Saturday, September 1, 2012


Hannah and I are beginning to post our blog updates on our website,, so please go here ( to keep current with our latest thoughts on life!

I entered college feeling pretty confident in my ability to disciple. But after four years of trying to disciple guys and achieving little ‘success’, I realized that I don’t know what I thought I knew*. In my current position on the journey of being a disciple of Jesus and seeking to make more, here are a few of my thoughts:

When seeking to make disciples, remember that you are making disciples of Jesus, not of you. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking, “I’m not qualified to disciple someone because I’m not yet mature enough in my faith.” Always remember that you are equipping people to love and follow Jesus, not live the life that you lead.

I used to think that I needed to know all the answers when the guys that I discipled had questions. Now I realize that being the ‘answer man’ is possibly the worst thing I can do for their growth- because then they become dependent on me! I had guys wanting to achieve what I had ‘achieved’ in Scripture memory, Bible knowledge, etc., but I want them to be dependent on Jesus and know how to look to Him for answers.

Remember that you are making disciples who make disciples… In college I didn’t require my guys to make disciples themselves because I didn’t think they were ready. I had some invisible ‘line’ that I was hoping my guys would rise up to before I would “allow” them to try to disciple other guys. This not only hindered my guys’ growth (and was very prideful of me), it hindered the spread of Jesus followers on our campus! I have grown the most in my walk with Jesus when I am making disciples- so why would that not be true of my guys, regardless of where they are in their journey? If the early Church followed my example, we probably wouldn’t have a Church today.

In summary: make disciples of Jesus (not you) who will make more disciples of Jesus.

*I don’t want to discount the fact that God DID use me in tremendous ways in the lives of guys during my time in college. He will do whatever He wants to do through us, even when we’re not doing things ‘most effectively’. But I believe I’ve learned some more important things about discipleship in the last year that would have tremendously helped to equip the guys that I discipled in college and encouraged them to follow Jesus even more. CandirĂº guys, VCU XA Guys, Russell, Jeff, Cameron… you are truly some of my greatest buddies and I’m so thankful for the big things God did and is doing in your life. I thank God for you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I'm a bit frustrated right now.

I live in an apartment complex set in a fantastic location, with wonderful neighbors and a beautiful community. But I am frustrated because many of them are living a mostly Jesus-less life. To the best that I can see, they are missing out on the joy that I feel when I think about Him, the awe that I have when I read what He said in response to the Pharisees time and time again, and the comfort and peace that I find in the most difficult of times. Forget about heaven/hell, future atonement, etc., for a minute... they are missing out on Jesus right now.

This has become a very used (and probably abused) phrase in Christian circles over the last decade, but Jesus has been boxed into a religion. Carl Medearis says it well- Christians 'claim' Jesus as theirs and can't fathom anyone else knowing who He is or following Him... regardless of the fact that Jesus Himself never claimed to be a Christian nor called people to Christianity (but merely to follow Him and learn from Him).

I'm frustrated because most people treat 'religion' like it's described on applications. For instance, when I was recently filling out a Visa Application for going overseas, it asked what religion I am. This came right after asking how old I am and to whom I was born. In the same way that people don't think about how old they are on a daily basis, people don't think about who Jesus is on a daily basis. In the same way that people say, "oh, I am 14 years old, so I should be going to school M-F in 8th or 9th grade", they think, "since I am a Christian, I must go to church on Sundays and Wed. nights", or "since I am a Muslim, I must go to the mosque on Fridays." They treat their religion like it's found on an application: as a demographic.

Tens of millions watched Jefferson Goethke's video, "Why I hate religion, but love Jesus" and tweeted it, posted it on facebook, and blogged about it. I'm pumped that Jeff is seeking to glorify God by using the gift he's been given! I haven't had the pleasure of chatting with him, but from what I can see, it looks like he treasures Jesus. But what about the tens of millions of others that watched it and reposted it? My guess is that many were trying to say publicly, "I belong to this demographic!"... without enjoying Jesus themselves. No disrespect to Jeff, but how many people do you think watched that video and fell more in love with Jesus vs. how many people watched that video and said (probably subconsciously), 'yeah, that's a great way to put it. I agree with that! Let me tell all of my friends and acquaintances that I agree with that!' I don't know that this is what happened, but my guess is that if it is, Jeff would rather the video had not been made. He wants people to know and love Jesus.

