Death and Life in the Presence of God

Every year that I organize DT I have this “problem.” I get into the swing of things; working, getting people excited, seeking God for what he wants to do and then, seemingly out of nowhere, I’m hit with this question…

“Why am I doing all of this again!?” 

It’s never been something where I’ve questioned whether God is worthy or not, or whether the people I’m serving are worth my time. I’ve even noticed that its not just something that happens in the context of David’s Tent, but a question that makes its way into pretty much anything I put my mind into doing. It would be more understandable if it only happened during moments of weakness or doubts, but it doesn’t. In fact, sometimes it happens when I feel like I’m strongest and most focused. Because of this, I’ve started to take a different angle and not see it as a problem or distraction but embrace that it might be something God is trying to speak to me.

Blog DT

Leading with people you trust and know their hearts even more than you know their talent means so much. It was a privilege to have that this year at DT! Photo Cred: @iamrichardware

It’s always been a bit hard for me to reconcile how we view the Presence of God today as opposed to how it was viewed in the past. Nowadays we many times base God’s Presence on our feelings of the fullness of love, peace, and other fruits of the Spirit. While this is true, it’s also true that the same Presence we speak of today is the same in years past that terrified nations, humiliated kings, and even brought death amongst the ungodly.

There was a point earlier this year where I remember feeling a bit off during worship from how I normally felt, and God told me that, even though we take part in the New Covenant, there is still death in his Presence. I didn’t quite understand what he meant at the time, but recently I think God has been reveling more about it.

I’ve realized what bothers me the most about the question I mentioned at the beginning is that it challenges how I expect God to affirm what I’m doing and uncovers a fear I have that says if I experience death in the process then I’ve failed. It could be the death of a project that I’m working on or just the death of something inside of me that’s changing as seasons change.

I’m not sure why I’m so afraid of this because Jesus talks about it all the time and makes it very clear that to find life we also have to embrace death. For a seed to bear fruit it must die (John 12:24). To find life you have to lose life (Matt. 10:38,39). I think why it makes me uncomfortable is because that while our generation has had profound revelations on Father God, sonship, and inheritance, we have the tendency to see it as primarily self fulfilling instead of primarily God glorifying. While the gospel of Jesus empowers us more than anything and gives us access to our inheritance it doesn’t entitle us to determine how God uses us.

We speak a lot about trying to find what will make us come alive and what will give us the greatest opportunity to use our gifts and calling that God has given, but we can’t forget that our abundant life is not found in what we do, but found in who we know. Jesus Christ isn’t just the giver of life, he is life himself.

To know him is why I’m doing what I do, and every time I forget this (and even sometimes when I don’t) God in his grace questions me and makes sure that what can be shaken will be shaken and what can die needs to die. If we allow God, what can be brought to life will be brought to life.

God give us the grace for a moment to lay down the projects you’ve given us

To shift our focus from what we’re doing to who you are

Let us not ignore the life you want to give because of the death that might accompany it.

Let us not shy away from something new in fear that we might lose something old. 

All we have is yours, our gifts, dreams, plans and relationships

Use us how you wish and let us walk in more confidence of what you speak. 


Refugee Crisis/ What I’m Doing

Since September Burn UK and Europe Missions has been sending monthly teams to a refugee camp in the north of France called “The Jungle”. What started as just a step in faith to show up and see how God might use us has turned into one of the greatest opportunities to minister to the nations that we’ve ever seen!


An Iranian man opening his Bible in Farsi after He approached us and asked for one!

Weaving in and out of tiny roads, around puddles of water and trash heaps, you can find communities from nations from the Middle East and Northern Africa just minutes away from each other. Amidst the work of volunteers and humanitarian organisations on the ground, God is showing us our unique place as Burn 24-7, meeting people who are hungry for hope and creating a space where God’s name is lifted above everything else.

We have been blessed with a real ease to meet and minister to others and our time has been full of divine connections. Our October team arrived the day that a new Eritrean church was established in the camp and we were able to pray into all God has for that place and encourage many of the local believers. The next day, following Holy Spirit’s lead, we headed out and bumped into some Iranians we had met earlier near the church. We started singing songs and an Iranian singer joined in. Soon we were worshipping and as His Presence came, we shared the intimacy and hope of Jesus and four men preciously gave their lives to Christ. Even a young man who had come to disrupt things was healed of a bad knee! A young Iranian lady impacted by what she had seen and heard had the faith to ask if the team would come to her tent and pray for her boyfriend with a burnt hand. He was healed and they both received Jesus that day!

We saw more times of contagious joy and faith like this during our last trip where one of the team members met some men on the road and peaked their curiosity to meet with God. One of them was healed of his back pain and, in his excitement, he pushed his friend in to get prayed who was then healed of his shoulder problems. How incredible to see what things can happen when we just step out and let God work!

