Kingdom Leadership – Burritos, a Prostitute, and the Power of God


It was Tuesday night and we were walking through a motel parking lot when a lady stopped us to ask for some food. She had noticed us knocking on hotel doors carrying our basket filled with burritos, bananas, and chocolate chip cookies. We willingly loaded her small purse with as much as it could hold and then all of a sudden she unleashed a fury of anger and frustration with a torrent of words I can’t repeat in this blog. She was obviously at a breaking point; it was the end of the month, her phone had just been stolen, likely by a client she had sold her body to, and she exploded with a rage that masked her deep fear. We tried to settle her down and took a few minutes to attentively listen to what was troubling her. Once she calmed down we asked if we could pray over her. She paused for a moment, turned her head so that her eyes met both of our eyes and then quietly responded, “Yes! I need Jesus and prayer.”

Usually one of us prays for any of the individuals we meet, but this time the Holy Spirit nudged my wife Patty to gently touch this wounded woman’s shoulder and ask her if she would start out the prayer time. This sister didn’t hesitate to offer a prayer. So here in the middle of the parking lot, we held hands as she cried out to Jesus, literally crying and asking for forgiveness and help in her desperate situation. After a few moments Patty and I joined her before the mercy seat of God, asking the Father to flood her with His overwhelming goodness. The three of us could sense the Holiness of the moment and as we finished praying her anger and rage was replaced with a calm peace and a hope for a better day. We exchanged hugs; all sighed with relief, realizing that Jesus had just shown up.

That evening on the dangerous streets of East Colfax Jesus allowed us to be a part of Kingdom Leadership. Jesus Himself demonstrated it best when He knelt down and washed the dirty feet of His disciples. It doesn’t make sense to us that King Jesus became a servant and yet He did. And after He finished displaying this powerful picture of Kingdom Leadership He challenged His disciples by saying these words:

Do you understand what I have done for you? …You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I Am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:12-17

Take a minute to reread those words. Jesus is telling us that if we desire to see transformation in our world and witness the goodness of our Father it will begin on our knees serving others just as Jesus served us on the cross. Servant Leadership will open up the door for the Father’s Kingdom to break forth. Burritos, bananas, and chocolate chip cookies become tools for us to share the love in the darkest places, yes even the places where the lies of Satan reign.

When we practice Kingdom Leadership Jesus’ style, you will be blessed by doing the same. It is truly indescribable yet somehow in the middle of the parking lot that evening Heaven came down and glory filled our souls!


Kingdom Leadership – Towel & Basin



When you enter into the sanctuary of the church our family attends you are confronted with a potent picture of Kingdom Leadership. On the left stage located beneath a wooden cross is a brown washbasin with a towel draped over it. Every Sunday as worshipers crowd in, lift up praises to Jesus, and hear His Word there is a visible sermon calling them to emulate the actions of the King of the Universe.

The image of King Jesus on His knees washing dirty, stinky, ugly, gross feet the night before His journey to the cross would be forever seared into the minds of His disciples who were still grappling with a man-centered approach of leadership. When Jesus approached Peter to wash his feet, Peter vehemently responded, “No, you shall never wash my feet (John 13:8). I believe Peter was still in the CEO paradigm mode of leadership, meaning the world rotates upon a leader’s wish and command. It would take a betrayal of his Lord, a bloody cross on which His rabbi died, and a restoration on resurrection day to shift Peter’s worldview to the towel and basin approach.

The Kingdom of God would advance by humble servant leaders who followed in the steps of Jesus even if it meant washing the feet of the “Judas’ in their life.” The early church launched an unstoppable movement of Jesus’ love by serving the poor, sick, and the “least of these” which opened wide the door for an introduction to the true King of the Universe Jesus Christ.

Some where along the way we lost our towel and basin approach to Kingdom Leadership. How can I tell? Just observe the emotional reactions to the current election by followers of Christ. Many are distraught, consumed with fear, and even overcome with rage at the direction our country is heading. I know because I have had some of those same emotions. Yet when I walk into church and I see the towel and basin I’m forced to wrestle with Jesus’ approach to a leadership style designed to take over the world with a humble love that serves.

When I reread and mediate on the Kingdom Leadership principles in John 13 I get inspired again in the midst of what appears to be a hopeless situation in our country. The early church faced odds of opposition from the right, left, and everything in between yet in a couple hundred years they turned the cruel Roman Empire upside down with the towel and basin approach and earned the right to share the gospel. Rome was invaded and overthrown by a King who ruled in the hearts of His people because of the towel and basin.

On our refrigerator is a picture of a towel and basin. It reminds our family that there is only one way to lead and that is on our knees washing the feet of others. I pray that November 8, Election Day, will be a day that calls followers of Christ to exhibit the humble act of washing the feet of those in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, work places, those serving in political officials and yes even our enemies. I’m praying another Kingdom movement is about to explode by towel and basin!

Following the Father – Know the Truth

In today’s social media crazed world Jesus could be considered The Father’s Instagram Post! Furthering that idea I thought one post about Jesus could be a video showing the heavens ripping open and God’s voice bellowing out at Jesus’ baptism and another similar post might be at the transfiguration. With such a visual post we can see without a doubt that God the Father has an immense love for His Boy. After Jesus’ baptism a Holy Spirit-filled Jesus heads off to war against Satan in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). This time the Father posts an Instagram of His Son in the thick of a spiritual battle. In this battle Jesus demonstrates for us how to conquer such situations and temptations in our own lives.

