Month: June 2011

"You’re Blessed"

June 28th 2011

Brokenness, what does that word mean to you? To me its something to be disliked, something to try to get away from, something I don’t want to deal with. I’m happy putting on a front that say “I’ve got it all together” I want to turn my eyes when I see the man flying the sign and I really hate thinking that I might very well be broken.

I don’t like pain, I don’t like thinking I’m weak, I don’t like not having it all together. I can’t take it, I can’t process it and I DO NOT want to admit it. But I must confess, I am broken, I am messed up, I have a visual disability and I hide behind my list of things I’ve accomplished. Like a coward I try my best to not let people see this, to no be vulnerable, to not be real, like letting someone know me in my true broken self would be suicide. The truth though is ever beside me, always there like a bad hair day on yearbook photo day.

Today and Tonight I’ve had many conversations about this, about my walls and about being broken and hurting and I’ve thought to myself “What if we were perfect?” What if as soon as we became Christians we became instantly Holy, we became instantly the model of perfect. Would the homeless guy on the street effect us at all? Would the news story about genocide be news to us? Would the loss of a loved one still tear us apart?

Maybe there’s a reason that God doesn’t heal our brokenness, maybe there’s a reason we still struggle with the pain of our old life long into our Christian Walks. Maybe God is on to something when he doesn’t instantly fix our “problems” overnight. A reason that God sees the need to give us “grace upon grace” because he wants us to be broken, he wants us to struggle, to become “Long Suffering”

Now I know what you’re thinking, how can a God who’s loving want us to struggle and be broken? Don’t you Christians always talk about being made whole and new through Christ? Well we do, but also through Christ we realize that the body of Christ was broken and therefore we too have an area of brokenness that we must reconcile and use for positive affirmations of faith.

The fatherless might use their brokenness to mentor younger fatherless, the widow might use her brokenness to minister to other widow’s, the disabled man might use his brokenness to reach out to another man who is disabled. We feel when we are broken, we hurt and we laugh and we cry with each other and we are blessed by this fellowship we share with one another.

Here’s what Matthew 5:9-10 says

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” (MESSAGE) 
We are blessed when we learn these things, earlier the passage says “you’re blessed when you learn to be content with yourself” We are blessed when we realize that we are all broken and through that brokenness we are blessed, through our vulnerability we are made whole, through relationship we find healing and are blessed by one another’s brokenness. 

Jesus understood that we needed to be broken and realize we are broken. I’m done building walls, I’m done trying to keep people out, I need to realize that like everyone else I need to react with my brokenness, be vulnerable and live in community with other people who are made whole through each others brokenness. 

Man growth hurts, and this is gonna take awhile. 

