Season’s Change

Love how music can express feelings and be so relatable, this song Bet That by Ezzy recently has been a jam that has been relating to me the chorus says, “Everything is changing Everything is switching around Things are rearranging People acting different now But I bet it’s for the better”.  I’ve been so used to doing school for the last 16 years and now that it’s over I’m like well…what’s next. I don’t know what’s next I have idea’s but that’s it, anyway being home waiting to see what’s next for me has been rough. Not just cause I miss BG but the adjustment of living with my parents, not having a schedule really, having limited community, and just uncertainty of what is next for me. It feels just weird to be here and like limiting I guess may be the term I’m looking for. I sense this pressure and heaviness in the atmosphere at home and I just feel weird, like I know I shouldn’t but feel like I’m wearing a mask around certain people. I’m trying to just be me and continue doing my thing even though it’s been hard, so yeah hopefully I can take the mask off completely while I’m here (and anywhere really) for however long that is.

I’ve started reading this book that my friend Heidi gave me by Brad Lomenick called The Catalyst Leader. I’m only a few chapters in and it’s already really good. Something that the book brought up in the 1st chapter was finding your calling. Since I’m still really trying to figure out what I’m going to do now and well the rest of my life, this topic really started hitting home for me. I have given some thought about my calling previously but haven’t given it a whole lot of thought. Before graduating I had the mission field and mind set of the campus and those around me. Now like I can go anywhere, do anything, and since I really don’t know what I want to do, thinking about my calling seems like it will be helpful in figuring out some sort of direction or an idea. The book kind of defines calling in a really solid way I feel, “calling is not necessarily about a title, position, or certain career, but more of a vision and purpose for your life that spans all the seasons of your vocation.” I just love that, I know I feel pressured to find a job, pay back loans, and things of that nature. I know I can limit myself in those fears, the book did this study and they put this quote summarizing some of their findings which totally rings true in my mind, “more than one in three Christians feel a God-nudge inside of them to do something else with their lives, but haven’t found the nerve to pull the trigger.” It then talks about us having fears that hold us back from truly trusting God in the plan He has for us. I know I do this and I try not to let the fear of this world control me because I shouldn’t fear anything but God. If I’m not trusting Him then the relationship I have with Him is going to be affected big time.

I guess the biggest take away I have been thinking about the past few days is exactly what I was talking about my calling. Seeking God’s will in my life just begins with figuring out what keeps me awake, what makes me cry, what wakes me up, what are my passions and gifts, and what am I energized by. Digging into those things will give me a vision of possibilities that I can shape into finding out what I would ENJOY doing and actually being able to have God use me in those places cause He gave me those passions and gifts to glorify Him in those places. Like already I have been analyzing my passions and like helping the youth is something that I enjoy and like I kind of recently started to have this dream of owning a baseball academy to help kids grow in their talents as a ball player but also have that be a mission field to impact those kids lives with Jesus at the same time. I know there are going to be hard conversations in this journey but if I find happiness in taking whatever path no one can bring me down.

“If you are confident in what God has called you to do, you will not be distracted by someone intimidating you”- Bill Johnson

 

Peace and Love ya’ll

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Bowling Green, This is for you!

Against all odds, against all odds I will be graduating from BGSU next week. My oh my have things flown by from when I was just a young blood freshman back in 2013. Feels like just yesterday I was moving into Centennial Hall here at BGSU. Now I’ll be moving out of the Arubbah House which has held so many great memories. Who would have thought how much I would have grown here and learned the things I have here. I mean I thought I had a lot of it down back in the day. I mean I could make my bed, do laundry, clean up after myself, and swipe into the Oaks. But I learned quickly that there where things I had no idea about and things I needed to know to grow as a man. I never would have thought when I first got here that I would be saying I was going to be extremely sad to leave this place. For Pete’s peppers this place is soooo cold in the winter, the wind has no chill and makes things way worse, there is literally nothing around here, and no beach near by. Luckily, I have been able to find some amazing friends and mentors that have helped my time in BG be such a blast and so impactful!

