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.

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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

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.

 

 

Lone Ranger

I’ve had a lot going on in my head lately with just the season of life that I am in and where I am at in my college career. Even though it’s summer I feel a bit overwhelmed with things at this moment. I currently have an internship with a minor league baseball team so whenever they aren’t playing at home I get the day off, but I still feel like I need to actually get a break from that break if you know what I mean. Like just a break or escape from this place ha. I’m an introvert so I love just being isolated and chilling out by myself, so I’m around people a lot even when I’m not working and I just want a break to truly be at a right state of mind and since God is a HUGE part of my life I really just want to connect more intimately with Him. It can be hard to do that at times during the summer when I’m tired from work or am too lazy to get my time in the Word or to pray.

I’ve contemplated what exactly that looks like and really haven’t gotten any great ideas. Until the other day I was kind of clueless on how to approach this. I was leaving work a few days ago and walked passed my favorite player Daniel Norris (He’s a G, bro plays pro baseball, surfs, and is a solid believer) and gave him the classic head nod and sup (I didn’t realize it was him till after I walked past him a few feet later). A few friends of mine told me about him last year because I like surfing, God , and baseball they told me I would dig this dude. So I read some articles about him and instantly became a fan. He relates with this story because in the off-season he drives a 1970s Volkswagen van down the coast and just surfs, lives in the van, isolates himself, and just connects with nature. It made me think of what a great time that would be to just drive solo dolo down to like Key West or something making stops along the way to surf and check out some cool spots and be isolated. Having time to just see God’s creations and to be able to just talk with Him and no one else would truly be incredible. One of the ways I connect with God best is to be in nature and take it all in and thank Him for the beauty He has created. Just imagining this brings a huge smile to my face. Like another thing is like how sweet it sounds that I won’t know anyone so running into new people and meeting people will be really cool and having sweet stories about this adventure will be amazing.

I am (hopefully) graduating in December so timing of this trip is something I’m thinking about like when should I go on this trip. Do I wait till after graduation or go during this summer on an off week. Then financially I’m a college student so hopefully I’ll have enough to make it haha, that shouldn’t matter though I know God can provide crazy things. Honestly, the biggest thing is my car it isn’t in the greatest shape to make this trip so I would probably want to rent a car which can maybe get pricey I don’t know. Maybe my parents could help me out a bit with this but we’ll see ha. They are more on the conservative end of things where I am more on the spontaneous side. We’ll see where this goes, so pretty much that’s the plan road trip solo to warmer vibes, do things I love, and see where the Holy Spirit takes me.

 

As Always 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.”