Thursday, March 28, 2013

photo-synthesis. [the darkness never wins].

This week’s  Swallowed up in Light  photo,, in light of Holy Week.

The moments when the darkness seems to overtake,, only for His Light to break through,, triumphant and strong. and His overcoming power is displayed. and the bleakness of the dark only makes Him that much brighter. and what intended to snuff out, enhances. and what intended to crush, glorifies. and He cannot be contained.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Celebration of promise.

Passover begins at sundown.
and for the first time, it's not so foreign.
it's as up close as it can get.

Passover is about remembrance and fulfilled promises.
Passover is about hope, the hope that comes from a God who always comes through, who always fulfills, who never turns back on His word.

it’s about the freedom and deliverance that was promised.
the doubt and faithlessness of His children.
and the constant grace and faithfulness of God.

it’s about the covenant that He made.
and His unwillingness to break it.

it’s about the God who loves to redeem,, bring renewal and rebirth.
the Initiator of change.
faithfully changing winter into spring.

it's about the joy that He brings in the deepest of sorrows.
and the strength that He gives on the hardest of journeys.

it's about the sacrifice that He gave.
the lives that He spared.
the chains of slavery that He broke.
the new life that He promised.

Passover is about the death that was coming,,
but was overcome by the blood,
because the grace of our God is more than enough.

it's about a God who remembers,, and calls us to do the same.
and so tonight, we'll watch the sun bend low, just as the Lamb bent low to wash our feet,,
right before ultimately fulfilling the
promises  that God made.  and we'll remember.and we'll   celebrate.

the redemption, freedom, and life that we have.
because God didn't turn His back on His Word.
and instead gave us His Son.
the Perfect Sacrifice.
the Spotless Lamb.

[[“For all the
promises  of God find their Yes in Jesus…”]] 
                                                                                                                                    2 Corinthians 1:20

Sunday, March 24, 2013

close to home.

I lay before you a huge piece of my heart,, and an invitation.

there are those special instances in life,,
where God grants you the privilege to intimately be a part of and see someone that you love so dearly be translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.
where for years you joyously weep before God for salvation and for His love to break through,,
and you tangibly see the fruit.

where God gives you a promise,,
and you cling to it,,
and you see it fulfilled.

where you’re blessed by His timing and grace in allowing you to physically be there for those beginning steps of transformation and sacred moments like baptism.
where you are blown away by the movement of the Spirit,,
and see Him fill and pour out upon a man.
where you can testify of the power of God and that He still speaks from watching this person’s life.

where you witness someone literally become a new person.
where you see a true disciple made.
where you see someone gripped by the love of Jesus,,
and accept the call and command to go.
where you watch them lay down their life,,
and begin to set the world on fire.

there are those special instances in life,,
and this certain one just happened to be my little brother.

 an amazing man set apart by the Lord for His glory,,
who has set His face towards Christ and hasn’t looked back.
and who is now following Jesus to Zambia, Africa.
it was totally unexpected. and totally God.


this may,, my little brother will be going to Overland Missions Advanced Mission Training.

 this is how they describe this program,,
“AMT is a program that will propel you into the mission fields of the neglected tribes of the earth. Whether your calling is Africa, South America, Asia or beyond, we will train you to effectively and strategically reach different ethnic tribes with the gospel of Jesus Christ. AMT is a starting block that will forward your journey to fulfill God’s missionary dream for your life.

You will be trained in 17 subjects that are a mixture between classroom learning and practical field exercises. For three months you will live at our Rapid 14 mission base located at Victoria Falls, Zambia. You will spend time ministering in remote villages that have rarely been visited since the days that Dr. David Livingstone was exploring Africa to preach the gospel and abolish the slave trade.
You will be part of a team of 20 people who are of like mind and faith and who are all there to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You will experience a unique and challenging missionary training course that will prepare you to handle any road…any load…any time.
Graduates of AMT have the opportunity to apply for internships within one of Overland Missions’ departments. AMT is the gateway to enter into full time missionary service with Overland Missions. If selected for AMT, you will soon see what it takes to reach the neglected people of the earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ, in this generation."