Although the camp is a transient place as people move in and out, the last two trips we have been blessed to partner with this Eritrean church who also has the desire to see people know God in the camp. Last trip, we were able to host a worship night there together with a group from Paris. As people from different nations packed in to see as we worshipped, one of our team members found a Farsi translator and shared the Gospel to Iranians there. While some walked away offended, and others heckled, still a group stayed and responded to the call to give their lives to God. Even at the entrance a man just came up and asked how he could become a Christian!

One of the recurring themes throughout our trips is God reminding us that all he demands is simple obedience. While sometimes it looks like leading worship and praying for others, many times it just means taking the time to listen to stories and let someone know they are valued and heard by us and by God.

It was beautiful on our last trip to see some of the girls on our team sit with other women as they shared stories of the persecuted church, talked about real beauty and royalty, and hilariously attempted to learn Eritrean worship songs!

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The Sudanese men as they read aloud the scriptures in Arabic

One day, as we were walking, a Sudanese man spotted our guitar and insisted that we come to his tent for coffee. While the six of us sat around a small table with six of his friends, we opened an English/Arabic bible and listened as they read aloud the story of Jesus at the last supper in their own language. With instant coffee and chocolate chip biscuits we did just as Jesus commanded and shared of his sacrifice and love.

Another afternoon, we sat inside a shelter with 7 or 8 Kurdish men, some who had seen family members die while fighting ISIS and had fought as Peshmerga soldiers. Again praise to God arose in their native tongue as we all sang out in Kurdish “Jesus loves us, he is inside of us and is here with us.”

God has been so faithful to give us strategy for each one of our trips to the camp. This last time we raised funds and brought over Bibles in different languages that we were able to distribute to old and new believers alike. We are excited about what God is showing us as we plan for our next trip in December. We know that God is doing something greater at the Jungle than just a place for refugees as they wait to claim asylum. God is establishing His Kingdom in people’s hearts that will extend throughout Europe and back to the nations where they came from. Every time we go God exceeds our expectations and we look forward to going again!

Pete who joined our recent trip in November sums it up beautifully,

The refugee situation is a tragedy and a humanitarian crisis, but it is also an opportunity. God is moving. Out of so many nations where preaching the gospel is restricted he has brought a desperate and hungry people to our doorstep. Now is not the time for the Church to be fearful. It is time for us to go and share His message of love. The harvest is plentiful, the harvest is now, the harvest is waiting in tents in Calais.”

Calais Update: 4 Things To Consider About The Migrant Situation

IMG_7319Last weekend we as Burn 24/7 took a small team to a refugee and migrant camp in Calais, France called “The Jungle” just across from the UK border. It is a bit different from other camps because there hasn’t been any major government or humanitarian organization that has taken responsibility over the area. While it’s existed for over 10 years, it has just more recently taken on more life because of the recent influx. There are about 4,000 people living here, mostly young men, from a number various countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. We were all moved by what was going on and decided to step out and see for ourselves what we could do!

It’s quite difficult to write about my experiences, one because I’m still processing a lot, and two because what exist are circumstances that are not black and white and may not have easy solutions. I realize there are quite varying political and religious views even amongst Christians about this situation. Because of this my main goal is to share some stories and offer my perspective as we engage in dialogue about what our attitudes should be and how we can be the Church to people who need it.

1. Refugees and Economical Migrants: The Difference

A question I hear debated often is whether people are coming over because their lives are in danger or because they just want a job and income to support their families. While some circumstances may seem to be clear such as Syrians being driven out by ISIS and coming into Europe (the overwhelming majority of whom are in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey), others are a bit more complicated. One Sundanese man told me about his life under the rule of a dictatorship, living in a city where your life could be taken any day for just few dollars. Another Eritrean pastor shared of the persecution against Christians at home that drove him out, and of his life threatening journey though Daesh (ISIS) checkpoints in Libya. Amongst this group was a 15yr Ethiopian boy who hadn’t seen his mother in 10 years only to now be an hour away from her as she was in the UK. The truth is we can’t always classify people’s reasons for immigration based on their nations’ current status. The majority of these people probably won’t be granted asylum because of their nationality, but you can’t fault someone for leaving their country and wanting to go somewhere else where they understand the language, have family members, or just trust that the government will keep them safe.

The Orthodox Ethiopian/Eritrean Church in the camp

The Orthodox Ethiopian/Eritrean Church in the camp

2. Poverty and Education

One of the biggest shifts for me was realizing that amongst this camp being a migrant did not equate to be uneducated or coming from poverty. I remember speaking with a Kurdish man who had walked form Northern Iraq to France. He had graduated university (like many in the camp with degrees) and was an English teacher until the economy had fallen because of war. He said to me “I want to go to the UK because of the better opportunity for a job, but I’m not going to risk my life or lose and arm by jumping on a train, England is not my life!” Almost all of the people that had come from Africa had crossed over the Mediterranean by boat. The men we spoke to from Sudan had paid $600 for a ride from Sudan to Libya and then worked there until they had enough $1500-$3000 for a boat ticket to Europe. One man shared that he had left from Egypt, on a 30ft boat with 230 others (standing room only) spending 11 days at sea until being rescued by the Italian navy.

