Seeking

IMG_8854-editLike I’ve stated before in some of my last few posts ever since graduating things haven’t really been what I wanted or thought it was going to be like. The roller coaster of emotions from planning on going to Australia with YWAM (still struggle with pondering what if I would have gone) then that changing, coaching freshman baseball (which was awesome), trying to find a job for past few months (which just changed ha), and just not having the same consistent community I had back in college has taken a toll. I’ve had some revelation the past week or so on my whole time in that season and it’s been super refreshing. Quickly to update, I got a paid internship at Western Michigan University in Athletic Communication so legit just moved to Kalamazoo a week ago.

Back to my other points though, during my time where I kind of was at home every day waiting for baseball practice or once that was over just applying for jobs I had a TON of free time. During this challenging time I was seeking the Lord out on my family room couch reading the Word, praying, and worshiping in whatever way I could. I knew that I did not want to let my mind wonder or slip up (which it did a few times) and let the enemy plant negative thoughts or just give into my flesh so I just kept seeking Him. That time really helped me just quiet my mind and focus on what matters in my life. In that time it seemed like God was far to me even though I was in the Word and praying daily. I know He was though, I watched Todd White’s testimony (look it up!) and he said, “Just because you aren’t feeling, doesn’t mean He isn’t there.” How good is that come on! Felt like I was isolated and knew I needed to lean on Him no matter what because I knew He’d provide for me and show up. I was praying for a job and was like Lord by the end of June I want to know what I’m doing for the next year so send me wherever! On the last day of June I received the offer from WMU haha.

Since I’ve moved here I do the same thing, I don’t have to be at work till 10 am so I got plenty of time to do my thing in the morning and church I’ve been going to has a prayer room so I’ve been there several times already and man the Lord is just revealing some things to me that have been so refreshing to my soul. I still haven’t meet anyone besides my co-workers (trying to get connected with church been goin to) so I have a lot of time for myself and just find myself always seeking Him and trying to find cool spots here.

I was introduced to soooo many people my first few days of work and a lot of them kept asking me so man like what do you want to do with this and where do you see yourself in 5 years. Hate that question man ha, this one guy who is supposedly a “big” deal (don’t remember what “important” thing he does) was on my case about it and kept prying and it just gave me some bad vibes like why don’t I know, I just told him I have so many thoughts and ideas of what I want to do/get involved with. I know that this is a 1 year gig so feel like I’m gonna really know if I really want to do athletic communication stuff or chase after the other dreams that I have once this year is over. Am constantly praying into it.

Being kind of isolated in my own apartment is wonderful (s/o Arubbah House). Feel the Lord continue to test me in this season and I feel like my apartment is going to be a war room (well apartment) for me to press into things and refine things that may come up and what have you. I’m looking forward to what God has for me here in Kzoo with working and what comes up with that, volunteering with Cru whenever I can, attending Radiant, and who knows what else is going to be headed my way, who I’m going to cross paths with, who’s lives I will impact, how I’m going to impact this city/campus, and what may lead from here. Stoked to see what God has here for me. Bless you all in Jesus name!

 

And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”  And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

 

Just found this Upper Room Music group ahhh fire! This song though has hit home big time. This dope dude Vince from church I used to go to in Toledo told me something I’ll never forget “The battle begins in the prayer room”. The power we have when we pray is INCREDIBLE and I feel like a lot of people may not realize that. In the prayer room is where I go to fight my battles and that’s what this song is called ha its so good ha.

Parrothead For Life

First off, this is not an idol in my life haha. As many of you know I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan. Believe it or not for a very short time in my life I didn’t like him at all. I briefly remember riding in the car listening to him when I was probably like 4 or 5 and was so mad we were listening to him because that’s all we ever listened to. That phase quickly vanished and I became a huge Buffett fan growing up. Jimmy says in one of his live recordings of A Pirate Looks at 40, “Thanks to all you parents who raised your children on my music.” Well that was me, one of my parents 1st dates was to a Buffett concert, so I mean that kind of set the tone for what I was going to be listening to growing up. Now they aren’t as into it as I am but they are Parrotheads none the less. We took hella trips to Florida when I was younger so I mean we’d always put Jimmy on during our road trips and find our way to Margaritaville restaurants in Orlando, Vegas, or Myrtle Beach.

