Monthly Archives: January 2008

Life is a blessing

Yesterday was my 24th birthday. I definitely don’t feel older, but there’s something about 24 that sounds a lot older than 23? Is it because 23 is Michael Jordan’s number!?

I am blessed. God has given me many awesome friends in my life. I’m blown away that God blesses me despite of my weakness and failures.

Cassidy is by far the greatest blessing in my life. She is an awesome example of a person who loves Jesus with all her heart. For those of you who know her, you know that I definitely “out-punted my coverage.” (She is a catch for sure!). I’m glad she gave me a chance!

Serving as a student pastor here in Jax, is a blessing. Many students are searching for hope in Christ, many are discovering the truth of the gospel and what it means to their lives. It is a blessing to see lives changed.

My prayer is that this generation of students are revolutionized by the power of Christ.

My prayer is that students have loving relationships with their families. My prayer is that students come to know peace amidst life’s storms.I’m pumped about God starting a powerful revolution of students serving Jesus. It is a blessing to be a part of student ministry in 2008. I hope you get the point by now. Life isn’t easy, but with Christ it has purpose.

P.S. In the future I’m going to be diving into the question(s) of, “What is the spiritual landscape of Church movements today?”

Are churches trading in God’s Word for the wisdom of the world in order to grow?

The passage I want to unpack is 2 Timothy 4:3-4 .

Anybody interested in these questions?

Thoughts on ministry

Wow, It is almost February. It seems like it is harder to find time as the days go by. I’m reminded of staying clean and close to God when life gets busy.

I am finding more and more in ministry that being humble before God and listening to His voice, far exceeds reading a book on ministry, reading a blog, going to another conference, etc…

The power of God in us is what makes us relevant, it helps us see people as God sees them. Students that I’ve built relationships over the past 4 years of student ministry do not want me to dress or look just like them (some of these are in college or Iraq). They are looking for someone to model authenticity in their lives.

In Marv Penner’s article on “Redefining relevance” He says this:

“The students I serve are far more responsive to my willingness to listen to what is going on in their lives than in my franticness to try to keep up with what is going on in their world.

It frustrates me that authors have books today that have the word “relational” in the title. Isn’t that what Jesus did? I’m not saying it is wrong, I love books on relational ministry, but to me it is sad we have to teach it to church leaders?!

Is it that the church has moved too far into new fads/programs rather than making disciples? (I’d appreciate your thoughts on that question).

Jesus spent quality time with the 12 disciples and mentored 3. Jesus was all about relationships.

He spent time with the multitudes, but a majority of it was with his followers.

Building relationships is the key, but is that it?

I’ve been searching the scriptures on how Jesus asked questions to His disciples. One of my favorite passages is John 21:15-19.

After they ate breakfast, Jesus asked Peter,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter responded, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus responded, “Feed my lambs.”

Jesus kept going asking him two more times. Jesus’ use of the word “love,” was used for “total commitment.” Peter responded with the love that he shared for Jesus, not his total commitment. (Peter has just denied Jesus 3 times prior).

I’m sure Peter was feeling the shame from his denial of Christ. Jesus’ relationship with Peter was not a superficial, make-each-other-feel-good-at-all-times, relationship.

Jesus called for his commitment above all else.

Jesus showed Peter his unconditional love and challenged him to “tend my lambs.” This phrase is synonymous of today’s purpose of ministry leaders to teach the Word of God.

Acts 1-12 reveals Peter’s obedience to Jesus’ command to “feed my sheep.”

Ministry is relationships. It is not just about relationships.

I love how Jesus said in verse 19, “Follow Me.” Following Christ must be our all-consuming passion and nothing must detract us from it

Another funny video…

I’ve had an awesome weekend, got to play some golf, watch college basketball and spend time with students! God has been doing some great stuff in the youth ministry so it has been encouraging to see students grow closer to the Lord.

So on a different note…I’m a huge fan of hilarious videos. You might find this one funny (or not), this one made my sides hurt because I laughed so hard.

Let me know if it makes you chuckle…

My brother…

My family has gone through a lot in the past year. My younger brother Jordan has cancer (epithelial sarcoma) and has been taking chemotherapy and radiation. He has been an amazing example of trusting God through life’s storms. My brothers, Jeff (27), Jordan (20) and Justin (17) are my closest friends.

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Jordan in Kazakhstan for a mission trip June 2007, right before his first surgery.

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Summer family trip to the mountains, prior to Jordan’s surgery.
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Jordan plays basketball for North Greenville University (He is a baller).

Check out Jordan’s website!

Sign his guest book on the site and please continue praying for Jordan.

No matter what life throws, Jesus is the source of strength and hope. I’d appreciate you lifting Jordan up in prayer.

Thanks so much.

This video cracks me up…

This video reminds me of how fast communication is in today’s culture…enjoy!

Awesome weekend!!

Student Tour in Orlando was great this weekend, seeing students worship the Lord and desire Him was a blessing. We had a chance to hang out some in Orlando and have some great relationship building as a group. Many students were coming together and getting to know each other better, so that was encouraging to see. The definite highlight of the trip was being a part of a student beginning a relationship with Jesus. The theme of the weekend was, “Identity.” It was good to hear the speakers, drama, and worship leaders encourage students to find their acceptance and fulfillment in Christ.

I’m reminded of how much we can be thankful for. My younger brother Jordan is who I’m so thankful for. He has taught me what it means to trust God. Even though he is undergoing chemo and radiation, his hope is grounded in God. My heart breaks over the pain of students and families and this one hits home for my family. The song that hit home for me was, “Blessed be your Name.” Even though I have sung it many times, it rang true for me this weekend. When Job lost everything, he responded in worship.

So much to learn in this short life. One day more on this journey. I thank God for the cross for that is where my life met hope, salvation and strength for eternity.

P.S. Check out the Elevate website for pictures of some awesome students! Tour photos are coming soon…

Life can be a blur…

What a blur…this weekend was fast-moving. It was great to lead some youth ministry training in the Ocala area. It was a blast to get to train youth leaders and help them think through ways to reach students without Christ and grow disciples. I am reminded of the importance of God’s Word being central to my life, especially when life gets busy.

I thought a lot about the journey of life. My family has been such a huge blessing to my life, I’m not worthy to have the parents and brothers that I have. I look back at my life growing up and see distinct points that God grabbed my attention and spoke to me. I’ll share one instance with you…

I went to Haiti on a mission trip when I was a senior in High school. It was an eye-opening experience that helped shape who I am. I saw people without clothes, running water, and more importantly, hope. People were so amazing though, amidst the smells and the poverty. Little children would hold our hands as we walked down the streets, many of them not knowing that they wouldn’t live past 30-40 years old. I remember one boy that we talked to about Jesus using an interpretor. He asked about this guy named, Jesus and the cross. He had never heard the story of salvation. When he responded to the gospel and asked Christ into His life, I realized at that point why I was on the earth. To see people come to know Jesus. After that point, I knew that I was called to serve God. I did not know how it was going to happen, but I knew one thing…people need Jesus.

Now looking back, at 23 years old (almost 24) I realize that I must remember the parts of my life that aren’t a blur and celebrate how amazing God is.

It has been a journey…ups and downs…Although some of it is blurry, God has always been there no matter how many times I mess up. My life is something because of Jesus. Sure it sounds cliche’, but it rings true to me through all of life.