Sunday, January 27, 2008

Becoming a Man of Significance (Pt. I)

Being a Man of Success or Significance?

Success vs. Significance

Recently, I took a 10 day personal retreat at my favorite place of rest: Singing Waters, Canada. This has been my third time here and each time God has met me profoundly in a personal way. The first time I came, He saved my life by transforming my heart and showing me who I really am. The second time I came, He saved my ministry by giving me permission to understand I didn't have to do it all. This time, God brought me here to save my purpose.

For many people, the meaning of life is a big question mark. Most people want to be successful in life. That is, to be important, valued, honored, respected, for what they do. The world tells us we are successful when we achieve great things, produce great results, and perform well according to the standards of society. Our significance comes from what we do, not who we are, let alone the relationships we have. We are told all our lives that we are "nothing" unless we do "something." Sadly, for most of my life I came to believe this lie that "I am what I do."

For the last 27 years of my existence this was my purpose, to be successful. Even, in the last 10 years of my born again Christian experience, I thought to be a successful Christian it meant I had to do everything God asked me to do perfectly. I thought my ultimate purpose was to know God and make Him known at all costs. Therefore, I strove with great zeal to seek Him wholeheartedly and preach the Gospel to as many people as possible. This was my task, my mission, my sole purpose. I thought I had to sacrifice all in order to please God and others. I lived for the vision. I lived everyday not for the present moment, but the future possibility. I was driven by my dreams, ambition and prophecies spoken over my life to do great things for God, because I thought in order to be successful in God, I had to sacrifice all, even relationships to do the will of the Lord. But God doesn't want our sacrifice, He simply wants our obedience, He wants our love. God has been speaking to me loud and clear these last few days that life is not about a task to accomplish. More so, life is about relationships. A relationship with God and relationship with others, for we were created for this one thing, to have friendship with God and to give this loving friendship to those He has placed in our lives. In the few short days I've been here, I've come to realize what I really want is significance, not success. But what does it mean to be a man of significance?

Significance can't come from the world's definition. Our significance does not come from what we do, who we know, what we have or what we have accomplished. Our significance does not come from what title we hold what degree we earned or what society shouts as success. As Christians, we must understand that our significance does not come from what we do for God, what we achieve in ministry, or whether or not we do everything right. Our value, our worth, and our significance can only come from Christ alone. It's not about what I can do for Him it's about what He has done for me. My righteousness does not come from anything I can do, earn or achieve, even for God. Righteousness comes from what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. He doesn't need us to do anything for Him, to prove our love for Him. When He died and rose again, He took away not only my sin, but all my shame (my feelings of wrongness) and He gave me all His forgiveness and unconditional love. This love is completely without condition. It loves me just as I am. Love loves me when I'm doing good, when I'm doing bad, when I mess up, miss the mark, and royally blow it, His unconditional love still loves me and it tells me that I am significant, not for what I have done, but because of who He is. For this Jesus whom we know is love. "For the joy set before Him He endured the cross scorning its shame." (Heb 12) I am the joy of God. Even when I rejected Him, Jesus saw me as the joy set before Him, and He was willing to bear my sins because He missed me, He wanted to know me intimately again. Because of His sacrifice, I am completely forgiven, made right in His eyes and now can have relationship with our heavenly Father.

This is success, that, "I love Him, He loves me, therefore I am successful."

I've known this, quoted this for some time, but there is a difference in knowing something is true and living that truth out in your life. Until a truth is lived, it is only a thought. What I am about to share candidly is my passion and purpose to do what is right, what is true, what is noble and what is honorable before my God. I pray you understand.

You see, in the last few years of my journey in Christ, I've lost the very thing Jesus died for, the very thing that makes me significant, the very thing that makes a real difference and that is my relationship with God. But not only have I lost my relationship with God, I've lost my relationship with the ones I care the most for, my family and friends. When you lose the One thing, you will inevitably lose the others. I'm humbled and all I can say is that I want to get my life back.

What I write below is a series of lessons I've learned as I've heard God's voice in these recent days to bring me back to what it means to live a life of significance.

