Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer Update

As my home church continues to look for a pastor, I've been filling on for our 3 weekly services. I'm still reluctant to say that I am preaching, partly out of humbleness. My grandpas health (see related post) kept me distracted and busy this past week so that going in, several of the messages I brought had barely begun to cook. God took over this past sunday night though, and provided insights, I had yet to come to.

Reminds me I need more of Him and less of me.

The past few days, I've also been helping dad on the farm, and suprisingly I havn't forgotten how to drive several of the tractors, as far as shifting them, etc. Its been good hard work, and a chance to test myself.

But this past week, I havn't had much time for God. Nor to study His word, nor for prayer. Distractions continue to pull me away, and joy from coming to Him, has started slipping away.

I'm going to see if I can start claiming some hours here and there for that purpose. I need a get away rendevouz


This past week, I've been spending time checking up on my grandpa. Long story short, he's had heart problems since having a heart attack 30 years ago. Now at the age of 83 (soon to be 84, 1 week shy of my birthday) he has one artery that remains open, and that having been added 22 years ago. At this point, there's nothing left doctors can do, except medicine, and to know that time has now grown precious.

Doctors say 6 months to a year but no gurantees.

The prognosis didn't stop my grandpa from killing 3 snakes in a row Sunday on his backporch, nor walking out often to check on the barns and the potatoes growing. Grandma keeps a close eye on him.

I'm now taking time to ask him about stories, and other things to receive what I can from him, before he's called home to our Father.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Last night as I lay in bed, reflecting on the day behind me, and the day ahead, I got blindsided. Out of the darkness and the quietness of the night, the Accuser started his charge.

He brought up previous actions, pain I'd caused others. Shame began to set in. "Hypocrite." "Unworthy to be called a follower of Him." These rang in my mind.

So I slid out of bed, got down on my knees and began to pray to my Father. I confessed these shortcomings. I prayed that the day would come quickly when I would finish surrendering my life to Him, and be used by Him completely.

As I prayed on, peace began to settle. Then recognition hit. This can only be the work of the Accuser. Sometime later I drifted off to sleep.

At some point during the night, whether in a dream, or a brief moment of consciousness before falling back asleep, this verse came into mind.

" transformed by the renewing of your mind..."

When I woke up the next morning, the words still stuck at the forefront of my mind. Feeling compelled to read the passage, I turned to Romans 12, there I found God's answer.

"Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will."

In view of God's mercy, offer your transformed...

Father, I know that my own life has accomplished little good. Like Paul, I feel compelled to say I am the worst of sinners. But Lord, you did not create me to be this way. You created me for greater purposes. And by laying aside my life, I take a firmer hold of the life you are living in me.

To you be the glory.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The other day, I fasted for some friends overseas right now, and spent the day in prayer. Fasting for the day provided no problems, now that I have some experience under by belt. This was however the first time I've fasted at home.

It was interesting to explain to my parents and brothers who still stand skeptical of the practice. My oldest brother didn't even know Christians still fasted.

I've been striving since being home, to continue do live out my faith to the fullest. That has left my mom wondering how I havn't gotten tired of God, and God's work. In years past I would burn out. But that stands as one of the furthest thoughts from my mind since God has taken up most of my heart's desire.

My actions have spoken volumes about my faith, and I pray that this would become contagious for the rest of the household...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Something sweet

Still reading Way of the Wild Heart.

Thinking strongly about learning to ride horses.

Saw God's strength on display down on the beach last night. Hearing the waves crash on the shore and to remember the verse where God said He made the beach to contain the ocean was awe inspiring. Felt the wind, and watched dark clouds off shore pass by.

This past year I've come to a realization about prayer. I've found some recent prayer times to be sweet. The kinda sweet where you're up around midnight talking with someone special and knowing there is no other place you would rather be. Where the last thing you want to do is say good bye, even for only a little while.

God gave us prayer as a means of being close to Him. To come into His presence. He meant for prayer to be intimate. Now I understand why Jesus said in Matthew 6 to go into a closet to pray. If thats the only way we'll open up our hearts to Him, to get away from formal prayers, to stop thinking about putting our prayers into pleasing words, then may we all have a hide away where we can pray to God, without pretense.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I've started off my summer by getting discipl(in)ed spritually. I'm working on waking up about 8am so I can have quiet time before everyone else is up and around at home. Day 1 Fail. By about 2 hours. This time I didn't nap about 4pm so I should be able to fall asleep sooner tonight...

