STOP LOOKING BACK

Walk into your God given destiny 

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STOP LOOKING BACK

BLOG POST #30

Moving forward has always been something God has called us to do. Many of us get caught in the good old glory days. “Those were the days”, I wish I could go back to that time”,  is what many of us say. Longing for the past has never really been good. In the Bible, Genesis 19:26 tells us that Lots wife turned into a Pilar of salt. God was bringing them into something new and Great and she looked back. For 2018 I believe God has a desire to see His people walk into their God given destiny. Let this be the year you trust God more, worship Him more, follow Him more, honor Him more, be led by Him more, and love Him more.

“Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:31‬ ‭NLT

WHO DO YOU NEED GOD TO BE TODAY?

Ask and you will receive... 

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WHO DO YOU NEED GOD TO BE TODAY?

BLOG POST #29

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Merry Christmas! When Jesus came thousands of years ago, the Bible tells us that He was called many things (wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace). If you need counseling, I dare you be counseled by God today. He’s waiting ever so Patient to give you the advice you need for you to continue to grow. Are you fatherless? Your Heavenly Father has always been there and is ready to be the father you deserve. What a day to receive peace. Even the Shepard’s who were told about the birth of Christ many years ago were under tons of stress, but when they received the good news, the greatest news known to man, the birth of Jesus Christ Himself, they were filled with peace. With this news we too should be at peace, but if peace is what you seek in any area or situation in your life, ask God for it. And He will willingly give it to you without reproach.

GETTING RID OF THE OLD

Getting rid of the old (for real this time) 

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GETTING RID OF THE OLD

BLOG POST #28

A few weeks back, I was helping Chuck outside with some yard work, well he was actually doing the yard work and I just decided to sweep the back porch. See, we have this massive tree in our backyard and as we were in the middle of fall, the leaves covered our backyard and due to the wind, they blew on our back deck. I took a broom and began to sweep them from one side to the other. While this seemed like a super simple task, it got complicated. It was a windy day, so after a few minutes of sweeping leaves to one section of the deck, the wind would blow and the leaves again would be all over the entire deck. That clean looking surface now looked like I didn’t even touch it - it was full of leaves all over again. And I had to start all over again, right from the beginning. 

My heart quickly responded and God brought an analogy to my mind - this is like us in our life and sometimes we don’t really take care of those things on the inside the proper way, and when the wind comes and the hard times come, we revert back to looking the way we used to. 

Now thinking about it, the proper thing to do would have been to sweep small individual piles, and then picked up those piles and placed them in a bag to properly dispose of them. I didn’t do things the way I was supposed to, and because of that, the surface was again covered in leaves. 

Ephesians 4:22-32 says…

22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to - the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.25 No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. 26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. 27 Don't give the Devil a chance. 28 If you used to rob, you must stop robbing and start working, in order to earn an honest living for yourself and to be able to help the poor. 29 Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. 30 And do not make God's Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God's mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. 32 Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.

I think sometimes we think we tend to sweep those things that we know are not Christ-like in us under the rug. Or better yet, we sweep them to a corner of our “deck”. But when the wind blows, and situations come up that test us or try our character - that cleaned off surface is now covered again in that “thing” that we thought we dealt with. 

We must take time to address all of those things in our life that are not Christ-like that we struggle with. Do you struggle with lying? Be honest with yourself and admit that it is a struggle, don’t just brush it in a corner thinking you’ve done away with it. Find an accountability partner who you can be open and honest with and share your struggles - that way you have someone that can pray for and with you and can help you in those times when you are either struggling or have allowed that thing to creep back in and need someone who can be brutally honest with you. 

Invite the Holy Spirit into your life to help you to change those ways - He is the only one who can do that. But there is a piece that you are responsible for as well - you are presented with choices everyday, and you’ve got to make the right choices. Assess your friends circle, the music you listen to, the shows you watch - what you allow yourself to take in, you will eventually begin to pour out those things. 

