Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Konnichiwa - To the Rising Sun with The Risen SON (Part 1)

Mount FujiHello there friends. Sorry it has been a while since I have posted. Things have been pretty busy lately. I have been working on some new disciplines and it has rather upset the applecart of my schedule. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance everything and get stuff done.

In the news of what is happening with me, it would seem that I will be going to Japan for a short mission trip in the middle of February.

I had been praying for a friend recently who made a trip to Japan last year. I had just finished praying about him taking another trip to Japan when I got an email from him asking if I wanted to go there with him. Something inside of me said, "Sure!" So we began to talk about the trip. It was clear that he was supposed to go. There were ample signs to that effect, but it wasn't so clear that I was.

After all, my finances haven't been the most hearty in the past couple of years. How would I go? How would I finance it? How could I justify it?

I even went as far as to go up and visit with my friend. At the time I thought, "Nah, I'm probably just supposed to lend logistical support." To be honest I kind of put it out of my mind. There was no way it was going to be feasible.

Yet, the question wasn't answered for sure and I had frankly been dodging the question in the prayer room. Don't ask me why. But last Tuesday I finally got back around to talking to the Lord about it and He made it pretty clear that I am supposed to go. I still don't know how. I still don't know why, but I believe that I am supposed to go.

The Lord has begun to bring in the finances for the trip. That is an exciting thing, but I guess the Lord pays for the projects that He has endorsed. Hopefully, we will have the full amount for the trip before we leave and hopefully my passport will be here in time. I ordered it last Friday morning and there was a two week wait. That gives me just one day of cushion. Definitely cutting it close.

We still don't know exactly what we'll be doing on the trip, but we are trusting the Lord to guide us. I'm going with my friend who spent a month in country a couple years ago. He documented his trip in his blog, David's Mobile Blog. I will update you here as the news unfolds, and I'll be sure to post some updates and pictures from the trip while we are there. I guess that is all for now. More to come soon!

NOTE: Thanks to my cousin, Gary, for the title suggestion for this series and the admonition that I should be journaling this experience.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Huzzah! Snow!

A snowy landscape
Jonathan EllerAt long last the Lord graced us with some snow. There was much rejoicing from the kiddos as they were relieved of a day in the salt mines (aka school). They had yesterday off for MLK Day and then I think they are off Thursday and Friday too. I'm sure they are loving that.

Southern snow is awesome. You get to enjoy it for a couple hours and then it goes away. It helps to boost the local economy too. There is generally a rush on milk and bread. Don't ask me why. It's a tradition and who ever knows what gets them started. But one thing for sure is that the South is all about traditions... at least the real Southerners (the ones whose families have been here for generations) are.

If you are a first generation resident of the South, you'll probably never be considered Southern. Sorry 'bout that. Nothing personal usually. Facts are facts. You'll just never "get it" until your family roots have had a bit of time to marinate in our culture. You will perhaps find assimilation easier if one or more of your ancestors fought for the Confederacy during the war between the states.

I watched a bit of the inauguration online today. I started out on the live stream provided by CNN and Facebook. It was more of a trickle than a stream. It looked like more bandwidth was devoted to the inane comments from the Facebook viewers than was to the actual broadcast. Being exposed to the absurdity of the hero worship, the cattiness of the uncouth, and the shallowness of the masses made me want to hurl. I was actually relieved when I got booted from the trickle. I went over to Fox News and watched it there without the comments from the peanut gallery. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Fox's personalities weren't talking (or arguing) over the festivities as they usually do.

I thought the speech was well delivered. President Obama can really talk. However, just like on the campaign trail I felt that his rhetoric had no grounding in reality and that the statements that he offered on most things reeked of wrongheadedness - a wrongheadedness that I fear will cost us dearly. I was disappointed in the thinly veiled attacks on President Bush and his policies, and I was similarly disappointed in the racism that tinged so many of the comments.

These things being said, I did find myself agreeing with him that the time to cease business as usual is long past. I agreed that it is time to stop trying to avoid facing the difficult choices that have to be made. And I agreed that it is time for everyone in this country to take responsibility for fixing the things that need to be fixed. Hopefully he can engender enough cooperation to accomplish the things that are really in the best interests of the country. But I hope he gets as much resistance as he and his party gave President Bush on the things that will ultimately tear our nation down. May God keep him from passing even one of those measures.

