man, fasting is never easy. It was hard being at school and smelling the pizza and hot lunches. I locked myself in my office, saught solitude when I could today and prayed. For an extrovert, this is evidence of God calling me near. Finding myself drawn more and more into solitude and away from the success driven, relevant pastor addiction of my former lifestyle. Am praying that next year for employment, the school will hire me on just to teach and not to do the "campus pastor" gig which has been draining and a major conflict of interest. We have completley opposite views of mission.
Tommorrow I have to be at the downtown Cincy courthouse at 8:00 to support one of my students who will be offering a plea bargain to her Dad for 6 years of rape and child pornography. She is 16 and this is her world. I'm going as a support to her since I was the one she reported to, to begin this whole process some 3 months ago. He is facing 14 counts (just as a summary, in reality several hundred counts of rape) that each carry a mandatory life sentence. His plea of insanity was rejected. This was the changing face of American teenage culture that I kept running into that didn't translate to the expectations of elder boards above me while in youth ministry who wanted a safe enviorment for Christian kids. I suppose tommorrow I will have to submit to a ministry of presence. There's nothing to say, no notes from seminary to research. I just pray for an Incarnation of the God of Peace.
Driving out of school today, I noticed that the attached Church was hosting a "holy spirit" conference. The banner on the church with a large picture of the charismatic preacher. I noticed underneath the carport (it was raining), a shiny, new, silver BMW convertible with leather seats and the top down. The vanity licencse plate matched the name of the speaker on the banner. Then in the parking lot were clearly marked, RESERVED spaces for the other speakers, pastors and VIP's right up front next to the handicap parking. All night I've been wondering, is that just a different style of ministry? Or is that dead wrong? I mean, what's wrong with this picture? Jesus took up a towel and basin and acted as a "diakanos" or a table server. Jesus was a bus boy. And then he said, if you want to be great in the Kingdom of God, you must become a table servant as well. But we don't get it, we love being relevant and important. Our salvation is only skin deep, the transformation of life hasn't healed our need to be needed. Even the apostles in Acts 6:2, "So the twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables (diakanos-same word)." So they give over the table serving to the seven who are full of the Holy Spirit so that they can be freed up to the important and relevant work of preaching the word. Is this the beginning of vocational ministry? Is this the beginning of the pastoral office where celebrity is applauded and sweeping floors is for those other "full of the Holy Spirit" types. I'm either being prophetic here or self-righteous, I honestly don't know which one. Its seeing stuff like BMW's earned in ministry and reserved parking spots that causes me to shake my head. I just don't get it.
I desire to become nothing, so that out of solitude and silence I may be able to give the prophetic words of life that set captives free and usher in the Kingdom of God that is unseen. I suppose there's a red pill world and then there's a blue pill world, and we choose everyday which one to pay attention to. Yes, I'm ready for Matrix 2.