Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peru... The Ups and Downs

     In Peru I was taught a lot of different things as far as physical things and spiritual things. I made some lasting friendships with other people in our group. There are three things that stand out in my mind that I think you might be interested in. The first would be an awesome experience of evangelism. Two of my friends and I had been very disappointed in our efforts in reaching out to others so we took it upon ourselves to go our and talk to someone. After are group session at about eight o'clock we left our hotel and just started walking. We each had a Spanish background but none of us were even near fluent. So we just started walking and I pointed at a random guy sitting in a chair on the sidewalk and said that is the guy we need to go and talk to. So we went up to him and started sharing the gospel with him and started telling him why we were in Peru. He was catholic and though that good works got him into heaven and so we tried to reason with him which was quite difficult seeing as we didn't always understand him and didn't always know how to say what we wanted to say. In the end we ended up sharing with him an evangelism booklet and then we prayed for him and then left. We have no idea if he accepted Christ but we felt good after our experience. This experience really taught me to just trust God because half the time I had no idea what this guy was saying and I had no idea how to respond. It taught us three really how to trust God because he had to do the talking through us because we had no translator with us.
     The second thing that was awesome was that at about the same time that night we saw God come through again in a powerful way. One of our seniors has severe back problems to the point where it took here quite awhile to get up in the morning and it hurt to sit or move. So that same exact night our group of about one hundred got together and prayed for her. As she was walking up the stairs she fell to her knees on the landing. She then stood up with her own power pain free. Our advisors were having a meeting and this girl came sprinting back down the stairs and starting jumping around the lobby where the advisor meeting was going on. The best part was that my youth pastor was so surprised that he fell off his chair. It goes to show you the power of prayer.
Oh, darn.... I got this far and then I can't even remember what the third thing was. When my mind stops playing games on me I shall return and continue to tell you some more God stories....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wow, So Long

I just realized how long it has actually been since I did anything with this blog. I mean, at one point in time it was my outlet for just about everything. And since, I admit, I have been a bad boy and I have not posted anything. Peru was an excellent experience for me. I got to go and see how a different culture lived. I meet some awesome new people down there and I was very pleased with how God changed my life and also continues to change the lives of the others that went. My favorite part of the entire trip though was the part when we got to go to church. They love music down their in Peru. I mean, they had an entire hour just set aside for music and then we did more at the end. Of course we didn't know any of the words so we just clapped along and had a good time. While the music was being played they asked us to do the message. So many of us were able to stand up front and share our testimonies with the congregation. It was awesome to see their response. They kept asking for one more! Oh, the one thing I forgot was that we got to do Sunday school before hand with the little kids. That was pretty fun but that only lasted for an hour. So when all of the pictures had been taken and we finally left we realized we had been in church for three hours and that was only one service! Imagine if we made time for our Lord and Savior here in the states. What would our Christian lives look like? Would they be so stale and stagnant? I am inclined to think they wouldn't. Oh, so much to tell but also so much to do. I will definitely do a better job at keeping you all posted.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Busy

I have been really busy over the past couple of months with so many different things. Easter has helped me to slow down and just take the time to do this. Since my last post I have pulled out of middle school and have started a new online school. The first couple of weeks were strange as I have never been home schooled before. I am finally adjusting and we only have a couple weeks left before we get off for summer break. This move has allowed me to be more involved at youth group. I can now attend a small group which helps me grow spiritually as well as usually attending church near all of Sunday.
78 students including myself are now preparing to go to Peru in the Summer. It is going to be a two week trip with quite a bit of travel involved as well. What we can do down there is going to be awesome and I am really started to get excited for this trip. As we prepare I would like to ask those of you reading to continually pray for us that God would enable us to have spiritual strength and physical strength to make it through those weeks. I know that it will be a grueling trip but that God will work in so many different ways in the lives of our group and the people that we meet down in Peru. I am truly blessed to be going.
I am so grateful to again be doing this and I hope that those of you that were following continue to.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Walking on Water

Lecrae - Walking On Water



Chorus:
So I'm walkin' on water (4x)

Verse 1:
Yeah, go 'head, ask me how I do it, bruh
The sky falling, but I'm still flyin' through-and-through
Hey this ain't willpower, it's wheel power
When God's at the wheel, yeah that's the real power
I feel power, so I'm gon' trust that
That's how I persevere, that's how I jump back
The hurricanes never go away
So I'mma stand firm, tell 'em all to blow away