Still, I will continue to pray for him and his administration.

I have a message to post here soon. Perhaps I can get to it tomorrow, although I have lots of other priorities that have to be taken care of so we'll see. Hope you enjoyed the snow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Real Content Coming Soon...

Sorry I have been away for a couple of days. I have something that I will be posting soon, but I am waiting for a review of the information that will be contained in it. Something came up a couple days ago that has taken me out of the mood to write, but I do have a number of things to write about soon.

I don't know if I'll be able to manage an average of a post a day this year. We'll see if I can manage that, but there are some things that I am working on this year that will have to take precedence over recreational blogging.

One of the things that I am trying to change this year is a deepening of my walk with the Lord. This is not an easy thing because it involves changing mindsets and habits. But I have been challenged coming into this year in a very strong way to raise the bar and drive deeper into God's presence. That will require a better use of my time and even now I am examining the ways that I spend my time recreationally to see if it is being used in the most productive way.

I am also writing on the book. After spending a good portion of my day researching and writing on the book it is hard to motivate to write recreationally too. I'm still working on the second chapter that I mentioned earlier. It has actually expanded more than I thought when I last wrote, and I still have three major topics to cover in this chapter before it will be "finished."

I would love to finish this chapter tomorrow and move on to something else, but we'll have to see how things go. A lot of it will be hinging on whether I am able to share the information that I mentioned earlier. I expect that it will take a couple hours to write that post if it gets to happen. I also have to run a couple of errands tomorrow. So we'll see. I certainly hope to at least post something brief before the weekend is finished.

I have pretty much decided to stop posting the Presidential Prayer Team prayers. I will go through the ones I have missed. If I find any that I think are particularly relevant I'll get them posted before the inauguration. This does not mean that I will stop praying for President Obama and his administration, I just decided to not continue this series. You can go to the Presidential Prayer Team website to get the remainder if you like.

Thanks for your patience as I am working to get you some bona fide content.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm Home

I got the chance to go and worship with some friends in Raleigh today (actually it was more like Apex or Cary) and came across two really awesome songs. I have been impressed with the worship leader at my friend's church. She has a real anointing as she leads, yet is extremely humble.

Here is the first of the songs that moved me today. It is called Hosanna and was written by Brooke Fraser who is with Hillsong in Australia.

The second was by Mark Altrogge (who wrote another of my favorite choruses (Thank You For The Cross) and is called One Pure And Holy Passion.

These songs really seem to encapsulate much of what seems to be coming from the heart of God during this season. I intend to add them to my repertoire very soon.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Hunger And Thirst For God In The Capital

The US Capitol Building and the Mall in Washington DC from the Washington Monument.For the spiritual climate in Washington, D.C. to be characterized by a hunger and thirst for God and His ways

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
—Matthew 5:6

Righteous God, only You are deserving of our fear and our awe. All our yearnings are fulfilled in You, for You are faithful and true. There is no God like You, for You can do all things, even that which seems impossible to the human eye.

Knowing Your capabilities are limitless, Lord, we ask boldly and with confidence for You to nurture a spiritual climate in our nation’s capital, inside the beltway and out, in which our leaders desire You and Your ways. God, create in them a longing to know You, and a realization that without You they are incapable of making the decisions that are best for our nation. Make Yourself real to them, Lord, in uniquely personal and undeniable ways, we ask, by the power of Your Son Jesus, amen.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Book

Writing today went very well, although I didn't finish up the chapter I was working on, I feel like I got about 75% of the way there. There were some really cool moments where some stuff came out as I was writing that I had no idea was in my heart. The Lord told me this morning that the process of writing this book would deepen me and it would seem that it is the case. It excites me so much that I can hardly wait to write the next portion.

I'll be heading to visit a friend tomorrow to pray about a potential opportunity that is also very exciting. I don't want to go into the details about it right now because there is much to be worked out and nothing is certain, but I am hopeful to be able to bring a good report in the not too distant future.

Well, that is all for now. I need to get some rest. It is going to be a busy day and an incredible weekend!


I'm not often a fan of covers, but Jacob Moon did an excellent one of Rush's Subdivisions. See for yourself!

