Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We Are In A War

If we were fighting for our lives in enemy territory, how would we be behaving?  If we knew that the enemy was seeking us, seeking to capture us, torture us, and eventually kill us, what would that look like?  We are in a war like this!
God created everything and it was good.  There was no sin on earth, things were functioning in the design that God had created.  Everything was living in Truth.  Then Lucifer questioned God and he was kicked out of heaven with his angels.  At that point, God allowed Satan to roam the earth, and the war was started.  Satan roams the earth, seeking to kill and destroy, seeking to destroy Truth.  But Truth can't be defeated and God will not be defeated.  In many ways, the earth is Satan's territory, as Satan roams the earth, controlling much of our culture.  Yes, God is with us and His angels are surrounding us, but Satan is roaming the earth like he owns the place.
At times I forget that I'm in a battle.  I forget the seriousness of the battle.  We are not fighting for our physical life but for our souls, our eternal life.  Satan is seeking to capture us, to torture us in our own doings, and by doing this, kill us.  Let us not forget this.  In C.S. Lewis book 'Screwtape Letters', he speaks from the viewpoint of Satan's servants.  In this book he writes that one of Satan's greatest and most devastating tactics is causing humans to be complacent.  There comes a point where a Christian lets down his guard and becomes ho-hum about life.  Satan's servants discuss what to do, and they decide, let's not do anything, because if we do something to him, he will turn to God, so let this Christian be, because he is falling into our trap.  We forget that we are in a battle, and slowly we begin to become like the world, and when it's a gradual thing, we don't recognize it.  We become ho-hum and that is where Satan wants us.
Sometimes its frustrating constantly being on guard, constantly watching everything we do, having to be careful what we watch, analyzing what we do, but we are at war.  Yes, we know we have won, but Satan continues to attack.  So although we know God has won the war, and that Jesus death has saved us, we are still at danger, because Satan roams the earth and he is still seeking to destroy us.  Keep your guard up, we are in enemy territory.  Don't become complacent, but guard your hearts!  I love you guys!

'You shall be Holy'

1 Peter 1:13-16

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

What's it mean to be Holy?  What's that look like?  How can we be Holy when we are sinful creatures?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Joy in Patience

Psalm 37:3-5  "Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it."

I love these words. Words that instruct us to trust and be faithful. Words that demonstrate God's provision for us.  What a great feeling to hear that God will give us the desires of our heart if we delight in Him. I many times focus on this piece, praying that God will grant me my hearts desires. At times I would get anxious, wondering why God was not giving me these desires.

It wasn't until I moved to Colorado that I realized the importance of the words later in this passage. One week I was in my one-on-one meeting with my supervisor and I was sharing this passage with Him and how I was trying to fully trust in the Lord and sharing my deepest desires, when Ron quoted verse 7 to me, which says, "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."  I think this was back in April or May, and since then, God has been using this simple verse to work in my heart. Everything in verses 3-5 are great, but true joy comes in resting in the Lord and waiting patiently. This humbled me. I had my timeline on things, when I thought things needed to be done, but I was missing the big picture. I was missing the journey that He had me on. I was missing the lessons that I needed to learn before those desires could be focused on God. And you know what I found? When I am patient and work in God's timeline, I have expereinced great joy. God knows what He is doing, He hasn't forgotten about you, but is asking all of us to rest in Him. He wants us to slow down and spend time with Him. And when we rest in the Lord, we are able to wait patiently for Him, for we know we are in His hands, and that He will give us the desires of our hearts.  It may not be in our timeframe, but in His perfect timing. For there is great joy in waiting patiently for the Lord.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Unheralded Faithfulness

When you think of faithfulness, what do you picture?  Maybe you picture friends or family members who have been married for 50 years.  Maybe you imagine people in your church who have served sacrificially for years.  Maybe it's someone who sticks with a sports team through years of losing.  Maybe it's a friend who has stuck by your side through thick and thin.  Or parents who have never wavered in their love for you.  Whatever it is, it comes up short to the faithfulness of God.  Maybe we know this in words, but do you truly believe this in your heart.  It can be hard to see the faithfulness of God, or believe that He is always faithful because He is unseen.
Take some time though, look back on the years, and see God's faithfulness.  Despite some of the decisions we make, God remains faithful.  Think of the pain that God must endure with us each day.  We choose to serve other things, we choose to spend time with things that are pointless, we pursue task, jobs, and people, that keep us from discovering who God is.  Don't you think that must be painful?  Think of the hurt Jesus must have felt as He carried the cross through crowds spitting on Him and saying nasty things to Him.  These same people were those who followed Him and those He spent time with, and now they turned their back on Him.  Jesus should have dropped the cross and left this world, but He remained faithful to us, not succumbing to the temptation to leave us dying to sin, but followed through, saying "I Love you!" and offering us grace!  Take time to look back on God's faithfulness and His hand on your life and soon you will see the Love God has for you!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


It's a part of daily life.  So many struggle with how to deal with conflict in a healthy manner.  We can blow up and get upset when something happens, or we can avoid the issue and storm away, never resolving the issue.  Both of these lead to further issues of mistrust and hurt between the parties.
So how do we handle it in a positive way?  It starts with honesty and talking to the other party right away.  Often times, people don't do things to us to purposefully hurt us, but we make assumptions that the act was done maliciously.  If we are honest with the other person, saying I felt hurt when you did this, because I felt like you meant to hurt me.  Often the response back will be, oh, I didn't mean to hurt you, I didn't realize that when I did that, it hurt you.  Not only does this clear up confusion and keep us from making inaccurate assumptions, but it will help down the line, now that this person knows not to do that again.  When talking through conflict, always use "I" statements, stating how you feel, because it's no longer an opinion then, but truly how you feel.
This is not something that is easy, because we become vulnerable when we approach someone.  We feel like we will be hurt worse if the person sees us with pain.  But trust me, usually it will be a healing process.  Conflict is something that will never go away, so it's important to learn how to deal with conflict and to deal with it effectively.  Let's work on effectively communicating with eachother!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Grace Not Freedom

Grace is a beautiful thing.  It keeps us from being condemned to Hell.  It gives us freedom from our sins.  It's not something we earn, but something God has given us.  It's so important to understand grace and to be able to receive it.  But lately, as I have heard people talk of grace, I believe we have begun to take grace and state that because of grace we are free of God's commandments.  It has become a way to excuse ourselves from things that Jesus teaches.  But that is not grace!

Grace extends itself freely, granting us freedom from our sins.  But it does require something from us after we accept grace.

