Comparison Kills


Comparison is the death of joy.
-Twain


Hey fam! 

Hope your summer is going super well and that you’ve found some time to get some vacation and rest in your system. Ours is going really well minus the past few days of rain we’ve had.

I’ve been sitting in the passage of Luke 10:25-37 where Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan to some religious guy who thinks he can trip Jesus up in his answers. Obviously, Jesus puts the guy in his place while at the same time giving us perspective about what it looks like to be a good neighbor. This is what caught my attention though… in Luke 10:27 the religious scholar answers Jesus’ question with what we’ve all heard before, that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This is wrecking me right now as I’m wrestling out what it means to be a good neighbor, husband, brother, son and so on and so on…

 

Here’s where my thoughts have landed.

 

If I am honest with you (and myself) ? I know that one of the biggest areas of my life that I need to work on is improving the moments where I visibly see a need in someone’s life and I make an excuse or a judgment call as to why I can’t help them in the direct way that they need. Maybe you feel the same or you’ve been in situations where you’ve made a conscious effort to step OVER situations instead of being a Good Samaritan and helping where you see the need. 

This is what I’m figuring out right now, that through all of the ups and downs of my life, the way in which I treat others is directly connected to my self worth. The way that I treat others is actually a mirrored reflection on what I feel on the inside about myself, where I choose to be aware of that or not. So I’ve been thinking on the question, how can you love others well if you can’t love yourself well?

Now I don’t want to go down rabbit trails of spirituality and “becoming the best you.” I get it; that stuff is all about us, that’s the flesh. I’m more so talking about the idea that if I am to love myself I need a revelation from the Father’s heart as to how He sees me as His son. I don’t want to be better or love better just because I speak it into existence. I don’t want to care for others as some strange backwards way to feel better about myself (which it does – there’s no shame in that – I’m just saying, what is the motivation?)

What I really want is for my interactions with others to stem from a place of confidence in who I am in the loving embrace of my creator.

Here’s a few things I’ve come to realize about how it becomes easier to see myself through the lens of heaven and now through my failures or past mistakes….

 

Comparison Kills

 

In a world obsessed with Instagram likes and numbers of zeros on a paycheck, it becomes really easy to compare our lives to those around us. Comparison kills and judging yourself based on the happiness you perceive others have based on a picture will only leave you wanting. If you think having a bigger tv or boat or whatever than the person next door is going to bring you contentment, I’m sorry friends, but you’re wrong.

True hope and love and fulfilment in life are only found when you find your identity in Christ. Listen, the Bible says that you were made in His image. That even before the world was formed, He knew you and loved you and made a way for you to partner with His plan for creation – so why would you finding your self worth in comparing yourself to the world when you should be rejoicing that you are the delight of your Father?!?

He doesn’t compare you to anyone else. He sees you as a unique part of His creation and we find a better way to move forward in loving ourselves and loving others when we see just how special we are to Him.

 

Loved to Love

 

The self care and self love that I’m talking about this morning isn’t the type that we see in that of the characters that Jesus tells us about in The Good Samaritan. We don’t see the type of love that you find in your identity in Christ, what we see in them is actually self-righteousness. We see a priest intentionally stepping over a situation that he probably could have easily helped with the all of the resources and connections he had.

It’s a heart issue we see.
He steps over the least of these.
He steps over someone he doesn’t agree with.
He steps over a situation where He could have shown love but just like we do many times in our life, instead of showing that love we find inside of us from the heart of the Father, we self-righteously judge the situations and come up with an excuse as to why its better that we keep our hands clean from the situation.

You know what I love about God?
And do you know what my desperate hope is for the next expression of the local church?
Is that when people who don’t look like a Jesus follower, who don’t sound like we sound, dress how we dress, listen to the same music that we listen to (and the list goes on and on)… when those people show up in our lives we don’t just love them because God first loved us but we love them to the point of getting past our self-righteous presuppositions and seeing them through the lens of heaven.

 

So I’ll leave you with a few questions:

 

What do you need to do in order to partner with God to love yourself better?
Maybe you’ve been comparing yourself to others for too long. Maybe you’re caught up in some sort of cycle of un-health. Maybe it an addiction on the internet, maybe it an addiction with eating, maybe its something like our friend Mike went through… maybe you need to start to let go and let God show up in some of those areas.

What are you doing to pour out the love that you have been given?
Like I said right at the beginning of this message, I find that I have a hard time and little patience with people when they come at me with an agenda and don’t come at me in love. You see, I need to recognize that I don’t give love because I get love – I give love because I AM loved by my Father.

