Tim and Jill Way

Adventures of the Way Family

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Hey friends! Thanks for checking in with us. We hope you stop by from time to time and read our latest stories and thoughts from the Way family, the Tulsa Boiler Room, and our mission in Uganda. God bless you!

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Following Dreams

Posted By on June 8, 2010

The Boiler Room is dreaming.  Beautiful, sacred, Kingdom dreams.  I am energized and inspired.  And I am wondering.. how do we move from dreaming to seeing?  The generation that left Egypt with Moses never saw their hopes turn to reality.  On the day of their redemption, as they crossed the sea on dry land, there were dreams living in their hearts.  Dreams of the Promised Land.  Dreams of victorious battles and being free and owning land and displaying the glory of God.  And though these things all did happen, this generation missed it.  I don’t want the tragedy of un-lived dreams to haunt my days.  By the grace of God I long to embrace the risk and the adventure of living the wild and beautiful and ridiculous dreams of Jesus.  Here are a few beginning thoughts on how we can do this together:

1. Let’s keep remembering. We don’t usually decide one day to cancel our dreams.  It’s much more likely that they die a slow and subtle death.  We get distracted.  We forget them.  Jesus said “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”  As the years go by we gradually exchange those dangerous Kingdom dreams for safer more worldly ones.  If we notice it at all, we call this process maturity.  To me it is sad.

2.  Let’s embrace sacrifice and suffering. It has been my experience that dreams with the power to exhilarate and inspire will live or die in the mundane and the painful.  We need to be determined to persevere.  We must willingly endure boredom and discomfort, along with fear, doubt, loneliness, lack of support, and all kinds of physical and emotional anguish.  We need tenacity.  Faithfulness over the long haul.  Sometimes this means years.

3.  Let’s pray.  A lot. Paul advises that we “pray hard and long” (Eph 6:18).  We must rely on the power of God.  His is the major part.  Again, Paul warns, “You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own” (Eph 6:13).  If we are determined to trust and to persevere, we can be assured that God will bring about His plans.  Abide in Him.  Seek Him.  Live in Him.  Let us continually offer up our dreams to the Father, and trust Him to have His way.

4.  Let’s do it together. Dreams are for the body as a whole.  Individualism doesn’t work here.  Sometimes this means we have to lay down parts of our personal dreams as we champion those of our friends.  Trust.  Love.  Sometimes we have to be vulnerable and speak out the passions of our hearts.  Let us encourage one another, and continue to stir up the dreams that our companions on this journey have shared with us.

I love dreaming Holy Spirit dreams with my brothers and sisters in Jesus.  What do you all think?

Dreams

Posted By on May 31, 2010

There is something powerful about friends dreaming together.  If those dreams are initiated by Jesus, fueled by prayer, and committed to with passion, they can be straight-up world-changing.  This is what we’re banking on.

The Tulsa Boiler Room is beginning to dream together.

We’re dreaming of transformation…
of living as family…

of hospitality and mercy and justice…

of reconciliation.

We’re dreaming of the Kingdom coming in our city and in the nations…
of life-long friendships…

of loving spouses and raising kids.

We’re dreaming of living free and authentic lives…
of creativity…

of making disciples of the nations…

of intimacy with Jesus.

We’re dreaming of living in community…
of generosity…

of gardens.

We’re dreaming of adventure…
of romance…

of contentment.

We’re dreaming of proclaiming Good News to the poor…
of binding up the broken-hearted…

of proclaiming freedom for the captives…

of release from darkness for the blind.

We’re dreaming of welcoming the marginalized – the weak, the sinful, the mentally ill, the demonized, the homeless, the broken, the addicted, the awkward, the afraid, the loner, the oppressed, the loser – welcoming them into our family, with God as Father.  We’re dreaming of them being loved, accepted, healed, set free, redeemed, discipled, and sent out to welcome others.

Oh!  We’re dreaming so many things!  And the dreams are beautiful and they are potent.  They are sacred.  We are daring to believe that they are the very thoughts of God for us.  I am awed.