John 8:11 says, "And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either.  Go. From now on sin no more."

We like to hear Jesus tell us that He does not condemn us.  But sometimes the next part can be tough.  Go, like right now, and sin no more.  Jesus states here, yes I have given you grace, and you have been freed of your past sins, but go now and sin no more.  How often do we read over passages and try to ignore them cause they require too much from us, or find it tough to follow follow after Christ.

1 John 5:3 - "For this is the love of god, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome."

God gives us commandments not as a way of punishment, but as a way to make our life easier.  It's God's way of saying, here's how to live a joyful live and to avoid a lot of heartache.  When we truly Love God and are all in for Him, we see how His commandments are not a burden, but really a blessing that He has given us these things to help us along our way.

There are many things in this world that Satan has a grasp on, things that tear us away from our Maker.  God extends grace to say, I Love you, and want you, but you must die to self and come to me.  Are we really excepting grace as what it is, and turning from our sins?  Give it all to God, follow His commandments, and draw near to Him!  May you find peace, strength, and courage, as we carry the cross!

Monday, September 24, 2012

#1 Together The Road Is Much Easier

During training, at times it was tough to finish a workout.  I would get bored talking to myself and slowly become demotivated as the run or bike ride went on. But during race day there was an adrenaline that came from having fans around me for an entire day.  The day did not seem that long, it did not seem that difficult, and it was definitely more enjoyable then what I expected.
Life is the same way.  It is much more enjoyable and easier to navigate when we are surrounded by people who encourage us, who are driven for the same thing, and who stick around us till the very end. I'm very blessed for the people that God has surrounded me with over the years.  People who have stuck by me and encouraged me.
So often we try to do things on our own.  We try to overcome our struggles, addictions, and try to battle on our own.  But God doesn't want us to take these things on our own.  He wants us to rely on each other, to help each other, and to really seek Him in our weakness.  It really is more enjoyable when we allow others to help us, to support us, and to walk through life with us.

Friday, September 21, 2012

#2 You'll Never Be The Best

From the time I exited the water on the swim, till I crossed the finish line, I passed almost 1,000 people, but I was still somewhere in the 600's.  There was always a line of people in front of me, no matter how fast I ran.  As I ran, I thought about this, how no matter what, I will never be the best.  If I'm seeking significance in this, I'll always come up empty.  Sometimes we strive so hard to be the best, and when this is our pursuit, we will do anything to get there.  In an age where it seems every athlete is using performance enhancing drugs, it's easy to see what this mindset can do.
It's refreshing and peaceful to know that God does not ask us to be the best there is.  He does not tell us that we must be #1 in order to be invited to heaven.  Instead He extends grace to us and states that He wants us in a state of weakness, for when we are weak He is strong.  He states that we should do the best we possibly can, to work as if working for the Lord not for man, but He does not require us to be #1.  What a refreshing thought that we don't have to outdo everyone around us, that we don't have to compete with those around us, but that we can join together, encouraging each other to be the best we can be.
There was such great camaraderie among these athletes, because the goal of the Ironman is to finish.  As you pass people (or get passed) they always encourage you and you encourage them.  There is not the competitive side with each other, but truly a challenge to oneself to finish.  And this is how the race of life should be.  We should not be running to beat those around us, running solely for ourselves, but we should be encouraging of those around us, pulling them along, and striving for the finish.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

#3 It Can Be Addicting

When I arrived to check-in on Friday morning, I received a flyer for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes prayer time later that evening.  I knew I had to attend this to connect with other Christian athletes.  I arrived expecting a hundred or so athletes, but was shocked when I walked into a room with about twenty athletes.  I was disheartened by how few athletes were willing to join together for prayer.  As the leaders talked, it was mentioned how so many of these athletes train 30-40 hours a week, and how this becomes there life.  They talked about how once people do one, many of them continue to do more and begin to lose focus of other things in life.
Talk about how we are in everyday life.  Many times we make decisions based on serving God and where He is leading us, only to quickly lose sight of why we are doing what we are doing.  We quickly make these opportunities into our god, throwing ourselves into what we are doing.  So many of these athletes are addicted to doing Ironman events.  They seek for significance in this event, using the event as a way to have people appreciate them.  Every person has a void in their hearts, a longing for something.  The only difference between people is what they fill this void with.  And at the Ironman, I could tell, many of these people filled this void with triathlons.
This event was a great accomplishment for me and something I can cross off my bucket list.  After I finished, I did and still do have a desire to do another one.  But as I sat in the FCA meeting, I heard a fellow athlete who was crying, as he shared that this was his 8th and last one, because this event had turned into an addiction for him, something that stole time from his wife, kids, and God.  Anything can become an addiction.  We want to do things that makes us feel significant, but we must find our significance in God!

Monday, September 17, 2012

#4 Goals Require Sacrifice

Each day is filled with thousands of choices. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all prioritize our lives by the choices we make.  Everything we do is prioritized.  When we are striving to achieve a goal, that goal is placed near or at the top of the list.  Everything we do focuses on the top.  When I signed up for the Ironman, immediately this became a top priority.  I had to sacrifice time with friends (so I could get rest), I had to sacrifice certain eating habits (although I didn't sacrifice as much as I probably should have:), and at times I even sacrificed my relationship with God.
Daily we make decisions that reflect what our priorities are.  Too often we do not stay focused on our goal, which should be to know Christ and to make Christ known.  When we are not focused on this, we waste hours of our day on meaningless things.  We can sit down in front of the tv for hours and watch pointless shows or spend countless hours on facebook, where we compare our lives with others.  We tend to waste lots of time.  We waste money trying to improve our self-esteem or on the latest 'thing'.  When we stop striving to become more like Christ, we lose focus and become poor stewards of what God has given us.
As I trained, I never listened to music.  Before training started I told myself I would use this time to talk with God and to listen, making sure that He would stay #1 on my priority list.  There were times were I lost focus of why I was doing this event.  At times, becoming an Ironman was selfish, a goal to gain significance in the world and in the eyes of those I love.  And it was in those times where God lost priority that I struggled, that I wanted to stop training, and where I felt weak.  But when we are weak, God is strong, and as race day came closer, I refocused, knowing that the only way I could complete this task, is with God's help.
I have learned that no matter what our goals in life are, God MUST be #1 on our priority list.  It's not so much about what we are doing, but about why we are doing it.  Make God #1, and never sacrifice this!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