"Bella" – True Success is Being Faithful to Your Values

In November 2007, I was able to help market and promote a powerful independent film called "Bella." I got behind this film not only because of its pro-life message, but because of the integrity of the men who gave up everything to make this film. The leading actor, Eduardo Verastegui was at the height of his acting and singing career in Latin America, he sold out soccer stadiums at his concerts and was offered leading roles in major Hollywood films. Yet, he gave it all up when he found Christ through an English teacher in Los Angeles. She asked him, "Eduardo what are you doing with your life? What are you doing with the talents God has given you?" He thought he was a religious person, but in actuality his life did not match his faith. One day this English tutor said to him, "If you say you honor God, then why do you keep offending Him?" When Eduardo heard this, he was so convicted that he repented in tears for three weeks straight. After this time of repentance, he made a commitment to God that he would never take a role or make a film that would offend God again, even if it meant losing his entire career.

The Lord led him to give up just that. After this encounter with God, he fired his entire staff, management and rejected every leading role for major blockbuster films because they did not agree with his morals and spiritual convictions. Eduardo, later on by the divine providence met two other Latin brothers who also gave up their high profile careers in Hollywood in order to make films that made a difference for God's kingdom. They formed a small production company called "Metanoia Films" (metanoia in Greek means repentance, a light in the darkness) and they emptied out their bank accounts, lived on almost nothing to make this beautiful movie "Bella." At certain times, they had so little finances that Eduardo's friends said, "Why don't you just take some of the movie roles you are being offered to get income, they aren't so bad." His response was, "Even if I have to go back to Mexico and flip tacos to make a living, I won't do a role or film that dishonors God.

When I heard the producer of Bella share this testimony at our national student conference at UCLA, my heart was convicted. Truly, this was what Jesus meant when He said, "Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me." Later on, as the movie "Bella" was released and become a nationwide independent film success, Eduardo was interviewed on FOX news. The interviewer said, "Well, Eduardo you are considered the new Brad Pitt or Antonio Banderas, what do you think of that with your new found success and attention? There must be a lot of pressure to live up to the expectations."

Eduardo's response was, "In this country we think that success is everything and if you don't get to the top of the mountain, you're nobody. I say, seek to be a person of value. That's what success is for me now; being faithful to your principles. And doing what you know in your heart is right. And if the world recognizes you for doing what's right, then that's a blessing, but it's not true success. True success is being faithful to God and your values" (Para-phrased)

When I saw that interview, my heart was convicted again. I don't want to be a man of success I want to be a man of significance. I want to be man of character, honor, and integrity. I want to be a man who is faithful to his values and does what He knows in his heart is right. I don't want to live one life in the public and another life in private. I want to be honest before God and others. And never, ever do I want to compromise my values in exchange for worldly success.

Humbled & Utterly Broken

Around the same time I was promoting this film Bella, I was also on a 3 month straight itinerant speaking tour. Weekend after weekend, I spoke at another university, church or revival conference to thousands of students. It was during this speaking tour that I realized I had broken a promise I made to the Lord. One year before, I had told God that I would slow down in ministry, take less speaking engagements so that I could have more time with Him and others. Instead, I was still busier than ever. In my heart, I knew that I was compromising my values. I preached about having intimacy with God, but I was not living it daily in my life. Every time I came back from my ministry trips, my body would be exhausted, my daily spiritual disciplines were not consistent, and spiritually I was depleted. I was giving out, but there was nothing coming in. You can't give what you don't have. Yet, I was too stubborn and driven by the ministry demands to stop. And then God humbled me, big time.

For the last two years I have lived with a special family that has taken me into their home in Los Angeles Ca. This family has adopted me as their own son, yet I have treated them as foreigners. In particular, Aunty Sharon the mother whose home I stay in has loved me beyond words can express. This woman is the most loving and anointed woman of God I have ever met. She literally prays and fellowships with the Holy Spirit hours upon hours each day. Two years ago she agreed to take me into her home, because she and her husband knew I was struggling in my walk with God and they desired to help me. Day after day, week after week, Aunty Sharon would lay hands and pray for me for hours at a time after my ministry trips. Each time she prayed for me, it was if the presence of God would pour over my heart like liquid love. Yet, each time she saw me, I was in the same state of being. I was tired, worn out from spiritual warfare and spiritually emptied in ministry. She would keep telling me, "Jaeson you need to slow down and spend more time with God, you still have too much pride and you are doing ministry in your own strength." Each time she told me this, I told her I would make changes, but I never did. I made promises, but they were empty. What was worse, I took her prayers for granted and their family hospitality towards me for granted. I treated that home like a hotel. I came in to eat, sleep and then I went back out to minister more.

