As for me….

Midterms are a required part of college. But anxiety and stress are optional.

The way you handle busyness in college is an indicator of how you will handle your future marriage, job, family, and Christian community. Instead of choosing to serve stress and anxiety I challenge you to serve the Lord–who is not a problem solving genie but the One who knows the number of hairs on your head, not to mention the quadratic formula.

Tuesday night is United Prayer.  Everything begins with prayer.  Tomorrow night 9pm at Kimchi Castle (1258 W Arthur)

Wednesday is Agape in Damen MPR at 730! Come on! We are back together to testify, worship, dance, and read scripture. Does anyone want to get Popeye’s biscuits afterward?

Ecclesia is not meeting because there is something called Spring Break happening…..hmmmm….what is the definition of “spring?”


Lent (or, perhaps more accurately, Why Do We Fast)



With the season of Lent upon us, there surely has been thought and talk of what we are going to give up, or what we will be fasting from, for the 40 days. However, I would say there is more to be found in fasting and in these 40 days. In reflection upon last year, the first year I observed Lent, I was convicted that I didn’t realize the greatest thing I was receiving through the process, God Himself.

Last year I wanted to see God move and work in ways that I had felt that He wasn’t working in my own life. I had felt like I hadn’t heard God in a great while so I decided that giving up my headphones for Lent was the thing that was going to change that. The reason that I chose to do such was because I knew it would be hard for me. It was not necessarily because I wanted God to transform the way in which I listened to him, but likely more so that I wanted to put a Band-Aid on the uncomfortable and almost embarrassing wound of not hearing from Him. Even with that being the case, I still feel that God moved during that time. Not because I had given up my headphones, but because at the very core of that decision, God really worked on how much more of Him I want and showed me more of my need for Him.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.
​ – Psalm 42:1

Through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross we have access to the one true King. When we fast, we are seeking out the presence of God. When we fast, we are not just giving something up, we are gaining more time and intimacy in the greatest relationship we will ever know.

Through recognizing our absolute desperation for God, we can humbly approach prayer and fasting. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches on the two subjects as well as on giving to the poor. He tells us to give in secret, to pray in secret, and to fast in secret. Jesus wants us to focus on doing it with God and for the glory of God rather than for our own glory. We are not giving up social media, a certain food, or headphones to have attention focused on us. We give, pray, and we fast to grow closer to God and have Him work through us so that He may be lifted up. Throughout Matthew 6, Jesus makes sure that our Father is the focus. He intimately begins the Lord’s Prayer by saying:

“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
– Matthew 6:9

We get to intimately cry out to God, calling him Father and glorifying his name. This is what I hope for in this season of Lent. That we would not be focused on what we are giving up, but instead on what we are gaining in the intimacy of our Lord. We are all desperate for God and fasting is a way to tangibly feel that.

So, for these next 40 days or so, rather than focusing on the giving up of some item or idea, lets focus on how God grow more abundantly in our life in our humble obedience to Him. Not seeking out our own gain, but instead seeking out the will and the things that our Abba Father wants to provide.

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
– 1 Timothy 6:17

​If we are seeking to overcome a stumbling block in our life, let us use this time to pray and fast as it is written in Isaiah 58 to “loosen the bonds of wickedness.” If we are seeking for God to intercede on our behalf let us follow the example of David in 2 Samuel 12:15-17 and cry out to God in our fast and prayers. Above all, let us seek and pray to God so that he may transform us.

​Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
​​- Romans 12:1-2


National Cabbage Day. Lenten Season. Town Hall Meeting

Today is National Cabbage Day and Fat Tuesday.  Are they related? Most likely no. Speaking of relation, here are some ways God is drawing us into relationship.

  • Tonight we are meeting in Mundelein at 9pm for United Prayer. We are going to prayer walk through the building and intercede for students, professors, and the campus.
  • Wednesday night is Agape. We are meeting in our small groups this week. Invite a friend to your small group. Wednesday is also the begging of the Lenten season. There are Ash Wednesday services on campus we will be participating in as we begin our Lenten journey.
  • Saturday is our once a year church-family meeting in IES at 11am. If you are part of our church we want you there to ask questions about our finances, future, and statements of faith.
  • Sunday is Ecclesia. Last week we had a guest worship leader and this week we have a guest preacher. I don’t want to tell you too much but let me say two things.  First, he will challenge you. Second, his beard has a Facebook page.

Talk Into the Phone, Ep. #6: That Time Taylor Ate Grass


What is the worst tasting thing you’ve ever eaten?