Abide

Posted By on April 13, 2010

Every Monday Jill has a meeting at 1:00, and she brings Philip and Hannah to me so I can look after them.  She packs them a lunch, and we eat it in the coffee shop where I work.  On rare occasions I make hot chocolate for them as a treat to go with the sandwiches and fruit.  Philip always asks for this, but for some reason the answer has been consistently ‘no’ for the past couple months.  Two or three Mondays ago when I saw the van pull in, I went out to the parking lot to help the kids out of the car as usual.  Philip burst out of his car seat, and with a big smile said these amazing words as he wrapped his arms around my neck, “Daddy, I’m not even going to ask you today.  I just want to be with you.”  Gulp.

In recent weeks I’ve heard my Heavenly Father whisper that He would love a similar experience with me and my friends.  Could we simply want to be with Him – no agenda, no needs, no agonizing over getting direction?  Those are all good and valid, but sometimes could we stop and realize that to be with our loving Father is better than all the hot chocolate in the world?  Sometimes could we put striving away and simply adore Him?  Could we look beyond all that He could do, and see Him?  As I read John 15, I realize that being with Him and being full of His love is in fact our greatest calling.  “Abide in me, and I will abide in you” (Jn 15:4).  Just abide.  Live.  Remain.  Be with.  Accept His love and His presence.  Listen as Jesus calls us His friends, and confides to us the things that are in His heart.  Accept His great love, and confess that it is enough.  This is glory!

Oh — you’d better believe they got hot chocolates that day.  With extra whipped cream and chocolate on top!

Church at Owen Park

Posted By on February 25, 2010

It’s 6:30 on Thursday evening, and I’m parking my car in front of the pavilion at Owen Park. A number of friends are already there. Jesse is cooking hot dogs, and the aroma draws me nearer. Felix is standing by the grill with hands outstretched, trying to keep them warm. I’m told that Karissa had to run back to the house to get something they forgot. This is part of the weekly liturgy. I say hi to James and Ray and ‘Mom’ and ‘Pop’ and Brandon and John and Bryce and Toby and Steve and others. It’s cold tonight, but not as bad as it’s been lately.

After a few minutes, Karissa arrives and we gather in a circle and hold hands. Each of us has the opportunity to express thanks or to mention a need to be lifted up in prayer. This evening my heart is overwhelmed with thanksgiving to God as I gather with this unlikely group of friends.

Later, we’re eating hot dogs and chili, and laughing together. A sense of family permeates everything, and we are happy. Ray is joking around as always. One person tells me his story – about the abuse he experienced as a child, the restlessness and hard life he endured in his twenties, and about what happened a few months ago. Pointing to a spot of grass a few feet away, he says “it happened right there, when I finally broke down with James. I prayed and gave my life to Jesus, and everything really has been different since then.” He has many struggles in trying to follow this new life with God, but he is determined and so very grateful. The Thursday Night Bbq crew has become his family.

After food, some people wander off. The remaining twenty or so gather around the grill, huddling close together for warmth, and listen as Jesse shares a devotion from the Bible. It’s simply about receiving the love of Jesus, and living in that love all day long. Everyone in this normally rowdy and distracted group is attentive, and there are grunts of approval and agreement. The presence of the Holy Spirit is so very real. It is a holy moment. We end with prayer again together, and then pack up the things. After it’s all over, I drop Ray off near the tent that is his home, next to the railroad tracks. Sometimes I forget that more than half of this fellowship is homeless, until I have to watch them melt into the night as they tread back to their shelters. In any case, they are helping me learn more and more what church is all about, and I love how it is expressed on Thursdays nights at Owen Park..

