Sunday, November 28, 2010

Royal Park Estates

By the title of this post, you might think that I am about to talk about some nice community that I have lived in, or maybe some neighborhood that always has the best Christmas lights up this time of the year. Definitely not that kind of place. It is actually a trailer park about twenty minutes from my apartment in Auburn in nearby Opelika, AL. It is a place that even after only a couple of weeks of visiting, has begun to change my life and see God in a new light. One of my previous posts was about waiting on the Lord, and I feel like this community has helped show me what that truly means. It is a place that needs Jesus Christ and by simply deciding to go, God has given me the chance to bring the Gospel to these guys and "wait on the Lord" aka SERVE HIM. Some are  juniors and seniors in high school and some are just 6 or 8 year old kids, but they all need Jesus just like I do. I have been waiting for this opportunity to serve and it isn't like some divine revelation where I just heard about this place and had a dream saying "GO." It simply came through filling out a card at church and then an email. And as simple as that was, satan was still at work trying to give me reasons not to go. Whether it was me feeling sick or just being scared to make a phone call. but the Lord has a plan for this community and He has a plan for me. and I am excited to see what that is. All I am doing is playing football on a Sunday afternoon, but I am already falling in love with this community and want to serve them. Anything that I might bring to them is only a fraction of what they are teaching me and what they are revealing to me about community and the body of Christ.

This community is a place of poverty and there are many kids and teenagers of all ages living here. But regardless of the economic state these people live in, they definitely have a few things right that I think I have missed and many people with more money have missed. And that is a sense of community. These people still spend a Sunday afternoon sitting on their porches and socializing with their neighbors. They want to spend time with each other. In my neighborhood, I think we all like to sit inside and avoid each other. They are also very inclusive of everyone in the community. The older kids enjoy spending time with the younger kids. They don't try to kick the younger ones out of their football games, they openly invite them to play. I know for a FACT that I did not do that when I was a junior or senior in high school. The LAST thing that I wanted was for some 8 or 10 year old to come and try and play football with me. Not these guys.

And I think that is a problem in our Church today as well. So many times, I know particularly in my life, I discredit younger Christians. And not physically younger Christians, but Christians who have known the Lord for a shorter amount of time than I have. I get this arrogance about myself as if I have all the answers, when I am definitely not perfect. Just because someone has known the Lord for a shorter amount of time does not mean we shoo them away and restrict the body of Christ to those who have know Christ for certain time periods. What happens when you cut off circulation to the arm? It goes dead. Similarly, if the Church cuts off part of the body of Christ, that part will die. It will no longer be able to grow stronger. We must commit ourselves to encouraging and edifying other believers.

This was definitely more of a scatter-brained post than some others, but it really is tough to organize all my thoughts when talking about this place. I just get so excited!! But the bottom line is that we are called to serve. and to love. They go hand in hand.

"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or in talk but in deed and in truth." --1 John 3:16-18

"But someone will say 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." --James 2:18

I want to love. and I want to serve. Praise be to God.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


After sitting through 123 interviews that took about 23 hours over 2 days, it is safe to say that I am a little tired. and drained.  But with that, came a breath of fresh air. Definitely not literally since I was stuck inside in the same room for 2 whole days, but spiritually I found myself refreshed. Hearing the countless number of people walk in and talk about servant leadership really boosted my spirits. In this day and time, so many people are looking out solely for themselves. The past two days have helped to show me how being servant-hearted is not a trait that has died.

The BIG Event is a project that has become dear to my heart. Last year serving as a Project Coordinator helped me to continue to develop my leadership skills, but more importantly gave me a chance to minister to people here in this Auburn community. So many times I have found myself trapped in this bubble of my friends where I don’t reach out to those that are hurting right here in the very community I live in. Now I have been given a chance to serve as an Assistant Director of the BIG Event and I am pumped! Especially after nailing down the Project Coordinators for this year’s BIG Event.