Truthfully, as many of you know (sorry Mom and Dad) I haven’t put my academics at the highest level of my concerns here at school. Coming to school I said I was going to focus on school a lot more than I did in high school, but that mind set didn’t last that long. In fairness I had my best year of school ever my 1st semester here. To summarize things a bit with a quote from the rapper Asher Roth, “I can’t tell you what I learned from school, but I could tell you a story or two.” Okay well honestly, I have learned some things from school but most of the things I will take away from BG has been the things I have experienced/learned outside of the classroom. Yeah sure I should have done better in class but when it’s beautiful outside and the sun is beating down you know I’m skipping class to go work on my tan haha. I remember times my friends would rag on me and what not but I’d always tell them the order of the things I find important here, 1. Jesus things 2. Working out/physical activity 3. hanging out with friends 4. Surf Club 5. School. I’ve passed all my classes so that’s all that matters lol. I’ve been extremely blessed with mentors I have met here who have helped me out in school and out of school. I have gained valuable information and knowledge from their successes and failures that they have shared which have helped me through situations and just life overall.

Coming to school I was excited to be independent from my parents and just be in college and have a great time. I didn’t know what to except, I was new in my faith as a Christian and was seeking to find out more about this whole thing. All my friends back home I pretty much met playing sports throughout the years and I had a lot in common with them and now I was in this weird Christian culture I had no clue about.  I was playing the game RISK, which I had no idea about and know love, with people that I would not have hung out with back in high school. Honestly, most of the people I was hanging with and associating with I never would have hung with before. So glad that I kept coming around and got to know all these amazing people that I love so much. People where just so honest with me about getting to know me and understanding what I was all about. Just like being real with one another and honest with one another has made my friendships here mean so much and it’s going to be so hard to not be around them. I won’t forget the spontaneous adventures, weird adventures, parties I’ve been to/thrown, and other memories that I’ve made here. And like I started a surf club in Ohio…legendary…yes…should I have a statue of myself on campus or to show the little school spirit I have a falcon riding a surf board… probably. Then have something dope engraved in it ahhh s/o to all the surf club homies, ya’ll are gnarly as frick would love to hang ten with you guys anytime anyplace!  Anyway those memories have made Bowling Green, Toledo, and Perrysburg (never forget Parker Coffee) grow on me so much. Northwest Ohio is a lot cooler than you realize and when you have nothing to do and go exploring for cool places and things to do you’ll find them here.

My faith has grown tremendously since I started coming to college. A friend of mine always brings up this time my freshman year where I sprained my ankle playing basketball and a few of my friends wanted to pray for healing and I was freaked out. Like now I’m that person to go to people wanting to pray healing over them ha! Through my experiences in Cru, going to the Dominican Republic with AIA, spontaneous Monday nights of United, every Tuesday at Ember in Toledo, and church at Brookside and occasionally City Light has made my faith grow so much and build this fire inside to just see the world changed by Jesus Christ. On a side note, I’d like to retire from the Brookside softball team. It has been a blast playing with and getting to know all of those men. We’ve had some good times…as always win loose booze haha. My mindset on just how I view life and my values has changed and now like sure I am looking at jobs in my major (sport management) but more I pray into it and what my heart truly wants, the more I realize I want to do work for His Kingdom. Sure I can do that anywhere I am but I feel like I want to do something radical that will change a lot of people’s lives and show them that inner peace, joy, love, and laughter that I get from knowing Jesus.

Welp as I head back to the Cleveland area I’d just like to say to everyone that I’ve met in BG and during my college years that you are amazing and have made a big impact on my life. You may not know it, but you have and I’m so grateful for everyone in BG. I know it’s going to be hard to leave all ya’ll, I hope don’t to cry when I’m leaving (I could because of the coldness though) because this place will always have a place in my heart and on my right thigh haha (free tattoo story). As for what’s next for me, I have 2 things on my mind. The 1st is I am waiting to hear back from an athletic communication job in Florida, the other is going to Australia with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for 6 months starting in September. I know the road will be rocky but because of my experience here and my trust in the Lord to provide I know I will be okay. Maybe one day I’ll return to bask in the glory (obviously not when it’s winter) that is Bowling Green, Ohio…Peace and love…Coops out!

 

 

Here I Am

Dang…great song, Lindy is always killin it! For those of you who don’t know I low key have an obsession with Lindy’s worship songs ha. Anyway a bunch of my friends and I traveled to Niagara Falls last weekend because yolo (is that still a thing), along the way  we stopped at Cornell University for this event that was being put on by the Circuit Riders (they are group from California, they are a branch of YWAM). They are a really awesome group (despite their overly hipster vibes) who just really are sold out for the Lord and want to see this nation turn back to God.

