Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Why do we put a mask on ourselves? Why is it that we feel we cannot share our hurts, fears, and failures? Why do we feel that we must put on a false self and feel the need for perfection? Several students shared the hurt they have felt over the years and the inability to express this hurt to those around them. One student gave a fantastic representation of what this looks like. She had in her hands, something that was wrapped with clothe, that protected it from being broken. She slowly unraveled all the clothe to reveal a vase, something fragile, yet something of beauty. This is us so many times. We hide ourselves, wrap ourselves in a false identity that keeps us from being broken, but hinders us from being useful and covers the beauty that we have. We tend to hide behind a false identity that grants us safety, but makes us miserable because we lose the joy of being who we were created to be.
I believe that a big part of this masking is due to our lack of community. We have failed to build a community where we can be open and vulnerable with each other. Something that was repeated over and over today as students shared, was how they had never experienced community like this before and how vital that is for us. God himself lives in community and desperately desires us to share in community with Him and those around us. We need a place where we all feel comfortable taking off our mask, where we share our failures and hurts and where we just live life and love. This is the challenge for all of us from FLI this semester and a challenge to everyone else to bring about a sense of community and to be the person God has created you to be!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ready to Move

This has been the greatest growing experience of my life. I have learned so much about life and all the things that are around this world. I have spent three months in the greatest community I have ever known and have grown to love forty-three other students along the way. I have gained knowledge and wisdom, and have learned to be open and vulnerable. God has moved me so much from the beginning of the semester. It has been a painful and incredible transformation.
But I'm ready to be home. I miss my parents and just being around them, I miss my sisters and brothers and being able to hang out, and I miss my nephews. I have only seen them less than a week in the past eight months. I miss running around the house with the boys screaming "Uncle Scotty". I miss running across the yard to grandma's to get some cookies, and chat about life. I miss the smell of the farm. I miss dearly Milford Chapel and my church family and the youth group, who has been so faithful in prayer and encouragement to me over the past two years. I miss worshipping with this family and standing around an hour after church to just chat. I long to be home and to rest. It has been such a spiritual battle the past eight months, and has been draining.
Tonight I read through some of the notes of encouragement my mom has sent me over the past two years. These notes are so uplifting, even the second, third, and fourth times around, and every time bring tears to my eyes. They are so encouraging and always put my focus back on God. The last note I read, my mom ended with, "Remember that you just take one step at a time & the Lord will direct your path as you trust in him!" I am ready to step out and use what I have been learning, to take the wisdom of God out into the world. I love it here, I love the people here, but I am ready to be home with my family and with my friends from home. It has been an incredible experience, but I am ready to move on.

Monday, November 29, 2010


"It's maturity when someone is attacking you and you look at their perspective and don't act out in anger." Thinking of them and not of yourself. It is so hard to not lash back when someone attacks our character and who we are. But it takes humility to come towards them in love and to realize that it's not about you and to look at things through the other person's eyes.
This came from class today, along with discussing the attitudes of a leader. Being a leader takes humbleness, initiative, being strong, courageous, and God focused. We discussed David and his leadership ability when he stepped forth to take on the mighty Goliath. He was humble in his ability, always giving glory to God. It took initiative for him to step up and say, "I will face Goliath." It took strength and courage to go before someone who was twice his size. What else did it take for this young man to go before the Philistine army? David had to know himself. He knew what his strengths were and he trusted God to give him protection. David stepped forth with five smooth stones, because he knew Goliath had four brothers, so once he had taken down Goliath, he would have enough ammo to take down Goliath's brothers. David was not going to miss, and he knew it. He had developed the skills that God has given him and took confidence in his ability.
God has blessed us all with certain abilities. No matter what those skills are, we are given opportunities to lead and to shepherd those around us. How many times do we take initiative to step forward in these situations? Do we have confidence in our abilities? Have we developed the abilities that God has given us? It is important to know what are strengths are and to develop these strengths so that we can use them to the best of our ability. It is not our role to be competent in every strength, for that is the beauty of community. We don't all have the same exact strengths, and God made us that way on purpose. He wants us to develop the skills we have and rely on those around us to help fill our weaknesses. Community is something glorious and it takes some humility to say, "I don't know it all and I'm not the greatest in this area, but I know those around me can do better in this area." It's using our talents and using the talents of those around us, combining these forces, when we become most effective. So I challenge all of you to discover your strengths, and develop those skills. Use what God has blessed you with.