Hook:
I bet 'cha never see me with my head hung low
I bet 'cha never see me with my eyes to the floor
I bet the boys skit, homie they ain't no more
Aint no lookin back, letting everything go
When I see a problem, when it get tough
I don't get soft, man, I ain't givin' up
There ain't turnin' back, man, I will stay strong
It's time to go hard or it's time to go home
So I'm walkin' on water, hey (4x)

Verse 2:
I know it's all good, when it's all bad
There's somethin' workin' in me
Hey what 'ya call that?
Some people call it perseverance
Some people say endurance
But I know for sure it
It's got me secure
Yeah, I got faith, that's why I hold on
'Cause I'm an alien, I'm 'bout to phone home
I'll be long gone, see you hard times
Have your boy, love peace, and a sound mind

(Hook)

Verse 3:
I spit the Word any time you hear ya boy flowin'
So please plagerize me, take my word for it
Hey I'm Lecrae, but you can call me "Crayola"
Not because I'm in the kitchen whippin' up the soda
But because I'm here to paint a vivid picture for 'ya
I know the truth's hittin' by the way I pitch it for 'ya
You're fightin' for attention, I've got the Ritalin
I've got the hope, boy, I'm the middle-man
Let me show you my Supply, yeah you need to know 'em
He got me walking on the water when the wind's blowin'
And when the storm's brewin', and when the tide's high
That's when I lean into the truth that I abide by

(Hook)

Monday, January 31, 2011

What Love Really Means

 This was an awesome song that I found and have recently really loved listening too because it just lifts me up. It helps me out to know how I need to treat people because this is the way that I want to be treated. It just reminded me that so often we put our time and effort into people that seem to be worth more to you as an individual. So basically if your time had to be spent like money is there anyone that you aren't spending the right amount on? Everyone wants to be loved.

He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He's the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, "Dear God won't you please...
Could you send someone here who will love me?"

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
'Cause nobody has shown me what love
What love really means

Her office is shrinking a little each day
She's the woman whose husband has run away
She'll go to the gym after working today
Maybe if she was thinner
Then he would've stayed
And she says...

Who will love me for me?
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me?
'Cause nobody has shown me what love, what love really means

He's waiting to die as he sits all alone
He's a man in a cell who regrets what he's done
He utters a cry from the depths of his soul
"Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home"

Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside
And it said
"I know you've murdered and I know you've lied
I have watched you suffer all of your life
And now that you'll listen, I'll tell you that I..."

I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will love you for you
I will give you the love
The love that you never knew






Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Hope and Shield

As we go through life we have a great tendency to shrink God down. Either that or we find that our sinful nature is either telling us that we are not worth this great and powerful God's time or it brings him down so that he doesn't catch our eye anymore as the massive God that he is. The wonders that he does from creating the universe to just making you and I. Psalm 33:6 says, "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth." This just absolutely blows my mind away as I realize that God didn't lift a finger to create the universe. It says by the word of the Lord. We may have to go back to the beginning when God began creation. In Genesis it says "And God said, "Let their be light," and their was light." You see, all God had to do was speak and out of his mouth came light and stars and the heavens. So right away we see that this God that we worship and this God that we praise is not some tiny God that is the size of our Bible or our devotion book, but this God that we worship is huge and massive and gigantic. And so the question comes up, "Then why does he care about me?" If you keep reading in Psalm 33:10 it says, "But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine." Our God is making a promise to us here, he is letting us know that his eyes are on us as children of God. That if you believe in him that he will deliver you from death which he did through the cross. This star breathing, universe creating God that we have became the sin baring, human sacrifice for you and I and he cares about you a lot. In Colossians the first chapter we read that everything in this universe was created by God and for God. This again shows the power and greatness of God and how big he is. But as you continue to read Paul makes a statement that just blows me away. It says that because God made all things that in him all things hold together. This gives me the ultimate picture of God. Someone that is huge and massive and breathes out stars but them comes back and holds everything in my life and your life together. Notice though that he didn't promise that everything would be easy and that life would just get easier to deal with. We can go back to Psalm 33 and we can see in verse twenty it says, "We wait in hope for the Lord, he is our help and our shield." During the bad times and during the times when you feel like you are all alone and discouraged and during the times when you feel like God doesn't see your troubles and care about your troubles it says that he is our help and shield. It doesn't promise and easy life and a struggle free life but God does promise that he will be there with you every step of the way. And as I read through so many different blogs and talk to different people in my life I seem to be getting the same question. Is God their and does he care? I just wanted to let everyone out their know that they are a miracle and they are someone special and unique. Our Creator knit you together in your mother's womb and knows the number of hairs on your head. He wants that personal relationship with you and created you to be with him in heaven. He made you exactly the way he wanted and he made you to perfection. And as we look and the bigness of God and how he made the universe and everything in it and what he did on that cross for us I think it is safe to say that our God doesn't make mistakes. You are beautiful just the way you are and don't change the way you look, act, or what you believe for anyone, because the creator of the universe made you in his image and to complete perfection. He gives strength to the weak and rest to the weary.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fear