When I was in East Africa last April, I was repeatedly asked the question, "Are you Christian?" I wasn't 100% sure how to respond. Were they asking, "Are you a part of that group that tried to exterminate all non-Christians back in the 11th-13th centuries?" No, I don't agree with that at all. Were they asking, "Are you a part of the group who tries to go places where there aren't 'Christians' and change Muslims, Hindus, and Jews to become Christians, taking them out of their culture and making them more Western?" No... I don't try to do that, either. I'm just a guy in love with Jesus that wants other people to get to know and love Jesus, as well... He's that wonderful to me! It's not for my sake or for the sake of a group/demographic... but because I love Him that much.

I admit that I fall into this trap at times, as well, living like all that being a follower of Jesus means is a demographic. I ask frequently that God would reveal Himself to me more and more each day... because I am desperately in love with what I know of Him.

Please don't read this thinking, "yeah, I agree with that!" and leave it there. I'm scared that the few people that read this will respond in the same way they watch a youtube video or read a book- recommending it without falling more in love with Jesus. Leave this blog and think more about who Jesus is to you and how you can learn to treasure Him more. I'm still chewing on Matthew 12:9-21... great stuff.

This is not a "I hate religion" post, but a "I love Jesus" post.

Jesus. That is all.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

My prayer times have been struggling the past week or so. I have either been super-tired (and prone to falling asleep) or just uber-distracted... my thoughts going from one thing to the next to the next before I rein them back in (this happens multiple times in my prayer time).

Yesterday morning was one of these times of trying to be still and wait before the Lord that turned into a battle to stay focused. However, as soon as I stepped outside and saw the unbelievable sunrise right outside my door, I was brought into a place of worship. I'm learning that, at least in this season of my life, prayer times are much better spent outside amongst His creation.

So this morning I went out by a nearby lake and just sat and waited on the Lord. I had a lovely time worshiping Him for who He is, seeing metaphors to Him and His glory in the Creation around me, and listening to some God-glorifying worship music (specifically: "Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant, "You Are My Passion" by Jesus Culture, and "Revival" by the Neverclaim). But then I felt led to just meditate on Psalm 46:10...

"Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in all the earth."

This got me thinking: He WILL be exalted among the nations! He WILL be exalted in all the earth! No darkness will ever overcome this Light. It is going to happen- you can bet your life savings (and all your future income) on it.

If someone were to invite you to going into a battle against evil where there was guaranteed victory, whether it be a legal battle, literal battle, or any kind of battle... wouldn't you jump at that opportunity? I know I would! We love to be on the winning side, and Jesus is the winning side. This is what humbled me so much this morning: that Jesus is GOING to be exalted among the nations- including East Africa! As bleak as the situation looks right now, He WILL be exalted there... and He is inviting me and Hannah (and you?) to be a part of it.

Just like in any battle- there's no guarantee we'll see the victory happen in this life (as so many others haven't had that privilege, either), but the very fact that we are being invited into the story of the exaltation of our glorious Jesus among the nations makes me SO excited and humbled.

No 'sacrifice' or trial can compare to the glory that will be revealed to us (Romans 8:18), and none of it can compare to just being a part of the story (especially if our names won't be mentioned... only His Name).

That's what's motivating me and pumping me up this morning. He is worthy! Isn't Jesus amazing?! He lives... and He wins. He will be exalted among the nations...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fantasy World

No, I'm not talking about "WoW"-type fantasy, but the fantasy that I create certain things to be.

Last night I was struck with the way that I make certain things in life so much bigger/better than they are in reality. Two of the main things that came to mind were these:

I am engaged to the most perfect person for me I can imagine. I've told Hannah before and will tell her again and again until we go Home someday that she isn't my dream girl... she's way better than my dream girl: she's God's dream girl for me. I could never have dreamed of someone as wonderful as she- someone who sharpens me, challenges me, loves me when I don't deserve to be loved, is so full of grace, and is a complement to me in numerous areas.

That being said, however, before we were engaged, I built up the idea of engagement and an emotionally intimate relationship to be something that it's not. It's not easy, but rather quite difficult. I've been hurt more deeply than I thought I ever could be. I've been discouraged and there have been times when I've thought 'is this really how it's going to be, Lord? This isn't the way I imagined it!?' You see, I have watched too much TV and too many movies without stepping back and saying "what does God say about relationships?" So when all problems and difficulties are resolved in 90 minutes time, I think 'I guess that's how it happens in real life!' Nope. We're redeemed people who still struggle with sin, learning to be more like Jesus.

