God’s Been At Work Within Me

As of late, God had really been taking me through how important it is to give. I read the book “Kisses from Katie” and ever since I have been feeling God tugging on my heart to give. I can feel it when I go to church, when I read His Word, and when I dream about our lives back in Reno. In the book, Katie has given up almost everything to benefit the struggling people of Uganda. She gave up her parent’s dreams of going to college (something I wasn’t strong enough to do), her personal finances, and her everyday life to provide a better life for her 14 children. I can see just by reading the book that she is constantly killing the importance of her “self”. God calls us to do that very thing.

I believe that it was God that lead me to read 1 John both during and directly after finishing her book. I cited it in my reflection on her book, and I’ll cite it again now: (1 John 2:15-17) “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

This is where the catchy phrase, “Be in the world but not of the world” comes from, and it couldn’t be more true. But at the same time, how incredibly difficult is this calling? Everything about the world that we all live in is constantly beckoning us to be more selfish, to earn more money, to spend more money, and to brag about all that we have and all that we’ve done in life. We constantly size ourselves up against each other, both in person, and especially on social media. But God is calling us to rid our lives of all of this.

One biblical principle in particular came to mind as I was writing this. God says in Luke 16:13 that “You cannot serve both God and Money.” Imagine what our lives would look like if we actually hated money. What if we trusted only in God to provide for our lives? What if we loved God and dedicated our lives to pursuing a deep relationship with Him instead of wealth?

Katie eludes to this concept in her book by telling us about her experience going back to the United States after living in Uganda for a year. While in Uganda, she had to trust God for SO many things EVERY day. While in America, there seemed to be so much excess provision that it seemed as though she didn’t NEED God like she NEEDED Him in Uganda. She felt sickened by the distance that she saw herself getting away with in America.

I am so guilty of that distance from God. Life can get so comfortable here in the 1st world that many days can go by without even needing to pray. This comfortability and distance from God that we can experience can often trick us into thinking that all of our blessings are coming from our own actions.

I thought about this as I was biking to work a while back. I was experiencing a strong headwind on my commute, which can really slow everything down and make it very tiresome. In my struggle, I wished that the wind would do a 180° turn and propel me faster towards my destination. This immediately made me think about how high on my own horse I was just a few days before when I was biking incredibly fast to work. I thought to myself, “Wow! I’m really getting some strong legs.” When in fact, I remember it being windy that day, it was just the fact that the wind was at my back that day, rather than fighting against me.

Don’t we all fall into that trap? We all think that the good things that happen to us are all direct results of our own actions. When in fact, God is just providing the wind at our backs so that we can live in His blessing. There are so many times that I am guilty of not giving God the glory that He deserves for the blessings that He has so generously given me.

Being in the Word and reading Katie’s book have all been speaking to me about the selflessness that I need to work on. They’ve been helping me imagine a life in America (and in Australia while we still live here) that would constantly need God’s involvement and reliance. What kind of life would that look like for you?


Help me rely more on you, every day. Help me live a life that is so risky and so blessed that it would be impossible without you. Help me live a life that is so outrageously filled with the outpouring of love that it would be impossible for anyone to assume that it was all coming from me. God give me a vision for what this life would look like and equip me with the skills, tools, and people I need to make it all happen. I know that you can and I know that you will if I ask you to.

In Jesus’ name I pray,



Gospel Posts

I got another idea right after I just wrote about Wingfield Sundays. What if we stationed Gospel posts around the city of Reno. Where people from all kinds of Jesus-centered religions could meet together at the gospel posts and fellowship. Any time of day, any time of night, people could go to the gospel post and read their bible. Other Jesus-loving people could meet at that post to fellowship, learn each other’s stories, and to get to know one another.

All you need to do is bring a camp chair and post up. People could plan bible studies at these posts and then random people could join in whenever they wanted.

What if this post was a giant metal cross made out of quarter inch 7.5″ cross-sectional square tubing? How powerful and intimidating would an assembly mark like that be? Too much? Debatable. How much would people try and graffiti them? Maybe we could make them out of raw mild steel so that it would rust over making it harder to draw on and easier to buff out?

