Living Water

  Man, there are few things more difficult than being thirsty for a prolonged period of time. Probably many of us have never really had to face true thirst. Especially dangerous life threatening thirst. 

When I think I’m thirsty my first craving is for a Dr. Pepper or good old southern sweet tea. When I was a kid working in the hay field or watermelon patch with my dad there was nothing more satisfying than a tall cold glass of water.

Have you ever found yourself thirsty inside? That’s thirst on an entirely different level. It’s life threatening all the same. At the core of our soul. 

Maybe you didn’t articulate it that way—but the acknowledgement for something more was present like an inexplicable craving or yearning. 

Do you believe in Jesus? He told us he was that kind of satisfaction. 

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” ‭‭(John‬ ‭7:37-38‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

He made it really simple too. If you’re thirsty go to him. How? Believe.

He is living water. (Check out the fourth chapter in John’s Gospel for some more on that). 

He also said, that when we believe in him that same kind of living giving spirit would flow through us. We’re not just receptacles. We’re channels. 

Jesus himself saves, quenches, and supplies us with life inside—and desires that we might share it with all. 

That should impact is in the day to day stuff. Make us love bigger and better. Help us to speak with a kindness that is uplifting, work hard, and give selflessly. Basically, we should be refreshing to anyone and everyone we’re around. 

How’s that working out for you?

Thanks for reading! We’re always interested in hearing from you in the comments. ~ Nate

Zacapa 2015: Loving People On a Not-So-Lonely Mountain

 I hear crickets. Dogs call to each other across the ridges. A turkey gobbles off in the distance. The huge leaves of the banana tree my hammock is perched in on the side of this mountain rustle with the never ending breeze. After a scorching week in the sun the coolness of the continuous flow of wind borders on miraculous.

It has been a week of weeks. Our team has been outstanding. They work and play with an energetic tenacity on par with their vivacious faith. Grace drips from these people like the sweat they have shed for seven days.

We have been to school after school playing with kids, performing skits, praying, speaking, loving. We have visited small churches, in the remote places of the Guatemalan Mountains where our people have preached the love of Jesus. We have given away food. We have built a wall. We have built a road. We’ve been busy. It’s been good.

Busy and good are not always words I like to put together—but accomplishing the work, sharing the good news, and serving my friend Greg’s ministry are both. Because busy can be good when it is purpose driven.

As I lay in my hammock staring out across the expanse of darkness at the closest ridge I can see the humble twinkle of distant village homes. The places that house the beautiful people of Guatemala.

I can rest full of faith in the one who sent us. I can sleep soundly satisfied in our pursuit of purpose. I never enjoy leaving my family behind—and under different circumstances would probably bring them—but even in my homesickness I can rest in the peace of God.

In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus declares his followers to be as a shining city on a far dark night. That’s our job. To take hope with us. We partner with powerful people of God in needed places. We are Gondor in the midst of Mordor. We are beacons among burdens—and bonfires among chilling darkness.

I have burned in my heart the desire to go to far places and far people because, as A.W. Tozer penned, “if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.”

100 Days of Awesome: Day 4 – Franks with Friends

100 Days of Awesome is about helping people. It’s about unleashing, recognizing, realizing, and living in your awesomeness. You are awesome. It’s so true. Maybe sometimes more so than you even know—and at other times less so than you think. Take the challenge. Join the adventure. Dedicate an hour a day to being awesome by making someone else’s life more awesome. Post your stories. Share your adventure. I’d love to hear all about it. You can follow along with my 100 Days of Awesome everyday right here.

Thanks for reading!

  
Sometimes you just need to fire up the ol’ grill and cook some hotdogs. Today was absolutely one of those days. But what makes a frank even better is when you’re grilling it up for a friend.

Out pal Tosha just graduated from college. She has overcame some truly amazing obstacles for someone so young. And we wanted to celebrate her and her accomplishments. So my awesome wife came up with the idea that we should grill hotdogs. 

My wife hates hotdogs. Like for real.

But that’s part of what makes this awesome. She bought the hotdogs, invited our friend. Planned the whole thing. Eating with people is awesome.

Celebrating people is more awesome.

Celebrate somebody today. Now, I need to go eat some hotdogs. 

Stay awesome!

100 Days of Awesome: Day 3 – Fireball

100 Days of Awesome is about helping people. It’s about unleashing, recognizing, realizing, and living in your awesomeness. You are awesome. It’s so true. Maybe sometimes more so than you even know—and at other times less so than you think. Take the challenge. Join the adventure. Dedicate an hour a day to being awesome by making someone else’s life more awesome. Post your stories. Share your adventure. I’d love to hear all about it. You can follow along with my 100 Days of Awesome everyday right here.