At this event the speaker was just brought the word hard and it really stirred me up, it gave me a case of the charismatic Amens and come ons lol. It brought up a lot of thoughts that I have been thinking about for a while now and once the speaker ended there was a time of reflection to just go to your face in front of the Lord. It was so needed for myself and many others, just going to Him and being like Lord I’m here and I’m ready to be sent. I started crying out to the Lord, reveal to me where you want me to go, I want to be sent to a place to impact people, just start showing me this Lord. It’s nuts man, I’m not the one to countdown the days and things of that nature but my graduation is less than 2 months away. People are like on me about oh so like what’s next, what are you going to do, where you going to go, you should stay here. I’m like yo I don’t even know, sure I’ve been applying for athletic communication positions and am waiting to hear back from them hoping I get one.

The more I think and pray about it, God just is showing me more of my heart for others and to see things change. A friend of mine sent me a text the other day and was like, “Hey the Cincinnati Reds are on campus today, you should stop by and network”. This obviously would be a great opportunity to do that but the more I’ve been looking at applications and visualizing working, my heart just doesn’t seem like it will be satisfied doing this work. Another crazy thing that I’ve noticed is this, yesterday was Game 1 of the World Series and the Cavs got their rings, literally one of the greatest days in Cleveland’s history. Growing up in Cleveland the struggles we have in sports is no secret, I love baseball, I love the Indians, I love Cleveland, I had opportunities to go downtown to be in that atmosphere which I would have loved, but Tuesday is Ember in Toledo. I have noticed I would rather go get my fill on Holy Spirit than really anything else. Like if you told me that a few years ago that I would rather have gone to some worship event than go to Cleveland for like the greatest day in Cleveland sports history I thought you would have been trippin on something funky. And like last night was awesome at Ember, a great word, great worship, awesome fellowship with some great people. And like I came home later than usual (S/O to I-75 construction) and still was able to watch the 8th and 9th innings and was totally cool that I didn’t see the whole game. Two of my homies Nate and Joel were unloading a bunch of knowledge to me and it was just sooo good and like now there’s even more stuff I have on my mind about the Lord and heaven I want to learn about.

If I am not able to secure a job by the time I graduate I’m going back home to The Land to live with my parents. Sure it’s not the ideal position but I’ve been praying just for peace in that and as usual the Lord provides. I’m totally alright with it right now, I figured out that I have an opportunity to volunteer with FCA at a few local high schools. Sure I’d have to get a random job but I’m cool with that knowing I can impact those people and also the high schoolers I potentially can impact too. Still though I am unsure of how long if I do get a job in athletic communications I will work in this field. I do enjoy the work but I just sense this calling for more and doing more with my life than just athletic comm. stuff. I’ve reached out to people with FCA, AIA, and the Circuit Riders to figure out what exactly it would look like going on mission with them. Right now I’m just asking the Lord to just reveal where He wants to send me after school, don’t let these future things bring me down, being strong in breaking the barrier of what people think I should do with my life, and to not let things slip on by while I still have some time left here at BG. Peace and love.

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

 

Trapped in My Mind

It’s been a crazy start to my last semester of college. Things are just hitting the fan and falling on me and just now have started to avoid the debris. I’ve just had so many thoughts and feelings going in so many different directions, to quote Kid Cudi, “You see I’m trapped in my mind and I know it’s crazy hey it’s not that bad at all”. Kind of how I’ve felt lately to summarize things up, like my thoughts are just in my head and they are causing all types of troubles. Like I’ve had a hard time talking to people about it so I really haven’t much. These thoughts of what’s next in my life once I graduate, like am I going to get hired? where am I going to go? who am I going to meet? what about my friends at school? How am I going to pay bills? Fear of loneliness and just things like that which the enemy is just attacking me with. It’s been too much man, life is just striking me out with 100 mph fastballs and wicked 12-6 curve balls. I’ve been letting  these thoughts take over and I haven’t been trying to fight off the pitches. I’m just going down looking. These things have been effecting literally everything about me since school started. I’ve had to skip a few days of classes because I just couldn’t focus on school I had to much running through my mind. Emotionally and spiritually I have been drained and am at 0. Things just continued to fill on and on and I couldn’t get away from them.  I’ve been trying my best to just escape to my own personal oasis if you will. In my case due to my introvertedness that means getting away from everyone and jamming out or diving into the Word or nature.