God Bless
Jon Faulkner 
10:31 Ministries 

The Sanctuary

June 26th 2011

The city is a very busy place, there are people and trains, buses and banks blaring music everywhere. The temptation is to wrap yourself up in the busy atmosphere. To fall in line with the business men and their nice white suits and clean black jackets. To become part of this incredible state of doing something whether it’s talking on your cell phone to changing the song on your I-Pod while you walk briskly down a crowded sidewalk doing the exact same thing everyone else is dong. Walking briskly down a crowded sidewalk talking on their cell phones and….
So many times in my life I find myself doing this figuratively, I’ve grown up in small towns, but lived at the same pace as I do when I blend in with the busy business men walking to work as I go to my next bus stop on my way to work. I have always had something to completely consume my time. A Job, the bands I’ve been in, 10:31 Ministries, AWANA’s, Youth Groups, Kids Club, drama and the list goes ever onward. I remember in High School when the Marching Band season would start she would say “See you in January” and in January she’d say “See you after theater season is over.” 
As a teen I simply dismissed these comments as my mother being humorous. That is until I’d hit a wall half way through the semester and I would have to take a trip to Wal-Mart or whatever. I had a monstrous social life born out of a need to be recognized and loved by those who saw me. My Youth Pastor Lance would always tell me “You’ve got too many irons in the fire man” and that too I dismissed as foolishness. 
When I arrived at college I continued doing the same thing. I tried out for the praise band (didn’t make it) started doing Kids Club, drama, church, 18 credit hours, 10:31 Ministries, Music and again the list when on and on. Again I heard the same thing, this time from my good friend Paul “You’re doing too much man, you need to slow down” but I was set in my ways, I was as stubborn as an ox. I had an ax to grind, I had to prove to people I could do whatever I put my mind to, that my disability had nothing to do with what I could and couldn’t handle. 
Then came this summer, “We want you guys to have solitude time, to find a third place, where it’s just you and God” they told us. “We also want you to do something selfish, something that your soul wants to do” and these two things we were supposed to do once a week. Now I’ve never been good at the hour of bible study or hour of time in the word. God and I seem to function really well off the fifteen minutes of devotions I have in the morning. That seems to allow God and I to discuss deeper things during the day and into the night. I wasn’t ready to have solitude time, I wasn’t ready to do NOTHING and I wasn’t ready to be selfish. 
I did thought, I work two jobs on Wednesday and Thursday, one at Christ’s Body and then down at Joshua Station. But I have the time in my schedule, and my soul has found a need, to go to a coffee shop after work. To unwind and spend that time with God, thinking, praying and reading. This has become my sanctuary, my “third place” as they call it, my chance to slip into the hands of God and just rest and relax. 
This isn’t going to be popular with you more conservative readers but I didn’t go to Church today. Instead I found myself sitting at my third place, sipping a cappachino and talking to God at my favorite place in Denver. I don’t know why I did it, I was actually planning on attending Church of the City, but instead that’s where God led me, and it was good. 
Sometimes we need to take off our suits, we need to stop doing and take time to be. This is the hardest concept for me, my I-Pod is always on and my Cell Phone is an extension of my ear. I do everything I can think to do for others nowadays, even wash dishes to the surprise of my roommate, but in all that doing I never be. I think to myself “If I don’t get this shower cleaned out that I won’t be a good witness to the next person who showers here” Then I forget to go sit in the back with the homeless guy and just be there listening to his stories. I forget to go be with God and I forget to take care of myself. 
I have such a hard time with that last one, but it is really good just to sit down and do something your soul longs to do. It’s healing, relaxing and down right healthy, but we don’t do that enough. I encourage you to find a place where you can slow down, take out the ear buds and surgically remove your phone. That you would take time to stop doing and be like Mary in the bible and just be. As my boss Pastor John Moorhead told me on my first day “there is a time to be Mary and there is a time to be Martha, don’t always be a Martha” I tell you my friends, you will find yourself to be much more relaxed and life to be a little less hectic when you find your third place and spend some time with your soul. 
I’m gonna go put on my robe now and watch some 1950’s Serials, because that’s what my soul longs for at the moment, then I am going to sleep. I pray you all will do the same, only do what your soul wants, not what mine does. 
God Bless
Jon Faulkner
10:31 Ministries 

The Cross and Tradition!

June 20th 2011

Today we walked around the city all day, learned about our neighborhood that we live in called Whittier. It was interesting to hear the stories told by our teacher Jeff Johnson who lives in the neighborhood. We talked about the effects of Gentrification on the neighborhood and I asked him how the attitudes of the neighbors were towards the whites moving in and raising the property values increasing which are products of Gentrification

On Spiritual Formation here’s an interesting thing for you.

I’ve never walked the Stations of the cross before, in fact that first time I’d heard of someone doing that was this spring. I’ve never been one to fall deep into tradition and participate but that’s what seems to be happening. The closer I get to the cross the more meaningful these times of solitude I take each week mean to me. I needed the time today to sit in the Cathedral Basilica of Emasculate Conception  I needed to sit there and take in the Cathedral’s high walls and the pictures of Jesus suffering as I walked down the side isles. It reminded me of the cross that I am called to carry, I am called to serve the homeless for these two months, to be a friend to then and a becan of hope. Even though it’s hard to serve those people who you know God’s heart breaks for.

I am learning that God’s heart for those will require me to be broken daily, to be daily humbled by the plight of my homeless brothers and sisters.

Jon Faulkner
10:31 Ministries

Day 1

This is a Blog of journey, to document adventure, to give you a taste of what I am learning about God. I hope you all decide to follow me on this journey, this will replace the notes I’ve been placing on facebook and be my official blog for Denver this summer.

God Bless
Jon Faulkner