  
Fireballs are awesome. Roadside fireballs are more awesomer. Except for that one time in Guatemala when a street performer almost spit one onto my bus. That wasn’t awesome. But this most recent fireball that I encountered was crazy awesome.
Except that I don’t mean the good kind of awesome.

We were driving along the road and BOOM there is this giant plume of dark smoke (not good) shooting up into the air. We were maybe a mile away driving through hills and woods. I told my pal Aaron this wasn’t going to be good.

We round the corner and. BAM! Sure enough. It was bad.

Some dude was standing in the highway about 40 yards down a slight hill. A car, presumably his, engulfed in flames on the side of the road. In the woods. In summer. This is not ok.

As we approach we slow to see if the guy is ok and ask how we can help. What did this guy do? He waved us off. He didn’t want our help. Ok, now this just seemed sketchy. Why would a guy who’s car is obviously a raging inferno just a few yards away not want us to stop and help.

Given that we were in the middle of nowhere—the kind of place were the trees themselves seem to reverberate with dueling banjos—we acquiesced to his apparent wish. We did not stop. We drove on. Right past the fireball that could have at some point in the none-too-distant past been a fairly nice yellow automobile.

Wow. It. Was. Hot. 

I could easily feel it through the car door. It’s power was intimidating. We drove on. Thankfully we met a firetruck on its way to the scene.

Because firemen are awesome.



Thanks for reading. Stay awesome.

~ Nate

100 Days of Awesome: Day 2 – Guilt

 
One of my favorite things that I get to do from time to time is to speak to groups of students. Today, my friend Aaron and I made a trip north to the tiny town of Marshall, AR to speak at a church. It was, in a word, awesome. 

I spoke about guilt. Why? Because it’s something we all struggle with.

But if I have learned anything at all on my journey with God; its this…

Guilt is banished by love and truth; Fear-of-God deflects evil. (Proverbs 16:6 MSG)

God’s love is amazing. We all have done things we are guilty of. We carry that guilt around. Many of us have had things done to us we had no control over, and often we carry guilt around for those as well.

Guilt is dangerous. It’s like a slow fire that burns and burns until one day there is nothing left. Guilt is disastrous. However, guilt can be banished.

If guilt is a fire that burns. Love is an action that walks into the flames. Jesus is that love. He comes into the middle of our guilt and stands in the gap.

Jesus is also our truth. He said it himself…

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except by me. (John 14:6 NIV)

If guilt is a fire that burns, and love runs into the flames, truth overcomes the fire itself.

The facts are in. Guilt comes via sin. Commission and omission. Sometimes given, sometimes received. The wages of sin really are death. But the truth of Jesus Christ is bigger than the fact of death.

Guilt is a fire. It burns. It can ruin you. And if you don’t fill your life with the love and truth of Christ—it will. Give it all to him. He can handle it. He’s awesome like that.

You can’t stand in the fire and be angry at the flames. 

Get rid of guilt. Get it gone. Pronto. Step in and step up to the good life God’s got for you. It’s bigger and better than your bad day.

Stay awesome.

100 Days of Awesome: Day 1 – Help

What if for the next 100 days we spent one hour a day doing something awesome? FYI, that’s totally doable. We can do it. You, me, and all of those yet to happen upon this happy little challenge.

That’s only sixty minutes a day, but it adds up to 6,000 minutes! That’s 360,000 seconds of awesome. 

Today I helped my friend. We moved his family’s stuff out of a hot moving truck into their new home. It was a very small act. It really didn’t take much time or effort. A couple of hours and a little sweat, at most. But after three laborious days full of moving madness my buddy and his family thought it was awesome. They were really grateful for the help.

Helping people is always awesome. 
What will you do to be awesome today? Will you join me and take the 100 Days of Awesome Challenge?

You can catch the 100 Days of Awesome daily update right here on the blog or on Periscope by following @nateking.

Stay awesome.

Deep Roots

 

Today’s my parents anniversary! God knew he’d have to put two amazing people together to come up with someone as epic as me… 

Joking aside, I’m so thankful for their values, authenticity, and faith—driven by a love and selflessness that has always modeled God’s love better than anything else. Faith has always came easy to me. I have had a lot of people ask me why that is over the years. I never knew quite how to answer that question until today. 
It’s easy for faith to grow strong in your life when your roots run deep.