I’ll leave you with what Paul wrote to us in Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

So get rid of the old (for real) and fix your thoughts on Him!

IN PURSUIT

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IN PURSUIT

BLOG POST #27

Note to the backslidden

I have a painting I keep on my wall to remind me who is holding on to who. I was raised in an environment where I thought that there were things I needed to do to keep God’s affection and that I was more interested in God then He was in me. I would then develop and try and maintain a discipline of working for God’s affection and would inevitably fall short. After falling I’d be ashamed and backslide. The mistakes I have made could have easily landed me in jail or the morgue. 

I remember one incident where my car bounced off the guard rails on a highway and while in mid-air, thinking to myself: “hmm.. I guess this is how I die.” My car continued to flip several more times before crashing into a tree but I walked away without a scratch. At another time in life my when I thought God wanted nothing to do with me, a minister I had never seen before walked up to me and started to speak to me about God’s plans for my life (I’m a big guy and people don’t usually walk up to and start talking me), using the exact words my mother has prayed over me my entire life. I remember incidents where God used me to show up at a courtroom to advocate for a young man I had never met - keeping him out of jail. I remember that same young man shouting “man of God” while I was at a gas station at a time where I felt far from God. 

Most of my posts involve my thoughts while driving, this will be no different. During a drive I realized I hadn't prayed my morning prayer yet and so started to pray. During and after the prayer I reflected on my life to that point. I reflected on the many times God snatched me back from the precipice, guided me down a right path, put the right words in my mouth, the right people in my life, etc. I then looked at Krystal, thought about how deliberate God’s pursuit of me has been and said of God what David said in Psalms 139 v. 5 - 10:

“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”

I continue to have misses and near misses though in my heart I want to be perfect. I share these things because I wish that when I was younger I had more elders to let me know that it is God who initiates the pursuit, God who maintains the pursuit, and God who apprehends and perfects the believer.  

In John 15:16 Jesus says: “You didn’t choose me, I chose you..” and in Philippians 3:12-14, the Apostle Paul writes : ”Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

WHAT TO BRING?

What can you give someone who has everything?

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WHAT TO BRING?

BLOG POST #26

There may be many things running in your mind right now trying to answer this question. Can you give them time, money, clothes, cars Maybe something they already have, but even bigger. What if that someone not only has everything, but He is the creator of everything. How could you possibly bring anything that may be of worth to someone who not only owns, but created everything? Psalm 28:7 tells us,

"The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of THANKSGIVING."

That’s it! Thanksgiving. You give thanks to the one who created and owns everything. the Bible tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. Sacrificing your praise unto Him in thanksgiving is what He doesn’t have and is waiting to receive from you. Although there are many Christians who praise the Lord and give thanks daily, He is still waiting for yours. So to answer the question, “What to Bring?” Bring Him your praises with thanksgiving. Trust me, in doing so you will learn the true goodness of our Heavenly Father.

THE HARVEST IS PLENTY

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THE HARVEST IS PLENTY

BLOG POST #25

Are you laboring in the harvest field? Are you a laborer for Christ Jesus?

Everyday I have a little ways to walk into my office due to the massive amounts of construction on the university campus in which I work. I don't mind, it's a nice "quiet time," and I tend to use this walk in the morning to talk to Jesus.

While walking into work last week, I noticed a bad stench when passing a particular area that smelled like rotting garbage. Confused, as I did not see a dumpster or garbage around, I drew closer to the pungent smell and discovered it was coming from a group of plants that seemed to be dying. Hand over face, I walked closer to find what looked like baby wheat stalks, crouched over, submitting to the cold temperatures of the fall morning, and realized there were berries on the dying plants. The fruit was rotting and the smell interrupted my usual, serene walk into work. In my disgust, I felt like the Lord was giving me a message.

"That's what unharvested fruit smells like."

That thought brought me to Matthew 9:37 & Luke 10:2:

"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few."