#5 The Road Is Long

When Paul explains running the race with endurance, he very accurately explains how long and difficult it is.  It's a decision that takes extreme sacrifice.  So often we get excited to do these awesome things, only to fall apart a week later when we realize the work it takes to get there.  Life takes sacrifice.  God requires us to sacrifice a lot to follow Him.  Yes, we want to follow Jesus because He is incredible, but we quickly abandon the cause of Christ when we have to start sacrificing.  But if we push on, staying strong, running with endurance, the reward is incredible.
There were many weeks where my workouts struggled because I couldn't stay motivated, but I continued doing the workouts, pushing past those rough weeks, and in the end, it was so worth it.  I had to sacrifice time with friends, money, and pretty much my life for 6 months.  At times I wondered if it was worth it, if all this sacrifice would pay off, but crossing that finish line, it was worth it.
The biggest thing was keeping my eyes focused on the goal.  If I was not focused on the goal, I would not have made it to the end.  The race of life takes focus and constant sight on the goal.  Only when our eyes are set on the finish, can we stay strong and committed to the cause of Christ.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ironman Wisconsin

Absolutely incredible!!  One of the coolest things I've done & another thing off the bucket list!  It's too hard to explain in one blog post.  2400+ athletes swimming together in the water and taking on the challenge of a lifetime.  This event was so different than anything else, not only because of the distance, but because the goal is to finish, not to beat anyone else.  Everyone on the course was cheering each other on, 55,000 fans cheering us on, and 4,000 volunteers there to support us.  It was so awesome to be a part of this and to join the Ironman family.
I felt so much better than what I could have ever imagined.  I just kept going faster and faster and felt better and better.  It was incredible.  God has blessed me so much with strength, the athleticism to complete something like this, and He gave me such favor in this event.
Over the next few days I'm going to explain the top things I have learned from this event, and the lessons God has taught me.
I want to thank all of you for your support, prayers, and continued encouragement!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Two Days

First thing I'm finding out, I'm way out of my league here!  I'm not from this triathlon world, so I don't know the lingo or how to behave at such a function.  The nerves are starting to set-in a bit, the question of can I do this?  Two days and that question will be answered.  I really am jumping into this with little experience.  It's the little things that I'm not sure about.  What will transitions be like, how do I handle aid stations, what do I carry on my bike?  But it's exciting to step out and take on a challenge.  So in two days, all questions will be answered or dissipate as the starting gun sounds.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


One of the big issues in the church is fear.  We fear uncertainty, we fear the future, we fear failure.  We have to have everything planned out, and everything has to go according to detail.  We don't do things if we think we can't accomplish it.  We are scared to take risk, we are afraid to do something if there is any doubt of accomplishing it.
Going into the Ironman, there is plenty of doubt.  Lots of people have doubted me.  I doubt myself at times.  But I do not fear it, cause God's word says, "Perfect Love drives out fear".  I don't have to worry about not finishing, cause I have failed before, I will fail again, but no matter what, God still Loves me!  He will Love me no matter what happens.  That is perfect Love!
This Love should drive us to take risk, to step into the future without worry of what's next.  Knowing God's unfailing Love should drive us to attempt big things, because no matter what happens He will Love us.
I say this, yet to many times I myself don't believe it.  God says He takes care of the birds and animals, yet I find it hard to believe that He Loves me as much as them.  We see ourselves as unloveable at times.  We let our experiences with others dictate our relationship God.  But what we forget is that God's relationship and Love for us is Perfect!  We must take hope in this, cause God's Love MUST be enough, or else we have nothing.  If we do not accept God's perfect Love, our hearts will always long for something more.  Easy to say, hard to do.  It starts with accepting God's Love, and once we have done this, we no longer have to fear anything.  Allow yourself to be Loved and fear no more!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Longing to be known

We all long to be known.  That's what we dream of as little kids, doing something that makes us noble and great in the eyes of the world.  You don't hear kids say, "I want to play basketball at the Y."  it's more like "I want to play in the NBA" or "Be the next Lebron James".  We want to be significant!  There is a part in every person that wants to prove ourselves to the world, that we are strong and courageous!  And sometimes we strive so hard for this we lose sight of everything around us, and forget that God loves us no matter what.  Yes He wants us to do our best, but He calls us to live where we are, to be significant for His name's sake, and to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength".  We work so hard to prove ourselves to those around us, that we fail to strive for relationship with God.  Don't let your pursuit of your desires drive you away from God, rather "delight yourself in the Lord; And He will GIVE you the desires of your heart!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Family Life Services Vision

This is what we are about and why we do what we do at FLS!

Family Life Services
We need Him!  There is a longing in every heart, the only difference in people is what we choose to fill that longing with.  And every last thing leaves a bit of emptiness, except when we fill that with God.  Even then we often still feel empty because we are not giving everything to Him.  We still find ourselves becoming anxious, desperate, longing, but at the point where we fully surrender to God, dying to ourselves, we come alive and experience true Joy and fulfillment!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Calling Out Lies

I have found that verbally calling out lies in my life has helped so much.  Satan slowly weaves lies into our lives without us knowing it, and slowly we begin to believe them if we are not calling them out.  Verbalizing these lies helps us to identify them and move forward.  This past week I sat in my room and just started verbalizing the many lies that Satan has led me to believe and it was so freeing.  As I started, more and more kept coming to mind, many that I didn't even know existed in my life.  Just begin calling them out and allow the Spirit to bring them up as you go, and slowly you will find yourself being free of the lies and you will no longer be blinded from the Truth.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What is tolerance?

What has happened in the past week shows how intolerant people have become of Christians.  I have talked with many non-Christians about how people should stand up for their beliefs, yet when Christians stand up for their beliefs we are called intolerant.
John 3:18-20 - 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm Not Home

This song has rung so true for me over the past month.  I have struggled with this world, struggled with seeing brokenness every day, and struggled with my own flesh.  So much of me longs to be with my maker.  I remember leaving the concert after these guys sang this song and saying to the other two people in the car, "I'm ready to be home.  Not like home here, but to be with God."  And since that point my heart has longed for that.  I have longed for God to say it is time, but He obviously has more in store for me.  I'm not home yet and I look to the time when I finally reach home.  But for the time I strive to finish the race, racing with endurance, and pushing on, even when all I long for is to be Home!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tough Training Week

This past week was a great week of training.  Two weeks ago I had the stomach flu and wasn't able to finish a few workouts, but this past week made up for it.  Had some great swims including a 2.5 mile swim in 1 hr 17 min. on Thursday followed by an hour run (First time I've completed any of the 3 events).  Friday finished a 20.5 mile run in 3 hours and still had plenty in me.  Today completed my first century ride of training, although my legs seemed to give out at the 60 mile mark.  Had a little over 18 hours logged and should log over 18 hours this next week before tapering starts up.  
At this time, I haven't even been thinking about the race, but I'm so ready to be done with the long training weeks.  Soon enough though, I hope to become an Ironman finisher. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Question everything?