My Top 5 Strengths: 1. Includer 2. Harmony 3. Empathy 4. Achiever 5. Positivity

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Interesting. That is how I would label the past week or so. It has been extremely busy as I have completed mid-terms finished a couple of books with extra reading on top of that, and have had really awesome classes. Meanwhile the spiritual warfare has heated up to go on top of this. It has been a week of battle for me spiritually and mentally. But I will start with classes first.
Monday we started the leadership part of my Gender and Leadership Class and it was incredible. Prof. Thomason told us the story of Ernest Shackelton who led an expedition to Antarctica and faced many trials but refused to leave a man behind. Such a great example of courage and tremendous leadership. Today's class in Marriage and Family was on sex. Interesting enough to stop right there. It is a little intimidating looking at marriage and how even an issue of sex has so many sub-issues within it. It was still a great class, but I become a little overwhelmed with all the issues that must be addressed in marriage. The reading has been really good, but it is a lot of reading. It's great to get such a great spectrum of knowledge from all the books we read.
But more than anything, the spiritual battle has been at the forefront of the past week. God has laid upon my heart to really pray for several different people over the past week. I have tried to dedicate more time and more concentration on this area, and since then Satan has been coming at me stronger. It's encouraging to know he is attacking more, because that must mean I'm becoming a bigger threat. It's great to win each little battle saying, "God is stronger! If God is with me, who can stop me!" Telling Satan he has no power over my God. But it is tiring, exhausting, and painful at times. Satan knows where to attack me, and I battle with these thoughts. Each time I have won the battle, but it does not go away. It returns time and time again, and it wears on me. Sometimes I believe the lies for a minute or two. I regret a lot of things I have done, I'm not even close to being perfect and I have made so many mistakes that have hurt those closest to me, but God has redeemed me. I no longer have to live in the past. I'm determined to learn from the past, but I make sure not to dwell on those mistakes. I wish dearly I could change some of the ways I have acted, some of the the actions I have done, but I'm a sinful man and I make mistakes and I can become stronger as a result of these mistakes.
It's been a learning process. In my Wordle Blog I listed the things that I am... from the start of the semester. The biggest one that I placed in there is "Being Healed" and this process is continuing. God has blessed me with so much healing, but it's a continual battle for me. Those scars are still there and scabbed over and Satan keeps rubbing them to try to open them back up. But God places His band-aid over them, protecting them from Satan's evil hand. God is doing incredible things in my life. He is and will continue to show me so much more over the next six weeks that I am here. I ask for your continued prayers in my life and those that are here with me. In a program like this where the spiritual world is discussed so much and so much revolves around this Institution that is proclaiming the Truth of God, we face heavy spiritual warfare. Your prayers mean so much. Thank you all so much. I love each of you dearly, and I can't wait to connect with you all again!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Learning from the Past

What do we do with our past failures and mistakes? This was somewhat the discussion that I had with Prof. Thomason. I struggle with blaming myself for things in the past. Satan knows my weakness to come down on myself and my tendency to say, "I failed!" It haunts me sometimes, looking back and seeing where I did not achieve and immediately Satan steps in and says, "If you would have done this things would be different" or "You just lack things to ever do this successfully." And those wounds cut deep! But talking with Prof. Thomason again allowed me to see those as lies, to not dwell on the things of the past, but to take them and learn from them. What are the positives that came out of events in the past and how can I use those to grow and work towards the future?
He took me to the quote of Michael Jordan when he said, "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." We will fail at times in our lives, but failure is not a bad thing. It teaches us valuable lessons and can inspire us to work harder and learn from these mistakes so we do not repeat them. Do mistakes and failures hurt? They can cut deep, deep wounds and are many times very painful, but we do not have to let them haunt us. God is the Great Healer and ultimately He wants us to look to Him in these times and ask Him to teach us and guide us, so that we can learn and grow to become better disciples of Christ.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Gain of Wisdom

It is something that we strife for, something we try to gain through the years, and it is something that I have gained a lot of in my time here. For devo's in class the other day, we read Proverbs 1 & 2. In my time here I have poured through the first four chapters of Proverbs reading and re-reading them on the advise of my roommate. It has again reminded me the importance of wisdom and how beneficial it is to our discipleship to Christ. I have been learning so much through this semester and have gained so much insight that it feels like my head is going to explode. The FLI staff has told us we will leave here with more questions than answers. They are not giving us answers to lives biggest questions, but equipping us to discover the answers on our own. We read lots of books to give us insight on topics, but we keep the foundation of the Bible to find the Truth.
Proverbs 2 tells us to search for wisdom as if searching for a hidden treasure. We can go out into the dessert and dig a hole and expect to find treasure. Instead we must prepare, gain a knowledge of the ground we are about to step foot on, be prepared with the right tools, and have a knowledge of what we are looking for and how we are going to find it. This is the same with our faith. So many times I step onto the battlefield ill-equipped and unprepared for what Satan is about to bombard me with. I many times lack the correct equipment or the right knowledge to properly fight the battle that God has placed in front of me.
I must search for wisdom and do the work necessary to gain it. In James chapter 1, James tells us that "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault." God desires for us to gain wisdom, he wants to give us wisdom, but we must search for it. So search for knowledge through the word God has given us. James also tells us that God "chose to give us birth through the word of truth." Use the tools God has given us and prepare yourself for the battle that is at hand.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Am...