 

So this week may you see yourself as Christ sees you.
May you love yourself well so that in turn you can be a Good Samaritan to those who need in along the roads you travel down this week.

Love you guys.
-Drew

CE3F8AA6-90FB-46F6-89AE-157B440C055C.jpg

In The Blink Of An Eye


there is no failure except in no longer trying
-Hubbard


So I just got back from a fashion show… oh wait, I meant to write, “I just got back from a Conference.” (Com’on… I can joke because I’m apart of the guilty party) I have to say, its been a long while since I’ve taken in a conference or have been apart of a community of believers where the passion and the drive was through the roof. I left encouraged, committed and driven to see the seeds that God has planted in my heart come to fruition. I know that just as much as I have to water those seeds that He’s planted, I know that He’s ultimately going to be the one who does the miraculous. 

Here’s the honesty and the authentic for you though.

I stepped into this conference, this room full of amazing leaders who have gone before me; full of people that know me and I them; full of the next generation of people who will lead the next expression of church in our nation… and I felt like I didn’t belong. I felt lost. I felt alone. I felt like how could I even begin to measure up to the level of integrity and character in the room.

Now I know that those are lies. I know that. I know that there is a path that I’m on and the enemy would want nothing more to distract me; to take the joy out of the journey and to make me feel like I’m nothing but the mistakes I’ve made in the past.

Chad Veach spoke the last session of the conference and something he said really reminded my soul of how good God really is. To paraphrase he reminded us that God said that as far as the east is from the west He’s forgotten the garbage of our pasts. That a ministry that took years to develop and then destroyed, God can fix it and make it better than it ever was in the blink of an eye.

I know I’ve said it a million times, but I wanted to encourage you with the reminder that if you don’t quit, you win! I believe that God is on the move and is up to something incredible especially for those who feel like they’ve been disqualified. He’s redeeming your poor judgments and setting you on a course where those same mistakes will be apart of the very movement that brings health and wholeness to people through your life!

So maybe there’s a giant in your life. Something that looks impossible to beat or to move past. Maybe its past mistakes, maybe its insecurities or lies that have been spoken over your life that have hindered your forward momentum. I speak faith over your right now that those giants are bowing down as you partner with the future God has for you.

Paul says in Philippians 3:13, “I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” So no matter if you’re on the mountain or feel stuck in the lowest valley, keep your focus on the One who is working all things for good! You may not perceive it right now, it may take some time to see His hand at work… but He’s working and best is coming! I know it.

Love you guys.

-Drew

Zoey_034.jpg

Not Natural


submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect.
-Young


I remember once fleshing out the thought of “when is the Bible ever wrong.” And to give you the short answer; I believe that the Bible is only ever wrong when it’s used as a weapon to hurt people. Now, I know that this happens every single day. Just looking at some of the random “friends” I have on Facebook and I’m usually left asking myself, why would anyone want to be friends with these people let alone follow the God they use as an excuse to bash people’s issues, downfalls or sin. Some of the things I see posted… gah….

Now, the last thing I want to do is water down the gospel in my personal thoughts or writings. I don’t want to play both sides when it comes to any issue but I also recognize the importance in knowing that I don’t have all the answers.  I find its just so easy for people to get caught up in opinion when hot topic issues arise rather than truly turn to the heart of God and ask what Jesus asks from me as His son. Okay, Okay… I’m not being direct. Here’s where recent events and lots of time spent running have had my thoughts.


Sin is an issue of submission.


Even the word “sin” – although meant to really only hold a negative connotation – sets up instant walls in most conversations where both parties become more interested in standing one’s ground or proving one’s point than really coming to a resolve. You name it, from the simple to the severe. From swearing to high school slayings (I know, that an extreme jump) I suppose that as believers we need to submit our lives in all areas to Him. Are we actually willing to submit the things we feel or want or desire at His feet even if it feels counter intuitive to who we are? I mean, if I have an issue with gossip or stealing and yet am aware that its against what God has asked of me in His Word, am I willing to submit that to the one who died a horrific death so that I could have a way to Him.

Luke 9:23 reminds me that I HAVE TO deny myself. Whatever agenda, whatever opinion, whatever feeling I have and put those issue on my back every day as if they were the very things that would weigh me down like the cross did as He walked to that hill on my behalf. Deny myself, take up my opinions and feelings and follow His guide map for my life.

