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!
9 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
First off, if you sent me money to support me I am going to send it back to you, I appreciated your willingness to support me in this endeavor. After plenty of time in prayer I have decided that I am not going to Australia. Umm so like when I got accepted I was super stoked but truthfully something didn’t feel right. I began to pray about it and ask the Lord to give me direction with this decision and help me figure out what my play was. As I began to pray into it I just kept getting this feeling like I wasn’t suppose to be going. But I kept ignoring it because I wanted to get out of the states and out of my house. I’ve been in a dry season lately and have been asking God to let me know about this decision. Last week at church I heard this word which I thought was for someone else but after thinking about it more I realized that this word was for me.It basically was that He has me right where He wants me and that this “sending out” I guess, is being put on hold for now. I won’t get into to much detail but felt the Lord wanted me to stay at home and fix somethings that are going on here before anything else. Yeah I’m a little bummed but hey I know I’m already apart of the greatest adventure of all-time! I have faith that God will provide here at home and that He has something incredible for me here and beyond. Yeah it’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least. I just know I don’t want to live an ordinary life, do what brings me joy, and do what glorifies God.
Divinely interrupted…this is what comes to mind right now. In the world’s eyes people think that a recent college graduate like myself should be getting a job and starting my career. But with things that have been occurring in my life over the past year or so I haven’t felt called to get right into those things. I’ve been praying for the Lord to just speak to me about what my immediate future may look like. As I began applying for jobs in my major I realized that at this moment I don’t feel like I should be doing that. I felt a call to sacrifice some of my time and give it to the Lord and let Him move within me to love every nation and every tongue. The Lord has divinely interrupted me at this point in my life to separate myself from what the usual thing would be as a typical college graduate. I had a prophetic word given to me back in October (I believe) about stepping outside of the box that people want to put me in and stepping outside of the norm of what people believe I should be doing with my life. And like having freedom and boldness and courage in being different from what the norm is in this “American Dream” concept that we have become so accustomed to.
Anyway to my main point, I applied for a DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Byron Bay, Australia. I knew that this was going to be crazy and was going to test me in a bunch of ways since it is crazy and not many people may understand why I choose to apply for it and things of that nature. Cause there is so much going to be on my plate with paying loans back, finding a career, and all that jazz. But I trusted the Lord in this decision that I came with to apply for YWAM. So the dope news is I got accepted for the DTS! Praise the Lord right! But I know this is going to be quite a journey, I need to raise $600 in 2 weeks to hold my spot then on top of that raise even more support for the rest of the time. Raising support is weird and I know this process is going to be a roller coaster but I need to just keep my faith in the Lord to provide financially and really in all ways so that this journey is just seamless and isn’t too difficult. I feel like I’ll need to be like Joel Embiid (NBA reference) and trust the process haha know that it’s going to be challenging but I know the Lord has something awesome in store for me down in Australia and that He’ll get me there. I know crazy stories about God providing financially for people so I know I shouldn’t worry about that. Just super stoked to see what God has in store for me in Australia and just keep praying that everything will fall in order and that He’ll provide for me to get there. If your reading this and want to support me financially in my journey please contact me via Facebook or email (email@example.com) I would really appreciate it! I could also use the prayers so if you can’t partner with me financially, obviously would love prayer partners as well! And if you know anyone that would be willing to partner with me please share it with them too! Thanks, peace and love.
No more excuses, I am giving my all,I take up my cross and I answer the call, I pick up my feet and I march to Your song, I’m never looking back, whoa, I’m never looking back, whoa