Played some music and heard some stories as we were served coffee in the home some incredible Sudanese men

Played some music and heard some stories as we were served coffee in the home some incredible Sudanese men

3. Needs Are More Than Physical

Probably one of the greatest struggles in many refugee camps or with any group of people displaced from their home is surviving but not thriving, having what they need live but still losing hope, joy, and culture. In “The Jungle” there is a food distribution center, and outside of it in the city there is a clothing distribution center run by the catholic mission. Donations flood in, vans pull up and haphazardly unload ing their goods, many times causing chaos and not getting to the people who probably need it. One night we had an incredible time of open air worship when it just happened to be the Eritrean New Year. We were invited for a concert and anywhere form 20-50 people were gathered around us for over 3 hours as we worshipped God and ministered to the people’s hearts. One man told  me, “People come here and give us sugar and pasta, but you give us music and that’s what we need.” Another man told someone on our team, “We left our hearts in Sudan. Listening to this music is the first time I have felt my heart since I arrived in France.” That night we were able to preach the Gospel and change a lot of their perspectives on how the church loves them and supports them. Learning previous to our trip about there not being as much need for clothing and food, we packed bubbles (for the kids…and parents too!), note pads that they needed to record their journals on, and soccer balls which brought so much simple joy.

A shot after giving out one of our soccer balls to some of the boys

A shot after giving out one of our soccer balls to some of the boys

4. The Spiritual Issue: Problem vs. Opportunity

One of the things that impacted me the most was how many different cultures and nationalities were in such close proximity. You could literally walk from Sudan to Iraq to Afghanistan to Eritrea to Egypt in like 10 minutes! As soon as we stepped out of our rental car, it was the quickest cultural change I had ever experienced. The sights, smells, and sounds of so many different places hit me at once. Amidst the obvious unhealthy living conditions and unfortunate circumstances I couldn’t also help but think of the incredible opportunity that was on our doorstep. For years people have risked their lives and spent thousands of dollars just to minister to these people and now they were a ferry ride away. An obvious concern amongst many Christians is that fact that most of these people are muslims which is true (we saw one church as opposed to 10 mosques that were supposedly in the camp), but instead of reacting out of the fear of Islamization in our countries I think we have the power to see a shift and be a conduit for the Holy Spirit to move in ways that Europe has never seen before. I realize the issues are deep and quite sensitive especially because they are being faced at home and not just around the world, but we can’t forget that regardless of how many mouths we feed, homes we build, jobs we create, and dictatorships we replace with democracies the problem is always a spiritual one. People need Jesus. They need hope in this life and the next. They need to know they are loved here but also know they have the power to love and bring change to the homes they left.

We don’t know what exactly what our next steps will be, how we can help develop, serve, clothe, feed, or build, but we do know that as we continue God will show us and that prioritizing his presence and introducing people to their loving Father is the most precious gift anyone could receive.         

Is Your Worship Worth It?

As I write this, I’m on a train into London to see some friends and go support a few artists that I love at an exhibition and concert. It’s cold, grey, and rainy and I love it. It’s the kind of environment where I feel alive, fully aware of where I am and what God is doing.

This trip to the UK is for a tour with David’s Tent, the music festival I help organize in the  summer. For the next week some other leaders and I will be driving around the UK solely to connect with musicians that invest in us during the summer. We’re looking forward to eating together, worshiping in homes, and being amazed at what God is doing in this nation.

(OK a bunch of school girls just on the train and are talking very loudly about how their “bums are wet” and “wellies are muddy”… I felt like I was onto something big and am now distracted…but will push through trust that God works for the good)

This time leaving Spain was harder than normal. It feels less like the “fun adventure” to another country, and more like a sacrifice to leave what I’m involved in to invest somewhere else for a bit. Don’t get me wrong, this road trip will be an incredibly fun adventure but just more difficult than usual to get into the swing of things. This is a good thing though. It’s further proof that Malaga isn’t just a project, its a part of me and I’m not just leaving people, I’m leaving family.

This year God has given me a wonderful grace to step back a bit and evaluate what I’m doing. Amidst the pressure to organize events, start scheduling, put out applications etc, I’ve felt a little behind. I told God this year that whatever happened I didn’t want my ministry to be focused on the next big thing. I didn’t want to take what I did last year and just make it bigger and better. I wanted to keep in step with what the Spirit was doing. Besides, if you’re just trying to find the next big thing that God is doing you will always be behind. God’s always starts small. Worse than that, relationships become a means to an in with both God and men and after it’s over there’s a great risk that the people you were working with won’t even be in your life 5 years down the road.

