Zach

Maybe You Should Go and Love Yourself

You can’t love others the way they serve to be loved without first loving yourself. To truly love yourself the way you should be loved is to know how God sees you and to know what he says about you. God says you’re perfect and you are His child because He decided to make you that way, and it made Him a very happy Dad.

I believe that loving yourself is just as important as loving God and loving others. Now how in the world can I say that? It’s not selfish to make sure you are taken care of and if you never take care of yourself then you will self destruct and burnout. If you say, “well if I self destruct and the world is a little better, I'm okay with that.” Then you could not be more wrong.

Loving others is more important, right? Loving God and loving others, the most important things… But a very important detail it missing here, so let’s jump over to the scripture.

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
— Mark 12:30-31

Now I want to highlight “yourself”. It’s understood here that we love ourselves, right? I would say that the connection point between loving God and loving others is to love yourself.

Think of it like a triangle diagram. God is on top on the next point is you and then the next is others.

Now I would say that's the way the triangle turns. I would say if you're running into a problem loving other people then you probably have a problem on how you see yourself and if you have a problem with how you see yourself then you have a problem with how you see God. It’s all connected.

It comes back to identity. We need to see ourselves the way God sees us, so what does that look like. We need to love God and love others out of the truth that we are loved by ourselves and by God. We need to love ourselves or we are outside of our identities as children of God.

Peace, Zach

 

Share on Instagram with #somethingmorelife

 

Why Kids Ministry

Well to be completely honest with you... it was not in the master plan at all to work with kids... in fact I was once asked to work in the kids area at my old church and the first thing that popped into my head was, "No way!!! I want to do something more exciting than that!"

I worked mainly with the youth group because I wasn't much older than them and it was fun and once I received the word I was to go into full time ministry I was excited and scared, but their was no doubt I was supposed to go to Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Now I was back and forth a little with other schools and whether I was ready or would be ready or what God had in store for me, but Bethel was and is in the plan.  

A full time job opportunity came up as a logistics specialist in a GM warehouse, so I called and got the job. The perfect opportunity to pay for Bethel... but it was a second shift job which meant no more youth group which was a little upsetting, but there was no doubt in my mind that this was a blessing from God. Although now I wasn't serving anywhere. Then out of nowhere a gal from church swooped down and asked if I would shadow her back in the kids area.

Just to clarify, I was still not interested in Sunday School. I've seen it growing up. It's terribly boring. You just run around and chase kids and try to stop them from eating paste, and then get talked back at by the older kids that didn't want to be in there. In my mind I thought that I was just helping her in one drama skit where I pretended to be her shadow...

Well I showed up just to find out that I would sit back and watch everything (not to be a shadow) and decide if I would want to join The League of Children Workers. So I stood in the back watching not knowing what to expect, but what I saw was not kids eating paste or screaming at the teachers. I saw kids excited to be back there, excited to learn about God, and excited to worship Him. I remember the first time I saw them worship! I was just completely overwhelmed with joy and excitement. That started it all for me. Naturally I tried to pull away and go to another country to get ready for Bethel, but God and the Children's Pastor had something else in mind.

Recently I've been on a journey to make my heart unified with Christ. I've been praying things like “Give me a glimpse of your heart! Show me how you feel! Let me into your head! What do you think about certain things? Break my heart for what breaks yours!” I've been getting extraordinary glimpses into the heart of Jesus! I remember one day for worship back there I just sat on the ground and put my hands out and started praying, and Jesus just let me into the moment and showed me how he felt about what was happening, how he felt about the kids pouring their hearts out to Him. I broke out in tears.

Children's ministry is an awesome adventure and not because they’re cute kids or because they are silly, but because they are in love with the father and they know what it looks like to really worship God and to fall in love. Their minds are so open to who God is! There is no box that they put the Father in! Only the ones that people will try and set up for them. I really do believe that God is so complicated that only children can understand Him.

So when are we going to stop trying to figure out who God is and start to think like the kids do? When are we going to break those walls down and say, "God show me who you really are!" and be as dependable on Him as a child is with his parents?