At the end of our first marriage and family class, my professors put the words I Am... on the whiteboard. Every student then put up on the board words that reflected what they were feeling or what God was doing in them at this time. As we looked up on the board it was awesome to see how God was working, moving, and healing in all of our lives. After we finished class I thought it would be cool to put this in a wordle for all of the things that I am feeling.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

God's Peace!!

Where does that sense of peace come from, when we are in a stressful situation, which strikes fear into many? A time of uncertainty, where something could change our lives and we have no control over the circumstance? Yet God granted me a peace like no other. A sense that no matter what trials I may face, that the lover of my soul would always be there for me. God holds out His arms and Loves me unconditionally!! This is something that we can not even fathom!! We know we will face trials and temptations of many kinds, of what nature we do not know, but we always know that we have the armor and that with God on our side, who could ever stop us!!
There is something different about me since I arrived here just four weeks ago. God has worked on my heart, my selfishness, jealousy, and pride, and has broken me into a humble man, filled with peace and joy!!! What a transformation God has done in me! For He must become greater, I must become less!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Family, Church, Society

This week we finished up our first class which is, Family, Church, and Society Studies. What an incredible class it was, as Dr. Tackett led us through some intense subjects that our generation is dealing with. What a fascinating class and Dr. Tackett is such a wise man and it is incredible to sit and listen. It is impossible to describe the class and to explain everything I have taken away from this journey. There was so much to take in and so many interesting point I wouldn't even know where to begin.
Probably one of my favorite discussions came yesterday on the last day of class, when we discussed the heart and mind. I had just talked to a friend the night before about the heart and it was interesting talking about the relationship between the mind and the heart. Dr. Tackett explained how many times we look at this two things as seperate appendages, but really the heart is part of the mind. It was fascinating as we went through how this looks and how we fill our hearts with truths and what we must do to fill it with Truths.
As we look at society around us, it is incredible how we are influenced and how society effects what our beliefs are. It is sad to see the direction in which this country is going. One of the books we had to read was "How Christianity Changed The World." This book was encouraging to me, as it looked at the past and how Christians changed the society in which they lived. I never knew that cultures back in the first century had a massive homosexual problem, abortion problems, or such a disrespect for the beauty of sex. These things ran rampant through this culture, yet Christians stood up for what they knew was right and made a change in culture. Christians started orphanages and hospitals. It was around the great morals and beliefs that Christians held, in which this country was founded. Even the deist founders make statements that this country must be founded on Christian principles in order to succeed. Maybe they did not believe in Christianity, but they realized the importance of the morals and principles that are needed for a country to succeed. Do we learn any of this in schools? Of course not. It is sad and disheartening to see how far this country has fallen from this principles, yet it is encouraging to look back and see how Christians have made an impact. It is not an easy task, but if the church can take a stand and stand together, we really can change the world. It is time for the church to become more active. Dr. Tackett talked about how messed up the church sphere has become, as the church has become less active and has allowed the state to take control of many of the roles that the church should be in charge of. It's time for the body of Christ to gaze upon the face of God and to re-examine all that we know and believe. Look at the character of God and the structures that you designed. We have lost sight of His design and we must re-build His design. May we take a stand for the Truth that exist in God alone. Be encouraged Christians, because with God, all things are possible! Soli Deo Gloria!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Peak

I climbed my first 14er today!! Actually climbed my first 2 14ers today!! It's incredible to reach the summit and look out and feel like your on top of the world. It's breathe-taking looking at all of God's creation. What an incredible and mighty God we serve! A God who holds all the universe in His hands Loves me?
As we were hiking down, the question was asked, "What is one of the biggest things you struggle to grasp about God?" It was mentioned that it is hard to understand how God can care so much about every small detail in our lives. I love Jacob's response when he said that God created the leaves with such great detail that the pores open and close when they need water, that every living thing holds such great detail. If God cares that much about those details, can you imagine how much He cares for the details in our lives?
That hit me today, and how my Father can Love me despite my many failings, that through all my mistakes, He still Loves me and will take care of me. I could have sat at the top of the summit all day, just taking in the beauty that God has created. The climb was tiring but the result was magnificent. Life is the same way, but many times we fall from the summit and forget the beauty that God has given us to marvel at. We get stuck somewhere in life and stop climbing. We grow tired because we rely on our own strength. But no matter what God is with us and He wants us to reach that summit so we can marvel at the things He has done. The climb is tough, but the result is spectacular. Don't give up hope, because in the end it is worth it and God will be there with us through it all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is Truth?