While watching Deadliest Catch, I saw a commercial for a show on the Science channel, which looked at space, and I heard the Science channel slogan, "Question everything".  This made my heart sink.  Seeing the glory and splendor of God as they showed views of space, and then hearing the statement "question everything".  A statement that claims there is no ultimate Truth.  Don't seek Truth, seek to always question.  And this is a reflection of society, that there is no Truth, but that we should seek our own truth, and question everything.
It takes me to the greatest question ever asked, "What is Truth?"  Well, Jesus came to testify to the Truth, and His life demonstrated Truth.  Don't ever believe the lies that media constantly tells us, but remember that God is Truth, and there is ultimate Truth.  We don't have to question everything, because we have been given answers, and we have been given Truth!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Strive to be less

We strive so hard to be the best.  We train and work hard to get ahead of others, so we can be the best.  But the truth is, there will always be someone better.  There will always be someone a little faster, a little wealthier, a little higher up the totem pole.
God does not tell us to be the best there is, He ask us to Love Him and serve Him.  We should strive to be the best we can be, but not strive so hard to become better than everyone else.  We should build each other up, and help others become better than we ourselves are.  As a true leader, that should be our goal, to help others become greater than ourselves.  "We should look not only to our own interest, but to the interest of others."  "For we should have the same attitude as Christ, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing."
Let's not think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but take up the cross of Christ, Love Him, and serve Him.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Contract Extension

I have decided to sign a contract extension to stay with Family Life Services through the end of December.  Even in making this decision, I do not have complete peace about it, but I did not have peace about returning home either.  My heart is divided for many reasons.  There are so many great opportunities and so much that my heart wants to accomplish.  But God has taught me so much here and I feel that He has so much to teach me over these next six months.
My heart longs to be back in Indiana, but my heart breaks for the children here.  I feel that I will be in Indiana within the next year, but the things I will learn in the next six months are going to benefit me for life.  This decision was not easy because my life here feels like chaos.  I get frustrated when I come home and walk into my room which is strewn with stuff, from materials for work, to bills, to notes for others, and to clothes that take to much energy to hang up.  It's a reminder of things undone, which right now seems like a lot.
Work is my life here, and I don't want that to be the case.  I work and train and find myself exhausted.
But God is near, these frustrations draw me closer to Him, and have created a bond that none can break!  I love my work and spreading Truth.  I love my roommates and their hearts to truly know God.  I love my co-workers and their encouragement to me.  There is much Joy!  "For the Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with JOY!" Psalm 126:3

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I at times find the pure desires of my heart turned into selfish desires.  Then the battle rages.  The desire to have God grant the desires of my heart.  I seek, pursue, and refuse to allow them to go away.  Is this wrong?  Is there a time to forget the desires of our heart, to just let them fall away with no resolution?  If they are no longer pure in intention, yes!  How quickly I lose sight of my purpose.  Anything that is not drawing me closer to God, is in essence wrong, because it's keeping me from experiencing everything God desires me to experience.  "Sometimes God doesn't give you what you think you want, not because you don't deserve it but because you deserve more."  Sometimes our pure desires turn into obsession and drive us away from our purpose.  Sometimes we limit God by our desires and He calls us to dream bigger.  Sometimes we seek to fill the void with things other than God and God desires us to know wholeness, and will not grant us these selfish desires.
Then you throw in the fact that God has given us free will.  Maybe our desires are pure, and continue to center on growing closer to God, but these desires might hinge on other people.  This gets tricky, cause now we may be pursuing pure desires and come up short.  But God is faithful and will bring good out of any and every situation, IF WE LET HIM.  That is the tough part.  Sometimes we must wait and rest in the Lord.  Don't get so busy that we fail to listen to what God is saying.  Don't forget that it's a relationship with God, that it takes time, and that to imitate Him (Ephesians 5:1) we must study Him, spend time with Him, and pursue Him!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

100 Post

100 post later, and almost 3 years later, this blog has seen me through good and bad.  Started as a way to help me process my thoughts, it has helped me to express myself and to analyze what God has been teaching me.  This blog really has helped me get through some rough times.  It has drawn me closer to God and has been a huge part of my adventure.  I hope it will see me through many more adventures in the years to come!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Taming the Tongue

James 3:5-6

"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."

James 1:19

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Be Holy as I am Holy"

"Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."  -Matthew 5:48

"If we could manage to eradicate one of our faults every year, how soon it would make perfect men of us!  As things are, it is just the other way round; we often feel that our lives were better, and more free from taint, when we first turned to God than they are now, after all these years spent in religion." Thomas a Kempis

Friday, May 11, 2012


We are a society that hates to wait! We constantly maneuver our cars so we can get ahead, we switch lines at the super market to get through quicker, and we plan our days to the t so that we can spend every minute.  Yet God ask us to slow down.  He ask us to wait patiently!  This week I have struggled with where I'm at, where I'm going, and why the promises God has made to me haven't come to fruition.
A passage that I have been focusing on this week is Psalm 37:3-7.  It says, "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

This week I have struggled in thinking about my own desires.  Are the desires in my heart pure and is the purpose of my desires to honor God or to seek selfish gain?  This is a tough questions because so often I find my pure desires become selfish desires.  But we must delight ourselves in the Lord and give everything up to Him. And then we must wait patiently.  When we look at the promises God made to Israel, we see that they had to wait years to see these promises come about. So often we skip over the time it took and we just see that God promised them something and they received it.  We then wonder why we don't see God's promises come within days, weeks, or even a year.  But when we look at the time that some people had to wait, it took so many years.  Look at Sarah and Abraham.  They were 90 and 100 before they received their desires.  As hard as it may be too wait, God is faithful and will provide if we delight ourselves in Him. Never give up, wait patiently, and continue to seek God.  He is faithful!

