You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. Psalm 91:13

Mission Statement

Finals, All-Nighters and the Thirst for Satisfaction

College student! Stop for a second! Don’t avoid this because you are busy and I write too much. Take a break for a moment and be filled up on some truth that’s relevant to you!

It’s finals week here at the University of Central Arkansas. It’s been a busy week for me, but not overbearingly so. However, if you spend more than 5 minutes on social media this week you’ll see a lot of overwhelmed, burned out students. It’s understandable and even expected by the time spring finals roll out. Through all this I’ve come to see a deeper layer beneath it all. This post is for the college student or really any student.  Nonetheless,  it can be truthfully applied to much more with a little work.

The all-nighter study sessions. The massive caffeine infusions.  The tedious, methodical, bleary eyed, grind of reviewing the Power points, rewriting your notes, making the flash cards, memorizing the textbook(s), writing the novel sized research paper(s). They can be worth it. They are worth it for me because of Christ. That’s the key to all of it.

Would you laugh if I said that we are incredibly blessed to be able to have such burdens as those? And that though its okay to be tired and a bit pressed, there is a reason to be thankful for these kind of nights?

Look at the world. Very little of the world has opportunities to pursue dreams, callings and visions like we do. Yet you do. Maybe you don’t know what it is yet. Maybe you are certain of it. College is rare opportunity that VERY few get to experience. The purpose for college has been hijacked a bit by society, however the original purpose and values remain. You are in college and part of that means you are chasing after something bigger than most will ever get to. You have something worth pursuing intensely enough to stay up for and put in the countless hours. This is a unique opportunity in time and I promise you, it won’t last forever and when it’s gone, friends, it’s gone. Use what you’ve been given wisely.

One day all striving and chances to do such things will cease. 

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.” – Ecclesiastes 9:10

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah” – Psalm 39:4-5

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” – James 4:14

The time will come to reflect on your life and all that you did and failed to do. You as a believer will be judged as well. This isn’t the same judgment that leads to eternal life or damnation.  Nor will salvation be determined by your work at all so don’t misinterpret that. Salvation is through Christ’s redeeming work alone and not at all by any merit of your own.  The measure of your reward will be determined by this judgment based on the stewardship and obedience  to Christ (For a better in-depth explanation: Read this.)

See here’s the neat thing about work for us in Christ:

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. ” – Psalm 128:1-2

This is an amazing promise to those that Christ calls his children. It means you’ll have work. Maybe not what you hoped for or expected but you will have work, that’s why you aren’t dead yet, your job isn’t finished. Have you ever spent a week doing nothing at all? Just sat around and watched the clock tick? It’s miserable. It can lead to a mental and spiritual depression because you were made to work and labor. God called it “good” before the fall. God himself works… Let me rephrase that. The Maker of all that is good, worthwhile and holy, the One who knows all, finds work worth doing. 

Secondly, it’s a promise to us that we will enjoy the fruits of our labor. Will that mean it will be easy? Not necessarily or even likely. Does this mean I’ll be healthy, wealthy or happy? Again, not necessarily and for many not likely. Then what? It means that all honest work  pursed for the Lord will matter in some way. Work will have an eternal significance. God will satisfy the intrinsic desire we have to labor well and cultivate in a meaningful fashion.

This does one of two things. It either makes us relieved and thankful, for we do not labor in vain or it convicts us for avoiding our responsibility to labor and to do so well.

Which leads me to this warning about your motivations to work and shirk your responsibility to work:

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” – Proverbs 127:1

“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” – Proverbs 12:11

“For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10

So now would be a good time to stop for a second and ask yourself some tough questions. Ask yourself what your motivation is. For example, if you want to be in a medical field just to for money or recognition, those are both unworthy motives and ultimately they will not satisfy you. If it is to help others, though it is a good thing, that motivation alone will not satisfy you either. The motivation behind all goals and efforts must be Christ for there to be any true satisfaction and lasting achievement. He must be your ultimate purpose. Which means all goals must be in line with his Word.