“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” - Jesus, (Mark 10:14-15)

SHARE ON INSTAGRAM WITH #SOMETHINGMORELIFE

 
 

 

 

Illicit Grace

“The grace of God is dangerous. It’s lavish, excessive, outrageous, and scandalous, God’s grace is ridiculously inclusive. Apparently God doesn’t care who He loves. He’s not careful about the people He calls friends or the people He calls His church.” - Mike Yaconelli

Jesus doesn’t care who he loves. He loves pimps, Johns, prostitutes, terrorists, homosexuals, drug dealers, murderers, people who work at planned parenthood, and yes believe it or not even the Christians who think they’re better than all these people. If you don’t believe that, open your Bible. How can a good God love these people when we obviously see that they are “rotten sinners” who “deserve punishment”? I’ll tell you how. It has never been about anyone deserving His love. It has always been a gift. That was the point. If it was about earning it, then there would be no point in Jesus dying on a cross.

We were slaves bound to the unattainable law and stuck in our sinful nature as human beings, but God stepped in and purchased us at a high price, a very high price--His life. He didn’t make you slaves and tell you he loved you, but if you did something wrong he’d curse you and beat you into submission until you did the right thing. No! He adopted you and made you his child. He bought slaves and adopted them as children, but not only children, heirs, heirs to share the glory with Christ.

I think the term illicit grace gets us to understand who Jesus really was when he was on this Earth. I got the term from a book that was given to me last week written by a man named, Randall Worley and his book is called Brush Strokes of Grace. I think he said it right that when we hear those words together, “Illicit Grace” it causes tension, tension that was always felt when Jesus was talking.

Jesus was always about making people uncomfortable and taking things way too far. It was as if he liked it when people didn’t know what the heck he was saying, as if he sought after awkward moments. And one thing was for sure, He attracted the scandalous.

“The word scandalous is given to those who claim integrity all the while living loosely.

However, in the case of Jesus, we need to revisit the definition of the word scandalous. It means, “causing general public outrage by perceived offense against morality of the law. To be disgracefully bad, typically as a result of someone’s negligence or irresponsibility” (Oxford American Dictionary). Public outrage? Perceived of offense? Given this definition, Jesus was guilty on all accounts; or so it seems.”

“Jesus was regularly on the wrong side of town, talking with leaders of the Jewish underworld and with ladies of the evening. His regular interaction with women was considered lewd and indecent behavior for a young, single Jewish man, much less a professed rabbi. The Pharisees would rush home and change their clothes if they merely brushed against one of these social untouchables. To say His actions were taboo is soft peddling it.”

“Religion is always more concerned about respectability and reputation, but the person of grace made of himself no reputation. Reputation is merely what others think you are, not who you really are.”

To understand what I’m explaining a little deeper let’s jump over to Luke 7!

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, so Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house and sat at the table. 37 A sinful woman in the town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she brought an alabaster jar of perfume 38 and stood behind Jesus at his feet, crying. She began to wash his feet with her tears, and she dried them with her hair, kissing them many times and rubbing them with the perfume. 39 When the Pharisee who asked Jesus to come to his house saw this, he thought to himself, “If Jesus were a prophet, he would know that the woman touching him is a sinner!”

In the time of Jesus a woman’s hair was a thing of beauty and was considered erotic.  This is why they were required to keep their hair covered, which today in our society seems like a pretty ridiculous rule, but at the time it was normal. When she uncovered her hair and let it down in front of Jesus and all those men, you can imagine the awkwardness and tension. This was completely inappropriate to the Pharisees. What she was doing was like a wife indicating to her husband that she wanted to be intimate. I don’t believe she was trying to seduce Jesus by any means. She was just giving voice to the desire in all of us to let our hair down, to experience intimacy with Jesus. Jesus wasn’t concerned with her breaking Jewish custom, but was filled with joy over her generous gift.

I want you to take a look at the music video that I feel expresses what I’m talking about a lot. That Jesus’ love isn’t depending on our sin management. Jesus isn’t looking for a certain kind of person to love. He’s looking for anyone who will accept his lavish love. God does not belong to republican, He’s not a flag, and gut check - God is not an American. God is not a white man - Gungor

The video is a little goofy but it gets the point across really well. One of my favorite verses of the Bible as of recently is John 3:17, yeah that’s right 17. Not 16. Can anyone quote that off the top of their head… probably not… but it’s a really important verse.