Friday, April 20, 2012


Last week we talked about trust with the kids.  I did not post one for this but we discussed what trust looks like, how we lose it, and how we can gain it. We read the story of Abraham and how God called him to pick up his things and move.  What trust that took!  Then we gave each kid a whiteboard and had them draw a picture of a time when their trust was most broken.  Then we had them change the picture to an event that brought trust.
This week we targeted forgiveness.  What does forgiveness look like?  Is it forgive and forget?  When we forgive do we have to fully trust that person?  Can we still be sad and forgive someone?  Why do we have to forgive?  What does forgiveness do for us and for the other person?
We had such a deep discussion.  One answer to the question 'what does forgiveness do?' was, it shows Christ to others and displays His mercy for us.  When we forgive we are demonstrating Christ.  Wow!!  What is forgiveness? Mercy!  Just such deep thoughts on these questions!  After we discussed for a while, we showed this video!

We allowed the kids to discuss what they thought and interesting things they noticed about the movie.  They talked on undeserved forgiveness, on how is it possible (with God's help), and then someone pointed out how the killer did not forgive God which led to the whole event.

I thought this was the deepest that the group as a whole has gone!  We have some incredible kids at Family Life, that challenge my thinking every week!  Awesome!

Monday, April 16, 2012

We all need love!

One of the few things that we NEED and that we can't be without.  Without love, life is miserable and unbearable.  Love brings acceptance, joy, and meaning to life.  Yet this very thing brings pain and hurt.  When we love we become vulnerable and when we accept love we take great responsibility.  When we love we lay ourselves out there, putting our trust in the hands of an imperfect being.  We open our hearts, take off our armor and become open to wounds.  When we accept someone's love we carry this great responsibility of not breaking this trust.  We must put away our selfishness and look out for the needs of others above our own.
There is a cost to love and like we see in society, love is sexy until it cost something.  People are not willing to pay the cost it takes to love, because true love is not about us and calls us to die to self.  What a high price to pay.  But how quickly we forget, that Christ love cost everything.  It cost His life, and was not sexy at all.  He knew what was coming and laid down His life for us.  We are called to do this same thing, to lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters.  Sometimes it might cost us everything, and often it is not easy to give love, but may take a lot of work and requires killing our selfishness (which can be hard and painful). May we shift our sight on our maker, allowing Him to give us the strength that it requires to love.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tower of Babel

Thursday night we talked about the tower of Babel and how God confused their language.  We had the kids read the story from the Bible and then talked about why God would do that.  We used this story to lead into discussion on communication.  We had the kids build a tower out of Jenga blocks, but some kids couldn't talk, some couldn't hear, some couldn't see, and some couldn't use their hands.  We discussed how important communication is and how sometimes we get frustrated with people when they have no idea what they did.  The focus was put on listening to others, and being willing to hear the other side of things.  When we can communicate effectively, we can accomplish so much!

Genesis 11

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Leading People To Lead

I just love Focus Leadership Institute!  The people that work at the Institute are so intentional and caring, and have such a passion to see young people's lives changed!  It's exciting to see them at work from the outside looking in and to see the transformation that continues to take place!  They truly are transforming the lives of so many!  I wish everyone could experience this place, the community, and the Love that floes from the staff!  It transformed my life completely, and I see how it continues to transform lives.  So exciting!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

This ain't so great!

Sometimes adventures don't seem so great.  We have those things that happen just the way we want and planned, and those get the title of being GREAT!  But what happens when things don't go as planned?  Are those then failures?  In life, it seems all too often that things don't go as we planned or desired.  Why is this?  Are we failing to communicate with God?  Are we not pouring out enough?  Or maybe it's not even us to begin with.  Maybe it's those around us not following God's will that will throw our plans off course?  I would say, too often we are not looking at the heart of God, but allowing Satan to tempt us with what we think we want, and not allowing God to fulfill our desires.  No matter where we are, God can make it a Great adventure, even if it's not what we plan.  And this is how we should see it, cause rarely will it go as planned!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Let the training begin!

Yesterday marked the 24 week mark until Ironman Wisconsin 2012!  That means today marks the beginning of my 24 week training program!  Really, the first 4 weeks are pretty much what I have been doing, it will just be more consistent, but it marks a long road to get to race day!  I'm excited but really nervous, and honestly, to this point I have forgot quite often that I'm even signed up for it.
This is an event that I have always loved and have always admired those who complete it, but I never thought it would be possible.  Even now, I often doubt myself because I have never even attempted anything close to this.  But through this, I expect God to reveal a lot to me about life, strength, and endurance.  I expect to be drawn into deeper communion with God through my training, through my weakness, and through my continual pursuit of what seems impossible.  Over the years, God has revealed to me, aspects of His nature during my time spent running or riding bike.  The road to the race is long, tiring, and can be very stressful on a body, so prayers are much appreciated.  Encouragement during these 24 weeks would also be much appreciated =)  Sometimes I look at events in my life and I realize I'm so small and weak.  Events seem overwhelming and overpowering.  When we look at things that take place in the world around us, things seem like they will never change.  There are many things that seem impossible, but we should not let that stop us from pursuing them.  Sometimes it takes doing the impossible to find that nothing is impossible with God!  Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where do we run?

To what do we turn when we feel down or weary?  To where do we look when we feel tired and alone?  Sadly, many turn to things that do not draw us closer to God, but to something that is used to replace God.  We are a broken culture and generation.  We look for things that will distract us or things that will help us forget what has happened.  We look for things that will give us a good feeling and alter our mind. But to few times do we sit down and talk with God in these moments. Why?  Why have we failed to come to the only One who can fill the void in our hearts?  Why do we fail to run to the creator of peace?  All who are weary and heavy burdened shall find rest in His arms, yet we don't run to His arms!  What race are we running?
God created community for a purpose.  We are not to be alone, but too often we find ourselves alone.  We are to commune with other Christians to help us through the fight.  I just finished watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  This paints a beautiful picture of community, standing beside each other, and fighting for what is right, even in the darkest of times.  What a great depiction of our Christian life.  But not only does God desire us to have this community with other Christians, but He himself desires to have community with us!  Look at Abraham.  He was such a great friend with God that he was able to change God's mind and receive his request.  Look at David and how he constantly looked to God, no matter what others thought or how bleak his situation looked.  And God constantly rewards faithfulness.  So why are we not faithful?  How do we say we believe the Bible, read all these stories of faithfulness, and yet we believe that God can't possibly overcome our situation.  One thing I have learned, don't doubt God!  He is bigger, greater, and more powerful than anything we will ever see or face!
Run to His arms today!  Allow God to wrap you in His arms! Trust in his unfailing Love, Mercy, and Goodness!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Fall

Discussion this week revolved around Genesis 3.  We had the kids read the story aloud directly from the Bible.  Jessica asked the kids several questions, many that do not have an exact answer, but were just left as a question to get the kids to really think.  Some of the kids asked us questions too, that are tough, tough questions.  Here are the questions that we asked or that were asked to us.