That’s what has gotten me the most. What am I doing right now that will still be producing fruit years down the road? Who am I working with now that I will still be having coffee with when we’re in our 50’s? Is what I’m doing really worth it?

I think what a lot of people don’t realize about worship is that it’s foundation is covenant. It’s not about the sacrifice, the music played, the hours spent, the people lead. It’s about the affirmation and admiration of God’s covenant with his people and our covenant with each other. This is one of the only consistent themes if you study worship in the Bible.

Covenant isn’t based on success, circumstances, emotions, proximity, or seasons of life. It’s based on a choice and effort to make sacrifices for that choice. It’s amazing that God has made his choice and is faithful and this is our example. Covenant is a weighty word and it’s unrealistic to think that I would have the same measure of covenant with everyone. Some relationships just won’t last and aren’t meant to. That’s ok and really needs to be recognized so you don’t burn out.

Keeping in mind that God doesn’t need our worship, man was not created to be alone, and that one day a lot of people will come to God with accomplishments and titles in their hands only to be met with God never knowing them, I think it’s safe to ask this slightly provocative question…

“Is your worship really worth it?”

At least that’s what I’ve been asking myself recently….

My vision is changing quite a bit into a discovery to find out what God is doing in other people’s hearts and support it, not just to build the kingdom this year but to still see it growing when I’m old and be in great relationships with those I’m building with.

The London skyline is now in view and the trains slowing down so I’ll wrap this one up. I look forward to writing an update about the trip once I return to Spain!

If You Don’t Give You May Not Have


Some friends from Copenhagen and Hamburg who came to support us!

A couple weeks ago I returned from spending New Years in Helsinki, Finland. I was there to be with friends and to worship in the new year with a 30 hour Burn. Needless to say, Finland’s not the easiest place to get to and since I wasn’t able to go this summer on the Burn Wagon I wanted to go when I got the opportunity.

This last fall I made it point to try to be more intentional about taking trips and visiting my Burn family in Europe which involved trips to Norwich, England and Paris, France (probably should have blogged about that…sorry). Recently God has started to change my mandate for traveling. Over the summer I traveled a lot of places and I felt like the main reason was simply to build family and to encourage the body. While that hasn’t changed, I feel like God has commissioned me to be more intentional to release what he has given me and be confident that I have the authority to do so.


Praise the Lord I didn’t have to lead in Finnish, honestly one of the most difficult languages I’ve ever seen!

I arrived in Helsinki at about Midnight and hadn’t slept the entire flight over from the States so needles to say I was a bit jet lagged. I would nap a bit, go up play some piano for a friend for a couple hours, go back and sleep, go back up and play again etc and all the while I had the mind set that I was just there to help and support in any way I could. After one of the sets we were discussing who was going to do the last slot that would bring in the New Year since the person scheduled had to cancel last minute. I agreed to lead and some musicians in the room jumped in as well!

Strangely beforehand I was a bit unsure, thoughts like “shouldn’t a Finnish person do this” or “I haven’t prepared at all, this could be a lame New Year’s set” or “Man I’m freakin tired!” started to come into my head and it wasn’t until I got on stage that God reminded me that I didn’t just come to help I came to bring and release something that only I could do.

What followed was over an hour and a half of non stop dancing. There was so much joy in the room and it was such an incredible environment of thanksgiving for the last year and hope for the new one. Hearts were healed, people found freedom, and we all had a stonkin good time with our Father.

Afterwards I was in the shower and I felt like God started to speaking to me (as is somewhat normal) about the importance of giving away what you have. Not just the fact that we need to give away what God has given us but a bit deeper to the extent that what we don’t give away we don’t actually own.

Giving something away verifies ownership.


A beautiful picture from the harbor in Helsinki as the sea was freezing over

I would even go as far to say that there might not be proof you’ve received something from God until you’ve given it away. Of course, I’m speaking in the spiritual sense where giving something away doesn’t mean you lose what you have, but it means you gain more in the process.

Jesus did it. He gave up his authority, came down as a servant, and through it gained more authority. And that’s our example.

I also believe that’s what set apart the early church form the rest of God’s chosen people throughout history. They weren’t just receiving and recognizing the Holy Spirit, they were laying hands on people to receive it!

It’s a very strange thing being around a Christian who doesn’t feel like they have anything to give. It’s a bit depressing and even more so confusing. Granted I think many times we believe we have something to give but because of false humility (“no I’m not the one”) or over analyzing (“I don’t know if he’s the one to give it to”) we fail to do so.

I’ve seen this in myself and realize that many times people have missed out on what God had in store because I decided not to give something away. I don’t regret these moment, instead I actually try to find them encouraging. I love that God doesn’t look on our past decisions as just right/wrong or blessing/condemnation. He continually reminds us who we are in him, who he is, and what he has given us.

There’s a good chance that if we’re wrestling with what God says about us and struggling to accept his truth, we’ve also stopped giving what we have to those around us. There’s a strong connection between the two, and the great part is that God’s thoughts for us never change!