Jesus said these words after seeing crowds of people in need of healing and salvation. His heart was moved with compassion and he told his disciples that the need in this world is great, the harvest is ready, but the laborers are few.

In Matthew 9:38, Jesus goes on to encourage the disciples to: "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

A RIPE HARVEST

According to this scripture, we can be sure that there is a harvest of lost and needy souls out there ready to receive salvation and healing, waiting for someone to share with them the good news of Jesus Christ. Just like ripe fruit on a tree, this spiritual harvest of lost souls are ready to be picked.

But what happens to ripe fruit that does not get picked from the tree? It rots, falls to the ground and dies; just like the fruit I saw on my walk into work. The Bible says in Romans 6:23:

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The price of sin is spiritual death and eternal separation from God. When the ripe harvest goes unpicked, the harvest dies without ever completing it's destiny of being nourishing fruit for someone to enjoy. Instead, the fruit experiences a death. The same is true for the unsaved people who surround us on a daily basis. Without Jesus Christ in their life, they will experience a spiritual death and eternal separation from God without ever fulfilling their God-given purpose.

YOU ARE A WORKER IN THE HARVEST FIELD

Where does that leave us? We, then, are a part of the workers in the harvest field. We are to labor and reap the bountiful harvest the Lord has prepared, ripe and ready to receive salvation and healing. We are called to lead people into what Romans 6:23 says: "... the gift of God ... eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Are you laboring in the harvest field? Are you a laborer for Christ Jesus?

When we do not walk in the calling God has given us, we allow the harvest meant for our reaping to rot. This was a convicting thought! I began to think:

  • What am I doing for God's kingdom?
  • How can I labor for the kingdom and reap a harvest?
  • Am I asking God to send out laborers who will work in the harvest field?

THERE IS ROOM FOR YOU

By definition, laborers labor. We are called to work. There is so much work available in God's kingdom. The harvest is plenty (there's lots of work available to us), but the laborers are few (but there's a shortage of workers).

Be encouraged! In God's kingdom, there is a place available for you to labor:

  • You can share Jesus Christ with your friends at school and invite them to 3C Youth meetings and services.
  • You can serve on one of the many ministry teams for 3C Youth or Cornerstone.
  • You can lead a lifegroup at your home and invite your family, friends and neighbors.
  • And much more!

You have a harvest waiting for you to reap for God's kingdom. You have talents and gifts that were specially given to you. (1Corinthians 12) You are a part of an intricate body and have a function that only you can complete.

So the next time you feel discouraged or inadequate to work for God's kingdom, remember: The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. God is calling you to work in the harvest field. There is a ripe harvest awaiting. Tis' the season!

SAVED TO SERVE

What brings true happiness?

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SAVED TO SERVE

BLOG POST #

As we start the holiday season, what do we see around us? What seems to be in our face at every turn? Our society tends to focus on consumerism- especially during the holidays. Buy, buy, buy, shop, shop, shop. Every media outlets focuses their time to get your attention and ultimately your focus on shopping! From Black Friday sales, to Cyber Monday, how do we spend the time in between? Preparing for the next sale? When did we, our culture, change direction? How did spending become the priority? Once the shopping is done, and we’ve finished the pie leftover from Thanksgiving, how are we feeling? Do we feel satisfied, complete, happy??? I propose to you that our true happiness comes from doing the Lord’s work, we were saved to serve; and at the start of this holiday we must not forget that serving is still the priority! Our mission statement at Cornerstone holds true 365 days a year, “we exist to share with the unconditional LOVE of God, and make disciples of JESUS CHRIST!" While our food pantry diligently works to distribute Thanksgiving Baskets, use this time with family and friends to share God’s love. Isaiah 58:10 says: “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”  I suggest that we try to remember at least two things during this season:
1) To be the light and salt in this Thanksgiving season
2) When we look to material things for fulfillment we come up short each and every time.

