Galatians 5:16-17

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:16-17

Friday, July 15, 2011


It is discouraging to see how quickly I resort to trying to cover my low planks. I can't stop my proneness to hide my weaknesses, my default mode that constantly magnetizes towards trying to make everything seem ok. The Body of Christ is so stalled when I do that. What a horrible mistake to make.

I'm not ok. I am still really broken, I have lived a selfish, wrong-direction, sinful life until God began revealing Himself, His greatness and His unconditional, and immeasurable grace to me. And since then (about 2 years ago) I have been spending a lot of time around healed people. And I am now realizing that during much of the past 2 years, I have tried to make my restoration towards holiness happen on my own. I saw it in others, and I tried to get it myself (through Christian books, disciplines, practices..etc) I tried to make it happen without submitting to God doing it - however he wants - probably through a furnace. Discipline produces the peaceful fruit of righteousness, but even if it didn't  - It doesn't matter because it is for His glory, not mine.

God can cause this shift of looking differently at my brokenness though.
"Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid," Ezekiel 39:25-26. 

It is still so hard to revisit those treacherous places. But He will make me forget them or see them anew.

I hear the Lord say today, "Son, if you only knew how big my Grace really is. Your past and your idolatry, and your disobedience is more wrong than you'll ever know. But please stop trying to equalize it - you will never be able to come close - it's impossible. Impossible.
Please go to the Cross. The perfect redemption that you don't even know you're looking for is there."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dannah chastised...I mean about blogging;)

Hawaii has gotten better:) The Lord has his hand so much on New Hope - it's such a blessing to be around!
Something so cool that He has been doing in my time out here has been allowing me to understand things about myself, Him, and life in a more organized and prioritized way. 

I feel like in some ways, my mind/heart have been moving from this:

To this:

I used to drown in is confusion, because of an inability to stand on truth as Truth, and it would cause me to get so discouraged.
I feel more organized and put together, more grounded in God's truth and stronger in the sense that I am finding victory in things that used to easily drag me off course from pursuing Him. 

I've begun to enjoy the excitement of learning that scripture and Truth straight-up allow me to realign my wavering flesh back onto the Truth about my place in God's story and my identity as His seriously we can tell ourselves "No, Billy, wherever that thought came from, it's not true and THIS is how you should be thinking," and it listens!!! :)  

But at the same time, I have also seen how weak and unable I am to even enter into that process. It's hard:/ Sometimes it feels like I just can't do it. I don't have the energy or might to drag myself before the Lord and call on His strength.

A friend of mine just shared with me some wisdom she received from an older woman in our church recently...This woman told her that some mornings she has a really really really hard time getting out of bed (she's like 70). She says that seriously, sometimes she really just can't get out of bed. And what she does is sing hymns until she has enough strength to get up and start her day. "The joy of the Lord is my strength...the joy of the Lord is my strength...the joy of the Lord is my strength..." for sometimes more than 30 minutes before she can actually get up. I 'know' that He is faithful to come and rescue us, but I give up so fast, and choose a crappy temporal fill. 

Could you guys please be praying for that. I miss you. see you on the 30th - *hopefully (i'm flying standby)

i love you guys

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm giving up, Lord.

I still fall into trying to be a good Christian:(
I'm learning that's a seriously dangerous goal. Beneath that seemingly good goal, is a performance, 'me-focused' understanding of walking with God. It reveals my misunderstanding that I have to do stuff well - I don't, I can't. If I really understood how free I am by the cross ALONE - and how my performance seriously has nothing to do with God's love and affection for me. I would live differently.
I had a breakdown on Friday and it was the culmination of try, try, try harder, try to figure it out, try to piece it together, try, try, NOT WORKING!
I am living by the false gospel that says, "Billy, make sure you nail this presentation at Children's ark today...make sure you say the right things when you meet with this guy today...make sure you affirm 8 (not 6) people today...make sure you don't spend more than x amount on food this month...blah blah blah."
I am seeing that the things most forefront on my mind over the past year or so have been things having to do with the Gospel, but not the heart of it. Things relating to Christ, things that can better my relationship with Him, spiritual disciplines that have to do with Christ, spending time with community that also loves Christ...but it hasn't been Christ Himself. Community is flawed, disciplines are flawed, small groups are flawed, services are flawed, Christian books are flawed. Christ is not flawed. Neither is the cross(Heb 10:14).
I am seeing how easily it is to fall into setting my mind on things other than Christ's cross. It is the most important thing to ever happen, and there is no better thought for me to set my mind on than that. When i sit on it, I am reminded of my sin, and I can temporarily see the frailty of trying. It - out of love - affirms that "Billy, apart from me you can't do anything. Literally nothing. Apart from me humanity is screwed. But because I love you. I made a way, offering renewal and regeneration."

And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Ezekiel 36:26-27

Father, I can't walk in your statutes. I try and try and fail and fail, I'm sick of it. I feel like my walk has led me to give up - and I feel like that's a good thing. Would you help me give up and just press into You who will never deny my seek. Would you captivate me so that I am able to sit at your feet and wait, aiming to live obediently while you refine my heart. Will you give me the strength to endure the many, many withdrawals of my flesh as my heart is transformed in You. You are so good, Lord. Truly soo far beyond all comparison.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

forgotten foundation

These lyrics really jumped out this morning:

When the walls close in around me
Let Your glory light the darkness of my night

When the suffering's all that I see
May I walk with You by faith and not by sight

Amidst a season of the Lord cautioning me from a 'me-and-my-works' based understanding of serving Him, working me down instead of up, simple instead of complex:

I'm realizing a wrong way in which I approach God in struggle. 
Somewhere along the way I've began to develop this horrible misunderstanding that says since I am growing and now know more about walking with the Lord, I've lost my rookie excuse and can't use the "I have no idea what's going on God, but I need you." I still miss the Truth that says I don't have to become a good Christian, I don't have to diagnose all of my spiritual problems and prescribe remedies, I can forever cry, "Lord I'm sinking, I have no idea what's going on, save me! Let your Glory light the darkness of my night!"  