As much as I said at the beginning of this that I want to speak Truth more than just opinion, I know that these 500 words are full of holes and faults and a journey that is trying to love others and find a closer way to His heart.

I’m trying daily to submit. It sucks. I fail. No title or platform will ever make me not a struggling son of His… but I choose to rely on the fact that He is perfectly perfecting those poor opinions I so often let shape my reality.

Here’s to doing what doesn’t feel natural. Submitting. 

Riach2016121-2.jpg

Power in the Process


Things may be hard, but if you quit trying they'll never get better. Stop worrying and start trusting God's power.
-Kent


Hey fam! Hope this finds you and finds you well! Spring has (kind of) sprung, depending on where you’re currently reading this and God continues to be good and gracious in ways that He only can!

I know that there are seasons in life; that our journeys are always ebbing and flowing with each and every situations and circumstance that comes our way.  This is what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God has sent His Spirit to comfort and support, to be an advocate for us along the road. Jesus Himself reminds us in the Gospels that it was a good thing, that He was doing what was best for us by leaving and sending us the Holy Spirit. I love that we have a chance to engage with this amazingly personable part of the Trinity. That no matter where we are, there He is!

So what does it look like to walk in that “better thing” that Jesus left us with? What does it look like to actually step into a new season where we allow ourselves to partner with God to not only change our perspectives and our anticipation of God’s work in our own lives but to be a key part in someone else encountering the power of God!

Let me get all preach-y for a second… three things!

1. Receive as You Believe
I know that in my own strength I will NEVER be able to accomplish the things that God has set before me in my life. There’s no way I have that kind of power on my own. I know I can’t do it. I know that if I want to live life and life in the fullness of Christ accomplishments on the Cross, I need to receive the gift of the Spirit, the POWER of His presence in my life to get to the tasks God has placed before me. In my opinion (which I don’t hold in the highest regard), many believers today aren’t walking in fullness or seeing the power of the Spirit because they’ve simply not received this free gift that God gift-wrapped for us. 2Tim.1:7 starts off by saying God hasn’t given us a Spirit of fear…

So stop there for a second. I need to be aware that He hasn’t given me fear… “ do no be afraid” 365 plus times in His Word...  BUT… power!

When someone gives you something you can’t just leave it in their hands, you actually have to accept it? So if it was my birthday (which is this Friday, no pressure – haha) and there are gifts set out for me, all presented with amazing wrapping paper and balloons and cards… What good are those gifts if I don’t receive them? What good are those gifts if I don’t intentionally take them, place them in my hands and start to unwrap them? You see, you need to receive, as you believe.

Maybe for too long now you’ve said to yourself, “there’s gotta be more… there’s gotta be more to my faith journey… there’s gotta be more excitement… there gotta be more I can do for the Kingdom.” It starts by recognizing the power – and recognizing that that power has come as a gift for you!

2. Cultivate in Private
So what do you do now that you received or are open to the power of God moving in and through your life? You recognize that His power is real and He comes to help guide and direct and promote you to places you couldn’t go without Him… so what next?

Remember King David, before he was King? Runt of the litter, forgotten by his brother’s and his father… and yet anointed as King at such a young age. David waited something like 15 to 20 years before he steps into that calling. Let me say this, he didn’t wait 15-20 years to step into the anointing, no, he was anointed, he was appointed but the difference in time had only to do with his position, not his power.

David cultivated his relationship with God in the valley, when no one was looking! He took the time to cultivate what was in his hands in the secret place so he could one day see the beauty of the “what will be.”

There is something that God has placed of your life – there is something powerful on the inside of you that Holy Spirit wants you to be walking in… but are you taking time to cultivate that in the secret place.

3. Power in Public
Can I remind you that David didn’t stay with the sheep? Can I remind you that David didn’t stay in the valley? But when no one was looking he was faithful with what God had placed in his hands.
You see, no one saw it, but one day there was this bear…
You see no one saw it but one day there was this lion…
But one day when everyone was watching, there was this Giant named Goliath…

Let God bring you to a place where you can step into a place of powerfully partnering with His presence. Receive; meet with Him in the quiet places where no one is looking and then one day I know that He will entrust you with someone you never even dreamed possible for your life!

So yea… wherever you find yourself on your faith journey; on your journey towards authenticity, know that there’s always more than where you’re at because God never ceases to out-give and surprise us with His goodness!

Thanks for your time friends.
Love you all so very much.

-Drew

Riach2016064.jpg

Worship First

Hey fam!
Just wanted to say thanks again for following our family's journey! It means so much more than we could ever express.