This erratic lifestyle finally caught up. After a strenuous ministry trip in October, my Aunty Sharon, the woman I had loved so much, but shown so little appreciation for decided she would no longer pray for me or speak to me. She knew she had done all she could, but I was still not changing. I was living a double life, a life of hypocrisy. On one hand, I was preaching in the Holy Spirit's anointing from city to city, challenging young people to love God with all their hearts. Yet, at home I was a personal wreck. I didn't value my own personal relationship with God, and neither did I value my relationships with those I was living with in that precious home.

My heart was broken and ashamed. I knew I had done wrong and I asked God for mercy. God showed me that I was like the foolish virgins in Matthew 25 who asked the wise virgins for some of their oil before the Bridegroom returned. When the foolish virgins asked the wise virgins for some of their oil (which symbolizes their intimacy with God) the wise virgins said, "We are sorry, we can't give you our oil for we don't have enough, you must buy it for yourself." At that moment, I knew I was a foolish virgin and I could no longer get my intimacy with God by depending on Aunty Sharon to pray for me, I had to buy it for myself and it would cost me everything, even my ministry and outward success.

On Thanksgiving night, the family gathered to share around the dinner table what they were thankful to God for that year. When it came time for me to share, I broke down in tears and shared how thankful I was for each of them, Uncle Joseph, Aunty Sharon, Jonder and Jinder (their two sons who are my age) and how each of them have loved me unconditionally and shown me nothing but support. I also shared how sorry I was for not appreciating them as I should, for not valuing family time, because I was always too busy. As I shared, with tears rolling down my eyes, I realized growing up I never understood the importance of a family meal together, or just hanging out to hang out, or what it meant to go fishing with dad (as Uncle Joseph would take us out to do) because I never experienced it in the dysfunctional home environment I grew up in. Yet, at that moment I realized God had placed me in one of the most loving families in the world, as a gift to me, because He wanted me to experience what it meant to be part of a loving family. Instead, I had totally rejected and not appreciated the gift of family He had given to me. I was completely broken and ashamed.

That next morning, I woke up early and I heard the Holy Spirit say in my right ear "Go out to the living room and pray with Aunty Sharon." I told the Holy Spirit, "No, I am too ashamed to face her, I am not worthy." Then again, I heard the Holy Spirit say in my ear, "Go out to the living room and pray with Aunty Sharon!" Reluctantly, I got myself out of bed and I went out to the living room where Aunty Sharon was praying with worship music playing and I hid behind a couch so she couldn't see. I was too ashamed, and all I do was put my head between my knees and repent for my hypocrisy. Then, the cleaning lady had rung the door bell so Aunty Sharon had to answer. When she was walking back to the couch she must have saw me hiding in prayer. The next thing I know, I feel those same loving hands touch my back and begin to pray for me. It was Aunty Sharon praying for me once again, she had shown me mercy and given me a second chance! I don't know exactly what happened at that moment, but the presence of God began to touch me with such convicting power that I broke down weeping, uncontrollably, like a little boy weeping in his mothers arms. I kept saying sorry, over and over again. But this time, I knew sorry would not be enough, I would have to make a real change for the better. If not, my repentance would be all for nothing. I could no longer live the life I was living, doing ministry non-stop, while forfeiting my intimacy with God and relationship with others.

But what would this look like? How would I walk out this repentance? What was God asking of me? For true repentance is an inward decision that causes an outward change of action.

Missing Moments

That same Thanksgiving night when I confessed my short comings with my host family, I ended up talking with the two brothers (Jonder and Jinder) and their cousin Jaqueline about my situation with Aunty Sharon after dinner. They shared the truth to me in love. They shared bluntly how I had offended Aunty Sharon in many different ways during my time there and how I should go about reconcile my wrongs. It was humbling, but well received in my heart and I knew I had to make immediate changes.