There is a blessing, peace, joy and discipline that comes from understanding this and taking it to heart.

For me personally, I want to be able to look back when my time is done and say for all the pursuits in my life, “Yeah, I lost sleep some nights. Yeah, I pushed myself to mental, physical and even spiritual exhaustion some times. Yeah, I had moments of questioning if its worth it and fought fiercely against apathy. I was once a worthless wretch with no aspirations. Jesus paid it all, freed my soul and renewed my heart, my motivations and my pursuits. And through all these things, He was my rest, He filled me with himself when I was weak, he became the ultimate goal behind all my other goals. I ran with a joyful abandonment and focus towards the finish line, but only to cross it so I could reach Jesus waiting on the others side.  And now I’m here, at labors end, satisfied  not by my work but by Jesus’s. He made all my efforts “good” and worthwhile., and used them to shape me into His image. I truly started at the bottom and now I’m here. Thank you dearly, my Father.”

Relish the earned exhaustion that comes from your efforts; give thanks for them, be intentional with seeing the eternal significance behind them and keep your head high and your heart full.

Finally,

For those who are unsure of their direction at the end of this semester:

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverb 16:3

For those of you up all night  this week:

“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.” – Proverbs 20:13

For those in need of mental and spiritual rest: 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

For those who are anxious and worried:

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:5-7

And I’m here for any and all of you, stranger or friend, not just this week but every week. If you need encouragement, prayer, advice, or just someone to talk to just let me know.

Much Love,

Luke

“God has created each of us with a thirst that only He can quench.  French philosopher Pascal called it a God-shaped vacuum in our hearts that only He can fill.  Or as Augustine put it, “Our souls are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”  Man is perpetually seeking.  To whatever degree we don’t know the unseen and eternal realm; we seek answers in the seen and temporal.  We look for eternal answers among temporal things.  But we discover that they cannot provide them.”

“The soul of man bears the image of God; so nothing can satisfy it but He whose image it bears.”

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The Value of Souls

Spending the last month or so pledging a Christian fraternity isn’t something I would have told you I planned to do 2 months ago. Sure I thought about it, but it would require sacrificing independence, time, etc. Yet here I am, and man I got to say, the reasons I had for not doing it sound so ridiculous now. Beta Upsilon Chi has been a life changing experience.

Here’s the odd thing about me though. I’m a junior. I’m right at half way to being 22 years old. I don’t fit the “typical” pledge. I mean I’m older than most members after all. This has its burdens and its blessings. I want to share one of its blessing.

When your time is limited, you appreciate what you do with that time. I have very little time to influence BYX, at least in comparison with my fellow pledge brothers. I’m acutely aware that every time I let an opportunity pass by to put myself out there, to encourage, to uplift, to take initiative, I’m wasting a precious moment. When you only have one little bag of candy, you notice all the subtle flavors it offers because its got to last you. That’s how my time in BYX is. If 3.5 years is the typical life span of a member, then I’m going to live just half of that. I want to leave a legacy behind in BYX and that means I can’t waste my time.

Now that is where God takes that thought and flips it on me and turns it back towards my life as a whole and I end up feeling small. If 75 years is all we typically have, how would I live my life if I only had half that? What if I died at 38. I mean I’m over half way there… It’s terrifying. I’m living with urgency, I’m not wasting my life being frivolous. I’m not putting things off to later because I know the end is very close for me in comparison to others. I have no time to waste.

Then He backs it up on me again. What is 70-100 years (if you are seriously lucky) in comparison to the eternity that follows it? What I do now affects eternity more than I ever will know. There are forces beyond me that are watching my actions with great anticipation. My time here is short, and I must be diligent to serve my part, to carry my cross daily. At the resurrection, I don’t want to look back on this and regret all the times I squandered opportunities. So what should I do?

Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

It means investing my time in things that last, that keep their value. One day all of heaven and earth will pass away, what will remain then that I can put stock in?

Souls.

What are their value? Well, they were handcrafted by the Great Craftsman, in the image of the most beautiful Being that will ever exist. They were paid for by the blood of the Son of God, which the bible tells me is quite the price.

