Blog, God + Spirituality, Ministry + Missions, Personal Growth + Wholeness

Frank Thoughts on Faith


I may have returned to a familiar land, but there is nothing familiar about the journey I have been on this year. Kris Vallotton shared something recently that resonated with my heart, describing exactly what this year has been like for me so far:


“Often times you have to give up to go up. I mean sometimes you have to let go of something you love doing to embrace your divine destiny. It’s hard to leave what you know well to follow God into your unfolding mystery.” – Kris Vallotton


Mostly what I’m doing these days seems like jumping off a cliff into an unknown mystery, but it’s not like I am just ‘randomly’ taking steps. Yes, I’ve certainly surprised myself with every decision I’ve made this year, but it’s as if I am being led by an unseen Hand, and I’ve decided to entrust my entire life to follow Another’s lead.

These days, I am often reminded of a talk that one of my YWAM spiritual fathers, Frank Naea, shared a couple years back at a YWAM national gathering in New Zealand. I hastily jotted down a million little one-liner nuggets of wisdom in my journal as Frank was throwing these spiritual goodies out.

At the time, my life was in upheaval, there were so many questions left unanswered for the future, so many new things coming around the corner. I was on the verge of a huge international move. With all this on my plate, I just ate up everything Frank was saying. Fast forward almost two years later, after shifting hemispheres, I’ve still got so many unknowns in my life, so many unanswered questions.

I think it’s time to hear what Frank has to say again. And I thought I’d bring you in on the goodness.

Frank started out telling all of us that he was there to talk to us about NOTHING. Literally, when he asked God what he should talk about, God showed him a big fat ZERO in his spirit.

He went on to share about our father in the faith, Abraham, and how Abraham’s big commission to “go ye” came in the form of “not knowing”. The call was full of question marks, uncertainty, and left him completely out of control. You see, it says in the book of Hebrews:


By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. – Hebrews 11:8 NKJV


Go figure. Our father in the faith went out ‘not knowing.’ How ironic is that? Does anyone else find that somewhat hilarious?

All was not organized. Nothing was planned (as far as Abraham could see). Of course, God had much up that big sleeve of His, but did God disclose the details to Abe ahead of time? Nope. He left the whole thing under wraps.

God likes to do that! He seems to be a parent who likes to surprise His kids, keeping us in suspense for what’s around the corner. And it drives us nuts, doesn’t it? Whatever happened to our childlike sense of adventure? I’ve asked myself that very question so many times in this season…

Interestingly, I’d like to point out that Abraham ‘not knowing’ the details was what qualified him for the Hebrews Hall of Faith, memorializing him for generations to come. Interesting, indeed…


A New Perspective on Faith?

We often think of faith as holding on to all that we ‘know’ that God is speaking to us about, and seeing it come to pass. Yes, that is partially true, but maybe it’s not a full picture of the faith that God wants us to experience.

I’m beginning to discover that faith may be more about holding on to a God I know while being asked by this God to step forward on an unknown path, ‘not knowing’ where it will lead.

Could this be real faith?

Let’s see what Frank has to say,


“We desperately want something organized and planned but God asks us to go and step forward without knowing. Abraham received the mantle of authority from God by going out ‘not knowing’! He is the father of ‘not knowing’, our father in the faith! This place of ‘not knowing’ is not a place of being lost. It’s a confirmation that you’re on the right track.” – Frank Naea




Not knowing the plan or the details is confirmation you’re on the right track?!


Okay, I’m sorry Frank. I just had a little freak-out moment there. You can take the mic back now,


“We get distracted by the obsession that we must ‘know it’. You already have the answer, it’s just not the one you want. You’re ‘not to know’. You’re to go out ‘not knowing’.” – Frank Naea


Okay, my mind is reeling! This stuff is threatening my comfortable little world! How do I find rest and security in ‘not knowing’, Frank?


“When all the variables are not fixed, HE IS.” – Frank Naea


In the midst of NOT KNOWING, we can KNOW God. Everything can blow up in our lives, but God is constant. God is stable. God is secure. God is a fixed foundation.

Faith is more about trusting who God is, rather than knowing what’s going on.

