Archive for the ‘The Orchard’ Category
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
In less than two weeks my family and I will be boarding a plane and heading to the other side of the world for a six-week excursion through the beautiful country of Thailand! This will be my third visit there and my family’s first. As you can imagine, we’re all very excited and looking forward to all of the crazy and unique experiences I’ll look forward to sharing with you about!
As of right now, our plan is to spend time wandering the urban concrete jungle, Bangkok (population approx 10 million), soaking in the beauty of Koh Samui and the surrounding islands down south in the Gulf of Thailand, and experiencing the rich Thai culture of Chiang Mai up north. We’re going to get it all – CITY, BEACH, JUNGLE. And while we do have a plan, we’re also holding onto it lightly and with a ton of flexibility so that we can move fluidly and quickly wherever and whenever we decide. I’m also looking forward to seeing and hanging out with a handful of friends while we’re there (and making a few new ones)!
We are so thankful for our staff, board, leaders, church community, and friends who have all been incredibly supportive and excited with us! My sense is that the time we’re away for is going to be a significant time for The Orchard as well. Our team is strong, engaged, excited, and will continue to lead with excellence while we’re away. They’re also preparing to launch a great follow up series to YOU 2.0 that I believe is going to be incredibly relevant and challenging for our entire tribe! I can’t wait to hear what God does while we’re away!
While I’m not totally sure what our Internet situation will be throughout the trip (should be pretty good), I do hope to share some of our experiences with you via Twitter (which feeds to my Facebook page), Instagram, and here on my blog. You can also sign up to receive all of my blog updates via email by entering your email in the box at the top right of this page.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and love! I’m looking forward to a couple more weekends together with our Orchard tribe before we leave. Our departure date is May 22nd and we’ll be returning the first week of July.
This past weekend I shared an excerpt from one of my dad’s journals and so many of you have asked if I could post it. So here it is. It was written in November of 2003 and as you’ll see, this was his attempt at putting into words a very deep experience of God’s love he was having over the last 18-24 months of his life. I’m honored to share it with you and I hope that it creates a deeper hunger in you for a greater experience of God’s love and grace in your own life.
I do not know how to describe what has happened to me. I only know that deep within me, I mean really deep, it seems that something, connected to an understanding of God’s love, has changed me. I sense that this change is a forever thing. It seems that God never goes back on what He does. I have been captured by His love. It is something that I must admit, I never knew existed like I am now experiencing. It is like I have stepped into a new dimension where the height and depth are beyond my comprehension.
I am consumed with a passion to tell people about what I have experienced for the sole purpose of helping them to know that they can have it too. This love relationship offered to me and everyone by the Father is beyond anything I could ever imagine. I am overwhelmed that I have been privileged to experience it. I know that everyone else can experience it too…but love is powerless unless it is consented to. I must confess that I am coming to understand this, and am so grateful for the honor of being loved by the Most High God, and yet I understand that since he is love he can do nothing else but love us.
I have a glimpse of what the institutional church has allowed to happen. It has presented a picture of God and Christ that is inconsistent with who they are. As a product of that church, I desire to liberate those who are caught up in it; to save others from it. I have a passion to take people who are turned off by religion or to religion and turn them on to Jesus Christ and turn them in to devoted followers of Christ.
November 2003, 4:31AM