Looking Forward to Failing

When was the last time you failed?  If you can’t think of the last time you failed, or if you haven’t failed in the last few months, then let me challenge you to get out there and fail!  We usually think we are living great and doing great if we insulate ourselves from failure and only have successes, or at least not fail but survive.

In church world this sounds absolutely brilliant!  Join church, connect with God, because after all what could be any safer than connecting with God.  Then we can take it one step further and say that we can figure out God’s will for our lives based on the lack of failure, the lack of pain, and the lack of trials.  We know we are in the middle of God’s will and plan for our lives when we are free from anything evil, dangerous, painful, or risky.  Anything that even smells like failure is not of God and therefore is not part of his will for our lives.

I cannot think of a bigger load of doo-doo!

The church is supposed to be a place of risk takers.  It’s suppose to be a place where people gather who have decided to swim against the stream.  People who are tired of the cultural rhetoric and are desiring to live life differently.  They want to live life not according to the pattern of a culture gone out of control, but instead they choose to row fast and hard against the current.  This kind of – on the edge living – is risky and full of failures.  It’s full of starts and stops.  It’s full of disappointments, and more than that it is full of amazing victories and successes that only come from embracing our failures.

So many people have such a huge attachment to failure they are avoiding failure rather than pursuing success. That’s playing life with a “not to lose” strategy instead of a “maximum gain strategy.”  If all we ever do is focus on not failing, then at the very best we will live mediocre lives that have very little success.

If you want to succeed, then may I recommend you fail a few more times.  Take a risk.  Do something that you are not sure how it’s going to turn out.  You will discover that the riskier you become, the greater the successes you will achieve.

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Continued Thoughts From Cusco

Peru has three parts:  The coast, the Jungle and the Mountains.  In five days I’ve visited two of those three areas.  I have gone from Sea level to 11,500 ft above sea level, paused long enough to vomit and have a brain aneurism, and then continued to climb up to 12,500 ft above sea level to a little village named Ccorccka.  The people in each place: Lima, Cusco, and Ccorccka are all dramatically different, yet freakishly the same.  The coastal people are very familiar with city life.  They enjoy many of the exact same luxuries that you and I enjoy in the States.  Everyone is carrying a cell phone, checking it continually for the next text or email.  Spanish is spoken, but commercialism is understood.

In Cusco everybody doesn’t have a cell phone, some do, but less than Lima.  Here the city seems to pulsate with it’s deep rooted history in the Inca Tribe that thousands of years ago lived in this exact same spot.  The city of Cusco is literally built on top of major Inca archeological finds.  Still standing are stonewalls, court yards with stone trenches that used to carry blood from the sacrificial areas, and mammoth Cathedrals built by the conquering Spaniards.  All this history is not shoved to the back of their lives but seems to still penetrate ever conversation and thought process.  I could be wrong, maybe they only do it for the tourists because there are a lot of them there too.

Ccorccka is a one-hour treacherous drive from Cusco.  Over two mountains and there nestled in a plateau/valley is the little village that God is connecting SouthPoint Church with.  A thousand people, none of which have cell phones.  In fact very few of them can even read or write.  These people are from the Quetchua Tribe and are listed by Wycliffe Bible group as one of the remaining un-reached people groups in our world.

So how are they freakishly the same?  Well, last time I checked they were all created in God’s image, and they all need to hear about my savior named Jesus Christ.  I count it an honor to be somebody who makes it possible to begin taking this good news to these beautiful people.

Car Sick

Thought you might want to get car sick while sitting at your computer.  This was a portion of our drive up to Ccorccka, Peru.  I din’t vomit but i came REALLY close….and yes, I’m holding the camera as still as I possible can.

Video – Cusco

Cusco – Day 1

CuscoI arrived today in Cusco, Peru.  Yep everybody was right, it’s high.  I’ve heard the altitude is around 10,000 feet.  I don’t know what it is but it is slightly painful to the ole’ head and eyes.  Lotta pressure and not much air.  The town is gorgeous and dark all at the same time.  It’s so amazing how you can ‘feel’ the city and the spiritual climate – it’s wild.  Of course, if it felt all warm and fuzzy and reeking of Jesus then why in the world would we take the time to come.

The greatest use for the smallest light, is always in the darkest of places.

When it’s bright outside you gotta have one honk’n light for it to be seen and appreciated, but when it is pitch black, even the illumination from your cell phone is enough to help you get through.  It’s in these dark places that the light from our connection with God plays the biggest role.  In places like this it doesn’t take a Billy Graham, or a _____________(fill in the blank with your favorite Man-O-God), all it takes is someone with a connection with God, allowing their light to shine.

Tomorrow we take the drive up into the Andes to the village of people we re going to be ministering too.  This village has no church.  No Jesus influence.  Crazy huh?  I get to meet the major of this village and hopefully work with him to plant an Evangelical church in his village and begin a transformation.  Should be fun, but also spiritually intense so prayers from all of you would be greatly appreciated.  Also pray for my traveling companion Paul Walker who is feeling sick.

Peruvian Fun

Letters From The Front

I’m sitting in my hotel room in Lima and I’m inspired.  So often we think we have it all going on since we live in the U.S. and we are the leaders in the free world, but then you venture outside your own little box and realize that there are millions of people just as passionate for God as you are.  Today I had lunch with an awesome man of God who breathes passion.  He plants churches, he finances a political party here in Peru, his buddy was just promoted today to be the Minister of Defense, he is also the leader of the Ecumenical church movement and the president of the Evangelical Association of Ministers.  Did I mention he knows a few people?  And yet sitting there I learned that with all of his influence and all of his contacts, it is nothing in comparison to his passion for Christ.

Tonight I have dinner plans with a TV producer here in Lima who is also passionate about the cause of Christ, and then tomorrow we go rural and travel to Cusco and villages outside of the city in the Andes mountains.  I’m not there yet, but I can guarantee that I will run across people that are passionate for Christ.  Passionate to see the Kingdom of God advance and the territory of the Devil diminish.  I am humbled to be a part of such a great cause.  My personal view of Craig shrinks every time I travel to foreign lands, realizing how insignificant I am, how grand God is, and how blessed I am to be allowed to be a part of this mighty cause, and in some way sacrifice something to see lives changed around the globe for Christ.

Let’s face it, it’s just cool.