Read more about this gathering at http://thursdaynightbbq.com/

http://tulsaboilerroom.com/

24-7 Prayer: Celebration

Posted By on November 5, 2009

Friday, October 23 — A momentous day in the life of the Tulsa Boiler Room plant. We gathered at 7:00 as we do every Friday night, but this night was different somehow. It was the kick-off to our first ever week of 24-7 prayer. We had dreamed of this for a long time – more than two years, actually. And now it was happening. The preparations were complete. Invitations had been sent out. Flyers made. Friends called. Announcements given in churches. An online sign-up system put in place. The prayer room itself was beautiful, with new blank paper covering one wall and new maps of our city and world adorning another corner. To my amazement, people were signing up. It was really going to happen. And so we gathered on Friday with a sense of excitement and expectation. It felt significant.

Sometime after 8:00 we gathered in a circle and held hands. We began to speak out prayers for our troubled neighborhood. Freedom. Holiness. Love. Acceptance. Redemption. Healing. Courage. Beauty. Hope. Truth. I believe in years to come we’ll look back to this night as the launching of the Tulsa Boiler Room Church. Not only were we lifting up continual prayer for those around us, but we were establishing ourselves as a community of prayer. A group of friends desperate and determined to see the Kingdom of God in our midst; to see redemption for our city.

Later as some cleaned up the grocery store where we have our gatherings, a small group moved a few paces to the north and began praying in the prayer room. At around 11:00, some of these decided to go over to Oktoberfest – a big party / festival that was taking place at a park in the neighborhood – and gather prayer requests. They came back full of excitement as they began filling the walls with the heart-cries of people whom Jesus loves. ‘Pray for my marriage.’ ‘I’m having surgery next week.’ ‘My friends’ marriage.’ ‘My broken family.’ ‘To know God.’ Not too deep maybe, but very real. And who knows what happened as all week long people came into the room and lifted these simple requests up before the Father?

As the week continued, the Spirit of God faithfully worked in our hearts. One man thought he couldn’t pray for an hour, but after a day or two was looking for two-hour slots to fill. Others found new freedom in worship, as they danced before the Lord in glorious praise. I personally heard a call to greater surrender, obedience, and commitment. Some experienced great highs and were filled with excitement. Others simply plodded along in faithful determination. One man drove back through the night from a business trip in Kansas City to make his 5:00 am prayer slot. My five year old son wrote on the wall, “Thank! You! For! Making! The! Animals!” Others wrote of failure and hope and gratitude and longing and the beauty of God.

I like this 24-7 praying thing. Even better, I think Jesus does too.

24-7 Prayer: Redemption

Posted By on October 26, 2009

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. – Lk 19:10

We pray because Jesus is worthy and we love to be with Him. We pray because we want to become more like Him. And we pray to change the world. Please make no mistake about this. Jesus is the only hope for a desperately broken and lost world, and He responds when His people pray.

I graduated from college almost twenty years ago, and on that auspicious day I set out to change the world. I was full of hope and idealistic zeal. Now I am married and have five children, and have allegedly reached a greater level of maturity. But I am still out to change the world, because Jesus is. He is all about redemption – bringing new life to situations filled with darkness and death. When I spend time with Him I feel His heart for the world that has forsaken Him and thrown itself into torment and pain and violence and perversion and evil. Oh, how He loves this world that is so intent on rebellion!

The only problem with changing the world is that it’s quite beyond me. Even if I try to focus my ambitions and try to change one life, I still find that I’m not up to the task. Crud. To be honest, I’m tired of powerless activity. Done with trying to make a splash, only to see the ripples eventually peter out to nothingness. I want to spend the rest of my life, whether that be five years or fifty, in bearing lasting fruit for the glory of the Father. And so (you already knew I was building up to this)… we pray.

As I write that simple word this morning it fills me with hope. Pray. It’s crazy. Something that used to be dreary is in danger of turning into an obsession. It’s still not always fun, but it is infused with purpose and friendship and glory. My friends and I are in the midst of a week of unbroken prayer for the transformation and redemption of our city and world. And I can honestly tell you that I believe it. I believe that God Himself has drawn us into this, and that He did so because He is up to something. He is active. He is reaching into our forgotten and broken neighborhood and bringing salvation. And He does this through prayer. I don’t get it. I can’t explain it. But I do believe it. God is at work!