So knowing that, I pour myself out to others. Sometimes that’s fun and easy. Simply sharing joy and encouragement and living life with them. Other times it requires deep sacrifice. Not just sympathizing with others sorrows, but entering into their sorrows with them, being vulnerable, living in a way that is consistent regardless of circumstance or others reaction to me. In the end, the amount I put in will always be so much less than what is returned in eternity. The people around you, they are the reason you are here. You are either an agent of reconciliation for Christ or you are the image of the power of Christ to overcome all things to unite and make a people of his own. People matter is my point. Don’t waste friendships. Don’t waste brotherhood. Don’t waste sisterhood. Every human interaction is a divine interaction. Every conversation that has goodness in it brings life and is holy. Realize behind every person is a soul. A broken soul, that just like yours is desperately seeking wholeness in the Father and sometimes they don’t know that’s the case.

When you realize this, people become more than just people. A stranger isn’t just a stranger. They are an opportunity, a potential friend, a possible divine moment of life changing serendipity. Friendships are messy because we are messy. The Church can be jacked up because we are jacked up. That’s why grace is so amazing. That’s why we are different. We aren’t chosen because we are perfect. We were chosen because He is and He loves us. This means that nobody is too far away, too difficult, too unlovable for us to pour into. So those times we ask ourselves, is this person too cold or hardened for me to encourage or love, we know the answer is always NO. No one is too far gone. Anyone is welcome. God does the work, we give them our best and in the end, lives are changed. It’s pretty cool.

The love you share, the relationships you’ve made, the bonds you build, that is all you will have one day. Those times I spent on me, what do they buy me in the end? Make the most of this time to invest in them. Don’t lose yourself in things that will perish, the cost is far too great.

One thing I’ve told my pledge brothers this about pledgeship: Its not about finishing first, it’s not about being the winner. It’s about crossing the finish line and crossing together, leaving no man behind. Carrying people on your back, exhausted, finishing 10 hours past when you expected to, but still finishing together. That’s the truth of our lives. We need each other. We finish together. Help everyone. Love everyone. Give everything. Because time is passing us by quicker than we’ll ever know.

Much Love,

Luke

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”


Forgive My Inconsistency

Lately I’ve been listening to a spoken word poet and rapper who goes by Propaganda, specifically his album Excellent (Which is available legally for free via the link, I highly recommend it) He has a song called “Forgive Me For Asking” in which he calls out American Christianity for hypocritical, agenda-oriented, shallow faith. He then calls out Muslims on their faith, followed by the scientific and agnostic\atheist community. Finally he finishes on a personal level by bringing to light our tendency to a hypocritical works based faith instead of by grace through faith. It’s a deeply thought provoking song. There is one lyric though that has stuck with me for the last few months, its after he has pointed out flaws with Christians, Muslims, and Agnostics, as well as himself:

“Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you’re right.
Maybe we’ll find out the day after the world ends.
Yeah, I guess we’re all a little inconsistent,
So maybe we can just show each other some grace?”

That gets me. I know I’m inconsistent. One day, my sin is so clear to me that all I can do is beg the Lord for grace and forgiveness in that moment. The next day, I’ll some how have convinced myself that I got it all figured out. God gave me a hand up, but I did the hard work. All these sinners need to get their lives together and stop disappointing the Lord. I’m on my own level.  Anyone else ever like this?  Anyone else find it easy to slip into self-righteousness? I do.

The fact is I’m human. I carry the human condition. This means I am innately inconsistent. Some days, I say and do the all the right things. Others, my life looks like a train wreck. This is why we fail to be excellent. Excellence has consistency. We rely on the source of Excellence, the Christ. And that’s a beautiful, relieving moment.

See I feel I’m a generally good person, not by my nature, but only because the Spirit within me is constantly course-correcting my devious bent for wrong. I didn’t earn that Spirit, it was a gift and isn’t something I can brag about. Left to my own devices, I’ll always act on my own selfish ambitions and desires and make no amends for their consequences. With the spirit, while, still not truly consistent, I’m working towards it. Not to be saved, see that’s already been given. I’m working towards this because I’m free to work towards it, to refine myself and better myself without having to “win” anything and I can do it free of arrogance, because it wouldn’t have even been possible without the Cross giving the ability.