That Those Serving The Obama Administration Would Be Guided By God's Word

The White House at night
For the members of the new administration from the President and Vice President to the West Wing to clerical workers at every level to be guided by the Holy Scriptures as they serve

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
—Psalm 119:103-105

O Lord God, how I praise You for the love You showed us in giving Your Son Jesus Christ, the Living Word who was, who is, and who is to come. Thank You for providing Your holy Word to guide our path as we seek and serve You. May Your Word be lifted up, honored and obeyed by all Americans in the days and weeks to come.

As the members of the new administration are identified, appointed and hired to serve in specific positions of service to our government, I pray that they will be guided by Your Word. Shine the light of Your truth on their paths, Lord, so they may experience the sweetness of walking in Your truth. Do this, O Lord, for Your Name’s sake. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It Has Begun

My new year project this year is the writing of a book. I have always known that I had at least one book in me, and I have said so here before. While I am continuing to add to my poetry collection (I think I'm up to 23 sonnets now, and I'm shooting for at least 150.) I also have begun writing a book on discipleship.

So far the writing has been mixed. Some things have gone better than others, and today I finished the first complete chapter. (Although it isn't the first chapter sequentially.) I also began to write a second and made some good progress on it today. I hope to finish that chapter tomorrow. The book looks like it is going to be fairly extensive at this point. I have many subject headings and many ideas for supplemental materials. Everything is extremely rough right now, but the best part is that it is a start - a good start. And I know where I am going with it more or less. All that is left now is to continue my research and write it. That and all the other stuff too...!

So that is a brief update on what I am working on.

I shall try to keep you up to date with that as well as get you filled in on the holidays as soon as possible.

Until then, be blessed!

Holiness In The US House Of Representatives

The Capitol Building tilted at a jaunty angle in the background with a jonquil in the foregroundFor the members of the U.S. House of Representatives to seek God with their whole hearts, desiring righteousness and holiness as they serve

Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
—Isaiah 11:5

Sovereign God, Your plans are perfect and Your ways are right and just. We look to You and see the beauty of all You have designed. We trust in Your perfect will and Your way, particularly when it comes to the selection and cooperation of our national leaders.

Lord, assist those in the U.S. House of Representatives to desire what others, particularly their constituents, want and need instead of what will bring them individual gain or glory. Show them the value of asking You for insight and of obeying Your direction, in humble recognition of Your presence and love. Let them pursue righteousness and holiness as they serve on Capitol Hill, in the name of Christ our Lord, amen.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Holiness In the US Senate

US Senate Chambers
For the members of the U.S. Senate to be cleansed of sin and purified to serve their constituencies with faithfulness and godliness

And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
—Hebrews 10:21-23

O God of promises, I praise and thank You today for keeping every promise You have made—and for Your ultimate promise of salvation which is in Jesus Christ, Your Son. Thank You for Your untiring faithfulness which secures a place in Heaven for me.

Today, I ask for blessings on the members of the United States Senate—those newly elected and those who have served for years. O God, as these dedicated men and women prepare to serve our nation in the 111th Congress, I ask that You cleanse and purify them so they may serve You and our nation with faithfulness and godliness. In Your holy name, amen.

Monday, January 05, 2009


It has been a while. Sorry I have been away. With the holidays I had just hit saturation and needed a break and it was a very good break. I hope that your holidays were good as well. I won't go into every detail at the present because it is time for me to be getting to bed, but the thing that has been the most memorable about my holiday was the One Thing Conference that was broadcast from Kansas City from December 28 through December 31, 2008. It rocked me. I can't begin to really explain how, but I know that I have been changed and that my priorities have been shaken. The Lord has done much to sanctify my time and has separated me from much entertainment and it has borne wonderful fruit in my life, but now I sense that He is calling me even deeper, and I can't wait to see what I find out there.

I would encourage any of you to go to the International House Of Prayer website and register to be able to watch the archives of the conference. It is worth the time that you will invest. It is worth every moment. Now it is possible that the music doesn't really work for you, but skip the music and listen to what these men and women of God have to say - that's the beauty of the information age!

Tomorrow I will endeavor to at least get you the Presidential Prayer Team prayer focus for the day. I will also see about starting to get you caught up on the prayers that I haven't posted while I have been on break. I'll probably publish them in groups of three.

There are many more things that I would love to share with you, and perhaps there will be time tomorrow, but not tonight. Thanks for your patience and grace to take some time away.