Friday, September 28, 2007

BETTER THAN ME

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" - Philipians 2:3

I'm nearly ok with treating others like they're as good as I am, but "better than I am"? I don't know if I'm ready for that.

I used to be in a band with three other guys. I was the lead vocalist and lyricist. Early on I told all of them they had permission to kick my butt if they ever felt like I was getting too prideful or self-absorbed. Luckily, they all were quite eager to provide a butt-kicking to my ego whenever necessary, and I managed to hold my pride in check for nearly five years.

Actually, my ego was still incredibly virile, but I shudder to imagine what it would have been like had my band-mates not engaged in actively serving me large helpings of humble pie.

"Humility is a virtue so beyond my understanding that should I achieve it, I would be proud of myself" - Benjamin Franklin

Someone once defined a prideful person as someone who spends too much time thinking about themselves and not enough time thinking about me. I can relate.

As an only child I've never had any trouble thinking of myself, or how everything in the Universe relates to me, or to who I am or what I want. Maybe I'm so fascinated by the discipline of humility because I realize that I am most lacking of this quality?

Andrew Murray once said, "Humility is not thinking less of myself, it is not thinking of myself at all."

If this is so, I've got a long way to go towards humility.

The verse in Philipians urges us to consider others as being better than ourselves. I struggle with treating people as being on par with myself, to be honest. The idea of putting the needs of others above my own is still not the same as behaving as if everyone around me is actually better than I am. I can put the needs of others above my own needs and still believe that the people I'm serving are less important or intelligent than I am. What I'm called to do in this verse is to consider others through the lens of humility, and to see them as better than I am, as more deserving of honor and service than I am.

Again, God's Word compels us to throw ourselves on His mercy and confess that we are not capable of such selflessness. It's just not in me to love others sacrificially, or to serve them joyfully, or to regard them as more important than I am. It's just not.

That's where we have to fall on our knees and pray that God would transform us into the sorts of people who are capable of loving and serving this way. I need to beg God for the kind of humility that actually believes that others around me are better than I am. This means believing that I am not as fabulous as I think I am. It means humbling myself before God, and even before other people, so that God can work in me, and through me. My heart needs to be softened, like clay, so that God's fingerprints can be seen in my life as He kneads and twists and forms my heart into the shape of His Son's.

One interesting thing about the Kingdom of God is that to enter it you must first humble yourself, (see Mark 10:14-15). That's because the Kingdom of God is quite simply that place where the absolute will of God is done. This means that God is King, and that you and I are not. So, if we will not humble ourselves and submit to God's will in every way, we cannot enter the Kingdom. Better said, when we refuse to humble ourselves, we have left the Kingdom of God and entered our own Kingdom, where our will is done.

Even Jesus began his ministry by humbling himself to become flesh, to be born to a simple, poor family, and even to lay down his life for us all. (see Phil 2:5-8) See, God went first. He humbled Himself before us. He submitted Himself to us first, and even when we were putting nails through His hands and feet, He continued to surrender to us in order to rescue us from our sins.

I believe that is why Jesus set the example of washing his disciples feet. He humbled himself before them, served them as a slave would serve his master, and then said, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you...Now that you know these things, you will blessed if you do them." (John 13:15;17)

God has a lot to say about pride, and as I go through my life I have seen the wisdom of these words played out numerous times. "God opposes the proud, but gives Grace to the humble." (Proverbs 3:34)

This is good news, because I need Grace in greater measure every single day. If humility is the only way to receive this Grace, I am more than willing to be humbled, and to remain there, so that the Grace of God may shower down on my life like warm summer rain.

Let it rain.
kg

**

Monday, September 24, 2007

WEEKEND RECAP

MOTEL MINISTRY
On Saturday our house church family from "The Mission" went to serve the residents at the California Studio Inn in Santa Ana.

We had a bounce house for the kids, plus toys, clothes and books to give away, along with tons of free groceries.

You can read a lot more about what happened and look a lot of pictures of the day over at
http://www.MissionHouseChurch.com

My friends at Soul Survivor Church in Costa Mesa have also expressed a desire to partner with us in this ministry going forward. I can't wait to start working side-by-side with our brothers and sisters at SS.