I think Frank has a few more things to say to continue his assault on my idea of faith,


“Do you want normal, standard, measured, calculated and planned? There is a father who can lead you down that road, but it is not the father of our faith. Do you want a father in faith who went out ‘not knowing’? Can you live in that tension, the place of ‘not knowing’? Do you ‘not know’? That means you qualify! You’re in! You’re just like Abraham, your father in the faith of ‘not knowing’! This uncertainty of yours does not disqualify you! Rather, it includes you in the great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 11, the Great Hall of Faith! When you lay down having to know every detail about your dreams, then you’ll be able to finally receive His dreams. How do you qualify for God dreams? Well, it’s as simple as ‘I don’t know’. He knows. You don’t have to.” – Frank Naea


Let that mess with you! It certainly messes with me. Your uncertainty is your qualification for faith. That’s a head-shaker. I can just imagine the conversation that went on between God and Abraham,


God: “So, will you go?”
Abe: “Okay. Where are we going?”
God: “I’ll tell you when we get there.”


Most of us would have said no. But Abraham said yes. That’s an adventurous spirit, I’d say. What’s at the heart of his adventurous spirit? A trusting heart, and a willingness to do whatever his God has spoken, no matter how little detail he’s given ahead of time.

Frank goes on to give us a little helpful guidance for this unknown faith journey,


“Be prepared to continually lay down and surrender to what you don’t know. And just remember the testimonies of the family of God, past and present, and take those stakes and drive them into the ground and extend the tent pegs of your dwelling. God is saying, ‘I am taking you to places that you have not yet anticipated. And it’s not because of your capacity and your qualifications. All I need is your willingness that you’ll go with Me even if you don’t know.’” – Frank Naea


Be assured that you don’t know! And that’s okay. Totally okay. Who knew that a big fat ZERO and the fact that you know ‘NOTHING’ is the very thing that qualifies you to take the faith journey you’re on right now.

Let’s chew on that one for a while now…


Blog, God + Spirituality, Guest Posts, Ministry + Missions, Personal Growth + Wholeness, Relationships

Rethinking Relationship [Guest Post]

I’m super stoked to introduce my friend, Tyler Cox, to all of you! Tyler and his lovely wife, Heather, co-lead the church plant, Legacy Life Centre, that I am a part of. I’ve been bugging him to write for me for a while now because he has such depth of wisdom and humility (a great combo) and, most of all, he loves people well. I think you’ll see what I mean as he shares his heart on the topic of relationships here…

I think if you were to ask most people what the most important thing in life is, the thing at the end of life they would want to have experienced, their answer would have a lot to do with their relationships. Most people, when they breathe their last breath would wish to be surrounded by their closest family; they would want to laugh and cry and share a few more moments of intimacy before they leave.

If you think about the most significant things in your life, they are more than likely attached to your relationships. This is what we were created for, every one of us: close, intimate relationships, full of unconditional love. When we don’t have these relationships, things can go really wrong. We can miss God’s purpose for our life.

Our purpose always runs through a person, or better, through a people. God has a home for every one of us, a place where our roots go deep and where we grow big, strong and healthy. These are the places where we find our destiny. If it is through relationship, both with God and others, that we find and fulfill our destiny, then in a lot of ways we need to redefine the way we think about relationships. The people we are close with aren’t a means to an end or a ticket to success; they aren’t just there for a season and then gone for the next. They are the people God wants us to do life with, the people we are called to. Psalm 92:12-14 says,

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green.”

Being planted means we are established as part of a local church. It means we are steadfast, faithful and immovable. God loves when our roots grow deep because we stay fresh, we don’t lose our vigour and we always produce fruit for His kingdom.

Think about it.

Have you ever seen a tree just pick up and move, dragging its roots along with it? It doesn’t happen because the tree would die if it uprooted itself.

In many ways, when we are constantly on the move, hopping from church to church or refusing to settle down, we stop producing fruit. We can grow tired and disillusioned and, at worst, we become a poor representation of our King and His kingdom.

The beautiful thing is God is always wooing us to become a part of something more than ourselves; He will always give you an opportunity to partake in the sweetness of fellowship. (Psalm 55:14)

Here are some good examples of what I am talking about:

Joshua was strong because he refused to leave Moses. He found his destiny because he submitted his heart to the mission of his spiritual father.