Jesus’ temptations are real and Satan knows exactly where to aim his repugnant arrows. In each case Satan goes after the Son’s identity found in the Father’s love. This crafty one states, “if you are the Son of God” turn the stones into bread and feed your hungry stomach and another time he says, “if you are the Son of God” jump off the high point of the temple and dazzle the crowds to prove your Father’s love. Satan does the same to us by trying to convince us to turn away from the Father’s love and worship his temporal lures for satisfaction. Satan says all we need to do is give our heart’s allegiance to him and in exchange we get all the pleasures of the world without having to “carry the cross” of our Father’s will (Luke 4:8-9). What a lie from the father of lies!

This post from our Father begs us to tuck in behind our Savior Jesus Christ. We need to follow Him through the maze of temptations we face each day from the enemy telling us the Father’s love is not enough. Jesus stands on the rock solid promise of His Father’s Word every time His identity is attacked and we must do the same. Notice Jesus’ response to the first temptation:

Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).


Jesus’ identity was not rooted in the things of the world but rather in the Words of the Father. For you and me the greatest “word that comes from the mouth of God” is “Jesus!” The Father sent Jesus to show what His love looks like culminating in the victory over sin and Satan at the Cross. Jesus’ finished work enables us to war against the onslaught of the enemy’s attacks and temptations.

Know that by being a follower of Christ temptations will come, and by hiding The Word in your heart and knowing that because of the cross of Christ you have the victory. Your identity and security is in Christ! Go ahead and like that post!!




“When God Dances!”


What makes God dance? Dependence! For a month a friend and I committed to study and through Luke 10. This is an amazing text that is foundational for the mission of God’s church, yet, often neglected. The first half of Luke 10 is about Jesus sending out 72 of His followers on a short- term mission trip. He gives them a set of instructions, which they follow and the glory of Heaven comes to earth through these disciples who are overcome with joy at what they experienced.

As Jesus takes time to debrief with them He too is overwhelmed by what had happened and responds in a prayer of praise to His Father:

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children, Yes Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (vs. 21)

The Greek word for “joy” in vs. 21 means to be exceedingly glad, over come with such joy that one breaks out jumping and dancing. This is the only place in scripture where we see Jesus “full of joy.” I’m sure there were time when Jesus laughed and experienced joy but I believe this text highlights for us what brings God the most joy, a joy that makes Him leap and dance. And as the text points out it is when the Father reveals His glory to “little children.” The word “little” means infants who live in total dependence on their parents.

I have been learning through this text and especially the last two years that the Father has been calling me to live as an infant resting on His chest in full dependence for everything in my life. When I lean into this truth I find the greatest of all joys in my Father’s love and provision for all my needs and I know this makes Him dance with exuberant joy over this trust.

My friend and I hiked up to a waterfall last week and pondered Luke 10 and the lessons that the Holy Spirit has been teaching us through it. We both agreed we are most full of God’s joy when we realize we are powerless and totally dependent on Him for everything. This is when we begin to experience Jesus‘ dance of joy over us and the fullness of His love flowing down in and through us like a mighty waterfall of His amazing grace.

I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3).


The Gift of the Father – “I have nothing to give!”

One of the greatest spiritual truths that The Father continues to teach me is “I have nothing to give!” It flies in the face of my human pride to admit that I am empty, needy, can’t fix the problem, have nothing to give. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus teaches is the first step to prepare our hearts for an Outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Right after Jesus’ instruction on prayer in Luke 11 he teaches His disciples how to prepare for the gift of the Father’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Jesus presents a short story of the friend stopping by in the middle of the night requesting food due to an unexpected visitor who had arrived at his home. In Jesus’ day it was a social taboo to not welcome a guest with food and hospitability, it did not matter if they were invited or not and deciding “to go out” instead was not an option. After frantically searching the cupboards the man desperately yells out “I have nothing to set before him,” Luke 11:6.

Oh how hard this concept is for us grasp! In our American culture we have an endless abundance of just about everything and on top of that a spirit of self-reliance; because of this we have fooled ourselves into thinking we have something to give when in reality our cupboards are spiritually bare. We’ve encountered the latest and greatest “whatever,” we have read the most popular books, we have thrown our money at “it,” worked ourselves to the bone for such minuscule results. In our efforts to advance the Father’s glory, we have been left exhausted and empty.

Jesus clearly shows us there is another way to live powerfully and fulfilled in His Kingdom. Another way to bring the Father’s message of love and hope to a dying world, it starts with realizing that we have “nothing” to give. I sense that our Good Father is seeking to awaken His children to rediscover this deep, life changing truth! As I go online and read the news at times it overwhelms me with the impossible pain that is flooding the globe. Recently, I received a phone call from another follower of Christ beaten up for his tenacious faith and I realize I have “nothing” to give on my own. But the beauty of what Jesus teaches in the following verses all flow from starting with the realization we have no bread in our spiritual cupboards, we are completely empty and must look elsewhere. I need to find The One with the resources, The One who can fill my heart with the life giving Bread of Heaven and that is what will fill my spiritual cupboard so that I have something to give away.

I encourage you to join me in prayer, speaking the words from the vision of The Last Great Outpouring shared in the September 8 blog. Take a moment and ask the Father to show you how spiritually empty you are and how desperately you need Heaven’s Bread, a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).