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.

3 Years Later

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 10:9-10

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

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Changes

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

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

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

1 Peter 3:8

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

Heavy

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

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

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

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Enjoy The Ride

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

Peace and Love

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!