Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”


He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”


Revelation 21:1-5


Forget everything you've ever heard about

Heaven and this passage and the future for a second.


Zoom out. Listen. These words are trust-

worthy and true.


Jesus said, "I am making all things new."

He didn't say " I will make, " or "I have made ."

He said He is making

All things.

From the cells in our bodies to volcanic earth to every season as it passes.

He is always making everything new.

He is always telling the same story.


He is always inviting us to be unmade and remade so that we would know and experience Him - no holds barred , no exceptions and nothing in between.


I see some adorned as that beautiful bride - moving through the world knowing who and whose she is.


I see others dancing in the sunshine with total abandon and no burden on their shoulders.


I see people who were bruised and broken now loved and loving.


I see death swallowed up by Life.


This is what the kingdom of God is like ...

A family around a table, passing grace around like bread and pouring testament like wine.


I see all things being made new over and over again in the light of Glory.


And I see it all around me every day. 


(In early July, Mark and I experienced our second miscarriage. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I am unwilling to do life outside of the context of the family described above. One of the women I disciple happened to be visiting us here in Oklahoma the day I had to go to the emergency room. She watched 5 kids all day long while she should have been on vacation. The Church@ Barnsdall were swift to support and encourage and come around us. I experienced such care and support from people scattered all over this country— all people who have decided to do this with me. 

They’ve decided that the Church God intended is what they are going to pursue, and in doing so, they have brought the Kingdom to earth in so many ways.

I know it’s easy to fear people walking away from the institutional church, but some of us have walked straight into this, and mark my words— it’s going to change the world.)