Say a prayer for them today when you read this. My momma is taking care of my brother who is still recovering from surgery and my dad is no doubt in a watermelon patch. 
Thanks for reading. Go make a difference in someone’s life today.

Braille In The Mirror

Maybe it is a very common practice among businesses. Perhaps it happens all of the time and has so far gone entirely unnoticed by your’s truly. Even so, I have never before saw a Braille sign in the top corner of the mirror in a bathroom. But just the other day I saw exactly that while my family and I were out for evening meal.

Why!? Why would anyone put a braille sign in the top corner of the bathroom mirror? Sure beats me.

I don’t want to sound insensitive or anything. Maybe it’s completely entirely a common practice to put Braille signs in places that seem strange to the non-vision impaired. Or maybe proprietors of this establishment put the sign up because it was a sign they are required by law or health code or something to display. I feel that this is probably the case.

Sometimes in our society we seem to do a great many things like this. We take things that have a purpose and we use them in ways that make no sense simply to fulfill some obligation. In our rush feel some requisite obligation we missed the point of the thing itself.

Haven’t you seen things like this? Have you done things like this? If I were to speak for you, and I would—if only for a moment, I would say yes. Yes, you have done this too. I most certainly have.

The government does it all the time. People in a mad rush to finish whatever they’ve begun do it as well. And oh man! Does the Church ever do it.

We never stop to think if the thing we’re doing that makes so much sense to us is in fact completely nonsensical. No we have requisite obligations to fulfill. We have behavior to police. We have culture to overwatch. We have morality to guard. We have judgment to pass?

How about we just stop right there. I’ve said enough. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.

Baby Eyed Faith

  
 I have always had strong faith. Faith just comes really naturally to me. That isn’t to say that I have not gone without struggles. And I find myself deep in doubt more often that I am comfortable admitting. But overall I am quick to grasp faith in God, his goodness, and his personal impact on both my eternal and temporal my well-being. But I know after countless conversations over the years that I am not necessarily the norm in the faith department.
Staring into our one month old son’s eyes last night I started thinking of this verse from Matthew’s gospel in a different way. 

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3 NIV)

My son Jonathan is a month old. This early in his development his vision is roughly 20/400. He sees nothing but a blur past the twelve to eighteen inch mark, and colors are largely something he will not even begin to appreciate for three more months. What does this have to do with faith?

Jon doesn’t have to scramble, cry, and worry for everything in his life, it is provided for him. He doesn’t have to fret for his safety and well-being. It is provided for him. All my son has to do is sit back and be. 

He just has to be my son. The very fact that he lives and breathes, that he is mine, bestows upon him the guarantee for protection and provision given to the fullest measure of my ability.

Even in my easy approach to faith there are moments of darkness. There is apparent blurriness. There are times when I do not have the answers and no answers seem forthcoming. Those are the moments when even walking by faith seems impossible. 

In those moments we must simply be. We must belong to the Father. We must realize that just being his guarantees us the fullest redemptive measure of provision and protection that is His to muster, which is all of it.

It’s yours. Just be His kid. 

That doesn’t guarantee you a steep bank account and a lavish life. But it is an unshakable eternal promise worth SO MUCH MORE.

Myth of the Great American Prizefight

  
Boxing once was a thing of gloriously brutal beautal. Two guys would enter the ring, and one guy would emerge a winner. No one won tonight’s bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao except perhaps their bank accounts.

Prize fights are BIG business. Truckloads of money changed hands for this fight. But was it worth it? No. No it wasn’t.

The crowd was a who’s who of celebrity boxing enthusiasts. Twitter nearly exploded from the hype. And it was all for nothing. Floyd Mayweather Jr. “won”  a statistical victory. He won a financial victory. But boxing still loses.

It was a lame fight. It was boring in every respect. It was exactly what we have all deep down in our hearts come to expect from the world of pugilism. Long gone are the days of Ali’s “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” and George Foreman’s telephone-pole jabs. I’d even take bat crap crazy Mike Tyson over this stuff. Now we have Mayweather. A guy who hits his wife more than his opponent and hugs his opponent more than his wife.

In the build up and hype it was hailed as the “fight of the century” and with a delivery like that it could very well be the final swansong in a long list of over-hyped under-delivered fight cards. It could be the last big fight of the century. A prizefight did indeed take place tonight, but it was not much of a prize, or a fight. It certainly wasn’t great.