Breakthrough

Well, ironically the church I’m going to right now is doing a series called breakthrough…but things are kind of starting to unravel and are starting to make sense more to me just about what my passions are and where my heart is at.

Like I have shared before this season I have spent a lot of time in the prayer room laying things down before the Lord and seeking His presence more and more. In typical God fashion the more I have been doing this the more I have felt Him reveal things to me that just totally make sense and refresh my soul.

Some of the highlighted things that He has shown me have been sonship, surrender, fear of the Lord, joy and trusting Him. Some good stuff right there lol. I will usually (unless I forget) ask God for a word for the month to kind of rally around or something to continue to remind myself to walk in. Last month He gave me the word surrender. Being reminded of surrendering my worries and my “things” to God is so good I mean releasing those things off my back onto His has been so awesome. I had some things bringing me down but releasing those to a Father who can carry it and loves us in those rough times is such a blessing. Throughout the past few weeks the song Nothing I Hold Onto has been playing in my head. There is this awesome verse that goes, “I lean not on my own understanding my life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven, I give it all to you God, trusting that you’ll make something beautiful out of me.” I began to soak in that truth and stop trying to do it all by myself because like a lot of people, I think I can do it all on my own and during the rough times its hard but when you truly surrender these things to God…man does it get easier ha. Such freedom when we release it and truly surrender because then He can use us in miraculous ways.

The words of joy and trusting in God just have been good reminders to myself to continue to live in that joy and welcome it. We all know that it can be super hard to trust the Lord in things and then we’ll trust in Him and boom it all works out. I have been going through Exodus and it was awesome to see God provide in telling Moses that if he listened and told Pharaoh what he said that the Israelite’s would be released…sure it took a while and a whole lot of other things went down that made it a little more challenging but they were released and then God revealed the Ten Commandments and the land that was promised to them (unfortunately they botched that by worshiping the golden calf) . When the Israelite’s saw God’s power they feared him (get into that in a sec) and began to trust Him even more. Seeing the Lord’s power in that book had me thinking like how could I not trust that He will help me out or how could I not trust in Him providing.

I really never heard a word about the fear of the Lord until like two years ago and like since then it has been highlighted to me to be sure I understand this. Past few months I think I have forgotten to remember this and will let earthly fear seep in and forget that the fear of the Lord will bring me way more than fearing anything on earth. Like this generation has molded God into our imagine and if we don’t think God judges then what’s the need for salvation. We don’t have a proper fear of the Lord so we live like we wanna live and we start to begin to look like the world. You can’t change the world is you look like the world…come on! I could go on about the fear of the Lord but I’ll leave it at that.

The biggest thing that has kept coming up is understanding my sonship. I was at Azusa Now Cleveland in July and Todd White (S/O to Callie haha) and he went off about sonship and dang it was so good he said, “How can we live like our Father if we are living like an orphan … we need to know who we are and whose we are.” Man that was so good. I have been thinking about that lately and during my small group at church we where in Ephesians and somehow sonship got brought up. Anyway just have been thinking more about how to live that out more and what it means to be a child of God you know. Just was good.

With all of that, I also work. It has it’s highs and lows like any job but you always hear do what you love and it won’t be work and things of that nature. Since I’m newer to the area (I need to stop saying this haha its been 3 months) when I meet people I tell them I’m gonna be here in Kzoo for a year then who knows. I’ll share my dream of opening either a crepe shop or opening a baseball academy for kids. The more I say it the more I want to pursue it more and more. I know these ideas may be 10 years or so away which stinks cause I mean if I could do it right now I would but I need money and develop a plan to start them up. At work like its not a bad gig I enjoy it sometimes but it really doesn’t satisfy me, I really don’t see myself doing this long term…I am constantly thinking about those dreams. I want to be my own boss…no further explanation lol. One of the biggest things that troubles me with working in athletics is the hours. It stinks when people I know are chillin and I can’t cause work or my boss will call me while I’m at a party or friends house telling me to fix or do something. Like once I leave the office my mind is on anything but work. Like down the road when I start a family like I’m sorry but my family is going to come first over my job…so having my own hours will be clutch ha. I know I’m going to have to spend a few years doing something maybe more sport information stuff or who knows to start making moves toward my dreams.