OBEDIENCE

An obligation or desire?

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OBEDIENCE

BLOG POST #23

Has it ever occurred to anyone that disobedience is a part of our natural behavior? I am almost 100% sure that there is no one that has never disobeyed something or someone. Breaking the seatbelt law, speed limit, talking on a cell phones, and these are just a few for you drivers. What about at home? Mom or dad asks you to take care of house duties, and we get to it when we feel like it. With God, we are asked to obey his commands and we break them every day if not every minute.

Psalms 112 tells us, “How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.”

The power that is carried in the word Obedience can lead anyone into the life God desires for them. Although there are no perfect Christians walking this earth, I truly believe that those who develop a heart of obedience are on their path to perfection that God designed. With a heart of obedience, you will not only obey authority figures around you but you will obey the Almighty God. And with a heart of obedience God tells us that we will have joy and delight in obeying. That we will be successful anywhere, and that we can become a godly generation that will be blessed. We will be wealthy, and our good deeds will last forever. I believe when we give God our obedience then we can say we truly are living out the ultimate Christian Life. “Obedience”, make it your obligation and allow it to become a desire.

LESSONS FROM ROUTE 7

Following the road

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LESSONS FROM ROUTE 7

BLOG POST #22

Proverbs 20:24 (NLT): “The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?”

Traveling on Route 7 on my way down from Danbury a thought crossed my mind. I had driven down this road before. I have come to trust this road. I now trust this road to the point where I no longer look for landmarks to determine where I am, I no longer get nervous on the stretches without street lights, I no longer worry about the bends in the road that make it impossible to see more than a few yards ahead. I was simply enjoying the ride. This road had taken me home before and I figured it would do it again.

Life’s road twists up, down and all around. I haven’t made sense of it and don’t know anyone who has. The Bible says “the just will live by faith.” Faith in what/who? Faith in God. Ever hear someone say “Lord knows.” Well he does.

I’ve been down roads I liked and roads I didn’t. The upside to traveling the roads God has laid out for me is that they’ve always lead me home. I subscribe to home being where the heart is - so wherever God is, there’s home.

IT'S ALL GOOD

Lessons From A Dead Tree

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IT'S ALL GOOD

BLOG POST #21

Looking out my window on a winter morning I saw snow covered trees without leaves. I concluded that the trees were dormant. Towards the end of spring I noticed that one of these trees had not produced any leaves.  I am no dendrologist (tree scientist - I looked it up) but I concluded that the tree was dead. Over the months that followed I thought about this tree from time to time and learned the following lessons.

Lesson # 1 - The winter season hid the dead tree but the spring season exposed it. 

In Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT says: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

In life we can have seasons where everything looks okay and our familiarity with the season can cause us to be unaware of and hold onto things (e.g. attitudes, relationships, activities, etc..) that are no longer producing, no longer valid or no longer working for us. Sometimes it isn’t until the season changes that we learn that a particular thing is dead and that it’s time to let go and move on. 

Lesson # 2 - Since God dresses the season in which a thing comes, God plays a huge role in the definition of a thing and my perception of that thing.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT says: “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time… but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

Thus far my life experiences have taken place within the confines of time. Within the confines of time things change. A truer understanding of things would have to come when I see the whole mosaic and not just the piece that I am currently experiencing.

1 Corinthians 13:12 says: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am know.”

1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV says: “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time…”

Given my limitations as a human being I am in no position to make judge a thing independent of God. I am not equipped to call a thing, a season, or a person, good or bad aside from God’s judgement.

Lesson # 3 - Though things change, who I am to God does not. So it’s all good.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV says: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 NLT says: “…we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

From God’s Word we know who we are. We are the ones He has good plans for. We are the ones called according to His purpose. Therefore, whatever comes changes come our way, be it a trial or triumph - Its all good!