As I walk through life and live different situations I have seen and heard of different things that people are afraid of. Maybe the dark, or monsters if your a little kid. But if you are an adult it might be losing your job, or not being able to pay the next bill that you know will soon be coming to you in the mail. Everyone has there fears, and everyone fears something. Fear can be a good thing or it could be very harmful. For the fear of falling you are probably not going to climb up and stand on the railing of a bridge that has a 50 foot drop under it because you know that if you fall you probably will no longer be alive. It can also be harmful in the way of being afraid of what the people around you think of you and how they perceive you. Sometimes I find myself so wrapped up in what others think and the fear that if I don't impress them what they might say to me, that I fall away from what God wants me to do in that moment. Everyday God gives you small windows of opportunity that you can either seize or let them go bye unnoticed. And if you aren't spiritually ready for the day many times they go by untouched and completely out of mind. One of the things that God has been teaching me lately is to slow down and realize that I may have this fear of my reputation but everyone else has their fears to. If you just would slow down and take in what others people's fears are you may realize that you are in the same boat with others that are around you every single day. You can let fear control you and stop you from what God wants you to do and what his will is or you can get past that fear and do what he wants for your life and take your stand against that fear. As Christians we have no reason to fear anything that this world throws at us because we know that we have God on our side and if we have God nothing can defeat us in this world or in the spiritual world. Live past your fears and step out of your comfort zone today and you just might see something that God has been trying to tell you and get you to do. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Love

The gifts that we receive each day are unbelievable. The only thing though is that you have to take the time to recognize them and receive them. Sometimes we get so busy that we forget that the rest of the world is still around us and still matters to God. We get caught up in our own ways and our own little world that we miss the bigger picture. You miss the person that no one seems to love, or the one that has labeled themselves as an outcast. Why do we continue to pass these people by as if they don't matter? Why do we not stop and think that tomorrow someone may not wake up to life, and the people around them that will mourn? What I am calling you to do is to step outside your comfort zone and to start realizing what is going on around us. Without love nothing else can be, and nothing else matters. How are you loving?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spiritual Energy

I got to play some volleyball this evening and we did much better then last week spiting the games 2-2. Although I noticed something throughout the game that seemed to make us better. The key for our success was energy plain and simple. The other key was not to make mistakes that gave away points. Playing volleyball is just like playing life. No not the board game, but actual life. When it comes down to how you live your life you always have choices. The same thing goes in your spiritual life. When you have spiritual energy and the people around you are supporting you and cheering you on and you are just being yourself, then things tend to be easier. When you get down because things aren't going your way and you start questioning why that aren't going the right way things can get tough. You can get easily frustrated and that is when most people seem to quit the Christian walk it when they get down. This is short and sweet and to the point and what I want you to try and do is have energy in your spiritual life, and place the people around you that can help you through the tough times and then you can turn around later and help them. You never know what the next day will bring, so prepare today and have a spiritual walk that can't be broken by the rough times that may lie in wait ahead. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Days and What Lies Ahead.