2015 Is gonna be a powerful one!


Changing the World and Other Normal Things


Times like these in our home, where just allow for God to move, have been some of the most impactful and life changing times I’ve seen since being here in Spain

The other day I took my van to get the ITV (yearly emissions test) renewed. As I was sitting in line waiting for my number to be called, I was thinking about how this was probably the most “normal” thing I had done in awhile. I didn’t feel like it was mundane…just normal and,strangely enough, kind of fun! I don’t think I’ve always had the wisdom in the past to separate the normal and the mundane, but recently things have been changing…

The last couple weeks I’ve been back in Spain coming off another incredible summer. It’s nice to be back home after driving nearly 10,000 miles, meeting tons of incredible people, and getting more vision than ever for what God is doing and wants to do in the continent. But surprisingly this is isn’t what excites me the most right now as I think about life.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s a strange thing when traveling almost becomes more regular than staying the same place, and it’s something I’ve had to deal with in this last season of my life which has had its ups and downs. I made it a point after getting back from the Burn Wagon to make my house in Spain a home so I painted, hung pictures, and even bought a chair, footstool, and lamp so now if I move I have to do more than just pack a couple bags! I know it sounds simple but it’s made a huge difference in my life.

One thing that has been a goal of mine in ministry is that if I was seeing incredible things happening around the world I would only be satisfied if it was also happening wherever I called home. This mindset is what it means to build something that takes you farther in life than you could go by yourself and that will last long after you’re gone. I came here to change a culture and to do that you have to create a subculture that’s worthy to rise up and take it’s place. For us it’s the Kingdom of Heaven touching earth and changing all aspects of society as the church not just changing the church or making it bigger.

I think it takes time. I think it means sacrificing doing things and going other places you would like to.  I also think it looks like a lot of small day to day things.

I “think” because I’ve never done this before. It’s new ground for me personally and for the people with me.

This is probably why it was such an invigorating experience to sit in line and wait for my van to be inspected. Despite the unmoving line, I felt I was finally going somewhere in this country. Sure it’s a small step, and I still have to take tests for my license here and keep on with learning the language, and eventually renew my residence next year but these small steps are big things.

I again got the privilege this summer to work with musicians all over the UK and Europe at David’s Tent. I walked away more encouraged than ever that I was finally building something for God rather than just putting on an event for him. One of the reasons I felt this was because of the differences I saw in the community of musicians this year. One of the criteria that I had for inviting musicians was the fact that they all were involved with building something locally in the cities where they came from. It’s not always the most glamorous thing and sometimes it seems to pale in comparison when we put on such a massive event like David’s Tent, but I could see what really mattered. The intimacy they had with their Father, the family they exhibited with their bands, and the authority they carried mostly came because they understood how beneficial the “normal” was to building the Kingdom.

For me this next season looks awesome here in Malaga! It’s finally getting colder, English classes are starting, we’re having weekly times of worship at our house, and I’m finally starting to dip my toes in the music and art scene downtown which is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. I’ll still be traveling around Europe to some different Burns every couple months or so and I’m excited to not just do it as a man that spreads fire but as one who carries it because he is maintaining it at home as well and setting the example for what it should look like!

Why I’m More Patriotic Since Leaving My Country

“For this is what America is all about. It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest sleeping in the unplowed ground. Is world gone? We say ‘Farewell.’ Is a new world coming? We welcome it-and we will bend it to the hopes of man. -Lyndon B. Johnson

I remember 2 years ago stepping foot in the UK. If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you know the story. I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have any plans, and had no real idea what I was doing with my life. When I was at David’s Tent 2012 (the first year) a Scottish man came up and started praying for me. One of the things he prayed for was that I would begin to walk in more of the “American Anointing”.

A picture from 2 years ago when I spent July 4th in London…Ok maybe a little over zealous on what God was revealing to me about America at the time but it was actually quite rewarding to be back in the nation where a lot of our foundations originated.

A picture from 2 years ago when I spent July 4th in London…Ok maybe a little over zealous on what God was revealing to me about America at the time but it was actually quite rewarding to be back in the nation where a lot of our foundations originated.

Now this sounded a bit weird I’ll be honest. I had already spent 1 1/2 years outside of the US and didn’t really have any intention to go back. On the mission field the atmosphere surrounding “America” is a strange mix between people who think all of the US is like a Hollywood movie, Africans who love Barak Obama because he’s somewhat black, and ex pats or missionaries who are running from “the American Dream” and trying to find an alternative lifestyle.

I hadn’t ever considered myself that much of a patriotic person, but I’d never really had any strong feeling against the US either. My father and grandfather were in the Air Force (and I would serve if my country was in need), I exercised my right to vote (if the absentee ballet would make it on time) and I loved the freedoms and opportunities I’ve had growing up in my country. But this wasn’t quite enough for me to elevate the USA that far above other countries especially because I was beginning to see that many other nations had the same freedoms and sometimes more benefits both economically and socially and I was also beginning to see how much ethnocentrism most Americans had abroad and at home as I continued to travel.