Ruth became Jesus’ ancestral grandmother because she found a home with Naomi.

Elisha was used as a powerful vessel for God’s kingdom because he stuck by Elijah, even when Elijah told him to beat it!

Jesus was at home in his earthly father’s house, working as a carpenter until the age of 30, and we all know what happened after.

Paul and Timothy, David and Jonathan, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Bible is full of the kind of relationships that are grounded in faithfulness and steadfastness.

God Himself is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in complete undisrupted unity for all time. Unified relationship is the model of heaven. We always pray for heaven to come to earth; I don’t think it has to look very complicated. It looks like people who love each other, who stick by each other through thick and thin and who pull the Kingdom of Heaven to earth together. We can do good things alone — we can do great things together.

Perhaps the reason the entire world has not yet seen the full power of the kingdom of God is because His sons and daughters are not acting like sons and daughters.

Our roots are shallow because we skip to one place and hop to the next, trying to catch the next ‘wave of the spirit’ or the next great move of God. Sometimes we act like Holy Spirit chasers instead of recognizing the gift of God and the power at hand right in front of us.

We lack the intimacy (into-me-see) sons and daughters know. Intimacy heals us and when we don’t have it we can never truly be made whole. We are hurt in relationship, but when we are in the right ones, we are restored and made whole.

I think the world is waiting for a generation of Ruth’s who will rise up and say to each other,

“Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay.”

If there is one thing the people of the kingdom of God need to manifest now more than ever it is a love for each other so deep the world can’t help but take notice. The world is starved for authentic, pure love; for a long time, kingdom people have been starving for the same thing. God is putting an end to independent ways of living and thinking. And that’s really good news for us.


[Featured Photo: Creative Commons, WackyBadger]

About the Author:

Pic_Tyler_Heather My name is Tyler Cox. My wife Heather and I, along with a bunch of other awesome people, started a church in Huntsville, Ontario in October 2012. We live in Huntsville with our 6-month old son. Our heart is to see the earth look like heaven and to see His kingdom come through fathers, mothers, sons and daughters walking together in oneness. (Facebook, Twitter)


Blog, God + Spirituality, Guest Posts, Ministry + Missions, Personal Growth + Wholeness, Relationships

Discipleship: Who has God given you? [Guest Post]

Tucked away in a little corner of Northern Ontario is a God-loving community of young adults with huge hearts and huge vision. One of the leaders is my friend, Peter Zantingh, who I’m stoked to have as a guest writer on the blog today. He’s radical in his love for God yet down to earth; he faithfully lives out the message that he’ll be sharing with us here. You’ll be challenged personally to evaluate how you live your life and how you approach your whole concept of ‘ministry and missions’. I know I have been…



It was four years ago that I heard a message from the well-known Christian artist Jason Upton. I have heard many messages and rarely do I remember who, where, and even what was said. Yet, I took a nugget from Upton that day and have not forgotten this simple yet significant statement,

“Just look at the people around you and love them. Ask yourself, ‘Who are the people God has given you?’

Upton was speaking about community and relationship. He spoke about not having to look far to make a difference and to begin to be intentional about the relationships around us. The people around us are the ones with whom we regularly make contact with in our everyday lives. These people range from our close family, church family, work peers, cashiers, etc. These are exactly the ones that God has called us to. We can then seek to love, grow together and simply just ‘do life with’. It is in our local communities and spheres that we can begin to ask God who he has given to us.

Jason Upton spoke from the context of John 17. In this chapter we read about Jesus reciting his famous prayer. First, Jesus prays for his disciples. Then he prays for the ones that will believe. When we read the prayer closely we find what Upton and I believe to be a simple key to discipleship and modeling Jesus. In verse 6 it reads,

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept my word.”

God had specifically given Jesus his disciples. Jesus had just spent nearly 3 years pouring his life out and giving his heart intentionally to twelve men. Here in this culminating prayer, Jesus says in verse 4,

“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”

peter_nephews_bwJesus’ accomplishment came when he successfully loved and manifested Father God to the disciples God had given him. This prayer preceded the cross and the resurrection, so Jesus could not have been talking about accomplishing all that he was sent to do, but Jesus was speaking of his accomplishment in successfully raising his disciples.