I’ve had some spiritual older brothers pray for me and it’s been helping a lot I totally feel the Lord moving again in me and breaking those chains of those thoughts that I have been having. I’m taking a prayer class in Toledo (its dope) and we started talking about strongholds in our lives. Like I needed to hear about this so badly yo, like how to break those and stuff like that. So I’ve been putting those into practice by praying scripture over myself, declaring truths about myself, and just reminding myself that I am loved and I am God’s beloved. Things have been totally on the upswing for me, over the past week or two. Doing my thing even if that means skipping class to go to my chill zone. Most recently I was at this church in Toledo and was going up for healing of my back, but left with a lot more than that ha. These two people started praying for my back then felt a need to pray for my heart to be healed and on top of that one of them had a prophetic word for me which really resonated with me about preparing for my future. I still don’t feel like me but working my way back into it for sure. img_8202-edit

Exploring

This summer Spiritually was really challenging and tested me a whole lot more than I thought I was going to be. My internship really took a lot of my time and it made me the most stressed I’ve been in years. If you know me I’m very laid back and it takes a lot for me to be stressed, but my internship this summer just really got me on the daily. I was in a lull and felt stuck in it for a large portion of the summer. I wanted to go on a trip the whole summer, just by myself to escape everyone else and just do my thing. Unfortunately, my large road trip to Key West, Florida didn’t work out so I settled on taking a train ride last minute to Chicago to visit some friends. While I was there I was able to get some solid quiet time to just relax and unwind. Since then I’ve wanted to start making time about once every other week to be in nature or just some cool areas to take some pictures, pray, and read. Here are some pictures and thoughts I’ve had.

Just a reoccurring verse that I keep going back to lately has been Psalm 86. So much goodness and glory in it, like I just want to BURN for the Lord, ya know like we’ve been released from all the shackles of sin and troubles that we have in our lives. Because of His steadfast love toward us we get to journey with Him and receive such joy that can’t be described! At times it can be so difficult to just not be focused on Him and let our flesh take over and going to this verse just reminds me of why I should go to Him and burn for Him and live a sold out Christian life.

Psalm 86

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
    a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
    and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant,
    and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
    that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
    because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Peace and Love

Favorite 10 Spots in Bowling Green

As I approach my last semester here at BGSU I’ve began to reflect on the wonderful memories that I have had here over these past few years. I thought I’d put together a list (in no-particular order) of my favorite places in BG. So here it is…

10+1. Carter Park- I thought of this one on the spot, this place means more than the Rec Center I just don’t want to go take a picture of it. I was almost arrested here for trying to take some batting practice so it’s off to a great start! Two wonderful seasons of Brookside softball getting to know some awesome men from the church and do work on the diamond. Then just escaping to the batting cage to just hit balls for hours because why not baseball is awesome. Brings me peace because I can play the game I love here.

10. Rec Center- Yeah ha kind of a random one I guess but I’ve been here so much whether that’s getting a lift in, playing basketball, rock climbing, or playing intramural sports. I love being active so I mean it just makes sense why I like to go here a lot and why it’s on the list.

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9. Slippery Elm Trail- More so the past year or so I’ve put my time in here. When I began training for the Columbus Half-Marathon I found this place and would go here for my longer runs. Once you get past the elementary school it’s really peaceful and quite place. For that fact that I could run in peace, enjoy a nice sunrise if I ran early enough and be able to have nice talks with the man above. IMG_8045

8. Frosty Fare- Mmmmmmmmm one of the BIGGEST perks about living in BG is the awesome ice cream shops that are in town. DQ held the crown for awhile but obviously since new management its gone down hill (in my opinion). Frosty Fare however, was a hidden gem I heard about last summer and my oh my every time I go it hits the spot!IMG_8049

7. The Union- The union sticks out to me again just because I’ve been there so much and a lot has happened here that I’ll remember. Like Surf Club was started in this building so I mean that’s part of BGSU History haha. From the “Cru Table” all my friends sit at and share laughs to the greatness that is Peanut Butter Mood from Jamba Juice ha (S/O to everyone that has given me meal plan so I can get one haha). IMG_8057

6.  The Ridge House- Well umm I never lived here ha, but this place is like the 1st place where I met a lot of my friends in Cru. I can remember going here for the opening weekend party and meeting people there which became great friends and just really helped me understand what a great community we have in BG. On top of that just countless other times I’ve been here knowing something fun was probably going to happen (S/O to Allie, Liz, and America). IMG_8054

5. Grounds for Thought- Sorry Flatlands your not my favorite coffee shop in town, side note RIP Parker Coffee hahaha. Anyway last summer I really began to spend a lot of time in the mornings here just reading and journaling. This time really helped me grow spiritually and taught me a bunch of other stuff from books I was reading. Then I’ve had some awesome conversations with people here so like that’s dope ha, it’s just a chill spot that I can focus on work and things of that nature. IMG_8052