Yes, God’s heart is to change the world. And through the work and delight and discipline of prayer, He calls us to join Him in it. It’s ridiculous. I love it! And I know that this praying-to-change-the-world thing will lead us into some crazy action as well (so stay tuned). He’ll help us to be the very answer to our prayers. What a God!

This is part of a series from the Tulsa 24-7 Prayer Community. For more, see http://thebridgetulsa.com/category/pray/

For more info on the week of unbroken prayer, check out http:thebridgetulsa.com/prayer

24-7 Prayer: Transformation

Posted By on October 22, 2009

The week of 24-7 Prayer begins! It’s really happening. The biggest reason for us to pray 24-7 for an entire week is because Jesus is worthy. We love Him, and He is inviting us into His life. Our Father who adopted us and saved us wants us to make room for Him in our life. Beautiful! Amazing! This is enough. But there’s more…

We’re also praying 24-7 because we long for transformation. Specifically, we long to be transformed. We long for our world to be transformed as well, but that’s the next article, so just be patient. Actually, the first step to bringing true change in our world has to be to allow the Spirit of God to work in us. We are determined to pray because we are desperate to become more like Jesus. We do this mostly because we love Him and want to please Him. We also do it because He loves the world and He seeks to bring redemption and life to it through a people who are radically conforming themselves to His image.

To be like Jesus may mean a lot of things, but it certainly requires that we be different. In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, Moses pleads with the people of God to not be like the nations all around. In the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7) Jesus lays out a whole new way of living that is completely alien to the ways of the world. I am praying this week that we surrender to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our own lives so that He can do the necessary work of transformation. I cannot change myself, but I can submit to His determined yet loving hands.

Of course, the Holy Spirit does His work in us in different ways. He works through circumstances, through other people, through His Word, etc. But there is something special that happens just through spending time with Him. We are gathered into His heart and begin to see and feel from His perspective. The more we hang out with Him, the more we become like Him. This, my friends, is a good thing. Wanna join us?

24-7 Prayer: His Presence

Posted By on October 15, 2009

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. – Isaiah 6:1

I’m beginning to wonder if filling an entire week with prayer in a specific place is nuts. Ridiculous. Will it even happen? Why in the world?? Crazy. Unless…

Unless it’s because we want to be with Him. Because we long for Him. We love Him. And maybe there’s something even more significant – something so wonderful that I tremble to suggest it. Perhaps He Himself wants to be with us. With me. What if He is waiting for us? Wanting to reveal Himself to us as to the saints of old? Maybe he desires to share dreams and incite passions. Could it be that He wants to help us experience some of the love He has for the people around us? Perhaps He’s waiting to offer us grace and comfort and truth that we might freely give to others. My hunch is that He Himself is calling us, and that it is significant. Something in me suspects and dares to hope that He wants to pull us aside to tell us again that He loves us. I want to hear that.

Filling a week with prayer – including those long, lonely stretches throughout the night – only makes sense if we long for Him – or at least desire to long for Him. This is a sacrifice, and we unashamedly call you, our friends, to join us in it. Not because we guarantee your requests will be answered and your wildest dreams come true, but because He is worthy. He is beautiful and He is holy and He is good. I want to encounter God! Jesus is worth the effort to pursue and let Him know we love Him. He Himself is our greatest calling and our greatest privilege. Our great reward and most powerful ministry. We want to let Him know that we trust Him with our dreams and ambitions and schemes. Come with us and let’s discover Him.

As we commit to seek Him the last week of October, let us decide that we do so firstly because He loves us and we long for Him. Let us seek Him for His sake, worship Him because He is worthy, praise Him because He is glorious!

If you’d like more information on how to be part of the West Tulsa 24-7 Prayer week, go to: http://tulsaboilerroom.com/prayer or contact us at info@thebridgetulsa.com

24-7 Prayer

Posted By on October 9, 2009

Could God really be calling us to fill an entire week with unbroken prayer, day and night? Is it really worth it to get up in the middle of the night to fill an hour slot in a prayer room? We think so. In fact, we’re totally convinced.