Prayer room sets are the best…am I right?!?! Whether its IHOP or Upper Room or Toledo House of Prayer resting in His presence and purposely setting time for prayer and for revelation is so good. Stepping into the tabernacle and into the holy of holies… man…gaining that intimacy with God is….something I can’t put words to haha. When we let Him move in us it is so powerful and encouraging. I declare freedom over whoever reads this, may your lamp always remain burning!

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Advertisements

Hidden-ness

I remember this message I heard in Toledo a year or so ago about knowing the season you are living in. It was something I never really thought about until then and I reflect on it sometimes when I feel change to understand how to flow in those times.

Says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven …  10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live

A lot in there haha, I’ll start with this though, I visited BG and Toledo a few weeks ago and man that trip was so refreshing for me. Since then things have been going really solid (besides someone busting my car window…while I was at KHOP lol) for me, like I’ve been getting some solid revelation about my time here in Kalamazoo and its been so awesome.

I’ve received some words from some trusted people and have felt them too about my time in Kalamazoo. I knew that my time here was going to be spent more on my own and isolated. I received words from people I know in Toledo and here in Kalamazoo that totally confirmed this and it gave me encouragement.

The words about a challenging time through a “hidden season” that are going to take my roots deeper and deeper. I wanted to receive some birthday glory lol the other day and went to this guest speaker who was from IHOP. Dude (Josh MacDonald) was talking about John 15 and gave insight on it which I never really thought of before.

1I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Pruning is defined as cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth. As Christians we are told that we need to cut away the things in our lives that aren’t fruitful and grow the ones that are. When I think of pruning I get this negative tone in my mind for some reason and this sense that I’ve done something wrong and need to change and things of that nature.

He started saying that just like how Jesus went into the wilderness to be tested and stuff that being in a season of pruning is a good thing and that the Lord has put us in this season (unless you did something dumb to get yourself in a wilderness season) because we are doing well and He wants us to grow stronger because He knows we are going to walk strongly through it. That this time is only going to be preparing us for the future.

I’ve been doing my thing but things just haven’t seemed the same with God. It has been a bit challenging so thinking about the pruning season, it kind of makes sense the more I thought about it. Like things are going pretty solid for me and in my prayer life asking the Lord to help me down the road with relationships, marriage, children, jobs, revival, and all of the future things ha has been some of the things on my mind. So having the Lord help me take care of those issues right now and not struggle (as much) down the road is awesome ha, well sure there will be some problems but preparing for that now will only help me grow stronger in my faith and as a true Godly man.

Dude told cool story about how he ran through the ministry ladder quick fast and the Lord pretty much showed him failure and had him in this type of season so that he wouldn’t burn out and that his family life and pretty much everything wasn’t affected by the way things were going for him.

I know that this time may be rough cause I mean being isolated can take a toll and the enemy can speak through that and try to hinder the power/authority I have. The secret place is special and that is where the work has to be put in. I can’t just expect for this growth to happen without chasing it, studying it, or working at it. You can’t expect to step up to the mound and throw strikes with all your pitches without working at it. Takes work. Same is true.

Yeah so that’s kind of what I’ve had in my head past few days. This season of kind of battling through things I have in my life that I need to take care of or grow upon. It’s gonna be hard at times but its worth it you know. Going back to the start of this, like knowing that I’m in this season and not getting frustrated with it but knowing it is for the better. Then at the same time doing this internship which takes a good amount of time ha.

I was at KHOP the other day and we did this cool thing where we sang the chorus of Worthy of it All to each side of the room declaring it to each direction of the city ha was powerful man … I also love sharing Upper Room’s spontaneous sets haha.

Peace & Love

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.

Now is the Time

These songs just have speaking to me a lot lately, if you didn’t know about this awesome event that happened back in early April. It was called Azusa Now, it took place in the Los Angeles Memorial  Coliseum, was a whole day spent fasting, praying, and worshiping. I was planning to drive across country with some homies to go but didn’t work out. Anyway they posted some of the worship sets and this one by the Circuit Riders really has been on my mind a lot lately. I literally watch/listen to these songs 3 or 4 times a day ha. The second song played is dope but the first song Take Courage and the last Another Wave have really been speaking to me.