When I was in Thailand for three weeks, I lived in a refugee camp. Thai food is amazing, but this was not Thai food. It was (food from) this people group from Burma, or Myanmar, and they didn’t have a lot of resources. One day, I seriously saw them pull up what I would call grass from outside of our hut, and then boil it with rice, and it was stuff like that every day. Just, anything that has to do with weird meat, too, like when I was in Ethiopia, I had to eat so much random beef and I was just like “I’m going to die here.”

Okay, how did you end up in Agape?

When I was a freshman, I was in the trolley line- that’s like this cool thing they do for the freshmen: you can go on this trolley ride and they tell you all about historical Chicago. So I was in this trolley line, and I was just back from YWAM (Youth with a Mission) so I was all “I’m gonna talk to everyone about Jesus!!” So I’m talking to this Jewish girl in line about Jesus, and about Christianity in general and then she was like “I think Jesus was like a cool guy; I thought what he did was cool.” And I was like “yeah, I mean, he’s the coolest guy I know! And God!” and then this person turns around and she’s like “are you talking about Jesus?!” and I thought she was gonna yell at me. But this girl turned out to be Blythe’s freshman roommate, Rachel, and she was like “are you a Christian?!” and I said “yeah! Are you?” and she said “yeah, me and my roommate,” and then Blythe turns around and that’s how I met Blythe and we ended up talking the whole night, and we were both looking for Christian community and Rachel was dating someone who went to Agape before, and then I went to Agape with them.

What draws you into the community?

I was just talking to Mike about how we are both a number four on the Enneagram, which is the individualist. So, to my core I am an individualist, and I like to do my own thing. But the more I study about Jesus and Christianity, the more I’m convinced that you can’t be an individualist and be a Christian. You can’t do everything on your own, and as much frustration as I’ve had with Christianity through people in my life, I’ve also seen God through the people in this community more than I’ve seen God in any other way in my life. I’ve just consistently experienced something so real and deep and true that is nowhere else in my life, so it makes me come back and unable to deny God’s existence. There is a depth to the friendships that I’ve had in this community that I’ve found nowhere else. I don’t think I’d be a Christian if not for this community.

Why are you a Christian?

Some days, I’m like “I don’t know! Why the hell am I a Christian? This is horrible and I didn’t sign up for this crap!” In the end, though, I think I’m a Christian, because in some senses the story of Jesus makes sense to me. It explains some of the questions that I have; the big questions, they make sense to me in light of Jesus. I also think I’m a Christian because I really value the sacredness of each individual. I really love how different every single person is, and I want to see them thriving in the person that they were created to be, and I believe the gospel offers that to people. It gives people the chance to be exactly who they were created to be.

What draws you to Jesus?

This I know for sure. I’m gonna try to not cry. What I love about Jesus is that he never forgets the people we always forget. He goes after that person that is forgotten, and I see that in the Gospels with him healing blind men and touching lepers and giving women a position that they never had before, but I also see that Jesus cares about the millions of people that we’ve incarcerated, who we don’t think about. But Jesus knows them and cares about them intimately and individually. I think what draws me to Jesus is that he comes to me and comes to every person and I love that about him- which he cares about the people I couldn’t care less about.

What breaks your heart?

My original answer was apathy, but I think that pisses me off more than it breaks my heart. I think what breaks my heart is powerlessness- my own, as well as other people’s to change things that are deeply wrong. It would be easy to say “poverty” or “sexism” and those things do bother me, but I think when I get down to it, what really bothers me is that I can’t do anything to change that. It breaks my heart when people don’t see who God created them to be, and don’t value that person- whether that’s because of their sexual orientation or skin color or general insecurities. It breaks my heart when people aren’t seen by themselves or by others as who God created them to be, and when that person is disrespected. I hate that, because I’m certain that God designed each person perfectly and intimately, and I want to see all of those people thriving.

Recommend a book. What’s one that’s been a watershed book for you?

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou- it’s like her autobiography and it’s beautiful and important and amazing. There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz- it’s an ethnographic study in the form of a novel about two boys who grew up in housing projects in Chicago. And then The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne- that book annihilated my life my sophomore year and I was just like “I have got to get my crap together.” But I just think Shane Claiborne, he gets it. He’s like Mike Moore, it’s just like “you get it. I don’t know what it is, but you get it.” Those have all been huge to me. Also, Year of Biblical Womanhood and Jesus Feminist- those have all been books that have drastically changed the way I view the world and my role in it.

Any final words?

I think what I’ve been realizing lately is that there is no love in the world like experiencing people who love you when you are the worst version of yourself. I think that it is possible to find that in this community, and holy crap, if we don’t take advantage of that, we are fools.