The greatest question ever asked by man kind. Asked 2,000 years ago, it still baffles many and makes us all think. What is Truth? My first class was today and for the next two weeks, Dr. Del Tackett will be taking our class on a journey to answer this question. This is the question that will be answered throughout the semester, but we will have 2 intense weeks with Dr. Tackett, looking at all the spheres that exist in the world. There is not an area on this earth that God has reached His hand out to. The first day was so awesome and we haven't even started looking into the spheres. Dr. Tackett is so expressive and so full of wisdom, it seems like I could sit there all day and take in every word he says. I have been placed with so much wisdom around me, it's almost overwhelming trying to take it all in.

Also I got my practicum placement today and found out what I will be doing and I'm so excited!!! I'm working with an organization called Hope and Home and they are a foster care program. My task are so exciting, but I will explain them as I do them. It is exactly what I wanted to do for my practicum here and it deals directly with Social Work so it will give me a great experience to see if Social Work is a direction that I would enjoy going. It is going to be very emotionally draining, and I'm being trained to do the work of a graduate, so I will be diving right into the field. The thing I'm most excited for is being a supervisor for the meeting between the children and their biological parents. It will be the parent, there child, and me, so that will give you a little idea of what I will be doing. Check out more of what they do through their website which is hopeandhome.org
God has been so good and I have already grown so much. I can't wait to share with all of you in person about how God has worked in me. Love you all!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


So to start off the semester, our whole class took a trip to Horn Creek for the weekend. It was a great time to really get to know those that I will be living with and sharing with over the next four months. The weekend seemed like a whole week. It was good to get to know the 43 other students that are going to share in the same experience I am. It is good to be in this type of community again and it's refreshing to be in an environment where we can be vulnerable with each other and can share our struggles. It is crazy to hear everyone's story and the opposition that everyone faced in the weeks leading up to this point. I feel myself coming back and my heart starting to come alive. Satan has had a strong grip on my heart and has used certain things to get me down.
Slowly God is healing my heart, but it is a long process. It's going to be an emotional semester as God really works on my attitude, my faith, and my heart. God is going to work on me a lot this semester. I'm at a point where I'm broken and I can't wait to be healed. The journey will not be easy, and the process of healing will be painful, but God has big things in store for me, and the pain is part of the process. Again, continued prayer is huge right now. I'm in a huge spiritual fight and the battleground is my heart. But I know God is bigger than anything and that He can heal.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So I'm here in Colorado Springs!! Drive went back pretty quick and I'm all moved into my apartment. Tonight all 44 of us students got together for supper and met with the professors. It's good to be back into community like this. I dreaded so much coming here as the past weeks have really worn on me and broke me down. I come into this semester week and vulnerable, but especially after tonight, I know that God has me right where He needs me. Satan has taken a strong hold on me over the past couple weeks, taking wounds and digging them deeper, getting me frustrated, feeding me lies, and getting me discouraged. Even now I'm still at a point where I have little fight, but I got here so I figure I do have a little fight and slowly I feel it coming back.
It feels good to be in a community like this again. It's going to be a tough semester for me, right now I'm at one of the lowest points I have ever been. Never have I felt this ready to give up, but I'm weak and that is when God is strong. There are a lot of things that I hold onto that I must let go, but it can be so hard. I know I'm going to be put through the fire. This is a time for God to restore and I'm ready to again come back into His presence and to experience the world around me with others who share a similar desire. God is so faithful and I so quickly forgot all the things He has done for me. "The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with Joy!" Pure Joy!