Interestingly during this conversation, as I shared with them how I had all these pressures in ministry, demands to keep doing, and how it was so hard to stop this ministry machine that was running, their cousin Jacqueline stopped me and said, "Jaeson, you know what you are missing in your life? You're missing moments!" I said, "What do you mean?" She responded, "Jaeson, your life is like a roller coaster. You go from one big event to the next big event. You go from one supernatural prophetic experience to the next and your life isn't exactly real. You see, what makes life meaningful are the "moments" that make it. Moments are the little things everyday that we take for granted, that go unnoticed, that we fail to appreciate because we are so focused on our problems or the tasks that we need to accomplish that we end up always living in the past or future, but never in the present. Moments are the little things like enjoying the sunrise, or when you help somebody you don't know at the supermarket and they smile back, or the conversation you are having over a cup of coffee, those are moments. And Jaeson, you are lacking moments. It is these moments that fill the span of our lives and it is the accumulation of all these moments that make our lives meaningful, significant and worth living."

Those words stuck with me so deeply. Indeed, my life was missing moments. I had been so consumed my entire life with accomplishing a vision, that I was willing to sacrifice all that mattered in life, even my relationships to see the vision accomplished. For the past 10 years of my Christian journey, I thought my life calling was to be responsible to accomplish the dreams and visions that God had given me. How wrong I was. I thought being a committed follower of Christ meant I had to do something great for God in order to change the world. I thought it was all about fulfilling destiny, bringing revival to the nations and getting to the destination God had purposed me to. But what good is it to have gained the whole world for Jesus, but lose your own relationship with Him? What good is it to succeed in doing great things for God and others, to have prophesied, cast out demons, heal the sick, and preached to thousands, but miss the very purpose for which you were created for: loving relationship. This is not what I want. I don't want to die a revivalist. I want to die a friend of God and a friend to others in this life. I want to make moments again. Life is not about getting to the destination, but life is about walking with God on the journey to the destination. It's about making moments along the way with Him and others, because relationships are not a means to an end in order to achieve a vision. Relationships are the end, the very purpose for why we do what we do. Without them, all our visions, dreams and destinies are meaningless and empty.

I remember how I used to have no ministry responsibilities or name recognition. How I used to spend time with the Holy Spirit for hours each day in my little room in San Jose Ca. I remember how sweet those times of fellowship were with God. How I used to enjoy each day during my college years. I wore the same clothes to school everyday, because I didn't care, because I was so in love with God. I didn't care what others thought. I would see God in everything throughout the day, it was beautiful and free. I still remember the day I had to move from the house I was living in. Where I had to leave my room where I had met with God everyday for 4 years straight. Right when I was about to leave my room, I felt the Holy Spirit's presence tug my heart and tell me to wait a little longer. Then a rush of His love went through my being, and I began to weep with tears of sadness and at the same time tears of joy. It was the most intimate moment I've ever had with God in my entire life. I heard Him say to me, "Remember this place, this is where we met and fell in love, this will always be a memorial stone in my heart for you my son. Never forget what we experienced in this place." My heart weeps just thinking about this as I write. God misses me. And He remembers, yet I have been so quick to not remember, forgive me Lord, I want to create new moments again with You!

God's Purpose in Isolation

Sometimes, we don't know how to change, so God has to get our attention by sending us into times of isolation. I believe the Holy Spirit is leading me soon into a time of sovereign isolation. It's taken me 10 years to recognize what I really want. You see, God will give you what you want to show you what you really need. I thought for most of my life that what I wanted was to be successful, to make my life count, to do something great in this world for Him. God gave that to me, because I asked for it. In the last 10 years I've traveled the world and fulfilled what I believe God told me to do. I was obedient to the heavenly vision, "The Blueprint" if you may have it, and I preached the Gospel from campus to campus, city to city, nation to nation. Souls were won, disciples were made, hundreds of churches were planted and yes, lives were changed. Yet, in the midst of all the supernatural encounters, all the signs, wonders and miracles, my heart at times, felt empty. Why? It's not because God didn't want me to do all the things that I did for Him. The calling was always real. But what He wanted from me was not what I could do for Him, in order to please Him, but what He wanted was my heart. God will never have you sacrifice relationship with Him to do ministry for Him. Most Christian leaders I know have more of a relationship with their revelation, than they do with God. They are driven by the vision, by the ministry machine and not by relationship. This was me, and God had to wake me up to show me that successful ministry, will only leave you empty and dissatisfied if you don't have intimacy with Jesus and community with others.

