Monday, March 26, 2012


I’ve noticed lately, that I’ve become envious of friendship. Envious of friends who get dinner together, friends who go places, who enjoy each other’s company while I myself am alone during those times. This is not a good place to be.

So I started praying and asking God why I’m so envious. As I asked and listened God drew me back to some wounded places in my heart that still haven’t healed. I find in this desolate, bombed out place, memories from middle school and high school. Memories where I was rejected by dozens of people, told to my face “Why are you hanging around us? Go somewhere else.” I vividly recall one in the cafeteria, another in a classroom, and another where a teacher even asked me why I showed up to class 30 minutes early every morning and wasn’t out talking with anybody else. I could show you the exact places where each of these took, that’s how scarred I am from these moments.

During college I finally began to discover who I am, and found myself accepted by people for the first time. But over the past year, I’ve found my heart attacked numerous times, more bombs falling, I’m being herded back to that same wounded place in my heart.

And in the middle of all this pain, there’s a longing to be accepted, which grows up like a weed manifesting itself as envy when my friends hang out without me.

“Father come into this desolate bombed out place. Wrap your arms around me, and whisper truth to me. Heal my heart, transform these broken places into beautiful memorials that reflect your love. Remind me often that I do have friends who enjoy my company. Transform that weed into a flower, removing the envy, leaving only the need. Fulfill that need as you see fit Father. And draw me to others, who have been hurt in this way. Show/Inspire me to be a friend to those who have no friends, no one to hang with. Let me be Jesus to those who need just one person to accept them, just as I seek acceptance myself. Let my heart again overflow with joy, that those around me might be blessed.”

Saturday, March 17, 2012

PCB Wrap Up

Our last night giving rides and putting a team on the street brought many significant conversations including lives we believe we impacted the most on the whole trip. Having had several days to adjust to the environment, learn the layout and get into a flow of what the Spirit was doing in PCB, we found ourselves eager and bold.

Coupled by praying for each assignment before picking them up, we found many conversations turning spiritual. As I drove the van, I found myself privileged to be supporting and assisting all the students in conversation. What time I wasn’t focusing on traffic, I was either praying for conversations as they happened or listening to the spirit, and timely asking different questions to open up conversation about God and letting students take back over once the corner in the conversation had been turned.

I can’t express how much of a joy it was to hear students pouring out in conversation all the teaching we’ve presented this year in CCF. I heard material from our discipleship books, from aCRe, our retreats, the missionary convention, and even teaching from the talks I gave just recently. Seeing that teaching get regurgitated was awesome!

Close to midnight, we picked up a group of girls, and as we dropped them off, one girl got back in and asked to keep riding with us. Maria didn’t previously tell her friends of her intentions, and soon they were calling/texting her to ask why she stayed, and what was she thinking. She told them she was fine, that we hadn’t abducted her and that she wanted to talk with us more.

For the next 3 hours, she rode with us as we picked up other assignments. She poured out her heart, expressing her brokenness over sin, feeling lost towards God, and about her friends who she knew would chastise her for staying and not partying with them more. During all this time, she cried as the rode in the back and shared her story in between tissues.

Our group talked with her extensively, counseling her, and praying with her at various moments. We ultimately dropped her off as our last drop off of the night around 3am. Our hearts remain broken for her.

Be praying for her to find reconciliation, peace, and to remember what we shared with her. That the love and compassion we had on her will encourage her to seek out other Christians and that she would find her way into God’s arms.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

God Humbled Himself

I've been tracking through Luke as I spend quiet times, often spending several days on a single passage asking God how what he reveals applies to my life, and seeing what He reveals about himself. Tonight while in the prayer room at PCB doing Beach Reach, God pieced together something awesome.

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:11

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place." Philippians 2:8

God, the creator of the universe humbled himself. Re-read that last statement and let your mind grasp that.

