Finding a Church

Finding a good church to get plugged in to and a place that encourages growth on your spiritual journey is so key. In my experiences it can be pretty difficult to find a place. Personally for me since I’m a little more charismatic and expect things which makes it a little tougher. Thinking about this recently came to my mind because I’m soon unfortunately going to have to go through this process again.  I’ll be headed back to Cleveland and I know a few places back there but not sure really where I’m going to go for church.

It took me awhile in Kalamazoo to finally find a place that I honestly can say has been so awesome for me and I feel right at home there. Toward the end of my college days I began to a place that was very similar but left before I got really involved since I graduated and moved away.

Continuing on this journey and finding people along the way who can help you and you can help to grow closer to God is vital. It talks in the Bible about the importance of community and it’s affect on development and growth (James 5:16, Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:24-25). I was at a house church in Cincy last week and we had a really great discussion about community and how having people around you to encourage and equip each other only helps our faith and our relationship with God.

Finding a place that fits what your looking for can be difficult, me personally I value prayer, community, anointed worship, solid teacher and freedom for movement of Holy Spirit. I have been to some really great places and don’t want to bash them but at some places there was like no prayer and I’d pray over people and it surprised people that I’d do that ha. I’ve found it hard since I want to see revival breakout, see people get healed and truly experience Him. Not everyone wants that you know, lot of environments are cool with the way things are and it challenges me and its hard for me to be in those places.

We each have our own things we are looking for in a church and we shouldn’t settle you know. Just like finding a spouse lol ha we can settle and be okay with it but why do that when we can find the right one.

We shouldn’t feel stuck at a church that isn’t meeting what we are looking for in a church. For a short season I felt stuck somewhere and it was a time where I needed solid community and encouragement and I was struggling with things and had to face them on my own. It was tough but you know the Lord provides and moved in other ways during that season.

A friend of mine from Toledo told me once that if you find a place that has the glory and passionate community to cherish it and if it takes you an hour to drive there it’s worth it. In my case not sure I will want to drive 5 hours to Kzoo and back every Sunday lol ha would love to but until we get the technology to teleport not sure I’ll be able to do that haha.

Yeah that’s really all I had just the importance of finding a solid church home where you can continue to grow, be equipped, be encouraged and be sent out to expand the Kingdom. It may look different to each one of us you know but having that place where you can be loved, be poured into, pour out and grow just is so important. It’s hard to go on this journey alone. Love you all.

 

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Beauty

15

I needed a remedy from the stress I’ve had lately so I was planning to surf Lake Michigan a few weeks ago in the mild 1 degree temperature but mother nature had other plans ha. Little did I know the shore line at St. Joseph’s Beach Park was frozen so that kinda put a damper on things a bit. Knowing that the water may be frozen I brought my cameras just in case to take some pictures to not totally waste my drive there.

Despite the consistent wind gusts and my hands being numb, I began to notice the beauty that I was seeing while I was walking along the beach/lighthouse path. Weird I know, me finding beauty in the winter time in Michigan haha. Seriously though, something about seeing icicles overtake the lighthouse and pretty much everything was really beautiful. As I got to the end of the pier I looked out and felt like I was watching the beginning of Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back where they look out and its just all frozen tundra. A pure beautiful white color was everywhere around me, then a peacefulness came over me and for a moment I was perfectly fine with snow. Then a sec later a gnarly wind gust blew and I was like Lord get me to somewhere with palm trees ASAP ha.

I’ve had so many things going on in my head lately and being able to kind of be still and just see the beauty of nature was refreshing. On my trek back to Kzoo and throughout the rest of the day I began to think of the beauty of God. Honestly, you know I’ve heard about it all the time and I’ll say it but rarely do I sit in that and let that pierce my heart. I’ve been going through the book of Revelation and like it says in Rev. 1:17 John couldn’t even stand before the Lord when he saw Him. Shoot…its so hard to image that in our own minds that just His appearance alone blew him away. Talk about awe, beauty and majesty.

Also like knowing His beauty makes me want to seek Him more and make myself spotless and holy before Him. Feel like every man wants to “out-kick his coverage” if you know what I mean and like we are messy/dirty yet God still wants to love us. We are out-kicking our coverage for sure…we don’t deserve it but that yes in our hearts makes us worthy to be loved by Him even though it may not feel like we are. He is beautiful like dang…how lucky are we to know Him. That Phil Wickham song You’re Beautiful ahhh sums it up…someone call a catcher cause I’m bout to fall hahaha. When you encounter Him and see Him rightly as He is, it’s like you forget everything else that is going on. You see His beauty and realize that this relationship is worth it. I can remember this time I was at Ember in Toledo and got whacked by Holy Spirit and like ever since that day I can’t deny his power, his beauty or his love.

I was in the throne zone for not really sure how long right before I started writing this. I was going through several things during this time but the thing that kept coming up was about being spotless before a beautiful God and hearing Him say well done, my good and faithful servant. Then this led me to think of being the best, holy, righteous, loving Godly man I can be for my beautiful wife whenever I get married.  That wrecks me man, just thinking about being a loving father for whenever I have kids ahh dang. Like showing them their heavenly father and leading my family closer to Him just is something I don’t want to take lightly. Daily in the prayer room about those things.

To end, I love the beauty of nature…our heavenly poppa is a wonderful creator and architect.

Psalm 27:4 

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

 

Man I miss the community at Ember…some awesome times of encounter and growth. Always bringing the fire 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