Imaginathan's Blog

Goodness from another dimension

August 1, 2011
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Disarming Love

February 25, 2011
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On my way to play in a basketball tourney yesterday, I got off the train at the Western stop on the blue line. As I was making my way towards the walking ramp. A young kid probably around 12 just began to call me the nastiest names. It seemed to be an attempt to impress his friend. So instead of walking by I stood and let him continue his assault of calling me a monkey, as well as insulting what I was wearing. I told him that I could stand here all day because I knew who I was. He then called me an animal and I began to roar like a lion. He began to be taken off guard that I did not return his insults but decided to stay. As soon as he got close enough I pulled him in for a hug and told him how much the Father loved him. He stammered “man, you’re strong”, it was at that moment that his whole facade fell and I could see directly into the hurt in his heart, he turned and got on the train. It would have been easy to walk by and/or return the verbal assault but very hard to stay and show him how loved he is. I began to think that no matter our cultural upbringing or religious denomination. The audacity of our love has to grow. I wanna hold up what I did as a monument only of the audacious love Christ has for us. We need the whole body to step out of comfort zones even when offenses seems to be eminent and choose the highway of holiness, a place where unity is an easy thing. There is NO match for Love..be courageous and all insecurities will melt away…..


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Giants in a mirror

January 7, 2011
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Images bend, hindsight isn't always 20x20

I’ve realized that my perception of the past may be a bit flawed. In the present day things always seem a little bigger than they actually are. You ever visit your old elementary school or high school and it seems to be smaller? That has happened to me and until now I did not know what it meant. Maybe my perception has continued to grow and has granted me the luxury of an expanded view of the world. Too bad most of our self-perception comes from the past’s inadequacies. This is all a myth. Like a mirror in a fun house (or Navy Pier) our skewed view of ourselves in the world around us can affect what we believe our role in it to be. Looking through the lens of past experiences, we will remain in a place that is unable to see the Now in which God lives. An example from Numbers 13:32-33:

So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying,”The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. “There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Based on their past history as slaves, there was no way they had what they need to defeat such a strong foe. But that was not how Joshua and Caleb looked at the land and its inhabitants. They saw them through the promise God made to His people. True vision can only come from belief in a promise that allows us to see what does not exist as if it does. This is an active posture of faith that does not take the past for granted, but as unsubstantial next to the glory of a manifested promise from the Ruler of all that is or ever will be. When looking back, we are never grasshoppers but giants standing on the shoulders of Christ.


State of the Union

December 31, 2010
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March on Washington, 1963

Inevitably during this time of the year I consider the past and future with an extraordinary clarity. Also I prepare or (begin to) honor Martin Luther King and his contributions to society. A true visionary, he saw beyond the limiting structures that surrounded daily life in the 50’s and 60’s. Ever have a dream and you get a glimpse of that dream in real life? God has shown me His plan for my life this way several times. One of the most memorable occurred during my time as a small group leader for the Lake Zurich section of Student Impact at Willow Creek Community Church. Close to 1000 high school students boarded buses traveling from the privileged suburb of South Barrington to the Southside of Chicago. There we joined nearly 1000 high school students from Salem Baptist Church in a service of epic proportions. There were humorous allusions to our perceived differences and exaltation of our similarities. The need for the Love of God and our significance found in Christ. Upon waking the morning of that epic trip, I wept as I felt He was showing me a glimpse of His glory. How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1) Although Sunday continues to be one of the most segregated portions of society(according to TIME magazine) I believe the seed that was planted in the heart of Martin Luther King Jr. has and will continue to produce fruit that allows us to walk together into a kingdom where ‘no thing is impossible for us’ (Genesis 11:6).

 


Winter Fleece

December 21, 2010
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holy moly!

Ever heard of someone ‘putting out a fleece? This is the practice of asking God for a sign to confirm His will. And yes I did that, I hadn’t done it before and haven’t done it since. It was December 4th, 2009 and My wife and I were in Chicago, Illinois, considering an offer to become the intern/missionaries for a thriving Vineyard Church (now named Greater Chicago Church). My wife and I had moved to Redding, California 2 years earlier to attend ministry school. Not just any school but one where we learned to pray for the sick and encourage people with prophecy and the love of God. Fast forward 2 years and some change to the night in question. I sat in front of a T.V. watching my Lakers play the Miami Heat. With 2:00 minutes left to play they were down by nine points, it was lookin bad. As my wife sat on my lap I proclaimed,”IF THE LAKERS WIN THIS GAME THEN WE KNOW WE ARE SUPPOSED TO MOVE TO CHICAGO”. Then I thought to myself,” did I really just say that?”. Yep it was a fleece Old Testament style. From Judges 6:36-40:

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken,37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.”38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.”40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.

So I knew we (my wife Liz and two kids Andre 2, and Kiki 7 months at the time) were supposed to move to Chicago mid-winter, but maybe I was looking for a little assurance. Our hearts have been here ever since we fell in love and got married here (and Africa! a whole other story). Us returning was a bit of a foregone conclusion. In any event I said it and then with a little over 3 seconds on the clock and the score Miami 107 and L.A 105. The Lakers in bounded the ball. Kobe then hit what he calls “the luckiest shot of my career”. Watch it here: http://www.nba.com/2009/news/features/12/09/hangtime.blog/index.html

Pandemonium ensues and I wake up my sleeping daughter yelling. But me I don’t think it was luck, just a cloth full of water…


November 16, 2010
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reverberation

sounds build

And ends with Him after all he is the only one to live fully everywhere in every time period. His omnipresence becomes tantamount because only He can fully exist in any present moment. That begs the question “How does one grasp this abstract concept?”. By remembering the worldS were prepared by the word of God so that what was made was created out of what is unseen (Heb 11:2). His presence is the most astounding Now (IMA in japanese play on “I AM”)where science cannot speak but His omniscience lays claim to the mysteries of all that is. Let Him speak into your Now. Foresight and hindsight are great but our present is gift that continues to unwrap itself….


burning light

October 4, 2010
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mystery revealed

I meet a lot of people on the streets here in Chicago and all of them are precious

most recently I went to the Humboldt Park neighborhood and got to bless a

number of people with prayer and encouragement. One older gentleman’s response

to me asking if He dreamt was…..I don’t dream at all…I deal with reality.

Some would say that was a harsh response but we are promised that we will see

that day(Joel 2:28). I blessed him and went on my way knowing there was a time when

he would dream again. The kingdom expands when we believe.and we pray.PERIOD… God is working

something out when we pray. Doubt undermines our ability to continually

walk in victory. I ran into a young woman named Damaris and she was collecting signatures

for a mayoral canidate. She called me “white light” after I told her about her love for ballerinas.

I’d imagine that light not only illuminates but it actually burns darkness. Let us believe we are that

light and will succeed in bringing this great city into an encounter with His glory..


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All as it should be…

July 14, 2010
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Grainy photographs line the vacant memories
Vocal in the absence of faith imagery
Let the rain cry over me and the mud

Churn under

Upset at missing the breath breathed and took
Inanimate asunder both while objects attend
And dismantle
sad the green meant save
And red means to politely wave as the
Burning continues to vent by way of
Eyes
still
They all search for a venue that has
Been let inside you carrying the divine touch of an
Artist who could always
Leave luxury
For more pristine waters purely moving
History
To beat beat beat
His heart
With anticipation as words hasten their way
To a landing in mere mortals
Yet a promise knows no bounds
Especially when we realize whose temples
They landed on.


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breaking angles

June 15, 2010
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make a wise(h)


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Beautiful Destruction

May 26, 2010
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Laughing to break up the depression and using joy as a weapon


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