Praise Him for being the most incredible teacher ever; revealing to us where we're missing it, and blessing childlike desperation!
I love you FATHER!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Prayer please

Hi guys!
I really miss you.

Hawaii is beautiful. My living situation is really blessed, 4 rad guys, who all serve and are so nice and fun. They're all really adventurous and disciplined and older than me and it's been really good to be around that. We went spearfishing on Memorial Day - awesome! I didn't catch anything but when you see a fish and start chasing it, the anticipation was enough fun in itself;)
The people are nice to haoles like me, waves are great, the exposure to church stuff is awesome, the Spirit moves so visibly and so often!

But I'm tired spiritually. It's like stretching a sore muscle - or working out a muscle that I don't even have yet;) But God is so faithful and even amidst my irritation, frustration, and ungraceful exhaustion I am hearing him more clearly than I can ever remember.

Can you pray for me please, I need it.
For courage to step into anything that he asks of me. And for an awareness and strength to call on the Spirit for help to push through when I get tired and/or frustrated.

How has circles been going?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just let. me love you

I love you guys.
I am sad to be leaving you for the next couple months. Circles has been such an awesome gift of community.

The retreat was so cool this weekend:

Nick C, thank you for praying over me that, "I walk in victory, now."
Nick A, thank you so much for reminding me that "I can't outgive the giver, and that I can't love Him without Him letting me!!" That was huge for me to hear.
Dannah, thanks for opening up about your desert that you feel you're in. I am too.
Lindsay thank you for posting that Graham Cooke video that reminded me that I can't do anything to make God love me more. I was not walking in an understanding of that.

God's illuminating something for me lately...My lack of really receiving the deep, validating, and freeing love of the Father. Brennan Manning described it, "to stop living in my head and sink down into my heart and feel liked and accepted." I understand it, but I haven't been living it. And I'm thankful for confusion and despair driving me back to it. I've lately been thinking the Christian life is about doing great things for God as a validating end in itself. Ironically enough, I've driven myself into a stupid, confused place of not doing anything.

I've given such little attention to rejoicing in the Truth that I am God's son!!! I AM! :) and he's obsessed with me. He says to his angels, look at that stud down there, I love him so much - I just wish he learned that it was less about trying to figure it all out and he would just rest in me and all my powerful love alone.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I wanted to tell you guys tomorrow, but I am not going to be there :(

On Monday, I committed to going to Hawaii for a 2 month internship in June and July.

I'm stoked about it.

Over the past while, as I have been learning to see my gifts and better understand how I should be expending them for the Kingdom; I have equally experienced a discontent in recognizing that I'm not using them. I don't feel a peace or confidence that I'm walking in the role that God designed me to fulfill.

The past two years, a time that most take steps towards mastering their craft and walking into their roles, God has been doing much foundational work in my mind and heart in understanding Him and the Christian life - work that I should have surrendered to him doing sooner. I don't see it as punishment, far from punishment is being nurtured (or as Bri or Caydin? would say, 'massaged':) by the Spirit, transforming into the image of pure and holy God. But the fact that I blew my college years chasing after the wind, I needed a season to learn important truths about God. In it, I've seen the Lord take my life, then gripping the world tightly, release me and reveal that following Jesus, and worshipping and enjoying intimacy with God is the purpose of existence. My mind and heart now know that unexperienced treasures lie ahead in fully releasing and turning towards Christ. My head and heart are looking at Him, and I'm now consciously fighting to pull out the remnants of the unhealthy affair my flesh had with the world. 

I don't know if there's a more noticeable area of my life that I can see this tension in than in my thoughts of work and vocation. Because of the confusion, without a doubt, the question I most hate answering is "What do you want to do for work?" "What are your plans, what are you wanting to do when you.....are thirty?!" 
I've been overwhelmed and still don't get a lot of it. I'm confused about why in my mind I don't think I can pursue Christ as fully and with as much enthusiasm in a secular job as I could in ministry; and more broadly I'm amidst the breaking down of a career understanding where I'm at the top of a water slide platform with 4 slides to choose to go down, with so many factors distracting God's voice.

Building frustrations have turned into sarcastic remarks about how I have no idea when people ask. But I really don't think it's very funny :( I want so badly to feel the joy and contentment that comes from effectively pouring my gifts into a role that I know God's equipped me for. 

So the thing I am most excited about Hawaii is that it will continue what circles has planted and further allow me to see God's desire for me in this area. I hope God will further till my fleshly proneness to desiring comfort over obedience in the area of a job, and that I will be able to more accept that I've been made by God. The same God who commanded the world to come into existence! I want to be unleashed man.

*Cool side note - I have a friend who, since starting college, has been drifting. And God has been putting him on my heart over the past year or so and I haven't been faithful in praying for him and going up and visiting him at school. He called me the other day to tell me he'll be going to Hawaii for 6 weeks to play baseball. Same time! Same island!:)
I told him i was gonna be there too - I wish I could do his reaction justice;)

So please be praying for diligence and for God to move huge. My friends name is Trevor.
I will definitely keep you guys updated.