This is a great thing. Yet this isn’t my point. I am still so quick to point out other groups failures and issues. Yet I have just as many failures and issues! Don’t lose me here, I’m not making a statement over whose right and wrong. I’m simply saying, instead of all of the bickering (I mean look at the status quo, has it really gotten us anywhere?) why don’t we show each other some grace. Instead of labeling the president a heathen, Muslims as terrorists, Professors and scientists as liars and Christians as bigots, can we just own up to our own inconsistency and share the same grace we bestow ourselves, to others?  There is a really famous thought about all this: “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

It doesn’t mean you have to agree with someone else, it just means you show respect, and goodwill towards them. It means you stop waiting for them to misstep so you can pounce on that moment to prove your point. It means trying to get along.

Specifically to Christians, I just want to say,  you are called to serve Christ by serving others. Rich, poor, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, Republican, Democrat, Anarchist, Communist, Capitalist, Pro-choicer, Pro-lifer, Pro-Guns, Anti-Guns, White, Black, KKK, Westboro. All of them. They do not serve you. You serve them, just as Christ served us (who are a wrong, ignorant and hostile people) It doesn’t matter how wrong or right they may be. The foundation of every word and action is love. Our actions are never reactions, because in all things we love and serve others. This makes life far less complicated for us too, though not necessarily easier. Whatever good or bad some person or group does to you, you already know your response. Love and service. Working that out, isn’t easy, wasn’t for Christ either, but we are called to do it. So maybe instead of spending so much time explaining why the other side is wrong, we can work on this whole love-service fundamental. Alright?

Much Love,

Luke

“It is this lack of love among Christians which today makes the church an insipid, lukewarm institution. People come to find affection and are turned off by our tepidity.”

“If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary’s love.”

“Assuredly there is but one way in which to achieve what is not merely difficult but utterly against human nature: to love those who hate us, to repay their evil deeds with benefits, to return blessings for reproaches. It is that we remember not to consider men’s evil intention but to look upon the image of God in them, which cancels and effaces their transgressions, and with its beauty and dignity allures us to love and embrace them.”


Fighting for the Eternal Perspective

We value stuff way too much. We are obsessed with stuff way too much.  I find myself so often getting caught up on little things, iPhones, TV shows, sports, relationships, school, family; the list goes on and on.  And let me be straight all of those things are good and some are even great, but seriously, have you looked at how society values them? If the news decided what was important I would think that whoever wins the election gets to be the messiah and the coming of his kingdom will be Apple, and all who buy their stock will be saved from hellfire and Sandy. Do you get me?  Can I rant? Can you stop me?

This election is important for different reasons, but it is not ultimate. There were great countries before us and likely there will be great ones after us. America is not God’s chosen people. Honestly, it feels like America needs to at large repent. I’m not saying don’t be political. Don’t forget you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God first, and a party affiliate second.  By all means have views, you have that freedom, but don’t let it cover up your true identity as a son or daughter of God and don’t let it shut out His light for this world. The fact is that’s why we are here, to make him known. To make DISCIPLES, not converts of ALL NATIONS (including Palestine, I’m not pulling punches tonight.). Are we doing this?  Or are we living and dying on every vote cast? Is it not God’s hand that raises kings and brings them down? Is it not done for His purpose that His glory might be made known?

