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.”

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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.

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