It wasn’t until I went to my 1st Buffett show that I began to understand the culture of it all. Oh the summer of 2010 ha, like my best friend is also a Parrothead and his parents are also very into it as well, so both our families went to see Jimmy at Blossom Music Center. A great show to say the least, completely was blown away by the atmosphere of the place and of how great the show was. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been back to Cleveland in a while, so my friend and I road tripped to see him in Pittsburgh. The last 2 shows I’ve been to in Cincinnati (aka Fincinnati) have by far my favorite ones. I had to convince a bunch of my college friends to go with me (them skeptical of it all since I was very biased) and they caved in and went haha. Since I was 21 umm lets say that a few margaritas made their way to me haha and we got there really early to tailgate both times which gave us plenty of time to tailgate and have a great time. If you haven’t experienced a Buffett show/tailgate you don’t know what your missing! I could tell a bunch of stories from the shows of hilarious things I saw or great moments from them. Such a blast, words can’t describe how fun those times are!

Anyway most people when they think of Jimmy they think of his restaurant Margaritaville (just opened in the CLE!), the song Margaritaville, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and maybe Volcano or Brown Eyed Girl. There just is so much more to his music than those songs. Like it’s not just vacation music, he has so many songs that are beautiful and have some awesome meanings behind them. Plus like the personal meaning that these songs carry with me and the whole lifestyle that comes with it. The whole culture of Parrotheads is the greatest. Everyone is REALLY into it with the way we dress, act, and really everything. The coolest thing is that everyone is so open, friendly, and encouraging (it could be the margs lol). I always try to walk around and interact with people to just see what they got going on and meet some awesome people (and low key try and get free food or drinks ha). There are NO BAD VIBES at Buffett shows, only good vibes, there’s this family feeling you get when you start interacting with people, and it creates such an awesome environment to be apart of. We all share a love for great music, tropical paradise, and party’s.

If you know me you know I love the ocean, warm weather, margaritas, good times, and good vibes. Jimmy’s music has been a big influence in why I like those things so much. Just the idea of being in a tropical paradise is so wonderful in my mind like seeing palm trees sway, a slight breeze off the ocean, ahhh just brings joy to my face. The songs that are about that stuff you can just close your eyes and imagine sitting at a beach relaxing and soaking up the rays. One of my favorites is titled One Particular Harbor and its all about that one place in the world where it makes you feel at home and everything just seems alright. Lately when I’ve listened to it, I just have been thinking about Bowling Green and Toledo, NW Ohio just brings so many good memories and whenever I go back there just something seems right and if something wasn’t right before I got there then it changes and feels all good because I’m back at a place that I love. Then some of his older stuff when he talks about the Florida Keys ahh, it has made me want to move their so bad. I have a dream of opening a crepe shop and the ideal spot for this would be down in Key West. Maybe one day ha.

Yeah I just wanted to say that Jimmy is more than just a musician to me. His music, entrepreneurship mind, care for ocean conservation, and idea of finding your own “Margaritaville” just has meant a lot to me over the years. Not sure where to go from here ha, umm Jimmy’s the man, Parrothead for life, fins up!

It’s those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane

 

 

3 Years Later

I was scrolling down Twitter and saw a post from a friend of mine who I went to the Dominican Republic with 3 years ago with Athletes in Action. His post was brief about the effect that the month we were down in the DR had made a big impact on his life. After reading that I began to reflect on the experience as well.

It’s crazy that it’s been 3 years since I was down in the DR to begin with, like time has flown by man. That was the summer after my freshman year of college and my oh my things have changed since then. I often think about and pray for the DR, the country was beautiful in my eyes. Not just because of the glorious palm trees, beaches, and unique structures. The people we ran into and saw always seemed vibrant and filled with energy and joy. This could have been because we were Americans but they were always very welcoming to us wherever we went. I remember we were going around one of the barrios talking to some of the people and this lady (who had sick story about her cancer leaving her) went around the whole street gathering chairs for us to sit in so we could talk with her and be in her home. It just was so cool you know. We’d drive by corner stores and like everyone would be hanging out there playing dominoes and just chillin. On top of that we played at and saw some of the coolest baseball fields I’ve ever seen in my life. They may not have been in tip top shape but there was something about them that just gave them this wow factor.

