Cardio Overhaul

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2012 by Luke Summey

My heart is just flesh. It’s squishy. Because it’s in the heart of my chest (yes God, pun intended) and surrounded by muscle, bone and flesh I tend to think of it as protected and invulnerable. Were I to battle I would place armor over it to further keep it from harm. When life does battle against me I try to put up armor to protect it. When others want it…no. It wouldn’t take much to break it if I pulled it out. Many people would try, like thieves looting for plunder. Some would do it on accident. Like children not recognizing how fragile something is. Some would do it without realizing or being able to stop because they themselves are hurt, like a victim of radioactivity giving someone else a hug.

I don’t know how it’s happened. There are these callouses on my heart. I’ve kept it so protected. How did anything even rub against it to put them there? I think it’s sick to. Are they clots? What it the food I ate? Did what I put into my body elsewhere end up finding its way into my heart and is harming it? I’ve done all I can to protect it. I’ve even only given special people access to it before. Some of them hurt it though. I got better at giving people access. Sorta. Why does it keep hurting?

My heart lets my body move. It pumps life into my whole body.  It gives them motion. It speeds up to increase my action and slows down to give me rest. When that lifeblood returns to my heart, sometimes I wonder if it’s been given all that it needs. I wonder what my heart is pumping into the rest of me; the quality it pumps into my actions. My heart really is me. It pumps the essence of who I am into me. Others hearts are the essence of who they are. I know myself by knowing my heart. Others know me by knowing my heart. I know others by knowing theirs. I guess I have to be vulnerable sometime.

I know you by Your heart. But your heart isn’t like mine. It doesn’t have callouses, it isn’t sick, it doesn’t change because of others, it isn’t vulnerable to attack, it isn’t hidden from others, it doesn’t pump anything bad. Your heart is pure. Your heart doesn’t change because of others but it changes others. You’re heart heals. You’re heart is full and strong. Your heart beats an unending life.

Ok…this is hard…and scary. My heart beat is irregular, quivering. Ok, here it is: I want to know Your heart. That’s all I want. I want to know Your heart. If I know Your heart then everything will change. So…here is mine. It’s naked, out of my chest…take it into Yours. Plummet this heart of mine into the depths of Yours. Then can you fix it? Can you scrub the callouses off? Can you pump out the sickness in mine and fill it with Your blood? With care take my heart and break it inside the warmth of Yours. Can my heart pump Your lifeblood? You’re is better. Mine doesn’t work. It doesn’t last. Fix it God? I know I’ll have to bring it back to you over and over so that you can fix it. I want Your lifeblood in me. I want it to pump through my veins. Everyday I’ll come to You and let You take my heart into Yours and fill it. I’ll give it to You.

I just want to know You, Lord. Teach me more about You. Let me die to myself. Empty me of myself. Fill me with who You are. My life is Yours.

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Man Plans, The Lord Determines

Posted in Uncategorized on March 12, 2012 by Luke Summey

“In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.”  –Proverbs 16:9

Have you ever read a particular piece of scripture and seen a really obvious meaning in it and then one day after having read that same piece of scripture a million times before you suddenly see an even deeper truth? Something even more profound pops out at you? When Jesus says, “He who has ears, let him hear!” it initially means that if you can interpret the words of God then listen, but after really hearing you discover that it means more than that. It means that to the one who truly hears there is a deeper, hidden truth from God. Hearing doesn’t mean understanding a piece of scripture, it means seeing the deeper truth beyond the first layer of truth. When we think we fully understand a piece of scripture, that is when we have stopped hearing. Those who hear don’t tune out what they feel they already understand or have heard. Those who hear listen intently even when they have heard it a thousand times because they want to hear and know more.

This past week as I spoke at the Vine (BCM Oahu’s worship service) and I quoted Prov. 16:9 using the typical context that men make plans but really God is the one who knows what is going to happen to them despite their own plans. Someone even quoted to me later a different version of the verse that says, “Man makes plans and God laughs.” which furthers that concept. But I wonder if the later version of the verse missed out on a very important, deeper meaning in the more direct translation.

