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Head In The Clouds

Jayson Tidland —  August 23, 2013 — Leave a comment


cloud-horse

by Jayson Tidland

I like clouds a lot and God the Father knows this. It is sort of hard to fathom why the creator of the universe cares that much about “our details” but he does. He knows our likes and loves and he often meets us on that level. In the same way, He cares about all the rest too. The good, the bad and the ugly. He wants us to invite him into all those areas.

Do you want exposure to eternal things? If you don’t get anything else from this story, get this…we can invite God into all of “our details.”

Unwavering Father

“Hide away, in wonder, wild,
These are times, quiet and free.
Father, present with his child,
Space and time bend a knee.

 

Storms and danger, troubles piled
These are times, quiet and free.
Father, present with his child,
Eternal things for all to see”

A path to cloud nerdiness began almost a year ago for me.  Don’t be fooled by the interest though. I started paying a bit more attention the “ordinary things” like clouds. Undoubtedly, my head has been in the clouds but it’s not just the clouds I’m looking for. It’s this thing between me and Papa. Our thing…

Continue Reading…

What I am about to share could happen to any of us. And does! In fact, I share life with a lot of people who have these kinds of ‘God experiences’ on a regular basis… and it is a completely normal experience. Yes, I use the word normal, though it is a hidden normal. Veiled in plain sight… lost in the noise and circumstances from a fallen world. The great deception of the enemy is to keep us from knowing who we are…

Eastern Oregon high dessert is beautiful. It was our 2004 bootcamp near Antelope OR. It was sunny with warm dry mild breezes; ideal conditions…I came into this camp with a lot of questions. Mostly the, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” kinds of questions.  I had spent the previous several years sort of lost and wandering without much direction. I know now that I was groping at life as a drowning man gropes for something to stay afloat. I felt that I had no clear starting point. Who thinks about this stuff? Well… at some point, everyone… So there I was.

Names are important to God. They are part of his design for the universe. For us, they are a testimony and sign to all of creation. The name that Jesus calls us is who we really are. The voice that spoke life into existence is the same voice that calls us by name. He always names us aptly…It’s a glimpse of all we are, how he sees us! It doesn’t happen exactly like this for everyone, but here is what happed to me:

The afternoon session ended… and now all the men quietly went out and about for a covenant of silence time, me included.  I headed for the nearest mountain. The questions on my heart were…” What’s next God?” and “Who am I God?”  Two questions…

The pathPart one: What is next? This mountain I was climbing was covered in loose shale and my footing was shaky… The trail was… well there was no trail… the terrain was steep. I was more focused on the question than my safety… My legs were burning, my lungs on fire but the question was bigger…The intensity was pulling me up the hill as if I were chasing after the answer. It was up there…

To add a little more context to this, I sort of saw two immediate life paths as it pertains to the questions. One was to continue down the rabbit hole with all the guys at Bootcamp NW… I loved these guys then, but not like I do now. I mean, it would have been easy to turn away…actually, more like fade away like I had always done. I would simply become (or remain) NOT critical to the plan. I had successfully avoided plenty of situations in life that fit the “much is required” description….especially if some vulnerability and exposure were involved. The old easy way of dealing with things was, well…safe and familiar.  So this, among other things was the context of my question. What happened next I was not expecting.

I was nearly there now…A little more panting, sweating and grunting before I finally reached the top… Tired now, I just found a place to sit and enjoy the view. I was at the crest now. Next to me, on the ground, was an arrangement of rocks in the shape of a cross. Beyond that was the panoramic view of the entire valley below…the camp and the neighboring and distant hillsides. It was my first time up there, and something about the struggle Treeand the beauty of it all just brought me to tears. And there was silence… and the question.

After some time went by, I caught a glimpse of a little paper booklet tucked under a rock that was part of the rock cross arrangement. It was literally right next to me! I pulled it out just to have a quick look and see what it was. It was just a little booklet for children (I guess) and it had pictures of gnomes in it. Nothing special. Trash I thought.