I went on this trip because I was still trying to grind out for baseball and was thinking about transferring from BG to play ball at some small D3 schools. Also I wanted to learn more and understand my faith as a Christian more. I was still very young in my faith and did not know a whole lot about the Bible and how to live out my life as a Christian. In short, baseball wise I did alright, could have done better but am happy with how I did. Anyway, we went through a booklet that went through a bunch of awesome stuff about having sport as a way of worship, ways of growing, and responding in times of suffering. This stuff was so helpful for me, I’m a person who needs to just soak things in when they are being taught. During school I rarely would raise my hand (well I also just wanted to chill in class) because it is easier for me to just listen to things and take them in and think about it to myself. So like most of the time during our sessions and meetings I wouldn’t say much and just try to understand everything. I would talk to some of the guys and learn some things from them from their experiences and hear their opinions on things that we brought up. Being in a solid community like that was really helpful at that time with just growing and things of that nature. Leaving school the 1st time was hard because I didn’t have a community like that back home and I was so curious about learning more after learning a bunch my freshman year at BG so having those guys around was crucial that summer.

Beyond the discipleship sessions we had this was kind of the 1st time I really understood the importance of quiet time and quieting my mind and listening for the Lord. Since then like those are the times where I’ve grown the most when I let Jesus just come in and reveal things to me. We had so much time to go on our own and journal, pray, reflect, or whatever. I can remember a few times I would find my way up to the roof of the places we were staying at in La Romana and Santo Domingo and just look out over the land/buildings and I kept getting reminded of the joy of the Lord and how magnificent His creations are. Man being in nature and praying and just being silent in those areas is one of the coolest things.

To kind of wrap up here, this trip really helped build a strong foundation for my faith. It taught me so much not only about my faith but just about life. Seeing a country like the DR really put things in perspective of what is important in life. These people didn’t have much but you know what…they were some of the happiest people I’ve ever seen in my life and up here in the US of A people get all stressed out about their wifi bein messed up or Don’s (McDonald’s for everyone else besides Colton Flaherty) always having their ice cream machines not working. Simplicity is good enough man, if I’m blessed to have more than enough…sick I can give back more. Since this foundation in me has been so strong it has only helped me grow more and more by the day and I’ve just got this fire burning inside to see people’s lives changed by Jesus! Come on! Whenever I think of this trip it just reminds me of having a child’s like faith and the joy that comes with having a relationship with Jesus. The Dominican means a lot to me for those reasons and many more, I say this a lot but I really hope I can go back in the future and just do what ever I can to impact people’s lives down there and really anywhere…send me ha!

Romans 10:9-10

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

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Wild Blue Yonder

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Came across this sign driving around where I live and just really liked it. Made me just think of this desire to kind of go rogue for a bit and travel to places over the US and just see what adventure would come of it. I’ve had this desire to drive the east coast for awhile and I like spontaneous adventures so road tripping has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I love baseball and one of my favorite players is Daniel Norris of the Detroit Tigers, a friend of mine told me to check him out few years ago. He’s known for driving around in a 1970’s Volkswagen Van. Homie like surfs in the off-season, has good eye for photography, and is pretty much a G. There’s this video on Youtube where they did a little story about him and I was like shoot I need to road trip and do what pleases me. That sign I saw says “Road ends in water” in my head I’m like A. I love the water so I’m like the road is just beginning in the water. There is great opportunity to adventure in the water, whether that’s on a boat, board, kayak, or whatever. And like there is adventure beyond that road. The second thing I thought of is the thought that we are all on this metaphorical “road/path” of life. We have been told or have a vision of what our lives should resemble if we follow these paths. But like sometimes creating your own path may lead to going off the main route and you might discover things you haven’t before which could lead to some incredible stories, adventures, or opportunities.

In my life people around me have a picture of what I should be doing and have this idea of what things should look like. I’m just like nah I want to do my own thing and like see where things lead. I’m an introvert so I love being on my own and being in nature and just hearing the sounds that it makes brings so much joy to my heart. God created such a magnificent world it’s hard not to want to explore it and see what hidden gems are in the world you know. Like ahh this world is so beautiful man, staying in one place is cool but I want to see what else is out there you know. When I was in college it got boring at times so we would drive around all over northwest Ohio to find cool spots and we found some dope spots to hang out. So like I know if there are places there, there must be cool places all over the US and the world.