It feels like at this point I am supposed to promise that God will meet you there in a special way. That there will be miracles. That your life will be touched, maybe forever altered. That you’ll love it. That the sixty minutes you committed to will seem like six as you revel in the Presence of the Almighty, and you’ll wish you had signed up for more time. Truthfully, these things regularly do happen in prayer rooms around the world, and I believe they will in West Tulsa as well. However, I am making no promises, other than that your Father likes it when you pray, and He listens and cares. And that it really does matter. It’s important.

My experiences in prayer rooms have been varied. Yes, there are times that have been very special, where I’ve felt something tingly and wonderful. There have been more times when I’ve felt sleepy and wondered what I was doing, and questioned the wisdom of signing up for the 3 am slot. But I’ve come to this conclusion: The real reason for this whole 24-7 Prayer thing has less to do with me than with God and His Kingdom. It doesn’t ultimately matter if I had a wonderful time or a very not wonderful time. Jesus wants us to pray. You and I have been invited into something that is so much bigger than us. We can actually contribute to the establishing and growing of the Kingdom of God in our city, and the primary way we do this is by praying. This is freakin exciting!

So, come and pray with us. Wonderful things will happen. Lives will be changed. Miracles will happen. The Kingdom is near!

We are committed to filling a solid week with unbroken prayer, going from October 23-30. We’d really love for you to join us. If you are interested in this, follow this link for information about how to sign up: www.tulsaboilerroom.com/prayer. Also, invite your friends, churches, student groups, etc. To help you do this, we’ve set up a Facebook event. Find that here, and feel free to invite others.

God bless you!

Thin Places, Prayer, and Punk Monks

Posted By on September 23, 2009

Ancient Celtic monastic types used to refer to certain sacred spots as ‘thin places.’ Apparently, these were places that were devoted to prayer and where people felt a greater connection with God. We know that God is everywhere, and is always with us. We know that His glory fills the earth, and we don’t have to go anywhere to find Him. He is with me as I sit in a coffee shop typing this note. He is with you as you sit wherever reading it. But…

In his book Punk Monk, Andy Freeman admits to being pretty skeptical about the idea of special places — until he investigated further. It seems that the idea of sacred space is pretty common throughout Church history. In modern times, people all over the world are being drawn to Christ-centered prayer rooms in which they are encountering the Lord in wonderful ways. Even non-believers have attested to being aware of God’s presence in such places, and some have surrendered their lives to Jesus. I don’t really understand this, but I’ve become convinced that there’s something to it. For stories about how God is using prayer rooms around the world, go to www.24-7prayer.com.

We have a prayer room in West Tulsa, and as a boiler room community, our first desire is to fill this room with prayer. And to fill the neighborhood with prayer. And our city. And our lives. We’re making a start. There’s a corporate prayer time there every Tues through Friday morning at 7:00. Feel free to drop by sometime. In addition to this, we’re encouraging people to come in and pray for our city and the people in our community at any time. We’re also planning a full week of round-the-clock prayer. We’ll be giving more details about that in the coming weeks. This is just a start. Our desire is to become a praying people, a family centered around Jesus through prayer.

Why this? There is so much we want to do. We want to serve the hurting and down-and-out. We want to proclaim the Gospel and demonstrate the love of the Father. We want to make a difference, to see transformation. We dream of planting small churches of disciples who make disciples who make disciples. We are yearning for the Kingdom to be seen in our midst, and for the King to be glorified. And as we seek Him about all this, we believe we are hearing Him speak to us. And He is telling us to wait on Him. To not base our ministry and our lives and our church on doing this and that. He’s inviting us to pray, and to call others to pray. We know more will come, but for now we are content with this. We are desperate for the boiler room and all our outreaches to be His work. We are longing to be part of His dreams. So we pray. Jesus is our strength and wisdom. He is our reward. He is all and in all. He is our method, and He is our goal.

If you’d like more information on how to join us, please contact me, or just drop by the prayer room sometime at 2232 S Nogales Ave.

God bless you!