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up
kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have
understanding Daniel 2:21

The Lord is my strength and my shield my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Isaiah 40:15

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

I love my family and I deeply love my girlfriend. And yet I keep finding myself worrying about both of them.  I stress over their words and their actions and I’m trying so hard to be a good son and brother and boyfriend. All of this while trying to make sure I represent Christ and speak life into both.  It’s easy to be obsessed with it and tell ourselves it’s alright because it’s for a noble and good thing. It’s not. It’s pride and idolatry folks.  A regenerated heart, one that is being fed by the Word and the Spirit, aims to do good. It does so freely, not because of moral expectations or God-given commands but because of that is the natural inclination of the heart and soul working as it was originally intended to.  So here is the thing, when I stress and worry and micromanage my relationships, I try to take control and make the Spirit ride shotgun. My pride tells me I can handle this and I know better. I don’t though. In addition to all of this, I can’t control or change my relationships. It’s God who does those things. I can’t even change myself, why would I think I could do it to someone else? All I can be is open to how God moves in me and let him reflect that to others.

The Lord is my strength and my shield my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

I enjoy my iPhone. Granted, it’s a dusty, outdated, dinosaur that you probably never heard of called the 4s. I enjoy my Xbox and I enjoy my laptop and my car too. The thing is, if I lost those things, say in a fire, I’d be pretty upset… for about a month. Then besides an occasional thought back, I’ll have already adapted and moved on. Life will mostly be the same.  Why then do I and so many others obsess over these items? They are trinkets.  They are shiny, and they have value. But beyond skin-deep purposes they hold nothing.  We put these things up on a pedestal and they never satisfy us. We are so desperate for the next thing. It’s fleeting. We never even actually get the satisfaction of them, because the moment we get what we want, we are already deeply aware that its beginning the progress of becoming old to us. Do we not have a God who when see Him as the true value, becomes to us infinite, eternal satisfaction? Yes, we do. His Son came that we might have life in abundance. That requires seeing him as the true value though.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:19-24

Here is where it gets real though.  One day, this country will be gone; along with Romney, Obama, Arkansas, you, me, and everyone else. We won’t even be remembered. My girlfriend and my family will be gone. All of my stuff, it’ll have broken, rusted, and be gone too. The bible says that both heaven and earth will pass away, Christ’s words will not however. The clock is ticking down second by second. All things are coming to an end.  When it ends, I don’t know, that’s why it’s so important. The Son is coming back like a thief in the night. It horrifies me to think at that time I could be more concerned with things that I cannot change, things I cannot keep, and things that have no eternal value. All the while, the invitation has been given to reap eternal rewards and treasures and invest in souls that won’t perish. Enjoy the things he gives you but pleases don’t lose sight of what matters. Lord, increase our faith. Break our hands to remove the things we needlessly hold on to so tightly and help us to fix our eyes on you and eternity.

As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

Much Love,

Luke

‘He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.’ – Jim Elliot, martyred missionary to Ecuador

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.


Finding God in the Midst of Horrors

On Wednesday, April 6th, 1994, Rwanda began a series of actions that stained and darkened its history in a way nothing else could. Families turned on one another and friends betrayed each other. Arbitrary definitions of people and class deceived a nation into forgetting that they are all humans and they are all made in the image of our Creator. On that Wednesday began the Rwandan Genocide. It would continue for 100 days and by the end of it 1 million Rwandans were murdered.  Women being raped, children being murdered in churches. Parents losing children and vice versa.  All by people like you and me. For 18 years since, a mixture of humility and shame has been part of the mood of this country. Reconciliation has been the driving motivation. Wounds like that don’t heal quickly though, sometimes not for generations. And for many, it’s still fresh upon their minds.

God’s love isn’t easy to talk about in context with these events. Not to those who were there and those who lost people. Those who lost everything. Those whose scars still haunt them. God’s love isn’t even easy for us to talk about while watching documentaries and movies about it. Still something can, and should be said.

Christ’s death bore the sins of all humanity. God came down and took upon himself the sin of the world so that there could be rebirth. Sin is in nature, sin is our very humanity now. No part of creation was untouched. We see where nature has been touched and affected by our sinfulness in Genesis. We all know that Christ bore the grief and suffering of the entire world. That means not only our sin, but all suffering, all sorrow, all disasters, all genocides and wars. He felt and took on all that grief.  He wept over every lost pet, every illness, every burned home, every dead relative and every soul on its way to hell. It nearly crushed him, but by grace he took it and conquered  the grave. Can you imagine that? No you can’t, nor can I. But mediate on it long enough and you will cry, and you will hurt and you will have an understanding that God bore something that is just intangible to us; something words just can’t say.