The Project Coordinators for this year absolutely blew me away in their interviews. Hearing their faith and how they believe in serving others before themselves was so refreshing. The idea that humility is a foundation of leadership was evident in all of their lives. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and became a servant. That is what these Project Coordinators want to do. They want to serve this community and put their needs above their own. This is a ministry that we have been given, and I am so excited to see how these Project Coordinators take this opportunity to further His Kingdom and bring glory to His name!

With that excitement, I think my job and ministry opportunity has become clear.  SERVE THESE PROJECT COORDINATORS. Before interviews, I think I had forgotten what servant leadership would look like for me in my position. I have been given a great opportunity to minister to these PC’s, and it would be a shame for me to treat them different from the way I expect them to treat all of the people they will help to serve. Lead by example. I want to wash their feet. I want to show them that in order to lead, I must serve. Lord, you have given me an opportunity to minister to these people. Don’t allow me to let this pass. May you be given all of the glory.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Praise God!

Give me discipline so that I may grow in my walk with with You. I want to draw near to You. Nothing else in this life will satisfy me or give me a peace outside of You. You are the Maker, the Life-sustainer and You hold me in Your hand. I turn away from You so often and yet You pursue me. You are the Good Shepherd and You will not abandon me nor forsake me. Father, I live two separate lives so often and put You on only when it fits me and my needs. And yet You welcome me home with open arms. You love me despite the ugliness and nastiness that is my sin. I am but filthy rags. But because of Your Son, I am washed white as snow. My sin was nailed upon the cross and I have been made clean. You conquered death and sin no longer has power. I am now more than a conqueror through Your love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate me from Your love that is in Christ Jesus my Lord! Lord, You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise Him above ye heavenly host! Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Praise God! He is good!

And Father, give me the courage and power to declare this message to the world, because they need You just as much as I do. This is a fallen world, but You can raise it up and You will be glorified.

Praise God!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Your Word

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 
--2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed. And how often do I just not even open it up to look and see what He has for me. Everything in there is straight from the living God. His Word will equip me for every good work, for everything that could possibly come my way. His Word is all-satisfying. 

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word."--Psalm 119:9.

It is that simple. Live according to Your Word. Of course the first step for me is to open it. There are so many days where I waste my time watching TV or just doing absolutely nothing when that time could be dedicated to hearing the living God speak. And how many times do I try to substitute listening to some worship music as my time in the Word. How many times am I going to exalt the words of Chris Tomlin over the very words of God?! And when am I going to be able to recite Scripture passages as long as entire songs? I can sing a song with no problem and know every single word, but throw a passage of Scripture in front of me and I stumble over the words.

"I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I may not sin against you."--Psalm 119:11

It is time for me to be disciplined. It is time for me to stand on the Rock, the firm foundation that is Your Word. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Will Wait Upon the Lord

One of the most misinterpreted verses, or rather, words in the Bible would have to be Isaiah 40:31 particularly the word "wait."

                 "but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall
                  mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary; they
                  shall walk and not faint."--Isaiah 40:31

So many times I catch myself saying "oh well I'm just going to wait and see what the Lord has for me" or "I'm just going to wait for the Lord to give me a clear sign about whether I should do that or not." The problem with this logic is that Scripture clearly tells us a lot of things to do. "Go and make disciples" for instance is one clear form of this. How many times do I decide to sit around and wait for the Lord to tell me if I should minister to a certain person? A lot. Scripture clearly says YES, minister to that person, spread my gospel.

If you had a waiter at a restaurant that always waited for you to ask for something without them doing it, they would be a pretty horrible waiter. To "wait" means to "serve." If we are serving the Lord and seeking Him in everything we do, then His plan for our life is going to be more evident and clear. If I just sit back and "wait" for God to send some sign for everything then I am going to miss so many opportunities to serve Him. When I throw off all the other things that distract me in this world and focus on serving the one true God, I am going to be able to run and not be weary. I will walk and not faint. I don't want to "wait" on the Lord. He has already told me what I am supposed to do. I am supposed to serve Him. I will wait on Him.