Take Courage lyrically is so awesome and just thinking about some of the things she is singing just gets me super amped up. Some of the lines that really get me are, “Take courage, the harvest is ripe”, “Simple obedience, it changes history”, “We’ll lead this generation to the glory of The Lord”. Then the little spontaneous part in the beginning about now is the time for visitation and salvation. Ahh such an amazing song! So yeah like I was thinking about the song and the lyrics and was like it is our time to take courage and go out into the world and share Jesus’ love and the good news with everyone. The harvest is ripe, like it says in Luke 10:2 “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Along with that the next lyric about obedience, we just need to listen and obey God and it can change history.If we are bold and courageous about loving people and sharing God with them it can change their whole life! Last part about our generation is dope in my mind, I’ve been hearing a lot about the end times being sooner than we think. So like we are living in the last days, we are running out of time, and if we truly want to see people to know Jesus we need to take action and have courage! Up in Toledo there is action being taken to see a revival in this city, the prayer for 500k in the city has been going on more a few months and I totally believe God is moving there and there is a shift occurring. Even at school in BG for me, this past year was insane! Healings, people knowing Jesus, and things that I haven’t seen while my time here. It’s been awesome to be apart of and I know this is just the beginning!

The second song kind of relates to the last things I was talking about it has this one awesome lyric that sticks with me which is, “Here comes another wave of revival, can you feel the Earth shaking” and then another lyric which is really sweet is, “tsunami’s of revival are crashing on the shore, a movement of the Spirit we’ve never seen before”. Yeah this year I’ve been praying a lot for revival on our campus and just for the United States. I think to myself like we need to pray for these tsunami’s you know, big prayers for our big God. God hears and answers them so why not pray big! Personally, I’ve been praying for all the undergraduates at BG to have heard the Gospel, so that’s 20k nuts but hey God’s done crazier things so like this ain’t nothing. Might not be in my time here but in the years to come this prayer will be answered. Along with what I was saying earlier about how things have changed this year, you can tell a difference and a shift on the campus that is ready to just open the flood gates for Jesus to totally make his way into everyone’s heart. Can’t wait to see God continue to move and reveal things to me which I haven’t known before. So lastly I wanted to say pray big because we have a big God.

Peace and Love

 

 

Career vs. Heart

This title kind of sums up a lot of what has been on my mind lately. Questions like, What should I do after college? Is this decision the best for my future? How is God going to use this? and How can I fix this situation?, just have been running through my mind constantly. I’m coming to the point in my life where I’m going to actually have to get a “big boy” job (not the restaurant lol, that ship has already sailed haha).

Currently, I’m going to school for a degree in Sport Management…simply because I love sports and at the time of deciding on a major nothing else really seemed interesting to me. When I made this decision I just began my life as a Christian so I wasn’t sure on how that would play into my career or most of my life, I was still trying to figure it all out.

My classes honestly haven’t helped much (some have been really good though), in terms of preparing me for working in the sport industry. I don’t think I’m going to need to tell someone what type of sporting event we are putting on or anything of that nature. Volunteering with the ticket office and athletic communication departments at school have really given me an idea of what it will look like working in this industry. I have gained a lot of valuable experiences and teachable moments during my time spent at both of these departments. I can totally see myself working in the sport industry and being a light wherever I am and just loving on everyone that I work with. On the other hand, I can see myself maybe going into ministry and working for organizations like Athletes in Action or FCA, or maybe be an entrepreneur and open a surf shop, coffee shop, or bar (or a shop with all 3 in 1 ha).

The Jesus Factor is something that has changed my life a lot. Growing in my faith and learning more about it has changed my perspective of life and how it should be lived. Without Jesus in my life I was more concerned with making money, living somewhere warm (that still sounds awesome), and basically focusing on things of this world that now just don’t seem that appealing to me. Money is a big factor in this and the thing is it’s not even my money, it’s God’s money he has chosen to give it to me for me to spend wisely. We…well at least I know that I don’t need a whole bunch of money to be satisfied and be happy in life, sure you can buy more things but do those things last forever? My typical grocery bill for the month is around $35, I go out to eat maybe once a week for $10-$15, and then rent for me is around $300. Besides feeding myself and having a place to live I don’t need a lot of money for everything else. Sure I’ll get some new clothes, books, or vinyls every once in a while but I don’t need them. So yeah the more I’ve grown the more I’ve realized this, also when I went to the Dominican Republic seeing the happiness that they had even though they didn’t have much really showed me to revalue things in life.