“God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.”
— John 3:17

 

Anything that you think you know about God, that you can’t find in the person of Jesus you have reason to question.

I stand with Paul when I say, I am convinced that NOTHING can separate us from God’s amazing unfailing love.

Jesus’ love and grace was Illicit, or so it seemed. Jesus loves way past what our minds can comprehend as we say things like, “Him? Really, Jesus? HIM?!” He says, “Absolutely, I loved them so much! I waged the cost to live eternity with them, and I said, ‘worth it!’”

All quotes taken from Randall Worley, Brush Strokes of Grace.

Share on Instagram with #somethingmorelife

 
 

God's willl according to healing

God’s will according to healing comes down to a few things; the Kingdom, love, power, evangelism, and kicking the devil’s buns. We know that Jesus healed everyone who came to Him. “Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—he healed them all.” (Matthew 4:23-24 NLT)  Jesus is our model, We can’t deny that. To realize this in its full context we need to know that healing was central to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus is perfect theology and we need to look to Him to see the will of God.

God’s will according to healing is all about the Kingdom. According to Jesus we are in the battle of good and evil, the battle of the Kingdoms of God and Satan. There is a far to common belief that this all-powerful God is smiting people for a good cause, or for punishment, or for his own pure enjoyment. “For anyone to think that God is that way is extremely disturbing.” Says Bill Johnson. The truth is without going into too much detail that this is a sick lie. Sickness is an attack on humanity. Jesus says in one of his parables that, "'An enemy has done this!' the farmer exclaimed. 'Should we pull out the weeds?' they asked.” (Matthew 13:28 NLT) Jesus also tells one of the leaders in the synagogue “this dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16 NLT) when he is confronted for healing a woman on the Sabbath.  And John makes it clear one of the reasons Jesus came was to destroy the devil. “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8) Jesus's thesis statement while he was on earth was "the Kingdom is at hand" (Matthew 4:47 NLT) The Kingdom of heaven is breaking in and is pushing Satan out until the Kingdom comes in its fullness when Jesus comes back for his bride.

God's will according to healing is all all about power. Jesus said "all power and authority has been given to me" (Matthew 28:18 NLT). Then Jesus gave the disciples this authority and power “One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2 NLT) “They brought in the two disciples and demanded, ‘By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.” (Acts 4:7-10 NLT) Jesus took back the keys that were lost in the fall of man and now our job is to take that authority and demonstrate God’s power against sickness. “Jesus’ death and resurrection was a complete triumph over Satan and his kingdom.” says Randy Clark in his book, Ministry Team Training Manual.

God's will according to healing is all about evangelism. Jesus healed the sick to create opportunities to preach the the gospel. If proper credit is given to Jesus, then it will open a way into evangelism. “After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick.” (John 6:1-2 NLT) He did it as proof in what the father was doing, “Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.’” (John 10:37-38 NLT). Again, healing was a central part of how Jesus taught the Kingdom, but it’s also a huge part of who we are and who Holy Spirit is today.

God’s will according to healing is all about love. To demonstrate our love for each other and to demonstrate a good Dad’s love for his children. Jesus healed everyone, not to show off, but because of who he is - love. 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 put this beautifully when Paul talks about how amazing the gifts are, but if they are used without love, they are pointless. Everything is pointless if you miss the point.  “When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. 'Don’t cry!' he said.” (Luke 7:13 NLT) Jesus was so full of love in everything he did, and that should be our mission above all else. A beautiful quote from Heidi Baker in her documentary, Compelled by Love, is “Love looks like something.” 

God’s will and heart according to healing is for his love to be poured out on all men. For all the sick to be healed, the enemy defeated, the Kingdom to come in its fullness, His power to be demonstrated, to call His children home, and again to love on his perfect creation. We have a pretty good idea about all this because again, Jesus is perfect theology and He said, “I only do what I see the Father doing.” and he taught us to pray, “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NLT) There is no sickness in Heaven and Jesus wasn’t having that on Earth.