But at the same time, I've felt more loved and encouraged than I ever thought I could be. I've been more humbled than ever before, recognizing that God has given me such a joy and blessing in my wife-to-be (someone I will never "deserve"). I'm so excited to live out the prayer that I prayed before: "Lord, when Your timing is right, bring a woman with whom we'll be better together than we ever could be on our own", because I know that this will be true through Hannah and me. She is one of, if not the, greatest answers to prayer I will ever receive. I can't imagine walking this journey of engagement with anyone else...

Serving Overseas:
God willing, I'll be able to write more about this from experience in a few years. But for now I'm just writing from short overseas experiences.

I used to 'dream' about how fantastic it would be to live among the bedouin tribes of the Sahara desert, not having any electronics but merely living off the land and sharing the good news of Jesus with these people. While this may still be where God calls Hannah and me, I have found that it's not quite as grand as I once thought.

I spent a month in East Africa this past year, and while I was over there spent 5 days in a desert-town with very little technology. The only wireless connection was at the university, and it was I didn't come anywhere near bedouin-type living, but I was so relieved when we got to the more-advanced capital city at the end of five days. I found that I had built up this idea of serving Jesus overseas to something much more than it actually is...

But I also know that, in the same way that Hannah's not my dream girl, but God's dream girl for me, I know that serving Him overseas will not be like my dream, but far better. Far more satisfying. Far more joy-filled (especially during trials and difficulties). Far more sanctifying. Far more glorifying to Him. It won't live up to my expectations, it will blow so far past them that my expectations will be long-forgotten and revealed to be as small as they truly are.

You know what's most exciting, though? We can never over-estimate Jesus. We can never say, "man, Jesus is THAT Good" and He not live up to it. Yes- He won't be our 'plastic Daddy' that gives us whatever we want, but as long as we're fixing our eyes on Him as He calls us to, He will always blow so far past our expectations that whatever small picture we thought Him to be will be long forgotten.

Isaiah 55:9 says: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

He is and always will be greater than we think Him to be. One of our main goals in life should be John 3:30: "He must increase, but I must decrease."

Increase more and more in and through my life, Precious Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Exodus 34

I find it a great joy and blessing that I have been able to say over the past few years at this time that "this past year" has been the best year of my life. And I wholeheartedly know that this continues with 2011. Without question. I mean, think about it: spending a month in East Africa, spending two weeks with like-minded people at training school in Phoenix (twice), there meeting my wife-to-be (my joy and beloved) Hannah, hearing God speak again and again (most prominently in the move to AZ and knowing that Hannah is "the one" for me), seeing Him provide without fail, great times with family, and so much more...

Here are some thoughts from my time in Exodus 34:

The chapter is about Moses making new tablets after he broke the previous Ten Commandments tablets upon seeing the Israelites worshiping the golden calf they made while he was away (Exodus 32). In doing this, the LORD stood before him on the mountain and proclaimed His Name:

"The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." (34:6b-7)

We love to call God many different things: Provider, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Majestic, All-Powerful... all of these are great! But I think it's especially fantastic when we find the LORD naming Himself to someone! See the things that are important to God about Himself:

-Mercy and Grace
-Being slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
-Forgiveness of iniquity, transgression and sin
-Justice ("who will by no means clear the guilty")

I love how He will forgive, but doesn't just clear the guilty by anything they try to say or do. The guilt has been paid for: on the cross through the perfect sacrifice of His Son. How wonderful!

Next, I love how He sheds light on the importance of the Sabbath:

"You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest." (34:21 NLT)

I can see myself trying to justify not resting on the Sabbath during a time when the 'harvest' is plentiful. 'But God,' I might say, 'look at how much work is being done! Look at how great a harvest is being reaped! And you want me to rest?' But when I say things like this, who am I thinking is accomplishing the work? Me or God? Because if I am truly depending on God to accomplish the things He has prepared in advance for me to do (Philippians 2:12-13), then if He says "rest one day a week", it won't matter how good or bad things are going: I will obey. This is an area in which I need to grow tremendously- honoring the Sabbath.