Needless to say America’s great but “American Anointing”?  I might could do without. But like many other strange prayers and prophecies I just took it to God.

Slowly but surely God began to teach me what that Scot was talking about. I realized that I had never been in to politics, and felt quite uneducated/ up-to-date on current issues because I had usually viewed America as either a political, economical, or wannabe Religious system, all of which didn’t feel strong enough for me to hang my patriotic hat on. God took things a bit deeper and began to show me that America wasn’t really about capitalism, Democracy, Separation of Church and State, education or other hot issues. The root under all of these things, the thing that makes America America is really the pioneer spirit.

Yes the American anointing is “The Pioneer Spirit”.

That’s what he was praying over me. And this made sense. I’ve always had a hard time believing our country was founded on Christian principles as some gift of God to the world when in fact some of our forefathers were a product of the Age of Enlightenment  and were Deists or Intellectualists. I’m not taking away form the fact that some Christians did found our country, I just think a part of the God in our constitution was included either because of convenience or in an effort to have an all powerful Deity back up the convictions of their heart (which were usually great Christian-like convictions).

God started reminding me that their was a reason American was first to the moon, why we invented most of the things we use daily, why you could go to the darkest corners of the world and still hear Brittany Spears playing or watch some less than decent Vin Diesel movie . There is a reason why we’re a leader on foreign aid funding and military/defense spending, why we always have our noses in other countries business, why feel the need to promote our freedom and democracy. There is a reason why we want to carry guns around unnecessarily, why we want the biggest and newest, why our trucks could traverse Patagonia when they rarely make it off the interstate.

The reason has nothing to do with being Republican/Democrat, capitalist/socialist, spender/saver, right/wrong, or even freedom. It has to do with the fact that from it’s early roots of revolution or rebellion (depending on which side of the pond you looking) and even earlier roots of Native American inhabitance. America has been a space for the pioneer and a physical manifestation of something greater, more, and unknown that God has put inside of the heart of man.

Once I realized this it changed everything. I looked up to see myself surrounded by so many Americans who were holding on to this truth away from home hoping to change the world and step out where others wouldn’t. Go to places and sacrifice things that other nations would never think about because it would be uncomfortable or could only dream about because they didn’t have the resources.

I suddenly felt more American for following my heart and my dreams outside of the country than less of one for not contributing inside of it. I even found out that “dreaming” itself was more of an American installation than an innate human characteristic!

I firmly believe that God gave America a “Pioneer Anointing” and we have had the choice to use it for the world’s benefit or harm. We have chosen both in the past and I believe we can choose more benefit in the future. I also believe that God has done this for all other nations. The UK has an anointing of reigning and establishing kingdom, Norway has one of Adventure, and Spain has one of unbridled passion and independence just to name a few. In fact, if a country isn’t doing well I think it has just as much to do with their anointing (God’s purpose for them) being attacked or manipulated than anything else.


If you are ashamed to be an American, I’m sorry, because you are missing out on God’s intended purpose and favor over your nation. Please reconsider why you’re ashamed and ask if that is really what it means to be an American. 

If you are proud to be an American but it’s only based on a political or economical construct I urge you to go deeper. Ask your self “If these constructs were to crumble would America cease to exist? Or is there something deeper?”

If you are a nominal American, nonchalant about patriotism like I was, trust that there is more, and the fact that God placed you in this country has a significant spiritual connotation not just a locational one.

Patriotism is a serious a thing. It hurts my heart when I hear people speak words death over their nation without hope that things can change or with a sick hope that things have to fall and be destroyed before God moves. America has by no means been perfectly just in the past and God’s blessings are always abused by those who don’t understand his character. All of life is centered around a relationship with our Creator and patriotism is no different. It breeds loyalty, love, sacrifice and always calls other nations into what God has intended for them. It is an important part of the Kingdom of heaven coming to earth.



(Disclaimer: I don’t believe you have to leave the states or even travel to understand this idea. It’s just as important to work inwardly and locally in America that outside of it. I just think that my perspective and story can shed some light what it means to be patriotic and help encourage others to grab hold of it regardless of their lifestyle) 

Burn Wagon Update: It’s Parked and I’m Processing


A shot from some park outreach we did in a Kreuzburg, the most multicultural part of Berlin, Germany

I’m now sitting back in Mijas pueblo Spain reflecting on the craziness that has happened over the last month. I’m not sure if it feels like 1 week or 3 months but it has been quite a ride. Even though I’m tired and there a lot of things in life to figure out right now, I’m confident that what has happened with the Burn Wagon is something to be thankful for.