In verse 18-20 we read that just as God sent Jesus into the world, Jesus now sends his disciples into the world. Jesus then prays for the ones that will believe in him through their words. Thus begins the discipleship cycle. Jesus reproduced in his disciples and then they were released to reproduce.

I believe God has called us to make disciples and he has specific people that he has given us just as he had given Jesus. Just look in your community. There are numerous people around you. I believe, maybe, just maybe, God has simply called us not to go anywhere without first loving those around us.

Jesus is the Messiah; he came to redeem the world, yet in his ministry he is not seen frantically running around trying to convert as many people as he possibly can while he is on earth. He is not seen jumping onto a camel’s back riding to China or Africa to go preach the gospel of the kingdom. Jesus is not seen sailing over to Rome to have a huge crusade in the coliseum. Jesus, for the most part, was a local man and stayed quite local.

When he is in Jerusalem it seems he doesn’t favour the large crowds. He is definitely not advertising to draw as many people as he can. He seems content just being with his disciples before a large crowd gathered and he gave the famous Sermon on the Mount. Afterward, he requests to be taken to the other side of the lake to escape and have a nap in a boat being tossed in a storm.

It seems to me that the most defined purpose to Jesus’ ministry was simply being with those God had given him. He was very intentional about pouring his life out and giving his heart to the ones that were to carry his ministry once He left. Jesus was investing in order to leave a legacy. Jesus knew that if he just passed the baton on, and his disciples would do the same, the gospel of the kingdom would reach every nation. God’s mission for Jesus did not die when he ascended, but it continued on in his disciples.

So, what we can take from this is that the very people we are in contact with everyday are the ones that we are called to. We need to focus our lives on loving those close to upeter_youth_bws, growing together and seeking to disciple those around us. When we ask God, he will give us disciples and people who we are called to ‘do life with’.

Personally, I have had the joy of leading some young kids to the Lord and later baptizing them. On the day I baptized them it felt as if I had begotten them through the gospel, just as Paul had written about Timothy. The day I baptized these kids I was completely filled with joy. At the same time it was sobering because I could not escape the new responsibility to raise these young kids up in the kingdom.

That is what I believe God is desiring for us, to have deep relationships with people we will spend our whole lives pouring into. That is the only way we can leave a legacy and a spiritual inheritance. It is not very hard to find someone in your local community who is ripe for harvest and discipleship. The problem is that we are not looking. We are waiting for the next spiritual high for ourselves. We are hoping for some amazing encounter with God. If we want an amazing encounter with God, we just need to encounter discipleship; it will cause you to live outside of yourself.

Let us follow Jesus’ model to reproduce and multiply. We don’t need to start with 12 as he did, but start with one, just one. Go for it. The Kingdom of God, summed up in one word, is ‘family’, and it is expressed in two words ‘fathers’ and ‘sons’.

 About the Author


My name is Peter Zantingh. I live in a house. I am 25 years young. I am a youth leader and a church plant leader with Legacy Life Centre. I am not lazy. I love discipleship, nations and the Father heart of God. You can find me on Twitter.

Blog, God + Spirituality, Guest Posts, Ministry + Missions

“You are the light of the world.” [Guest Post]

Introducing my latest guest writer on the blog today, my Kiwi friend, Jon Slack! I met Jon and his colourful and lovely Norwegian wife, Mari, a couple years ago while living in New Zealand with YWAM. They had recently moved back to Christchurch, after years serving YWAM Brisbane, Australia. Today, Jon challenges us to see Jesus and  people in a new light, and live with a new perspective. Jon likes to do that. Challenge you. Ruffle your feathers a little! Here’s Jon…

“You are the light of the world.”

And you know what? We get it. Jesusold us that we are the ones the world looks to to see his light. Sure, sometimes we don’t shine as bright as we should, but we at least recognise our role as light givers to this dark world.