Anyway, I think that a public symbol and meeting place for Jesus could be a great symbol of how Reno could change into a city after God’s own heart.


Wingfield Sundays

Sometimes I day-dream as I read the bible, and I think that writing them down here is a great idea.

As I was reading in 1 John 3:11 I was thinking about what it would be like to dedicate a night to walk downtown and talk to homeless people. Not necessarily with a wad of cash in my pocket ready to hand it all out, but just to talk to them, hear their stories, and just be a hand of God willing to help pray for people and minister to them.

Then I thought about how impactful showing that continual love would be. The people would get to know you, they would have questions for you the next time you showed up.

Then I thought about how cool it would be to have church in Wingfield park on Sunday mornings, and even better than that, to have a time after service to go out and love on the people of downtown Reno. Take water, fresh watermelon, pancake breakfasts, books, bibles, blankets, umbrellas, sleeping bags, you name it, we’ll deal it out. But most importantly, just be there to see these people right where they are. Let God use us and our resources to show them love. People want to be known, to be cared about, to be prayed for, to be listened to. They want to be helped on an individual basis. And I think that’s the kind of love that God wants us to show them. Showing God’s love one person at a time.

It’s not about a church. It’s not about a certain religion, and it’s definitely not about the a specific denomination. It’s about showing Jesus’s love.

We can call it Wingfield Sundays. Where everyone can come after church to be with the church in Wingfield Park. To be one of God’s people. To put to action the call that is on every single one of our lives: to love one another.

Rain (which is highly unlikely in Reno), sleet or snow, we will be out there. Worshipping God in the morning, listening to the Word being preached, and then blessing others after. From 9-11 people can be a part of the church service, and then from 11-4 people can hang out and fellowship and show God’s love to the people of downtown Reno. After a while, a city could be changed. Crazier things have happened!

We could then branch out to Sun Valley, to Montello St., down 4th street, the Reno Gospel Mission. There could be branches of God’s love spread all over the city of Reno.

“Kisses From Katie” Reflection

I know I’m behind on this, but I just read the book “Kisses From Katie”. It’s about a girl who, at the age of 18, packed up everything and moved to Uganda. She wrote a book of stories that show God working through her life to improve the livelihood of others around her – lives that desperately needed to be shown God’s love. She has been used by God in a massive way and her story has inspired me and so many others to look at our lives through a new lense.

I was reading this book on the pristine beaches of Lord Howe Island: a place that is both extraordinarily isolated and expensive. It just made me feel sick; like I was caught in the act and there was nothing I could do about it. I was reading about the extreme poverty in Uganda, situations where parents would feed their children baked mud cakes (actual dirt!) with salt just to subside their hunger. Impoverished mothers were feeding their children homemade moonshine by-products (still containing high amounts of alcohol) to supplement a real meal and to help them forget about their poor living conditions. Whereas, I was eating steak every night with the “treat-yo-self” mentality. I felt completely convicted.

What does God have to say about this? I was reading in 1 John 2:15-17 and it says: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

I can immediately get down on myself for not selling everything I own and giving it all to the people of Uganda. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the point that God is trying to make. It’s about doing the will of God, however that applies to your life. If Jesus himself comes to you, just like he did with the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18), and asks you to sell everything and follow him, then do it. But the important takeaway here is that we should all continually be in the mindset of doing whatever God asks of us. He might take us down different paths, but it’s important that we are all willing to go down that path with God right by our sides.

This was a hard blog to write, because I’m not going to start listing all of the things I own on Gumtree or Craigslist. I’m also not very good at hating the world. I’m human (and American, which we’re known for being over-the-top consumerists) and I’ve taken on the habit of enjoying the things of this world. So I’m trying to be transparent with the fact that God’s calling is a very high one and I’m not very good at holding to it; but I’m willing to start somewhere. And that’s why I’m writing.


I hope that you also found encouragement through this blog, just as putting it into words has helped me organize my thoughts as well.