I did believe what I was singing; I won’t move without Him, because you see, even when I move without that “complete certainty” of direction, but also without red flags of “WAIT”, I move with Him.

He reminds me that as I dwell in Him, I have His mind and know His heart, and He is with me. He says take the keys of the car, fire up that passion He has placed inside of me to redeem and love this broken world. He says…DO SOMETHING, MAKE A MOVE!

Cuba adventures: Recap

As you might imagine, being in cuba was incredible and surreal, especially since my team and I were able to go in May, before the re-opening of the embassy and other recent steps taken to improve Cuba – U.S. relations.

Cuba-mapUnlike most people that seem to come into Cuba through Havana, I came in through Santa Clara, which is a bit more central to the Island.

The airport was small, but welcoming. The land, beautiful and rural, but you could almost immediately begin to feel a sense or spirit of hopelessness. There were lots of people out and about on foot, often looking downhearted; very few vehicles, as most people rode bicycles or horse pulled type carriages.

taxihorse

Photo Cred: Lonely Planet

From this point in Santa Clara throughout my time in Cuba, a restoration of hope became my hearts cry…and not just hope for a better tomorrow, or better wages than the $20/month average wage earned, but a hope that goes beyond this present time. A hope that can only be given by the Father who gives freely. A hope that restores and empowers us to reach, to do – in Christ, and be most fulfilled in this life.

Most of our time was spent encouraging our church contacts and their vibrant life-encouraging church plants in and around Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus, and the Trinidad areas. With all the positive impending changes being talked about with U.S. – Cuban relations, the Cuban church was reminded to not set hope on the wrong things, be it a possible changing economic dynamic, or even just a dependence on much needed support from their international christian family.

Overall, Cuba was a treat, definitely a blessing to be able to visit. I was strongly encouraged by the Cuban church, their worship, and desire for more of Jesus. And it was all possible because of all of you that financially partnered with me, and/or prayed for me.

THANK YOU!

I will now post a few photo’s from my trip, courtesy of some of my teammates. Thanks again, and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you, as God leads, and me willing to step out in obedience.

A photo depiction of Che and the Cuban flag. PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

A popular photo depiction of Che and the Cuban flag.
PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

My sister(center) with teammates on her 1st trip on mission. PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

My sister(center) with teammates on her 1st trip on mission.
PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

Most of our ministry was done in the villages, and this was our buffet line. Fresh and delicious! PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

Most of our ministry was done in the villages, and this was our buffet line. Fresh and delicious!
PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

Cuban/US team discussing life, ministry, or just some good 'ol bonding time. PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

Cuban/US team discussing life, ministry, or just some good ‘ol bonding time.
PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

After a fun soccer game at a local village community. PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

After a fun soccer game at a local village community.
PhotoCred:Marina Razumovsky

Our old faithful bus gets stuck on a mud road on way to a village. Yep...Push!! PhotoCred:Jaime Lawhorne

Our old faithful bus gets stuck on a mud road on way to a village. Yep…Push!!
PhotoCred:Jaime Lawhorne

Our local pastor's wife (far right) with some amazing women that served & cooked for us. PhotoCred:Jaime Lawhorne

Our local pastor’s wife (far right) with some amazing women that served & cooked for us.
PhotoCred:Jaime Lawhorne

One of a few opportunities to share our heart at a local church. PhotoCred: Colby Gardner

One of a few opportunities to share our heart at a local church.
PhotoCred: Colby Gardner

And finally the 1950's old school taxi's all over Havana, that is part of the charm of beautiful Cuba. PhotoCred: Marina Razumovsky

And finally the 1950’s old school taxi’s all over Havana, that is part of the charm of beautiful Cuba.
PhotoCred: Marina Razumovsky