Jesus’ saying can also be read from a different angle. When the world goes to see what Jesus – and what God himself – is like, they see us. They see the church. They see us in all our brokenness, in all our fragility, in all our stubbornness and hurt. But they also see us in our joy and passion, in our willingness to perceiver, in our desire for transformation, in our journeys of redemption. Maybe the light is a little dim at times, but its still shining pretty bright.

It’s also through us that the world comes to see what Jesus feels towards different groups; how we respond tells people how Jesus responds. So, when people look at how we act towards certain groups what can they see?

They see a Jesus who cares for the poor. How do they see that? Our record may not be perfect, but we sure are making an effort to use our wealth to bless others. World Vision, Compassion International and such ministries (not to mention the millions of supporters with pictures of African kids on the fridge) show that the poor and needy matter to Jesus.

They see a Jesus who cares for the lost. How? Through the many ministries that seek to share the gospel. Through the many believers willing to befriend strangers. Through those who, in our feeble attempts, manage to share who our Jesus is to us and why he matters.

They see a Jesus who cares for outsiders, those who do not ‘belong.’ How? By the fact that Christians seldom see God as being solely “our god”, as if he is somehow our possession. Instead, we see God’s blessings being for all and therefore share indiscriminately.

They see a Jesus who cares for youth. How? Because we provide room for them to grow, to be nurtured, to cause trouble. They see a Jesus who cares for the elderly. How? Because we are those who don’t forget them, who provide places of rest for them. They see a Jesus who cares for the disabled. How? Because we don’t shun them but welcome them into the community, treating them as equally human. They see a Jesus who cares for the troubled. How? Because we provide counsel and support, love and guidance.

There is, however, a group we have largely forgotten about. Or, perhaps we just don’t want to think about them. And before you make a guess as to where I’m going, your probably wrong. Yes, there are many groups we could do a better job with (including those I mentioned above), but one that seldom comes on the Christian radar is the new agers. For years we have ranted about how dangerous this movement is, but very few of us have taken the time to ask Jesus how he sees them. In my country of New Zealand I know of no ministry focusing on this group. There are a couple in Australia, the USA and the UK, but they are pretty scarce. Yet, estimates suggest that new agers will eventually outnumber Christians in the western world. And, funnily enough, our response to the movement is about 3 decades out of date!

If we were to look at the churches’ response, the ones called to mirror Jesus to this world, we would conclude that Jesus has no interest in new agers.

Imagine if the world Jesus explored was to crash into our world. Who do we picture Jesus meeting? We have no trouble seeing him dine with tax collectors, and can happily picture him enjoying an evening at Denny’s with a group of sleezy business men. We take no issue with him blessing prostitutes, so the notion of Jesus spending evenings in the red light district of Bangkok seems natural. We are delighted to read how he healed the lame, diseased, demonized – people on the margins of society because of their ailments – so we wouldn’t be shocked if Jesus were to spend extra time in hospitals or even hanging out with beneficiaries, ex-cons, single mothers, drug addicts, Bieber-fans.

If we find it so easy to imagine Jesus entering into these elements of our world, why have so few of us ever imagined him entering a new age fair, a hippie store, a tarot reading booth? Perhaps its because there are no neat parallels in the gospels that bridge from Jesus’ world to this new-age element of today’s world. … Well, actually, that simply isn’t the case. In fact, there was one group Jesus interacted with that profoundly parallels the new agers of our day. For Jews, the Samaritans were a deviant group who had lost their way; they should have known better, but they had distorted the truth and gone totally off track. Without going into detail, new agers should be seen as the ‘Samaritans’ of our western world.

Suddenly the Gospels have a lot to say about how Jesus would interact with hippies today. Think of the new age women at the well (John 4). Jesus doesn’t leap to rebuke her, but enters into a gracious dialogue. He doesn’t leap to correct her as soon as she says something questionable, but instead uses her faulty perspective to point to himself. He doesn’t throw a bunch of christianese at her, but uses her own language to reveal his identity. Suddenly we discover that Jesus would have approached new agers quite differently to us Christians.

It’s time for a change. As Jesus’ hands and feet, its time for us to GO to where these people are and embrace them, just as Jesus would.

