Archive for February, 2012

Through the Pain

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 by Luke Summey

I am a laughingstock to my friends;
I, who called to God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune;
it is ready for those whose feet slip.
The tents of robbers are at peace,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hand.
–Job 12:4-6

Sometimes life sucks really bad. With intense effort all we seem to yield is pain or negative progress. We seek out God and yet seem to be rewarded with misfortune or calamity. Hard situations appear and no matter what we do they don’t seem to let up. Struggles in relationships, friends going through hard times, family circumstances that don’t seem to get better, emotional trauma, hard work that goes nowhere, unfair tragedies, effort with no profit, perseverance with no reward… Job knew the depths of despair and many of us deal with it ourselves. The questions lies before us: where is hope? What if I can’t make it? What do I do? Why is this happening?

We feel broken beyond repair. The world seems to be against us and seeking our end.

“My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
the graveyard is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers about me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.
–Job 17:1-2

And yet Job somehow arrives at this place:

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
–Job 19:25-27

Job takes comfort in God no matter what hellacious storms without end attack him on this earth. There is a God who is bigger than Job’s struggles and problems. There is a God who, at the end of life, has hope for us. No matter what we face on this earth, there is a God who loves and will welcome us into His arms in heaven.

To those who are struggling, know this: Never give up hope because the source of all hope has already won and will welcome you into His embrace no matter what has, is or will happen in this life. No struggle is to great. No place of brokenness is to much. No pain and hurt can last long enough to extinguish the hope that we have in Christ.

This verse gets me through:

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.   –Romans 5:3-5

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Who in the Skies is Comparable to the LORD?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2012 by Luke Summey

So here’s the scoop,

5 The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD;
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD?
Who among the sons of the mighty is like the LORD,
7 A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,
And awesome above all those who are around Him?
8 O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD?
Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
9 You rule the swelling of the sea;
When its waves rise, You still them.”

–Psalm 89:5-9

God is incredible and there is none like Him. There is nothing more true than that.

This week BCM hosted the LGBT coffee hour and had our intro to the weekly spiritual discussion group. It was met with a lot of seriousness and emotion. People were touched by the message of the gospel and there was no push back. The Holy Spirit literally silenced all else to let the gospel flow into their ears and hearts. And now the strongholds of Satan have been shattered so that we can speak Gods love directly to them in the upcoming weeks. Some have already come to church with us, others have come to BCM, and still more are excited to have a weekly opportunity to discuss spirituality with us. PRAISE THE GREAT LIVING GOD ON HIGH!!!

But wait! There is more! This weekend BCM Oahu and BCM Hilo are getting together and having our annual retreat called The Gathering. This weekend is going to be all about the spiritual revitalization and growth of the students, challenging them to take steps towards being missional in their very lifestyle. It is going to be incredible! GOD IS MOVING LIKE CRAZY IN THE ISLANDS!!!

Praise Him.

One Year Anniversary

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2012 by Luke Summey

Be mine forever and always?
Seriously? Seven times yes!
Committed for our lives.
A year already? God has blessed.

Happy Anniversary Habeebti.

For those of you reading this an wondering what is going on, it is Katie and my one year anniversary since we started dating! Since we’re thousands of miles away from each other and I can’t take her on a proper date I’ve decided to find other ways to be cutesy and romantic. I’ve written her a seven part poem and sent her on a scavenger hunt to find them and read them using different forms of internet social media. Each part is written using a different style of poetry (twitter got the haiku because nothing else would fit) and once she puts the whole poem together it tells our story from beginning until now.

I love you so much Katie. I’m so blessed to be able to spend the rest of my life with you.

July 23rd can’t arrive soon enough.

Revolt From Lame, Embrace Craziness!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 by Luke Summey

I just finished the book, “The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus and watched the documentary “Beware of Christians”. If you have not seen the documentary I cannot recommend adamantly enough that you see it. If you have not read the book, stop reading this and either find a friend to borrow it from or go directly to Amazon and order it, then come back to this. It is on my top three list of influential books I’ve read. (Just to toss out the other two, they would be “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller and “God of the Possible” by Greg Boyd).

I feel like I could write a book myself right now because of all of the thoughts running through my mind but for brevity and importance sake I’m going to try and isolate a few ideas and explain them as succinctly as possible. Warning: BOOM kind (replace kind with type if you are not Hawaiian) thoughts ahead.

Thought #1: Christians who don’t follow Jesus
Matthew 7:22-23 may be the scariest passage in the Bible. What if you think you’re a Christian but after a life of dedicated religious service you actually never knew the Christ and His heart? I suppose we could easily dismiss the verse concerning ourselves and take heart in that we aren’t nominal Christians and the verse is obviously talking about them. But what if we’re wrong? What if even after you’ve striven to follow Christ for years you are still missing Him? I wonder how many of us follow Christian rituals and traditions, go to bible studies and attend worship services, go on service projects and give out tracts and yet still don’t know what it means to follow Jesus. If Jesus was walking through your life right now could you honestly say that you are following in step right behind Him, or are you following Christianity instead? Jesus was a rebel, an outcast and a radical. He did crazy things that were counter-cultural every day. Are we really following Jesus, or are we following Christianity?