I'M JUST TIRED

Don’t get tired of being a Misfit

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I'M JUST TIRED

BLOG POST #20

With so much going on in our world today, it can become easy to feel overwhelmed. The things that we endeavor to do, or are involved in can tucker us out alone. Not only do we become physically tired, but we become spiritually tired. Doing devotionals less and less. Forgetting to pray, or are too tired to pray. What about morally tired? Throwing the hands up like you just don’t care anymore because everyone is doing it. “All of my friends are doing it so why not?” “It’s the new trend.” What about the desensitization of homosexuality? It’s on almost every TV show we like to watch that we become use to it, and continue to watch anyway. There are so many ways we get tired, and it can get to the point where we can just give up and give in. Isaiah 40:28-31 says,

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the YOUTHS shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on 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.”

God is telling us to KEEP GOING. Don’t give up on those devotional times because you are too tired, ask God for more energy and you will be amazed at the time you will spend with Him. Don’t get tired of being a Misfit, continue to stand out and be set a part. Everyone may continue to do whatever they desire, but as you wait on the Lord you will become recharged and have a new desire to continue to be a Misfit when everyone else is doing the same thing. This walk that we have with Jesus is not an obtained goal, but a journey that God looks forward to taking us on every day we have breath in our lungs. Stay in it, God will be Glorified, and you will be Edified.

A TRUE FRIEND

Accept your friends the way you would want them to accept you.

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A TRUE FRIEND 

BLOG POST #19

Wouldn’t you agree that in this day and age a true friend is someone that is hard to find? Finding someone that has similarities and likes almost everything you like can be tough. Someone to kick it with, or just go for a Dunkin run with. Someone that enjoys the things of God the way you do. Who loves to be a part of the youth ministry the way you are. But when we find those type of people how ironic it is that began to criticize them. As we began to change and develop so does that true friend. They may receive certain scriptures in the bible differently than you do. They may began to eat different foods than you do for various reasons. Either way we search long and hard for this true friend, and then when we find them we criticize.

Romans 14:1-11 tells us—Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.

For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own mast will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval. In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

For the scriptures say, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God."

Be the friend that you would want someone to be to you. Accept your friends the way you would want them to accept you.

FAITH IS EVERYTHING

Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns

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FAITH IS EVERYTHING

BLOG POST #18

According to NASA, more is unknown than is known. Dark matter and dark energy makes up more than 95% of the universe and what dark matter/energy is remains a mystery. (click on link for more info about dark matter/energy: 

https://tinyurl.com/zxw9y3s  

What has been observed and measured makes up less than 5% of the universe. With an understanding of 5 percent of the universe, the laws of physics (a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions) were written. Knowing so little about the universe we just have to hope that the scientist are right.


Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”; in verse 3 we find that “by faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
 

The writer of Hebrews wrote what 2000 years and billions of dollars later would confirm; that the visible universe was formed by the something/someone invisible. Faith is required to make sense of the universe. There is no empirical data to explain the universe. Everything we believe we understand, everything in the universe, secular or nonsecular requires faith.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Trust in God, not your age...

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WHAT ARE YOU WATING FOR?

BLOG POST #17

“I am too young to be a leader”. “Maybe when I get older, I will do more for the kingdom, but for now I am just a kid”. “Why are you asking so much of me? I am just a kid.” Many of us have heard these quotes before, or have even said them. Do you still use the “I’m only a youth” line? Are you hiding behind your age? Do you think that just because you are young that God is ok with you doing less because of your age? You weren’t the first to think this way, and you won’t be the last.

Judges 8:20—And he said to Jether his firstborn, “Rise, kill them!” But the youth would not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was still a youth." Jether was just like you, or should I say you were just like Jether. Being too afraid to do what God told him to do. If you read a few verses back you would see that God had already delivered the Midianites over to Gideon and his son, but his son didn’t fully grasp that. God hasn’t called you to do anything as drastic as that, but He has called you to do great and mighty things. Not tomorrow, or later, but right now.