Throw Me in the Fire


I am deeply in need of You.  In everything, I need to fall more and more in love with YOU.  I let so many things take my attention away from serving You, the God who created me. Loved me. Died for me. And saved me. Abba, You have never left my side. You hold me in Your hand. Lord, I'm tired of living a life that isn't completely on fire for You. 


God I want to fall more in love with You. Father break me down so that You can build me back up. May Your glory be displayed in my life. God I want to serve You in a way I never have.


I have grown to be in a state of comfortability in where I am in my walk with You. That is a dangerous place for me to be in. I no longer want to be comfortable. I want to glorify You. People will say that there is no safer place than in God's Will, but Father I know that isn't always true. Persecution is a part of this walk, and Lord I am ready to make a stand. You are all-satisfying. Help me to trust You more.


Father, I want to fall more in love with you.

"Burn Us Up" by Shane & Shane

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ruin Me

Woe to me, I am unclean
A sinner found in Your presence
I see you seated on Your throne
Exalted, Your glory surrounds You

Now the plans that I have made
Fail to compare when I see Your glory

Ruin my life the plans I have made
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain
Destroy the idols that have taken Your place
‘Til its You alone I live for,
You alone I live for.

Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy is the Lord.

Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy is the Lord.

Ruin my life the plans I have made
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain
Destroy the idols that have taken Your place
‘Til it’s You alone I live for,
You alone I live for.

(“Ruin Me” by Jeff Johnson)

Wow what a powerful song.  Pretty bold statement right there too.  One that takes great faith to make.  I mean think about it, this song is telling God to ruin me.  To ruin the plans that I have for my life that are not of Him or of His will.  It is scary to say that but if I am truly seeking after Christ and want to live the life that He desires for me, then this statement is something I should be praying every single day.  Because I know that the plans that God has for me are far better than anything that I could come up with for myself.  I need God to ruin the plans and desires that I have that aren’t of Him and I need Him to destroy those idols in my life that I allow to take His place.  I have to seek after Him in everything and trust in His wisdom and guidance that His plans for my life are not to harm me.  That He has an awesome plan for my life and will use me in an unbelievable way if I would just allow Him to.  And it all starts with digging into His Word and allowing His Word to penetrate my life and renew my mind daily.  I need the Father.  Father, ruin me and my plans so that Your will and Your purpose for me may be fulfilled.  May I decrease so that You can increase.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friendship and Brotherhood

Nothing too deep to write about today. But I have just been thinking about how blessed I am to have the friends I have. I don't know where I would be without them. Probably a basket case about so many things. I freak out about everything and get all worried, but I am so glad to have friends who can help me to see the bigger picture in things and trust in God's plan. I don't have to have my whole future planned out today. I just have to take life moment by moment and trust in the Lord's direction of my life. What is supposed to happen will, and if I am seeking Him first above all things then I know He will provide for me things that I need and when I need them. His timing for everything is perfect. I just have to trust in that. It's a lot easier said than done, but I just have to live for Him. What is supposed to happen, will. Thank you to all my friends who continue to help encourage me in this way and show me that the Lord is sovereign over all.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." ---Hebrews 10:23-25

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." ---Proverbs 17:17

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More than Conquerors

I have been reading in Romans for the past week and a half or so and it is absolutely rocking my world. It is so crazy to think that the God of this universe would love me, but He does and that is something to rejoice in always. Just reading Romans 8:31 is enough to give us confidence in all things: “If God is for us, then who can be against us?” WOW! Why do I get so scared and intimidated by so many things in this life when God is on my side and is there for me? But the great thing about this passage in Romans 8 is that it doesn’t end there. Paul just continues to encourage us more and more.

“ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? .... No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
--Romans 8:35-39

That is one of the most incredible and empowering passages in Scripture. To know that there is absolutely nothing on this earth that can separate me from God’s love. Absolutely nothing! We are now more than conquerors because Christ has defeated death! That is awesome! The power that comes with that is unbelievable. It is one of the most freeing things to know when I wake up every morning, I am now more than a conqueror. There is nothing in this world, nothing that Satan can throw at me, that can separate me from His love. I have the power of God living inside of me, and that makes me more than a conqueror. I no longer need to fear what lies ahead of me because God is for me. No sin or temptation has any hold on me because of the power of God living inside me. Not to say I will never mess up, but I am more than a conqueror through Christ. That sin no longer has any power and it has already been defeated. I just have to continue to trust in the one who holds the power. The Source of all life, Jesus Christ. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Break My Heart

I have been blessed. Blessed beyond imagine. I never go a day wondering if I will eat, if I will have clothes to wear, or if I will have a place to lay my head at night. And not only have I been provided all of these things that I need, I have been given far more than that and can live comfortably and have many of my wants. And this is not inherently a bad thing, but truly is a blessing. But I have been convicted this summer in a big way that I have allowed this to consume me. How can I justify having all of this stuff (much of it I do not even use or wear anymore) when there are children halfway around the world that have next to nothing? Scripture tells us “to look after the widows and orphans” (James 1:27). I don’t think that He told us this just so that we can think about it and say, “oh that is terrible, poor child.” I am pretty sure, actually 100% sure, that he said this because he wants us to care for them and look after them. Because of this, Compassion International has been really heavy on my heart. The ministry that they organize is absolutely unbelievable and it really does give everyone the chance to care for children who desperately need the Lord and His love. After spending a summer with David Wangaka, the Compassion representative from Kenya who grew up as a sponsored child, I know that the Lord uses this to impact children for Him. This is not in vain, but God is truly glorified through this. I have been praying more and more that the Lord would break my heart for what breaks His. That He would lay a burden in my life to want to continue to help people all over the world and show the same love that He showed me. Sponsoring Anthony from Nicaragua has already been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I cannot wait to see what God will continue to do in that relationship.

But God showed me today as I sat in church, that His heart does not only break for the children in poverty. It also breaks for the person sitting next to me in class that does not know Him as Savior and Lord. How dare me not show the same kind of love to that person that God has shown me. His heart breaks for all who need Him and I need Him to continue to pray for Him to break my heart for the same thing. There are many people here on this campus at Auburn that need to know Him as Father. His kindness drew me to repentance and His love can draw them to repentance as well. I need to be willing to show that kind of love and kindness. He can do far more abundantly than I can ever think or imagine. It is time I start looking at life and this world from His perspective.

Break my heart for what breaks Yours. On the other side of the world and right here in this community. You desire people to know you as Savior and Lord and I want your desire to be my desire. Break my heart.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Sufficient Grace

I have kept God in a small box for a great majority of my life. And it all started with my outlook on sin. I looked at my own sin as something small rather than something that truly separates us from our Father. As I said yesterday, I didn’t drink or smoke or go to any crazy parties so I thought I was good. I didn’t do any of the “really bad sins” as we like to call them. But God has absolutely broken me down from that over the course of this year and even more so this summer. My sin is just as disgusting, filthy, and wretched as anyone else’s. And it nailed the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, to the cross. Just because my sin hasn’t been something that a lot of people see or easily recognize, that does not make me any less guilty before the Lord. And because of this God has continued to convict me for looking at others with judgment and condemnation. Who am I to condemn someone else for their sin? I am just as filthy as the person next to me. But, luckily for me and for the whole world, God’s grace is sufficient. It covers all of our sin. Not just the little sin that we think we have in our own lives, but all of our sins, even the ones that we struggle with every single day. Am I saying that because God’s grace is sufficient for us then it is now ok for us to sin and live in it? Absolutely not!