4. Prout Chapel- In my amateur photographer opinion I took some sweet pictures here I just choose this one out of all of them ha. Yeah so like Prout is insane, like I’ve had so many memories of worship, prayer, and other things in here I can’t call out a specific time because there has been so many. In between my classes if I’m not in the union you can probably find me in here waiting for my next class.iIMG_8065

3. Olscamp- Ha I’ve only had like 2 classes in here but like I remember more of the time I’ve been here for Surf Club (lol), Brookside, or Cru. I was baptized here I mean come on! This place is full of God’s presence! Again so many memories from awesome Brookside services, messages, baptisms to Cru on Thursday nights. IMG_8068

2. Shatzel Hall- Yeah if you didn’t know I’m low key kind of a big deal at Shatzel Hall. I hammock here like ALL the time and people that work there call me The Hammock Guy so I’m a bit of a legend lol. Some great times again just hanging out (see what I did there) reading, writing poems, journaling, praying, and worshiping here. I remember like both times we worshiped here it was in a down pour of rain both times and it was just awesome! IMG_8062

  1. Arubbah House- Ok I saved the best for last, I lived here for 2 years and words can’t describe my feelings toward this place. I know it looks sketchy and is but it’s fine. How this place has changed from when I first moved in to the countless additions of couches, glory and pirate flags, flowers, and a bar this place looks way better than it did before. Memories on memories here man. Throwing bangers and campfires all the time to the amazing conversations with my roommates and funny times with them to having friends over whenever they wanted ha. This place is a floodgate of glory and is filled to the chimney (if there is even one) with God’s presence. Was an honor to live here with some of my best friends. IMG_8034

The Decision

No not that decision (insert LeBron leaving reference), I’m talking about jobs man. My oh my how time has flown by these past few years. Seems like just the other day I was deciding where to go to college. Somehow Bowling Green State University came out on top, so glad that I decided to go here. I have meet some amazing friends and have had an incredible time here at BGSU. Yeah I did go here for school, at times it doesn’t seem so haha. Oddly enough that’s why I decided to go here for their sport management program. Truthfully, I coast by in my classes, I did that in high school and said I would change in college but that didn’t happen ha. Well things became more important to me and so did my time devoted to those things. Yeah I always make jokes with my friends about not going to class, I actually do go…unless it’s really nice out then I don’t see the point haha. I always think in my head of this scale of importance of things like #1 is Jesus and all that stuff #2 is working out #3 volunteering in athletic communications #4 is my surf club (unfortunately I’m not longer president) and finally #5 is actually school. Yeah I’m going into my last semester (crossing fingers ha I’ll be good). I’ve had senioritis since I stepped onto this campus, I want to get out of Ohio and graduating from here will give me the freedom to get a job lol or whatever else I’m going to do anywhere I want.

I have so much on my mind on what I want to get into and just do it all but I can’t do it all which is a bummer. Just wish I didn’t have any college debit, thanks for being so expensive really helping me out ;). Paying back this debit is going to blow a big one and damper plans that I have. This is why I’m most likely going to try and look for a job in sport management for the time being once I graduate so I have a set salary and can pay off that debt. But I don’t want to do that forever. Like I really want to maybe intern with YWAM (Youth With a Mission), the Circuit Riders, or go on staff with FCA (Fellowship for Christian Athletes) or Athletes in Action. The worse thing about missions is that you have to raise support and like I feel like I should pay off my debt before diving into the missions field. It’s unfortunate because that’s what I’m more passionate about and want to go right in but it seems to be a lot more difficult to pay off my debt while trying to raise support instead of having a set salary knowing how much I’ll have. Like I don’t want money to have such an impact on this decision but it is for some reason. I know God will provide and I don’t want to fear not being able to pay off this debt because the only fear I should have is of God. It’s just nuts yo, ummm I know like I can live on mission at my work place but just feel the call to have bigger presence in the mission’s field more so than just in my work place.

I just don’t value most things that the typical college graduate does I guess, I’m not that big into money and material things. I want to see this world change man, like we’ve all seen how messed up this world is and how our country is falling. Our country needs to turn back to God! I can’t just be okay with sitting still and not seeing revival continue to break out through this country. But like having to pay the man (lol) back I feel is bringing me down because I want to get rid of this debt then go straight into it but can’t wait. Uh decisions decisions.