Each day that goes bye is another day closer to something. Another day of opportunistic, and another day of failures. Another day of good and bad. Another day of sweet and sour. Some days have more of one then the other but rarely does a day go bye where both are not incorporated. Another thing each day brings is people. People who know Christ and those who don't. People that are nice and people that are mean. The responsible and irresponsible. The loved and unloved. Everyone on this earth is the same, in the way that one day we will all be together in judgement day. God will judge the actions of the people and he will look to see who's names are in the Lamb's Book of Life. Everyone around you will have to face this day. Not everyone's name is in that Book and yet we continue to sit back and let others take care of it, because maybe, just maybe the people aren't important to us. I want to tell you something though, they are completely and one-hundred percent important and loved by God. He sees them in pain when we just pass them by and he sees their future in hell while all we see is our future in heaven. I am leaving to go to Peru in the middle of this summer. I hope to be their about two weeks on a missions trip. It isn't my first one but it is definitely the first one out of country. I have to have an interview with some of the advisors and my youth pastor and basically they ask me questions to make sure I am willing to go and am growing in my walk with God. I am not scared of the interview, or the plane ride, or getting lost, or the animals in the rain forest, the thought of being attack, the thought of being unwanted, the thought of being imprisoned, the thought of being killed, the thought of not coming back, the thought of injury, the though of lose, or the though of not being in technology range. Their is one thing though that I am deathly afraid of though, and that is that when I get to heaven and seeing my heavenly father and not hearing, "Well done my good and faithful servant." What do I want to bring back from this trip? Nothing. Sure the memories and the experiences will be there but I want to exhaust myself for these people, I want to be spiritually exhausted, I want nothing to come back with me and I want to hold no part of my self from God because he is the reason I live and he is the reason that I am going. He is the reason the citizens in Peru are their and he has awesome plans for them. I don't want to mess God's plans up for them though because I was selfish with my energy, or I turned someone away who was interested, or I didn't make that one child feel loved and excepted. Everything I am is God's and I want him to be all powerful their. If I come back with something I will be disappointed with myself. I am doing what God is calling me to do and I am asking now what are you willing to do for him? What are you willing to surrender for the people around you? Anything? Anything at all? Take a moment and think about this as you go through your life. Think of what our God demands and how you don't fill it. Think of what he did for you on that cross. Then think of the people that are going to hell because they don't know about him. Does it make you want to start living a more passionate life? It does for me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year Physically and Spiritually

     As we begin into 2011 many times people come up with New Year's resolutions that they want to try and fulfill and things that they want to succeed in. Most times people don't set a goal for themselves that they don't want to achieve, and if someone did, well that would be completely foolishness. Many times as well though, we get to mid January and then the goal just goes right out the window. I'm not here to tell you to get a New Year's goal or to tell you to try and grow with Christ this coming year, although both of these things are something that would be worth your time, but instead I am here to take this part of the year and compare it to the Bible. When someone comes to know Christ they can't just stop there. They must continue to nourish themselves with Christs everlasting water, and the must equip themselves with the tools to survive the battle that Christians go through everyday. The new year and the fresh start that is many times associated with it goes along represents a new Christan in many ways. The uncertainty of what is to come, the want to go after a new passion and succeed, these things are the same in both cases. The best way that I could discribe this would be Jesus's own words when he was here on earth. This comes from Matthew 3.

"3A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the see, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears let him hear."

     I really don't think that you could describe it any better than that. I won't type out exactly what Jesus said when he was explaining it to his followers but I will just summarize it. Here is the twist though, I am going to do it as it applies to this idea of new year's resolution and accepting Christ. Those who fall upon the path obviously don't except Christ when the hear about him and they are the ones that decide that a new year's resolution with a fresh start is pointless, and that having new life is just not worth it. Those who spring up quickly are those who mean well but just don't have the spiritual backing to keep growing. Their zest runs out within a few weeks of the new year. They are scorched as the trials come and not everything is as easy as the person in the front of the church made it out to be, but don't get me started on that because it could be an entire post of it's own. Those that fall along the thorns are those that get started and make it past the first hard aches but have no one for the second time of trial, or they just find the old way easier. These are the people that in the New Year's resolution may make it the first couple of months but see everyone else dropping their resolutions and by that influence they decide to do the same. The one's that fall upon the good soil are those that except Christ and run hard after him. These are the people that make their resolution a reality not just for one year but for the many years to come.
     I think these are the four main people that you have in life, those who don't care, those who are easily influenced to fall away, those who see everyone else dropping out and the decide it is not worth it, and finally those who decide to stick it out to the end. Of course their are probably people that are in between these but most people can be put into one of these four categories. However, the good news is that unlike the seeds, we as humans have the option and the freedom to chose are destiny, and to be able to chose how badly we want to grow and flourish. It is a new year for you physically and so now you have the option if you want to start and new year spiritually, or maybe you want to change where you fall. You never know when he will come back, as the Bible tells us that he will come like a thief in the night, and now could never be too late. It is all up to you to decide your own destiny, I just hope that you won't regret the decision that you make, because once our God comes back you will not be able to change where your seed is growing.