What great things God wants you to do that you are afraid of because of your youth? Has it ever occurred to you that every great thing God has called you to do He already has prepared you for? That’s why, Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Trust Him, not your age. Being young just means you may be the first to ever do it.

WINDOWS

Can you feel the draft?  

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 WINDOWS 

 BLOG POST #16 

 Have you ever left the window open in your room, or car and wondered why you feel the outside wind? It’s obvious that the wind will get in as the window is open. Windows are set in place to let cool air in on hot summer days, and to keep cold air out on cold winter nights.

Psalms 101:3 says, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes”.

As you open a window your physical body feels the draft, so as your eyes are the window, and your heart feels the draft. Whatever that may be, your heart will feel the draft. So I have a question, what are you allowing your eyes to see? Something that seems so innocent to you, may not be to God. Something that does not look perverted to you, may be to God. Something that does not look violent to you, may be to God. As followers of Christ we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. He is not asking us to be perfect, but to allow Him to be perfect within us. Open your window to the right things, and keep it closed to wrong.

LET GO

Give it all to God

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LET GO

BLOG POST #15

Just the other day I was chatting with one of our five-years-olds at work, he began telling me about his loose tooth. He goes into great detail about how wiggly it was, and how he can move it around with his tongue, then demonstrated this skill. And when I saw the tooth it was literally hanging on by the thread of a root! Listening to his story made me think of my experiences with loosing teeth, and how excited and nervous I was each time it happened. Excited to get a visit from the tooth fairy after, and nervous because of the anticipated pain from loosing the tooth. For me, in those final days, right before the tooth came out is when that excitement turns to nervousness, and then fear. Until the day, as if it were a surprise the tooth would fall out- and what do you know, no pain! I would have such relief, and before I knew it, a larger, stronger tooth would slowly make its appearance. A tooth that I would have for the rest of my life (as long as I brush and floss regularly of course). Can any of you remember when you were loosing your teeth, maybe you were braver than I was. But thinking back to how dramatic I made each experience, I can now see how silly I was behaving. Had I just let go, I would have had my adult teeth that much sooner.

Listening to that little boy share his story and reminiscing on my own experiences made me think of how God wants all of us, every little part of us. He wants to be included in the large and small parts of our lives-even when we lose our teeth. As we settle into school, class, jobs, friendships, and routines meditate on this. Think about the areas where you have God in, the areas where you have shut him out of, and even the areas he's partially in. Ask yourself why you have these limits. I pray that in this season you will open your heart and let God in, and allow him to guide your ways, your decisions, and your friends. As Pastor Watts says, take God out of the box you put him in, and let him into all areas of your life. Let go and see the amazing work God can do through you.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us," Ephesians 3:16-20

GUIDANCE

Lessons From The GPS

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GUIDANCE

BLOG POST #14

On our way to a get together earlier this week Krystal and I were swept away by the beauty of the day. It rained the day before so we especially appreciated the sunshine and the warm weather as we drove up the Merritt Parkway. We so enjoyed the ride that we drove past two exits that would have taken us to our friend’s house. How was this possible? The last time the GPS was on we turned the volume of the GPS down because it was interrupting the music we were jamming to. The GPS was giving us directions but the volume was so low that we could not hear it. As a result, in took us a few minutes longer to get to our destination.

In life we can get distracted by the things that are going on around us both good and bad. Psalm 37:5 says “Commit your way to the LORD; trust him and he will help you.” Though we got distracted we committed to following the GPS; so though we got off course we knew where to go to get back on track. In the same way it is really important that during life’s journey that we commit our ways to the LORD and trust Him to keep us on track. Proverbs 3:6 says to “Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” I believe that it is also important that we don’t drown out God’s voice by looking to do our own thing. Seeking His will causes us to listen for his voice for direction. I learned this to be critically important because as Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” Which could be the death of a dream, a relationship, or an opportunity. In Jeremiah 29:11 God assures us the he has good things in mind for us. Given that God, like the GPS, is working with a lot more information than we are it would be in the best interest of anyone on life’s journey to tune into His voice.