My parents like grew up here and are most likely going to stay here all their lives and I just can’t do that, whenever I bring up moving somewhere cool to them they are like yeah good luck with that. Come on man like there is too much in this world to not explore it! We only have a limited time on this Earth so why not go out and see as much of it as we can. Chase after the things that we want to see/do. I mean I started a bucket list a few years ago and have already started crossing some of those things off. I don’t want to look back and regret not doing things or seeing things. Money is so emphasized and unfortunately necessary today to do like anything. Since I just graduated I don’t have a lot and on top of that I have to pay student loans back. I’m constantly reminded about money by my parents and yeah I get it that I need to save to pay that back, pay bills, rent, and save for whatever else could be important. Not sure where I’m going with that but to conclude I just can’t do the typical 9-5 life that so many people do in this country. I want to see different places all over and be able to have cool stories, pictures, and life experiences that will bring me joy. Sometime I’d like to settle down and start a family and what not. But right now I’m not sure what the plans are still, just trying to figure it out and see what’s in the Lord’s plan yaaaa feel me.

Thought I’d share some of my bucket list

  • Visit every MLB ballpark
  • Go to Brazil
  • See volcano
  • Attend Bonnaroo or Firefly Music Festival
  • Long road trip with friends
  • Visit Machu Picchu
  • Go to World Cup game
  • Hike up a mountain
  • Surf in Hawaii
  • Live in Key West, FL for short time
  • Surf with wife (whenever that happens)
  • Meet Jimmy Buffett
  • Talk to celebrity about Jesus
  • Go back to Dominican Republic

Changes

I’m referring to the change of scenery and to the change of atmosphere I’ve been in lately. I knew leaving Bowling Green was going to be very hard, I knew that finding a new community of believers was going to be hard. I’ve been going to a solid church and have met some awesome people but like things are just different like I’m so used to people talking about seeking revival, constantly talking about what the Lord is doing in their lives, praying over one another, and just things of that nature. I know that it’s a little different now since in college we didn’t have many obligations and we could hang out whenever and have spontaneous worship or intersession really anytime. Now all these people have these things called “full-time jobs” and they have to go to them. Luckily, I have a couple of people that are near me that I can have solid spiritual conversations with but they are busy a lot so I maybe talk to them every other week. It’s a transition that has been rough to be honest. I was anticipating that but until it actually came I didn’t know how to handle it. Still don’t, I mean I make it a priority to be in the Word every morning but there is no one to really talk to about what the Lord has been showing me or things like that. If I told my parents they’d have no clue what I was talking about and probably tell me to stop being addicted to Jesus and convince me I’ve been brainwashed for the last few years. Any who don’t want to get to into it with that, just has made me realize what a blessing it was to have been in such an incredible community of men and women who would do anything to see God move in BG/Toledo.

I always remember this one night my roommate and I just like got zonked listening to spontaneous songs for who knows how long it was. We just woke up and felt His presence so much in the house and were like whoaaaa dude haha. Then like one of the coolest things that we do is United on Monday nights. It started during our freshman year and every Monday since then we just worship the Lord and let His presence fill the room and see what happens. I miss those nights so much, like the love for the Lord and one another in that room is so awesome! We’d sing If Jesus Was A Bartender (song my roommate made) and just give the highest praises man. I have so many stories of just crazy awesome things that have gone on during those meetings and like random times where my roommates and I would be praying together in the middle of the night and just are on our faces in front of the Lord. I miss those times so much because like a lot of the time we’d have same revelation going on and we’d rejoice and now like I’m in my quiet place doing my thing knowing things are happening because of my prayers but it’s just weird I guess. The community I was in at Ember in Toledo was again incredible like the amount I grew from being there and the miracles that I got to see and witness and be apart of always blew my mind. Just kept making my faith grow and grow. The encouragement I’d receive there and back from my friends at BG was always right on point and refreshed me. That really doesn’t happen now, I love personal notes and bunch of my friends wrote me notes when I graduated and I was reading them this morning and let some tears shed just from all the memories and how much I miss them.

Time had to come for me to move on from being at school in BG and starting a new journey of life. Since the start of this journey has been tough it’s just hard to not look back and want those same things that were so awesome over there to be over here as well. Constantly praying that God will provide for me during this season has been hard and not wondering to much of what if I still was going to Australia. Yeah man I just miss the crap out of my friends in NW Ohio and am so grateful that I’ve been able to know them. Where ever I go I hope that I’m able to meet men and women who also are wanting to see revival. Peace and love.

