Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes


The default setting is: Pray

I have often wondered how when Jesus is so amazing – his life, his power, his wisdom – and yet most of my life I have struggled to spend time with him in prayer. I want to enjoy him, but my own brain and experience seems to keep me at a distance. It’s also easier to do things for God than to partner with Jesus and to spend the time needed in prayer.

Guilt. Shame. Hard work. Failure. Boredom. These are the words that often accompany the description of my life in prayer, maybe you Continue reading


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Get up, let’s go together!

To the one made beautiful by Jesus,

What I believe affects deeply how I respond to situations. If I believe that my boss is like an ogre (like Shrek on a bad day), when he says something nice, I’ll just think he’s manipulating me. And if she gets really mad, I may just say – “That’s just her, she’s always going off like that.” There are some people who easily offend me and others to whom I give lots of grace.

Shrek_angryshrek - It works this way with God. Some of us believe that God is a master and we are his servants. Others think of God as a big cuddly grandpa that likes to give out hugs and treats. (These are both good pictures, but incomplete.) Still others figure that he’s quite far away and doesn’t notice what’s happening here. We all respond to God and to life based on what we believe. Continue reading

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Top tips for fasting well #1

I am reminded of the rewards that come by fasting and praying for this understanding:
  1. Fasting leads to tenderizing our hearts so that we feel God’s presence more.
  2. Fasting leads to changing our desires and enlarging our desire for righteousness (Heb. 1:9).
  3. Fasting leads to increasing our understanding of the Word and receiving prophetic dreams.
  4. Fasting leads to making our body healthier and changing what we desire to eat and drink
  5. Fasting leads to strengthening our sense of identity as sons of God before the Father and as a bride before the Son. Our identity is rooted in the knowledge of God’s affection for us.
The grace of fasting is God’s answer to our cry for “more.”  Fasting enlarges our capacity to receive truth, and accelerates the process of God’s truths taking root in our own hearts.  It is the God given way to make room for more of God and therefore, is an essential component to the age-old question of “How do I grow in love for God?”
– The Rewards of Fasting, Mike Bickle & Dana Candler


Is there a point to waiting?

Dear friend,

As we prayed last night for the end of your season of waiting I thought that perhaps this is a bigger topic I need to reflect on.  Yours is just one of many stories of waiting that I’ve come across lately.  It seems that the Lord allows us to go through something and then uses it to bring help to others.  I also feel like my brief encounter with intense waiting has given me confidence that God is present in waiting.

write down what God has promised

Write down what God has promised

 Every season is a season of waiting

I walked into the post office to see if anything had arrived for us from Belgium.  It had been our 2 weeks stretched into 5 with no firm end, just empty promises.  Now Rosenort is a small town’s small town, you can’t go anywhere anonymously.

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Are you a masterpiece?

I’m sitting in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in a corner of some room filled with amazing paintings.  Some of them are just tests – the artist was practicing so that he could later do a masterpiece.  It’s a great place to be considering the longest story told in the book of Genesis (longer than Noah, creation or Joseph).  I believe that this story, found in Genesis 24, is a vivid portrait (or allegory) of the God’s own search.  The story is a masterpiece but the subject of the story is young and immature.

Room 81 at the V & A
I would entitle the story of Genesis 24: “Rebekah’s Extravagant Responsiveness.”

This story starts with desire (every great love story does) – the desire of Abraham for a family.  He wants a bride for his son.  There is no mention of Isaac’s desire for a wife, but I think we can safely assume that his passions are coming alive and his dad wants a daughter-in-law who will carry on the family line that God started.  This bride must be pure and carry the values of Abraham’s family.  God is starting a family and this bride will be the mother of descendants as numerous as the sands on the beach. Continue reading

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It’s the Easter Weekend – what if someone comes to faith?

I am not a fisherman.  There are a few reasons, primarily this: a good day for fishing is an even better day for bike riding.  Second reason?  I’m not a big fan of cleaning the fish.  Catching fish is fun, but what you have to do between catching and eating is just a little beyond me.

Alpha bannerFor many of us, the work of making disciples of Jesus is much the same.  I’m not sure about you, but I think I’m more worried about evangelism being successful than unsuccessful. If I share my faith and it’s rejected, I can carry on as usual.  If the Gospel is accepted, then I need to get to work on helping this new believer learn to walk with Jesus.  I like bringing a person to faith & I like working with mature believers, but helping them grow in maturity is just hard work.

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Fear will never give us permission, we have to go past it.

Today as I talked with a friend about having a hard time hearing God’s voice of direction over the past few years, I couldn’t help but think that there was another way. I’m convinced that The Lord enjoys talking with his children and that often, when I can’t hear, there’s something blocking my ability hear.

I’m reminded too of Jackie Pullinger who would gather up a team and GO into Mainland China to do ministry every time she detected a drop in their power in the Spirit. It was on these trips that they’d see God increase their faith by demonstrating power in bringing salvation, signs and wonders. Then, when the team came home, they’d intentionally pass along their increased faith.

I’m a big believer in encouraging Jesus followers to Go on short term mission projects – even if they’re close to home – as a way to increase a sensitivity to the voice of God. There are mysterious connections between GOing on mission and hearing the voice of God. Not everything can be explained, but here are some of my observations:

Hearing God and GOing on mission

1. Jesus’ great commission was “GO, into all the earth.” Every command of God is linked to a blessing. Living in agreement with God allows the realities of His Kingdom to flow. When we obey His command to GO, we get to enjoy the benefits of being right where He wants us. Continue reading