I'm reading through "The Way of the Wild Heart" right now. Doing a lot of thinking regarding what it means to be a son of God. What having God as my Father really means.

I'm studying through the book of Matthew with that mindset. My initial thoughts come from looking at the geneaology, which I almost always skip over. When you look at a man, you see a lot of his father in him. This generally holds true. Now think about every man listed in the geneaology. Abraham, Jacob, David, Soloman, down to Joseph. God specifically chose each to become a part of the lineage. Each one possessed traits and qualities we see in Jesus, because each received them from the Father.

So I'm going to begin my summer by setting out to know my Father better...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Summer Plans

As I type this, I've just completed my last exam, wrapped up my junior year. In two days, I'll be heading home for the summer. Looking back, here's how I've changed.

I tore my ACL almost a year ago in Dearborn. God has since gotten my heart, and the chance to show me the power of prayer. "His strength is made perfect in weakness."

Many prayers finally came answered this year. Adam made the decision to be baptized! The campus ministries came togegether for two weeks of prayer. And now we have a permanent prayer room! "In the last days I will pour out my spirit..."

Philadelphia, people in Greenville, those considered the "least of these" I consider the greatest. Because despite their hardships, they see more of God's love every day, and somehow they praise Him. Makes my praise seem almost worthless.

I've matured a lot over this past year as well. Granted I became more random, such as the squirreling. And I seem to come out of no where from time to time with revelations of burdens, and struggles. I still have a hard time opening up, and letting others in, with being transparent. But I also seem to care more about whats going on with others than with myself, and so I've taken more time to listen than to speak.

To you, my readers I say this. Don't stop at my shell. I invite you to crack me open. To ask questions you may not know anwers to. To dig in deep, because I do keep some stuff under the surface. A couple of close friends have been able to do this. I say this, because I'm not likely to take you there otherwise. Shame, and pride will hold me back.

I still have a few things I'm working through, but I know that I am loved. And I'm placing God more as #1 in my life. Now I don't crave attention as much as I used to. Now I don't become as depressed as before. I still disengage from time to time to think and reflect, but ultimately I'm seeking not to be such a loner, and to include others, and draw from others.

And at this point, I'm more at peace than I have been in a while. "Inexpressible peace."

I've arrived to the point, of needing summer vacation. Academically my brain is fried right now. Spiritually, I'm holding steady, but my use of the sword has grown somewhat dull. I see before me, some of what God has called me to do, but my heart needs to re-examine the why. I need to take time to be refilled with His compassion for all that He is doing.

I'm going to become a little bit of a monk this summer. Be spending heavy time in the word, in prayer, and letting God come inside to the caves I rarely dare to admit exist inside of me. Going to do some spiritual wandering, be in a "desert" of sorts. May he sharpen my mind, break down my heart, give me fresh eyes, and ears. Teach me to lay down, the things of this world.

My inclination at this point is to say all this in order to say that when I return I'll be ready to serve as a Campus Catalyst for prayer next year. To serve on Core, lead 2:42, meet 1-1, be active in Greenville and reaching out to my family. But God did not intend for me to bear these burdens alone.

And that alone now that I think about it, may be the biggest revelation I need to meditate on all summer...

Monday, May 4, 2009

All or Nothing

Let me open this post with a hypothetical situation:

Suppose you go over to Best Buy and shell out $14.99 for Finding Nemo (I tried to think of something everyone would like and by impulse buy). But when you got home and began to watch the movie, it cut off 20 minutes into the movie. You try the disk several times only to realize that while you payed for the whole movie, you in fact only got the first 20 minutes. How would that make you feel?

Dissapointed? Upset? Angry?

I wonder how God feels when He bought us, and we have only given Him part of our heart?

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price..." 1 Corinthians 6:19

God gave up His only Son for us. He did this, to win all of our heart. But have we given that to Him? Do we only give Him our heart when its conveniant, when we're expected to, until there's something "fun" we can do?

"Love the Lord your God with ALL YOUR HEART..." Deuteronomy 6: 5

May God become the centermost desire of our hearts. Because when He does, we will be filled with so much joy, inexpressable peace, and we won't have to worry about if we're doing enough for God, because we will take joy in obeying Him. Sin won't even be an issue, because sin is anything that takes our hearts away from God.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:21