Thursday, February 24, 2011


I was going through the pages in my journal yesterday and I found several instances of "I feel God calling me to work with college students." I can say that passion has only grown since writing those words.

This week another guy came to check out CCF. I got to know him and we shared a little bit of our stories. We're getting lunch tomorrow, and I believe he may become a regular. Separately Tate and I have both been led to go up and meet the same student from Crusade, about a week apart from each other. This blew our minds earlier as we exchanged on some happenings. God is us up to something there, I'm not sure what but those appointments and their leading by the spirit is too coincidental.

Just spent some quiet time reading through Ephesians in advance of small group next week. I'm so excited because we'll be unpacking what God's plan is about, and defining words like sin, and grace, while looking at some elements of our salvation.

Still applying for jobs. Completed some more applications today, including with Aramark on campus to work in serving food. Following up with another job tomorrow. Friends are helping with leads, but more than anything I'm praying often for God to provide the means.

Heading home this weekend for the first time since moving down here. Taking care of some errands, and leading some worship on Sunday. Somewhat nervous about that, but just asking that the music will glorify God, and resonate with the congregation.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

State of War

During the retreat over the weekend, we were blessed to have Mark Whited, a campus minister from Indiana come and speak to us. He shared the story of the Gospel, from creation, to corruption, to redemption and restoration. This week, I've been diving into the story of the Gospel as it's revealed through the Bible. I've been doing so because later today I'm starting a 1-1 Bible study with one of the students here at UNC-W and I'm going to be teaching him this story so he can understand more of the world he's stepped into with a recent decision to be baptized.

First think about a great story. Doesn't matter the tale, but pick one. Although I'm more partial to the story of Star Wars and the archetypes found there, let's together look at Titanic, something I think everyone has seen.

Beginning of the movie, there's celebration. The passengers board the boat, they set out for America, adventure, excitement, entertainment awaiting them along the way. It was good. But then tragedy happens, the boat collides with an iceberg, suffering cataclysmic damage. The passengers must now flee utopia, their world shattered. The remnant of those who make it through are ferried to land. Their lives are never the same.

Sound familiar? Their story aboard the ship, is our story in life. In Genesis 1-2 God created everything. It was good. There was utopia, purpose, balance within all of creation, intimacy with God. But tragedy entered the story. How do you interpret this next part? Do you say that Man chose against God? Do you start with the enemy coming in, leading man astray? How we choose to word this next part of the story says a lot about our point of view with Christianity, and how we look at ourselves.

Let me be clear on something, Man did choose against God, and Satan did lead man astray. But which is the more important aspect of the story? How did tragedy come about?

I believe tragedy entered when man believed in the lies of his enemy. We so often forget as Christians that we have an enemy, that we are still in a state of war. We become consumed with mastering ourselves and believing that we are bad, cursed, down to our very DNA. We forget that when God created us, he called us "Very Good."

This is where good news really becomes good news. God is not offering us something new, but offering us the ability to reclaim what was ours to begin with! When we become a new creation in Christ, our struggle is not so much with flesh and blood as it is against our accuser, who is furious, that we have changed our allegiance. Christ calls us to be holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4), not to forever sulk in our guilt as our accuser would have us do.

We are at a state of war, but our enemy is not ourselves, nor largely our actions. If we are a new creation in Christ our enemy is Satan, the accuser, the dragon, the serpent, "a roaring lion who seeks someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering." 1 Peter 5:8-9

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Next Step

Let me start by saying I'm abandoning the series looking at the spiritual journey in Matthew 5. I tried to sit down the other week and work on the next segment, but my heart just wasn't in pursuing it further for now. I'd encourage you to look through the rest of Matthew 5:3-12 with the lens of taking the passage as steps of a spiritual journey to see for yourself what's there.

That said, let me share what has been on my heart.

New Community
I now find myself living in Wilmington, the culmination of a process that was 4 years in the making. I considered and prayed over many different courses of action and ultimately felt God had opened a door for me in ministry and community here. I received further confirmation of this though a night of worship and prophesying at the Boiler Room in Greenville. In brief, two different guys (unaware of my considerations at the time) both saw me in a port city, one ultimately that saw me going before Christ here, pointing people to him.

The opportunity to live with my roommate Bryan was one big reason. Living with a spiritual brother has already proven rewarding, just in being able to share in prayer, guard each others back, and to partner in ministry and life together.

Being able to stay around a college campus was also huge. God has given me a heart for campus ministry and spending this past weekend at a retreat reaffirmed that over and over, through the many conversations I had with students and seeing what God is doing in their lives. The chapter of CCF here at UNC-W is smaller than the chapter I was in at ECU. The chapter here also only has a handful of guys. But this past week I've been blessed to befriend one of the new guys coming to CCF and see him make a decision to rededicate his life to Christ. God is really stirring him on the inside, and God has placed him on my heart as someone to disciple along with the other guys here.

I'm seeking now to find employment as a means of covering the finances of living here and take that burden off my parents. I've also seen them come to ultimately support my decision to come, which has been a prayer answered.

Already I am being stretched and challenged in new ways, some of which I'll share with you as this journey I find myself on continues. Thanks for supporting me with encouragement, prayer, and following this blog. My prayer is the things I share challenge, sharpen, and encourage you.