1 Peter 3:8

 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Heavy

Honestly, it’s been rough time since I’ve moved back home after graduation, in terms of emotionally and spiritually. I have a solid gig coaching baseball but besides those few hours a day things are ehhh. Past few days just have been having difficult time dealing with my future and worrying way to much and struggling to believe that the Lord will provide for me. On the job front there’s a possibility of getting a paid internship in Toledo which I have been praying for and hope I get it. Then I applied to some other position in Tampa just cause I want to eventually leave Ohio. I talked with guy from Toledo and he’s not sure if position will be a Grad. Assistant spot or internship…I’m not going back to school so I really hope it’s an internship. Just if it isn’t then I’m going to continue to search for jobs and it sucks man it has been rough on me and just having hard time trusting in the Lord to provide like I know He will be from my viewpoint it’s hard.

Then on top of jobs just truthfully I have no solid community around me…I haven’t had solid spiritual conversation since I visited BG few weeks ago and before that not since I left school in December. I have very few people that I can talk to about that stuff and I don’t see them a whole lot. Community is so important and being in this place I can tell not having it is so tough and it gives the enemy an easier route to get to you since there aren’t people around to help with problems and stuff. Loneliness has crept into my life and has made me wonder will I ever get married will I ever find solid friends again and things like that. I’ve been listening to a spontaneous set by Jenn Johnson called More Than Enough and they are just words I need to hear and remind myself that God is more than enough. It’s tough and I just feel lost with things. I thought I got out of this wilderness that I feel I’m in but ever since leaving BG I haven’t been experiencing God like I was before and I feel distant from Him for some reason. I’m in my word, praying, seeking Him out, and just not feeling His presence in my life currently…and it stinks.

On top of that I have to remember that in few months I have to start paying the man back for going to college. My parents are so high on making money and all those things and I’m not like that. So I consistently get lectured about that stuff and makes me feel worse and puts me in a bigger hole. Got a dagger the other day about when I was going to do YWAM, they emailed me to remind me about important deadlines so I had to email them back saying I’m not going. Just curiosity of wondering what would have happened if I went to Australia, but I have to look at it from another view point of what will God do here and where will He send me here. Man I just want the Lord to use me where ever and to provide for me.  I want to trust Him even it’s tough at times. Peace and Love ya’ll.

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Enjoy The Ride

I feel like I’ve been in this season of waiting for a while now and it recently has been a little more frustrating than usual. I have a bunch of time on my hands because I currently have a job in which I coach baseball for like 3 hours a day from either 2:30-5:30 or 6-8:30, so I have a ton of time to think about a lot of things going on and not going on in my life. Sometimes those thoughts make me worry, stressed, and just give me some bad vibes. When I was going to do YWAM things where going solid since I had a picture of what I was going to do but since things have changed it’s a little more uncertain. The word of staying here that I received has been something I try to remember because there are still good works to be done here for however long I’m going to be here for. But I just want things to pick up because I feel like my life’s boring and I want some adventure or something like that to happen. I was in prayer this morning and really felt the Lord just reminding me to enjoy the ride and enjoy this season of waiting. I mean it is weird in my mind to enjoy a season where not much is going on but thinking about it, I’m not sure when I’ll have this much time to myself again and be able to be this relaxed so enjoying it kind of makes sense knowing that in this time I’m being prepared for this next season. On top of that my job of coaching is a blast I mean I love those few hours a day I get to hang out with high schoolers and help them become better ball players. It’s been awesome to get to know them and for me to give them advice and what have you. As I was reflecting on enjoying the ride I remember back at a conference I went to in Indianapolis one of the speakers spoke about enjoying the journey. Went way back in my journal and found verses Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 37:7 that she referenced about being still before the Lord and waiting patiently knowing He is God and He will provide. Other things that stuck out to me that I’m reading over that are so good is being courageous in uncertainty, believing in the process, and being apart of God’s story, just show up. Hmmm eating those up, decreeing this over myself to find peace in enjoying the ride is something I know will have an effect on how I’m viewing this time of chilling at home and just doing me. Hopefully, something will pop up and things will get rollin but until then just going to do my thing and remember what Jimmy Buffett said,” I’ve got a license, a license to chill.”

Peace and Love