Archive for January, 2010

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA its cold!

 

Winter in California is freezing this year. Its all the way into 60s-70s.

I went to Disney and people were wearing shorts, but you could tell

who the natives were because we knew how to dress in our warm winter coats and

hats…woman had scarf’s on! That is a Californian!

 

 

2ND GENERATION OF CHRISTIANS WHO ARE OUTSIDE OUR CHURCH BUBBLE

That’s not what I wanted to blog about though. I have been around a lot of 2nd and 3rd generation Christians and there seems to be something that God is working on within a part of that people group.

Sometimes someone born and raised in church has the “I know enough to have to be saved but don’t have enough connection to God to always want to be saved.” the Bible, miracles, God stories, these don’t affect someone the same way who inherited them rather then experienced them as part of their own relationship with God. I know several people who are so loving and amazing and were brought up in the faith, but just don’t have enough personal connectivity or experience to want to pursue being a Christian right now until something happens to make it really personal. We are not talking about rebellious individuals but just people who love God but who have not grown spiritually because they don’t know how to get on the road to that growth personally and the roads modeled to them might seem suffocating.

In some ways that can sound selfish of them, but I personally understand as one who was raised around church and had to attend tons of meetings where my life revolved around services. I began to resent the religion when I didn’t have the relationship. Especially in the crowd of circle dancers (same 6 dance moves for 10 years) and shofar blowers (the kind that never had a lesson and made the horn sound like a 3 year old was blowing it) and weird musicians (singing “I am a small and lowly grape…clutching to the vine, waiting for the day when I become my saviors wine…”) these had no meaning to me and yet I was afflicted by them. They embarrassed me as a young man because no one could explain why…we were just supposed to have a good heart about it all which meant don’t have a critical analysis because that means you have a critical spirit.

The problem with that is you never feel like you are being honest with yourself. I know a lot of these young people feel like hypocrites when they can’t successfully sit through a service without feeling critical because it’s not really their service and if they were going to give themselves fully to it, it means they are responsible for the weirdness that they feel so separate from at the same time.

SOME INSIGHT AND SUGGESTIONS

Now here is a possible solution, relationship takes time to build and God wants to take real time through real people to build connection and relationship to the religiously disenfranchised, but it’s going to take a non judgmental approach to loving no matter if the person has the same values in common with you or not. You are allowed to meet with people who don’t connect to your church or ministry, the main connection we are supposed to have is love and mutual respect. Half of my core of life friends experiences the structure of our community called church together, but then many of my other friends are friends outside of organized faith.

For those who are jaded, organized meetings don’t always facilitate that building process. Just like when you are dating you are seeing a person one on one and fall in love, it takes some real personal experience of prayer and getting to know God to fall in love with Him. If you were inoculated to that (inoculation means you were given just enough of a disease to fight it off) then meetings feel unnatural until you have built relationship.

I think God is about to reveal Himself to a whole generation of misunderstood individuals who were raised around church and meetings and structure that didn’t have the same meaning to them as to their parents. I think if we spend time with them in a way that is love based, not performance based, then we will gain friends and so when God changes us, it will change them naturally through Osmosis vs. through verbal communication or structure.

It’s time for the hundreds of thousands who were raised in church but don’t want to go anymore to feel unconditional love that doesn’t require anything more than love in return. Jesus came in a similar time in Israel and He spent more time outside of the Temple with people who had been abused by the religions of the day as He did inside the Temple. He lead the lost sheep of Israel back to their first love through building relationship with them and meeting them with the very real Father in their every day lives.

The early church that started was not a replacement for relationship or an institute, but a place where friends could come together and relate about the goodness of God and support each other through the very real turmoil of life.

If we are going to see a harvest of harvesters, I think we need to love those who we already have connection to and sow into their lives and dreams without the pressure of putting structure on it.

Just a thought….it sounds good but it’s hard.

 

Signing off

Shawn Bolz

http://www.expression58.org


 

CALLING OUR COMMUNITY OF

EXPRESSION58

2    PRAYER    GRATITUDE     PROCLOMATION & FASTING

 

WE ARE JOINING TOGETHER IN A SEASON OF FASTING & PRAYER FOR BREAKTHROUGH IN EXPRESSION58. FOR THE REST OF JANUARY WE ARE INVITING YOU TO FAST WITH US FOR A RELEASE OF THE FULL MEASURE OF PURPOSE FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

 

THIS IS NOT IN RESPONSE TO WARFARE OR TO OUR NEEDS, BUT IT IS A FOCUS WITH GRATITUDE ON WHAT GOD HAS DONE AND WANTS TO DO FOR US. WE WANT TO PROCLAIM TOGETHER GOD’S HEART FOR E58!

 

YOU CAN FAST HOWEVER YOU WANT TO: FROM A MEAL OR ALL FOOD, FROM FACEBOOK OR ENTERTAINMENT, JUST GIVE UP SOMETHING TO RECEIVE EXTRA SENSITIVITY IN THIS SEASON.

 

AS WE EACH SET ASIDE TIME DAILY TO FOCUS ON WHAT WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR, LETS BEGIN TO AGREE OVER OUR LIVES & COMMUNITY FOR JOHN 10:10, ABUNDANT LIFE, AND TO FAST FOR EXTRA FOCUS ON WHAT GOD IS DOING & WILL DO IN 2010! FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.EXPRESSION58.ORG & JOIN YOUR FAMILY ON THIS JOURNEY!

This was a picture of a man in Hollywood I just thought it was funny

More Faith for the Faith Journey

So today I woke up totally excited about life and Matt went out to the car to go to the store and came back in and said “Dude, you got a flat tire.” We had AAA come out and then when we tried to start the car the battery was dead. Not dead because of leaving a light on, but dead. Then the AAA guy said “You know you really need new tires.” Which we wouldn’t know because we are not car people…it looks treaded to me.

