Last year I had a great conversation with a kid who asked me, “what do I need to know?” in reference to his spiritual life. I told him, “Know you are loved.”
It’s a very simple concept, the more we know are loved by God, the better our life becomes. Likewise, the more we know we are loved by others, the greater our lives become. Feeling loved is one of the basic human needs. Unfortunately, I think it’s easy for us to forget the obvious.
After praying over how to use this idea of KYAL for almost a year, I have decided to move forward with a new project. In the next few months knowyouareloved.org will be launching as a jumping off point for KYAL. The idea (in it’s final stages of revision) is that users will contribute messages of encouragement for other users, revolving around the theme of Know You Are Loved. We are still working on the specific details of how that will function, but we would appreciate your prayers and help with the launch. More details to come soon on that.
After the site launch, we will be looking towards KYAL shirts, sponsorships, and eventually partnering with counseling services.
If you have any ideas on how we can spread the KYAL idea please let me know. More importantly, pray for those words to find the people that need to hear them.
So my last post was provided by my dear friend and fellow SoCal Youth Ministry Mafia compadre Jordan, who is on an amazing tear with his Inspired blog. I highly recommend you check it out, it is well worth the time.
Lately that idea has been resonating with me quite a bit. The past few months I have gotten into production mode, and have gotten away from a lot my inspirations. It’s such an easy thing to do because I really don’t think about what inspires me that often. I know when something inspires me, but I haven’t been very good about seeking inspiration.
So when I was asked the question, “what inspires you?” I had a very difficult time answering.
I’ve been seeking an answer to that lately, and the answers have been interesting.
Art has seemed more relevant. Going to the store becomes a chance to learn. Getting gas has become a time to talk to my neighbors. Church is less about me leading and more about me being part of something amazing. Friendships are a wealth of joy. Quiet time speaks loudly. Tragedies are a call to action. Talking with mi madre is an affirmation. Conversations involve more hugs. Letting go is peaceful.
Love is said more often.
Basically, moments that could very easily be wasted are turning into catalysts for inspiration. What’s really cool is that this awareness makes it so much easier to see God at work in the little things. I say this because it has been a blessing in my life, and I pray that you, the reader, would be blessed as well.
I was blessed to head up Glendale Church of Christ this past weekend for the 2nd Risen Young Adults conference. Shaqman put together a great lineup of speakers and encounters, Storment brought his usual I’m-better-than-Rob-Bell way of looking at the Word, Jordan got to expand his liveinspired message to a receptive audience, and I learned about a great ministry called Project Exodus that is seeking to end modern day slavery. To say that it was a blessed 24 hours would be an understatement.
I might go into the stuff that I learned from the weekend on another post, but for right now I want to focus on what I saw. I saw a group of Church of Christ young adults that were truly innovative. I was floored. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘woe is us’ mentality in the Church of Christ, of which I am a full fledged part of the problem. But what I saw at Risen were individuals in our fellowship that are so creative, so innovative, and so committed to bringing that to the Church. Over the years many of the innovators in our fellowship have jumped ship to places that are more open to innovation; we call them ‘progressive’. Looking around on Saturday, I felt like this wave of excitement realizing that right now, in Southern California, we have a tremendous pool of talent. My prayer is that we can pull together in a way that we do the most good for the kingdom.
The key word of week. Simple. It’s clean, concise, to the point, but full of meaning. It’s also the word that I am working on unpacking in my life right now. What can I do to simplify my life? I’m not sure how this one pans out, but my walls are already plain white, my clothing collection was cut in half, and the boxes of stuff in the garage are doomed. It’s going to be cool to see where this leads.
Just around the corner from my old Jr High in south San Diego is an area called the Writer’s Block. It’s a non profit organization that has set up a graffiti park where anyone can come and paint on some walls. This Monday me and Ivan trekked down there to throw up a few pieces. We were really overwhelmed with the artwork there, and felt humbled to put up our meager paintings, but had a great time in doing so. I look forward to more trips down there, and am thankful that I am able to share my art in a different venue. Check out some pics here.
It’s been a few months since my last semi serious relationship. And it’s been difficult letting go. But I feel like I am turning a corner with being good about that potential being gone, and turning that time into a shaping experience. It’s amazing how letting go of things you have no control over can bring about peace. Here’s to the next shaping experience.
Btw, I’m almost at the ‘if you know anyone…’ point. I’ll keep you posted.
Our small group on Monday nights has been awesome. We’ve got the single guys from Church together, ages 23 – 31, and have been having a blast. Coach heads up our time together, we take turns bringing food, and every Monday we fill the sketchouse with some great stories, great fellowship, and some really random discussion. It’s awesome to be a part of something that builds up the soul like that. I think my time as a youth minister is really going to benefit from our group. And since we have such great energy going, and our numbers have started to grow, I think it’s time we go ahead and call it Medium Group.
Ask Me Anything.
I started up a Formspring account last week and it has the potential to be a great blessing. It’s a place where people can ask questions anonymously, which lends itself to some great honesty. I’ve enjoyed the depth that some people have put into their questions, and really enjoyed some of the randomness as well. Check it out at: www.formspring.me/djiverson
Last week my radio started freaking out on me. I had to drive up to LA on Friday with this annoying popping sound, so I decided to put on the lo bluetooth and make some calls. On Saturday night, I couldn’t tolerate the noise, it was raining so I didn’t feel safe making calls, so I just drove in silence.
It was awesome.
Silence brings about thinking that is absolutely unavailable in the midst of noise. Here are some of my thoughts from that drive:
LA traffic never stops.
I need to say no more often.
Just because something is a good idea, doesn’t mean I have to do it.
Doing fewer things will enable me to do them better.
What we say no to says more about us than what we say yes to.
I think that’s why Jesus said, ‘let your yes mean yes’.
I’m glad I didn’t stop for a Pepsi.
Focusing on trusting God needs to be higher on my priority list.
We should organize the innovators.
As I was exiting the freeway yesterday on the way home, the car two places in front of me suddenly stopped. After a couple of seconds, a young lady emerged and started pushing the back of the car out of the exit. The truck in front of me drove around the distressed car, which really upset me. I pulled off the side of the road and ran up to help push the car up the street to the gas station. As I got closer I realized that the young lady was absolutely gorgeous. My step quickened as visions of ‘knight in shining armor’ comments rushed through my head. I started pushing, she looked over, gave me an awesome smile, and started speaking to me… in spanish. I have no idea what she said because she didn’t use any of the half dozen words of spanish I know. And when we finally got the car up to the gas pump, and her friend got out of the driver seat, I was excited because maybe there could be a possibility of awkward communication. Not happening. In fact, they didn’t even give me a second glance, they just started pumping gas. I’m not upset, I’d do it again, but next time I’m learning spanish beforehand.
One love, One heart.
writer’s block pics
Drops Like Stars / Rob Bell
Simple Church / Thom Rainer
Vintage Jesus / Mark Driscoll
Margo Margo / Armand Margjeka
Soundtrack / Crazy Heart
Roadhouse Sun / Ryan Bingham
LOVE / Angels & Airwaves
Catalyst / New Found Glory
Contra / Vampire Weekend
This Addiction / Alkaline Trio
American VI / Johnny Cash
Love Songs and Such / The Wallings Jr.
Enemy of the World / Four Year Strong