The prophet Elijah had to learn that success for God is different from success in God. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah has a showdown with the prophets of Baal. He encounters God in a powerful way, fire falls down from heaven and consumes the sacrifice on the altar, all the opposing false prophets are destroyed and Elijah wins, or does he? In the very next chapter we find Elijah running for his life. Why? The evil queen Jezebel had put a price on his head. He then tells God he wished he was never born, that he feels abandoned and wants to quit. God responds by sending Elijah into the dessert, then to Mt. Horeb into a period of complete isolation. This story of Elijah always boggled my mind. How could this mighty prophet on one hand have such great power and success in ministry one day and the very next day be completely depressed, suicidal and wanting to give up on everything? It finally made sense recently when I was studying this book called "Isolation" for my Fuller Seminary class. The author explained the 4-fold process of isolation in transforming the life of a leader in this way…

  1. Stripping
  2. Wrestling with God
  3. Increased Intimacy
  4. Release to Look Toward the Future

As I did this inductive study on 1 Kings 18-19 I finally understood why Elijah responded the way he did. For Elijah, his success was found in what he did for God. His identity did not come from His relationship in God, but his identity came from his ministry, that is, what he did for God. When ministry was going great, he was doing great. When ministry was going bad, he was doing horrible, because his ministry had become his identity. He found his worth, his value and success in what He did. He related to God out of function, but not out of relationship. When we relate to God only for what He can do for us, we really have no relationship at all. All we end up doing is a lot of "stuff" for God, empty stuff, because really it's about ourselves and not about Him. We find our value in our performance and ministry becomes our identity. When we don't have relationship we don't have anything at all. Elijah had great success in ministry, but successful ministry will never leave you satisfied and fulfilled. The moment that success in ministry ends and you are left all alone, you become even more emptied inside, because all your satisfaction came from outward activity, not inward joy. God had to teach Elijah that his success was not found in the winds, the earthquake and the mighty fire, but rather, his significance was found in a "still small voice" that beckoned Elijah into an intimate relationship with His Creator.

In the process, God had to…

1) Strip Elijah from any success found in ministry, so God isolated Elijah by sending him persecution from Jezebel that forced him to run for his life into the dessert. In the dessert he had nothing. He had no one to tell him how great he was. He had no friends, no sustenance, no applause, no position and no ministry to find his identity or worth in. God had to strip all his external identities, so that Elijah could receive the identity God would place upon him.

2) Elijah had to "wrestle with God" in the dessert for forty days asking himself the question, "What is my true identity – apart from outward ministry?" He had to come face to face with who he really was. Not the prophet, not the mighty minister, not the guy who calls down fire from heaven, but the man who was in need of finding his true self. He had to wrestle with the important questions of life. Who was he really and what did he ultimately want? He had to come face to face with God and himself.

3) Increased intimacy was the result of Elijah's stripping and wrestling with God. He had to get honest before God, and through isolation he recognized he wasn't as in control or as put together as he thought he was. He admitted his character flaws, his need for change and most of all his need for God. He had to ask himself what he really wanted in life. Through this time of humbling, he knew he could no longer find his identity in successful ministry, he understood success is only found by being satisfied in the presence and loving arms of Jesus. As intimacy increased with Elijah and God, the need for "cutting edge" ministry decreased. He understood his true identity did not come from the external, but from his internal relationship with the Father. He could be still and finally know the still small voice of God was enough. This is what God wanted all along, and now what Elijah wanted, intimacy with God.

4) Elijah was released to look toward the future. He came out of the time of isolation, not by his own choice, but by the leading of the Spirit. For many, we try to leave God's sovereign work of isolation in our lives too early, but this can be dangerous because it proves His presence is still not enough. When Elijah left isolation, it was because God spoke to him, and told him his next assignment. He didn't move till God said so. Yet, this time, it was not about Elijah but it was about empowering the next generation to fulfill God's destiny. Elijah was called to anoint Jehu and Elisha to carry on the work. He did this with a quite peace, knowing it was no longer about himself, but about God and others.