One might ask, where was God when the terrified boy or girl watched his family be struck down with a machete?

The honest answer is, He was on the cross. He was bringing the child’s anguish upon himself. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual affliction. He accepted its horrors on the cross. He took it to buy a way out.

Jesus wasn’t the only one crucified, it’s not miraculous to be crucified in itself. What made the crucifixion unique, what made it beyond measure, was that he while upon the cross, he consumed the suffering of all, ever.

We brought this world upon ourselves, and God paid the price for what we had made. Our sin we accepted, demanded a price for it, and that price was death. And yes, Jesus paid it!  He didn’t have to, but he did. That doesn’t rid the world of pain. It doesn’t make it any easier. It brings hope.

Where was God while that child’s family was dying?

He was making a way for him and others, to come through the shadow of death and into abundant life. Life everlasting. He opened the door to the exact opposite of the incomprehensible misery Christ took on the Cross.

We deserve genocides, murder and betrayal, but that’s the amazing thing.

The suffering and horrors we see every single day are outrageous, that’s why Jesus did the most outrageous thing.

Just like that moment on Calvary, the darkest point, when it feels like all is lost, that’s the moment hope can be found.

There is hope for Rwanda. Turn your eyes to it. His name is Jesus.

Much Love,

Luke

“One son God hath without sin, but none without sorrow.”

Full disclosure: This might seem eerily familiar, that’s because it’s an edited version of my post on the Tsunami\Earthquake that hit Japan. Still just as relevant, only a new context. The reason for the new context, is this summer I’m going to Rwanda and I’m raising support. I’m needing to raise 3400. To be honest, it’s really really hard and I know that literally, I personally can not raise that much. However, I know with Christ all things are possible and I know it’s extremely easy for him to bring that money forth. So if this post moves you in any way, I ask that maybe you would take a moment to give to help me get to Rwanda, so that I and others might be able to help make these truths a reality for many hurting people. Thank you.

Click for my Donation Page


Freedom from the Slavery of Ordinary

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible.”

Did you ever have fantasies about Disney movies as a kid? What about Star Wars?  Worlds of  knights, princesses and dragons? Cowboys and Indians? I think at some point growing up, we all have. My name being Luke instantly made me think I was in fact Luke Skywalker. We wanted to fight evil. Save the day. Be the hero. It was a matter of living significantly and acting boldly.

Then we start to grow up. You are told to quit being childish, and sure you can love those old stories, but you better not believe in them. Take whatever morals from them you need not to kill people and then put them up on a shelf to be forgotten. That is a serious problem.

I don’t believe that virtues and ideals are just philosophical banter. I believe they are real tangible ways of living, with real visible reactions. They usually aren’t easy to live by, and you can’t live by them alone. Life isn’t the same without them though. Just look at society to see what a lack of them leads to, and then look to your real life heroes and notice the reasons you are drawn to them. Virtues aren’t just fairy tales.

We  are meant for more in this life. We are given a short amount of time to live, and it seems that this is meant to make us live with intention.  Life isn’t meant to be lived quiet and slow and we aren’t built for it. Judging by life we  are meant to live bright and fast (eternally at least). So why do we kill our souls? In our teenage years, we begin to try to bury ourselves in an early grave. We allow awful burdens to be heaped upon us bit by bit. All of our hopes and ambitions we begin with slowly fade away until we are just shuffling day to day using whatever will help distract us as time passes. Nobody wants to live like that, yet so often…too often, we choose just that!

It’s here you might be wanting to say, “Look I admire your enthusiasm Luke, but you clearly haven’t lived enough of life yet, just wait a bit and you’ll see and then that eagerness will dampen.” Truth is though, I’ve seen quite a bit of life. I silently dealt with unbelievable emotional trauma for 10 years of childhood. I’ve seen my share of disappointment. Make no mistake, I understand why people become jaded, I just see that it isn’t meant to be that way, nor does it have to be.