What do you think the garden of Eden was like?
What were the consequences of Adam and Eve's decision?
What are ways that we are tempted?  What are our consequences?  (Someone said death)
          I sin, so does that mean that I deserve death?  Do I receive death?
How does Satan tempt us?
Why would God put the tree in the garden?
Why would God allow them to be tempted?
Why would God allow His creation to fall?

We had a really good discussion.  The whole lesson lasted over 30 minutes!  It was great to be challenged by the kids.  I felt like we all learned a great deal from this lesson!  There were many more questions, but I don't remember all of them.

One thing that God has really been teaching me is how we can't save anyone, but that God, in His timing, is the only one that can save people and show them the Truth!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Genesis 1

God created the whole universe.  He made thousands of galaxies, all to praise His name!  God formed everything!  He made each one of us just the way we are.  But He did not just speak us into being.  No, He formed us in His image, and breathed His breathe into us!  How incredible!  He made each one of us with our own unique gifts, strengths, and personality for a purpose!  He gave us the passions and desires to align with our gifts and strengths!
When we look at everything God has created, we are amazed!  It's incredible to go thousands and millions of lightyears out, and how amazing and endless His creation is.  Yet we are His masterpiece!  Wow!
(At the start of group, the kids all made things out of modeling clay!  They didn't know it would be tied into the lesson until the end.)  When we create something, we have a personal attachment to it.  When we draw a picture, we excitedly run to our parents and show them and hope they put it on the fridge.  When I looked at everything the kids made from clay, it was amazing!  They are so creative and they all took so much joy and pride in what they made!  That's how God felt when He made us!  I see Him making the universe with the angels around Him, then the angels are all knitting their scarves and painting their simple pictures and God says, "Hey, I'll be right back, I need to go make one last thing!"  And God comes back after making mankind and says, "LOOK!! Look what I made!" I know He took joy and pride in our creation!  Which means we also must take joy and pride in who we are, for we are His masterpiece, and He created us as we are!  He is proud of us, and we should be proud too, for we are His creation!

What most amazes you about God's creation?

Memory verse for the week: Genesis 1:27

Friday, March 9, 2012

Future Blogs

Every Thursday night at Family Life Services, Jessica and I have all the kids for an hour and a half.  During this time we play games and hang out, but at the end we have about 20 minutes where we talk to the older kids about lessons from the Bible.  I'm going to start writing a blog after every Thursday that talks about our lesson on Thursday night.  This week we talked about creation and it was awesome!  Loved being able to share on this topic.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Meet the Interns!

There is a new blog up of me and the other intern, Jessica, on the FLS page.  Check it out!

Friday, March 2, 2012

O Worship The King

What a grand creator!
O worship the King, all glorious above
O gratefully sing His wonderful love
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days
Pavilioned in splender, and girded with praise
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace
Whose robe is the light and canopy space
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm
O measureless might, ineffable love
While angels delight to worship above
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Find rest and quiet in your busy life!  Spend intimate time with God today!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What is our heart of worship?

Today at Calvary Worship Center, the pastor spoke on what the church is supposed to look like.  He talked on how we are the body of Christ, and Christ is the head of the body.  An interesting quote, "The body does not dictate what the head does, but the head dictates what the body does."  But what really intrigued me was when Pastor Lonnie started talking on worship within church.  He mentioned how we can become routine worshippers or that we come to church hoping that this certain person is leading worship so we will enjoy it.  He talked on how we hope certain songs are sung at church because we really like the beat of the music.  We try to find churches that we can really get into the music.  But notice how all these statements say we.  What is the heart of worship? It seems like it's not so much about God and it has become more about us!  Does God really care about the beat of the music or about what song is sung to Him?  Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart!  Why are we so concerned about what we feel!  We should not concern ourselves with these petty issues, but get back to the heart of worship!  Worship is all about Him!!  Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!!  May we not worry so much about the emotion that the songs provoke in us, but may we become more concerned with praising God with our everything!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tough but Good

The job's I'm working are so perfect for me!  I get to hang out with kids all the time, and just be real!  I can just be myself and struggle through life with them!  It is challenging to get these kids to fully understand who God is when many of them have a limited knowledge of God and when all of them have seen the father modeled in a poor light.  These kids have been through so much, more than I ever have, and I don't have any experience to base my advice on, but I know God is the healer and protector, the only one who can truly bring joy everlasting!  And knowing that God cares for each of us allows me to demonstrate through my life, the joy that we can share when coming into communion with God!  God is good, all the time, and I can't wait to see Him face to face, and forever worship Him!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Day of Love

Valentines day!! Some of you might hate it, some of you might love it!  Me? I personally somewhat enjoy it!  Sure it is super commercialized and businesses thrive off this day, but what a wonderful day to display Christ through our expression to others!  Should this occasion be held to just one day?  No, it should be a continual process, but nothing wrong with going big time once a year!
My question is, how much heart do we have to give?  Is there a limit to how much we can Love or to how much of our heart we can share?  We are built in the image of God who demonstrates the ultimate Love for us!  Think of how much we hurt God!  Wow!!  We continually lie, betray, run to something or someone else, and yet He only returns Love!  A Love that at times must discipline for our safety, or may be filled with a righteous anger, but Love all the same!  This is my desire, to Love as Christ has Loved!  I desire to have the 1 Corinthians 13 Love that keeps no records of wrong and is not easily angered, but that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres!  In the end, this is what the world is searching for, and with Christ power and strength within us, we can display this Love!  No matter how badly others may hurt us or how much others may praise us, may we display pure Love that does not envy, or boast, and is not self-seeking, but that is continually poured out for those around us!  This Love leaves us vulnerable, susceptible to hurt, and at times will break our hearts, but Christ suffered the same thing for us and continues to suffer this hurt, but it doesn't stop Him!  And with His power built in us, it does not have to stop us!  May we daily live for something greater than ourselves, and Love as Christ Jesus has Loved us!