God has made each of us incredibly unique. He’s also given us free will. What if God lets us choose part of our life? Choose the direction we go in life? We get to choose whether we follow Him or not. Once we make that choice we still have to choose how much of ourselves we give to Him. We choose how deeply we die to ourselves and surrender to Him. What if God allows us to make certain choices? What if we plan our course but the Lord determines our steps? What if I chose to be a Religious studies major and God ended up using that decision to determine me to the Pagan Student Association at Appalachian State?  What if I chose to surrender to Christ and answer His call to become a Church Planter and He determined me to spend time in LA and Hawaii to learn from Church Planters before I start? What if I choose to pursue Katie and the Lord determined us to plant a church together in Cookeville? My willingness to serve God combined with the uniqueness that God instilled in me leads me to plan my course but it is the Lord who determines my steps in that. It is the Lord who works and moves. What if God is so great that He allows us to make choices that affect His plans for us because He is so incredible and awesome that there is room for change in His plans. What if we die to Him so that our uniqueness can be used in greater ways for Him than we could ever live out?

This past week the Jordan Team finally got our tickets. We made several changes before finally getting specific tickets. We saved $700 a person by making a last minute ticket change that cost us 1.5 days in Jordan. We have four all day layovers. One in LA, two in New York and one in Dallas. It means we only have five and a half days in Jordan. Our original plan gave us two days in Germany (one day on each end) and then seven in Jordan. Now our time in Jordan needs to be even more focused. However this lead to a change in our mindset. We were going to spend one day in Jordan touring and both days in Germany doing the same. With this last minute change two things have happened: First, our determination to make every moment in Jordan count has doubled and second, we realized that we have four days in very different parts of America to serve and recognize that we are still On Mission and not just touring. God just threw us a curve ball and is giving us a day to serve on the west coast, a day in the deep south and two days in the North East. Only God could arrange that. We’re writing contacts we have in all three cities to find ways we can leave the airports and serve for the days we’ll be there.

We had a choice. We plan our course. We could have taken those four days to tour different parts of America, but now the Lord is asking us for our willingness to follow His call and by agreeing He has already determined the missional steps we will take in all of those places.

The Lord Most High is incredible.

When God Leads…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6, 2012 by Luke Summey

My heart is happy. So so happy. God provides the most beautiful blessings in life. Katie is here in the islands with me! The last few days have been wonderful with her here. She’s getting to see my daily life and ministry here and also we’ve been able to make plenty of time to get away and be with each other. Some of her family has been here for a short trip as well and so we got to see them for a little bit to! It’s nice to have my future wifey around to see her future hubby do the Jesus thing that we’ll be doing together soon. 😉  Also just nice to not have the whole long-distance thing be a factor for a week (surprise! It’s more fun in person!). Hopefully it will stop raining at some point this week and we’ll get our engagement and bridal pictures done.

Note number two: God is awesome. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

Numero tres: Ministry goeth well! Epoch, LGBT, meetings with students, speaking (happening often now =O) and all other things in related areas are going really really well! It’s super exciting! I’m pretty much on this Jesus ride and I just can’t get enough. I’m always tired at the end of the day but excited to see what God has done and it makes it all worth it; every time.

Rakam arb3: Jordan. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this in the blog yet, but seven of us from BCM Oahu are going to Jordan over the UH spring break (in two weeks) and four others will be going to Japan. The Japan team will be going to do disaster relief. I’m leading the Jordan team and we’ll be doing language and cultural exchange with college students at both the University of Jordan in the capital of Amman and also at Yarmouk University in Irbid. I’m really excited about both trips! However, I’m going to be blunt, we need help getting there. Jordan is twelve time zones different from Hawaii. In short, we’re traveling to the exact opposite side of the globe. That costs a lot of money. Here in Hawaii we don’t have a strong support base and so we’ve had to do a lot of extra fund-raising for this and we’re still very short of what we need. We’re buying the tickets today but most of us don’t have the money to pay the convention back for this. As always, I ask you to pray for both the trip and the financial means for us to make it but I also invite you to prayerfully consider if God would have you contribute to this. If you or anyone you know would like to, by all means, feel free! 😉  Checks can be made out to HPBC with a tag for BCM Oahu Missions and sent to this address:
2042 Vancouver drive
Honolulu, HI 96822

We’ve had weekly meetings where I’ve taught the team a lot about the country. I’ve made a lot of the food for them, taught them some of the language, taught them the history of the region, important cultural information, taught them the history of Islam and about Islam itself, and taught them about the Christians in the country and how they are different from Christians here in America. I’m really excited to see the cultural exchange; since Hawaii is a blend of Asian and Pacific cultures and they have experience with multiple cultures already they have a lot of potential to adapt quickly even though Arab culture is very different. The trip will be a quick 7 days in the country but I’m convinced it will be life-changing for our team. How could such a wonderful place like Jordan not be? =) Home home home. I’m taking people home with me. I can’t wait for them to meet my people, hear my language, see Arab hospitality, and fall in love with it.

افتقدك وأنت، يا الأردن

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

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.