And finally, "As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God." (34:26a NLT)

Again- it would be easy to say, "Well, giving is important, but taking care of myself is something that God wants me to do, too. So let's pay our bills and then we'll see what we can give afterwards." The way the NLT puts what God says, though, "bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the LORD your God." Wow! He calls us to not just give, but to give the very best of what we have first. This is a beautiful picture of how we should trust Him to provide, for the people in Exodus didn't know for sure how many good harvests each season would bring (I'm guessing). If they committed to giving 'at some point' during the harvest, they might get greedy and end up not giving very much. But by giving the very best of the first harvest, they are showing God that they trust Him to provide the rest of their needs (see Matthew 6:33 for more).

So I need to worship the Lord for His mercy, grace, abundant love, forgiveness, and justice, honor Him by resting on the Sabbath no matter what "excuses" I can come up with, and give Him the first and best of what I am given. Really- all my money is provided by Him, and as one of my mentors puts it: it's a pretty good deal when 100% of it is His and He only asks us to give a percent (cheerfully) back to Him, right?!

Seeking to treasure Jesus...


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


In my time with Jesus this morning, I discovered a disease from which I suffer: comparisitis. The Werriam-Mebsters definition is: "the cancerous disease that causes you to compare yourself to everyone around you". It is only fatal if you try to fight it on your own.

Sometimes I have to take a step back and say, "seriously, Luke? Even that?" Like- I might compare how much food I'm eating to the person next to me in the lunch room at work. I'm comparing how much weight I'm lifting (oftentimes significantly less) to the guy next to me (the most humbling are when the older guys are lifting the same or more than I). How creative I am. How attractive/unattractive. How successful. And the list goes on...

I'm discovering more and more that Jesus is the only cure. You can 'treat' it with things like getting angry at yourself, confessing it to friends, or ceasing to eat, lift, or share around people. But these are just temporary band-aids. They don't heal the disease.

CS Lewis says that humility is: "not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." Jesus embodied this:

Philippians 2:3-11
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better (more significant) than yourselves. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the Name that is above every Name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

This is one of my favorite passages- a passage that breaks me every time I read it. If Jesus compared Himself to us and suffered from comparisitis, He would never have come to die and give us the opportunity to know the glory of the Father. He would have considered us unworthy to come even close to. But He "did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing."

Gracious God... please heal me of this comparisitis. I need You to wash away my iniquities and cleanse me from my sin. Against You, You only do I sin and do what is evil in Your sight. Conform me to Your Son's image... He must increase in my life, I must decrease.

If you ever see or hear me displaying my comparisitis, please remind me that Jesus is the only answer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The Rock. On whom the church has been built. One of the "Big Three" (sorry 'Bron, Wade and Bosh). Peter was such an instrumental person in the history of the Church. I can't say for sure, but my guess is that my buddy Peter was named after him (at least he is one of the namesakes).

Peter was one of my best friends growing up here in Arizona. He was one of the three friends I chose to join me as "ninja turtles" for a birthday party, and he was also a basketball teammate on a few teams growing up. He came out to visit my family in the first year or two that we lived out there. But after that, to my knowledge, I hadn't spoken to him in over a decade.

Flash forward: the wife of the leader of my internship here in Arizona is in nursing school and made the connection with her instructor that I used to be best friends with her son. Yep- you guessed it: Peter's mom! So we made the connection and scheduled to hang out a week ago. We spent the evening eating pizza and watching a football game and while we chatted about life, I recognized that he kept making reference to a desire to check out church sometime with me.

Over these past few months, I've been learning a lot about listening for God in prayer and doing things in faith. I felt the Lord put it on my heart to share about a new obedience-based way to study the Bible that I've been learning in my internship, unsure if he would be interested. We started studying in Luke 16 together, and by the end of the passage we got to the part about writing an "I will..." statement to commit to obeying the passage. I challenged him to pray and ask the Lord to speak to him, and while we were both bowed in prayer, I was praying like crazy, "God, PLEASE speak!" And speak he did.

Peter wrote and shared one of the most beautiful I will statements I have heard! It was super heart-felt and, when asked where that came from, he said, "I don't know where it came from, but it felt really good." We then closed in prayer and by the end of our prayer time, he was in tears. I left him with more passages to study and, because he's truly in the Father's hands, he is equipped to learn straight from the Word and the Spirit on his own!

God is amazing. He really does speak! Hallelujah!