Preparing

Well, today I am speaking at Amplify Youth Group. I have been working on my sermon for like 3 weeks now, and I’m really excited to share, but I’m also really nervous. I’m going to be sharing some stuff from my life, and the number of people in the area who know about this time in my life will literally double, if not triple, so it’s a little scary…

If you could be sure to say a prayer for me tonight, that I would be able to speak with boldness, compassion, and that God would move through me, I would greatly appreciate it. I’ll resume my more “normal” style posts on thursday, I promise.

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Celebrations (2 of 5)

Continuing my walk down the past year, and the posts that indicated a time of change in my life, this one was a no brainer for me. This one was from one the biggest shifts in my personal life, and was the beginning of a crazy time of change and a fair bit of turmoil.. Continue reading

The Promptings of God

 

Have you ever had one of those moments? For some inexplicable reason, you see someone whom you’ve never met or even seen before across the room and God just whispers, “that one”. And you know that He wants you to connect with that person?

I’m ashamed to admit that this happens to me more than I’d like to admit, because I don’t follow through most of the time. I find some excuse to not. This happened to me fairly recently…
Continue reading

The River of Tears That Flows From My Eyes

I never thought this day would come. I had thought about it, prayed about, felt uncertain about it. But I never thought it would actually happen.

But now it has.

I’ve been holding on so tight
Look at these knuckles they’ve gone white
From fighting for who I want to be
I’m just trying to find security

But you say let it go
You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one’s who lose control
You say You will be everything I need
You say if I lose my life it’s then I’ll find my soul
You say let it go

I have made the decision to step down from Youth Ministry. For how long, I don’t know. Maybe just for a season. Maybe for forever. This has been the hardest decision I’ve ever come to. I know it’s right. I know it’s best. But it’s not easy. It’s not what I want to do. But it’s what I need to do.

After praying about for a few months now (if you remember, I posted about this back in March when it first started to be laid on my heart) and after talking to a few people, I made my decision. This was my choice, but it has been the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make. Upon making my decision on Wednesday, I bawled my eyes out. And again the day after. And the day after that. And every day since.

God, why does this have to be so hard? Why does it hurt so much? I’ve always said that if you call me to something, I would do it, without question. But why did you have to actually test me on that?

I know this will be good. I know it is the best thing for me to do. For myself. For everyone. But those thoughts are only small comforts when I feel like this. Now I begin to wonder “where do I go?” “what do I do now?” How do I leave without leaving a huge void behind?

What now will be the thing that makes my heart leap? What now will be the thing that gives me joy? Where does my dream go from here? This was MY God-sized dream. Now I don’t have that. So what do I do now?

I don’t have answers. I don’t have a nice, neat little bow to put on this to make it a nice little package of thoughts and emotions that has a happy ending. I just have the pain, the heartache, and the river of tears that flows from my eyes.

Bigger things

On Bigger Things and God-sized Adventures

Bigger thingsSorry for missing my post (again) on Tuesday. I was such a wreck Monday I couldn’t write… but no excuses, the point of a discipline is you do it even when you don’t feel like it… But here is today’s post…

This past Tuesday was our youth pastor’s last Sunday as the youth pastor. Ryan Dagen and his wife, Janae, are getting ready to head off on this grand adventure that is Eurasia Cafe. If you want to read more about them and what their doing, head over to Ryan’s blog.

But it got me thinking about these adventures. What makes someone want to up and move away from what they love, and go off into something unknown?  The only answer I can think of is God. God calls us into the crazy adventures that are only going to work if He shows up.

But these are the only adventures that are worth living.

We like our adventured like camping (or blowing things up *cough*), but those aren’t the adventures that really get our blood flowing, that make us feel really alive.

These God-sized adventures are the only things that really make us feel alive. I once heard it said “life is God’s novel, let Him write it” and I like that quote. But I also think that he has given us this chapter, this page of His novel for US to write. The question is, when someone begins to read the pages of God’s novel, are they going to read our chapter, our page, and say “well that a pointless chapter” or “wow, those pages added nothing to the story, they were a waste of my time”? Or will they read the pages that we’ve written and say “WOW, that chapter was a major turning point in the story”?

Yes, life is God’s novel, but He has given us this chapter to write. So write it. Make it count. Make it part of His story. Make it worth reading.

This is the Correlation of Salvation and Love

“This is the correlation of salvation and love
Don’t drop your arms
Don’t drop your arms, I’ll guard your heart
With quiet words I’ll lead you in”
~ “The Unwinding Cable Car” by Anberlin

I have been listening to this song a lot, and the chorus here keeps getting stuck in my head, and I’m sitting here thinking about these lines, and wondering “what is the correlation of salvation and love in our lives?” You see, the word correlation (according to the Oxford-American dictionary) means “a mutual relationship or connection between 2 or more things”. So where does our love meet our salvation? How do those outside of our little church seats see it? Often I don’t think many of us really think about it. One of the things I absolutely love is the youth (Amplify Youth Group) at my church (Gap Community Church) this summer, because I see the correlation of salvation and love in their lives. (Now I get to brag how awesome they are for a minute…) They are going to be doing this thing called “The Servants Journey” and they are going to be doing a bunch of service project things in the community, and it is so cool to see them get fired up for this. We also have a group of kids who go into Lancaster city every week and work with the homeless. When they go, they don’t go and be like “hi, we’re from a church, and a youth group and this and that” they just are doing it anonymously, and to me, that shows that there are no hidden motives beneath them doing this. I am so honored to know kids who are that selfless and willing to serve…

Ok, enough bragging on the awesome kids… So what is our correlation, our meeting place, of our salvation and love? It can be something so simple as taking the time to talk to or hang out with someone. I think that selfless service is what it is all about. When Christ said to us that we should go and serve people in love. This is also I think what James meant when he said that Faith without works is dead. (James 2, like verse 26 or something like that) If we have salvation, but we don’t do anything with it, what good is it? We can love people, and do good things, but they don’t get us salvation, the two MUST meet somewhere. I think to long, the church has sat around and not served the people it is there for. There is a story (and I don’t know how true it is) about a city that was under siege, and those of the church sat in their building while the city was crumbling around them, discussing if the Virgin Mary had blue eyes or not. Even if the story isn’t true, the fact that the church has a reputation that would let people believe that the story might be true is so disgusting to me. I was reading a book for staff meeting at GCC, and there is a quote that goes along so well with this post: “We all seem to pretty contented with ourselves in church and that makes me sick. I think all this contentment makes Jesus nervous.” ~ Robert Coles, Wittenburg Door. When people around us are fighting battles, we should be there, saying to them don’t drop your arms, don’t give up, I’ll help you, I’ll fight along side you… I want us to fight this image that people have of the passive church, and I know it feels like we are going to be fighting an impossible, uphill battle, but nothing worth doing is ever done without a fight of some sort…

“You’re so brilliant
Don’t soon forget
You’re so brilliant
Grace marks your heart”

thoughts?