Having been put in this confusing season of life has really made me think of what can I do to best serve God wherever he places me. Even if I don’t go into ministry I know God will place me somewhere I can best serve Him and show His love to everyone I work with and come in contact with.

Having said all that…telling my parents that I don’t have the same idea of what they envision me doing in life has really made our relationship tough. We had an intense conversation about this topic and we are complete opposites of what we feel my life should look like. It’s just a weird thing to try to explain to them because they just kept getting more frustrated with me. I just think of Acts 1:7 “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” God has a plan for this relationship to get better and for them to know Him, I just have to not be anxious about it and let God do his thing because it’s in his time not ours.

This topic will probably continue to be prevalent in my life for awhile because it’s just the time in my life where I start seeing what I could maybe do and try things out to see if this is where God wants me. For now I’m just going to be praying about it and getting as much feedback from mentors and friends as I can.

Peace be with you

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Growing Pains

I’ve had an interesting school year to say the least so far. With that I mean spiritually, rest of my life has been solid. Schools School you know so like I’m always grinding with that ha. Yeah I think I’ve stated this a few times in previous posts but this past summer for me was incredible. I grew so much this summer just being able to get into the word all the time and be around people that could pour into me and I into them. Having that community was so big for me, since I did not grow up in an  environment where people were open with their feelings, thoughts, struggles, and ext. being around people that were open to hear me out and give me feed back was huge.

Anyway…this years has given me a lot to think about and a lot to question. I came into this year stoked to see what God had planned for our ministry on campus and me personally. As the year began I began to start seeing things differently and think about the things I did previously in school and realize that something did not seem right. Is it me? Is it the community? Why does it feel different? I really was struggling to figure out what it was and it finally started to come to mean after talking to some people about it. It’s just growing pains, I’m wanting to see radical change and for people to be as stoked as I am to do God’s work and people just aren’t and I have to realize that. Things just feel weird, part of it is that I am growing and am trying to figure out things exactly. Being in community with most of the  friends I’ve made is hard currently for me. I enjoy going out and being in the presence of non-believers, they need love and I love being around them. Something that bothers me (I know I’m a broken record but its so good and true) is we are too much in our Christian bubble and we are too sheltered (I could probably go on and on). I’m just seeing things in a new light and God’s putting a lot on my plate. I’m just in a different season of life I guess, whatever it may be cause I’m still trying to figure it out.

Being apart of this campus organization just isn’t satisfying to me I guess, I’m looking toward things that are after college you know like how am I going to use my ministry after I graduate. Am I just going to join a church and do that? I hope not cause that just doesn’t seem all that wonderful…church is great and all but I want to do life with people I’m around and if they aren’t believers I would love to share God’s love with them. I’ve been reading Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt literally one of the best books I’ve read. Has opened my eyes a lot with how to live in a community and how to do ministry outside of the church setting and how to reach a community or neighbors. I know I should be going after the lost on my campus and such. I just don’t feel called to be here if you know what I mean I feel like I’m supposed to be somewhere else doing ministry. Another part of it is that I need to realize that for the time being I am here so I need to do works here and stop thinking about whats ahead of me.

Hearing that is kind of tough for me because I’ve been wrestling with this for most of the year. I learned that I could graduate early next year and since then I have been thinking a lot of the future and where I could be headed. So much uncertainty just is stressing me out a bit to be honest. I know that I just need to pray and give it to God. For some reason it just is hard for me to do so, I like to have an idea of what is ahead so I can prepare but in this case I don’t. Relying on God is the one thing that I know I can truly rely on. I’d love to move out of Ohio but realistically I’m not sure I can, in terms of personally cause it’d be hard for me to do so solo dolo. In my current situation I’m not sure I could do that without having friends or a spouse to make that move with me. I was prayed over a few weeks ago and someone told me that all battles are won in the prayer room. I absolutely love that, it’s so true and ahhh I need to bunker down and pray ha.