When I studied God's purpose for Elijah in isolation, I knew God was asking me to experience the same. Like Elijah, I had found my identity in my performance and ministry for God. I kept doing and doing, becoming more tired, more dissatisfied each time I was left alone and wanted to quit at times because the ministry was too demanding. That's when God hit me with a tone of bricks.

I've been traveling non-stop doing itinerant ministry for nearly 7 years now. Around late December, all the traveling had finally caught up to my body. In mid November of 2007 I had taken on too much responsibility for the different projects I was working on. All the stress had mounted up and I was getting hardly any sleep at night. I would sleep for 2 hours, at most 3 hours and then I would wake up with my mind spinning. This lasted for more than 40 days straight. During the day, my body felt like it was walking through mud. My mind was exhausted and no matter how hard I tried to get work done, I couldn't because my energy was zapped. It got really bad, so I got a medical check up. I was diagnosed with "adrenal exhaustion" it's a symptom that happens to people when they become over stressed because they have completely exhausted their adrenal glands, which are the glands in the body that give us the drive and energy to get things done. I was told that if I didn't stop my hectic ministry schedule, something very bad could happen, something that I would regret if I did not make the right decision to slow things down.

This was my wake up call from God. He showed me, that I could either bench myself or that He would bench me, like He did to Elijah. I knew that God was telling me that I had to learn to rest. If not, ministry would consume me and become my god. When I received this diagnosis and medical warning, I went into a time of deep prayer and reflection. It was in this time I decided I needed to choose the place of isolation in order to find my true self again.

Near the new year of 2008, I wrote a personal letter to all my ministry partners worldwide. I shared with them honestly how I was burning out, losing my passion for Jesus and my medical condition. I told them I needed a break from ministry and would need to cancel certain ministry commitments for health reasons. This was one of the most difficult letters I had ever written, because I didn't want to let my friends down, but obedience is better than sacrifice. My friends from around the world responded with great grace and supported my decision. As of now, I've decided to finish certain ministry commitments in 2008, while cancelling others so that I can have adequate time to restore my body and get my life back into order. At the moment, I plan to take a one year sabbatical from all platform ministry (speaking publicly) beginning in Oct 2008. It's been difficult to say "no" but I'm glad I did it. I feel God's peace in this decision.

I've been asking myself recently what I really want in life. I've come to the conclusion that all I want is relationship with God and to build healthier relationships with those most important to me. I want to know Jesus more. I want to know what it means to truly live in Christ. I feel like I'm getting my heart back, a little bit at least and God is teaching me what it means to live again.


At 1/27/2008 11:48:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be true, be honest,...dear pastor jaeson, I appreciate you very much!

Jesus loves you. I love you.

At 1/27/2008 06:37:00 PM , Blogger Philip said...

Dude, that's crazy. God is leading me down almost the exact same path of learning to re-discover intimacy with Him so I can carry it over to my relationships.
I'm very task oriented, so I tend to fill up my schedule in order to feel like I'm being purposeful. However, this past semester I had almost no time to spend in the Father's presence and got burned out as a result.
Now my primary mission is to re-discover intimacy with Abba Father and what's in His heart. Recently I stepped down from youth ministry; all I do now is fellowship, worship, and work 4 days a week. Fridays are my "God days", which I devoted almost entirely to simply sitting at Jesus' feet, like Mary of Bethany.
Praise God for changing our focus to what really matters. I pray we cross paths in the near future.

At 1/27/2008 08:43:00 PM , Blogger Brian Francis Hume said...

Jaeson, thank you for sharing your heart. Powerful stuff! I appreciate you humbling yourself to be honest concerning your own life. I have a personal story that I would like to share concerning my own journey of brokenness:
This isn't intended to toot my own horn, but rather to inspire others to pursue humility in Christ. Blessings!

At 1/27/2008 11:49:00 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

Very good post. I can relate in some ways. I've been learning that He is my inheritance; not destiny, vision, ministry and all the other things we get so zealous about that they end up becoming substitutes for our lack of Him.

I'm tired of the substitutes. He is the goal, I really want to partake of Him. Thanks for reminding us all. And thanks for giving us a window into your experience. I pray that others can learn from you and avoid those pitfalls. There aren't too many voices out there warning about these dangers, so I'm glad to hear yours. In fact, success and ministry growth are touted as the goal. It is so refreshing to hear you say otherwise. I respect your candidness and honesty. Thanks.