One thing Dr. Leland said tonight was that he covets the prayers of our parents and how powerful prayer is. Sure it's Colorado, but this is not an easy time for me, I really don't even want to be here, and so I desire your prayers, I ask for your constant prayers that God would humble me, and that I would allow the wounds to be healed, that I would Love with a pure Love and not the jealous, self-seeking love of the world, but that God would take me at this low point and build me into the man that He wants me to be. Again I thank all of you for your support and prayers. I love you all so much!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Satan's Work

I am at a point where I'm dreading Colorado. Over the past two months I have become less and less interested in attending the institute. It's frustrating losing all my excitement for this incredible program. It has been going through my head the past week to not even go, to just take a semester off. I have made it through the summer with really very little stress until the past week. Around last Wednesday I hit a wall and since then I have really lost interest in going to Colorado, and interest in the things I enjoy. I have lost a connection to who I am and to the things that are most important in life. I'm at a point where it's a struggle to describe the summer and what has been happening, because I'm at a point of such confusion. It's been a great summer, I have enjoyed the guys I work with, but somewhere I lost a connection, somewhere I lost me.
The last week has been a constant battle in my head. Since I hit that wall, I have been struggling mightily. I have felt attacked constantly by Satan, and it truly is a constant battle to distinguish between Truth and the lies. Unfortunately I feel I have been falling for the lies. And Satan knows where to attack, he knows my weak points. And somehow he has gotten me to a point of frustration, confusion, and a loss of passion. I have lost the fight to even doing anything about this terrible loss of myself, I don't feel like even fighting it, but am at a point where I just continue on in numbness to the world around me. I'm at a dangerous point, but it doesn't even bother me that much. It is frustrating being able to identify what is happening, but lack the passion to do anything about it. Like even writing this, how can I see it all happening, lay it all out there and still not care to do anything about it. Why???? I just don't want to do anything really. I just want to go live out in the middle of nowhere and just sit there for a while. Maybe I should be a monk? haha Not serious about that, but it is intriguing. I wish that I had the desire to fight, but I no longer do. I wish I could gain that excitement for Colorado that I had at the end of last semester. I miss the passion I had, the faith that I had, and the trust that no matter what God was in control. I have hit a deep valley and over the past couple days have realized that I need Focus more than ever. I still do not want to go, but I have to. I have to find what I have lost and be in a community of believers who are also searching for what God has for them. But please, I ask for your prayers, even though I lack to do this. All of you mean so much to me and I thank you for interest in me enough to read this. Satan has attacked each one of my friendships and it has become a daily battle, but I know that you are all there for me and I thank you so much for that. I love each one of you deeply!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Where have I gone?

Where is my excitement? Why do I no longer feel the great desire to go to Colorado? At the beginning of summer I was so excited for Focus, to be in Colorado, to do the things I love! Where has that all gone. For the past two months it's almost as if I have dreaded going to Colorado, dreaded even doing things that I love, things that are part of who I am. The passions, desires that I have had over the years are gone. I have lost my desire to accomplish the things that I have always wanted to do. I don't feel like doing anything. I feel like I have lost my passion to reach out to others. I feel so selfish. Sure the selfish desire has always been in me, but I feel complete selfishness.
This summer has been fun, I have enjoyed it greatly! I love the guys I work with, but yet I have lost a large part of me this summer. I don't know where it went, or why I lost it in the first place. I don't hurt over things that used to make my heart ache. I think of the song that says, "break my heart for what breaks yours" in speaking of our Heavenly Father. Why does my heart no longer break for what breaks God's heart. What are the motives for my actions, for my thoughts? Is it to serve God, has that been my first priority? Far from it. I feel like I have begun to only look out for me, I have gotten away from using my talents to help others. I have allowed wounds to fester and dig deeper. I have held onto things that I need to let God take away. I need to be placed in the fire, the refiners fire, that I would be made pure. Am I willing to give up my selfish desires to serve the One who paid it all? Am I willing to humble myself enough to let God have all of me, to give up my pride and humbly fall at the feet of Jesus?
For the first time in a long time I have felt emotion. I think being back on the campus at IWU has reminded me of the friends I have, of those that are in my corner, and of the blessings I have been given. Oh how quickly I can forget the many blessings God has bestowed upon me. May I humbly serve you my King!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hope for the Hopeless?