I’m not sure exactly where I left off but it was something about how awesome Scandinavia was and I think for this blog instead of hitting on the day by day I’m going to highlight a bit of what this trip really meant to me.

Going into the  trip there were a few things I really wanted to see happen not just with Burn Wagon Europe but missions in general. The things I wanted to see would mean pretty big shifts form what I’ve seen in the past. And while this seems like quite an undertaking I simply did what we many times forget to do as we build vision, make strategy, calculate budgets, and prioritize action steps…

I asked God to do it and trusted that the desires in my heart were put there by him and he wanted it more than I did. Yep, no begging, convincing, and trying to make a plan that would please God, just faith and joy and positioning myself in a place to see it happen.

For example, here are some things I really wanted to see as an improvement from some previous mission experience. Remember, my previous experiences haven’t been bad by any means…we’re just moving glory to glory here!


Our team and some friends that we met after dinner in Paris on our final night of the Burn Wagon

A Better Guy Girl Ratio-Usually it’s been about 4:1 with the girls taking the lead in the past but we had about a 50:50 ratio of guys to girls this trip when you consider everyone who was involved. I’m not really sure why this trip merited this ratio but I was very encouraged.

Long-Term Investment– Something incredible is that we were quite diverse when it came to nations represented all in all we had 2 UK, 3 US, 2 Norwegians, 3 Germans, 1 Swiss, 2 Dutch ( and 2 Polish if you count the hitchhikers we picked up right before the boarder into the UK). Not only did this make for an exciting team dynamic but it also meant that team members were building relationships that would last after the Burn Wagon left which means more sustainability and the opportunity for more discipleship which is the primary mandate of the great commission.

Like-mindedness and Unity– I’ve seen a lot of passion and vision for good things on previous trips but little unity for the same. Some of the most incredible feedback we got almost everywhere we went was how we brought something just by existing as a team. It seems simple but being unified mean a shift in the spirit not just the physical. Every one was willing to serve and sacrifice for the vision, but we also recognized that ministry was not near the top on our priority list but family was. Ministry has never been and never will be the point, relationship is.

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Praying and prophesying over our incredible family in Berlin, Tommy and Maria. Their love and heart for worship is no doubt changing the city!

No More Poverty Mindset– Finances seem to always be an issue with missions and while it isn;t a bad thing, many times it does drive us into an unhealthy way of thinking where we focus on maintaining our limited resources instead of  tapping into God’s provision. This also can easily build a stronghold of not being able to receive blessing and in turn not being able to bless others with a joyful heart. One time I had told the team that it would be good to “bless” our contacts with €100 before we left because of how much they had loved and served us. That morning at breakfast they handed us an envelope with €100 in it. They weren’t millionaires, they just believed in what we were doing and had been blessed by us. Here I was convicted that many times I have an attitude of payment instead of blessing and that I’m not confident that what I brought (non monetary) was worth what they thought it was. Too many times belittle and even impede God’s role to bless by not receiving a bless from others.

Culture without Training– One of the ways I really saw God’s grace was how he put my team together outside of my doing. Aside from an application and Skype meeting I wasn’t able to have face to face time or even training with any of my teammates previous to the trip. This of course meant that a lot could have gone wrong but it didn’t, and God put together an incredible team that were active in the prophetic, hungry for the supernatural, and maintained a high level of honor and servitude amongst one another. The only times I had seen this happen were because of intentional times of training or preparation. Training is good but it’s purpose it to make it the norm and while we weren’t perfect and there might be more prep in the future, this was very encouraging for me to be a part of.

I’m still hearing back form people we visited about the fruit of our journey and this is something that I’m sure will have a lasting effect on Europe. I really feel like we were the catalyst for some substantial beginnings with how the Kingdom of God is moving in the continent.


Just a sweet shot I got of the Eiffel Tower one night…kind of surreal seeing it for the first time!

I was sharing about my trip to the interns here at G42 earlier this week and the overwhelming theme was that going after a dream and changing people’s lives forever isn’t really a complicated thing. Of course it takes a lot of hard work, there are a lot of alone times, and sometimes when you walk in faith it’s just not fun anymore and the adrenaline rush is over (especially when you are 2 days out and still don’t own a van)! It takes sacrifice, money, and stepping into areas you are “gifted” in…

But it’s not complicated.

The simple truth is that as a Christian you have to believe you are daily becoming more like Christ and that your thoughts and dreams are also lining up with God’s. It’s Christ in us the hope of glory not just Christ in the world. I looked back on my initial plan for this trip and 2/3 of it I wasn’t able to carry out this time. Does it matter? Not really. Because the plan is God’s in the first place and he is always looking for those willing to say yes not just those who are capable. If you don’t act on one of God’s dreams someone else will, in fact someone else probably already has…that’s the beauty of moving as a body!

Oh..a popular question: Will I do it again? Of course I will, but I’ll probably try to do it more often and more regionally to better connect and encourage the local church and make disciples.