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the Truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere.  Love never fails."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Destructive Thoughts

What's it like to not have a father?  To never see God's design modeled before you?  How do you break the chains that exist?  How do we stop this destructive behavior?
Speaking Truth!  Truth never fails and when we speak Truth, we challenge others to step into the roles that God designed!  The absence of father's or the existence of abusive father's, destroys young men in our society.  They never have a positive example to follow, they have a poor image of God as our father, and many times these young men do the same things their father's did because they have no other example to follow!  Our society is told so many lies about what things should look like.  Fathers model lies and tell children lies and these lies are believed.  Lies create bondage.  It's time to step up and make known the lies and proclaim Truth!  Every person is created in God's image and is equipped with gifts, talents, and a uniqueness that is AWESOME!  Let's begin proclaiming Truth in the lives of those around us, and move those lies out of the heart, replacing the lies with Truth!  For where a man's heart is, there is his treasure!  May we have a treasure built in the Truth claims of God!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


How aware are we of the struggles of those around us?  How well are we living in Christian community? God's design in community was to uplift one another, to know the struggles of those around us, and to make each other Holy!  I believe that our lack of knowledge of the struggles of those around us can cause others to stumble!  With the number of men struggling with pornography, how often do we put on a movie with sex scenes?  We may have caused a brother to stumble by this and our lack of intentionality caused hurt!  With the number of women struggling with eating disorders, how often do we talk about needing to lose weight, when really we look great?  This may make a sister criticize herself even more and cause her to fall deeper into this pit!  May we begin to take time to build true community in the design that God has created it!  May we think of the needs of those around us above ourselves and be careful with what we do and say!  We will often not know the struggles of those around us, so let's be careful to be jealous for God with our every move, keeping ourselves from causing a brother or sister to stumble!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The New Job

Wow!  God sure does provide!  When I finally allowed myself to fully rely upon Him for everything, the pieces started to fall into place!  This job is exactly what I wanted to do and it is so perfect for me and where I'm at in life!
Yesterday was my first day of work and Jessica, the other intern, and I brainstormed ideas we have for what we can do with the kids.  As we talked about what God has done in our lives, we found ourselves just finding ideas from our experiences!  Our focus at this point is really on group nights.  Every Thursday night we will have the kids for two hours and we will focus on guiding these kids spiritually.  We also planned out weekend activities for the kids, which I'm super excited for!
My heart has been poured out for children without fathers in their lives for years now, and God provided me with this position that tailors to my desires, passions, and heart!  God is so good, continually faithful, and marvelously spectacular!  I can't wait to share more about how God continually provides and guides! May we all rest within His arms!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Philippians 2

One of my favorite passages of scripture and one of the most challenging pieces of scripture!  v. 3-4 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others."  How often do we consider the needs of others above ourselves?  In a society that has a me-first attitude, it often appears that this selfless attitude gets taken advantage of or comes in last place.  But that statement itself states where our focus is; on us!  How quickly we forget our purpose here on earth.  It is not about me!!  It's about God above, about having an attitude that brings Him glory and that glorifies His name!  So often we get wrapped up in pursuing OUR desires and want WE think something should look like and we fail to consider what GOD'S desire is and what HE wants to do with us.  Ultimately, if we are following Him and we align our desires with His, He will reward us with our desires and passions!  They might not look the way we expect them, but they will be fulfilled!  God wants to make us happy, but we first must make sure that our desires and passions are pure and are God-focused, because God is not going to satisfy those desires that lead to death, but only those that will bring us into closer communion with Him, which in the end leads to endless JOY!!  May we take the focus off of what we want, and begin to look to the needs of others!  If we have the selfless attitude of Christ and look to the needs of others, God will bring about the desires in our life!  May we trust Him more and more each day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Attitude changes everything!  It can make a terrible day sound great, or it can make a great day sound terrible.  No matter what comes our way through the storms of life, it all comes back to our attitude!  If we choose to look at the good that God has done for us and constantly stay focused on Him, then we will have a positive attitude that uplifts those around us and keeps us positive.  Notice the key word in that lengthy sentence.  CHOOSE!!  It's a choice!  We can either bring a negative attitude that makes everything seem awful and just makes us miserable, or we can choose to bring joy to whatever we face and uplift those around us, which makes everyday so much more enjoyable!  Whatever attitude we have, it will be contagious!!  Which will you choose today?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Being drawn into the Trinity by the Spirit

The final aspect of the Trinity that is revealed to us is the Holy Spirit!  This was not brought to our human understanding until the first two pieces were in place.  The Spirit gives us a power and a freedom that we could not find on our own!  But it is also something that Satan uses as he brings about many false spirits that masquerade themselves as something great and powerful.  The spirit world is a scary thing because we are constantly surrounded by this warfare that exist.  It is so easy to stumble and to fall for the traps that Satan sets in place.  There is great power in evil spirits.  I have witnessed many scary happenings as the result of witchcraft and have seen the power of these spirits.  It's so scary, but they can come about in such innocent ways.  If we do not have a Biblical foundation set in place of the standards of God and we do not understand how Jesus Himself handled these spirits, then we can easily become ensnared!  When the first two aspects of the Trinity are in place though, we have the Wisdom and Knowledge to know how to deal with these spirits and we can live in Freedom and Truth!
Now when I say we are given Freedom in the Spirit, that does not mean we have Freedom to do what we want.  We first must fall on the foundation of what is Truth and Pure.  In being a Christian, we are to set ourselves apart from the world and to set a higher standard.  We are supposed to help our brothers and sisters out of temptation, not lead them into temptation.  So Freedom in the Spirit never means forgetting the Wisdom that God has given us and forgetting His character, but it means that we are no longer bound to sin but are forgiven!
We are given gifts in the Spirit, and these gifts equip us with Power!  It is valuable for us to understand our gift and how God can use that to bring about His Glory.  When filled with the Spirit, we become equipped with a Supernatural Strength that allows us to do things that are not humanly possible!  Consider it God showing off through you!  When I looked at the disciples and the many miracles they performed, I think about how awesome that is and how much Glory God can receive through that!  We have that same power within the Spirit!  I believe that we are many times hesitant to use the Power of the Spirit because we have seen it misused, but just because it is misused does not give us the right to limit God's work!  He gave us the Spirit for a reason, to bring Himself Glory and to make His name known great!
The thing I love most about the Holy Spirit is that He lives within us!!! Do you know what that means?  That means we are drawn into the Trinity with the Spirit!  We are given the opportunity to worship God in an intimate way, because we are drawn into the Trinity!!  Wow, what fellowship we can have when we accept the Spirit!!  May we learn to live within this Power and Freedom!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Living a Life like the Son

The next aspect of God that is revealed to us is God the Son.  Often times we solely study the life of the Son.  It is easy to read the New Testament and throw out the Old Testament!  We are forgiven of those laws in the Old Testament, so why read it?  We are freed from the laws, but the most important part of the Old Testament is knowing the character of God, and if we do not know the Character of God then we can not fully understand Jesus and who He is!  Jesus did not come to earth just to save of us of our sins.  Although this is vital in our eternal destiny, He came for something more!  Excepting the Salvation is only one part of our experience, we must then live a life that brings honor to God.  Jesus was a perfect demonstration of how we should live while on this earth.  By observing His life, He demonstrated how the characteristics of God look as a human.  He demonstrated how a Righteous Anger, Jealousy, Wrath, Justice, and Love look on earth.  By earthly definitions, most of these things are not good, but Jesus demonstrated how these truly are Holy characteristics if used in the way God uses them.  Jesus demonstrated how we too can use these things to bring about the glory of God.