                 4X4  Driving and Recovery
Missionary Theology
                   Bush Cooking
                 Come Back Alive Survival Course
Such a Great Salvation
                 Expedition and Mission Training
Sustainable Development
                 GPS Navigation
Vehicle Mechanics
                 Guest Minister
Wilderness First Responder
                  Introduction to Fundraising
Final Presentation: Sector Research Project
                 Ministry Ethics

he is in need of $7000 to cover this three month training, all his expenses and airfare.

so I share this amazing testimony of our Jesus.
and I extend the invitation to be blessed by being a blessing,,
to be a part of what God is doing across the nations in making His name known, His power unleashed, and His love tangible.

because it's more blessed to give than to receive,, and Jesus demonstrated this perfectly.

what better way to celebrate this season and time of the year,,
of the life, crucifixion, burial and resurrection of the One who gave it all for us,,
than by giving so that this Gospel may be made known to those who have yet to hear, yet to experience, and yet to know the One they were created for.

 if you would like to give and be a part of this journey and work of the Lord,,
you can go to this website,,

just be sure to put “Daniel Ortwerth, May AMT” in the donation memo box.
If you would like more information, you can go to

thank you.thank you.thank you.
for being obedient. for your prayers. and for being the Body.

may we follow His leading and give cheerfully.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

[[Because if you're not going,, you're sending]].

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

remember and know.

we need to “…remember that at one time [we were] separated from Christ…strangers to the covenants of promise , having no hope and without God in the world”.                                                                                                                        Ephesians 2:11,12

and we need to know who our Father is,,
and we need to know who we are as His son or daughter,,
and we need to know what our inheritance is because of the first two,,

because that's when we're free.

free from ourselves and therefore free from the fear of man, free from the fear of rejection, free from offense and bitterness,
and free to be compelled by love,, unconditionally and unreservedly.

[Identity is everything].

because we are Kingdom carriers, and when we remember who we were and know who we are,, His Kingdom is manifested.

and this world is in need of His manifest Presence and Kingdom.

{know who you are in Him,, and walk in that reality}. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


This week’s  Swallowed up in Light  photo.

The moments when the radiance of the sun's rays spill over, leaving no piece of sky untounched. and His glory and power are displayed. and the creativity of our Creator is undeniable. and we're left in awe of our God who is a consuming fire.

Monday, March 18, 2013


The promise  I’m stuck on today.

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
                                                                                    Matthew 28:18-20

[behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age].
one of the most vital and precious
coupled by this radical and life-consuming command.

the command that should be the heartbeat of every follower of Jesus,,
the command that’s impossible without the God man.

Jesus is about to leave the earth. He gathers the eleven remaining,, calling them to the mountain. the place that He had brought them often. the place that held so many memories. the place that i’m sure they cherished.  

He says His last earthly spoken words.
and He begins with something crucial,, He says,,
I have been given all authority.
exousia;  liberty of doing as one pleases; physical and mental power; influence; right (privilege); the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed).

not only is He saying that He has all power and authority over them and man,, but also over everything that may come against them.

every word that follows is given in light of this truth,, in light of His authority and power and ruling. making what He says next,, an authoritative command,, not merely a suggestion.

and that is when He commands them [and us] to GO, and make disciples of all the nations,,
leave no one out, consider no place too far, reach everyone.

and not only make disciples of men,, but baptize them.
symbolizing the level of commitment He is talking about. not merely converts.. but as they are completely immersed in water,, they are completely committed to following and then going out and making more disciples.

and not only baptize them,, but teach them to obey everything that He has commanded.
   how did Jesus teach and disciple the twelve? not only with words,, but through power. He showed them,, He healed people in front of them. Cast out demons in front of them. Gave mercy and compassion in front of them. Forgave in front of them. He fleshed it out before them,, in love and in power.

and not only are we to teach them,, but we are responsible for teaching them the entirety of His will and counsel and commands. not leaving a single thing out,, whether its uncomfortable or palatable or not.

and so we’re given this command. this task. this privilege.
this command that’s impossible without the God man.

and that’s when He

He says “BEHOLD…” [ this word,, idou,, is a bidding to the hearer or reader to attend to what is going to be said next. and get this,, it is used when a thing is specified which seems impossible and yet occurs,, when a thing is unexpected yet sure].

and so He is saying,, listen! focus! pay attention to this! you need to hear this! this is going to seem impossible,, and you’re not expecting this at all,, but this is sure, and this is going to happen.. I promise ..

[[I will be with you always,, even to the end of the age]].

  as we go,, as we obey,, as we lay down our lives and advance His Kingdom here on this earth,, He makes this amazing, unexpected, seemingly impossible promise,,

[[the promise of His constant presence.]]

and inside this promise,, are a bunch of other promises,,
because with His presence, comes His power, and His peace, and His provision.