At 1/28/2008 12:11:00 AM , Anonymous Kezia said...

Hey Jae,

You know what, reading your post is like reflecting to my own life.
God’s been telling me the same things as you have posted here too. Like the ministry burn out (I have also decided to slow down a bit this year :)) to the message of empowering the next generation of leader. So your post basically has confirmed everything God has told me previously. Eureka! :)

Awesome! Anyhow, I hope I can discuss with you on how to start mentoring the next generation. God’s been speaking to me about this yet I am still confuse on how to start it since I don’t really have a spiritual mentor myself (other than the Holy Spirit of course). Maybe you can share one or two things about this to me.

Well, keep on writing and sharing bro!
-laugh a lot and be joyful always-

Be blessed!

At 1/28/2008 12:52:00 AM , Anonymous John Baw said...

Hi Jaeson, greetings from the Rock of Gibraltar! I am a regular reader of your blog, and I have to say that this last post has just blown me away, as I find myself in a similar place!

"God will never have you sacrifice relationship with Him to do ministry for Him." - May that be burned into my heart and conscience. I can see how MUCH of what I do in ministry is really a cry for affirmation, which is expressed through performance.

I now have to recover my heart.

Bless you Bro.!

At 1/28/2008 02:29:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are outstanding Pastor Jaeson...
simply outstanding...Praying for you in your journey with a rich relationship with Him. Thank you for giving up the good, to choose the best.

At 1/28/2008 07:58:00 AM , Blogger Stephanie said...


Thanks for sharing. The Lord is waking up our generation to Him - He is breaking us, stripping us and calling us to find ourselves in Him alone. Obviously, this is key to the Kingdom - as He is revealing more intimacy to His body on earth. He is head - sometimes it just takes the rest of the Body a bit longer to wake up:) Check out my most recent blog - It's the Martha Mary Paradox...

God Bless you

At 1/28/2008 08:57:00 AM , Blogger Coral Lean said...

what can i say... what a coincidence~ last month, when i was hitting my deadline for a christian mag's column, I had inspiration to tell how I spent my past 23 years from friend-centered, relationship-centered, achievement-centered, self-centered to Christ-centered.

^_* may God continue to use you in His ways.

At 1/28/2008 09:15:00 PM , Anonymous Abby said...

Jaeson :)

It must've taken you so much of your strength to write that post. Believe it or not, I really admire your humility and honesty. So many ppl can talk about how many good things are happening around them, but not everyone can be so open about the struggles happening in their lives. Thank you for taking the courage to be SO REAL. :)

I still remember back in HK when I had my skin problem for years, u prayed for me and said, "your hope is not in god's healing for you, but your hope is in His LOVE for you." When I changed the focus on His love, I started to sense his supernatural JOY! hoorah! hahaha and then, as u saw.. my skin really got healed after... woohoo! He's such a great God :) I pray that day and night His love would pour down on you extravagantly....and even as you go do ministry in Taiwan and HK, I pray that you'll be able to find God in the secret place, just as you found Him back in your freshmen dorm years ago. May He have his mobile presence with you always wherever you go! ;) And I pray that you'll be able to have those 'moments' with the ppl that you care most about over there. I am sure you will!

Hehe okay, Bless you OLD HK FRIEEEEND!!! :D Thanks for stopping by Toronto last week!
baii baii *fobby peace sign*!

At 1/29/2008 12:01:00 AM , Blogger Millie said...

For many, we try to leave God's sovereign work of isolation in our lives too early, but this can be dangerous because it proves His presence is still not enough.

--AMEN. i needed that. gracias!!

At 1/29/2008 06:52:00 AM , Blogger shaun said...

So good to read your thoughts here today. In my own way I can relate to your struggles, especially with the lack of isolation in my life. I am not in "ministry" so to speak, but I do work quite a lot, the problem is I have to. At least for now, But I am reminded of when I was in prison and the way that God used it for His glory. The times that I had alone with Him in prison are some of the best "moments " in my life. Keep keeping on brother.
Peace be with you

At 1/31/2008 12:26:00 AM , Blogger Wes said...