It's awesome too, because when we look at the these characteristics of God we think that they can't operate together, at least not at the same time, but they do!  When Jesus entered the Temple and found money exchangers in His temple making a profit off of worship He threw their tables and destroyed what they had set-up!  I love this because it beautifully demonstrates all of these aspects.  Jesus was ANGRY!!  How dare we turn a house of worship into a place to make money!  This thus demonstrated the JEALOUSY of God, showing that He would not stand for anything else to be worshipped!  Which demonstrates the WRATH and JUSTICE of God, because He will not stand for men to worship other God's or to scam others out of money for personal gain!  And all of this comes back to the LOVE God has for us!  He is Angry and Jealous because He knows those things lead to eternal death and He so desires us to spend eternity with Him in Joy and Happiness, that He will not stand for us to fall for these traps.  He is a God of Wrath and Justice because He hates to see us get caught up in the lies of the world because He alone is Holy and He alone can give us eternal Life.  By looking at examples like this, we see how these characteristics are to look in our lives!  May we come to know how to leave with those around us by observing and modeling the life of Christ!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Establishing a Foundation through God the Father

The first part of the Trinity that was revealed to mankind was God the Father!  God was revealed through scripture in the way He was for a reason.  First we come to know God the Father, then we see the Son, and last we are given the Holy Spirit.  I believe this is how we should approach knowing God.  The foundation of faith is knowing and understanding God the Father!  Before we do anything in our faith, we must discover who God the Father is and study His character!  The foundation of faith is based upon His character.  God never changes and His design never changes.  There was a reason that He only revealed this aspect of Himself to those in the Old Testament.  They had to build the foundation for what God was going to bring about!  Sure it took a while for the Hebrews and Israelites to begin to understand God, but it was necessary.  For us, we can learn from what happened in the lives of those in the Old Testament to gain a better understanding of the Father.
I believe knowing God the Father is vital!  There are so many spirits that exist and many of them deceive you into thinking that they are Holy.  Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light and closely resembles something good.  If we do not have a foundation, we are easily deceived.  We must look at how the Father handled situations that came about.  How did the Father demonstrate Love, Anger, Jealousy, Wrath, and Justice?  He is Righteous and Pure and so if we desire to be Righteous in our own lives, then we must look at Him!  The Son did come to earth to give us Salvation, but God's character never changes, so we still must look at His character.  I have come to love the Old Testament for this fact; that it demonstrates the characteristic of who God is!  The Bible is Truth and we can not pick and choose what we believe, but must study the Bible in its entirety.  May we draw into Holy Communion with God by first studying the character of God the Father!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Trinity

Recently I have been studying the Holy Spirit and the power that exist within the Spirit!  Growing up, I never heard much about the power that exist within the Spirit or how to use the Spirit.  I knew that the Holy Spirit existed and that it was part of the trinity.  I knew the basics of the spirit, but never how to use it.  Upon studying this aspect of God, I looked at the many denominations that exist within Christianity and looked at how they used the different aspects of God within the church.  I enjoy studying the denominations and think it is important for the different denominations to exist, because each one does something really well that can draw us all closer to God.  I hate the bickering that exist between denominations but think that God reveals Himself in different ways through each denomination.  No group has God figured out, and no one will ever figure out who God is in His entirety.  God is too vast for human understanding, but the more we learn, the more God can allow us to do!  "To whom much has been given, much will be required." or as I like to think of it, to whom much has been given, much will we be able to do as a servant of Christ.  So as I have studied the Trinity I have tried to discover how God works and how we are to discover who He is and to live within His design and plan!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fear of the Unknown

For our human minds there is a great fear of uncertainty.  When we move into something new and different it can create a lot of fear.  Too often we become comfortable where we are at and fail to move into an area that God may be calling us for fear of change.  Why do we fear though?  If we truly believe that God is calling us into something we should fear nothing!  For if our God is for us, who can be against us? And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?  Absolutely nothing!!  May we move into new avenues with boldness and courage!!  And when we see brothers and sisters moving to where God has called, we should encourage them to do big things, because there is already enough fear present, no one needs us to instill more fear, but they need us to encourage them to trust and take a step in faith, no matter how crazy it seems!  Let's begin to blot out fear by being bold and allowing God to show us how He will provide, no matter how crazy the task!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Moving into the real world!!

I have just accepted my first job position that does not have a known end! I'm stepping into the real world and moving forward with the next step in my life!  I have accepted a position at Family Life Services in Colorado Springs, Colorado!  This is an extreme change of plans from 2 weeks ago!  I was planning on staying in Marion for a while longer, but I was allowed out of my contract at IWU and encouraged to take this position in the Springs!
For me, this sounds like the perfect position for where I'm at in my life and what I want to do! At times it is a little scary because this is my first job that does not have a known end point. It does feel very different moving into this position that will not end in 3 months.  I'm excited to move to Colorado, where I have always felt like I would live for a period of my life.
I will be moving January 29th! My position is only a part-time job that is called Child and Youth Intern. My role is to set-up and organize after-school programs, weekend activities, and mentor the young people in the organization. The organization as a whole takes in single mothers and their families and provides housing and counseling for the people in this organization!
I'm so excited for this opportunity and being able to move back to Colorado indefinitely! I love the outdoors and Colorado Springs provides so many opportunities to get out and explore nature!

Here is the homepage for Family Life Services!

I have also found a second part-time job in Colorado Springs.  I will be working with an organization called Hope and Home!  This is a foster care agency that places children in foster homes and helps equip foster parents with the necessary tools to be foster parents.  I will be doing child-care and supervising visits between biological parents and their children!  I'm super excited for this as well!

Here is the homepage for Hope and Home!