Burn Wagon Update: Scandinavia


A shot on the ferry from Germany to Denmark towards the end of my 36 hours drive from Spain to Copenhagen.

It’s been a little over the halfway point of our trip and I feel like it’s about time for an update!

These last 2 weeks have been some of the craziest I’ve experienced in awhile. Even though I didn’t have that much planned we have been blessed with so many opportunities to invest that we have been going pretty non stop.

I did the math last night and since I left Spain I’ve only slept about 2 more hours per day than I’ve driven but I love it!

I know it sounds simple but the most incredible things about this journey is that whatever we ask God to do he does it and whatever we feel like he wants us to do we step out and try it and it’s worked.

I actually haven’t ever experienced such easy mission/church work. The team God has put together has been incredible and we have had the same heart and spirit the entire time.


Some of my team painting the inside of the house that we were able to work at and have worship

Ever since Copenhagen we have felt like family everywhere we’ve went. We’ve been given food and beds at homes, given authority to speak at churches, and given shovels and paintbrushes to work!

We spent the first 4 days outside of Gothenburg, Sweden staying at a house that was used for worship prayer and conferences but had suffered a fire about a year ago. We worked during the days cleaning up the property and renovating the inside and then the last night we were able to have the first time of worship there since the fire.

There is a theme that we saw throughout Sweden where some of the church Fathers of the earlier Pentecostal movements are turning and joining the Catholic church. While there was a lot of confusion as to why this was happening, I couldn’t help but think that it was because people were just getting bored with how they saw God and how they saw the church and this change could be the answer.


What a beautiful family in Sweden, we had such an incredible time with these guys, such great musicians too!

Even though this is a bit sad, I’m still very encouraged because throughout Denmark, Sweden and Norway I saw more worshippers dancing around and excited about God than I have anywhere else.
Our last night in Sweden we travelled into Gothenburg and spent time with a home church of people who were also involved in a band called “Jerusalem”, the first Christian  hard rock band in Europe. We again felt like family and got to experience the Father’s heart from a real father of the faith, Ulf Christiansson and his son Philip. Blessing our family and encouraging the church body outside of Burn 24/7 has been one of our main focuses and we got to do this here…so good to share the same heart!


A shot of the van as we stopped for lunch on our way to Kristiansand, Norway with the snow capped mountains in the background

Once we arrived in Hamar, Norway the next day, we got to lead a time with a lot of the youth from different churches. Leading times of worship in large settings, especially with  youth groups, isn’t something that I’ve done a lot of so I’ll be honest it was a little intimidating, but once again we just synced up to what God wanted to do and did it. It was so great to see the atmosphere of the room change from the expectancy of a “worship performance” to everyone getting involved and participating in the Spirit. Thorough the night there were so many youth that caught on to the joy of the Spirit in worship and that grabbed a since of adventure that God wanted to give them and their future plans. It was a real blessing to be able to inspire these kids with our tour to look a bit past the “norm” when it comes living life and growing up.


During lunch our friend’s dad pulled out the accordion…enough said

We ended our time in Norway down south in Kristiansand where we got to have another crazy worship time. I’m so sure that God has some incredible plans for that city and that the people we got to worship with are right in the middle of it all. We got to bed late that night and I woke up early the next morning to catch the ferry back over to Denmark. When pulled back the curtains un my room I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I had ever seen as it was coming in over the harbor. Then it hit me that this trip  was one of the worst best ideas I had ever had because I was going to the most beautiful places in the world and seeing the most incredible people only to have to drive away in less than 12 hours…so glorious though! It just means there are a lot more relationships to build and a lot more trips to be taken!

I got the VW up to 90mph on the Autobahn as we came into Hamburg, Germany last night! We are heading to Berlin today and will be in Germany until we head to Geneva, Switzerland on Monday.

I really feel like our trip is changing themes a bit and I’m excited about going out a bit more outside the church and stepping out to see what worship looks like in different environments. Thanks you guys for your continued support and here are some things you can be praying for as we go:

Team Unity: We have just dropped some people off and will be picking up new people in Berlin

More Adventure: Stepping out more into what God wants to do and not fall into patterns as we travel to different environments

The Small Stuff: Logistics, van health, and relationships have been incredible so far…I haven’t even had to show my passport yet!

Personal Health: We’ve had a crazy schedule and there has been so much change and travel so pray for continued health.



Semana Santa: Photo Blog

Every year here in Spain for Easter they celebrate an entire week called “Semana Santa” or Holy Week. It’s full of processionals during the day and late into the night representing Christ’s death burial and resurrection. It’s like the whole of Spain decides to get really religious for one week out of the year, especially in the south. The mixture of dedication, striving, religiosity, and tradition make it one of the most solemn, impressive, and disturbing things I’ve seen since being here. I can’t help but wonder how many people involved have no idea of the personal and loving character of the very Jesus they carry through the streets.

Just click on a picture to scroll through them…