Life is nothing but tension. It’s that tension that allows all of our hopes and dreams to have meaning! Our choices are one of our shining attributes as humans, it is part of being the image of God. When we choose to stand up and act in opposition to the weight of tension upon us, we do something remarkable.

The fact of the matter is God doesn’t want you to be part of the status quo.  He knew of the the great and big things you could do before you were even in existence. He has plans to give you a future and a hope. For a God who is infinite and who’s ways are higher than our ways, that means it’s safe to assume He has something huge for us all, something audacious and bold.

So my hope for you is this: that you come to understand God for who He is. That your view of how infinite He is will grow. Because once you see that, you’ll realize that in Him you can do anything. I hope that you will dare to do unthinkable things, even reckless things for His glory. I hope that you’ll pray for discernment and a spirit of selflessness, so as to avoid being misled and allowing dreams to be corrupted.

And don’t just dream. Do. Act. Be waking dreamers. Inspire others! Live life in liberation. You only get one opportunity at this life, do something with it. With Christ, no obstacle truly stands in front of you, no goal is out of reach, no hope is ever really lost. In Christ, the greatest Hero, we can be the hero we grew up thinking we would be.

Dream big. Live big.

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16


Life as a Physician

A large part of who I am is wrapped up in the “Doctor Mentality”. Growing up my mom watched ER every day. It drove me nuts, but anytime I spent more than 3-4 minutes watching it, I found myself glued for the rest of the episode. Years later I began recording the two episodes that were on TNT everyday. I’ve seen nearly the entire series. It actually was the cause for my original passion for Africa, over 3 years ago when I wanted to be a doctor. I happened to have seen the first episode again the other day. A green resident is overwhelmed by a serious trauma  and goes to get air. The veteran Doctor Greene steps out with him to give him some advice. His advice is this:

“There are two kinds of doctors. Those who get rid of their feelings, and those who keep them. If you are going to keep your feelings, you are going to get sick from time to time, that’s just how it works. People come in here and they are sick, dying and bleeding and they need our help. Helping them is more important than how we are feeling. It doesn’t make it any easier though.”

I found that  incredibly insightful. Let me share what I got from it.

1. As Christians we are spiritual doctors to a dying world. The bible tells us that our tongues hold the power to speak either life or death into someone.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. ” Proverbs 18:21

This is something we should never take lightly. If we aren’t speaking life into someone, we might as well be killing them. We need be both intentional and responsible with what we say and do. Just like a doctor in the midst of the sick, we are far too few to waste time. We must act and we must do all we can with what we have.

2. We will get sick sometimes. Christians cannot throw out their feelings, we will quickly become legalistic if we do. We are forced to keep our feelings. Jesus promised joy, but he never said it would be easy. It is lonely, frustrating, heartbreaking work trying to chase after Christ in a cruel and perverted world. Thankfully we have Him to rest upon.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Don’t try to take on the burden of the world on your own. It’s too much for any human to bear. Find rest in the Lord.

3. We need to help others despite our feelings. Doctors sometimes have to help people who don’t want help. Sometimes they have to help people they don’t want to help. They must do it though, because it’s their job, it’s who they are. We must do the same. We will see people who don’t see their sin, they refuse help. Often times they’ll be so rude or hateful that we don’t want to help. We are different though. We are the image of Christ in all situations and we must not fail to do all we can. Just as a doctor would face consequences for failing to act when capable, so too will we.

“When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.'” Ezekiel 3:18

There is no time to play games with our life. We have all the tools, knowledge and ability needed to begin helping those in need. There are ER doctors, pediatric doctors, doctors in cities, doctors in villages. It’s not about where they are, it’s that they are doing their job, and if someone is in great distress, doctors don’t sit on the sidelines. As a young poet Ezekiel (not the biblical one) said, “Speak life or death will volunteer itself.”

Much Love,

Luke

“A physician is obligated to consider more than a diseased organ, more even than the whole man – he must view the man in his world.”