Thought #2: A heart for Evangelism that is interfering with our presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ
When we read about Jesus declaring who He is or about others doing the same in the New Testament there is a consistent pattern: Most think it’s crazy/stupid, some are curious and want to hear more, and a select few believe. Especially in evangelical denominations there is an enormous emphasis on reaching the lost. It’s the number one reason I’m an evangelical believer. But what if our heart for the lost, our very desire for everyone to be saved, is bringing us to a place where we aren’t preaching the gospel anymore? What if in our gospel presentations we’ve borrowed hints of the prosperity gospel? I know I’m guilty. My heart can break so badly for lost friends that I cry, but with that I’ve often said as much as I could that was positive about the gospel that I’ve stopped declaring the gospel and started promising the love of God only. Are we inviting people into an extremely hard life of selfless(we’ll never strive to be that enough) living to follow the steps of Jesus in our life or are we inviting people into a lovey, fluffy, domesticated Christianity? When did we stop inviting people into the dangerous adventure of following God and start inviting them to a life of lovely and safe church events and discipleship programs?

Thought #3: Domesticated and civilized Christianity instead of rebellious,  counter-cultural, socially deviant Jesus followers
Think about John the Baptist (camel cloths, ate locusts and wild honey, werido in the desert declaring a savior to come), Jesus (no home, no money, preaching abrupt messages, started an uprising), Paul (proclaimed the gospel till he was whipped five times, shipwrecked twice, stoned, bitten by a venomous snake….super disfigured), Timothy (had part of his penis snipped off as an adult for the sake of better relating to the people he was reaching), Peter (was at pentecost and saw the Holy Spirit provide spiritual gifts to the full)… al of the incredible Biblical characters we’re outcasts, weirdos, rebels, and barbarians. They lived out weird lives doing extreme things saying unbelievable stuff and God blessed them. Any of the good ones look this way. Can you see any of them going to your church, then coming to your bible study, then being a part of your outreach? We need to amp up our weird factor and become rebels because we’re to conformist as Christians and not wild enough.

Thought #4: Discipling people into a domesticated faith or an untamable one
This one in particular scared me the other day because I am at a pivotal point in discipling a brother and realized I was about to start discipling him into a domesticated walk with God instead of a wild run with Christ. I wasn’t trying to unleash what Jesus is trying to do in him, I was trying to train him to live the life of a good Christian. I was reading through Romans with him and trying to tell him that he needed to get in the habit of reading his Bible (which he was not thrilled about). Note to self: As a believer, passion should be our drive to follow Christ, not force towards conformity. Instead this week, we’re done sitting in a room with a bible, we’re going running. We’ll talk about what the Holy Spirit is doing in him and his life. You know what ignited my initial uncertainty? When I was looking for ways of convincing him to read his Bible he said to me, “I don’t know man, God talks to me in way more exciting and cool ways”. I almost tried to extinguish the passion he had for following Jesus and tried to replace it with boredom.

Sip of Water? Nah, Thunderstorm! –God

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2012 by Luke Summey

Today I had a meeting with the LGBT coordinator to plan the parameters of the “spiritual forum” or “spiritual panel” or whatever it is that we called it. After the students expressed their desire for it, it was left to me to plan and organize the event. The students kept expressing two very different desires for it and so I arranged to meet with the LGBT coordinator (Cam) again so that he could help with creating the structure for the event.

I told Cam that two different kinds of events had been requested. The first was an inter-faith panel discussion about homosexuality (which I had neither the desire to do nor the resources here to do well) and the second, was a much more personal event. I told him that I was willing to sit in the hot seat and let it be a time for the students to vent their frustrations with Christians. Inevitably many of them have had people yell things at them like, “God hates fags” or ,”The Bible doesn’t tolerate gays” to which Cam quickly added, “Or things like, ‘The Bible says gays are going to hell.'” and I was like, “Exactly.” So I wanted the event to be a chance for them to not have to worry about something as formal as a panel, something where they could drop their filters and ask the hard questions. I told him that they can ask me things like, “What does the bible say about homosexuality?” or, “Does God love me?” and I’m more than happy to answer. I also told him that the two other BCM students who come with me would be there to answer as well and we could even get some local pastors there for students to talk to about church afterward.

I didn’t see Cam’s response coming. I thought he was going to push for the inter-faith dialogue or to limit what I was hoping for in the other event. Instead, this is what he said:

“I think that would be fantastic. We can do the inter-faith thing some other time and let someone else deal with that. Hey, how about we make this a weekly thing? You could lead it and maybe have a different discussion every week? Maybe a different pastor show up each time? We could let you do an initial event at Coffee Hour and then let everyone know that you’ll be having a once a week meeting that will go into more depth. If you send me a flyer format I can print it and have it ready by next week to give out. Oh and we can use any room in the building and reserve it for you. You can even use the LGBT lounge if you want. How about you take up half an hour of Coffee Hour in two weeks to do that? Actually, BCM could take the whole hour. Why don’t you do an ice breaker for the first half hour and then the discussion for the last half hour? Then we can tell everyone the set time for the weekly meeting. All of this sound good to you? ”

I prayed and asked God for a just a small sip of waters worth of an opportunity to share His Love with them.  “Sip of water? Nah, Thunderstorm!” –God

It appears God has bigger plans and dreams bigger dreams.