Share this on Instagram with #somethingmorelife

 
 

Don't Miss It

There’s something special about being in the moment. Something that may never happen the same way again. God is setting up divine appointments and if you aren't careful you'll miss them.

I find myself too often not showing up in the moments. Too consumed with life, jumping from one task to the next. When I was in the States this last time, I was literally going from one task to the next whether it was school, work, or church.  I was on the go from early morning to late at night.

I'm sure you can relate to the idea of being too consumed with daily life tasks and getting things done.  To an extent I don't think that's a bad thing. After all, we have jobs, families, and people that are counting on us. We shouldn't let them down, but at the same time we have to realize that there's always something happening around us. We need to learn to show up

Let’s talk about that for a moment. I would go as far as to say that not showing up in the moment is being oblivious to what God is doing. What does oblivious mean? It means, to not be aware of or not be concerned about what is happening around one. Am I personally looking to see what He's doing? That is the question of the day.

Jesus was all in, He lived His life that way. He took advantage of every moment. I believe that was the key of why He was so friggin’ successful, I really do. There were obviously a few things that were central to Jesus' ministry like love, compassion, healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the kingdom. There's something that wraps all this up into one thought. Jesus said this,

Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
— John 5:19

Now that word ‘nothing’ is pretty interesting because in the Greek, that word nothing literally means, nothing. Did Jesus mean that? Meaning everything He did, was what the Father wanted to do. I'll say it again, Jesus took advantage of every moment because that's what Dad likes to do, He likes it when we pay attention to what He's doing. When we put aside our daily schedule and say Holy Spirit, what do you want me to do?

You can see this throughout the gospels. In fact, a lot of the stories we love about Jesus is when He is on His way to do something and He stops because He sees something beautiful happening in the moment that Dad's orchestrating. Actually, Matthew 9 is just one example that illustrates this really well.

It starts with Jesus getting on a boat, as soon as He gets off these guys come to Him with a paralyzed man on a mat, so Jesus heals him, Then Jesus is walking about and He see's this dude, Matthew, who is in his tax collector booth, and Jesus is like, there's something about this guy, and He just tells him, "Hey, follow me!" and the dude does, and he invites all his friends to hang out with Jesus and now he's just hanging out with these sinners and tax collectors. Then one day he's talking to John the Baptist's Disciples and then one of the leaders of a synagogue runs over and tells Jesus that his daughter is dead and asks if Jesus can come bring her back to life. Jesus isn't like, excuse me, I'm in a meeting, buddy, He grabs his disciples and goes. Then while He's on His way to that, a woman who has suffered 12 years from a blood disease, jumps out and touches His robe in hopes of getting healed and then Jesus talks to her and is like your faith healed ya, succa. Then He gets to this guys house to see the daughter, and tells the crowd mourning to go away because she's only sleeping and He goes in there and raises her from the dead.  Then He leaves and two blind men are like Jesus heal me, so He does then He goes and casts a demon out of a guy. Now that's a day in the life of Jesus.

Jesus knew how to be all there in every moment, all the time. He wasn’t afraid of being late, He saw what the Father was doing and He knew how to show up.

Heidi Baker, my biggest hero of the faith today and a missionary in Mozambique, illustrates this point beautifully in the video about her ministry she calls, 'Stop for the One'. Take a look at this clip.

What if you started to pay attention to what Dad was doing around you. What if we stopped being oblivious to who or what was around us all the time and asked Holy Spirit what He was doing. He's always doing something, Jesus saw that, and devoted His life to it. We can put Jesus on this pedestal and say man, that's just Jesus or I could never be like that... Or we could read the bible and say man, Jesus actually said that if I believed in Him I could do greater works than He has done. What if one of the key points of Jesus coming to Earth as a man was to show us what a man full of the Spirit could look like.

I challenge you to just ask Holy Spirit to highlight someone or a situation that He wants you to say something in. Stop for the One. It's just that simple.

SHARE THIS IMAGE ON INSTAGRAM WITH #SOMETHINGMORELIFE

 
 
 

A Quick Update from Costa Rica

Hey Guys, the past few months have been crazy!  Here is a super quick up date of my crazy life these past few months! I came to Costa Rica to dive into the Supernatural and Jesus has really been teaching me His heart about these matters. I've been studying the prophetic, healing ministry, words of knowledge, and more. I've seen and been apart of some incredible miracles. 