MINISTRY TO PROSTITUTES?
This is a recurring theme for me. Ever since I first discovered that there were girls trapped in this lifestyle only a few miles from my house I've been praying about what to do to provide a way out for these girls.

I've lead a team from Soul Survivor Church to go out and pray for the girls, but we had mixed results. We realized that relationship is really the only thing that will have any impact. So, now we're praying at The Mission about stepping back into this ministry again...and I wasn't the one who brought it up, which makes me believe that God is stirring others in our group to step out and give themselves away in this fashion.

I'll be sure to provide updates on how this progresses....

THE MISSION
We had such an awesome Sunday together yesterday. I was blessed beyond words to realize what God has done, and what He has accomplished in everyone's life, at this house church that meets in our home. I am truly amazed that these people are such a part of my own family, and how all of us are really, seriously, family to one another. It's a beautiful thing!

OVER THE RHINE
Last night Wendy and I went with the Wright family (Jason and Heather from The Mission...Heather's an artist and her website is linked below on the left-hand side) went to see Over The Rhine at The Coach House. It was pure musical joy. I never wanted it to end.

NON-CON '08
I just need to get a few final details nailed down and soon I'll be able to open the online registration for the NON-CON '08 with Jackie Pullinger and David Ruis. Details here:
http://www.Non-Con.com

Monday, September 17, 2007

MAKE SOME NOISE

One of the most consistently brilliant blogs out there right now is written by my friend Mike Burns. The last three posts at his blog are worthy of mentioning here, but you need to go there yourself, book-mark his blog and read him often.

ILLEGAL TO FEED THE HOMELESS? (from Mike's blog):

"For a little background, the city of Orlando has recently passed a law making it illegal to feed anyone in a prominent city park where much of the city's homeless population congregates..."

"This legislation was passed last spring, and as far as I know, not one local Church or religious leader has done anything to stand against this unjust law. The only groups that have publicly stood against this law have been social rights groups and the ACLU..."

(more in this link)
http://emergingmission.blogspot.com/2007/09/breaking-law-by-feeding-hungry.html

Why have Christians and followers of Jesus (not always the same thing, mind you) done nothing to protest this? Is it because they are not actively serving and feeding the hungry? Is that why they've not noticed the change?

Are we willing to be arrested for feeding the poor?

ORLANDO BANS FEEDING HOMELESS DOWNTOWN
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/25/AR2006072500835.html

Once again, city governments respond to homelessness by making it a crime to be homeless. This is not a solution. Criminalizing homelessness does not make it go away, it does not help those who are in need. Criminalizing those who help the homeless is the worst response of all. Let's discourage people, everyday citizens, from getting involved in the process. Let's divorce ourselves from the resource of human compassion.

Yeah...that's a great solution.

I ask you to forward this info to your friends. This will come to your hometown soon, you can count on that. Speak up now or it will be something all of us will have to face soon enough.

Let's spread this news around. Let's speak out.

How can we call ourselves follwers of this radical Jesus and sit quietly in the face of injustice?

kg

Friday, September 14, 2007

Updates on the NON-CON '08 website

I've created two new pages linked off the main page of the Non-Con '08 website.

Click here to see:
http://www.non-con.com

The event Schedule is up for both days, including workshop titles, facilitator biographies, an interactive map to the event (thanks to Google) and listings, info and maps to four area hotels for you out-of-towners to make reservations.

The only major thing still missing is the online registration link. I promise to have it up by the end of this month.

The exciting thing is that I've had people dogging me to get it all ready so they can register NOW...and it's not until March of next year!

Wow.

Remember, only 100 seats will be available. This will be small on purpose and I am guaranteeing you now that we will not have another Non-Con in 2009. If you miss this one you've really missed it.

For now, go check the goodies on the official Non-Con site here:
http://www.non-con.com

kg

Monday, September 10, 2007

While You Wait...