As I run along the river, I see some of the same people everyday. No doubt that they are homeless, as they have the same clothes on everyday and they smell of sweat and are filthy. One guy in particular has stuck out to me. I passed him the other day as he was staggering along the sidewalk, talking to himself along the way. As I ran past I gave him a "good morning" and he shamefully looked to the ground. This man seemed to have no hope. As I ran back I came up to him again sitting on the curb, just talking to himself and every once in a while he would chuckle.
This man made me think about what drives a person to this point of craziness. Does this man have any hope? Do these people reach this point as a result of many failed attempts at pursuing their desires? Where were they ten years ago, fifteen years ago? Did they hold a desire to be something bigger than themselves. I'm pretty sure that when they were my age that they had a desire for something bigger than where they are now. As I see the hopelessness in the eyes of some of these people, it breaks my heart. Where did their passion go? What happened to their dreams and desires?
Over the past two or three weeks I have felt a loss of desire. Many of my desires I no longer felt a desire for. I lost my excitement for Colorado, for pursuing my heart and for doing what I love. I felt like doing nothing with my life. Is this the result of too many failed pursuits? I can see how when we rely on ourselves and continue to fail that a person can fall to such a hopelessness. What is the breaking point? Why is no one reaching to these people. I pass these people and get a feeling of guilt. I have so much and it makes me feel ashamed for not helping them. But how do I help them. I know the thing they need the most, I hold the answer, that Jesus Christ died for them and that no matter what the world labels them at or what status society gives them, they are loved. Why can I not share this true pure Love of Christ with them? Why am I so week? Is it again coming back to the point of another failure? Pride is a tough thing to lose, but God ask us to die to ourselves. He must become greater, I must become less!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Where does the dissatisfaction with life come from? We never seem to be satisfied. As hard as everyone tries to reach their desires, we always seem to come up short and fail to reach that point that we so desire. People try all kinds of ploys to make them feel satisfied, one of the big ones that I have seen or heard is that a lot of money will solve many problems. But doesn't money just create more problems. It draws us further from the solution. No matter how much we make, we still didn't get to where we want and we become dissatisfied with how things are going.
But many times it even feels that healthy desires do not help us. I was reading John Eldridge's book titled "Desire" yesterday and he was talking how he longed to take a great fishing trip for years but time after time something went wrong where he was either unable to fish or he was not able to catch anything when he fished. On the way back from one of his trips he was thinking how he had always longed to own a ranch on a river where he could fish and just enjoy God's creation. Why would God not grant him this desire? It seems like a healthy desire. John explained how on his drive back from his latest fishing expedition, he thought about why this desire of his was not being obtained. Even though healthy, if placed in this desire it would be his own little heaven, and in a way he would not need God there.
We fill ourselves with these desires, where if only I could obtain this desire of mine, if only..., but God has his desire for us, and we are so stuck in the now or stuck in this place in our mind that we can not see where what is happening is taking us. In his book, John also talks how our failed desires can affect us as well. We have these desires that get crushed and slowly we stop desiring all together. We build up these desires in our hearts and minds and one by one we fail to obtain what we desire.
So does this dissatisfaction come from our constantly failing desires? Does it come from a society that tells us that it is all about me? I do not even know what else to say and I do not know if any of this makes sense as I ramble on. It can be hard to continue to desire after we fail, but it is important to not lose heart and to think of the bigger picture, because it's not about us, it's about serving the One who died for us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Impact of a Father

Today was another reminder about the impact of a father in a child's life. One of the biggest things missing in the lives of children are honorable fathers who display love for their children. As the number of single parent homes rise (most of them being run by the mother) and the number of fathers in prison rises, I see the results of this abandonment more and more. Today I sat down with a student who has struggled with behavior issues the whole semester. I asked him if he had any brothers and sisters and after a little hesitation he answered, "I think I have 8." He told me he lives with a younger brother and sister and that his father is in jail. There is no father in his life, no honorable man to follow in the footsteps of. How is he going to know how he should act and how to respect a woman, when all he sees is abandonment from his father. This is the first background story I have heard from a student in my class, and it broke my heart.
Later that day another student, a boy who is always disrupting class mentioned that his father had passed away. A completely different circumstance, but again a loss of a father. I do not know if he has a step-dad or a father-figure in his life, but what an impact a father makes. Tonight I watched "Bridge to Terabithia" and about half-way through the movie you find out the bully of the school is being abused by her dad. Even though this is just a story, this happens all the time. The abuse of a father deals huge wounds to the hearts of children.
These stories have made me examine my own behavior and attitude. Everything I do will impact my child's life, will in someway direct my child's view of a father and what a man should be. It makes me reflect on the question, how should an honorable man live his life? I believe one of the biggest things missing in this society is respect. Respect for others, for authority, and for parents. For women it may be the respect for yourself and for men I know respect for women is lacking. As young men see their fathers abandon their mothers by abuse or going to jail and see their fathers lack of respect for women, the problem only seems to get worse. How is my attitude? Would my attitude, actions, and words reflect a Godly man who seeks to live in the joy and freedom of a Great Creator? What a hurt and deep wound the children of this world have and yet we expect them to climb out of their circumstances and become something great with a broken heart and broken mind. We are telling these young men and women to callous their hearts because this is life and this is just how it is. People, this is not how it is supposed to be and never let your heart or mind believe that. The lies of Satan are clever and witty, but our God created us for a greater purpose and created us with something unique called the Heart, which allows us to Love and care for others. Our hearts have been broken though through many different ways and Satan has these lies that tell us to harden our hearts. These feelings have become something that is viewed as pain, but it is something great and wonderful, something that makes us come alive. The Love of a Father, dying on a cross so we could be saved. This is the role of a father, that we would Love our children so much that we would do anything to be there with them through everything, to Love them enough to sacrifice everything, putting to death our selfishness that exist. Oh, the impact of a father. Thank you Jesus for showing us what Love is and help us to Love like you have Loved us!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where is my heart?