I needed to get this off my chest because it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’m just trying to figure out what God’s telling me and what I’m supposed to do next in this season. Pray on yo!

Fill Me Up

This song just has been speaking to me a lot lately and thought I would share it and share some things that have been rattling in my mind.

I’ve been in an interesting place as of late in my walk with the Lord. God has placed a lot of things on my heart and these things have been pretty gnarly. The biggest thing is like changing the community that I currently am in. I feel like our community can do so much more than what we are and no one is really starting an uproar about it. We are just being content with being idol and satisfied with the status quo of where we are at.

Honestly ever since like the middle of the summer where a few of my friends got together and prayed for the Spirit to be activated within us I have been on fire for the Lord. I’ve taken bigger steps of faith and am growing a lot. Being exposed to certain situations and experiences lately have really shown me how big God is in my lie and that I don’t want anything more than him. Like in that some it says “I just want you more”, “I want you more than anything”, and then it says”fill me up God”. Those lines right there are pretty much expressing the way I feel all the time now. Like I wasn’t wanting God more I had other things on my mind and when I realized that I was focusing too much on things that aren’t really as important as my relationship to God things started changing for me for the better. I was reading a book called What’s In a Phrase and one of the chapters was talking about how if we aren’t having God as our number 1 desire things just aren’t going to be the same and we need to change our mind set to have God as our number 1 desire. Once I read that I analyzed what I was desiring and I may have thought my number 1 was God but truthfully it wasn’t. That really was helpful for me and you know I still struggle with that but I feel like God is on my mind a lot more and I’m desiring him a lot more than before. It’s probably the closest I have ever felt to God and feeling this close to him really is great and I don’t want anything more than that.

It’s been a real interesting season of life for myself. God’s been telling me a lot of stuff, I’ve been real busy with school, the future is constantly on my mind, and it seems stressful at times. If you know me it’s probably hard to believe I get stressed since I’m like always chilled out but believe it or not ha stress can get to me haha. After growing quite a bit this summer and going back into the school routine has been challenging for me I’m not gonna lie. I was used to working in the morning like 4 times a week so I had plenty of time to go to my favorite coffee shop in Perrysburg and spend hours on hours there studying the word and just being totally in his presence a lot. Now like I struggle with finding that time and properly using that time and not rushing it. Since I’ve had a lot on my heart too I’ve wanted to dig into these things more and lately I’ve been able to have time to do so but it took a while to find a rhythm of it.

Like I was saying I feel like God has been putting on my heart to challenge the community I’m in and to also change the way we are…for the better. I’m not a big fan of sharing my faith and I’ve felt convicted lately to do so. What’s the worst that can happen right, like someone doesn’t want to talk with you. That’s nothing in reality, so I’ve been trying to do that and challenge people to take steps of faith and do the same. Since we want to see people come to know Jesus, that’s not going to happen with us sitting on the sidelines and being cool with being a bench player. You can’t change the game by being on the sidelines. We need to get into the game and trust the Spirit to guide conversations and give us words to share.

Another thing that bothers me with our community that has been on my heart is how much we love our “bubble”. Like the community bubble and the Christian bubble we live in and are afraid to get out of. I’m tired of it I’m not going to lie, we can branch out to things/organizations that we like and love those people that we share interests with. We are too uptight sometimes in my mind and are afraid to go out to the darkness and be that light for others. The biggest example of this to me is that hardly anyone goes to parties. Jesus raged with people all the time and he did his thing around people that not many people would associate with back in the day. Why can’t we do that. I’m not trying to sound like I’m better than anyone because I’m not…I fail in several things but like I’ll go to a friend of mine’s parties all the time. Not to get messed up but because I have friends at those parties who I enjoy being around and talking with. It’s like a perfect place to love on people and to get to know people. Ahh it just frustrates me that we are scared…they aren’t going to bite they just wanna have a fun time ha. You don’t have to drink to have a good time.

That’s all I really got right now. Lot of changes I hope can happen to expand the Kingdom and have people leave there comfort zone and be challenged. If you are a praying type I’d appreciate prayer for myself and the community I’m in to feel uncomfortable, challenged, and to trust God with everything.

Fill Me Up God