TOTAL ECLIPSE

Have you created a total eclipse of your heart?   

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total eclipse

BLOG POST #13

I'm sure many of you know what the big story is of today. With so much happening in recent news, this phenomenon is still the ONE thing we are all excited about. And for good reason. Today, for the first time since 1918, the United States will be experiencing a total eclipse from coast to coast! Now, I hope before you ran outside to look at the eclipse, you put on some of those glasses! Well, if you are reading this, you must have since you haven't burned your eyes out! As many of you know and have even come to learn recently, this solar eclipse is when the sun, moon and earth come in complete alignment and the sun is completely blocked and we experience total darkness during the middle of what should be the brightest time of day. Today really got me thinking, in all of the awesomeness of the eclipse and experiencing something that my grandparents never got to experience, there is something much greater than this that the Holy Spirit just reminded me of. It's something that can be compared to the eclipse of the sun, but it's the eclipse of the heart...

See, we as followers of Jesus, we are full of light, just as the sun. Where there was once darkness in our life, the light of Christ has come in and driven out the darkness. And it is our responsibility to keep that light shining bright. How do we do that? We are to be careful what we are allowing into our hearts, right? We don't watch the same shows on tv, we don't listen to the same music, we must be careful of what we are putting in there. But every so often, is we are not careful and are not diligent, we can experience a total eclipse of our hearts. This is where we've allowed certain things to come into our life and block out the sun. Now, remember this part, this sun doesn't leave, it's there. Just like Christ, he doesn't leave us, nor forsake us, but just like in a total eclipse, the sun gets blocked out, we can allow sin to block the Son out. The challenge for myself today, and the challenge I give you guys is to take a look at your life and the condition of your heart. Have you created a total eclipse of your heart? Have you blocked out the sun? Is it a partial eclipse? Have you slowly been allowing little things to take root in your heart. Are you compromising in any areas of your life? Let's pray and then take the steps to allow the Son to shine brightly in our lives. Let's enjoy the actual solar eclipse and not allow an eclipse to take place in our hearts!


"It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.”

2 Corinthians4:6 MSG

VISION

Becoming an unshakeable visionary...

VISION

BLOG POST #12

Have you ever had the opportunity to step back and see things? To see things for what they really are. How they affect you, how you feel about what you see, what stirs up inside of you based upon your vision. Does your vision place a heavy burden on you, or does it lift your spirits? Either way, I believe neither is good because we can easily get caught up in what we see and that can dictate our mood, or how we act in situations. My mentor, who is our senior Pastor PW always told me to keep my eyes towards heaven because I can never get tripped up by what I see, good or bad. The only book in the bible about coffee Hebrews 12:1-3 (Get it, He Brews?! It’s okay to laugh here…) tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witness to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” As life continues to happen, always remember to keep your eyes on the prize which is Jesus Christ himself. Unshakable is what you’ll become. 

PRAYER

BLOG POST #11

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As we ended our last day of mission work yesterday, the heart's of our student's began to feel heavy. Knowing that the opportunity to serve here in Haiti was now coming to a close, the compassion grew but the burden grew with it. If you read Revelation 21:1-4, it talks about God making all things new and preparing us a new home. This place gives us a confidence to know that we shall be there someday where there will be no tears, pain, sorrow, famine, nor dehydration. All these things our youth have experienced here in Haiti, but with all of these things happening, the word for today and should be for the rest of our lives is: Prayer. The best way to save these people is prayer. Praying for souls to be saved by Jesus, and for hearts and minds to be transformed by His Holy Spirit. For God to provide water, shelter, food, health, and safety; some of the necessities we have, which is not so precedent here. Continue to pray for a god can do any and all things while we can only do what we can, which isn't enough to compared to what God can do. Pray.