[we are never lacking when we have His presence].

so if you really want to experience God and His power and His presence,,
go and make disciples.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

why promises?.

Why promises ?

broken promises,, saying one thing but doing another.           
vows unkept,, turning your back on your word.
exaggerations,, not saying what you mean, or meaning what you say.
expectations unfulfilled,, not following through.

we’ve all done it,, we’ve all had it done to us.
since we were kids, whose secrets were shared by those who promised to keep them and whose parents innocently promised ice cream if we behaved but forgot to stop on the way home,, we knew that there was something crushing about being told one thing but seeing something different.

many wounds have been inflicted. many hearts broken. many walls put up.

it's created in us an innate lack of trust and confidence in the person standing next to us.

vulnerability has been cast aside in the name of protecting ourselves.

[[we were created with a fierce desire for loyalty and faithfulness]].
    for people to mean what they say, keep their word, and follow through.

and that’s because we were created by the One who created promises.

He loves making promises partially just so that He can keep them,,
because then the trueness of His nature is shown.
because then when everyone else fails us,, when we hurt the ones we love,, and even when we break the heart of God,
His faithfulness remains.

He’s never made a promise that He hasn’t kept.
and we will never be left wondering why God didn’t keep His Word.

so let the walls fall down.
begin to trust again.
and allow God to keep His promises to you.

[[His love is so disarming.
His promises are true.]]


This week’s  Swallowed up in Light photo.

The moments when the sun starts to fade, but not without first enveloping us in its golden hues. and reflections of its brightness are inescapable. and His glory is not hidden. and His beauty cannot be ignored. and we’re swallowed up in His Light.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

belonging by blood.

a blog post that needed re-posting. here's how to find more of her words.

There is a strong searching

From ages when we are young,
To ages when we are old

To belong.
The human heart longs to be claimed by someone.

This is the hungry inside of us that God gave.

The systems of belonging to father and mother,
to husband, wife,
Belonging to family,
To purpose
To groups
To nations

These are tiny metaphors,
Shadows of what God means.
And they either distract us from our most essential hunger
Or help us to understand.

There is certainly a distinct pattern of God desiring and providing stability in the structure of our lives on earth.
He says He puts the orphans into families, (Ps 68:6)
Desires man to cleave to wife, (Matt 19:5)
and calls us to trades, occupations, and people groups.

But it is a great disorder to mistake provision of stable circumstances as the favor of God,
Or to conclude seasons of instability are His neglect of your life.

When we feel like God takes everything away or holds out on providing for a starving need; It’s uncomfortable, let’s be honest.
The initial response of the soul is kicking and screaming,
Or withering sorrow because situations insist that God has forgotten.

guess I just want to say a few things personally,
I’ve been here, and in many ways I am here.

It’s this feeling of God picking you up off solid ground.
The stability of life before His great interruption – a distant past.
It feels a lot like dangling.

It’s like everything you’ve belonged to is curiously blurred off the page.

And then it happens.
At least so it did for me,
I realized that all my life of belonging had quieted my appetite for my own salvation.

So The Lord gave, and then took away,
And the appetite was made naked.
Like a daily pressing
An unavoidable craving to belong to the God who already bought me.
Where else can I go?

Sometimes even though we may be saved, we are so busy with all the blessings we belong to on earth that we forget or can’t tangibly recognize our crying appetite to be owned by God.
As a result, the felt daily prominence of His blood is diminished in our lives.

Fell on floor
And cried out to be taken
“God, claim me.”

For the soul in me begs to be the possession of God.

(Seasons of instability
Are lessons in identity.)

Who am I?
I am one who stands up and walks out,
Through valley or storm,
Covered in the blood of  The God Man.

I encourage you, if you are in a season of instability or if you recognize a need to belong. Consider yourself called.
He has uncovered your appetite because He wants you.
You were made to belong to Him.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


the promise  i’m encouraged by today.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish that which I purpose, and will succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:10-11

His Word breaks down walls,, reaching down deep. His Spirit breathes life,,awakening.

He will accomplish that which He pleases,, we simply must be faithful in causing His Word to go forth…even if we don’t physically see growth or change or fruit.

[[there must be a season of planting seeds,, if there’s going to be a season of harvest]].

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”
                                                                                   1 Corinthians 3:6

And let us not grow weary of doing good,
 for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
                                                                                         Galatians 6:9