This is why God is glorified, why He is worthy of our praise. God as our Father humbled Himself in reaching down to us. Remember in the Lost Son how the father ran out to his son, disgracing himself when custom would have been to send a runner instead? That's our heavenly Father. And Jesus humbled himself by offering himself as a sacrifice. God humbles himself by making us a priority, not at all getting into the territory of low self esteem.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Beach Reach Update

Last night we began ministry on the streets of PCB. Our van #winning (Based on twitter hash tags usually associated with Charlie Sheen) was out giving rides from 9pm-1:30am (10pm-2:30 Eastern Time).

So far we've witnessed
-A failed arrest
-A successful arrest
-Numerous other cars pulled over, DWI checks
-Guys relieving themselves in public
-One of our students got proposed to by a drunk guy
-One guy from Wisconsin who was excited about trying CiCi's pizza buffet for the first time
-Spring Breakers in need of medical care (alcoholic poisoning)

Last night before my group switched off the streets and into the van for a rest, we met a girl who came up on us from behind while we were walking the strip. She was accompanied by another girl. She told me she could tell there was something different about us, like we were glowing. She asked me about how to find God and find the life of being close to him that she desires.

She grew up going to a Catholic school, but doesn't believe in the teachings or traditions. I explained to her that finding God doesn't happen instantly, it's a process of grace and restoration. The best advice I could give her came from our discipleship materials at UNCW which consists of "Read the Bible every day, pray ever day, and plug in with a fellowship of believers." I shared different verses with her, as well as the story of the Lost Son (Luke 15) and grace, and prayed with her. We exchanged numbers because she wants to look at more scripture this week, and even join us for worship in the evenings.

I let her know I'd be praying for her the next 30 days. Join with me during this time in praying for her to encounter God who is running out to meet her. I hope to follow up with her this week. More than anything I know she needs to be discipled, to be shown over time what it means to follow God and how. Although that is far more than can be accomplished in a single conversation, I pray God sends others across her path, and draws her to believers back home.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Importance of listening

Currently on my way back to Panama City Beach with a team from UNCW. We've stopped in Savannah Georgia for the night. While spending some quiet time, I came across an amazing nugget for the first time. Wanted to share it.

1 John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.

Praying cannot be uploading a voicemail to God. We need to ask him his will, then listen. Then pray for his will to be carried out. We need to ask what his will is for our lives, every step of the way. When the Israelites overtook Jericho, God directed every step of the process, which led them to victory. Afterwards, the Israelites tried tacking the next city without consulting God and just acted. They got embarrassed.

We need to listen as we pray. God will answer our prayers if we pray in his will. To know his will, we have to first listen.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Remaining in Him

11 times in the span of 6 verses Jesus tells us to remain in Him. (John 15:4-10) For Jesus to keep repeating himself means He’s trying to convey something really important to us. And “If Jesus must tell us to remain in him, then he seems to be assuming that it is quite possible not to remain in him.” (John Eldridge “Walking with God”)

Jesus is clear in this passage. We are the branches, he’s the vine. We’re dependent on Him for life, to be held up. We can’t bear fruit/bring glory to God on our own. We have to remain in Him.

Biologists/Botanists will tell you that the stem/vine of most plants draws nourishment from the roots and pushes it out to the leaves/fruit. As branches, we don’t have to force nourishment from God. He’s sending it our way! We have to remain in him and receive it through prayer and scripture.

Remaining runs counter to our human selves. We fiercely desire independence and to not owe anything to anyone. We cry out for freedom. We took the forbidden fruit in the garden because we wanted to be like God. We in effect declared, “We can do what we want when we want to.”

Isaish 43:7 tell us though that we were created to bring God glory. If we remain in him, we fulfill our purpose, brining him joy, and receiving joy ourselves (John 15:11). If we don’t, we’re useless. You might as well try using a single hand size rubber band to tow a large truck. That’s not what a rubber band that size was intended for.

Neither were we intended to support ourselves but to remain in Him.