“What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
By no means! We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  --Romans 6:1-4

But what I am saying is that before I go and look at someone else and judge them for their sin, I need to take a good long look in the mirror and realize how dirty my sin is in the eyes of God. No sin is worse than another and I have forgotten that for the majority of my life. Does this mean that I just sit back and watch friends continue in sin without speaking up? Again, absolutely not! But now rather than approaching with judgment and condemnation, I want to be able to hold my brothers and sisters in Christ accountable with love and kindness. And not just my brothers and sisters in Christ, but also the rest of the world who need to know Christ as Savior and Lord. No one is ever too far gone for the Lord to save or bring to repentance. If God’s kindness can bring me to repentance (Romans 2:4) then why can I not spread that same love and kindness to another and let God bring them to repentance as well? When I write others off as too far gone, I am making an all-powerful God powerless. God loved me when I was unlovable, and I should be willing to do the same for others. God commands it. There is healing in our Father’s hands, and only He can give us rest and peace and comfort. We just have to come to Him and trust Him. Love and kindness brought me to the Father, and love and kindness will bring the rest of His children to Him.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Identity Inspired by Intimacy

I have decided to start blogging. Something I never thought would really sound appealing to me since I do not usually like to write or type or anything. But I have really felt an urge to start “journaling” and just writing down what God is doing in my life and teaching me. This blog is ultimately just an outlet for me to write down the things I am going through and learning, but if others happen to read and are encouraged by what I write, then that is even better. But if you are reading, know that whatever is said here is not necessarily some divine revelation that God has put before me, but rather it is a compilation of a lot of things I have recently been told by pastors and worship leaders at camp or friends and through personal bible study. I believe to be a good learner of life you have to “steal” ideas and thoughts and apply them to your life and that is one of my goals here.

In my life, I have always been known as a good kid and probably would go as far as saying “the goody-goody” who never really had done anything wrong. I was raised by great parents who brought me up in a very strong Christian home and Christian church. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and I am truly blessed to have been raised in the environment I was. But I think that I missed the point about what it meant to be a Christ-follower. Often times, particularly growing up in the Bible belt, I saw Christianity as being a list that I followed and if I did those things then I must be alright. I knew that it was by grace I had been saved and not of works but that just was not how I lived my life most of the time. And so what should have been a faith centered around Christ and His glory, many times was centered around myself and my glory. I have heard it explained like this: Husbands have a certain amount of things that they are generally just expected to do as a husband. A list of ways that they are supposed to show their wife they love her. If the marriage is all based off of a list and things that he is “supposed” to do, then very quickly the appeal to do that and the joy in pleasing his wife will disappear.  But when the husband is active in the relationship and has communion with his wife, an intimate relationship develops. And through this, the husband finds himself almost accidentally doing the things that he would have done if he were just doing the list! But the difference now is that the works come from having an intimate relationship with his wife which makes him want to serve and love her. In that same way, I have often done that in my relationship with God. I have made a list of the things that I thought I was supposed to do (or not do) to be a good Christian. Whether it was going to church and saying “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am” or not drinking, smoking, and having sex. I believed that if I did those things then I was set. But all I was doing was making God smaller and myself bigger. I said that my sin that I struggled with was not that big of a deal and God really didn’t think I was that bad. I mean I followed the list. I was better than that guy over there. That should get me some bonus points, right? But I was missing a deep, intimate relationship with the Father. I rarely dug into His Word to find life because I thought I was good enough. But what I finally came to realize was, that once I started having daily communion with the Father and actively seeking His Will for my life, I have found myself doing the exact same things that were on the list but it is for a completely different purpose. No longer am I doing this as a way of self-glorification, but it is to glorify the Father and see His Kingdom advanced. As this relationship grows deeper and more intimate, my desire to serve and love Him continues to grow. And so now those things that are on the list happen almost by accident as I look to glorify Him in all that I do. And my sin and struggles seem less and less tempting to me as I draw closer to Him. I can remember that through Christ I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) and nothing can separate from the love of God (Romans 8:39). So as I begin this new school year, I am going in with the perspective of glorifying Christ and not myself. Because my identity is in Him, and nothing good that I do can be done outside of His power in me.

I know that this was really long winded and probably could have been said in a much more concise way, but this is what is going on in my life today. I no longer want to find my identity found in organizations, people, and certainly not my sin, but I want to find it in Christ. I want to be found in Christ and to make Him known to others. And I want that intimate relationship with the Father. He is the only thing on this earth that can satisfy, and I constantly need to drink more from the fountain of life, Scripture. We all need to get in His Word and we will all find ourselves living with an identity that is inspired by intimacy.