The booklet was missing its cover, so I had to read the little introduction paragraph to figure out what it was all about. The paragraph started out with simple lines like… ”Have you ever longed for a better prayer life? Do you ever wonder if God hears your prayers? Do you long to hear God speak to you? And so on…

“Oh yeah… Jayson…about that question…”

Oh my! The things I desired in the context of my question would represent a radical shift…“It’s prayer…”

Another wave of tears came. I flipped through the pages to see more, and the answer to my question began to unfold! This little booklet was about prayer! “Yep, It’s prayer! That’s what’s next.” It went straight to my heart. Did I mention it was written for CHILDREN with pictures of GNOMES in it!? It depicted little Gnomes praying in every kind of circumstance. God’s ironic humor! The emotion that followed was so deep and pure. I sobbed and the tears were like pure joy … imagining hearing, seeing or walking for the first time in your life…that kind2013-05-14 21.24.31 of joy!

I was excited to get down the hill now! I had to tell someone! Ahh, but God was not done yet. If you remember, I came up the hill with two questions.

Part two: Along the way, God and I… we descended the hillside in a different route. The route was down a steep ravine that widened near the bottom of the hill, and there were a few trees along the way with shade where I could rest. As I was coming down I noticed two or three deer resting peacefully under a tree.

ConfusedJust for fun, a sneak attack seemed in order. (please don’t judge me) After getting close as possible, I charged like a screaming mad man down the hillside! Like Gandalf charging the Orcs! By the time I got to the tree I was laughing beyond control! I claimed the very spot where the deehad been and dropped to rest. “Victory!” What a goofy thing to do, I thought. In the midst of laughter and self-satisfaction I hear God say to me, “You are my Scout”… (Laughter paused)… (Head scratch) “Umm…What does that mean?” Again I heard “You are my Scout.”

“Huh! Ok… I’m your scout.”

A little confusion in the absence of hopelessness must be akin to faith! There was peace about it even though I did not quite know what to do with the news. Like an unopened gift; you know it’s really good but have no idea what it is. That was the real beginning of the journey for me… Being a little slow to the process, it didn’t even occur to me then that God was putting me at the starting line of the journey… of discovery. His answer to my second question was to begin the journey of answering the new question. This journey entails doing and being and an abiding in Jesus. Who is “Scout”? Which is to say, who does God really think I am?

It is a better question…

The subject of our rightful name and why God reveals it to us is a good topic for another day. But I will say… God uses this in our lives in a huge way. It’s a critical piece in the process of walking with God and finding our true calling.

I don’t know if praying gnomes or elves will get you there. But as the word says… Ask, seek and knock….

 

….to be continued.

Within the past few years its seems like the battle pace has quickened. It has been a battle with all of the gains and losses of war.
Huge gain and huge loss… A war of extremes… It’s what you would expect in war where the stakes are high.

Loss… i.e. sickness and death, the threat of financial ruin, estranged relationships, business failures, wounds and scars, pain,
confusion, fear & despair, denial, dissent, uncertainty, deception, anger and rage… complete melt downs and yes moral failure.

Gains…i.e. Healing of all kinds, redemption and life, prosperity, miraculous provision, friendships, new alliances, new ventures,
new horizons, more healing and mending, clarity and courage, truthfulness, authenticity, love, love and more love. Good news
delivered and received and so much more…

So, as things have been unfolding recently I feel the Holy Spirit begin to show me something about the strategy of the enemy.
You see, our enemy is cunning and perceptive. Many of the losses and gains we experience in this life are simply normal…. Or
are they?

Fast forward, 10…20…50…100…300…even 1000 years from now. “When we’ve been gone, ten thousand years, bright shinning
as the sun”…Someone (unless Jesus has taken us all home) will be in the defining battle of their lives. Perhaps they will
reflect…they will follow the ancient paths of those who wandered this world before them. The reality that your life is or isn’t
written in history is not even a question. You…we…have a legacy.

Have you ever Google’d yourself? The idea of, our understanding of legacy is under attack as a society in a huge way. Have you
noticed the flippant choice of words and rants people use on social media? Ponder this one for a while in the context of your
own legacy.

So how did you handle that job loss, the death in the family, the rude comment on Facebook, the bad news from the doctor,
the guy who cut you off on the freeway, the unexpected work load, the dispute over the property line, the passed up job
promotion, or the last time you were inconvenienced in some way? How did you handle that huge success you had?

Pause here… know this… Jesus is a redeemer of that which was lost….

The Legacy of Jesus is always under attack. As long as Jesus chooses to be the hero through us, then ours will be as well.deer

I leave you with this. While at our last Advance Camp I found this petrified antelope print on this piece of shale… just lying
there in the middle of this ancient pathway on this ancient hill! Later, as we were returning and arrived on the newly improved
area of the camp, we found a fresh print in the mud and compared the two. John B. took a great picture here below.