The past week I have spent a lot of time seeking the answer to this question. As I draw towards the end of my college career I continue to seek out my heart and where I really desire to serve God once I am done with school. This past week has been a time of seeking out my heart and what truly is important. It has been an interesting week as I have felt extreme Joy in gazing upon the face of the Almighty, frustration as I push on through school, confusion as I seek out my heart and try to discover what really makes me come alive, and finally a lot of pain and sorrow as a friend struggles through extremely difficult times.
The past week has been filled with so many feelings and has left me confused. What is the best way for me to serve God and help others? This past weekend I had the most difficult conversation that I have ever had. Nothing else has even come close in my dealings with situations. Having someone I love in so much pain and helplessness and not being able to be there with him as he suffered through something that I can not even imagine was so hard. I wanted so bad to be there with him giving someone to stand in his corner. As I talked to him on the phone I felt so much pain and sorrow and desire to be able to push him through this and help him see a brighter future.
As this lays heavy on my heart and I desire so badly to help him through his struggles, I'm struggling to find where my heart really is. As I continue to grow in so many areas I have begun to take up the adventure that God has placed all of us in. Growing up I have been such a home-body and I loved just being around home and never really drew myself into the adventure that life is. I still love Home more than anything, but I have taken up the adventure and being in Colorado only deepened this desire to allow myself to follow wherever God leads. Maybe it's not the magnificent mountains of the Rockies, but no matter where He calls me, I know it's going to be an adventure. Now I must discover what my heart truly desires to do for the next phase of my life. I draw so much joy in working with kids and seeing the potential in students. It's awesome to watch them grow and see their faces when something clicks in their minds. I also enjoy working with older people and listening to the wisdom that they provide from years of experience. I love working with people my own age who are struggling and looking for someone to encourage them and someone to show them love when it may feel like their all alone. I love working with those who have no one to stand in their corner, who have no voice and have no escape to see a brighter future.
Through all these things I have no idea which direction I desire to go. Over the past month my heart has been drawn back to Kenya on so many occasions and I would love to return someday to again learn so much from the people there. But working with the students here in Marion I see the need for many of these students to have a father-figure in their lives. I absolutely love these students. Many do not have the support or love at home and you can see this in the students. They have such a need to have not only someone love them, but someone to show them the values that God ask of us.
One thing that I always know is that no matter where my heart leads me, I have a friend who will be there no matter where I go and that He works all things for good. For the Lord has done great things for me and I shall find JOY in serving Him no matter where He leads!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Your Beautiful!

Standing at the top of the mountain at over 10,000 feet looking down over the valley with snowcapped mountains standing around me in every direction as the sun glistens off the snow. It's hard to believe that the creator of all this desires to have a personal relationship with me! I stood at the top of the mountain in utter amazement of what surrounded me. Made me think of the example that John Piper used when he read the comic strip that said, "Ever notice how the best moments in life are the ones that make you feel the most insignificant?" I felt so insignificant. I have the opportunity to serve God who has crafted the most beautiful mountains.
As most of you know, I love Colorado! The mountains make me stand in awe and are so humbling. One thing that I enjoy is hiking and enjoying God's creation. Hiking relaxes me and is my way of bringing everything back into perspective. Then skiing for the first time, boy was that an adventure. No bunny hills here, but it made the experience that more adventurous. God has placed all this beauty around me and this journey is filled with so much adventure, I absolutely love it. I was so nervous and scared before starting but once I got to the mountain I told myself, "I'm going to enjoy this adventure that God has allowed me to be a part of." I find so much joy in getting out in God's nature, especially here in the Rockies. Overlooking the valleys, looking up at the mountains, and seeing the face of a God that is beautiful!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

God is so good!