*Photo Credit: Free Artistic Photos, Creative Commons

 About the Author:

jonslack_picJon is a globe-trotting, God loving, missionally minded New Zealander whose purpose in life is to train and equip disciples who will go out and engage with God, embracing his visions for the world. Presently Jon is involved in leadership training with YWAM Oxford, teaching at Laidlaw Bible College, co-writing a book about Jesus and the religions, as well as contemplating writing a Masters thesis on the Gospel and the New Spirituality. Facebook and Twitter.


Blog, Ministry + Missions, News + Updates

My February USA Trip [UPDATE]
Silly Ali
“Gettin’ my silly stare on!”

So, as I finish out my sabbatical season, I am going on a road trip to the States! What started out as a one-week practical missions trip to Joplin, Missouri has now turned into a whole month in the States! The extension of my trip has all just recently transpired… I’m becoming quite the spontaneous go-with-the-flow gal, jumping into the river of God and following Him where He leads. I’m discovering that, as I give up control of my life, God has so much more room to blow my mind and surprise me with good gifts, one of these being this trip. For all of you who know me well, I have tended to be the queen of organized plans, so if I’ve learned anything during my unexpected sabbatical, it’s to hand the reigns over to God and let Him take the lead. He holds the vision. He holds the plans. I’m just to hold His hand, and stay in step with Him. I’m starting to relax into this gracious new rhythm of life, and not fight Him so much in the process. It’s much more enjoyable this way :)


  • Feb 2-9 – Mennonite Disaster Service, Joplin, Missouri – building a home for tornado victims who lost their homes
  • Feb 10-19 – International House of Prayer, Kansas City, Missouri – visiting my cousin at IHOP, spending quality time with God in the prayer room (!!!), visiting YWAM and IHOP missionary friends and meeting up with ministry contacts
  • Feb 20-Mar 1 – Orlando and Tampa, Florida – visiting supporters of mine in Florida and visiting YWAM friends and road-tripping with them back up to Canada!
  • Mar 2-4 – Roadtrip back to Canada – with my YWAM Muskoka friends, the Jurgeneits!


The first week, I’ll be helping out with the organization, Mennonite Disaster Service, to help build a house for victims of the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri. The leaders of this team (Gwen and Glen Torrie) are mission-supporters and friends of mine from my childhood days in Orillia. They have been so wonderful in supporting my missions work with YWAM over the past few years, so when I returned to Canada, I knew it was the perfect time to join in with what they were doing in their missions work. I know that God loves diverse partnerships, so bring on the hammers and paintbrushes and let’s build a home together! Yee haw!


After my time in Joplin, I’ll travel 3 hours north to Kansas City and spend a week or more with my cousin, Rachel, who is a university student at the music academy at the International House of Prayer. I can’t wait to see her in her university life and meet her community. I’m also super stoked to have some devoted, quality time with God in the IHOP prayer room! You can catch the prayer room’s live webstream where I’ll be hanging out here! I am so excited to spend some quality time with some of my dear IHOP and YWAM friends, and meet up with some new friends I have ministry connections with!


I’ve never been to Florida, so this will be fun for me as I love exploring new places! One of my prayer-supporters has invited me down to stay with her and her husband where they live every winter. It also worked out divinely that I’ll be able to join up with my YWAM friends, Mark and Jerri Jurgeneit and their 2 amazing sons Aiden and Ethan, down in Florida. We just “happened” to find out that we will all be there at the same time in the same region! Can you say “God”?! It will be so good to get to know the Jurgeneits more, as they are the family that is pioneering the brand spankin’ new YWAM Muskoka base here in Ontario and I am helping them out with it! I’ll just road trip back up to Canada with them at the end of the month. Talk about divine connections!


I don’t have a cell phone, so you can reach me by email: hopejoyfaith AT gmail DOT com


  • Safe travels in vans and planes
  • Safety on the building site
  • Refreshing encounters with God!
  • Meaningful times with my cousin, friends, supporters, and ministry connections
  • Divine appointments, miracles and cool God stuff!
  • Grace to transition out of sabbatical into a new season
  • Clarity and vision for March and beyond!

If you take 30 seconds to read these prayer requests and then just say a prayer of agreement shot up to Heaven, that makes a difference!! Or if you want to labour in prayer for me for hours and hours, that’s cool too ;) Thanks!

~ Alison