Just wanted to pass on a message I spoke at my local church last Sunday morning entitled, "Worship First." I encourage you to keep your Father at the forefront of your life. And the in hard times you would see them as opportunities to worship rather than to worry!

Love you guys!

-Drew

Exponential


Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
-Bonhoeffer


Currently I’m writing from 30,000 feet in the air as I’m on my way home from sunny Orlando, Florida to what is enough snow to have delayed my travel plans by a day. I know… it was really hard to sit in the sun for another 24hrs! Suffering for Jesus. Someone’s gotta do it!

Me, Andy and a few of the team from the church took in Exponential Conference, which is one of the biggest annual Church Planting Conferences in North America. Filled with such amazing communicators like Harvey Carey, Andy Stanley and Canada’s own Carey Neiwhouf, the week was filled with great lessons on what it means to not only build the local church, but what it means to be a hero maker in the sense that leaders now more than ever need to lean away from building their own little kingdoms and start pouring in to the next generation of disciples who will take the Good News into the next seasons of ministry that are to come.

 

So what does this all have to do with the vibe of my specific blog? Well, I find it interesting that this 5000+ seat auditorium was filled with hungry leaders looking for the tricks of the trade. So interested in what it means to be a good leader, a leader who is intentionally and exponentially makings leaders who will in turn make their own leaders. It was something to see, it really was.

But for me, someone whose passion has recently been reawakened to the need of pouring into people and specifically those who have the gift of leadership, I’m more aware than ever after an event like this that another conference or another “way” of doing things isn’t what is going to change the landscape of the church. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL about networking and sharing and innovating… that’s not my point. What I’m aware of is the authenticity in relationship that is desperately needed to make disciples and leaders that will continue to passionately pursue the things of God.

 

Let me give you my biggest take away from this week. It wasn’t a session. It wasn’t the worship. It wasn’t one of the breakout sessions. The most soul refreshing, future inspiring moment I had was when me and my Lead skipped one of the sessions and sat in the sun (which gave me a wicked sun burn) and just hashed out life. We talked ministry, what we felt was currently working and what needs tweaking in our current context. We dreamt of the future and wrestled with some of the tension that have been and may be in days to come. We agreed on some stuff and disagreed on other points of the conversation but it was the trust my Lead has found in me to have such conversations, it was the permission to dream of “what it could be” that got me excited more than any preach or “how to” session.

 

This is what I know… your brokenness and your vulnerability is a gift to those who are looking to be led. Maybe you feel like you’re not able to lead because of your past or the current baggage that you are still dealing with. This is what I cling to -  Matthew 28:18-20. This is where we read about the disciples are told to go into the entire world and build a church… no… that’s not it. They’re told to MAKE DISCIPLES. It’s from that mandate that we have the global church, however imperfect and messy you may perceive it to be. You gotta remember, these disciples of Jesus weren’t perfect, far from it. They didn’t have conferences or the technology we do. They didn’t have Reckless Love by Cory Asbury to get them jacked before the next meeting they had. They were imperfect people who were convinced that Jesus + relationships was a great formula for building an understanding of God’s love in people. Sure, having all of the other bells and whistles is great. Buildings and budgets and music and events… I’m in for all of it. But authentic relationships breed authentic disciples. Nothing else can take the place of you getting into someone’s life and showing them the love and direction that God has so freely given to you.

And so, I’m flying home, thinking of the amazing adventures that are ahead and excited for pouring my imperfect life and love for Jesus into my close friends as we press forward in the things to come.

 

Oh… and I can’t wait for summer. Super over all this snow.

 

Be well friends,
-Drew
 

image1.jpeg

Daddy Issues

Hey friends...
I know I've been slacking on the writing - I should start to flex that muscle before its fades... but I wanted to share this message I spoke last weekend at my home church entitled "Daddy Issues."

If I can just give you a quick overview... don't let the bad relationships in your life dictate the one you can have with your Heavenly Father. He is for you and you can trust that He will be a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have the time to check it out.
Love love love you guys so much.
Thanks so much for following along.

Remember, your story matters!
-Drew

The Love We Don't Love

Hey fam!
I had the honour of sharing a word this weekend in church. A message that is close to my heart...
What do we do in the moments where we feel God isn't around? When we feel that He's left us high and dry? What about the times when He shows up in a way we'd rather He didn't...

It's in the uncomfortable moments in our faith journey where God may not move how we WANT him to move, but its how we desperately NEED Him to.

Would LOVE for you to check this out.
Love you guys.
-Drew