Pilgrimage Tour: Day 5—Jesus Isn’t All I Need

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 5—Jesus Isn’t All I Need
For all posts thus far in the Pilgrimage Tour series, click here.

Jesus isn’t all you need.

This may go against everything you’ve ever heard about God. But hear me out.

What do we mean when we say, “All I need is Jesus”? If it is something like, “I don’t need anyone else in my life to be who I need to be… All I need is God,” then I’m afraid that this simply isn’t true.

I found this out in a very real way as I began to hike. Continue reading “Pilgrimage Tour: Day 5—Jesus Isn’t All I Need”

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Pilgrimage Tour: Day 4—(Re)Imagining “the Valley”

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 4—(Re)Imagining “the Valley”
For all posts thus far in the Pilgrimage Tour series, click here.

What do you think about when you think of a valley?

Most likely, you think about a dark place. A place of sorrow. A place of mourning, depression, and despair. I know I do.

The goal is the mountaintop, right? To get past the misery and desolation, finally receiving the joy and victory that comes on the top of the mountain.

All of those clichés seemed really nice—until I began to climb a mountain. Continue reading “Pilgrimage Tour: Day 4—(Re)Imagining “the Valley””

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 3—Hear Now the Confession of Your People

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 3—Hear Now the Confession of Your People
For all posts thus far in the Pilgrimage Tour series, click here.

I have a confession to make: I’m bad at confessing.

Growing up, I was the kid who found pride in being as good as possible. Doing all the right things, knowing all the right answers, and making all the right choices. My identity was built around being as airtight of a human being as possible.

Until I realized that, no matter how much I fooled myself, this simply wasn’t the case.

Around 5 years ago, I started to become more aware of my own fallenness, my own inescapable brokenness. I, like Isaiah in chapter 6 of his book, came face to face with a holy God and couldn’t help but to reply, “Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips.”

But, even though my awareness has heightened, part of me still wants to hold on to this idea that I’ve got it all together.

That’s why confession is hard for me. Continue reading “Pilgrimage Tour: Day 3—Hear Now the Confession of Your People”

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 2—Fasting, Fires, and Feasting

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 2—Fasting, Fires, and Feasting
For all posts thus far in the Pilgrimage Tour series, click here.

Every time, I’ve ever fasted, it’s felt pretty useless. You’re apparently supposed to pray more or read your Bible when you usually eat, but all I end up doing is thinking about how hungry I am. So, I usually get frustrated at that and tell myself, “Just go ahead and eat while you pray and read your Bible.”

That’ll balance it out.

Alas, it was day two of the pilgrimage tour and the discipline for the day was fasting. The bag of Cheez-its I brought to snack on would just have to sit idly by in my pack all day. We weren’t going to eat until late that night, after an 11 hour journey from Kansas City to Colorado Springs. There, we would be welcomed with a beautiful feast, catered by Olive Garden and provided by the church we were crashing at that night.

And the Church said, “Amen.” Continue reading “Pilgrimage Tour: Day 2—Fasting, Fires, and Feasting”

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 1—Prayer, Expectation, and Otherness

Pilgrimage Tour: Day 1—Prayer, Expectation, and Otherness
For all posts thus far in the Pilgrimage Tour series, click here.

As we awoke in Chattanooga, the Pilgrimage Tour group knew that we were most likely as rested as we were going to be on the entire trip. Still, we had a long day ahead of us, with plans to arrive in Kansas City, MO by that evening.

Our first spiritual discipline of the trip was prayer and Kansas City—which ironically isn’t in Kansas—is home to IHOP, the International House of Prayer (although I’m sure there’s a pancake place up there somewhere as well). They are world renown for their worship music, preachers, and, probably most famously, their 24/7 non-stop prayer and worship services.

They are also notably and undeniably charismatic. Continue reading “Pilgrimage Tour: Day 1—Prayer, Expectation, and Otherness”

Pilgrimage Tour: Introduction

Pilgrimage Tour: Introduction

From July 29 through August 9, I joined a group of 23 people for a 12 day pilgrimage across the United States of America. We packed ourselves into two 15 passenger vans and filled our hearts with imagination and expectancy. Over 4000 miles of driving, 60 hours in the vans, seven days of camping, four days of hiking, and two national parks.

Pilgrimage Tour 2015.

Though it was a trip with a church, it was unlike any church trip I’ve been on. Usually, it’s the youth camps, or the winter retreats, or the mission trips. But, those trips all have one thing in common: a destination. We may go to a campground to spend a week there, or a city to spend a weekend there, or a foreign country to spend a month there.

But, this trip was different.

Even though we had stops along the way, this trip wasn’t about a destination. It was about the journey.  Continue reading “Pilgrimage Tour: Introduction”