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Hi, here is just a quick update, letting you know what’s been happening since my Oregon post.  We did go to Jesus Pursuit church, which was great!  Later, after crossing the state line into California, we were fortunate to catch the 2nd half of Bethel Church‘s Sunday night service in Redding.  It was my first time at this world-famous church, and God did not disappoint!

After the 4 days, Beau and I arrived in LA at my parents’ place.  I took him around LA a bit, showed him some cool places, such as the Getty Center, before he flew back up to Seattle.

I have been down here in LA for about 1 month now, hanging out with my family, visiting various ministries, and hosting another friend (Ola from Iceland) for 5 days.  Every week down here has been pretty eventful, including lots of rain!  (I had lived in Southern California for 15+ years before, and I don’t remember it ever being so rainy in one month)

Next Tuesday I will be flying out to China for 1 month.  To learn more about my upcoming trip, click here.  You can keep me in your prayers, as I embark on this journey to the other side of the Pacific, following the Lord’s leading in 2011.

Living from rest.  Receiving His best.

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If you are in the Seattle area in March, come to this conference on the love of God!  See details below.

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Scarcely had I passed them when I found Him whom my soul loves.

I held Him, and would not let Him go…

Song of Solomon 3:4

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When the Bride (the church and the individual believer), in her search for her lover (Jesus), finally finds Him, she held Him.

Here, she did not just greet Him, shake His hand, or give Him a quick, friendly hug. She held Him.   She did not engage Him in conversation, peppering Him with a list of prayer requests or petitions.   She did not question Him.  She just held Him.  She did not politely courtesy, she did not stand afar off, she did not care if others saw her approach Him in public.  She did not follow protocol.  She held Him.   She held Him.  She held Him.  She held Him.  She held Him.  And she would not let Him go.

Notice that the Bride did not fear Him. The Bride had no doubt who she is in her relationship to Him.  She did not have to speak a word or ask for permission.   She knew Him, and she knew that He loved her.   There was nothing tentative about the Bride’s action.  She was confident in love.

In our personal times of trial and pain, we cry out to Jesus, and to Father God, to hold us.   We beckon the Holy Spirit to comfort us.   In difficult circumstances, it is essential that we rush into the loving, tender arms of Father God, into the gentle embrace of Jesus, and not slip out of the security of His presence, for His Name is a strong tower that the righteous run into (Proverbs 18:10).

However, there is a big difference between coming to God in brokenness, and coming to God in hot pursuit of intimacy.   In our weakness He holds us and heals us with His love.   In our passion we hold Him and minister to Him with our love.  Unashamed, the Bride expresses her wild affection for her lover, without waiting for Him to initiate their interaction.  She is not passive, but aggressive in romance!

It is easy to picture God holding us, but us holding God?   Yes, God desires to be held!  Are we confident in love?  Or do we still come into His presence tentatively?  Intimacy produces boldness, and Jesus is not anticipating a shy Bride!   Let us become confident lovers of God.   As we hold Him in our arms, we know exactly how He feels about us.

Scarcely had I passed them when I found Him whom my soul loves.

I held Him, and would not let Him go…

[Song of Solomon 3:4]

From this passage in Song of Solomon, we see the Bride (which represents the both individual believer and the corporate church) searching for her lover (Jesus Christ). The frantic pursuit of the “missing” Bridegroom is indicative of the level of desperation that each of us can and should have for the Lord. The Bride does not just have a mild desire for her beloved, she longs for Him intensely with all her heart and soul. She can not live without Him. She needs Him.

But, in order to find Him, the Bride needed to pass “them.” “Them” (who are the watchmen as indicated in the previous verse) are the spiritual authorities–leaders and ministers that we have in the church. The message here is not that ministers and leaders are unnecessary or a hindrance to our relationship with God. The point is, we all need to seek the Lord for ourselves, and cultivate intimacy with Jesus face to face, and no other person can do that for us.

Christian ministers can teach us and equip us through the Word of God. They can inspire, encourage, and exhort us to follow the commandments of the Lord. Overall, we need to submit to authorities in life (Rom 13:1) But as much as we need spiritual authorities, they cannot build our personal relationship with the Lord for us.

Intimacy with God is truly a personal quest. When we have sought Him beyond what others can show us, we will be so captivated by who He is. We would hold Him forever and never let Him go. His love and beauty are beyond description.

from a Philippines village

from a Philippines village

welcome home…

...to a place where you can relax and refresh your spirit.

Draw close to God.
Get intimate with Him.
Drink until you overflow
with His love.

Here are some spiritual nourishments for your soul. Read the devotionals, poems, and songs. Soak and be filled in His presence. Enjoy!

The famous soaking couch

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Come to me,
all you who labor
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.

Matt 11:28


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