I began to think about how that miracle car, my Highlander, is like my whole journey. It was given in a season of awe and wonder and took me all over North America, even miraculously a few times (insert teleportation story here :Grin:), but now its old. I feel like my whole last season of life is over and worn, and that something new is coming. 2010 just feels like a new season, it is a new decade, and I am just happy about the new. Realize as I write the rest of this I am not discouraged but aware of a price I have been paying. What is better though is I am aware of what is coming because of being willing.

The faith journey following God in pioneering demands just about everything for a season. The hard part about mine is that I have been in start up mode for almost 11 years. I helped in the start up of the house of prayer in Kansas City, then I transitioned and started up my own ministry then we helped another ministry start up in Alabama, then we started a church in LA.  This has made my life anything but normal. Sometimes people ask me what it is like to hear from God on the level I sometimes have, and I want to tell them these stories instead of the glory stories because there is a price behind obeying His voice.

I have not been able to accumulate time, vacation, finances, everything has been required especially the last 3 years (I do rest though and have a lot of fun as those of you who follow my blogs see). When we moved to LA I emptied my bank account gave away half of my furniture, sacrificed my yearly vacation and breaks, began to live off of far less income in a city that has required far more, and just moved. It was worth it, but it was my 4th time doing that sort of drastic move. During my first 2 years in LA I had kidney stones 7 times, I had a hernia, I was sick about 5 days a month, I traveled 15 days a month on top of doing 1-2 services a week when I was home, I was robbed a computer, gps, security deposits on 2 houses which equaled well over 12,000 dollars, and had to put any extra money into a young ministry team that came out here to help as they were experiencing several of the same things.

The weird thing about this is that I never had an emotional break down or even a major trial, life and love just went on. I felt like muscles were built in me that had never been exercised on this level because I was so full of faith and when we would hit another wall something inside of me (called the Spirit of faith) would just push past my frustration almost like lifting a heavier weight, and I would press into God and He would come.

Endurance in faith is one of the hardest things to develop. It really is an emotion and soul area that you have to be worked out in to develop, it doesn’t come naturally. Change is one of the main builders of it and most people hate change. As a matter of fact I have moved 16 times in 14 years. That kind of change will cost you and you will either implode or if you are following God, thrive. So many times when something did come that I thought was an answer to prayer, God would require even that breakthrough and it wasn’t a weird testing of my heart or convictions, it was His invitation to develop that muscle. The same muscle of faith you use to pray for a cancer and see it healed is developed by the time you hear God to move or to change jobs or to give something sacrificial away or just surrender to Him.

Shortly into our time in LA, I went to Korea and had the largest offering ever given to me released. On top of that my friend heard from the Lord to buy me a new Highlander as mine is showing its wear and tear and he didn’t feel like the senior pastor should drive a car that looks like a college kids car. The last night in Korea I was in prayer and just happy about everything and Jesus said “Shawn, you know for the church to have radical fruit there is going to have to be radical sowing.” I said “Yeah Lord!” and I was thinking of the sacrifice that we had all been making thinking “This is amazing! We are succeeding!”and thinking He was trying to tell me that people were about to have breakthroughs and release money to the church.

Then I heard His voice again. “You know for Expressoin58 to enter into the purposes I have called it to, you are going to have to sacrifice greatly for it.”

Then I finally understood in my heart what He was asking. He always speaks a little in riddles doesn’t He? I knew He was asking me to sow in the money I had just received into the church. Now realize that I didn’t take an income from Expression58 so I have had nothing financially to gain or a way that I will re accumulate it from the church. As a matter of fact this money and this car were going to help put me back on track financially from all the extreme start ups over the years. So when I felt all the money, even the money for the car had to be sown, 10’s of thousands of dollars, I was both excited and hesitant. My faith that had been excersized in dozens of other big ways now had its first major climax in sowing on this level. I wanted that car. I wanted that money. That is not wrong of me at all. But I wanted God to have what He wants more.

So, I put it in..against my human judgement I released it. Part of me thought “The new car is coming!!!! God will honor me with even more!!!” but you know what? It wasn’t about that, a new car didn’t come and its been several years. I have had many words recently that one will come but it just wasn’t what it was about. I went almost 2 more years until today with that old Highlander that looks like its been around the world and back (and has been up to heaven and back) and didn’t have any other financial personal gift on that level since because when you are building your faith muscles the laws of giving and receiving aren’t about giving money receiving money. Its sowing in your resource of time, energy, finances, resources, and then receiving a quality of life back that is just incommunicable. I have had more peace and more security then I know is possible all because I live by a different economy that has a God who really really cares about me more then I do.

So what is the fruit of sacrifice? Changed lives, miracles, cancers and aids being healed, metal melting out of olympic athletes bodies who had had it placed in by surgery, a church in Hollywood, meeting with Presidents of nations, prophesying over celebrities, starting orphanages, pioneering campaigns in social justice, rescuing sex slave workers, and most of all, a level of faith for intimacy with God that is not just satisfying but is just plain awesome.

So, here I am living in LA as a missionary without a normal support mechanism coming in, being fed by faith, but you know what? Its worth it and a muscle in me has grown….if you could only see my 20″ arms in the Spirit! They get challenged sometimes by what isn’t yet, but I am doing just fine with my God. When I see that I don’t have a fixed income and that every month is a faith journey, this is both hard and exciting. I thought it would be different by now and that I would have a stable income and that things like cars would be easy to just buy, but my life doesn’t look that way yet, and He is still requiring a journey of faith but thank Him, its not exhausting because He is so present.

What about you? Of course your journey is different than mine, no two are the same, but are you paying a price so that you can see a greater measure?