As the finishing touches are put on my soon-to-be-released book, "The Gospel: For Here Or To Go?", I decided to put together a collection of some of the "classic" Subversive articles I wrote for RelevantMagazine.com back in the day.


The collection is nearly 200 pages long and contains some of my personal favorites like, "What If Jesus Could Be You For 24 Hours?", "Christianity 0.0", "Nobody Follows Jesus", and "The Wrong Question". (You can see the cover image above).


I'll make it available to the public in a few weeks (once I've proofed the copy on the actual book which is in the mail to me at the moment).


Soon you'll be able to pick up this collection and the complete version of "The Gospel:FHOTG?" right here.


Keep your eyes open...


Peas,

kg

Friday, September 07, 2007

HOUSE CLEANING at KeithGiles.com

House Cleaning at KeithGiles.com

A few of the links that formerly graced the left-hand sidebar of this blog have been removed.

Here's what you missed:
GO TO THE [SUBVERSIVE UNDERGROUND] FORUM!
*A good idea that never took off. Only about 5 people ever posted here and it's time to officially let it die. Thanks to all of you who hung out there and posted. It was fun while it lasted, which wasn't very long.

SHOP THE [SUBVERSIVE UNDERGROUND] WEBSTORE
*No one but me wants to wear a [Subversive Underground] t-shirt with glow-in-the-dark letters? What about a "Change The Status Quo (C.T.S.Q.)" tee? No? Oh well…

ENGAGE 06- DAVID RUIS a.m PODCAST
ENGAGE 06- DAVID RUIS p.m.PODCAST
*Sadly, these two incredible messages by my friend David Ruis are now offline. Only available on CD now, directly from me and/or the good people at Soul Survivor USA.

DAVID RUIS:MOMENTUM 06 PODCAST "MUSTARD SEED"
TODD HUNTER:MOMENTUM 06 PODCAST "EVANGELISM"
MIKE PILAVACHI: PODCAST "THE ONE"
*Again, each of these amazing messages have disappeared from the SS:USA podcast page so that means they're dead links. Sorry if you missed these. They were each profoundly awesome messages.

Keith's MYSPACE site
*I never go there anymore. Too much sleaze. I think the rest of the world will soon nuke their own MySpace sites, or trade them in for Ning or something more robust and less sleazy. No one there was really your "Friend" anyway. Live with it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Steve Sjogren's "Serve!" Web-Zine

My article "An Actual Point In Time" is now online at Steve Sjogren's "Serve!" web-zine here:

http://www.serve-others.com/issue12/index.cfm

The actual article is linked here:
http://www.serve-others.com/issue12/index.cfm?id=12&ref=ARTICLES%5FDEEP%20THOUGHTS%5F99

*I think the original article was under a different title actually, but that's ok.

kg

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Creative Marketing Examples



Want to see what happens when a team of intelligent marketers get together to create a focused, intentional campaign?


Here's what it looks like:
http://inventorspot.com/articles/amnesty_marketing_6120
kg



Life so far...


Over the Labor Day weekend my family went to Legoland with my brother-by-choice Lito and his family. Nothing we saw there was as cool as this image, however.
My third week at work has found traction as assignments pile up on my plate. Yowza! Gotta get up to speed now.
I've got an new article posting every other week over at TheOoze.com starting with "Jesus' Favorite Question" this week and another new article on Sept. 15 ("What if Jesus Could be You for 24 Hours?") and another on October 1st ("Judge Not"), and another on October 19th, ("Destroy the (Christian) Subculture!"). My column over at www.Ginkworld.net is finally updated with the latest installment of the "Top 10 Things Every Christian Should Know (But Probably Doesn't)" series. I intend to collect this series into a book with supplemental material early next year.
In other news, I discovered an autographed copy of Philip K. Dick's "Now Wait For Last Year" at my local library. The book was published in 1966, the year I was born. So amazing.
I've been getting the itch lately to return to some of my sci-fi stories-in-progress like "UV:Target (Made In China)" and "Durango Silver". I'm trying to supress this urge in order to finish up my other book projects first.
Next month Wendy and I will celebrate our 18th Wedding Anniversary.
Whoa.
kg