I had the opportunity to go back and help out Lisa on her maternity leave back at my home church in Michigan and my goodness if that is not the most perfect baby in the world then I don't know who is. It was a great time of learning leadership in different areas and I got a good feel for what it would be like to be a kids pastor. I got to see my kids which was great, I missed them a ton and I got to see a lot of friends including my best friend in the world, Preston, who happened to get engaged while I was in town and I’m so glad I got to be a part of that moment, congratulations man!

I've been back in Costa Rica the past couple of weeks and it has been amazing, I feel like I’m back in it with a clear mind and Jesus is moving me up from just learning His heart on these matters and really stepping into it.

These past couple of weeks I've been focused on catching up on reading I’ve gotten a little behind in, so I’ve been pretty busy with that and redesigning my dad's website and creating graphics for a retreat coming up we're hosting here in Costa Rica. In between all that mess, we’ve gone out to minister and to feed the homeless and some children.  We've gone out to do street ministry a couple of times, and I met a guy that I'm trying to create a relationship with right now.  I asked him to meet for coffee, which he agreed to, but... he didn't show up. I'm praying for him, and he lives in town so I'm sure I'll see him again. I'm pretty excited about this relationship because the language barrier has been pretty brutal which has made ministry a little harder because I’m a talker. In Michigan, I would invite people out for coffee all the time and it was a huge part of my ministry and a great way to love on people, so I’m really thankful I’m being able to start doing this here in Costa Rica.

We're stepping into prayer and fasting this week.  The last couple of weeks we've really been diving deep into these topics, which has been amazing. We've studied contemplative prayer, enjoyable prayer, and fasting. I'm currently reading prayer and fasting by Mahesh Chavda. A beautiful book, I definitely recommend it! I spent the first three chapters with non-stop tears coming out of my eyeholes. I'm really excited to step into this next week of prayer and fasting, I think it's going to cause a lot of breakthrough in my life and I’m excited for what Jesus is going to do.

So there you go, that was a quick up to date of life over the past few months and I will be posting more updates as time goes on with a little more detail!

 
SIGNATURE.png

Who the Heck Am I?

What do you want to do in life? That’s the question of the day isn’t it? About the Age we are in High School, College, and some times after college, we are destroyed with this question at family reunions and filling out different applications. What college? What career?  What the heck do you want to do? But what’s more important than the what I’ve discovered, in my short 20 years of life, is the why?

So maybe you’ve settled on what to study or career choice, but I beg to ask the question, why? Before I continue, I want to make it clear I am not giving my permission for laziness… but actually to encourage you to work  harder with meaning backing it up. So you might answer because you think you’re pretty good at it and find it easy, or maybe it’s the family business, or maybe you might make all that sweet money…

What if you told me what you wanted to do and followed it by the why and I told you I thought that sounded terribly boring?

What if I told you to think BIGGER! What if I believed in you enough to challenge you to change the world?

“Alright…”, I say… Lets think about this from a different angle… Who do you want to be in life? Tough question, huh?

What does that even mean? Who do I want to be in life? (insert sarcastic facial expressions and laughing under your breathe causing you to breath out of your nose a little harder).

Well think about it this way: 

You could be a doctor and save lives for a living, but be the biggest douche bag in the world. Or you could be a mailman, and the your career mainly consists of putting paper in metal boxes, but you could be consistently happy, help old ladies across the street, and maybe encourage everyone you see for every little thing… now who would I rather hang out with? The mailman any day of the week…

Why? Not because of what he does, but for who he is. 

You see, what you do comes out of who you are, not the other way around.

So now there’s a long awkward pause and I ask again, “who the heck do you want to be in life?”

Think about it…. What’s the worst that could happen?

You might just do something about it…

So who do I want to be in life, you ask? I want to be so in love with Jesus that people can see it on me. So what do I do? A lot of stuff, but mainly change the world. What does that consist of? Again, a lot of stuff but the best way I’ve discovered in my very short 20 year old life is one person at a time.

SHARE THIS IMAGE ON INSTAGRAM

WITH #SOMETHINGMORELIFE