God is so good, He's so good to me! So many times I look past all God has done for me. Instead of praising God with all I am, I become selfish and try to please my self with worldly desires instead of praising God by being selfless and looking to help others. I have found myself so many times becoming prideful and looking at possessions and time as mine. I was thinking yesterday how I put labels on everything. Nothing is mine, not possessions, not time, not money, nothing. It is all God's and has blessed me with being a steward of HIS!! possessions. I am to worship God with everything I do, everything I watch, everything I hear, and with my attitude. Oh how I fail to live a life completely dedicated to God.
Do I really believe that what I believe is really real? If so why am I so hesitant to fully trust God to provide, why do I doubt so much that God can move mountains. My God can move mountains, he can do all things. I have a personal relationship with God, a loving relationship and He has allowed me to serve Him. Wow, I have the opportunity to serve the creator of all things. I have been so challenged over the past few days to really step out, serve others, and to try and be selfless, looking to pour out the Love of Christ on those around me. God is good, all the time!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Me not being me!

The past 2 weeks have been so weird for me. I haven't felt like myself, I haven't acted like myself, and I've been extremely selfish and rude and discouraging to those around me. In no way have I exemplified Christ through my attitude. I have felt like the last 2 weeks I have constantly been in a dazed state of mind. When you get lightheaded and feel like everything around you is just jumbled, thats what I've felt like for 2 straight weeks.
I can't explain what was wrong, cause even now I can't think of why I was like this. It seems like it was a huge spiritual battle. In the past 2 weeks I have spent a lot of time in prayer asking God to take away the state of mind I was in and that I could have an attitude of humbleness and looking our for others. Yet I struggled so much to do these very things. It wasn't until this past Thursday that I finally started feeling a little more like myself, yet Friday afternoon I was still harsh. I have been so rude to all my friends, and despite this they have stood behind me. Friday though, one of best friends again continued to be there and tried to start conversation, but the first thing I did was make a rude and disrespectful comment. I care so much for these friendships, yet I nearly destroyed this one. After the comment I just started to think about what I have been doing, the way I have been acting, and how much I really care for these friendships. I have missed them so much this semester and my own stubborn attitude kept me from seeing this.
It's been a rough two weeks physically, spiritually, and relationally. I am finally beginning to feel like myself again. I'm again longing to use the gifts God has given me to help others. I want to be there for all of you. So I'm sorry for my attitude of selfishness and being a downer. Thank you all for sticking by me through this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Wonderful Break!

Many times when I go home on break I struggle with being away from everyone at school and struggle with being myself. This past Christmas break was the best break I have had since being at college. I felt more confidence in myself, I felt like myself. I felt much more peace about where I was, where things where going and knowing that God is in control. I thought a lot about this past semester and things that I need to improve on and how I need to change my focus from the self-centeredness to things not being about me at all. Everything is about God. John Piper's talk at Passion keeps coming back following his sermon and how God is a jealous God and it is all about Him, not about me but about Him. What a journey this past year and a half has been and I have had so many learning experiences and have had to evaluate myself many times to make sure my focus is on God.
I enjoyed a lot of time with my family this break and it was good. Looking over my schedule for the year of 2010 it appears that I will only be able to go home one weekend during this semester and I will have a week at home at the end of August, so it was good to spend a lot of time with my family.
I went to Atlanta for a four day college age conference called Passion and it was amazing. Being able to worship with 22,000 college students just lifted my spirits, knowing that the next generation does really care to make known the name of Jesus! It was encouraging and it was challenging. The speakers were terrific and really challenged me to be bolder and a brighter light.
Over the past couple months I have struggled with understanding God's plans and why certain things happen. It's been a struggle for me to not receive what I want but following God's path for my life. Towards the end of break I finally started receiving some freedom from my own desires and just gazing upon the face of God in awe saying here's my life, take it and make it new. Finally saying God it is all about you, refine my heart, let me die to myself and pour my heart and soul out to you. What a struggle though to give up on something we long for and to just step back and say, "God, where you lead I will follow!" I ask for prayer in this area. At points I struggle greatly with questioning why God has done what He has and have many times bring myself down with thoughts of my weaknesses. I pray that I would not gaze upon my weaknesses but always keep in mind that God has given me talents and that it's not about me. That I would pour myself out to His will, not mine. All of you have been so great, and have been such an encouragement! I thank you for your prayers, and continue to ask for prayers because the next couple months really are going to be a struggle and I know there is no greater weapon in the world than prayer! I really believe that, so please continue to pray, and please let me know if I can ever do anything for you! God Bless and have a wonderful day! With the love of Christ!