Tag Archives: suffering

Having Eyes to See – Part 1

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. – Acts 3:1-10

Peter and John probably had places to go and people to see, but who they saw here gave them opportunities to share the gospel, as people empowered by The Spirit to be on mission.

In the general sense of the continuation of the Church, this is not just their story; this is our story. If we are to do ministry in Christ’s name, we need to see how Christ and the apostles did the work. The apostles were emulating Christ by the power of the Spirit just as Christ promised. And the whole book of Acts is about Christ!

The beauty and power of the gospel always speaks for itself. Methodically there are always new ways of immersing ourselves in our particular culture, and the method changes. To find these new methods we must have the eyes to see the need.

We see several times in scripture where before Jesus teaches he either heals someone or feeds them. It almost seems to be systematic in a way of understanding missiological method per culture. If we look at this and focus on Jesus we can then use this as a framework for us whether it’s working to build relationships or as a community trying to make change around us.

What are the needs of those needing Jesus. Do you have particular giftings that just come naturally to you?

There are two things you need to know to start. First, you need to see the doors of opportunity, then in my next blog we’ll talk about how you must walk through those doors.

Seeing Doors of Opportunity


These needs are things that we need in order to survive. Is there a child that you come across often and seems as if food comes rare? Is there an elderly person that seems to have a hard time getting around because their health needs aren’t being taken care of properly?


This need is connected to the things we need in order to feel secure in our self, jobs and resources. Is there a neighbor that has recently lost a job and you may have connections to start the conversation of new employment? Is there a counsel you could give a co-worker who is experiencing a particular difficulty such as an abusive relationship that you may be able to speak life into because you’ve experienced the same?


Making people feel like family is probably the biggest hurdle we have if we are honest with ourselves. I’ve been realizing more and more that people don’t want you to be friendly; they want a friend. Who is ‘that’ person that you may ignore, but you know deep inside they just need someone to talk to? Who is the individual around you that is hurting just because they simply have no one to talk to?

Next week we’ll talk about how to walk through these door of opportunity…

God’s Glory. My Joy.

Today is a good day. It is honestly hard to say that, knowing so many people around us are experiencing pain and suffering everyday, and I want to be sensitive to that fact. With that being said, this morning, I was filled with an indescribable joy spending time with my family and especially celebrating my daughter River’s third birthday. As Brittany and I woke up we could smell the morning dew seeping through our open window and our kids came in the room to crash our peace with laughter. Most days, waking up to chaos and demands is incredibly annoying, but today, we welcomed it.

Last month, our family took part in our close friends’ beautiful wedding in Denver. The scenery in Washington Park was truly gorgeous. My wife was doing the photography, I was officiating the wedding, and our kids were in the ceremony themselves. After the ceremony, everyone was ecstatic as our friends had just made life long commitments to each other. The moment was so perfect.

The reception was held on a boathouse facing a lake that had no guardrails, which for a parent is terrifying. Every chance I got, I would let the kids know to not get close to the water or they ‘would drown and not come back’. During the exact same moment of excitement, post-ceremony as the couple was signing their license, Brittany asks me, “Where is River?” Of course my guy response is, “I thought she was next to you?”.

The next 60 seconds felt like the longest minute of my life. The feeling of desperation and fear filled my heart. The entire wedding party stopped what they were doing and helped us look for her. She could not be found. I remember calling her name out and running to the lake to see if there were any sustained ripples from a previous fall. I was ready to ditch my camera and pride and jump in the lake even though I didn’t see any ripples in the water. Next thing I know, Brittany calls, “I found her upstairs!” River was in the boathouse stealing corn chips from random strangers’ tables. The whole wedding party felt a sigh of relief with us.

This morning, I got to kiss and take pictures of my baby princess River. I am not guaranteed everyday with my family, but I did enjoy this morning,… I had this morning.

There is a very present existential eternality to joy that only Christians get to experience, I am sure of it. Not to say that unbelievers can’t experience joy right now by having an amazing marriage or treasuring priceless moments, that’s ridiculous! But there is a sense of gratitude toward Yahweh when you know you don’t deserve moments, yet you are graciously given them to revel in! And all of these moments whether they are experienced or promised, will be consummated when Christ comes back and all things will be made new and death-defeated will be physically realized!

When you study theology, you think about this stuff all the time, but it does not always hit close to home until you meditate on the fact that God presents gifts to us because He is a good Father, and at times, wants His kids to experience happiness in the midst of joy.

Take a moment and think about the narrative of the garden in Genesis Chapter 2…

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17 ESV)

First the LORD commanded Adam to ‘eat of every tree‘… it seems to be an initial command of enjoyment first. A call to virtuous bliss of all the things God set before them! AFTER THAT the perversion of God’s intention was retold by the serpent to Adam and Eve that God was hiding the pathway to god-hood. What a lie! God wants us to enjoy Him and His gifts.

I praise Jesus for this morning. Thank you Jesus for my family. Thank you Jesus for River. What can you thank Jesus for today?

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.