Jaeson - it takes wisdom to learn from your mistakes. You're displaying it.

It takes a brave man to admit his mistakes and shortcomings like you've done - be encouraged, brother. We serve a wonderful, loving, compassionate, patient Teacher - don't we? :)

At 1/31/2008 08:00:00 PM , Anonymous roger said...

Jaeson-- appreciate your honesty and heart. You are way ahead of schedule. I was 48 when I hit the wall of stress/depression from performance-driven life and ministry. There is nothing more powerful than discovering that we just ARE significant... period... without any doing. What a joy and relief to come to that place of rest in the Father's arms and to enjoy the relationships we are made for. Much love to you,
Roger Thoman

At 2/03/2008 01:40:00 AM , Anonymous Nebula said...

jaeson, i am so blessed by reading your entry. i feel like God has been doing the same thing in my life recently... asking me to slow down and take a breather from the stress of work. In fact, He pretty much took me out of my job abruptly, and although it was not the way I wanted to go, I praise His name because finally I feel at peace and actually rested. I've always valued my relationships and I think they were becoming a bit sour; now that I'm no longer working, I am happier and also I think I can improve my relationships. And it's true - relationships are truly such a gift from really can create such moments of pure joy and meaning that no pictures are needed; it'll stay with you forever anyways. I hope you create a lot of those moments, Jaeson, while resting and rekindling that intimate, child like intimacy with the Lord. He is good.

At 2/04/2008 06:25:00 AM , Anonymous Joyce Tseng said...

I'm a student from Taiwan, Tainan. I am surprised to what you wrote... you need to rest man!! You said you're going to rest, but you still came to Taiwan (Kaoshiung)and held the special meetings. Oh, you must be very tired talking for 2 days straight :( But I must thank you for that. You called us to be "campus missionaries" and that stroke me really hard. My bro and sis all said that I've changed.
I wish you can start resting, for it's important to take care of your body and your relationship with God. Your entry also gives me a warning not to be in a rush and forget what God really wants. I can now understand why my father keeps telling me to be "balanced" after I told him about the campus church planting plan. Take care! I will pray for you and of course, the revival. So don't worry about pacing yourself.

At 2/05/2008 12:52:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2/14/2008 06:44:00 PM , Anonymous Crystal said...

Thanks bro. Was blessed by this post.

You are God's Beloved Son and you are blessed.

At 2/18/2008 01:33:00 AM , Anonymous Andy said...

jaeson ,are you remember me? I am a boy in the Sabah Malaysia(2007).In th asia for Jesus evengelist,you pray for said "do you know jesus love you ?" "do you know you look is good" do you remember it ?I am the boy

At 2/22/2008 03:10:00 PM , Anonymous Tiffany said...

Hi Jaeson, though i've NEVER met you ..but God has been using u to speak 2 me so many times... and lately i'm in a place of waiting for the lord yet getting impatient. i've been asking the lord the meaning of the scripture on Elijah that he had been talking 2 me for this whole week, since i huv talked to my friend Lolly, whom just had a meal with you during ur trip in HK. the next day i went on ur blog.. i couldnt help crying and crying while i'm reading your blog.. THANK YOU SO MUCH JAESON, you are a heavenly example that God has chosen.THANK YOU SO MUCH

At 3/06/2008 01:56:00 PM , Blogger Vincent said...

praise God for transparency and honesty. perhaps we can say His power is made perfect in your weakness?

At 10/07/2008 12:14:00 AM , Anonymous Crystal said...

The message you have written up 8 months ago speak straight to me at this very moment, Jaeson! Thank you for the chance to learn and grow together in Christ, even though we don't know each other personally. I guess that's what special about being brother and sister in Him.

At 10/08/2008 11:56:00 PM , Anonymous Crystal said...

Furthermore...I have to tell you that you have made the very right choice. You just have to stop, in order to start another new page in growing in Christ. And what happened in the past few years were precious because those days are leading you to where you are now. I was happy to see the "then" Jaeson, and even more thankful to see the "now" you. Jaeson, you are truly a blessing to many lives - not because of the impressive job you did in the past, but actually by stopping what you have been doing and show us with your action what is truly important. Looking forward to seeing a fresh Jaeson living moments with beloved Jesus!


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