September 12, 2013

The Night the Waters Roared

In light of the Colorado floods today, it reminds me of one of the most awesome God-stories in my life. It happened in the same location as the current flooding.

One of those beautiful 1997 summer days in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains had faded into a light rain as 3000 teens made their way into Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University. Moby Arena is a huge windowless concrete structure seating 8000.

As the worship finished, I stood to deliver the evening message that I believed God had originated in my spirit for this group. I preached passionately and although I was not scheduled to do so, I gave an altar call. Students began to respond.

At that point I felt impressed strongly by the Spirit to give a clearer, more urgent call for teens to come to the front and surrender their lives to Christ. I hesitated as we were far past the scheduled dismissal time. I sensed the nudging of God again. At that point I told them to keep coming until God was finished with what he wanted to do.

We had no clue what was transpiring just outside the strong concrete walls. As the altar call took place an eight foot wall of water roared through campus of Colorado State leaving $200 million of damage and five dead people behind.

The fact is had we dismissed these teens at the scheduled time, they would have been directly in the path of the flood. Tens, if not hundreds of people would have died. Instead we were in the safety of the stadium. We spent the night in that secure environment while the flood raged outside.

The next morning we emerged and many of the teens spent the next day helping the devastated community of Fort Collins clean up from the flash flood.

That story always gives me goose bumps about so many things: The leading of the Spirit, the safety we have in Christ (our ark of refuge), the fragility of life and the sovereignty of God.

September 01, 2013


RANGE is the distance between two different realities, the distance between your low point and your high point, the distance between two different experiences, the distance between your secure point and your fear point or your comfort point and your misery point,

My wife has a temperature range of 5 degrees..she's comfortable between 68 and 73 degrees. I accuse her of being the princess in "The Princess and the Pea". Remember how the princess slept on top of twenty mattresses but still felt the small pea under the bottom mattress thus proving her royalty? I am honored to live with royalty!

Now actually my wife has a huge range...she can go from doing the dirtiest work in the garden to hosting the fanciest of teas, can go from relating with the homeless to laughing with the professors and governors, go from changing a spare tire to writing a dissertation. So I honor my wife's real range.

RANGE is what I see in Jesus as I study his life in the gospels. From engaging lepers to engaging Pilate, from wilderness solitude to speaking to 8,000 or more, from the carpenter shop to the temple courts, from fasting to feasting, from partying with the tax collectors to the mount of transfiguration, from cuddling children to staring down the high priest, Jesus had RANGE.

I am working on my RANGE...
Range comes from being secure about who you are and knowing how "with you" God really is.

It stems from not being scared for discomfort and misery but also not fearing to embrace the best of life.

It comes from having nothing to prove and seeking to give more than receive.

It flows from wanting to push the limitations of both ends of the spectrum.

It comes from living in a learning posture.

It comes from experimentation and a love for stretching my current reality.

It flows from facing fears and pushing through.

I believe God wants to increase our range rather than reconfirm our comfort zones.

So being in the jungle with cannibals or speaking at Exponential at Saddleback Church OR
skiing a double black diamond run in British Columbia or serving the homeless on Skidrow OR
teaching 5 year olds in a Sunday School class or lecturing Denominational leaders OR
preaching in a mud hut in Ethiopia to preaching to white folks in Kansas...I want RANGE.